Friday, April 29, 2011
CAROL CHANNING DESERVES THIS YEAR'S KENNEDY HONOR!, MORE THOUGHTS ON THE 26th ANNUAL BISTRO AWARDS, and Happy Birthday, Eric Stephen Jacobs!
DESERVES THE KENNEDY CENTER
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD!
The career of Carol Channing is varied and continuing. She performs with the gusto of a young aspiring actress.
Her heart remains on stage even though she has recently focused her efforts on improving arts education in California. Offering scholarships, teaching, lecturing and performing, she hopes to invoke renewed public support for arts education through the Channing/Kullijian Endowment for the Arts.
Carol Elaine Channing is an American singer, actress, and comedienne.
Ms. Channing has been a star of international acclaim since a Time magazine cover story hailed her performance as Lorelei Lee in Gentleman Prefer Blondes writing; "Perhaps once in a decade a nova explodes above the Great White Way with enough brilliance to re-illumine the whole gaudy legend of show business."
Since her 1948 Broadway debut in Blitzstein's No For An Answer, her Broadway appearances include So Proudly We Hail, Let's Face It, Lend An Ear, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Show Girl, Pygmalion, The Millionairess, The Vamp, Four On A Garden, and Wonderful Town. In addition to receiving a special Tony Award in 1968, she won the Tony Award in 1964 for her legendary portrayal of Dolly Levi in Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!
Carol Channing is a dying breed: a legend from the days when people actually succeeded on the basis of talent and hard work—without a rap sheet or a sex tape.
Carol was born Jan 31, 1921 in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of a prominent newspaper editor, who was very active in the Christian Science movement. At just two weeks of age, her father's work took the family to San Francisco, where Carol was raised, schooled and eventually found work as a model. Through determination, hard work, and her family's support (not to mention a mandatory IQ test for which she scored one of the highest recorded results), Carol was able to attend Bennington College in Vermont that had one of the few existing arts programs in the country, majoring in drama and dance.
In 2003, Carol released her best selling memoirs Just Lucky I Guess and married her junior high school sweetheart, businessman Harry Kullijian (after a 70 year separation) and started touring world wide with her one woman show entitled The First Eighty Years are the Hardest, after the very successful preview given to New York audiences that prompted the New York Times to say "Back Where She Belongs: Carol Channing Reminisces . . . The audience jumped to its feet more than once. We were watching a master performer" and Associated Press declared "The audience clearly was there to worship, and Channing did not disappoint." In 2004, Broadway's "first lady of musical comedy," received an honorary doctoral degree becoming Doctor Carol Channing from the California State University bestowed at a CSU, Stanislaus commencement.
Recently, Carol is getting major coverage as the subject of Dori Berenstein’s documentary, CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE. In October, she received yet another distinction when she received her star on The Palm Springs Walk of Fame, a Bistro Award for her continuing contributions to the importance of arts in education, …now where is that Kennedy honor!?!?!
HELP CAROL RECEIVE THIS HONOR
All you have to do is send an E-MAIL to: Michael Kaiser. His Email address is:
In the e-mail you can state why you feel Carol is deserving of the award: Her great body of work spanning over 64 years that has given joy to so many people all over the world; her many other awards (the Golden Globe Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, the Oscar nomination, Emmy nomination, Grammy, and three Tony Awards). And, let's not forget the great humanitarian efforts such as all her work to bring the arts to people everywhere.
(Pictured here with Marla Green and Eric Stephen Jacobs, whose birthday is TODAY!
Happy Birthday, Eric!)
I'm still receiving e-mails and congratulatory comments on Tuesday night's Bistro Awards. My last two blogs covered this. Here are a few more possibly final thoughts on the evening:
"Everything ran smoothly Tuesday night at the 26th annual Bistro Awards and it is always an inspiration to see people pour their heart and soul into their art the way cabaret people do. My personal favorites were Carole Bufford's amazing (so I thought) rendition of "Folsom Prison" -- not your usual cabaret torch song. I love the blues, one doesn't hear much of it (well I haven't) lately and this was really original and really good. Also, yes, the Alex Rybeck piano medley of Dionne Warwick's hits and Tyne Daly. And the whole atmosphere. When cabaret people do pour their hearts out they make ours soar and forget all the things – bit and little – that might have been circling through our minds during the ordinary day by day. We fly into another and lovely world."What good is sitting alone in your room....." etc etc. It was grand."
"The show was one of the best shows I've ever seen at an Awards ceremony.
The house as PACKED, thanks to Richard Skipper. It didn't run forever as it has in the past and every single performer was worth listening too. For me the instrumentals were a highlight. I could spend my day listening to Sean Harkness play his guitar and be happy. AND - AND - Alex Rybeck's arrangements of the songs Dionne Warwick made into recording hits was unbelievable. I've known Alex for years and even worked with him a bit. His playing at the Bistro Awards was mesmerizing. Richard spoke beautifully for Carol and Tyne was warm and fun. It was a wonderful night. Sherry should be smiling"
Happy Birthday, Eric Stephen Jacobs. I owe so much to this man! When I started out in cabaret, believe it or not, Eric was my first make-up artist. I made my cabaret debut as Judy Garland. Eric did my make-up for every show. He also designed my Carol Channing make-up. So, yes, I owe so much to Eric!Thanks, Eric! Love you!!
(Buy THE CABARET ARTIST'S HANDBOOK by Bob Harrington, edited by Sherry Eaker http://www.amazon.com/Cabaret-Artists-Handbook-Creating-Livliest/dp/0823088529Bu)
Tomorrow's blog will be YOU TELL ME...the first three suggestions I receive!
Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/foundation.htm
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED WEEK!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com