Friday, October 28, 2011

Empower Yourself by Dreaming Big

“Let your mind take you to places you would like to go, and then think about it and plan it and celebrate the possibilities.” ~Liza Minnelli

  Happy Friday!
Do you dream of running a marathon, opening a business, or going on a journey? Commit to make it happen -- you'll inspire yourself to dig deep. All of the people mentioned in today's blog went after their dreams...and succeeded!



It is COOLLLDDDD here in New York!
I know I'm always encouraging people to go out and see a LIVE show! But on cold winter and autumn nights, I sometimes like to curl up on the sofa with my comforter, Horace (our Yorkie), a fire in the fireplace, a nice hot apple cider and a great movie. Tonight, there is a great Bette Davis movie on Turner Classic Movies.  
Dead Ringer starring the actress that epitomizes Hollywood in the 40s and 50s for me, Bette Davis! The only actress that comes as close to Bette Davis these days, in my opinion is Meryl Streep.
But even with Meryl, she, nor no one, can/could chew up the scenery like Bette Davis!
What a cast! Bette Davis, Karl Malden, and Peter Lawford!
Karl Malden (born Mladen George Sekulovich, Serbian Cyrillic: Младен Ђорђе Секуловић (Mladen Đorđe Sekulović); March 22, 1912 – July 1, 2009) was an American actor.
In a career that spanned more than seven decades, he performed in such classic films as A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, On The Waterfront and One Eyed Jacks (pictured,below).



Among other notable film roles were Archie Lee Meighan in Baby Doll, Zebulon Prescott in How The West Was Won and General Omar Bradley in Patton.
His best-known role was on television as Lt. Mike Stone on the 1970s crime drama, The Streets of San Francisco.

During the 1970s and 1980s, he was the spokesman for American Express.
Malden, the eldest of three brothers, was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Gary, Indiana.

His Serbian father, Petar Sekulović (1886–1975), worked in the steel mills and as a milkman, and his mother, Minnie (née Sebera) Sekulovich (1892–1995), was a Czech seamstress and actress.
The Sekulovich family roots trace back to Podosoje near the city of Bileca in Bosnia and Herzegovina, more specifically, in the Herzegovinian part. Malden spoke only the Serbian language until he was in kindergarten and was fluent in the language until his death. He was also proud of his Serbian heritage.
Malden's father had a passion for music, and organized a choir.
As a teenager, Malden joined the Karageorge Choir. In addition, his father produced Serbian plays at his church and taught acting.
A young Malden took part in many of these plays, which included a version of Jack and the Beanstalk, but mostly centered on the community's Serbian heritage.
In high school, he was a popular student and the star of the basketball team (according to his autobiography, Malden broke his nose twice while playing, taking elbows to the face and resulting in his trademark bulbous nose). 



He participated in the drama department, and was narrowly elected senior class president. Among other roles, he played Pooh Bah in The Mikado.
After graduating from Emerson High School in 1931 with high marks, he briefly planned to leave Gary for Arkansas, where he hoped to win an athletic scholarship, but college officials did not admit him owing to his refusal to play any sport besides basketball. From 1931 until 1934, he worked in the steel mills, as had his father.
 He changed his name from Mladen Sekulovich to Karl Malden at age 22.

He anglicized his first name by switching the letters "l" and "a" and making it his last name; then he proceeded to take his grandfather's first name.



This was because the first theatre company he was in wanted him to shorten his name for the marquee. He thought they wanted to fire him and were using his name as an excuse; although that wasn't the case, he still changed his name so as to give them no excuse. Malden often found ways to say "Sekulovich" in films and television shows in which he appears. 


For example, as General Omar Bradley in Patton, as his troops slog their way through enemy fire in Sicily, Malden says "Hand me that helmet, Sekulovich" to another soldier.





In Dead Ringer, as a police detective in the squad room, Malden tells another detective: "Sekulovich, gimme my hat."



