Melanie Stace was first introduced to television audiences as the popular co-presenter of BBC Television’s primetime flagship Saturday night program "The Generation Game," which she co-presented over a period of six years. She quickly became a household name and personality, much in demand both on TV and in theatre. During this time, she appeared on many leading entertainment TV shows, including "The Royal Variety Performance" in the presence of HRH the Prince onWales, and amongst other honors was presented with the "Through The Keyhole" key by Sir David Frost when she appeared on the television show.
Melanie has starred in many musicals including "Louise" in "Gypsy," "April" in the Olivier Award winning musical "Hot Shoe Shuffle," "Polly Baker" in "Crazy For You" and "Lola" in Barry Manilow’s "Copacabana" at the Prince Of Wales Theatre in the West End. Melanie has also starred in many musical reviews including "The Greatest Shows in Town," "Ready Steady Dance," her own shows "Steppin Out With The BBC Big Band," "Hollywood and Broadway" and "The Magic Of The Musicals," all of which enabled her to star at the world famous London Palladium.
She has been working in the United States for the past six years, and has headlined at both The Plush Room and The RRazz Room in San Francisco, for which she received rave reviews. She has also returned on a regular basis as the star of the popular nightclub spectacle Teatro Zinzanni for six seasons in both Seattle and San Francisco. Melanie’s first album "How Lucky" features a duet with the legendary Petula Clark and she is currently in the studio working on her second album "The Key To Me." Amongst her other recording work, which includes numerous broadcasts for BBC Radio 2, she is also a featured voice in the popular "World of Warcraft" game "Cataclysm."
Now, Melanie is making her Feinstein's debut with her new cabaret show "Sirens of the Silver Screen" which is personal love letter to the talented and beautiful singing ladies of Hollywood featuring songs from Doris Day, Judy Garland, Betty Hutton, Rosemary Clooney, Liza Minnelli, Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Michelle Pfeiffer. "Sirens of the Silver Screen" will play Feinstein's at Loews Regency (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street) on June 3 and 4 and September 16 and 17. Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My Mom. A British Opera Singer, now Vocal Coach. A beautiful, amazing woman who taught me to sing and also all about life and love and so many other things. A true inspiration.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Lots of people! Mikhail Baryshnikov (like that’s gonna happen !), Sir Anthony Hopkins, (he ‘s such an extraordinary actor), and George Clooney (for a completely different reason……..)
3. You are about to debut your new cabaret show "Sirens of the SilverScreen" at Feinstein's at Loews Regency from June 3-4 and September 16-17.How did you come up with the title and concept for the show? How did you decide which "Sirens" you would include in the show? I always wanted to perform more of a theme based show, and I thought it would be wonderful to celebrate some of the amazing women who were our stars of the silver screen but also in particular the singers…..the 'Sirens.' When I started to do research there was such a wealth of material and I had to make a lot of choices. I made some difficult decisions while picking the Sirens and the songs, and then making it all make sense for me. I am not impersonating these women, purely 'celebrating' them, and I really wanted to at least 'try' to do them justice, and so it was a tough, yet enjoyable job to come up with the choices. I am loving doing the home-work and I feel it’s only just started……
4. What excites you about your Feinstein's deubt? What made you want to bring your show to Feinstien's? I had seen many other shows at Feinsteins and, of course, I always wanted to appear there with my show. When I heard that I had been offered it, I thought that 'Sirens' would be the appropriate show and so I was expecially excited when it all worked out. I also met Michael (Feinstein) himself, who was extremely gracious. He actually said that he was also playing his show in September too and invited me along. He looked at the dates and actually said: "Look, Melanie, I’m covering for you when you’re not playing!" I asked him if I might use that quote and he said "Yes!" Michael is a total inspiration with all of his performing work, and all of the other amazing work he is doing, including 'The Great American Songbook Initiative.'
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after attending your show? Obviously, I hope that they enjoyed the experience, and found something particular for themselves within the songs I am sharing, and also I hope that they learned something about me and my life and career to date. I hope I may have communicated something 'special' to them, maybe just a song lyric they haven’t heard for a long time or something totally new………
6. What do you get from your cabaret shows that you don't get from your theatrical/television endeavors? You get eye contact with the audience, and more intimacy in a Cabaret show. I like to think of it like it’s 'two-way' traffic.
My work on television for me was always more difficult than my 'Live' work, because of the lack of contact with the audience. With television, of course, you are capable of a bigger audience reach, but Theatre 'means' so much more to me. Cabaret is different again, and I love being 'up close and personal.' I love the fact that I can let my hair down and talk about the weather if I want. It’s such a free and organic thing.
7. Do you notice any differences between performing in London and here in the US? Yes. There are lots. I have had fun with both audiences, but I find the US audiences to be much more vocal and 'up for a good time.' You can have an actual conversation with them during the show, whereas in the UK, I think we tend to be a bit more reserved. Standing ovations are well earned and rare in the UK!
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? So much. I have learned that my work makes me extremely happy. I have learned that I am a hard worker, but also that I have been very lucky with the roles I have played and the things I have done so far in my career. I have learned that the most confident I am is onstage………I was quite a shy child and my dancing and singing really gave me confidence both as a performer and a person. Ultimately, I have learned that you really can do what you want to do, you just need discipline, drive, and lots and lots of rehearsal!
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Someone once told me that 'rejection' is an everyday word and that you have to become very resilient to work in our industry, (resilient and tough everywhere but in your heart!). You really need to take the good times with the bad and read the good reviews and the bad ones. You also need to find 'joy' in what you do, in the face of all adversity. You also need to separate your work from your personal life too…oh yes…………that’s probably the best piece of advice.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? That’s a tough one……….I probably shouldn’t answer that!
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? At a Russian Spa.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Pilates (and healthy eating).
13. Favorite skin care product? Anything made by LA PRAIRIE…………….Ampoules, Skin Caviar, Eye Cream………shall I continue?
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To be 'Wonder Woman' of course! I actually made a start…I already have the pj’s.