Label:United Artists Records
Credits:Arranged - Andrew Louis Smith
Producer - Jeff Lane
Written By - R. Williams
Vivian began formal voice training at the age of eight at the Pittsburgh Musical Institute, later continuing at New Yorks Juilliard School of Music followed by years of extensive dance training.
She became a polished performer under the guidance of Honi Coles and Bobby Schiffman of the Apollo Theater and soon after made an impressive Broadway debut, replacing Micki Grant in Dont Bother Me, I Cant Cope. Vivians rousing performance prompted director Vinnette Carroll to stage another production of the show in Chicago, where she revised the show to take advantage of Vivians singing, dancing and acting talents. Two years later, Vivian auditioned for the musical Bubbling Brown Sugar, the first of several popular revues based on music of the 20s and 30s. Although she was hired immediately, she soon discovered there was no existing part for her, so she created the role of Young Irene. The show toured the country to rave reviews before it opened on Broadway; likewise a smash success! Her show-stopping performance, included a dazzling song and dance production of Sweet Georgia Brown and a unique vocal rendition of God Bless the Child that won her critical acclaim, including a TONY NOMINATION, DRAMA DESK AWARD, THEATRE WORLD AWARD, OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD, NAACP AWARD and several others.
After Broadway, Vivian went to Los Angeles to open another company of Bubbling Brown Sugar and then on to Europe with the show, touring such countries as England, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and France. While recognizing Vivians own unique talents, Paris proclaimed her The New Josephine Baker. She captured the attention of Pierre Cardin, who booked Vivian into his theater and held her over for several weeks. Through Cardin, she went to Japan for the first time and made her first European TV special. Later, she was invited by the Prince and Princess of Monaco to perform in Monte Carlo.
Vivian has appeared on many TV variety and talk shows both nationally and internationally including The Tonight Show, The Today Show and the ABC-TV daytime drama, One Life to Live. She has shared the bill with notable performers as Bill Cosby, Pattie Labelle, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Melba Moore, Elaine Stritch, Alan King, Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones, Ashford and Simpson and Charles Aznavour, just to name a few. Her film credits include Heading for Broadway, LAfricaine with Catherine Deneuve and Le Rumba, in which she portrayed Josephine Baker.
Vivian has also brought her nightclub act to major gatherings of organization and dignitaries, including Mercedes Benz, IBM, Top Fashion Designers Gala at the Theatre Champs Elysees and the American Film Festival in Deauville. She appeared at the Festival del Vina in Chile, along with other top performers like Laura Branigan, Sting, Mister Mister and Jon Secada. There she received the coveted Torch Award, an honor bestowed by the mayor and citizens of Vina for only the most exceptional and stirring performances.
Besides her international success as an actress and entertainer, she has also been featured in the worlds most read and influential news and fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Paris Match, People, Ebony, Jet (cover) and Time Magazine. Her personal style and taste for designer clothes have won her a place on Mr. Blackwells Best Dressed Women List and she was selected by People Magazine as one of the 25 Most Intriguing People of the Year.
In recent years, Vivian has starred in New York at the Rainbow and Stars in a rhythm and blues revue and the Supper Club in a swing revue. She received critical acclaim in major productions of Sophisticated Ladies, Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd, Blues in the Night, High Rollers in which she received a TONY NOMINATION, Show Boat in which she portrayed the role of Queenie and Tintypes. Her recent plays include Blues for an Alabama Sky, Crumbs from the table of Joy, Pork Pie and Cookin At The Cookery. Vivian was featured in the highly anticipated Marie Christine Lincoln Center. She also portrayed Lena Horne in a new piece, More than a Song, with the Pittsburgh Ballet Company at the Benedum Theater in Pittsburgh. Vivian contributed her talents to the Lena Horne Awards Show hosted by Bill Cosby honoring Rosie ODonnell and Quincy Jones at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in New York. Recently she appeared in Three Mo Divas, the follow-up to Three Mo Tenors at the San Diego Rep and Arena Stage in Washington, DC. Presently Vivian is putting together her own show which should be ready in a few months.