Thursday, June 30, 2011

On Broadway!

"In order to go on Living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism."
-Hannah Arendt, American philosopher and historian (1906-1975)

Happy Last Day of June!
Well, I hope that June was everything that you hoped it would be. My horoscope today tells me to Relax. Recharging my brain is as important as any of the other activities I do to maintain my health and well-being.
It's as vital as brushing my teeth, eating nutritious food or taking a shower.
That advice could be for all of us today!
Gear up for the riches of July! Can you believe that we are more than half way through 2011! Hard to grasp! Life is flying! What a great month entertainment wise. I saw Kimberly Faye Greenberg as Fanny Brice in ONE NIGHT WITH FANNY BRICE at St. Luke's Theatre (Highly recommended!).

My Uncle Parma Lee and Aunt Virginia came to NY to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary! Their first time in new York!Great dinners with friends. Saw Jacqueline Jone at The Bruno Walter Auditorium. .

I appeared at The Ziegfeld Society's Summer Soiree: !
Marriage Equality went through in NY!

Mr. Joyner, Call me! I'm happy!

July is starting off with a bang for me! I have parties on Saturday, Sunday, Monday!
Next week, I am meeting with Paul Mitchell at The Network to come up with a game plan for my career over the remaining months of the year. I'm also joining forces with some amazing teachers for a series of workshops that we are putting together for the autumn. I am meeting with yet another attorney to try and regain control of MY career!

As far as shows are concerned. My friend David McBride is coming to NY! I'm getting a group together to go see him at The Metropolitan Room on July 10th at 9:30PM.
Please let me know if you would like to join our party. My blog on the 5th is featuring him!Singer DAVID McBRIDE performs "ICONS: A TRIBUTE TO VINTAGE LAS VEGAS"!

I also am seeing Baby Jane Dexter on July 15th (also at The Metropolitan Room)!Baby Jane has a NEW CD! Come celebrate the release of Jane's NEW CD, The Real World with me July 15th!
You can call now for reservations, 212-206-0440.
Show starts at 7 pm.
I hope to see you there!!!

If you want to see cabaret at its best, don't miss this incredible show (now captured on CD)

For more information about Baby Jane Dexter (Show dates, CD's, Reviews and more) Please visit the following links :

"I now know that every moment, good and bad, is a gift and a lesson that has helped me be clear about who I am and what I do -- what I do is who I am."
-Baby Jane Dexter

Jane Dexter grew up in Garden City, Long Island, New York, the daughter of a dermatologist and a college physical education teacher and actress whose name was Jane Dexter. Thus, when little Jane needed a stage name, she became "Baby Jane". From her earliest days, Baby Jane was a performer, an imaginative little five-year-old who hiked her crinoline up under her arms and, inspired by The Jolson Story, sang "April Showers" into her hairbrush.

She did not have the usual educational progression, and moved from school to school. "I even went to a girls finishing school. I got an 'incomplete'," she jokes in her show. It was her desire to be a singer that motivated Baby Jane to begin working at age 14 in a local theater group. After school, she learned her way around sets and lighting and selling tickets. She wanted to perform and at this point became "Baby Jane Dexter". Still a student, she auditioned for, and got a job in the Broadway cast of Hair, which didn't last too long when she asked the director to hold her job while she went to Spain to get her teeth capped.

"Life is basically a work in progress.
It's about moving forward and finding out what's going to be.

Adolescent Jane came home, went back to school, got a job driving a taxi on Long Island, and at night she traveled into Manhattan to a comedy club, The Improvisation, to be discovered. Her music was eclectic — rock, blues, rhythm-and-blues — performed between comedy acts of Jay Leno and Andy Kaufman. When she heard that a new club in Greenwich Village was opening and needed girl singers, Baby Jane went to the owner, Lewis Friedman, and asked to audition. She became his first opening act in the Paradise Room of the famed Reno Sweeney, the club that was to feature such up-and-coming young performers as Karen Akers, Peter Allen, Paul Reiser, and of course Baby Jane Dexter.
(Source: Elizabeth Ahlfors)

Join me on July 24th for CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE! Which I am in!!

And on July 30th for BOOMERS: PROMISES MADE NOT KEPT starring my friend Charlie Karel (pictured) as part of the NY Midtown Fringe Festival.

I'm putting it out there. I want a show! If anyone is casting and/or hiring, let me come in and audition for you! There you have my July! There are so many other things going on!

I own nothing, no copyright infringement on anything included in this blog intended.

Thanks for being a loyal reader of my blog!

Become A Facebook friend of mine!
Follow me on Twitter
If you've seen one of my appearances/shows, add your thoughts to my guestbook at

Tomorrow's blog will be about You tell me...I'm open to suggestions!


