Friday, June 25, 2010

TOMMY FEMIA as JUDY GARLAND, JULIE REYBURN, JACK SYDOW...AND MORE


LIFE IS STILL A CABARET...as this blog will prove.
Cannot believe that today ends the sixth month of the year!
How did that happen!?!?! Where is the time going!?!?! Looking forward to the goodies that July will be offering us...and for the next six months to come!
On the 5th, I'm seeing Kevin Dozier at Feinstein's, On the 6th, I'm going to Rockland County's Volunteer Counseling Services Appreciation party, On the 15th, J. Keith Van Staaten at The Triad, on the 20th, Maria Ottavia at DON'T TELL MAMA, on the 27th, I'm at THE BROADWAY EMPORIUM (see last week's blog), and, of course, every WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA! In these week's blog, I am including some of my favorite entertainers. PLEASE GO SEE THEM! It's the Richard Skipper cabaret stimulus plan!

TOMMY FEMIA AS JUDY GARLAND!

(SOURCE: Stuart Hamstra Cabaret, HotlineOnline - his take on Tommy Femia and Cynthia Crane last Saturday)

“You all know by now my fondness for Tommy Femia's "JUDY! LIVE!" show, now in its 20th season, at DON'T TELL MAMA.
There is no one in this town, and perhaps on the planet, that can recreate the energy, the charisma, the wildness, the spontaneity of the Garland persona as well as Mr. Femia.


This not a "drag act", this is a true celebrity impersonation.
With the incom–parable David Maiocco at the piano, "Judy" takes us on a whirlwind tour of both her songs and her emotions, with several Garland standards like The Trolley Song, Chicago, The Man That Got Away, plus several that weren't in her repertoire, like the classic "Fifty Percent" from Ballroom.


And this being Judy Garland month - she was born on June 10th, 1922 and died on June 22, 1969 - both my pal Daniel and I made sure we were there on this special occasion.


But there was another element that made it even more special. Each show Tommy invites a guest vocalist to perform a song or two while he does a costume change, and this time his guest was the unsinkable Cynthia Crane.



After her two songs, "Judy" returned to the stage to sing along with Cynthia that classic Garland/Streisand duet, "Happy Days Are Here Again" and I will tell you, I have seen song this done by Tommy and dozens of partners over the years, but never quite like this!
It was incredible, goose-bump producing, magic! Yes, that's another thing I love about cabaret: the unexpected surprise, the "impossible to duplicate" thrill that happens (and not rarely) in a live entertainment cabaret event.

Tommy Femia appears twice a month with JUDY! LIVE! at DON'T TELL MAMA on
Saturday nights at 8:30 pm.
Each show is similar in that each is exciting,
yet each show is different, depending on the audience, the special guest or
event that day's headlines.
Check www.donttellmamanyc.com for the next show
dates.”
JULIE REYBURN AT FEINSTEIN'S!



On the heels of her critically acclaimed CD Release, "Live at Feinstein's", 2010 Bistro & MAC Award recipient Julie Reyburn returns for a two night engagement at the famed Park Avenue Club.
The concert will be directed by Lennie Watts and Produced by Jeff Hamblin.
Reyburn will perform "Summer Night" on Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17. Both shows will begin at 8:30pm and cost $25 with an additional $25 food/drink minimum.


Feinstein's at Loews Regency is located at 540 Park Avenue (at 61st Street) New York, NY 10021.

Julie is a 2010 Bistro and MAC Award recipient who has appeared in many of the top clubs in Manhattan. Her ability to connect to a lyric with unique interpretations has established her as one of New York's celebrated female vocalist.

She is the first ever Nightlife Award recipient for Outstanding Female Vocalist in 2003 and again in 2005 as a finalist.
In 2007 Julie was presented with the coveted Julie Wilson Award from the Mabel Mercer Foundation "in joyful gratitude for the vocal majesty and lyrical interpretation she continually manifests in her classic presentations of the Great Popular Songbook".




Highlighted in both the "Broadway Musicals of 1940 and 1965", Julie costarred with some of Broadway's best.
She has been featured in numerous Cabaret Conventions sponsored by The Mabel Mercer Foundation. Most recently at Lincoln Center's Rose Theatre as well as in Chicago's famed Park West.
Recordings include: The Broadway Musicals of 1940 (Bayview Records), Heaven Knows - Cast Recording, War Brides - Cast Recording and her debut solo CD, Fate is Kind and Bistro Award winning recording, Live at Feinstein's(No Cover Records).
Please visit: www.juliereyburn.com. (SOURCE: BROADWAYWORLD.COM)


Kevin Dozier, Eric Michael Gillett, Todd Murray and Barbara Porteus are just a few of the wonderful performers on the bill!



Below are the details plus other appearances Julie will be making around town!

TUDOR CITY GREENS CONCERT - TUESDAY JULY 6TH @ NOON
http://www.theatermania.com/new-york/news/06-2010/eric-michael-gillett-julie-reyburn-bart-shatto-et_28349.html


SUNDAY JULY 11TH - In Studio Interview
Ron Forman’s Sweet Sounds heard Sundays from 5 PM to 7 PM. on WKRB 90.3 FM and on the Internet at WWW.WKRB.ORG


Julie Reyburn / julesbabes@hotmail.com

VISIT www.juliereyburn.com for upcoming shows and information
Download the Bistro Award Winning CD, "Live at Feinstein's" today on iTunes or amazon.com

Tony-Nominated Director Jack Sydow Dies at 88 (SOURCE:Andy Propst)


Tony Award nominated director Jack Sydow has died, according to a report in Variety.
Sydow received a Tony nomination for the 1967 revival of Irvin Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, which starred Ethel Merman. Among his other Broadway directorial credits were the musical Sophie as well as The Crucible, which starred Farley Granger, The Imaginary Invalid and A Touch of the Poet for the ANTA Theatre.
His last Broadway credit was a production of Sganarelle for the National Theater of the Deaf.

As an actor, he was seen in Once Upon a Mattress on Broadway, where he began as a stage manager. (He later directed the touring production, which starred Buster Keaton.) On television, his credits include guest appearances on Frasier, Touched by an Angel, and Brothers and Sisters.
In 1970, Sydow joined the staff of the University of Washington, where he headed the directing program for 16 years.



Kevin Dozier

"Take Me to the World"
Award-winning singer, Kevin Dozier, will be making his Feinstein's debut, July 5 at 8:30 PM.

Under the Musical Direction of Alex Rybeck with Direction by Lennie Watts, the show includes songs by Stephen Sondheim, Ervin Drake, Maltby and Shire, Rusty Magee, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Tom Lehrer, Lerner and Loewe, and John Bucchino.

Tickets are $25 and $40 and may be purchased at www.feinsteinsattheregency.com or by calling 212-339-4095. For more about Kevin visit www.kevindozier.com

Cabaret: Precarious but Resilient

By STEPHEN HOLDEN (SOURCE: NY TIMES June 25, 2010)



Stability is a word not often used to describe New York City’s fragile cabaret world, where only a few can make a full-time living, and the clubs themselves ride an economic seesaw from week to week.

But because Manhattan’s three major supper clubs — the Café Carlyle, the Oak Room and Feinstein’s at Loews Regency — are attached to hotels, their survival is not solely dependent on the box office.










That is a stability of sorts.
And as the 2009-10 season draws to a close, all three clubs seem to have successfully weathered the economic downturn, at least for now.
One sign of precariousness, however, was the shrinking of the Cabaret Convention, an annual clearinghouse for talent at Rose Hall.

This year the quality of the dozen best cabaret acts far surpassed that of Broadway’s new musicals, which were so weak that “Memphis,” a flimsy, grossly inauthentic re-creation of the moment in the 1950s when rhythm & blues went mainstream, won the Tony Award for best musical.

Authenticity is a hallmark of cabaret; without it the genre would quickly wither. This is the one arena in which a beloved performer can develop into a musical sage without an expiration date. The songs of Stephen Sondheim, who turned 80 this year, almost require performers with mileage for their insights to be revealed.
Elaine Stritch and Barbara Carroll, both in their 80s, located the essences of songs like “Every Day a Little Death” (recited by Ms. Stritch in her brilliant Sondheim show at the Café Carlyle), and “With So Little to Be Sure Of” (sung by Ms. Carroll at the Oak Room, where it was part of a Sondheim suite for voice and piano).
Among the numerous tributes to the songwriter Johnny Mercer, whose centennial was celebrated last November, the most stirring was a marathon pop-jazz anthology of his songs by Marilyn Maye, now 82, at the Metropolitan Room, the best of New York’s smaller clubs.

If the new blood arriving in cabaret suggests that the genre has secured its future, there is no guarantee.
Whether performers like Ms. O’Hara, Ms. Foster, Ms. McKay and Mr. Rodgers will become perennials is anyone’s guess.

Because they don’t need nightclub acclaim as a springboard to the Broadway stardom they have already attained, their commitment to the genre is uncertain.
Ms. McKay is a downtown bohemian version of the same thing, a contemporary Doris Day with a feisty political attitude.
Only Ms. Maggart, a Los Angeles protégée of Michael Feinstein and Andrea Marcovicci, has systematically built a cabaret career similar to her mentors’, in which she embodies a genre-hopping 21st-century film noir woman of mystery.

