Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Waitress. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Waitress. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Evelyn Hoskins on Returning to the Diner Post Pandemic | Waitress the Musical | Interview

I think once you’ve seen the show, if it connects with you, you do get a little bit hooked on it!

Waitress, based on the 2007 movie of the same title, follows the story of Jenna, a woman who longs to escape the life she's trapped in. Alongside her friends and her handsome new gynaecologist, she begins to step towards the dreams she's always harboured. Since taking the West End by storm, Waitress is now delighting audiences across the country. Evelyn Hoskins plays Jenna's lovable friend Dawn who's looking for love of her own. Evelyn spoke to us about taking the show on the road and how the pandemic changed her portrayal...


If you were telling someone who knows nothing about Waitress why they should see it, how would you sum it up?

It’s the most joyous, hilarious, heartwarming, life-affirming, beautiful show you could possibly see, especially if you’re a woman!


Is there a song in Waitress that makes you particularly emotional?

Definitely A Soft Place to Land. It’s the song before they sort of glow-up Dawn a little bit before her date and it’s just beautiful. The harmonies are stunning.


You’ve had a kind of different experience with Dawn because you played her pre and post pandemic. So, what was it like originally creating your version of Dawn and do you think she’s changed since you’ve come back to the show?

She’s definitely changed. I saw the original Broadway cast of Waitress in 2016 so I saw Kimiko Glenn play Dawn and Kimiko and I both played a role called Thea in Spring Awakening so we’re obviously similar castings anyway; but I think I was definitely influenced by Kimiko’s portrayal because that was my first impression of Dawn. 


My portrayal has changed since the pandemic, for sure. I mean, more so because I just feel older if I’m honest; and also I'm more grateful to be here. I was grateful anyway because it’s such a dream show and job of mine but now I feel super grateful.


When you were doing the show at the Adelphi, were you already booked to do the tour?

No I wasn’t. The resident director had kind of asked me if I’d be interested but at the time I was due to do six months in the West End so I was a bit like “I don’t know, maybe, I’ll see how I’m feeling” cause obviously a year is a long time. And then when the show closed in the West End, the producers were very kind and asked all of us if we’d be interested and I was like, yeah, because I didn’t feel done with her at all. I’d barely touched the surface so I’m so glad to be doing it.


How was it when you reopened, did you find it emotional?

Yep! I think I was more emotional on the first day of rehearsals when we did a full read and sing through first thing on the Monday morning. Obviously I hadn’t heard the music since the last show so that was super emotional. Also putting on the little waitress dress again!


You know, when we closed it was so uncertain and the tour got pushed back and pushed back, and we didn’t know if it would actually ever happen so it’s so good to be back!




So far, have you noticed any differences between touring the show and playing on the West End?

It’s very interesting to see the different reactions, I don’t know if I could pinpoint what they are though but Northern audiences have been PHENOMENAL, very very loud!


We’re in Bristol this week which I’m super excited about because it’s near my home town and it’ll be great to get to Woking and then we’re in Bromley so we’ll have some more London audiences. But it’s just a really great show to take around the country and make accessible to people.


Definitely, and here compared to the US, people don’t know the film as much so it’s more of a word of mouth show which must be lovely...


Yeah! Honestly I was really surprised at the reaction. We’re sold out most Saturdays and the audiences have been incredible. We also have some very loyal fans and we often see familiar faces most weeks. I think once you’ve seen the show, if it connects with you, you do get a little bit hooked on it!


That’s so lovely, I’m coming to see it with my mum who’s very excited!


I think it’s a phenomenal show to see with your mum! Bring the women in your life because it’s got such girl power.


Leading on nicely, I wanted to know why you think having a female led show like Waitress tour the country is so important?

The themes of the show are so important. There’s the domestic abuse theme which really strengthens the message and importance of female friendship and female support.


I also think it’s important that we start recognising that the other relationships in our life are just as important as the romantic ones and that’s something this show does.

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring performers?

