NORTH ADAMS, MA-Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts celebrates its 115th anniversary Friday, November 13, with a dinner, silent auction, and performance by legendary Broadway singer and dancer Donna McKechnie. The concert is at 8 p.m. in the Church Street Center auditorium. Due to increased attendance, the venue for the dinner and silent auction at 5:30 p.m. was changed to the Amsler Campus Center gymnasium. All proceeds benefit scholarships at MCLA.
"Truly a Broadway star, from her debut as Cassie in the original A Chorus Line to her roles in Company and others, to have that caliber of talent is indeed an honor," says Jonathan Secor, director of special programs at MCLA, of McKechnie. "To have an intimate evening of just her and a pianist, telling us through song and dance her history on and off Broadway, is not only an honor, but
guaranteed to be a delight."
The Tony Award-winning McKechnie is regarded internationally as one of Broadway's foremost dancing and singing leading ladies. Her Broadway credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really
Trying, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N, Sondheim: A Musical Tribute (which she also choreographed), On The Town, Promises-Promises, Company, and State Fair, for which she received the Fred Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer for
the 1996 season.
She also starred in numerous productions in London's West End, including Promises-Promises, Company, No Way to Tell a Lady (which she also choreographed), Cole Porter's Can-Can, and Steven Sondheim's Follies. Bob Fosse invited McKechnie to play the lead in his last production, a
National tour of Sweet Charity, for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Her regional credits include Irma La Douce, Cabaret, The Imaginary Invalid, The Goodbye Girl, Follies, A Little Night Music, Mack and Mabel, Gypsy, I Do I Do!, Misalliance, Come Back Little Sheba, The Glass Menagerie, Stepping Out, Girl's Room, and Inside the Music, her one-woman musical with text by Christopher Durang. McKechnie has also performed extensively on the concert stage, in cabaret, and with symphony orchestras.
In 2005 the New York Times said, "Gypsy in My Soul equaled her to legends Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon as a brass knuckled trouper with a heart of gold in a breezy, happy-to-be-here celebration."
McKechnie made her opera debut in 1996, guest starring in the San Francisco Opera's production of Die Fledermaus. Her recently released memoir, Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life, was published by Simon and Schuster. McKechnie will sign copies of the book at Church Street Center November 13.
Tickets for the show only are $25, $15 for MCLA faculty and staff and
non-MCLA students, and free for MCLA students. Visit www.mcla.edu/115 for information on the pre-show dinner.
For tickets and more information about the 115th anniversary celebration call MCLA Conference Coordinator Ashley Berridge at (413) 662-5185 or Ashley.Berridge@mcla.edu
Event sponsors are MountainOne Financial Partners, which include Hoosac Bank, Williamstown Savings Bank, Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins, and True North; Berkshire Living; and the Porches Inn.