Friday, April 30, 2010


Caroline Rhea Hosts PFLAG Gala Honoring Liza Minnelli, TOMORROW, May 1
(SOURCE: BWW News Desk)
Caroline Rhea will host the Straight for Equality Awards Gala honoring Liza Minnelli on May 1.

The second annual awards ceremony will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis. Liza Minnelli will be presented with the 2010 Straight for Equality in Entertainment Award.

This honor recognizes Liza's lifelong role as a Straight Ally of the LGBT community.
Also being honored at the ceremony will be NFL Super Bowl XLIV star Scott Fujita, for Straight for Equality in Sports.

Tickets to this event are $300 for a general admission ticket or $400 for a VIP ticket.

Liza Minnelli was born on March 12, 1946 in Los Angeles, California to the actress/songwriter Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. She began her career at a very early age, co-starring with her mother in the movie "In the Good Old Summertime" in 1949.

At the age of 10, Liza hosted the first-ever TV broadcast of "The Wizard of Oz", reaching a viewing audience of about 45 million people.
By the time she was 19, she had landed the lead role in "Flora, the Red Menace". This Broadway performance won her a Tony for the Best Actress in a Musical.
In 1972, her movie career peaked when she played Sally Bowles in "Cabaret." The film won eight Oscars, including the Best Actress for Liza.
The role also earned her a Golden Globe and a British Film Academy Award. The unqualified success of "Cabaret" put Liza on the covers of Time and Newsweek in the same week.
Liza also starred in the first concert ever filmed for live television in 1972. Liza went on to appear opposite Robert DeNiro in the musical "New York, New York," directed by Martin Scorsese, in 1977.
In 1981, she co-starred with Dudley Moore in the movie "Arthur", going on to make the sequel "Arthur 2" in 1998.

Liza added a second Golden Globe to her already impressive list of awards in 1985 wither her performance in "A Time to Live", a made-for-TV movie.
Liza returned to the state in December 1999 to pay tribute to her father in a show called "Minnelli on Minnelli" at New York's Palace Theater. In 2008 Liza returned to Broadway with "Liza's at the Palace..." which went on to win the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event, marking her four Tony Award.

She recreated the show at the MGM Grand where her performance was filmed for a public television special and a DVD.
The show's cast recording was nominated for a Grammy Award. Liza continues her extraordinary music career with ongoing concert tours in the U.S. and Europe, as well as recording a new album. Liza has also won a special Tony Award in 1974 for "adding lustre to the Broadway Season." For more information on this cause visit

Straight for Equality is a project of PFLAG National that was launched in 2007 to invite, educate, and empower straight allies to demonstrate their support for their LGBT friends and family. The Straight for Equality in Entertainment Award was designed to honor a performer and/or artist who has a history of advocating for equality for LGBT people.
The first award was presented in 2009 to actress Sigourney Weaver.

Maripat Donovan, Mitzi Gaynor, Marilu Henner Set (Maripat Donovan, pictured)for La Mirada Theatre's 2010-2011 Season
(SOURCE: Andy Propst)

The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts has announced its 2010-2011 season, which will open with a revival of Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, to run October 1-17. Jeff Maynard will direct the production, which will feature stage and television star Marilu Henner.

The La Mirada season will also include Paul Gordon and John Caird's new musical Daddy Long Legs (November 5-21); 'Til Death Do Us Part - Late Night Catechism 3 (January 28 - February 13), starring Maripat Donovan; Little Shop of Horrors (April 15-May 1); and Roger Bean's The Marvelous Wonderettes (June 3-19).

In addition to these productions, the theater will offer two performances of Mitzi Gaynor's one-woman show Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins on May 14, 2011.

For further information, visit:
The Barn Theatre presents
"The Producers"

by Mel Brooks and Thomas Sheehan
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks

Directed by Cheryl Marocco Hartley
Musical Direction by Regan Ryzuk

Choreography by Megan Ferentinos


May 21, 22, 28, 29, June 4, 5 at 8pm
May 23, 30, June 5 at 2pm

To reserve tickets call: 973-334-9320
When the down-and-out King of Broadway, Max Bialystock, and his timid accountant, Leo Bloom, discover they can make more money with a flop, they set out to produce the worst Broadway show imaginable. Winner of a record 12 Tony® Awards, The Producers ranks as one of the funniest and biggest musicals in Broadway history. Join us at The Barn Theatre for a springtime you will never forget!

With: Geraldine Baillod, Brendan Bartlett, Bridget Burke Weiss, Michael Campbell, Dave Conley, Tim Daniels, Brittany Dunn, Michal Efron, Jen Hanselman, Scott Hart, Samantha Kaplan,
Emily Krueger, Fran Leonardis, James Lopez, Brendan Maly, Sarah Mendenhall, Brian Merrill,
Lisa Poggi, Jo Rosa Rio, Paul Salvatoriello, Tom Schopper, Ericka Traugh, and Tom Wright.

The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287, Exit 47.
For more information or directions, call (973) 334-9320, or visit
The Producers is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

No New Neighbors for Hollywood Sign
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES—Keeping the Hollywood sign uncluttered fell to local celebrities, and the Playboy Bunny sealed the deal.

A last-minute $900,000 contribution from Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner closed the gap in a $12.5 million fund-raising drive to buy 138 acres adjacent to the sign that had been slated for residential development. The mountain-top parcel is to be donated to the city of Los Angeles.

Neighbors and preservationists felt that building homes above the world-famous sign would ruin the view and rob the public of access to the peak.

"Today we have the Hollywood ending we hoped for," said Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit preservation group that spearheaded the effort to buy the land for the city.

In 1978, Hugh Hefner helped raise money to rebuild it when it was dilapidated.

"My childhood dreams and fantasies came from the movies, and the images created in Hollywood had a major influence on my life and Playboy," Mr. Hefner said in a statement released Monday. "As I've said before, the Hollywood sign is Hollywood's Eiffel Tower and I am pleased to help preserve such an important cultural landmark."

The campaign to acquire the land, called the Cahuenga Peak, attracted Hollywood heavyweights and longtime residents. Celebrities including Tom Hanks to Steven Spielberg donated money, while residents who live below the sign organized bake sales and community events to raise money.
The real estate around the sign was once owned by billionaire Howard Hughes, who intended to build a mansion on the peak for his girlfriend at the time, Ginger Rogers.
But Ms. Rogers, according to local lore, balked at living on the isolated hilltop. Their romance fizzled and the home was never built.

Write to Tamara Audi at

Shelly Goldstein
One Fine Day: The Groovy Girls of the '60s
Magic Castle

Hollywood, CA
Shelly Goldstein is a lot of women in one body, as she demonstrates skillfully in her look back at female singers of the 1960s, including Carole King, Petula Clark, Lulu, Mama Cass, Laura Nyro and Carly Simon.

