Friday, February 5, 2010


The Superbowl long ago ceased being just another football game and entered the realm of full blown American pop culture phenomenon.
It is not only a big deal for sports fans, but an important event for marketing, broadcasting, media, advertising, entertainment and retail industries among many others.

Everything surrounding the game–from the pregame to the national anthem to the halftime show–has become an extravaganza.

The first area in which the Superbowl transcended the realm of a mere sporting event was in its impact as a television event.
In many years, its the single most watch television program in American households.
Typically, the game will do a 40 Neilsen rating and a 60 share. This means that between 80 and 90 million viewers are watching at any given point in the contest, with 120 to 130 million watching at least some part of the game.
The TV rating of the game has taken on something of a life of its own, and many offshore sports books offer Over/Under bets on the final Neilsen rating of the Superbowl.

The highest rated Superbowl was Superbowl XVI in 1982 which earned a 49.1 Nielsen rating and a 73 share.
This game is #4 on the all time highest rated television program Neilsen ratings, and three other games are in the top ten.
Last year’s game drew the largest total number of viewers with an estimated 98.7 million watching the game.

The larger potential TV audience that currently exists meant that it didn’t enjoy the lofty ratings numbers of the 1982 game.
There are other changes that may keep the 1982 game’s record ratings from ever being broken. Since then, the number of TV viewing options on satellite and cable as well as the Internet has increased dramatically.

The influence of the major TV networks has also been significantly diminished.

With so many viewers watching the Superbowl every year it has also become a huge event for the advertising industry with major corporations investing heavily in special commercials to air during the game.

Apple’s commercial introducing the Macintosh computer is often credited with starting this trend. That commercial, directed by Sir Ridley Scott (best known for Alien and Blade Runner) is considered one of the most effective TV spots in broadcasting history.
With a 30 second spot costing $3 million dollars, corporations don’t advertise unless they can make a big splash.

The Superbowl halftime show has become a big deal in recent years, though it had a very inauspicious beginning.

The first few Superbowls featured the standard fare of marching bands. The first celebrity to entertain at halftime was, oddly enough, Carol Channing in 1970.
For some time, the halftime show was usually an elaborate performance featuring marching bands and unctuous groups like ‘Up With People’. Occasionally they’d bring in a real celebrity like the iconic Ella Fitzgerald in 1972 (Carol Channing also performed with her making her one of a few multiple time performers). 1993 saw a big Michael Jackson performance, and that really began the trend of featuring A list entertainers that exists to this day.
It also started the current practice of featuring a concert type of performance as opposed to a more traditional ‘halftime show’ with marching bands, dancers, etc. Since then the Superbowl has presented major acts like U2, Aerosmith, Prince, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.

It also introduced the term ‘wardrobe malfunction’ to the American lexicon thanks to the infamous 2004 antics of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson.

The first couple of games featured marching band renditions of the National Anthem, with the first “real” celebrity to perform being Anita Bryant in 1969. Since then with a few marching bands and choirs here and there, its featured big name talent. They’ve also featured some serious legends over the years, including instrumental versions of the anthem by Wynton Marsalis, Herb Alpert and Al Hirt.

Stage star steps out as herself



Since 2002, Sutton Foster has starred in five Broadway musicals. That's impressive all by itself. But consider this: None of the shows was a revival.

What Mary Martin was to Nellie Forbush, what Ethel Merman was to Mama Rose, what Carol Channing was to Dolly Levi — the first, the original, the one that subsequent performers try to live up to — Foster has been to one show after another at the dawn of the 21st century.

Two incidental signs of her success: The noted theater writer Robert Viagas included her in his recent book "I'm the Greatest Star: Broadway's Top Musical Legends from 1900 to Today."
And she's invoked as the epitome of Broadway stardom in the hit musical comedy "[title of show]," which is playing at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

Oh, and there's her Tony Award for best actress in a musical.

