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Dee Hoty: She with the best cheekbones is a cheeky, talented Dee-light

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She has the most chiseled (read: gorgeous) cheekbones in the business of show.
The rest of her is pretty hot too.
She'll turn 62 and August and looks 31.
Ouch!
I fell in love with Dee Hoty in 1981 when I first saw her on Broadway in the flop The Five O'Clock Girl.
She made me stay up all night.
My most recent experience watching her genius was as Donna in the Boston production of Mamma Mia! It's a role she also played on Broadway and in eight major cities throughout the country.
On Tuesday, June 24, Dee stars with Patrick Cassidy in the Pittsburgh CLO production of Footloose. The role of Vi Moore is a role Dee originated on Broadway and later played in St. Louis. (Read the interview with Cassidy here examiner.com/article/patrick-cassidy-returns-to-pittsburgh-he-s-footloose-and-fancy-and-chatty). Footloose (1998) was her third Tony nomination; Dee also won nominations for The Will Rogers Follies (1991) and The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public (1994).
Pre- and post-Broadway and regional theater gigs have been sandwiched with oodles of TV appearances . . . bubbles of soap opera and such shows as Elementary, Smash and Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the last two in which Dee describes her roles as "a tough hearing judge and a bad mommy." There's also a nice handful of films.
Not bad for a woman who began her life by selling Clinique in Ohio, was transferred to New York and had a female boss who so believed in Dee's talent that she often received "extended lunch hours."
The Pittsburgh CLO gig of Footloose is the third time she is playing Vi.
So that word "three" is the best way to begin our chat.
It's a short time this time. The director is waiting. So are rehearsals.

You've won three Tony nominations Do you ever feel like a bridesmaid but never a bride?
Feeling like a bridesmaid is fine. Really. Think about how many people could be nominated in this business. In my union alone! To be selected for the honor is truly OK with me.

You are playing Iv for the third time. Does this give you a chance to reinvent her. An extra pass to the pastor hubby?
Not really. I know so much about her, how to move, where to put my hands, that I don't have the time or a desire to reinvent her. I know her pretty well.

You played Liza Minnelli's godmother, Kay Thompson, in the recent musical Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne, with Leslie Uggams playing Lena. What was the connection between the two women?
She was Liza's vocal coach, along with Arthur Freed and Roger Edens. It was wonderful playing Kaye.

You won a Barrymore Award and a L.A. Ovation Award nomination for Stormy Weather. But then clouds moved in and the show never saw a sunny future. What happened? Were the reviews bad?
I don't really read reviews, but I know they were mixed. Leslie was great, but the show was bit confusing and people didn't know what was happening as it went back and forth. [Pauses] So what happened? The writer and the producer were the same person, and he would not relinquish anything. Nothing could be changed. Nothing. It could have, should have, been a hit.

You had a huge hit with the touring production of 9 to 5 playing Violet Newstead, Lily's Tomlin's movie role. Why was it such a Broadway flop?
You cannot turn a film into a stage hit by putting everything from the film onto the stage. It never, ever works. Period. That's what happened with the Broadway production.

You starred with Keith Carradine in The Will Rogers Follies. Did people get him mixed up with his brother David, who killed himself by auto-erotic asphyxiation?
[Laughs] Yes. A few people who know me asked me if it was him. I had to explain it was the other Carradine. A few people stopped talking to me. I wrote Keith a sympathy note but I never heard back.

Footloose open at the Benedum on Tuesday, June 24, and runs through June 29. Tickets range from $75.75-$10. For more information, call 412.456.6666 or visit www.pittsburghclo.org

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