She sizzled on Dancing With The Stars, she scorched during her turn in Broadway’s Chicago, and now she is burning up concert stages across the nation. Rumer Willis, the daughter of actor Bruce Willis and wrinkle-free Demi Moore, is bringing her Over The Love tour to Houston for a one-night-only engagement on Wednesday, November 2 at 7 p.m. at the House of Blues.
"The songs always have a little bit of saucy, backroom speakeasy flair,” said Willis. The star also tells us she spends part of the show going into the crowd and getting to know her audience. “I ask stories about their relationships, and I share horror stories of mine. It’s a fun, silly show. It’s half comedy, half cabaret.”
The classically trained singer isn’t traveling alone. She’s bringing her best guy pal, Tye Blue, to open the show. Blue, a native Houstonian, and Willis will blow the crowd away with smoky blues, hot jazz and soulful sounds.
“He’s my best friend, and he pushes me to be the best version of myself. He’s one of the main reasons I’m doing this,” said Willis.
He’s not a bad choice for an opening act. Ever the talented showman, Blue has toured in Rent and Hair as well as booked gigs at many regional theaters across the country. He also served as the host for several Houston LGBT bars, including F Bar, JR’s Bar and Grill, and Guava Lamp. Even the Houston Grand Opera couldn’t deny his skills – it hired him to play Frank Schultz in its 2013 presentation of Show Boat.
He also currently directs the Unauthorized Musical Parody series at Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Angeles. Shows in this series follow the plot line of the original movie they are parodying while also incorporating popular music from the past few decades to enhance the entertainment. So far, Blue has directed The Devil Wears Prada, which Willis appeared in, Hocus Pocus and Troop Beverly Hills.
As if that weren’t enough for his résumé, Blue released an EP in 2013 titled Here. It features standards, classics and that oh-so-powerful voice of his.
“The crazy thing is we’re performing in the same room where I did my EP release and concert — four years to the day since I did it. It’s a cool, serendipitous element,” said Blue.
The two have become best friends since Blue moved from Houston to Los Angeles a few years ago. They’re so close that rumors started swirling about their relationship. After seeing Blue sitting with Willis’s family for several appearances during her stint on Dancing With The Stars, the media started jumping to conclusions they were dating.
The truth always comes out, though. Perhaps the most memorable moment of their alleged relationship occurred when Blue posted a seductive photo to social media of Willis, poolside and clad in a bikini. DailyMail.com got ahold of it, and ran a story about the two as a couple. There’s only one tremendously large error: Sorry, ladies, he doesn’t play for your team. (See the previously mentioned “hosted at several Houston LGBT bars" comment if you still haven’t connected the dots.)
Blue grew up in the Lone Star State, and his Texas roots remain central to his evolution in entertainment.
“Houston really helped me a lot. All those nights hosting onstage — just improvising karaoke and drag shows — it helped build my confidence. It empowered me in that realm,” said Blue.
“It also feels really nice to come back and show people what I’ve been doing. It’s cool to show people I’m making my way up,” he said. “Also, people know Rumer can sing, but they don’t know how good she is. It’s awesome to be able to showcase her and to show our relationship.”
Shine and amuse, they will. And maybe they’ll get to take in a few of Houston’s many treats while they’re in town. One thing we would suggest is that Willis treat herself to a drag show.
Willis admits, “I have an inner drag character. Tye gave me a drag name too. He made me watch Paris Is Burning. I’m a huge supporter of drag. I’m a huge fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
If that idea strikes her fancy, she’s in luck.
Acclaimed drag entertainer and 2012’s Miss Gay Texas America winner Kara Dion will host karaoke at Guava Lamp on Wednesday night. Perhaps this is a chance for Willis to enjoy the entertainment as well as show off her glorious pipes one more time before leaving town for her next show in Las Vegas.
"Over The Love" plays 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2 at House of Blues, 1204 Caroline. For information, call 888-402-5837 or visit houseofblues.com/houston. $30.