She won that for her breakout performance as flapper Millie Dillmount in "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

Then came Jo March in "Little Women," the loony starlet-bride in "The Drowsy Chaperone," the luscious Inga in "Young Frankenstein" and, most recently, sweet Princess Fiona in "Shrek the Musical."

That covers a wide range of styles musically and dramatically, even in terms of costumes and period.
So when it comes to choosing a part, what does Foster look for?

"I'm drawn to different types of characters," the actress said. "I was drawn to Millie, who is strong and funny and so flawed, and to Jo, because she is determined and so am I.
I played the young starlet (in 'Chaperone') and the princess in the tower (in 'Shrek'), and they couldn't be more different."

But there are similarities, deep down.
"I like characters who are complex, not one note, characters I can see myself in," said Foster, 34.
"Also, I look for something new. It's exciting to be part of something from the ground up.

"And I ask myself who is attached to a show. Is there a composer I admire, a director I want to work with? I go with my instincts."

Considering that she was just another Broadway hopeful 10 years ago, those instincts must be remarkably good. You might think they're a family heritage, considering that her brother Hunter Foster is also noted performer. While Sutton Foster was starring in "Millie," he was down the Great White Way starring as Bobby Strong in "Urinetown."

But she suspects it's just a coincidence. When she and her brother were growing up — first near Augusta, Ga., and later in Troy, Mich. — "our mother was a housewife and our dad worked for GM," she said. "No one had any background in the arts.
"As a kid, I never thought, 'I am going to be on Broadway.' But my brother and I started doing community theater, and we just kept going.
It was fun. I loved to sing and dance, and I made friends.
It was my true passion in life."

When "Shrek" closed just after New Year's, "I was exhausted," Foster conceded.

Her current challenge is the concert tour, kicking off here with a benefit for Cabaret St. Louis.
Performing with music director Michael Rafter, she'll sing selections from her debut solo album, "Wish," as well as Broadway hits — including some that she introduced.
"That's great for a concert, where I sing Millie's songs from my own point of view," she said. "I can't hide behind a wig or an accent or a time period.
"I'm just playing me."

The Coral Springs Center For The Arts PresentsRIP TAYLOR In “It Ain't All Confetti”

Comedy Legend of Stage and Screen, Rip Taylor, is scheduled to introduce “It Ain't All Confetti” at The Coral Springs Center for the Arts.
Rip is one of television's most recognizable celebrities and “It Ain't All Confetti” puts a humorous and revealing spotlight on a career that has spanned five remarkable decades.
Sunday, March 21st, 2010 Doors 6pm - Show 7pm
WHERE: Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065
TICKETS: $33.92 by calling 954.344.5990 or on line at

Rip is one of television's most recognizable celebrities. A guest star with over 2,000 television appearances under his belt, Rip brought his wild energy to The Gong Show, Password, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman and to the coveted center square on Hollywood Squares.
Perhaps Rip's greatest impact in television was when he was picked by Chuck Barris to host The $1.98 Beauty Show. The campy "beauty and talent contest" brought Rip icon status as he served as ringmaster, gloriously reveling in the glitter and kitsch of "The World's Tackiest TV Show."

For decades, Rip has maintained his status as one of the top headliners in Las Vegas.
Additionally, Rip has played on Broadway and toured the country as the lead role in plays such as Sugar Babies, Anything Goes, Oliver, Peter Pan, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

In addition to comedy and music, Rip is an accomplished "legitimate" actor. He played Demi Moore's surly boss in Indecent Proposal, and plays Kate Hudson's father in the soon-to-be-released Rob Reiner film, Alex and Emma.
Rip Taylor feels fortunate to have become a madcap mainstay in show business. He frequently donates his time and talents to numerous charitable causes including The Thalians, The Screen Actors Guild, The Actors Home, The Friars Charitable Trust and many, many more.

In the center of the burgeoning South Florida cultural community lies the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, offering a variety of entertainment and artistic events for all ages and interests. From the best of Broadway, to top comedians, jazz and pop concerts, the Gold Coast Opera, the Sy Sugar Pops Symphony Orchestra, and a diverse selection of family productions.
The Center is the cultural lifeblood of the community, with approximately 200,000 people visiting the facility yearly.

