Friday, March 5, 2010

LUCIE ARNAZ, CINDY MARCHIONDA, THE MAGIC CASTLE...AND MORE!



Lucie Arnaz' new CD, Latin Roots, is out and available everywhere. AND she is doing a live, in store performance and CD signing at J&R Music in Midtown Manhattan on March 26 at noon.

It's going to be great fun. Papo Pepin and her son, Joe Luckinbill, are her special guests.
I have this cd on my Ipod! I LOVE IT! BUY IT HERE: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Lucie+Arnaz&hl=en&client=firefox-a&cid=1456227387307826169&sa=title#p Read all about Lucie at
http://www.luciearnaz.com/luciearnazcom.html Tell her I sent you!


Cindy Marchionda's FREE show for MAC members at the Laurie Beechman tomorrow afternoon (March 6th) at 4PM. This Saturday, March 6th at 4 pm.
She's doing "for your consideration" for the MAC awards preliminary ballot for Debut Artists.
She has been a regulat at The Iguana on Wednesday nights. I love her and am glad that we have become friends.
If I was a MAC member, she would get my vote.
The Laurie Beechman Theatre, located within The West Bank Café (407 West 42nd St.), is pleased to present Jeff Award winner Cindy Marchionda in Cindy Marchionda: Live at the Beechman.
Cindy's musical director, Ray Fellman, will be at the piano and Andy Gale directed.
There is a $15 food and/or drink minimum for this event. Reservations, which are highly recommended, can be made by calling 212.695.6909.

The show explores the last two years of Cindy's life, going from the very funny experience of entering another career to expense some very high dental bills to a very sobering reality when her father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's.


Expect an eclectic musical menu that includes songs by Jamie Cullum, Leiber and Stoller, Jackson Brown, The Indigo Girls, Johnny Mercer, Randy Newman and The Beatles.
Cindy Marchionda's credits include Madison Square Garden's The Wizard of Oz with Eartha Kitt and Mickey Rooney; Lincoln Center's West Side Story Suite (Rosalia) with the New York City Ballet, directed by Jerome Robbins; Off-Broadway's Our Sinatra: A Musical Celebration (lead female singer); 2 national tours of A Chorus Line (Morales); Arena Stage's Damn Yankees (Gloria Thorpe); The St. Louis Muny's West Side Story (Rosalia); Gateway Playhouse's On the Town (Hildy); Pittsburgh Public's Man of La Mancha (Fermina); the one-woman musical, Early One Morning (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park). She won the Joseph Jefferson (Jeff) Award for playing the title role in Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago.
She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre.

Bistro Award winner Ray Fellman made his Off-Broadway debut when he was handpicked by Stephen Schwartz to musical direct his off-Broadway musical, Captain Louie. Other New York and national Musical Director credits include The Tutor by Wood/Gerle (59 E. 59th), Reluctant Pilgrim (The Barrow Group), Blood Drive: A Musical Triptych by Sheinkin/Derfner (workshop at the O'Neill Theater Center) and Amahl and the Night Visitors (national tour directed by David Aiken).
Ray has been seen behind the piano in The Storefront Theatre's New Mondays (with Bill Russell and Emily Skinner), No Reservations (starring Brandon Cutrell with special guests Karen Mason and Shoshana Bean), Broadway Downtown (with Kristy Cates) and We Miss Nancy: The Storefront Sings Lamott (with Liz McCartney). He has also served as accompanist for Utah Festival Opera Company, The Opera Company of Brooklyn , Mid America Productions at Carnegie Hall (with John Rutter) and A Yuletide Celebration with the Indianapolis Symphony starring Judy Kaye. As a singer, Ray has sung with some of the finest opera companies in the country, including Florida Grand, Glimmerglass and New Orleans operas. Ray holds degrees in piano and voice from the Indiana University School of Music.



