The Laurie Beechman Website
  Onstage
  broadway   |   regional   |   tours   |   misc.


My life has been so unbelievably blessed in spite of everything and maybe because of it. I got married after two bouts of cancer. I have this whole different life and a career. I'm really like everybody else.

-Laurie Beechman, as quoted in The New York Times, 1994

 

playbills

broadway
  • Annie
    • role: several roles, most notably the "Star to Be."
    • when: 1977
    • other: Broadway debut in original cast
  • The Pirates of Penzance
    • role: started out as a swing and then eventually moved up to the role of Kate
    • when: 1981
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    • role: The Narrator
    • when: opened 1981 Off Broadway and then transfered to Broadway in 1982
    • other: 1982 Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination, Theatre World award
      "The key to the show's high spirits is the youthful, unpretentious buoyancy of both the score and the cast. The performers -down to Joseph's last brother - all suggest that they are having so much fun that the audience has no choice but to join in. This is particularly true of Laurie Beechman, a strong Broadway belter whose warm presence as the narrator sets the show's entire tone. She addresses the audience as if it were in a living room, not the Royale Theater, and thus creates an intimacy that is almost entirely lacking in other musicals these days."
    (-Frank Rich The New York Times, Feb. 28, 1982)
  • Cats
    • role: Grizabella
    • when: 1984-1988; 1991; 1992; 1997
    • other: After originating the role of Grizabella in the First National Tour, Laurie replaced Betty Buckley in the Broadway production and stayed in the show from 1984-1988. She returned to the Broadway cast several times- including such special occasions as both the ninth (1991) and tenth (1992) anniversary performances as well as the historical performance when Cats became the longest running show in Broadway history (June 19, 1997).
  • Les Misérables
    • role: Fantine
    • when: Jan 1990 - July 1990


regional
  • Dangerous Music
    • role: The Narrator
    • when: 1988
    • where: Jupiter, Florida
    • other: Laurie starred opposite Shaun Cassidy in the world premiere of this new musical, written by Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger
      Dangerous Music Logo "Performances, all bigger than life, start with Beechman as Diane, the central character tossed into the gutter, who later achieves rock stardom only to fall back at the final curtain. The role is unbelievable in its flawed heroism and a vocal nightmare, but Beechman comes out on top"
    (Variety, 12 Nov. 1988)
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    • role: The Narrator
    • when: 1989
    • where: The Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
    • other: Laurie reprised her role of The Narrator in this modern reinterpretation of the show.
  • The Show Off
    • role: Clara
    • when: 1991
    • where: The Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
    • other: straight play written by George Kelly
  • Funny Girl
    • role: Fanny Brice
    • when: 1991
    • where: Sacramento Music Circus, California
  • C'mon and Hear
    • role: Molly McGuire
    • when: 1994
    • where: McCarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey
    • other: Laurie was featured in this ensemble piece, which was a celebration of the music of Irving Berlin. It was more a revue than a character driven show, though it had a loose plot line.

u.s. tours
  • Cats- First National Tour
    • role: Grizabella
    • when: 1983
    • where: Boston, MA
    • other: Laurie opened the First National Tour as Grizabella- she played the role only in Boston before moving to Broadway. Laurie received the Boston Critic's Circle Award for this performance.
  • Les Misérables- First and Third National Tours
    • role: Fantine
    • when: 1990 (First National Tour); 1996 (Third National Tour)
    • where: Philadelphia, PA
    • other: Laurie twice reprised her Broadway role of Fantine for limited run during the Philadelphia engagements of the Les Misérables touring companies.
  • The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber
    • role: soloist
    • when: 1992; 1995-1996
    • other: Laurie was featured as a guest soloist during the Radio City Music Hall engagement only of the 1992 tour. She also starred in a new touring version in 1995/96.

      On singing Lloyd Webber's music, Laurie commented:
      "It soars. There's really an incredibly powerful payoff emotionally and musically. I think it's very intense and responsive. He really knows how to pull the heart strings. . . It's a thrill. The audience is so receptive. They love his music, and there you are. You're the messenger and you're bringing good news. For me, vocally, it's so natural."
    (-Laurie Beechman, quoted in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 1/5/96)
     

misc.

concert ad

Early in her career, Laurie appeared in the film version of the musical, Hair. In later years, she was an accomplished cabaret performer, headlining at venues which included Rainbow and Stars, The Ballroom, The Russian Tea Room, and Maxim's. Laurie's July 1996 Rainbow and Stars act with Sam Harris went on to win a MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs) award.

Laurie frequently donated her time to perform at various benefits. She was the sole entertainer selected by Andrew Lloyd Webber to perform for Margaret Thatcher's 70th birthday celebration in D.C. in October 1995. In January 1997, Laurie returned to D.C. to sing at the Presidential Inaugural Gala, which was broadcast on National TV. After singing "You'll Never Walk Alone," she also had the honor of introducing President Bill Clinton.

Laurie and Neil with the Clintons


about this site    |    contact webmaster    |    updated: 2/28/05
©TheatreFest design 1996-2005.   Please do not take any text or images without permission.