SHOWS Ringwald savours jazz role

jazz role
Macbeth, Gold
Coast Little Theatre,
Southport: Stuart
Lumsden directs this season
of the William Shakespeare
play – with a twist. Also stars
Tara Page as Lady Macbeth,
Jimmy Odenbreit as Banquo,
James Anderson as Macduff,
Patrick Monteath as
Malcolm, Hugh Brophy as
Duncan, Noel Thompson as
Ross and Jack Harbour as
Lennox. Plays Thursdays to
Saturdays at 8pm and
Sundays at 2pm until May 11.
Call 5532 2096 or visit to book.
OLLY Ringwald has moved from
The Breakfast Club to the jazz club.
The actress, who describes herself
as ‘‘your former teenage crush’’ in her
Twitter bio, lives in her generation’s
memories for portraying the angst of high
school life as an everyday girl, teen princess
and outsider in iconic 1980s films Sixteen
Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty In
Pink with writer-director John Hughes.
Now the 45-year-old has taken on a new
role as a jazz singer with the release of her
album Except Sometimes, a collection of
Great American Songbook and Broadway
tunes, and an Australian tour.
Ringwald sings about romance from a
mature, adult perspective, interpreting such
tunes as I Get Along Without You Very Well
and The Very Thought of You. She also pays
tribute to the late Hughes by reclaiming
Don’t You (Forget About Me), the Simple
Minds’ theme to The Breakfast Club,
turning it into a jazz ballad.
She believes her acting experience has
helped enhance her jazz singing.
‘‘As an actor you pay attention to the
words and you get into character. I tend to
do this with music as well. I really get into
the lyric,’’ she says.
She will perform limited engagements at
jazz clubs across the country, allowing
enough breaks to spend time at home with
her three children and husband, writereditor Panio Gianopoulos.
Ringwald’s jazz roots run deep. Her
father, blind pianist Bob Ringwald, plays
traditional Dixieland jazz. She has an
encyclopedic knowledge of female jazz
singers – reeling off the names of those who
most influenced her: Bessie Smith, Ella
Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Blossom Dearie
and Susannah McCorkle.
She considers jazz her ‘‘musical
equivalent of comfort food’’. Her parents
encouraged her to pursue interests other
than acting – singing, writing, reading and
travelling – which kept her engaged in a
world outside Hollywood and its club
scene, avoiding the pitfalls that ensnared
some of her teen co-stars.
‘‘I hear jazz and it just feels good because
it reminds me of my childhood,’’ Ringwald
says on the phone from Los Angeles.
‘‘I started singing with my dad when I
was three years old and really developed a
close relationship with him through music
that endures to this day.’’
Ringwald would sit in with her father’s
Sacramento-based Fulton Street Jazz Band
singing Fats Waller and Bessie Smith songs.
She recorded her first jazz album, I
Wanna Be Loved By You, Molly Sings with
her father’s band at age six and originally
wanted to be a singer, making her
professional debut at age 10 in a West
Coast production of Annie.
But after landing her first TV and film
Hats! – The Musical,
Basement Theatre,
Spotlight, Benowa: Last
days! A laugh-loaded musical
celebration of women aged
50-plus starring Kirri Adams,
Sheila Bradley, Martina
French, Cherie Goosey,
Katrina Lardner, Kate Peters
and Linda Van Vierson.
Directed by Tony Alcock.
Plays tonight until Saturday
at 7.30pm and Sunday at
4pm. Tickets $15 to $25.
or call 5539 4255 to book.
dancer and
singer Molly
her jazz
roots, writes
J Gans
roles, she decided to focus on acting – a
choice she says she wouldn’t have to make
as a teen actor today given the popularity of
Glee and High School Musical.
‘‘When I started acting, it didn’t seem
that there were any actors that were also
singing. I really felt to be taken seriously as
an actress, I would have to just give up the
idea of having a musical career.’’
But she never stopped singing, mostly
performing with her father’s band. She
briefly sang the standard Embraceable You
in the teen pregnancy film For Keeps.
After spending much of the 1990s in
Paris, Ringwald relocated to New York to
do theatre, including the lead roles in
revivals of the musicals Cabaret and Sweet
Charity. In 2005, while starring in the offBroadway comedy Modern Orthodox, she
was inspired to sing jazz when she met her
‘‘perfect collaborator’’ at a cast party.
Peter Smith, an understudy, had just
begun playing jazz tunes on the piano when
Ringwald started singing along with him.
‘‘I grew up like everyone else watching
her in movies and just thought that the only
kind of music she’s going to know is like
The Smiths and The Cure, all that ’80s
music,’’ Smith says.
‘‘But she really knew how to sing jazz.’’
Smith was impressed by the quality and
tone of her voice and most of all by her
8 | play - The Gold Coast Bulletin, April 25, 2013
‘‘tasteful artistic choices as a singer’’. He
invited her to sit in at his jazz club gigs
before he left for Los Angeles.
Ringwald reunited with Smith when she
moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to join the
cast of TV show The Secret Life of the
American Teenager, playing the mother of a
pregnant teenager. She eventually felt
confident enough to record an album in
2010 with Smith writing the arrangements.
Ringwald felt the time was right because
the music that she always enjoyed singing
had become more popular thanks to Diana
Krall, Jane Monheit and Norah Jones.
The album’s release was delayed because
Ringwald had her hands full raising her
twins (now 3 1/2 years old) and pursuing a
literary career. In 2010, she published
Getting the Pretty Back, which offered
personal anecdotes and advice, and her first
novel When It Happens To You last year.
Ringwald is already looking ahead to
recording another jazz album and is
developing her own TV show.
‘‘I feel that I have grown as a person and
as an artist and am able to take on more
things at once,’’ she says.
䉴 The Gold Coast Jazz and Blues
Club presents Molly Ringwald at The
Arts Centre Gold Coast on June 22.
Tickets are $99.50 dinner and show.
Any Number Can Die,
The Centre, Beaudesert:
Last days! BAMS Theatre
presents writer Fred
Carmichael’s satirical
comedy thriller about a group
gathered for a will reading.
Directed by Joan StalkerBrown. Plays tomorrow and
Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets
$16.50 to $23.50. Visit
to book.
Transfusion, Dracula’s,
Broadbeach: Cabaret
restaurant’s latest vampire
variety melds acerbic
comedy, burlesque and
circus. Stars Richard
Macionis and Big Brother’s
Charne. Dinner/show
Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Arrivals from 6.30pm.
Spirit of the Horse,
Australian Outback
Spectacular, Oxenford:
A dinner and show spectacle
with a cast of larger-than-life
characters, incredible stunts,
special effects, live music in
the Aussie Bar and a threecourse meal. Outback
Spectacular celebrates its
2000th show this week. Plays
Tuesdays to Saturdays, with
matinees on the last Sunday
of each month. Doors open
6.15pm. Tickets from $79.99.
䉴 What’s On,
Pages 30-31