Believe in yourself. That sounds super cliched but it’s true. My personal experience is not like a traditional one. I’m from quite a working class background. I didn’t grow up with lots of money which obviously would help you if you wanna go to drama school. But, I didn’t do drama school.


So it’s really about the hustle. Just hustle hard. If you really like an actor’s performance, find out who they’re represented by. Reach out to them and say I really like your client, I feel like I would be a good fit for you too. Same with casting directors, if you really enjoy a show and think it would be something you could do, write to them, tell them how much you like the show, just put yourself out there. And don’t feel like drama school is the be all and end all!


Thank you so much to Evelyn for taking the time to chat to me. Waitress runs at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking from 14th to 19th February before continuing its tour.


Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor


photo credit: Johan Persson

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Waitress, New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


Waitress (UK Tour) 
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 7th September by Hope Priddle
★★★★

On the menu at Wimbledon Theatre this week, Waitress the Musical follows Jenna Hunterson (Lucie Jones)an aspiring baker who, with the support of her colleagues and dreamy gynecologist, imagines an escape from her provincial life and unhappy marriage. Based on the 2007 film by the late Adrienne Shelly, Waitress is a bittersweet story of friendship, love and finding yourselfwith (nearly) all the ingredients for a tasty theatrical treat.

 

Music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles add flavour and spice to this quaint story; her playful, folk-pop score is full of frolicking motifs, followed by some gorgeous reflective numbers. They accompany book by Jessie Nelson which is delightfully witty and whimsical throughout, but sometimes suffers from its more casual tone. 

 

We are introduced to a collective of characters who are wholly endearing yet undeniably flawed, and it is refreshing to spend time with such imperfect and compromised characters. However, their poor choices often lack consequence and the stakes never quite feel high enough. Likewise, the shows treatment of domestic violence is lacking. Her abusive marriage to tip-stealing husband Earl - played by Tamlyn Hendersonwho nonetheless deftly balances the fine line between comedic stock villain and insidious manipulator - is explored in a just a few short scenes which are uncomfortably inserted into the narrative. Though pitched as a feminist drama, any moral message is half baked.

 

Jones steals our heart as weary waitress Jenna, giving a sensitive and nuanced performance which perfectly reflects the heartache, anguish and disappointment of our begrudgingly pregnant protagonist. Her buttery vocals are rich and controlled; her control and clarity unsurpassed. Jones’ soaring rendition of She Used To Be Mine across a silent auditorium scored a well-deserved mid-show ovation.

 

Jenna’s colleagues are equally well cast. Evelyn Hoskins is totally loveable as the adorably anxious Dawn, whose slow burning affection and excitement for new beau Ogie, brought to life with a welcome touch of innocence and youthfulness by George Crawford, is joyous to watch. Sandra Marvin similarly packs a punch as the feisty, lively yet loyal Becky. 

 

The duo provides comfort and advice to the expectant mother as she cautiously begins to imagine a new life for herself and her baby. Waitress offers such a lovely, intimate insight into female friendship, and it is in these quieter moments that the show really lands. As Dr Pomatter, Jenna’s forbidden love interest, Matt Willis proves himself to be a highly capable actor, capturing the character’s goofy and bumbling demeanour with ease. It is just a shame that his slightly nasally vocals are lost in his duets with Jones.

 

Lorin Latarro’s choreography is inspired, with instructive and empathetic gesturing by the ensemble used to cleverly mirror the movements of the lead characters. As Jenna goes into labour during Contraction Balletfemale quartet pulsate and swell perfectly in time. The ensemble is so in sync throughout and are truly mesmerising to watch.

 

Latarro’s routines are complemented by tastefully restrained lighting design (Ken Billington) that features but a series of coloured spotlights. Likewise, both set (Scott Pask) and costume (Suttirat Anne Larlarbare simplistic, if not a tad twee, but offer a sense of familiarity and warmth which gives the show heart. final special mention must go to on-stage band that seamlessly integrate themselves into the diner landscape – you wonder if their music is meant to be diegetic given how often we see into Jenna’s mind as she creates her fantastical pies.  

 

Waitress isn’t perfect, but it most certainly serves the audience with a little slice of happiness pie. Surely they’ll be coming back for second helpings?


