*About a month or so ago EURweb ran a story on David E. Talbert’s hit stageplay “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” during which time we interviewed Brian White, former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams and singer/actress Ann Nesby.
Though the interviews were informative, we decided to give the show’s Queen Mother some solo love this time around.
The show will spin through Long Beach, California tonight (April 1) and Los Angeles Saturday and Sunday nights (April 2-3), and since that’s where the proverbial EURweb mothership is based, Unka Lee (Bailey) decided to swing through and chat for a spell.
“This is like our 35th show,” said Nesby. “We’ve been through the Bible belt and the southern states. We’ve had an awesome time traveling with the tour. It has been an overwhelming reaction, especially when Morris Chestnut, Brian White and Clifton Davis comes out on stage.”
“David has done a really awesome job putting together the show and I think he put it together with the people in mind,” she explained. “He had to have had to have the kind of chemistry we have onstage. I’m playing Eleanor, the mother to Michelle Williams’ Lena.”
One might ask why we would bestow such a lofty title as Queen Mother upon an entertainer? It’s two-fold really and it’s only partially due to her pivotal role in the play. Here she explains that role.
“Of course all mothers don’t want their daughters to make mistakes along the way, especially the ones that can be avoided,” she said of her character’s interaction with Michelle’s. “Our relationship really, really gets kind of fractured when I feel like she’s disobeying me. So, I get an opportunity to sing to her in those tender moments. Of course, she sings. She’s being taunted by this evil plumber, (played by) Brian White. I want to make sure she stays on the right track and respects the marriage vows that she’s made. The thing with Eleanor is, I don’t want to preach to her. I want to love her into doing the right thing. So, this character lends itself through that lovingly, motherly advise from a perspective of saying ‘I’m here for you.
I know what you’re going through is hard, but I definitely want to be your support system’.”
Ann was keen to not give away any of the plot’s key components, but we couldn’t help but try to nudge her a little bit. What exactly is so evil about the evil plumber?
“Well,” she said with a coy grin. “That’s something ‘My Husband Doesn’t Know’ and I can’t give that away. In addition to Nesby’s stage persona trying to mentor Michelle Williams’ character, she also is close with Clifton Davis’ character as well.
“Clifton Davis plays my son-in-law who is 20 years senior to my daughter,” she explained. “I really was skeptical of him marrying my daughter with that space in between, but I saw the way they love each other, the luxuries he was able to afford her being a very successful construction worker and I became very excited and we became the best of friends. Even knowing that he and I were so close in age I was also looking out for his interest too.”
And the plot thickens! In addition to great acting and roof-raising vocal performances, Nesby says she was especially impressed by the manner in which “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” was penned.
“What I love about the way David wrote the show is he actually wrote the show from a loving, motherly point of view,” she gushed. “I didn’t have to change anything and it allowed me to really bring myself and to share who I really am and it allowed me to bring my experience as mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother and to really bring the love and experience that I share with my own.”
Oh yeah, here’s the second part of our two-fold reason for dubbing Nesby Queen Mother. In addition to having 10 children of her own, Ann has 11 grandchildren and, as stated, one great grandchild.
“I’m excited and elated that God allowed me to be here to have the opportunity to be a great grandmother. Some of us don’t make it.
Saying that, my mother is a great, great grandmother.”
With that being said, we guess Ann Nesby is still a princess in someone’s kingdom afterall: her mother’s. Though her mother, Shirley Bennet, has not seen the play as of yet, “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” will be swinging through Illinois soon. Nesby says her mother is very excited about that.
“We’re going to Rockford (IL) on April 12 and she’s so excited to know that Michelle, a hometown girl, and I are in the show together and they’re friends,” said Nesby. “My father has pastored in Rockford for about 40 years and Michelle’s family, her Uncle pastors a church there as well. My father’s Baptist church was one of the first churches to fellowship with Michelle’s Uncle’s church, which was a Church of God in Christ. So, we were already like a family. I was also a vocal coach for Michelle’s cousin. So, when we come onstage together it’s like being onstage with my family. It’s an awesome, awesome experience.”
Get complete tour dates, tickets and MORE info on “What My husband Doesn’t Know,” here: www.davidetalbert.com/wmhdk.htm.