Hylton Performing Arts Center Presents Singer Julia Nixon

Posted: January 13, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: January 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Julia NixonThe powerful contralto Julia Nixon will appear at the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Gregory Family Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. as part of the Encore Events.

A Helen Hayes Award-winner, Nixon’s rich and soulful voice catapulted her onto the American stage as the lead in “Dreamgirls” on Broadway. In the vein of Sarah Vaughn, this performer brings a program that mixes jazz standards with her signature R & B compositions. Nixon began her musical career at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied opera before turning to southern soul music and Motown.

In 1983, she won the role of Effie White in the original Broadway production of “Dreamgirls,” replacing actress Jennifer Holliday. Following her Broadway success, she became a fixture on the Washington, D.C., music scene with her group Julia & Company, the resident group at the popular D.C. nightclub Mr. Henry’s in the 1980s and 1990s.

Nixon later appeared in the touring production of “Smokey Joe’s Café.” In 2006, she appeared in the lead role in Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s stirring musical “Caroline, or Change” at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Her performance won her the 2007 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a musical. In recent years, Nixon has appeared onstage at Radio City Music Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and other venues throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

In 2007, Nixon released her first solo recording, “Keepin’ on Track” on Double Dawg Records. The album celebrates the R & B, gospel and jazz influences that have shaped her career and repertoire, and includes a cover of Nancy Wilson’s “Guess Who I Saw Today” and a reprise of the solo “One Night Only” from “Dreamgirls.”

This performance is presented by Signature Theatre Cabaret.

Tickets are $30 (general admission). Visit the box office or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit hyltoncenter.org. The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center.

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