"When you have a live audience and it's just you playing on stage, there's an opportunity to really speak to people," says Tony winner Ali Stroker.
The performer will bring her concert An Evening With Ali Stroker to Long Island's Bay Street Theater August 15. It's been a while since she's performed her solo show (that pandemic), but it's one of her favorite things to do.
Stroker got her start on The Glee Project, a reality show competition which had several performers vying for a guest spot on the popular Fox musical comedy series Glee. She finished as a finalist, winning an appearance in one episode. She made her Broadway debut in 2015 in Deaf West's Spring Awakening and returned to the Main Stem in 2019, taking home a Tony that season for her performance as Ado Annie in Daniel Fish's edgy revival of Oklahoma! She most recently has been seen in Seasons 1 and 2 of Hulu's Only Murders in the Building.
"One of the things that's so special about doing a one-woman show is you sort of receive this energy back afterwards. It really is an exchange. I feel so fortunate that I have people that I love and know in the audience," says Stoker, whose audiences are often made up of people from all facets of her career...her Glee fans, her Broadway fans, and even friends and family from her hometown in southern New Jersey.
She's developed her show over the years with her husband, director David Perlow. "What I love about it is that it allows me to bring whatever is going on in my life right now to a performative space," she says. And for this show, that's the anticipation of becoming a new mother; Stroker and Perlow recently announced that they are expecting their first child. "I'm sort of adding a huge role into my life in the next few months, and it's so exciting and scary. So yeah, there will be a section on that [in the concert]."
She doesn't want to reveal what she has planned specifically for this concert, but she does have a favorite number that tends to pop up in most of her shows. "I always love 'Natural Woman.' Every time I do it, for whatever reason, it evokes a different feeling. That's what's so special about music. This song I've heard my whole life, but when you sing it, when you are delivering these lyrics and this melody to an audience, it just kind of meets you where you are."
For tickets to see An Evening With Ali Stroker at Bay Street Theater, click here.