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I thought if I didn’t write my own show, I’ll rust.
– Donna McKechnie
I was terribly shy, but I was always in harmony when I was dancing.
It takes a lifetime of devotion to build your craft, your confidence, and the ability to sing and dance and act believably.
When I saw ‘Chess’ in London, I thought it was horrible. It was so static. People were coming down front and just facing the audience, singing.
It’s not the ideal situation to have two directors. It’s just not the ideal thing.
Sound should bring you in. We have people in all these specialized departments to make it one whole. They are supposed to work together to bring us into their world, not push us away. For example, rock music has to be loud, but it doesn’t have to be too loud.
Doing a musical is not just acting. It’s total theater. When you have to justify the enormous projection of energy it takes to just go into song and dance, you realized why it’s such a humbling experience every time you go into a show.
The whole cast of ‘Company’ was invited to Hal Prince’s house. This is one of the highlights of my life. We all sat in the living room. Sitting on the floor, I was right by the piano.
As an actress, I am always interested in the new writers.
When I first walked into 54 Below, I had this kind of deja vu experience and tried to imagine what this was like back in the day when I would come here at night after doing ‘A Chorus Line.’
You know, I do have a little Pollyanna in me.
To go back to visit the early days with Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, when she was the dance captain of ‘How to Succeed,’ and finding them again 25 years later and working with them on ‘Charity.’ That was really great fun.
Thank God for YouTube. Every Thanksgiving, I’m bombarded with ‘Turkey Lurkey Time.’
It has always been important to me to be a creative artist, not to be a star, not to be rich, not to be famous.
The two most painful things in my life are arthritis and divorce.
I have the oldest whiplash in the business.
Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon intimidated us all because she walked in and was going to be the dance captain. She was a great star, but she loved that kind of work as his assistant.
Whenever you do a show, there are happy reunions of people; it’s very familial.
Any time I can come to L.A., because I live in New York… when I go to L.A., it really is about the people, having reunions and seeing my friends I don’t see enough.
‘A Chorus Line’ never dies; it just keeps opening doors and giving back to me – but there was a time when I considered it an albatross around my neck.
Whenever I do my concerts, I try to do master classes or students.
Frank Loesser was a beautiful soul. I didn’t know how great he was when I met him, but I just adored him. He was a sweet man.
I can be myself everywhere and be happy and confident and not feel that I am just what I do.