Case for arts education in Zimbabwe

Arts Focus with Raisedon Baya

Addressing a gathering one afternoon at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo, the Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, Honourable Senator David Coltart, said the problems with arts in Zimbabwe is that local people view them more as “a lounge or sitting room affair’’.
No one could have said it better. Our people only remember the arts when waiting for supper or waiting to go to bed, and this is usually television or some pirated videos.

In the past months a lot of parents have complained about certain programmes that come out on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) channels forgetting that SABC does not give a hoot about their opinions since they don’t pay anything for watching their programmes.
The only solution to their complaints lies in investing in local artistes and the local broadcaster who can then push ideas and issues relevant and sensitive to them. But this is a topic for another day.
The minister believes that arts and culture should be accorded their proper place in our lives, that arts and culture should be an integral part of our daily lives.

In schools arts and culture activities are thrown towards the end of the day or the end of the week so as not to disturb “proper’’ learning. The belief here is that arts and culture activities do not belong in the classroom. This is all a fallacy.

The arts and culture are part and parcel of a comprehensive education curriculum.
However, the result of the present warped perspective on the arts, based more on ignorance than anything else, has been to keep the arts at bay and away from the curriculum.
The truth of the matter is that arts education is an important aspect of education that those responsible for curriculum development should be making frantic efforts to include it at all the levels of education.

Arts education is a basic human right entitled to every child. Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits’’.
The convention of the rights of child, article 31, says, “state parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunity for cultural artistic, recreational and leisure activity’’.
These articles alone will not make Arts Education a reality in schools. They are just words, and at best an expression of a wish and hope for a better development of the child’s educational path. Forget what they tell you about words being mightier than swords. Words without action are nothing. Words need strong political will to mould them into action and reality.
Before we start saying negative things about our policy makers, I think there is a need to educate most of them about the importance of Arts Education. Teachers, headmasters and other policy makers need to be taught about what exactly is Arts Education.

Arts Education is not an isolated poetry recital in one corner of the school, neither is it a drama performance at the end of the school term.
Arts Education is not just about art lessons or music lessons. You can confine it to a corner somewhere away from the classes or hide it in classrooms. Arts Education is bigger and broader.

When we talk arts education it is important to know that we mean the teaching and appreciation of all arts disciplines. No discipline is better than the other or more important.
The arts encompass literature, drama, poetry, dance, music, painting, sculptor, and arts appreciation.
Arts Education involves the teaching and appreciation of the above disciplines.

It would be difficult if not impossible, for schools to try and accommodate all the above disciplines. That will be too much, unless of course, we are talking about a proper arts school.

Schools can take whatever disciplines they are comfortable with and run with them.

The arts are not for academically challenged students only. They are for everyone.

Grammys backstage report: Which star 'thought I was going to fall on my nude butt'?
by Nicholas White had its eyes and ears open backstage and on the red carpet of the 52nd annual Grammy Awards Sunday in L.A. (Check out our full list of 2010 Grammy winners.) While everyone buzzed about Lady Gaga, it was ultimately country and Taylor Swift that took the night. (John Legend even sorta predicted it to us.) Come along.

Taylor Swift, carrying her four Grammys in her arms, says she has some big choices to make. “All four of them?” Swift said when asked where she will put her Grammys, including Album of the Year.
“I imagine I have four options.”
• AC/DC won their first ever Grammy in Best Hard Rock, but couldn’t beat the mighty (but comparatively neophyte) Green Day in Best Rock.

Asked if he had mixed feelings about beating AC/DC, Billie Joe Armstrong said in the press room, “I love AC/DC.

If it wasn’t for Angus I wouldn’t be playing guitar. But no, I don’t feel bad.”

