Cassie Yates can sing. Really.
You wouldn't know it from her performance as Miss Audrey, Hank Williams' comely but tuneless wife in "Lost Highway: The Music and Legend of Hank Williams" at the Mark Taper Forum.
"You have to be able to sing well to sing badly," reasons the Georgia-born actress ("Rich Man, Poor Man, Book II," "The Osterman Weekend," "Unfaithfully Yours"). "People who sing badly don't know why they sing badly. People who sing well can sing badly because they know what makes it bad. So I just stand there and bend the notes till they go off key--till it drives me crazy."
Otherwise, the role fits quite comfortably, although Yates admits that, in the past, she hadn't been Williams' No. 1 fan. "I heard his music all the time growing up. Actually, almost everyone in the cast is from the South; it was sort of a prerequisite to do this play. But it really goes deeper than the accent. You've got to know these people."