Louise Dearman is one of Laine Theatre Arts’ most successful graduates, having starred in such shows as Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour), Grease (UK Tour, Victoria Palace Theatre), Jekyll and Hyde (UK Tour), Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre, UK Tour), Evita (UK Tour) and Kiss Me Kate (Victoria Palace Theatre). She made musical theatre history in her most recent West End appearance when, having previously played Glinda in Wicked, she returned to the Apollo Victoria Theatre to play Elphaba, making her the first actress to have played both lead roles in the show. Her last performance in Wicked was on 16th November 2013, but she has a whole host of other projects to occupy her time.
In addition to the book she and fellow West End star Mark Evans are collaborating on, The Secrets of Stage Success’, she has just released her third studio album. Available on general sale from 2nd December 2013, the new album is titled It’s Time’ and features Dearman performing covers of ‘traditional and modern pieces from some of the world’s most successful musical theatre productions’.
The eleven tracks which feature on the album have been specially selected from a personal collection of her favourite musical numbers, with Dearman belting out the opening track of ‘Home’ from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, The Wiz. There are no theatrics used here; instead the compilation of easy-listening ballads are all about Dearman’s voice, which as most already know, is an pretty impressive instrument. She delivers flawless renditions of such iconic musical theatre songs as ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ from Les Miserables and ‘Over The Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz as she covers the well-known classic musicals, which also include A Chorus Line, A Little Night Music and Tell Me On A Sunday.
She uncovers more of her upper range in her rendition of ‘The Perfect Year’ from Sunset Boulevard, while the power of her voice is unleashed in the Jekyll and Hyde number ‘A New Life’. Dearman is a highly accomplished vocalist and the two tracks which probably reflect that most are ‘People’ from Funny Girl and ‘Astonishing’ from Little Women, as she fully displays her range and ability with heartfelt performances which instantly connect the listener with the songs.
Ironically though, the weakest track on the album is also the one which I was most looking forward to hearing. On the one duet which features on the album, she has teamed up with X-Factor winner-turned-stage performer Shayne Ward, who was last seen playing Stacee Jaxx in the West End production of Rock of Ages. They’ve turned to one of the West End’s most recent additions, Once The Musical, to take on the award-winning song ‘Falling Slowly’. While it is by no means a terrible cover, their duet somehow doesn’t quite hit the emotional heart of the song, and in comparison to when I saw it performed at the Phoenix Theatre, it just doesn’t measure up.
Dearman’s voice is spectacular, and after the success of her debut album You and I and the follow-up album Here Comes The Sun, her fans will not be disappointed by this latest offering. It would have been nice to see one or two more duets on there, but that doesn’t affect the overall effect of the album which is a stunning display of vocal prowess. More classic musical theatre songs have been included this time, in a deliberate move away from the lesser-known numbers which featured on her previous two albums. Speaking about her musical choices, Dearman said: “For years I shied away from singing or recording iconic musical theatre songs and tried to find less known material, but this year felt like the right time to embrace all those truly wonderful classics and put them together with some beautiful orchestrations on my new album. It’s really taken me back to my roots and I’m very, very proud of the end product.”
Available on Amazon, iTunes and Dearman’s website, It’s Time is likely to be appearing under many people’s Christmas tree on 25th December. Next year, fans can hear her perform songs from the album live on stage, as she embarks on her first UK tour in 2014. The It’s Time tour launches at the Octagon Theatre, Somerset on 13th February 2014, visiting venues in Leeds, Norwich, Southampton, Milton Keynes and more.
West End leading lady Louise Dearman has captured some true moments of brilliance on her third studio offering and her voice does justice to some of the best-loved songs in musical theatre. It’s Time is musical theatre at its best.
On Monday of this week the album was at NUMBER 1 in the iTunes Vocal Chart, which resulted in the following Tweet from Louise Dearman.
@LouiseDearman “Aaaaaargh I’m number 1 in the iTunes vocal chart!!!!! So thrilled! Thank you xxxxxxx”
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Page updated 19th October 2014