Richard Skipper,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Quiet Thing

Begin somewhere, you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do."
-James Russell Lowell, American essayist (1819-1891)

Happy Wednesday!
I hope this finds you ALL doing well and enjoying goals you've reached or acting towards those goals today. My blog is a little late today. I spent the morning having a colonoscopy! Everything is PERFECT! I hope that all who read this will do that for themselves. The day before with the prep is the worst part of it. I hate that liquid! But it's done and God-willing, I don't do it again until I'm 56!

Wonderful things are happening in the world right now!
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, praises thirteen U.S. Senators for committing to making the world safer and more equitable for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth in a historic new video uploaded today to the It Gets Better Project on

The video highlights Senators’ experiences with bullying and difference and declares their dedication to passing policies that will improve life for LGBT youth. “We are working every day to make sure it gets better,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in the video. Other Senators featured in the clip include Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

(Penny Fuller with future resident of the Habitat project)

My friend Norman Lasiter is coming to town! Go see his show! Smooth and sexy wrapped into one!You'll thank me!

Exciting news from Mitch Kahn:
This past week's relaunch of their weekly Thursday Night Soirée at La Mediterranée was so strong and reservations for upcoming Thursdays are filling in so quickly that Mitch has reconsidered his position on adding a second night. Ernesto wanted him to take on Saturday nights long before December's kitchen fire as had many of his friends and fans who live outside Manhattan who can't get into the city on weekdays. Well, It's finally time to give it a shot!

Starting July 9th, in addition to Thursdays, Mitch Kahn will be appearing every Saturday from 8 PM - 11 PM. Harold Jon will cover the early Saturday seating (5:30 PM - 8 PM).

As on Thursdays, Mitch is planning for surprise guest appearances by many of his uber-talented friends in the industry. You never know who might pop in and do a guest spot.

Reservations are a must since the capacity of this wonderful French bistro is limited and there may be occasional nights Mitch takes off for concerts or private bookings. Early seatings on Thursdays are from 5:30-6 PM, with the main seating between 8-8:30 PM. Main seating on Saturday is from 8-8:30 PM.
Whether you go for dinner in the dining room or just drinks at the bar there is never a cover.

La Mediterranée
947 Second Avenue (between 50th & 51st Streets)
Reservations: (212) 755-4155

Throughout the summer Mitch has a number of shows booked in the Berkshires and Poconos. A current schedule of all upcoming performances can be found on his website:

Broadway Meows 3Monday, July 18 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Don't Tell Mama NYC
Created By
Seth Bisen-Hersh





Featuring the songs of SETH BISEN-HERSH


BRIAN CHILDERS (Danny and Sylvia)
SEAN PATRICK DOYLE (La Cage aux Folles)
KIMBERLY FAYE GREENBERG (One Night with Fanny Brice)
LARA JANINE (Rock of Ages)
RYAN LINK (Wonderland)
GARRETT LONG (South Pacific)
RORI NOGEE (Love Quirks)
OLIVIA OGUMA (Les Miserables)
BRIAN CHARLES ROONEY (The Threepenny Opera)
BRIAN SHAW (Love Quirks)
KRISTEN BETH WILLIAMS (Promises, Promises)
ELISA WINTER (Sweeney Todd)


$20 Cover/ 2 Drink Minimum (cash only)
Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St.
Call for reservations after 4: 212-757-0788 or online at

Produced by Dennis Fowler
Directed by Laura Pestronk
Stage Manager: Rich Abrams
Production Coordinator: Emma Peele

For more info, please visit:

As always, thanks for your support and here's to many musical moments together in the coming months.

To my acting friends, I'd like to recommend

Awakening the Actor Within Workbook by C. Stephen Foster
Order it HERE
"Awakening The Actor Within" is a 12-week workbook for recovering and discovering an actor's talent. It has resulted from over 15 years of acting, writing and teaching. It is like "The Artist's Way" aimed exclusively at actors. It focuses on the subject of healing from acting "blocks" and getting the courage to act again after being discouraged or disappointed. It aims to free an actors creativity and build a healthy foundation. Stephen wrote the book based on his own blocks and those of his students (both publicly and privately.)

Stephen Foster is an actor/writer originally from Ft. Worth, Texas currently living in Hollywood . His two-man show (with Scott Wilkerson), Divanalysis: the Mechanics of Camp, played as part of the summer series at the renowned Highway’s Performance Art Space. Foster penned and starred in the comedy Legends and Bridge which was extended three times at the Group Repertory Theater. Legends received rave reviews including Critic’s Pick in The Valley Scene, Spotlight in Backstage West, and was “Recommended” by the LA Weekly. It garnered three ADA Award nominations including Best Comedy and Best Play. Foster’s (and Pelletier’s) screenplay Rainbow Sticker was a finalist in several major contests, including the Hollywood Gateway Screenplay Contest, the Find the Funny Screenplay Contest, and the Page International Screenplay contest. As a stand-up comedian he’s played the Comedy Store, Improv and Laugh Factory. Stephen co-wrote the book to the hit musical The Green Room: the College Musical. He has appeared in commercials and some of his favorite parts are Joanne in Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Bomber in Picnic, Cupid in Reindeer Monologues, and Bette Davis in Legends and Bridge. He is the lead in the in the independent movie Off Hollywood and working on a TV pilot called Exposed.

