Saturday, September 1, 2018

Remembering Carole Shelley

Most of the younger generation of theater fans will likely remember the late Carole Shelley as the villainous original Madame Morrible in Wicked. But her career spanned decades, so depending on how long you've been a Broadway fan, you may remember her from the original cast of The Odd Couple, or her Tony-winning turn in the original cast of The Elephant Man. 

I had heard of the beloved British actress for years before I finally got to see her perform, and I will never forget it. I finally had the opportunity to attend a post-performance talk-back after seeing her as Fraulein Schneider in the 1998 revival of Cabaret. Her performance was electric; dignity, regret, anger and a sweetness marked her masterful portrayal. And her talk-back was gracious and funny. It was a wonderful experience and memory. More recently, I had privilege of seeing her a few times in her Tony-nominated role of Grandma in Billy Elliot. Sublime.

(Top) with Philip Anglim in The Elephant Man
(Bottom) as Madame Morrible in Wicked 

with Tom Bosley in Cabaret

with Kiril Kulish in Billy Elliot

Thank you, Ms. Shelley. RIP

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