The musical play follows Eva’s life, from childhood to her tragically premature death at only 33 and contains classic songs, such as “Fields of Gold”, “Songbird”, “Autumn Leaves”, “Kathy’s Song” and many more.
It is hard to understand how American born Eva was still unknown at the time of her death but within four years Terry Wogan had discovered and promoted her haunting interpretation of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and it soon topped the charts.
In this production SARAH JANE BUCKLEY from TV’s Hollyoaks plays Eva Cassidy, whilst MAUREEN NOLAN (Blood Brothers; The Nolans) takes on the role of Barbara Cassidy, Eva’s mother, and BRIAN FORTUNA (Strictly Come Dancing) makes his eagerly anticipated acting debut as Danny Cassidy, Eva’s brother.
Whatsonstage.com Northeast took the opportunity to catch up with Maureen and Brian as the tour commenced its long national tour, which will include North East dates.
Maureen Nolan told us that she has always loved Eva’s music and was looking forward the long tour, which ends in time for her to join sister Linda in pantomime in London. She joins this tour after plying Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan. But unsurprisingly her favorite musical is Blood Brothers, in which she has played the lead Mrs. Johnson to great critical acclaim. In fact several of her sisters, in particularly Linda, have undertaken the role of Mrs. Johnson, in recent years.
However, Maureen was very emphatic that she would not change one thing about her career so far.
While Brian Fortuna took the time to tell Whatsonstage.com Northeast that now the show was on the road, his legs had finally stopped shaking and he was settling in to the role of Eva’s brother.
Although this tour is his first foray in to the world of acting and singing Brain admits it is far more challenging than the world of dancing he is used to. While panto, with Basil Brush and Bobby Davro, lie ahead after the tour, all his current energy is focused on this tour.
There was one thing for certain though, if the chance arose to appear in his favorite musical, The Jersey Boys, Brian would have no hesitation in accepting.
Until being approached about the tour he had been unfamiliar with the music of Eva Cassidy, but that all changed once he had carried out some research and now he is as big a fan as the rest of the UK.
The Eva Cassidy Story can be seen in the North East on the forthcoming dates: 11 and 12 October at Whitley Bay Playhouse (Box Office 0844 277 2771) and 22 October at Consett Empire Theatre (Box Office 01207 218171).
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