Mr. Rodgers, who leads his own band, suggests a cross between a grown-up Andy Hardy and the young Peter Allen.
Because Mr. Feinstein has his own club in which he regularly performs, he is cabaret’s unofficial godfather. He has developed from an intimate singing pianist into a dynamic standup entertainer who swings like a polite Sinatra and is an outspoken true believer in the superiority of the pre-rock canon, about which he knows more than almost anyone.

In the last two years he has gone out of his way to form musical partnerships. “The Power of Two,” his duet show with the Broadway heartthrob Cheyenne Jackson last June, injected a note of gay pride into a cabaret world that, despite its sizable gay audience, is reticent about sexuality, at least in its upper echelon.
His duet shows with Christine Ebersole and Barbara Cook (with whom he is returning for a month of performances in September) and David Hyde Pierce, set a standard of grownup entertainment that has been almost completely abandoned by a mainstream pop culture in thrall to perpetual adolescence.


This kind of teamwork can be found in other musical partnerships, including those of Sandy Stewart and Bill Charlap, K T Sullivan and Mark Nadler, Victoria Clark and Ted Sperling, Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, and most of all John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey. In wit and musical savvy, nothing matches their smart conceptual shows, in which Mr. Pizzarelli’s jazz guitar and crooning and Ms. Molaskey’s theatrical jazz singing fuse into something that’s greater than its parts.

Their Café Carlyle show last fall, “Lost and Found,” which included renditions of everyone from Duke Ellington to Joni Mitchell, was the season’s finest, caviar in a world of canned tuna.
Once you’ve acquired the taste, there is no substitute.


John Willis, Ubiquitous Editor of Theatre World, Dies at 93 (SOURCE:BRUCE WEBER)
(Gwen Verdon (1953 winner for Can-Can) presenting the Award to Larry Hagman (1959 winner for God and Kate Murphy).



(John Willis And Dylan Baker)
(Anthony Perkins (1955 winner for Tea and Sympathy), Richard Benjamin (1967 winner for The Star-Spangled Girl), and Theatre World Award founder John Willis.)
John Willis, who spent more than half a century doggedly keeping comprehensive track of American theater productions and film releases and whose encyclopedic records were published in the annual volumes Theatre World and Screen World, died at his home in Manhattan on Friday. He was 93.

(Julie Harris (1949 winner for Sundown Beach) presenting a 1956 Award to Theatre World Awards Co-Founder Daniel Blum. Photo courtesy of Louis Melançon.)
His death was announced by Ben Hodges, who succeeded him as editor of Theatre World in 2008. (James Earl Jones (1962 winner for Moon on a Rainbow Shawl), Julie Harris (1955 winner for Sundown Beach), and Blythe Danner (1969 winner for The Miser). Photo courtesy of Stanley W. Gold.)

A prodigious theatergoer who became perhaps the most ubiquitous audience member of the last half of the 20th century, Mr. Willis was an aspiring actor who came to New York City in 1945 after serving in the Navy during World War II and took a job as a typist at Theatre World, which was then a new publication.

Founded by Daniel Blum, it was a thoroughgoing accounting of Broadway shows, out-of-town tryouts and summer stock productions. It kept tabs on cast members, crew members and running dates and published production photos.
Five years later Blum founded Screen World, which did the same for domestic and foreign films released in the United States, and Mr. Willis was his assistant from the outset. For decades, the two enterprises were singularly authoritative, providing research material for journalists, entertainment professionals and fans.


“Before the Internet, he was the go-to guy for this information,” said Barry Monush, now the editor of Screen World, who became Mr. Willis’s assistant in 1988 and assumed most of the editing chores in the 1990s.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, as Off Broadway, Off Off Broadway and regional theater emerged and flourished, Theatre World did too. As the movie business grew, so did Screen World’s coverage of it.


The theater volumes also included season highlights, career summaries of the year’s performers, brief obituaries and, most years, a season summary written by Mr. Willis. Theatre World was also the sponsor of annual awards for excellence by performers making their Broadway or Off Broadway stage debuts. Mr. Willis’s home office on the Upper West Side was a repository of theater documents — a veritable archive of playbills, press releases, production photos and the like.

Mr. Willis took the responsibility of the awards especially seriously; under his editorship the long list of prominent recipients included Dustin Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Bernadette Peters, Gregory Hines, Meryl Streep, William Hurt, Danny Glover, Richard Gere, Matthew Broderick(pictured here with his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker), John Malkovich, Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson.
He went to see them all — and many, many more.

Indeed, Mr. Willis was a theatergoing phenomenon. Before he broke his hip in a fall in 2002, he saw everything he could, attending an average of eight live performances a week, 50 weeks a year — which over a half-century adds up to 20,000 shows. (He took off two weeks each June to visit his home in Bean Station, Tenn.)

According to Mr. Hodges, Mr. Willis stayed to the end of each performance, with two exceptions: one was during the blackout of 1977, the other when the friend he was with was thrown out of a theater for drunkenness and Mr. Willis was fearful the man was too unsteady to make it home.
“He’d sit through anything,” Mr. Hodges said. “He’d say, ‘They went through all this effort, it’s the least I can do.’ ”

John Alvin Willis was born in Morristown, Tenn., on Oct. 16, 1916. His father was a pharmacist and his mother came from a wealthy family. He graduated from Milligan College in Johnson City, Tenn., and earned an M.A. in English from the University of Tennessee.
Shortly after he arrived in New York, the director of a summer stock production who was working with Blum on the first Theatre World told him about the typist job.

Mr. Willis was married and divorced twice. No immediate family members survive.


As if he didn’t have enough to do, Mr. Willis assisted Blum in compiling Opera World from 1952 to 1954, and he was the sole editor of Dance World from 1966 to 1979.

“I was amazed at the hours he worked,” Mr. Monush said. “You could call him at 1 or 2 in the morning and he’d be up working.”



He deplored the euphemism “natural causes.”

“When I go, please mention what killed me,” he often said.

It was complications of lung cancer.


Liza Minnelli Debuts The Liza Collection on HSN, TONIGHT!
(SOURCE: BROADWAY WORLD)




Liza Minnelli will debut The Liza Collection TONIGHT, June 30 at 10pm EDT on HSN.
The Liza Collection - exclusive to HSN - will consist of limited-edition apparel and jewelry inspired by Liza's trademark look and recreated from her personal archives.

"My life has provided me the ability to amass a wonderful wardrobe designed by fashion's brightest stars," said Liza Minnelli. "I am excited to work with HSN in launching The Liza Collection and to have the opportunity to share my favorite looks with millions of women who want to look fabulous and feel their very best."

The collection is a first for Liza within the fashion category, bringing to life some of her most recognized looks, including sequined separates and signature flowy pants. Jewelry is inspired from some of Liza's most treasured pieces pulled straight from her jewelry box including necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings.

Click on the below for a sneak peak of Liza on HSN:
http://www.hsn.com/320-x-240-video-player_at-4953_xa.aspx?c=1&videoid=10547026

Liza Minnelli is one of the most versatile and highly regarded performers in the entertainment industry. She began her show business career at an early age and won her first Tony Award for Best Actress in a musical by the time she was 19. Since then, Liza has garnered critical acclaim for various acting roles and has risen to international stardom. Along with countless honors and awards, Liza Minnelli is one of very few personalities to win entertainment's top four awards - The Oscar, The Tony, The Emmy and The Grammy.

Amy Wolk sings Bette Midler's "Divine Madness"




Amy Wolk joined by a bevy of boys return for one night only to pay homage to the great Bette Midler! Come watch mayhem ensue! Songs! Dirty Jokes! Boys! Boobs!

1 show only!!

Sunday July 11th
8:30PM

Amy Wolk
sings
Bette Midler's "Divine Madness"

Musical Direction by Steven Ray Watkins
with
Matt Wigton on bass

Jerry Smith on drums

Musical staging by Brad Broman

and introducting The Staggering Harlettes:
Stefan Basti
Jack Herholdt
Thomas Marcus


Sunday, July 11th at 8:30PM
Don't Tell Mama's
343 west 46th street
Make a reservation!
212-757-0788
www.donttellmamanyc.com
$20 cover, 2 drink minimum


Maria Ottavia in 'If I Were A Carpenter'

Director: Lennie Watts
Music Director: Tracy Stark
Show Dates:
Sunday July 11th (Showtime at 4:00pm)
Saturday July 17th (Showtime at 8:00pm)
Tuesday July 20th (Showtime at 7:00pm)
Tuesday July 27th (Showtime at 7:00pm)

$15.00 Cover Charge ($10.00 for MAC, Cabaret Hotline Members, Twitter and Facebook Friends)

Plus Two Drink Minimum

Phone Reservations : 212-757-0788
Online reservations: http://www.donttellmamanyc.com/reservations.php?month=7&year=2010


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a LIVE show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out July 5th.
Here's to an ARTS-filled July! 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...I so thoroughly enjoyed your performance at the Iguana last night when you described when you began performing as Carol Channing...what a wonderful story and then to follow it up with a kickin performance! I just bought a ticket to your July 27th show and can't wait! Sending you all good things for a fabulous show! xxoo Julie Reyburn, http://www.juliereyburn.com


Hi Richard, I am really looking forward to your second year at The Iguana. The one last year would be hard to top - such great line-ups and it has been an honor to be a part of it. Congrats on one year at The Iguana! Toi, toi! Lori Evanson

Richard, I hope to be part of the 2nd YEAR @ IGUANA. Thank you so much for your ongoing generosity and for allowing me such a great stage to sing on in front of such incredible audiences. I continue to learn so much and am constantly inspired by the incredibly talented singers you schedule to perform there week after week... My best wishes to you for another AMAZING and SUCCESSFUL year at the Iguana!! Thank you! -Gregory Nalbone



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now going into our second year every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge (http://www.iguananyc.com) in the heart of NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).
Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
212-765-5454.






