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Backstage with Richard Ridge: It Takes a Woman: Donna Murphy Dishes on the Roles that Brought Her to Dolly!


"This job came up, and initially I thought, 'What a horrible idea! To star as Dolly Levi once a week? How do you do that?' That first performance- and I really didn't know how it was gonna land- the community was so welcoming. I was flabbergasted when I dropped that newspaper, said 'Dolly Levi' and it wasn't Bette Midler's voice!"

It takes a special woman to do what Donna Murphy does once a week at the Shubert Theatre. Every Sunday, the company of the Tony-winning revival of Hello, Dolly! is led by this incomparable Broadway powerhouse, and only a few performances remain before the show closes for good. Below, Murphy chats with Richard Ridge about why this role was an offer she couldn't refuse, why the character hits so close to home, and reminisces about some of her most beloved past roles.

Murphy made her Broadway and professional debut in They're Playing Our Song and has gone on to become one of the American theatre's most acclaimed and beloved performers. Her Broadway performances include Passion (Tony and Drama Desk Awards); The King and I (Tony Award); Wonderful Town (Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Awards; Tony nomination); LoveMusik (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards; Drama League and Tony nominations); The People in the Picture (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations); and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

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