KEEP IT HAPPY, KEEP IT SNAPPY, KEEP IT GAY!

When people ask me how I grew to love jazz, I guess it actually came from my love of musical theatre (Previous post All That Jazz). And when it comes to musicals…the camper, the better! Recently, I’ve seen some of my fellow thesbiansssss posting lists of their fave musicals on Facebook, and I wanted to do the same; PLUS my third and final acoustic cover with legendary bass player Dave Swift.

So…

A Musical I Love:

CHICAGO

What I love about this musical is the simplicity of it. The ‘Chicago’ that people see in theatres today actually started out as a concert version, hence the orchestra being on stage, minimal set and props and the all-black costumes. Some people don’t like this and come out saying they didn’t enjoy the show because there was no set. To those people I say shhhhh. I’ve seen a few concert versions of other musicals and it doesn’t always work, but it completely suits ‘Chicago’. That’s what makes the show unique and classy and emphasises the thing I love the most about it – the Jazz music!

 

A Musical I Think Is Underrated:

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG

There are some great Sondheim musicals but this is my favourite, and a very underrated show. It’s an honest portrayal of friendship and shows the not-so-pretty consequences of fame and fortune. The story is cleverly told in reverse, starting off in the 70’s with a broken friendship, and ends in the 50’s where the friendship began. I think musically it’s one of Sondheim’s best. All of the tunes are clever pieces of story-telling, some are beautiful, some are absolutely heartbreaking, and some are just bangers.

 

A Musical I Could Sing The Whole Soundtrack To:

OLIVER


I’ve loved this musical since I was a kid, so the songs hold a lot of nostalgia! Nancy was always my dream role, so in school when I heard they were putting on a production of Oliver my inner, theatrical, geek made an appearance because I knew I HAD to play Nancy. I went and auditioned for every female part as Nancy – that was my way of saying, ‘Give me this part because I ain’t gonna play anyone else.’ Not that I’m competitive. But I was so excited when I got the part, even more so when my brother got the part of Fagin. All of my mates were apart of the show, either cast or crew. So even though it was just a school production it was still such a fun experience and we all made so many great memories. There’s no way I can pick a favourite song from the show, I love ’em all!

A Musical I Cherish:

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

This has to be the best musical ever written. I’m so attached to this show. I don’t even know where to begin with this one but I have no idea why it wasn’t a West End hit. You know when you’re listening to music in your room and you just go off into your own trail of thought…it’s like that but in musical theatre form. It’s so hard to explain but it’s hilarious, ridiculously camp, sarcastic and ironic but also very moving. I got to play the part of the ‘Drowsy Chaperone’ in an amateur dramatic production, alongside my brother again so this was another special part of my life. It was the most enjoyable role I’ve ever played, I was basically playing a washed up actress turned 40-year-old, bitter, fabulous, alcoholic. It was brilliant. Nothing I say will do this show justice, you have to see it yourself.

Actress Beth Leavel wearing one of the many beautiful costumes from the original Broadway production.

Myself wearing bargains from local charity shops during the original Harlow production.

 

Guilty Pleasure:

GREASE

Anybody who says they don’t like Grease is either lying or just plain boring. Yes the musical script is debatable, yes the story has no morals and is basically telling young girls that if they change themselves and dress a little more slutty then the guy of their dreams won’t be embarrassed to date them. But who cares because the songs are catchy! I think it’s time for GIF rampage…

There are so many great songs in Grease, but if I had to choose a favourite then it would be ‘There Are Worse Things I Could Do’ (Stockard Channing – what a babe). So during my recent photoshoot with the super-cool Dave Swift, we did a quick acoustic cover of the song…

Click here to watch!

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