Molly Ringwald became a household name thanks in large part to her starring roles in the mid-80s teen movie triumvirate of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, but it won’t be her acting chops on display when she takes the stage Nov. 13 at the Dvorak Concert Hall in Doudna Fine Arts Center.
Ringwald’s appearance at EIU will instead showcase her vocal skills as she hits campus in support of her recent debut jazz release Except Sometimes; she’ll also accompany the EIU Jazz Lab Band the following evening as a guest soloist.
This so-called “reinvention” of Ringwald’s career isn’t terribly surprising when you do a little digging into her background; she’s the daughter of blind jazz pianist Bob Ringwald and cut an album with her dad’s Fulton Street Jazz Band before her seventh birthday.
"I'm sure that there are some people who are doubters," said Ringwald in an April interview with Yahoo! Music. "Most people that really know me know I have a jazz background. I feel like I have jazz in my DNA."
Since its April release in conjunction with Ringwald’s bestselling new novel When it Happens to You, Except Sometimes has received favorable reviews and features mainly jazz standards with a few twists – most notably a cover of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, the Simple Minds tune made famous by its prominent spot on The Breakfast Club’s soundtrack.
In the previously referenced Yahoo! interview, Ringwald addressed the thought process behind hearkening back to her Brat Pack days even though the album’s release might suggest a readiness to totally move on from that era.
"I can't really distance myself from that [era], nor do I really think that I need to,” said Ringwald, who also stars in The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family.
“I feel like by reimagining and singing the song in a completely different way as an adult, incorporating what I'm interested in now, I'm making a statement. I'm not a different person, I've just evolved. And I think the treatment of the song kind of expresses that in a nice way."
Tickets for Ringwald’s performance are available via the DFAC website; her visit is supported by the Consolidated Communications Artists Series.