The Magic Castle® and
Cabaret at the Castle™
Proudly Presents The West Coast Premiere of
Jim Caruso's Cast Party With Billy Stritch
“Extreme Open Mic”
www.castpartynyc.com

“…the place to be for those with songs on their lips.”-New York Times


“…a hot spot where Broadway and Hollywood tip, twirl and hit the mic.
It's become the place to cruise, schmooze, sing and be seen.”-Playbill


“Cast Party is Broadway mainstay Jim Caruso's always-packed showcase for
the theater-world A-list,” says New York Magazine.
Well now the popular New York
open mic is headed to Los Angeles for its West Coast premiere at the Magic Castle's
Cabaret at the Castle.

Jim Caruso's Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree
that has brought Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York
City every Monday night for the past seven years.
It's a cool cabaret night-out
enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars such as
Michael Feinstein, Elaine Stritch, and Liza Minnellihave hit the stage alongside
up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.
Cast Party is the ultimate spot to mix and mingle with talented show folk and their fans. The
buoyant, sharp and charming Caruso guides the entire affair like a bubbly cruise
director, musical genius Billy Stritch holds court at the ivories, and the audience
is invited to participate in the festivities so bring your music (in the right key)!
Thursday, April 1st, 2010 - Doors 6pm - Show 8pm

The Inner Circle at the Magic Castle, 7001 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028

$20 for non-members, Call 323-851-3313 x434 for more information
Jim Caruso recently made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the
smash hit Liza's At The Palace!.
The show was honored with a 2009 Tony Award for Best Special Event and the recording is a Grammy nominee. For his nightclub work,
Caruso has won six MAC Awards and two BackStage Magazine Bistro Awards for sold-out
shows at Birdland, Arci's Place, The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, and The
Russian Tea Room. His series of weekly podcasts called “here! on Broadway” was
honored with a Summit Award. Please visit www.Jim-Caruso.com or
www.CastPartyNYC.com for more information.

Billy Stritch is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national
jazz and cabaret scene.
His most recent nightclub act “Billy Stritch sings the Mel
Tormé Songbook” earned rave reviews from the New York music critics. Stritch has
appeared in cabaret venues across the nation as well as concert performances at the
London Palladium, NHK Hall in Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro's Municipale Auditorium.
In
New York, he has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and completed 688
performances as Oscar the rehearsal pianist in the 2001 Broadway revival of 42nd
Street. He is the winner of the Nashville Music City News Award, a BMI Song of the
Year Award, and four awards from the Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets. As
a songwriter and arranger, Reba McEntire and Linda Davis recorded his Grammy Award
winning composition “Does He Love You.”
He has arranged for many top performers
including Liza Minnelli, having written the arrangements for Minnelli On Minnelli,
Liza's Christmas at Town Hall, and was musical supervisor and pianist for the Tony
Award-winning, Liza's At The Palace.


The Magic Castle is the world's most famous private club for magicians and magic
enthusiasts and home to The Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. (Thank you, Harlan Boll, for this info)




Russell Brand To Star In Arthur Remake

(SOURCE: Emily Moulder)
Wild haired comic and sexual tyrannosaurus, Russell Brand, is set to star in a remake of the classic comedy Arthur.

The original 1981 movie saw Dudley Moore play drunken millionaire Arthur, who is forced to choose between the love of Liza Minnelli and millions of dollars.

According to Variety, the film will be helmed by Modern Family director Jason Winer and exec. producers will be Brand, Scott Kroopf, J.C. Spink and Nick Linnen.

But it’s the writer that looks like the most interesting part of the lineup so far. Peter Baynham, writer of Borat and Brass Eye, is penning the script, so there’s a good chance that it’s going to be absolutely filthy.

Brand became known as a scene stealer after a genius comic turn in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which has earned him his own spinoff, Get Him To The Greek.
We’re not sure how closely the character of Arthur will be to Moore’s portrayal but if Russell Brand’s playing an alcoholic millionaire, we’re betting there’ll be more than a few giggles in store.

