The Palladium \/\/ Saturday, Feb 29, 8pm February 2020 Expect an evening of song, laughter and memories when four dynamic stars of stage, screen and studio come together on the same stage. The production features Andrea McArdle (\u201cAnnie,\u201d \u201cBeauty and the Beast\u201d), Maureen McGovern (\u201cThe Morning After,\u201d \u201cLittle Women\u201d) and Tony Award winners Donna McKechnie (\u201cA Chorus Line,\u201d \u201cCompany\u201d) and Faith Prince (\u201cGuys & Dolls,\u201d \u201cBells Are Ringing\u201d) with music direction by Billy Stritch. When four dynamic, award-winning musical stars from Broadway, film, TV and recordings come together in concert for one night on the same stage, what transpires is an evening of song, laughter and memories. You\u2019ll be delighted by the biggest hits from their Tony Award-winning shows and performances. Tickets are available at thecenterpresents.org. Broadway Royalty Andrea McArdle originated the title role in \u201cAnnie\u201d in 1977, became the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actress in a Musical and went on to perform the role in London\u2019s West End. On Broadway she has starred in \u201cJerry\u2019s Girls,\u201d \u201cStarlight Express\u201d and \u201cState Fair,\u201d \u201cLes Miserables\u201d and \u201cBeauty and the Beast.\u201d Off-Broadway, Andrea has appeared in the satirical \u201cNewsical\u201d; she has played the title role in regional productions of \u201cMame\u201d and \u201cHello Dolly.\u201d On PBS she has appeared in \u201cAndrea McArdle\u201d on Broadway and \u201cThe Leading Ladies of Broadway.\u201d Maureen McGovern, celebrated as \u201cThe Stradivarius Voice,\u201d was Grammy nominated in 1973 as Best New Artist for \u201cThe Morning After\u201d (\u201cThe Poseidon Adventure\u201d). Her other film score hits include \u201cCan You Read My Mind\u201d (\u201cSuperman\u201d) and the Oscar-winning \u201cWe May Never Love Like This Again\u201d from \u201cThe Towering Inferno.\u201d Her many critically acclaimed recordings include tributes to George Gershwin, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Harold Arlen and Richard Rodgers. Her current CD, \u201cA Long and Winding Road,\u201d has been praised by the New York Times as \u201cA captivating musical scrapbook from the 1960s to the early \u201970s. Ms. McGovern\u2019s vocal technique is second to none.\u201d Her Broadway credits include \u201cPirates of Penzance,\u201d \u201cNine,\u201d \u201cThe Threepenny Opera\u201d and \u201cLittle Women.\u201d Faith Prince has been dazzling Broadway audiences since winning the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for her performance as Ms. Adelaide in \u201cGuys and Dolls\u201d (1995). Faith most recently starred on Broadway in \u201cDisaster!\u201d the musical, for which she received rave reviews. In 2014, she starred as the scheming, irascible Miss Hannigan in the revival of \u201cAnnie\u201d on Broadway, and in 2008, she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for \u201cA Catered Affair.\u201d Other Broadway musical credits include \u201cThe Little Mermaid,\u201d \u201cBells Are Ringing\u201d and \u201cLittle Me,\u201d among others, and she starred in the national tour of the Broadway hit \u201cBilly Elliott.\u201d Her award-winning album \u201cA Leap of Faith\u201d was recorded at Joe\u2019s Pub, and she recently released her new album, \u201cTotal Faith.\u201d Billy Stritch is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national jazz and cabaret scene. Broadway credits include musical supervisor and pianist for Liza Minnelli\u2019s Tony Award-winning show \u201cLiza\u2019s at The Palace\u201d and as Oscar, the onstage pianist in the 2001 revival of \u201c42nd Street.\u201d In addition to 24 years with Liza, Billy also accompanies and arranges for Tony Bennett, Marilyn Maye, Linda Lavin, Christine Ebersole and Paulo Szot. He is the composer of the Grammy-winning song \u201cDoes He Love You,\u201d recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis, and is the recipient of six MAC awards. Billy Stritch We were honored to interview Donna McKechnie from \u201c4 Girls 4.\u201d McKechnie received a Tony Award for her performance in the original production of \u201cA Chorus Line\u201d and is regarded internationally as one of Broadway\u2019s foremost dancing and singing leading ladies. Her Broadway shows include \u201cHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,\u201d \u201cA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum\u201d (national tour), \u201cThe Education of H*Y*M*A*N-K*A*P*L*A*N,\u201d \u201cSondheim\u2014A Musical Tribute\u201d (which she also choreographed), \u201cOn the Town,\u201d \u201cPromises, Promises,\u201d \u201cCompany,\u201d \u201cState Fair\u201d (for which she received the Fred Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer for the 1996 season) and \u201cThe Visit.\u201d She was also featured in \u201cAnnie Warbucks\u201d and \u201cLove, Loss and What I Wore\u201d in New York productions. She has starred in numerous productions in London\u2019s West End, including \u201cPromises, Promises,\u201d \u201cCompany,\u201d \u201cNo Way to Treat a Lady\u201d (which she also choreographed), Cole Porter\u2019s \u201cCan-Can\u201d and Stephen Sondheim\u2019s \u201cFollies.