Photo credit: Johan Persson

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Waitress, Adelphi Theatre | Review


Waitress
Adelphi Theatre 
Reviewed on Thursday 7th March 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Based on the 2007 film of the same name, Waitress is a quirky, sweet, fun show by late comedic legend, Adrienne Shelly. Having taken Broadway by storm, it has now opened in London and is a pastry wrapped parcel of theatrical sweetness. 

With music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, it's the score that's really the stand out factor of this show. The music is a magical combination of folk, pop, country and musical theatre, and gives the musical a really cinematic element. The contrast between high energy songs, calmer numbers and highly emotive pieces, cleverly matches the way the show emphasises the highs and lows of life. 

As we are welcomed into the Adelphi Theatre with the smell of pie permeating the air, we instantly feel a sense of relaxation and as if we really are visiting the small diner in rural America where most of the show is set. We're introduced to the characters as if they're friends and get to see the great cast at work. 


In Waitress, the ensemble act as though they are one. Of course they scatter the stage and have individual character moments (a particular stand out is Kelly Agbowu as the wonderfully sarcastic Nurse Norma as well as Charlotte Riby who is fantastic as Jenna's mum and really shines during her featured moments) but they really come into their own when they work as a team. Much of the choreography (Lorin Latarro) is ensemble based and features smooth movements as well as perfectly timed motions. The men and women combine at times to symbolise Jenna's internal thoughts, as well as keeping the show fluid and highlighting the connections between people on stage. Natural feeling movements are in reality, highly choreographed but the show still feels pretty free and spontaneous.

Whilst the show is cute and there are various witty moments, the book itself is not particularly strong as a whole. Leading lady Jenna, is pregnant with her abusive husband's child and falls in love with her gynaecologist Dr Pomatter, whilst her work colleagues also have romances of their own. 

The romantic encounters are charming but the consistent cheating which runs throughout the show, feels somewhat jarring. It's not the cheating itself which feels wrong- Jenna wants someone who loves her outside of her abusive relationship, whilst Becky's husband is unwell so she feels tied to him but wants something more- but the lack of resolution to these stories feels unfulfilling. The story is clearly meant to be about female empowerment, but it doesn't seem right that the men are allowed to act in any way they like (and motivate all decisions the women make). Ogie for example, doesn't think twice about hounding Dawn when she says no to seeing him again, whilst Dr Pomatter has no qualms with seducing a vulnerable patient. Of course these things are meant to make us root for them and see it as 'forbidden love' but unfortunately it leaves a bit of a sour taste.


However, the performances throughout are pretty uniformly wonderful and the cast do all that they can with the book they've been given. Katharine McPhee as Jenna, gives a graceful but vivacious performance, which at times feels a little too understated but truly delivers in her stand out moments such as She Used to be Mine and she leads to show with a delicacy that is enviable. David Hunter is suitably geeky and charming and brings a great vocal performance to Dr Pomatter, whilst Jack McBrayer is hilarious but lacks vocal strength and technique as Ogie. Marisha Wallace is sassy as Becky and Laura Baldwin gives a standout performance  both vocally and in terms of characterisation as timid, love-struck Dawn. 

Waitress is a show that takes you off the beaten track and provides a more intimate, less flashy show compared to those we usually see. This nuanced musical is a sweet treat that will warm your heart, purely thanks to it's quirkiness and affectionate score. 

Tickets for Waitress can be booked via www.londonboxoffice.co.uk

photo credit: Johan Persson

Friday, 5 October 2018

Waitress, Brooks Atkinson Theatre | Review


Waitress
Brooks Atkinson Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday September 20th 2018 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

The musical by Sara Bareilles which chronicles the life of Jenna, a  lady who bakes her feelings into pies as she finds out she is pregnant with the child of the husband she does not love, has been receiving rave reviews on Broadway and is set to take the West End by storm in early 2019.

Waitress is based on the 2007 film of the same name which was written by late comedic legend, Adrienne Shelly and is a quirky, heartfelt show which transfers wonderfully to stage.

