Friday, September 25, 2009


Double Rainbow Productions presents ......
Singer/Actress, Leslie Orofino in a brand new show, RED HOT AND BLUES the songs of vamps, tramps, heartbreakers, mantakers and the girl next door....Alberta Hunter, Eartha Kitt, Peggy Lee, Carolyn Leigh, Sophie Tucker and many more.

Ms. Orofino will be accompanied by legendary musicians Daryl Kojak on piano and Boots Maleson on bass.
Louis Pietig is director. " I was breathless from laughing ...all this and great vocals too !"
Stu Hamstra, Cabaret Hotline

The Laurie Beechman Theatre in the West Bank Cafe

407 W. 42nd Street, NYC. 10036

Friday ,Oct . 2 at 8:00

Thursday, Nov. 5 at 7:00

$15 cover/ $15 food/drink
Reservations recommended 212-695-6909

Complete Info:

Toronto's 'Sinatra' battered into coma

STUART PEARCE FOR THE TORONTO STAR Chris Mann has portrayed Frank Sinatra more than 1,000 times on megahit tours in Canada, the U.S., Europe and in London's West End.

Performer clings to life after defending women at chic Spanish resort

PALMA, SPAIN–A Frank Sinatra impersonator from Toronto is fighting for his life in a Spanish hospital after his Good Samaritan act went tragically wrong on the popular holiday island of Majorca.

Chris Mann, 51, was badly beaten in a late-night attack on Sept. 5, police say, after he tried to protect a group of young women, who were caught up in a rowdy dispute between two men at a taxi stand in Portals Nous, a chic resort retreat for many British television celebrities.
All were believed to have been drinking at the fashionable bar nearby.

Mann was still in a coma, suffering from severe head and chest injuries, at the Son Dureta Hospital in Palma, Majorca's capital. His parents rushed from Toronto to be at his bedside.

The divorced father of two, who is starring in the hit show Come Fly With Me at the island's Grand Casino Theatre, is understood to have been kicked and punched in the face several times in the attack.

Doctors, who performed emergency, life-saving surgery, believe Mann sustained brain injuries when his head hit the pavement.

Hospital sources described his condition as "stable, but serious.''

One man surrendered to police last Wednesday and was being held in custody.

Slim and sandy-haired, Mann's portrayal of Ol' Blue Eyes has seen him make more than 1,000 performances on hugely successful tours around the Western world.
THE FOLLOWING LETTERS WERE SENT IN BY FRIENDS I sent this letter to Senator John Mccain in response to his remark, "50 million in funding for the National Endowments for the Arts--all of us are for the arts but tell me how this creates any significant number of jobs."

Dear Senator McCain,
I was just informed about your remark with regard to the National Endowment for the Arts.
Let me tell you what I do for a living. I am an artist. Besides myself, my line of business employs manufacturers of artist's supplies, framers and sales people in art galleries and arts and craft stores.

I also design sets for shows thus keeping the arts alive in theater and people employed such as managers, technicians, administrators, musicians, bookkeepers which in turn supports newspapers, restaurants, printing businesses and more.
My design work in the area of calligraphy and graphics directly impacts the work of printers, caterers, hotels, magazines, newspapers and tourism.

My work as a performer further impacts all these businesses on another level. This Summer, I will be curating an exhibition on Art Deco at our local Visual Arts Center and that will bring in more impact and will stimulate the economy further through transportation, fuel and all of those businesses mentioned previously.

We foolishly expect our leaders to be more knowledgeable than we but many times that is not the case. You need to educate yourself regarding the importance of the arts and humanities to the economy.
Look around you and no matter what you see, an artist had to design it and a craftsperson had to make it.

I hope that you never have to live in a world where the arts are tossed aside so callously and with a such a heartless indifference.


"I'm an artist and I vote"

Hi Richard,
I understand that my friend Stephan has just spoken with you and talked about my 20 year project on George White and his SCANDALS on Broadway and in film.

I am a University professor, and teach Music Theatre History as well as dance and theatre, and I was amazed to learn many years ago--that not only was there little to NO information about White--but that he had been written out of history by jealous producers (Ziegfeld for one).
Anyway, my literary agents in NYC have finally convinced RIZZOLI of the worthiness of a large state of the art Pictography, and we are all finishing negotiations with the NYPL at Lincoln Center for the largest Exhibition ever on the REVUE---featuring my 5000 piece collection on the SCANDALS. They have set a unbelievable 4 month show in the Exhibit Halls--starting in Fall of 2011 and running through the entire Holiday season.
We are also hoping for monies from an independent angel, who is in the final steps of an agreement. Please check out my web site at to get an idea of what I have done and the incredible images that I own (site is my own--not highly charged yet).

