Wednesday, November 10, 2010

STAYING FOCUSED: WHAT'S NEXT?

As I lied in bed last night, I tossed and turned about what today's blog would be about. I felt that I didn't really have much to report and then as I was making my coffee this AM, I decided to do a continuation of the themes I wrote about last week. Is it Part 2 or is it just a serial? It continues. It has now been a month since I co-hosted Wednesday Night at The Iguana. I do miss it. I still refuse to write about the events that led up to, what some assume and feel, was a quick departure. But please know there are many layers to this "onion". None of which has anything to do with the venue itself. I do appreciate the MANY phone calls and e-mails with your concerns. Those who have not reached out to me have deduced their own conclusions. That's OK. I know the truth and I can sleep at night knowing that the decisions I have made over the past 5 weeks were/are the RIGHT decisions for me. There is no reason why WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA (which of course is an off shoot of what Joan Crowe started there) will not continue to soar without me. I thank EVERYONE who contributed to that evening. Audiences, entertainers, ALL the musicians who have played that evening, and of course, THE IGUANA!

If you saw my blog last Friday, you know about my class with Judith Light. What took place in that class has stayed with me...and will continue to do so. I don't know if I'm better in tuned with my emotions these days or if I'm just ready to receive.
Messages seem to be coming to me from all angles and I'M LISTENING! Last week, I was referred to as running things like the "gestapo" (their words, not mine). Last night, I was asked to co-produce a major event next year (for the second time!) bringing to the table the same skills that I use that were recently dismissed! I'm open to ALL possibilities...and we'll see what is at the next bend in the road.

Tonight, I'm taking a class on Web Marketing 301: Using FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and LinkedIn. I'm also reading a book now called LINKEDIN FOR DUMMIES. I am going to be launching a workshop/classes on building an audience and a following utilizing these skills that I have learned and honed over the years. Those who know me and have experienced my shows know that I know how to fill a house. I'm not being braggadocios, I'm stating a fact.

Stay tuned for several projects that I am working on! Trust me, I'm not collecting moss!
On another note, it's amazing how FACEBOOK is so much a part of all of our lives. One of my favorite features is the birthday reminders. Carol Channing used to say in her act that, "People are just people and they like to be acknowledged on their birthdays." I am also working on a monologue from Truman Capote's "CHILDREN ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS" for an audition I have next week. I did a show MANY years ago based on this novella. One of my favorites and now I am emersed in this. Perhaps I'm thinking a lot about birthdays because my 50th is on the horizon! Who knows? But right now, I would like to acknowledge my FACEBOOK friends who have a birthday today! The first is Meg O'Brien! (Pictured here on the right)One of the gifts of The Iguana was the incredible people I met. Meg came to us via Tod Hall, an incredible singer. Meg is an incredible singer in her own right.
She has moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Mass' gain is our loss! Love and miss you, Meg!
It is also Chris America's Birthday! Chris is one of the best tribute artists in the world as Madonna..if not the best! AND she is a REAL WOMAN! I met Chris years ago at the IGCITA (International Guild of Celebrity and Tribute Artists) convention in Las Vegas and became a huge fan. AND Chris is a nice person to boot! Check out Chris' website at: http://chrisamerica.net.

It is also Lee Tannen's Birthday! Lee and I have actually never met. However, I became familiar with Lee when I read "I LOVED LUCY", Lee's memoir about his friendship with Lucille Ball in the later years of her life.
You can read a little bit about this book, Lucille Ball, and Lee by going to this link: http://www.lucyfan.com/leetannen.html

I Loved Lucy Stage Play Gives Look Into Later Years of Lucille Ball

(SOURCE: Published: October 25, 2010
I Loved Lucy
Lee Tannen knew legendary actress Lucille Ball like few others. A distant cousin of her second husband, Gary Morton, Tannen met Ball as a child. Some 25 years later, they became very close friends; from 1980 until her death in 1989 (save for a riff that lasted more than a year).

In his book, I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball, Tannen gives a intimate look at the private self and world of one of television’s most popular performers. When not traveling for various events, functions or vacations, the two spent much of their time together simply playing Ball’s favorite game, backgammon, at her Beverly Hills home. Aside from offering lots of interesting anecdotes and insights, I Loved Lucy also gives readers some details about Ball’s only unsuccessful series, 1986′s Life with Lucy.
It was dumped by ABC after eight episodes had aired.

