Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MICHELLE COLLIER, CATT JOHN, DAVID MERRICK...AND MORE!



After a successful run at the Metropolitan Room in 2009, Michelle Collier brings
back A TRIBUTE TO THE HOLLYWOOD BLONDES for consideration for the MAC Award for Best
Female Debut, featuring songs performed by the Golden Bombshell Legends of the
Silver Screen, including: Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Betty Hutton, Jane Powell,
Marilyn Monroe, Doris Day, Shirley Jones and more! Join this bubbly entertainer as
she takes you on a journey through film history, including musical selections played
by Rick Jensen on piano, Tom Hubbard on bass and Fred Kennedy on drums.
Packed with high-energy blockbuster hits from the films that made these sirens stars, Collier
displays her powerhouse vocals and charm, while adding tidbits of trivia that you
may not already know about these lovely and talented ladies.

Sandi Durell from Cabaret Scenes writes:
"Collier is an exuberant entertainer with a big voice and belt and a sparkle in her
eyes... sexy and sultry... it appears that blondes do have more fun!... The piece de
resistance of hilarity was Collier's tribute to comedic Madeline Kahn... she has a
good solid range that enables her to sing the wide variety of styles of these
Hollywood Blondes."

Ms. Collier performs her show on Saturday, March 13, at 4:00 PM at a NEW location:
Don't Tell Mama (343 W. 46th St,
http://www.facebook.com/l/1e86b;www.donttellmamanyc.com, 212-757-0788).
There is a $20 Cover/$15 MAC/Cabaret Hotline plus 2 drink minimum. You can also see her this eve (March 10th, 2010) at The Iguana!
Details below.


Here's the details of Catt John's show.

The Show Must Go On
A musical cabaret starring the talented Catt John and Gerald J

New York, New York (February 23, 2010) - New York City cabaret stars Catt John and Gerald J will fill the West Village stage at Wings Theatre with their big voices on March 18, 2010. The quirky and competitive duo will show off their best moves and reach their highest notes at their upcoming show titled “The Show Must Go On.”
With their powerhouse vocal talents, Catt and Gerald will take you through some of Broadway’s biggest songs from shows such as “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Godspell,” “Cabaret,” “Wicked” and “Annie Get Your Gun.”

First was Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, then came Sonny and Cher and now there is Catt and Gerald.

Catt John trained at the British American Drama Academy and has performed cabaret and jazz all over the world. Recently, she was hailed by children's performing star Raffi as the "girl with 'IT' and a very talented performer". New York cabaret host Richard Skipper says Catt is a “true ENTERTAINER!”

Gerald J has always been a fan of reality television and has appeared on American Idol, Star Search, Showtime at the Apollo, The Mickey Mouse Club, and MTV’s “Becoming.” In 2008 he made a name for himself in the NYC cabaret scene by headlining several shows around Manhattan.


Both of these young performers promise a magnificent future and they plan on making it to the top…together.
“The Show Must Go On” premieres March 18, 2010 at Wings Theater at 154 Christopher Street, NY, NY 10014 at 8:00 pm.
For reservations please contact Sarah or call 862-220-6671.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

www.cattjohn.com , www.myspace.com/geraldgraziano

To reserve a seat, please leave your full name, number of people and show title "The Show Must Go On" at the below email address or phone number.


(862) 220-6671 (NO DRINK MINIMUM)



NAPLES — David Merrick was a monster, nicknamed the "abominable showman." Actor David Garrison tames him in TheatreZone's world premiere of "The Beast of Broadway," a saucy, snarky, intimate and deliciously dishy night of stage gossip that peeks into Merrick's career as a kingpin of the Great White Way.

"The Beast of Broadway," based in part on former New York Daily News theater critic Howard Kissel's hefty biography "The Abominable Showman," catches Merrick as he prepares for the opening night of "42nd Street," his last, greatest hit. TheatreZone's artistic director Mark Danni hopes to take the show on tour - first in Florida and then on to Broadway.