As you walk into the Brooks Atkinson theatre, you are greeted with the sweet smell of baking as you are transported to a small diner in rural America. What comes next is a two hour journey of heartfelt songs, beautiful performances and a reminder of how special friends and family can be.

Sara Bareilles' music is incredibly catchy, with pop, folk and country influences. There are high energy songs as well as more serene moments which work wonderfully to imitate the ups and downs of life. 


A great aspect of this show is how the ensemble are a being of their own. There aren't any step-out moments or solo performances, instead they come together to create fluid movements and at times form Jenna's mind itself. This again makes the show feel and look very connected, and mirrors the relationship Jenna has with her colleagues and loyal diner patrons.

NaTasha Yvette Williams and Katie Lowes are fantastic as Becky and Dawn, both giving humourous and vocally powerful performances. One of the most comedic characters is Ogie, played by Adam Shapiro who is making his Broadway debut alongside his wife Katie. The pair are fantastic together and Adam perfectly makes Ogie, who is essentially a stalker, a likeable character.

Original Broadway cast member, Drew Gehling has returned to the show to give a down to earth, sensitive and charmingly awkward performance as Dr Pomatter, the married gynaecologist who develops a relationship with leading lady, Jenna.


From the moment Jenna is revealed to the audience, Nicolette Robinson is magnetic. In her Broadway debut she gives an outstanding performance filled with nuance and honesty. What's refreshing is that although Jenna is facing some really tough issues, Nicolette never allows her to be a victim; instead she is resilient and inspiring. The stand out performance is by far Nicolette's spine-tingling rendition of She Used to be Mine, in which she sweeps through the entire spectrum of emotions, starting calmly and contemplative and eventually showing her anger at the situation she's in. The gradual and subtle build is masterful to watch and pure theatrical magic. 

Waitress is a pleasant detour from the big, flashy musicals that dominate much of Broadway and the West End and is instead, a warm, cosy and truthful show. With Waitress, you can have your pie and eat it, so don't miss your chance!

photo credit: Marc J Franklin

Monday, 14 February 2022

Waitress (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Waitress (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 14th February 2022
★★★★

The dish of the day at the New Victoria Theatre this Valentines day is Waitress the Musical which follows Jenna Hunterson (Chelsea Halfpenny) an aspiring baker who wants nothing more than to escape her life and unhappy marriage. With the help of her colleagues and new gynaecologist, her dreams start to become possible as she bakes herself a new life. It's a heartwarming tale of romantic and platonic love, that is a sweet treat indeed.

Based on the film of the same name written by Adrienne Shelly, the stage version adds the extra ingredient of Sara Bareilles' score. Memorable, folky songs are a joy to watch and feature a number of gorgeous motifs which appear throughout. There is a great mixture of humourous numbers, as well as more emotional, reflective ones. The book by Jessie Nelson is dotted with wit and whimsy but occasionally feels a little underdeveloped with some moral ambiguity that is never resolved.

As leading lady, Chelsea Halfpenny is an utter delight in the role of Jenna. Vocally she is faultless and gives a beautifully nuanced performance full of charm and warmth. Her comedic timing is wonderful and she also brings Jenna's vulnerable side to life truthfully. 

As her friends, Becky and Dawn, Sandra Marvin and Evelyn Hoskins are marvellous. Evelyn is completely adorable as Dawn, bringing the house down with her laughs and her completely frenetic performance that oozes humour. As her partner in crime, Ogie, George Crawford is completely stellar. His comedy chops completely shine and are matched by his great vocals.

As Dr Pomatter, Jenna's gynaecologist and love interest, Nathanael Landskroner is brilliantly bumbling. His chemistry with Chelsea is glorious to watch and he also matches her perfectly in terms of vocals and they really complement one another. The ensemble also work together like a well-oiled machine.

Just like the ensemble, Scott Pask's set and Lorin Latarro's fine-tuned choreography work seamlessly together. They are not only incredibly in sync with the whole show but are also greatly reflective of the story and emotions; with the set literally coming to life and expanding as Jenna finds herself. 