Rather than try to imitate any of the “groovy” girl singers of the past, she honors their spirit with respect and a sense of history, sharing a bit of biography about each one along the way before singing some of the songs they made famous.
Her most compelling moment came in her tender reading of Pete Townshend’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” which she described as more of a hymn than a rock anthem and which she sang beautifully as a powerful ballad. Plus, there was an effective medley of Petula Clark hits by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent.
To demonstrate how attitudes toward women and marriage have become more complex over the years, Goldstein did a medley that combined Laura Nyro’s “Wedding Bell Blues” with Carly Simon and Jacob Brackman’s “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be,” plus a word-perfect version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Getting Married Today.”

And of course, there was Goldstein’s YouTube hit, sung to the tune of the Sherman brothers’s “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” called “Stupid Callous Homophobic Hateful Legislation” about efforts to quash gay marriage.
Goldstein was ably abetted by accompanist Scott Harlan, who sang harmony on a couple of songs and stepped away from the piano after donning a blond wig, headband and peace button to join an Afro-wigged Goldstein in “Black Boys/White Boys” from Hair.
Goldstein closed the show saying she favors the optimism of the 1960s over the cynicism of today — and an audience certainly leaves her show feeling upbeat and positive, just like the groovy guys and girls of the 1960s.
Elliot Zwiebach, Cabaret Scenes

Bickford Theatre Announces Their 16th Season, Kicks Off 9/23
(SOURCE: BWW News Desk)
Eric Hafen, Artistic Director of the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, is proud to unveil the Bickford Theatre's 2010-2011 Season

"Of "Stage & Screen," featuring four thrillingly-exciting works that explore and celebrate the magical worlds of Broadway and Hollywood.

The Bickford's 16th Season opens September 23 with the wildly beloved yet rarely seen musical Mack & Mabel.
"To begin this season of ‘Stage and Screen,' what is there left to say about the great film maker Mack Sennett and his daffy heroine, movie star Mabel Normand, coupled with Jerry Herman's favorite score? Lights, camera, action!" said Eric Hafen, Bickford's Artistic Director.
"We continue our movie theme with a sequel (of sorts!) with Moonlight and Magnolias, the untold but disputed conflagration of three movie geniuses struggling to work together to bring to the screen one of the greatest films ever made," said Hafen. "We welcome 2011 with The Little Dog Laughed, one of the best written plays I have ever read, and a Tony winner to boot, and we close our Season with I Hate Hamlet, an honest and wildly hilarious look at someone who really, truly hates the Bard. No matter which you prefer, the Great White Way or the Silver Screen, there's something for everyone this Season at the Bickford!"

From the Tony Award-winning composer of Hello, Dolly! and La Cage Aux Folles comes the 8-time, Tony-nominatEd Mack & Mabel, running Sept. 23 through Oct. 17, 2010, a rollicking and romantic musical about legendary silent movie director Mack Sennett's pie-in-the face, Keystone Kops, and Bathing Beauties Hollywood--and Mack's even wilder love affair with his greatest leading lady, comedienne Mabel Normand. Mack & Mabel will take you on a musically-thrilling roller coaster ride through Jerry Herman's best score including such blockbuster classics as "Tap Your Troubles Away," "I Wanna Make the World Laugh," "Movies Were Movies," "I Won't Send Roses," and "Time Heals Everything."
We promise you a toe-tapping good time-and a happy ending!

The Bickford Theatre continues its Season with Moonlight and Magnolias by Ron Hutchinson, running November 11 through December 5, 2010, a wildly funny and illuminating behind-the-scenes tale of the business of movie making during the golden age of Hollywood.

1939 Hollywood is abuzz! Legendary producer David O. Selznick has shut down the filming of his newest epic, Gone with the Wind, just three weeks into production. The screenplay, you see, just isn't working. So what's an all-powerful movie mogul to do? Fire the director, pull Victor Fleming off The Wizard of Oz, and lock himself, Fleming, and script doctor Ben Hecht in his office for five days until they have a screenplay. Subsisting on a diet of bananas and peanuts, they spend five days working through and acting out Margaret Mitchell's bestseller and in the process make movie history by fashioning a screenplay for one of the most successful and beloved films of all time.

The Bickford rings in the New Year with Douglas Carter Beane's Tony Award-nominated hit, The Little Dog Laughed, running January 20 through February 13, 2011. Rising film star, Mitchell Green, is every girl's fantasy and soon to become a household name, thanks to his devilish agent Diane.
With Mitchell on the brink of superstardom, Diane encounters one teensy weensy obstacle - -she can't seem to stop her leading man from coming out of the closet!
With Mitchell spending days and nights with his new "friend" Alex, and Alex's beautiful girlfriend Ellen causing a drama of her own, what lengths will Mitchell go to play the part? Douglas Carter Beane's Tony award-nominated comedy hilariously satirizes the superficial world of show-business and the game-playing of the movie industry.

The Season comes to a swash-buckling end with Paul Rudnick's hit comedy, I Hate Hamlet, running April 28 through May 22, 2011.
Actor Andrew Rally seems to have it all: fame from his starring role in a hit TV series; a rich, beautiful girlfriend; the perfect New York apartment; and the chance to play the greatest role of all time: Hamlet in Central Park!
There are, however, a couple of glitches in paradise: Andrew's series has been cancelled, his 29-year-old girlfriend is clinging to her virginity; and he absolutely HATES Hamlet!

A botched séance produces the ghost of the greatest of all Hamlets--John Barrymore. Fortified by champagne, ego, and a cod piece, he tries to convince Andrew to accept the part and fulfill his actor's destiny. The laughs come fast and furious as Andrew wrestles with his conscience, Barrymore, his sword, and his own codpiece in this Drama Desk and Tony Award-nominated screwball comedy, full of big laughs, romantic entanglements and even a duel!
In addition, the Bickford Theatre will once again be offering its popular "A La Carte Series" of concerts and variety performances. This Season's exciting line-up opens Sunday, March 6 with three-time MAC Award-winner Richard Skipper starring in Carol Channing in Concert, followed on Sunday, March 13, by The David Leonhardt Jazz Group and the Shelly Oliver Tap Dancers returning to the Bickford in A Tribute to Gershwin, and ending Sunday, March 20, with the fascinating Before the Crash: America in the 1920's, brought to you by the collaborators of the Bickford's wildly-successful A La Carte Series presentation After The Ball, director Daniel P. Quinn and choreographer Heather Johdos.

Main Stage Series performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m, with select Thursday Matinees at 2 p.m. Subscriptions are now on sale. Individual tickets go on sale September 1, 2010. The Bickford Theatre is conveniently located within the Morris Museum and offers free parking and full accessibility. To purchase a Bickford subscription or for further information, please contact the Box Office at 973.971.3706 or visit us 24/7 at

"Lena(Inspired by the LIFE OF LENA HORNE)"

For Immediate Release PRESS RELEASE
Contact Person: Nickolas Long, III
Josiah Theatre Works /Lafayette Grill 54 Franklin Street NY NY 10013
Phone: (347) 291 6289
April 25th 2010

Josiah Theatre Works, in association with Lafayette Grill presents WORLD PREMIER CABARET theatre Production, "Lena(Inspired by the LIFE OF LENA HORNE)" Written and Directed by Nickolas Long, III with Musical Direction by Karl Jackson.

