Skip to main content

See also:

Auditioning for Life: Broadway and Me

On stage at Davenport's Piano Bar for a full house.
On stage at Davenport's Piano Bar for a full house.
Daniel Friedman

What do you want for your 65th birthday? A one-woman show! Deborah Darr made her birthday wish come true by creating, "Auditioning for Life: Broadway and Me," a musical re-counting of her adventures on Broadway with the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Beverly Sills and Hal Prince. Even though she was nervous to start the project, Darr captures the audience in her slinky jump suit and sequined jacket, singing her way through the ups and downs of a show biz career.

Deborah Darr was cast by Harold Prince in the role of Paquette in the 1974 production of Candide, and was chosen by Beverly Sills for the same role in the New York City Opera production in 1982. This dancer-singer-actor worked steadily in musical comedies and TV commercials. But in 1989, after shooting a commercial and a week before she was scheduled to star in a new musical, Darr rode off into the sunset with her fiancé. Exhilarated by her successes and looking forward to a long and happy life, she found her dreams destroyed when their motorcycle was in a massive accident. Darr recalls lying in the street, screaming, "I need my leg, I need my leg." After three weeks in the hospital she returned home not knowing if she would ever walk again, let alone perform.

During this dark time, Darr decided that since the stage was now out of reach, she would study physical therapy. After many years of being on the other side of the table, during her recovery, she remembers, "One physical therapist was so scared of my emotional reaction to the pain, she would say, `Don't scream or cry.' I vowed I would never do that to a patient." Darr is now a successful physical therapist with a thriving business.

In 1994 another left turn came into her life when Harold Prince called to ask Darr to reprise the role of Paquette in a production of Candide at the Lyric Opera. She was leery of venturing back on stage after all she had been through, but Hal Prince overcame her objections by saying, “I still want you.” And after seeing Deborah Darr’s one-woman show "Auditioning for Life: Broadway and Me" audiences will say the same. Don’t miss this sexy 65-year-old singing and sharing bold and brave insights that will inspire and entertain. The Skokie Theatre, on May 22, at 8 p.m.