Acting and writing have been C. Stephen Foster’s life. The lessons in life come from his moving between the page and the performance. These two art forms have forged him, molded him, and sometimes deflated him, but have also brought great joy and rewards. That is why he writes and shares this book. Awakening the Actor Within is for those hopeful, eager actors who want to try their talents and put them into the world. He hopes the advice he pens down here is clear, specific, and helpful.

“The workbook is not a "learn to book commercials," "get an A-list agent" or a "break into Hollywood in 5 easy steps" type of book. It's a workbook that deals with the challenges and hazards of the acting profession. I have witnessed many hurt, discouraged actors heal by using these tools.” shares the author.

This 12-week workbook aims at helping actors recover and discover their highest goals and ambitions. It resulted from over 15 years of acting, writing and teaching. It focuses on the subject of healing from acting "blocks" and getting the courage to act again after being discouraged or disappointed. It aims to free an actor’s creativity and build a healthy foundation. A spiritual workbook that initiates creative expansion and growth for actors, it teaches a simple, friendly, non-critical approach called “Acting Practice”. It teaches actors to form healthy acting habits and rebuild confidence, and guides actors through a series of weekly exercises that empowers them with practical tools to overcome their "blocks" (fear, anger, self-loathing, jealousy, sabotage, and money).

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to:

About the Author
C. Stephen Foster is an actor/writer currently living in Hollywood. He has performed in theater, TV and film. He is the lead in the independent movie "Off Hollywood" and working on a TV pilot called "Exposed." As a stand-up comedian, he’s played the Comedy Store, Improve and Laugh Factory. He wrote and starred in "Legends and Bridge," "Attitudes and the Dance," and "Divanalysis" which earned rave reviews and award nominations. Foster’s screenplay "Rainbow Sticker" was a finalist in the Hollywood Gateway Screenplay Contest, the Find the Funny Screenplay Contest, and the Page International Screenplay contest. Foster co-wrote the book to the hit musical "The Green Room". He has taught the workshop of this course for over a decade.

"Let Stephen Foster 'Awaken Your Actor Within'. He will give you clarity and dexterity to master the external factors and the internal feelings. When you step on the stage you'll bring your whole self with you." Viki King - best-selling author of "How To Write a Movie in 21 Days - The Inner Movie Method"

"C. Stephen Foster's 'Awakening the Actor Within' is both a revelation of the actor's art and a celebration of the artistic life. This is not merely a book of procedures but, rather, a serious, informed, and delightfully engaging exploration of the inner geography that shapes every awakened actor." Scott Wilkerson, professor of creative writing at Columbus State University

To request a complimentary paperback review copy, contact the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information, contact Xlibris at (888) 795-4274 or on the web at

A Must-See New Production- IT'S BOYS NIGHT EVERY NIGHT!

UNNATURAL ACTS: Harvard's Secret Court Of 1920
- A New Play Inspired by True Events

Created by Members of the PLASTIC THEATRE Conceived & Directed by TONY SPECIALE

UNNATURAL ACTS is inspired by events that occurred at Harvard University in the spring of 1920, when a student's suicide sparked a campus-wide investigation by a secret court of administrators aimed at purging the university of a group of homosexual students. Classic Stage Company is proud to share the untold stories of these promising young men. Both intimate and epic, UNNATURAL ACTS explores themes of fear and societal intolerance that are as relevant today as they were 91 years ago. UNNATURAL ACTS features a talented ensemble including Jess Burkle, Joe Curnutte,
Frank De Julio,(pictured)
Roe Hartrampf,
Roderick Hill, Max Jenkins,
(pictured)Brad Koed, Jerry Marsini, Devin Norik,(pictured)
Will Rogers, and Nick Westrate.Stephen Holt talks to Nick Westrate nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Play at the Drama Desk Nominee Cocktail Party 2010.
Editing- Jerome Raim

$37.50 (reg. $60-$65) - all performances

1. Click Here and use code HHC37
2. Call 212-352-3101 or 866-811-4111 and use code HHC37
3. Visit the CSC Box Office at 136 East 13th Street (Mon-Fri 12-6pm).
*Restrictions Apply.
(Source: Hugh Hysell and TheMenEvent []

And there you have it! OPTIONS!

I own nothing, no copyright infringement on anything included in this blog intended.

Thanks for being a loyal reader of my blog!

Become A Facebook friend of mine!
Follow me on Twitter
If you've seen one of my appearances/shows, add your thoughts to my guestbook at

Tomorrow's blog will be about You tell me...I'm open to suggestions!


Richard Skipper,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

They Fascinate Me So!

(Christopher Beck)
"The glory of each generation is to make its own precedents."
-Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood, American social reformer (1830-1917)

Happy Tuesday!
I hope this finds you doing well. Today, I am writing about a few people who fascinate me so. I call them stand-up people in a sit down world. People who get things done!

