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Chat Transcript: 2000 Tony Awards

June 5, 2000
Web posted at: 5:00 p.m. EDT

(CNN) - Backstage at the 54th Annual Tony Awards, the nominees, winners and presenters joined the chatroom to describe the ceremonies, and answer questions about their careers. Here's what they had to say.

Dame Edna

Chat Moderator: Welcome Dame Edna!

Question from mbro: What would you compare receiving your Tony award to?

Dame Edna: I suppose I felt as it was pressed into my hand as I did when my first little child was born. When my daughter Valmai pressed to my bosom. When she was born, she was presented to me, and accepting the Tony, I felt that maternal surge.

Question from Candyce-CNN: Dame Edna, just between you and us, as you look around, who could have done a little better in the fashion department this year?

Dame Edna: Well, I thought everyone looked very, very nice. I've always wanted to dress Rosie. I thought she looked gorgeous, but there was a little tweaking I would've done here and there. She's one of my favorite people, incidentally.

Chat Moderator: Do you feel that your award is long overdue?

Dame Edna: No, I don't. I have found great success all over the world: in Australia, in England, in the Middle East, in the Far East, and I've barely set foot in the U.S. So, the fact that my debut on Broadway should be rewarded with a Tony is a wonderful thrill.

Question from LaDiva-CNN: Dame Edna, where DO you get all those fabulous gowns?

Dame Edna: They're all created by my son Kenny, who is a coutourier. He lives in NewYork and designs all my frocks. I'm a very proud mother.

Chat Moderator: Thank you for joining us!

Dame Edna: Now, sadly, I have to fly. Thank you for your time, darlings!

Dixie Carter

Question from LaDiva-CNN: Do you prefer your singing career to your non-singing acting career?

Dixie Carter: I prefer whatever I'm doing right at the moment and that's the truth. If I could make as good a living on the stage or in a cabaret environment or in concert as I can make on television, there might be a choice to make. But as it is, I need to do television and I do enjoy it.

Question from JrTy__D: Dixie, how difficult was the transition from TV to Broadway?

Dixie Carter: It's entirely different. [Different] muscles are called upon. The vocal muscle is the most important aspect of a stage performance, and only sleep renews the voice. So, it's the life of a nun.

Question from LaDiva-CNN: Dixie, what would be your ultimate musical experience?

Dixie Carter: It may be to sing a concert at Carnegie Hall of English, Irish, and Scottish songs.

From sharonka-CNN: Please tell Dixie Carter that whenever I think of southern beauty, style and grace, I think of her

Dixie Carter: I hope I don't let you down. Thank you very much. My pleasure indeed.

Susan Lucci

Question from Ophir: Susan Lucci, will you perform in another musical?

Susan Lucci: I would look forward to it; I had a great time in "Annie Get Your Gun." I'd love to do another musical. I don't know what I might do next, but I'm looking forward to exploring that.

Boyd Gaines

Chat Moderator: What would you compare receiving your Tony award to?

Boyd Gaines: It's a big like being shot out of a cannon. You're very nervous sitting there waiting. A lot of the nerves are that you might actually have to get up and say something, and so you have mixed emotions.

When they say your name, you say "That sounds familiar." Then you realize it's YOU and everyone starts pointing and you and clapping. You get up, and I, of course, started up the wrong set of stairs. You get on the podium to thank the people you want to thank. I got very emotional and I'm sure I have no idea what I said. I'm sure I forgot to thank a lot of important people, but you hope when you see them, they'll forgive you.

Jennifer Ehle

Chat Moderator: How does it feel to compete against your mother for an award and are there any hard feelings?

Jennifer Ehle: As far as I'm aware, there are no hard feelings whatsoever. I would be utterly stunned if there ever were to be.

It never felt like a competition. It would be impossible for five actresses in five different plays by different playwrights in different theatres to compete.

This is a great honor and I saw nothing but happiness and warmth coming from my parents when I accepted the award.

Kathie Lee Gifford

Question from Jeff-CNN: Why did you choose now to leave the morning show?

Kathie Lee Gifford: [I’m] not going to miss live television. If I thought I would miss it, I wouldn't leave. I'll miss Regis personally, but I won't miss getting in the car in the pitch-dark, leaving my kids sleeping in bed, getting the cup of coffee, fighting the craziness getting into New York, and reading all the lousiness in the papers and then having to be entertaining.

Regis walks across the street, but I commute from the country. But a lot of people commute and I've had a great 15-year run. I just want to do something different.

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People have trouble understanding how someone can walk away from success, but I don't define success their way. You can have tons of trophies on the wall and lots of money in the bank, but if you're not happy, you're not successful. I want to be happy again. When I was a little girl, my father used to say "find something you love to do and find a way to get paid for it," and that's what I'm going to do again.

Cynthia Tornquist: Who should be your replacement?

Kathie Lee Gifford: The only person who would be wonderful and is genetically pre-determined to do well at this job is [my] little daughter Cassidy, but since she's only 6, Regis will have to wait for her.

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Blakemore wins for directing best musical, play at the 2000 Tonys

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