Allee Willis is throwing a big party, and we're all invited. Nope. it's not being held at her home, known as "the House of Atomic Kitsch." The outrageously creative Willis who's sold some 50 million records with such hits as Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" and "Boogie Wonderland," the Pointer Sisters' "Neutron Dance," Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield's "What Have I Done To Deserve This," and the Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You (Theme From Friends)" brings us Allee Willis' Soup to Nuts Party Mix with songs, stories and party games. She promises she'll try not to walk off stage like she did at her last live show 37 years ago.
Why did you walk off your own show in 1974?
I had the same agent as Joni Mitchell. Ohio State wanted to book her but my agent said they could only get her if they booked me. Unbeknownst to me, they booked me and my band into the lunch room. There were a couple students eating hot dogs and a psychology class taking place in the back of the room, with the professor yelling at us to pipe down after every song. I was never that comfortable on stage, as the first performance I ever did was in front of 10,000 people and this was only the third one, so I made a snap decision to vacate the stage and just concentrate on songwriting. I didn't expect that it would be 37 years before I returned.
Will your fans learn anything new about you at the show?
ABSOLUTELY. It's a very autobiographical show, albeit twisted, as my adventures have been.
Whenever I see you in a photo, you always look like you're having a ball. Are you?
Yes! Not to say there aren't moments of trauma and despair peppering the experience, but I really think we have a choice about most things in life to see the glass half-empty or half-full and if you choose the latter you smile a lot more.
You're also known for your fabulous A-List parties. Are there famous people who want to attend you won't invite? If I don't like their talent I'm not interested in them attending. Bad performances usually equal boring and/or insecure guests.
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What will you be wearing for Soup to Nuts?
I have no idea. That just dawned on me yesterday. But I collect clothes the same way I collect vintage, soul and kitsch artifacts so it will probably just be a matter of picking out something that suits my mood that morning, which is hopefully not "terrified and regretting that I made the decision to perform again."
El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Tues., Oct.18, 8 p.m.; lobby opens at 7 p.m. with lots of kitschy food and drinks and beer and wine available. web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9248165
Tue., Oct. 18, 8 p.m., 2011