THIS will change Theatre History in America forever! I will keep you and Carol and Harry abreast of the developments, as I see that we are all in this education thing together. I am a proud Fosse and Juilliard vet, and I so look forward to chatting soon.

Stay well, and best regards to our amazing Broadway and Hollywood superstar!

Gary Flannery Bob Fosse's Bull


The crowds have been incredible and this is Carol's big come back. You can order at or at If you have any press contacts in NY or anywhere please forward them to me and I can work with Harlan to get the CDS reviewed and/or interviews.

Also, I will be like to carrying them to sale at my shows and I can give you a discount rate. Carol will make royalties from the sales as well.

Larry Ferguson
Carol Channing's new Gospel CD For Heaven's Sake in stores and available at the website.

Vegas-bound, Dahling

By Joe Brown

* What: Liza Minnelli
* When: 8 p.m. Friday through Wednesday
* Where: Hollywood Theatre at MGM Grand
* Admission: $75.35 and $113.85; 891-7777,

Before there was Britney, before Shakira or Madonna — before there was Cher, even — there was Liza. And so she remains, now and forever, world without end, amen.

Liza Minnelli is playing the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand Friday through Wednesday, and her publicist Lisa (with an ‘S’) tells me I have 10 minutes with Liza (with a ‘Z’), who comes to the phone slightly breathless from running through the song “Jubilee Time” with her orchestra.

She’s in New York, rehearsing for the Vegas run, which will reprise this January’s Tony Award-winning Broadway show “Liza’s at the Palace.” (The Vegas show will be filmed Wednesday for PBS and DVD.)

“Hey, Joe, how are ya?” Minnelli says, expertly snapping into instant professional intimacy. She speaks in italics, and packs plenty in the allotted time, even spilling some tea on a major plot point of the upcoming “Sex and the City” movie sequel.

On her latest album, a double-CD studio recording of her “Palace” show, Minnelli tells us everything we need to know in “I Would Never Leave You,” a song tailor-made to who she is at this stage of her five-decade career:

Why do you ask where have I been so long? I’ve been right here, living my life in song.
I’ve been around, I’ve been lost, I’ve been found, but I’ve never really been gone ... The smoke has cleared, and look who’s here — the same dame you’ve always known. Oh, I never left, and I would never leave you alone ...

In other words, Minnelli’s making it clear that she ain’t going anywhere.

Or is it that she’s going everywhere?

All of a sudden Minnelli, 63, is omnipresent: She recently popped up on “VH1 Divas Live,” alongside Paula Abdul, played a psychic on “Drop Dead Diva,” and has a role in the “Sex and the City” sequel.

“The setup is this,” Minnelli says, digging into the dish. “The thing opens with the gay guys (Stanford and Anthony) getting married, and it’s wonderful and everybody in the world is there. And I marry them! Then somebody says, ‘Oh Liza,’ or ‘Miss Minnelli’ or whatever, ‘that was just lovely.
It was so nice to see you; thanks for coming.’ And I say, “Oh — oh, I’m not leaving. And that’s the setup for me to do (Beyonce’s) ‘Single Ladies’!”

2. Hardest working woman in showbiz

Minnelli’s performing itinerary is staggering. She leaves for a monthlong Australian tour three days after this Vegas stint.

“I had no idea how much you work,” I tell her.

“But I love it; that’s why I do it. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it. It’s too hard.”

She’s been up and down, but her returns are not comebacks or “second winds,” she points out sharply.

“I had brain encephalitis — that took a minute. I had a knee operation; that kept me down — but not for long. And since then I have done nothing but work. But you don’t hear about it when I’m down in Australia, or Argentina,” she says, sounding a bit ticked off.

3. The singer, not the voice

If you only listened to her “Palace” album, you might wonder whether Minnelli can still cut it as a singer. Her voice has been darkened and roughened by time and well-documented bouts with various substances.

Minnelli seems to survive each song — or she conquers it in a climactic burst of showbiz triumphalism.


All of this is exactly why she is loved. Minnelli is an unparalleled stylist, a persona, a presence — the last living bridge to the great old Hollywood stars.

She tells me she’s making a new album of love songs, “just basically Billy Stritch and I at the piano.”
And that’s good news.

“I was there before I could walk through the casino — I was too young,” Minnelli recalls about her introduction to Vegas. “It was all so mysterious. At five o’clock everybody disappeared from the pool, and at 7:30 out came the dark suits and girls’ best dresses and best jewelry, and it was kind of like they were in on something dangerous. But now, it’s like this marvelous, marvelous Disneyland. Now, honey, I’m leaping over wheelchairs!”

