Sunday, July 25, 2010

HELLO, CAROL!, GOOD-BYE GREAT ENTERTAINERS ON BROADWAY SERIES/HELLO, ST. LUKE'S, AND STEVEN FALES: FLYING SOLO!

Wow, what a whirlwind the last "five" weeks have been. I didn't even do my blog last week. I've had no summer! I have not been to the beach, I have not been to a pool, I have not been to a park...every single waking moment has been spent leading up to Tuesday night's show. And I think it is about to payoff BIG! Back in February, I was contacted by Herb Goldman to be part of a series called GREAT ENTERTAINERS ON BROADWAY!

I had been referred to Herb by Steve DePasse, a great entertainer and a friend of Herb's. Herb and I met for lunch on March 15th and discussed my being part of this series. We had a great lunch and hit it off and I was extremely excited that I was going to be part of this series which was also going to include Mark Nadler (whose TWO shows were supposed to be tomorrow night!), Christine Andreas, and Rebecca Luker...and that's just for starters! Through me, Herb also got Donna McKechnie and Faith Prince.



At that time, I was head deep in associate producing The Bistro Awards with Sherry Eaker AND continuing to produce WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA every Wednesday night AND dealing with the weekly drama with that!
On April 13th, this ran on BROADWAYWORLD.COM : The American Theatre Network is proud to announce the launch of Great Entertainers on Broadway, a new summer series of live performances by some of today's most talented and well known stage, television and cabaret entertainers. The series will be presented in late July and early August at the Times Square Arts Center (TSAC) in the heart of New York City's world famous theatre district.

The lineup of star performers includes (in alphabetical order): Christine Andreas, Tony Babino, Steve DePass, Rebecca Luker, Donna McKechnie, Mark Nadler, Marni Nixon, Faith Prince and Richard Skipper. A mystery performer -- a leading recording artist and vocalist - will be announced in June.

Producer/promoter Herbert G. Goldman, the author of books about Eddie Cantor, FAnnie Brice and perhaps the greatest entertainer of them all, Al Jolson, is presenting the series with the goal of reviving the glamour and excitement of the Big Apple's world famous theater district and Times Square.

Great Entertainers on Broadway will be presented on eight evenings -- Monday through Thursday, July 26, 27, 28 and 29 and Monday through Thursday, August 2, 3, 4 and 5 - in the TSAC's elegant 300-seat venue (to be renamed the Broadway Emporium for this engagement). There will be two performances each night at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM. Some performers will headline single shows while others will perform both shows on a given night.

"This is a dream come true," says Goldman, a former boxing writer and editor. "My grandfather introduced me to show business when I was a child and I‘ve been hooked ever since. This series is dedicated to his memory."
The performance schedule is as follows:

WEEK ONE
Monday, July 26, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM - Mark Nadler, the zany comedian, singer, piano player and all-round entertainer, winner of a coveted MAC Award and a regular headliner at the prestigious Oak Room at New York's famed Algonquin Hotel, will perform two different shows on the same evening.;

Tuesday, July 27, at 7:00 PM -- Tony Babino, one of today's premier vocalists, is a first class singer-songwriter and recording artist who presents a high energy show featuring past classics to modern day gems. He is proud to be carrying on the traditions of such legendary entertainers as Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
Tuesday, July 27, at 9:30 PM - Richard Skipper, a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning performer, director and co-producer of the 2010 Bistro Awards, has been spellbinding audiences for years. His tribute to Carol Channing has been acclaimed all over the world.

Wednesday, July 28, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM - Rebecca Luker, one of the hardest working musical performers, has starred in Broadway productions of Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, Showboat, The Secret Garden, Something Wonderful, Brigadoon, The Sound of Music and The Music Man in a career dating back to the late 1980's. On television, she has also starred in three PBS music specials saluting Broadway composers and performers - Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein II (1995), The Rodgers & Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty (1999), and My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies (1999).

Thursday, July 29, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM - Donna McKechnie, the Tony Award winning star of the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line, is regarded internationally as one of Broadway's foremost dancing and singing stars and choreographers. On Broadway, she has also won rave reviews for her stellar performances in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Education of Hyman Kaplan, Sondheim -- A Musical Tribute (which she also choreographed), On The Town, Promises, Promises, Company and State Fair, for which she received the Fred Astaire Dancing Awards for Best Female Dancer of the 1995-1996 season. She also has several award-winning cabaret shows that she performs in venues all over the world.