In Fear Strikes Out, Malden, playing Jimmy Piersall's father John, introduces Jimmy to a baseball scout named Sekulovich.
In Birdman of Alcatraz, as a prison warden touring the cell block, Malden recites a list of inmates' names, including Sekulovich. Malden's father was not pleased, as he told his son 'Mladen, no Sekulovich has ever been in prison!' Perhaps the most notable usage of his real name was in the TV series The Streets of San Francisco.
Malden's character in the program, Mike Stone, employed a legman (played by Art Metrano) with that name, who did various errands. Also, in On the Waterfront, in which Malden plays the priest, among the names of the officers of Local 374 called out in the courtroom scene is Mladen Sekulovich, Delegate.
In September 1934, Malden decided to leave his home in Gary, Indiana, to pursue formal dramatic training at the Goodman School (later part of DePaul University), then associated with the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Goodman Theatre, Chicago's oldest and largest not-for-profit theater, has won international renown for the quality of productions, the depth and diversity of artistic leadership, and the excellence of its many community and educational programs. The Goodman is committed to producing both classic and contemporary works, giving full voice to a wide range of artists and visions.Phone: 312-443-3800
Although he had worked in the steel mills in Gary for three years, he had helped support his family, and was thus unable to save enough money to pay for his schooling. Making a deal with the director of the program, he gave the institute the little money that he did have, with the director agreeing that, if Malden did well, he would be rewarded with a full scholarship. He won the scholarship. When Malden performed in the Goodman's children's theater, he wooed the actress Mona Greenberg (stage name: Mona Graham), who married him in 1938.
He graduated from the Chicago Art Institute in 1937. Soon after, without work and without money, Malden returned to his hometown. 

One of Karl Malden's most famous movies, of course,  is Streetcar Named Desire which  also starred two time Academy Award winner Vivian Leigh
.
"It's much easier to make people cry than to make them laugh."
-Vivien Leigh


She won both awards for playing Southern belles. This AND Gone With The Wind.
 Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her. Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier (5 November 1913 – 8 July 1967) was an English actress.
She won a Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a role she also played on stage in London'sWest End, as well as her portrayal of the southern belle Scarlett O'Hara, alongside Clark Gable, in the epic civil war drama Gone With The Wind.

She was a prolific stage performer, frequently in collaboration with her then-husband, Laurence Olivier, who directed her in several of her roles. During her 30-year stage career, she played roles ranging from the heroines of Noel Coward and George Bernard Shaw comedies to classic Shakespearean characters such as Ophelia, Cleopatra and Juliet.
Lauded for her beauty, Leigh felt that it sometimes prevented her from being taken seriously as an actress. However, ill health proved to be her greatest obstacle. For much of her adult life Leigh suffered from bipolar disorder. She earned a reputation for being difficult to work with, and her career suffered periods of inactivity. She also suffered recurrent bouts of chronic tuberculosis, first diagnosed in the mid-1940s.
Leigh and Olivier divorced in 1960, and she worked sporadically in film and theatre until her death from tuberculosis in 1967.
An Anglo-Indian, Leigh was born Vivian Mary Hartley in Darjeeling, Bengal, British India, to Ernest Hartley, an officer in the Indian Cavalry, and Anglo-Indian Gertrude Robinson Yackjee. Leigh's parents were married in Kensington, London, in 1912.

In 1917, Ernest Hartley was transferred to Bangalore, while Gertrude and Vivian stayed in Ootacamund.
Young Vivian made her first stage appearance at the age of three, reciting "Little Bo Peep" for her mother's amateur theatre group.
Gertrude Hartley tried to instill in her daughter an appreciation of literature and introduced her to the works of Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll, and Rudyard Kipling, as well as stories of Greek mythology and Indian folklore
An only child, Vivian Hartley was sent to the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Roehampton (now Woldingham School) in 1920 by her devoutly Catholic mother. One of her mates there was future actress Maureen O'Sullivan, two years her senior, to whom Vivian expressed her desire to become "a great actress". 

