Elaine Paige at BBC Radio 2's Voice of Musical Theatre gala final in 2006
|Birth name||Elaine Jill Bickerstaff|
|Born||5 March 1948|
|Origin||Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom|
Elaine Paige OBE (born Elaine Jill Bickerstaff, 5 March 1948) is an English singer and actress best known for her work in musical theatre. Raised in Barnet, Hertfordshire, Paige attended the Aida Foster Theatre School, making her first professional appearance on stage in 1964, at the age of 16. Her appearance in the 1968 production of Hair marked her West End debut.
Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.
Chipping Barnet or High Barnet is a district and suburban market town in North London, and is in the London Borough of Barnet, England. Historically in Hertfordshire, it is a suburban development built around a 12th-century settlement, and is located 10 1⁄2 miles (17 km) north north-west of Charing Cross, east from Borehamwood, west from Enfield and south from Potters Bar. Its name is very often abbreviated to just Barnet, which is also the name of the borough of which it forms a part. Chipping Barnet is also the name of the Parliamentary constituency covering the local area – the word "Chipping" denotes the presence of a market, one that was established here at the end of the 12th century and persists to this day. Chipping Barnet is one of the highest-lying urban settlements in London, with the town centre having an elevation of about 427 feet (130 m).
Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in southern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.
Following a number of roles over the next decade, Paige was selected to play Eva Perón in the first production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita in 1978, which brought her to the attention of the broader public. For this role, she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Performance of the Year in a musical. She went on to originate the role of Grizabella in Cats and had a Top 10 hit with "Memory", a song from the show.
María Eva Duarte de Perón was the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón (1895–1974) and First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is usually referred to as Eva Perón or Evita.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably "The Music of the Night" and "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and "Memory" from Cats. In 2001 The New York Times referred to him as "the most commercially successful composer in history". Ranked the "fifth most powerful person in British culture" by The Daily Telegraph in 2008, the lyricist Don Black stated "Andrew more or less single-handedly reinvented the musical."
Evita is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics and book by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita's early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death.
In 1985, Paige released "I Know Him So Well" with Barbara Dickson from the musical Chess , which remains the biggest-selling record by a female duo. She then appeared in the original stage production of Chess, followed by a starring role in Anything Goes which she also co-produced. Paige made her Broadway debut in Sunset Boulevard in 1996, playing the lead role of Norma Desmond, to critical acclaim. She appeared in The King and I from 2000 to 2001, and six years later she returned to the West End stage in The Drowsy Chaperone . She has also worked sporadically in television.
"I Know Him So Well" is a duet from the concept album and subsequent musical Chess by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It was originally sung by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson. In this duet, two women – Svetlana, the Russian chess champion's estranged wife, and Florence, his mistress – express their bittersweet feelings for him and at seeing their relationships fall apart.
Barbara Ruth Dickson is a Scottish singer whose hits include "I Know Him So Well", "Answer Me" and "January February". Dickson has placed fifteen albums in the UK Albums Chart from 1977 to date, and had a number of hit singles, including four which reached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart. The Scotsman newspaper has described her as Scotland's best-selling female singer in terms of the numbers of hit chart singles and albums she has achieved in the UK since 1976.
Chess is a musical with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of the pop group ABBA, lyrics by Tim Rice, and a book by Richard Nelson based on an idea by Rice. The story involves a politically driven, Cold War–era chess tournament between two grandmasters from America and the USSR and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. Although the protagonists were not intended to represent any real individuals, the character of the American grandmaster was loosely based on Bobby Fischer, while elements of the story may have been inspired by the chess careers of Russian grandmasters Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov.
In addition to being nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards, Paige has won many other awards for her theatre roles and has been called the First Lady of British Musical Theatre due to her skill and longevity. She has released 22 solo albums, of which eight were consecutively certified gold and another four multi-platinum. Paige is also featured on seven cast albums and has sung in concerts across the world. Since 2004 she has hosted her own show on BBC Radio 2 called Elaine Paige on Sunday .
The Laurence Olivier Awards, or simply the Olivier Awards, are presented annually by the Society of London Theatre to recognise excellence in professional theatre in London at an annual ceremony in the capital. The awards were originally known as the Society of West End Theatre Awards, but they were renamed in honour of the British actor Laurence Olivier in 1984.
BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's two flagship national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom with over 15 million weekly listeners. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is adult contemporary or AOR, although the station also broadcasts other specialist musical genres. Radio 2 broadcasts throughout the UK on FM between 88.1 and 90.2 MHz from studios in Wogan House, adjacent to Broadcasting House in central London. Programmes are relayed on digital radio via DAB, Sky, Cable TV, IPTV, Freeview, Freesat and the Internet.
Elaine Paige on Sunday is a British radio programme broadcast on BBC Radio 2, that is hosted by the actress and singer Elaine Paige. The show launched on 5 September 2004 and features music from stage and screen productions and interviews from celebrity guests. As of 2012, The producer of Elaine Paige on Sunday is Jessica Rickson.
