Anytime you say goodbye to a friend, there are tinges of sadness.
2010 was a friend. As my dear friend Ervin Drake wrote so eloquently, IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR! In today's blog, I want to look back on SOME of the personal highlights of 2010! My personal top 12 list! I apologize if it reads like some of those Christmas letters we receive looking over our friends and acquaintances' years.
Og course, one of my biggest highlights of 2010 was WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA.
I did Wednesday Night at The Iguana Wednesday Nights from January through September. Working with Dana Lorge (pictured), Barry Levitt, and Saadi Zain, Jessica, Nino, and all of the incredible audiences and entertainers week after week certainly gave 2010 an incredible purpose. We even won two MAC Awards in the process for Outstanding Variety Show and Outstanding Hosts. When I left at the end of September, it was with a heavy heart and much sadness. But it was time for me to move on. I had done it for 18 months. Dana Lorge continues to carry the torch for this fun night out. Go support her, the other entertainers, and your soul on Wednesday nights.
I hope there are at least two more MAC Awards in Dana's future for 2011. She certainly deserves it. Again, thank you all!
In February, Dana and I went to see A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC with Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta Jones.
We were celebrating our birthdays.
Dana and I are both February babies. I am now 49 and Dana is...younger! (She told me so!)I won the tickets at Gasholes starring Michael Holland and Karen Mack (another show I recommend). I was thrilled to see A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Catherine Zeta Jones won the Drama Desk Award this year (Dana and I were there for that as well) and The Tony Award. I was thrilled that she won those two awards. She deserved them. So that is my second highlight of 2010.
In February, Danny and I had dinner at THE VIEW in Piermont honoring the retirement of Fred Burrell. It was a fun night and fun to be around and amongst our Piermont friends and family.
In April, it was great to see one of my favorites actresses appear on THE GOOD WIFE on CBS. Tovah Feldshuh! The following week, Tovah was honored at The Bistro Awards and brought the house down twice! Once in her own segment, and then again, reading an excerpt from Ivana Trump's autobiography honoring CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY which also one a Bistro Award. (Oh, by the way, I added a new title to my resume. I was associate producer of this year's Bistro Awards. Thank you, Sherry Eaker! Hope to do it again in 2011!)
In April, I met with Mark Robert Gordon to discuss my future AS CAROL. He has believed in my show even when I had doubts. Mark and I have known each other for several years but I always "dragged" my feet when it came to committing to working on this show.
I'm happy to say it is paying off!
In June, we celebrated Gretchen Reinhagen's birthday. What a great party! The next day...I had my appendix taken out! I didn't see that coming! At the party, Sue Matsuki made this Chicken Divan which was divine! However, it had mushrooms in it. Mushrooms and I don't agree.
The next morning when I was having these pains, I attributed it to the mushrooms. Boy, was I surprised! Thank God, I went right to the Dr, however!
In July, I saw Kevin Dozier at Feinstein's. One of the best shows I saw this year (among many!) What a great night that was! Here is a clip from that night; Kevin singing one of my favorite songs.
In addition to a fantastic show, musical directed by Alex Rybeck (one of the best), we sat with Edith and Ervin Drake and Joe Sirola.
Afterwords, we joined Kevin Dozier and his parents.
To read more about Kevin Dozier, visit his website at http://www.kevindozier.com
Go see him the next time he is appearing. You'll thank me!
On July 27th, I did Carol Channing in Concert at St. Luke's. We sold out and it was an incredible night which of course has led to my current run. I was joined by John Fischer on piano, Jeff Carney on bass, and Steve Bartosik on percussion. They are still with me in my current run! And Martina Vidmar opened for me that night. Wow! What a night!
September found me in Provincetown AND Mailubu. Great shows in Malibu. I'll be returning next September!
October 1st-5th, I stayed at the home of Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian!
I never would have believed that would have ever happened. I was there to see Carol receive her star on The Palm Springs Walk of Fame. She deserves a similar honor in NY! WAKE UP NEW YORK! I'm going back to Palm Springs in February to celebrate my 50th birthday and Carol's 90th! God Bless her!
In November, I took a Master Class with Judith Light at Primary Stages. Wow! I now worship at her feet. Truly an angel among us. I can't wait for her next class and to,hopefully, see her in Lombardi on Broadway.
This month found me once again with Carol Channing (and Josh Ellis and Charlie Karrel) at Borders, doing 4 readings for The screenwriting classes at Primary Stages, Being interviewed by Shane Fallon at The Patch here in Rockland County: http://nyack.patch.com/articles/performance-for-the-sake-of-flattery,
and seeing Carol Channing on Broadway again!
WOW! What a year I've had and these are just a few of the highlights! Next year, I open off-Broadway! Thank you ALL for the support you have given me this year. It is much appreciated. My next blog will be looking ahead.
Here is what audiences are saying about my work: (Taken from guest book at www.RichardSkipper.com) Keep checking website for additional comments.
Richard, I have NOT seen you often, but when I did, my comment was your artistry is consistent, true, and in the moment. Your talent is within you and cannot be taught. Even if you stood on your left ear and whistled "Dixie", you could not teach this to an excellent yet ordinary talent. There are well-known singers who sing, but don't make music; well-known instrumentalists who play, but don't interpret; well-known dancers who are technically brilliant, but just mime the steps; and well-known actors who act (emote) but don't simply (just) say the lines". Richard, you TRULY get into the persona. You do not impersonate. You are the embodiment of artistry.
If you've not yet seen Richard Skipper as Ms. Carol Channing then go see him now during this lovely holiday season.Take a relative or friend with you too. I saw him here in California a few years back and was completely mesmerized and captivated by his polished act. He has charm and charisma galore but also does a great job of becoming, in front of your eyes,Dolly Levi and Loreli Lee and is a super talented actor and singer able to transform completely into Carol Channing with seamless perfection. It was a wonderful night out and Skipper should be on Broadway in an unlimited run of either GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES or HELLO DOLLY as either or BOTH of these 2 characters that were played so beautifully by Ms. Channing.
CLAUDIA SUSSMAN, Laguna Beach, CA
I am not a professional critic, but I know when something is good and worthwhile. I was completely blown away with Richard's performance on Christmas Eve. At times, I forgot it was actually Richard on stage, I really thought it was Carol Channing performing and singing. I thought, how nice of Carol to entertain us tonight! It was a walk down memory lane as Carol told us stories of her career and sang song from her shows. Carol had the entire audience involved with the show. Some people got gifts, some got new husbands, one got to dance, and we all got to sing. I Honestly felt like I was at a friends house for an intimate get-together. Go see this show... you will really like it.
Larry Costa, http://www.spalabnyc.com
Hope you and/or your friends comments will be added Sunday night!
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper 845-365-0720
. . . 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
Follow me on Twitter www.Twitter.com/RichardSkipper
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 AN ARTS FILLED 2011!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com