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Kanysha Williams of Soul Divas talks cabaret and the legendary women of soul music

The cabaret powerhouse spoke with us about the group’s eight upcoming performances in NoVA.

Photo by Robert Merhaut

The soulful voices of Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Tina Turner can make people of all generations get up and dance. This month at Signature Theatre, Soul Divas, a cabaret dedicated to the legendary women of soul music, will be held over the course of five days, with a total of eight shows. We spoke with one of the stars of the show, Kanysha Williams, about what makes the cabaret special for her and fans alike.

This post originally appeared in our November 2019 issue. Want more fun things to do? Subscribe to our newsletters.

What’s your favorite part about the cabaret?
I am a super-huge music nerd. I love music; it’s my heart and soul. To get an opportunity to just strip everything down and have an event that’s solely about music and music alone is something that’s really exciting for me, because it’s who I am and what I do.

Which soul singer do you draw the most inspiration from?
My favorite diva that we’ll be honoring is Whitney Houston. I adore her. The opportunity to sing her songs gives me goosebumps.

Signature Theatre is celebrating its 30th season this year. How does it feel to be a part of that lineup?
Signature has one of  those environments that just makes you feel good. I remember the first time I walked in and saw those images of past productions on the wall and I kind of got lost in the magic of what theater can be. The show isn’t super traditional as far as being a play, as we’re not taking on character roles or acting, but as soon as you walk in, you know you’re going to see something good. I’ve never been to Signature and not seen something that took my breath away. // Nov. 19-24; times vary; Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; $38

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