The Colony Theatre Company Website InfoSearchContactsLinkstShoppingDirectionsVolunteerJoin the TroupeAccoladesSubscribeActors and StaffHistoryTicketsThe TheatreNewsPast SeasonsCurrent SeasonHomeClickable Image
Season Info

Donna McKechnie:
Inside the Music
Text by Christopher Durang 
Adapted from original material by Donna McKechnie

Director
Producer
Scenic Design
Sound Design
Costumes
Set Construction
Master Electrician
Lighting Design
Light Rigging
 

Light Programming
Photography
Graphic Layout & Copy
Conductor/Piano
Double Bass/Bass Guitar
Percussion/Drums
Production Stage Manager
House Manager
Lighting Operator
Spotlight Operator
Dresser for Ms. McKechnie
Choreography
 

Thommie Walsh
Barbara Beckley
Lawrence Miller
Drew Dalzell
Scott A. Lane
Sets To Go
Olu Kiara
Robert L. Smith
Jeremy Bryden, Dylan Goodrich, 
Ryan Jenkins, Justin Morell, 
Reggie Owens, Michael A. Thayer
Jonah Strauss
Michael Lamont
MarketZing, biz
Tom Griffin
Dana Decker
Tom Bowe
Conwell Sellars Worthington III
Richard Ford
peajay andrews
Michael Becker
Erisa Byrd
Michael Bennett
Bob Fosse
Donna McKechnie
Thommie Walsh

CAST 

Donna McKechnie

MUSICAL NUMBERS

ACT I

Cockeyed Optimist
from South Pacific
Music by Richard Rodgers
 Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein

I Wanna Be Loved By You
Music by Harry Ruby & Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar

Just Go To The Movies
from A Day in Hollywood/A Night in Ukraine
Music & Lyrics by Jerry Herman

Fred Astaire
Music & Lyrics by Lindy Robbins & Ann Hampton Callaway

Lies of Handsome Men
Music & Lyrics by Francesca Blumenthal

Guess Who I Saw Today? 
Music by Murray Grand
 Lyrics by E. Boyd

Where Do You Start?
Music by Johnny Mandel
 Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman

Everybody Says Don’t 
from Anyone Can Whistle
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

ACT II

Will He Like Me?
from She Loves Me
Music by Sheldon Harnick
 Lyrics by Jerry Boch

I’m Lovely
from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

A Secretary Is Not A Toy
from How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Music & Lyrics by Frank Loesser 

Broadway Boogie Woogie Blues
from A Class Act
Music & Lyrics by Ed Kleban

Turkey Lurkey Time
from Promises, Promises
Music by Burt Bacharach
 Lyrics by Hal David

You Could Drive a Person Crazy
from Company
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

If My Friends Could See Me Now
from Sweet Charity
Music by Cy Coleman
 Lyrics by Dorothy Fields

The Music and The Mirror
from A Chorus Line
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
 Lyrics by Ed Kleban
 

There will be one intermission.
Running time - 2 hours
 
 
 

In 1994, Donna McKechnie created a nightclub act that premiered at the famed Russian Tea Room in New York City.

At the time, the show consisted of some of her favorite popular and theatre songs, and anecdotal storytelling. The response was so positive that she decided to develop it further into something more substantial for the stage, “to keep me dancing.”

Chris Chadman, a protégé of Bob Fosse's, worked with McKechnie and a second version of the show debuted at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York for only one weekend in April, but it now had a name, Inside the Music.

Riding on new incentive, she sought out a theatre writer to give the show structure and a point of view. At the top of her list was playwright Christopher Durang, whom she invited to the White Barn Theatre in Connecticut to see it in concert in 1995. She says she "almost fainted" when he agreed to work on the project. “His off-the-wall humor was perfect for what I felt I needed to make this story take hold and engage an audience, and I felt I must be lucky to find him between plays!”

While in London recording for the BBC in 1996, she seized the opportunity to perform Inside the Music at the 70-seat Jermyn St. Theatre. She thought it would be an ideal way to try out the new material in relative anonymity, away from the spotlight and scrutiny of the New York critics, until Variety showed up on the second preview and “I felt doomed.”

The show was highly acclaimed, however, and “now I had a great press kit to move the show forward.”

After seeing a presentation of the show, Robert Whitehead, the highly esteemed Broadway producer, “took me to lunch and gave me some very good advice to go deeper into the places I don’t want to go, the painful personal places, then the phoenix will rise from the ashes. I knew immediately that he was right--yes, I didn’t want to go there, and yes, it was the only way to create theatre. Chris agreed and had some ideas as well.”

The major turning point in the evolution of the show came in 1997 when Ed Stern of the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park gave them a great gift of a three week workshop. McKechnie was now ready to bring in her old friend, Tony-Award winning director-choreographer Thommie Walsh to direct. “We were given round-trip tickets to Cincinnati, a stipend fee, room and board, one rehearsal room, a stage manager, three musicians, and an obligation for 3 performances with an invited audience of Board Members and their friends. Inside the Music now had a heartbeat.”

The challenge now was to find an appropriate venue to produce the show. She tested it in large concert halls, nightclub settings, on a dark night on the A Chorus Line set at The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and a dark night on another A Chorus Line set at The Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. Walsh had invited his friend and brilliant Broadway designer Larry Miller to see the show in New Jersey. McKechnie recalls, “I met him for lunch and after talking with him and hearing his ideas, I felt so happy with the prospect of working with such a wonderful artist. I left the restaurant on a cloud.” But she was still looking for a space to call her own, or, as McKechnie likes to say, “I was looking for somewhere to land.”

Enter The Colony. After nine years of evolving, Inside the Music has finally found its theatrical home, where it will be seen for the first time in its proper, and envisioned, theatrical format, with a set, lights and costumes all of its own.

For Donna McKechnie, Inside the Music has always been a labor of love, a journey that's been about connecting with the audience and sharing the incredible adventure that has been her life. She thanks you for being here tonight and for taking the journey Inside the Music.


 

This production was made possible by the kindness and generosity of

Frans Klinkenberg, Angstrom Stage Lighting, Bardwell's on the Boulevard, Anjali Bal, Priscilla Davis, Chris Dwan, Don Frantz, Doug Haverty, Art + Soul Designs, Donna Johnston, Rich Lippman, Todd Nielsen, Salvador Palacios, California Lighting & Power, Mi Piace, Wadler Data Systems

Special thanks to

The Piano Factory Group 
for providing the beautiful onstage grand piano
 

Read the Back Stage West Review