Christopher Beck is taking part in the NYCGMC Sing-a-thon to raise money for Big Apple Performing Arts (home of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus) - please make a donation by visiting Christopher's FirstGiving page:

You can donate:

1) online with a credit card,
2) by mailing a check to Big Apple Performing Arts, 676A 9th Avenue, Suite 405, New York, NY 10036 or
3) by giving Christopher a check in person that he will deliver to Big Apple Performing Arts (saving you 44 cents).

All online donations are secure and sent directly to Big Apple Performing Arts (home of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus) by FirstGiving, who will email you a printable record of your donation.

Please send this blog on to anyone who might like to donate! Thanks for your support!
Please do what you can to keep this group and the MUSIC alive! God bless you, Christopher! I LOVE YOU!

(New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo looked like a hero after the State Senate legalized same-sex marriage Friday.)
Suddenly, we're a city where lovers of the same sex can marry.

Where people in the outer boroughs will be able to hail a livery cab just like people in Manhattan hail yellow cabs.

Where we do not have to worry about teacher layoffs and fire company closings for at least a year.

Where libraries are expected to escape drastic service cuts.

Where for one startling moment government actually worked.

Even in Albany.

Who would have thought that we would watch live coverage of the state senate doing something historic?

Or that afterward, the spectators would be so transported by this victory for fundamental freedom that they chanted "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" in the Legislature's halls with not a trace of irony?

The Legislature also approved a deal allowing livery cabs to pick up street fares legally in the boroughs and in upper Manhattan, as they did illegally for years.

Meanwhile, City Hall announced a budget deal that averted 4,100 teacher layoffs.

The deal also saved 20 fire companies that were targeted for closing.

And the libraries were spared devastating funding cuts.

So, what's a newspaper columnist to do?

I was all set to write that Connecticut put us to shame because gay marriage is not only legal there, but the present governor, Dannel Malloy, performed same-sex weddings while mayor of Stamford.

Instead, our governor, Cuomo, turned out a hero, doing all the right things to get gay marriage legalized here, with the full-hearted support of our mayor.

I couldn't even write about state Sen. Carl Kruger, who voted against gay marriage in 2009 while living with a man the feds later termed an "intimate associate."

After an indictment for bribery caused his private life to become public, Kruger announced a change of heart, saying he had "a better understanding of the impact that this bill will have on the rights of countless New Yorkers."

As for the teachers, I was ready to write how kids at Public School 119 in East Flatbush were writing letters of recommendation for their teachers in case they were laid off and had to look for work.

"He's a well-organized, well-oiled machine," one fifth-grader wrote of his teacher. "He's extremely smart and has a heart like gold. He's good with kids and knows how to fuse fun with learning perfectly."

"She stands for one thing and one thing only; to help people in need," wrote another fifth-grader.

And then there was this one: "Make sure you have her work in a boot camp, boarding school or military school."

As for the fire companies, I figured on writing about Ladder 128, which was slated for closing shortly after its century-old quarters in Long Island City underwent $9.6 million in renovations. The rehab was badly needed, so all I can say now is that the money was well-spent.

The proposed library cuts could have generated any number of stories. Dozens of branches were expected to curtail their hours or close altogether even as the New York Public Library seeks to recruit 100,000 youngsters for its summer reading program.

Now, history books will record a shining moment when our elected officials actually did their jobs and made life a little better, or at least kept it from getting worse.

Albany is still Albany and City Hall is still City Hall, so I don't really expect government to continue actually working.

But it is so nice to dream.

(Source:Michael Daly, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Remembering Alice Playten

By Seth Rudetsky
27 Jun 2011

Photo by Aubrey Reuben

I wanted to include this wonderful tribute to Alice Playten who passed away this weekend much too soon at the age of 63.

"Let me start my column by mourning the loss of Alice Playten. She suddenly passed away last Saturday, and I was so shocked and saddened. I first heard her when I was playing in the pit of Seussical and she was playing the Mayor's wife. I loved her old-school style of singing.
I then realized I had heard her numerous times while listening to the Hello, Dolly! and Oliver! cast albums because she was the original Bet and Ermengarde.
(Nicole Barth (Dear World), Bert Michaels and Alice Playten)

We then worked together on a workshop of Michael John LaChiusa's R Shomon, and when Kelly Bishop had to leave my Actors Fund concert of Funny Girl due to a family emergency, Alice stepped in with a few days' notice. She was such a great stage comedienne. I also got to interview her a few times about being part of those great Golden Age shows and she told me that when she got to replace Baby Louise in the original run of Gypsy (!) she met Ethel Merman who immediately asked, "Does she know about the joke?"
Ethel was insistent that Alice set up her joke clearly; Baby Louise has to clearly say, "Mama. Why do I have five fathers?," so Mama Rose can quickly answer, "Because you're lucky!" Alice then told me she went back to Broadway years later to see one of the numerous Broadway revivals of Gypsy, and the Baby Louise asked, barely audibly, "Mama, why do I have five fathers?" and the Mama Rose slowly intoned, "Because…you're lucky." Alice looked at me and said, "Apparently, neither of them knew about the joke." Excellent bust! She got a Tony nomination for her part as the lovably evil girl named Kafritz (from Henry, Sweet Henry), and I've obsessed about her performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" many times. You must look at the face she makes when she sees the paltry amount in her hand that the audience has donated. Brilliant!