In 2014, Paige celebrated her 50 years in show business. Paige announced on her official website a "Farewell" concert tourand a new career-spanning album The Ultimate Collection to mark this milestone in her career.
The Ultimate Collection is a compilation album from Elaine Paige, released on 12 May 2014 by Rhino UK/Warner Music UK to celebrate her '50th Anniversary' in show-business.
Elaine Jill Bickerstaff feet (1.5 m) tall, which she says has caused her to lose out on leading roles. Her original ambition was to become a professional tennis player, at which point her headmistress pointed out to her "they'd never see you over the net", but Paige continued to play tennis and has referred to the sport as one of her passions.was born and raised in Barnet, Hertfordshire, where her father worked as an estate agent and her mother was a milliner. Her mother had been a singer in her youth, and her father was an amateur drummer. Paige stands at just under 5
Hatmaking or millinery is the design, manufacture and sale of hats and head-wear. A person engaged in this trade is called a milliner or hatter.
At 14, Paige listened to the film soundtrack of West Side Story , which evoked the desire for a career in musical theatre.Paige's musical ability was encouraged by her school music teacher, Ann Hill, who was also the head of the music department. Paige was a member of Hill's choir, and her first role on stage was playing Susanna in a school production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro , which was followed by parts in The Boy Mozart and solos in Handel's Messiah – "a difficult work for little children". Paige also recalls singing the mezzo role of Bastienne in Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne . After singing the aria, she chose to break down in character and to release a sob much to the audience's shock who, having been convinced by her acting, thought she was in real pain.
Her father later suggested that she should go to drama school,so she attended the Aida Foster Theatre School. Lacking confidence, she initially disliked stage school; her father encouraged her to persevere and she grew to enjoy her time there. After graduating, her first job was modelling children's clothing at the Ideal Home Exhibition. Prior to stage school she attended Southaw Girls' School – a secondary modern in Oakleigh Park in Hertfordshire where she received two CSE qualifications.
Paige's first professional appearance on stage was during the UK tour of the Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd in 1964,playing the role of a Chinese urchin. To audition for the role she sang "I Cain't Say No" but was rejected the first time. She was successful the second time around after being the lead singer in 'Black Sabbath' and convinced to re-audition under a new name. Browsing through a phone book for inspiration, she became aware of the "page" she was observing and decided upon that name with the addition of an "i". In 1968 she appeared on record as a member of the vocal group Colors of Love, who released three Albert Hammond & Mike Hazlewood-penned singles, most notably "I'm a Train", on Larry Page's Page One label under the supervision of Alan Moorhouse. At the age of 20, she made her West End debut in Hair on 27 September 1968, remaining in the cast until March 1970. While also being an understudy for the character of Sheila, she played a member of the tribe in the chorus, for which role she was required to be naked on stage in one scene. In 1971, she appeared in the ill-fated musical about premature ejaculation, Maybe That's Your Problem. She also appeared as an urchin in the West End's Oliver! Over the next decade, she played roles in various musicals, including Jesus Christ Superstar ; Nuts; Grease , in which she played the lead role of Sandy from 1973 to 1974; Billy , from 1974 to 1975 playing Rita; and The Boyfriend , as Maisie (1975–1976). She had a minor role as a barmaid in the 1978 sex comedy film Adventures of a Plumber's Mate .
After months of acting and singing auditions,Hal Prince offered the still relatively unknown Paige the title role of Eva Perón in the first stage production of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Evita . Her performance won her critical acclaim and brought her into public prominence at the age of 30. Julie Covington, who played the role on the original concept album, had turned down the opportunity of playing the role on stage leading to a long search for a new star. Paige eventually competed against Bonnie Schoen, an American initially favoured by Prince for the role. She later said, "Bonnie was already a big name on Broadway. In a way, she didn't have anything to prove. She was smoothly, silkily professional. But I saw this as my big chance and, like Eva when she clapped eyes on Peron, I grabbed with both hands. I wanted the role more than anything else in the whole world." For her performance in Evita, she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Musical, which at that time was called the Society of West End Theatre Award. She also won the Variety Club Award for Showbusiness Personality of the Year. She played the role for 20 months in total, from 1978 to 1980. She also released her first studio album in 1978, titled Sitting Pretty. Just prior to her success in Evita, Paige had strongly considered becoming a nursery nurse, but after she sang for Dustin Hoffman, he made her promise that she would continue in theatre work. She admitted that she was "fed up with the whole thing" and that she could not even afford new clothing or to eat out; "Evita saved me" she stated.