The mission of Josiah Theatre Works is to present the WORLD PREMIERS with Fine Dining in the heart of TRIBECA NYC.

We are eagerly anticipating this production as a TRIBUTE to the Living Legend, Ms. Lena Horne. Her contributions to the arts and her people of African descent , remains a treasure to the World. We hope you can attend this WORLD PREMIER.

Previews begin SUNDAY MAY 16TH 3PM & 7PM , Sunday May 23rd 7:00pm and we open OFFICIALLY on Sunday June 6th 2010 3:00pm & 7:00pm. This Production features some of New York City's most Promising talents of stage and screen , and chronicles the Life of Lena Horne from 1933 to Present. With Original Music lyrics by Nickolas Long, III and musical arranging by Karl Jackson, you will also be pleased with the Fine dining that comes along with the Production.

"Lena (Inspired by the LIFE OF LENA HORNE)" is a World Premier DRAMA with music and dance.Offering a dramatic interpretation of the life of Lena Horne instead of through a MUSICAL production.

Please see the ATTACHMENT FLYER. Press and Industry people can order they tickets through Nickolas Long, III. 347 291 6289 - "LENA(Inspired by the LIFE OF LENA HORNE)"
OPEN RUN Previews May 16th 3pm & 7pm , May 23rd 7pm -
Every 1ST SUNDAY Premiers JUNE 6TH - 3:00PM & 7:00PM SHOWTIMES
*Excludes SUNDAY JULY 4TH 2010 . Special SHOW - Sunday 7/18/2010 3:00PM & 7:00PM
Tickets : General $50 V.I.P $60-$65 Includes Show and Fine Dining. TIPS AND DRINKS ARE ADDITIONAL

Group SALES CONTACT 347 291 6289*

Nickolas Long, III -Artistic Director/ Playwright -At-Large
Josiah Theatre Works /Lafayette Grill
347 291 6289

Minnelli Talks 'Rock and Roll' Cameo in 'Sex And The City 2'


As previously reported, stage and screen legend Liza Minnelli will be appearing in Sex And The City 2, in addition to being on the film's soundtrack. In the film, Minnelli will perform at the wedding of Stanford Blatch, the gay character and ladies' confidante played by Willie Garson.

Of the cameo, Minnelli said: "It's a wonderful number. We had a blast...It's rock and roll. Everything is moving! And I just got a whole new knee, so I can promise you everything is moving."

Sex and the City 2 will hit screens in the same date slot that Sex and the City did in 2008.

The big screen adapation of the hit HBO series was a runaway box office hit, opening to $57 million on its way to hitting $152.6 million domestically. Sex made an even stronger showing overseas, grossing $260 million at the international box office for a worldwide total of $412.6 million.

The ladies of Sex And The City- Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, all agreed earlier in the the year to take part in a sequel film to Sex and the City: The Movie.

For more information visit,

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 May 5th CINCO DE MAYO! Here's to an ARTS-filled May! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper

It was so great to work with Richard Skipper at the LGBT comedy vent in Nyack. You are fabulous, hilarious and a classic entertainer.
Kelli Dunham,

Wednesday night at the Iguana (4/28/10) was so much fun!!! Thank you for celebrating Don and Peggy's birthdays. We all had a ball and have been talking about the show all day today. You and Dana are the best! Love you both! XOXO Pamela Palmieri,

Sandee and I love Richard and Dana, We always have a good time at Iguana. The food is good and reasonable. Richard and Dana are the best host and Hostess in town. The talent is top notch, the jokes can make you laugh, and one can get home at a decent hour... Michael Janin, Long Beach New York

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!

or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
No one admitted before 7:00.

May 6

IGUANA VIP LOUNGE, 240 West 54th Street, NYC
Bill Zeffiro on keyboard & Saadi Zain on bass.
Because of Cinco de Mayo, please note this week's show will take place on Thursday. Tonight's guests include: Meg Flather, Jillian Laurain, Diana LeBlanc, Kevin McMullen, George Stella, Anton W. Vander Merwe ...
...and a few other surprises as well! $12.00 Music Charge/No food or drink minimum!
Reservations a must (212) 765-5454

MAY 12th: Pamela Palmieri & Tod Hall return!

May 19th: Adrienne Haan, Barbara Gurskey, Bobbie Horowitz, Evan Lawrence

May 26th: Michelle Collier, 2010 Bistro Award winner Danielle Grabianowski, and Catt John

June 2nd: D'Yan Forest and Tod Hall, Pam Palmieri

June 16th: 2010 Julie Reyburn, Lisa Raze returns!

JUNE 23rd: Sigali Hamberger, Pam Tate

June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!




Sunday, April 25, 2010


Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles goes to Hollywood in
'L'Amour' - music from the movies of Baz Luhrmann.

WHEN: June 19th 5:00pm & 8:00pm and 20th at 3:00pm and 7:00pm

WHERE: Avalon Hollywood 1735 N. Vine, Hollywood, CA 90028

TICKETS: priced from $15 to $49 - and more information about GMCLA are available by visiting

Familiar music takes on new meanings when sung by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, whether it's "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" or Tchaikovsky's score for "The Nutcracker."
Much the same thing happens in the films of Baz Luhrmann. In "Strictly Ballroom," "Romeo + Juliet" and, most memorably, "Moulin Rouge," Luhrmann used pop and classical music to chart emotions, creating fresh, vibrant musicals from everyday songs.

In GMCLA's new production L'Amour, Luhrmann's unique style is presented on stage in a new - and typically GMCLA - way!

'L'Amour' represents a number of firsts for GMCLA, in particularly its venture from a traditional theater to a mysteriously exotic 1927 Spanish Revival-style structure that, among its many uses, was once home to ABC's "Hollywood Palace" variety program - featuring the likes of Judy Garland and Louis Armstrong - and is now a multipurpose nightclub-entertainment facility.
"The audience can expect to see and hear GMCLA in a way that it never has before," says Hywel Sims, GMCLA's Executive Director, "there is no 'them' and 'us.'
They will be immersed in the experience of the show.
From the minute our patrons walk in to the theatre, they can expect the unexpected'.

Songs featured in the show include "Nature Boy," "Children of the Revolution," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Quando Me'n vo" from "La Boheme," "Kissing You," "When Doves Cry," "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," "The Show Must Go On," "Your Song" and "Love Is in the Air."

Luhrmann "deals with universal truths, but he deals with them in a very heightened reality," Bill Bowersock, the show's director, observes 'you know the Gay Men's Chorus will dream up some similarly extravagant dance scenes.'

"We rearrange and mash up the music to create choral music that is distinctly GMCLA," says Dominic Gregorio, the chorus' interim artistic director and the show's conductor. "Audience members will experience a spectacle that explores our community's challenges and ends with the reminder that it's all about love!"
"L'Amour" grew, in some ways, from audience feedback sought as part of updating the chorus' long-range plan.
Performing at the Avalon is an experiment in sampling venues closer to where many of our audience members live. Audience members are invited to arrive early to partake of the nightclub atmosphere while circus performers roam the space.

