Jennifer Bowles to lead IRMA LA DUCE at Encores....

iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
neonlightsxo
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/08
Jennifer is largely unknown as she was a replacement and understudy in American Idiot, and a replacement in Matilda. She is a great dancer, though.
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
No one knew who Elizabeth Seal was when the show first opened.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
I agree with Jennifer Who? This is a high profile production, she better Dance!
McClure is super talented but this part does not seem to fit him, I hope he proves me wrong.
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
This role is so unique and so specific that I was really stuck thinking of names who could really pull it off. Good for Encores for going with an unknown. Hopefully it will be a star making performance for Jennifer Bowles. What an opportunity for her.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Is it a primarily dance role? I thought the role was more acting first, singing and dancing second. No?
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
The production I was in was such a mess that I couldn't tell whether Irma was a singing role or a dance role. For one thing, there was a chorus of "poules" (prostitutes) added and Irma lost her singing voice two weeks into the run--so there was a gal on mic singing for her for the remainder of the run. Although I was willing to help with the pronunciation of French words in the text, I was prevented from doing so because they'd hired a "language consultant" to do so. She knew zilch about French. As a result, the cast was saying "Bon-jewer" and "Madam-weezel". It was about as Gaelic as MacDonald's. As I said, the whole show was a mess.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Its a true triple threat role requiring a quirky gamine, Gaelic presence (think a young Leslie Caron with a big belt).

Updated On: 3/24/14 at 10:42 AM
VotePeron
Leading Actor
joined:5/2/13
This is amazing! Good for her! I love her in Matilda, hope this really gives her a launch.
givesmevoice
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/07
I think Encores has such a good history of casting unknowns or relative unknowns in roles to great success, so I am completely confident in how Jennifer Bowles will turn out. Rob McClure himself was a relative unknown when he starred in Where's Charley? to rave reviews.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
I have always thought of IRMA as a Dancing role, She should be a good Actress and Singer but her Dancing should be her first strength.

I'm excited Chase Brock is doing the choreography. This should be a great chance for him to show off his talent.
jayinchelsea
Broadway Star
joined:4/9/09
Elizabeth Seal had already starred in the London version, and while she was unknown here, she had already made her name in the West End. How wonderful if the same thing happens to Jennifer Bowles. And yes, it's great that we will get to see Chase Brock's choreography.
Demitri2
Broadway Star
joined:3/25/05
Just ran across this earlier today. Here's Liliane Montevecchi performing "Dis-Donc". Geez, the woman has incredible legs!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlYBpCpx2ZM
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Love that crazy clip of Lilliane. People sure did a lot of drugs in the 60s...

Here is the same number as it was actually performed in the original production, by Colette Renard, who basically made a career playing Irma starring in the original production and in countless Parisian revivals.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unz18zRSIuU


Updated On: 3/24/14 at 01:36 PM
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
Cute clip, but where's the big Dance break?
beaemma
Stand-by
joined:11/24/09
I saw the national tour with Taina Elg, and I'd agree that it was a role for a real dancer who could also sing and act. The dancing was extensive and demanding. The Youtube clip with the French star looks nothing like the staging I saw for the song, which became a major ensemble dance number led by Irma in the show.
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Collette Renard was known as a chanteuse - I'm not sure if the role was re-envisioned for Elizabeth Seal who played the role in the first English production in the UK (and later on Broadway)and was most certainly a dancer.

Though this clip isn't from IRMA, it will show you a little of Elizabeth Seal's (amazing) gifts - and the kind of performer you need to pull of IRMA LA DOUCE as it was re-worked for English audiences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10okXhLU3Co

Updated On: 3/24/14 at 03:04 PM
sorano916
Featured Actor
joined:8/6/08
Jen is an amazing dancer! As well as a lovely singer & actress. I've been honored to have seen her in American Idiot (both on Broadway and on tour) as well as in Matilda (both as the Acrobat and as Miss Honey). She's terrific and I'm so happy that she has a chance in the spotlight.
Demitri2
Broadway Star
joined:3/25/05
The role of Irma is certainly crucial to this show. Many moons ago the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles mounted what was possibly to have been a Broadway bound revival of "Irma La Douce". The male star was Larry Kert who was wonderful in the Keith Michell role. His "From A Prison Cell" was gloriously sung. And his quick change character appearances and remarkable physical abilities showed off what a true athlete he was (he actually had a teenage career as a stunt man).

However the show was sunk by the actress cast as Irma. Fresh from her well received appearance in A CHORUS LINE was Priscilla Lopez in a starring role. Totally miscast and lost at sea as Irma, Lopez had a French accent in Act One and a New York accent in Act Two. Her dancing and singing were adequate at best and that gamine quality previously mentioned was no where to be seen.

I wish Miss Bowles, who I enjoyed in MATILDA, the best and look forward to her Irma. If she's able to convey the poignancy the role requires, I'm sure she'll be a great Irma.
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
I wouldn't call American Idiot or Matilda really "dance" heavy shows. But she must be pretty good to pull this off, right?
ChairinMain
Featured Actor
joined:4/2/07
Found some audio of her as Miss Honey in MATILDA. Very pretty voice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U253mjx4RXg
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
Seal's dancing in that above clip is wonderful, great technique with flair and althleticism. She was the real deal. I didn't know the show was altered for her strengths.