The Sexiest Dancer Since Cyd Charisse.Posted: December 4, 2008
In 1969, at the age of nineteen, my life was changed. That was the year I saw the London cast of the Burt Bacharach musical Promises, Promises, and a dancer named Donna McKechnie move like crazy in a number called (improbably) “Turkey Lurkey Time.”
She was sex itself. In fact, since I was still a virgin (quaint, I know), watching her dance from my balcony seat was the nearest thing I had yet had to having sex with a living being. I’d still rank it as one of the best.
In her autobiography Time Steps, McKechnie relates how debilitating pain put her out of commission through much of the seventies and eighties — as a direct result of dancing like that. If so, she made a magnificent sacrifice for us all.
You can see what I saw by looking at this clip from the 1968 Tony Awards. (A former Hullabaloo dancer, she had performed the number as part of the original Broadway cast before being exported to London to open the show there.) Give it time to build, and ignore, if you can, the asinine lyric. You won’t be disappointed. (P.S. On older computers, “Turkey Lurkey” may look herky-jerky in this embedded video, in which case, go here to view it directly on YouTube.)
And here’s writer Seth Rudetsky’s funny explication of the clip:
(In event it doesn’t play smoothly for you here, try here.)