West End leading lady Jessica Martin will play the leading role of Bea Asher in Ballroom at Waterloo East Theatre, the part originally created on Broadway by Dorothy Loudon.
Jessica Martin is a multi-talented performer whose career has taken her from comedy impressionist to musical theatre leading lady and scriptwriter. In the early part of her career, Jessica developed a solo cabaret act as a comedy impressionist.
Her regular gigs on the comedy cabaret circuit soon lead on to prime time television success as the sole girl impressionist in LWT’s COPYCATS, voice work on SPITTING IMAGE, and numerous spots on variety and chat shows, as well as guest appearances on a number of Royal Variety shows.
Jessica later crossed over to musical theatre and has played leading roles in shows such as ME AND MY GIRL (Adelphi Theatre & National Tour), MACK AND MABEL (Piccadilly Theatre), SOUTH PACIFIC (National Tour), the Olivier award nominated productions of BABES IN ARMS and THE CARD (both at the Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), MARGUERITE (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and SUNSET BOULEVARD (Comedy Theatre), to name a few. Most recent credits BIG The Musical (UK Premier Plymouth & Dublin), Bumblescratch (Adelphi), Elf: The Musical (Dominion).
Bea Asher who, having lost her beloved husband Morrie, opens a thrift shop that amounts to an ongoing garage sale of her own belongings. When her friend Angie urges her to get out of the shop and start living again by suggesting that she visit the local Brooklyn dance hall, Bea agrees and begins life anew at the Stardust Ballroom. There she meets middle-aged mailman Alfred Rossi and falls in love again. Her dream of a happily-ever-after relationship is shattered when she discovers Alfred hasn’t been as honest about his personal life as she thought, but having found a new life and love decides that “fifty percent” of someone you love is better than “all of anybody else”.
The delightfully humane and moving Broadway production was developed by Tony Award-winning director Michael Bennett co-creator of A Chorus Line. Based on the CBS television movie The Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, with book by Jerome Kass, music by Billy Goldberg, lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman, and features the classic Broadway song Fifty Percent. The Broadway production was nominated for 9 Tony Awards and 7 Drama Desk Awards.