TONIGHT: June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!, Evan Lawrence, TRAVIS MOSER RETURNS, Frank Torren!

JULY 7th: JON BURR & LYNN STEIN and JANICE HALL RETURN!


Jul 27
9:30 pm

BROADWAY EMPORIUM@TIMES SQUARE ARTS CENTER, 669 Eighth Avenue New York, N.Y. 10036
CAROL CHANNING IN CONCERT STARRING RICHARD SKIPPER
with John Fischer on piano, Steve Bartosik on Percussion and Jeff Carney on Bass. Martina Vidmar will be opening for Richard and joining "Carol" on one number. Please note this will be Richard's only NYC appearance with this show this year. Tickets available at americantheatrenetwork.com or call TicketWeb 866-468-7619. Tickets are $60, 55, 50, 45, 40. Doors open 50 minutes before every performance. Drinks and snacks available before each show. No serving during performances. ONE NIGHT ONLY


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS, Patricia Fitzpatrick

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

TAMMY GRIMES, CHRISTINE ANDREAS, STEVE DEPASS...AND MORE!



(Tammy Grimes,, shown here at her 1966 marriage to actor Jeremy Slate).

Happy Friday!
I hope this finds you well! It has been an exciting week in NY. Dana Lorge and I celebrated our 1st year at The Iguana with an SRO crowd.

Jennifer Litt & David Alpher were on hand to sing their hysterical Manatee song. You can see them live at DON'T TELL MAMA this month. Call DON'T TELL MAMA for show times! DON'T MISS THEM!
They will also be returning to WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA July 21st! Hope to see you there! You will love them. I want to also thank Daryl Glenn for all he has done in supporting Dana & I and WNATI.
He has been invaluable in the past year and a great addition to the shows when he appears.
Thank you Daryl. He will be bringing his MULTI-award winning "Nashville" show to Feinstein's in October. Also, Helena Grenot & Barbara Porteus! Thanks for all you two have contributed to WNATI over the past year. You are welcome anytime. Barbara will be returning to Feinstein's July 31st and August 1st. Don't miss her. Thank you to all the audience members who have supported us and to all the entertainers and musicians who have graced our stage. Now, here's to the next year! See below to see the line up for next Wednesday night!
Tonight, I am seeing Tammy Grimes! I have been in love with her since I was 17! I did THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN when I was 17 with THE THEATRE OF THE REPUBLIC in South Carolina. I played Roberts, the butler. I listened to that album over and over and started devouring everything I could find with Tammy.
We have met many times and I am looking forward to seeing her tonight. If you would like to join us, please call me! Rumor also has it that The Unsinkable Molly Brown will be returning to New York with Reba McEntire! I hope this is true. Inspired casting! I want to audition to play Roberts again...now that I am the right age! That would be amazing!

Tammy is a fellow Aquarian. Her birthday (January 30th) is the day before Carol Channing's.
Grimes was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, the daughter of Eola Willard (née Niles), a naturalist and spiritualist, and Nicholas Luther Grimes, an innkeeper, country-club manager, and farmer.[1] She attended high school at the then-all girls school, Beaver Country Day School, in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and then studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse.At 76 Tammy Grimes has amassed a lifetime of stories and loves to tell them. She was discovered singing in a cabaret by Noël Coward, knew she would marry Christopher Plummer the first time she saw him onstage (and she did), was the first and in some people’s minds the only “Unsinkable Molly Brown” (sorry, Debbie Reynolds), and once showered with a young Marlon Brando. Tammy Grimes returned to THE METROPOLITAN ROOM (34 West 22nd Street, NYC - 212-206-0440) on Tuesday, June 22nd with her show "Favorite Songs and Stories".
Additional performances are tonight Friday, June 25th through Wednesday, June 30th, all shows at 7:00 pm. Ms. Grimes starred in and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical as a rough-hewn Colorado social climber in the 1960 hit, The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In 1966, Grimes starred in her own ABC television series, The Tammy Grimes Show, in which she played a modern-day heiress who loved to spend money. Returning to the Broadway stage in 1969, Grimes appeared in a revival of Noel Coward's Private Lives as "Amanda", winning the Tony Award for Best Actress.
Grimes has entertained at various New York city night clubs and recorded several albums of songs; she also recited poetry as part of a 1968 solo act in the Persian Room of the Plaza Hotel.
Her voice can be heard in romantic duets on some of Ben Bagley's anthology albums of Broadway songs under his Painted Smiles record label. In 1982, she hosted the final season of CBS Radio Mystery Theater. There is a $30 cover plus a 2-drink minimum. Looking forward to seeing you again tonight, Miss Grimes!

If you read my last blog, you know that I will be appearing at The Broadway Emporium July 27th. ONE NIGHT ONLY!!!!!
AMERICAN THEATRE NETWORK, producer Herbert Goldman, PRESENTS GREAT ENTERTAINERS ON BROADWAY:
CAROL CHANNING ON CONCERT STARRING RICHARD SKIPPER! ONLY CHANCE TO SEE THIS SHOW THIS SUMMER! Tickets available at americantheatrenetwork.com or call TicketWeb 866-468-7619.
RESERVE TODAY FOR PREMIUM SEATING! This is being filmed for an upcoming documentary on the life and career of Carol Channing. Several celebrities have already responded that they will be there! This will be a star-studded audience! Would mean a lot to have you there as well. Please pay it forward. With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
I wrote last week about all the great entertainers from week one. Today, I will focus on the entertainers from week two.
On Monday, August 2nd. Christine Andreas, currently on Broadway in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES) will be appearing at 7 & 9:30PM. Christine was in the very first Broadway show I ever saw. Laurey in OKLAHOMA! at The Palace Theatre December 19th, 1979! I won the tickets answering a trivia question on Jim Lowe's radio program on WNEW Radio.
God, do I miss that station. I actually cried the day they went off the air!


Best known for her work on the Broadway stage, Ms. Andreas burst onto the New York theatre scene starring as Eliza Doolittle in the 20th Anniversary production of MY FAIR LADY opposite Ian Richardson of the Royal Shakespeare Company and garnering the Theatre World Award. As revivals gained popularity, Ms. Andreas received two Tony nominations re-creating Laurey in OKLAHOMA! working with Billy Hammerstein and Agnes DeMille, and as Frankie Frayne in ON YOUR TOES directed by the legendary George Abbott.
Other Broadway credits include WORDS AND MUSIC with Sammy Cahn, Nancy in ANGEL STREET with Dina Merrill, Rebecca in RAGS, the short-lived Alice in the short-lived LEGS DIAMOND with the late, great and wonderful Peter Allen (WHICH I SAW!), and the Broadway bound and derailed Erte production of STARDUST.
Ms. Andreas created the role of Marguerite St. Just on Broadway in the original production of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL opposite Douglas Sills and Terrence Mann.She received rapturous notices for her portrayal of Vera Simpson in the Prince Music Theater’s production of Rogers and Hart’s PAL JOEY in Philadelphia.Philadelphia rewarded her performance with a Barrymore Award for Best Actress in a Musical and a sold-out three-week engagement of her one-woman show, HERE’S TO THE LADIES…
On August 3rd at 7PM, America's singing poet, Steve DePass (who suggested me for this series! Thank you, Steve!) STEVE has ENTERTAINED CORPORATE CLIENTS WORLDWIDE
FOR SUCH NAMES AS :


IBM, JOHNSON & JOHNSON, SIEMANS, CIBA,
FUJI FILM, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY,
GENERAL MOTORS, UNION CARBIDE,

MONSANTO, JONES MEDICAL SYSTEMS

EQUITABLE LIFE, AXA

COMMAND PERFORMANCE FOR H.R.H. QUEEN ELIZABETH

THE PALADIUM


LAS VEGAS

CEASARS PALACE, HILTON HOTEL


HARRAH’S, SAHARA


ATLANTIC CITY

TRUMP CASTLE, TROPICANA


THE BREAKERS, FONTAINBLEU,


DIPLOMAT EDEN ROC,

ROYAL CARRIBEAN, PUERTO RICO


CRUISE LINES

QUEEN ELIZABETH, CUNARD


NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES

HOLLAND AMERICA






Tuesday, August 3, at 9:30 PM - A gifted musical actress who has sung opera, classical song and appeared in Broadway musicals, Marni Nixon performed on stage screen and television, most recently the animated feature, Mulan, and TV popular Law and Order. Blessed with a magnificent soprano singing voice, she spent year early in her career dubbing the singing voices of such film stars as Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady), Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and Deborah Kerr in the King and I and Affair To Remember. She performs in concert and cabaret venues all over the United States.Marni Nixon's career includes Opera, (Seattle, San Francisco, Ford Foundation TV Opera Cameos), Chamber and Symphony, Oratorio soloist and Grammy Nominated recordgs both Popular and Classical (Boulez, Villa-Lobos, Ives, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Copland) including conductors Von Beinum, Wallenstein, Previn, Mehta, Stravinksy, Stokowski, Mauceri, Slatkin and Bernstein. On July 29, 2010

