Not readily recalled during her cabaret-styled performances at Piero’s is that Pia Zadora is something of a rocker. Yessir, in 1985 Zadora was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female for “Rock It Out.” Tina Turner won the award for “You Better Be Good to Me,” topping a remarkably diverse list of nominees: Zadora, Wendy O. Williams (“Wow”), Bonnie Tyler (“Here She Comes”) and Lita Ford (“Dancing on the Edge”).
Among those not nominated were Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar … and Boy George #SheckyKats.
By the time of those awards, Zadora had won a 1981 Golden Globe as Best New Star for her spin in “Butterfly” and since has long been known as a singer of standards as she opened for Frank Sinatra and continues to work with Sinatra’s one-time music director, the eminent Vince Falcone.
But Tuesday night, Zadora is sauntering back to her rock ’n’ roll roots. This takes some relocating, as Zadora moves from Piero’s to Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios (or a replica of such) for a guest appearance in “Million Dollar Quartet.” She is to sing Brenda Lee’s “Sweet Nothin’s” (a song I first heard in the movie “American Graffiti”) with the cast at the conclusion of the production’s mini-“fantasy” concert, which typically ends the show.
“It’s a night for me to go from standards back to rock,” Zadora said in a phone interview over the weekend. “I love the show because it really captures a moment in time for these guys who would become legends. It has a kick-ass band, and I’m just looking forward to going back in and watching it.”
Zadora is the fifth guest star in the show (joining Frankie Moreno, Taylor Hicks, Veronic DiCaire and Holly Madison) but won’t be the last. The show is to receive a shot from another guest vocalist by the end of the month, and, yes, there is a hint in there.
And there is more, even, to impart about the “MDQ” crew.