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Fox Helps Bring An Icon To Life

By Rachel
February 13, 2008 - 3:17 AM

Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle) is fulfilling a dream.

Fox left CSI: Crime Scene Investigation earlier this season, and she is currently working on one of her dream projects. "I'm producing a musical about the life and music of Dusty Springfield called Stay Forever in Los Angeles at the Renberg theater," she told Variety. The show, co-produced by Fox, opened February 7th, and the former CSI actress said that she is "really proud of it. If you like Dusty's music, you will love this show."

Fox got involved in the project through Kirsten Holly Smith, who portrays Springfield in the musical. "I've always been a big fan of Dusty Springfield," Fox explained to Lesbian News. "Even many years ago I read her story and found it interesting. I wanted to turn it into a screenplay. Kirsten, who I've known for years, called me and told me she was doing this show about Dusty Springfield. I was like, 'Wow, ain't that a small world.' So I went to see the show. I felt instantly in love. It was stunning, magical, and breathtaking. So I offered to get on board and now I'm the latest on this party train."

"She had this classic life of a, I hate to say it, 'Pop Woman Artist' in that time period," Smith said, describing the late singer. "She had her tragedies with drugs and alcohol abuse and self-abuse. She had relationships that went bad. Then you start to uncover her and she has these amazing layers. Not only does she have a huge catalog of music, she also has this incredible story. As an artist she always touched people and she always kept touching people."

"It's an inspiring story, especially for women in arts and entertainment," Smith continued. "Dusty was recording and producing music in the man's world of the music industry and she wasn't getting credit for it." Fox called Springfield "an iconic figure in music history." She went on to describe the performer as "a pioneer in so many ways. Not only musically, but business sense, taking a political stand on certain issues, and she herself is exciting and amazing. I wanted to tell the story and I'm totally thrilled I get to tell it with Kirsten."

Stay Forever is a one-woman show that contains 13 of Springfield's songs, including well-known hits such as "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Wishin and Hopin'". The production also includes monologues about her life from the time she was a teenager until her death in 1999 of breast cancer. Springfield's bisexuality and her protests against Apartheid are some of the dramatic events showcased in the show.

Stay Forever: The Life and Music of Dusty Springfield premiered on February 7 at the Renberg theater in Los Angeles. Fox's CSI costars William Petersen (Gil Grissom) and Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows) attended the premiere. The musical will be performed through February 23.

You can read the full Variety interview here. Part of the Lesbian News interview can be found here (subscription is required to read the entire interview). Don't forget to check out the official site for Stay Forever, which includes links to videos. You can also read a review for the musical on Variety or check out pictures from the premiere on Jorja All Around (registration required).

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