Elaine Paige, the First Lady of British musical theatre, appeared at the Clyde Auditorium and Edinburgh Playhouse as part of her 2004 UK tour.
Her British tour followed a series of sell-out concerts in Europe and the USA. This internationally-acclaimed artist has recorded 14 solo albums – eight consecutive gold and four multi-platinum albums.
Elaine Paige, as an actress, recording artist and producer, has made a major contribution to the modern musical which ensures her own chapter in the entertainment world and justifies the title “The First Lady of British Musical Theatre”.
In 1978 Ms Paige was chosen by Hal Prince to create the role of Eva Peron in the original production of “Evita” and she went on to sweep the boards with her award-winning performance in London’s West End (Society of West End Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical and the Variety Club Award for Showbusiness Personality of the Year). In 1981 she starred in “Cats” when she played Grizabella in the original London production and thereby became the first actress to perform the classic song “Memory” – one of her many hit records. Ms Paige revisited this role in the television film and video of “Cats” which was released in 1998 and went straight to the top of the video charts becoming the best selling music video ever in the UK and America.
Ms Paige’s first professional appearance was in the Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse musical “The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd” (UK Tour). Many stage performances followed including “Roar Like A Dove” (Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham), “Rock Carmen” and “Maybe That’s Your Problem” (The Roundhouse, London).
Ms Paige’s West End debut was in “Hair” (Shaftesbury Theatre), and she went on to play in “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Palace Theatre), “Nuts” (Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Company, Theatre Royal Stratford East), Sandy in “Grease” (New London Theatre) and Rita in “Billy” (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).
In 1983 Ms Paige starred as Carabosse in the London production of “Abbacadabra” written by Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and she sang their work on stage for a second time in the original production of “Chess” (Prince Edward Theatre, London), when they collaborated with Sir Tim Rice in 1986, for which she was nominated for the Oliver Award for Outstanding Performance of the Year by an Actress in a Musical. Her single from the show’s score “I Know Him So Well”, a duet with Barbara Dickson, held the number one position in the British charts for four weeks, and still remains the biggest selling record by a female duo in the Guinness Book of Records. In the same year she was awarded the Variety Club Award for Recording Artiste of the Year.
Ms Paige has recorded 14 solo albums and garnered eight consecutive gold and four multi-platinum albums.
In 1985 Ms Paige’s albums “Stages” and “Cinema” rejoined “Chess” in the UK top 40 charts, giving her three simultaneous hit albums to complement her number one single. In the same year she went on to record her very successful “Love Hurts” album. Further albums included the “Queen” album, the contemporary “Love Can Do That” produced by Dennis Lambert, and the contrasting “Romance and the Stage” produced by Peter Matz.
She has performed in concert in Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and in four major UK tours, “Chess in Concert”, European Tour and in “Tim Rice and Friends” in Australia, New Zealand and the Far East. In 1997 Ms Paige opened the prestigious Boston Pops season, which was televised by WGBH, USA.
Ms Paige has hosted her own BBC TV specials as well as starring in several BBC TV films, most notably for the Play on One season, “A View of Harry Clark” in which she played opposite Griff Rhys Jones, and a black comedy, “Unexplained Laughter” in which she starred with Dame Diana Rigg and “Showstoppers – In Concert at the White House” with Marvin Hamlisch for President and Mrs Reagan (PBS). Other TV film credits include “Phyllis Dixey” (Thames) and “Ladykillers” (Granada). She has also performed in a number of televised Royal Variety Shows in London.
In 1989 Ms Paige starred in and co-produced the smash hit Lincoln Centre, NY production of “Anything Goes” in London’s West End directed by Jerry Zaks and for this she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Performance of the Year by an Actress in a Musical. In 1993 she received critical acclaim for her performance as Edith Piaf in the musical play by Pam Gems entitled “Piaf” which also led to a nomination for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical and an album of Piaf songs.
In 1996 Ms Paige made her Broadway debut in the role of Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard” at the Minskoff Theatre. She joined the company following her outstanding performance as Norma in London which gained critical acclaim, the Variety Club of Great Britain Award for Best Actress of the Year and a nomination for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Coinciding with Ms Paige’s arrival on Broadway the prestigious arts series “The South Bank Show” explored Ms Paige’s career in a 90 minute special, shown in the UK and in America on Bravo to great acclaim.
In 1994 the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors awarded Ms Paige with their Gold Badge of Merit, in 1996 she was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from HMV and in 1999 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Operatic and Dramatic Association. In 1995 Ms Paige was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen for services to musical theatre.
During 1998 Ms Paige played Celimene in The Peter Hall Company production of Moliere’s “The Misanthrope” at the Piccadilly Theatre, London, marking her first leading role in a non-musical West End production.
In the same year there were guest appearances not only at the “Andrew Lloyd Webber 50th Birthday Celebration”, but also at the tribute to Cameron Mackintosh “Hey Mr Producer” in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Ms Paige also performed in concert at The Hampton Court Palace Festival.
During 1999 Ms Paige appeared in a series of international sell out concerts including performing with Marvin Hamlisch in New York in aid of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, touring Scandinavia with Tommy Korberg, performing at three of the Route of Kings concerts in Hyde Park, London with Cliff Richard and in concerts in South Africa.
In 2000 Elaine Paige performed in concert with the Utah Symphony, Salt Lake City and then starred as Anna for a year long run in the award-winning production of ‘The King and I’ with Jason Scott Lee at the London Palladium, which opened to wonderful reviews and a record breaking box office advance.
2001 saw Miss Paige performing in concert at The Great Hall of The People in Beijing and a live video/DVD was made of this historic occasion, which brought Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical theatre to China for the first time. There followed hugely successful concerts at The Grand Theatre, Shanghai. In December 2001 she appeared at The Royal Albert Hall in concert with Jose Carreras.
Ms Paige was honoured to be invited to perform at the Opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah in February 2002 and followed this with further concerts in Pasadena, California.
During the Spring and early Summer of 2003 Ms Paige appeared as Angele in the Feydeau farce ‘Where There’s A Will’, directed by Sir Peter Hall.
In 2004 Ms Paige completed a series of sold-out concerts in Europe.
Any reproduction of this biography in any media without the express written consent of Sanctuary Entertainment is strictly prohibited. In the event that such consent is granted, any alteration or editing of this biography shall be subject to the express written approval of Sanctuary Entertainment. © 2002 Sanctuary Entertainment all rights reserved
Saturday 5 June 2004
Sunday 6 June 2004