Saturday, October 30, 2010

FROM GREENWICH VILLAGE TO GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT! CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE!, ANDREA WOLPER,HELENA GRENOT, ...AND MORE!

"The secret to my career success is that I always represented entertainment without malice."
Carol Channing




















HAPPY HALLOWEEN...A day early! I love Halloween. I always have! I have so many memories of Halloween growing up. As I write these words, the memories are flowing through my mind. Memories of my family being together.
Memories of Grandma Skipper with her big bowl of candy...and acting scared when we came to her door.

Memories of going door to door...and people being welcoming and friendly.
Those are my South Carolina memories. Then there are my NY memories. Memories of dressing up as Carol Channing(pictured '85!) and Judy Garland and going from piano bar to piano bar and singing.
It seemed to "legitimize" what I do. For many years, I ONLY appeared as Carol Channing on Halloween night. I never knew that I would end up making a living at this, much less, that Carol Channing and I would become friends!?!?!
So this year, how am I celebrating Halloween (and Carol)? I have a show tonight in Greenwich Connecticut. From Greenwich Village to a command performance at a party that was formed tonight to showcase me! Pretty heady, huh? So go out this weekend and create your own memories.

Be safe...and who knows what path this weekend will take you down! My blog today is all TREATS...no tricks. My first treat is something you all all have to wait to savor. It is an upcoming documentary on Carol Channing! I'm in it as well. Can't wait to see it!
The following article will give you a little insight. The other treats that follow are treats that you can enjoy a lot sooner. They are shows around town that I highly recommend.
If you are not going to a party tonight, GO SEE A LIVE SHOW!
“Carol Channing: Larger than Life” explores the epitome of letting loose, in an exploration of one of the most vibrant performers under the age of 100 working in the U.S. today!
Dori Berinstein is a busy woman. While working on finishing up her latest documentary, a portrait of Carol Channing titled “Carol Channing: Larger than Life,” Berinstein is working with DreamWorks on projects for the stage and various other theatrical projects. Berinstein made waves in the film world with a few documentaries, her most recent foray into directing was the profile of the New Jersey Nets’ halftime senior citizen dance crew, “Gotta Dance.” From that film to her “Some Assembly Required,” Berinstein has succeeding in bringing playfulness to documentary film.

No other performer is quite as playful and vibrant on the stage and screen as the effervescent comic actress Carol Channing, who still insists on walking to the beat of her own drum at the age of 89. Berinstein has a long history with Channing: “Hello, Dolly!,” featuring Channing, was the first production Berinstein saw on Broadway.
After enough time in the theater business, Berinstein became friends with Channing. After hearing a few of Channing’s quite unbelievable stories about her career and social life, Berinstein was convinced she needed to make a film about Channing. Though Channing has been approached before about being the subject of a documentary, Berinstein is sure her friendship with the actress is what made her cave in this time.

One thing Berinstein never expected to find at the heart of the Carol Channing life story was a love story that spanned nearly eighty years. Central to the film is the story of Channing’s relationship with her current husband. “It starts with the story of a twelve year old girl who’s madly in love with a boy.
He has a band, and she sings in it, but then his family moves away…and they don’t see each other for seventy years.” After Channing ended her third marriage and was left with nothing after the divorce, she wrote a book about her life, the second chapter of which was “My First Love.”
After hearing he was the significant character in the star’s autobiography, Harry Kullijian got in contact with Channing and within two weeks, they were engaged.


Berinstein’s profile is more than a love story, though; it’s also about Channing’s strength of character. During the AIDS crisis, Channing was at the bedside of many of her theater friends who were lost to the epidemic. To this day, she continues to be a tireless proponent for arts education in the nation’s schools.
Preparing to send the film on its festival run now, Berinstein just reached a deal with the Al Hirschfeld estate to use his drawings to animate parts of Channing’s life. The film is entering the final stages of its edit, and will hopefully premiere at festivals next year.