Interview with Jud Newborn, curator,
with flim clips of musical/film highlights,
and Book Signing (I Could Have Sung All Night: My Story, Random House, Publishers)
Reception to follow

Cinema Arts Centre
Curator, Jud Newborn,
Huntington, Long Island, NY

contact: Publicist Susan Finkelstein
1-631 423 7611, xt 14
for more info and directions: Cinemaartscentre.org

Take Marni home with you! Marni Nixon - Marni Nixon Sings Classic Kernhttp://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Marni+Nixon&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&hl=en&cid=7486127682298249163&ei=BpwkTJ39A8zhlgeE3LnrDw&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p
On August 4th at 7 & 9:30 PM, LIZ CALLAWAY!
Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner
Liz Callaway is one of the top singer-actresses appearing on Broadway today. Audiences have seen her on Broadway in Merrily We Roll Along, Baby, Miss Saigon, The Three Musketeers, The Look of Love, and Cats, where she played the role of Grizabella (singing Memory) for five years. She has also starred in numerous off-Broadway shows,
as well as the internationally acclaimed
Sibling Revelry with her sister, Ann Hampton Callaway.
Her numerous film and television credits include the singing voice of Anastasia in the award-winning animated film, Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and the King of Thieves,
and Nala in The Lion King II.
Liz is also an accomplished studio singer,
and can be heard on more than 35 recordings,
including her three solo albums. Her extensive concert career includes appearances at New York ’s
Carnegie Hall, in London, China,
France, Iceland, Estonia,
and just about every major city in the United States. Liz Callaway is a refreshing performer with a breathtaking voice and a variety of musical styles that emanate with seasoned ease from a friendly, down-to-earth lady who seems (after 25 years of professional theatre) to not quite believe her luck to have the successful life she has. TAKE LIZ HOME WITH YOU! Liz Callaway - Passage of Time
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&client=firefox-a&q=Liz+Callaway&cid=2109948987540704899&ei=9Z0kTLepOY2Ulwekq8DuDw&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p
Liz Callaway will also perform at Encompass New Opera Theatre's Jazz Gala to be held on July 14 at a Tribeca loft on Leonard Street overlooking the Hudson River. Alex Rybeck will provide piano accompaniment.

The event will also feature the Jill McManus Trio, which will perform an array of music from George Gershwin to Thelonious Monk, in addition to original compositions.

Tickets for the event, which will also include cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, are $150.00. Encompass New Opera Theatre is dedicated to creating, developing and producing imaginative productions of new music theatre and contemporary opera.

For further information, visit: www.encompassopera.org.

And closing out the series, one of my all time favorite entertainers, Tony Award winning FAITH PRINCE. August 5th (my anniversary of coming to NY!). I can't think of a better way to celebrate my 31st year in NY! Faith Prince has been dazzling Broadway audiences since she swept the theatre awards winning the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance as Ms. Adelaide in the critically-acclaimed revival of Guys and Dolls. In 2008, she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for A Catered Affair. Other Broadway credits include The Little Mermaid, Bells Are Ringing (Tony, DD, OCC noms), Nick & Nora (OCC Award), Jerome Robbins' Broadway (Tony, DD noms), Little Me, The Dead, Noises Off. She also starred in the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Unusual Acts of Devotion.
TAKE FAITH HOME WITH YOU! Faith Prince - A Leap of Faith
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Faith+Prince&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&hl=en&cid=1736872033877128835&ei=N6AkTP-oIIODlwfA5s3uDw&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p
For more information on GREAT ENTERTAINERS ON BROADWAY, visit www.americantheatrenetwork.com. Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a LIVE show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out June 30th.
Here's to an ARTS-filled summer! 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...I so thoroughly enjoyed your performance at the Iguana last night when you described when you began performing as Carol Channing...what a wonderful story and then to follow it up with a kickin performance! I just bought a ticket to your July 27th show and can't wait! Sending you all good things for a fabulous show! xxoo Julie Reyburn, http://www.juliereyburn.com


Hi Richard, I am really looking forward to your second year at The Iguana. The one last year would be hard to top - such great line-ups and it has been an honor to be a part of it. Congrats on one year at The Iguana! Toi, toi! Lori Evanson

Richard, I hope to be part of the 2nd YEAR @ IGUANA. Thank you so much for your ongoing generosity and for allowing me such a great stage to sing on in front of such incredible audiences. I continue to learn so much and am constantly inspired by the incredibly talented singers you schedule to perform there week after week... My best wishes to you for another AMAZING and SUCCESSFUL year at the Iguana!! Thank you! -Gregory Nalbone



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now going into our second year every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge (http://www.iguananyc.com) in the heart of NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).
Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!! 212-765-5454.






June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!, Barbara Gurskey, Evan Lawrence, TRAVIS MOSER RETURNS, Frank Torren!

JULY 7th: JON BURR & LYNN STEIN and JANICE HALL RETURN!


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS

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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

GREAT ENTERTAINERS ON BROADWAY: MARK NADLER, RICHARD SKIPPER AS CAROL CHANNING, TONY BABINO...AND MORE!

HAPPY BEGINNING OF SUMMER!
I love this time of year. I loved the excitement of NY in the summer. I arrived in NY in the summer (August 5th, 1979 to be exact). So I get nostalgic every summer. I love the outdoor cafes, I love seeing the sailboats in the Hudson, I love the joggers, I love walking through the parks, I'm looking forward to my annual end of summer trip to Malibu! You get the picture! What a week this week! I met Raquel Welch: ,
Alison Arngrim, and went to a jazz brunch this afternoon at SMOKE featuring the INCREDIBLE Lea Delaria: . Go see her next Sunday!Smoke Jazz & Supper Club-Lounge. 2751 Broadway New York, NY 10025 212.864.6662.
www.smokejazz.com.
This year, I have something else to be excited about. Thanks to Steve DePasse telling Herb Goldman about me, I am part of a two week series called GREAT ENTERTAINERS ON BROADWAY July 26th-29th and August 2nd-5th.
Great Entertainers on Broadway will be presented on eight evenings -- Monday through Thursday, July 26, 27, 28 and 29 and Monday through Thursday, August 2, 3, 4 and 5 at 7 PM and 9:30 PM each night - in the TSAC's elegant 300-seat venue (to be renamed the Broadway Emporium for this engagement). Some performers will headline single shows while others will perform both shows on a given night.

My show is on July 27th. This is being presented by Herb Goldman and American Theatre Network. The series will kick off with zany singer/pianist Entertainer Extraordinaire Mark Nadler on July 26th. 7 & 9:30 PM SHOWS (Different songs at each performance. Go to http://www.marknadler.com for more info on this incredible entertainer.

"MARK NADLER seems to have been shot out of a cannon! Mr. Nadler is a singer-dancer-pianist Punchinello who doesn¹t exactly have an act. He has many acts, and in the course of an evening he does them all. The best commedia dell¹arte in town!"
--Rex Reed, The New York ObserverAward-winning cabaret artist/singer/dancer/pianist Mark Nadler has performed around the world and in the U.S. at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Weill Hall, Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and at many nightclubs. He has performed on and off Broadway, in cabarets, and on television. Mark Nadler also appears annually at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel. Take Mark home with you! You Always Leave Them Laughing (Mark Nadler) http://www.amazon.com/Always-Leave-Them-Laughing-Nadler/dp/B000V5OOKQ.
Mark Nadler has joined the roster of stellar performers in Great Entertainers on Broadway, the new summer series of live performances by some of today's most talented and well known stage, television and cabaret entertainers which premieres in late July and early August at the Times Square Arts Center (TSAC) in the heart of New York City's world famous theatre district.
Next in the line-up is YOURS TRULY as Carol Channing!
I join star performers (in alphabetical order): Christine Andreas, Tony Babino, Steve DePass, Rebecca Luker, Donna McKechnie, Mark Nadler, Marni Nixon, Faith Prince in this concert series being presented once again by producer/promoter Herbert G. Goldman, the author of books about Eddie Cantor, Fannie Brice and Al Jolson.Tuesday, July 27, at 9:30 PM - I will be joined by John Fischer on Piano, Steve Bartosik on percussion and Jeff Carney on bass as he presents - for the only time in New York this year! - my critically acclaimed Carol Channing in Concert show, which has been described by Ms. Channing herself as "the first time I have ever been shown with such love, respect and polish. Richard Skipper is a true musical comedy star! He is fabulous as me!"
Tuesday, July 27, at 7:00 PM -- Tony Babino, one of today's premier vocalists, is a first class singer-songwriter and recording artist who presents a high energy show featuring past classics to modern day gems. He is proud to be carrying on the traditions of such legendary entertainers as Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.Tony is a first class singer/songwriter who always presents a high-energy show featuring past classics to modern day gems.

