Last month singer, actress and all-around funny gal Christine Pedi presented a nearly month-long run of her one-woman show Great Dames at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London.
"The past year I've [also] been to South Africa doing Great Dames three times," Pedi recently told Playbill.com. "If I do the math, my pianist Matthew Ward and I have spent something like seven-and-a-half days in cabs, trains or planes getting to and from South Africa. It's a travel day (door to door) of over 30 hours each way! Going to London's Jermyn Street Theatre after that was like hopping on the Times Square shuttle by comparison."
Pedi said she had a wonderful time performing for London audiences and was also thrilled to be part of the free theatre festival West End Live while she was abroad. "I went on right after the blockbuster Thriller — Live's performance — this was the Sunday before [Michael Jackson] passed away. I was impressed and intimidated by the various and assorted singer/dancers re-creating Michael Jackson routines from 'I Want You Back' to 'Billy Jean.' They had booming tracks, and the Leicester Square audience was rocking out. Then I tiptoe on with my little electric piano accompaniment — no crazy lights or smoke, thumping bass or infectious drum machine. Just l'il ole me and a few show tunes, but the audience was awesome! When I sang 'Lady Is a Tramp,' I got to 'won't dish the dirt with the rest of the girls...that's why the lady is...' and decided to point the mike to the crowd indicating that they should finish the line. They did so right on cue, but I forgot that they talk funny over there, so what my American ears heard was a thousand voices singing, 'a tromp!'"
Pedi, who will perform a solo concert Sept. 28 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre — part of the "Voices of the Great White Way" series — will also return to that West 42nd Street venue in December with her acclaimed Holly Jolly Christmas Folly show. And, for now, she adds, "I'm totally enjoying the fact that I have no travel plans on the horizon for a change." —Andrew Gans