The star of the current West End production of Grease says it was “surreal” to hear the news of Dame Olivia Newton-John’s death during the show’s hiatus and later reveal it to viewers.
Actress Olivia Moore, who plays Sandy in the musical, said the performance was a “mixed bag of feelings” but she’s “proud to continue waving that Sandy flag.”
Dame Olivia died peacefully at her home in California on Monday, aged 73, surrounded by friends and loved ones, her husband confirmed on social media.
Monday night’s performance of Grease at London’s Dominion Theater was dedicated to her memory.
Ms Moore, 26, later hailed the “iconic” actress as “perfection” and said she feels “responsible” to carry on her legacy.
“She was absolutely with us in spirit tonight and she will be with us for the rest of the run,” she said.
“Tonight was such a special moment. A lot of people came to my dressing room to tell me and the news spread pretty quickly.
“She has so many fans, so many people who love her and love what she’s done… the world she’s created.
“A lot of viewers didn’t know, so it was really unfortunate to have to break them the bad news.
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“It was very, very surreal.”
Ms Moore said after hearing the news herself during the break, she returned to the stage to sing Sandy’s famous number Hopeless Devoted To You.
“I’ll never sing it like that now,” she said.
“It’s an incredibly emotional song anyway, with the character and what’s happening… it’s incredibly moving and very empowering.
“So it was an amazing moment, but I felt like I was going to sing it like last time and … when I got on stage I felt so much pressure because I felt the pressure to make it perfect.
“I was like, ‘This is for her, so I can’t be trash.'”
The actress said that along with her “incredible talent,” Dame Olivia seemed “so humble and respectful.”
“Something that stands out is what everyone says about her as a person,” she said.
“I think that’s what I took away from watching her and adoring her – just how wonderful a person she seemed to be.
“I wish I had known her.”
She added, “The way she played Sandy, the way she was Sandy is perfection and I definitely take responsibility now and make sure I keep waving that Sandy flag.”
A statement from the cast and crew of Grease The Musical following the show said: “Olivia Newton-John is an icon who has inspired countless young artists around the world, not least our Grease company in the West End.
“It is a great honor to perform the songs that have made her world famous to thousands of fans who continue to celebrate this musical’s legacy and her incredible talent.
“Our thoughts are with Olivia’s family and loved onest this difficult time.
“We want to dedicate tonight’s performance and the rest of our run to Olivia’s memory and all that she represented.”
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/grease-the-musical-star-it-was-surreal-to-break-news-of-olivia-newton-johns-death-to-audience-41899137.html Grease The Musical Star: Breaking the news of Olivia Newton-John’s death to the audience was surreal