A successful career in Hollywood is a difficult thing to explain. How do you measure it? Can it be measured through being involved with successful films and TV shows? Is it simply about money earned? What about becoming a household name or having ‘hit’ projects from several different decades? Is it about being perceived as a feisty veteran that has come back repeatedly over time?

By any of these standards and perhaps even a few others, Molly Ringwald’s career onscreen has been and remains a massive success. Add to that her appearances on Broadway and being a successful author and you start to see the picture of an incredible career in entertainment.

Despite all of that and being a 50 year-old mother of three, Ringwald continues to add accomplishments to her resume. With the release of her first CD of songs, Except Sometimes, we can also think of her as a modern-day jazz troubadour.

An Evening with Molly Ringwald brings her to the stage at the Rose Theatre.

“I feel like we’re kind of ambassadors for jazz,” Ringwald says of herself and her band. “They come to the show because they know me from a movie or something and we’ve had this incredible response to the music. I usually sign CDs after shows and I have people come up to me and say they didn’t know anything about this music, but they love it now and want to know more.”

Ringwald first began singing with her jazz pianist father as early as age three. Her first love has always been performing jazz, but when the movies came calling it was hard to resist.

From 1983 to 1986 she was the prototypical girl-next-door in American movies, due largely to iconic film director John Hughes desire to write for her. The success of those films and her performances in them cemented her in the culture as a member of the Brat Pack.

Even when the dust settled on her early successes, Ringwald kept working. In 1992, the lifelong Francophile moved to Paris where she acted in several acclaimed productions, sometimes performing entirely in French. She frequently returned to the United States to star in television projects and, in 1997, returned to the theatre in New York City to wonderful reviews. She has performed in award winning plays and musicals throughout the past two decades since. But, despite all of her success as an actor, Ringwald always kept music in her heart.   

“I never really stopped singing — I just didn’t sing professionally,” she says.

When she shared a stage with fellow actor and jazz musician Peter Smith, something changed. Their sharing of their love for music led them to assemble a band and start rehearsing.

The collaboration led to the recording and release of Ringwald’s album, a collection of well known standards, with one exception. The album closes with a re-imagining of the theme song from one of her most famous films, Don’t You (Forget About Me), as a tribute to film’s late writer and director, John Hughes.

Her performance at the Rose promises a fresh take on The Great American Songbook backed by a jazz quartet. 

An Evening with Molly Ringwald, onstage at the Rose Theatre April 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online at rosetheatre.ca or by calling (905) 874-2800.