Monday, Nov. 1
7 - 9 pm
The Fabulous 55 BAR
55 Christopher St. east of 7th Ave. So., NYC
1 train to Christopher St., trains to W. 4th, PATH to W. 9th or Christopher
No cover charge
Andrea Wolper Trio with Michael Howell & Ken Filiano.... and special guest, saxopholosopher (Andrea's word for him) Dennis Mitcheltree, who left NY for CA a few years ago (for which she hasn't yet forgiven him). Good news is he'll be back for a few days, saxophone in tow. Dennis is going to add somethin' singular and special to to mix, so please join them.

Back by Popular Demand
(and because she doesn't know what else to do with her time!)

Helena Grenot in Damn'd if I Know...

Saturday November 6 at 8:30 PM


Don't Tell Mama
343 West 46th Street
212 757 0788 www.donttellmamanyc.com

Musical Director, Barry Levitt
Directed by Peter Napolitano

$15 cover ( $10 MAC, AEA) 2 Drink Min. CASH ONLY!!!

Featuring songs by Bock & Harnick, Laura Nyro, Melissa Manchester, Stephen Schwartz and many more, including original tunes by Meg Flather and Levitt/Napolitano!


Deb Berman has a show coming up this Tuesday night at 7 pm at The Metropolitan Room.

In honor of Election Day, TAKE 5 minutes to vote, then TAKE an additional $5.00 off the $15.00 cover making it a $10.00 cover charge / $5.00 cover charge for MAC members

Hope to see you there where you can actually hear our version of the legendary TAKE 5
by Dave Brubeck!

Join Bistro Award winner, Deb Berman,
accompanied by Windham Hill Recording Artist, Guitarist, Sean Harkness,
at the Metropolitan Room as they merrily romp through songs about life, love
and the pursuit of time-well-spent
set to music by John Mayer, George & Ira,
The Beatles, Laura Nyro and special material written by
Peter Napolitano & Barry Levitt
ALL IN GOOD TIME
Directed By Susan Winter

Monday, October 25 @ 7 pm
Tuesday, November 2 @ 7 pm

Metropolitan Room
34 West 22 Street
Reservations Suggested 212 206 0440

$15 Cover + 2 drink mimimum
(MAC discount applies)




“That Theatre Show” Talk Show to Launch November 15, 2010.

Hammerstein and Dawes Perform in Debut Show for Charity.”




Broadway lovers are invited to join Oscar Andrew Hammerstein III (“The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family”) and Bill Dawes (“Lombardi”) to be among the first guests to appear on a new Broadway-themed talk show launching November 15, 2010 at Manhattan’s Iguana New York at 8:00 p.m. Also there will be special performances from Broadway’s Russell Fisher (Jersey Boys), Kelly Grant (Company) and Correy West (South Pacific). Musicians will include Gene Blank on guitar, Brad Gardner on piano and Michael Pagnotta on alto saxophone.


The new talk show, entitled That Theatre Show, seeks to chronicle the thoughts and stories of various actors, directors, composers and others that make New York’s theater community world-renowned. The show will contain both be interviews and performances. The show is being produced by Neal Benington (owner of NealBTv) and Sahar Helmy (pictured).

In an effort to give back to the community, the event will also contribute partial proceeds from the maiden episode to the Food Bank For New York City (http://www.foodbanknyc.org). The Food Bank For NYC addresses the growing needs of people seeking emergency food assistance in New York City. Over the years, the Food Bank has experienced dramatic growth in the areas of food distribution, operations, programs and research to better serve the network of community food programs — and ultimately the people in New York City who rely on the food they provide. There will also be Broadway-themed raffle items to benefit the Food Bank, including a one-hour vocal coaching session with Broadway vocal coach Michael Lavine, Broadway posters and playbills. Bennington states that "The purpose of this new endeavor is to bring awareness, through different charitable organizations, to show that theater is unlike any other experience."