L'Amour is an all-ages event; the bars will be open, with wristband governance in use. The concert will be performed in about 90 minutes, without intermission.

*** Sample images attached - Courtesy of Gay Mens Chorus Los Angeles


973-595-0100 x228




Naomi Miller says that when her honeymoon began, she was a size 8 (“ok, maybe a size 9”), but ten days later when she came home as a size 16, her new husband had to push her, instead of carrying her, over the threshold. Now celebrating her 40th wedding anniversary, she still hasn’t returned to that dreamed about size 8 (9?), but Naomi doesn’t bemoan that fact...she sings about it instead! That’s just what she does with the other ups and downs of life as well. Her show takes on all the topics of its title and more, with original and Broadway songs about dating, high school days, falling in love, escaping the slums, failed relationships, raising a deaf child, coping with being a child of survivors of the Holocaust, letting go, and all the while, working toward a dream.

To celebrate her 40th anniversary and the release of her newest CD, Naomi is reprising her critically acclaimed cabaret act, “LOVE, MARRIAGE, CHILDREN & LIPOSUCTION” as a fundraiser for the YM-YWHA of North Jersey, at its Rosen Theater, One Pike Drive, Wayne, NJ on Sunday, May 2 at 1:00 pm. And, yes, there will be anniversary cake after the show! Tickets are $18, but for $36, patrons can receive premium seating and their choice of one of Naomi’s 4 CDs – “Yiddish is in My Genes,” “Keeping Our Dreams Alive,” “From Klezmer to Broadway,” or “Love, Marriage, Children & Liposuction.” Tickets can be obtained by calling the Y at 973-595-0100 Ext. 237. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Since the show will be interpreted into Sign Language, members of the Deaf community should request special seating when purchasing tickets. For more information, see Naomi’s website at or the Y’s website at
For those interested, a Bagel Brunch is being offered for $7.95 by the Y’s Tel Aviv Café beginning at 11:30 am. And because Naomi’s show talks about her upbringing in Paterson, NJ, the Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey will mount a display on Paterson in the Y’s lobby.
When “Love, Marriage, Children & Liposuction” opened at Don’t Tell Mama, a popular Manhattan cabaret, its booking agent, Sidney Meyer, put it simply “Naomi Miller fills the stage with joy!” Jan Wallman of Applause! Applause! raved: “This ebullient entertainer, Naomi Miller is such a good singer and raconteur and warm cabaret personality and so touching, funny and heartwarming when she speaks of family life, that the sold out house had a great time and showed their enthusiasm by whooping and applauding long and hard. Naomi Miller has been singing all her life and singing is as natural and as communicative to her as her smile. I heartily
recommend her show. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll enjoy.” Kristine Niven of Artistic New Directions found Naomi’s act “divinely structured and her performance warm, witty, charming totally delightful.”
Love, Marriage, Children & Liposuction has something for everybody and features original songs, as well as songs from such shows as Company, Jersey Boys, The Apple Tree, Hello Dolly, The Fantastiks, Sweet Charity, Annie, and many more. Original songs were composed by Naomi, as well as Carol and Harvey Wechter, and Larry Hochman, Tony award nominee for his orchestrations for such shows as Spamalot, Jane Eyre, and the upcoming Addams Family. Of course, Naomi, who sings in ten different languages, adds just a bit of her own international flavor to the mix of material. Accompanying Naomi will be Janet and Manny Sosinsky who recently appeared with Naomi in Prague and on a Danube River cruise and are looking forward to their upcoming performances in Madrid and Barcelona.


Published: April 22, 2010

Gay kids emerging from their cocoons these days can tune into any Bravo reality show to find an assortment of potential role models. But a few decades back, kinship ran thinner in popular culture.

As Leslie Jordan suggests in his disarming solo show, “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet,” at the Midtown Theater, there was Truman Capote, Charles Nelson Reilly or Paul Lynde. “I was faaascinated,” reveals Mr. Jordan of those gay celebrity forefathers. “Deeply repulsed, but faaascinated.”

While gaydom now embraces a full gamut of subsets, in Mr. Jordan’s pithy assessment the heady disco days of the 1970s had “queens and butch queens,” distinguishable by their dance-floor moves.

Watching the silver-topped, 4-foot-11-inch star execute both styles with pitiless accuracy is among the more hilarious moments of his show, heightened by tart commentary in his flowery Southern drawl.

A television veteran best known for his Emmy-winning “Will & Grace” role as Beverley Leslie, impish nemesis to Megan Mullally’s Karen Walker, Mr. Jordan is unequivocal about which side of the queen divide he comes down on.

He describes his voice as Miss Prissy with a dash of Blanche Devereaux, and his gait as Bette Midler in concert meets Ruth Gordon in “Harold and Maude.” “I am a high school cheerleader stuck in a 55-year-old man’s body,” he confesses. “If you were to cut me open, Hannah Montana would jump out.”

What jumps out during the show is a plucky character who acknowledges the challenges of his life while focusing on the rewards.
Many gay rites-of-passage stories are echoed here: hostile small-town environment (Chattanooga, Tenn.); rigidly masculine father; humor as armor against bullies; unrequited loves; drug and alcohol dependency; internal homophobia; weakness for rough trade. But Mr. Jordan’s candor gives them a fresh spin.

His account of being escorted by two terrifying, drunken drag queens into his first gay bar is genuinely touching.
Ditto his determination at the age of 3 to receive a bride doll for Christmas.
He combines a writer’s eye for detail with an actor’s facility for mimicry and a stand-up comedian’s knack for injecting spontaneity into oft-told stories. His balance of self-deprecation with spotlight-seeking shamelessness is matched by his marriage of Southern manners (every woman’s name is prefixed by “Miss”) with trash-talking salaciousness.

Directed by David Galligan and minimally designed with a revolving door and pink velvet rope, the show could be structurally tighter, but Mr. Jordan’s excitable discursiveness is part of his charm.

“We are so far off track,” he says more than once. “We are not gonna go down that road. We’d be here till the cows come home.”

“Leslie Jordan: My Trip Down the Pink Carpet” continues through July 3 at the Midtown Theater, 163 West 46th Street, Manhattan; (212) 352-3101,








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 Winter/Spring 2010 season with the New York City debut of Hollywood legend MITZI GAYNOR in a limited engagement from May 18 – 20. After decades of television, film and touring, she is excited to make her New York performance debut in an intimate setting like Feinstein’s to get up close and personal with her fans.

In her show, Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins, Ms. Gaynor will bring her incomparable brand of showmanship to the stage in a glittering multimedia one woman tour-de-force of music and memories from her show-stopping life and career. The evening will feature classic elements of her fabled concert performances interspersed with video footage culled from her television, concert and film work and rare personal photos embraced in an all new, up-to-date setting. This multimedia theatrical extravaganza is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the electrifying magic and incredible spirit of a true entertainment icon.
The show runs at the Regency Hotel Ballroom (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street).

