She performed alongside Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow at London's Old Vic. Kelly originated the role of Mary Poppins in London, a performance for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
|Full given name:||Laura Michelle Kelly|
|Hometown:||Isle of Wight, U.K.|
|Special Skills:||I can pee in six seconds and eat my food in record-breaking time... um not both at the same time though.|
|First West End show ever saw:||
The first show I saw live was Cats and it had a profound effect on me. My grandma took me to see a touring production in my hometown of Southampton when I was about 8 years old. I just wanted to get up there with all that oversized rubbish and dance around! I watched the Les Misérables 10th anniversary concert on VHS over and over. I think I was 15.
[My first live "West End" show was] Oliver! at the Palladium. My brother was cast in the title role! My family and I would watch him perform all the time, seated up in the top balcony. He worked for Cameron Mackintosh before I did!
|If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?||I'm going to visit the musical archives at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center to see what I've missed. Then I'll know when to set my time machine!|
|Current show you have been recommending to friends:||In the Heights. My friends from the U.K. have all seen it, so it will be one of the first shows I'll try to see when I have a free night.|
|Favorite show tune:||I can't possibly say there is only one all-time favorite but I really like "I Dreamed a Dream." It would be totally awesome to sing it live and not just in my shower.|
|Some favorite musicals:||West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, My Fair Lady|
|All-time favorite albums (any genre):||There are two albums I have not stopped listening to as of late. "Albertine" by Brooke Fraser, and "A Beautiful Exchange" by the Hillsong Live music collective.|
|Most underrated shows/composers:||Every composer is underrated! They are all genius!|
|Performer you would drop everything to go see:||
Brooke Fraser is probably the best female artist around! Her live performances are so awesome because of her absolute coolness. I also wish I could do all the fun stuff that Imogene Heap does when she plays live. I've only seen her on "Letterman" so I guess I would drop everything to see her (well not everything, obviously!)
Oh, and Mumford & Sons. Their lyrics have blasted away my homesick blues many, many times!
|The one performance — attended — that you will never forget:||During my run in Speed-the-Plow, Kevin Spacey, Jeff Goldblum and I sang together for one of those "Old Vic" theatre galas. It was most definitely a truly once in a lifetime event! I will never forget sitting at the feet of Annie Lennox as she played "Downtown" on the piano that night.|
|MAC or PC?||MAC. I'm an Apple girl all the way! I spend a lot of my time hanging out in their Upper West Side store and I like to think all the staff knows me. Occasionally, I bring them muffins.|
|Most played song on your iPod:||"Something in the Water" by Brooke Fraser. If you want to remain sad, don't listen to it!|
|First CD/Tape/LP you owned:||"Discovery" by Electric Light Orchestra. It was my Dad’s LP and I would spend all day listening to it. I never got bored of the song, "The Diary of Horace Wimp." One day, I will track down a vinyl copy in an old LP shop.|
|Most-visited websites:|| i-heart.org
Twitter.com (Good "follow" advice: Ben Stiller and Jim Carrey are funny dudes!)
|Last book you read:||"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell.|
|Must-see TV show:||At the moment ABC's "Rookie Blue" is what I look forward to on a Thursday night!|
|Last good movie you saw:||"Salt." I totally want to fight like a girl when I watch Angelina kick butt.|
|Some films you consider classics:||"The Goonies" or any James Bond or Indiana Jones movie. But my favorite movie of all time is "Only You" starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei.|
|Pop culture guilty pleasure:||I like Twitter to a fault. So many cool suggestions and inspiring words. I only feel guilty when I am on there for hours and haven't done my "homework" for the day!|
|Three favorite cities:||London, New York and Sydney (namely Bondi Beach in the winter)|
|First solo in a show:||My first line ever sung professionally was "I need six eggs," followed by the magnificent line "what lovely grapes!" when I performed in the ensemble of Beauty and the Beast. I had such a great time being an enchanted dustpan brush! (Thank you, Disney).|
|Favorite Disney character not from Mary Poppins:||Snow White. She had an exceptionally high voice!|
|Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager:||I quite liked being a Ghost of Christmas Past.|
|Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:||The first time I saw my brother in Oliver! inspired me to audition for stage work in London. I never really knew I wanted to make a career out of performing professionally; I would just perform for fun. Now I'm totally blown away by the opportunities I’ve had and the fact that after all this time, I still love it so much.|
|Favorite pre-show meal:||Sushi at Haru on West 43rd street... mmm, it's bliss! I might be there right now.|
|Pre-performance rituals:||The imaginary (but nevertheless magical) "coat of joy" goes on every day. And, I put on the imaginary "hat of happiness" to help get through a two-show day!|
|How you unwind after a performance:||I watch movies and /or hang out with friends. On occasion, I go to Five Napkin Burger... I love their light bulbs. I have a thing about interior lighting. I won't go into it here but let’s say lighting sections in department stores are so much fun.|
|Worst onstage mishap:||I stopped a 60-piece orchestra in front of five thousand people because I forgot an entire verse of "If My Friends Could See Me Now." The event was "The Night of 1,000 Voices." I was the one out of the "thousand" who screwed up!|
|Leading lady role you've been dying to play:||Oh, that would be far too revealing... I will let you know when I get it!|
|Leading man role you wish you could play:||The Jason Bourne character (except I would be a bit of a clumsier version!)|
|Theatre star of the past you would have most loved to perform with:||Maria Callas|
|What career you would like to have if not a performer:||A director would be fun. I love helping others communicate and reflect the truth of a moment.|
|Three things you can't live without:||
My iPhone which has everything on it (including my music).
|"I'll never understand why…"||...humans are so complicated.|
|Words of advice or wisdom for aspiring performers?||
Never listen/ care about / accept what people say if it is not ultimately building you up in love or edifying you.
It's good to seek counsel and advice from teachers; so choose them wisely.
If there is ever negativity or unkind words, let it roll off you like water off a duck's back.
Always be encouraging to others.