Saturday, January 30, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CAROL CHANNING!


HAPPY 89th Birthday, Carol Channing!

I want to take this moment to say THANK YOU for all the joy you have given to me and the world. You have made my journey on this planet a lot nicer by your very being!
Obviously, I'm not the only one who performs as Carol Channing! There is also Alan Palmer!
'Fabulous Divas of Broadway' Starring Alan Palmer Plays Josephine Theatre (Source: BROADWAYWORLD.COM)



The Fabulous Divas of Broadway starring Alan Palmer will play at the Josephine Theatre from February 12-14, 2010.


Friday, February 12 at 8:15pm?(Also on 2/13 at 8:15pm and 2/14 at 2:30pm )
Direct from a hit Off-Broadway run, the acclaimed Fabulous Divas of Broadway is a one-man, show business tale starring Alan Palmer who perfectly impersonates all of the legendary divas from Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Judy Garland and Chita Rivera, to Tony-Award winning stars of today such as Patti LuPone and Kristin Chenowith.
For tickets, call 734-4646.

For more information, visit http://www.josephinetheatre.org.
There is also a show called CHANNELING CAROL!
Opening: This is a cabaret of works inspired by Carol Channing and produced under the umbrella of Queerdo. The event is curated by Jeffry Lusiak, who was the final artistic director for the departed Outward Spiral Theatre Company. Ten artists will be featured, including Lusiak, Megan Mayer, Jaime Carrera, Kristin Van Loon and Rachel Nelson. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; Bedlam Theatre, 1501 S. 6th St., Mpls.; $15, 612-341-1038 or www.bedlamtheatre.org.)


For the True magic of Carol Channing, look no further: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1imjF1LxoQ0






A BIT OF TRIVIA
The Superbowl halftime show has become a big deal in recent years, though it had a very inauspicious beginning.
The first few Superbowls featured the standard fare of marching bands.
The first celebrity to entertain at halftime was, oddly enough, Carol Channing in 1970.
For some time, the halftime show was usually an elaborate performance featuring marching bands and unctuous groups like ‘Up With People’.
Occasionally they’d bring in a real celebrity like the iconic Ella Fitzgerald in 1972 (Carol Channing also performed with her making her one of a few multiple time performers). 1993 saw a big Michael Jackson performance, and that really began the trend of featuring A list entertainers that exists to this day.
It also started the current practice of featuring a concert type of performance as opposed to a more traditional ‘halftime show’ with marching bands, dancers, etc.
Since then the Superbowl has presented major acts like U2, Aerosmith, Prince, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.
It also introduced the term ‘wardrobe malfunction’ to the American lexicon thanks to the infamous 2004 antics of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson.


TAKE CAROL CHANNING HOME WITH YOU!
Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey - On Broadway [DVD]


$16 new, $16 used from 23 sellers
3 stars
All Music Guide rating


On Broadway was an ABC television special first broadcast in 1969 starring Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey, who were at the pinnacle of their fame as singers and performers. The special showcases duets between the two women with friendly banter tying them together. Like most TV productions of the time, the camera work is simple, but fine. Most will want to see this DVD for the music and the interaction between two of the most talented female Broadway entertainers. Judging On Broadway on those grounds gets mixed reviews.


Interestingly, many of the songs sung here were first written for men, putting On Broadway in an important feminist, historical context. Carol Channing sings "If I Were a Rich Man" and Pearl Bailey sings a medley as the Music Man. The duets of "A Little Girl From Little Rock" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and "Won't You Come Home" are quite solid, as is Bailey's "If They Could See Me Now" from Sweet Charity.
The material never really transcends the concept. Channing first starred in Hello Dolly in 1964 and Bailey took over the title role a few years later.
The comedy is a bit stale and it isn't clear how much the two women want to perform with each other. Being that they are professionals, however, the show is entertaining. Channing's impersonations (especially of Marlene Dietrich) should be popular, and Pearl Bailey is a sadly forgotten diva.
Of course, the show's finale is a strong "Hello Dolly." Enjoyable, especially because this special was lost for 30 years.
The DVD also includes outtakes and bloopers. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Carol+Channing&hl=en&oe=utf-8&cid=14531133135174360699&sa=title#p


Carol Channing - For Heaven's Sake $11 new

Intro, He Ain't Never Done Me Nothin' But Good, Joshua Fit' the Battle of Jericho, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, Roll Jordan Roll, Modesto, You're My Hometown!, Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?, Razzle-Dazzle, Old Time Religion, God's Peace is Like a Gentle Rose, Medley of Memories: Ezekiel Saw the Wheel/All God's Children Got Shoes, Saint James Infirmary, Shine God's Love to Everyone, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, One More Valley, I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal, The Show Must Go On, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Carol+Channing&hl=en&cid=2895692106128085619&sa=title#p


Carol Channing graced the Texas Education Theatre Association convention this past January 22nd. She spoke about her life in the theatre. She sang and joked- she even repositioned her chair because the interviewer was upstaging her!(seen here with Harry Kullijian)
Miss Channing will be 89 tomorrow. With her energy she will live to 121 (older than anyone has ever lived!)

This picture is special to me because the man with her is her beloved husband Harry. They met in junior high school; 70 years later they married!

Carol and her husband support arts in the schools. Please help all students by encouraging schools to keep the arts. Remember, Einstein played the violin! (SOURCE: http://fromtexastoparis.blogspot.com/2010/01/carol-channing-at-teta.html)



Carol Elaine Channing (born January 31, 1921) is an American singer and actress. She is the recipient of three Tony Awards (including one for lifetime achievement), a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. Channing is best remembered for originating, on Broadway, the musical-comedy roles of bombshell Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and matchmaking widow Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!
Channing was born in Seattle, Washington, to George and Carol née Glaser, and was their only child. Her father was a journalist whose newspaper career took the family to San Francisco when Channing was only two weeks old. Her father George later became a very successful Christian Scientist Practitioner, Lecturer, Editor and Teacher. She attended Aptos Middle School and Lowell High School in San Francisco. At Lowell, Channing was a member of its famed Lowell Forensic Society, the nation's oldest high school debate team.

According to Channing's memoirs, when she left home to attend Bennington College in Vermont, her mother informed her that her father, a journalist who Carol had believed was born in Rhode Island, had in fact been born in Augusta, Georgia, to a German American father and an African American mother. According to Channing's account, her mother reportedly didn't want [Channing] to be surprised "if she had a black baby".[1][2] Channing kept this a secret to avoid any problems on Broadway and in Hollywood, ultimately revealing it only in her autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess, published in 2002 when she was 81 years old. Channing's autobiography, containing a photograph of her mother, does not have any photos of her father or son.[3] Her book also states that her father's birth certificate was destroyed in a fire. (The November 4 2002 issue of Jet (magazine) reported, based on her autobiography, that Carol Channing's father was African-American.)
Channing was introduced to the stage while doing church work for her mother. In a 2005 interview with the Austin Chronicle, Channing recounted this experience:

"My mother said, 'Carol, would you like to help me distribute Christian Science Monitors backstage at the live theatres in San Francisco?' And I said, 'All right, I'll help you.' I don't know how old I was. I must have been little. We went through the stage door alley [for the Curran Theatre], and I couldn't get the stage door open. My mother came and opened it very well. Anyway, my mother went to put the Monitors where they were supposed to go for the actors and the crew and the musicians, and she left me alone. And I stood there and realized – I'll never forget it because it came over me so strongly – that this is a temple. This is a cathedral. It's a mosque. It's a mother church. This is for people who have gotten a glimpse of creation and all they do is recreate it. I stood there and wanted to kiss the floorboards."[4]

Channing's first job on stage in New York was in Marc Blitzstein's No For an Answer, which was given two special Sunday performances starting January 5, 1941 at the Mecca Temple (later New York's City Center). Channing then moved to Broadway for Let's Face It!, in which she was an understudy for Eve Arden. Decades later, Arden would play "Dolly" in a road company after Channing finally relinquished the role.