Kathy Griffin took to Twitter after the show to say Stephen Colbert “stole my motherf—ing Grammy” for Spoken Word Album, and was visibly dismayed when she didn’t win.
Griffin said on the carpet before the show she was surprised to be nominated: “I can’t believe it, I am stunned, like a dog that has been punched in the face.” Griffin’s upcoming sixth season of My Life on the D List will feature Liza Minnelli, Cher, and Kristen Chenoweth, she says.

The paparazzi-friendly comedian greeted a gaggle of tabloid reporters on the red carpet with open arms. “These are my peeps!” Griffin exclaimed.
• John Legend, who presented Album of the Year to Taylor Swift, said before the show that 2010 was all about ladies: “I think it’s a close tie between the three ladies: Beyonce, Gaga, and Taylor Swift.
Usually they say pick the older acts, but there is no one older act in the Album of the Year this year.
Maybe it’s good to bet on country.”
The R&B hitmaker has his fourth album coming this summer, with the Roots. “I’m still going to be the same John Legend,” he says.

Best New Artist nominee the Ting Tings are knee-deep into their new album thanks to cold German winters.

“We’re in Berlin recording our new record, about seven tracks in,” Jules DeMartino says. “It’s pretty there. It’s minus 20 degrees in Berlin, so we don’t go out much. We sit there and write.”
T-Pain joked with a reporter in the press room wearing a red stocking cap that he looked like Jason Mewes.
“Where is Silent Bob?” T-Pain said, to muted laughter. In fact, T-Pain was all about surprises: he divulged that Slash ignored him, and that he was dying to work with Carrie Underwood. “The next on my list, and I will not work with anybody until I do get her, is Carrie Underwood,” T-Pain said.
“I swear to God, everybody else can suck it until I get to Carrie Underwood.”
• Pink, who performed onstage in a trapeze-like contraption of silk scarves (she is an old acrobatic pro), said she almost fell.
“I thought I was going to fall on my nude butt, but I worked it out,” Pink said after the show, adding of her talent: “People are like, ‘Why is she here?’ I am like, This is why, bitches.”
Miley Cyrus tells EW to expect one more kid-friendly pop record from her later this year – and then it will be a different Miley.

Cyrus said on the red carpet, “I have to do one more record that is poppy and fun, then I want to take a couple years and work on this next one.
That will be kind of exactly who I am.

I just don’t know exaclty who that is yet, so I am going to wait until I know.”

Don’t look for Keith Urban to duet with wife Nicole Kidman. “We tend to stick to the viral YouTubes of the world,” Urban says of singing with Kidman.
“I love singing with her around the house.

I don’t think we are going to put the show on the road anytime soon.”
Miranda Lambert, nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Dead Flowers,” said of the nomination: “It’s a song that I felt like for a minute for a minute it didn’t get the shot it deserved, but the Grammys thought it did.
So that made me feel really good.”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)


As I was preparing for my "Arts in Crisis" tour stops in a series of southern states, I was reflecting on the claims of too many politicians that the arts are the province of the elite in big coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles.
This is used as an excuse for denigrating public support for the arts, and by extension, the arts themselves. The argument goes that investing in the arts only affects a very small, very rich, and very concentrated segment of our population.

People of all backgrounds and income levels are involved with the arts across the United States.

Why else would 400 enthusiastic people come to my presentation in Kalamazoo, Michigan and 750 attend in Kansas City, Missouri?
In fact, I have already spoken with over 7,000 people on the 38 tour stops to date.
These arts leaders were no different in knowledge, sophistication or creativity than their counterparts in New York, Chicago or San Francisco.
This thought struck home as I was preparing for my recent appearance in Meridian, Mississippi.
I started thinking about examples of great art and artists from the region.
I remembered that my favorite singer of all time, Leontyne Price, came from Laurel, Mississippi less than an hour away from Meridian.
What an immense loss to the world if Miss Price had not been allowed to experience the joy of singing as she grew up in Laurel. And my life would have been different if she had not given a recital in the Loew's movie theater in New Rochelle, New York when I was 16. Hearing her sing and meeting her after the concert changed my life.

