Pretty in sync

'80s icon Molly Ringwald enchants Krannert Center party-goers with her jazz stylings

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts dazzled attendees at Corporate Circuit Night, its annual thank-you party for local entrepreneurs and innovators, with a Mad Men-themed event, complete with fine food, retro drinks and flair bartending.

But nothing, it seemed, could hold a candle to the performance of a surprise guest.

Molly Ringwald–who sprang onto the U.S. pop culture scene in the 1980s as the young film star of Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club wowed the audience of 300 people with a mixture of jazz standards, selections from the American Songbook and her own renditions of more contemporary tunes, such as those featured on her Concord Records album: Except Sometimes. The set list included a jazzy rendition of Sooner or Later from the 1990 movie Dick Tracy.

Ringwald’s presence at the party had been kept secret even from Krannert personnel, and the crowd was “blown away,” says Bridget Lee-Calfas ’00 MEDIA, advertising and publicity director. “It was a ‘mouths-agape’ type of moment.”

While most people know Ringwald from her movie (and now TV) career, she is no stranger to music. The daughter of jazz pianist Bob Ringwald, she cut her first album with her father at age 6 and was lead vocalist on two Disney albums as a pre-teen.

The Krannert Center “is a favorite spot for artists around the world because of the acoustic quality of the facility and its dedication to all types of artistry,” Lee-Calfas says.