I hope you all had a great Independence Day and are settling back into a routine that includes LIVE entertainment. Tonight, I am excited to be kicking off July with Kevin Dozier at Feinstein's!
Here is a review of his cd: The only MAC Debut nominee to have a solo CD album in release, Kevin Dozier's is a lovely, lovely, love-filled listen. Projecting a gentle soul, even a butterfly-fragile one, and with a rhapsodically romantic spirit, his voice is an exceptionally pretty one, and very musical. With breathy, close-to-the-mic singing, he is all sincerity and heart on the sleeve. But a certain modesty, not mawkishness, rules the day because, though fervent, he shows taste and restraint. He has employed Christopher Marlowe, the simpatico sensitive arranger-pianist-producer who was so successfully partnered with the late cabaret favorite Nancy LaMott. In fact, one of the tracks is a medley of two Irving Berlin classics that Nancy and Christopher had worked up for her, but didn't record: Combined and intertwined, "Always" is not just the usual vow of mutually felt eternal bliss; dominated and haunted by the love-loss lament of "Remember," it becomes a song of unrequited love. It's just one example of the thoughtfulness and drama in the renditions on an album that includes show tunes "Soon It's Gonna Rain" (The Fantasticks), the mantra "Love Changes Everything" and Oklahoma!'s "People Will Say We're in Love." Though much is high-voiced, gentle spirit crooning and cooing, Kevin occasionally opens up and uses a stronger, bigger sound in a few numbers that build dramatically.
Occasionally, instrumental figures become distracting, like the uncharacteristically too-insistent piercing piano figure in part of "Over the Rainbow," but it is redeemed by the creativity that follows (various instruments, most effectively a cello, appear in different combinations throughout the album). Perhaps saving the best for last, the CD concludes with a warm rendition of an excellent song, "Before We Say Goodbye," by Tom Andersen and Ian Herman. Kevin projects thoughtful intelligence as he and Marlowe set and sustain a mood, knowing the value of a pause. This album is worth the pause in any day to relish the honeyed and wise Love-Wise. Rob Lester
So looking forward to seeing Kevin this eve, and then, of course, there is The Iguana Wednesday night! I'm so looking forward to this week's line-up. We have a few people who are making their cabaret debuts this week. The first is Laurie Vega, who comes to us via one of our favorites, Meg Flather. Laurie Vega will be at The Metropolitan Room: Saturday August 7, 2010 at 4pm. She's on a roll. Let's keep the party going for her by coming to see her at The Iguana Wednesday night!
Also making his Iguana debut this Wednesday night is Marti Cummings. Marti grew up on Maryland's historic eastern shore. After seeing a local production of 'Annie' he was hooked on the magical world of theatre. After training in classical voice in Wilmington, De throughout high school, Martin moved to NYC to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Upon graduation in 2006 he has had a diverse and exciting career in the entertainment industry.
He currently resides with his partner, Anthony, and their little cat, Mink.
(left to right: Marti Cummings and Ano Okera).
Earl Levit returns to The Iguana this week. He brought down the house with his last visit and his bawdy rendition of Cole Porter's "LET'S DO IT". Earl started out his career in theatre appearing in productions of: South Pacific, Kiss Me Kate, Carousel and Annie Get YOUR Gun.
After these productions, he became the stage manager for a fledgling Pennsylvania Ballet Company. He served as a theatrical consultant to Balanchine’s protege, the late Robert Rodham. He stopped singing for the next 40 years.
At the encouragement of Ms. Denise Whelan, he did his first cabaret showcase For Mr. Todd Waddington. After the showcase, Denise and her husband, John Whelan gave him a challenge.
He had one year to do his own show.
10 months later, He did my first cabaret performance, The Gypsy in me (formerly titled Earl Sings, & Earl sings again!).
THe gypsy opened in Philadelphia, at the Tavern on Camac, in October 2002. It was repeated in January 2003. George Elmer, producer decided to take him to Donald Schaffer & Danny’s skylight room in New York City.
Since Then he has appeared with his musical Director,
Michael Ferreri at:
Don’t Tell Mama in NYC,
Odette’s in New Hope,
The Stockton Inn in Stockton, New Jersey
and the society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia.
One of our favorites, JANICE HALL, returns!Janice just returned from London, where she performed in "Angels in America", opera by Peter Eotvos, with BBC Symphony at the Barbican Theater.
DAVID ALPHER & JENNIFER LITT return this week!
Iguana regular Helena Grenot, who recently debuted her show "Damned If I Know" at Don't Tell Mama earlier in May. returns! (Helena Grenot, Ritt Henn & Barry Levitt, photo credit Sierra Rein, at The Salon)
A RECENT REVIEW
Being kind of a loose cannon is both a charming asset and danger for Helena Grenot. She can seem flibbertigibbetty and flustered or fly high with confidence. Being salty, self-deprecatingly glib with a “take me as I am” attitude: that’s gregarious Grenot. The terrific custom-written opener, “Damn’d If I Know,” captures good-sport shrugging acceptance of life’s unpredictable and uncontrollable events. Her director, Peter Napolitano, wrote the snappy lyrics with lively music by the show’s invaluable and versatile pianist/arranger Barry Levitt.
