By Adam Hetrick
and Andrew Gans
18 Aug 2010
Olivier Award-winning actress Elaine Paige will duet with Barry Manilow, Olivia Newton-John, Johnny Mathis and John Barrowman on her forthcoming album for Warner Bros Records.
Paige, who starred in the premiere productions of Evita and Cats, is currently in New York recording the album with producer Phil Ramone. Paige previously told Playbill.com, "I'm very excited about it. It's kind of an 'Elaine Paige and Friends'-type album, and it's more modern [songs]. We're doing some covers, but there are a couple of new pieces, as well, and I'm hoping to do a couple of duets with a few pals."
It has now been revealed that those pals will include Manilow, Newton-John, Mathis and Barrowman, as well as Paul Anka, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Billy Ocean, LeAnn Rimes, Jon Secada, Neil Sedaka and Dionne Warwick.
"She is one of the great musical artists of our generation," Ramone said of Paige in a statement. "I have admired her from afar for many years. She has an exquisite voice and really knows how to sell a song. She is known — and rightfully so — as 'The First Lady of Musical Theatre.' Being able to team her with some of the giant vocalists of the music industry is magical."
Elaine Paige was brought to the public's attention when she created the role of Eva Peron in the original London production of Evita. She then created the role of Grizabella in the original production of Cats and followed with a recording hit: "I Know Him So Well," with Barbara Dickson, from the concept album of Chess. Paige later starred in the West End mounting of Chess as well as London productions of Anything Goes, The King and I, Piaf and Sunset Boulevard. She repeated her work as Norma Desmond for New York audiences, and in 2004 she performed the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the New York City Opera (and snagged a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work). She has recorded 16 solo albums and six cast albums. In 1995 Paige received the Order of the British Empire for services to Musical Theatre. Paige most recently starred in the title role of the London production of The Drowsy Chaperone and currently hosts a weekly radio program for the BBC.