Elaine Paige has starred in such productions as Evita, Cats, Sunset Boulevard, and is now bringing her first national tour to the U.S. Elaine Paige is an Olivier Award winner, Grammy nominee, 2 Time Drama Desk nominee and 5 time Olivier Award nominee.
Elaine graciously took the time to answer some questions about her new tour and share thrilling memories about past performances.
Be sure and check out her website for tour info and news!
What can audiences expect from the debut of your first national U.S. tour?
Well it’s my story from my beginnings in the theatre - I take the audience on a journey from the West End to Broadway with lots of anecdotes and hits from the shows I have starred in. Evita, Cats, Chess, Anything Goes, Sunset Boulevard, Piaf and many more.
What led you to embark on this new tour?
I have performed on Broadway and in concert in the US and have been asked to tour many times, but due to commitments in the UK I have never managed to make it work. So after Follies I thought it was time to set aside some proper time and make it happen. I’m very excited.
Have you encountered any surprises/challenges while putting the tour together?
Language has been a huge surprise to me – what do they say? “We’re separated by a common language!” I was confused so many times during Follies using words that mean something completely different in the UK. I won’t spoil it now as I talk about it in the show.
Who are you collaborating with in the creation of the new tour?
I worked with my English director Chris Luscombe, and my dear friend David Zippel has been of tremendous help on the US side of things – he in fact suggested Chris Marlowe, who is going to be joining me as my Musical Director on this tour.
What makes for a successful collaboration?
Having a great team to rely on, knowing what needs to be achieved, listening to each other, being open to ideas and laughing a lot!
Embarking on a national tour is a massive undertaking; do you have any rituals or routines that ease stressful moments?
The only way to deal with it is to give yourself completely to the tour. You have to be extremely disciplined. Eat well, sleep a lot, stay away from alcohol, chocolate and dairy products just to ensure you are in tip top condition. I use meditation and yoga to relax to help get a good night’s sleep. And days off are a sacred time to recharge the batteries and focus on the day ahead.
Of all the characters, you’ve performed; which do you see yourself most, and which would you most like to revisit?
I’ve had a great time playing all of these, mostly feisty, driven woman. However Evita will always be very special to me because it was my first major role and it gave me a career in musical theater.
And as for revisiting any of them, I’m not one for looking back. I like to always move forward.
If you could go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, let go, stay in the present moment and don’t worry, everything is going to be ok.
Most thrilling opening night memory?
I’m torn here between the first night of Evita and my debut on Broadway as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. They were both exhilarating experiences – ones that I’ll never forget. Thrilling!
What are three things you cannot live without?
Tennis racket, computer and a pair of good Louby’s!
What does being brave mean to you?
Those that risk their own lives to save others.
Where can my readers find you online?