Melanie Griffith to present her mother, Tippi Hedren, with Genesis Award




The Birds Star Tippi Hedren Swoops in for The 24th Genesis Awards Lifetime
Achievement Award

Melanie Griffith to Present her Actress/Animal Advocate Mother
with The Humane Society of the United States' Top Honor

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. - Tippi Hedren, the quintessential Hitchcock
heroine and star of the legendary director's The Birds and Marnie, will receive the
Lifetime Achievement Award at The Humane Society of the United States' 24th Genesis
Awards for dedicating more than 40 years to the protection of animals. Actress
Melanie Griffith will present the prestigious honor to her mother at the gala event
on Saturday, March 20, 2010, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.


“Tippi is an extraordinary woman - both a hands-on caregiver to 68 discarded big
cats at the Shambala Preserve, as well as a tireless activist who continues to work
in support of federal legislation that would ban the breeding of and the trade in
exotic animals in the U.S.,” said Beverly Kaskey, senior director of the Hollywood
office of The Humane Society of the United States and executive producer of the
annual Genesis Awards. “She started speaking out against the commercial breeding
and private ownership of big cats years before it became a widely recognized
problem.”

In 2003, Tippi was the initiator and the driving force in Congress behind the
successful passage of The Captive Wildlife Safety Act, which prohibits interstate
commerce in exotic cats for the pet trade.

Long associated with the protection of big cats in the wild and captivity, Tippi
Hedren's love affair with lions began in the late '60s while shooting a film in
Africa. This life-changing event inspired her dream project: the 1981 film Roar, in
which she starred alongside her daughter, Melanie Griffith, and 50 lions. However,
the experience of filming with these fascinating, yet unpredictable, animals opened
Tippi's eyes to the both the dangers and the inhumane nature of keeping big cats as
pets, causing her to question what happens to captive-bred exotic animals who are
bought and sold for personal possession as pets or for financial gain.
Her answer was to set up The Roar Foundation's Shambala Preserve in 1983. An
eighty-acre wildlife refuge in Acton, California, Shambala currently provides a
permanent home to 68 captive born exotic felines, all of whom are cast-offs from
private owners, zoos and circuses.

An outspoken voice against cruelty to animals, both domestic and wild, Tippi has
served on the boards of The Wildlife Safari and The Elsa Wild Animal Appeal, and she
is currently president of the American Sanctuary Association and The Roar
Foundation, which she founded in 1983. Among her many acknowledgements, she has
been honored with The Helen Woodward Animal Center's Annual Humane Award, the
prestigious Founder's Awards from the ASPCA, the Lion and the Lamb Award, and in
1999, Tippi was honored as a "Woman of Vision" in Washington, D.C., in addition to
receiving the Presidential Medal for her work from Hofstra University. In 2009,
Tippi was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute as a Legendary Leading Lady and
humanitarian. Being honored by The Genesis Awards is particularly personal, due to
her fond memories of being asked to be a presenter in 1986, when the great animal
advocate and actress, Gretchen Wyler, launched the event, and Tippi has been a
frequent presenter ever since.

The annual Genesis Awards is the only event of its kind honoring the news and
entertainment for showcasing animal issues and is presented by The Humane Society of
the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization with more
than 11 million supporters - one in every 28 Americans. (Source: Harlan Boll)



Glamorous costumes worn by the late female impersonator Danny La Rue are to be auctioned at a music hall where the star regularly performed.

Rich sequin beading, acres of lame and yards of cascading feathers are in abundance among the 90 outfits to go under the hammer at Brick Lane Music Hall in east London.

Among the treasures are pantomime costumes; outfits worn in the West End hit Hello, Dolly! sold with mounted and framed original design drawings; gowns worn for music hall and cabaret performances; and head-dresses.

Mr La Rue died peacefully in his sleep last May aged 81 after battling cancer.

His glittering career spanned some 60 years.
Mr La Rue was born Daniel Patrick Carroll in Cork, Ireland, and on the West End stage he triumphed in seven major shows including Come Spy With Me at the Whitehall Theatre, the Danny La Rue show at the Prince of Wales theatre and Aladdin at the London Palladium.

