Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NY Times- the lost post

For those of you who don't know, I was asked by the NY Times to be a guest blogger about my experience in the NYMF festival's production of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. They published two o my posts but the third one i sent them last week did not get posted before it became too dated for them. I wrote a new post that will be posted on the NY Times website tomorrow but for those of you who are interested in what the 'lost post' said- feel free to read below. Whee!


September 6, 2011

We conclude our union meeting by electing a Deputy (an always reluctant liason between the cast, management and AEA), and the rest of the Pride and Prejudice company comes back in for the “Meet and Greet”. I jump in a few publicity shots before slipping out to find a quiet place to pump my FLB (freakishly large breasts). The show’s team has graciously agreed to schedule in 20 minute maternity breaks for me every two hours, affectionately referred to as “Boobs O’Clock”. Unfortunately, they can’t guarantee me a place to pump or an electrical outlet so I’ll have to take what I can get at Studios 353 and hope that twenty minutes is enough time to find a space, set myself up, pump (two handed for maximum effect), measure the milk, pour it into a bag, label the bag, put the bag on ice, find a sink to rinse everything, dry everything, put it all away and get back to rehearsal without looking like I’ve run through a sprinkler.

Of course it’s a full house at Studios 353 this morning, so the stairwell is my only option. The filthy, nasty, dark, remarkably busy, probably haunted, only place anyone apparently gets cell reception stairwell. Awesome. New at this pumping thing, before I know it I’ve dropped pretty much every part of my pump on the floor within 90 seconds. This is clearly not going to work . I’d be better off pumping in a TB ward and no matter which way I’m facing there’s always someone coming from behind getting much more than they bargained for. I head to the bathroom and there’s a line ten people deep. Because, why wouldn’t there be. I momentarily consider skipping this pumping break altogether until I experience the ‘let down’. That’s when your milk comes in to your breasts which feels like someone dumping a ton of hardening cement into your chest and then lighting it on fire just for funsies. Now hunched over in excruciating pain, I shuffle back to Room #3.

I peek in, catch our director (Igor Goldin) in mid ‘welcome’ speech, circle my breasts with my index fingers, then open and close my hands in a squeezing motion all the while furiously shaking my head (the universal symbol for “I’m already a huge pain in your ass, and it’s only the first day.”).

By the time I return twenty minutes later from behind (no joke) two ferns in the lobby, I’ve missed the rest of Igor’s welcome speech, departmental introductions and discussions of the set, lighting and costume designs. However, I am just in time for the full read/sing-through of the show. Finally! This is always one of my favorites parts of the process. It’s like opening presents on Christmas morning and is nothing short of thrilling.

It’s a big company, a big score and a big show; three things that are not hallmarks of NYMF productions because it’s hard enough to do a small show with the limited rehearsal time, space and money NYMF provides. However, this team has so many NYMF vets who know the drill (Igor, our choreographer Jeffry Denman and half of the acting company) we may just pull this off, toi toi toi. So let it be known that in my opinion, this whole team is swinging a large set of brass ones and as I listen to the classically trained voices bounce off the walls with a warm intensity that’s just not applied anymore in contemporary scores, the goose bumps on my arms tell me I can’t wait to see just how we all pull this ‘old school’ baby off.

To be continued…

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Long time no blog, eh?
So sorry....
please forgive me.
it's been a whirlwind of 'personal life' over here and it's still kinda swirly....

but i DID just want to let you know that apparently this blog and the OLD FRIENDS CD has inspired another artist out there to put her own CD together as well. Since that was half the point of this whole project for me (to help educate and inspire other artists to take back artistic control of their own work) I feel compelled to share this with you.

If you're a fan of Barbara Cook, Julie Andrews and and Shirley Jones look no further than Niffer Clarke's upcoming debut album "Beyond The Ingenue".

If you're interested in learning more about "Beyond The Ingenue" please go to:

She's also raising money for her efforts and she is only about $1000 away (her budget is $7000) if you'd like to support her, please do.

Hoping you're all well and happy.....
please stay tuned here for more news in a couple months of new projects coming from PARTING GLASS PRODUCTIONS!

All My Lerv-
donna lynne

Friday, June 4, 2010

Leenya Rideout..

Alright, my lovelies-

If you don't know who Leenya Rideout is by now....
you should.

She's a buh-rilliant singer, actress, musician-
seen on Broadway in Cyrano, Cabaret, Company (i think she has it in her contract to only do shows that begin with the letter "C".....helllooooooooo Carnival!).
she is a bona-fide member of the 'hillbilly mafia' and she is MAKING HER OWN CD TOO!!!!

THIS is one of the main reasons I started the blog...
to inspire other artists to make their own recordings....
and for someone as awesomely talented and Leenya to put a CD out there?

Well....we all win with that one.
No doubt.

She is a marvelous talent-
and worth supporting in every way.

She has a blog called WHAT WOULD LEENYA DO and I encourage you all to subscribe. She writes in a recent post about how OLD FRIENDS and the 'do it yourself' process that she's embarking on.

check it out-
and follow her journey!
I know i will!


Thank you Andy Propst and the SONDHEIM REVIEW!

The awesome Andy Propst put in a lovely shout-out to OLD FRIENDS in the summer Sondheim Review-
which is no easy feat since....
there is no actual Sondheim on the album.

(yeah...imagine that awkward moment where I put a copy in the mail to Mr Sondheim and thought....'Hmmmmmmmmm....was that really the best of ideas?" Actually, it was- he was incredibly kind.)

