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sweet charity

Kelley's first lead role in musical theatre was playing Charity Hope Valentine in Sweet Charity; with such reviews as "A star is born!" ... "Kelley Abbey is a show stopper" ... "She's awesome!" ... "Abbey is sensational" ... "She is dynamite"! In 1998 she was awarded the Mo Award, Variety Heart Award, and Green Room Award for best Female Musical Theatre Performer for her work in Sweet Charity.

kelley says

This has to be one of my fondest memories and the hardest show I have ever done.

I was helping my good friend Keith Hawley take the dance auditions [he was the choreographer] I never intended to audition for the show as I'd just finished the West Side Story tour and wanted to stay home for a while. I also didn't believe I had what it takes to go for and to be considered for the lead.

They overheard me singing in the toilets and after watching me dance all week showing everyone what to do they asked me to read for the role.

I absolutely screamed and cried when I found out I got it! Working with my good friend Keith, David Myles and later David Atkins on this show was incredibly special to me.

They had an oxygen tank for me side stage because the show was like doing an olympic marathon 8 times a week! 'Charity Hope Valentine' was such a complete role to play. A big dance, act and sing [a triple threater] with acting moments of great drama as well as hilarious Neil Simon comedy.

I met Cy Coleman who wrote the original Broadway score. He has also written hits for the likes of Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra. He came out to Australia for some publicity for the show. When he went back to New York he rang the producer Mark Pennell on opening night to wish us good luck and listened to me sing 'If my friends could see me now' from the wings on the mobile phone.

I feel incredibly blessed to have attracted Sweet Charity into my life.

I remember standing on the heart in the centre of the stage listening to the overture start and waiting for the curtain to rise and always feeling a swell of joy move upwards through my body as I awaited what I was about to do.

Charity brought me 3 awards as best Musical Theatre Performer and a very fulfilled heart.





Kelley performing the role of Charity Hope Valentine

 

press

Charity's sweet sounds new for the 90s

Charity Hope Valentine is returning to the Australian stage, this time with young soap star Kelley Abbey in the lead role played by Shirley MacLaine and Nancye Hayes.
Flanked by Fandango Girls, Abbey - Jo Jo in E Street - yesterday belted out the Sweet Charity tunes, Hey Big Spender and If My Friends Could See Me Now in rehearsal for the premiere at Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre on January 30 followed by an 18-month tour.
Abbey said she had long cherished the "loveable childlike" persona Charity and was thrilled to land the title role after hoping for a support part.
The Australian - 2 August 1996




Opening night tastes sweet

The spirit of the 1960s came to life last night at Her Majesty's Theatre when Sweet Charity became the latest musical to hit Melbourne.
Like vintage champagne, it popped its cork to become one of the bubbliest, frothiest, happiest shows this city has seen.
Kelley Abbey sparkled as the nightclub hostess dreaming of a better life.
Herald Sun - 31 January 1997




A star is born

Kelley Abbey achieves a performance of vitality, pathos and verve.
Her orginal role with this new Australian production was audition assitant to choreographer Keith Hawley. Then she decided to go for a part and in true Broadway style landed the big one. No charity, however; more of a case of a star is born.
Yes, there are moments that make one think of Shirley MacLaine in Fosse's film version of Charity and, particularly in the more poignant moments, Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles in his film of Cabaret. But by the final scene we are seeing only Abbey plunging the depths of Charity's despair and reconciliation with life.
The Sunday Age - 2 February 1997




Abbey is a show-stopper

Melbourne's love affair with the musical has received a new fillip with the opening of Sweet Charity, turning on the lights again at Her Majesty's Theatre.
If we had the means to do it, we could probably light up all of Melbourne from the wattage generated by Kelley Abbey's energy and personality.
As Charity Hope Valentine she is sensational, and I'm sure it won't be only the opening night audience to give her standing ovations.
The best dance number was Charity's solo on the eve of her marriage, when she gives one of the purest and most infectious expressions of sheer happiness that you could hope to see. It triumphantly showed off Abbey's dance credentials.
There is no doubt Sweet Charity is worth seeing for Kelley Abbey's performance alone.
The Age - 3 February 1997