This clip just fascinates me!


- Wednesday, June 29th; Mondays July 11th & 18th @ 7:00 pm (doors open for dinner at 6:15 pm) - THE WEST BANK CAFE/LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE(407 West 42nd Street, NYC - 212-695-6909 - ) - $20 cover plus a $15 food/drink minimum. Musical director is Jeff Cubeta with arrangements by Jeff Cubeta and Christopher Denny. Directed by: Arthur Masella.
SPECTACULAR SHOW! Interesting, beautifully sung, intelligent - a MUST SEE!

If you want to see how to put a show together in a way that is worthy of an Off-Broadway run (for just $20!) and hear a voice from the heavens sing it, please mark your calendars today to make sure that you do not miss Eric Michael Gillett in this amazing show.

With 22 songs, this show runs just over an hour and 20 minutes but it flew by for me.
The story of each tune or cluster of tunes creating a mini-drama were little pieces of art unto themselves. The "cast of thousands" comes in the form of Eric playing all the different roles (flawlessly and seamlessly) in this show. From a lady who lunches in a duet with Jeff (who is also wonderful in this show), to a little kid, to an older jaded man, to an every day "Joe", to a cowboy, to a bereaved widower he was as fascinating to watch as he was to hear. This man can sing. What a voice but, to use it the way he uses it, is another lesson to us all as singers.

On one a tune where most would press or soar to make big notes, Eric lays back.
In another tune where you think the song is going to "get angry" because that's how we have always heard it done before, he finds this new energy of "this is what it is" that was chilling. He has nothing to prove because he's the real deal here. He just "is" on stage.

He always finds really interesting "to do's". For example, coming out of an arc of "What You'd Call a Dream" (the baseball song) back into "The Kid Inside" to "Magellan" where he has a crush on his teacher, rather than use words to move the script (Craig Carnelia's lyrics are enough and Eric knows and respects this) Eric just simply raises his hand as if to catch that ball in the outfield and he moves the scene by simply making that grab for the ball move into his raising his hand in class - boom - next scene. It was charming and smart and efficient and emotionally moving to me.

He uses patter sparingly because he allows the songs to do their job. He is an original songwriter's dream because he takes what they have written and brings it to life in a real character we all know (or are!) The other star of the show is Craig's body of work.

My favorite line in the entire show was in "What a Song Should Say" where he sings: "We should be IN the song." While this simple phrase is used in a different context in the song, I heard him loud and clear because he is, in fact, always and completely "IN" his music. He's an inspiration to me as a singer. PLEASE see this show. It is one of my top 10 shows all year (and ya'll know how many shows I see!) STUNNING WORK!
(Source: Arthur Masella)

I own nothing, no copyright infringement on anything included in this blog intended.

Thanks for being a loyal reader of my blog!

Become A Facebook friend of mine!
Follow me on Twitter
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Tomorrow's blog will be about You tell me...I'm open to suggestions!


Richard Skipper,

Monday, June 27, 2011

I LOVE NEW YORK! I LOVE Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories!! I LOVE LINDA KOSUT...and more!!!

" The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything-or nothing."
-Viscountess Nancy Aster, American-born British politician (1879-1964)
(Playwright Kathleen Warnock stops by the Caffe Cino plaque on Pride Day, 31 Cornelia Street)

Happy Monday!
I hope you ALL had a wonderful weekend and those of you who celebrated PRIDE this weekend did so responsibly and in a fashion that we ALL can be proud of. This is a great time to be in New York. New York stands to gain over $180 MILLION for their support of Marriage Equality. Not a bad deal. EQUALITY IS GOOD BUSINESS!!!
(Crowds gathered for the 42nd Annual LGBT Pride March on Christopher Street in the West Village on Sunday, June 26. New York City's annual Pride March began in 1970 as a commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The March has since grown to become the oldest and one of the world's largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) events.