Gaynor says “over the years I’d been asked to play New York on numerous occasions but the stars never quite aligned. That’s why I was thrilled when Michael Feinstein asked me to bring my show to his club and said I could have the Regency’s Ballroom so I’d have more room to play. I really can’t wait to be there. There’s no city in the world like New York.”

Her recent PBS-TV special “Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years” – also available on DVD – was just awarded a 2010 New York Emmy Award for “Best Entertainment Special.”
Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins is an intimate and affectionate love letter to that fun “razzle-dazzle” era of show business featuring Mitzi’s often hilarious recollections of famous friends and costars including Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Howard Hughes, Marlene Dietrich and more.
Mitzi shares personal stories, moving reminiscences and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from her life and remarkable show business career including those of starring in such classic motion pictures as There’s No Business Like Show Business, Les Girls, The Joker Is Wild, and her Golden Globe® nominated role in the blockbuster adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific.
Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins reunites the Golden Globe® nominee with the original creative team behind her acclaimed television specials and concert performances — world renowned fashion icon Bob Mackie, who has designed eight new breathtaking costumes for Ms. Gaynor’s return to the stage, Emmy®-winning director/choreographer Tony Charmoli (Woman of the Year) and Emmy® Award nominated musical arrangers Dick DeBenedictis (Funny Lady) and Bill Dyer (An Evening with Diana Ross).

Along with a seven piece orchestra led by musical director/pianist Ed Czach, orchestrations are by Ovation Award winner Colin R. Freeman (Lorna Luft’s Songs My Mother Taught Me) and Helen Hayes Award nominee Nick DeGregorio (42nd Street National Tour), Mitzi will perform a virtual songfest of signature musical hits from her film, television and nightclub catalog including “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “Honey Bun” and “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” in addition to a diverse slate of song selections from John Kander and Fred Ebb, Leon Redbone, Peter Allen and Betty Comden and Adolph Green amongst others while also tackling new material from the recent Tony® winning Broadway hit The Drowsy Chaperone – all set to brand-new staging and choreography by Mr. Charmoli.
MITZI GAYNOR first took the concert and nightclub world by storm in 1961 at Las Vegas’ fabulous Flamingo Hotel. Her debut was met with overwhelming acclaim – Life Magazine noted “Gaynor started at the top and climbed even higher”, The Los Angeles Times called her “The nation’s number one female song and dance star” – and for the next four decades she dominated stages across the United States and Canada, as her Emmy® Award winning television specials delivered her performing magic to the millions of viewers who looked forward to those annual must-see events.

The legendary musical performer began her career at the age of twelve in the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera being featured in productions including Naughty Marietta, Roberta, Jollyana and The Great Waltz in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia. She transitioned from stage to screen at age nineteen with her first film role opposite Betty Grable in My Blue Heaven. She starred in seventeen motion pictures, nine network television specials (garnering seventeen Primetime Emmy® nominations) and returned to live performing with countless concert productions nationwide for over forty years.
For more information, visit her online at
FEINSTEIN’S AT LOEWS REGENCY will play the following schedule: Tuesday through Saturday at 8:30 PM. All shows have a $75.00 cover with $95.00 premium seats available, in addition to a $40.00 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





April 27 – May 1, June 22 – 26

Back by popular demand

May 4 – 15


“Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute To Doris Day”
June 1 – 12



New York’s Top Magicians come to Feinstein’s

Sundays, April 25 to June 27

April 25

April 26


Presented by THE ACTOR’S FUND – May 10


May 24

May 30

Presented by THE ACTOR’S FUND – May 10

An Evening with “American Idol” finalist

June 14


June 20

June 27

June 28 and June 29

Shelly Goldstein's One Fine Day is One Fine Engagement!

Brassy, Sassy, Bold and Brazen, Shelly Goldstein's thigh high boots are made for walking ...right up onto center stage and into the hearts of the audience.
Cabaret at the Castle featured Goldstein's tribute "One Fine Day" to the groovy girls who influenced and defined an era known as the 60's, " and in the 60's we were girls" recalls Goldstein, adding "It was a time for natural beauty and letting it all hang out. Now, it is all about tucking it back in." Patrons not only laughed out loud with the hysterically funny Ms. Goldstein and reveled in songs that defined a decade, but also walked away with new knowledge and trivia about icons such as Dusty Springfield, Carole King, Laura Nyro, Mama Cass Elliot, Carly Simon, Lesley Gore, Nancy Sinatra, Lulu, The Beatles, Yoko Ono, The Who and more.

Her unique talent for lyrics and their ensuing mental images offers fans an unforgettable and exclusive Goldstein imprint on such classic titles as "Georgy Girl," "Not Getting Married," "Up On The Roof," "Downtown," "These Boots are Made for Walking," as well trademark Goldstein renditions of favorites like "Un-Natural Woman," her youtube hit "The Middle Age of Aquarius" (, and a politically irreverent take on the Sherman Brothers' "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from MARY POPPINS entitled "Stupid Callous Homophobic Hateful Legislation" that actually had the audience members Umdidaliling along.

Ms. Goldstein is one of the busiest writers of awards shows in Hollywood, New York and the UK. She frequently works punching up screenplays and writing special material, comedy and song lyrics for performers. Shelly has doctored scripts or written special material for such artists as Steve Martin, Sharon Stone, Cybill Shepherd, Liza Minnelli to Donald Trump, James Earl Jones, Eva Longoria, Whoopi Goldberg as well as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Norman Lear and even Princess Caroline of Monaco and Yoko Ono.

The Magic Castle's Cabaret at the Castle has become THE venue to see and be seen. "I have to confess," says Magic Castle co-founder Milt Larsen, "I wasn't at all convinced that a cabaret series was a good idea in the beginning. But the quality of the performers has been tremendous and I have become its biggest fan."
Cabaret producer, Matt Patton, currently has a waiting list for both patrons and performers. For scheduled appearances call 323-851-3313 x434 or email

Photo Credits: BRIAN PUTNAM

Kristin Chenoweth on her leading man in 'Promises, Promises'

Kristin Chenoweth was eager to take on the role of Fran Kubelik in “Promises, Promises,” because it represented an artistic challenge and a departure from the other characters she’s played on Broadway.

But there was another reason as well: Chenoweth and Sean Hayes, her costar in the Broadway revival opening Sunday, had become friends several years earlier, and wanted to work together.

They met in 2002 when both were making films in Toronto; she was playing opposite Matthew Broderick in a remake of “The Music Man” and he was playing Jerry Lewis in “Martin and Lewis,” a biopic about the comedy team.

“It was instant love, instant falling in love with each other and since that time we’ve stayed in touch,” Chenoweth said. “He’s come to my concerts. I was there for the last taping of ‘Will & Grace.’ I’ve always wanted to work with him.”

“Sean is perfect in this new show,” she added. “He’s coming to Broadway as a leading man. It’s not Jack from ‘Will & Grace.’ And this has been great because we both wanted to find something to do together. With the two of us, it’s as if we were separated at birth.”