Bystander - Opening night

As the curtain goes up to reveal the show's tiny 30-year-old star, Kelley Abbey, alone on a big stage, the eruption of applause is more fitting to a show that has just finished rather than one that hasn't yet begun. Two-and-half hours later the applause redoubles. Most people are standing on their feet, tossing streamers.
First to stand is music guru and pop-culture commentator Molly Meldrum. In the foyer afterwards, Meldrum is almost delirious with admiration for Abbey. "She amazed me," he says. "She's awesome." What did he think of the show overall? "She's awesome," he repeats. "The show's great, but everyone in Melbourne should go to see just that woman."
Before rehearsals began in December, Abbey was wary about "not setting out to imitate" such musical icons as Shirley MacLaine and Liza Minnelli, yet the foyers ar abuzz with comparisons. Is she concerned? "Not at all. I'm trying to be me, so if people think 'me' is like someone else, well, then, that's alright. I'm just being me."
In the show Charity talks about the fickle finger of fate. Which way is it pointing for Abbey? "I don't know. It's a dream come true for me. It is the most wonderful and exciting thing that could ever happen."
The Age - 3 February 1997




Charity begins with Kelley

Dancing star Kelley Abbey lights up a new production of Sweet Charity.

Kelley Abbey has just given the performance of her life. After 2 1/2 hours on stage at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne, playing the title role in a new production of the '60s musical Sweet Charity, her muscular body is glistening with sweat, her short, highlighted hair has divided into moist clumps and her deep brown eyes are misty.
Before her, the 1,600 members of the opening night, A-list audience are on their feet, applauding, whistling and invoking the names of Shirley MacLaine and Liza Minnelli.
The orchestra strikes up and, with arms cutely askew and a smile as bright as the footlights, Abbey gives an encore with a Charity song that could sum up her two decades of hard slog and hope:
If they could see me now
That little gang of mine
I'm eating fancy chow
And drinking fancy wine...
All I can say is wow
Hey look'ee where I am
Tonight I landed pow
Right in a pot of jam!

And how sweet it was. Critics raved about her triumphant Jan. 30 turn as Charity Hope Valentine, Sweet Charity's wide-eyed, unlucky-in-love but eternally optimistic bar hostess.
A week later, the newspaper headlines - Abbey is a show-stopper, A star is born - have been filed, but the faint odour of wilting flower arrangements in the living room of her tiny serviced flat in fashionable South Yarra is a potent reminder of the big night. "It was surreal," Abbey, 30, recalls, lifting her silver-ankleted leg onto a green-and-white striped sofa. "I could eventually see people in the audience clapping and making noise, but [to me] it was completely silent, slow motion and silent. I was crying."
She wasn't on her own. Some members of that "little gang" Abbey sang about were in the audience. "And all we could say, with tears dripping down our faces, was, 'We can see you, matey, we can see you, and you're doing a great job," says one of Abbey's closest friends, dancer Ana Kypreos. "It just all seems like a dream," says Abbey's mother, Jill, who made the journey from the family home in Brisbane for opening night with Abbey's father, Eric, and her only sibling, sister Janelle, 37. "We're very quietly proud."
No wonder. When the then Sydney-based Abbey first began work with Sweet Charity in January last year, it was only to help choreographer and childhood friend Keith Hawley audition prospective cast members.
"I wasn't going to audition at that stage at all," says Abbey, who had been horeographing for a year and a half before touring as a chorus member and understudy to a lead in the Victoria State Opera production of West Side Story. "I just thought, 'No, I've had enough, I don't really want to be on tour.'" (Charity will eventually tour other states.)
When she was offered the job of assistant choreographer, Abbey was more than familiar with the Bob Fosse-directed movie version of Sweet Charity, starring one of her idols, Shirley MacLaine. "I've had it at home for years," says Abbey, a Fosse aficionado. She "started to get really excited by it" and told producers the job offer was "really nice, but I think I'd like to audition now".
For the surprisingly shy performer, trying out in front of friends was excrutiating. "Each time, it was like, 'I can't look at you guys, I'm going to look at the wall, I'm going to face this way, OK?'" chuckles Abbey, whose first acting role was a Jo Jo ("The bikie moll from hell," she laughs) on the now defunct TV series E Street.
She needn't have worried. Charity's producer, Mark Pennell, says he knew he'd found his lead "then and there, as soon as she opened her mouth to sing". Still, he didn't give her the news until a few weeks later, when she was teaching a dance class at Sydney's Brent Street School of Performing Arts. Abbey recalls she took the call on her mobile "in the toilet, because it was the only quiet place". Not for long. "She screamed down the phone," laughs Pennell. "She went, 'Oh, my God!'" He swore her to secrecy until a press launch later in the year. "I go into class doing 'One, two, three, plie,'" says Abbey, "and I just want to bust and I want to scream but I just couldn't say anything."
It was a big moment for the self-described tomboy, who began her dance career in Brisbane at age 4 because "Mum thought it might make me into a girl."
"Right from the beginning you could see she had a better-than-average ability to move and work with the music," says dance teacher Sandra Breen, who also taught choreographer Hawley and Charity cast member Leanne Mauchlan at her Southern Academy of Dance in Brisbane.
"They had to drag me out," says Abbey of her first lesson. "I just didn't want to stop."
She rarely did, devoting every spare moment to the art. "I can't even ride a pushbike because I never spent time after school riding around on a pushbike - I went straight to dance class."
A student at Brisbane's Corinda High School, she joined the Australian Youth Ballet when she was 12 and despite spending much of her HSC year on tour in the UK and performing around Australia, passed her final school exams with flying colours.
At 17, with the blessing of her parents, Abbey left for Sydney "to pursue my dream". There, she flatted in "a dirty, old, cruddy building" on the North Shore.
"I had a foam mattress on the floor and a cardboard box and my coathangers on the picture rails," she says.
For a year Abbey taught aerobics and did 15 dance classes a week, hoping to be spotted by a choregrapher. "I think I packed to move home about nine times but something made me stay. I just knew I had to follow it."
Eventually, choreographer Ross Coleman asked her to fill in for a dancer who'd had to drop out of the 1985 film Rebel, which starred Matt Dillon and Debra Byrne. "I haven't really stopped since then," she says.
As well as teaching at Brent Street and appearing in E Street and West Side Story, Abbey's resume includes roles in David Atkins' Dancin' Man and Dynamite.
Last year she was the regular choreographer on ABC-TV's Club Buggery and she has choreographed and directed video clips for several pop groups, including Girlfriend and Human Nature.
When the call came from Sweet Charity, she was working on a dance-based film she's written. "I had aspired to be in musical theatre, but I didn't think I could sing."
Despite her accompishments, Abbey says she "can relate very much" to her guileless Charity character. "Her journey with men and relationships is something that I've been through and nearly everybody has," she says.
But it's the childlike qualities of her alter ego she identifies with. "Isn't it great when you were a kid at the bank and you could just swing on the bars and lie flat on your face on the carpet, and all the adults are standing in the queue withing they were kids?" giggles the overnight sensation. "I'm thinking , 'I'm going to the bank tomorrow to lie on the carpet.'" Charity would understand.
Who Magazine - 10 March 1997




