Claudja Barry reactivates her acting career,
TEANECK Resident Claudja Barry is a pastor with a secret. At least thanes what this singer actress is. On Wednesdays through Sundays at The Actor's Playground Theater in Manhattan when she plays Reverend Joyce Stevens in the hiphop musical mystery "A Murder at the Church.'
For Barry, taking on this role is a means of reactivating a career she's let lie dormant forever a decade.
Most people in the United States know her as the sexy Disco Diva who hit the top Of the charts during the Disco era with the hit” Boogie Dancing! Shoes" or her hit record Town and Counting" which reached number one on the Billboard Dance Charts.
But Barry has not only been successful in the United States. In Canada she's been nominated nine times for aJuno Award (Canada's version of our Grammy), winning a Juno for Best Female Artist, and she was the first coinductee to the Canadian Black Music Hall of Fame with Oscar Peterson.
Her vocal talent has brought her all over the world and had her singing in some of the world's best venue& The Verona Arena in Italy, Budokan Hall in Tokyo, The Palace in Paris, and Studio 54 in New York City.
Though mostly known for her musical talent, Barry is a talented actress. In England she had the lead role in the Royal Court Theatre's production of "AC/CD", which won the Evening Standard
Critic's Award for Best Play. She's also had starring roles in productions at the Travers Theatre in Edinburgh and The Cambridge Theatre in Cambridge.
Barry, who's fluent in German, studied classical opera at the Berlin Hochachule of Music, and in West Berlin, starred in a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello' called 'Catch My Soul,"
But that was before she became a mother "It's hard to be in such a highly competitive field as show business and keep a family going at the same time. There's so much traveling and so many rehearsals," explained Barry. "Something must suffer, so I chose to stay at home! Home is with music producer Jurgen and daughter Alexandra.
"Now Alexandra is a teenager and encourages me to go back to my love of acting and singing, said Barry. “She is quite a good actress herself and talented artist, which is probably her main love.”
Over the years she did keep her hand in the field of music, performing occasionally and hosting a radio show. Every Tuesday afternoon she can heard a Teaneck's WFDU-FM 89.1 playing the music she loves and to promote blues, soul, and Rhythm &Blues. “ On this station we play artists you don't get to hear on commercial radio”. Barry said she is really enjoying being in “ Murder at the Church”. It's a very upbeat with a message. It's innovative. A 21st century update of the operetta. The actors `rap' the recitatives, which segue into melodic song. The overall sound envelopes hip hop, funk, reggae, Latin, and jazz. And I like playing a reverend because I'm the good guy.” For information about the show, call (212) 279-4200.