Paige went on to portray some of Lloyd Webber's most notable female characters, creating the role of Grizabella in the original production of Cats from 11 May 1981 to 13 February 1982. 10 hit, is her signature piece. The single reached number 5 in the UK charts and has since been recorded by a further 160 artists. She reprised the role of Grizabella for the video release of Cats in 1998, one of only two performers in the film from the original London cast; the other was Susan Jane Tanner as Jellylorum. Paige's website claims that the video soon became the bestselling music video in the UK and America.She took on the role late in the rehearsal process when the actress Judi Dench had to withdraw due to a torn Achilles tendon. Paige's performance of the song "Memory" from Cats, with which she had a Top
The 1983 production of Abbacadabra , written by former ABBA members, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, 40 chart, giving her three consecutive successful albums. In 1985, Paige released "I Know Him So Well", a duet from Chess, singing with Barbara Dickson. The single held the number 1 position in the British singles charts for four weeks, and still remains the biggest-selling record by a female duo, according to the Guinness Book of Records . From 1986 to 1987, Paige appeared as Florence in the stage production of Chess, a role that earned her a second Olivier Award nomination, this time in the category, Best Actress in a Musical. She next sang at the White House in 1988.saw Paige star in the role of Carabosse. She then originated the role of Florence for the 1984 concept album of Chess , with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Ulvaeus and Andersson. Her albums, Stages (1983), and Cinema (1984), rejoined the cast recording of Chess in the UK top
Paige then took on the part of Reno Sweeney in the musical production of Anything Goes , which she co-produced and starred in from 1989 to 1990.Patti LuPone was appearing in Anything Goes on Broadway around that time, so Paige sought to become the co-producer of the West End production as a way to secure the role there before LuPone could take it. Playing Reno Sweeney was Paige's first experience using an American accent on stage, and the role earned her a third Olivier Award nomination. Beyond her theatre roles, she appeared in the television programme Unexplained Laughter in 1989 alongside Diana Rigg.
In 1993, Paige signed up for a year as French chanteuse Édith Piaf in Pam Gems' musical play, Piaf , to critical acclaim. hours 40 minutes in total, and forced her to leave early due to exhaustion. Her portrayal of Piaf earned her an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, her fourth nomination. She subsequently released an album, titled Piaf , containing Édith Piaf songs.The Guardian wrote that Paige was "a magnificent, perfect Piaf". The demanding production required her to sing 15 songs, some in French, and to be on stage for 2
In 1995, Paige was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to musical theatre.
Paige stepped briefly into the role of Norma Desmond in Lloyd Webber's West End production of Sunset Boulevard in 1994, when Betty Buckley was taken ill and had to undergo an emergency appendectomy.The nature of the situation meant that Paige only had two-and-a-half weeks in the rehearsal process before her first performance. She admitted feeling daunted by the prospect, having seen Glenn Close in the role on Broadway just prior to entering rehearsals. London critics were largely won over by Paige in a performance that "not only wrings out every ounce of dramatic action but delivers some unexpected humour as well" and she took over the part full-time the following year. She then won the Variety Club Award for Best Actress of the Year, and received her fifth Olivier Award nomination in 1996.
During the run of Sunset Boulevard at the West End's Adelphi Theatre in 1995, Paige discovered a lump in her breast, prompting her to consult her doctor, who at first reassured her there was nothing to be concerned about.She returned twice, and her doctor subsequently sent her for tests that confirmed the lump was cancerous, nine months after she discovered it. Continuing her role in the production Paige did not miss a show, and stated, "When I did the show I became very emotional. Some of the lyrics suddenly took on an entirely different meaning. Words like, 'as if we never said goodbye' became more real". Paige went in for day surgery on a Sunday due to her theatre commitments, had five years of medical treatment and completed a radiation programme. She spoke for the first time of her encounter with breast cancer in a 2004 interview, and has since described the period as "the most awful thing that's happened to me in my life".
Paige transferred to the New York production of Sunset Boulevard to make her Broadway debut at the Minskoff Theatre on 12 September 1996, cm) in order to accommodate Paige's short stature, or it would have been hard to see her behind the banister. Paige was welcomed to the Broadway stage with a long standing ovation from the audience, and received largely positive reviews for her New York performance as Norma Desmond: "The lush sound and the sheer power of her voice are, to put it simply, incredible", wrote one critic, whilst another said "Her voice has great range, remarkable clarity and emotional force". Paige was the first Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard to sing one of the show's key songs, "With One Look", which she did first at Lloyd Webber's wedding to Madeleine Gurdon, although at the time the song was called "Just One Glance". Lloyd Webber noted, regarding Paige's performance of one of the show's other prominent songs, "As If We Never Said Goodbye", that it was "as good, if not the best, of anything I've ever heard of mine". Regarding the key lyric in the song, "This world's waited long enough. I've come home at last", Paige had sought to change the way the melody was sung, despite being fully aware of Lloyd-Webber's fastidious tendencies. To her, the moment was not exploited to its fullest potential, so she approached the show's musical director, David Caddick, and expressed her wish to hold the word "home", to which he agreed. Although she had been disappointed when she hoped to perform on Broadway in Evita, Cats and Chess, Paige stated of her debut there, "It was just the most perfect time to go with that particular show". After Sunset Boulevard finished, she suffered from depression, commenting that the show's closing "was the most terrible feeling. ... I'd felt I'd lost something so very important to me. I thought it had died and gone away."staying with the show until it closed on 22 March 1997. On the Sunset Boulevard set in Broadway, the staircase steps had to be raised six inches (15
Arts commentator Melvyn Bragg hosted a special edition of The South Bank Show about Paige's career in 1996, titled The Faces of Elaine Paige.The episode saw her visiting parts of the world where plays she had starred in had been set: the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, Argentina where Eva Perón had given speeches; the Parisian haunts of Edith Piaf including a meeting with her collaborator Charles Aznavour; and Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.
