Music icon Melissa Etheridge is bringing her emotionally charged and musically captivating event, Melissa Etheridge: My Window, to Broadway for a limited nine-week residency at the Circle in the Square Theatre. With her daring and raw storytelling, Etheridge invites audiences to immerse themselves in her musical journey, from her humble beginnings in Kansas to her ground-breaking career highlights. Fans can expect to be swept away into an intimate evening of powerful vocals, confessional lyrics, and endless hits. We caught up with Etheridge as she prepares for the show’s opening on September 28 (previews begin two weeks prior on September 14).
Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the show?
Etheridge: It’s about my life. My whole life. I grew up in the Midwest; in Kansas. And I’ve always had a deep, deep love of Broadway from doing high school shows. In the 70s, it was all about Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell; all those amazing shows. Even though this is not like that, it’s still Broadway, and it’s just really exciting. The show itself is a one-woman show; it’s me telling my story in a very different way than I ever have on stage, using design and lighting and video and direction to really make it a unique experience.
You received critical acclaim and amazing reviews for your off-Broadway show. Are there any changes that you’ve made for the Broadway residency?
Etheridge: Oh, yeah. One of the biggest changes is it’s shorter. It was clocking in at around three hours. I’m sure people will sit there, but I want people to be comfortable. And my normal show on the road is two hours.
We’ve cut it down, we have streamlined it. The theatre space Circle in the Square is such a unique theatre space the whole theater becomes the space. And that’s really exciting. It’s going to change how it’s actually presented, but the overall arc of the show is still the same.
Are there any unique ways that you plan to connect with your audience through that?
Etheridge: The opportunity to actually go out into the audience and use that space, we are definitely doing that. We’re looking forward to that. We’re really, really excited.
How have your experiences and your personal journey influenced your storytelling style?
Etheridge: I think over the years; I’ve picked up a sense of humor about it all. That keeps one from going crazy. I think there’s a real sense of humor in the storytelling.
It can be very touching and moving, and I think it’s very relatable and topical to today and the storytelling. I’ve always done that with my music. So I’m very comfortable in that situation.
Were there any stories that were particularly more poignant and meaningful or a little bit more difficult to bring to the stage?
Etheridge: Most of it is, is clear and smooth and easy. I’ve been through it and done it, and I can laugh about it now.
Probably the hardest part is talking about the death of my son, which was just three years ago, so that’s probably the hardest part. But again, it’s very healing and, and it’s, it’s a wonderful way for me to heal.
*Interview has been edited for length and clarity.