Sunday, December 5, 2010


I hope you have had a great week. I certainly did! As you may recall from my last blog, I was attending Terese Genecco's show at The Iridium with special guest Klea Blackhurst.
A total WOW from start to finish! Terese, if you see this, I'm chomping at the bit to be a future guest! I suggested to two friends (who brought two more); they had never been to a cabaret show! Because of the incredible show all involved gave, they are joining us for Christine Pedi this eve. A little bit more about her further down.
Terese will be back at The Iridium on the last Tuesday in December, 8 and 10PM shows. DO NOT MISS HER if you want to see how to do it!

On Wednesday afternoon, I met Josh Ellis, who was Carol Channing's publicist on LORELEI...among other shows)and we went over to Border's to see Carol Channing! We were met there by Charlie Karel who was in the original HELLO, DOLLY!
He also features prominently in Carol's life story. You'll have to come see my upcoming show to see how! I was proud that my friend and sometimes accompanist, Christine Talbott-Sutin and her husband, Daniel, came out on such a miserable day. Very cold and rainy! All things told, Carol had a VERY RESPECTABLE turnout considering the time and weather. I don't think that Border's did a very good job in promoting this. Anxious to see how Patti LuPone does tomorrow. She will be there at 7PM, a much better time. I'll be seeing Carol at THE GYPSY OF THE YEAR competition for BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS tomorrow. Afterwords, I did a reading as part of the Screenwriting class at Primary Stages. A few weeks agI auditioned and got cast in 4 readings! Friday night, I sang as part of Jenna Esposito's birthday bash at MetroJam at The Metropolitan Room. I had a great time and this is another monthly show that I highly recommend! Last night, I went to my first holiday show of the season and had a great time. Lots of great singers standing around and singing for each other. Heaven! Such great talent at that party last night AND at Friday night at MetroJam! And now I'm ready to embark on a new week! IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES!

This afternoon, Danny and I are attending an open house here in Piermont at Lisa Grubb's HAPPY DOG GALLERY. I'm proud to call Lisa a friend. She is also my neighbor! Lisa Grubb is a pop artist with a signature style, known for her irresistible characters and vibrant colors. Her paintings are bursting with energy—as if they just jumped out of some fantastic place to brighten our lives. The artist’s sun ripened palette features tangerine, turquoise, crimson, royal blue, yellow, and spring green in offbeat color combinations.

Grubb’s uninhibited creations captivate everyone from seasoned art collectors to young children.

With elements of pop art and naïve art, Grubb’s work combines playfulness and sophisticated humor. Although her style is completely unique, she has been compared with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring for her bold graphic elements.

Her paintings have been shown in numerous galleries from New York’s Soho to the Hamptons to Key West and beyond. Grubb’s customers are worldwide. Many of her paintings have found homes in Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and beyond. You can view Grubb’s work year-round at The Happy Dog Gallery in Piermont, NY which is located on the Hudson River about 30 miles north of New York City.

Grubb is the creator of Happy Dog and has written and illustrated two children’s books, “Happy Dog!” and “Happy Dog Sizzles!” both published by Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Putnam. She is currently working on her third book in the series.

Grubb has appeared on "The Today Show", "Channel 7 Eyewitness News", "Fox Channel 5 News", and "CNBC" with her colorful canvases. In addition, Lisa’s work has appeared in Art Business News, Art Trends, Fine Art Magazine, Dan’s Papers of the Hamptons, and U.S. Art, to name a few.

In 1998 Grubb was invited to paint the Looney Tune characters for Warner Brothers, which led to a one-person show at their gallery on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The show was an outstanding success. She was also invited to paint her interpretation of Disney characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy again, featuring her signature style.

In 1997, Grubb was asked to paint a 10-foot Spiderman for Marvel Entertainment in the Universal Studio booth at the Los Angeles Art Expo. Stan Lee, who is the creator of Spiderman, was also present and signed her painting.

