McKechnie, Donna 1940(?)–

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McKECHNIE, Donna 1940(?)–


Born November 16, 1940 (some sources say 1942 or 1944), in Detroit, MI (some sources say Pontiac, MI); married first husband, 1965 (marriage ended); married Michael Bennett (a dancer, choreographer, and director), December 1976 (divorced, 1977). Education: Studied at HB Studio, New York City.

Career: Actress, dancer, choreographer, and singer. Studied dance from the age of 7; American Ballet Theatre, New York City, member of corps de ballet; appeared in holiday shows at Radio City Music Hall; also worked as a dance teacher.

Member: Actors' Equity Association.

Awards, Honors: Antoinette Perry Award, best actress in a musical, Drama Desk Award, and Theatre World Special Award (with others), ensemble performance, 1976, all for A Chorus Line.


Stage Appearances:

(Broadway debut) Dancer, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, 46th Street Theatre, 1961.

Kathy McKenna, The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N, Alvin Theatre, New York City, 1968.

Vivien Della Hoya, Promises, Promises, Shubert Theatre, New York City, 1968.

Kathy, Company, Alvin Theatre, 1970, then Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, 1971.

Ivy Smith, On the Town, Imperial Theatre, New York City, 1971.

(London debut) Kathy, Company, Her Majesty's Theatre, 1972.

Ensemble, Sondheim: A Musical Tribute (revue), Shubert Theatre, 1973.

Ensemble, Music! Music! (revue), City Center Theatre, New York City, 1974.

Cassie, A Chorus Line, New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre, New York City, then Shubert Theatre, both 1975.

Lillian, Wine Untouched, Harold Clurman Theatre, New York City, 1979.

Cassie, A Chorus Line, Shubert Theatre, 1986.

Title role, Annie Get Your Gun, CA and FL productions, 1987.

Can–Can, London, 1987.

Cut the Ribbons, Westside Theatre (Downstairs), New York City, 1992.

Kathy, Company: The Original Cast in Concert (concert staging), Long Beach, CA, and Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York City, 1993.

Fiorello! (concert), City Center Theatre, 1994.

Mrs. Sheila Kelly, Annie Warbucks, Variety Arts Theatre, New York City, 1993–94.

Emily Arden, State Fair, Music Box Theatre, New York City, 1996.

The Goodbye Girl, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, 1997.

Sally Durant Plummer, Follies, Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ, 1998.

Babes in Arms, City Center Theatre, 1999.

Lela McGrath, Ginger, 2000, then London (workshop production), 2001.

Desiree, A Little Night Music, North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, MA, 2000.

Lotte, Mack and Mabel, Los Angeles, 2000.

An Evening with Donna McKechnie: My Musical Comedy Life, Arci's Place, New York City, 2001, then Flushing, NY, 2002.

Lola, Sheba, Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theatre & Museum, Westport, CT, 2001.

Carlotta Campion, Follies, Wadsworth Theater, Los Angeles, 2002.

Singular Sensations, Village Theatre, New York City, 2003.

Follies in Concert, Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI, 2003.

Lottie Ames, Mack & Mabel, Goodspeed Musicals, 2004.

Gypsy in My Soul, London, 2004.

Also appeared as Mama Rose, Gypsy, Ohio Theatre, Cleveland, OH; Cassie, A Chorus Line, Japan production.

Major Tours:

Philia, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, U.S. cities, 1963 64.

Princess, Call Me Madam, 1968.

Cassie, A Chorus Line, U.S. cities, 1975.

Sweet Charity, 1987.

Inside the Music (also known as Donna McKechnie's Inside the Music), U.S. cities, 1993–c. 2003.

My Musical Life, U.S. cities, 2003.

Gypsy in My Soul, 2004—.

Also toured in State Fair.

Stage Work:

Choreographer, Sondheim: A Musical Tribute (revue), Shubert Theatre, New York City, 1973.

Film Appearances:

(Uncredited) Dancer, Billie, United Artists, 1965.

Herself/Kathy, Original Cast Album–Company (documentary), Docurama, 1970.

The Rose, The Little Prince, Paramount, 1974.

Herself, Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There (documentary; also known as Broadway, Broadway: The Golden Age, and Broadway: The Movie), Dada Films, 2003.

Film Work:

Assistant choreographer, Billie, 1965.

Television Appearances; Series:

Hullabaloo dancer, Hullabaloo, NBC, 1965–66.

Amanda Harris/Olivia Corey, Dark Shadows, ABC, 1969.

Margie, Loving, ABC, 1993.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Herself, Broadway: The American Musical (documentary), PBS, 2004.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Louise Jordan, Twirl, NBC, 1981.

Breakin' Through, 1984.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Performer, The 23rd Annual Tony Awards, NBC, 1969.

Guest, I'm a Fan, CBS, 1972.

Performer, Hotel 90, CBS, 1973.

The Kraft 75th Anniversary Special, CBS, 1978.

Sylvia Fine Kaye's Musical Comedy Tonight III, PBS, 1985.

Broadway Sings: The Music of Jule Styne, PBS, 1987.

The 42nd Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1988.

Night of 100 Stars III, NBC, 1990.

The 50th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1996.

The 55th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 2001.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Barbara, MacGruder and Loud, 1985.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Rowan and Martin's Laugh–In, 1967.

"The Private Eye Puzzle," N.Y.P.D., ABC, 1968.

Herself, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1971.

Debra, "Sam's Women," Cheers, NBC, 1982.

Cynthia, "To Snatch a Keith," Family Ties, NBC, 1983.

Suzi Laird, "Stages," Fame, syndicated, 1984.

Suzi Laird, "The Rivalry," Fame, syndicated, 1984.

Suzi Laird, "Reflections," Fame, syndicated, 1985.

Sandra Wall, "The Boy Who Could Be King," Scarecrow and Mrs. King, CBS, 1986.

Anemone, "The Little Mermaid," Faerie Tale Theatre, Showtime, 1987.

Radio Appearances:

Appeared as Phyllis Stone, Follies, BBC Radio.



(With Christopher Durang) Inside the Music (also known as Donna McKechnie's "Inside the Music"), produced in U.S. cities, 1993–c. 2003.

Gypsy in My Soul, produced in London, then tour, 2004—.