Wednesday, July 28, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM - Rebecca Luker, one of the hardest working musical performers, has starred in Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera, Showboat, The Secret Garden, Something Wonderful, Brigadoon, The Sound of Music and The Music Man in a career dating back to the late 1980's. On television, she has also starred in three PBS music specials saluting Broadway composers and performers - Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein II (1995), The Rodgers & Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty (1999), and My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies (1999). Rebecca Luker was most recently found on Broadway in Disney's Mary Poppins as Mrs. Banks. Rebecca received a Tony Award nomination and Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Featured Actress.Before Mary Poppins,she was last seen on Broadway in the revival of Nine playing the role of Claudia opposite Antonio Banderas.
TAKE REBECCA HOME WITH YOU! Rebecca Luker - Greenwich Time [Audio CD] http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&client=firefox-a&q=Rebecca+Luker&cid=10669002759252156637&ei=rZceTNzLDqmcwAXLjdXVCg&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p


Thursday, July 29, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM - Donna McKechnie, the Tony Award winning star of the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line, is regarded internationally as one of Broadway's foremost dancing and singing stars and choreographers. On Broadway, she has also won rave reviews for her stellar performances in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Education of Hyman Kaplan, Sondheim -- A Musical Tribute (which she also choreographed), On The Town, Promises, Promises, Company and State Fair, for which she received the Fred Astaire Dancing Awards for Best Female Dancer of the 1995-1996 season. She also has several award-winning cabaret shows that she performs in venues all over the world.Donna enjoyed one of her greatest triumphs as Sally, in the acclaimed revival of the Stephen Sondheim – James Goldman musical, Follies, in the spring of 1998. “She defined the art of torch singing with ‘Losing My Mind,’ raved Variety, joining the New York Times and other critics in unstintingly praising her performance. She is now coming to to these series in a new show directed by Richard Jay-Alexander.
TAKE DONNA HOME WITH YOU: Donna McKechnie - Inside the Music [Audio CD] Donna McKechnie - Inside the Music [Audio CD] http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Donna+McKechnie&hl=en&cid=10022299951653568385&ei=lpkeTJ2kFImWwwX6tIjTCg&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p
A teenaged Donna McKechnie ran away from home to New York, to take a job as a dancer. Her father went after her and brought her home to Detroit. That could have been the end of the story, but her parents relented and her career was born. This show tells a little of her life, her busy career and the people that she has met and worked with over the years, with many great songs along the way. AND THAT IS WEEK ONE OF THIS SERIES! Tickets available at americantheatrenetwork.com or call TicketWeb 866-468-7619. Tickets are $60, 55, 50, 45, 40. Doors open 50 minutes before every performance. Drinks and snacks available before each show. No serving during performances. ONE NIGHT ONLY FOR EACH OF THESE ARTISTS! Next week, I will write about week two: Christine Andreas, Steve Depass, Marni Nixon, Liz Callaway, and Faith Prince!


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a LIVE show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out June 25th.
Here's to an ARTS-filled summer! 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, I can't wait to be part of the 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY @ IGUANA. Thank you so much for your ongoing generosity and for allowing me such a great stage to sing on in front of such an incredible audience. I continue to learn so much and am constantly inspired by the incredibly talented singers you schedule to perform there week after week... My best wishes to you for another AMAZING and SUCCESSFUL year at the Iguana!! Thank you! -Gregory Nalbone

The Following is from Rich Siegel's blog:To acknowledge one special professional relationship in particular, I've toured the US with cabaret star Richard Skipper , from Maine to Colorado to South Carolina and various points in between. I suppose I never expected back in my music school days that I would be working for a man who puts on a dress and becomes Carol Channing, but doing so has been an absolute delight!
Celebrities! (This paragraph is not for the squeamish! I am dropping names!) Did I tell you that just before a Richard Skipper show in Mississippi Carol Channing herself called to wish us a good show?!! Part of the fun of working as a free-lance musician has been contact with celebrities, and I'd be lying if I denied it! (SOURCE: http://richsiegel.com/musicmaina.html)



What a fun night last Wednesday at The Iguana - and a great & fabulously talented crowd too! Thank you for creating this wonderful new room, Richard, and for creating this great community of singers in the city! xo, Lori Evanson


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now going into our second year every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge (http://www.iguananyc.com) in the heart of NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).

Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!! 212-765-5454.







JUNE 23rd: CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!Daryl Glenn, Sigali Hamberger, Bobbie Horowitz, Dora Rubin, Pam Tate,and Catt John, Julie Reyburn!




June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!, Barbara Gurskey, Evan Lawrence, TRAVIS MOSER RETURNS, Frank Torren!

JULY 7th: JON BURR & LYNN STEIN and JANICE HALL RETURN!


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

JERRY HERMAN, DIVAPALOOZA, BOBBY BELFRY...AND MORE!

(JERRY HERMAN, pictured here with Producer/Director/Writer/Editor: Amber Edwards, WORDS AND MUSIC BY JERRY HERMAN)
Jerry Herman: Enjoying the Latest “La Cage” Ride (SOURCE: Deborah Behrens)

Three is Jerry Herman’s lucky number.

He the only composer/lyricist to have three shows play concurrently on Broadway as well as the only one for decades to have three runs of more than 1500 consecutive performances until Stephen Schwartz caught up in 2007.
Theatrical juggernauts Hello, Dolly! and Mame anchor both lists with Dear World briefly making it a menage a trois in 1969 and La Cage Aux Folles adding another pair of legs to the duos long distance team 14 years later.
Now the second Broadway revival of the show that made “I Am What I Am” a national gay anthem, starring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge this time around as St. Tropez nightclub owner Georges and his drag queen partner Albin, is poised to put Herman in the history books again as the first composer/lyricist to win three Tony Awards for the same musical.
This production has already garnered four Outer Critics Circle Awards, three Drama Desk Awards and a Drama League Award for Best Musical Revival.


“I thought, I can’t expect any more from La Cage,” he acknowledges one morning in his Beverly Hills living room “It gave me my third show that ran over 1500 performances. It gave me two Tony Awards. And it gave me a new bunch of songs people are singing at bar mitzvahs and weddings and god knows where else. What more can there be, you know?
I thought that it had given me its all.”
Nominated for 11 Tony Awards, this third outing is not your father’s La Cage. Before crossing the pond to 48th Street, London’s Terry Johnson-helmed Menier Chocolate Factory production tossed out the high glam glitz of the 1983 original and stripped it down to its shabby drag club roots. Six Cagelles and the principal actors perform for an audience seated in a small theatre set up like a real club.
It won 2009 Olivier Awards for Best Musical Revival and Best Actor in a Musical for star Douglas Hodge. When producers Sonia Friedman and David Babani approached Herman two years prior with Johnson’s fresh conceit, he realized they had uncovered a new way to expand the life of the show.


“They didn’t want me to change anything,” he explains. “They didn’t want Harvey to change any dialogue. They just wanted our blessing to do it in this very scaled-down fashion so the audience actually feels like they’re coming into a little club and having that experience of being part of the show. Harvey and I were thrilled because we recognized how life-giving that was to our baby. There would now be new ways and new places to do it.
“Let’s face it, the original La Cage was expensive. I mean the Cagelles’ costumes used every sequin and bead in New York! They were magnificent but it was known as an expensive, heavy musical. And I loved every minute of it.”


Herman credits the London team with birthing the new La Cage concept completely on their own sans his input, which he admits was a new experience for him.
“The three of them were very instrumental in how this was done. They did it. I wasn’t there. I supervised the two returns of Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! and I always have my hand in a Mack & Mabel production somewhere because I’m trying to get that into the perfect place. But I had nothing to do with it! So it was a real eye opener because neither Harvey or I were there to say ‘you can’t do that to this.’ We just let them go.”
While some health issues prevented Herman from seeing the London production, he attended opening night at the Longacre Theatre and saw how letting go transformed his show.
“Oddly enough my initial reaction was, this enhances my work more than the original,” he admits.
“It is so much more moving and so much funnier because there’s nothing in the way. I didn’t realize that until I saw it. Not only is it a wonderful new way to do the show but now it directs more focus to the important things I was writing about. There’s a song in La Cage called ‘Look Over There’ where George scolds his son and says, ‘How can you forget about this man who brought you love and brought us all this joy and say he’s not welcome at your wedding?’
This production made that stronger. That’s what I’m thrilled about. That Harvey’s work and my work is stronger. And we didn’t change a thing.”


What did change in the ensuing 27 years since the show’s first 1983 mounting was public attitude towards sexual identity. Gay and lesbian characters now enjoy prominent storylines in television and on film. Gender bending performers like Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert top the music and style charts. Being metrosexual, having a bromance or kissing your gal pal are now mainstream magazine topics. Drag is viewed by a younger generation of out men as a relic of an era when gay life was more closeted. According to Herman, the new grittier La Cage taps into the modern zeitgeist in a way he could never have imagined.