Always the most social of celebrities since her ’70s heyday, Minnelli is excited about all the stars she says are flying in to see Wednesday’s filmed performance, but she says she can’t name any.

She’s also doing a semi-secret midnight performance that night, calling it “a “gypsy show for the kids.” The kids being her dancing, singing friends from all the other shows in town. (Tickets were given to individuals in the show industry and are not available to the public.)

“You know, we always used to do that,” Minnelli says. “Sammy Davis (Jr.) and I won this great award for doing a show for the kids at 1 in the morning when everyone had finished working, and we did it for years. You do a great show, ’cause they’re all your friends!” she says with a burst of that Oscar-winning Sally Bowles laughter.

5. If you can make it here...

Minnelli scotches the thought that she might settle in for a comfy Vegas residency — surely we could get Cher and Bette to skooch over at Caesars.

“Aw, honey,” she says. “No, I’ve gotten booked solid for almost the next year.”

“Come backstage, will ya?” And she’s gone.

I didn’t even get to tell her that singer Gino Vannelli is playing the Hilton on Sunday — maybe they could team up as Minnelli Vannelli.

FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine and "an invaluable New York institution" by The New York Post will continue its star-studded Fall 2009 season with the return of award-winning actress, Karen Mason, Sunday, October 4. As part of "The Actors Fund Broadway Series." Ms. Mason will perform selections from her recent 2009 MAC Award winning CD Right Here/Right Now, celebrating Broadway and the Great American Songbook. Songs include "All That Jazz," "Diamond's Are A Girl's Best Friend," "People," "Somewhere," "The Impossible Dream" and "Look For The Silver Lining". The show, featuring Chris Denny as musical director and Bob Renino on bass is at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street).
All admission proceeds will go directly to the assistance of professionals in performing arts and entertainment in times of need, crisis or transition.
Karen Mason is a nine time MAC Award winner, 2006 Nightlife Award winner for Major Female Vocalist and three time Bistro Award winner. She also won the Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in And The World Goes ‘Round. She has headlined Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Rainbow & Stars and the Algonquin and has shared concert stages with Luciano Pavarotti, Rosemary Clooney, Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein, Jerry Herman, and John Kander & Fred Ebb, among others. Karen has given concerts in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Brazil, Scotland, Tokyo and Osaka.
Her starring symphonic performances include The New York Pops, The Oklahoma Philharmonic, The Chicagoland Pops, The Indianapolis Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony.

On Broadway, Ms. Mason originated the role of Tanya in Abba's Mamma Mia!, and was awarded a 2002 Drama Desk nomination as Best Actress. Her other leading roles include Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, which she performed to critical acclaim and standing ovations on Broadway and in Los Angeles for three years; Mazeppa in Jerome Robbins' Broadway; Rosalie in Carnival (another Drama Desk nomination); plus featured roles in Broadway's Torch Song Trilogy and Play Me a Country Song.

THE ACTORS FUND is a national human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment.

The Fund - which supports those on stage and screen and everyone behind the scenes who works in theatre, film, TV, music, dance, radio and opera - is a safety net, providing social services and emergency assistance, health services and health insurance information, employment and training programs and housing resources for those who are in need, crisis or transition.
Learn more about all of The Actors Fund's services and programs at
FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY will present Karen Mason with "The Actors Fund Broadway Series" on Sunday, October 4 at 8:30 PM. There will be a $40 cover with $60 premium seats available, in addition to a $25.00 food and beverage minimum. Jackets are suggested but not required. FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street in New York City. For ticket reservations and club information, please call (212) 339-4095 or visit us online at and

Michael Feinstein taking post with Ind. arts hall

Associated Press

CARMEL, Ind. - Vocalist and pianist Michael Feinstein has agreed to become the artistic director of a suburban Indianapolis city's new $147 million performing arts center.

Feinstein tells The Indianapolis Star that he will be working hands-on in shaping the programs and activities for the Performing Arts Center in Carmel. He says he is drawn to the position for the artistic challenge.
The center will have a concert hall and two theaters and is scheduled to open next fall.

Feinstein already has announced plans to move the headquarters of his Feinstein Foundation for the Education and Preservation of The Great American Songbook to Carmel. He also is to perform Friday with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.