In my opinion, the greatest American classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
The director's credit goes to Victor Fleming although George Cukor also worked on that film.  They also both worked on The Wizard of Oz, also 1939.  
Once again, Victor Fleming received sole directorial credit. Victor Lonzo Fleming (February 23, 1889 – January 6, 1949) was born in La Canada, California, the son of Elizabeth Evaleen (née Hartman) and William Alonzo "Lon" Fleming, who worked in the water industry in Pasadena.
His mother was of part German descent. Fleming served in the photographic section during World War I, and acted as chief photographer for President Woodrow Wilson in Versailles, France. 





He showed a mechanical aptitude early in life; while working as a car mechanic he met the director Allan Dwan, who took him on as a camera assistant.

Fleming soon rose to the rank of cinematographer, working with both Dwan and D. W. Griffith, and directed his first film in 1919.


Many of Fleming's silent films were action movies, often starring Douglas Fairbanks, or Westerns, and with his robust attitude and love of outdoor sports he became known as a "man's director". But he also proved an effective director of women.
 Under his direction,Vivien Leigh won the Best Actress Oscar, Hattie McDaniel won for Best Supporting Actress, and Ingrid Bergman was nominated.

(In fact, nine actors who appeared in films directed by Fleming were Oscar-nominated.)

In 1932 Fleming joined MGM and directed some of the studio's most prestigious films.Red Dust (1932), Bombshell (1933), and Reckless (1935) showcased Jean Harlow while Treasure Island (1934) and Captains Courageous (1937) brought a touch of literary distinction to boy's-own adventure stories.
His two most famous films came in 1939, when The Wizard of Oz was closely followed by Gone With The Wind.

Fleming's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1944) with Spencer Tracy, was  generally rated below Rouben Mamoulian's 1931 Pre-Code version, which had starred Frederick March.
Fleming's 1942 film version of John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat starred Spencer Tracy, John Garfield, Hedy Lamarr, and Frank Morgan.



Other films that Fleming made with Tracy include Captains Courageous (for which Tracy won his first Oscar), A Guy Named Joe, and Test Pilot.
He directed Clark Gable in a total of five films - Red Dust, The White Sister, Test Pilot, Gone With the Wind, and Adventure.



The other director who directed Vivien Leigh to her second Oscar was Elia Kazan.  
Elia Kazan, known for his creative stage direction, was born Elia Kazanjoglous in Istanbul in 1909 to Greek parents.


He directed such Broadway plays as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". He is a proponent of the method approach to acting, developed by Konstantin Stanislavski.


 Kazan received two best director Academy Awards, for the films Gentleman's Agreement (1947) and On The Waterfront (1954). 
He has written many films about Greek immigrants, such as America, America (1963).
 These films are based on his novels. Kazan's autobiography, published in 1988, is entitled "Elie Kazan: A Life".
Elia Kazan (IPA:[e 'lia ka' zan] 1909–2003) was an American director and actor, described by the New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history".



Born in Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, to Greek parents originally from Kayseri in Anatolia, the family emigrated to New York when he was four.   

After two years studying acting at Yale, he acted professionally for eight years before becoming a stage and film director.
Kazan joined the Group Theatre in 1932 and co-founded the Actors Studio in 1947. With Less Strasberg, he introduced Method acting to the American stage and cinema as a new form of self-expression and psychological "realism".

Having been an actor himself, he brought sensitivity and understanding of the acting process and was later considered the ideal "actor's director".
With playwright Arthur Miller, 1949
Kazan acted in only a few  films, including City For Conquest (1940) alongside James Gagney.
He also produced movies and wrote screenplays and novels. Kazan introduced a new generation of unknown young actors to the movie audiences, including Marlon Brando and James Dean.
Most noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins.
He became "one of the consummate filmmakers of the 20th century", after directing a continual string of successful films, including those already cited and East of Eden (1955). During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director and received an Honorary Oscar, won three Tony Awards, and four Golden Globes.
 Among the other new actors he introduced to movie audiences were Warren Beatty, Carroll Baker, Julie Harris, Andy Griffith, Lee Remick, Rip Torn, Eli Wallach, Eva Marie Saint,Martin Balsam,Fred Gwynne, and Pat Hingle.

