BWW INTERVIEWS: Tiffany Graves Of CHICAGO And SWEET CHARITY
Photo: Claire Grogan
Hello, Tiff, and welcome to BWW:UK. You're doing a cabaret at Rada next week - how's that come about?
I introduced the pianist, Tom Wakeley, who is second keyboards at Chicago, who teaches at Rada as well, to a singer called Nancy LaMott, and he fell in love with all the arrangements. For ages, he's wanted to do a concert with all her songs. Because I was the one who introduced him to it, he asked me to do it. It's in the foyer at Rada, and there's a bar - so get there early and have a couple of drinks before the cabaret. A lot of the songs are very lyrical and contemporary, so I've got a couple of comedy songs in there too, otherwise people would be slitting their wrists by the end.
Are you allowed to tell me about the songs or is it secret?
Do you want to know about them?
Tell me about your favourite one.
My favourite one is probably a song that's one of Nancy LaMott's, and it's called I'll Be Here With You. I haven't been able to sing it through yet without crying. I get really sad at the end. I was going to sing it at my brother's wedding last year, but his now wife was worried she would cry as well! So I'll sing that, hopefully not crying. I only get choked up right at the very end!
Is this a one-off, or will you do more?
I must admit, having seen Janie Dee [at the Delfont in August]...I don't know! I know Tom wants this to be the first of many he puts on. I'd love to do the Delfont Rooms, though. I like that Anna-Jane Casey and Gina Murray did a joint one. I'd like to do that with someone else. Who would I have to do it with me? It'd have to be someone fabulous. I'd look really small next to Hannah Waddingham! And she's a mate. Actually, let's get this first one out of the way first...
And then Sweet Charity next for you.
We start rehearsals on October 19, and previews start November 21. Then we run through till March. I know the show from seeing the film, and from growing up with it - The Rhythm Of Life, and all the songs. It's good to be able to go to an audition and say that you like the show!
Would you ever not say that?
Sometimes, if it's a new piece, you might say, "That's great, but I don't really understand this bit," and then by the time you open they might have changed it. Actually, when I auditioned for Too Close To The Sun, I had to take my sheet music in with me. How did he kill himself in the end? [laughs]
With his gun!
His gun? His gun? He had a gun? Who knew? [laughs extensively] And I'll be working with Josefina [Josefina Gabrielle] again - we did A Chorus Line together when I was very young, and then I did Chicago with her, and a couple of gigs at the Royal Albert Hall with her. I hope it goes really well, and we get a transfer, and lots of Oliviers!
And what do you want to do after Charity?
The part I want to play I won't ever be able to play because I'm too big for the bubble!
You want to be Glinda?
I'd LOVE to be Glinda. It's such a fabulous part. I think it's a dream role. Dianne [Dianne Pilkington] is fantastic at it, and it'd be one of the only things in town at the moment I'd love to do. I could audition for Elphaba, but that just scares me! And you'd have to green up every night. It was bad enough in Cats; I wasn't very good at doing my make-up for that. I was not a very pretty cat; I was always a bit wonky. You could always tell who was new because they wouldn't put enough powder on, and their make-up would slide off their faces.