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Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford seems to be on a new path, and it has taken her Under the Bridge. The former talk show queen wrote the family-friendly new musical with composer David Pomeranz. Although Gifford is a gifted performer, she does not have an acting role in the show. These days the lady is behind the scenes! The musical, which is based on the Newbery Medal-winning book, Family Under the Bridge, debuted on January 6 at off-Broadway's Zipper Theatre. It tells the tale of a Paris hobo who finds a homeless family trying to live day by day underneath "his bridge." Of course, Gifford is best known for waking up the nation with her playful personality and chitchat with former co-host and longtime friend, Regis Philbin on TV's Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee. Never one to sit still, Gifford has been busy since leaving the talk show in 2000, but it seems this particular project is closest to her heart. Despite her busy schedule, Gifford has taken the time to answer your questions!

From Laine: I really miss seeing you every morning and hearing about your family. How are your kids doing? Any chance that they will follow in your footsteps with acting or singing?

Kathie Lee responds: Thank you. Cody and Cassidy are doing well. Cody is very musical. Cass is very theatrical.

From Donna: I have watched and listened to you for a long time. You are so talented! Do you think being a singer helped you to write Under the Bridge?

Kathie Lee responds: Yes! When you've been a singer as long as I have--40 years--you learn a thing or two about lyrics and melodies and rhythms.

From April: Of all the wonderful children's stories, what made you choose this one?

Kathie Lee responds: My daughter and I read this book together three years ago, and I couldn't get it off my heart. I couldn't believe it hadn't already been adapted for theater.

From Cathy Shoup: First of all, I think you're wonderful. I would like to know if you regret leaving the Regis and Kathie Lee show. I'm wondering what you will be doing in the near future. I'm hoping a Broadway show.

Kathie Lee responds: No, I have absolutely no regrets about leaving Live. I have a second musical, Hurricane Aimee, debuting in the fall.

From Judi Cornfoot: Will there be a recording made of the Under the Bridge? I read the book and fell in love with it.

Kathie Lee responds: We've done an audio recording of the music and it is available through my website, www.kathieleegifford.com. All of the proceeds go to the Association to Benefit Children www.a-b-c.org.

From Sharon Carson: It must feel incredible to accomplish such a goal. How did you find the time to write?

Kathie Lee responds: Writing has become an obsession with me--a total passion. It's hard to find the time to do anything else.

From Richard: Are you more comfortable behind the scenes or in the spotlight?

Kathie Lee responds: I was in the spotlight so long that "behind the scenes" is a welcome relief.

From Allison Thompson: Which do you prefer: Broadway or TV?

Kathie Lee responds: Broadway

From Emily: Do you have any advice for a young performer hoping to come to NYC someday?

Kathie Lee responds: Arm yourself with self-discipline and an authentic sense of self. Seek God's help because you're going to need it.

From Jen Karski: I can't wait to see the show! I have heard great things about it. Did you help compose any of the music for the show?

Kathie Lee responds: Yes, I contributed to "Paris" and "Something Called Love" and co-wrote the background vocals.

From Amanda: Writing a musical is undoubtedly a big task! What kind of writing have you done in the past and what inspired you tackle this project now?

Kathie Lee responds: I wrote my first book when I was 20. Lots of poetry through the years and a couple hundred songs in the last seven years. It's been an evolving thing.

From Mairin: Would you ever consider that starring in Under the Bridge? What about your children? Could they join you in it? I've seen the show, and I think the love between the three would just glow if they were portrayed by the Giffords.

Kathie Lee responds: Thank you! But I have no desire right now to perform. If the kids want to pursue it, of course, I'll encourage them.

From Linda: Do you think you will ever work with Regis on TV again? I hope so!

Kathie Lee responds: Probably not. That was magic in the bottle. But we remain great pals.

From Bryan: I heard you sing one of my favorite songs, "Just in Time for Christmas," on a television special, and it sent me out searching. I discovered your friend Nancy Lamott. I have to thank you as listening to her sing brings tears to my eyes. I know it is corny. I still love the way you did it and would love to have a copy of you singing it. It was beautiful and as much as Nancy does it complete justice, your version is the one that touched me deeply. Thank you.

Kathie Lee responds: Thank You! Nancy was a total dream. There is a brand new recording out. You can find out more about it at www.middermusic.com.

From Kari Shaffer: I know you're a huge fan of Linda Eder she even sang just for you on Live! right before you left--she was simply amazing!, and I was wondering, out of all of the Broadway performers, who do you admire the most and would love to work with someday on a project. Also, of those, would you consider any of them close friends?

Kathie Lee responds: Linda is brilliant. But my favorite all around musical theater actress is Carolee Carmello, who is just a flat-out genius. As of this moment, she is scheduled to be our leading lady in Hurricane Aimee this fall. And, yes, she has become a dear friend.

From Ingrid: I was just reading a review of your show Under The Bridge. The critics can be brutal. How do you keep positive in such a critical atmosphere? Thanks and good luck!

Kathie Lee responds: I don't read the critics--good or bad--I try to treat triumph and disaster, those two "imposters" as Rudyard Kipling said--the same.

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD IS NO LONGER TAKING QUESTIONS. THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!

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