Actor Lesley Nicol earned accolades for portraying the head cook Mrs. Patmore on six seasons of the television show “Downton Abbey” and in two movies. Now, she’s ready to premiere her new stage show in Chicago.
“How the Hell Did I Get Here?” is an autobiographical journey that charts the ups and downs of an actor who found great success later in life.
The show includes 10 songs sung my Nicol, who studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The songs were written by American composer Mark Mueller, a friend of Nicol’s best known for co-writing the pop hit “Crush” for Jennifer Paige in 1998. He’s also written songs for Heart and Amy Grant.
Nicol has sung on stage before, notably in the first British production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the 1970s and in the original West End production of “Mamma Mia.”
But she’s only been onstage in Chicago one other time – for two performances of “Admission: One Shilling,” about the English pianist Dame Myra Hess. That was performed at Preston Bradley Hall in 2013 with pianist Inna Faliks.
“How the Hell Did I Get Here?” opens March 12 at the Greenhouse Theater Center (the old Biograph) at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. It runs through April 3.