Rick McKay of Second Act Productions suddenly passed in 2018. We pray his work on Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age survives. Many of the shows I was grateful to be a part of at the time,
will be profiled. In the meantime, catch up on the history by viewing his brilliant first film above; and check out the recentBarry Moss Tribute we did together, 2014.
A Chorus Line
Thank you to Michael Bennett for inviting Steve and me into those early talks for A Chorus Line. Who knew? We are forever grateful to be known as "Al" and "Kristine." ACL celebrates our gypsy lives on Broadway -- some of the best times in both our lives.
Rick McKay's passing in 2018 was a complete shock. This rough cut from his docu is cherished.
And yes, Steve & I are still married after all these years. It's gratifying to know that our story is a favorite across the country. Steve did many more original companies than I -- visit my Film Page to view one of my husband's favorite B'way shows:
Steve & I were in Europe shooting the film, Superstar, getting married (Feb 24, 1973) and on our return -- Bob Fosse was auditioning for the first addition to the hottest company on Broadway. Hired as their "swing," I only learned one role & when Jennifer Nairn-Smith gave notice, I stepped easily into her role. Forever proud to call myself a Fosse dancer. It was during this time that we also did the ACL talks - always wondered if Mitzi (orig "tits & ass") & I were not in the Workshop because we were both working in this "Fosse" show.
Pippin "reunion" in LA: Kathy Doby (who put me in the show), Murphy Cross (NCSA alum), Cheryl Clark (swing & later "Cassie" in ACL), me & Sandahl Bergman (who replaced me).
Stephen Schwartz is now enjoying a rebirth alone with the new Pippin again on Broadway - I'm ready for the "granny role"
(click on the book to buy - Steve & I are quoted)
Follies (Cult Classic 70's)
Steve left The Rothschilds (& me) to do Follies. He's even quoted in Ted Chapin's book, "When Everything Was Possible" (click on the book to purchase). Eventually, I was one of their first replacements when they opened in NY ("swing").
Some of the original cast gathered in 2014 for lunch - pictured above are: Ken Urmston, Ralph (Chris) Nelson, Steve Boockvor, Trudy Carson, Kurt Peterson, Harvey Evans (seated) moi, Julie Pars & Mary Jane Houdina.
At one time, I had a gorgeous picture of me taken from the wings in this costume (below) when I went on for Margo Travers . . . water damage ruined it & I can't find the negative. Tis life . . .
My first show, my first photo shoot (in Jill Clayburgh's borrowed dress) and the beginning of my life (all our names appear in the fine print of the poster -- I think that's the only time a producer put everyone's name into the poster).
Singing in the Rain
By this time, I'd been let go from The Guiding Light with two babies at home so I only went after and took theater gigs that would give our family a summer vacation. This was one of those. "Lina" was one of my favorite characters -- especially when "Kathy" was behind the curtain and "Lina" sang in a gorgeous soprano (which I have NEVER done).
This, too, was "family affair." Both our daughters were in the show, Stephen Schwartz (who had directed Working & my Steve got a Tony nom for his role) directed with his son, Scott. His wife, Carol, played "Rose." And my Steve played "Herbie." We had a total blast! This show reminded me why I LOVE the theater.
Irma la Deuce
This should have been a thrill to do, but . . . I was hired as a "TV Star." My condolences to every television actor/actress who tries to come to Broadway. I think Tom Hanks was one of the few actors the theater community really embraced completely.
I LOVED this challenge -- and the cast I worked with were all wonderfully talented. The producers? I swear they wanted the show to fail. The Darien Dinner Theater later closed its doors for good.
My reviews, too, swung the pendulum from "even better in the flesh" to "the soft center." The Times actually gave me what felt like a grudgingly good one. It didn't "feel" like they wanted to like it, but they did. And we really were very good. "If" none of the principals were out. Otherwise, the balance was off & everything was a bit of a struggle. The whole experience really soured my taste for the business -- until "Gypsy."