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Davy Jones Performs Aladdin in Florida

April 3, 2011 by  
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(good article with some new information about Davy – brad)

Davy Jones, an actor with a Monkee on his back

By Mary Damiano | Special Correspondent
December 20, 2007

A few years ago, Davy Jones, the baby-faced 1960s pop star from the
Monkees, appeared as Jesus in an Irish production of Godspell. As he
hung suspended on the cross during the crucifixion scene, singing
about his imminent death, a fearful scenario flashed through his mind:
What if someone from the audience yelled out, “Give us Daydream
Believer before you go!”

Welcome to Davy Jones’ world.

“The Monkees absolutely ruined my acting career,” Jones says. He has a
point. Before the wacky TV show The Monkees made him a star, long
before he was Marcia Brady’s teen-idol crush on The Brady Bunch, Jones
was the toast of Broadway, with a Tony nomination for creating the
role of the Artful Dodger in the musical Oliver!.

“People don’t look at me as being an actor,” says Jones. He treasures
a review of a later production of Oliver!, in which he played Fagin,
that not only praised his portrayal but advised readers if they were
thinking they’d see Davy Jones from the Monkees, they should think
again. “There’s no reason I can’t play any part, but it’s hard to be
taken seriously,” he says.

Jones has learned to walk a tightrope between the serious and the
irreverent throughout his career, balancing his surreal celebrity with
a performer’s soul. And he’s serious about his irreverent turn in the
title role of the Gold Coast Theatre Company’s Aladdin, which will be
presented this month at three South Florida venues. The production is
a British pantomime, or panto, a traditional holiday show in England.

Jude Parry, founder of Gold Coast, likens panto to American
vaudeville. “Although it’s built around a story, panto grew out of
British music hall comedy,” says Parry.

This is the second year Jones has appeared in the panto. He was
approached last year because Parry wanted someone who was British, yet
would have a resonance with American audiences. This year, Jones
brought in his friend Christopher Andrews, a musician and actor who
wrote two songs for Aladdin. (The Gold Coast connection also affected
Jones’ personal life =97 he’s dating co-star Jessica Pacheco, whom he
met while they did last year’s panto.)

Performing in the panto feeds Jones’ love of the stage, and his desire
to bring theater to children. Pantos, which combine the struggle
between good and evil with broad comedy and sight gags, are often
British children’s first taste of live theater.

“If you think you’re going to see Shakespeare, forget it,” says Jones.
“I’m not quite sure whether it works for everybody, but it puts a
smile on the kids’ faces.”

Jones is passionate about enriching children’s lives =97 the man who was
known as the cute Monkee has four adult daughters and three
grandchildren. He recently bought an old church in Pennsylvania with
the intention of turning it into a children’s theater and memorabilia
museum.

Another reason Jones decided to do this year’s panto is that it’s
local. Although he has a house in Pennsylvania, he’s been spending
time in South Florida since 1965. He lived in Sunny Isles for several
years, owns a house in Indiantown where he keeps his racehorses (which
he plans on running at Gulfstream in Hallandale this season) and
recently bought a house in Hollywood near the beach.

While Jones enjoys the anonymity that Florida offers, he’s comfortable
with his celebrity. He performs more than 50 gigs each year, and
gladly sings the old songs that made him famous. (At a Mother’s Day
gig at Disney World, he gave away a thousand T-shirts that said “Davy
Knows Your Mother.”) He doesn’t speak to his Monkees bandmates often,
but doesn’t rule out the idea of a reunion, either. And what about the
fans who attend the panto expecting to see him sing one of his hits?
Is there a chance that Aladdin will belt out Last Train to
Clarksville? “We’ll see what works,” Jones says. “Why not give them
what they want?”

Mary Damiano is a freelance writer in Wilton Manors.

IF YOU GO
Gold Coast Theatre Company presents Aladdin at 3 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday at
Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 3 & 7 p.m.
Wednesday and Dec. 27 at Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort
Lauderdale; 3 & 7 p.m. Dec. 30 at Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road,
Miami Beach. Tickets $15-50, available at each box office or
Ticketmaster. Visit BritishPanto.org or call 305-538-5500.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/stage/sfl-thpantopndec20,0,398208=
1.story

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