He also elicited some of the best performances in the careers of actors like Natalie Wood and James Dean. Producer George Stevens, Jr., concludes that Kazan's films and new actors have "changed American moviemaking".

Where do we go from here? YOU TELL ME!



WIKIPEDIA IS THE MAIN SOURCE OF THIS  BLOG. NO COPY WRITE INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Thank you, to all the stars pictured in this blog! 

I love you ALL!!



 
Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Now, GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TONIGHT!

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Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com








Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two Rubys! Happy Birthday, Nanette Fabray and Ruby Dee!

Nanette Fabray. “We're not quarreling! We're in complete agreement! We hate each other!” 

Happy Thursday!
Hoping this finds you well. Here in New York, it's a rainy day. The above quote is attributed to Nanette Fabray. That quote doesn't apply to how I feel about her. I love her. Always have. Today is Nanette's 91st birthday. She is slightly older than Carol Channing...by 3 months.
Did you know that Nanette was Gower Champion's first choice to play Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!? He thought she had the spirit that Dolly demanded and needed. 
According to John Anthony Gilvey in his incredible book on Gower Champion, Before The Parade Passes By, Gower asked Nanette to undertake some exploratory sessions with him to prove that she was right for the part. After their work together on Make a Wish, she felt he should be familiar with her abilities, so she declined. And the wheels started moving in another direction...
You know my heart belongs to Carol but it is a shame that Nanette never played this role!
She began her career performing in vaudeville as a child and then became a musical theatre actress during the 1940s and 1950s, winning a Tony Award in 1949 for her performance in Love Life.

She became a household name during the mid 1950s as comedy partner to Sid Caesar on Caesar's Hour for which she won three Emmy Awards. From 1979-1984 she starred as Grandma Katherine Romano on One Day At A Time.
Fabray overcame a significant hearing impairment to pursue her career and has been a long-time advocate for the rights of the deaf and hard of hearing. Her honors representing the handicapped include the President's Distinguished Service Award and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award.
She is the aunt of actress/singer Shelly Fabares.


Fabray was born as Ruby Bernadette Nanette Fabares in San Diego, California to Raul Bernard Fabares, a train conductor, and Lily Agnes McGovern, a housewife.
The family resided in Los Angeles and Fabray's mother was instrumental in getting her daughter involved in show business as a young child. At a very young age she began studying tap dancing with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson among other teachers. 
She made her professional stage debut as "Miss New Years Eve 1923" at the Million Dollar Theatre at the age of 3. The following year she made her first film appearance as an extra in the Our Gang short Cradle Robbers (unconfirmed). She spent much of her childhood appearing in vaudeville productions as mainly a dancer but also a singer.
She appeared across such stars as Ben Turpin.
Fabray's parents divorced when she was nine years old but her parents continued to live together for financial reasons many years after. During the Great Depression, her mother turned their home into a boarding house which Fabray and her siblings helped her to run.
In her early teenage years she attended the Max Reinhardt School of the Theatre on a scholarship. She also attended Hollywood High School where she graduated in 1939.
She entered Los Angeles Junior College in the Fall of 1939 but withdrew after only a few months. She had always had difficulty as a student in school due to an undiagnosed hearing impairment which made learning significantly difficult for her.
She eventually was diagnosed with a hearing problem in her 20s after an acting teacher encouraged her to get her hearing tested. Of the experience Fabray said, "It was a revelation to me. All these years I had thought I was stupid, but in reality I just had a hearing problem."
At the age of 19, Fabray made her feature film debut as one of Bette Davis'' ladies-in-waiting in
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939).