Kelley puts faith & hope in Charity

In the classic stage musical Sweet Charity, star Kelley Abbey belts out the song Where Am I Going? with maximum conviction eight times a week.
Kelley, who received critical acclaim for her portrayal of the bubbly and optimistic Charity Hope Valentine in the Melbourne season of the Bob Fosse feel-good musical, says she, too, came to a point in her life where she pondered her future. "The song says it all," Kelley says. "I think everyone comes to that point in their life where they question, 'Where am I going?' You wonder, 'Is this what I want to do with my life?' and 'Does it make me happy?' I think a lot of people who hit 30 have been through that sort of thing?"
Fortunately for Kelley, fate took over and answered the question for her. If the hype surrounding the promotion of Sweet Charity is true, she's heading straight to the top.
Strangely enough, what is proving to be the role of her career was one she had no intention of auditioning for.
"It's an absolute dream come true," Kelley says. "The choreographer asked me to assist with the auditions. When I heard what they were doing with the show - how they had updated a lot of the arrangements, were using computer-generated, three-dimensional images, really ground-breaking stuff - I decided I wanted to be involved. After I put everyone through their paces, I said I'd like to have a go. They offered me the assistant choreographer job, but I said no. I wanted to be in the show. I thought I might get to play one of the girls. When they told me I had the lead role, I was in shock. The producer, Mark Pennell, could have got the show up a lot quicker and easier if he had gone with an overseas star, but he wanted it to be a local person. He stuck to his guns, raised the money his own way - it took three years to do it - but now we have a local artist being given a chance."
"It's incredibly gruelling, but I love it so much. This is definately a dream come true for me."
TV Week - 28 June 1997




Sweet fortune

Kelley Abbey is living the chorus girl dream - her star has been born.