“I have a word for it. Raw. It’s right out there in front of you. I’m not trying to denigrate the first production in any way. I want you to know that. I am so grateful to Arthur Laurents for what he did on that and to all the people who put it together with me because we created a statement at a difficult time. AIDS was just scaring everybody.
I love that production and I always will. This is something totally different, which I didn’t expect.
It has just been an extraordinary year for me because of all this.”

Searching for Mame & Dolly (LOOK NO FURTHER! READ HERE: http://www.richardskipper.com/h-testimonials/2008-06.16.html)


Jerry Herman is a gracious host who greets you in the marble floored foyer of his one floor Beverly Hills apartment with partner Terry Marler (pictured here) at his side, then asks what drink the house man can bring you before offering your choice of seats in a well appointed living room accented by a large red curled piece of wall art and a black grand piano.

Using La Cage as an example, Herman underscores why a good pairing is crucial to a show’s success.
“Douglas and Kelsey together are an exquisite pair. First of all they like each other as people and it shows.
You can’t hide that on a stage.
I once had a male/female couple who hated each other off-stage and tried to hide it. It didn’t work. I’m looking for the right two stars for a Mack & Mabel now.”

A team that worked like gangbusters was Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur in Mame but Herman didn’t know it for sure until the out of town tryout in Philadelphia.



“A show is a living thing, specially one that’s in rehearsal and going through changes. You never know. You always think you have something wonderful because it’s your baby. I worked sometimes for two years on a score before I actually got it into rehearsal.
And still you never know what you have until that first audience. We were in love with Mame and with Angela and Bea. What a combination! What a happy time it was. Fifteen minutes after the curtain went up in Philadelphia, I knew I had an enormous hit.

I didn’t have to wait until the curtain call.
They went crazy in that audience.
It’s then that you really know what you have. And it’s tough to be greeted by less than that, which has happened to me.”

According to Herman Mame was a gift in every department as was turning Angela Lansbury into a Broadway star.
His current challenge is finding an established star rather than anointing a new one for a possible revival. Producers don’t want to back an unknown in the current economic climate and the talent pool of triple threats has diminished over time.
“If you have any idea who could do that today, please pass it on to me,” he says sincerely. “You have to put a star into a show like Mame today. And who do we have? You know we don’t train people like that anymore. We’re also considering a new Dolly.

After the La Cage madness cools down, we will do one of them but we have to find that lady first.” That lady needs to be a 40 something or older actress with an established track record who’s a triple threat who can sell tickets and attract backers.

And that’s not all on Herman’s wish list.

“Between Dolly and Mame, the more difficult one is Mame because she literally has to be a lady.

She can’t be a clown. I did a film of Mame with a great clown, the most wonderful funny lady but she was not Mame.
Mame is an elegant woman who lives on Beekman Place and who doesn’t think she’s funny. She has to sing because she’s naked out there with ‘If He Walked Into My Life’ and the opening number. I mean she’s got to have pipes. She’s got to dance and she’s got to be a very believable heartfelt actress. And she’s got to look great in a magnificent Bob Mackie wardrobe. She’s got to be able to do all that. I don’t know where you’ll find her.”

Not that Herman hasn’t tried. “I promise you I spend hours of my time looking through magazines, looking through books, watching movies to see if there’s somebody I’ve passed by who’s still with us who can do it. I’d rather just give people the original album with Angela and say ‘this is Mame’ than to have a half-baked version of it, you know?”

Interest in a new Hello, Dolly! came after a new generation re-discovered the film via movie clips utilized in Pixar’s animated 2008 blockbuster WALL-E. A scene showing Michael Crawford and Marianne McAndrew singing “It Only Takes a Moment” and holding hands form the basis for a robot’s understanding of love.
Herman admits he had no idea what Pixar had in mind when he gave them the rights to use the footage.

“I have to tell you WALL-E affected me so deeply because I didn’t know. I signed a piece of paper that allowed Pixar to use pieces of two songs from Hello, Dolly! I said how wonderful you know, it’s Pixar. They’re not going to do anything to hurt those songs. And that’s all I knew. I had no idea the whole idea of learning about love and learning about happiness actually came from that brilliant idea of an old tape. I give them such credit. But I didn’t know when I went to the theatre. You should have seen me in there. When it ended with ‘and that is all that love’s about,’ I was in tears.”

Herman credits Pixar with making those two songs familiar to a new generation. “There are kids who know the songs now and me. So you know, my life has been so extraordinary. How you ever imagine as a kid who wanted to be a songwriter that it would turn out to be this? You don’t dare dream that you know. But it’s things like WALL-E that came at me unexpectedly that have made my life even more wonderful and richer.”
So if a show like La Cage with its glamorous showgirls can be re-imagined in an intimate space, how would he feel about large cast productions like Hello, Dolly! and Mame making the same transition if asked?
“Because if you had asked me three or four years ago would I like to see La Cage scaled down to that I probably would have said no thinking about the gorgeous Arthur Laurents production. But I would no longer say no to anything because I want people to hear my songs. If they hear them played with a 30-piece orchestra, I’ll be ecstatic.

If they hear them played by an eight-piece orchestra in New York, I’m just as happy because they’re getting the melody and the lyrics just as clearly.
So there’s a whole difference in my thinking. I have to grow a little, too.”

He does admit, given current Broadway ticket prices, audiences expect to get some bang for their musical buck in terms of elaborate sets and large scale production numbers, which are the central attractions of both Dolly and Mame.

“Mame comes with glamour and it comes with Beekman Place. I don’t know if I would like to see it as a small musical.
I do think honestly that Dolly is strongest with a chorus singing ‘Put on Your Sunday Clothes’ and 14 waiters singing ‘Hello, Dolly!’ But can it be scaled down? Yes, it can be because like La Cage it’s about people. It’s about Dolly Levi and Horace Vandergelder. Cornelius Hackl and Irene Molloy. Barnaby Tucker and Minnie Fay.
I would never say no anymore!” he laughs.



Herman is one of the last composer/lyricists to have had a foot both in the golden era of Broadway musicals led by Cole Porter to Rodgers & Hammerstein melodies that influenced popular culture and the new Sondheim-helmed epoch of mathematical complexity and socio-political statement.



“I got into the business still in time to have songs of mine played on the radio,” he admits.
“One threw the Beatles off the Billboard chart! ["Hello, Dolly!" sung by Louis Armstrong reached the number one spot in 1964 ending the Beatles streak of
three number one hits in a row.]
“Then to witness the great change in Broadway. I mean the great Sondheim came along and changed things. He writes beautiful melody. Nobody really gives him enough credit for that. But I was there writing pop songs that could be done by Eydie Gorme. So I had the best of both Broadways.”

The ability to sing or write pure melody lines has become undervalued in a Simon Cowell led world.
American Idol’s influence on a new generation of singers and its blatant demeaning of traditional Broadway style interpretation has many concerned for the art form’s future.
Herman thinks one shouldn’t have to be chosen over another.

“I don’t feel you have to lose a way of making music to gain a new way,” he emphasizes. "You don’t have to throw out the baby with the bathwater to go new places. The healthiest Broadway for me is when Next to Normal is playing across the street from Hello, Dolly! which is playing around the corner from A Little Night Music, playing two blocks away from a jukebox musical like Mama Mia. They all have their place. Even a Gilbert and Sullivan. You don’t have to throw one out to make room for the others. People don’t understand that.”

Herman walks down the hall to his office. Behind the desk is a nearly full-sized oil painting of him seated in a chair, handsomely clad in a Mad Men era suit when he was among Broadway’s youngest and brightest.



“I love it even now,” he admits looking at the portrait by Roger Robles. “You still want to look like that. Sometimes it’s hard for me because they would start an encore with ‘the new young composer’ and all of a sudden to be the oldest!

But I have to tell you there is absolutely no way I can wrap my brain around the fact I’m approaching my 79th birthday.
I can’t imagine it because there’s nothing in me that feels like that. I know I don’t look like that cute kid anymore but I don’t feel like a man of that age or behave like one!

He gives a good deal of the credit to his partner of 12 years, Palm Springs real estate broker Terry Marler.
“I have a guy in my life who is youthful and full of vigor and we go to South Beach and we walk along the ocean. We go to movies. We go to Broadway together. We have the most beautiful life. And neither of us, well he’s 15 years younger than I am to begin with, but neither of us feel like we’re anywhere near those numbers!” he laughs. “Maybe when the actual 80 comes, I’ll have to sit down with myself and say, ‘You know, it’s embarrassing Jerry not to realize where you are on the ladder!”



As for his life at this vantage point, Herman takes a page from his childhood days.

“I used to go on the Cyclone in Coney Island with my father who was a rollercoaster nut. I would scream my head off and my mother would stand down there and think we were both crazy. She would not get on it no matter what we tried to do. And it’s not stopping.”

The 14th Annual Tony Awards Party, hosted by Tommy Tune, featured the Julie Harris Award presented by Annette Bening to Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell in recognition of not only his theatrical accomplishments but also his leadership as Chairman of the Board of The Actors Fund. Jerry Herman was recognized with this award two years ago. The gala is produced and written by Marc Cherry and David Rambo with the only live feed in California of the Tony Awards broadcast from New York.