While nothing would please me more than to do an album of all Sondheim...
I am admittedly intimidated that so many have had that very same idea for many decades before me.

thanks to Mr Propst, a kind review is in the SONDHEIM SINGS section of the 'summer' edition.

"And bear in mind-- Old Friends from Donna Lynne Champlin, a grand interpreter of Sondheim's music on Broadway (she played Pirelli in John Doyle's revival of Sweeney Todd) and in her solo sow Finishing The Hat. There are no Sondheim songs on this disc, but there is an array of work from other contemporary songwriters including Jim Bauer, Jason Robert Brown, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens and Michael John LaChiusa. Old Friends was made on a shoe string budget but sounds like a million bucks."




Daryl Glenn from the Cabaret Exchange wrote a lovely review of OLD FRIENDS...

"Kentucky (!) native Stephen Foster Collins wrote “Hard Times Come Again No More” (the opening track here) but I say, if it’s Donna Lynne Champlin bringing (or rather singing) the hard times, bring it on! This gal has an absolutely exquisite voice. I realize this comes as no surprise to anyone who knows her musical theatre work, particuarly in Sweeney Todd, By Jeeves , James Joyceʼs ʻThe Deadʼ (all on Broadway) or Bloomer Girl (City Centerʼs Encoreʼ series), but this album is truly a revelation. Ms. Champlin can howl the blues, or at least songs of a blue heart with the very best of ʻem!

"Perhaps most impressive of all, is the fact that she recorded this entire album on an extremely modest budget in the privacy of her own home. Sometimes, in privacy of her own home. Sometimes, in the privacy of her own bathroom! Take that you big media conglomerates! It was a risk recording an album of practically all ballads, and I wouldnʼt recommend it to everyone. But Ms. Champlin carries it off with feathers flying high! What makes the difference, besides that goose-pimple inducing sound of hers, is the fact she has very serious acting chops as well. And she acts the stuffing out of each and every selection here, so we get just as involved in the story as she does.

The stories here are by a wide variety of songwriters in a wide variety of styles, and all are outstanding, even the contemporary theatre songs! My readers will, no doubt, recall that I take issue with many of the songs from the current musical theatre scene, however, Ms. Champlinʼs choices here (“Eiffel Tower” by Jim Bauer, “Still Hurting” by Jason Robert Browne from The Last Five Years, “County Fair” by Scott Warrender and Jim Luigs from Das Barbecu and “When Eleanor Smiles” by Michael John LaChiusa fromFirst Lady Suite, are all impeccable. A couple songs from recent animated films (“Once Upon A December” from Anastasia by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story II by Randy Newman) shine as well with tender treatments.

Demonstrating a vast grasp of innumerable styles, Ms. Champlin also treats us to a pair of folk/country compositions (“Whereʼve You Been” bycompositions (“Whereʼve You Been” by Don Henry and Jonathan Verner and the Kate McGarrigle classic, “I Cried For Us”). As an adopted child myself, the heartbreaking “From Godʼs Arms to My Arms to Yours” (Michael McLean), is particuarly touching with a mother explaining her choice to have and yet give her son to another. My only tiny criticism would be that I think itʼs time we call a temporary moratoriumon Charlie Chaplinʼs “Smile.” Pretty as it may be, all things suffer from overexposure! Perhaps most impressive of all, besides recording the whole thing herself, is the fact that Ms. Champlin also arranged, sings all vocals and plays piano, accordian, flute, tin whistle, synthed guitar, bass, strings, chimes and percussion! Sheesh! What do you even call such a person? A musical genius seems fitting. "

Sadie, Sadie...

Hello my dearests....
Long time no nuthin'.

Sorry for that.

I've been a bit busy...
did a gig at the Actors Theatre of Louisiville...
got married...
went on a honeymoon...
bought a house....
ya know.

same old same old.

Whhhhhhhaaaaaaattttttttt did she say?

i did!
i got hitched!


and that's my new husband Andrew Arrow!!!
(who was also my awesome vocal producer on OLD FRIENDS and a brilliant singer-actor in his own right-


there's some catching up to do with OLD FRIENDS, some more lovely reviews have come out which I'll post separately since I got married and everything I want to make sure that the enormity of that really shines on its own.

btw, did i mention that i got married?

i did.

oh well...
here's another PICTURE!!!!

ok ok.
i'm sorry.

back to work.

hoping you're all well and happy!!!!

donna lynne

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Hello My Dearests!!!!

Long time no posts, i know!
Life has been busy...
getting married in less than a week...

Gettin' hitched so....
life's been about that recently.

We had a marvelous time at the Barnes & Noble CD signing last wednesday-
it was me at 6pm and Gene Wilder at 7:30pm.
Pretty wicked cool to meet him in person.

Thanks so much to everyone who came to the signing-
we had a fantastic turnout and sold quite a few CDs for that kind of event so...WOOHOO!!!

I am posting to catch up but more importantly...
I wanted to let you all know that I have joined the Walk for ALS here in NYC on May 15th. Just before the sound check for the B&N event my brother told me that his wife had been officially diagnosed with ALS after three years of 'mysterious' ailments.

Needless to say, it's shocking and frustrating and humbling the little we can do at the moment besides educate ourselves and rally around my sister-in-law but when the opportunity to walk for ALS came up, I decided to participate in this small way.

If you would like to walk with me, or if you would like to donate to my walk please go to this link:

I know this is out of the realm of CD land but....
figured I would reach out to all of you and if any of you are interested in supporting this worthy cause (which is now incredibly personal to me and my family)-
please feel free to do so.

Much much love to you all-
and I will post again soon.

Love love love....