‘Wonderland’ on Packard stage this week
Hannah Grover is no stranger to the stage.
A native of England, Grover appeared in London’s West End in “Mamma Mia!” and starred in UK tours of “Legally Blonde” and “Evita,” where she played the title character. But holiday musical spectacular “Broadway Christmas Wonderland” is her first U.S. tour, not including some American ports when she worked on cruise ships.
Getting to see the states was one of the primary lures of doing the tour, she said during a telephone interview from a tour stop in Salisbury, Md.
“I’ve worked for the company before and know they do great shows,” she said. “Definitely coming to the states probably was the biggest pull. And I love Christmas. The idea of doing a Christmas show for four weeks really appealed to me. It was a brilliant, all-round opportunity.”
With “Broadway Christmas Wonderland,” Grover is one of five singers in a troupe of about 25 performers and chorus girls performing holiday favorites.
“It’s so good for anybody who likes Christmas,” she said. “They find the most incredible dancers. The choreography is beautiful and the costuming is stunning as well … There are a lot of dancers on that stage giving it their all. It’s quite spectacular.”
Doing a musical revue like Wonderland is different than playing a role in a traditional musical, she said.
“This is more about letting my own personality come out,” Grover said. “Doing a show like ‘Evita,’ someone completely different from me, it’s quite exhausting. Not that this isn’t exhausting, but it’s quite different. Singing, dancing, high energy for two and half hours, it leaves you feeling elated.”
Her favorite moment in the show is getting to see “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” backed by several of the dancers.
“That’s one of the joys, getting to make it your own,” she said. “You can’t deviate too much from the tune or change the style too much. You’ll upset people. You have to be true to the original tune, which nine times out of 10 was written by a genius, but you do have to put a little spin on it. Nobody wants to hear a carbon copy.”
On a tour dominated by one-night stands, including a performance on Wednesday at Packard Music Hall as a part of the Warren Civic Music Association’s 2015-16 season, there won’t be much time for sightseeing, but Grover said she is looking to experience what she called the “real America.”
“I quite like just taking walks, going to local restaurants, talking to people.”