Heather Ruffino is the founder of Cloideryn Northern Theatre, which stages the annual Ramsey pantomimes, plays, concerts and musicals. The group has just staged the new musical The Star of India, written and directed by Heather with the musical skills of Marilyn Cannell.
Heather is married to Francesco and has two grown up daughters, a son and three grandchildren. A singer from a very early age she was involved in school shows, concerts, choirs and the Guild. A self-confessed musical geek, she has chosen 10 of her favourite musicals and songs from them, listed in no particular order.
The Dickens story loved by all ages with songs never to be forgotten for generations to come such as ‘Food Glorious Food’, ‘Where is Love’ and ‘As Long As He Needs Me’ but my favourite song and character is that lovable rogue Fagan and his dilemma in life with ‘Reviewing the Situation’.
You find yourself feeling sorry for him and loving a scruffy crafty old thief!
2. Wizard of OZ
Well cliche or not, this had to be one of my choices. I was in a school production and loved the film as a child (still do).
My choice inevitably is ‘Over the Rainbow’ about dreams, wishes and happy endings.
Wow, I love this with lyrics portraying the characters pe!rfectly. Wonderful costumes, makeup and choreography. I experienced it at the London production on the revolving stage. My favourite song ‘Memory’ is sung by the elderly cat Grizabella thinking about her glamorous past.
4. A Little Light Music-
From 1973 adapted from an Ingmar Bergman film and the moving song ‘Send in the Clowns’ in which Desiree sings of the irony, disappointments and regrets in her life, rejected marriage proposals and love lost.
5. Calamity Jane
Brilliant score and a fun loving traditional favourite of many, I’m sure.
I love ‘Secret Love’ in which Calam sings about realising she is falling in love with Wild Bill Hickok despite her constant rivalry with him.
6. The Lion King
An absolute masterpiece loved by all ages. Great colour and vibrancy from start to finish. My pick is ‘The Circle of Life’, which wraps you up with such emotion.
7. West Side Story
This steely, punchy modern portrayal of Romeo and Juliet is one I thought I would never take to as I hate sad endings. ‘Somewhere’ is my favourite as it is a powerful strong song with very meaningful lyrics.
8. Finian’s Rainbow
A fantasy about Og the leprechaun chasing Finian McLonergan and his daughter Sharon who stole his pot of gold and left Ireland for America. Og will become human if he can’t get it back.
I chose the gentle song ‘How Are Things in Glocca Morra’, famously sung by Petula Clark in the film version also starring Fred Astaire in his last leading character film role.
9. The Pyjama Game
Lively musical based around the politics of factory workers with romantic entanglements. Top song for me is ‘Hernando’s Hide Away’ with its cheeky steamy fun.
The dreamy fantasy of the mysterious Scottish village appearing for one day every 100 years but to the villagers it’s only a night’s sleep.
Two American tourist stumble on the village and one, Tommy, falls in love with Fiona there and has to decide will he stay and disappear with the village. Top for me is the well known ‘Almost Like Being in Love’ of course.