Kelley Abbey doesn't remember all the details. She does recall, however, having to take the call in the bathroom because there was too much noise around her. And she will never forget the news, even though most of it was drowned out by her screams of joy. "You're our girl!"
With that statement, Abbey - choreographer, dancer, singer, actor - became the embodiment of one of the great theatre legends: the chorus girl who gets the lead role.
The story of how she graduated from choreographer's assistant on the new production of Sweet Charity to star is one that still brings a look of wonderment to Abbey's face. "I'm a very lucky girl," she says, shaking her head.
After finishing a run with West Side Story, Abbey decided she wasn't interested in touring.
So she choreographed the ABC's Club Buggery and lectured dance.
When her friend Keith Hawley was hired to choreograph Sweet Charity in Melbourne, he rang Abbey and asked if she would help out with the auditions. "I put everyone through their paces," she says. "The producers saw me dancing one day and said, 'Are you going to audition?' I said, 'I don't think so.'" That, however, was before Abbey got the show buzz.
"They offered me the assistant choreographer job and I said, 'That's really nice, but I'd like to audition'. It's harder auditioning for people you know than those you don't, so I sang my song looking at the wall. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it."
Abbey was teaching at Sydney's Brent Street School Of The Arts when producer Mark Pennell rang her with the astonishing news she'd won the role, before he immediately swore her to secrecy. "I had to go into class and pretend nothing had happened when I just wanted to bust," she erupts.
Then came opening night, before a packed house at Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre last February. In the front row were Abbey's parents, Jill and Eric, who had flown from Queensland especially.
"All the cast were in the wings watching," remembers Abbey. "They do it every night. The director has them there to send me all their energy.
That was the most pressure I've ever felt in my life. At the end of the curtain call there were three levels of people standing. It was surreal. The producer came out and gave me flowers and Mum and Dad were crying."
Abbey's performance as Charity Hope Valentine, the nightclub hostess yearning to love and be loved, drew rapturous responses from the Melbourne critics.
In a depressed musical market, Sweet Charity was a huge success, running for four months and grossing $3.5 million. Abbey was given the lion's share of the credit.
"I've been working hard for a long time and someone has given me this amazing opportunity, but this could finish and I might be back teaching dance again. That's what's real."
The Sydney season begins on July 12 but Abbey's lead role is still as demanding as ever.
There's an oxygen mask backstage if she needs it, she's on a vitamin regime designed by a naturopath and she won't talk at all during the day of a show.
"That's a big change from being in the chorus," she says. "During West Side Story I knitted a jumper. I'd be in the dressing room knitting then, next scene, off you go.
It's funny what I've heard about other people who've played Charity. Gwen Verdon had to have injections to put fat deposits on her nerve endings because they were frayed.
It's an absolute marathon to get through."
The Sun-Herald Tempo - 6 July 1997




Kelley's sweet success

The critics are shouting, "A star is born!" and for the Sweet Charity musical star Kelley Abbey success is even sweeter because she originally joined the show as just an assistant choreographer.
The effervescent performer, best known for her role as Jo Jo in E Street, was just helping her friend Keith Hawley audition cast members. Says Kelley, "I wasn't going to audition at that stage because I had just finished touring with West Side Story."
But after seeing how producers were revamping the musical, she changed her mind. Yet she was so nervous about auditioning that she faced the wall while she sang. Hoping to get the role of Charity's best friend, she was shocked when she was offered the role of Charity "especially because I'm usually cast as the aggressive, confident type and not the romantic, vulnerable lead."
It was a big step for Kelley, who began her dance career in Brisbane at age four, because her mother thought that it might make her tomboy daughter more feminine.
Roles in the 1985 film Rebel, E Street and David Atkins' Dancin' Man and Dynamite led to work directing video clips for Girlfriend, Dannii Minogue and Human Nature. But Sweet Charity is her most challenging role yet.
"It's like a marathon, because your legs feel like jelly, you want to vomit, but you must go on," she says. But Kelley loves her role. "I think every woman can relate to Charity," she says. "Especially her experiences with men. In one scene, she begs her man to keep loving her. Any woman who's gone through a break-up could identify with that."
New Weekly - 14 July 1997




