Blog: Throwback to 1993 Starring as Sandy in Grease

This past Sunday (September 20) was the 22nd anniversary of the original London cast recording of “Grease” and it got me thinking of my experience playing Sandy at the Dominion Theatre in London’s West End… so here’s a list of fun facts never before shared:

  • I had gone brunette and refused to die my hair back for the show. One look at the wig on the Royal Variety show on TV cured me of that and I went blonde again! What was I thinking in the first place?!
  • The night after opening, the big band lift (elevator) got stuck onstage in the down position and they had to cancel the whole show. The cast stayed and signed autographs for the whole crowd!
  • We always kept a pet hamster in the stage door man’s booth – went through three during my run!
  • Craig McLachlan came down to my dressing room to meet my Grandparents wearing nothing but an electric guitar. Nothing!
  • I didn’t know you could re-use fake eyelashes. I went thru a pair a show. Sally Ann and Charlotte lovingly laughed at me. They used two pair per week.
  • I used to eat these sesame crisp things thinking they were “healthy”… little did I know they had tons of honey sugar in them. Between that and turkey baguettes, my dresser had to let my dresses out all the time. My mom came to visit and said, “You’ve gained weight!”  I said, “No! My costumes fit perfectly!” I looked at my dresser Ana and a sheepish look came over her face. LOL
  • I chartered a helicopter to get me to my flight home in time for Christmas Eve dinner in NY. I flew back and didn’t miss the next show!
  • I rolled my ankle as I leapt off the bar stools in “You’re the One That I Want.” It doubled in size and I was on crutches and had to miss 10 days of shows. 🙁
  • I was sick the day they recorded “Freddy My Love.” Even though I was only singing with the group, I insisted they record my vocal another day. I wanted truth in the recording.
  • On my last show, I played many pranks. At one point, I was disguised as a cat burglar and kept stealing things from Marty’s bedroom through the window! I also wandered aimlessly across the stage in my nightgown during intermission. I thought it was funny!
  • I’m still in touch with Sally Ann, Craig, Ben, Drew, Daniel, Ana-Jane on occasion…in fact, I hooked her up with one of my BFF’s to stay at his apt in NYC when she did the marathon! It was and is a tight knit group!
  • Tom Ellis, who hand picked my song “Only in My Dreams” for his USA show “Rush” last year, was married to our Patty Simcox (Tamzin Outhwaite)!
  • Please listen to “Mooning” sung by Drew Jaymson. Never in the history of “Grease” did Roger steal the show. Sam Smith stole his career!
  • Our Playbill had an ad for a Chinese Restaurant. The ad read, “NO Grease is the word!”
  • My #DebHeads did a big trip to come see me! I saw so many over on the UK. So touching!
  • After I sang that crazy high run in “Hopelessly Devoted,” they added it to the score and made all Sandy’s try to hit a high D. Sorry Sandy’s!
  • Cat Deely from “So You Think You Can Dance” was up for the role. She’s a way better host than me! Lol
  • I auditioned during a promo tour for “Body Mind Soul.” I had to sing first, then got a callback to dance and read. I was a known pop singer but they put me thru my paces. Mine was the last role cast.
  • I once had to “wee in a flask” when mine and Craig’s tiny plane got stuck circling en route to do a TV show in Liverpool. When you sing that early…you hydrate…a LOT!
  • I had two weeks to go home, pack my bags, and return to the UK for rehearsals. It was my first time living on my own.
  • I always remember eating solo for the first time.
  • I took a philosophy course every Saturday morning before the matinee.
  • I always ate fried shrimp at Joe’s Crab Shack!
  • Doing the show was one the best experiences of my life!
  • Most of the T-Birds got stuck in the lift (elevator) right before “Greased Lightening!”
  • One of my now best friends Patrick Hancock came to the stage door as part of “Beauty and the Beast” on ice. I invited them all to my Halloween party!
  • That was an actual bum I stole the hat from in the “You’re the One That I Want” video. He was stinky, but festive!
  • I will never forget how devastated the daughter of choreographer Arlene Phillips was at the loss of Kurt Cobain.
  • My accountant Addie and all the gals of Gibson Productions loved when the boys came out of the shower – especially Ben Richards – during “Those Magic Changes.” They wore towels and sang into loofah’s!
  • There was literally one sunny day during rehearsal. Everyone was yelling, “It’s summer!” and went running outside!
  • I loved being dressed in a white wolf costume doing a crazy stunt on Shane Richie’s game show “Run the Risk.”
  • I got to play opposite Shane as Zuko only once. Craig never missed a show! I missed way more than one.
  • I credit Drew’s side stage shoulder massages with helping me hit the high notes!
  • I still have my Sandy prom dress. And it fits! If I was home I would show you.
  • On my closing night, Sally gave me her red Rizzo scarf after “Worse Things.”  No one ever sang that song like her. I based my Rizzo on her when I did the US version.
  • Our Musical Director Mike Dixon looked like a wild Muppet when he conducted.
  • We used to go to Wagamama between shows!
  • I met Catherine Zeta-Jones in Craig’s dressing room. Next time we met was on the set of “Rock of Ages.” She’s so sweet and cool!
  • The Bee Gee’s attended our opening night. Wow!
  • We performed many times for royalty.
  • I always felt somewhere between the goody goody Sandy and the one at the end. I always thought it was a funny message…”Dress like a slut and get the guy!” LOL! But, let’s face it…most guys love a sweet girl in black spandex!

 

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