Lisa Grubb grew up in the New York metropolitan area, spent her early career in Key West, Florida, and then returned to New York to make her mark. When Grubb decided to paint professionally and obtain more exposure in New York, she attracted attention from such luminaries as Barbara Walters and Arthur Salzberger.

Grubb is dedicated to helping worthwhile causes through her artwork. In 2005, the PETA organization commissioned Lisa to paint the cover art for their 25th anniversary gala catalog. Lisa’s painting of a Big Bunny was not only on the catalog cover but also reproduced on T-shirts worn by over 400 wait staff. Sale of Big Bunny and Happy Dog raised a significant contribution. In 1996, she was asked to design the invitation to the prestigious Animal Rescue Fund benefit in the Hamptons, and her painting gained the highest bid during the charity auction. She has also contributed her work for other charities such as Elizabeth Taylor’s AMFAR, The Ronald McDonald House, Touch and Coats For Kids Foundation. In 2000, she painted a “Happy Dog” Absolut Vodka bottle for Center One, an AIDS organization, and celebrated the highest bid at the auction.

Future plans include developing her “Happy Dog” family of characters for animation. Grubb plans to continue painting original art and commissions and devoting her talents to worthwhile charities.

Grubb is inspired by, and lives in, New York. Take a moment to visit Lisa's website. Tell her I sent you. Lisa's book, THE HAPPY DOG SIZZLES, would make a great holiday gift!
The fifth person TODAY that buys tickets for my first preview will get a free autographed copy! Of course you have to let me know!
After leaving Lisa's open house, I'm off to have my first vocal session with Gretchen Reinhagen. Gretchen Reinhagen first hit the professional music scene at the tender age of five, fronting for her father's band at the Cape Cod nightclub, The Farm, singing a cover of Karen Carpenter's “Sing” as well as that classic standard “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. Yes, Gretchen delighted employees and their families at The Farm's annual staff holiday party, and a Christmas ham was truly in the making. The highlight of the evening for keyboardist Bill Deechan, was when Gretchen turned to him mid-song and said “TAKE IT!” The highlight of the evening for Gretchen was standing outside with Dad between sets, searching the skies for Santa's sleigh. I have been a fan of Gretchen's from the first time I saw her! It was also great to share the stage with her Friday night at MetroJam. She kicked the evening off with her flawless interpretation of MY ANALYST TOLD ME. Love it! Check out Gretchen's website at Tell her I sent you!
After my lesson, we are off to see the FABULOUS Christine Pedi! If you would like to join our party, please let me know. I have been a fan of Christine's for years as well. We have shared the stage several times together. Christine is probably one of the busiest women in the business! Christine was ALSO in MetroJam on Friday night (as the featured entertainer), she was in New Hope last night for Bob Egan, her show at The Laurie Beechman begins tonight, Newsical is re-opening soon, AND she hosts a daily show on The Broadway station on Sirus XM radio every day! Do you hear what I hear? Christine Pedi is lovingly lampooning all your favorite divas in her annual holiday show Christine Pedi'S THERE'S NO BIZNESS LIKE SNOW BIZNESS! Playing the Laurie Beechman Theater for the month of December, Christine will usher in the holiday season with her award winning comedic flair, spot on impressions, and songs of good cheer. From Roxie Hart's take on "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" to Liza's dramatic rendition of "Rudolf" to an impression filled "12 Divas of Christmas" audiences will fall on their knees with laughter, marvel at Christine's voice as big as the sea, and find comfort and joy in stories of Christmas past, present, and future! God bless her...every pun!