Credits: Bryan Smith for Daily News

Read more:

My horoscope this morning reads, " Your faith in humankind starts with your faith in those closest to you.
Loved ones will be supportive and will go out of their way to help you.
You'll know the love of a good family."
The timing of this could not be better right now! I am truly reminded of who my "family" is by the actions of those in my circle over the past 72 hours.
When I first came to New York, there was a "I LOVE NEW YORK" ad campaign. I think the time has come to re-visit that campaign and somehow bring it back!
The legislative session this year ended a week late, but it ended in extraordinary fashion: A property-tax cap and legalizing same-sex marriage were adopted on the same day!
In his first six months in office, the DEMOCRATIC governor scored victories on ALL of his legislative priorities, a remarkable feat at a state Capitol legendary for its rigidity.
With his soaring popularity, Cuomo used a mix of hospitality, cajoling and a stern focus on his priorities to move a reluctant Legislature into adopting measures that had literally been collecting dust for decades.
Thank you, Governor Cuomo for being a STAND-UP person in a SIT-DOWN world!
So, all of my New York friends, celebrate and support all that New York has to offer! To all of my non-New York friends! Come to New York! There is SO MUCH GOING ON RIGHT NOW! NY, THE EQUALITY STATE!
June 26 is the last Sunday to see
Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories
before they move to Fridays at 8

Enjoy award-winning stories and songs,
a cold MoonPie Martini,
and the air-conditioned comfort
of Soho Playhouse
Tickets just $18.50 for Faye's friends!

(regular price - $30)
Click here to buy your DISCOUNT tickets now!
and enter code FAYEB
or use code FAYEB at (212) 691-1555
or the box office
Everyone loves Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories!

Winner! Bistro Award for Musical Comedy

Winner! MAC Award for Special Production!
Jester Journal declares "Go and see this show all you jaded souls!"

The Villager says that Faye "is on her way to becoming a bit of a legend."

AOL's City's Best has a wonderful interview with Faye! She's a "Texas rose that keeps on rising."

Sunday June 26 at 5 pm
Fridays at 8 starting July 1! gushes: "in an ideal world, she and the show would win an award every day for the rest of her natural life."

"That girl belongs on Broadway!"
-- Joan Rivers

Joan saw the show last summer and loved it!

She laughed, she cried, she let Faye touch her girdle!

Soho Playhouse
15 Vandam Street
between 6th Ave and Varick Street (7th Avenue)
Spring Street (C/E) Houston Street (1)

Click here for directions.

The Dallas Morning News calls Faye "simultaneously hip and down-home.
Her 90-minute performance recounts a series
of delicious tales from Lane’s childhood and early career."

Read the review! "A little show with a big heart, “Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories” is an irresistible treat."

D Magazine gives the show a great review! "fabulous and chic in black dress and cowboy boots, [Faye] still has the sparkly eyes of that precocious little girl in her bedazzled Burger King crown"

For more information about Faye and the show, visit

Become a fan:
I am a fan!

And I cannot wait to celebrate my 32nd anniversary of coming to NY on August 5th! If you would like to join my celebration, please let me know!

Another entertainer I love is not in New York. But she is a New Yorker born and bred in the Bronx. Linda Kosut!

2008 Bistro Award

2008 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs

2007 Cabaret Hotline Online

Linda Kosut, "a jazz troubadour with a Chet Baker style and a Bette Midler flare," seamlessly weaves differing genres into a delightful fusion of jazz, pop & folk.

Award-winning vocalist Linda Kosut blends cabaret and jazz styles into sparkling and exciting renditions of songs of differing genres. Don Heckman, International Review of Music and jazz critic to the Los Angeles Times says of Linda “ [this] amazing Bay Area canary brings her skills as an actress to her insightful interpretations of songs underscored with a fusion of jazz, pop and folk.” Linda has performed to full houses at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club to San Francisco’s Yoshi’s and The Rrazz Room.
Growing up in New York City and transplanted to San Francisco over 20 years ago, Linda only began pursuing her dream of performing several years ago as she approached “boomer” status, and she has not stopped since. “I am sure that I am not alone in my journey to satisfy a creative bug I’ve had my whole life; but one that up until nearing ‘retirement’ status, I did not pursue,” says Linda. “The joy I have in performing translates to my audience who tell me how I have inspired them. It is my sheer pleasure to do so.”Linda Kosut performs "Summer In the City" with Norman Curtis at the piano, Max Perkoff on trombone, Tom Hubbard, bass and Scott Latzky, drums in NYC, June 1, 2007. Norman co-wrote this song with Oscar Brown Jr.
Go see Linda if you get the opportunity!

I still cannot believe Alice Playten has passed away. Here is another look at this amazing talent:

I am putting this here for no other reason than entertainment value:

Betty White did "HELLO, DOLLY!" with The Kenley Players in August of 1979.
The Kenley Players were a major Strawhat Theatre for some of the greatest names in Show Business. Look at their season from 1961, my birth year!
Bells Are Ringing (Gordon & Sheila MacRae)
Auntie Mame (Gypsy Rose Lee)
Destry Rides Again (Hugh O'Brian)
Blithe Spirit (Zsa Zsa Gabor)
Take Me Along (Jack Carson & Betty White)
Pal Joey (Andy Williams & Julie Wilson)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Betsy Palmer)
Sex-Tette (Mae West)
West Side Story (Carla Alberghetti)
Under the Yum Yum Tree (Hugh Downs)
Naughty Marietta (Kathryn Grayson)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Vivian Blaine)
The King and I (Patricia Morison)
The Student Prince (Robert Rounsville)


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Richard Skipper,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Pride, 2011!