Feinstein told the Star his first-year salary would be about $500,000.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star,

ELBOURNE'S horse racing mecca Flemington could be awash with excited gay men and sweaty theatre fans following news Liza Minnelli will be the star attraction at Derby Day next month.
Minnelli, daughter of gay icon Judy Garland and a gay icon herself, will make an appearance in the Flemington Birdcage as a guest of Myer.
She will fly into Melbourne on Derby morning and will arrive by helicopter at Flemington in the early afternoon.

She will then be whisked away to do a sound check for a special intimate performance for 350 VIP guests at a private inner city location that night.

In anticipation of her forthcoming Australian tour, Liza Minnelli met with Molly Meldrum at Sardi’s, the iconic theatre restaurant in New York City.

Despite Meldrum’s stilted and disjointed interview style, this is an engaging program that will appeal to many.
Don’t expect to learn anything new about this showbusiness icon. Her life has played out so publicly it seems that there is nothing that hasn’t been explored in thousands of interviews.

However, this interview shows a genuine and sincere Minnelli looking back on her career - she is one of very few artistes to have won an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Golden Globe and Grammy - and touches on her life with first husband, Peter Allen. A definite must for the die-hard Liza fan.

If you are sitting on the fence about whether or not you’re going to buy a ticket for Liza’s first Australian tour in twenty years, give this show a go. It could very well be the push you need.
It would be great to see more interviews in this style, and of this calibre. Perhaps with a different host?

Liza Minnelli at Sardi’s New York
Channel: Bio
Friday 25 September

Frank Liberman, a veteran Hollywood publicist who represented stars such as Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller and Robert Goulet during his more than 50 years in the business, has died. He was 92.

Liberman, who had Parkinson's disease, died of pneumonia Sunday at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, said his daughter, Kay Liberman.

A former publicist for Warner Bros., Liberman launched his own public relations company, Frank Liberman and Associates, in 1947.

Over the decades, he handled dozens of top names, including Henry Fonda, Nat "King" Cole, Tony Bennett, Jack Paar, Harry Belafonte, Steve Allen, David Janssen, Charles Bronson, Joan Blondell, Dorothy Lamour, Joey Bishop, William Shatner, Mike Nichols and the songwriting team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.

As a publicist, Liberman was best known for his long relationships with Hope (41 years) and Diller (33 years).

In having Liberman as her publicist, Diller was following the lead of Hope, her comedic patron saint.

"That's the way I got Frank, because I pretty much did everything Hope did -- I tried to copy him," Diller, 92, said Wednesday with her trademark laugh. "I thought if it works for him, maybe it'll work for me."

Diller described Liberman as a "gentle man" with a "marvelous sense of humor. Frank was such a fun, fun, fun, fun guy. We were always back and forth with the jokes."

Publicist Dale Olson, who knew Liberman for about 45 years, said that "he became so identified with Bob Hope that he almost became Bob Hope, in that he was one of the greatest jokesters of the public relations profession.

"He was [delivering] caustic jokes all the time, and I think he got that from working with Hope's writers," Olson said. "I'm sure that's why Hope kept him on for all those years, because they joked together and Frank would respond to jokes. "He was so quick-witted and so good at jokes that he probably became the perfect audience for Bob Hope."

Indeed, when a Times reporter raised the issue of Hope's vast real estate holdings in 2003, Liberman quipped: "Bob and I have a lot in common.
He owned the Valley, and I used to drive through it."

As a publicist, Liberman represented movies such as "The Miracle Worker," "David and Lisa," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Yours, Mine and Ours" and "Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number."

He also publicized books, including biographies of Ethel Merman, Mae West and Gig Young -- as well as four of George Burns' books, four of Diller's and five of Hope's.

Born May 29, 1917, in New York City, Liberman grew up in White Plains, N.Y. and attended Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, Conn.
After graduating from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., in 1938, he worked as a copy boy for the New York Daily News for a year before joining the Warner Bros. office in New York as a messenger. He was soon promoted to the press-books department and transferred to the Warner Bros. Chicago office as a "field exploitation man."

After serving as an Army public relations officer from 1941 to 1946, Liberman rejoined Warner Bros., where he worked as a unit publicist before establishing his own office.

Liberman was married for 31 years to Pat Harris, a former New York talent agent and a West Coast casting director, who died in 1984.

In addition to his daughter Kay, Liberman is survived by another daughter, Meg; and two grandchildren.

A memorial service is pending.

Instead of flowers, donations may be made to the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda or Project Angel Food in Los Angeles.

G-20 spouses to take in Warhol art, arts education


PITTSBURGH — From the pop artistry of the late Andy Warhol to the work of student performers, a display of arts was in store for the spouses of world leaders on the final day of an international economic summit.

