Emmy winner Jackee Harry is keeping very busy. The 227 and Sister, Sister star is juggling two new sitcoms (Girl Meets World and The First Family), directing duties on the show Mr. Box Office and a limited engagement in the off-Broadway revue NEWSical the Musical. Before she found fame on the small screen, Harry was a regular on the New York stage, including a stint playing Billie Holiday. You'll have to act fast to see her in NEWsical, which she's joining for one weekend only, August 23 through August 27. Broadway.com caught up with the vivacious star to find out how she’s feeling about returning to the stage and the musical that would bring her back to Broadway.
How did your guest stint in NEWSical happen? Did it have anything to do with the First Person essay co-creator Tom D'Angora wrote for Broadway.com?
You saw it and reached out to him?
Believe you me, I don’t know. You’re on Twitter and you make friends, and [connections] are happenstance.
Are you excited to return to the stage and remind people that you can sing as well as act?
I’m petrified [laughs]. I’m scared of New York.
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, right?
Exactly. Do you know who you’ll play in the show? Anyone famous you’re dying to portray?
I don’t really know. They’re still writing. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do.
Why did you want to be part of NEWSical?
It’s been around for four years, and it feels like Vagina Monologues—something I haven’t done yet that a lot of other people have. It should just be a good fit. [Tom] is so clever, he really is. And he’s a fan, so I’m sure he’ll take care of me.
You made history in 1987 when you were the first African American to win an Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for 227. What do you remember most from that night?
Bruce Willis mispronouncing my name [laughs]. He called me Jackie! That’s all he said: “And the winner is, uh, Jackie?” [Laughs.]
Do you think you can find time for more stage work after NEWsical?
Not really. I’m not able to free myself up. You really need to be in New York to do eight shows a week, and I don’t live here anymore so it’s difficult.
What role would get you back to Broadway?
Mame. That would be great.
What are you most looking forward to about being in New York?
I like to go to my favorite restaurants and I have quite a few friends here, so I’m looking forward to seeing them. And shopping!