My Top 5 Showtunes: Sandra Marvin

The actress picks the musical numbers she couldn’t live without

Sandra Marvin
Sandra Marvin
© Dan Wooller

Sandra Marvin is currently onstage in Sheffield, starring in the musical revival of Show Boat. Her previous credits include City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Chicago (Curve Theatre) and Hairspray (UK Tour).

We caught up with Sandra and asked her: "If you were stranded on a desert island which five showtunes could you not live without?"

1. "And I am telling you" from Dreamgirls

A role originated by Jennifer Holliday and she really set the bar high. Her 100 per cent commitment in the song is breathtaking and I always remember the 1993 Tonys performance. She really gives her all. I’m a huge fan of Jennifer Hudson too -her voice, choices and tone just blow me away every time. I love her rendition too. I couldn’t believe it when I found a version of them both singing it together.

2."The Circle of Life" from The Lion King

I simply adore the music from this show! Every time I listen to it, I'm moved. It's just beautiful and this particular song in the show, sets the tone perfectly and invites you into their world. The first time I saw this, and the animals walked down the isle, I couldn't believe my luck! Stunning imagery and soaring vocals… I mean… They have an elephant on stage! .. they have.. an ELEPHANT, on stage! Amazing! What more could you ask for!

3. "I Know Where I’ve Been" from Hairspray

Having played the part of Miss Motormouth Maybelle for so long, this just had to make an appearance! Written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, I felt honored to sing this song every night. Not just a beautiful song, but powerful, relevant and inspirational too. I love The Hairspray score as a whole though – the different styles, witty lyrics and songs that make you sing along to and jump up on your feet! This version by Alex Newell… is just wow.

4. Just everything in City of Angels and Porgy and Bess!

Coming from a background in choral singing, I absolutely adore singing and hearing close harmonies and blends. I absolutely adore both Porgy and Bess and City Of Angels and I cannot pick one as a favorite, as both scores are constantly on repeat in my house! Both so very different too – Gershwin’s breathtaking opera with timeless classics always takes me on an emotional roller coaster, and City of Angels’ vibrant and sassy jazz score with witty lyrics, complex and exciting harmonies and raunchy brass arrangements is joyous!

5. Show Boat: all of them

So, again I actually can’t pick one! I love this score and am lucky to hear it sung beautifully every night! "Only Make Believe", "Old Man River", "Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man", "Bill", "Hey Fella"….Its a wonderful score! All beautiful songs within the piece but also songs that stand alone as classics and standards, recorded by so many legendary artists worldwide. And here’s a sample of us all from the Sheffield Crucible cast of Show Boat!