" The formula for success is simple: practice and concentration then more practice and more concentration".
_Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911-1956)
Mazel Tov to you and everyone else who have finally had their lives changed for the better! So many wonderful decisions to be made!! Ain't love grand?

Happy Pride Sunday!
What an exciting time to be in New York! Arguably the most maligned yet least seen of Martin Scorsese's collaborations with Robert De Niro, NEW NORK, NEW YORK is an experimental odyssey by a director at the peak of his artistic powers, with access to more money and freedom than ever before. As is often the case with such works, the film was deemed a failure at the time of its original release, both by critics and audiences (it opened a week after George Lucas' STAR WARS), but nearly 35 years on stands up surprisingly well to critical reappraisal. That film of course is NEW YORK, NEW YORK.
As a New Yorker, I'm proud to say the legislature did the right thing, and enacted a victory for equality and human rights in the law legalizing same-sex marriage. A tremendous blow to bigotry.
Happy Pride NYC wish i could be there. All my love to the best group of family I know. Sending lots of Love & Pride to all of my friends celebrating Gay Pride in NYC, San Francisco & other great cities all over the country!

It's Christmas in NY! 42 years ago tomorrow, the Stonewall riots took place at The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in NYC. At that time, most Of the gay bars had blackened windows and men and women who went to these establishments to be with their gay brothers and sisters did so in secrecy. It was still illegal in the state of NY to be gay. From time to time, these establishments were raided. You could spend the night in jail, get hit with a $20.00 fine, and possibly get your name in the paper...destroying careers and lives.
On July 27th, 1969, change took place!
When the police came in to raid that night, someone stood up and said, "Hell no!
We won't go!"

Was it because of the heatwave in NY? Was it due to the mourning of Judy Garland who had died on the 22nd?
Who knows?
The bottom line was that change took place not only in NY, but in the world!
As I write these words, I get goose bumps!
For three days, there were riots in the streets.
This came to be known as The Stonewall Riots.

A year later, to commemorate the date, a march started at The Stonewall Riot
and headed up Fifth Avenue to Central Park.

A few hundred started, but by the time the march reached Central Park, there were thousands! The genie was out of the bottle and nothing would ever be the same again.
I was 8 years old in South Carolina reeling at the death of Judy Garland. I didn't know what gay was! 10 years later, an 18 year old Ricky Skipper got on a one way flight to New York and stepped off the plane Richard Skipper...still not knowing what gay was! Trust me, I had no idea! Everyone who knew me will tell you, I did not know. New York was, and is, my Emerald City! I was 21 before I realized I was gay. Can you imagine that I can even write these words and be comfortable about it?

There was a time (it still goes on) that we are encouraged to be less than who we are.
I have no agenda. I just want to be who I am without offending anyone. I desire to be my authentic self.
My partner and I have been together 21 years. It is nice to know that in the eyes of our government that we are "equal" to every other couple living on Valentine Avenue. Yes, that is the name of our Avenue! I raise my glass to ALL today who are just dreaming of being their authentic selves!

Over the next few days or weeks the New York City Marriage Bureau will be giving us new directives about same-sex couples getting marriage licenses in New York State. Here's the website for New York City, an excellent source of information. Obviously, you can do all this at your local county clerk's office.
Note: you will need to bring a certified check. They do not accept personal checks and cash.
Congratulations and love,

And speaking of authentic selves, two entertainers that continue to pack them in month after month in New York are Tommy Femia as Judy Garland and Rick Skye as Liza Minnelli!
I have had the pleasure of working with both of them and have the utmost admiration and respect for both.

(Rick Skye and Madame) Tommy has the distinction of performing his tribute to Judy Garland longer than any other entertainer in NY as far as a long running show is concerned. Tommy and I both started out around the same time as tribute artists.
We would get up and sing as The "Gumm Sisters" when we would get up to sing together at open mics and piano bars. "Zing! Went The Strings of My Heart!". His star took off and before you knew it, he WAS Judy Garland around town.
(Tommy Femia as Judy Garland Fort Lauderdale FL 2010.

Tommy has appeared with Jacqueline Jonee' who I wrote about earlier this week. Ms. Jonée has appeared in many New York cabaret venues with such shows as “Jacqueline Jonée Comes Out To Play,” “Je m’Appelle Jacqueline,” “A Date with Liberace,” “Born on the 4th of Jonée,” and “Puttin’ On The Titz.”