I Loved Lucy was first published in 2001 and Tannen has since adapted it into a two-person stage play.
It was recently presented at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, California.
The production ran until Halloween afternoon and starred Jeffry Denman (as Lee) and Diane Findlay (a dear friend of mine!) (as Lucy). You can order I LOVED LUCY by Lee Tannen by going here: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Lee+Tannen&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&hl=en&cid=14747547209067906203&ei=DbXaTMHsKqjswgXvg4zzDw&sa=title&ved=0CAgQ8wIwADgA#p
So what's next for Lee? I LOVED LUCY going to London in the spring of 2011. Lee is directing a show for Jason Graae in Palm Springs on Saturday, November 27. PERFECT HERMANY: Jason Graae sings Jerry Herman. Jason Graae Brings PERFECT HERMANY to The Arthur Newman Theatre 11/27 (SOURCE: BROADWAYWORLD.COM)

Read more: http://losangeles.broadwayworld.com/article/Jason_Graae_Brings_PERFECT_HERMANY_to_The_Arthur_Newman_Theatre_1127_20101101#ixzz14tVGmWz2Popular cabaret singer and Broadway star Jason Graae will brings his new show "Perfect Hermany," to The Arthur Newman Theatre at the Joslyn Center in Palm Desert on Saturday, November 27th at 7 PM as part of Les Michaels' Life Is A Cabaret Concert Series which began there in July and will continue through December.

Jason Graae has starred on and off-Broadway in "A Grand Night For Singing", "Falsettos", "Stardust", "Snoopy", "Do Black Patent Leather Shows Really Reflect Up?", "Forever Plaid", "Olympus on My Mind", "All in the Timing", "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" and many more. Jason Made his Metropolitan Opera House debut in Twyla Tharp's "Everlast" with American Ballet Theatre. In Los Angeles, he won his second Drama Critics Circle Award, the Joel Hirschorn Award for Oustanding Achievement in Musical Theatre, and the Ovation Award for "Forbidden Broadway Y2KLA!", an Artistic Director's Achievement Award for "Fully Committed", and a Santa Barbara Indie Award for "High Button Shoes". Jason originated the role of "Houdini" in "Ragtime" at the Shubert Theatre, "Marcellus" in "The Music Man" at the Hollywood Bowl, "Grand Hotel" and "The Grand Tour" at The Colony as well as many shows at Reprise' Broadway Series.

Jason has performed his one-man shows all over the country, including Rainbow and Stars and Birdland in NYC, Caramoor Music Festival, Wolf Trap, Feinstein's at the Cinegrill, and The Plush Room in San Francisco. He received the New York Nightlife Award, 4 Bistros Awards and was listed in TimeOut-NY's Top 10 Cabaret shows of 2006. In 2010 he toured with his cabaret show "Magically Delicious" - receiving critics' raves everwhere he played. Jason has recorded over forty CDs, including original cast albums, concerts, compilations, and his two solo CDs, "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile - Jason Graae Sings Charles Strouse", and "Jason Graae LIVE at The Cinegrill". For the November 27th date, the audience will see the debut of "Perfect Hermany", featuring songs by local resident and famed composer and lyricist, Jerry Herman and directed by Lee Tannan and musical director John Boswell. Tickets for the show are $10 cash only at the door if available, reservations may be made at 760-325-2731. Show time is 7 PM and the box office opens at 6 PM with an optional wine and cheese social, also $10, which will benefit programs at The Joslyn Center.

WHO: Jason Graae in "Perfect Hermany" - directed by Lee Tannen, with John Boswell on piano

WHAT: Live cabaret music concert- Tickets are $10 at the door if available
Or on line at www.brownpapertickets.com

WHERE: Arthur Newman Theatre at The Joslyn Center
73-750 Catalina Way in Palm Desert, CA. 92260

WHEN: Saturday, November 27, 2010 - Show time 7 PM

HOW: Call 760-325-2731 for information or reservations

Read more: http://losangeles.broadwayworld.com/article/Jason_Graae_Brings_PERFECT_HERMANY_to_The_Arthur_Newman_Theatre_1127_20101101#ixzz14tV93f1t
Happy Birthday, Lee!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Marc Smolowitz! Check out Marc's IMDB Page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0810625



HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RUTH CROSON!Please visit Ruth's website at http://www.ruthcroson.com
>
Take Ruth home with you! http://www.amazon.com/Its-a-Good-Day/dp/B001A30RVS

ALSO IN THE NEWS: A New Kind of Torch Song: Harvey Fierstein Will Star as Albin in La Cage aux Folles (SOURCE: KENNETH JONES, PLAYBILL.COM)Four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein will return to Broadway, in drag again, to star as Albin in the 2010 Tony Award-winning revival of La Cage aux Folles, for which he also wrote the libretto. He will slip into feathers and bugle beads starting Feb. 15, 2011, for 12 weeks.