\u201d Donna McKechnie What some of my readers may not know is that \u201c4 Girls 4\u201d is a revival of an original concept conceived by Rosemary Clooney. Frankie Ortega was the group\u2019s arranger\/conductor. That\u2019s right. A very good friend of mine, Kaye Ballard, was in it. Rose Marie, Margaret Whiting and Helen O\u2019Connell were some of the originals. I remember Kaye telling me it was the best job and they had the best time on the road touring. They were seasoned performers, and each had their own wonderful success, and Kaye said it was just the greatest thing. So, when our manager, Wayne , caught the \u201c4 Girls 4\u201d on TV or YouTube, he called a few of us , and we all jumped at the chance. And like Kaye\u2019s experiences, it has been wonderful. Is the format much like the original, where all of you perform together and then each actress\/singer gets individual stage time to share anecdotes and perform numbers from their respective musical theater resumes? Yes, we open and close together, but we each have our own little segments, and it\u2019s just wonderful fun. We adapt our material, and each do 20 minutes or so. We\u2019re all girlfriends, and it is always fabulous. What about \u201c4 Girls 4\u201d has surprised you the most? It says something wonderful to me about age being just a number. We are women who are not ingenues any longer but seasoned performers. It\u2019s not spoken about, but the experience of seeing four wonderful female performers\u2014together on stage\u2014is very powerful. For me, just sitting and watching when one of them comes front and center on stage, they bring a whole history with them. Whether it\u2019s 20 minutes or two hours, it\u2019s a very rich experience. Each one of us tries to bring a number that she knows the audience will connect with and popular favorites. I\u2019m a big fan of all the women that I work with, and, again, it says something important about ageism perhaps, and that\u2014in itself\u2014can be a very inspiring element on stage. What do you share with audiences during your segment? I hope to give the audience members a break from life and give them joy. There are certain songs that become the soundtrack of your life. When you hear and see them performed, it\u2019s like visiting old friends, and not just the performers but the material itself. I have fun talking about New York City in 1959 when I was a teenager, my first audition and what it was like back then. I share fun things like that and lead up to \u201cA Chorus Line.\u201d I talk about working with Sondheim and Michael Bennett. I try to drop a few names that I revere. What is it like working with the group\u2019s music director, the incomparable Billy Stritch? He's a phenomenal talent besides being just a great guy. As a musician, he\u2019s one of the few that I put way up there, and he\u2019s a brilliant entertainer. I can\u2019t wait to hear the chords and changes that he brings to enhance a piece. It\u2019s always just so emotional for me to hear, and it\u2019s beautiful the way he thinks musically. He can play anything and is so even-keeled and confident. I never have to worry about the music. I just have to remember my lyrics! I read that you are also a host of a podcast that is part of the Broadway Podcast Network. What is your focus for the podcast? Yes, it\u2019s new and exciting. Recently, I was given the opportunity to do a podcast for the Broadway Podcast Network. It\u2019s produced especially for Broadway audiences. You can listen to my show on audio or visually watch it, and it\u2019s called \u201cThe Ladies Who Lunch,\u201d and we film it at Sardis. I invite three other women on the podcast who are not just actors but choreographers, conductors, directors and composers. It\u2019s a free-flowing conversation\u2014not like an interview\u2014and serves us lunch. We have the best time talking about our lives and careers. When you reflect upon your career, what are you most proud of? I\u2019ve had the luxury, after all these years, to see \u201cA Chorus Line\u201d continuously play somewhere. I am always thrilled to hear from people, receive wonderful letters and have conversations with people about how I inspired them. \u201cA Chorus Line\u201d was Michael Bennett\u2019s great achievement and masterpiece. For a show to give the kind of hope and inspiration to people that it has for 45 years, it makes me very proud to have had any part in that. For me, seeing how far-reaching the show has become has just been wonderful. What would you like for the audience to take away from your show at the Palladium? It is all about the music, making connections and lifting people up out of a world that is very complicated. I get inspired by the human talent, artistry and music of great composers. I can speak for the four of us when I say we want to entertain the people and let the music lift people\u2019s spirits and transport them to another hemisphere.