Five years later, Channing had a featured role in a revue, Lend an Ear. She was spotted by author Anita Loos and cast in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as Lorelei Lee, the role that brought her to prominence. (Her signature song from the production was Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.) Channing's persona was strikingly like that of the character: simultaneously smart yet scattered, naïve yet worldly.

Channing came to national prominence as the star of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly! She never missed a performance during her run, attributing her good health to her Christian Science faith. Her performance won her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, in a year when her chief competition was Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl. She was deeply disappointed when Streisand, who many believed to be far too young for the role, signed on to play the role of Dolly Levi in the film, which also starred Walter Matthau and Michael Crawford.

She reprised the role of Lorelei Lee in the musical Lorelei. She also appeared in two New York revivals of Hello, Dolly!, and toured with it extensively throughout the United States. She also appeared in a number of movies, including the cult film Skidoo and Thoroughly Modern Millie, opposite Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore. For Millie she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.

In 1966 she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre. During her film career she also made some guest appearances on television sitcoms and talk shows. Channing also did a fair amount of voice over work in cartoons, most notably as Grandmama Addams in an animated version of The Addams Family which ran from 1992 to 1995.

Channing was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995[5], and an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts by California State University, Stanislaus in 2004.[6] That same year, she received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.[7] She and husband Harry are active in promoting arts education in California schools. The couple resides in the Central Valley, California city of Modesto.
She has been married four times. Her first husband, Theodore Naidish, was a writer. Her second, Alexander Carson, played center for the Ottawa Rough Riders Canadian football team. They had one son, Channing, who took his stepfather's surname and is now a Pulitzer-prize-nominated cartoonist publishing under the name Chan Lowe.[8] In 1956 she married her manager and publicist, Charles Lowe. They remained married for 42 years, but she abruptly filed for divorce in 1998. He died before the divorce was finalized. After Lowe's death and until shortly before her fourth marriage, the actress's companion was Roger Denny, an interior decorator.[9]

On May 10, 2003, she married Harry Kullijian, her fourth husband and junior high school sweetheart, who reunited with her after she mentioned him fondly in her memoir. The two performed at their old junior high school, which had become Aptos Middle School, in a benefit for the school. At Lowell High School, they renamed the school's auditorium "The Carol Channing Theatre" in her honor. The City of San Francisco, California proclaimed February 25, 2002 to be Carol Channing Day, for her advocacy of gay rights and her appearance as the celebrity host of the Gay Pride Day festivities in Hollywood. She shared the stage with Richard Skipper, a Carol Channing tribute artist.

Channing and her husband currently reside in Modesto, CA.
Theatre credits

* No For an Answer (January 5 and January 11, 1941)
* Let's Face It! (October 29, 1941 - March 20, 1943) (understudy for Eve Arden)
* Proof Through the Night (December 25, 1942 - January 2, 1943)
* Lend an Ear (December 16, 1948 - January 21, 1950)
* Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (December 8, 1949 - September 15, 1951)
* Wonderful Town (February 25, 1953 - July 3, 1954) (replacement for Rosalind Russell)
* The Vamp (November 10 - December 31, 1955) (Best Actress in a Musical nominee)
* Show Girl (January 12 - April 8, 1961) (Best Actress in a Musical nominee)
* Hello, Dolly! (January 16, 1964 - December 27, 1970) (left show in 1967)
* Four on a Garden (January 30 - March 20, 1971)
* Lorelei (January 27 - November 3, 1974) (Best Actress in a Musical nominee)
* Julie's Friends at the Palace (May 19, 1974) (benefit performance)
* Hello, Dolly! (March 15 - July 19, 1978) (revival)
* Legends! (January 7, 1986 - January 18, 1987) (national tour)
* Hello, Dolly! (October 19, 1995 - January 28, 1996) (revival; farewell tour)
Filmography
The handprints of Carol Channing in front of The Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

* Paid in Full (1950)
* The First Traveling Saleslady (1956)
* All About People (1967) (short subject) (narrator)
* Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
* Skidoo (1968)
* Shinbone Alley (1971) (voice)
* Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) (Cameo)
* Alice in Wonderland (1985)
* Happily Ever After (1993) (voice)
* Thumbelina (1994) (voice)
* The Magic School Bus (TV series)(1994 - Episode "In the Haunted House") (voice)
* Space Ghost Coast to Coast: 'Girlie Show' (1995)
* Homo Heights (1998)
* The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars (1998) (voice) (direct-to-video)
* Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There (2003) (documentary)
* Family Guy: 'Patriot Games' (2006)
References in modern culture

Various Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast members have impersonated Channing - Usually Crow T. Robot.

Ryan Stiles often impersonated her on the American version of the improv comedy show Whose Line is it Anyway?, as did guest star Robin Williams in a single episode.

The red satin, sequin-bedecked costume, designed by Freddy Wittop, that Channing wore during Hello, Dolly! was donated to the Smithsonian by Channing and theatrical producer Manny Kladitis, following the thirtieth anniversary tour of the show. It is currently on display at the National Museum of American History.[10]

In the American sitcom Family Guy, Channing voices herself in a gag in which she defeated Mike Tyson at a celebrity boxing match, causing Brian to lose a $50 bet.

An outspoken liberal, Channing's name was included in Republican President Richard Nixon's now-famous "enemies list", and she has said that was the highest honor in her career.

During the movie Beverly Hills Ninja, Chris Farley's character Haru is impersonating a boisterous counterfeiting ink specialist to infiltrate the warehouse of his enemy. He reaches forward (blindfolded) and begins feeling the driver's face while saying, "Who's drivin' this buggy anywho... Carol Channing?!" (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Channing)






Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week! Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out next Friday! 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 IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:
I LOVE Wednesday nights at the Iguana. It's always such a diverse lineup of talent that there's always something for everyone -- no matter what your musical tastes might be. Richard and Dana are not only talented and funny and great hosts....they are also just downright wonderful people. Amazing! Thank you.
Cindy Marchionda





Dear Richard
What a wonderful experience last night ... most enjoyable ... all such wonderfully talented performers and you and Dana was amazing and so dynamic and funny ...
I'm looking forward to next week and I'm getting all my friends there.
Thanks for the opportunity.
All the best
Anton Van Der Merwe, http://www.antonvandermerwe.com


Richard,
Sandee and I had a great time. The talent was terrific. Michelle Collier and Barbara Porteus were wonderful. David Vernon's performance was very emotional and just wonderful. My favorites continue to impress in Rob Langandar, Jenna Esposito and Diane and Frank Marino.. Enid's take on disco music was quite hilarious. You and Dana do a great job. Thank you for making us feel so welcome. We will be back real soon.
All our best to you and Dana.
Michael Janin





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price! Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting 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!
This is a nice night
out with the family! A "throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.