Star performance

The all-Australian staging of Sweet Charity on Campbell Street brings with it only two regrets - that we've had so long to wait for it and that they don't write musicals like that anymore.
As for Miss Abbey, unaccountably and unjustly blamed for being too much like Shirley MacLaine, she gives an exhilarating, often blood-tingling and when necessary touching performance in every department - singing, dancing and acting, plus personality projection and that intangible thing called star quality.
On Sunday she had the audience in her hands from the moment she appeared until her curtain call and the reprises she sang along with the multi-talented cast, giving then just as much as she did in any of her many solo numbers.
She is dynamite and she is fun, fun and more fun.
The Australian Jewish News - 18 July 1997




Great, Charity

Kelley Abbey is mesmerising. Her voice is good. She looks right. Her timing is spot on. And her dancing is wonderful.
And she has really worked out who Charity is and, in songs such as Where Am I Going? and There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This, she makes us care what happens to her.
Abbey deserved every one of her four standing ovations on opening night.
The Daily Telegraph - 18 July 1997




You should see them now

As hopelessly gullible and sentimental Charity, Abbey is sensational, whether solo, Where Am I Going?, in a shared number, There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This, or as part of the ensemble, I Love To Cry At Weddings.
She explodes onto the stage. With huge talent and vitality she claims it as her own.
Sweet Charity is a knock-out.
The Sun-Herald TimeOut - 20 July 1997




Charity's generous to us all!

Oh Charity, you're not just sweet, you're the best thing to hit town for a long time.
Ebullient, vivacious, funny and sad, this show is, from start to finish, a wonderful top-gear workout for Kelley Abbey, who high-kicks the role of the cheerful tart with a heart into everyone's nerve centre.
She IS Sweet Charity, one of the girls caught in the "flypaper of life" eking out a sordid existence as a dance hall hostess and falling in love with all the wrong men.
The opening night standing ovation was heartfelt, and not the average over-excited Sydney first-nighters clapping their friends.
Miss Abbey has the hallmarks of a star - she is a skilled dancer and singer and natural clown with all of the timing, the skill and the pathos this demands.
The Sunday Telegraph - 20 July 1997




Twighlight success

The latest Tower Twighlight at Taronga series got off to a rousing start at the weekend. On Saturday night it was Kelley Abbey, of Sweet Charity.
It is hard to imagine a better Charity anywhere in the world than Abbey and one of her numbers had an uncanny, haunting likeness to Garland.
Mosman Daily - 11 February 1999




Loves & loathes

The former star of TV's E Street is dancing her way round Australia in the leading role of the stage hit Sweet Charity.

LOVES...
Dressing rooms - As the lead I get my own dressing room - a luxury I enjoy. But when I need to talk, I head downstairs to the girls' dressing room and hang out there.
Drag queens - At a club the other night a beautiful drag queen said she'd seen me on telly. Now she's going to do a segment from Sweet Charity in her new show!
Nancye Hayes - Nancye played the lead in Sweet Charity 30 years ago. She knows exactly what I'm going through. She's offered wonderful advice and is an amazing woman.
South America - I have an affinity for South America - the interior of my house looks very South American. I sponsor a child over there and plan to visit after Sweet Charity.
The beach - I grew up in Queensland and spent weekends on the Gold Coast, so the beach reminds me of my childhood. I love the water. Not surprisingly, I now live near water in Sydney.
Ice Cream - Any kind. I shouldn't really have it when I'm working, but I do treat myself sometimes.
Painting - If I hadn't become a performer, I'd have been a painter. I wanted to be a graphic artist or an illustrator. I still sketch and do a lot of watercolour painting.
Relaxation - This means a lot of things to me and is most important. It involves meditation and massage - it's my way of finding a balance.
Children - I recently spent a week with my two nephews and they were fantastic. They're not afraid to say what's on their minds. I hope to have kids of my own in a few years.
Purple - It took a back seat in fashion for a while, but it's creeping back as the best colour! I love it.

