Sunday, May 10, 2009


So today, I want to remind you of the
You say "arts and education" to people and their eyes glaze over. Mention it on a broadcast and viewers will flip the channel so the anchors go to something else.
This week, President Obama released his FY 2010 budget request to the Congress. It includes $38.16 million for the US Department of Education’s (DOE) Arts in Education program. This is distinctly different from years past; at one time, previous administrations proposed zeroing out this program altogether.
There's no easy visual component to an issue like public funding of arts in education. So it's as if the issue does not exist!

The Arts are among the most important things we learn about in school. They provide a well-rounded education not based on a test's requirements.Every study of how to make cities more attractive to prospective citizens, new businesses, etc. says that a thriving arts scene is a key issue. So of course the local yokel politicos ignore that and invest in new stadiums.

The return to the teaching of the arts in the public schools in the State of California requires that the State and its citizens reevaluate, reexamine and rethink the benefits to be derived from a complete and adequate education that includes exposure to the arts as a part of the regular curriculum. Education, not only in the arts but education as a whole in California and throughout the United States must be lifted to a considerably higher priority. If we do not act upon this soon and begin serious discussions about remedying this increasingly serious lack of the standards for which this country was known, we are at risk to lose the main ingredient of the world class goals of a true democracy.
With more that 4,000 in attendance, Carol Channing was honored for her unstinting support of the arts in education at the PTA Convention on May 2nd, 2009. The Children's Arts Advocate Award 2009 - the state PTA's first such award - was presented to the First Lady of Musical Theatre during an appearance at the organization's 110th annual convention. She and her husband, Harry Kullijian spoke to a crowd of thousands of PTA members and delegates, representing the organization's nearly 1 million volunteer members in the state of California.
See more here:

Once again, Happy Anniversary, Carol and Harry! Wow! What you have accomplished these past six years! I can't wait to see what the next six years bring!
Also, Happy Mother's Day to ALL Mothers!
If you have or had a great mother, celebrate.
If you have or had a horrible mother - celebrate being great despite parental abuse.
Everyone rocks.

It is with saddened hearts that I inform you of the passing of one of the most popular and beloved of all actors and comedians Dom DeLuise.
Mr. DeLuise passed away last week in Los Angeles, CA at the age of 75.
More than 20 years of film and television appearances include the successful "Cannonball Run" films, Mr. DeLuise is well remembered also as a dead ringer for celebrity Chef Paul Prudhomme. A chef himself, DeLuise authored two cookbooks and frequently appeared on morning television whipping up his favorites.

The following was sent by Sharion Daniels:

What can I say about Danny Gans? As a fellow impressionist, he did not disappoint!

As soon as you got off the plane and arrived at the Vegas airport, what did you see?
Billboards of Danny Ganz as the entertainer of the year over and over again. Every year for at least a decade it has been Danny!
And so, having been in this business for so many years and only seeing Danny perform on a short spot on Regis many years Danny did not promote himself on television...I could not wait to catch his act.
At that time he was at the Mirage. Danny, who was blessed to be in that tremendous theater, entered with a hair raising bang!
His singing impressions were astounding, with his impeccable dance moves to go along with them.
His voices and comedic timing were right on, pleasing his audience to the nth degree. Not to mention his drama...Phantom of the Opera and a stunning Al Pacino from Scent of a woman come to mind.
And to top it off, a band to beat the bands, enhancing his precious gifts to thrill his audience to no end!

Danny, a handsome, gifted performer and family man was taken from us so quickly I could not believe the words I heard Friday, May 1st, 2009.
What strikes me most about Danny? His striving to push the envelope to please audiences of all ages by doing the gamut of entertainers from George Burns to Michael Jackson, to Nat King Cole and his daughter Natalie.
His classic Tony Bennet or his cool Smokey Robinson, along with Kermit the Frog to bring out the kid in all of us.

There are few famous celebrities that Danny did not do, male And female, leaving each audience touched, full and electrified!

Danny was a religious man who put family first. May his spirit shine eternally.

Danny, you have been an inspiration to me to strive to be the very best, as your memory will bring out the best in all of us in this business.
You will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, Danny.


NCM Fathom and Forever Plaid Productions Present
Special Anniversary Big Screen Event Featuring
Exclusive LIVE Performances by Select Members of the Original Cast
FOREVER PLAID SINGS ITS WAY INTO SELECT MOVIE THEATERS NATIONWIDE WITH FIRST-EVER, LIVE SING-A-LONG (from Harlan Boll) – May 11, 2009 – “Forever Plaid,” one of Off-Broadway’s most popular and critically acclaimed musicals, is making its first appearance on the big screen in the Forever Plaid 20th Anniversary Special event on Thursday, July 9th.
Select members from the original “Forever Plaid” cast will introduce the event LIVE from the red carpet at Los Angeles’ Club Nokia to fans in movie theaters across the country, followed by a specially-taped 20th Anniversary performance of “Forever Plaid.” Audiences across the country will experience a memorable evening, combining the 20th Anniversary event classic production with new and interactive twists, including a first-ever LIVE, coast-to-coast in-theater sing-a-long with “The Plaids.”

Mickey Carroll, who starred in the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz,” passed away on Thursday.
According to Reuters, Carroll had died of natural causes at the home of his caretaker in Crestwood, Missouri.

Carroll, whose given name was Michael Finocchiaro, was in the entertainment business early in his life as a child. One of his first jobs was appearing in seven episodes of the Spanky and Our Gang series, in which he played as “Mickey.”

He attended school with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. After becoming friends with Garland, she offered him a part in the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz.

Carroll accepted the role as the Munchkinland’s violin-playing “Town Crier.”
His costume consisted of a purple cloak with a yellow flower sticking out of his striped vest.

In 2007, Carroll and a few other surviving Munchkins attended a ceremony that dedicated a Munchkin star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

On a good note, Joan Crowe, who has been hosting HUMP NIGHT AT THE IGUANA for several months is now moving on to other projects. She asked me to take over! I'm thrilled!
My first night to host is on the 27th! I hope you'll join me. My special guest performer that night is Ritt Henn (who was my base player for some time!). Other guests to be announced. If you have any suggestions for guest stars, please let me know!Remember to GO SEE A LIVE SHOW THIS WEEK!


With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper

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