Oscar Andrew Hammerstein, the grandson of the late lyricist-librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, will discuss his new book “The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family”. This is the only biography of the musical theatre legends written by a family member. Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein (Oscar II’s grandson), gives readers unprecedented access to family archives of art, photographs, theatre blueprints, letters, programs, patents, and more, and makes this a profoundly rich celebration of musical theatre in America. He presents a multi-layered portrait of the Hammerstein legacy. He is a painter, writer, lecturer, and family historian. He has devoted much of his life to studying and preserving his family’s heritage and their contribution to American culture. He lectures frequently at universities, institutes, and theatrical and civic organizations on the Hammerstein family’s pivotal role in shaping the development of musical theatre and popular entertainment in this country from the 1860s to the present. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, teaching graduate level New York City theatre history.
Bill Dawes (pictured) can currently be seen on Broadway “Paul Hornung “ in Lombardi. As a stage actor, Bill’s first role was on Broadway with Sigourney Weaver and Christopher Durang in the play Sex and Longing, which was followed by Gross Indecency in which he originated the role of "Lord Alfred Douglas". He is an actor/comic/writer. As an actor, he has appeared in several award-winning independent films, including Adam, Evenhand and Fiona and an acting/writing role in the DVD cult hit I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. On TV, Bill has been on several hit shows, including Sex and the City, OZ, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Damages, All My Children and One Life to Live. As a comic, Bill has performed all over the U.S. and the wordl including crowds of over 8,000 international troops at bases in Baghdad. Bill has been published in several magazines and an hour comedy special he wrote with Jamie Kennedy, Uncomfortable, will be seen on Showtime this fall. Bill performs every Friday & Saturday 10pm shows at Times Square Comedy Club. www.laughfactory.com/blog/billdawes

Russell Fischer is currently making his Broadway debut as “Joey” and an understudy for the role of Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. Other credits include the ’98-’99 National Tour of Big – The Musical (Billy Kopecki), Chautauqua Opera’s The Music Man (Tommy Djilas), Paper Mill Playhouse’s Children of Eden (Young Abel u/s) and The Sound of Music (Kurt) starring Debby Boone.

Kelly Grant (pictured) recently finished playing lead role of Christine Daaé at select performances in the Broadway National Touring Company of Hal Prince’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Broadway audiences will remember Kelly in the 2007 Tony-award winning revival of Company, starring Raúl Esparza and directed by John Doyle, where she played the role of “Kathy”.
Kelly has also been seen in numerous musicals nationally including Showboat, directed by Harold Prince; The Secret Garden, South Pacific, and My Fair Lady.

Correy West has been seen Broadway in the Tony-winning musical South Pacific (Lincoln Center Revival); as well as Off-Broadway in Shades of Harlem. Correy’s credits also include 42nd Street (Tour), The Radio City Christmas Spectacular; NY: Lunch (NYMF),An Evening with Jason Robert Brown (Cooper Union); Regional: The Producers(Westchester Broadway Theatre), Paint Your Wagon (Pioneer Theatre Company), Dreamgirls (Prince Music Theater/North Carolina Theatre), Miss Saigon (Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center), The Wizard of Oz (North Carolina Theatre).

Tickets for That Theatre Show’s November 15th performance can be purchased by calling (212) 765 5454. The Iguana New York is located at 240 West 54th Street, New York, New York.

Visit http://www.thattheatreshow.com



Hi---just a reminder to all who are planning to go to Janice Hall's show to call the Met Room and reserve, especially if you are attending one of the first three shows. The first one is next Wednesday--
If you reserve in advance, you help the club, and you help Janice, so if you know for sure you're coming, call 212-206-0440.



SUZANNE CARRICO'S "THIS IS WHAT CHRISTMAS-TIME MEANS TO ME"
---------------
Suzanne Carrico, winner of the 2008 MAC Award for Best Female Debut for THE
ART OF THE CAHN, Music from the Sammy Cahn Songbook, has taken off part of
this past year to record WHAT CHRISTMAS TIME MEANS TO ME, her first holiday
CD. She will be joined by The Don Rebic Quartet, Dan Gross on percussion,
Jim DiMatteo on bass & Windham Hill recording artist, Sean Harkness on
guitar. On the CD will be tunes ranging from the popular ("Silver Bells,"
"I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" by Irving Berlin & "Baby It's Cold
Outside/Let It Snow" by the wonderful Frank Loesser,Jule Styne & Sammy Cahn
sung with Booth Daniels) to the spiritual ("What Child is This," "Little
Drummer Boy," "Do You Hear What I Hear" & "Gesu Bambino") to an original
tune by Musical Director Don Rebic, "Merry Christmas to Us All." The CD is
available for pre-order at http://www.shop.suzannecarrico.com/ and will be
available for purchase on iTunes,Amazon and at retailers across the country
after November 23rd. Ms. Carrico will open a brand new show directed by &
featuring Booth Daniels on December 2nd at THE METROPOLITAN ROOM with a full
band & a champagne reception to celebrate the CD release, 5 additional
December dates are scheduled at THE METROPOLITAN ROOM, as well as at
DAVENPORT'S in Chicago with additional cities & dates (along with a few
guest artists!) to be announced soon.