For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_

RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!!
212-765-5454. No one admitted before
7:30.











Feb 3 : Michael Austin, Christopher Gerrard, Lucia Mozzola, Jane Schechter, George Stella, Jane Stuart

February 10th: MY BIRTHDAY SHOW! Glen Charlow, Jenna Esposito, Helene Feldman (who shares a birthday with Richard), Jeanne MacDonald, Stearns Matthews, Jim Speake, Maureen Taylor ...
...and a few other surprises as well!

February 17th : James Alexander, Sally Swallow


March 3rd: Danielle Grabianowski

March 10th: David Alpher & Jenny Litt, Louise Quick (pictured), Nicholas Tamagna, Pam Tate, Maureen Taylor

March 17th: Bending Threads and Cindy Marchionda returns!

March 24th, Jackie Draper and Julie Reyburn returns!


March 31st: Frank Basile returns


April 7th: Sina Lewis and RJ Shaw


April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!
Keep checking http://www.richardskipper.com/schedule.html for upcoming entertainers and shows!

TILL NEXT TIME...

Monday, January 25, 2010

THE PUMP ROOM, LIZA MINNELLI JOINS UGLY BETTY CAST, and WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!


Pump Room to change forever at end of the month

Chicago's cultural jewel out of time



BY DAVE HOEKSTRA Sun-Times Columnist

The doors of time are closing on the Pump Room. The legendary restaurant has eliminated its dinner menu in a downsizing prompted by a pending sale of the restaurant and its Ambassador East hotel to New York-based Ian Schrager Co. And, after cabaret singer Nan Mason's final song on Jan. 30, the restaurant will no longer have live music.

The Pump Room is the cultural jewel of the Ambassador East hotel, 1301 N. State Pkwy. Schrager is eyeing a renovation that could bring the hotel into the 21st century. He was co-founder of the Studio 54 dance club before becoming a pioneer of the boutique hotel concept.


Sources say the deal could close as early as late February.

The Ambassador East lobby entrance to the Pump Room was desolate during a mid-afternoon visit on Wednesday. Smooth jazz played in forgiving tones. An antique grandfather clock was stuck at 7:40. A steel gate barricaded the Pump Room. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m., and the room reopens at 5 p.m.

The Pump Room's classic photos were still on the wall. Talk-show host Tom Snyder is yukking it up with Papa Bear George Halas near the gate.
Cary Grant is around the corner, eyeing the future through thick black glasses.
A young Hugh Hefner is in a snow white suit with a tanned woman in a white dress. They are all actors on a forgotten stage.

Mason said business has been up since Jan. 4, when the Sun-Times first reported the changes in the Pump Room. "People are coming in to say goodbye," the singer said Wednesday. "The bar -- not the restaurant -- has done extremely well compared to past years."
The Pump Room opened on Oct. 1, 1938. It thrived on a celebrity culture that has vanished like Marshall Field's and Magikist lips.
Original owner Ernie Byfield recruited stars to sparkle in its dimly lit elegance. He saw the Pump Room as a spinoff of the 18th century spa of the same name in Bath, England.
That pump room was where London aristocrats mingled with local showfolk, absorbing the cure of the waters by day and the roguish social scene at night.
It was "Swimming with the Stars."
Chicago's Pump Room was a hit from the jump. Stars traveled to the city by train. More recent celebrities stayed over for a day or two instead of rushing to a private jet.


The "Great Signature Book" of the Pump Room includes signings from Marlene Dietrich, Cole Porter and members of Led Zeppelin. Legend has it that actor John Barrymoore urinated on the book after being overserved on champagne.

The restaurant's lore is priceless. John Belushi ate caviar with his fingers. Sammy Davis Jr. sang for his supper -- for the help in the Pump Room kitchen. After pop star Phil Collins was refused entry to the Pump Room because of its dress code, he titled his next album "No Jacket Required."
The dress code hasn't existed since the late 1990s.

The restaurant was a place where those dreams came true. Anyone could be like Bogie and Bacall.

They stopped at the Pump Room en route to Hollywood the day after getting married in May 1945.


"Ernie [Byfield] invited [my wife] Essee and me to join the Bogarts at table No. 1," the late Daily News and Sun-Times columnist Irv Kupcinet recalled in his 1988 memoir Kup (A Man, An Era, A City). "What I remember best was the lovelight in the eyes of both Bogie and Baby."

The Pump Room could do that to you.


"The Pump Room put Chicago up in a level not quite like New York City," said Peter Alter, curator at the Chicago History Museum. "That is significant. Every city wants a piece of stardom.
The Pump Room was a place people could get that. It put Chicago on the map in terms of celebrity, the way the Bulls did during the Michael Jordan years."
Kup worked from Booth One in the Pump Room. The original booth is now in storage at the History Museum.
"We don't have any immediate plans for Booth One," Alter said. "Booth One is a very large object. We don't have a lot of space in the gallery where Booth One would go."


The Ambassador East was built in 1926 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The hotel's ornate lobby was featured in Alfred Hitchcock's "North By Northwest."




Iconic Pump Room maitre d' Arturo Petterino lived next door to Caray for 15 years. In a 1996 interview Petterino recalled his late 1950s glory nights at the Pump Room -- only after mentioning he owned 50 tuxedos.


"When I worked at the Pump Room, it was ultra-sophisticated," he said at Mondelli's Lounge off of Rush Street. "A 17-piece orchestra. The tables had to be four feet apart. A bellhop in a nice jacket would put your name on a French chalkboard and come by with a little bell [to notify a guest of a phone call.]
That's all gone now. Today, they just scream over the crowd."
And this was before the ring-a-ding-dong of the cell phone.

Several of the hotel's 55 suites are named in honor of the celebrities who stayed in them: Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra for starters. The Rat Pack's 1988 reunion tour ended in the Ambassador East after a concert at the Chicago Theatre.
Sinatra wanted to hit the town and Martin preferred staying in his suite to watch Westerns. (Martin was replaced by Liza Minnelli for the rest of the tour.)

The Rat Packers are included in the 725 celebrity photos that adorn the walls of the Pump Room. "Those are all the original pictures," Paul Lauritsen, general manager of the Ambassador East, said earlier this month. "Most people don't know that. That's foremost on my mind. I'm not sure if they will incorporate them into the new space."


Liza Minnelli is officially joining the cast of "Ugly Betty" this season.


The Broadway and Hollywood icon begins work next week and will be appearing in multiple episodes later this season. Our set insiders tell us Liza will be playing Lena Korvinka, a high school drama teacher at Justin's (played by Mark Indelicato) school.

Liza has an intense filming schedule that begins in Brooklyn on January 28th and runs until February 12th.

"There were massive rumors last year, then again in early January that Liza was being courted for the show, but Liza originally hadn't planned to do the show. 'Ugly Betty' producers presented her with a great offer and a hilarious story and they kept coming back to her," said our source.
"She's going to be playing an outrageous drama teacher and it is going to be fun!
Liza is excited to be playing another off-the-wall character like Lucille 2 on 'Arrested Development'."

