Paige Davis is best known as the star of TLC’s Trading Spaces. An accomplished actor and dancer, Paige has appeared in several Broadway productions including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Chicago The Musical, Boeing-Boeing and the national tour of Sweet Charity. Her book, “Paige by Paige” spent several weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. She was also the creator of “Positively Paige,” a blog featuring real, unvarnished stories from her life. Paige is also no stranger to the talk show circuit and has made guest star appearances on “The Tonight Show,” The Today Show,” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Paige is now back on the boards performing 8 shows a week as the lovable murderess, Roxie Hart in Chicago. I had the honor of chatting with Paige recently to discuss everything from working with her husband to her favorite indulgent food!
Hello Paige! You’ve played Roxie Hart on both Broadway and on the national tour. Are there any differences between the two productions?
Good to know! How much rehearsal time do you need to reprise a role like Roxie Hart?
Normally I would say I’d need a full week to go over and be solid on material again, but there’s an interesting thing with CHICAGO. I seem to just remember Roxie. I once went in after 8 years with only a few hours of rehearsal. And I find I’m not the only one who comes and goes from the show who feels that way. I think the material is just so brilliant it sticks with you. It’s the old adage about it being easier to memorize Chekov than a soap opera script. When it flows, it just makes sense.
You’ve played so many great characters onstage. Is there a particular role you feel most connected to?
The title role in Sweet Charity. Her name says it all: Charity Hope Valentine. It’s everything I am in a nutshell.
You got to work with your husband in Beauty and the Beast and I Do! I Do! What is it like playing opposite your significant other?
Wonderful and harrowing all at the same time. LOL. Knowing each other intimately offers incredible depth and shorthand, but also leaves you significantly more vulnerable and open to sensitivity and frustration. All in all however we’re a great match and love working together.
You also starred in your own cabaret show entitled, “Taking A Chance.” What was that whole experience like? (from conception to stage)
I never wanted to do a cabaret style show. Singing has never been my favorite thing — always a means to an end. If I want a career as a dancer and actor in musical theater I’d better sing too. The artistic director of ACT, Stuart Moulton, is a dear friend. It was at his insistence that I caved and agreed to develop a show. He held my hand the whole way and really helped shape it. Initially he told me to just vomit out every formidable story I could think of, and also pair any songs that I associated with those tales. From there he helped focus a through line and narrow down the songs. Without his persistence it would not have happened.
Being proud puppy parents ourselves. I know you and Patrick have a little one named Georgie. She is so cute! Please tell us about her.
Speaking of “wonderful and harrowing”. She is the cutest, funniest, full of personality creature you can imagine. I’m deeply in love. However we’ve still got some training issues that are driving me nuts, including housebreaking. I joke all the time that I’m swimming in Nature’s Miracle, though it’s not really a joke. But then she’ll squeak when she yawns or she’ll sleep on my head or she’ll hold my face in her paws and all is forgiven. She has my heart forever.
Wife, doggy mom, actor, dancer, singer, TV host, blogger, spokesperson. How do you juggle your work/life balance?
It’s tough. I’ve had relearn one particular lesson over and over: A person must make time to rest. Even if only to ensure adequate sleep. If you’re doing so much that you aren’t able to rest, then frankly you’re doing too much. Something will give . . . It will either be saying no to something or someone or it will be your health. It’s up to you to pick.
Obviously, you’re in great shape. What is your favorite indulgent meal?
Cheese. I love cheese. It’s friggin’ terrible for you, but I just can’t stay away. There’s been this article floating around on Facebook that asserts the addictive nature of cheese, likening it to the same addictive properties in drugs. I can attest it rings true in my experience. And I always feel better, stronger, and healthier when I cut it out of my diet or greatly limit it. Oh, and gin. Let’s not forget how much I like gin. LOL. And cheese WITH gin? Well, that’s just heaven.
Could you please share with us one of your most memorable stories/experiences from your TV and stage career?
I defer to this blog entry: http://www.paigedavis.com/2014/07/09/the-gold-stage-door/
Lastly, would you ever consider doing a reboot of TLC’s Trading Spaces?
Sure. You bet. Why not?
Tickets for “Chicago” are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or online at http://www.telecharge.com/broadway/chicago, or by visiting the Ambassador Theatre box office. The Ambassador Theatre is located at 219 W 49th Street, New York, NY 10019.