Singer/comedian Anjelah Johnson brings she "Bon Qui Qui" character to Minglewood hall on Friday. (Photos courtesy 42 West)
Bon Qui Qui is comes home, despite she may not even know it.
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An unexpurgated fast food server turn budding hip-hop star, Bon Qui Qui is the production of Anjelah Johnson. The comic actress claims the character was partially inspired by one outspoken mrs she once met at a Memphis burgess King drive-thru. Combining her with attributes from others, including her “ghetto fabulous” brother, Johnson very first conceived that Bon Qui Qui, a riff on some of the an ext outlandish parts of i know well hop style and also culture, at an audition for the map out comedy series “MADtv.” as soon as she join the cast for the show’s 2007 season, Johnson experienced her improv riff end up being a pop culture phenomenon.
Now Johnson is helping Bon Qui Qui’s desires of music stardom concerned fruition with the character’s first ever album, “Gold Plated Dreams,” and an accompanying tour that stop at Memphis’ Minglewood hall Friday.
“Some human being may be confused and also think it’s a stand-up display just due to the fact that they check out my surname on it, however it’s no a stand-up show. It’s specifically what it says on the ticket,” Johnson says of the show, billed as “Anjelah Johnson presents Bon Qui Qui.”
The display does, in fact, incorporate an opening collection of stand-up by Johnson. Yet then she measures off phase to “check on” Bon Qui Qui and a band, which consists of Johnson’s husband Manwell Reyes and, as music director, Memphian Loren “Snoopy” Clark, both that Warner Brothers recording artists team 1 Crew, takes the stage. They are quickly joined by Bon Qui Qui (Johnson in character), that delivers a collection of slick, catchy, R&B-styled songs v titles like “I’m a cut You” and “No Boyfren” that, when comic in tone, have real music chops behind them and also are attach by an ext than credible choreography by Johnson, a previous Oakland Raiders cheerleader.
“We’re finding that even the world who space surprised the it’s no a directly stand-up display are like, this was a great show. I wasn’t expecting this, yet it was awesome,” says Johnson.
Johnson’s latest turn, like many in she career, was unexpected. Farming up she claims she went with a dizzying cable of job ambitions.”
“I was always bouncing approximately to other else,” she says. “I want to do this. Or maybe I’ll it is in a doctor. Or maybe I’ll be a teacher. Yet I think in actuality I simply wanted to be an actress, so ns could every one of those points at some allude in my life.”
Her very first foray into performing come in 2002 when, at the period of 20, she joined the roster that the Raiders’ cheerleading squad. A few years later a friend moved her toward taking a comedy class at a regional church. Two years later on she to be auditioning for “MADtv” though she had actually never done lay out comedy before.
“Apparently that’s a habit that mine, trying to carry out things that I’ve never ever done before like touring as a musician,” she says.
Johnson only worked one year on “MADtv,” which to be cancelled the following season, however she had the ability to parlay it into a host of various other gigs, including roles in the movie “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” and the TV show “Ugly Betty.” She likewise scored stand-up specials ~ above Comedy central and Netflix. Meanwhile, Bon Qui Qui was acquisition on a life of her own. The character’s “MADtv” appearances were coming to be YouTube sensations, so effective that her creator feel compelled come slip ago into her skin.
“I was done v the character after ‘MADtv,’ however my pan still wanted it,” claims Johnson. “They would pertained to my reflects dressed together Bon Qui Qui. Therefore it was like, okay, what else have the right to we perform with her? and we were favor let’s make her a rapper.”
With the assist of she musician husband Reyes, Johnson cut a demo because that Bon Qui Qui. Videos because that tracks such as “I’m a cut You” walk viral, ultimately racking up much more than three million YouTube views and helping she creator garner more than 100,000 subscribers. The numbers were enough to impress Warner Brothers, which released “Gold Plated Dreams” in January.
Now Bon Qui Qui is hitting the road for the first time. A seasoned performer, Johnson has actually the comedy and also dancing parts of the present well in hand, and also though prior to this she jokes she had actually never sung outside of she shower, she states that has actually come surprisingly simple as well. Much more problematic has been the organization side of things — planning and also organizing a tour and also where to take Bon Qui Qui next.
“We’ve to be thinking about what comes next, like is this a las vegas show?,” says Johnson, who has already been approached by producers in Sin City. “It’s sky’s the limit. We had actually no idea we’d to be doing this two or 3 years ago. If you ask me this day if we’re going to have actually a Bon Qui Qui present on Broadway, maybe.”
But those audiences room in the future. For currently Johnson is focused on the one coming in Memphis, one the she hopes consists of the woman who motivated Bon Qui Qui.
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“That would certainly be a mazing, however who knows who she is, what her name also is,” Johnson says of the possibility of the real Bon Qui Qui attending the show. “It would awesome, though. She just adjusted my life, simply everything about her.”
Anjelah Johnson gift Bon Qui Qui 8 p.m. Friday Minglewood Hall, 1555 Madison Tickets: $30-$50; easily accessible at the box office and also online in ~ minglewoodhall.com. For an ext information, speak to 901-312-6058.