Liza was going to have knee replacement surgery at the end of January, but due to the 'Ugly Betty' schedule, it looks like she's put that on hold. "She's a professional and everyone is excited for her first day!" our insider said.

"Ugly Betty" went from a weak Friday time slot to a stronger place on ABC's Wednesday night comedy schedule at 10PM this fall. So producers, including show star America Ferrera and Executive Producer Salma Hayek, are doing their best to bring in big names.

"Salma has her eye on the what's happening at all times, and she's an involved woman in the production process. I wouldn't rule out a chance that she will be back on the show as well," said our insider. "The cast, crew and writers of the show are working hard to regain their following after the Friday night graveyard time slot."


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week! Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out next Tuesday! 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 IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:
Richard and Dana,
Just wanted to say what a wonderful evening you 2 have created on Wed nites at the Iguana.
Sold out house to such a great audience full of talent. A night of true entertainment.
You and Dana are the perfect hosts. Looking forward to next Wed nite.... All my love,
Tym Moss
Artists Exposed with Tym Moss





This show is so peppy it's almost like it's been plugged into an electric socket! We had a jolly good time, and so will you!
Alix, Elias, http://www.myspace.com/foodoflovesongs


We the members of Bending Threads, fresh back from the Holidays & New Year, wanted to tell you BOTH how much we enjoyed performing for you at Iguana's on 12/18/09!! You too are a fantastic duo of personalities and hilarious duets! We enjoyed the personable family environment at Iguana's and the DIVERSE range of performers you had there. We were honored that you like to push the publicity side of things for the performers performing and encourage the audience to catch our outside shows & acts. All in all what a great network to be apart!!! Hope to see you on March 17th, 2010...contact us and let us know!!!!
BENDING THREADS, http://www.facebook.com/BendingThreads





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price! Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting 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).
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!


Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
This is a nice night
out with the family! A "throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.

For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_

RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!!
212-765-5454. No one admitted before
7:30.









Jan 27
8pm
IGUANA VIP LOUNGE, 240 West 54th Street, NYC
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA
Barry Levitt on keyboard & Saadi Zain on bass.
Tonight's guests include: Michelle Collier, Enid, Anette Hunt, Joan Jaffee, Diane & Frank Marino, David Vernon ...
...and a few other surprises as well! $12.00 Music Charge/No food or drink minimum!
Reservations a must (212) 765-5454

Feb 3 : Michael Austin, Christopher Gerrard, Lucia Mozzola, Jane Schechter, George Stella, Jane Stuart

February 10th: MY BIRTHDAY SHOW! Glen Charlow, Jenna Esposito, Helene Feldman (who shares a birthday with Richard), Jeanne MacDonald, Stearns Matthews, Jim Speake, Maureen Taylor ...
...and a few other surprises as well!

February 17th : James Alexander, Sally Swallow

March 10th: David Alpher & Jenny Litt, Louise Quick (pictured), Nicholas Tamagna, Pam Tate, Maureen Taylor

March 17th: Bending Threads and Cindy Marchionda returns!

March 24th, Jackie Draper and Julie Reyburn returns!


March 31st: Frank Basile returns


April 7th: Sina Lewis and RJ Shaw


April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!
Keep checking http://www.richardskipper.com/schedule.html for upcoming entertainers and shows!

TILL NEXT TIME...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

O'Donnell's take on Leno, GLEE is GOLDEN, Controversial FOCUS ON FAMILY AD...and more!



Comedian and former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell said Thursday she wants Jay Leno to step aside and allow Conan O’Brien to continue hosting “The Tonight Show” at its regular time of 11:35 p.m.



“If you’re privileged enough to drive the bus, you should say, ‘Thank you’ and drive it to the best of your ability, and when it’s time for them to hire a new driver, you should say ‘Thank you for allowing me to drive this as long as I did’ and pass the keys to the new guy with red hair, and not try to flatten his tires before he even gets going,” Rosie said while promoting a new HBO documentary, according to the Associated Press.

NBC has announced that it plans to move “The Jay Leno Show,” which has been killed in the ratings in its 10 p.m. slot, to 11:35, pushing Conan to a 12:05 start.
Conan has refused to accept the move and has blasted NBC execs on his recent shows.

TMZ is reporting that NBC has offered Leno a new contract to host “The Tonight Show” and Conan is out. NBC is denying that, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing network sources.
This was sent to me this week and it sums up my life's philosophy:Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain and my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because People cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer.
One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips.
She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process.
The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list.
If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say?;And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you? Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see her sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say
'Hi'?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND including me if you consider me a friend. If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.

To those I have sent this to... I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do.

'Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!'
It's a New Year!...a time for change and growth. Here is a picture of my gorgeous co-star at The Iguana every Wednesday Night.
Dana Lorge (photo taken by Ivan Farkas):
Not just good, they're Golden: Glee cast hums a happy tune.



LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Ryan Murphy, co-creator, head writer, senior executive producer and Svengali to the kids of Glee, looks like hell, and why not?


Murphy and a dozen cast members of the Golden Globe Award-winning dramedy are in the middle of rehearsing a scene for an episode that will air in April. Murphy, a tuque pulled down over his weary head, looks positively wowed as Lea Michele, who plays Glee's desperately perky diva-in-waiting Rachel Berry, launches into a solo, unplugged and unmiked, coiling and uncoiling around a grand piano.
The Glee sound stage on the Paramount lot is a cavern of empty space, with lights and scaffolding high overhead – Murphy says the sound stage is the largest of its type on the lot, which is why the Glee production team has claimed it as their own. But Michele's voice is so pure, so pristine, that when she hits the high notes – and holds them – the sound, while soft around the edges, is easy to hear, even though she isn't wearing a microphone.
Amber Riley, who plays the irrepressible Mercedes, performs a gospel-themed solo – a radically different style from Broadway star Michele – and even if you haven't seen a single scene of Glee, you know, based on those two performances, that something special is happening here.

"Are you hung over?" a reporter asks Murphy, after the applause died down.

"I think we're all hung over," someone else says, and the whole cast laughs.

After the Golden Globes, the cast separated and went from one party to the next, passing each other in the night, "from one dance factory to the next," Michele says cheerfully. If she's tired – and there are moments when, yawning and curled up on her chair, she looks it – her voice certainly doesn't show it. When she hits her mark, uncoiled over the piano and lets her voice go, it's as if another being takes over her body.

Murphy admits to being overwhelmed with emotion at the Golden Globes. As he jumped onto the stage to accept the award, he says he couldn't help but look at "this sea of 17 faces I have lived with for the past year" and feel a deep sense of wonder and appreciation.
"I won one before for Nip/Tuck," Murphy says, deadpan, "but this one feels more wholesome."

Murphy says A-listers' jaws dropped in the Beverly Hilton ballroom when Glee was announced as the winner, and his kids took the stage en masse. It was a beautiful moment.

"There were so many people who looked floored," Murphy says, "but the face I'll always remember is Julianne Moore."

Murphy made a face of moon-eyed shock and astonishment.

That plug for arts education in his acceptance speech was deliberate, Murphy says.