DIVAPALOOZA is a tribute to the Great Divas of Stage and Screen with an All Male Cast. On June 28th at 7:00 p.m. Jay Rogers,Eric Michael Gillett,Jaron Vesley,Jim Speake,Steven Hodge,Bill McKinley,T.Oliver Reid,Tom Gamblin,Shane Gallagher,David Colbert,Troy Cain,Aaron Lee Battle,with a special performance by Ricky Ritzel and Joseph Macchia. Kenneth Green Musical directs.
The evening will benefit Help Is On The Way Today a non for profit that helps children living with HIV and AIDS.

DIVAPALOOZA
The Laurie Beechman June 28th at 7:00 p.m. Doors oepn at 6:15 p.m.
$20 Cover Charge and $15 Food/Drink Minimum

To make resevations call 212-695-6909



BOBBY BELFRY live at THE OAK ROOM
with THE DAVID BUDWAY TRIO
June 17th at 7pm & 9pm
The Plaza Hotel
10 Central Park South, NY NY 212-758-7777
Reserve ASAP!
$15 Cover/2 drink minimum
No cover with dinner

Supper Club Thursdays with

Bobby Belfry


The famed Oak Room at The Plaza Hotel (10 Central Park South, NY NY 212-758-7777) is one of New York's most beautiful restaurants where some of the most famous faces have wined and dined. The Oak Room was also home to Truman Capote's legendary black & white ball and to this day hosts some of the most glamorous events in New York City.


Part of New York City nightlife has always been the supper club; a place where one can hear the sounds of a live band while enjoying a remarkable meal snuggled up to their loved one with a chilled martini in hand, while the singer crooned out a tune. Starting Thursday June 17 that experience returns to New York as Chef Eric Hara and his Oak Room team present singer/songwriter Bobby Belfry and his trio weekly with sets at 7pm and 9pm (no cover with dinner, $15 cover 2 drink minimum.) Chef Hara feels that the opulence and beauty of his dining room demands more than dinner and has always wanted to enhance diners' experiences by giving more; live music feels like a natural extension of what is already offered, and Bobby's style fits perfectly into the room.


A very diverse performer Bobby Belfry has performed at Feinstein's, The Metropolitan Club, and Brandy's, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, The Russian Tea Room, The Rainbow Room, Bitter End, China Club, CBGB's, Smoke, The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Kennedy Center, and The Cinegrill in Hollywood. He is award winning singer/songwriter, whose latest album, entitled ´LIVE: In The Heart Of The Universe¡ has just been released to great response.

"Bobby Belfry is one to savor, embrace and lend the hand of fame to...smooth jazz outlets will have a ball with this shrewd offering" said Chuck Taylor of Billboard Magazine.


Bobby has also appeared on national television on "The Morning Blend", a news/talk show on MSNBC, and is a frequent guest on WOR Radio's The Joey Reynolds Show, whose theme song, penned by Bobby, is played for an audience of 5 million listeners, nightly. He has also received the MAC Award for outstanding Pop/R&B Vocalist and several Critics Choice Vocalist Awards.



Lovers of both food and music now have a wonderful reason to visit the Oak Room, too often one experience is sacrificed for the other, at The Oak Room they live in perfect harmony.

Mame' casting choice succeeds



(SOURCE:ROHAN PRESTON, Star Tribune)

Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Directed by Steven Meerdink for Minneapolis Musical Theatre.

7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sun. Ends June 27.

Illusion Theater, 8th fl., Hennepin Center for the Arts, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.
Tickets: $25-$28. 612-339-4944 or www.aboutmmt.org




Mame is defined onstage by theater and screen icon Angela Lansbury, who played it on Broadway in the 1966 original musical and won one of her raft of Tonys.

Onscreen, Lucille Ball brought a flighty sensibility to Mame in a 1974 film version of the Jerry Herman classic.

With husky voice, fetching figure and very careful steps, Twin Cities actor Kevin Hansen is delivering a Mame that wakes theatrical ghosts. Hansen has gleefully stepped into the pumps of the Bohemian auntie who meets misfortune with grace and indefatigability.

The Minneapolis Musical Theatre's staging that opened over the weekend and stars the handsome Hansen is not the campy production I half-expected it to be. Under the no-fuss direction of Steven Meerdink, Overall, the actor and the large cast play it straight.

If this "Mame" is ultimately cute and charming, it's not because the music, directed by Lori Maxwell, is live (it's not), or because the dance moves are new and dashing (the production draws heavily on Onna White's original choreography) or even because director Meerdink brings out new ideas in this revival.

Like "Hello, Dolly" and "Gypsy," "Mame" has great music, snazzy choreography and a story that affirms some national ethos.
Mame lives in New York, her life an endless party with arty friends such as publisher M. Lindsay Woolsey (Paul R. Coate) and singer-actor Vera Charles (Karen Wiese-Thompson). She does not change her lifestyle when her deceased brother's son, Patrick (Graham Zima as the young Patrick and Max Wojtanowicz as the older version), comes to the big city to live with her.
Through misfortune and fortune, Mame introduces Patrick to all the characters of her world, much to the consternation of Dwight Babcock (Brent Declaw).
Hansen's surrounding cast draws their antic or credible characters vividly. Wiese-Thompson is true to Vera's haughtiness and weariness.
Wojtanowicz's older Patrick embodies earnest pleasantness. And Crystal Manik gives a risible performance as nanny Agnes Gooch.

But it is Hansen, with vocal strength and spot-on comic timing, who carries the simple production on his strong shoulders. Vocally, he is at his best when he's singing with the full ensemble on such numbers as "Open a New Window" and "It's Today," both expressive of Mame's, and the show's, try-again philosophy.

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390

Red, Memphis, La Cage aux Folles, Fences Win 2010 Tony Awards (SOURCE:Kenneth Jones, PLAYBILL.COM)




Red, John Logan's portrait of abstract-expressionist artist Mark Rothko, and Memphis, the story of showbiz aspirations and forbidden love in the Civil Rights era, were named Best Play and Best Musical, respectively, at the 2010 Tony Awards ceremony June 13 at Radio City Music Hall.

In other production categories, the Tony for Best Revival of a Play went to the late August Wilson's drama Fences starring Denzel Washington (who won the Best Actor Tony) and Viola Davis (who was Tony-blessed as Best Actress in a Play), and Best Revival of a Musical went to La Cage aux Folles starring British actor Douglas Hodge (who won the Tony as Best Actor in a Musical) and Kelsey Grammer.

Sean Hayes, a 2010 Best Actor nominee currently starring in Broadway's Promises, Promises, hosted the 64th Annual Tony Awards, which celebrate the best of Broadway's 2009-10 season.

The revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's La Cage aux Folles originated (with Hodge as Albin/Zaza) at the tiny Menier Chocolate Factory in London and has been hailed by critics. Director Terry Johnson (who won the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical) reinvented the title's drag club not as a lavish Vegas-style venue but as a grittier, vest-pocket neighborhood joint. He also set the 1984 musical in the late '70s, before AIDS-era modern gay expression surfaced, making the Jerry Herman anthem "The Best of Times" more poignant than ever. Except for Hodge and one featured dancer (Nicholas Cunningham) from the U.K., the Broadway cast of La Cage is made up of American performers.



American playwright John Logan got the idea for his play Red when he viewed Rothko paintings in London while he was working there on the film of "Sweeney Todd."

Young British actor Eddie Redmayne, who plays Ken — a fictional assistant to artist Mark Rothko in Red — won the Tony as Best Featured Actor in a Play. His character brings out the best and worst in Rothko, illuminating the life of the passionate, troubled artist. Redmayne previously won the Olivier Award for his work after the play's debut at London's Donmar Warehouse.

Michael Grandage, Donmar's artistic director, won in the category of Best Direction of a Play for Red (he was a previous Tony direction nominee for Frost/Nixon). Grandage's entire design team (lights, set and sound) won 2010 Tonys. The play is set in Rothko's grubby-gray industrial art studio, where the color of the world is not only Rothko's scarlet canvases but the two vivid men who dwell there.

Lyricist-librettist Joe DiPietro, who has been writing for the theatre for more than 15 years, won Tony for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score (sharing the latter with composer-lyricist David Bryan, the rocker of the band Bon Jovi). DiPietro may be best known for his international hit musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

Memphis, the tale of a white DJ who promotes and falls for a black singer in the Jim Crow South, has been in development for seven years, and was seen in readings, workshops and an out-of-town tryout co-produced by La Jolla Playhouse and 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle before coming to Broadway.
The Tony win is a sweet victory for lead producers and the show's longtime shepherds Sue Frost and Randy Adams of Junkyard Dog Productions.

The one award for the musical Million Dollar Quartet — about the fateful 1950s recording-studio meeting of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley — went to Best Featured Actor in a Musical Levi Kreis for his fiery turn as Lewis. He and his castmates originated their roles in Chicago for a long run before the work transferred to Broadway.



The one award for the new revival of A Little Night Music went to Catherine Zeta-Jones as Best Actress in a Musical.
The show goes on hiatus June 20 before Bernadette Peters steps into Zeta-Jones' shoes in July (with Elaine Stritch taking the role created by Angela Lansbury).

