Friday, June 3, 2011

A TALE OF TWO LIZAs: Richard DeFonzo and Christine Pedi!

"It is best to act with confidence, no matter how little right you have to it."
Lillian Hellman, American playwright (1905-1984)
Happy Friday!
You may notice with today's blog that it is a new name and a new look! I want to thank all of you who are currently following my blog. I hope you like the new name and look. I'm always interested in getting your feedback.Please forward my blog to at least 5 people today and help me expand my readership.
Today, I wanted to present my friends Richard DeFonzo and Christine Pedi. We'll start with Richard DeFonzo!


Richard DeFonzo belts out live as he gives an exciting and fun filled performance as Liza Minnelli in LIZA'S BACK WITH TRUE CONFESSIONS! Funny and vulnerable, Richard bears more than just a resemblance to the legendary Liza. His show, a one-hour cabaret theater piece, gives you a taste of Minnelli at her best or should we say at his best. During the evening, DeFonzo pays tribute to Liza's famous mother and father along with some of the men in her life.



"One of NY's most glamorous entertainers."
-- Herald & Post, London

"DeFonzo is the premier Liza impersonator."
- HX MAGAZINE
The creative team includes Musical director Jeff Buchsbaum, costume creations by Michael Louis, make-up design and photography by Devon Cass. Orchestrations are by Gene Sironen of the Vegas strip, production supervision and publicity by David Fobair. The show includes some of Minnelli's signature songs such as New York New York, Cabaret, Some People, Old Friends and The World Goes Round. Mr. DeFonzo has performed in London, Holland and Brussels.

"Thumbs up! You were wonderful!" - David Gest

In the U.S. he's played The Tropicana Casino and Resort, and prominent New York clubs including Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, Tavern On The Green, The Plaza Hotel for Eloise and The Waldorf Astoria. In addition, he has also played some of the hot spots in New York such as The Cutting Room, The Triad and The Duplex. He performed for David Gest at his bachelor party and entertained at Bette Midler's Halloween Bash at the Marriot Marquis New York. He was featured in the VH1 special entitled Boys Will Be Girls.
Visit http://www.rdasliza.com for more information.
"DeFonzo does a rousing job as Judy's Daughter." -Time Out New York

"DeFonzo is the most fetching Liza impersonator." - New York Post

"One of NY's most glamourous entertainers." - Herald & Post, London


"You Were Incredible." - Brian Thomas (Liza's Choreographer)

Richard is also now appearing as Joan Rivers!
Richard first discovered Joan River's
when she sat in for Johnny Carson.
He loved and connected with her sense of humor, so much that he persuaded his Mother to let him stay up past his bed time to see her when she was on.

Not knowing that many years later he would be on the "red carpet" impersonating her.

Richard recently did the red carpet for Marc Ecko's birthday party and hosted the Gala for the "Stop AIDS" benefit in Cincinnati Ohio as well as the Marriage Equality Oscar Party in NJ.
Most recently he was seen working the red carpet in Atlantic City at Trump Taj Mahal.
He most recently went "Anchors Away"when he hosted and entertained on the Carnival Legend.
He also donates his time to many great causes like raising money for the homeless shelter and soup kitchen in the East Village.
At any given time, Richard will bring a splash of fun and humor to any private or corporate event from Fire Island to LA he'll make you'll feel like a STAR at your next event.

"One of NY's most glamorous entertainers."
-- Herald & Post, London


Please contact Richard using following info : E- mail rd10025@aol.com or Richarddefonzo@hotmail.com VM 917-667-5782.
At the age of eight Richard saw Cabaret for the first time and told his mother that he wanted to meet that lady, never imagining that he actually would one day be a Liza Minnelli female impersonator in New York City strutting his stuff as Liza some years later. He totally identifies with Liza Minnelli and when performing brings her electrifying stage personality to life when belting out such numbers as Cabaret, Some People and the show stopping New York, New York
.
When interpreting one of Liza's ballads, Richard possesses a sense of vulnerability that we have learned to identify with her legendary magnetic persona.



Richard got his start at West Chester University where he was a double major studying music and theatre.
But at the same time he was longing to be in the hustle and bustle of New York and wanted to study with the best.
He auditioned at the American Musical And Dramatic Academy.
After he graduated he went on to study acting with Zina Jasper for eighteen years.
At the same time he worked for many years in Musical Theatre, dramas, TV and Film. Twelve years ago Richard put on his first pair of eye lashes when he took the stage as the Legendary Liza Minnelli. Not long after that he started asking people "Who you wearing?"
Since then he has performed to a standing ovation at the 13th Annual Reel Awards at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.
He was featured on the VH1 special “Boys Will Be Girls" which played for many weeks. He also did a commercial for A&E when Liza's Biography aired. Richard entertained at Bette Midler's annual Halloween bash, he received great press in several of New York's major papers for his performance at David Gest's bachelor party, and played at The Tropicana Casino and Resort. Additionally he has performed at various hot spots in New York such as Don't Tell Mamas where he did "The Dueling Diva's Show" with Devon Cass(as Cher), "Liza's Back! With A Vengeance" and threw Liza a 60th Birthday party as well. He's also played such places as FEZ, Danny's Skylight Room, The Cutting Room, Therapy, The Triad, The Duplex, Lips, The Supper Club on Broadway, Barracuda, Splash, Webster Hall and Helens.