Currently starring in NEWSical The Musical, Broadway buffs will recognize Christine for her long association with Forbidden Broadway and her daily radio show, The Broadway Breakfast, on Sirius Radio. Christine Pedi has earned a Drama Desk nomination, an LA Ovation Award, and has appeared in companies of Forbidden Broadway all over the world including LA, Tokyo, Singapore, Australia, and London's West End. She made her Broadway debut in the revival of Little Me and was most recently seen (and heard) in Talk Radio. Her work as a cabaret artist has earned her a MAC Award, a Backstage Bistro Award, a Nightlife Awards, and was named ShowBusiness Weekly's 2005 Best Female Cabaret Singer of the Year. TV audience's may recognize her as the dearly departed Mrs. Bobby Baccala from The Sopranos (he loved her so much he couldn't defrost her ziti!). She has performed for President Clinton (playing Senator Hillary Clinton), headlined the Queen Mary 2, appeared on the Rosie O'Donnell show, sang on NBC's Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, and can be heard on many Forbidden Broadway cast recordings. Most recently, Christine was featured on starring as both Liza Minnelli and Carol Channing in a spoof of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video.

Christine Pedi'S THERE'S NO BIZNESS LIKE SNOW BIZNESS plays Sun, Dec 5th at 7pm, Mon, Dec 6th at 7pm, Mon, Dec 13th at 9:30pm, Sun, Dec 19th at 4pm, Mon, Dec 20th at 7pm, and Dec 26th - 30th at 7pm. The show will be performing at the Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 W 42nd St (just west of 9th Ave) and tickets can be purchased through or by calling 212-279-4200. Tickets are $40 and there is NO Food/Drink minimum. (SOURCE: BROADWAYWORLD.COM)
Visit Christine's Website at

Christine's work as a musical theatre singer & comedienne in the off-broadway satirical revues FORBIDDEN BROADWAY & FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD has earned her a Drama Desk nomination, an LA Ovation award & lots of frequent flyer miles (Tokyo, Singapore, Australia & London’s West End.) She spoofs a whole new stable of characters (real and imagined) this season in NEWSical the Musical off-Broadway, and her fun and festive annual holiday show THERE'S NO BIZNESS LIKE SNOW BIZNESS has become a beloved tradition at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

On Broadway she appeared in Eric Bogosian's TALK RADIO starring Liev Schrieber, and LITTLE ME starring Martin Short and Faith Prince. Recent credits include FANTASY FOOTBALL at NYMF (NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL) and PROJECT SHAW's presentation of GBS’s ON THE ROCKS at the Players Club. Other stage roles include several A TRAIN PLAYS, THE 24 HOUR PLAYS, Edith Wharton's XINGU, Fanny Brice, Audrey in LITTLE SHOP, DALLIANCE IN VIENNA at the American Theatre of Actors, A BROADWAY DIVA CHRISTMAS and Carlotta the Gypsy Cow (don’t ask.)

She is the proud host of THE BROADWAY BREAKFAST on SIRIUS/XM RADIO where she plays the music of the stage & screen and interviews show biz legends (Mon-Fri, 9a-3p ET.) She shares the mic with the “amaaaaahzing” Seth Rudetsky on Saturdays for DUELING DIVAS (9a-3pET.)

Her cabaret show GREAT DAMES (2008 New York NightLife Award, Backstage Bistro Award, MAC nominaton and “Top Ten Memorable Theatre Moments of the Year” on has performed in South Africa (Cape Town, Jo'burg & Durban,) London's Jermyn Street Theatre and all over the U.S. SHOW BUSINESS WEEKLY named her 2007's “Best Female Cabaret Performer.” She’s performed on the NY Cabaret stages of Birdland, The Metropolitan Room, The Beechman & The Algonquin Oakroom, earning a MAC Award award & several nominations, as well as a guest spot on John McD's Cabaret Corner on the Rosie O'Donnell Show.

Guest appearances include Avery Fisher Hall, the Broadway by the Year series at Town Hall, Sardi's, the Palace Theatre, the Queen Elizabeth 2 & the Queen Mary 2 and the BROADWAY UP CLOSE series at The Kaufman Center. She performed with Marvin Hamlish & the Indianapolis Symphony as well as many other orchestras throughout the U.S. & Canada, and has sung for President and Mrs. Clinton (playing Hilary Clinton.)

SOPRANOS fans may recognize her as the dearly departed Mrs. Bobby Baccala (2 episodes, 4 scenes, 5 lines ... DEAD! But he loved her so much he couldn't defrost her ziti for months.)