She appeared in two other motion pictures that year for Warner Brothers, The Monroe Doctrine and A Child Is Born, but failed to gain a long-term studio contract.

She next appeared in the stage show Meet the People in Los Angeles in 1940 which then toured the United States in 1940-1941.
 
While in the show she sang the opera aria "Caro nome" from Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto and did a tap dance to the song as well. While the show was in New York City, Fabray was invited to perform the "Caro nome" number for a benefit at Madison Square Garden with Eleanor Roosevelt as the main speaker.Ed Sullivan was the Master of Ceremonies for the event and the famed host, reading a cue card, mispronounced her name as "Nanette Fa-bare-ass."
After this embarrassing faux pas, the actress changed the spelling of her name from Fabares to Fabray.
Artur Rodzinski, conductor of the New York Philharmonic, saw Fabray's performance in Meet the People and offered to sponsor operatic vocal training for her at the Julliard School.
She studied opera at Juilliard during the latter half of 1941 while performing in her first Broadway musical, Let's Face It! with Danny Kaye and Eve Arden.
(Carol Channing was Eve Arden's understudy in this show!)
She decided, however, that she preferred musical theatre over opera and withdrew from the school after attending for only five months.
She became highly successful as a musical theatre actress in New York during the 1940s and early 1950s, starring in such productions as By Jupiter (1942), My Dear Public (1943), Jackpot (1944), Bloomer Girl (1946), High Button Shoes (1947), Arms and the Girl (1950), and Make a Wish (1951).

In 1949 she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Susan Cooper in Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner's Love Life.
She received a second Tony nomination for the role of Nell Henderson in Mr. President in 1963 after an eleven year absence from the New York Stage.
In the mid 1940s Fabray worked regularly for David Sarnoff and NBC on a variety of programs for the Los Angeles area. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Fabray made her first high profile national television appearances performing on a number of variety programs like The Ed Sullivan Show, Texaco Star Theatre, and The Arthur Murray Party.
She also appeared on Your Show of Shows as a guest star opposite Sid Caesar.
She later became a household name serving as Caesar's comedy partner on Caesar's Hour from 1954–1956, for which she won three Emmys.
Fabray left the show after a misunderstanding when her business manager, unbeknownst to her, made unreasonable demands for her third season contract, and Fabray and Caesar did not reconcile until a few years later when both became aware of the facts.

Fabray appeared on several series as the mother of a main character: on One Day At A Time she was Ann Romano's mom, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show she was mother to Mary Richards, and on Coach, she played mother to real-life niece Shelly Fabares.





She also made appearances on The Carol Burnett Show, Burke's Law, Love, American Style, Maude, The Love Boat, What's My Line?, and Murder, She Wrote.
Her brief, eponymous 1961 comedy series was cancelled after 13 episodes.

On the PBS program, Pioneers of Television: Sitcoms, Mary Tyler Moore credited her well-known "crying" takes to mimicking Fabray's style of comic crying.
 In 1953, Fabray played her most famous screen role as a Betty Comden -like playwright in MGM's The Band Wagon with Fred Astaire and Jack Buchanan.
Their performance included a classic musical number, "Triplets", that was eventually included in That's Entertainment, Part II.
  Additional film credits include The Subterraneans (1960), The Happy Ending (1969), Amy (1981), and Teresa's Tatoo (1994) among others.

Happy Birthday Ruby...I mean Nanette!


And now on to another Ruby. This one kept her original name!




Actress Ruby Dee is 87 today! Ruby Dee (born October 27, 1924) is an American actress, poet, playwright, Screenwriter, journalist, and activist. 
Ruby Dee's acting career has spanned more than fifty years and has included theater, radio, television, and movies.

 She has also been active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
Ruby Dee has been in numerous films, plays and musicals, perhaps most famously the original Broadway production and subsequent movie of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun.
 
Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Gladys Hightower and Marshall Edward Nathaniel Wallace, a cook, waiter, and porter.
After her mother left the family, Dee's father married Emma Amelia Benson, a schoolteacher.


Dee grew up in Harlem, New York.
She attended Hunter College High School and went on to graduate from Hunter College with degrees in French and Spanish in 1944. Dee is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.



Her parents, Marshall and Emma Wallace, moved the family to Harlem in New York City when Dee was just a baby.

In the evening Dee, her two sisters, and her brother read poetry aloud to each other. As a teenager Dee submitted poetry to the New York Amsterdam News, a black weekly newspaper.

Later in life, Dee admitted that during those years she was a shy girl but that she always felt a burning desire to express herself.

Ruby Dee was raised during the golden age of Harlem.
After high school, she attended New York's Hunter College, graduating in 1945.
Expressive and literate, Dee was drawn to the theatre while still a college student.




Dee acted in small Shakespearian productions and landed a role in the play, South Pacific in 1943.

She also began to study with the American Negro Theatre, where she would meet her future husband, Ossie Davis.

They would fall in love during a cross-country tour of Anna Lucasta.


Dee made several appearances on Broadway before receiving national recognition for her role in the 1950 film The Jackie Robinson Story.

Her career in acting has crossed all major forms of media over a span of eight decades, including the films A Raisin in the Sun, in which she recreated her stage role as a suffering housewife in the projects, and Edge of the City.
She played both roles opposite Sidney Poitier. During the 1960s, Dee appeared in such politically charged films as Gone Are The Days Gone Are the Days and The Incident, which is recognized as helping pave the way for young African-American actors and filmmakers.


In 2007, she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for American Gangster.
Along with her late husband Ossie Davis, Dee has been an outspoken political activist and was involved with the Civil Rights Movement in the '60s.

She appeared in one episode of The Golden Girls' sixth season. Dee has been nominated for eight Emmy Awards, winning once for her role in the 1990 TV film Decoration Day.
She was nominated for her television guest appearance in the China Beach episode, "Skylark". Her husband Ossie Davis (1917–2005) also appeared in that episode.

In 1995, she and her husband were awarded the National Medal of Arts.
They were also recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.

Dee made several appearances on Broadway before receiving national recognition for her role in the 1950 film The Jackie Robinson Story.
Her career in acting has crossed all major forms of media over a span of eight decades, including the films A Raisin in the Sun, in which she recreated her stage role as a suffering housewife in the projects, and Edge of the City. She played both roles opposite Sidney Portier.
During the 1960s, Dee appeared in such politically charged films as Gone Are the Days and The Incident, which is recognized as helping pave the way for young African-American actors and filmmakers.



Over the next decade, Dee appeared in several plays and movies including A Raisin in the Sun and Davis's play Purlie Victorious.  In 1965 Ruby Dee became the first African American actress to appear in major roles at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. Her musical satire Take It from the Top opened in New York in 1979.

Beginning in the early 1960s, Dee made numerous appearances on television including roles in the Play of the Week and in several series.
In 1968 she became the first African American actress to be featured on Peyton Place. In 1970 she starred in the critically acclaimed play Boesman and Lena. 
On February 12, 2009, Dee joined the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College orchestra and chorus, along with the Riverside Inspirational Choir and NYC Labor Choir, in honoring Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday at the Riverside Church in New York City.
Under the direction of Maurice Peress, they performed Earl Robinson's "The Lonesome Train: A Music Legend for Actors, Folk Singers, Choirs, and Orchestra" in which Dee was the Narrator.
In 2003, Ruby Dee also narrated a series of WPA slave narratives in the HBO film Unchained Memories, according to IMDB.
In 2007 the winner of the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album was tied between Dee and Ossie Davis for With Ossie And Ruby: In This Life Together, and former President Jimmy Carter.
She was nominated for an Academy Award for  Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for her portrayal of Mama Lucas in American Gangster. She won the SAG award for the same performance. At 83 years old, Dee is currently the second oldest nominee for Best Supporting Actress, behind Gloria Stuart who was 87 when nominated for her role in Titanic.