After this, things hit some rough spots with slapdash performances crying out for more nuance—or seemed oversold with more unleashed libido than legato present. Subtlety was not the “thrust” with “Boom Boom” (Marcy Heisler/Zina Goldrich) as she moved in, winkingly flirting with the other musician, fine bassist Morie Louden. Being breezily blunt about bearing the brunt of bad luck with men (or bearing the truth or bearing grudges) will only take a game dame so far. However, towards the end, everything worked with convincing, controlled, mature renditions of the heartbreaking story-ballad “Through the Eyes of Grace” (Melissa Manchester) and the lullaby from Disney’s Dumbo, “Baby Mine.”
Self-interrupting Fiddler on the Roof’s “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” with tales of long tours with that musical and an affair with an unfaithful co-star found her at ease with dishing and perspective. At her best, she can be fun and flip and free. And there’s a big heart beneath the smartypantsdom and panting.
May 21, 2010
JOEY INFANTE RETURNS!He will be joined by his Life partner, Michael McDonald.
Another Iguana debut, Catherine Fulbright (Friend of Leslie Orofino’s)
CINDY MARCHIONDA RETURNS (ONE OF MY FAVORITES!)Cindy Marchionda's credits include Madison Square Garden's The Wizard of Oz with Eartha Kitt and Mickey Rooney; Lincoln Center's West Side Story Suite (Rosalia) with the New York City Ballet, directed by Jerome Robbins; Off-Broadway's Our Sinatra: A Musical Celebration (lead female singer); 2 national tours of A Chorus Line (Morales); Arena Stage's Damn Yankees (Gloria Thorpe); The St. Louis Muny's West Side Story (Rosalia); Gateway Playhouse's On the Town (Hildy); Pittsburgh Public's Man of La Mancha (Fermina); the one-woman musical, Early One Morning (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park). She won the Joseph Jefferson (Jeff) Award for playing the title role in Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre.Cindy appears in SONDHEIM UNPLUGGED at Don't Tell Mama tonight 7/5.
BARBARA PORTEUS RETURNS! This singing Barbara spells her name the right way. No pretensions here. Barbara Porteus is the quintessential cabaret performer who can give you precisely what you came for from Stephen Sondheim to Johnny Mercer. She has performed in such shows as The Sound of Music with Marie Osmond, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying with Donald O'Connor and Side by Side by Sondheim. She has opened for Sid Caesar, Ben Vereen, Petula Clark and many others. Her extensive and impressive resume includes performing and touring with Eddy Arnold and Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings.
David Vernon returns!
RUTH CROSEN RETURNS!
RITA ELLIS HAMMER RETURNS!
JON BURR & LYNN STEIN RETURN!Jon and Lynn perform soulful re-interpretations from the American Songbook, 60's Pop and contemporary jazz.
AND, OF COURSE, DANA LORGE!
JILLIAN LAURAIN RETURNS!JILLIAN LAURAIN, concert artist, appeared first in New York City at Rick Newman’s “Catch A Rising Star”, and The Improv. She later performed with the Eddie Chamblee Quartet at Sweet Basil’s and with the Hey Jackson Trio at Jimmy Weston’s. She produced her successful one woman shows at Danny’s Skylight Room which she later took on the road. Ms. Laurain went on to enjoy an international career performing at Ronny Scotts in London and La Scimmia in Milan. Her work in Musical Theatre began at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, Long Island, in productions of the Sound of Music, Most Happy Fella, and Gypsy. In other Summer stock productions, she starred as Maria in West Side Story, Babe in The Pajama Game, and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. She is best known for her stirring portrayal as Aldonza in an Off-Broadway production of Man of La Mancha. Prior to crossing-over onto the musical theater stage, Ms. Laurain enjoyed a successful career as an opera singer. She received her training from the Juilliard School of Music studying under Madame Marion Freshl. She later studied with Vincent LaSelva, founder of New York Grand Opera. She continued her studies in Modena, Italy where she was a favored pupil of Maestro Campogalliani, renowned teacher of Pavarotti and Tebaldi. In Italy, critics agreed, “Ms. Laurain gave a sultry and commanding performance as Carmen. Her rich mezzo sound was daring and seductive”. Her greatest honor was appearing on the stage at La Scala. Recent performances in NYC have included, The Music Box Theatre at Broadway Baby cabaret club, The Gallery Room at the 92St Y, and the Iguana VIP Lounge. Jillian just finished her show at the Triad, NYC to a sold-out room. She will next be performing at the Metropolitan Room on May 11, 2010 and a return performance at the Triad this Fall 2010. Ms. Laurain maintains a vocal studio in NYC; where she teaches voice and performance technique for both classical and contemporary voices.