"Beast" seems a misnomer for the witty and entertaining show that plays out on stage. Co-writers Robert L. Freedman and Faye Greenberg pepper the script with anecdotes from four decades of theatrical history and name-check dozens of shows - hits ("Hello, Dolly!"), flops ("Mata Hari") and everything in between ("A Taste of Honey"). Jokes, one-liners and gags fly thick and fast, greased along by Garrison's sharp comic timing; the audience cackles like a busy henhouse.

"Beast" tries to equate Merrick's loneliness with his drive to succeed; there's no accident that this is a one-man show with multiple angry phone calls to assistants, references to ex-wifes and anonymous deliveries of suits, flowers and ice cream.
The humor, while it makes for a breezy evening, masks Merrick's essential nastiness - and the personality that earned him the "Beast of Broadway" title. The man wasn't just mean, he was a tyrant on a grand scale.
The show downplays that in favor of laughs, making Merrick's antics seem more P.T. Barnum-style promotional gimmicks than the ruthless Machiavellian rumblings they were.
Merrick's stunt of keeping Gower Champion's death secret in order to announce the news during curtain call on the opening night of "42nd Street" caused such lingering animosity as to be mentioned in his obituary two decades later.
"Beast" shows audiences the incident, but never digs into the context of just how underhanded the deed was.
Garrison, dapper in a dark suit with a royal blue tie and pocket square, peddles the tales with a practiced hand. He flits about the stage - from Playbill and script-strewn desk to a Fanta-stocked refrigerator (a clever nod to "The Fantasticks," created by longtime Merrick collaborators Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones) and a memento-filled set. He shifts from charming (tales of Pearl Bailey's obstinacy) to acerbic (opinions on critics, actors, wives, et al.) in a flash, although the script softens Merrick's rougher edges.
If you think he's whispering - he probably is, but it is all part of the act; the real David Merrick practiced a subtle power play by speaking in a low voice to force everyone in the room to lean toward him.

I applaud the authenticity, but not the application in front of an unsophisticated audience that fidgets, rustles, creaks and otherwise makes plenty of noise for 95 minutes.

Kirk V. Hughes' set, with carmine walls (the show tells us he favored a bloody shade known as "David Merrick Red") and white trim, establishes an airy apartment with little more than a few panels and windows - the first time TheatreZone's stage has seemed spacious. Garrison gains plenty of room to pace and places to interact with objects - like memorabilia from Merrick's hit shows. Posters for "Hello, Dolly!" "Fanny," "Carnival," "Oliver," "I Do! I Do!" and others line the walls, with "42nd Street" front and center.


Rights to the choicest tunes from Merrick's laundry list of iconic shows must be prohibitive, which means music plays less of a role in the show than audiences might suspect. Dramatic lighting effects, from Phillip Watson, take advantage of the open set design, but suffer in execution with abrupt transitions that don't so much signal a shift in mood as shout it from the rooftops.

"Beast" serves up an interesting and amusing evening of theater trivia and a portrait of one of Broadway's titans.
The show doesn't dig deep into Merrick's demons or motivations, but does offer a fascinating glimpse into the psyche that became "The Beast of Broadway."

I'm the Cranky Critic of Collier County. E-mail me, csilk@naplesnews.com. E-mail me, csilk@naplesnews.com, find me on Twitter at @napleschris or read my Stage Door theater blog.
You can also sign up to receive the Stage Door blog via email.


Liza Minnelli to honor Kennedy Center founder



WASHINGTON — Liza Minnelli and Harvey Fierstein will host a tribute to the Kennedy Center's founding chairman, Roger L. Stevens.
Plans announced Tuesday for the May 2 gala also will include some of Broadway's biggest stars.

President John F. Kennedy asked Stevens in 1961 to help establish a National Cultural Center, which was later named in honor of the 35th president. Stevens led the center's fundraising and programming for years until 1988.
Stevens also was founding chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and executive producer of more than 200 Broadway shows, including "West Side Story."

The veteran producer died in 1998. He would have been 100 this year.


