Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Say "YES"!

(me with Patty Gay at the premier of CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE at The Tribeca Film Festival April 23rd, 2011)
"If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin."
Ivan Turgenev, author (1818-1883)

Happy Tuesday!
What a great quote!I have reached a point in my life where I say YES more than NO. That is, if it doesn't take me off of my career path. And even then, I try to say yes. I love it when someone says "We really need to get together!" then I say "Pick a date and a time" and then they say, "Let me get back to you". I am a very decisive person and I accomplish things. My request for all who read this today is to say YES to opportunities that come your way. You will be amazed at how much better your lives will be and how much more enriched your lives will be. Please send me your YES stories and I will publish them.
Today, I want to write about a few people who are saying YES!

Leslie Kritzer! Happy Birthday!!I first saw Leslie Kritzer in 2001 (Wow! Has it really been 10 years!?!?!) at The Papermill Playhouse in FUNNY GIRL! I was blown away. I knew instantly that Leslie was destined for STARDOM!
"HELLO, gorgeous!'' Borrowing a line from Fanny Brice, Leslie Kritzer greeted her reflection in her dressing room mirror with moxie that was as much a part of the actress as her role.
I next saw Leslie in A Catered Affair on Broadway in 2007. Leslie, I want you to know, Leslie, I am a fan!
Leslie starred in ''one of the best roles ever written for a woman in musical theater,'' she said,(at the time of FUNNY GIRL) though just three months prior, she was filling out time cards as a temp. At that time, aside from a production in the off-Broadway run of ''Godspell'' and a couple of musicals in college, Ms. Kritzer's resume was on the short side.
On stage, however, there is little evidence of inexperience in the young dynamo with Judy Garland's chops and Liza Minnelli's looks, right down to the dazzling, slightly off-center smile. Ms. Kritzer has an electric stage presence and is deliciously goofy, eliciting perfectly timed laughter with a pliable face that rivals Jim Carrey's. And her impressive vocal range, from a smooth low alto past high soprano, is rare at any age.
Watching her deftly handle the rigorous 13 songs, the dance numbers, the comedy and the dramatic character evolution that make up the two-plus-hour show, it's hard to believe that she hasn't been performing this role for decades, she so embodies it. What makes it all the more impressive is that few actors, or theater companies outside of summer stock, dare to attempt Jule Styne's and Bob Merrill's grand spectacle that propelled Barbra Streisand's career nearly 40 years ago. (Source: NY TIMES INTERVIEW: Actress Takes a Step Into Fanny Brice's Shoes By JILLIAN HORNBECK AMBROZ
Published: April 22, 2001) Happy Birthday, Leslie!

Yesterday, it was announced that ENCORES will be doing GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES next season!
New York City Center's 19th Encores! season will open in City Center's newly restored and renovated theater on February 8, 2012 with Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily We Roll Along is a musical with a book by George Furth and lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim. It is based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.(Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim, Merrily We Roll Along, 1982)
Merrily We Roll Along is a musical about friendship and the compromise of youthful ideals, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Merrily We Roll Along begins in 1980 and moves backward in time, from 1980 - 1955, telling the story of three friends whose friendship is tested by time, events, ambition and fate. It charts the rise of a songwriting team during the years of Sondheim's own early career, and includes some of his most brilliant and bruising songs, including "Not a Day Goes By," "Old Friends," "Our Time" and "Opening Doors." Although unsuccessful in its original 1981 Broadway production (which ran 16 performances at the Alvin Theatre), Merrily has gained stature and reputation over the ensuing years, beginning with a reconfigured version at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in 1985, directed by frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine. Mr. Lapine will return to the project as director of the Encores! production. Merrily We Roll Along will run February 8 - 12, 2012.

Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/article/Encores-2012-to-Feature-MERRILY-WE-ROLL-ALONG-PIPE-DREAM-GENTLEMEN-PREFER-BLONDES-20110523#ixzz1NHU5VYYh

Encores Season will continue with Rodgers and Hammerstein's rarely seen Pipe Dream on March 28¸ Outcasts yearning for a better life populate the bordellos and flophouses of a 1950s California seaside town in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream, based on John Steinbeck's novel Sweet Thursday. Pipe Dream opened at the Shubert Theatre on November 30, 1955 and ran for 246 performances. It was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Pipe Dream has not been seen on the American stage in more than two decades, owing to a technicality involving the underlying rights. This Rodgers and Hammerstein rarity includes "All at Once You Love Her," "The Next Time It Happens" and the wistful ballad "Everybody's Got a Home but Me." Pipe Dream will run March 28 - April 1, 2012.


Followed by Jule Styne and Leo Robin's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on May 9. Leo Robin (April 6, 1900 – December 29, 1984) was an American composer, lyricist and songwriter. He is probably best known for collaborating with Ralph Rainger on the 1938 Oscar-winning song "Thanks for the Memory," sung by Bob Hope in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938.Robin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and studied at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Carnegie Tech's drama school. He later worked as a reporter and as a publicist.

Robin's first hits came in 1926 with the Broadway production By the Way, with hits in several other musicals immediately following, such as Bubbling Over (1926), Hit the Deck, Judy (1927), and Hello Yourself (1928). In 1932, Robin went out to Hollywood to work for Paramount Pictures. His principal collaborator was composer Ralph Rainger, together they became one of the leading film songwriting duos of the 1930s and early 1940s, writing over 50 hits. Robin & Rainger worked together until Rainger's untimely death in a plane crash on 23 October 1942. Robin continued to collaborate with many other composers over the years, including Vincent Youmans, Sam Coslow, Richard A. Whiting, and Nacio Herb Brown. Leo Robin collaborated with Rainger on the 1938 Oscar-winning song "Thanks for the Memory," sung by Bob Hope in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938, which was to become Hope's signature tune.

For the first time, each musical will play for seven performances.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, adapted from the novel by Anita Loos, has a book by Anita Loos and Joseph Fields, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Leo Robin. Set in the Roaring Twenties, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes follows the madcap adventures of the original "dumb blonde," Lorelei Lee, as she sets sail for Europe with her best friend Dorothy Shaw. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes made a star of Carol Channing on Broadway and later cemented Marilyn Monroe's status as an American film icon and sex symbol in the 1953 screen version. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is the crown jewel in a score that sparkles with songs like "Bye, Bye, Baby," "A Little Girl from Little Rock" and "I Love What I'm Doing (When I'm Doing it for Love)." The original production, directed by John C. Wilson and choreographed by Agnes de Mille, opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 8, 1949, and played a total of 740 performances. The show was revived by Tony Randall's National Actors Theater in 1995 and ran for 24 performances. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will run May 9 - 13, 2012.

Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/article/Encores-2012-to-Feature-MERRILY-WE-ROLL-ALONG-PIPE-DREAM-GENTLEMEN-PREFER-BLONDES-20110523#ixzz1NHUxojXp

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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED WEEK!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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