Manhattan cabaret singer Karen
Oberlin to open Ritz Supper Club
season TONIGHT!

(SOURCE: Phyllis A.S. Boros, ctpost.com)
It was not until Karen Oberlin "stepped away from singing" a few years ago that she
realized that she had no desire to live without it.
"It's what makes me happy," said the award-winning Manhattan cabaret singer.
Oberlin intends to share that joy on Saturday, Oct. 30, while kicking off the inaugural
season of the Ritz Supper Club at Cinzano's in Fairfield.
Doors will open at 6:30
p.m., a buffet dinner begins at 7, followed by the show at 9.
Considered by many critics as one of the leading interpreters of the Great American
Songbook (which includes jazz standards from Broadway, musical theater and
Hollywood during the 20th century), Oberlin headlined for three weeks in June at the
storied Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.
Manhattan cabaret singer Karen Oberlin, seen here at NYC’s Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel,
opens the Ritz Supper Club 2010-11 Season on Oct.30 in Fairfield, CT. From that engagement has come "Karen Oberlin -- Live at
the Algonquin/ The Songs of Frank Loesser," which is
currently in production and may indeed be available for her
Fairfield visit, she said.
For Saturday's performance, the 40-something performer
has put together an "eclectic mix" of songs that will be
"instantly recognizable" to American Songbook fans,
including "Heart and Soul," "Baby, It's Cold Outside,"
"Shadow of Your Smile," "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," "Spring
Will be a Little Late This Year" and "Secret Love."
Accompanying her will be noted jazz pianist Jon Weber, a
Chicago musician-composer who now lives in New York
Critic Stephen Holden of The New York Times has described
Oberlin's style as "impeccable," oozing "musical intelligence .
. . purity, naturalness and polished phrasing, with added
colors and a jazzy spontaneity."
Oberlin -- who was featured in more than 100 off-Broadway performances of the hit
show, "Our Sinatra" -- now appears regularly at such major New York venues as Jazz at
Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Iridium Jazz Club, Feinstein's, Merkin Hall and the
Metropolitan Room. Among her many honors is a nomination as the 2010 Outstanding
Vocalist of the Year by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs, the 2009 MAC
Award as Outstanding Vocal Duo of the Year, and the 2002 Bistro Award as Vocalist of
the Year.
The granddaughter of vaudevillians and the youngest daughter of two classical
musicians, Oberlin said that music has been a part of her very soul since childhood
growing up in Central New York state.
"I grew up in a von Trapp-ist type of family," said the
singer, laughing, referring to the famous Austrian
family of singers.
It was a family that would go around "singing `Dona
Nobis Pacem' "—a "Grant Us Peace" hymn in Latin --
"in four-part harmony."
"And I thought it was normal," she added, laughing.
As a child, she studied piano, flute and cello and sang
frequently in community productions, performing in
her first opera at age 6. As a teenager,
leading New Wave and rock bands became her passion. After receiving a bachelor of arts
in English literature from Hunter College at City University of New York, Oberlin
completed a two-year professional actors workshop at Circle in the Square.
Karen Oberlin will be
featured at the new
Ritz Supper Club season
Oct. 30, in Fairfield, CT.


Professional non-musical theater and film called to her for a time; she has performed in
a range of roles -- from Shakespeare to nationally televised commercials, and as a nurse
in a recurring role on the daytime drama "All My Children."