Waitress is an intimate show which transfers wonderfully for touring venues. Despite its faults, it's almost baked to perfection. Excellent performances and major whimsy make it a stagey slice of sweetness that's well worth seeing. 

Waitress plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 19th February 2022 and then continues its tour

photo credit: Johan Persson

Friday, 21 February 2020

Laura Baldwin on The Importance of Female Led Musicals | Beautiful: The Carole King Musical | Interview

A jukebox musical with a book by Douglas McGrath, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the story of the life and career of Carole King, using the songs she wrote as well as others by people she knew or were influential in her life. 

Taking on the role of one of these, is Laura Baldwin who plays Cynthia Weil, King's best friend and writing rival. Having previously starred in Waitress, Laura is no stranger to female led stories, she sat down to tell us why these stories are so important and what people can expect from this musical...


Give us the lowdown on Beautiful, what can we expect?
Well you can expect a story of what went on behind the music surrounding the life of Carole King, told by an AMAZING cast. You’ll hear incredibly nostalgic songs and hopefully you’ll leave feeling elated, inspired and a little bit warm inside.


Whats your favourite song from Beautiful and why?
God that is SO hard! The Locomotion is definitely up there but it has to be Walking in The Rain. It’s just such a stunning song and it feels so lovely to sing.


You’re playing Cynthia Weil, what do you draw from in your own life and what research do you do to play a real person?
So Cynthia Weil is the first character I’ve played that I don’t feel anything alike. I couldn’t find any similarities for a while so that was a new challenge for me. It did however feel really refreshing to become someone completely different and, play parts of her that don’t come naturally to me. Now we’re well into the run I do see myself in her, like I love making people laugh, so does she! We’re both very ambitious and love our work. It was great to finally identify with her in some way. 

I researched lots about Cynthia! I watched so many interviews and we talked extensively with Ed Goggin our director, all about the characters lives and motives throughout the show. I wanted to make sure I do her justice!! Hopefully I’m doing enough!


You previously starred in Waitress, another musical about female empowerment, what do you think makes these musicals so important and special?
Because we need women to be seen as the hero’s that they are and have always been! Waitress was a human story and Beautiful is a real life story, both with an underdog message. The characters find strength from within and that is always incredibly special to watch. Sara Bareilles is a power house as is Carole King. Their stories and music should be heard simply because of the talent behind them. I am honoured to be a small part of their work and portray the characters that are so dear to them, and inspiring to women and to everyone.


If a musical was going to be made about your life, who would you like to play you?
Oh Amy Adam’s or Kristen Wig just because I love them!!


What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring performers?
Keep the gorgeous people around you who lift you up! ALWAYS treat yourself after an audition. You will constantly struggle to balance everything and things will get hard but that’s okay. There will be highs and lows but the lows make it worth it. Stay humble, find ways to reconnect with yourself, book the holiday and know that your career doesn’t define you. I also feel like being yourself is HUGE and the moment I started accepting my weird crazy self, everything started to fall into place :) stay strong! x


Beautiful: The Carole King Musical plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 22nd February before continuing its tour

Interview by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Waitress, Adelphi Theatre | Review


Waitress
Adelphi Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 17th June 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Sara Bareilles' cherry sweet musical follows Jenna as she bakes her feelings into pies. In an abusive relationship and expecting a child she is not excited about, we follow Jenna as she journeys through life and has some unexpected experiences.  

Three new cast members have joined the diner to form the second West End cast. They are Lucie Jones as Jenna, Ashley Roberts as Dawn and Blake Harrison as Ogie. Despite lacking vocal strength, breath control and diction at times, Ashley Roberts grew into the role of Dawn throughout the performance and as her limited run continues, she will surely relax more and bring the quirky character to life in a genuine, witty and entertaining way. Currently she feels somewhat as if she's overacting and is often flat or reaching for the notes in both her solo and group numbers and certainly lacks the finesse expected in the West End, but hopefully this will be rectified and she will prove a good star cast choice. Her partner, played by fellow newcomer Blake Harrison is supremely funny one hundred percent of the time. Again his vocals are ever so slightly lacking, but as the nerves fade, so will the faults. Harrison is a hugely entertaining performer and a pleasant surprise in this sweet show. 

