Tuesday, September 20, 2011
THE Kennedy Center production of "Follies" opened on Broadway this month. The Bernadette Peters fans were happy. The Jan Maxwell fans were happy. (Note to teenage readers: It's sort of like Team Jacob and Team Edward.) But let's talk about Elaine Paige.
CURRENT GIG Knocking 'em dead with what has always been the "Follies" show-stopper: "I'm Still Here." A song about endurance, determination, ups and downs, and Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover.
BORN AND RAISED North London.
ALMA MATER Aida Foster School.
REALLY BIG ROLES SHE ORIGINATED IN LONDON Eva Peron in "Evita" (1978), Grizabella in "Cats" (1981).
BROADWAY DEBUT "Sunset Boulevard" (1996). She had already played the role in London.
WEST END DEBUT "Hair" (1968). She was a member of the tribe.
NICKNAMES La Paige, First Lady of British Theater
WHY EVEN YOUR GRANDMOTHER HAS HEARD OF HER Because of Susan Boyle. When the smirky Simon Cowell asked Boyle, then an unknown, dumpy, middle-aged lady with scary eyebrows on "Britain's Got Talent," what her goal was, she said: "To be a professional singer. Like Elaine Page."
WHAT SHE LOVES ABOUT "FOLLIES" "It deals with things that have gone into the past, never to be retrieved. And it reminds you to live every day because: This. Is. It. There is no rehearsal. It's only once around."*
* The Washington Post, May 1, 2011, "Elaine Page Is 'Still Here' in 'Follies.' "
"Follies," book by James Goldman, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, directed by Eric Schaeffer, Marquis Theater, 1535 Broadway (between 45th and 46th Street), ticketmaster.com, (877) 250-2929. Opening night: Sept. 12, 2011. Opening night of original production: April 4, 1971.
WANT MORE THEATERGOSSIP? Scroll to read about a Jonas brother taking over in "How to Succeed" and Hugh Jackman back where he belongs. Then search to read about theater people from Sean Hayes to Katori Hall, as well as Stephen Sondheim, Jan Maxwell and Bernadette Peters.
Posted by Anita Gates at 7:38 PM