Donna McKechnie to Tour Australia With Solo Act; Jay-Alexander Directs

News   Donna McKechnie to Tour Australia With Solo Act; Jay-Alexander Directs
 
Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie will make her Australian debut this summer when she brings her acclaimed solo show to various Down Under venues.

Donna McKechnie
Donna McKechnie

McKechnie will first perform My Musical Comedy Life at the 10th Adelaide Cabaret Festival June 16-18 on the Festival Theatre Stage.

Following the Festival, McKechnie will play Bennetts Lane in Melbourne June 19 and The Factory Theatre in Sydney June 24; both shows begin at 8 PM. Visit www.bennettslane.com or www.thefactorytheatre.com.au for more information.

Richard Jay-Alexander, who has helmed concerts for Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters, will direct the solo show, which features highlights from McKechnie's award-winning career.

About her director, McKechnie told Playbill.com, "He's great. I had a different vantage point when I [choreographed] the Guys and Dolls [that Jay-Alexander directed] this past summer [at the Hollywood Bowl]. I was able to see him in all his colors. He was amazing in such a short time with such a big place, and they're a very ... corporate thing, the Bowl. To wheel and deal within that kind of place is not easy, but he just brought us all to this great place together, and it was a big hit. The cast was fantastic, but it was all kind of daunting for everybody, I think, and because of it, we stayed together, and Richard kept us on the same page, and to see all these professional people just reach for it and get it was very exciting. . . I've been friends with Richard for quite a long time, but that was the first time I saw him really get out there. So I went, 'He's for me!' because if I'm going to Australia, I need someone to really help me, and he has a great reference of that place."

Best known for her Tony-winning performance as Cassie in the original 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. Simon & Schuster published McKechnie's autobiography, "Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life."

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