Recordings include her soon-to-be-released studio album “Good To Mama,” as well as “GREAT DAMES: Live at the Metropolitan Room,” "Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey", "Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back," "Forbidden Hollywood," "Forbidden Broadway: Vol. 3," "Jekyll & Hyde," "Little Me," "Quel Fromage,” and “Broadway Musicals of 1962.”

Take Christine home with you! Forbidden Broadway, Vol. 8: Special Victims Unit
Can't wait to see you again tonight, Christine!
And today kick starts the week ahead: Tomorrow afternoon: BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS PRESENTS THE GYPSY OF THE YEAR featuring CAROL CHANNING...back on Broadway! Then I'm heading up to Border's for Patti LuPone's book signing.
I already have the book! Patti's former manager passed away earlier this week. The former managing partner of the firm that managed the careers and tours of performers from Suzanne Vega to Patti LuPone, has died in Manhattan. Byron Gustafson was 56.She has brought her special brand of "star quality" to shows such as Evita, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, The Robber Bridegroom, Oliver!, Les Miserables, Anything Goes, Master Class, Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd. The roles of Eva Peron, Reno Sweeney, Norma Desmond, and Mrs. Lovett have all lead her to her current triumph as Mama Rose.

She was a member of Julliard's first graduating class in 1972 and soon after a member of John Houseman's The Acting Company, she has brought her training, passion and intelligence to everything she has done, from theater, film, television and the concert stage. A master of her craft, she is actor, icon and most importantly, "Mom". had a moment to spend with her at the Tony Nominee Breakfast, she was warm, relaxed and engaged as she shared some insights into performing the work and the history behind the story of Gypsy.

Eddie Varley: Congratulations to you and everyone in the company

Patti LuPone: Oh, thank you.

EV: How are you feeling, it must be such a special time? You all are bringing the show to such thrilling life.

PL: Oh, I'm relieved, and I'm extremely grateful for everybody in the company and especially Arthur. Arthur cast it with actors and by a sheer fluke, he was allowed to have the 11 principals for a week around the table, which never happens in a musical, and we discovered the book, and we continue to discover the book. And he formed an ensemble of actors, Arthur took the biggest risk.

EV: I'm so glad he was recognized.

PL: Me too, you know, I mean the fact that he took the biggest risk, because if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and Gypsy certainly ain't broke, and he took a chance with rediscovering it as opposed to imposing preconceived ideas, blocking, dancing numbers, etc, and I think that what makes it fresh.

EV: I think this season that's what everyone is saying and feeling, the revivals are so fresh, but never more so than with this Gypsy, and your performances, there's such depth and emotion in the family.

Read more:

Take Patti home with you! Patti LuPone - Patti LuPone at Les Mouches

Dear Richard,

Thank you for coming to see Cassandra in THE LARAMIE PROJECT. After reading your blog, you are proof that 'busy people get more done'. Plus, you're a good writer!
Katherine McKenna, Woodbourne NY

It was my first time seeing Richard Skipper perform as Carol Channing and it was wonderful. I think he does important work reminding us of the talents and value of stars like Carol Channing who we don't see as often in the public eye as we once did. As CarI saw Richard Skipper at the Nyack Center (11/21/10). I have not laughed so hard in such a long time. He is truly talented and I especially loved his getting the audience involved.Thank you so much!!
Rosemarie, Tarrytown NY

In the short time I've known Richard Skipper, I have not only been impressed by his abundance of talent, but by Richard's incredible wealth of knowledge, honesty and COMMON SENSE about "all things Show Business"; with the emphasis on "BUSINESS".

As a retired Army Sergeant who is now a 63-year old "Johnny-Come-Lately" to the world of Cabaret Entertaining, HE is the person I've been searching for to guide and help me succeed in my career goals and pursuits.

I look forward to attending Richard's Workshop this coming January, and can't wait to get started. Stay well, stay happy & God bless you always!

Ronnie Giles,


. . . 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

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With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper,

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