He has no way of knowing if Glee has had an effect on school arts programs – "We don't get to see the numbers," he admits – but he does know he's been swamped with e-mails – "more than I can count" – from individual kids who say their school arts programs have been cut back in recent years, or gutted entirely.
If Glee helps school administrators give arts education funding a second look, even if only briefly, it will have been worth it, he says.

Cory Monteith, the B.C.-based actor who plays Finn Hudson, appears laid back and relaxed in a hoodie, even though he was rushed to the stage after shooting a scene, and immediately rushed out afterwards to rehearse the next morning's scene.




"This one felt good," Monteith says. "This one felt really good."

Glee returns on Tuesday, April 13, with the first of nine new episodes. A second season has already been confirmed for the fall.


CBS has accepted a controversial ad from anti-gay & anti-choice Focus on the Family despite having rejected an ad five years ago from the United Church of Christ a pro-LGBT and affirming denomination to air during the Superbowl. At the time CBS said it has "a longstanding policy of not accepting advocacy advertising."

Sign on to the change.org petition asking CBS to Reject the Focus on the Family Ad, or accept the UCC ad. Allowing this ad to go on without allowing UCC to air their ads is hypocritical because it allows advocacy by anti-gay organizations but not by pro-LGBT Churches.


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week! Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out next Tuesday! 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 IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:
This show is so peppy it's almost like it's been plugged into an electric socket! We had a jolly good time, and so will you! Alix Elias, http://www.myspace.com/foodoflovesongs






We the members of Bending Threads, fresh back from the Holidays & New Year, wanted to tell you BOTH how much we enjoyed performing for you at Iguana's on 12/18/09!! You too are a fantastic duo of personalities and hilarious duets! We enjoyed the personable family environment at Iguana's and the DIVERSE range of performers you had there. We were honored that you like to push the publicity side of things for the performers performing and encourage the audience to catch our outside shows & acts. All in all what a great network to be apart!!! Hope to see you on March 17th, 2010...contact us and let us know!!!!

Bending Threads, http://www.facebook.com/BendingThreads


I am so glad to be a new friend! I love the Iguana show and will be keeping up on all of your activities. Thanks for the fun times.
Roger Mapes,





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price! Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting 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).
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!


Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
This is a nice night
out with the family! A
"throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.

For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_

RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!!
212-765-5454. No one admitted before
7:30.









January 20th: Douglas Davidian, Cait Doyle, D'yan Forrest, Greta Heron, Catt John, Alegra Themmen

Feb 3 : Michael Austin, Christopher Gerrard, Lucia Mozzola, Jane Schechter, George Stella, Jane Stuart

February 10th: MY BIRTHDAY SHOW! Glen Charlow, Jenna Esposito, Helene Feldman (who shares a birthday with Richard), Jeanne MacDonald, Stearns Matthews, Jim Speake, Maureen Taylor ...
...and a few other surprises as well!

February 17th : James Alexander, Sally Swallow


March 10th: David Alpher & Jenny Litt, Louise Quick (pictured), Nicholas Tamagna, Pam Tate, Maureen Taylor

March 17th: Cindy Marchionda returns!

March 24th, Julie Reyburn returns!


March 31st: Frank Basile returns


April 7th: RJ Shaw


April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!
Keep checking http://www.richardskipper.com/schedule.html for upcoming entertainers and shows!


TILL NEXT TIME...

Friday, January 15, 2010

CAROL CHANNING, “La Cage aux Folles”, Michael Urie...AND SO MUCH MORE!


Well hello, Carol!

Original Dolly works to bring arts back to nation's schools

Judith Salkin • The Desert Sun • January 10, 2010

The voice is unmistakable. A honey-throated rasp, with a touch of sparkle thrown in for good measure.



Whether you remember her as matchmaker Dolly Levi from “Hello, Dolly!” or Muzzy from “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Carol Channing is a one-of-a-kind performer.
These days, however, Channing (who will celebrate her 89th birthday on Jan. 31) and her husband of six years, Harry Kullijian, are focusing their energy into the Dr. Carol Channing (she has an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Cal State Stanislaus) and Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts.
The couple's mission is to see the arts returned to classrooms across the country.
The foundation and Channing's long and distinguished show biz career will be the subjects of her guest speaker appearance Tuesday at Melvyn's at the Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs.



“Florence Henderson's agent called and asked if I would do it,” Channing said. “I'm going to perform a little, and talk about our foundation.”


The couple, on the phone from their Rancho Mirage home, speak passionately about how the arts — poetry especially — brought them together at Aptos Junior High School in Northern California.

“It just opened the world for both of us,” Channing said. “Our grades went up and it changed our whole outlook on school in every class.”


Their cause is being championed by Dave Long, former California secretary of education and Riverside County superintendent of schools, and celebrities such as Coachella Valley residents Jerry Herman and Carole Cook, and Barbara Walters, Carl Reiner and Lily Tomlin, who serve on the board of the foundation.

With Long's help, Channing and Kullijian presented a persuasive argument for restoring the arts into the classroom to the California State Board of Education. They'll offer their plan for a national grassroots campaign to the National PTA Convention in Memphis, Tenn., this June.
“We feel that the arts are the very backbone of education,” Kullijian said. “All the research shows that (arts) are the catalyst to learning that children need.”


http://www.last.fm/music/Carol+Channing/+wiki

“La Cage aux Folles” brings more than sparkle, flash and pizzazz to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre through 31.

It also brings back Anna McNeely, the gal that practically stole the show as Lady Brockhurst doing her hysterical tango in “The Boy Friend.”
McNeely, from Tower Hill, Ill., is a Broadway veteran performer who lives with her husband of 12 years, Steve Roland, a college instructor, in Port St. Lucie, where she teaches voice and acting and sings in the choir in Christ Memorial Chapel on Jupiter Island.

She’s also a sassy redhead with enough spark to light a campfire on a chilly night.

Sitting in the lobby of the Maltz for our chat, McNeely is relaxed and easy to talk to after a rigorous rehearsal with the show’s director Mark Martino.

She is also one of only four women in the cast of “La Cage” with 12 men, but says they are all very talented and professional to work with.


“We’re having a terrific time with this show. It’s so splashy and fun to do,” says McNeely.
“The costumes just arrived and are fabulous along with the wigs and sets.”

McNeely’s impressive Broadway credits include the original production of “Cats” “Gypsy” with Tyne Daly (as “Miss Electra,” singing “You Gotta Get A Gimmick”), “Beauty and the Beast” and with Donny Osmond in “Little Jonny Jones.”
Film and television performances include “Miss Electra” with Bette Midler in “Gypsy,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Broadway’s Last Treasures (Cats), “Broadway’s Leading Ladies at Carnegie Hall.
“I actually loved doing the long running role for ‘Gypsy,’ ” McNeely said . “It made me stay in shape all the time because the costume was so skimpy. I didn’t really bother me to be so ‘undressed’ on stage.

I would never want to appear in a brief outfit like that for any other reason.”

McNeely created the role of “Jennyanydots” in the original Broadway production of “Cats,” staying with that show for seven years.” “Then I had another long run playing ‘Mrs. Potts’ in the original company of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

I actually like doing long-running shows because of the permanency and because new stars come in to play major roles throughout the run which is always keeps things fresh and interesting.”
The 59-year-old McNeely has toured the country with several Broadway productions including “Gypsy,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Music Man” with Tony Randall and “Camelot” with Rock Hudson.” She has extensive national and regional theater credits as well.

