Donna McKechnie is Chita's standby in 'The Visit'

Broadway legend Donna McKechnie will act as standby for Chita Rivera in the upcoming production of John Kander and Fred Ebb's final musical The Visit, which begins previews at the Lyceum Theatre on 26 March 2015, before an official opening on 23 April, and is currently booking through to 6 September 2015.

Donna McKechnie won a Tony Award for creating the role of 'Cassie' in the original production of 'A Chorus Line'. Her other Broadway credits include the original productions of 'State Fair', 'Company', and 'Promises, Promises'.

She will act as a standby to leading lady Chita Rivera (Claire Zachanassian) who at the age of 81 will be delivering yet another lead role in a Kander and Ebb musical following her performances in the original productions of 'The Rink', 'Chicago' and 'Kiss of the Spiderwoman'.

The pair are joined by Roger Rees, Jason Danieley, Matthew Deming, Diana Dimarzio, David Garrison, Rick Holmes, Tom Nelis, Chris Newcomer, Aaron Ramey, Timothy Shew, and Michelle Veintimilla.

The Visit is based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt's 1956 thriller and has a book by Terrence McNally and a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb. It is directed by Tony winner John Doyle and choreographed by Tony nominee Graciela Daniele.

Synopsis: "Based on the satirical play by Friedrich Durrenmatt as adapted by Maurice Valency, The Visit is about greed, love, and one woman's carefully plotted revenge. The oft-widowed Claire Zachanassian (Rivera), richest woman in the world, returns to the hardship-stricken town of her birth. The locals pray that her wealth will bring them a new lease on life, but her arrival carries a dreadful price. Sardonic and morally complex, The Visit asks 'What can your heart afford?'"

The musical originally premiered in 2001 at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and was revived by director John Doyle this summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, opening to mixed reviews but sell out audiences.

The Visit is produced on Broadway by Tom Kirdahy, Tom Smedes, Hugh Hayes, Peter Stern, Judith Ann Abrams, Hunter Arnold, Carl Daikeler, Ken Davenport, Rich Affannato, Gabrielle Palitz, in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival.

- by Dom O'Hanlon

Photo by Bruce Glikas Donna McKechnie

Originally published on

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