LOATHES...
Sport - I am not into sport and I never did it at school. I always went off to a dance class instead, as I had an arrangement with the principal. Or I wrote notes that said: Kelley is allergic to chlorine. The moment sport comes on the telly, it goes off.
Being late - I am never late. I am chronically early. I hate that feeling of not being on top of a situation, and being late is a bad start.
Food that wobbles - I have a real texture crisis. I can't put any food in my mouth that wobbles. I can't eat jelly, trifle, creme caramel, scrambled eggs or oysters. Any food that moves when you put the plate down is out.
Insincerity - The entertainment world is full of it. That's why I surround myself with true friends.
Horror movies - I don't like to put myself through fear. I don't think it's good for me. I would never hire a video and sit down and watch a horror movie.
Heavy metal music - It makes my soul cringe. It's such angry music. Techno music is almost as bad. Yuck!
Traffic - It makes me late and everyone gets annoyed by it. I don't like having all that aggression around me.
Snakes - I'm frightened of them and I had to confront that quite recently. I went on holiday to Fiji and stayed on an island which was full of snakes. I was stuck there for 10 days and I just had to get used to it.
Lying - People who don't tell the truth infuriate me. It's always better to tell the truth in the first place because lies come back at you.
Floatation tanks - I had to go on a TV show to demonstrate one. Your body is suspended in salty water, so you feel weightless. It's supposed to relax you. I'd never tried it before and I hated it. I was lying there, and had to pretend to like it and tell everyone how fabulous it was. I was in the dark, closed in - it felt like I was lost at sea at night.
That's Life Magazine - 1997




Kelley's energy secrets

Find out how the unstoppable star of Sweet Charity keeps on going.

The curtain rises on the smash hit musical Sweet Charity and Kelley Abbey takes one last deep breath before the three-hour (six hours on matinee days) marathon. From the moment she wakes, Kelley is working towards that evening's performance in the gruelling role of Charity. What she eats, how she relaxes and how she treats her body all help avoid risks of fainting, muscle burn-out and torn ligaments.

Voice vitality
Her dressing room has a humidifier because Charity "sings, talks and screams non-stop" for three hours. "I steam my throat at the half-hour call and the interval. It's like giving your vocal chords a Radox bath - it keeps everything lubricated," says Kelley. She can't be around smokers because of the bad effect of smoke.
Energisers
There are always jelly beans and a bottle of Staminade at the side of the stage. "I sweat a lot and lose a lot of body salts and start to dehydrate, then my blood pressure drops and I get the dizzies. I nearly fainted once because I had lost too much body salt," says Kelley. "I also need sugar, sugar, sugar when I'm out there."
Body therapy
Kelley swears by alternative therapies to rid her body of tension, aches and pains. "I go to the osteopath regularly, as I get a lot of locked up tension in my neck and shoulders because of all the crying and emotion I have to portray on stage," she says. "I go to a naturopath and a homeopath, and I've been into holistic medicine for about eight or nine years." A kinesiologist taught her how to use pressure points and massage to help boost her energy levels. "I also use acupuncture because I think it's the fastest healing thing around - if I have an injury, I go to the acupuncturist to quicken the healing. Acupuncture disperses the blocked energy around the injury and speeds up the healing process."
Beauty routine
Kelley wears the bare minimum of make-up off-stage, using only a light covering of foundation, blusher and mascara. "In the past couple of months I've tried a few facials. Now I have to keep going for more."
Going herbal
Kelley has a lot of faith in her vitamin supplements and herbal remedies. "I take a lot of vitamin B," she says. "In the first week of the show, when we were running through it twice a day, I had three Vitamin B shots in my bottom. I have them every month or so. Vitamin C, iron, spirulina and echinacea are also part of my daily routine. Spirulina is good for your skin, and if I don't take it my energy levels decrease. It's also great for getting toxins out of your body." Kelley also sips sage tea for congestion and honey and lemon to soothe the throat, or drinks a secret Chinese syrup, which counteracts over-use of her voice.
Eating for energy
Once a vegetarian, Kelley is now a big meat-eater so she can keep up her iron levels. Rarely out of bed before 11am, she eats rolled oats or porridge to sustain energy throughout the day. At 3pm, she adds protein (which will help repair any muscle tissue damage) to her diet with a meal of fish, chicken or lean meat and vegetables. By the time the 7.55pm curtain call comes, Kelley will have digested her meal and be ready to call on its energy stores.
Rest
"Sleep is a wonderful healer. I have to have eight hours for my voice to be all right, and I like to have 9 or 10," says Kelley. "The nerves in my muscles buzz and burn, and sleep is great for them to heal naturally." Kelley meditates for 30 minutes in the morning - and five minutes before she's on stage. "It helps me focus," she says.
Exercise
While performing in Sweet Charity, there's no need for Kelley to go to the gym. "Doing the show is the equivalent of running a marathon each night," she says. But when she's not on stage, Kelley turns into a gym junkie, working out six times a week and varying her raining to include cardiovascular work-outs, fitness classes and weights.
Woman's Day - 22 September 1997