Guest performers have included James Followell and Uptown Express, Our Lady J, Tommy Femia, Bianca Leigh and Natalie Joy Johnson. For the past three years Ms. Jonée performed at Drag Show Video Verité a film by Dr. Joe Jeffries—a collaboration between The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and New York University Drama Department. She was also part of the All Out Arts Festival and Fresh Fruit Festival Festivities at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Ms. Jonée was deeply honored to perform a concert at the closing ceremonies of World Pride 2006 in Jerusalem.
JUDY and LIZA Together Again” starring Tommy Femia and Rick Skye
See them next Saturday night at Bob Egan's New Hope in New Hope, Pennsylvania!
Saturday, July 2 at 8:30 pm
$30.00 Ticket per person
$15.00 Food and drink minimum per person


Tommy Femia and Rick Skye are teaming up for an evening of “Just POW!” in “Judy and Liza Together Again.” These MAC Award winning performers (Best Impersonation) will pull out all the stops, singing classic solos, parodies, duets and just plain whooping and hollering by the greatest mother/daughter team in show biz history.

Tommy Femia
is a seven-time winner of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award for his brilliant portrayal of Judy Garland in “Judy Garland LIVE!”, now in its 20th season at Don’t Tell Mama. He has also starred in “Whoop-de-doo”, “I Will Come Back” and, most recently, “Norma Does Men”.
Rick Skye is best known for writing a string of outrageous comic revues including “The Flip Side of Neil Sedaka”, “MaCabaret – a tabloid fable”, “The War of the Mama Roses”, “It’s Madame with an E” and the International hit – “A Slice O’ Minnelli” for which has enjoyed successful seasons in Covent Garden, at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End and at the Dublin Theatre Festival where he received the Award for “Best Achievement in Performance”. “Judy and Liza Together Again” recently premiered in Ft Lauderdale to great acclaim and marked the first pairing of these two remarkable talents.
Rick Skye posted on Facebook today, "had a stunningly great show last night at "JUDY AND LIZA TOGETHER AGAIN" with Tommy Femia and Musical whiz kid Ricky Ritzel. The New York Time came (and staaaayed) and Cabaret Scenes Magazine and they gave us a "Standing O". HAPPY PRIDE, Kids..."

Go see Tommy Femia as Judy Garland and Rick Skye as Liza Minnelli! You will thank me!

Happy Pride Y'all!
Liza Minnelli, 'American Idol' Needs You! by Chris Harnick, posted Jun 22nd 2011

Liza Minnelli, what are you doing on the 'Today' version of 'The Voice'? A woman of your talent and celebrity should not be judging a morning show knockoff of a new hit reality show.

Nothing against Hoda and Kathie Lee -- they're awesome -- but come on. Liza's talents are needed elsewhere, like on a real reality competition.

'The Voice' has its dynamic down with Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine coaching, but there's a long-in-the-tooth singing show that needs the spunk at judges table that Liza could provide. Yes, I'm talking about 'American Idol.'

With Jennifer Lopez unsure about her future with the Fox series (she has yet to sign a new contract, is in the running for several film roles and 'Idol' auditions are starting up next week), Liza would be the perfect replacement. She's got the respect of her industry peers, she's zany and unpredictable and she's well versed in all forms of entertainment, something today's 'American Idol' contestant needs to be.

And think about the chemistry between Liza, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson -- it'd be awesome. Plus, if Steven Tyler can perform every once in a while, then feasibly Liza could, too. America needs more live Liza.

Since getting Liza is (probably) a long shot, we would also accept these people as J.Lo replacements:

• Stevie Nicks. She was gold when she performed, America is still under her spell.

• Cheryl Cole. She's already got the Fox publicity images and buzz.

• Mariah Carey. She was supposedly in some sort of talks with Simon Cowell for 'The X Factor,' but she'd be just as welcome on 'American Idol.'

Watch Liza judging singers on 'Today' below, and try to tell us we're wrong. Seriously, snatch her up, Fox!

Nicole Barth (Dear World), Bert Michaels and Alice Playten (Hello, Dolly!)

On a sad note, Alice Playten passed away yesterday at the age of 63. She had an incredible career. But I have a special affinity for her as the original Ermengarde in the original production of "HELLO, DOLLY". Rest in peace, Alice! Thank you for the gifts you gave us and will continue to give!Alice Playten, who lent her quirky persona and comic voice to a memorable string of Broadway and Off-Broadway musical performances from the 1960s onward, died on June 25 at Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City. The cause was heart failure, said Sandee Cohen, her friend and neighbor. She was 63.

This coming Wednesday June 29th, on the occasion of his birthday, my friend John Tantillo, will be launching his new radio program from 3-4pm on WVOX Radio 1460 on your am dial (streaming at:, John will be debuting his Radio Show: Brand Talk, the only show on radio where branding gets personal. After years of preparing for this exciting project, he will be finally taking the plunge into radio. Simply can’t believe it. You will love him! Call in your questions at 914 636 0110 or email him at

Speaking of Branding, have something to promote? GO HERE: SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC
Please keep passing it on, trying to get as much traffic to this page as possible!!

I own nothing, no copyright infringement on anything included in this blog intended.

Thanks for being a loyal reader of my blog!

Become A Facebook friend of mine!
Follow me on Twitter
If you've seen one of my appearances/shows, add your thoughts to my guestbook at

Tomorrow's blog will be about You tell me...I'm open to suggestions!


Richard Skipper,