And I remembered that Ethan Stiefel, one of the world's great ballet dancers, came from northern Wisconsin where his father was a prison warden.

I know American ballet would be poorer if he had not been allowed to study dance. Ethan was a brilliant principal dancer at New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre and is now the Dean of the School of Dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Twyla Tharp came from Portland, Indiana and Terrence McNally was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The list goes on and on.
The arts affect every region of this nation. I am learning this on my tour. We ignore the power and potency of the arts if we assume that the only important work is happening in the big Northeast or West Coast cities.
Without the availability of art and arts education throughout the country during the past centuries, our cultural heritage, a glory of our nation, would have been vastly diminished.
Why is today any different?

Estrada Sings A Powerful Lullaby for Ryan


February 1, 2010
Since 2007, Jade Esteban Estrada has performed his one-man show A Lullaby for Ryan: The History of HIV/AIDS in America on stages across North America.
The show, created in honor of World AIDS Day in 2007, is a brilliant showcase for his talents, and a powerful document of the disease's human impact.

Beginning with an expert witness – the Bubonic Plague (“Boobs” for short) – A Lullaby for Ryan traces the spread of HIV/AIDS through the perspective of lives both public (such as actor Rock Hudson) and private (such as Jimmy, a real estate agent who first hears of the disease in 1981). It's a heavy subject, of course, but Estrada finds both pathos and unexpected humor in the stories he tells.

The search for treatments is framed as a beauty pageant, with the winner an exuberant “Miss Protease Inhibitor 1996”; in a raucous and hilarious number, cowboy Phil McPhil discovers the benefits [and joys] of safe sex through the Internet; and Boobs, well aware of her reputation, gamely offers to shake hands with the audience.
At the same time, Estrada brings grace and dignity to the stories of LaShonda Johnson, a Chicago housewife guilty only of trusting her man, and Hudson, who responds to the disease with the poise of a Movie Star.

Estrada moves seamlessly between characters, his performance and songs making each distinct, nuanced, and memorable.

In his hands, Jimmy and Phil and LaShonda become more than mere statistics; they are people.
The San Antonio premiere of A Lullaby for Ryan at The Rose Theatre was greeted with a well-deserved standing ovation, echoing the acclaim Estrada has earned with each performance. Its success proves that a human story, well told, is truly universal.
Find out more about Jade Esteban Estrada at;

Diva worship

Published 02/04/2010

by Gregg Shapiro

Diehard Liza Minnelli fans (is there any other kind?) will undoubtedly work themselves into a lather over the concert DVD Liza's at the Palace (MPI). Fans in the audience included Kathy Griffin, Barry Manilow and Alan Cumming.

Filmed not at the Palace, but at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at a Midnight show in October 2009, the concert recreates her Tony Award-winning performance.
Taking the stage in a white-sequined pantsuit and her trademark short hairdo, Minnelli launches into "Teach Me Tonight," incorporating her mother's stage moves and mannerisms that she has adopted. When she sings, "There's one thing I've learned" in "I Would Never Leave You," I wondered if she meant that she can't pick an appropriate song. Although she used to be drawn to songs about falling in love, she admits that after "extensive research," she is now drawn to songs about falling out of love. As if to prove that point she sings, "If You Didn't, But You Did," which involves the bizarre temporary placement of a microphone and the shooting of a gun.
Possibly the most remarkable and honest moment in the concert occurs during her rendition of Charles Anzavour's "What Makes a Man a Man," a song about a gay man. Another high point is her performance of "My Own Best Friend," a song from the stage version of Chicago that was cut from the movie.
When Minnelli jokes about sitting down during the first act, she explains that she's not crazy, just old. She closes the first half of the show, as you might expect, with "Cabaret."

