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“Ms Houston is terrific….”
Ben Brantley
New York Times

“Wanda Houston rules….”
M. Pontantier
Musical Theater Review

“The mega voiced Wanda Houston…blows the roof off!”
Sam Whitehead
Time Out New York

 
Wanda L. Houston
Singer / Actor / Vocal Coach

AEA / SAG / AFTRA



From Chicago, Wanda began her performance career in her father’s theatre company Newer Still Productions and singing with her mother, brother and sister in the “Houston Singers”. She performed through grade school, high school and college where she received a BA in Vocal Performance with a concentration in Opera. After college, she was Lois Lane/Bianca in the Roosevelt Theater’s Kiss Me Kate, Nettie in the Chicago Musical Theater’s production of “Carousel” and Mother in the Chicago Urban Theater’s production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Gian Carlo Menotti. She also was the featured soloist in Chicago’s Airflow Deluxe Orchestra singing timeless classics at the famous Navy Pier Chicago fest, at Milwaukee’s Jazz Fest and touring across the country as Sister Kate who’s sassy jazz standards would bring crowds to their feet.


Moving to LA, she received a private scholarship in Opera at USC but decided instead to continue her work on the musical theater and concert stages. Early on she began touring with the revival girl group, The Marvelletes on the oldies circuit. She toured with Mary Wells, Bill and Tom, the Platters and Martha and the Vandellas singing at USO clubs, Billy Bobs in Texas and at Harrah’s Lounge in Reno, NV. It was not long however before she began working in Las Vegas at the famed Copa Room of the Sands Hotel in Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon. Returning to LA, she worked with a number of bands singing R & B, Jazz and standards in numerous LA venues among them, At My Place, Madame Wong’s, The Cinegrill and the Viper Room. Never far from her roots, the theater, Wanda performed in the Long Beach Theater’s production of “A…My Name is Alice” whose cast was rewarded a Robby for Best Ensemble Performance. She performed and toured in Michael Jackson’s production of Larry Hart’s Sisterella and was nominated Best Supporting Actress in a Musical by the NAACP for her portrayal of the wicked step-sister Magnolia Kensington. The show toured the Baltic, Germany, Austria and Australia after performing to sold out houses at the historic Pasadena Playhouse. Also in LA, she was in the original musical Greetings From Venice Beach, Sister Hubert in “Nunsense”, Dionne in the 20th Anniversary revival of “Hair” and John Forester’s “Both Barrels” which was called the best new musical of 1998 by the LA Times. The show was quickly picked up and moved east; first to Goodspeed at Chester in East Haddam, CT and then Off Broadway at the Variety Arts Theater in New York under the name “A Good Swift Kick” in the summer of ’99.

Now living in NYC, Wanda continues her love affair with theater and music recording, acting, singing wherever and whenever possible. She was featured on Broadway as the Negro Woman who sang character into the steamy New Orleans set in the Roundabout Theater’s revival of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” at Studio 54 directed by Edward Hall and staring John C. Reilly and Natasha Richardson. She was Power Woman and Earth Mother in the long running Off Broadway hit “Menopause the Musical. She was featured on the live RCA recording of “Infinite Joy” the Music of William Finn at Joe’s Pub where she performed selections from “New Brain” and “Romance and Hard Times”. She has also been featured with the popular professional Gospel Choir, the Broadway Inspirational Voices, (BIV). They celebrated a Grammy nomination for their Christmas Album “Great Joy”. With the BIV she has performed in PBS Great performances, (Three Mo’ Tenors and The Love Songs w/ Adam Pascal, hosted by Julie Andrews) with Oleta Adams and Stephanie Mills at the Center for Ethical Culture, Eartha Kitt at the New Amsterdam Theater, Pattie Labelle at Town Hall, Liza Minnelli at Time Warner Center honoring Kander and Ebb and with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in “Sinatra: His Life His Way” Other east coast performances include the Nell role in “Ain’t Misbehavin”, Dolly Levi in “Hello Dolly” and Jewel in “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. You can also see her in the Christmas TV Feature “The Path” and in John Turturro’s film “Romance & Cigarettes”.

  Wanda has also had the joy of performing either live or on video with such notables as Rick Astley, Sam Harris, Patti Austin, Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, in the 67th Academy Awards choreographed by Debbie Allen and with Barbara Streisand at Madison Square Garden in “Timeless”

A versatile and strong performer, Wanda can touch your soul whether you’re sitting in a 5000 seat concert hall with a full orchestra, an intimate piano lounge or singing acapella in a small chapel. Take the time and get to know the voice and spirit of this gifted entertainer for our times.


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