‘Who doesn’t love being loved?’

We went to see Hello, Dolly! at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit with Carol Channing, and I was just totally overwhelmed. I was 8 years old and this was the biggest thing that had happened to me. We started driving back to Flint from Detroit and I was crying the entire way home because my parents had not arranged for me to meet her. I would lie in bed at night and have full-blown fantasies about taking my bows on stage on Broadway. It was so embedded in me that this was what I wanted. Then, later, at my cousin’s bat mitzvah in Detroit, the band was playing “Hello, Dolly!” and the bandleader was singing. I thought he was doing a terrible job, so I went up and grabbed the mic and said, “Let me do this for you.” He was like, “Beat it, kid.” It was like a scene out of a Woody Allen movie. And my cousin Bernice went, “You let her sing this song.” So I got up and sang and brought the house down! It was just where I belonged—you know, in front of a big crowd of Jews, performing. I loved being loved, and still do. Who doesn’t love being loved?