“La Cage aux Folles,” boasts a book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman, who penned the anthems “The Best of Times” and “I Am What I Am.”
The show centers on a gay club owner in St. Tropez and his temperamental partner and star.
The name of the club: La Cage aux Folles, whose literal translation is “The Cage of Madwomen.” The owner’s son comes home, announces he is engaged and wants his family to meet his fiancé’s parents. The only trouble is, her father is head of an anti-gay political party. The group has dinner at the club owner’s home, adjacent to the club.



That is when “the sequins fly.”

“La Cage aux Folles” has its moments of drag and high camp (think high-stepping men in makeup and heels).

But at its core, the show explores what it means to be a family.

“First I play a back stage dresser who is a Bohemian type who is earthy and very artsy,” McNeely explained.
Next, I’m the owner of a café with my husband and I’m tough and rowdy. Last, I’m Marie’s mother Madam Dindon who is tight-lipped, severe and very controlled with my hair slicked back.”

“I have known Rachael Blavatnik, the associate producer, for many years,” McNeely said.
We became friends when she was working her way through school and had a job operating the elevator there. Now that she is here, it’s great because she calls me for auditions she thinks I might be right for. She also directed me in “Blythe Spirit” at the Lyric Theater.”


“Mark Martino was here for the auditions and said, ‘why not La Cage?’ So here I am. And I love working with him and Phil Reno, the music director, I worked with in “Cats.”
Can you believe it? I actually did 2,700 performances of “Cats!”
In an attempt to interest the gay community in “La Cage,” the Maltz will present “A Pride Soiree,” Friday, Jan. 15 from 6 to 7 p.m.
Guests can mix and mingle in the Maltz lobby with food provided by Evo and wine by Feast of Little Italy, followed by the show, with tickets in the mezzanine, all for $48.

After the show there will be dessert and the cast will come out to meet and greet the guests, featuring Tim Allan Walker from the “Mo & Sally Morning Show.”

Send items to Carol Saunders at CarolChatter@aol.com or call (561) 746-5280.


“I really got bitten by the theater bug while working at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre as a waiter and production assistant in the late 1980s,” said Andrew Kato, artistic director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. “I’ve been hooked ever since!”

Born in New Jersey, Kato, 45, grew up in Jupiter and attended Jupiter High School, Florida Atlantic University and Florida State University.


Since then he moved on to work at the Portland Stage Company in Portland Maine, to New York to work on the productions of “Jelly’s Last Jam,” starring Gregory Hines and the Pulitzer Prize winning “Angels in America” and other productions. As a free- lance producer, Kato produced many Broadway concerts, conceived and developed new musicals in addition to his job with the Tony Awards each year.
Seated in his office at the Maltz, Kato’s conversation rapidly turns to his first love, the 2009/2010 Maltz season of productions.
“We already have about 7,020 season subscriptions sold. Last year, our total for the season was 7,100 so we’re ahead of the game very early this year. A good sign.”

“I’m happy to say we are doing several additional projects this season, plus the five big blockbuster, shows we regularly present November through April,” he says.
“The first is ‘Academy,’ ” conceived and developed by Kato, with book, music and lyrics by John Mercurio, it was seen at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in October 2008 as part of the Emerging Artists Series in Musical Theater Playwriting.
It will be part of the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF)’s Next Link Project.

“I helped to produce it for this New York during the summer months,” he said. “Two-time Tony nominee, John Carrafa, will lead the ‘Academy’ team as its director, with an all-star cast of professional actors.” “Academy” will be presented in six performances in New York Oct. 6 17, 2009 at NYMF.
“Along with me, many of our people plan to attend including Tamar and Milton Maltz, Tricia Trimble, our managing director, and Jennifer Sardone-Shiner, our marketing director and Jay Johnson, the Maltz box office supervisor.
The Maltz staff has whole-heartedly supported this project, financially and administratively,” the sandy-haired, soft-spoken producer said.
The second project is the Florida premiere of “Love is Love.” It’s an original musical that reunites composer Martin Charnin, creator of Broadway’s “Annie,” with his star, Andrea McArdle, in an intimate revue that explores the concept of love. The show will be presented for just 10 performances, produced by Rodger Hess, Inc. in conjunction with the Maltz and will be onstage Thursday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 25.
“Charmin actually wrote an additional role and a new song for the show,” Kato explained, “after seeing jazz-singer Avery Sommers perform locally.
Originally discovered by Burt Reynolds at his dinner theater, she’s now in the cast and one of our favorite entertainers.
After opening here, the show will be booked on tour around the country.”

“We have also added a special series of lectures to our schedule, I will be giving special lectures about my Tony Awards experiences, in the private home of people who donate $1001 or more, as part of a new donation project we are developing; then Marcia Milgrom Dodge, director of “Anything Goes” is giving a lecture on “What a Director Does;” plus Duncan Sheik will lecture on his Broadway Experiences, when he performs here for the limited engagement schedule.
The first regular show of the 2009-2010 season is “Fanny Brice: The Real Funny Girl,” Tuesday, Nov 10 - Sunday, Nov 22. “This is not ‘Funny Girl,’ ” says Kato. “Directed by David Bell, it’s a world premier with four great characters depicting the tough life of Fanny Brice. It’s already 84 percent sold out. The star, Marya Grandy has one of the best voices in musical theater today.
She’s the daughter of Fred Grandy from the old television hit series, “The Love Boat.”

“Lost In Yonkers” comes up Dec. 1 13. “This is a special three-way production with the Cleveland Play House and the Paper Mill Playhouse,” Kato explained. “Neil Simon won a Pulitzer for this. We finished casting in New York last week. The seven cast members are so well etched, making this a very funny, poignant play.”

La Cage aux Folles” will run Jan. 12 31. “We have been doing local casting with director Mark Martino and will cast this in New York in October,” he said. “La Cage” is an honest portrayal of characters united by family that come together but can be eye-opening in many ways. This show is Jerry Herman at his best, with songs like “The Best of Times.”

“Tintypes” is set for Feb. 9 28. “This is a revue of pre-World War I Americana and features iconic musical characters like Emma Goldman, Anna Held, Charlie Chaplin and Theodore Roosevelt. There are songs like ‘It’s a Grand Old Flag.’ ”


“Anything Goes,” March 9 28.
“This is a major tap dancing extravaganza with Cole Porter music, about mistaken identity on a 1940’s cruise ship on the high seas. Great songs like “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “Easy To Love.”
We’re doing the Lincoln Centre version and casting is already underway,” said Kato.

“In addition to our spectacular season, we have probably the best, most exciting blue-chip limited engagement schedule we’ve ever had lined up,” added Kato. “Tickets are flying out the door.“

For more information on the season, visit www.jupitertheatre.org or call the Maltz Jupiter Theatre box office at (561) 575-2223.




Michael Urie of “Ugly Betty” has boyfriend off-screen; explains why calling himself gay never seemed right
By Greg Hernandez on Jan 12, 2010 9:49 am | Comments (0) |

http://www.uglybettynews.com/files/2008/06/michael_urie_glamour2008_2_nc.jpgMichael Urie , who plays the gay character of Marc St. James on Ugly Betty, acknowledges in a new interview with The Advocate that he has a boyfriend and explains why he had always been so coy about his sexuality.