"For a time, I (feared that) singing was not special enough. So I stepped away for a
while," said Oberlin, who is married to writer David Hajdu. (The couple have a 7-yearold
son.)
"That time away helped me to value singing all the more, helped me to realize how much
I love telling a story for the audience -- which is very challenging and very rewarding.
"I feel very privileged to be singing these masters . . . they're the best of the best."
INAUGURAL SERIES LINE-UP
This past April, Ritz Supper Club producer Jeffrey C. Williams -- the host of the weekly
"At The Ritz!" radio show on Fairfield University's WVOF 88.5 FM -- debuted his
long-awaited Ritz Supper Club at Cinzano's with jazz vocalist Tony DeSare. (Williams
and DeSare will host a Ritz Supper Club at Sea five-night Canadian cruise aboard
Manhattan singer Karen Oberlin, who recently performed at the Oak Room at the
Algonquin Hotel in New York, will kick-off the Ritz Supper Club season in Fairfield, CT
on Oct. 30.

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 July 1-6; details are available on Williams' website.) That
event quickly sold out, convincing Williams that the region is eager to support a series of
intimate musical evenings in a cabaret format.
On the inaugural season are: Comic vocalist Christine Pedi performing a holiday show
that pays tribute to such female superstar singers as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand,
Julie Andrews and Ethel Merman on Dec. 18 in "A Remarkable Roster of Great
Dames"; the husband-and-wife team of Barbara Fasano and Eric Comstock in a
Valentine's Day holiday show, "This Thing Called Love!" on Feb. 19; and Will &
Anthony Nunziata, identical twins, performing "Two for the Show" from the Great
American Songbook on April 16.
Williams said the series is part of his continuing efforts to celebrate jazz and cabaret in
Fairfield County, noting that his supper club is named in honor of the Ritz Ballroom, a
former landmark in Bridgeport's Black Rock section that hosted some of the country's
most popular bands and vocalists from the Roaring Twenties through New Year's
Eve 1961.
"The goal of our project," said Williams, "is to provide the needed escape entertainment
we all seek during good and bad times. . . . As long as people come and support our
efforts, I plan for the Ritz Supper Club to be around for a long time to come."


Williams also attempts to celebrate Bridgeport's history through his occasional series of
“Bridgeport By The Sea Calendars,” which feature colorful nostalgic and historic
postcard images from the early 20th century. The 2011 theme is "Frolic & Fun in the
Park City." Calendars, which are $12 each, are available at the following locations:
Bridgeport -- Barnum Museum, Antoniak's Greeting Cards, White's Diner, Lupe's
Drug Store and Hillview Superette; Stratford -- Clough's Hardware and Oronoque
Pharmacy; Fairfield -- Fairfield Stationers and Billy's Bakery; Trumbull -- Frances
Bakery; Monroe -- Jennie's Pizza; Shelton -- Sassafras Restaurant, Written Words
Bookshop and Center Services; Milford -- Graphic Image Printers.
Calendars may also be ordered by calling toll-free 1-800-529-8497.
WHEN YOU GO
Cinzano's is at 1920 Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield. Doors will open at
6:30 p.m., a buffet dinner begins at 7, followed by the show at 9. Admission
is $70 per person, which includes dinner. (Tax, gratuity and cocktails are
additional.) For reservations, which are required, call 1-800-529-8497.
For details on the Ritz's buffet menu and to hear song samples from the
season's featured artists, visit www.ritzsupperclub.com.

Have something to promote? Please send a press release to Richard@RichardSkipper.com and I will include it in my next blog (November 5th)!


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

What a fun and fabulous night of great entertainment at the Iguana! Richard, you are the King of herding a huge group of crazy singers into a wonderful show. I loved the eclectic mix or performers, the friendly vibe, and the fact I could actually hear myself when singing on stage! Oy! What a relief.
There was never a dull moment, never a lull in the energy, and that's hard to accomplish in this kind of show. Now I understand why Wednesday Night at the Iguana is an award-winning production.
Thank you for including me, and I will definitely be taking that 2-hour train ride from Kingston to the city to be at the Iguana again.
Nancy Tierney, http://nancytierney.com