MARK WATSON MAKES HIS IGUANA DEBUT!
JOSHUA RONA RETURNS!Joshua Rona was born and grew up in jerusalem, israel. before attending berklee he studied at the rimon school of jazz and contemporary music near tel aviv for four years.
SUNNY LEIGH RETURNS! Sunny Leigh is an artist, musician, writer, singer, dancer, poet, actress, model, healer. She lives her life guided by one fundamental truth, love. The answer. Her songs are honest, realistic, portrayals of life. A life lived by a woman. A life full of honest realities, a life of love. She started in show business when she was a child and achieved success. But she tired of the grind and devoted over 20 years to dual careers in art and fashion. Although she was successful at both she never lost her love of music. She wrote constantly and soon turned out over 1000 poems. That love of music and dance demanded that some of those poems be set to music. Songs filled with passion, creativity, honesty and above all love. Songs that tell of one woman’s journey. Her healing is based on touch. We all need to touch and be touched. I hope her songs will touch you.
GREGORY NALBONE RETURNS!The patrons of Birdland and Iguana have also been treated to his vocal talents on a frequent basis. The move to New York City in 1991 from New Jersey when he was paying his bills by bartending and dancing turned out to be great exposure for him—literally—his image was requested by many a topnotch photographer. As a serious student of both acting and voice this proved to be a great boon for him and New York was the beneficiary! Nalbone is well known on the cabaret circuit and his modeling career has brought him into contact with the best among photographers among them the late Bill Costa, Antoine Verglas, Thomas Synnamon, Reed Massengill and Steven Meisel. This prolific modeling experience has brought Gregory into the pages of Italian Vogue, Men's Health, Exercise for Men Only, Manner Aktuell, Details, Playboy, Glamour and Dreamboys among others.
LOUISA POSTER MAKES HER IGUANA DEBUT!
I need your help! GREAT ENTERTAINERS ON BROADWAY: THE SERIES that I am part of on July 27th is being cancelled. I have a lot riding on my show and if I sell 100 more tickets by the 10th, they will not cancel my show! Can you PLEASE spread the word for me? I will return the favor when you least expect it! Respectfully, Richard Skipper 845-365-0720
HERE ARE THE DETAILS: July 27 9:30 pm ONE NIGHT ONLY!!!!!
AMERICAN THEATRE NETWORK, producer Herbert Goldman, PRESENTS GREAT ENTERTAINERS ON BROADWAY:
CAROL CHANNING IN CONCERT STARRING RICHARD SKIPPER! ONLY CHANCE TO SEE THIS SHOW THIS SUMMER! ONE NIGHT ONLY!! Tickets available at americantheatrenetwork.com or call TicketWeb 866-468-7619. THIS IS A 300 SEAT VENUE!
RESERVE TODAY FOR PREMIUM SEATING! This is being filmed for an upcoming documentary on the life and career of Carol Channing. Several celebrities have already responded that they will be there! This will be a star-studded audience! Would mean a lot to have you there as well. Please pay it forward. With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper 845-365-0720 Carol Channing, Richard Skipper Set for July 23 Event at Barnes & Noble Lincoln Square
By: Dan Bacalzo · Jul 5, 2010 · New York
Tony Award winner Carol Channing will appear in conversation with MAC Award winner Richard Skipper at the Barnes & Noble Lincoln Square on Friday, July 23 at 6pm.
The event is being held in conjunction with the release of Channing's new gospel CD, For Heaven's Sake.
Channing won the Tony Award for Hello, Dolly! and also appeared on Broadway in The Vamp, Lend an Ear, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She received an Oscar nomination for Thoroughly Modern Millie.
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 15th.
Here's to an ARTS-filled July! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard SkipperFollow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper
MARIA OTTAVIA in 'If I Were A Carpenter: A Reconstruction'
Sunday, July 11, 2010
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Don't Tell Mama, NYC
343 W 46th Street (Restaurant Row)
New York, NY
HERE IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:
Richard...I so thoroughly enjoyed your performance at the Iguana last night when you described when you began performing as Carol Channing...what a wonderful story and then to follow it up with a kickin performance! I just bought a ticket to your July 27th show and can't wait! Sending you all good things for a fabulous show! xxoo Julie Reyburn, http://www.juliereyburn.com
Hi Richard, I am really looking forward to your second year at The Iguana. The one last year would be hard to top - such great line-ups and it has been an honor to be a part of it. Congrats on one year at The Iguana! Toi, toi! Lori Evanson
Richard, I hope to be part of the 2nd YEAR @ IGUANA. Thank you so much for your ongoing generosity and for allowing me such a great stage to sing on in front of such incredible audiences. I continue to learn so much and am constantly inspired by the incredibly talented singers you schedule to perform there week after week... My best wishes to you for another AMAZING and SUCCESSFUL year at the Iguana!! Thank you! -Gregory Nalbone
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_
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