Tuesday, 1 November 2011

An Audience with Kerry Ellis

Back in 2009, I went to see Wicked on a recommendation from someone's video on youtube. It just so happened that I had booked to see the show on May 9th, which was Kerry's last show. After watching her absolutely smash the role of Elphaba I have been following Kerry's career ever since. I've seen her perform in the Queen Spectacular, The Night of 1000 Voices, Oliver and her incredible Anthems tour. Most recently I had the pleasure of attending an audience with the lady herself.

The set up of this event was very different to anything I had seen her do before, the Shaw Theatre played host and provided an intimacy that could have been lost in larger theatres. The music was a lot more mellow compared to the tracks on the Anthems album and the numbers she chose to sing stayed very close to her musical theatre roots. Kerry worked with Craig Adams on the arrangement of the songs, which were amazing. I love how Craig can take a song and completely change it to suit the singer but still keep the original essence at the same time. Some of my favourites from the night included "Now that I've seen her" from the musical Miss Saigon and the beautiful piano version of "defying Gravity".

The night provided a nice balance between Kerry performing, answering interview questions, then taking questions from the audience. It was really refreshing to hear how she worked her way up to where she is just now. Kerry explained it was all of the different experience she gained, working on cruise ships, playing swings and understudies along with her training at Laine Theatre Arts that prepared her for the demanding 8 show week of a leading lady.

It was clear from the questions from the audience that everyone was in awe of Kerry, one woman in particular flying in from America for the event. Kerry gave great insight to budding musical theatre actors of how to get involved in the industry and shared some of her own experiences.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable night and one I was very pleased to be a part of.

No comments: