Published: October 9, 2009
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MEET THE STAR...
JASON REDDOCK

Here is the SBF October Star: Jason Reddock, a polyhedral figure in the ShowBiz landscaped panorama!
We interviewed SBF member Jason to find out more about his Showbiz life...
Jason Reddock

Quote My best advice for a dancer who wanted to dance at the Lido is 'keep in class'. Even though we do not have ballet numbers 'per se', it is the best way to stay lifted up & work on those battements....
  • How did you become interested in Show business?
    Jason Reddock: My first experience with the cabaret world was seeing the Casino de Paris show at the Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas. I was a very young guy whose Dad was a high roller, so we were in Vegas at least once a month, plus all major holidays. As I was too young to gamble & the whole hotel knew me, I was allowed to sneak up to the balcony to watch the show. Jacqueline Douguet made her first entrance sitting on the back of a yellow Jaguar XKE. I was hooked! Also as a kid I got hooked on theatre, after seeing Flower Drum Song for the first time, as I could really indentify with the kids in the show. So much so, I wrote to a young lady in the show - I was 11 & she was 12 and we developed a lovely friendship.

    Jason & Georgie Bernasek                                               1989, New York City, Essex House - Lido tour
  • Where did you train?
    JR: I started studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, at my insistence and started taking dance classes, tap and a bit of ballet, which my dad was not happy about! I continued, after a small stop in high school, then having moved to NYC, started taking class at the famous studios in Carnegie Hall, where I started hanging out with a lot of professional people.

  • Do you have any special theatrical memories that you would like to share with us? Jason wearing the Inca boys firebirds headdress & backpack                                                                            1990, Paris, Lido - Bravissimo
    JR: I have many. In one of my classes in NY I met a fabulous tall dancer named Robin Powell, who is still my best bud. She couldn't get work in NYC as she was too tall. I told her to try Las Vegas as she was perfect for them. She took up my offer, went to Las Vegas and got a job in Hallelujah Hollywood at the MGM Grand. Of course we hung out when she was there and she introduced me to a dancer she would be replacing in the show, called Belinda Smith. During dinner one night Belinda said that Miss Bluebell had invited her to Paris to appear in Allez-Lido. She said I had to come to see her in the show and as I hadn't been to Paris since 1964, thought it was a great idea. When I finally got there, she had (of course) been promoted to Principal Dancer to replace Herma Vos and was extraordinary, She introduced me to a lead dancer in the show, named Pierre Rambert. We hit it off right away, hung out with a lot of new dancer friends & stayed in touch with everyone.

    In 2006 I went to a reunion in Las Vegas before the Stardust implosion. I met an old friend from my class in NYC, Henriette Lindstrom - she was a Lido principal in the 50"s & 60's under the name Henriette Audic. She was with her best bud - Jacqueline Douguet, So I finally met her... & my first line to her was: "It's all your fault!", Then I explained how my joy & love for cabaret started with that entrance on the back of a yellow Jaguar XKE.


  • How did you get involved into casting for the Lido?
    JR: Pierre Rambert and I are good friends & when he took over from Miss Bluebell in 1985, I suggested that he came to NYC to hold auditions. Prior to this, the dancers in the shows were primarily English (through Peter Baker) & Australian, with some Americans sent over by Bluebell or Donn Arden from Hallelujah Hollywood or the Stardust in Las Vegas. We held the audition together & it was very successful. From then on, it became a yearly event. Belinda Smith, Jason & Georgie Bernasek                    1990, Memphis, Backstage outside Orpheum Theatre   Lido tour
    Quote My first experience with the cabaret world was seeing the Casino de Paris show at the Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas. Jacqueline Douguet made her first entrance sitting on the back of a yellow Jaguar XKE. I was hooked!...


  • What are your favourite Bluebell productions?.
    JR: Amongst them all, my personal favourites are Allez Lido, Hallelujah Hollywood & Bonheur. The latter is very much this century.


  • You are obviously very committed to the Lido, why do you think that is?
    JR: The Lido was born 2 days before I was, so I guess... this involvement was fated. I am also one of those people with a steel trap memory for details. So I can totally visualize every show I've ever seen in my head, so I know how costumes were worn and what went with what. Having known Pierre since 1978 and the Lido well before then, I feel like I'm part of a glorious long history.

  • What do the New York auditions consist of and what is your involvement?
    JR: After setting the dates, separate days for men and women, I book a big studio. My favourite studio is 'STEPS' and if we can book there, or another big studio, I'm happy. We need lots of room for tall people with those long legs, to do battements. We then place an ad in the local trade paper, 'BACKSTAGE' and get flyers out to the other big dance studios. The ad will always read: "Women 5'9 & over & men 6' & over" - invariably we will have shorter people show up and the women of course say that they are taller in heels!! At the audition. I set a mark on the wall to test for height. Pierre arrives and we collect pics & resumes. Pierre usually starts with a ballet combo to do the first cut, Then onto a combo from the show. Same deal the next day. It's always interesting to see the turnout, as in NYC women who are very tall have trouble finding work. from L to R:                                                                    Fiona Mackenzie, Louise, Belinda Smith, Jason, Stuart McGhee, Julie, Annette & Georgie Bernasek                    1989, New York City, Essex House - Lido tour

  • What do you look for in a dancer?
    JR: The most important thing I look for in a dancer is training. A dancer has to have good ballet & jazz skills. Next comes height, of course and then a good look - meaning that however you look, you must be dynamic & interesting on stage. There is that 'Lido' look which comes though, if not first off, after a while in the show, if hired.

  • What advice would you give a dancer who wanted to work in a Lido production?
    JR: My best advice for a dancer who wanted to dance at the Lido is 'keep in class'. Even though we do not have ballet numbers 'per se', it is the best way to stay lifted up & work on those battements. Jazz training is essential as well. If you want to audition, do your research. Find out what the show is all about & see what type of dancing to expect, learn to pick-up combinations quickly & then refine them. Be motivated by your love for dance and know that if you come to work at the LIDO you will become a part of a big family with a glorious history.

  • What do you think about ShowBiz Friends?
    JR: I so love ShowBiz Friends. Stuart McGhee, the Company Manager at the Lido first told me about the site and I am so grateful to him for that. I love being able to find old friends, see pictures from some well loved and remembered shows & tos hare a common history with some well loved people. I just heard that my neighbor Liza Minnelli just closed her show at the MGM in Vegas with a show for the gypsies. That's exactly what I mean... 'ya gotta love a dancer!!!!!!'.


  • Thank you Jason for this great interview!