Let’s Have a YouTube Freak Out Over The Last Ship Leading Lady Rachel Tucker
November 10th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
It’s Monday and you made it through half the day. Congrats to you! Now let’s reward ourselves with a little distraction, shall we? Over at the Neil Simon Theatre, Rachel Tucker is making one hell of a Broadway debut as Meg Dawson, a local bartender at the center of the love triangle, in Sting’s beautiful new musical The Last Ship. Tucker’s songs “If You Ever See Me Talking to a Sailor” and “When We Dance” are two of the best numbers in the show.
But before taking the breath away from New York audiences, the Irish born Tucker was a reality TV contestant (I’d Do Anything) turned legit West End star thanks to her credits in Wicked and We Will Rock You. (So picture how the Grease reality show catapulted Laura Osnes to stardom, except this time imagine she's Irish and belting like Elphaba.)
Below, we look back on some of Tucker’s pre-Broadway performances in this shameless but necessary YouTube spiral.
Let’s begin with some I’d Do Anything; in 2008, Tucker competed as one of 12 finalists (alongside Samantha Barks and winner Jodie Prenger) in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s reality competition to find Olivier!’s next Nancy. Though honestly Nancy Shmancy, we’d love to see her Sally Bowles after this performance of “Cabaret.” (1:55)
After two saves from the man himself, ALW, Tucker went home in week nine—the semi-finals—after losing a “Memory” sing off to Barks. Click below to watch about 400 little gay angels get their wings as these fierce singers belt it out for their lives.
Next up for Tucker was a West End debut in We Will Rock You but there’s no legit recordings of it, so boo. Then came Wicked. Tucker’s performance as Elphie won her a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Takeover and a West End Frame Award for Best Performance of a Song in a Musical for her “Defying Gravity.” But first “The Wizard and I.”
Now three things about the “Defying Gravity”: #1. The sleeve—I live. #2. The “I know” at 2:36… #3. The growl into the belt. Be still my heart, Rachel Tucker.
And there’s that time her and her Glinda, Louise Dearman sang “I Will Never Leave You” from Side Show.
Tucker released her debut album The Reason in 2013, and many of the songs tell a story and show off her softer side, much like this beautiful rendition of “Stars and the Moon.”
Now for some other random musical theatre moments which Tucker owns: “Take Me or Leave Me,” “Everybody’s Girl” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
And now it’s time to get back to whatever you were doing before this impromptu Tucker fan out. And do yourself a favor and go see this amazing talent live in The Last Ship at the Neil Simon Theatre.