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John Barrowman Gets a Leg Up!

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  • pfyre
    http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/9443/jbzaza02.png John Barrowman Gets a Leg Up! The British stage and television favorite steps into the role of Albin in La
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2009

      John Barrowman Gets a Leg Up!

      The British stage and television favorite steps
      into the role of Albin in La Cage Aux Folles
      By: Carrie Dunn · Sep 8, 2009 · London


      John Barrowman
      (© Dan Halliman)

      As John Barrowman walks into the bar at the
      Playhouse Theatre, where he will begin his run as
      Albin in the acclaimed West End revival of the
      musical La Cage Aux Folles on September 14, it is
      obvious that the man has been working very, very
      hard. "I'm just a bit tired," he admits. "I'm in
      rehearsals at the moment from 10 o'clock until
      about 5, and then I usually do press until 6."

      All the press attention is not surprising.
      Although Barrowman began his career in musical
      theater, in shows including Anything Goes, Miss
      Saigon and Phantom Of The Opera, he has become
      known to a wider audience thanks to his starring
      role in the BBC series Doctor Who and Torchwood
      and his place on the judging panel of
      talent-search shows such as How Do You Solve A
      Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do.

      However, since his casting in La Cage was
      announced, there have been certain criticisms
      levelled, in part because the lead roles of Albin
      and his lover Georges have traditionally been
      played men a good decade older than Barrowman,
      who will be 43 in March, and his co-star Simon
      Burke, who turns 48 this year. Unsurprisingly,
      this sort of sniping makes Barrowman extremely
      angry. "The purists think that because I'm a
      celebrity now, that makes me less of an artist,"
      he says, adding that the age issue is no issue at
      all. "But Simon is slightly older than I am, so
      Georges could conceivably have had a grown child,
      and I could have been the stepmom. We have an
      answer for all of it! We've got it all worked out."

      The role of Albin is coveted by many actors
      because of its alter ego -- the drag queen Zaza
      -- and while previous actors have donned
      glamorous floor-length gowns, Barrowman has had
      the skirts slashed. "All my dresses are
      different. They're styled for a younger and a
      slimmer man," he notes, before hastily adding:
      "That's not to say I don't have my muffin top and
      my love handles!" Indeed, he grabs a small roll
      of flesh from his midriff to demonstrate his
      point -- and reminisces about the six-pack abs he
      had a few years ago -- but then snaps back to the
      present to enthuse about his dresses. "I love
      wearing them. I think it's really liberating to
      walk around in high heels and a frock."

      John Barrowman as Zaza
      (© Simon Turtle)

      The stilettos may not scare him, but the make-up
      does. "I don't put false eyelashes on normally,
      and I have to set them on my eye at a particular
      point in the song. 'I Put A Little More Mascara
      On'," he explains. "I don't have any problem
      doing the blush and the eye make-up, it's the
      false eyelashes that worry me. If you miss them,
      then they're on your cheek. It's not going to
      look good, is it? I think if it goes wrong, I'll
      just take them off and have them put on afterwards. We'll have to see."

      Much in demand for his multiple skills,
      Barrowman's calendar for 2010 is already booked
      up, with engagements including another concert
      tour and his now-traditional Yuletide panto. He
      is clearly very proud of having been able to
      switch between stage and screen -- what he calls
      "the crossover thing" -- and promises that there
      will be more television appearances to come from
      him. "If another judging show happens, I will be
      involved," he says. "I've already had a
      conversation with the BBC about it. And there's
      going to be hopefully a fourth season of
      Torchwood. Frankly and bluntly, I would say
      they'd be stupid not to. It's so massive everywhere."

      For now, though, he'll be in sparkly sequins in
      the West End every night, and not worrying about
      the harsh words of doom-mongers. "I'm doing it
      for the audience that's sitting there enjoying
      themselves and watching and listening to a love
      story that's told on stage and a family story that's told on stage," he says.







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