10 Questions with Suzanne Vega, Singer-Songwriter

Suzanne Vega at Cafe Carlyle
Suzanne Vega at Cafe Carlyle
George Holz

Longtime East Hampton resident Suzanne Vega is playing Suffolk Theater in Riverhead this Sunday, September 12 at 8 p.m. The singer-songwriter will sing tracks from her 2020 live album An Evening of New York Songs and Stories as well as a few cover songs and, of course, tunes from her long catalogue of music, which includes hits such as “Tom’s Diner” and “Luka.”

The Suffolk Theater date is Vega’s first live performance since before the pandemic hit, so she’s eager to get up onstage and put on a brilliant show.

To celebrate her return to the stage on Sunday, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter answered our 10 Questions—a set of rapid-fire queries we ask many of the East End’s most notable personalities.

1.Favorite book?

Wuthering Heights [by Emily Brontë].

2. The last thing that took your breath away?

The vision of the ocean after the last tropical storm, the next morning. It was awesome. And I was the only one there to see the ocean in all its glory on that particular morning.

3. The last thing that made you cry?

This commercial that I saw. I just recently took a trip, my first trip in two years. I went to California and back, and there was this commercial about how travel makes you whole, and when I saw all the pictures of Europe and these people embracing, really it brought tears to my eyes, and I’m not a person who cries easily.

4. It’s the eve of your execution… What would be your last meal?

A veggie burger with guacamole and Dave’s Killer Bread, and a martini.

5. Something worth fighting for?

Democracy and human rights.

6. Something worth giving up?

Sugar. The struggle of my life is to give up sugar. It’s so bad for you and yet it’s like all you want sometimes.

7. Spend an afternoon with anyone—alive or dead—who would it be?

I’d like to spend another afternoon with Lou [Reed], actually, and delve a little deeper into some things we never got to in life.

8. An interesting object in your home or studio?

I’ve got this crystal ball my husband gave me. I wish it worked. I wish I could look into it and see what’s coming up.

9. Last film you watched or favorite film?

The last film that really made a huge impression on me was this film called Crossfire from I think it’s the ’40s. It’s the first time I became aware of Robert Ryan, the film noir actor. He knocked me flat. I’ve become a huge fan ever since. That was just a jaw-dropping performance he gave.

10. Is there a different style of music or another art form you’d like to tackle?

I love so many art forms. I love sculpture. I love painting. I love drawing. I love playwriting. I’ve written a play, but I could always learn more about that craft. And I love books. There’s hardly an art form that I’m not fascinated by.

Suzanne Vega is playing Suffolk Theater (118 E. Main Street) in Riverhead next Sunday, September 12 at 8 p.m. Call 631-727-4343 or visit suffolktheater.com for tickets and info.