Bill T. Jones (pictured) won the Tony for Best Choreography for the expressionistic musical Fela!, about the late Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti.

Katie Finneran is on stage in the new revival of Promises, Promises for only about 15 minutes, but critics and audiences went wild for her performance as a tipsy one-song character named Marge MacDougall. Tony voters loved her, too: She won the Tony as Featured Actress in a Musical. It's her second featured-actress Tony after winning in 2002 for a revival of Noises Off

Film star Scarlett Johansson, for her Broadway debut as a niece struggling to grow beyond the grasp of her uncle, in A View From the Bridge, won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play. She thanked her mom for helping her pound the pavement when she was a child actress. Like her co-stars in the Arthur Miller play, glamorous Johannson disappeared behind a Brooklyn accent and embraced the clouds of working-class hardship that shrouded the acclaimed revival.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient playwright Ayckbourn thanked two major New York supporters of his work in recent years — Lynne Meadow, artistic director of Manhattan Theatre Club, and Off-Broadway's 59E59 Theaters and its leaders Peter Tear and Elysabeth Kleinhans. This is the first Tony won by the author of such plays as Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce and The Norman Conquests. He noted that this was a special Tony, and that he hoped to win in a competitive category one day. "If not, and it's my last, what a helluva good way to finish," he said.

When she accepted her Special Tony for Lifetime Achievement, Marian Seldes (pictured) walked to the microphone, put her hand to her cheek and wordlessly made a stunned expression before exiting (slowly, grandly) into the wings.

The final tally of winners follows:
Red - 6
Memphis - 4
Fences - 3
Fela - 3
La Cage aux Folles - 3
American Idiot - 2
A View from the Bridge - 1
Promises, Promises - 1
Million Dollar Quartet - 1
The Royal Family - 1
A Little Night Music - 1

Nominees and recipients of the 64th Annual Tony Awards follow, with recipients marked in bold and with an asterisk.

Best Musical

American Idiot

Fela!
*Memphis

Million Dollar Quartet


Catherine Zeta-Jones and Douglas Hodge
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles
Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises
*Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles
Chad Kimball, Memphis
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical

Kate Baldwin, Finian's Rainbow
Montego Glover, Memphis
Christiane Noll, Ragtime Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture
*Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

Best Revival of a Musical

Finian's Rainbow

*La Cage aux Folles

A Little Night Music

Ragtime

Best Play

In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Author: Sarah Ruhl
Next Fall
Author: Geoffrey Nauffts

*Red
Author: John Logan

Time Stands Still
Author: Donald Margulies

Best Revival of a Play

*Fences

Lend Me a Tenor

The Royal Family

A View From the Bridge

Best Choreography

Rob Ashford, Promises, Promises
*Bill T. Jones, Fela!
Lynne Page, La Cage aux Folles
Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play

Jude Law, Hamlet
Alfred Molina, Red
Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge
Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane
*Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play

*Viola Davis, Fences
Valerie Harper, Looped
Linda Lavin, Collected Stories
Laura Linney, Time Stands Still
Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical

Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family
Robin De Jesús, La Cage aux Folles
Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian's Rainbow
*Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet
Bobby Steggert, Ragtime

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical

Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim
*Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises
Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music
Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away
Lillias White, Fela!

Best Direction of a Musical

Christopher Ashley, Memphis
Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ragtime
*Terry Johnson, La Cage aux Folles
Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Best Direction of a Play

*Michael Grandage, Red((L-R) Director Michael Grandage, actors Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne and playwright John Logan attend the Broadway opening of "RED" after party at Gotham Hall on April 1, 2010 in New York City.
March 31, 2010 - Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images North America)
Sheryl Kaller, Next Fall
Kenny Leon, Fences
Gregory Mosher, A View from the Bridge

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play

David Alan Grier, Race
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Fences
Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts
Stephen Kunken, Enron
*Eddie Redmayne, Red



Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play

Maria Dizzia, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Rosemary Harris, The Royal Family
Jessica Hecht, A View from the Bridge
*Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge
Jan Maxwell, Lend Me a Tenor


Best Sound Design of a Musical

Jonathan Deans, La Cage aux Folles
*Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!
Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music
Dan Moses Schreier, Sondheim on Sondheim

Best Sound Design of a Play

Acme Sound Partners, Fences
Adam Cork, Enron
*Adam Cork, Red
Scott Lehrer, A View from the Bridge

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Marina Draghici, Fela!
*Christine Jones, American Idiot
Derek McLane, Ragtime
Tim Shortall, La Cage aux Folles

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

*Kevin Adams, American Idiot
Donald Holder, Ragtime
Nick Richings, La Cage aux Folles
Robert Wierzel, Fela!

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, Hamlet
*Neil Austin, Red
Mark Henderson, Enron
Brian MacDevitt, Fences

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, The Royal Family
Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter
Santo Loquasto, Fences
*Christopher Oram, Red

Best Costume Design of a Musical
*Marina Draghici, Fela!
Paul Tazewell, Memphis
Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles

Best Costume Design of a Play

Martin Pakledinaz, Lend Me a Tenor
Constanza Romero, Fences
David Zinn, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
*Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family

Best Book of a Musical

Everyday Rapture
Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott

Fela!
Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones

*Memphis
Joe DiPietro (Pictured David Bryan and Joe DiPietro)

Million Dollar Quartet
Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

The Addams Family
Music & Lyrics: Andrew Lippa Enron
Music: Adam Cork
Lyrics: Lucy Prebble

Fences
Music: Branford Marsalis

*Memphis
Music: David Bryan
Lyrics: Joe DiPietro, David Bryan

Best Orchestrations

Jason Carr, La Cage aux Folles
Aaron Johnson, Fela!
Jonathan Tunick, Promises, Promises
*Daryl Waters & David Bryan, Memphis

The 2010 Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre were presented to playwright and director Alan Ayckbourn, and Tony Award-winning actress Marian Seldes.

The recipient of the Isabelle Stevenson Award is Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce. The Isabelle Stevenson Award recognizes an individual from the theatre community "who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations, regardless of whether such organizations relate to the theatre.

This year's Tony Honors are presented to The Alliance of Resident Theatres New York, B.H. Barry and BC/EFA executive director Tom Viola.

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT, is the recipient of the 2010 Tony Award for Regional Theatre.
***

Playbill.com blogged from the Tony ceremony press room throughout the evening. Playbill magazine editor Blake Ross tweeted from her seat in Radio City Music Hall to give theatre fans a view of the ceremony from the audience's perspective, including what's not captured on camera in the auditorium. Join Twitter and follow her at twitter.com/PlaybillBlake. Playbill staffers tweeted on Twitter throughout the evening, too. Join Twitter and follow twitter.com/Playbill. We'll also share Tony news on Facebook. Join Facebook and follow Playbill.







The new musical Fela!, which began life Off-Broadway, and the revival of La Cage aux Folles, earned 11 nominations a piece, the most of any production of the season.
*

The 2010 Tonys are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Paul Libin is chairman, and Charlotte St. Martin is executive director.
At the American Theatre Wing, Theodore S. Chapin is chairman, and Howard Sherman is executive director. For Tony Award Productions, Alan Wasser and Allan Williams of Alan Wasser Associates are the general managers.


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a LIVE show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out June 20th.
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:

The Following is from Rich Siegel's blog:To acknowledge one special professional relationship in particular, I've toured the US with cabaret star Richard Skipper , from Maine to Colorado to South Carolina and various points in between. I suppose I never expected back in my music school days that I would be working for a man who puts on a dress and becomes Carol Channing, but doing so has been an absolute delight!
Celebrities! (This paragraph is not for the squeamish! I am dropping names!) Did I tell you that just before a Richard Skipper show in Mississippi Carol Channing herself called to wish us a good show?!! Part of the fun of working as a free-lance musician has been contact with celebrities, and I'd be lying if I denied it! (SOURCE: http://richsiegel.com/musicmaina.html)

What a fun night last Wednesday at The Iguana - and a great & fabulously talented crowd too! Thank you for creating this wonderful new room, Richard, and for creating this great community of singers in the city! xo, Lori Evanson



It was great to see Richard Skipper perform last night at Tudor City Greens AND The Iguana. He is the perfect host and has proven he is a great host anywhere. We can't wait to see his show in July. I'm getting some others to join us.
Oh...and a friend of ours in California just LOVES him. She sees the reviews and testimonials and thinks he is pretty classy. We hope they will be out here in the fall and she can't wait to meet him. Mary Lahti


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now 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!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!! 212-765-5454.









TOMORROW NIGHT!June 16th: 2010 Frederique Bessone, Nina Grand, Lisa Raze returns and Lorinda Lisitza joins us for the first time!


JUNE 23rd: CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!Daryl Glenn, Sigali Hamberger, Bobbie Horowitz, Dora Rubin, Pam Tate,and Catt John, Julie Reyburn!




June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!, Barbara Gurskey, Evan Lawrence, TRAVIS MOSER RETURNS, Frank Torren!

JULY 7th: JON BURR & LYNN STEIN and JANICE HALL RETURN!


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS

TILL NEXT WEEK...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL JUNE!