Donna allen - real

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"I could stay here forever," vamps Murphy in the middle of a soft-shoe dance break flanked by handsome fellers. "I'm in a heaven sandwich!" That enthusiasm was contagious at a special Sunday-night performance packed with press and New York theaterati. The audience's roaring response from Murphy's first entrance to her final bow was only fitting for the return after a considerable absence of a two-time Tony Award winner and bona fide Broadway treasure, tackling her most comedic role since Wonderful Town in 2003. Cognoscenti also will have noted the poignancy of Murphy — whose husband, actor Shawn Elliott, died in March 2016 — playing a widow stepping forward to stake a fresh claim on life with renewed tenacity. That association made her delivery of "Before the Parade Passes By," full of yearning and determination, especially stirring.

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