He took part in more than 50 pantomimes and was also a big hit in Australia.

Mr La Rue staged a music hall show at Brick Lane in 2007, one of his final performances.

The costumes are owned by Mr La Rue's companion Annie Galbraith.

Auction organisers said the Victoria and Albert Museum has bought four costumes in advance of the auction, two of which will go on permanent display and two will be featured in a forthcoming exhibition of pantomime costumes to be held at the Museum of Childhood.

The sale is on at midday on March 12.

It's All a Matter of Timing





IT'S ALL A MATTER OF TIMING By WILL FRIEDWALD


Going to hear Marilyn Maye—who began a two-week stay at Feinstein's at the Regency March 2—is a bit like attending a wedding where the bride's family and the groom's family have never met.
On one side of the room are the Broadway and cabaret people, who tend to like their singing big and theatrical, with a lot of drama and stage presence. On the other side is the jazz crowd, who want everything hip and cool and understated, and will split the scene if anything doesn't swing. Ms. Maye is the only pop-song diva working today who can satisfy both crowds at once, combining the projection and personality of Ethel Merman with the musicality and virtuosity of Ella Fitzgerald.
Marilyn Maye: 'In Love Again'

Feinstein's at Loews Regency
Through March 13

It's all a matter of timing. Ms. Maye's singing has such relentless drive that she literally rocks your world; so many feet start patting in time that you immediately fear for the building's foundation. In the Maye musical universe, everything swings—even the ballads. She's so hip that basic scat singing is too square for her; she would much rather take a lyric phrase and stretch it into a run of syncopated, chromatic syllables. Even 4/4 swing itself is old hat; instead she likes to convert a familiar song like "Come Rain or Come Shine" into a high-powered 3/4. "I've always loved jazz waltzes," said Ms. Maye in a phone interview from her home in Kansas City, Mo. The time signature "lends itself to too many songs. It's swinging and yet it doesn't go so fast that you can't deliver the lyric." One of Ms. Maye's signature showpieces is a tongue-twisting vocal take on Paul Desmond's iconic "Take Five," which she swings, rather unbelievably, at five quarter-notes per bar—even harder than Dave Brubeck and Desmond (who wrote it).


Unfortunately, her professional timing has never been the equal of her musical timing. By the time Ms. Maye—who celebrated her 80th birthday at the Metropolitan Room two years ago—made it to the big leagues, it was already very late in the day for the traditional American songbook. She cut her first album for RCA Records, "Meet Marvelous Marilyn Maye," in 1965, on the eve of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and the Age of Aquarius. "I keep thinking that if I could have recorded earlier, my life might have been very different," she said. RCA had enough faith in her to release seven albums of mostly standard-style songs in an era of diminishing returns. So did Johnny Carson, who had her on "The Tonight Show" a record-breaking 76 times and famously (on the notes to her 1968 album "The Happiest Sound in Town") dubbed her the "Super Singer."
Ms. Maye's first professional experience was as a singing emcee in a kiddie revue every Saturday morning for several years, beginning around 1939, in the Jayhawk Theater of Topeka, Kan. "I introduced all the other little acts, as well as the cartoons and 'The Lone Ranger.' I sang 'God Bless America' more times than Kate Smith." It was the first of many long runs in her career.

Unlike most singers of her generation, she didn't hone her craft singing with a big band. Instead, she had an extended engagement at a nightclub called the Colony in Kansas City. For 11 years, 10 months a year, she sang there five nights a week. And it was there that she and her pianist and husband, Sammy Tucker (whom she describes as both "brilliant" and an alcoholic), worked out many of her classic routines. Most of the standards on her RCA albums were based on the arrangements she and Tucker fine-tuned in Kansas City.

