Comparing Notes brings stars of the West End and Broadway to Pizza Express Live Holborn. In a lively and informal mix of performance and conversation host Edward Seckerson will be getting up close and personal with these musical theatre luminaries, exploring the stories behind the songs and the personalities behind the artistry.
The series opens in September 2017.
KIM CRISWELL – Sunday 10th September 2017 at 2.00pm
Kim Criswell has been singing and acting professionally for more than forty years. Her career has taken her from Broadway to the West End to the international concert stage, resulting in a most unusual career path unmatched by any other singer, all the while specializing in the classic American theatre songbook. She has appeared at La Scala/Milan, La Fenice/Venice, Teatro di San Carlo…/Naples, Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia/Rome, Théâtre du Châtelet and Opéra Comique/Paris, Concertgebauw/Amsterdam, Carnegie Recital Hall/NY, Konzerthaus and Volksoper/Vienna, Philharmonie and Konzerthaus/Berlin, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos/Lisbon, and Mariinsky Theatre/St. Petersburg, not to mention multiple appearances at London’s Wigmore, Royal Albert, Barbican, Royal Festival, Queen Elizabeth, and Cadogan Halls, the Purcell Rooms, Linbury Studio and even Buckingham Palace.
She has sung with many of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, from the Berlin Philharmonic and BCMG orchestras conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, with whom she has recorded Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, to the Lepzig Gewandhaus, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Iceland Philharmonic, Winnipeg and Toronto Symphonies, and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras and virtually all of the major UK orchestras; also many of Europe’s radio orchestras. She has also appeared in the BBC Proms 4 times. Critically acclaimed and Olivier-award nominated for “Annie” in Annie Get Your Gun/ London’s Prince of Wales Theatre, she also won Washington DC’s Helen Hayes Award for Side by Side by Sondheim. Most recently in the US she starred in Call Me Madam /Goodspeed Opera House, Candide/Ravinia Festival, and co-starred with Joseph Fiennes and Charles Edwards in Happy Days in the Art World/NYC, while recent UK roles include Big Mama in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof/Royal Exchange and Carrie’s mother in Carrie/Southwark Playhouse.
Kim’s Broadway credits include “Lucy” opposite Sting in 3 Penny Opera, and the original production of Nine. She was “Grizabella” in Cats in the original LA production, and also appeared as “Lalume” in Kismet/Opera Pacific, Michigan Opera, recently reprised for Vienna Volksoper. Other Broadway credits include The First, Baby and Stardust, and West End credits include Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, The Slow Drag, and Dames At Sea. Other productions include “Mother Abbess” in The Sound of Music/Theatre du Chatelet, “The Old Lady” in Candide/La Scala,Theatre du Chatelet, “Reno Sweeney” in Anything Goes/Grange Park Opera, “The Witch” in Into the Woods/Derby Playhouse, “Diana Devereaux” in Of Thee I Sing/Opera North, Atlanta Opera, and “Susie Trevor” in Lady Be Good/La Fenice, Lisbon Opera.
Film/TV credits include: The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, Savage Play, and Hysteria (2013).
She has recorded more than forty albums, including four solo albums.
EMMA WILLIAMS – Sunday 15th October 2017 at 2.00pm
Emma Williams made her West End debut as Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ (Palladium), winning the Arts Correspondents Award for Best Newcomer. In 2017 Emma received her fourth Olivier Award nomination and won the Whatsonstage Award, for her portrayal of Helen Walsingham in ‘Half A Sixpence’ (Noël Coward), with previous nominations for Maureen in ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’ (Noel Coward Theatre), Luisa in ‘Zorro’ (Garrick Theatre) and Jenny in ‘Love Story’ (Chichester/Duchess).
Other theatre credits include: Betty Haynes in ‘White Christmas’ (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Rebecca/Angela in ‘Elegies for Angels’, ‘Punks and Raging Queens’ (Criterion Theatre), Annie Oakley in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ (UK Tour) [Manchester Theatre Award Nomination], ‘A Spoonful of Sherman’ (St James Studio), Susan in ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ (Novello), Johanna in ‘Sweeney Todd’ (Royal Festival Hall), Christine Keeler in ‘A Model Girl’ (Greenwich), Kat in ‘Tomorrow Morning’ (New End), Fran Kubelik in ‘Promises, Promises’ (Sheffield Crucible), Ellie Brookes in ‘Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Shelley Parker in ‘Bat Boy’ (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Shaftesbury) amongst others.
Television includes lead roles in ‘Casualty’, ‘Bleak House’, ‘The Story of Music’, ‘Doctors’, ‘Marple: The Body in the Library’, ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Where the Heart Is’, ‘Four Fathers’, and most recently ‘Silent Witness’. Emma also appears in ad campaigns for ‘Leo Vegas’ and ‘Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day’.
Films include lead roles in ‘First Night’ with Richard E. Grant, Steve Coogan’s ‘The Parole Officer’, ‘Understanding’ and ‘The Hazard Dome’.
Radio includes ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and ‘Friday Night is Music Night’.
Emma has also performed extensively in concerts and workshops, and made her debut in 2017 with the Hallé Orchestra.
Emma trained with Michael Hampshire, Sandra Whiteley and at Valerie Jackson’s Stage 84 – The Yorkshire School of Performing Arts, of where she is now a patron. She is also a member of The Theatrical Guild charity.