Jennifer Hudson's performance with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra this weekend for the SOLUNA Festival will be a sampling of her 15-year career.
Hudson tells the Observer she'll sing songs from Hairspray, when she played Motormouth Maybelle on NBC's live version of the musical. She'll also sing songs from Dreamgirls, the movie she starred in and won an Oscar for. Then she'll sing songs from The Color Purple, a Broadway production she won a Grammy for. And of course, she'll sing her original music, including songs she says she's recently written.
"One of my favorite things is performing with an orchestra, and I like audience participation as well," Hudson says. "If people want to get involved and throw up their shoes and have a good time, then it's a good time for people to come out and enjoy themselves. It's going to be a good time. I'm excited about it."
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After Hudson performed with an orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles last year, she says she's gone on a sort of Jennifer Hudson Orchestra Tour, performing with orchestras all over the country. This weekend she'll be in Dallas (which she says was one of the first places she visited as a little kid, and remembers it as being "hot") with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for its SOLUNA Festival, which aims for international artists to collaborate with local up-and-coming artists.
"It is so important because that is part of grooming, one," Hudson says. "And for me it hits close to home because I actually got to open as an opening act after I was on American Idol for Aretha Franklin. I was the opening act, and it meant the world to me. I've performed for everything at this point in my career and that's still one of the most memorable experiences. It's something that inspires the up-and-coming artists."
The show is 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20 at Meyerson Symphony Center. Tickets start at $95.