Here are the excerpts from the article in the new issue:

“I’ve never been in,” Urie responds today. “I’ve never said I was straight, and I’m not saying I’m gay now.
I never lie, and I’ve never shied away from the topic. I’ve certainly chosen through my work to do things that promote the rights of LGBTQ people. I am not a hypocrite—certainly not now.”
If you’re confused, read on:

“I’ve been in a relationship for a while now, and if you just met the two of us together we’d be ‘gay,’ ” he explains. “But that somehow means anything that happened before [we met] didn’t count—and I don’t feel that way.

I know that some people feel that way. They were with women, but it always felt wrong. But it didn’t for me. It felt right at the time. It didn’t work out, but it also didn’t work out with other men—many times. That’s why ‘gay’ never seemed right.”


Urie acknowledges that he was more guarded about his personal life at the start of his career, but now that Ugly Betty has found its footing (it’s now in its fourth season) and he recognizes he’ll never be the kind of actor whose career relies on his sex appeal with women, he’s ready to loosen his grip.

“Certainly there was a point where I was like, I don’t know how long Ugly Betty is going to last and how well it’s going to do, and I might want some real anonymity if it ends quickly. I was also never one to seek out publicity or attention, and I basically didn’t want to be labeled. That kind of attention could turn ugly. I guess if I wasn’t in a relationship with a man and I tried to tell people I was queer, it would appear to be a lie or a cop-out—à la college 10 years ago, when people believed in that notion of ‘bi now, gay later.’
But things are different now. I’m much more comfortable, and I’m in a relationship now. I’m not as worried about a future for myself.”


Ragtime ends its Broadway run



The new Broadway production of Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Tony Award winning musical Ragtime played its final performance on 10 Jan 2010. The show played 28 previews and 65 regular performances.

In an earlier statement Producer Kevin McCollum said, "While we're saddened and disappointed to announce that Ragtime must close, bringing this beautiful and powerful production to Broadway has been a joyous experience.
We couldn't have asked for a more talented and dedicated company and creative team or a more passionate team of producers."
Ragtime opened at the Neil Simon Theatre on 15 Nov 2009, following previews from 23 Oct.
The musical opened to mostly excellent reviews: Glorious (newyorktheatreguide); Strikingly staged and vividly performed; (NY Daily News); Stirring (record) Musical-theater storytelling at its most vibrant (Variety).



The Broadway company stars Ron Bohmer (Father), Quentin Earl Darrington (Coalhouse Walker, Jr.), Christiane Noll (Mother), Robert Petkoff (Tateh), Bobby Steggert (Mother’s Younger Brother), Stephanie Umoh (Sarah) with Christopher Cox (The Little Boy), Sarah Rosenthal (The Little Girl), Mark Aldrich (Willie Conklin), Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Henry Ford), Jonathan Hammond (Harry Houdini), Dan Manning (Grandfather), Michael X. Martin (J.P. Morgan), Michael McGowan (Stanford White), Donna Migliaccio (Emma Goldman), Josh Walden (Harry K. Thaw), Savannah Wise (Evelyn Nesbit) and Eric Jordan Young (Booker T. Washington).

Based on E.L. Doctorow's acclaimed epic novel, Ragtime turns back the clock to the dawn of the 20th century - a time when anything was possible and ragtime music filled the air. New York City was the land of opportunity. A poor Jewish immigrant sells his "moving picture" books on the street. A wealthy Victorian couple welcomes a runaway into their home. A Harlem jazz pianist turns an issue of justice into a revolution. Their personal journeys come alive as historic figures offer guidance and diversion - among them escape artist Harry Houdini, auto tycoon Henry Ford, educator Booker T. Washington, and infamous entertainer Evelyn Nesbit.

The creative team includes scenic design by Derek McLane, original costume design by Santo Loquasto, lighting design by Donald Holder, musical direction by James Moore and original orchestrations by William David Brohn.
Ragtime originally opened on Broadway on 18 Jan 1998 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The musical garnered four Tony Awards including Best Book, Original Score and Best Orchestrations.

Ahrens and Flaherty's score features some of the award winning team’s best-known songs including the title song, 'Make Them Hear You' and the anthem 'The Wheels of a Dream.'


Marcia Milgrom Dodge's production debuted at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on 18 Apr 2009 and played a sold out limited engagement through 17 May 2009.
Ragtime is produced on Broadway by Kevin McCollum, Roy Furman, Max Cooper, Roger Berlind, Tom Kirdahy/Devlin Elliott, Jeffrey A. Sine, Scott Delman, Stephanie McClelland, Roy Miller, LAMS Productions, Inc., Jana Robbins, Wendy Federman, Jamie deRoy, Sheila Steinberg, Lauren Stevens, Eric Falkenstein/Morris Berchard, Independent Producers Network, HRH Foundation and Emanuel Azenberg in association with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.



THIS WEEK WITH THE OTHER DOLLY!
published: January 11 2010 04:17 PM updated:: January 11 2010 05:22 PM
By Duane Gordon
Dolly Parton’s four-disc “ Dolly ” boxed set from Sony's RCA Nashville and Legacy imprints took the No. 1 spot of 2009’s best country music album re-issues in the 10th annual Country Music Critics Poll conducted by The Nashville Scene, it was announced last week.
The poll considers the opinions of dozens of the most celebrated music critics in country music circles at newspapers, magazines, radio and television programs nationwide.
It marked Dolly's only appearance on any of the publication's top 10 lists this year, but she barely missed one other.
Although the newspaper usually doesn't reveal any artists who placed outside of the top 10 on its Artist of the Year list, this year it mentioned several in a sidebar comparing their performance in the poll versus the end-of-year charts from Billboard and noted in that piece that Dolly tied for No. 13 on this year's tally with Lyle Lovett.
For 2008, Dolly placed at No. 7 in the year's top songwriters and her
“Backwoods Barbie” was the critics' choice as the 18th best country album of the year.
On the current charts, “Dolly: Live From London” held steady in its eighth week at No. 66 country albums, Billboard magazine revealed last week.
Up north, “Once Upon A Christmas” with Kenny Rogers dropped back out of the top 50 Canadian country albums, down from No. 26 the previous week, its eighth for this holiday season.
Back in the States, Brad Paisley's “Time Well Wasted,” featuring Dolly on “When I Get Where I'm Going," slipped four on the country catalog chart to No. 24.
Steve Martin's “The Crow - New Songs for the 5-String Banjo,” with a Dolly collaboration, remained steady at No. 1 bluegrass albums in its 46th chart week.
“NOW That's What I Call A Country Christmas ,” which includes Dolly's “Hard Candy Christmas,” fell off the charts, down from No. 28 country in its 11th week, No. 24 holiday albums in its 12th week there, and No. 170 in its ninth week on the pop top 200.
Dolly will be a guest on RFD-TV's “The Marty Stuart Show” later in the new season, Stuart revealed last week. Others joining him over the season will include Vince Gill, Hank Williams III and Ralph Stanley.
Although it was actually released Nov. 3, a new charity single with Dolly is just now getting press.
Country Weekly and a few other publications last week plugged the song, "You Can't Say Love Enough," from new country quartet MJ2 featuring several celebrity guests, including Dolly, Bill Anderson, Heidi Newfield, Larry Gatlin, Cowboy Troy and Wayne Newton, to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The song is available as an iTunes download.
Those who were hoping to combine their March 27 Tennessee trip to Dollywood's season opening with the "Grand Opening" of Dolly's Nashville store, Trinkets & Treasures, are out of luck.
It was announced last week via an e-mail blast from her official record label Web site, DollyPartonMusic.net , that the ceremony will take place at the store March 12 featuring a Dolly appearance, two full weeks prior the park’s opening.
The retail outlet, located at 126 Second Avenue, opened Thanksgiving week and features mostly items sold by the online store of the same name on the label's website.
A Los Angeles judge on Thursday threw out a legal malpractice lawsuit involving Dolly's “9 To 5: The Musical.”