(SOURCE: Josh Getlin)

Jerry Herman's 1984 Tony award-winning musical "La Cage Aux Folles" is back on Broadway. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.

Just when you think you know a show inside and out, along comes a revival that opens a new window and suddenly a gust of fresh air turns the whole experience into an unexpected joy. I’ve seen "La Cage Aux Folles" several times, but this streamlined production beautifully integrates the dramatic elements with the music and the result is as inviting as an April in Paris, or rather, San Tropez.

Previous productions took the obvious route and dazzled audiences with a lavish outrageousness that made La Cage as much a spectacle as a big Broadway musical. This time around, director Terry Johnson stripped it down for a more naturalistic approach. The nightclub known as La Cage Aux Folles on the French Riviera is now rather seedy and features second tier talents with slightly more style than substance. Les Cagelles, the rag tag chorus of men in drag are choreographed to be unpolished and there’s a lovely charm to that. Of course it takes great talents to pull this off and the six performers are as gifted and funny as they are buff, which is to say very.

There’s a variety of accents in this company and it was clear that the casting of Robin DeJesus as a Nuyorican-sounding Jacob, the butler/maid, was strictly for comic relief, and it worked.

Most important though, the story goes much deeper into the endearing relationship between Georges, the owner of La Cage Aux Folles and Albin, the club’s main attraction. The aging lovers squabble and banter just like any long-time married couple. And both Kelsey Grammer as Georges and Douglas Hodge’s Albin are sensational together.

Grammer's timing is impeccable with a commanding yet warm presence. And who knew "Frasier" had such a strong singing voice.

Hodge, a classically trained British actor delivers a multi-dimensional Albin. High-strung and prone to emotional outbursts, he defies the stereotype, crafting a very real human being beneath the drama queen. And while not the best singer, his moving performance of that stirring anthem "I Am What I Am" ranks at the very top.

Much like Sam Mendes’ reworking of Cabaret years ago, this La Cage went back to the basics by reexamining the emotional connections.
Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s groundbreaking musical made a huge splash when it originally opened 27 years ago but subsequent productions showed signs of aging. With this terrific collaboration, I’m very happy to report The Best of Times are here again for "La Cage Aux Folles."

Kelsey Grammer big draw, drawback in 'La Cage'

(SOURCE: Jeremy Gerard - Bloomberg News)

The chorus of six long-limbed drag queens in the latest Broadway revival of Jerry Herman's "La Cage aux Folles" is half that of two earlier outings.

The reductions in this stripped-down version, Broadway's latest import from London's Menier Chocolate Factory, seem especially stark as it follows closely a 2005 revival that matched the opulent 1985 Tony-winning original sequin for sequin.

Yet unlike the shrunken revivals of other big Broadway musicals, this one makes sense. Terry Johnson's smart, tight, rough-edged and slightly tacky production gets closer to the sort of scene one might actually find in a transvestite club on the French Riviera.

It helps that "La Cage" is housed in the Longacre, a smaller Broadway theater, adding to an intimacy that set designer Tim Shortall has exploited to good effect.

The box-office draw is Kelsey Grammer, of TV's "Frasier," as Georges, the soigne master of ceremonies. The main reason for seeing the show is Douglas Hodge as Albin, the aging headliner and Georges's partner of 20 years.

The sentimental story concerns a son - fathered by Georges and reared with Albin - who returns home engaged to the daughter of a bigoted right-wing minister. The son asks Albin to disappear for one evening while his biological mother and Georges host a "normal" dinner for the girl's parents, breaking Albin's heart.

Hodge, who is built like a long-haul trucker but still looks reasonably good in a gown, makes Albin vulnerable and a little pathetic, in addition to being endearingly funny.

Grammer is charmless and can't sing, a problem for which I forgive the producers because the rest of the cast is so good. Tops among them are Robin de Jesus, as Albin's conniving, stage- struck assistant and Veanne Cox as the fiancee's smoldering tigress of a mom.
- "La Cage aux Folles," Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St.; 212-239-6200;

La Merman lives on
(SOURCE: Leslie Katz Examiner Staff Writer)

Klea Blackhurst brings her critically acclaimed one-woman tribute to Ethel Merman to the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco this week. (Courtesy photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — Singer Klea Blackhurst has somewhat of an unusual claim to fame: a lifelong relationship with Ethel Merman.

“My mom’s a performer. It was always there,” says Blackhurst, describing the record albums in her home. “Access to Merman’s voice makes you captive. I’d also like to point out that she became famous in 1930 for being heard in the last row of the balcony — without a mike.”

Studying her brassy-voiced idol since she was a child — she even wrote school papers on the topic — Blackhurst shares her expertise and love of the American musical theater great in a one-woman show called “Everything the Traffic Will Allow: The Songs and Sass of Ethel Merman.”

Currently doing the show once a week off-Broadway in New York, where she lives, Blackhurst brings it to San Francisco this week (for the second time; it was here at the Plush Room in 2003) in a 42nd Street Moon presentation at the Eureka Theatre.

She insists that the show, consisting of stories and songs, isn’t of her doing an impersonation, but a valentine to the longtime Broadway star, who died in 1984.

“It’s a challenging show to sing, and fun to do; it’s a great workout,” says Blackhurst.
“Trust me, I’ll drop 5 pounds” during the run in The City.

People she meets often want to share Merman lore, and she always enjoys listening to the stories, but she very rarely hears something new. She also has a collection of artifacts at home, including oddities and treasures.

One is a Xerox copy featuring Merman’s distinctive scrawl; it was a request for a drink given to a bartender.

When Blackhurst was in San Francisco, appearing in a successful recent production of “Call Me Madam,” she was given a “real rarity,” a copy of Merman’s first autobiography, released in the U.K., called “Don’t Call Me Madam.”

“I just dropped,” Blackhurst says.

“It doesn’t really matter if you like her or don’t like her,” she says.

“I love it when kids get dragged to it with their grandparents, and a 17-year-old asks me what Ethel Merman album is a good one to start with,” Blackhurst says.

Everything the Traffic Will Allow

Presented by 42nd Street Moon

Where: Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. today-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $44
Contact: (415) 255-8207,

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, April 17-23: La Cage, American Idiot, Sondheim

By Robert Simonson

At this late stage in the Broadway season, with Tony nominations and box office takes at stake, producers don't like surprises. But that's what they got this week as the new revival of Jerry Herman's La Cage aux Folles, which opened April 18, unexpectedly reaped the best musical reviews of the spring, and American Idiot, the highly anticipated stage version of rock group Green Day's iconic concept album, received a more mixed bag of clippings.

The critical corps could not have been more bored shuffling into the Longacre Theatre last weekend to see yet another production of Herman's valedictory hit from 1983, about the comical travails of a middle-aged gay couple who run a French nightclub. Didn't they just see this show on Broadway, like, five years ago? But against their will, they fell in love with director Terry Johnson's scaled-down, intentionally shabby vision of Herman's farcical love story, with its gently radical social message. (One of the most amusing sights in all of theatre is a critic walking out of a performance pleasantly stunned at his unexpected satisfaction.) The Menier Chocolate Factory production, a transfer from London, was found to be wonderfully human-scale and heartwarming by the reviewers, and truer to the play's milieu (a transvestite club on the French Riviera) than was the opulent original production. And all lauded Douglas Hodge's fierce and funny performance as cross-dresser Albin. The money star, Kelsey Grammer, won less fervent praise, but praise nonetheless, and people applauded the chemistry between the two actors.

