BY SARA DUDLEY BROWN
Who IS Iyona Blake, you might ask. Well, I’m going to tell you. She is an Arlington raised and based singer who is hot, hot, HOT right now and she’s appearing at DC’s famous jazz and supper club, Blues Alley, on May 30. I recently called Iyona to chat about her upcoming appearance and here is a brief synopsis of our conversation, plus some interesting background I ferreted out on her.
She is truly excited about this opportunity as it tops off an incredible couple of years in which, among other things, she received a Helen Hayes nomination and Broadway World’s Washington, DC Award for Best Actress in a Musical for a Small Professional Theater for her blistering portrayal of Caroline in the musical, Caroline, or Change at Creative Cauldron. And that was just prior to bringing down the house in two award winning Signature Theatre shows, Titanic and Jelly’s Last Jam, and then headlining the critically acclaimed Blues in the Night, again at Creative Cauldron. Wow. She is seriously on fire! I saw Iyona in her last three shows, and I can tell you she is a true force of nature, a singer and actor with vocal power and range that I think has no equal in this area. Boom.
Here is what Sean Craig of DC Theatre Scene said in his 2016 review on Caroline, or Change at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church: “…special note should be made of Iyona Blake’s performance as Caroline. Blake blew the audience away and deserved every clap of her standing ovation. Not only did she sing with precision and power, but her acting was perfectly wrought. All came to a head in “Lot’s Wife.” Caroline’s moment of catharsis left the house speechless. In a few short minutes of singing, an entire history was left on stage, not only Caroline’s—filled with complexity and conflict—but the entire history of change that the musical taps into. It was a moment of pure awe, a performance that triumphed over time itself.”
So that’s what you can expect to hear when Iyona sings a little blues, a little Bessie Smith, a little jazz, some rhythm and blues, some pop songs, and a couple of her original songs with her three piece band and musical director, Chris Davis. Performance Dates and Times: Iyona performs two shows on May 30th at 8 and 10 pm. Order your tickets now! Blues Alley is located at 1073 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC and tickets are available at www.bluesalley.com or call 202-337-4141. See you there!