Richard, Thank you so much for making Wednesday Night at The Iguana such a memorable occasion. I was honored to be on the program with so many other wonderful, talented singers. What a bore Wednesday nights will be without the joy of you and the diverse group of artists you managed to bring each week to the Iguana. Wish it could have gone on, and on, and on and on.
Alicia Terry Littman, NYC

As always, a top-notch performance at St. Luke's (7/27/10 AND 10/11/10). Dancers Over 40 is honored to have Richard Skipper as one of its friends. I'd say Richard is a consummate performer, but some may confuse him with the soup..., so I'll just say, PLEASE continue to channel Ms. Channing, and continue to work with DO40 on our projects! All of Dancers Over 40 LOVES Richard Skipper! And we look forward to working with him on our DO40 Legacy Awards (which he will be hosting...for the second year in a row!) on December 12th at SWING 46 in NYC, honoring DO40 members Harvey Evans, Fred Curt, Richard Korthaze, Ken Urmston and Stuart Hodes. Sincerely, John Sefakis, President, Dancers Over40


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

www.RichardSkipper.com

Follow me on Twitter www.Twitter.com/RichardSkipper


Google me!

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



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

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

JIMMY JAMES, FLORIDA'S BAN ON GAY ADOPTIONS LIFTED, CAROL CHANNING..AND MORE!

Happy October 27th! It has been exactly one month since my last blog. A LOT has happened since then! I went to Palm Springs for Carol Channing's induction into the Palm Springs Walk of Fame. I stayed at their home! I left Wednesday Night At The Iguana! Which is KILLING ME...but had to be done! I dealt with our sick dog, Horace! We almost lost him! But he's great now!
And like Dolly Levi, I feel like I'm just now rejoining the human race! I cannot believe it has been one month since my last blog! Where did the time go !?!?! This is the 300th day of the year! There are 65 days remaining until the end of the year. It blows my mind to think that in two months, we will have celebrated the holidays again and approaching a new year.



As I do each morning, I get up, start my coffee, and sit down to read my e-mails. I get google alerts on various topics: Carol Channing, Jerry Herman, HELLO, DOLLY!, Liza Minnelli, Provincetown, and ME!
This keeps me in the loop when anything is in the news about any of these subjects. Because of a google alert about Provincetown, my first e-mail this morning was about Jimmie James (pictured here). It made me think about the first time I saw him perform. It was on my first vacation to Provincetown in August 1989. I arrived in Provincetown in the middle of Carnival to spend a few days with someone I was seeing at the time. Getting off the bus on Commercial Street, passing Cafe Blase on my way to The Crown and Anchor (where we were staying) as the sun was setting, made me instantly fall in love with P-town. There was an excitement in the air that is not there anymore. Don't get me wrong, I STILL love Provincetown. But somehow something is missing. I really felt that tug when I was there last month after 8 years. Getting back to that first trip, I went to see a different show each night. They ALL were great.
But the one that stands out was Jimmy James as Marilyn Monroe. To this day, it is the gold standard with which I aspire to. Two things happened as I watched Jimmy: I knew that I wanted to do what he was doing AND I wanted to perform my show in Provincetown! That relationship that I was in in 89 did not work out (he has since passed on). A year later, I met Danny (we have been together going on 21 years!). We met in 90, in '91 we went on vacation in Provincetown. Getting up at an open mic, I met Steve Heath. We began a collaboration (with me as Judy Garland!). I performed for several years in Provincetown at The Ocean's Inn (which is no longer there). The owner, Mark Cross, recently passed away. I ended up going to Provincetown several years later (this time as Carol Channing)as a headliner for CabaretFest. As a result of that show, I got a run at The Crown and Anchor! Be careful what you wish for!
That was 8 years ago. I was back last month, this time at The Madera Room/Vixen at The Pilgrim House.
As I wrote in a previous blog, it was different. I guess you can't go home again. But that memory of Jimmy James will always stay with me and I dedicate this blog to him. If he is performing anywhere, GO SEE HIM! Check out his website at: http://www.jimmyjames.com.

LOVE YOU, JIMMY!