They also cut an album together titled "Marilyn . . . The Most," which was distributed mainly in Missouri.
It was essentially a demo; they were hoping some label would pick it up, but instead it was heard by Steve Allen. He scheduled her for repeated appearances on his prime-time variety show, and the association with Allen led to the RCA contract and eventually to "The Tonight Show" with Carson. Today, Ms. Maye regularly dedicates concerts to both Allen and Carson: "They're both here tonight—they just have better seats."

Alas, that was precisely the wrong time to launch a career singing jazz and standards; she dented the "Billboard" charts a few times, but never enjoyed a blockbuster hit. (She'll tell you how she turned down RCA's request to do "Strangers in the Night.") As the support network for her kind of music dried up—the major big-city hotel-based nightclubs folded their tents and silently stole away—she did more and more regional theater (one of her later albums is a one-woman cast recording of Jerry Herman's score to "Hello, Dolly"). Except for a gig at Michael's Pub in 1991 (how did I miss that?), she was barely seen in New York for more than 30 years.

Her current Manhattan renaissance is due to Donald Smith, of the Mabel Mercer Foundation, who booked her in his annual Cabaret Convention, in 2005, and to the Metropolitan Room. "I thought, 'Who's going to show up, eight people?' Then when I got there, they were lined up down to the corner."

Over the course of seven Metro runs since then, Ms. Maye has become a New York institution for the 21st century. With her powers virtually undiminished at age 82, she reminds me of the charge I used to get when Rosemary Clooney and Mel Tormé were with us (or when I get to hear Tony Bennett live). On her '60s albums, RCA kept prodding her to do vocal versions of instrumental hits—from "Petite Fleur" to "Mr. Lucky" to "Washington Square" and even to "Java"—things that no one else would or could sing. There's no one remotely like Ms. Maye: Her arrangements are generally killer fast—constantly changing tempo and key, and sometimes even taking side trips through other songs before coming back again—yet she makes them sound as natural and easy as "Jingle Bells." On any given night, at the Metro (and surely at Feinstein's) the room is packed, not least with dozens of singers. Ms. Maye always thanks them for being supportive, but clearly they're there for their own benefit— to learn how it's done.
Mr. Friedwald writes about jazz for the Journal.


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: http://www.carolchanning.org/Foundation.htm

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper

HERE IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:
Dear Richard, I simply cannot say enough about your shows at the Iguana! You and Dana create a warm, professional, energetic atmosphere that is fun and entertaining for audience and performers alike. It's such a treat to be surprised with each week's unique lineup of amazing guest performers. Wow! Even my long-suffering husband, who usually has to be dragged to shows, had a fantastic time and can't wait to come back. Bravo! Now that's entertainment!! Much love, Pamela Palmieri, http://www.pamelapalmieri.com


Richard,
Thank you soooooo much for hosting in the Cabaret Hotline benefit Tuesday night at the Beechman. You were born to play that role! I also loved your opening song performance. What a terrific way to begin the evening, which in turn set the stage for all the magic that followed. It was truly one of my favorite evenings ever in a cabaret room. Thank you so much for leading the way!
XO,
Tom Stajmiger



What an incredible night! I loved the variety of songs, styles and storytellers :)The pace was perfect, the patter fun and the music consistently satisfying. Thank you again for having me perform, I was honored to be in your company!!
Vicki Burns
http://www.myspacemusic.com/vickiburnsjazz







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 (http://www.iguananyc.com) 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!

For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!!
212-765-5454. No one admitted before
7:30.





















NEXT WEEK!

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 along with Sally Swallow!

March 24th, Jackie Draper Julie Reyburn, and Diana Templeton returns!


March 31st: Frank Basile returns


April 7th: Esther Beckman Group, Sina Lewis, RJ Shaw, Susan Winter


April 14th: Karen Oberlinjoins us!George Stella returns!

April 21st: Anaiza, Henry Dee, Rita Ellis Hammer, Jim Speake, Susan Eichhorn Young

April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!


May 5th: Anton Van Der Merwe


May 19th: Michelle Collier, Barbara Gurskey
TILL NEXT MONTH...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL MARCH!

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