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An Evening With Donna McKechnie: My Musical Comedy Life!

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It was apparent when she appeared in State Fair at the Shubert Theatre in 1995 that legendary dancer Donna McKechnie no longer had the dazzling moves that made her a Broadway favorite in the 60s and 70s. But she still embodies the musical-theater "triple threat" ideal: she can belt and warble with the best of them, her acting is precise and appealing, and her dancing remains expressive and beautifully shaped. Most important now, she's history on the hoof. Her career began when Bob Fosse put her in the chorus of the 1960 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; 27 years later, she starred in Fosse's last show, a touring revival of Sweet Charity (he suffered a heart attack on opening night while McKechnie was onstage). In between were fabled collaborations with her sometime husband Michael Bennett: the 1970 Company (her erotic dance solo was a highlight) and the 1976 landmark A Chorus Line, in which she drew on her own experience to play an aging dancer desperate for a comeback. In this autobiographical one-woman show, created with esteemed musical director Dick Gallagher, the red-haired, apple-cheeked McKechnie interweaves memories of her career with selections from a vast repertoire. Among them: a solo rendition of "You Could Drive a Person Crazy," the Andrews Sisters-style trio that Stephen Sondheim penned for her in Company; "If They Could See Me Now," from Sweet Charity; and "The Music and the Mirror," her signature routine from A Chorus Line. There's also a tribute to the Hollywood musicals that inspired her as a girl and a charming account of the night she met--and danced with--her idol, Fred Astaire. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 Campbell, Arlington Heights, 847-577-2121. November 1-2: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $30.

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