Fierstein won the 1984 Tony Award for writing La Cage, but this will be his first time appearing in the show. He replaces 2010 Tony Award winner Douglas Hodge. Fierstein's co-star at the Longacre will be announced soon.

The current stars of La Cage, five-time Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer as Georges and Olivier and 2010 Tony Award winner Douglas Hodge as Albin, will depart the production on Feb. 13.

La Cage aux Folles, about a gay couple who run a St. Tropez drag club, features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Fierstein, based on the play by Jean Poiret. This production is choreographed by Lynne Page and directed by Terry Johnson, who won a 2010 Tony Award for his direction. It won the 2010 Best Revival (Musical) Tony.


"I've loved watching this new production of La Cage and think director Terry Johnson and the wonderful company at the Longacre have really mined the material for its humor as well as its heart and humanity," Fierstein said in a statement. "I'm thrilled to get the chance to play Albin a mere 25 years after creating him. It will be a challenge to follow in the footsteps of all the brilliant actors who have portrayed the role before me. But I do have one secret weapon — I know how to reach the author for rewrites."

Fierstein made his professional acting debut at La Mama ETC in 1971 in Andy Warhol's only play, Pork. He followed that with appearances in more than 60 Off-Off-Broadway productions before he began his playwriting career. Early plays like Flatbush Tosca and Cobra Jewels led to his underground hit, Torch Song Trilogy, which transferred Off-Broadway in 1981 and then to Broadway in 1982 where it won the Best Play Tony Award as well as Drama Desk, Obie and Dramatist Guild Awards. Fierstein also won Tony, Drama Desk and Theater World Awards for his portrayal of the Torch Song lead, a drag performer with a heart of gold. He won his third Tony for the libretto of the musical La Cage aux Folles. His other plays include Safe Sex, A Catered Affair and Legs Diamond.

Fierstein's starring role as Edna in the musical Hairspray won him his fourth Tony Award as well as another Drama Desk Award, New York Magazine Award and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Performance of the Year. This made him only the second person in history to win Tonys in four different categories. He recently completed a national tour of Fiddler on the Roof, playing Tevye, a role he played for more than a year in the show's 2005 Broadway revival.

For more information, visit www.LaCage.com.


THE FOLLOWING ARE RECENT COMMENTS FROM
http://www.richardskipper.com/guestbook.html

I had the best time at the Iguana last night. it was a night to remember. where else can you go and get that vast variety of a show. it was with out a doubt the most entertaining night of my year! Thanks DeOnzell Green



On Tuesday nite (7/27/10), I saw something at St Luke's theater I am still thinking about today. I saw Richard Skipper transform himself into one of the Grand Dames of American Theater, Ms. Carol Channing.
From the moment he stepped on the stage, I BELIEVED I was watching Ms. Channing. This wasn't your typical tribute show.
This was a show that was put together with love and respect and it showed. I learned more about Carol Channing from this show than I ever knew!
This show was about music and life. The life of Carol Channing and all of the wonderful music she brought to the world and put her signature on. Who could imagine the role of Dolly Levi or Lorelei Lee with anyone besides Carol Channing...maybe Richard Skipper!
Richard gives performers something to aspire to. He gives audiences something to enjoy. He gives the world the gift of Carol Channing with a touch of Richard Skipper thrown in for good measure. Thank you.

Fran Giannini Leonardis, Ringwood, NJ

Richard, the show at St. Luke's was amazing. I loved every minute of it, and judging from the enthusiastic response, so did every single person in the audience. You are incredibly adept at weaving biography, humor and fabulous entertainment into a truly engaging show. (I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard as I did during your "scene" with Evan!) I can't wait to see your show again!
Catt John, NY

Richard's class, wit and resourcefulness shines through, whether as "Carol" on stage at St. Luke's or as himself when he interviewed the "real, Carol at Barnes & Nobel last week. Always a joy to encounter Richard.
Bart Greenberg, Special Events, BARNES & NOBLE LINCOLN SQUARE NYC


. . . the first time ever I have been shown with such love, respect and polish. Richard Skipper is a true musical comedy star! He is fabulous as me!"~ Carol Channing

www.RichardSkipper.com

Follow me on Twitter www.Twitter.com/RichardSkipper


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Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/foundation.htm



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

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