Sunday, 10 June 2018

INTERVIEW: Amanda McBroom, about to bring her show “My Favourite Things” to Pizza Express Live

Amanda McBroom has been called “…the greatest cabaret performer of her generation, an urban poet who writes like an angel and has a voice to match.”Her name first came to the attention of the music public when Bette Midler’s version of Amanda’s song 'The Rose' hit number one all over the world in 1979. But it was Amanda’s performance of her own song on the Golden Globes (she won), Grammys (she didn’t) and The Tonight Show that launched her career as a singer as well as songwriter. Her show plays at Pizza Express live on the 17th June. We chat to her about the upcoming show...

Tell us about your show at Pizza Express live. 

I am calling this show “My Favourite Things” (cabaret always loves a title for a show!) because I am going to be singing from my catalogue of favourite songs, new and old, mine, and other people’s. I love being able to mix and match music!

What can we expect from the show? 

There will be songs you know, and ones you don’t. Some of my favourite standards, and my own favourite compositions. “The rose” will be in there, of course! I never go anywhere without it.

What differs American audiences from British audiences? what are you looking forward to from the audiences here in London? 

I adore London audiences! So very smart (and not afraid of four-syllable words!) and they love to laugh, to feel. That is what my music is all about.

Your songs have been recorded by an incredible number of performers; Betty Buckley, Barbra Cook, Bette Midler and LeAnn Rimes to name but a few! What has been your favourite rendition of one of your songs and why? 

Oh, wow! That’s a tricky one. I love Bette’s version of ”The Rose”, of course, because she chose to sing it and changed my life forever. Barbara Cook’s version of the song for my father, “Errol Flynn”, touches me deeply. She has been a huge inspiration in my musical life. Her impeccable story telling and her glorious voice are a wonder!

You also have a history in musical theatre, if you were to do another musical what would you like to do any why? 

Oh, boy. I am about to do “Grand Hotel”, which I am very excited about. I would love to re-visit Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeny Todd” and I am about getting to the age for “Dear World” and “Mame", always Mame! She owns my heart.

Your career path in theatre lead you to write your own show, if you were to do this again what would you want it to be about? 

I would like to do it again, actually I very much want to re-write a show i created a few years back called "Lady Macbeth sings the Blues", a one-woman look at the heroines of Shakespeare if they sang today.

Do you have any personal favourites of people you’ve worked with in your career? 

Oh god, so many! Gwen Verdun, John Ritter, Sian Phillips, Vince Gill, the list could go on till boxing day!

Why should people come and see your show?

The music is beautiful, and new, the stories are really interesting, there is lots of laughter and quite a few tears. Let’s call it an evening of personal musical theatre.

if you were to return to London, what would you want to do here next time? 

Aside from live here forever? My husband and I are sincere about our desire to live here at some point for a good long while. We love this city! I haven’t seen nearly enough theatre. I haven’t been to the Globe or the National, I haven’t been to the Proms. I have yet to walk Hampstead Heath. So many wonderful things yet to discover about this city.

Do you have any funny on-stage stories you could share with us?

You will have to come to my show to hear them and there are plenty of them, and most of them clean!
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