Oh man, oh man. Not that I expect I have many devoted blog readers on this website, but I have been woefully absent this past year!!! Apologies if I have got any secret fans who really miss hearing from me, but it turns out I’m much better at Twitter and Facebook than I am here. Eek!
That said, I’m back, and ready to give the exciting update of what the past ten months have brought me.
As it had been from the start, Beautiful was the most incredible adventure life has taken me on to date and continued to be an absolute heaven of a job for each of the twenty months I spent working on it. I got to enjoy the company of my amazingly talented, compassionate, and generous cast mates. I got to fly across the country (and even to Canada!) to promote the show. I got the awesome opportunity to play Carole over 30 times for Tony-winner Jessie Mueller and later for the gorgeous Chilina Kennedy. May 10th, our 555th show, was my last (and a tearful one, at that).
Now, here I am writing from my flat in London, 3 weeks into rehearsals for what promises to be a truly special revival of Mack and Mabel at the Chichester Festival Theater and UK Tour. I’m working opposite Olivier Award winner Michael Ball (who recently got his OBE!) and a mind-blowingly talented cast of UK actors, and it still doesn’t feel real. Life is just too sweet.
Mack and Mabel is a hell of a show and a giant undertaking for all of us and our director, the remarkable Jonathan Church. Stephen Mear is blowing me away with his giant, gorgeous dance numbers. Toby Park and Aitor Basauri are making clowns out of all of us with their indispensable comedy and slapstick coaching. Music director Robert Scott and vocal coach Anne-Marie Speed have got me singing like I never expected I could. And just wait until you see Rob Jones’s stunning set and costume designs. It’s truly something magical in the making.
Meanwhile, I’m doing my best just to stay afloat in the madness of this cross-Atlantic move; learning London, getting lost on the Tube, seeing theater, making friends, learning lines, practicing choreography, and admittedly, missing home. But I am ever grateful for the wonder that my life unfolds to be. Utterly aware this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I promise not to squander a single moment of it.
For any of you in the UK, I do hope you’ll be able to come see the show. We begin previews in Chichester July 13th, celebrate Press Night on July 21st, and run until September 5th. More information can be found on Chichester’s website.
Our UK tour begins October 1st in Plymouth. All tour dates and cities can be found on the show’s official website.
Here are some photos from our first few weeks in the room… with more antics and silliness to ensue I’m sure!
I’ll try to be better about updating throughout our Chichester run and tour, but I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep! Most importantly I want to savor every single moment of my dream life as I’m living it.
Our Fatty Arbuckle, Jack Edwards, survived a pie attack!
Michael and I suit up for a rehearsal of our Roman pie-throwing scene!
Still from our shoot for Mabel’s Strange Predicament, one of the silent films that will be projected as part of the show.