BAYWATCH and KNIGHT RIDER alum, David Hasselhoff has returned to London’s West End for a limited run in Dolly Parton’s 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL at the Savoy Theatre, playing the sexist, egomaniac CEO Franklin Hart Jr. over the festive-New Year season. “Get hassled by the Hoff”, announced Dolly when revealing David’s inclusion in the show last November.
Based on the 1980 film of the same name, which Dolly starred in, it centres around three female employees who turn the tables on their vile boss and make the company a nicer place to work. Dolly wrote and recorded the theme tune, which became one of her biggest hits of the decade. She also wrote all the songs for the musical, which debuted on Broadway in April 2009 at the Marquis Theatre, earning 15 Drama Desk Award and four Tony nominations.
David made his Broadway debut in 2000 in the musical JEKYLL & HYDE, before his first British and West End appearance as the amoral lawyer Billy Flynn in CHICAGO at the Adelphi Theatre in July 2004. He returned to the US for his role as the flamboyant director Roger De Bris in the Las Vegas production of Mel Brooks’ THE PRODUCERS. In announcing David’s casting, Mel said he would be perfect for the role with his “incredible comedic timing, terrific musical theatre experience and stage presence … oh and great legs for that dress!” (David opened the show wearing a ball gown).
David returned to the London stage as Captain Hook in the New Wimbledon Theatre’s panto PETER PAN over the 2010/2011 Christmas season, reprising the part as ‘Hoff the Hook’ the following year at the Manchester Opera House.
Last Sunday David was a guest on BBC Radio 2’s Michael Ball show where he stopped to sign autographs for a sizeable crowd, including moi and my Franklin sketch.
Scottish actress Amy Lennox shot to fame in 2007 when she played Liesel, the eldest daughter of the von Trapp family in the West End production of The Sound of Music at the London Palladium.
In 2010 she appeared in Legally Blonde The Muscial at the Savoy Theatre as Margot opposite Sheridan Smith as Elle Woods. While Sheridan was ill for a month, Amy took over the lead role.
In 2013 Amy toured the UK with the musical 9 to 5. She “had a big bra to fill” playing the feisty southern secretary Doralee Roberts, the part made famous by Dolly Parton in the award-winning stage version of the 1980 film which also starred Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
She’s always asked “Am I doing an impersonation of her (Dolly), but I am Doralee Roberts, not Dolly Parton, although it has a massive essence of her in it. Visually, the iconic things are there – the hair, make-up, lovely warm personality and boobs.” Amy told Scotland’s Daily Record. For the record, for the fake ‘famous chest’ she’s corseted with a WonderBra sewn into a Double D bra with chicken fillets with a bit of shading.
Amy signed this sketch of her as Doralee when I left it at the New Wimbledon Theatre where she played the title role in festive panto Cinderella last Christmas.
Natalie Casey was three when she recorded the single ‘Chick, Chick, Chick’, which reached number 72 on the UK charts, making her the youngest person to do so. She appeared on the BBC and asked Boy George to take her to the toilet!
But, Natalie is probably better known for her long-running roles in the TV series Hollyoaks (from 1995-2000) and playing Donna Henshaw in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (2001-2011).
I met Natalie at Wyndham’s Theatre in 2012 after a performance in the revival of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party. She was really friendly and great to talk to. She signed this sketch at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton during the UK Tour of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 in May last year.