GOOD NEWS! Florida's ban on adoption by gays comes to end
The only law in the United States prohibiting gays from adopting effectively came to an end Friday with Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announcing his decision not to go to court to maintain the state’s 33-year-old ban. The issue played out in Florida courts in the name of Frank Martin Gill, a North Miami man seeking to adopt two brothers, now 6 and 10, that Gill and his partner had been raising for nearly six years as foster children. Florida had allowed gays to serve as foster parents but not to take the ultimate step of adoption.
"I know that gays and lesbians can be good parents," Gill, 49, said Friday afternoon. "I really was just doing what was best for my kids ... but as of today, there is no state that has a categorical ban on gays adopting. Florida was the only blanket ban and now it’s gone. I’m hoping there’s no going back. Earlier this month, the Florida Department of Children & Families opted not to ask the state Supreme Court to rule on a loweourt decision allowing Gill to adopt the boys who came to him when they were 4 months old and 4 years old A Miami appellate court had ruled the law unconstitutional, relying on experts who said "gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents," Judge Gerald Cope wrote for the three-judge appellate panel in a 28-page decision. The Florida law, which branded gays as unfit parents, was based on "junk science" that is being disproved nationwide, said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which fought the ban over 18 years and five lawsuits. "The finality that we have today is an important part of bringing down this edifice of inequality," Simon said. Leslie Cooper, an ACLU attorney who argued the case on Gill’s behalf before the appellate court, said: "This victory means that the thousands of children in Florida who are waiting to be adopted will no longer be needlessly deprived of willing and able parents who can give them love and support of a family."

(Carol Channing speak to CSU costume designers)
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CAROL CHANNING

While individuals half her age are barely surviving the rigors of 9 to 5, musical comedy legend and icon, Ms. Carol Channing (along with husband, Harry Kullijian) starts her day on Oct 23rd with a 6:00am flight from Palm Springs , CA, to appear at a Barnes & Noble to speak and sign copies of her new CD entitled “For Heaven Sake” in Fort Collins, CO, followed by department tours and a sold out master class before the students and facility of Colorado State University (CSU) and wrapping her evening by hosting an exhibit unveiling dedicated to the fashions and life of her dear friend, the late Mr. Blackwell. Denver Post Theatre Critic, John Moore caught up with Ms. Channing backstage for his podcast (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlzzpJHOHzA) and All About Fashion highlights Carol Channing taking Center Stage (http://ispey.com/fashion/2010/10/25/carol-channing-takes-center-stage-at-colorado-state-university).

While touring the facility she remarked, “The students here are so wonderful. They ask such interesting questions and seem so eager to learn. They are alive with a desire to absorb information,” and added, with regard to her dear friend, Mr. Blackwell, “it was an exciting and career confirming honor to be put on Mr. Blackwell's list in 1964. You knew you hadn't truly made it when you appear on “The List.” David Merrick would say sales were climbing anyway, but I think that Blackwell's remarks caused the public to buy DOLLY tickets to see the fashion fiasco he was talking about.”
(Walt Jones conducts interview)
Ms Channing's number one goal is to get the arts securely put back in the public school system. “The arts teach kids confidence, teamwork and communication skills, and you just know that the student who communicates best and relates well with others, will wind up getting those jobs in the fields of math and science.” When asked about politicians who want to eliminate Arts programs in schools, she remarks “It will be like the fall of the Roman Empire all over again. History will repeat itself.” adding, “President Obama said 'The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.”
(Carol Channing addresses the audience)
First Lady Michelle Obama adds "Learning through the arts reinforces critical academic skills in reading, language arts and math and provides students with the skills to creatively solve problems." And even US Education Secretary, Arnie Duncan, adds "It's important to me that we give our students a reason to be excited to come to school everyday. The only way that happens is if children have the exposure to a broad range of activities, and music is a huge, huge piece of that. What worries me the most is that children who often need the most access often have the least."

For more information on how to help, visit ChanningArts.org
--

Photo Credits: CSU Photography Services
(SOURCE: HARLAN BOLL)

On November 29th, Broadway Speaks OUT! will host it's 2nd Annual A Very MARY Holiday event in New York City at Dixon Place (www.dixonplace.org).

This event will benefit the Ali Forney Center (www.aliforneycenter.org) and we will be honoring Actress Judith Light.