In 1997, Paige made her United States concert debut when she opened the Boston Pops season, which was aired on WGBH in America.The following year, she made a guest appearance at Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th birthday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall, performing "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "Memory" She then played Célimène in the non-musical play The Misanthrope in 1998, but she admitted that she missed the musical element and that the silence was slightly unsettling to her. A Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Operatic and Dramatic Association soon followed. She later performed alongside Bette Midler in a 1999 New York concert to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
From 2000 to 2001, she starred as Anna Leonowens in a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I at the London Palladium. million in ticket sales. The critic for The Independent commented, "It may well be impossible to be a success as Evita and a success as Anna" complaining that Paige was not refined enough for the role, whereas The Spectator asserted that the role further strengthened her title as the "First Lady of British Musical Theatre". During her time in The King and I, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Despite Paige wanting to pull out of the show, her mother insisted that she should continue until her contract had finished, and Paige's sister, Marion Billings, admitted, "That was very hard for Elaine, having to go on stage night after night knowing she wanted to be with Mum".Paige had turned down an offer for the role the first time she was approached, but later accepted, admitting that she had "forgotten what a fantastic score it was", although she did question her own suitability for the role. Before the opening, the box office had already taken in excess of £7
Paige sang at the opening of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and then made her Los Angeles concert debut at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.In 2003, she played Angèle in Where There's a Will, directed by Peter Hall. She next sang the role of Mrs Lovett in the New York City Opera production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in March 2004, earning positive reviews from critics, and a nomination for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. Paige then embarked upon a UK tour which was titled "No Strings Attached".
In September 2004, Paige began a weekly Sunday afternoon radio show, Elaine Paige on Sunday , 2. Lisa Martland of The Stage agreed that "it is by far the music that brings me back to the programme ... and not her lightweight presenting style". However, the show regularly attracts 3 million listeners, and interviews are also featured each week. Paige also focused on television appearances, playing Dora Bunner in the 2005 ITV adaptation of Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced in the Marple series, before performing a guest role as a post mistress in Where the Heart Is . The episode of Marple was watched by 7.78 million viewers.between 1 and 3 PM on BBC Radio 2, featuring music from musical theatre and film. The 400th edition was broadcast on Sunday 29 July 2012. In an unfavourable review, the show was described by Elisabeth Mahoney of The Guardian as "a chilly, alienating listening experience" and a "rare wrong move" on the part of Radio
The release of Paige's first full studio album of new recordings in 12 years was marked in 2006, titled Essential Musicals. The album included popular songs from musicals identified by a poll on her radio show, in which 400,000 listeners voted. At this point, Paige had recorded 20 solo albums in total, of which eight were consecutively certified gold and another four multi-platinum, and she had been featured on seven cast albums. Paige also appeared in concert in Scandinavia, Hong Kong, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. On 20 and 21 December 2006, she performed in concert in Shanghai, extending her concert tour to two dates to satisfy demand. With a noticeable absence from musical theatre, having not taken a role for many years, she explained in 2006 that "there's been nothing that I've wanted to do, and if you're going to commit to a year at the theatre, six days a week, and have no life, then it's got to be something that you want to do with all your heart". She also affirmed that she believes for older actors it becomes harder to obtain theatre roles.
In 2007, Paige made a return to the West End stage for the first time in six years, ... enduring jokes about her reputation for being 'difficult' with a grin that doesn't seem all that forced. ... Only the self-importantly serious and the chronically depressed will fail to enjoy this preposterously entertaining evening". Paul Taylor from The Independent was less impressed and wrote "a miscast Elaine Paige manages to be unfunny to an almost ingenious degree as the heroine's bibulous minder". For her performance, Paige was nominated for a What's On Stage Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. She next collaborated with the duo Secret Garden in recording the song "The Things You Are to Me" for their 2007 album, Inside I'm Singing.as the Chaperone/Beatrice Stockwell in The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello Theatre. The production ran for a disappointing 96 performances, although it had opened to a standing ovation from the audience and a generally optimistic reaction from critics. The Daily Telegraph wrote, "Elaine Paige is a good sport
To raise money for Sport Relief Paige danced the tango on Sport Relief does Strictly Come Dancing with Matt Dawson in March 2008, where they were voted second overall.In 2008, she opened the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and performed concerts in China, America and Australia featuring songs from her 40-year career. To further celebrate 40 years since her first performance on a West End Stage, in October 2008 Paige released a picture-based autobiography titled Memories. The book took around eight months to compile; "Since Evita I suppose, I had kept a yearbook. My parents always kept cuttings and things like that for me. I did have quite a lot of reference material to work out," Paige commented.
