INTERVIEW: Beverley Knight & Cassidy Janson chat about being Leading Ladies
Direct from the West End comes a unique union of three celebrated queens of musical theatre: Amber Riley (“Dreamgirls”), Beverley Knight (“The Bodyguard” and ”Memphis”), and Cassidy Janson (“Beautiful”). This is Leading Ladies.
The trio has announced “Songs From The Stage” – an album of unforgettable songs from great musicals like “Hamilton”, “Cats”, “Rent”, “Dreamgirls”, “Funny Girl”, “The Bodyguard”, “Memphis” and “Beautiful” and many more. “Songs From The Stage” will be released on 17 November 2017 through East West Records (Warner).
I caught up with two of the three leading ladies, Beverley Knight and Cassidy Janson to chat about the new album.
You are all phenomenally successful actresses. What have been your personal career highlights so far?
BEVERLEY: Aside from winning my “Wilma”?! Well…when theatre embraced me with an Olivier nomination, that was special.
CASSIDY: Singing onstage at Hyde Park with Carole King
How did the idea of creating the group ‘Leading Ladies’ come about?
BEVERLEY: Blame me! I saw Cassidy in ‘Beautiful’ and Amber on Graham Norton promoting ‘Dream Girl’ and the idea was born. I took it to my label and the rest was history!
CASSIDY: It was all Bev’s idea! She saw both Amber and I and had the idea of collaborating.
Who are some of your favourite leading ladies in the world of theatre?
BEVERLEY: Cynthia Erivo is my girl. Killing it! Special shout out to Denise Gough, who is unreal.
CASSIDY: Katie Brayben and Idina Menzel
The album ‘Songs From The Stage’ is being released on November 17. How did you decide between you which songs to include and were there any that didn’t make the final cut that you can reveal?
BEVERLEY: We cut songs…then we added others, and agonized! In the end, it came down to practical things like, not too many Ballads, or very similar sounding songs.
CASSIDY: We had a long list and we worked at the final 14 together chatting and debating.
What do you have planned after the album release? Are you planning any shows or a tour?
BEVERLEY: It would be awesome to tour, if there is enough demand, then it would be crazy not to!
CASSIDY: It’s all being discussed as I write/speak! J
Which song on the album means the most to you and why?
BEVERLEY: Will you love me tomorrow is great as it is in close harmony from start to finish, creating a wonderful resonance.
CASSIDY: Will you still love me tomorrow – It’s from Beautiful – 1) I sang it every day for two years and 2) We made it completely fresh and new with our vocal arrangements
If you could stage your dream Musical, what show would you put on and who would be in your dream cast?
BEVERLEY: ‘West Side Story’ – George Chakiris would be Bernardo and I would be Anita. If only I could dance!
CASSIDY: Tick Tick Boom with Tommie Earl Jenkins and maybe Ryan Gosling as the lead with Amy Adams as a female lead.
Of all the Musicals that you have recorded songs from on this album, which show do you wish you could be a part of most?
BEVERELY: RENT – Seasons of Love is a killer
CASSIDY: ONCE – I loved the show when I saw it in New York
Songs From The Stage is released on November 17 2017. What is the number one reason you think people should buy it?
BEVERLEY: Unprecedented coming together of three powerhouse females in theatre, we are a supernova not to be missed.
CASSIDY: Three strong but dynamically different vocalists who blend like magic to your favorite, or soon to be favorite, musical songs.
“Songs From The Stage” is out on 17 November and is a collection of musical theatre classics featuring numbers from Dreamgirls, The Bodyguard, Cats, Hamilton, Rent.