McKechnie, who premiered Gypsy in My Soul in London, is set to bring that act to New York's Le Jazz Au Bar April 19-May 1, 2005. McKechnie recently had this to say to Playbill On-Line about her one-woman evening: "I start the show saying, 'My whole dream as a young dancer in Detroit was to come to New York and be in a Broadway show, and that happened, and then I spent practically the rest of my 40 years in the business on the road.'"
Gypsy in My Soul features such tunes as "A Lot of Livin' to Do," "Some People," "I Love Paris" and "Patterns." "I recreate all of the roles that I grew up into," said McKechnie, "like Momma Rose [in Gypsy] and Pistache from Can Can. . . . What I was most concerned about is [whether] the idea, the concept, communicated itself. I can't just do song after song. I have to have a through-line and a beginning, middle and end. That was the challenge. There are so many songs you can do, but it really has to work as a little play."
Best known for her Tony-winning performance as Cassie in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line, Donna McKechnie has appeared in a plethora of musicals both on and Off-Broadway, some of which include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Company, State Fair, Can-Can, Annie Get Your Gun, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road, State Fair and Promises, Promises. In her first full length, one-woman musical celebration, Inside the Music, McKechnie performed songs from several of these productions and offered personal anecdotes about her experiences with some of the theatre’s finest actors, directors, producers and writers. A live recording of that act was released on the Fynsworth Alley label. McKechnie is now working on her autobiography — with writer Greg Lawrence — for Simon & Schuster.
Le Jazz Au Bar's 2005 schedule will also include Shirley Horn (Dec. 30-Jan. 9), Wesla Whitfield (Jan. 10-23), Marlena Shaw (Jan. 24-30), Ruth Brown (Feb. 1-27), Ledisi (March 22- April 3) and Dee Dee Bridgewater (April 5 17).
Le Jazz Au Bar is located in Manhattan at 41 East 58th Street. Call (212) 308-9455 for reservations.