As leading lady Jenna, Lucie Jones is second to none. Her impeccable interpretation of the character is charming, sincere, humourous and heartbreaking at once. Each small facial expression and movement is filled with a thousand words; and alongside Lucie's phenomenal, clear-as-glass voice, the performance is mesmerising. The vulnerability of Jenna is brought to life in a nuanced but completely effective way by Jones, with her rendition of She Used To Be Mine not only breaking hearts, but bringing the audience to their feet mid show. 

Michael Hamway (swing) embodies the erratic but charming Dr Pomatter admirably, as well as bringing some stellar vocals to the stage. You Matter To Me was performed with heartbreaking sincerity by Jones and Hamway. Marisha Wallace continues to bring sass, sass and more sass to the stage, as well as powerhouse vocals, lively one-liners and delicate moments with Jenna. Take it From an Old Man is a welcome moment of calm and simplicity performed by diner regular, Old Joe, played by Shaun Prendergast


The villain of the show, and highly flawed character Earl is played with menace by Peter Hannah. Whilst the moments of physical anger are jarring, it's the brief moments of emotional blackmail which really strike the audience. Hannah manages to capture both tormenting sides of Earl, in a spectacularly well-constructed and controlled way. The character is vile but Peter must be applauded for performing him so well and truthfully. 

Nurse Norma is a highly amusing character who pops up throughout the show to deliver brilliant one-liners. Brought to life by Kelly Agbowu she is an especially memorable character and manages to gain numerous laughs in the stage time she has. Charlotte Riby also puts a smaller character in the forefront of our minds with her honest performance as Jenna's mum who faced many similar struggles as well as teaching her daughter all she knows about baking. Jones and Riby have a chemistry which is visible even from their brief moments together and it's lovely to see.

Scott Pask's set and Lorin Latarro's choreography are particularly effective with the sets and ensemble often moving as one to create a fluidity throughout. Equally as impressive is the way the stage transforms to mirror the moods of leading lady Jenna. The home shared by Jenna and her abusive husband is surrounded by darkness and is much smaller than each of the other settings so physically emphasises how trapped Jenna feels, and is. When she begins to rediscover her spark, the space expands in a moment of relief and theatrical wonder. 


Whilst a lot of the morals and motivations in this musical are morally ambiguous and there is a lack of resolution, there's no denying that it's a sweet treat filled with musical delights and sugary performances. Sara Bareilles' score is a delightful listen and the mostly strong cast do a wonderful job of bringing it to life and showing that there is always light and support at the end of the tunnel.

Waitress is currently booking at the Adelphi Theatre until December 7th 2018, tickets can be booked at www.londonboxoffice.co.uk

photo credit: Johan Persson

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Sunday Favourites: Marisha Wallace, The Other Palace | Review


Sunday Favourites: Marisha Wallace
The Other Palace 
Reviewed on Sunday 19th May 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

The Other Palace is playing host to a new series of intimate solo concerts, where the West End's finest get to perform their favourite songs in a laid back session called Sunday Favourites. Last Sunday Dreamgirls and Waitress superstar Marisha Wallace, took us on a soulful journey where she opened up about her life and showed off her golden pipes in a wonderful celebration of music. 

Featuring an eclectic selection including an Aretha Franklin medley, My Funny Valentine, Zero to Hero and How Deep is Your Love, Marisha provided something for everyone and vocal gem after  vocal gem.

As well as a fine solo repertoire, a number of guests also helped the proceedings. Nicole Raquel Dennis and Nathaniel Morrison brought some smooth, crazily tight backing vocals to a few songs, including a remixed version of Britney Spears' Lucky which was hauntingly brilliant. Jodie Steele also took to the stage for a lovely performance of the India Arie classic, Ready For Love; whilst Lucie Jones joined Marisha for a fiery rendition of Take Me or Leave Me. Both Jodie and Lucie complemented Marisha excellently and all three created a warm, natural environment that welcomed the audience in. It goes without saying that the vocals were super and it's great to know that all the performers are thriving on musical theatre stages where their talents can really shine. Competition winner Lashayah, also showed that the future of the West End is in very safe hands.


