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BWW Interview: EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE Star Layton Williams Talks the Show's North American Premiere


Performances of the North American premiere of Everybody's Talking About Jamie will open on January 21, 2022, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.

BWW Interview: EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE Star Layton Williams Talks the Show's North American Premiere

Layton Williams has brought the titular character in Everybody's Talking About Jamie to life in the West End and the UK Tour, and will now be making his mark on stage as Jamie in the show's North American premiere!

Performances of the North American premiere of Everybody's Talking About Jamie will open on January 21, 2022, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. Previews begin, January 16, 2022, and performances continue through February 20, 2022.

Williams will be reprising the role of Jamie alongside Roy Haylock (also known as Bianca Del Rio, winner of "RuPaul's Drag Race") as Hugo/Loco Chanelle. They are joined by Melissa Jacques as Margaret, Shobna Gulati as Ray (also stars as Ray in the New Regency film), Gillian Ford as Miss Hedge, Hiba Elchikhe as Pritti Pasha, James Gillan as Tray Sophisticay, David O'Reilly as Laika Virgin, Leon Craig as Sandra Bollock, Richard Appiah-Sarpong as Cy, Zion Battles as Levi, Ryan Hughes as Mickey, Jodie Knight as Fatimah, Harriet Payne as Bex, Adam Taylor as Sayid and Rachel Seirian as Swing all of whom were involved in the West End production. The Los Angeles cast also features George Sampson as Dean, Cameron Johnson as Jamie's Dad, Kazmin Borrer as Vicki, Talia Palamathanan as Becca, Simeon Beckett as Swing/Dance Captain and Emma Robotham-Hunt as Swing/Assistant Dance Captain who were in the UK touring production.

For tickets and information, CLICK HERE!

We spoke with Layton Williams about bringing the show to the US, his favorite part about playing the character of Jamie, the differences in UK and US audiences, and more!

You starred as Jamie both in the West End production and the show's UK Tour. How does it feel to now be starring in the show's North American premiere?

Here we are! We are crossing the seas. I am so excited. To take this from the West End, I never thought that we would do a UK Tour, and then now to come to America, I'm out of my mind! I'm ready!

What is your favorite part about playing this character?

I would say my favorite part has to be the message behind the show and what it can do for potentially lots of people, especially the LGBTQ+ youth. The show really opens up people's hearts and it's been amazing, if they think to themselves, "If Jamie can do it, I can do it." Life isn't a dress rehearsal, I say it to myself all the time. We've got one chance to live our true authentic selves, so why not just make it today, and tomorrow! And just go out there and be. That's the beauty of it, I think, the message of it.

You've played it so much, do you feel like your relationship with the character has changed through the years?

It actually has. Even in rehearsals, after all of this time, I'm finding new things, I'm finding new moments, I'm more comfortable in these situations. I have my voice therapy, making sure I'm still on form for 8 shows a week. And I think having that big break during lockdown really made me come back and appreciate everything so much more. Coming back older and wiser, and relaxing into the role, and being like, "I don't have to be on 100 all the time." It's actually cooler sometimes to just sit in it and be like, "Okay, I'm just going to let the energy move." It's been quite interesting, feeling like I'm doing it my way, which is good.

And how has it been working with your current cast members?

Ugh, they're so fab. It's tough saying goodbye to some people, but it's exciting to welcome some old cast members that I have not worked with for over a year. So, what America doesn't realize they're getting, is a complete, brand-new cast of people assembled from all over. The tour cast is absolutely insane, and welcoming some of the old West End cast back in is just even more insane! You're in for a treat I think!

Do you think that US audiences are going to feel different to you than UK audiences?

I think they will feel different in some aspects. The bigger picture, the essence and story behind the show, no matter what, it will be the same feeling. That's what it's all about. I always say art is whatever you take from it. And I know American audiences are so rowdy, they love it! If I'm sat next to an American at a show, I'm like, "Here we go!" You just know, "I could bet any money on the fact that this one is American!" I'll be able to see it. Which I love.

You know where you stand with American audiences when they're pleased with something they'll verbalize it.

They will let you know!

Everybody is so grateful that live theater is back. We're all being careful, and we're all so excited to be enjoying live theater again. What would you like to say to people who are planning to come see the show?

I would say book your tickets ASAP because you are going to be in for a ride. Me, Roy Haylock, aka Bianca Del Rio, we are so excited, along with the rest of the cast, to storm LA! It's such a special show, it should have you leaving the theater with your heart hopefully open just a little bit more. Especially in these times, we really need to have that experience. In the finale we sing, "In this place where we belong!" and I think that number and the lyrics are so poignant, especially now. We all belong here, we are all beautiful in our own special way, and come and be entertained, I am excited to sing my heart out for you.

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