This was Dee's first nomination.

Happy Birthday, Ruby!
WIKIPEDIA IS THE MAIN SOURCE OF THIS BLOG TODAY.
NO COPY WRITE INFRINGEMENT INTENDED

And Events I Highly Recommend!


Once again, 

Me, Linda Amiel Burns, Sidney Myer, Jerry Laird. PHOTO CREDIT: Jerry Laird
Linda Amiel Burns, MAC Award Winning Director of THE SINGING EXPERIENCE  announces that the last 2011 workshop of The Singing Experience, "HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS", (#452) begins on Thursday evening, November 10th. Rehearsals take place at STUDIO 353 (353 West 48th Street). The 6-Session workshop will continue on Thursday, November 17th, (skip the 23rd for Thanksgiving holiday), then Wednesdays, 30th and December 7th from 7 to 1-, with a performance on Wednesday, December 14th at THE TRIAD (158 West 72nd Street, NYC - 212-362-2590 ) at 7:30 pm (tech rehearsal from 5:30 to 6:45 pm). There will be a DVD Viewing Party on Wednesday, December 21st from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. 
Tuition includes a 2-hour professionally taped high def DVD. 
Linda Amiel Burns personally conducts each workshop. THE SINGING EXPERIENCE in its 34th season, (established 1977) was started to give aspiring cabaret and musical theater performers the opportunity to explore their talents, conquer fear, and develop self-confidence by learning the "tools of the trade" through great coaching and actually performing before audiences in a supportive, nurturing and non-competitive environment. 

For Registration and information call 212 315 3500 or email Linda@SingingExperience.com.

Award-Winning Local Playwright to Stage Public Readings
Of New Play on Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya

Rockland County, N.Y. – Public readings of 60 minutes from a new play by award-winning playwright, Angelo Parra, based on the correspondence between composer Kurt Weill and actress Lotte Lenya (both Rockland residents), are scheduled at Penguin Repertory Theatre and at Rockland Center for the Arts (ROCA).  A brief talkback session will follow both readings. 


This excerpt from the new play, with the working title of “Passing in the Night,” was composed under an Individual Artists grant by the Arts Council of Rockland and with the cooperation of Penguin Rep Artistic Director Joe Brancato. 

Kurt Weill wrote the music for “Threepenny Opera” and “One Touch of Venus,” among other major musical works.  Stage and screen actress Lotte Lenya performed extensively in Europe and in America, and was nominated for an Academy Award for “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.”  

If you'd like to attend the readings which, with a short feedback session afterwards, should run around 80 minutes, please let them know ASAP.  The seating is limited, particularly at ROCA, so - please let me know which reading and how many seats you need.

GREAT NEWS!!!!!--- JOHN O'HURLEY (Seinfeld, Dancing With the Stars and others.
O'Hurley has also been the host of Purina's annual National Dog Show every Thanksgiving since 2002) has joined the performers roster for the Zani's Furry Friends Benefit on November 26 and the Laurie Beechman. GET YOUR TICKETS! With Emily Buttner, Sean Harkness, Amy Ralske, Len Cariou, Phil Geoffrey Bond, Mark Janus, Eve Weiss, Tanya Moberly, Bill Zeffiro, Elena Bennett, Jonathan Russell, Peter Napolitano, David Vernon, and Deb Berman! See The Variety Show does exist!

Have your voice heard – You can make a difference!
Sean Harkness







I have been fortunate enough to call among my friends several celebrities. The one thing that I've gleaned from them beyond their bodies of work is their humanness.

Thank you to all of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you ALL have given to the world!