WEEK TWO
Monday, August 2, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM - Christine Andreas, the multi-talented Broadway musical performer, returns to Broadway this season as Jacqueline in the Olivier Award winning revival of La Cage Aux Folles at the Longacre Theater on Broadway. Fresh off a 55-week national tour of The Light in the Piazza, she has starred in Broadway productions of My Fair Lady, On Your Toes, Oklahoma!, Legs Diamond and The Scarlet Pimpernel, among others. She is also an acclaimed cabaret performer who has entertained in clubs all across the United States and abroad along with her husband and musical accompanist Marty Silvestri.

Tuesday, August 3, at 7:00 PM -- - A singer, composer, poet and master of improvisation, Steve DePass has performed at the White House on four separate occasions. His songs are witty, poignant, satirical, humorous or philosophical, and his ability to improvise and ad-lib is uncanny.

Tuesday, August 3, at 9:30 PM - A gifted musical actress who has sung opera, classical song and appeared in Broadway musicals, Marni Nixon performed on stage screen and television, most recently the animated feature, Mulan, and TV popular Law and Order. Blessed with a magnificent soprano singing voice, she spent year early in her career dubbing the singing voices of such film stars as Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady), Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and Deborah Kerr in the King and I and Affair To Remember.

She performs in concert and cabaret venues all over the United States.

Wednesday, August 4, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM -- A renowned female vocalist and recording star, whose identity will be made public in mid-June, has been booked to headline both shows this night.

Thursday, August 5, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM - Faith Prince, the multi-award winning musical actress and comedienne, has been dazzling Broadway audiences ever since she swept the major theater awards - The Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Circle Awards - for her performances as Miss Adelaide in the acclaimed revival of Guys and Dolls. Most recently she starred in Broadway productions of The Little Mermaid, A Catered Affair; Bells Are Ringing, Nick & Nora, Little Me and Noises Off. She also has a number of television credits, including appearances on Ugly Betty, CSI and Medium.

Tickets are $60, $55, $50, $45 & $40 (www.americantheatrenetwork.com) or at the TSAC box office, 669 Eighth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

Great Entertainers on Broadway is presented by American Theatre Network, Herbert G. Goldman, Producer.

Read more: http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/GREAT_ENTERTAINERS_ON_BROADWAY_To_Feature_Andreas_More_At_TSAC_72685_20100413#ixzz0ugwY1HAM

On April 20th (a week after I had sung at a memorial for Jack Burns, The Bistro Awards, WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA, appearing in a ROCKLAND GAY PRIDE event), Herb Goldman, Steve DePass, Les Schecter (the publicist), Rebecca Luker, and I met in the city to discuss this series. At that meeting, I questioned the website, www.Ticketweb.com. When you visit this site, you hear this weird ethereal music (with conversations heard in the background!). I mentioned that it was a difficult site to navigate around and with the ticket prices (starting at $70.00!)and a $7.50 handling fee PER TICKET (!)that the site would be a turn off to ANYONE trying to buy tickets. I made suggestions on how this series should have been marketed. There were definite obstacles facing us before we even left the gate. The ticket prices were high, we would be doing this show the last week in July and the first week in August (a deadly time in NY) and there were SO MANY great acts covering 8 nights!
BUT, I had ideas on how to make this work. Les said he loved my ideas and as we left, Rebecca said I would make a great publicist!
I did leave that meeting on a high and from that moment on, I have spent almost every waking moment promoting and marketing this! I created an Events Page, I have tweeted and facebooked this. I have sent out individual e-mails and it has been announced at every Wednesday show at The Iguana. The beginning of June, I asked Herb how ticket sales were going. He said it was too early to check. Also, at that time, other than a full page ad in CABARET SCENES (seen by a limited audience)and a full page in The Bistro Awards program (also seen by a limited audience) and flyers, there was NO OTHER advertising. I continued to promote and market this.

Back in January, a film crew came to our house to film me as part of an upcoming documentary on Carol Channing. The interview with me (as Richard!) was to talk about my love for Carol and my own career.
They said they wanted to film me getting into make-up and in performance. I said if anything came up that I thought would be the "right fit", I would call them. When Herb's offer came my way, this was IT! I called the film crew and arranged for them to cover that night. I then hired Steve Epstein to design a new gown especially for this "event!