Dressed in a black velvet Chinese jacket and pants, Minnelli opens the second act with another Kander and Ebb tune, "And the World Goes Round."
Donning a (very) mini black-sequined dress (which she insists on lifting a couple of times) and black suede boots, Minnelli performs her tribute to Thompson.
The cheese quotient is high, so avoid this portion if you're lactose-intolerant. Let's just hope there isn't a Michael Jackson tribute in the works.
For the finale (and her fourth and final costume change), Minnelli ends the show with the ultimate showstopper, "New York, New York." Must-see bonus material includes an informative and touching conversation between Minnelli and Ron Lewis, the show's director/choreographer.

The uncensored, unfit-for-TV version of Kathy Griffin: She'll Cut a Bitch (Shout Factory) has made its way onto DVD. The sold-out show filmed at the Portland Theater in Portland, Oregon, promises to be a "night of honesty," where, in true Kathy Griffin style, nothing is sacred. Griffin gets the ball rolling with backstage Grammy dirt, narrowing in on Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers, before moving closer to home and picking at her tour manager Tom's nervous disorder like a scab.

In hopes of eliciting the "gay gasp," Griffin regales the audience with a tale of Cher (whom she won in a bet with Rosie O'Donnell). Although she readily admits her Cher impression needs work, we do get to see Griffin "queen out" in her adoration of the ageless and chameleon-like singer/actress.

Jokes about her mother's box o' wine, playing the age card, and bitch-cutting Judge Judy ("XXX porn for the elderly") are all good for a laugh. On to the Emmy (and the Shmemmys), where Griffin dissects the competition in the reality category, and tells of her own win and the James Gandolfini embarrassment that followed. She wraps it up with tales of her Green Room escapades.
DVD extras include Griffin connecting with the gays in the audience (a connection she accuses her mother of missing), confessing to missing Sarah Palin (as a comedian), and sharing a Sarah Silverman texting mishap.

David Gest Regrets Plastic Surgery
Posted on February 3rd, 2010 in Awful/Bad Plastic Surgery, Celebrity Plastic Surgery, Male Plastic Surgery by Dana Jackson

David Gest was only known in the entertainment industry before he married Liza Minnelli.
But he’s now a household name and may be better known for his bad plastic surgery than for his failed marriage.
56-year old TV star-and-concert promoter David Gest says that he was encouraged to have plastic surgery by his close friend Michael Jackson, but its not the late legend’s fault that the results were so bad.

David, who has had two facelifts and a nose realignment procedure, says, “On Celebrity Come Dine With Me, I discuss the plastic surgery I had done between 1980-1981 and blame only myself for being so foolish, especially not Michael Jackson nor anyone else. I was an idiot. I look back at that time and think of myself as being so stupid, and was very appreciative of Michael’s support and being there when I went through all that.”

In addition, he also says he got cheek implants and a cleft chin, but both were his idea.

“Sometimes when you are young you are foolish and you get carried away. I remember I was looking in the mirror in an office building when I was with Band of Gold singer Freda Payne. I was mortified and almost fainted. I had the cheekbones removed a week later. I’ve come to realize that it’s not what’s on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.”

It’s nice that David has spoken openly about his plastic surgery mistakes and seems to have learned from them.
Dr. Paul S. Nassif, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and a rhinoplasty specialist in Beverly Hills, California, says, “It is clear David Gest had some work done in the past, and may benefit from having subtle revisions performed to his previous surgeries to create a more natural appearance. “

Board certified Manhattan plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer says, “It is definitely not the most flattering photo of David Gest. His eyebrows appear unnaturally peaked, hairline looks unnatural and midface unbalanced.” is glad that David has learned from his mistakes and is pleased that he can have corrective surgery on his now effeminate appearance.
Read the complete celebrity plastic surgery profile of David Gest on Plasticopedia, the largest celebrity plastic surgery encyclopedia.
Broadway Producer Seeks A Few Good Men for Broadway Revival

Aaron Sorkin, Ken Davenport, A Few Good Men, Broadway, ProducerAnd that Broadway producer is me!

