In this episode of The Show People Podcast, host Andrew Keates is joined by two-time Olivier Award winner David Bedella. David talks about growing up in Gary, Lake County, Indiana to a family who worked in the steel industry, his showbiz inspirations and challenges he faced during education, his first jobs as a performer – including spending ten years working in Chicago, appearing in the first Broadway production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe, his frustrations with being perceived as being ‘just a dancer’ and why he left America after falling in love with a pastor that would end up seeing him folding towels as a hairdresser in Islington.
David explains his profound connection with God and how that relationship has transformed him and how that relationship has been strengthened playing roles such as Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar and Satan in the highly controversial Jerry Springer – The Opera. He talks in great detail about his involvement in the many different productions of Jerry, including working with Harvey Keitel in a production at Carnegie Hall, as well as his conversations with Christian protesters outside the theatres during the “blasphemous production”.
For many, David is synonymous with playing Frank’N’Furter in both the touring and West End productions of The Rocky Horror Show – a role he played as a much younger man that didn’t satisfy him in America, how later he would play the part in the UK for over three years, and why he did not appear at the Royal Court anniversary celebrations.
Other productions that David talks about include Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Roadshow, Harvey Fierstein’s A Torch Song Trilogy, John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, and many others.
The Soapbox: Andrew and David discuss the pros and cons of celebrity casting in musical theatre with a focus on the recent casting of Cuba Gooding Jr in the West End production of Chicago and David’s own experiences working with celebrity Jo Brand.
We cover the latest news including details about a new film adaptation of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, a new booking period for the West End production of Hamilton, a 30th anniversary tour of Buddy and a special gin promotion to go and see Steve Furst: In Character at the Underbelly Festival.
Today’s platform is given to Emma-Jane Morton and Edwin Ray with a song from their new musical Prophecy – A New Tudor Musical. The song if a love duet between Elizabeth and her greatest friend, William, whom she leaves behind to fulfill her destiny. The two dream about what could have been ‘if only’ they had been in another time and place. It is called ‘beside you’. Performed live in a recording studio by the writers Emma Jane Morton and Edwin Ray with Emma Jane also at the Piano.
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The Show People Podcast is a biweekly podcast. The next episode will be released Monday 18th June 2018.
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