PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Grammy Winner Petula Clark

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Grammy Winner Petula Clark
 
Petula Clark, who begins an engagement at Feinstein's at Loews Regency Jan. 24, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Petula Clark
Petula Clark

Clark, known for her international hits "Downtown," "I Know a Place, " "My Love," "Don't Sleep in the Subway" and more, will be making her first New York City nightclub engagement since the 1970s.

In the '60s, she starred in two Hollywood musicals, "Finian's Rainbow" and "Goodbye Mr. Chips," opposite Fred Astaire and Peter O'Toole, respectively. Stage work includes Sunset Boulevard and Blood Brothers.

Full given name: Petula Sally Clark
Where you were born/where you were raised: Epsom, Surrey in the UK, and South Wales
Siblings: My sister Barbara
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
First Broadway show you ever saw: Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. It was extraordinary.
Current sow you have been recommending to friends: War Horse and London Road at the National Theatre. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen.
Some favorite musicals: West Side Story and Into the Woods
Some favorite showtune(s) of all time: "Somewhere" from West Side Story. Nothing can top that, frankly.
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Amy Winehouse is one. She not only had an amazing voice but an amazing musical mind. Barbara Cook has the most gorgeous voice I've ever heard. And Michael McDonald. I love both him and the Doobie Brothers. I've performed with him many times. His singing is so wonderful.
The one performance — attended — that you will never forget: Kate Bush at the London Palladium. She is so talented as a writer, a singer and a choreographer — she can do everything. She was unusual for her time, she really paved the way for many singers of today.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Puccini, without a doubt. I go to the opera as often as possible.
Last book you read: "The Interpretation of Murder" by Jed Rubenfeld. I enjoyed it because it takes place in New York and it's about Freud, both of which I find fascinating.
Must-see TV shows: "Jeopardy!" I love it because I can sit with a cup of tea and play along.
Last good movie you saw:

"The Artist." I saw it in Paris right when it came out. It's quite an experience seeing a silent move in black and white. The performers are amazing too. The Hollywood imagery of the time is brilliant. They got it absolutely right. It's not overdone, just a beautiful of piece of work.

Some films you consider classics:

"My Fair Lady." I just saw it again recently and it's just exquisite. it has a class and a polish that puts it in class of its own. And then "The Hunt for Red October." I've seen it countless times. It's absolutely thrilling.

Performer you would drop everything to go see: Prince. I have seen him and I love him. He's not everyone's cup of tea, but he's certainly mine. An amazing musician and singer of course. He just commands the stage and he has great charm.
Favorite cities: New York, London and Paris. I know them and love them, all three.

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They each have a different kind of energy. In New York I feel the most energized. There is an edge to New York, and yet I find the city very friendly.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned:

Peggy Lee's "Black Coffee." She was the coolest singer and she had such good taste. Her silky voice was very much opposed to some of the more histrionic singers of the time. She expressed herself in such as subtle way.

First stage or screen kiss:

Anthony Newley, who I had a big crush on. He was going to be the lead in a movie and I was going to be his girlfriend. But he had to go into the army so the film never happened! My first movie kiss was Alec Guinness in "The Card." We were both so timid, so the earth didn't move for either of us.

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: When I was about six, I went to the theatre with my dad to see the great English star Dame Flora Robson and that made me want to be an actress.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: (note where) Pasta with garlicky tomato sauce, in my dressing room. I wouldn't do that in a nightclub of course where the audience is right in front of me.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Red wine, especially South African or French. But I am not a wine snob.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Before the show, I am always alone in my dressing room ironing my gown, which is therapeutic. If anyone is going to burn my dress, it's going to be me!
Most vocally challenging role you have ever played: Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, without a doubt. It was so different from anything I had done before.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: I forgot the lyrics to "Downtown" once. Only once! It scared me so much it will never happen again.
Something about you that surprises people: My sense of humor, which is very British and therefore quite quirky.
What are you most proud of? My children: two daughters and a son. They are all great human beings.
Career you would want if not a performer: Something to do with animals — maybe a veterinary surgeon.
Three things you can't live without: Music, garlic and love
"I'll never understand why…" ...people don't smile enough.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Find out who you are then stay true to yourself. And don't give up.
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