Former child star and teenage heartthrob actress/singer Renn Woods, best known for her roles as Fanta in the Emmy Award winning TV mini-series Roots, her unforgettable interpretation of "Aquarius" in Milos Forman's movie musical Hair, and as Dorothy in the first national tour of the Broadway musical hit The Wiz, has written a new stage musical, titled Sold: Renn Woods In Concert (A Play in Rhythm and Blues) adapted from her successful autobiographical one-woman show, A Diva Like Me. Musical selections from the first act of the new show will be presented for an invitation-only audience of theatre industry executives on Saturday, Oct. 20, 7 PM in PH1 Studio at Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor (and short stairway to Penthouse 1).
Hosted by Robert R. Blume, co-executive producer of the Drama Desk Awards and Ms. Woods' personal manager, the industry presentation stars Renn Woods and features James Edward Becton, Kiley M. Caughey, Harriett D. Foy, Elly Noble, J. Alex Noble, Kissy Simmons and Kip Taisey. It is directed by Becton with Eugene Gwozdz as Music Director/Pianist. Hair & makeup for Renn Woods is courtesy of Celebrity Stylist, TJ Romeland. Genevieve Ortiz is the stage manager.
According to Mr. Blume, "The Kennedy Center's KCATF Program chose 18 plays (out of 2,000 reviewed) to be developed. One of those plays, A Diva Like Me, was written by Renn Woods as a one-woman autobiographical show with music, which was presented in the Juneteenth Festival. It was subsequently produced with success at the LA Music Center under Gordon Davidson's tenure and then produced by Todd Salovey at The Lyceum in San Diego. We are looking to go from this presentation to a respected Regional Theater prior to commercial production out of town and then Broadway."
Renn Woods is a star of stage, TV and film, an amazing vocalist and talented emerging playwright. As Dorothy in the first national Broadway tour of The Wiz, her performance was hailed by the critics as a new musical theatre standard for the young performers. She returned in 2006 to that very same theatre (The Ahmanson) in Los Angeles, to the same kind of reception, in Caroline or Change. As a song writer and lyricist, Renn wrote a song for the late Robert Altman when he was honored by The Malibu Celebration of Film with The Courage Award. She called it "Ode To Altman" and performed it for him and 150 guests at the Magic Castle 2006. She was chosen by Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, as the vocalist for the prestigious Legends Awards Ceremony, inducting Sir Elton John.
Renn began singing at the age of six. By age ten, she and two girlfriends had taken the show business world by storm, as their group, Sunday's Child, was adored by such celebrities as Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Johnny Carson. They toured the world, performing the very last tour of duty with Bob Hope in Vietnam. Oscar winning director Robert Zemeckis chose to include a photograph of that Christmas performance with Renn and Mr. Hope in his beloved Forrest Gump, grossing 329 million and counting.
Her other film credits include: Crazy World, Walker, Juvie, Nine to Five (with Jane Fonda), Jumpin' Jack Flash (with Whoopi Goldberg), The Jerk, A Perfect Couple, Marshal Law, Xanadu, The Brother From Another Planet, Hair, Car Wash, Youngblood, Beer, Sparkle, and Forrest Gump (TV clip with Bob Hope). Renn's TV credits include starring roles in Detention: The Siege At Johnson High (ABC movie of the week), a series regular or recurring roles in Beauty and the Beast, We've Got Each Other, Roc, Gabriel's Fire, Relativity, Comedy Rush; guest starring roles in N.Y.P.D. Blue, That's Life, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, High Incident and Monsters. She is currently recording her third CD as song writer and solo vocalist.