An album titled Elaine Paige and Friends was produced by Phil Ramone in 2010.The album features duets with Paige and artists such as Johnny Mathis, Barry Manilow and Olivia Newton-John as well as a duet with Sinéad O'Connor of a new song "It's Only Life" penned by Tim Rice and Gary Barlow. Having entered the top 20 of UK Album Charts, it went on to achieve gold status.
Paige played the role of Carlotta Campion in the Kennedy Center production of Follies in May and June 2011 at the Eisenhower Theatre in Washington, DC, receiving favourable reviews for her performance of the showstopper, "I'm Still Here." The principal cast also comprised Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Ron Raines and Danny Burstein.She reprised this role in the Broadway transfer of the musical at the Marquis Theatre from August 2011 until the following January, before performing at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, California in May and June 2012.
At the end of 2013 Paige announced a concert tour, Page by Page by Paige, which focused on her 50th anniversary in show business and was advertised as a farewell tour. The 40th anniversary tour in 2008 marked 40 years since her debut on the West End stage, and the 50th anniversary tour in 2014 marked 50 years since her first stage performance. The tour featured Gardar Thor Cortes performing a number of songs, both solo and duets with Paige, and was sold out at all venues. The tour ran from 9 to 20 October 2014, concluding at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Other stops included Cardiff, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle (Gateshead), Glasgow, Birmingham and Bournemouth. Due to a throat infection, one concert in Brighton had to be cancelled. Dates in Ireland were postponed before being rescheduled, with Paige giving four sold-out concerts in Dublin (two evenings), Limerick and Cork between 10 and 16 February 2015.
In 2014, Paige presented and performed in a six episode television show for Sky Arts television called The Elaine Paige Show. The show featured songs performed by Paige, masterclasses with drama college students and interviews and performances by West End and Broadway performers and writers. The show was recorded in March and April at Riverside Studios, London.
In June 2014, Paige made her debut at G-A-Y’s Heaven nightclub in London and in November, she joined the inaugural Australian cruise of the performing arts on the MS Radiance of the Seas.
In May 2015 Paige was part of VE Day 70: A Party to Remember, a special concert which took place at the Horse Guards Parade, and was broadcast live on BBC1 and BBC Radio 2. Later in 2015 she performed in concert at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, supported by Collabro and Rhydian, and then headlined the Glamis Prom 2015 at Glamis Castle, Scotland, with Susan Boyle as her guest. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied at both concerts.
In April 2016, it was announced that Paige would perform a number of concerts – on successive weekends rather than intensive schedule of a regular tour – entitled "Stripped Back". The tour will initially run from October until December 2016 and feature music by Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach, Leonard Cohen, Sting, Elton John and Lennon-McCartney.
Having had so many starring roles in famous musicals, many to critical acclaim, Paige is often referred to as the First Lady of British Musical Theatre.In 2008, she celebrated the 40th anniversary of her professional debut on the West End stage debut. Paige has never married nor had children, although she had an 11-year affair with the lyricist Tim Rice throughout the 1980s. She has said that she wanted to have children, but "it's a wonderful life I have, so I'm very fulfilled in other ways". Paige has been dating Justin Mallinson since spring 2010.
Paige's singing abilities have won her worldwide praise, as have her acting skills, with Andrew Gans of Playbill magazine writing that "Paige's gift is to dissect a role and determine what phrasing, gesture or emotion can bring a scene to its fullest dramatic potential".Mark Shenton also highlighted her voice in 2008 as "one of the most distinctive and impressive voices in the business". Lloyd-Webber insists that her rendition of "As If We Never Said Goodbye" is one of the best interpretations of a song by him.
She is a Vice-President of The Children's Trust, a UK charity for children with brain injury.
Paige has gained herself a reputation as someone who can be "difficult". The Times' Brian Logan wrote, "Paige is not exactly known for her humility. In newspaper profiles, that dread word 'difficult' is often applied".On one occasion, she told a male interviewer that she was going to stop giving interviews to female reporters because, in her own words, "I don't trust other women in these situations. They establish a sisterhood with you and then betray it every time". What has been seen as a cold side to her personality was also noted by Logan, but Paige has said that a common misconception of her is that she is confident and very serious. Another editor found her "refreshingly down-to-earth" and "very friendly".
Though Paige has enjoyed a long career in musical theatre, she rarely goes to watch musicals, much preferring to watch films or plays.She considers herself primarily an actress, rather than a singer, stating, "I really prefer to be in character". Comparing the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein to that of Lloyd Webber, Paige has said that she finds Rodgers and Hammerstein songs more difficult to sing, and described them as challenging. She concluded, "it's a quieter kind of singing, more controlled, not belting it out".
