Cynda Williams-Plummer began her professional acting career opposite Denzel Washington in Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues. She also garnered critical acclaim in the films One False Move and Caught Up. The actress, who just happens to also be an amazing singer, scored a hit in 1990 with “Harlem Blues,” which reached No. 9 on the R&B charts. Williams-Plummer is now back home in the Windy City, much to the thrill of avid theatergoers. –tony binns
What have you been up to lately?
Well, a few years ago my daughter announced she wanted me home so I took a few years off [from] pursuing singing, and nightclubs, those kind of things and ended up in Singapore [where I lived] for a couple of years. My husband is a producer and while we were there I did a lot of singing. I was ready to come home in January.
You recently came off a production of Paul Oakley Stovall’s play, Immediate Family at the Goodman Theater. What was that experience like? Particularly working with Phylicia Rashad directing?
It was the first time I’d worked at the Goodman Theater and it was a phenomenal experience — a wonderful ensemble. Phylicia Rashad was a phenomenal director. The entire experience was wonderful and it was nice to come back to my roots. I adore movies and filmmaking, but it was nice to come back to the theater.
How did you get involved?
Actually, I did not come back to Chicago until I did the play, Immediate Family. … Several years ago I met Paul, we were going to [do] some work for charity and at that time it was going to be a movie and I did not hear from him for quite a long time and he called me and said it was going to be a play and asked it I wanted to do it. So I’ve been back in Chicago since May.
Any special moments in your professional career that stand out?
Well, there are a few moments so it is kind of hard for me to say, but I would say my most recent experience in Immediate Family was a really wonderful moment because I was able to develop my character and hold my own.