Actresses gear up for Lichfield Garrick show

Jo McAllister as Ruby Keeler

Jo McAllister as Ruby Keeler

Two actresses from Lichfield are fine-tuning their roles ready for a major new production being staged at the Garrick Theatre.

Ruth Harvey and Jo McAllister are playing the women in the lives of Frank Sinatra and Al Jolson in Ain’t no Angels.

Role-Play Productions’ play with music will see the two members of Lichfield Operatic Society become such film icons as Marilyn Monroe, Ruby Keeler and Ava Gardner.

The two women are thoroughly enjoying the challenge, each playing 12 different characters.

Ruth, who is also co-directing the show along with author Ken Wragg, plays parts as diverse as a woman washing dishes in a cafe to the iconic Marilyn.

Among Jo’s many characters are film star, singer and dancer Ruby Keeler, who was married to Al Jolson, and Frank’s 82-year-old mother Dolly Sinatra, who was a strong influence in his life.

Ruth Harvey as Marilyn Monroe

Ruth Harvey as Marilyn Monroe

Jo and Ruth have appeared in many productions for Lichfield Operatic Society, including playing two of the witches in Witches of Eastwick to great acclaim.

Ain’t no Angels, a professional production, also features Paul Roberts, noted for his appearances at Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park, as Al Jolson and Paul Lumsden, a principal player with Lichfield Operatic and Sutton Musical Theatre Company, as Frank Sinatra.

Craig Allen, who scored a hit last week in Lichfield Operatic’s Anything Goes, plays the men in the lives of the two musical greats.

Ain’t no Angels, which features the many memorable songs of Sinatra and Jolson, is at the Lichfield Garrick on May 11 and 12. Tickets, at £14 (£13 seniors and students), are available from the box office on 01543 412121 or online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

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