BWW Interviews: CHICAGO's Paige Davis Answers Our Silly Query
When the ever-popular national tour of the Tony Award-winning Kander-and-Ebb-and-Fosse Broadway classic CHICAGO returns to Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Center for the Arts for a week of shows starting January 28, it will not only feature Seinfeld/Dancing With The Stars alum John O'Hurley reprising his role of Billy Flynn, the sexy stage musical will also have another familiar face in the cast---cheery TV personality Paige Davis, who returns in the role of Roxie Hart.
While most know her best for her long-running stint as the sparkling host of the hit TLC series Trading Spaces as well as her Emmy-nominated work on OWN's Home Made Simple, many people over the years have also become very familiar with her work on the stage. In New York, Davis made her Broadway debut in BOEING, BOEING as Gloria. And besides CHICAGO, Davis has also appeared on the national tours of SWEET CHARITY (title role, of course), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (as Babette), and in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. She has also been seen embodying many regional theater roles including Agnes in I DO! I DO!, Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Val in A CHORUS LINE and April in COMPANY. And on top of that, she has also penned a New York Times bestseller Paige by Paige.
Before this multi-hyphenate star arrived in Orange County for a week of razzle dazzle, we got her to answer a few of our "silly" questions...
"I usually say I don't have much of a hometown 'cause I moved around so much. I was born in Philadelphia, so sometimes I say Philly. I went to middle school and high school in Louisville, so sometimes I say Louisville. About now in my life (as I still travel constantly) I feel like New York City is my hometown. It had to have been in a former life anyway. I just KNEW I had to live in NYC!"
BWW: Hi Paige! First question... what do you feel is the best part about playing the iconic Roxie Hart in CHICAGO?
It is so full of depth and wonder that it never ever gets old, even though I've played it on-and-off since 1998!
Which is more challenging... doing live musical theater or shooting a TV episode for countless hours?
Apples to oranges, my friend. One is a sprint. One is a marathon. Ironically, it's the long days of TV production that feel like the sprint.
For you, which musical number in the show is the most fun to do night after night?
"Me and My Baby." Well, [and] maybe "We Both Reached For the Gun."
Would you ever consider playing Velma Kelly in a future production or is your heart tied very close to Roxie?
I'd consider it, but I don't think anyone else would. LOL.
I think it's safe to assume John O'Hurley is a ham on-stage. Has he ever done anything during the show that made you (or almost made you) break character?
I think it's safe to assume John O'Hurley is a ham OFF-stage, as well.
So who were some of your idols and influences growing up that ignited your love of performing?
Bebe Neuwirth. I saw her as Nikki in SWEET CHARITY on Broadway when I was 13. I decided right then and there that I could do nothing else with my life. The best thing was working with her in CHICAGO on Broadway and being able to tell her what she meant to me. She was incredibly gracious.
As far as your [daily] routine, do you have any pre-show rituals that you do before a performance?
Martinis. Oh, wait! That's my POST show ritual!
In one sentence, describe the inner monologue that goes through your head right before you step out on a stage?
I look fat.
Awww. So, most actors have a dream role in another stage musical that they wish to play someday in the future. Which is yours?