I'm thrilled to confirm yesterday's NY Times announcement that I am planning a revival of Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men to be directed by David Esbjornson for Broadway for the upcoming season.
It's been twenty years since A Few Good Men graced the stage of The Music Box, and I couldn't think of a better time to bring it back. For me, there has to be a reason to do a revival. The piece has to resonate differently now than it did when it premiered. And as I was quoted in The Times, A Few Good Men asks the difficult question of how far we're willing to let our military go to protect our freedom. That's never been more relevant than today, especially for a play that deals with Guantanamo Bay. Add to that the fact that Aaron is willing to roll up his sleeves, get his pen dirty and do a little re-writing, and you have the recipe for a thrilling revival.

More news on Good Men soon...

Bye-Bye 'Betty': Vanessa Williams, Michael Urie 'Sad’
90988422 Fans will be sad to see gay-fave Ugly Betty close the covers on its fictional fashion magazine when the series ends this spring, but perhaps none more than costar's Vanessa Williams and Michael Urie.

Williams, who has won several awards and was thrice Emmy-nominated for her supporting role as bad diva Wilhelmina Slater, can’t hide her disappointment at the show getting axed.

"I gotta be honest,” Williams says of the cancellation news, “we're devastated. We're sad; we're not ready for it to end.”
Williams notes the entire cast and crew recently relocated at ABC’s request. “We just moved to New York. We just got on a roll.” The actress and former singer adds, “Our season this year has been the best we've ever had. But numbers and ratings [were a concern]. A lot of people couldn't even find us. We switched — we were put on Thursday, then taken off, then Fridays; now we're finally on Wednesday nights. But we're sad."

Co-star Michael Urie, who plays Marc St. James agrees, telling HuffPo he was "not shocked, but still saddened" and "secretly hoped we had one more move in us, back to one of our former time slots.

"Everyone is sad, but still enjoying each other and the material," he adds. "We are very lucky to have a solid two-month period to savor every last moment. It's a lucky thing to know when the end is, many shows do not."

The final episode of the show, originally adapted from a Colombian telenovela, will air in April.

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Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week! Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out next Friday! Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:

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Richard Skipper

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Dear Richard:
Once again a very entertaining evening last night ... you and Dana were on form as always and so super funny especially in handling the energetic audience. Barry was phenomenal on the keys and I'm so thrilled that he could really show his stuff on his birthday. You should definitely also do more songs ...
I would also like to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity last night to make my New York Debut ... it will be a fond memory of mine.
Thank you once again and I'm looking forward to what the future will hold for all!
All my love
Anton Van Der Merwe,

Hello darling Richard: WOW - what a night. The talent was wonderful, the energy level incredibly high. You were terrific on your solo spot,(please do more of that). I had a ball. Thank you Richard for creating such a warm and welcome venue for me as well as all the other performers to come and do what we do best - Entertain! I love you, Jillian Laurain,

I LOVE Wednesday nights at the Iguana. It's always such a diverse lineup of talent that there's always something for everyone -- no matter what your musical tastes might be. Richard and Dana are not only talented and funny and great hosts....they are also just downright wonderful people. Amazing! Thank you.
Cindy Marchionda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price!
Dana Lorge and I have put our 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).

Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
This is a nice night
out with the family!
A "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

February 10th: MY BIRTHDAY SHOW! Glen Charlow, Jenna Esposito, Jeanne MacDonald, Jim Speake,
...and a few other surprises as well!

February 17th : James Alexander, Sally Swallow

March 3rd: Danielle Grabianowski

March 10th: David Alpher & Jenny Litt, Louise Quick (pictured), Nicholas Tamagna, Pam Tate, Maureen Taylor. And I'm doing a duet with the incredible David Vernon!

March 17th: Bending Threads and Cindy Marchionda returns!

March 24th, Jackie Draper and Julie Reyburn returns!

March 31st: Frank Basile returns

April 7th: Sina Lewis, RJ Shaw, Susan Winter

April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!
Keep checking for upcoming entertainers and shows!

May 5th: Anton Van Der Merwe


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