First lady Michelle Obama, the hostess for the global gathering, was to take her counterparts on tours of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School and the Andy Warhol Museum on Friday.

Art and arts education in school are subjects of interest to Mrs. Obama.

Pittsburgh CAPA, a nationally recognized magnet school similar to the one in the movie "Fame," has more than 800 sixth- through 12th-graders majoring in dance, acting, instrumental and vocal music and other creative arts.
Spouses will visit various classrooms to watch students rehearse performances. They also will see a show organized by Mrs. Obama featuring performances by students and such noted musical artists as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, country superstar Trisha Yearwood and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.

Afterward comes a tour of the Warhol museum.

The seven-story museum houses the art collection and archives of the late 20th century pop artist and Pittsburgh native. The spouses will get a chance to try the silk-screen printing technique Warhol popularized and peruse items from one of more than 600 cardboard "time-capsule" boxes Warhol used to store his keepsakes.

In one of those boxes, archivists found $17,000 in cash. The big discovery in another box was a piece of crusty cake from Caroline Kennedy's 1986 wedding to Edwin Schlossberg.

On Thursday, Mrs. Obama opened two days of spouse events by sharing her passion for eating locally grown food. She treated the group to dinner at Rosemont Farm, which is owned by Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. She also is the widow of Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., of the Heinz ketchup family.

The working farm grows produce and raises livestock. Salad greens and apples grown there were on the menu for the private dinner on the property located in Fox Chapel, just outside Pittsburgh.

The women ate at a long, rectangular table with Mrs. Obama seated between the spouses from Brazil and Indonesia. The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Orchestra's Jazz Trio played throughout the meal. The ladies were joined by Heinz Kerry, White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and Susan Sher, Mrs. Obama's chief of staff.

Mrs. Obama wore a sleeveless cocktail dress by Thakoon, one of her favorite designers, patterned in taupe, pink and green and gathered at her right hip. She accented it with a long strand of pearls, pearl earrings and pink patent leather heels. She pulled her hair into a fluffy ponytail.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper


The show is quite the well-oiled machine! Everything ran like clock-work! Congrats on the success! You are packing them in! I'm so happy you highlighted Bill Zeffiro's music. He's a peach and so are you and Dana! RUN TO THE IGUANA and have a ball!
-Julie Reyburn,

Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge gave me one of the sweetest, happiest birthdays I've ever had!!! If it wasn't enough that I was being featured on their fabulous evening at the Iguana AND that the incomparable Julie Reyburn was introducing 2 of my songs-They sang 'Happy Birthday' to me and GAVE ME CAKE!!! These are two incredible generous people and I am honored and deeply touched by the way they treated me, all their featured artists and their wonderful audiences. YOU SIMPLY MUST GO TO THE IGUANA!! and I'll see you there. With gratitude, Bill Zeffiro,

Wednesday Night (September 16th) you were so delicious! Strawberry shortcake. You are so sweet. Your voice, the way you speak and sing.. I"ll have sweet dreams tonight thinking of your smiling face. You remind me from my childhood when I used to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Dana was great too! Great show! Glad to see you back!
Sunny Leigh


Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price!
Dana Lorge and I have
now put their OWN spin on The variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in
NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge ( in the heart of
NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission). WEDNESDAY NIGHT OF
Each week
will showcase 5 entertainers.
Barry Levitt returns on keyboard and Saadi Zain on bass!
on bass. Each week will be different. Time: 8 - 11:00 p.m.
Cover: $10 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!

CASH ONLY PAID AT THE DOOR! This is a nice night
out with the family!
"throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.
For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_


212-765-5454. No one admitted before

September 30th: Wendy Lane Bailey, Bobby Belfry, Stewart Brodian, Paul & Rochelle Chamlin, Ben Rauch, Rick Younger,

October 7th: Edd Clark, Marianne Meringolo, Wendy Russell, Marcus Simeone, Maureen Taylor

October 14th: Kelly Esposito- Broelmann, Barbara Gurskey, Jonathan Long, Andrea Mezvinsky-Kolb , Martin Vidnovic

October 21st: Esther Beckman & Stearns Matthews, Leslie Orofino, Susan Winter

October 28th: Hector Coris returns!, Laurie Krauz & Wicked’s very own Walter ONeil, Angela Schultz, Mauricio Villa-Lobos!

November 4th: Arianna, Moira Danis, Elaine St. George, Daryl Glenn, Lynn DiMenna

December 9th: Josh Zuckerman, Helena Grenot

December 30th: Linda Fields, Ritt Henn, Annie Hughes

Keep checking

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