I hired three of the best musicians in the business. Steve Bartosik on drums/percussion. Steve has played for me before and I am thrilled to be working with him again. He has played for some of the greatest singers ever. Jeff Carney on bass. He plays for a certain person who got the movie role of Dolly Levi! AND John Fischer who was the musical director for THIS Dolly Levi! John was the musical director when I did Dolly for The Revision Theatre in Asbury Park two years ago...boy, I can't believe it has been that long!
AND I have an opening act, MarTina Vidmar!
I have people coming in from South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia!
Exciting, huh?
Almost 7 months leading up to this!
On July 2nd (the Friday before the holiday weekend), I received a phone call from a panicked Herb Goldman. He said he went to the box office and only 105 tickets had sold for THE ENTIRE series. We are talking 16 shows at 300 seats a show. I told him to take a deep breath, get through the weekend, have Les Schecter kick into a major PR blitz on Monday. I still felt we had time to build a buzz and an excitement on this series. I said I was there to help in any way I could. I said let's stay on top of this and revisit where we are on the 15th. I left with the impression that Herb thought I was offering good advice. I went into the holiday weekend THINKING we were still on track. I encouraged everyone to continue buying tickets and many did!

On Monday morning, July 5th, Mark Nadler sent out an e-mail blast that the series had been canceled!?!?! I called Herb and begged him to reconsider. I explained to him what I was losing on this. He explained what his risks were but that he would really look into the show going on! I thanked him and moved on...STILL thinking it might happen.
Tuesday, I get a call from John Sefakis from DANCERS OVER 40 (I've done many appearances with them)to tell him me that he had his tickets! When I told him what was going on, he suggested I call Ed Gaynes, artistic director of ST. LUKE'S THEATRE (where we did the DANCERS OVER 40 TRIBUTE TO GOWER CHAMPION). He felt the theatre might be dark on the 27th. I asked him to call and put in a good word for me. I went out to a local Rockland Gay Pride mixer and came home to find a message from Herb that he could not continue! As I was calling Herb back, John called me back to say ST. LUKE'S was available! I immediately called Ed Gaynes and booked it! I don't think Mr. Goldman meant bad, I just think he was misguided in decisions being made on this series. A learning experience for us all. In a matter of less than 48 hours, I managed to go from being canceled in one venue and booked in another. AND in 10 days (it took some time for telecharge to kick in)I have SOLD OUT with just the use of the internet AND word of mouth! Thanks to ALL who paid it forward and I can't wait to do this show on Tuesday night!

Wow, what a week this has been for Carol Channing! She arrived in town on Tuesday. Did THE VIEW on Wednesday, dinner with Marc Rosen & Arlene Dahl, Liza Minnelli, Tommy Tune, Robert Osborne on Wednesday night, WENDY WILLIAMS on Thursday, several radio programs, TODAY SHOW with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda, THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, HANNITY, FOX NEWS and affiliates.That's off the top of my head. But it culminated with an interview with me on Friday at BARNES & NOBLE LINCOLN SQUARE. Thank you Bart Greenberg for making a dream come true! Thanks to everyone who came out for this event. I heard they turned over 250 people away!
You can read more about Carol on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/Carol_Channing





FLYING SOLO: How to Create and Produce Your Own Solo Work (or Any Work)
Date:
Monday, September 20, 2010

9:00am - 4:00pm



Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St., New York City


"Steven Fales has a gift for igniting the creativity of others." --Julia Cameron, THE ARTIST'S WAY



"All we have to change the world is our story." --Anonymous

Come fly with me! I will be leading my solo performance workshop with special guest lecturer actor/writer/producer Richard Skipper. Together we will cover every aspect of what it takes to create a successful and profitable solo performance career.

If something inside you believes that "the future belongs to those who produce what they create", than this workshop can help take you there! This promises to be best (and funnest) one-day solo performance workshop in the country.
As we explore the solo genre, you will leave this workshop inspired to tell your story and show your work like never before. We will be examining in lectures and sharing in the group dynamic what compels one to create and produce their one-person plays, shows, cabaret acts, etc. Short writing exercises will help unlock your process. You will leave with practical advice and specific information from someone who has written his own solo work (in many genres) and who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his work.

We will provide continental breakfast, your own copy of Steven Fales' book, and you will also get free admission to Steven's cabaret MORMON AMERICAN PRINCESS later that night at Don't Tell Mama at 9:00 pm with Richard Skipper joining as Carol Channing.

The workshop goes from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm with an hour break for lunch at noon (with a simple assignment).

The cost is $199 for the workshop. $50 reserves your space. Paypal accepted at www.mormonboy.com store.

For more information email info@mormonboy.com


Workshop participants are FLYING! Here's what they say:

"After attending Steven's solo-show workshop, I had the courage and know-how to mount my show at the New York International Fringe Festival and then partner with a theatre company in San Diego on a six-week run of my show.
Now I'm approaching investors and self-producing innovative runs all over Southern California. It's turning into my own industry. Steven teaches you the how, but more importantly helps you discover the why of your work.
Once you connect to why you're doing it and how important that is to you, nothing can stop you from sharing your work with the world!"