American Idiot opened two days later. No show this season has greater name recognition, or was more eagerly assumed to be a made-to-order smash.
The show had, after all, gotten great reviews when it debuted last year in Berkeley, CA. And, well, you know, it's Green Day. But the New York reviewers were divided. The New York Times notice was an out-and-out rave, calling the propulsive, kinetic show a triumph.

That was surely a relief to the producers. After that, it got murky. Reviewers liked the music and the performers, Michael Mayer's electric staging, and didn't deny the jolt of life the rock musical brought to The Street. But they carped about the skeletal and simplistic storyline, the cardboard characters, the short length, and the unrelenting bray of the show.

Those who really didn't like it said it was an arena concert posing as a musical. (This literally became the case when Green Day itself gave an impromptu concert at the end of the April 22 show.) But every critic did their best to find something good to say; good will was rampant in the reviews.
The third Broadway opening of the week was Sondheim on Sondheim, the new revue of music and lyrics by, well.....anyway, the hook for this show was that Stephen Sondheim himself was a star, talking openly (albeit, on film) about his life, upbringing and the inspiration behind his various songs. The critics found a lot to like, as they almost always do with a Sondheim show these days. The piece is a bit jerrybilt and scattershot, and more than a little self-involved ("celebratory overkill" deemed one), they said, but it has wonderful moments sung by the likes of Barbara Cook (heralded by all, natch) and Vanessa Williams, and all that great material. And it's kinda cool to be the room (well, sort of, anyway) with The Man himself, you know.

In a Next to Normal-type move (which began Off-Broadway and then did some retooling out of town before coming back to Broadway), Broadway producers Barry and Fran Weissler are taking the Off-Broadway hit The Scottsboro Boys, the John Kander-Fred Ebb musical, to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis July 31 for an eight-week run. The Weisslers have expressed interest in transferring the production to Broadway in the coming season.


Is anyone still attached to Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark besides Julie Taymor and U2?

This week it was announced that Alan Cumming will not play the menacing Green Goblin in the delayed Broadway-bound show. Actor Reeve Carney is the only performer now confirmed for the production. Casting and a production schedule for Spider-Man will be announced soon. They say.

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:

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper

Well Richard...a thrill to be part of your Wednesday night Iguana show. Loved your song medley. You and Dana are consummate "PROS" all the way. Great rapport. Looking forward to being a part of the Iguana action with you
and Dana again....Love, Vickie Phillips,

I love the crowd and the sophisticated choice of music by the performers. The musicians played so well and Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge keep it moving and entertaining! The Mexican food is to die for. Love the vibe! Be back next week! : )
Michelle Zangara

Hi Richard,
I had the pleasure of attending WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA this past Wednesday evening. I have to commend Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge for presenting a thoroughly delight-full evening with a talented array of performers.It was great hearing and seeing Richard & Dana performing live. As General MacArthur said, "I SHALL RETURN."
Len Schlosberg, Leonard Talent Associates Inc.

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!

For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
No one admitted before 7:00.

April 28th: Bryan Anthony, CANDY BENGE, Hector Coris, Kecia Craig, Sandra Davis, Rosemary Loar, Gretchen Reinhagen, and Frank Stern!

May 5th: Anton Van Der Merwe and Julie Reyburn

May 19th: Adrienne Haan, Barbara Gurskey, Bobbie Horowitz, Evan Lawrence

May 26th: Michelle Collier

June 2nd: D'Yan Forest and Tod Hall, Pam Palmieri

June 16th: 2010 Julie Reyburn, Lisa Raze returns!

JUNE 23rd: Sigali Hamberger, Pam Tate

June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!




Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Mitzi Gaynor Extends Feinstein's at Loews Regency Run Through May 29
(SOURCE: Brian Scott Lipton,

Film and stage star Mitzi Gaynor has extended the run of her show Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, which will now play May 18-29. The show is directed and choreographed by Tony Charmoli.

The show will feature often hilarious recollections of her famous friends and costars, including Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Irving Berlin, Howard Hughes, and Marlene Dietrich; behind-the-scenes anecdotes and songs from her films, including There's No Business Like Show Business, Les Girls, The Joker Is Wild, and South Pacific; and a diverse slate of song selections from such writers as John Kander and Fred Ebb, Leon Redbone, Peter Allen, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

The creative team includes Bob Mackie (costumes), Dick DeBenedictis and Bill Dyer (musical arrangements), Ed Czach (musical direction), and Colin R. Freeman and Nick DeGregorio (orchestrations).

For tickets and information, call 212-339-4095 or visit

On occasion I’ve received queries from readers who, for whatever reason, left the business in their youth and now — decades later — want to make a return.
(That’s your cue Ms. Desmond.)
They look to me for an answer. I don’t know who fears my honesty more. Me or them? Do I tread lightly in deference and respect to the years the inquiring have lived? Or do I ignore the truths I know and offer a white-wash “All will be swell and easy for you” reply? Falsehoods and cautious courtesy will not serve them well.

There is a harsh reality awaiting these actors hoping to return to the thespian fold. They will not be welcomed back with warm embraces and adulation. And if you think I write these words with malicious glee you’d be terribly mistaken.

What follows is a correspondence between a hopeful returning actor and myself. I post it here now to share with you:

I have your book and just finished [the chapter] Training for the Actor. Every topic in that chapter was a question in my mind that you answered very well for anyone who is thinking about turning to acting as a career.
I will intend to pursue a career in acting for film/television for which my undergraduate work was geared toward. The only thing is that undergraduate work was completed 33 years ago. I will retire with 31 years in the US Navy in the spring of 2011. I have thought about applying for grad school, but I will be 55 years old.
I am wanting to jump into being a “working” actor fast. I have the skills, rusty… If I was 23 again I’d probably would have tried the grad school pursuit and the MFA, now, I’m not sure what I should do. All I can put on a resume are the theater works I did back in the 1970s and my life experiences of travelling the world on ships, and being involved in a few major conflicts i.e. Hunt for Red October and Hurt Locker type stuff. I’m figuring I could have at another 20 or 30 year career. Your thoughts??”

Dear *****,
Thank you for the note and for buying the book.

To be fair to you, I’ve got to be as blunt here as I am in my book. But first before dispensing the bitter lemon I offer some lemonade; you’re making a brave move by returning to your love this many years later.
Many people would not have the courage as do you. Bravo.

I wish I could say that your return will not have many obstacles but sadly there are two challenges that will not be easy to overcome.
Your age. And your time away from the business.

You will be competing against men your age who have remained in the business who are well established and have accrued respectable credits on Broadway, regionally and/or on screen. Your resume will not fair well against your peers.

