Many of the men and women who fled New York for Westport during the past year work from home. Finance, consulting, business, writing — all you need is an extra room, an internet connection, and you’re ready to rock.
It’s a bit tougher for Sophie B. Hawkins.
A Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter who burst on the scene with her 1992 platinum debut album “Tongues and Tails” — and who followed it up with the #1 adult contemporary hit “As I Lay Me Down,” then performed and collaborated with artists like Bryan Ferry, Chris Isaak, Jewel and Sting — she could not exactly open her doors and invite audiences in.
But Sophie is part of that diaspora. A native New Yorker, she’s found a wonderful home in Westport.
And this Sunday (February 21, 7:30 p.m.), she’s appearing at the Ridgefield Playhouse. It’s a way to get back on stage — and to help an important performing arts center that, like so many others, is struggling during COVID.
In the early days of the pandemic, as so many people in her neighborhood fell ill, Sophie remembered hearing about the wonders of Westport. She checked housing prices — much more reasonable than Manhattan — and learned about the great school system.
Soon she, her 12-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, were living in Greens Farms.
It was quite a change for a woman who said her life in New York as a “single mother artist” was “too stupid.”
“I love the sounds of birds, wind, nature,” Sophie says. “It’s so quiet.”
She is awed by the beauty of her neighborhood — especially the trees. “They’re the stars of this place,” she notes.
Sophie walks to the Greens Farms train station. It’s an easy trip to New York, where her mother still lives.
Even something as simple as driving her son to karate or going to CVS, fills her with joy. “Life here is like a river that is always flowing. There’s an ease to it. It allows me to do more as an artist,” she explains.
Sophie’s son quickly met a great group of friends at the Wakeman Town Farm summer camp. He thrives at Bedford Middle School; her daughter loves Greens Farms Elementary.
Sunday’s Ridgefield Playhouse show also fills her with joy. She’s playing with musicians she’s never met (and, as of yesterday, had not yet rehearsed with), but that’s part of the fun.
“One good thing about COVID: It’s made us grateful for so many little things,” Sophie says. Performing live, playing the music she loves, is one of those.
Her show will begin with “Tongues and Tails” revisited. It moves through her subsequent album, and ends with new material. Her 7th album comes out soon.
“It will be like a party,” Sophie promises.
The Ridgefield Playhouse is selling just 100 tickets. The concert will be livestreamed too, for a virtual audience.
(Click here for tickets — actual and virtual — to Sophie B. Hawkins’ Sunday show at the Ridgefield Playhouse.)