-- Brian Bielawski, Creator/Performer of GAM3RS: the play. (Brian has an MFA in acting from USD)

"After meeting with Steven all my fears and confusion about how to
produce my own show were not only eliminated but I was left feeling
truly excited about the whole process. He generously shares his own
invaluable experience with you and tailors his coaching to your unique
story and gifts.With Steven you may be performing alone but he'll show
you how to set up your production with those necessary components so
that you'll feel supported. I highly recommend him to anyone who is
interested in taking the journey of solo performance!" -- Mary-Beth Manning, writer/performer of MOTHER (Ovation Award Nominee for Solo Performance)
Workshop participants currently doing their solo shows: Carlease Burke's 50: IT DOESN'T LOOK THIS GOOD ON EVERYONE; Melinda Hill's THE ACCIDENTAL BISEXUAL AND OTHER STORIES; Shabana Rehman's FOR THE KINGDOM AND THE FATHER LAND a hit in Oslo, Norway and now at The New York International Fringe Festival.


RICHARD SKIPPER is best known for his solo show: Carol Channing in Concert starring Richard Skipper, a fully staged and researched, musical montage celebrating the career and persona of this unique, theatrical legend.
Blending Channing standards with original material and other familiar songs sung by Skipper in his powerful Broadway voice, the musical evening surveys Channing's life with many stops along the way for Skipper's unique--and riotous--"ad-lib" interactions with the audience. Mr. Skipper is a four time recipient of the MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabaret) Award a Back Stage Bistro award, and a Cloney Award in Las Vegas for best performer. He was named as one of the Top Ten Cabaret Performers by Cabaret Hotline and as "one of the Top of the Century Premiere Cabaret Acts" by Cabaret Scenes Magazine.Said Backstage Magazine: "Skipper sparkles with the glow of Channing's charisma, but the extra shine you see on stage is a product of a diamond-like brilliance that is his alone. [A]n unqualified musical comedy gem...There is no doubt in my mind that Richard Skipper is well on the way to international recognition and acclaim."


STEVEN FALES has been doing solo performance for ten years having performed under a light bulb in Portland, Oregon to a whole constellation of lights at Lincoln Center. He's produced solo plays by others and has coached many solo artists on their journey helping them write, re-write, workshop, re-workshop and premiere.
Fales is also an award-nominated published author as well. (Lambda Literary Award Finalist)
Steven has written and performed CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY (NY Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination), MISSIONARY POSITION, and WHO'S YOUR DADDY. All three make up the MORMON BOY TRILOGY. He performs his cabaret act, MORMON AMERICAN PRINCESS across the country as well as his Oxy-Mormon Stand-up. As an actor he's worked at some of the finest Shakespeare companies in the country in including the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival. He holds an M.F.A. in acting from the University of Connecticut, B.F.A. in musical theatre from the Boston Conservatory/Brigham Young University. He has trained with Larry Moss and at The American Comedy Institute.


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a LIVE show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out July 30th.
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'S WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK (TAKEN FROM MY GUESTBOOK AT WWW.RICHARDSKIPPER.COM


Great evening last night at BARNES & NOBLE LINCOLN SQUARE (7/23/10)with you, Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian. You did a marvelous job as moderator and kept the questions flowing and allowed Harry to talk about his and Carol's work to promote the arts in schools.It was a very enjoyable evening and enjoyed your work at the event. Paul, NY

Dear Richard,
You were a perfect host for Carol Channing's event this evening. Jim and I brought two friends with us and they thought you were warm and respectful! You have a true skill and you're always thinking of others. For example, you moved your chair back so people on the side could see better and everyone was appreciative. Thank you also for introducing us to Harry. He was a joy to talk to as well as an inspiration. I'm so glad we were able to make it. And we are so glad to know you. YOU need your own talk show!!!
Sincerely,
Mary Lahti, NY

Hi Richard....unfortunately, I'm down in Atlanta,but I've seen you a few times in FL (Jimmy Ferraro/Dee Etta's theatre, and the Palladium in St. Pete). You are AWESOMELY INCREDIBLE!! Anyone who hasn't seen you, NEEDS to go, because they'd be in for a wonderful treat! Maybe if you ever get down here to the Atlanta area, I'd definitely see your show again!
Ron Gross, Lovejoy, GA

If you've seen my work, please add your own comments.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now going into our second year 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!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
212-765-5454.


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS, Patricia Fitzpatrick

TILL NEXT WEEK...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL JULY!
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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