Agents will not be as welcoming to you as they are to your experienced competition or to younger actors who can be developed. The latter — a well-known given — is that youth sells better in our society. Relatively, in comparison with roles 18 – 34, there are not many roles written for mature actors 50s plus (even less so for mature actresses). The older the actor, the harder the sell is. I wish this were not true. But sadly such is the nature of the beast that is our business which is reflecting society. I’ll never understand it fully myself. Why do the fields of entertainment and advertising target an audience that has little to no disposable income among its members while the more mature counterpart often has cash and credit easily at hand? To me this business plan seems like a contradictory move towards earning profit. But again, this is how our society is. The business model must be working well or there would have been a change long ago. Who loses? Older actors, especially the “returning mature actor”. Both, unless an uber-celeb or industry name, have a difficult journey in making measurable strides within the industry.

As to your resume: Putting your life experiences on your resume, while deeply personal and rightfully important to you, will be of little interest for most agents and casting. Agents have enough trouble in this economy selling their established clients with B’way and screen credits.
Your time away is too much work for them in trying to sell you to casting. And I don’t mean that as a slam towards agents. Casting wants to know what have you done lately that is directly relevant to acting.
A civilian world example: If a baker in his twenties left his passion for cakes to pursue construction but then thirty years later wanted to return to baking and applied for a baker’s position at an upscale bakery the employer would not care how many buildings the ex-baker constructed but would want to know what has the builder has done recently relevant to baking and what are his present culinary skills.

Now yes, this can all be terribly demoralizing. This doesn’t mean there is no hope. Just realize, and I think you do, that you’re in for a tough, tough challenge in returning.
Hence why I said you were very brave.

First best step that you can do is find some top-rated conservatory classes, attend them and that way you’re back into the business — somewhat — and beginning to network among other actors. Actors get actors jobs.
Attend paid auditions to meet agents and casting people.

But please bear in mind that your desire for a ‘fast’ way to being a working actor is rarely an obtainable reality for a any artist of story-telling. Whether an actor is new, established, youthful or mature, this business has very few express lanes.

My Best,
Paul Russell

Rebecca Luker, Donna McKechnie, Faith Prince, et al. Set for Great Entertainers on Broadway Series
By: Dan Bacalzo · Apr 13, 2010 · New York

Christine Andreas, Rebecca Luker, Donna McKechnie, Mark Nadler, Marni Nixon, Faith Prince, and Richard Skipper will be among the performers in The American Theatre Network's new summer series of live performances, Great Entertainers on Broadway, to be presented at the Times Square Arts Center, July 26-August 5.

Nadler will kick off the series on July 26, with two shows at 7pm and 9:30pm. He will be followed by Tony Babino (July 27, 7pm), Skipper (July 27, 9:30pm), Luker (July 28, 7pm & 9:30pm), and McKechnie (July 29, 7pm and 9:30pm).

The second week of the series will feature Andreas (August 2, 7pm and 9:30pm), Steve DePass (August 3, 7pm), Nixon (August 3, 9:30pm), and Prince (August 5, 7pm and 9:30pm). An additional female performer, to be announced, will be presented on August 4 at 7pm and 9:30pm.

Gaynor, Cerveris, Bleu, Modine, Shields, Perez and Jordan to Present Drama Desk Awards

By Adam Hetrick
20 Apr 2010

Mitzi Gaynor, Michael Cerveris and Corbin Bleu will be presenters for the 55th annual Drama Desk Awards, which will be hosted by Patti LuPone May 23 at LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center.

In addition to Gaynor ("South Pacific"), Cerveris (Sweeney Todd) and Bleu (In the Heights), Drama Desk presenters will include Matthew Modine (The Miracle Worker), Brooke Shields (Wonderful Town), Rosie Perez (The Ritz) and Leslie Jordan (My Trip Down the Pink Carpet).

Brian Stokes Mitchell and Cady Huffman will announce the 2010 Drama Desk nominees at 9:30 AM on May 3 at the New York Friars Club.

The Drama Desk is an organization of theatre critics, writers and editors that honors excellence in all areas of New York theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and not-for-profit.

The 2009-10 Nominating Committee includes chairperson Barbara Siegel,,; Christopher Byrne, Gay City News; Patrick Christiano, Dan's Papers,; David Kaufman, freelance author; Gerard Raymond, Backstage, The Advocate; Richard Ridge, Broadway Beat TV; and Paulanne Simmons, and

The Drama Desk, organized in 1949, presented its first awards in 1955. William Wolf is president of the Drama Desk; Leslie (Hoban) Blake is vice president.

For more information visit DramaDesk.
For more information, visit

Patrick DeGennaro at Birdland!

Call 212 581 3080
315 West 44th Street

Monday May 10 7:00 pm

$25.00, $35.00 Center Seating

Patrick DeGennaro and his band
(Alec Berlin-Guitar, Randy Landau-Bass,
Brian Wolfe-Drums, Jorgen Kjaer-Keyboards, Back Up Vocals- Lonna Marie, Jen Heaney, Alisa Schiff) return to Birdland with lots of new originals plus some favorites from the newly released UNBROKEN.

"Filled with soaring vocals and intricate melodies "Unbroken" is a collection of original songs that illustrate how DeGennaro is at the top of his considerable game." David Hurst Next

Reservations Required

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 Sunday! Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper

Hi Richard,
I had the pleasure of attending your showcase this past Wednesday evening. I have to commend you and Dana for presenting a throughly delightfull evening with a talented array of performers, many who sent me information on their programs.It was great hearing and seeing them performing live. As General MacArthur said, "I SHALL RETURN."
Len Schlosberg, Leonard Talent Associates Inc.

What an honor to spend a few days with you,Richard! The Bistro Awards were fabulous
(a great deal to you and the promotion and Program Book ads!!)
then to top it off… Wednesday at the Iguana! Together you and Dana have created the perfect nurturing environment for talent : pro and approaching pro .
A welcome change from entertainment venues where ' a nose in the air' is the norm and stops creativity. Instead, you are the warm arms of mentoring and support every artist desires.
Patricia Fitzpatrick, Cape Cod Cabaret:

Every time I go to the Iguana it just gets better! It's always a fabulous night of amazing entertainment, and such a warm and supportive community that gathers there. Thank you for inviting me to sing! You can bet I'll be back soon. Catt John:

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!

For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
No one admitted before

April 21st: Erik Cheski, Henry Dee, Janice Hall, Tod Hall, Rita Ellis Hammer, Sunny Leigh , Sina Lewis, Jim Speake

April 28th: Bryan Anthony, Hector Coris, Kecia Craig, Sandra Davis, Rosemary Loar, Gretchen Reinhagen, and Frank Stern!

May 5th: Anton Van Der Merwe and Julie Reyburn

May 19th: Adrienne Haan, Barbara Gurskey, Bobbie Horowitz, Evan Lawrence

May 26th: Michelle Collier

June 2nd: D'Yan Forest and Tod Hall, Pam Palmieri

June 16th: 2010 Julie Reyburn, Lisa Raze returns!

June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!