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Michelle Williams living her dream

Gail Choice | 3/23/2011, 5 p.m.

Michelle Williams is singing and dancing her way to a new level of stardom. This former Destiny's Child diva is playing to audiences across the nation with stage performances that showcase her outstanding talents.

Williams is coming to L.A. and the Pantages Theater on April 2 and 3, starring in David E. Talbert's new touring stage play, "What My Husband Doesn't Know." And get this: she's playing opposite the wonderful actor Morris Chestnut (NBC's "V") and the very versatile Brian White ("Men of a Certain Age," "Stomp the Yard").

Williams says working with Chestnut and White makes her want to be much better. "They are so nice and down to earth."

"What My Husband Doesn't Know" is described as a mesmerizing tale of lust, lies and temptation that puts a whole new twist on the "fatal attraction" theme.

Written, directed and produced by Talbert ("First Sunday"), this new production marks his 20th anniversary in theater. Heralded as "One of the most prolific theater makers in America" by the Los Angeles Times, Talbert has produced a play that is all the more exciting because he's drawing on his recent experiences in filmmaking by incorporating visuals common in films, but now adapted to the stage; and it's all the better to tell a thought-provoking story.

Williams describes her character as a "sweet" person who got caught up in a bad situation.

Lena Summer (Williams) is the sister who has it all--big house, loving daughter and a wealthy and handsome husband (Chestnut).

Problem is hubby is too wrapped up in his work, and Lena's feeling left out, and just ripe for temptation. And up pops Paul (White) the handsome stranger who will turn her world inside out.

When Lena tries to break it off with Paul, things take a dark and surprising turn.

I'll stop right there, because I spoke with Michelle and she said, "In this play he does a scene where I get caught up in the moment, and I literally have to go off stage, catch my breath and come back into reality.

"[ I tell myself] that it was just a scene in a play; he's really not crazy in real life."

We all grew to love Williams as part of the Destiny's Child trio. She joined the group in 2000.

Destiny's Child went on to become one of the world's best-selling female groups of all time, according to Sony BMG. After the breakup, each member went their own way, and Williams turned her attention to recording Gospel music and the stage.

While Destiny's Child was on hiatus, Williams made her on-stage acting debut in 2003, replacing fellow R & B singer Toni Braxton in the title role of "Aida," the hit Broadway musical of the same name, with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. And for the last eight years, Williams has been working steadily on the stage. In 2010, she returned to Broadway as Roxie Hart in the Tony Award-winning hit musical "Chicago" for a seven-week limited engagement at the Ambassador Theatre; prior to that she played the Roxie Hart character in a London production.

Born in Rockford, Ill., Williams apparently dreams big; just look at her career. We can almost chart her rise to the top. Reared in a Pentecostal family, Williams says she prayed about it before joining Destiny's Child, and got clearance from God and support from her family. And apparently she's right, because she has emerged untarnished from that very heady experience, and she's now taking her talents to new heights. Williams says she prays every step of the way, and serves God through her music.

The singer-actress also says she tries to make the best decisions regarding her career, and like most artists, accepts that she has become an unintentional role model. She didn't set out to be such, she's simply following her dreams.

Don't miss "What My Husband Doesn't Know" coming to the Pantages Theater in Hollywood April 2 and 3.

You can visit the Michelle Williams website at www.michellewilliamsonline.com to learn more about the play or David E. Talbert at www.davidetalbert.com/wmhdk.htm.

Gail can be reached at hollywoodbychoice_gail@yahoo.com.