The suit alleged that the attorney neglected to obtain permission from the trust to allow Resnick to turn her screenplay, which Higgins had re-written before filming, into a musical and that it was a conflict of interest for him to have represented both writers.
The judge found no issues in the case that could be tried in court. The suit never alleged any wrongdoing on the part of Dolly, Resnick or anyone else associated with the production – just the attorney – and never threatened to shut down the musical, which ran on Broadway last spring and summer and will begin a national tour this fall.


Carol Channing, most well-known for playing the title role in Broadway's “ Hello, Dolly” but just released her first collection of gospel music, “ For Heaven's Sake ,” sings the praises of another Dolly in the new issue of Country Weekly .
The current choice for the “I Love My Country” section, where celebrities generally not identified as “country” explain what they enjoy about the genre, Channing chose “Coat of Many Colors” as one of her favorite country songs and mentions being invited as the celebrity guest to welcome Dolly to Los Angeles when her “New Harvest, First Gathering” was released in 1977.
You can say hello to all the latest news and information about Dolly by visiting the news page at Dollymania.net: The Online Dolly Parton Newsmagazine for its nightly news updates!

When you're getting up there in years, sometimes your health just has to come first. Just ask Liza Minnelli, who has opted out of attending the Grammy Awards January 31 so she can have knee replacement surgery next week. Her album Liza's at the Palace has been nominated in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category, and it looks like she'll be watching to see if she wins from a New York hospital.


It doesn't sound like it's anything to be too concerned about, her publicist says it's a common procedure for women her age. He said: "Liza, who has been dancing on stage since she was a teenager, is 63.
She is expected to make a full recovery."

The iconic performer recently claimed she is incredible shape, but admitted she is starting to feel the effects of aging. When asked her secrets to keeping fit, she said: “Hard work and constant touring is a good start.
When I am not touring and home in New York, I go to dance class every morning with my beloved Luigi at his dance studio. Between touring and Ron Lewis's tough rehearsals, I'm honed like a tennis player, even if time has slowed me just a tad.”



Frank Marino is King of the Queens

Written by William Bessette
As Las Vegas reflects on what it lost in 2009, one thing that will be close to the top of the list of things we miss is An Evening at La Cage. Fortunately for Las Vegas, host Frank Marino, and the crew, the show must go on, reborn as Divas Las Vegas.


La Cage was the baby boomer to Divas Las Vegas' Gen X, sort of melded together, as Marino describes. "We have Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé, but yet I also want to keep the staples, because I know my core audience. You want to keep Cher, you want to keep Madonna, you want to keep the ones that every age group is going to enjoy."

The change didn't stop with the numbers, however, as Marino and crew set out to make sure Divas Las Vegas was its own show. "I was producing this show with the attitude of seeing what the entertainers themselves would like to do for their character, so we collaborated together. It was a mix between producers, entertainers, and the audience, putting all that together and coming up with what we wanted to do for the show... from day one, I knew a drag show — in my opinion — needed to have male dancers. That's the main difference between this and the other show. The male dancers are getting rave reviews, both from the gay and straight audiences alike.

"New costumes and new numbers are being done," he continues. "Behind the scenes, choreography is working on building up the numbers that you've already seen and creating new numbers. A brand new set is being designed by the guy who did the American Idol and America's Got Talent sets... the only reason we don't have them in there yet is because they are so intricate and it takes so long to build."

Bringing a new show to the Strip is always a risk in a down economy, but Marino and his troupe seem to have staying power. "The showroom's been packed," he asserts. "Don't get me wrong, we are comping a lot of people in because its a brand new show and we want people to see it, but our paid numbers are well over the amount we expected to have.
Very few shows open up profitable, in the black. We are lucky enough to say we were able to do that."

One thing that has not changed about the show is definitely the audience, something Marino wishes would change. "About 95 percent of the audience is straight and I would like to change that and get the gay people in. That's why I put the male dancers in there," he explains. "The average gay person says, when they see a drag show, 'Oh I can go and see that in a gay bar.' Or they've seen them in gay bars and had bad experiences or they weren't terrific, so they shy away. But once I get a gay person in to see the show, they'll like it and possibly bring someone else another time."

With big dreams, Marino couldn't put it better as he toasts to Divas Las Vegas ringing in another 25 years on the strip. "My dream would be to do the show and build it up to a point where in the future I could just be the producer and direct somebody else in doing my part... to have the biggest drag show ever, in the world."


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week! Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out next Tuesday! 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 IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:
This show is so peppy it's almost like it's been plugged into an electric socket! We had a jolly good time, and so will you! Alix Elias, http://www.myspace.com/foodoflovesongs







We the members of Bending Threads, fresh back from the Holidays & New Year, wanted to tell you BOTH how much we enjoyed performing for you at Iguana's on 12/18/09!! You too are a fantastic duo of personalities and hilarious duets! We enjoyed the personable family environment at Iguana's and the DIVERSE range of performers you had there. We were honored that you like to push the publicity side of things for the performers performing and encourage the audience to catch our outside shows & acts. All in all what a great network to be apart!!! Hope to see you on March 17th, 2010...contact us and let us know!!!!
Bending Threads, http://www.facebook.com/BendingThreads


I am so glad to be a new friend! I love the Iguana show and will be keeping up on all of your activities. Thanks for the fun times.
Roger Mapes,






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price! Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting 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).
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!


Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
This is a nice night
out with the family! A
"throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.

For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_

RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!!
212-765-5454. No one admitted before
7:30.









January 20th: Douglas Davidian, Cait Doyle, D'yan Forrest, Greta Heron, Catt John, Alegra Themmen

Feb 3 : Michael Austin, Christopher Gerrard, Lucia Mozzola, Jane Schechter, George Stella, Jane Stuart

February 10th: MY BIRTHDAY SHOW! Glen Charlow, Jenna Esposito, Helene Feldman (who shares a birthday with Richard), Jeanne MacDonald, Stearns Matthews, Jim Speake, Maureen Taylor ...
...and a few other surprises as well!

February 17th : James Alexander


March 10th: David Alpher & Jenny Litt, Louise Quick (pictured), Nicholas Tamagna, Pam Tate, Maureen Taylor

March 17th: Cindy Marchionda returns!

March 24th, Julie Reyburn returns!


April 7th: RJ Shaw


April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!
Keep checking http://www.richardskipper.com/schedule.html for upcoming entertainers and shows!


TILL NEXT TIME...