Our next Liza is a real woman! And truly one of the best, Christine Pedi!
Christine's work as a musical theatre singer & comedienne in the off-Broadway satirical revues FORBIDDEN BROADWAY & FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD has earned her a Drama Desk nomination, an LA Ovation award & lots of frequent flyer miles (Tokyo, Singapore, Australia & London’s West End.) She spoofs a whole new stable of characters (real and imagined) this season in NEWSical the Musical off-Broadway, and her fun and festive annual holiday show THERE'S NO BIZNESS LIKE SNOW BIZNESS has become a beloved tradition at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.
On Broadway she appeared in Eric Bogosian's TALK RADIO starring Liev Schrieber, and LITTLE ME starring Martin Short and Faith Prince.
Other credits include FANTASY FOOTBALL at NYMF (NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL) and PROJECT SHAW's presentation of GBS’s ON THE ROCKS at the Players Club. Other stage roles include several A TRAIN PLAYS, THE 24 HOUR PLAYS, Edith Wharton's XINGU, Fanny Brice, Audrey in LITTLE SHOP, DALLIANCE IN VIENNA at the American Theatre of Actors, A BROADWAY DIVA CHRISTMAS and Carlotta the Gypsy Cow (don’t ask.)
She is the proud host of THE BROADWAY BREAKFAST on SIRIUS/XM RADIO where she plays the music of the stage & screen and interviews show biz legends (Mon-Fri, 9a-3p ET.) She shares the mic with the “amaaaaahzing” Seth Rudetsky on Saturdays for DUELING DIVAS (9a-3pET.)

NOW I HAVE EVERYTHING: THE LYRICS OF SHELDON HARNICK

This is a master class in musical theatre acting and a heck of an entertaining night out....we get an actress who digs deep into her material to reveal unexpected moments of emotional honestly and empathetic humor ...

-Michael Dale - Broadwayworld.com

She's naturally funny, she's a thoughtful and resourceful actor, and she's got a sturdy belt she can modulate at will... so good that she conjures a world around the songs simply through her actions.Taking a Harnick quote having to do with the "vast and inconceivable affair that is the universe" as her mantra, Pedi made the hour a fast and well-conceived affair.

-David Finkle - Back Stage

Her cabaret show GREAT DAMES (2008 New York NightLife Award, Backstage Bistro Award, MAC nominaton and “Top Ten Memorable Theatre Moments of the Year” on BroadwayWorld.com.) has performed in South Africa (Cape Town, Jo'burg & Durban,) London's Jermyn Street Theatre and all over the U.S. SHOW BUSINESS WEEKLY named her 2007's “Best Female Cabaret Performer.”
She’s performed on the NY Cabaret stages of Birdland, The Metropolitan Room, The Beechman & The Algonquin Oakroom, earning a MAC Award award & several nominations, as well as a guest spot on John McD's Cabaret Corner on the Rosie O'Donnell Show.


"I can't imagine any cabaret lover not having an absolutely wonderful time so long as Christine Pedi has a microphone in her hand. ...what makes it work so beautifully is the range of artistry she shows as a song interpreter when the masks are lowered and it's just Christine Pedi up there. It's not the first cabaret show where she's sung "as herself," but her latest stint shows she's truly coming into her own in matters of showing maturity, vulnerability and sex appeal."

-Michael Dale - Broadwayworld.com

Guest appearances include Avery Fisher Hall, the Broadway by the Year series at Town Hall, Sardi's, the Palace Theatre, the Queen Elizabeth 2 & the Queen Mary 2 and the BROADWAY UP CLOSE series at The Kaufman Center.
She performed with Marvin Hamlisch & the Indianapolis Symphony as well as many other orchestras throughout the U.S. & Canada, and has sung for President and Mrs. Clinton (playing Hilary Clinton.)

"Christine Pedi's Great Dames at The Metropolitan Room was nothing but moments - every one a winner. If you missed it, you'll have to wait until fall to see her again unless she bows to pressure and provides an encore engagement. A veteran of Forbidden Broadway who co-starred in the revival of Talk Radio, Pedi is a deceptively versatile performer who's equal parts great actress and diva vocalist. Watch for her return soon!

-Next Magazine - David Hurst

SOPRANOS fans may recognize her as the dearly departed Mrs. Bobby Baccala (2 episodes, 4 scenes, 5 lines ... DEAD! But he loved her so much he couldn't defrost her ziti for months.)

Recordings include her soon-to-be-released studio album “Good To Mama,” as well as “GREAT DAMES: Live at the Metropolitan Room,” "Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey", "Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back," "Forbidden Hollywood," "Forbidden Broadway: Vol. 3," "Jekyll & Hyde," "Little Me," "Quel Fromage,” and “Broadway Musicals of 1962.”

Christine Pedi is one of New York's favorite performers, an accomplished singer and satirist who has appeared repeatedly in Forbidden Broadway. .... Pedi shifts gears as smoothly as a limo driver, from Garland to Merman to Katie Hepburn; from a saccharine- sweet When You're Good to Mama, to a chillingly vengeful warning to Henry Higgins, Just You Wait.

Check out http://www.christinepedi.com


Thanks for being a loyal reader of my blog! I wanted to give you heads up on big news coming on June 5th.


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Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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