ENCINITAS – When she debuts her one-woman show next Saturday night at the Encinitas Library, Susie Lotzof will be fulfilling a goal she wanted to accomplish before she turns 60.
The 58-year-old South African native wrote the show herself and says it will include comedy and storytelling weaved through 10 songs.
“I’m a very creative person and I have many different avenues that I like to express myself, whether it be art or photography or making jewelry out of heart rock stones that I collect to spread love,” Lotzof said in an interview last week at the library. “And I love to sing. I love to do all these different things so I decided to put it all together and make a show out of it.”
She says the show is about love and courage and will be funny, personal, introspective, and relatable. And she says there will also be some risqué parts to it.
“I tend to make a little fun of life, we need a sense of humor,” she said. “And I might make a few jokes that have a little naughty sense of humor. It’s a little risqué but not overly risqué.”
Lotzof said she started singing when she was just a kid and even cut a single with her twin sister when they were 16. But she says the timing wasn’t right and she let it go. She didn’t sing again for 25 years then got back into it in her 40s, after she’d gotten married, had a son, and done some traveling.
“In my 40s I decided I’m going to go back to it because it was still a childhood fantasy of mine to have the courage to perform,” she said.
Four years ago she released a CD of cover songs, called “Because Of You,” on the website cdbaby.com, that includes interpretations of “At Last” by Etta James, “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt, “You Make Me Feel So Young” by Frank Sinatra and “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin. She just released a new album, also on cdbaby.com, called Lotzof Heart, that includes the 10 original songs she’ll be performing at her show.
The new album was produced by, and recorded in the studio of, San Diego-based jazz guitarist, composer, and arranger Peter Sprague, who also plays all the music on the album.
“Susie’s music is all about spirit,” Sprague wrote in a critique of her album. “She crafts the songs herself and they tell stories of loving people and loving the world. And there are even some catchy and funny gems in there for good measure. She’s really creative and spontaneous.”
Lotzof has performed at the American Legion and The Kraken in Encinitas, and at private parties. But her show at the library, she says, is something new and different.
Lotzof’s show is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Community Room and Art Gallery at the library on Aug. 31. For the first hour or so she will showcase her original artwork and hand-crafted jewelry and there will be wine and light bites offered on the patio. Then she’ll perform her 75-minute show.
The event is hosted by the Synergy Arts Foundation, which works to nurture and support local artists.
“Susie is a very creative person who has explored and mastered diverse creative outlets,” said Naomi Nussbaum, executive director of Synergy Arts. “She has a gorgeous voice and a fabulous presence while performing. Her artwork reveals her passion for nature, her homeland and her new home, America. Much of her jewelry reveals her passion for love by integrating hearts.”
Tickets for the show are $20 and Lotzof said she’ll be contributing 10% of what she earns to Synergy Arts.
Lotzof said she’s been practicing and fine tuning her show in front of friends and is excited for it to finally happen. She said she aims to spread more love and light in the world with her music and art pieces and will perform the show with lots of heart.
“Connectiveness is my big thing, to be connecting, not separating and judging all the time,” she said. “So many people are just so uptight, and the world is so negative. I like taking them away from the stress of life. And releasing myself of that, too, allowing myself to just be expressive for a moment.”
Photo Caption: Susie Lotzof will debut her one-woman show at the Encinitas Library on Aug. 31. Photo by Terry Anderson