Despite having missed the concert version of The Colour Purple I was lucky enough to hear Marisha perform the powerful I'm Here at her 2017 Soul Holiday concert, and was absolutely thrilled to have another chance to hear her incredible rendition on Sunday. Marisha has a wonderful ability to word paint even the smallest of words to truly bring a piece of music to life. Her vocal skills are matched by her magnetic personality and witty rapport with the audience. 

Again, Marisha spoke candidly about her life, namely the ups and downs she has experienced throughout her career and more recently as she soared in Dreamgirls but struggled in her personal life. Hearing someone be so honest on stage is refreshing and works to unite the audience through common emotions.

It's evident from the new levels Marisha has consistently been reaching since she came to our side of the pond, that she's got a long career ahead of her and a loyal fanbase over here. It just goes to show that talent really is appreciated and alongside being a kind, genuine person, will get get you everywhere. Of course there are negatives and lows, but Marisha is proof that with perseverance, hard work and real skill, you can succeed.

photo credit: Danny Kaan

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Peter Andre to play Vince Fontaine in Grease at the Dominion Theatre


Peter Andre will make his West End debut playing the role of Vince Fontaine at certain performances in a new production of Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey’s iconic musical GREASE opening at the Dominion Theatre on Tuesday 17 May 2022, with previews from Tuesday 3 May 2022. GREASE is directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips. 

 

Dan Partridge (Link Larkin in Hairspray UK tour & Pepper in MAMMA MIA! West End) and Olivia Moore (Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre & Heathers at Theatre Royal Haymarket) will star as Danny and Sandy respectively, with Jocasta Almgill (& Juliet at Shaftesbury Theatre) as Rizzo, Paul French (GreaseUK tour) as Kenickie, Mary Moore (Little Women at Park Theatre) as Jan, Jake Reynolds (professional debut) as Doody, Lizzy-Rose Esin-Kelly (A Chorus Line at Curve) as Marty, Damon Gould (Pretty Woman: The Musical at Savoy Theatre) as Sonny, Eloise Davies (Be More Chill at The Other Palace) as Frenchie, Jessica Croll (Hairspray UK tour) as Patty Simcox, Katie Lee (Matilda The Musical at Cambridge Theatre) as Cha Cha, Ronan Burns (West Side Story at Curve) as Johnny Casino and Corinna Powlesland (An Officer and A Gentleman at Regents Park Open Air Theatre as Miss Lynch. Darren Bennett (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre) will play Officer Mailie and Vince Fontaine at certain performances. 

 

They are joined by Jack Harrison-Cooper, Pearce Barron, Rishard-Kyro Nelson, Ellie Kingdon, Remi Ferdinand, Kalisha Johnson, Imogen Bailey, Kevin O’Dwyer and Carly Miles. Further casting is to be announced.

 

Peter Andre said “I'm beyond excited to be making my West End debut playing Vince Fontaine in Grease at the beautiful Dominion Theatre. Grease is such an iconic musical and we can guarantee audiences will have the most wonderful evening listening to songs we all know and love. We can't wait to see you there!"

 

GREASE originally opened in Chicago in 1971, followed by a move to Broadway in 1972, where it received seven Tony Award nominations, including one for Best Musical. During the show's eight-year run at the time, little known actors including Peter Gallagher, Patrick Swayze and John Travolta all appeared in the production, with Richard Gere understudying many roles before going on to star as Danny Zuko in the 1973 London premiere. GREASE was first performed at the Dominion Theatre in 1993 before transferring to the Cambridge Theatre in 1996. It returned to the West End, opening at the Piccadilly Theatre in 2007. 

 

The 1978 film adaptation starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John is the fourth highest-grossing live action musical of all time. The musical features beloved songs, including Summer NightsGreased Lightnin’Hopelessly Devoted To Youand You’re The One That I Want.

