TM: Do you remember your first Tony Awards ceremony?
VERDON: Oh, sure. I won a Tony. It was held in a little room at the Gotham Hotel.
TM: That was for Can-Can?
VERDON: Yes. And Audrey Hepburn won that year, I think, for Ondine.
TM: Ondine. There's a title you don't hear every day.
VERDON: No! (Laughs)
TM: So the awards ceremony was very different in those days.
VERDON: Oh, yes. It was just a little...I don't even think it was a cocktail party. It wasn't lunch. It wasn't anything!
TM: Was it exciting to win?
VERDON: Oh, yes. But the awards are much better looking now.
TM: Do you mean because they're produced on television?
VERDON: No, I mean the award itself is much better looking.
TM: What did it look like back then?
VERDON: It was just a little disk.
TM: Once you won for Can-Can, there were several years where you seemed to win the Tony quite regularly.
VERDON: Every year I did a show, I got one, until Sweet Charity. I did not get one for Sweet Charity.
TM: That was the year Angela Lansbury won for Mame. Did it ever get a little dull to keep winning like that?
VERDON: Oh, it never gets dull! It's amazing, but never dull!
TM: You were nominated again in 1976 for Chicago, but lost that year as well [to Donna McKechnie, for A Chorus Line]. Did you mind losing for Chicago?
VERDON: No. I always liked the shows I did. That was the only thing that was really important to me. You know, I think I was nominated for every show that I did, but I never talk about nominations. I mean, I've seen people whose walls are covered with the nominating certificates. And I didn't even know you got those things. If I did, I have no idea where mine are!
TM: But then, not everyone has as many awards as you do. For some people, the nominations are everything.
VERDON: (bemused) I guess so.
TM: Have you seen many of the nominated shows this year?
VERDON: No, I've been in London.
TM: Of course, you were working on [the West End production of] Fosse.
VERDON: Yes. And the touring company and replacing people in New York.
TM: You must be a very busy woman.
VERDON: Yes, I've escaped to California right now. I'm either out here visiting my son and daughter-in-law, or up in Vermont with my daughter and her husband and my three grandkids.
TM: One show that's a big success is Contact.
VERDON: I know, and I haven't seen it.
TM: There's a controversy about it. Some people say it's not a musical because it's an evening made up entirely of dance, performed to recorded music.
VERDON: Well, Fosse has no book. And Dancin', well, it sort of had a book. Actually, Fosse sort of has a book.
TM: Of the awards that you won, was any one the most exciting?
VERDON: I received a Tony Award [for Redhead] from Ingrid Bergman, and that was truly exciting, because she had not been allowed back in the country. They felt there was too much controversy [over her romance with director Roberto Rossellini]. The American Legion was protesting. But, to me, it was most exciting getting it from her--and I said so, when I got it.
TM: Will you be attending the Tonys this year?
VERDON: I think so. When exactly do they take place?
TM: The first Sunday in June. June 4.
VERDON: Yes, I can make that!