Former 'Hamilton' star, Renee Elise Goldsberry, to perform in Columbus Aug. 11
Acclaimed actress and singer Renee Elise Goldsberry has been seen on Broadway — she was in the cast of the original Broadway run of “Hamilton,” winning a Tony Award for her performance as Angelica Schuyler — in movies, and on TV, but she has a special place in her heart for performing in the Buckeye State.
“I’ve had so much fun in Ohio,” Goldsberry said. “I got to perform in Cincinnati, I got to perform in Columbus. My mother is from Ohio, and I spend a lot of time in Dayton, where she’s from. The cities there are wonderfully supportive of music.”
Goldsberry, 51, most recently performed in Greater Columbus in February 2020, when, not long before the pandemic, she teamed with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.
“I was concerting pretty regularly then, so it might not be the very last one,” Goldsberry said, “but definitely I remember Ohio as pretty much close to the end.”
Now Ohio is again on the acclaimed performer’s itinerary.
On Aug. 11, Goldsberry will make a return appearance to the Greater Columbus area for a special performance at the Hinson Amphitheater in New Albany. She will be joined by her band and background singers. The concert is part of Amp Up the Arts, an annual benefit hosted by the New Albany Community Foundation, that raises money for programming at the year-old amphitheater.
In a recent phone interview with The Dispatch, Goldsberry spoke about the upcoming concert, her current TV and film roles and an exciting upcoming project.
Question: What will you be performing in Columbus?
Goldsberry: I do a little Aretha Franklin, I do some spirituals, I do some Bob Dylan. We play some classic jazz, we play some pop music, we play some soul and some inspirational music, and then we come home with the Broadway songs. . . .
It’s been a number of years now since I left “Hamilton” and I’ve taken this show on the road. One thing that’s gotten better is me. The more you do something, and the more comfortable you are with that rapport and the joy of it, the better you get. I think I’ve grown, and my band, and our rapport, has been something fun to evolve.
Q: When you perform with your band, rather than an orchestra, is the pressure greater on you?
Goldsberry: When it was newer, it felt more comforting to have not only that large orchestra or even a smaller symphony, but also to have that subscriber base and the comfort of all of that. It felt very supportive. Now, I just feel that we’ve matured to the point where that’s wonderful if we have it, but when we don’t have it, we really have the freedom to be as unique as we are.
Q: You’re currently starring in the Peacock comedy series “Girls5eva.” Tell us about the show.
Goldsberry: “Girls5eva” is a dream come true for me. It’s a brilliantly written comedy about a one-hit wonder girl group that decides to make a comeback 20 years later. I get to work with (co-stars) Sara Bareilles, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps. They are all three geniuses, and we get to live out the amazing fantasy. I think people get to a certain age and they are not as unapologetically ambitious as they should be, and that’s what's really wonderful about these women.
I also think people should continue to dress alike and sing in harmony and dance together! People think for some reason that the younger you are, the more people support that, and the older you are, the stranger it is. I’ve just learned on the set, working with them, how healing and how wonderful it is.
Q: You also star in Billy Porter’s new movie “Anything’s Possible,” which debuted July 22 on Amazon.
Goldsberry: Billy Porter is a great friend of mine. He’s like a brother. We went to college together, and he’s making his film directorial debut. It is a high school romantic comedy about a 17-year-old senior who is figuring her life out and taking the risk to fall in love. It is funny, it is sweet, it is joyous, it is celebratory. I play the mother, and the lead character, played by Eva Reign, is also trans. It feels really hugely revolutionary, and surprisingly revolutionary, that we would be able to tell this very sweet and inspirational story about . . . a community that is really underrepresented in film.
Q: What’s coming up next for you?
Goldsberry: Probably the biggest thing I continue to talk about is the album that is forthcoming. The people that come out to see me perform, the goal is that you will want to hear more of it and you won’t necessarily want to wait for me to come back to the amphitheater because you have a long list of people that are trying to get in there. I’m recording an album — it’s all original music — and I am loving it.
Q: When will it come out?
Goldsberry: I think probably by the end of this year or the beginning of next. What happens in the world of recording is that the end of the year is taken over by holiday music. Most likely, if I don’t get it out before the holiday rush, I’ll do it after.
At a glance
Renee Elise Goldsberry will perform as part of the Amp Up the Arts benefit at 8 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Hinson Amphitheater, 170 W. Granville St., New Albany. Gates open and dinner is served at 7 p.m. Lawn tickets start at $300. For more information, visit www.newalbanyfoundation.org.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Renee Elise Goldsberry talks music before Columbus concert