In the light of the physical demands of performing in theatre Paige has said "Musical theatre is the hardest thing any actor will ever do. You become obsessive about sleeping, eating the right food, not speaking and giving yourself vocal rest and keeping exercised".Regarding the pressure of having to be in a fit condition to perform in theatre each night, she remarked "you wouldn't want to read the letters people write when you're off and they're disappointed – it's so awful, the guilt one feels for not being there". As part of a rigorous routine before musical roles to look after her voice, Paige stops eating dairy products and drinking alcohol and works hard on her fitness. After about three months into the production when her voice is tiring from performing, she withdraws from her normal social life, sometimes only communicating by notepad and fax. She never reads her reviews, finding that it is not helpful to hear too many opinions of her work.
Paige has named reality television series such as Any Dream Will Do , which aim to find an unknown actor to play the lead role in a musical, as the greatest threat to theatre today, believing that "actors already striving in the theatre wouldn't dream of putting themselves on these shows".In a later interview, she questioned the seriousness of the actors auditioning for this type of show: "you wouldn't put yourself up for one of those shows in case you got bumped off the first week and all your colleagues saw it". She has also expressed a wish for more new musicals to be put into production, instead of frequent revivals.
|1968–1970||Hair||Member of the Tribe|
|1983–1984||Abbacadabra||Miss Williams / Carabosse|
|1989–1990||Anything Goes||Reno Sweeney|
|Sunset Boulevard||Norma Desmond|
|2000–2001||The King and I||Anna Leonowens|
|2003||Where There's a Will||Angèle|
|2004||Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street||Mrs. Lovett|
|2007||The Drowsy Chaperone||The Drowsy Chaperone / Beatrice Stockwell|
|2017–2018||Dick Whittington||Queen Rat|
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In the 1980 ITV drama series Lady Killers, Paige played convicted murderer Kate Webster. In 1981 in Tales of the Unexpected (TV series) , "The Way to Do it", Paige plays Suzie, a girl working in a small casino trying to keep guests happy and finally eloping with the main character. Paige will appear in a new BBC adaptation of William Shakepeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream adapted by Russell T Davies as part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations. In 2018 she played the part of Mercy Hackett in the BBC TV comedy Home from Home .
|Year||Album title||UK Albums Chart peak position||Label|
|1983||Stages||2||WEA / K-tel|
|1984||Cinema||12||WEA / K-tel|
|1988||The Queen Album||51||Siren|
|1991||Love Can Do That||36||RCA|
|1991||An Evening with Elaine Paige||—||BMG|
|1993||Romance & the Stage||71||RCA|
|1996||Performance [A reissue of An Evening with Elaine Paige]||—||BMG / Camden|
|2009||Elaine Paige Live||—||EP Records|
|2010||Elaine Paige and Friends||18||Rhino|
|Year||Album title||UK Albums Chart peak position||Label|
|1987||Memories: The Best of Elaine Paige||14||Telstar|
|1992||The Best of Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson Together||—||Telstar|
|1997||From a Distance||—||BMG / Camden|
|1998||On Reflection: The Very Best of Elaine Paige||60||Telstar / WEA|
|2002||A Collection||—||Marks and Spencer|
|2004||Centre Stage: The Very Best of Elaine Paige||35||WSM|
|2007||Songbook||—||Sony BMG Music Entertainment|
|2008||Sweet Memories: The Essential Elaine Paige||—||Music Club Deluxe|
|2014||The Ultimate Collection||74||Warner Bros|
|2018||12 Timeless Songs||—||Rhino UK|
|1970||Fresh Hair||Polydor||Original London Cast Recording|
|1974||Billy: Original Cast Recording||CBS / Columbia|
|1978||The Barrier: A Love Story||1978 London Studio Cast Recording|
|1978||Evita: Original London Cast Recording||MCA Records|
|1981||Cats: Original Cast Recording||Really Useful Records / Polydor|
|1984||Chess||Polar / Polydor|
|1989||Anything Goes: 1989 London Cast Recording||First Night Records|
|2000||The King and I: 2000 London Cast Recording||WEA|
|2011||Follies: New Broadway Cast Recording||2011 Broadway Revival Cast Recording|
|Release date||Single title||B-side/additional tracks||UK Singles Chart peak position||Label|
|1968||"I'm a Train" (with Colors of Love)||"Up on a Cotton Cloud"||—||Page One|
|"Just Another Fly" (with Colors of Love)||"Twenty Ten"||—|
|1969||"Mother of Convention" (with Colors of Love)||"Music Mother Made"||—|
|1976||"You Can't Take Away (My Love for You)"||"Hurry Up and Find Me"||—||EMI|
|1978||"Ireland"||"We're Only Flesh and Blood"||—||Eurodisk|
|"Don't Walk Away Till I Touch You"||"Daybreak"||46||EMI|
