Rosemary Clooney may be better known today as George Clooney’s aunt, but she was a pop sensation in the 1940’s and ‘50’s, recording popular music, appearing in movies such as “White Christmas” and on early television.
After a tumultuous personal life, and the advent of rock ‘n’ roll, she reinvented herself as a jazz singer.
Her story unfolds in a remarkable and entertaining musical biography, “Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical,” presented by The Texas Repertory Theatre at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center over two weekends, July 16-18 and July 23-25.
The musical features the husband-and-wife team of Julia and Mark Laskowski and is directed by Steven Fenley, founder and artistic director for The Texas Rep.
“I have worked with this incredible team before. That is why I chose this play for them,” said Fenley. “They are so talented. Mark is an amazing actor while Julia is one of Houston’s finest singers.”
Fenley selected the play just for Julia and Mark because it fit their talents so well. Then he decided to premier the show at The Bender a year ago in April. It is an innovative tribute to Clooney that also showcases the remarkable talent of Julia Laskowski who portrays her.
Sample Julia Laskowski’s amazing “channeling” of Rosemary Clooney on the Texas Rep’s webpage, texasreptheatre.com where Fenley along with Julia and Mark Laskowski scrutinized the play in a recent podcast. “Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical,” appears July 16-18 and July 23-25. Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. Sunday performances at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30, humblepac.com/events or texasreptheatre.com.