 

GREASE has designs by Colin Richmond, orchestrations and musical supervision by Sarah Travis, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Tom Marshall and Richard Brooker, video and projection design by Douglas O’Connell and casting by David Grindrod CDG.

 

This production of GREASE is produced by Colin Ingram for InTheatre Productions, Donovan Mannato, Playing Field, Gavin Kalin, and Curve.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Lockdown but make it Stagey | 7 Ways To Be Theatrical During a Pandemic

Hello stagey people! Olivia here, I hope no one minds these more chatty style posts, but with all that's going on I wanted to switch it up a little bit and bring some more relaxed posts about how we can keep ourselves sane, and of course stagey, in these trying times. So with that, I'm sharing some of the ways I've been spending my time so that it might give you some ideas.


Online Courses: I signed up for both the Open University free courses and the FutureLearn courses. They have lots and lots of free courses in a whole host of subjects, ranging from beginner to advanced and are a great way to kill some time whilst keeping your brain active. So far, I've done three geography courses (I'm a bit of a geog geek) and am mid-way through a film and a music course. I've found them to be hugely informative and I've got my eye on a number of the Arts ones, including Approaching Plays and What Is Good Writing? You can sign up for free one the websites and do as many as you like!

Theatrical Artwork: Okay, so I'm not technically doing the artwork but I'm colouring in so it kinda counts, right?! The lovely John and Kayley aka The Stagey Couple have created a brilliant colouring in sheet featuring loads of wonderful shows and it's just excellent. The pair are creative, original and consistent with their content and I'm sure this isn't the only activity they'll provide us with during this lockdown.


Streaming Shows: If you're reading this, I assume you know that there are a whole host of shows being put online as well as other musical related media. I must admit I haven't watched loads but I thoroughly enjoyed Eugenius! and Jane Eyre. Also, Encore on Disney+ is my new guilty pleasure! I'm really looking forward to the future National Theatre productions that are streamed (fingers crossed for Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour) and it's great that there's so much on offer.

Concerts: As well as all the wonderful shows, there's been a load of streamed and recorded concerts. The Leave The Light On series is an excellent showcase of performers resilience and talent and also a wonderful way to sneakily snoop in people's houses, which we all secretly want to do! All the creative initiatives have been lovely to see, with Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton's release of Grounded their concert recorded live in their living room, proving a real favourite with the Bat fans! It's all just GREAT!

Q&As: This just seems like the most brilliant time to gain all the inside knowledge on this wonderful community we're part of and that's been easy to do thanks to the plethora of interviews being made available online. FYI I'm about to hit you with a self-plug... I recently started a podcast called Beyond The Boards with my friend (and amazing performer) Stephanie Rojas and we've been doing an interview series called Beyond the Isolation on our instagram. It's all about how creatives are thriving during this time and I've learnt some great things and felt very inspired.

Quizzes: If there's anything I've learnt during this lockdown, it's that I love a quiz! I can't even tell you how many I've taken part in but there are so many on offer and they're so fun! On Monday I took part in The Other Palace's theatre quiz and it was not only entertaining and informative, but was also a brill way of feeling part of the theatre community again. 

Baking: Okay so on the whole my baking has not been specifically theatre related but I feel like it's kind of automatically stagey 'cause it's near impossible to get your ingredients out without bursting into a Waitress number. I did make a pie inspired by the show the other day and it actually turned out pretty well so if you fancy whipping one up, I'll attach my video here. But yeah, baking is just real relaxing, just don't go Sweeney Todd to make it stagey!


So there are a few of my pandemic hobbies! I'm continually amazed at how well our community have come together to create and inform during this time and it can only make us stronger in the end! If you have any stagey ways that you're keeping entertained, let me know in the comments or on social media!

In saying all of this, it's also totally fine to do nothing during this time, you don't have to be working and grinding. Just do what calms you, what makes you happy and what you want to do. In a way we've been blessed with this time so use it however on earth you want!

Stay safe and stay stagey,
Olivia x