To put on a gala of this magnitude, they are asking for additional "Producers" to help sponsor the event. All money raised will go into venue costs ($1000) and production costs (Ranging between 3k and 4k). The names of each person who donates will be placed in their programs and be verbally named in their sponsor section of their show, if you so choose.


Proceeds will NOT be used for anything other than the cost of the venue, and production costs which include purchasing of the actual award for Mrs. Light, a small elevated stage, step-and-repeat, and any additional technical aspects required to put on the gala this year.

Here are a list of A Very MARY Holiday's speakers and performers:
Anthony Rapp, Rent
Sandra Bernhard
Jack Mackenroth, Project Runway (pictured)

Kate Shindle, Legally Blonde
Matt Doyle, Spring Awakening; Bye Bye Birdie
John Arthur Greene, West Side Story
Matt Shingledecker, West Side Story
Tracy McDowell, Rent
Annie Golden, The Full Monty; Xanadu
Michelle Dowdy, Hairspray
Krystina Alabado, Spring Awakening
Malan Breton, Project Runway
Billy Bell and Ariana Debose, FOX's So You Think You Can Dance
Scott Alan, Composer
Scott Nevins
The New York Voices
Kate Pazakis
Megan Reinking
Alex Ellis
Taylor Mac
Marcus Simione

With special messages from Broadway divas, Alice Ripley (Next To Normal) and Orfeh (Legally Blonde)


Project location: New York, NY

AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THIS WEEK: Review: The songs of Marlene Dietrich in Montgomery


By MARCUS KALIPOLITES
For the Times Herald-Record


MONTGOMERY — Marlene Dietrich, one of the most enduring and endearing screen and stage performers of the 20th century, was paid homage by opera singer Janice Hall in a special addition to the Grand Montgomery Chamber Music and Theatre Series on Sunday afternoon.

In the cabaret format that the icon herself used late in her career, Hall presented some of Dietrich's most memorable favorites, including "Falling in Love Again." But while this signature song brought the entertaining program to a warm close, Hall also included the breakthrough song that brought international fame and stardom to Dietrich. It was in 1928 at the age of 26 that Dietrich used "You're the Cream in My Coffee" to audition for, and win, a career-changing role in the German movie "The Blue Angel."

Beckoned to Hollywood, she went on to make screen history, followed by a stage career of cabaret shows from the 1950s to the '70s. She died a recluse in Paris in 1992.

Now, since there could only be one sultry and sexy Marlene Dietrich, Hall made no attempt to imitate her style in either body-clinging garments, seductive looks or German accent. And even as she recalled episodes of the star's life, she chose to relate them all in the third person.

Character acting aside, Hall brought to her performance the professional voice of an opera star born out of leading roles here and in Germany. Though Hall is listed as a soprano, many of her songs were actually delivered in Dietrich's own contralto range.

Especially intimate in delivery was "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," the musing ballad accompanied only by the pizzicato strokes of Ritt Henn on the acoustic bass. As in a duet of voices, Hall and Henn counterpointed their respective lines with feeling, and with a touch of longing to close out the warm song, the voice alone faded to nothing.

Equally moving was "Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?," a wartime song that Hall sang both in German and in English. Adding drama to the performance was the punctuated piano playing of Paul Trueblood. Here, as in the entire concert, accompanists Trueblood and Henn were mood-perfect.

In a wholly different style, "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" began with a pizzicato bass background in slow tempo as Hall softly emoted, before the whole mood changed to double time, jazzy figures on the piano and a burst of enthusiasm by the vocalist.

Following their well-attended premiere performance at the Montgomery Senior Center, Hall, Trueblood and Henn continue their tribute in cabaret with several performances next month at Manhattan's Metropolitan Room.

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

It was great to see you again - this time in Provincetown. What a wonderful show!!
Sam Sagenkahn, New York, NY

Enjoyed Richard Skipper's performances in Malibu;
both as himself and as Carol Channing !!!
(the Most Amazingly Accurate Characterization in the world !!!)
keep on keepin' on ...David Dean, Phoenix, AZ

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

Fran Giannini Leonardis, Ringwood, NJ


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

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

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com