The benefit gala will support the center's programming.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


FREE INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP

“THE ART & CRAFT of SINGING” with BARRY LEVITT

12 seats left - - RESERVE NOW by sending an e-mail to deb550@gmail.com or calling Deborah Berman with your contact info.

SUNDAY, MARCH 14 @ 3:00 PM
MICHIKOS REHEARSAL STUDIOS / STAGE ROOM
149 WEST 46 ST
(between 6th & 7th Avenues / next to Rosie O’Grady’s)


YOU ARE INVITED to a FREE informative 75-minute workshop presenting the necessary and practical tools enabling singers to become more knowledgeable and confident performers.

This FREE class is an introduction to a monthly comprehensive four-week workshop designed by Barry Levitt, a highly skilled and respected Music Director, Accompanist, Arranger and Producer. Barry’s credits include former Artistic Director of the 92nd Street Y’s famed LYRICS & LYRICISTS Series. He has served as Music Director & accompanist for artists such as Ben Vereen, Rosemary Clooney , Melba Moore, Nell Carter, Connie Frances, Eartha Kitt, and many more.
Practical, easy-to-apply exercises will be presented increasing the singer’s understanding of:

RHYTHM * STYLE * ARRANGEMENT * PHRASING
with Special Emphasis on
COMMUNICATING YOUR SPECIFIC MUSICAL NEEDS TO MUSICIANS including setting tempo, key, accompaniment and dealing with rubato.

If interested in the opportunity to be randomly selected to sing with piano and bass, please bring two copies of your transposed sheet music.
There will be a FREE RAFFLE giving away ONE COMPLIMENTARY SCHOLARSHIP for a future four-week workshop (must be present to win)


WORKSHOP TESTIMONIALS

So many of us singers come to our art with minimal formal training, so it was wonderfully informative and relatively painless to have Barry teach us how to talk to musicians. But then we would each sing a song or two, and Barry would fully come into his own, unable to restrain his musical directorial instincts . . . a single suggestion from Barry for a song I have been doing for years was worth the tuition alone. Eli Gilbert




I just wanted to drop a quick note of thanks to you for your great workshop series. It provided so many wonderful insights and experiences for me as a singer. I got such wonderful feedback from everyone and feel like I'm starting to get my "stage legs." It was a pleasure to work with you and other talented singers, some of whom have invited me to join them in other singing activities. Making music again has filled my heart with such joy and hope.

Many thanks for such an inspiring -- and practical -- experience. I treasure your talents, gifts, insights, teachings, and astounding knowledge about what makes music and song work together with such vitality and inspiration. Best wishes, Bruce Kellerhouse



I LOVED BARRY AND THE WORKSHOP. I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW OR REMEMBERED SOMETHING I HAVE FORGOTTEN EVERY WEEK. IT WAS AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE. Joey Infante


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:
Richard, I think you are a fabulous performer and generous human being. When you are the host of a show you make your performers feel very special and important, I think that is a tremendous gift.
Annette Hunt



Richard, you were truly wonderful co-hosting last week's Salon. You are such a natural on stage, such an entertaining and adept M.C., and you have this way of making everyone around you so comfortable, allowing the performers to do their best and the audience to enjoy themselves. You're terrificall...y clever and funny, and it was a privilege to work with you again. XOXO 2010 BISTRO AWARD WINNER Mark Janus, THE SALON
CHECK OUT: http://tinyurl.com/ybhs8cm




Thank you so much for a wonderful evening at the Iguana on Wednesday! I had a marvelous time and the entertainment was excellent!
2010 BISTRO AWARD WINNER: Danielle Grabianowski







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.




















TONIGHT!

March 10th: David Alpher & Jenny Litt, Pam Tate, Maureen Taylor.


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, Deb Berman, Stearns Matthews, Allegra Thieman ...


April 7th: Esther Beckman Group, Sina Lewis, Cindy Marchionda, 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 2nd: D'Yan Forest and Tod Hall


May 5th: Anton Van Der Merwe

May 19th: Adrienne Haan


May 26th: Michelle Collier


June 16th: 2010 Julie Reyburn


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

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