|1979||EP/EP||"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"/"I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You"/"Buenos Aires"/"Rainbow High"||—||MCA|
|1981||"If You Don't Want My Love"||"How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns"||—||Arista|
|"Falling Down to Earth"||"Up So High"||—|
|"Hot as Sun"||"If You Don't Want My Love"||—|
|"Is Anyone There"||"Whose Baby Are You?||—||EMI|
|"The Far Side of the Bay"||"Oh Major"||—||WEA|
|1982||"The Second Time (Theme from Bilitis )"||"The Last One to Leave"||—||WEA|
|"If You Don't Want My Love"||—|
|"Knight in Black Leather"||—|
|1983||"Running Back for More"||"Losing My Mind"||—|
|"Be On Your Own"||"Another Suitcase in Another Hall"||—|
|1984||"Like an Image Passing By"||"When Dreamers Close Their Eyes"||—||Epic|
|"Sometimes (Theme from 'Champions')"||"I'm Going to Live"||72||Island|
|"Nobody's Side"||"Embassy Lament"||—||RCA|
|"The Windmills of Your Mind"||"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"||—||WEA|
|1985||"I Know Him So Well" (with Barbara Dickson)||"Chess"||1||RCA|
|"Tonight Is the Night"||"Tacente Nocte"||—||Avatar|
|"Heaven Help My Heart"||"Argument"||—||RCA|
|1986||"For You"||"He's a Dream"||—||WEA|
|"Walking in the Air"||"Thirty-Two Feet and Eight Little Tails"||—|
|1987||"The Second Time" (re-issue)||69|
|"Father Christmas Eyes"||"A Winter's Tale"||—|
|"On My Own"/"Running Back for More"||—||—||Atlantic|
|1988||"Take Me Back"||"Everybody's Singing Love Songs Again"||—||Siren|
|1989||"I Get a Kick Out of You"||—||First Night|
|"Radio Ga Ga"||"Love of My Life"||—||Siren|
|1991||"Heart Don't Change My Mind"||"You Don't Own Me"||—||RCA|
|"Well Almost"||"From a Distance"||—|
|"Oxygen"||"He's Out of My Life"||—|
|1995||"Hymne A L'Amour (If You Love Me)"||"Running Back for More"/"Tomorrow"/"One Night Only"||68||WEA|
|1995||"As If We Never Said Goodbye"||"Out Here On My Own"/"For You"||—|
|1998||"Memory" (re-issue)||"As If We Never Said Goodbye"/"The Rose"||36|
|8 November 2010||"It's Only Life"||—||Rhino|
|1972||Hatching Out||With the group Sparrow; lead vocals on "Don't Ask", "Many Things Are Clear", "Dream Song", Rainsun Song" and "Hello Goodbye". The last track was unreleased until the album was re-issued on CD in 1995.|
|1998||Songs from Whistle Down the Wind||Recording of the song "If Only"|
|2000||Michael Ball – Christmas||Duet on "As Long As There's Christmas", a cover of the song that had originally appeared in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas|
|2001||Andrew Lloyd Webber – Masterpiece||Live recording of concert at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China.|
|2010||I Dreamed a Dream – The Susan Boyle Story||Live duet of "I Know Him So Well" with Susan Boyle.|
|1985||Lyrics by Tim Rice||Performances of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "I Know Him So Well"|
|1998||Cats||Reprising her role as Grizabella|
|1991||Elaine Paige in Concert||Live recording at the Birmingham Symphony Hall of 1991 concert tour|
|1998||Andrew Lloyd Webber – Celebration||Live performances of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "Memory"|
|2001||Andrew Lloyd Webber – Masterpiece||Live performances of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina", "The Heart is Slow to Learn", "Memory", "The Perfect Year", "As If We Never Said Goodbye", "No Matter What" and "Ni Yong You Wo De Wei Lai – Friends for Life" (the Chinese translation of "Amigos Para Siempre")|
|2009||Elaine Paige Live – Celebrating A Life On Stage||A live recording of Paige's 40th anniversary tour at the State Theatre, Sydney.|
|2014||I'm Still Here– Live at the Royal Albert Hall||A live recording of Paige's 50th anniversary and farewell tour recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, London and featuring the Gardar Thor Cortes and the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Chris Egan.|
Tying in with her weekly radio show, Paige has been involved in the compilation of two albums featuring selected tracks from musical theatre.
|2016||Elaine Paige Presents the Musicals||Union Square Music|
|2017||Elaine Paige Presents Showstoppers from the Musicals||BMG|
Bernadette Peters is an American actress, singer, and children's book author. Over the course of a career that has spanned five decades, she has starred in musical theatre, television and film, performed in solo concerts and released recordings. She is one of the most critically acclaimed Broadway performers, having received seven nominations for Tony Awards, winning two, and nine nominations for Drama Desk Awards, winning three. Four of the Broadway cast albums on which she has starred have won Grammy Awards.
Patti Ann LuPone is an American actress and singer, best known for her work in stage musicals. She has won two Grammy Awards, two Tony Awards, and two Olivier Awards. She is also a 2006 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee.
