Article published in Dropline.biz on September 5, 2005

Valarie Pettiford“Triple Threat”

By Regina Washington (co-authored by Dino M. Zaffina)

Valarie Pettiford has been praised by many as a triple threat since she is an accomplished singer, dancer, and actress; monopolizing theatre, motion pictures, and television.

Valarie was born in Queens, New York.  She began her thespian training at the Bernice Johnson Theater of Performing Arts in Queens when she was just a child. Discovering a love for the arts, Valarie continued to study through her teenage years at the Performing Arts High School.

It was not long after that, Pettiford’s tremendous versatility in all styles of dance led her to Broadway, where she became a “Fosse” dancer, working with the late great legendary choreographer, Bob Fosse on Dancin and Big Deal. “Working with Bob Fosse turned out to be an experience of a lifetime,” says Pettiford. She recalls Fosse himself calling her to be part of the backers audition for the show, which led to her becoming one of only 5 dancers to assist Fosse in the choreography and staging for Big Deal. If all this wasn’t wonderful enough, Pettiford was assigned the position of dance captain, with an additional responsibility of casting.

Valarie’s great performances and hard work presented her with a starring role in the 1999 Tony Award winning musical Fosse which was created for Valarie, Barbara Yeager, and Gary Chapman.

Pettiford went onto perform in feature films and television co-starring and guest starring. Some of her movie credits include The Wiz, and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club, Like Mike, and Surviving in L.A. Her performance in Paramount Pictures’ Glitter brought glowing reviews from both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times for her role as Mariah Carey’s mother.

Before landing the role of “Big Dee Dee” on UPN’s No. 1 show Half & Half, Valarie had recurring roles on The District, Fame LA, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. In addition to, guest starring roles on Frasier, State of Grace, The West Wing, Any Day Now, Walker, Texas Ranger, Sliders, Silk Stalkings, The Sentinel, and as “Detective Courtney Walker” on Another World. Up and until the character of “Big Dee Dee,” Valarie was probably best remembered for her three-year stint as the indomitable “Sheila Price,” a role she created on the daytime drama One Life to Live.

Currently, Pettiford is burning the candle at both ends, and loving it. She is co-starring on Half & Half, which airs on UPN, on Monday nights at 9:30 p.m. Half & Half, which is in its fourth season, requires Pettiford’s presence on the set during a five day work week, which consists of three rehearsal days with other cast members, one camera block rehearsal day, and one “high definition” tape day.

Valarie is also rehearsing for the musical, The Wild Party which will be running at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre at 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90038 (Directions).

The Wild Party opens Saturday, October 15, 2005, and runs Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday starting at 8:00 p.m., with two shows on Sundays, one at 2:00 p.m. and the other at 7:00 p.m. (For more information).

Five-time Tony Award nominee, Michael John LaChiusa returns to “The Blank” with the west coast premiere of his musical fable set against the backdrop of Manhattan decadence in the 1920s. LaChiusa’s musicals Hello Again and First Lady Suite have been critically acclaimed and favorites at “The Blank.” The Wild Party has been nominated for 7 Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” This show will provide its audiences with an unforgettable evening of Hot Live Jazz and amazing unamplified voices.

The cast in alphabetical order includes, Eric Anderson as “Burrs,” James Black as “Eddie Mackrel,” Innis Casey as “Black,” Kirsten Benton Chandler as “Madelaine True,” Daisy Eagan as “Sally,” Nathan Lee Graham as “Phil D’Armano,” Daren A. Herbert as “Oscar D’ Armano,” Julie Dixon Jackson as “Mae,” Sally Kellerman as “Dolores Montoya,” Michael Kostoff as “Goldberg,” Jane Lanier as “Kate,” Valarie Pettiford as “Queenie,” Peter Van Norden as “Gold,” Sasha Wexler as “Nadine,” and Sam Zeller as “Jackie.”

The Wild Party’s Artistic Director is Daniel Henning, and the show is produced by Henning and Noah Wyle.

Pettiford has also recorded and toured with many R&B artists and rock bands in the United States and Europe.  Her singing talent has led her to record her own 15 song CD which is entitled Hear My Soul. Samples of the tracks can be heard in MP3 format and the CD can be purchased at valariepettiford.com/music.html.

Valarie Pettiford is managed by Tony Rader (818) 726-1497. Her publicist is Tom Estey (508) 451-5246.

For more information about Valarie Pettiford go to her official website at: www.valariepettiford.com.


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