Sunset Boulevard is a musical with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on Billy Wilder's Academy Award-winning 1950 film of the same title, the plot revolves around Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent screen era, living in the past in her decaying mansion on the fabled Los Angeles street. When young screenwriter Joe Gillis accidentally crosses her path, she sees in him an opportunity to make her return to the big screen. Romance and tragedy follow.
Barbara Cook was an American actress and singer who first came to prominence in the 1950s as the lead in the original Broadway musicals Plain and Fancy (1955), Candide (1956) and The Music Man (1957) among others, winning a Tony Award for the last. She continued performing mostly in theatre until the mid-1970s, when she began a second career as a cabaret and concert singer. She also made numerous recordings.
Mary Beth Peil is an American actress and singer.
Audra Ann McDonald is an American actress and singer. Primarily known for her work on the Broadway stage, she has won six Tony Awards, more performance wins than any other actor, and is the only person to win all four acting categories. She has performed in musicals, operas, and dramas such as A Moon for the Misbegotten, 110 in the Shade, Carousel, Ragtime, Master Class and Porgy and Bess. As a classical soprano, she has performed in staged operas with the Houston Grand Opera and the Los Angeles Opera and in concerts with symphony orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic. In 2008 her recording of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with the Los Angeles Opera won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album and the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. She has a close working relationship with composer Michael John LaChiusa who has written several works for her, including the Broadway musical Marie Christine, the opera Send , and The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle. With her full lyric soprano voice, she maintains an active concert and recording career throughout the United States performing a wide repertoire from classical to musical theater to jazz and popular songs. In 2016, McDonald was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. In 2017 she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Judy Kuhn is an American singer and actress known for her work in musical theatre. A four-time Tony Award nominee, she has released four studio albums and sang the title role in the 1995 film Pocahontas, including her rendition of the song "Colors of the Wind", which won its composers the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Christine Ebersole is an American actress and singer. She has appeared in film, television, and on stage. She appeared on Broadway in the musical 42nd Street, winning a Tony Award, and appeared both Off-Broadway and on Broadway in the musical Grey Gardens, winning her second Tony Award. She has co-starred on the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son, where she played Carol Walsh, and earned an Emmy Award nomination for her work in One Life to Live. Ebersole also appeared in the critically maligned 1988 cult film Mac and Me.
Victoria Clark is an American actress, musical theatre singer and director. Clark has performed in numerous Broadway musicals and in other theatre, film and television works. Her soprano voice can also be heard on innumerable cast albums and several animated films. In 2008, she released her first solo album titled Fifteen Seconds of Grace. In 2005, she won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in The Light in the Piazza. She also won the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Joseph Jefferson Award for her performances in the same show.
Stephanie Janette Block is an American actress and singer, known for her work in Broadway musicals. She won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for The Cher Show. A three-time Tony Award nominee and six-time Drama Desk Award nominee, she also received Tony nominations for Best Actress in a Musical for The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 2013 and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Falsettos in 2017. She received Drama Desk nominations for the Off-Broadway productions of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2011) and Little Miss Sunshine (2013), and for the Broadway productions of 9 to 5 (2009), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012) and Falsettos (2016). She has also appeared on numerous cast recordings and released a solo album, This Place I Know, in 2009. Her television credits include recurring roles on Madam Secretary (2017) and Rise (2018).
Celia Keenan-Bolger is an American actress and singer. She is perhaps best known for portraying Scout Finch in the successful play To Kill a Mockingbird (2018), which earned her a Tony Award. She has also won three Drama Desk Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award through her career.
Eden Erica Espinosa is an American singer and stage actress who is best known for her performances as Elphaba for the Broadway, Los Angeles, and San Francisco productions of the musical Wicked.
Tracey Bennett is an English stage and television actress. She trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in Clapham, London. She played the role of Sharon Bentley in Coronation Street from 1982-1984 and then returning to the role in 1999.
Julia Kathleen Murney is an American actress and singer, also known for television commercial voice-overs. Until 2005, she was commonly known as the Broadway actress who had technically never appeared on Broadway. This was because her fame came mostly from her performances on the Broadway charity circuit, and not traditional Broadway productions. She played the role of Elphaba in the musical Wicked, both on the US national tour (2006) and on Broadway (2007). She is also a two-time Drama Desk Award nominee, for The Wild Party (2000) and Falling (2013).
Janice Elaine Maxwell was an American stage and television actress. She was a five-time Tony Award nominee and two-time Drama Desk Award winner. In a career spanning over thirty years, Maxwell was one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed stage actresses of her time.
Dee Roscioli is an American singer and actress, who is known for her performances as Elphaba in the Broadway, Chicago, San Francisco, and national touring productions of the musical Wicked.
Leslie Kritzer is a singer and musical theatre actress.
Patina Renea Miller is an American actress and singer. Miller is best known for originating the role of disco diva wannabe Deloris Van Cartier in the 2009 West End and 2011 Broadway productions of Sister Act. She also starred as the Leading Player in the 2013 revival of Pippin. This role earned her a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Jennifer Cody is an American dancer and actress.
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