REMINDER: Nov 12
1:45pm
LOCAL 802 MUSICIAN'S HALL,
322 West 48th Street, NYC
An Afternoon Celebrating The Legacy of Jerry Herman

I am hosting and my guests are Klea Blackhurst, Ken Bloom, Marge Champion, Amber Edwards (Words and Music, the award winning documentary on Jerry Herman), Sondra Lee (Hello Dolly!'s original Minnie Faye), Miles Phillips, Donald Pippin, Lee Roy Reams with John Fischer on piano.
Thank you for joining me on these nostalgic journeys!
I've added a new aspect to my blog.. I am now answering a question on video that YOU send to me. You can ask me ANYTHING and I will answer your question on video within my blog. Send your questions to
Richard@RichardSkipper.com




"Richard, for supporting the ARTS and calling attention to the STARS of yesterday. You are a STAR in your own right!! With admiration and friendship"
Arlene Dahl



Thank you to all who have encouraged me! Thanks to all who have tried to stifle my art. I have learned from ALL of you!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE day for ALL!



GO SEE A LIVE SHOW TONIGHT!




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Tomorrow's blog will be YOU TELL ME
I'm open to suggestions!





Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS



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




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

YOU, I LIKE!

You I like, so let me tip my hat / In your path I spread my welcome mat / You I like, can you imagine that? / Although your ways may be strange / And there's much that I'd change, somehow
-Jerry Herman, The Grand Tour,
The Grand Tour is a musical with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman.


Happy Wednesday!

Great job last night, Jason! What an amazing crowd of adoring fans too. Congratulations!
-Scott Willis
Hope you're relishing getting halfway to the week and inching towards the weekend.  
If you've been following my blogs lately, you've read a lot about Jason Graae. Congratulations to Jason on am amazing successful run at The Laurie Beechman Theatre at The Westbank Cafe in New York. Directed by Lee Tannen and musical arrangements and direction by John Boswell.
Well, his show arrived (for me) last night and it was well worth the wait. I wonder if there is anything this man can't do! In a packed audience that included Ann Hampton and Shirley Callaway, Mr and Mrs. Brian Gari (yes, he is a newlywed!), Amanda McBroom, Michael Musto, Mary Testa, Nina Hennesey, Peggy Herman (pictured), Sara Berg, and too many more to mention here, he had EVERYONE eating out of the palm of his hand from the moment the overture started...with Jason on oboe. 
Read what Michael Musto wrote about last night HERE. (Speaking of Peggy Herman, she has her own successful  Jerry Herman show...Herman sings Herman. Directed by Peter Glebo and Tommy Tune, Musical directed by Alex Rybeck. Her goal is to have the CD ready by November 28th in time for our Jerry Herman tribute! See below!!) Jerry Herman is definitely getting his due here in New York as you will see in today's blog.

"When I think of Jason, I always recall how witty and zany and uproariously funny he is. Sometimes I forget that he has an absolutely beautiful singing voice, and works magic in ballads. This show happily gave him the opportunity to show both sides."
Sara Louise Lazarus



Herman show from start to finish, he kept the entire audience thoroughly entertained. There were several occasions where he brought more than a tear or two to the eye.
It is thrilling to have brilliantly talented friends like you, Jason. But when years of hard work, life experience and innate genius culminate, the results are astonishing. Thanks for "Perfect Hermany." It is the perfect blend of hilarity and heart. I'm so glad you are what you are and thanks for the shout out to my voice teacher mom telling her to drop her jaw! 
-Ann Hampton Callaway
Jerry Herman and Jason have worked together over the years and they are more than mere acquaintances. Jason and Jerry first worked together in "Hello, Jerry!", a musical revue celebrating the music of Jerry Herman WITH JERRY HERMAN on piano! It doesnt get any better than that!


Then, the ultimate compliment when you get a call from someone like Jerry Herman saying that you were born to recreate on stage a character that he helped to create.
S.L. Jacobowsky in The Grand Tour. I agree. Hearing Jason sing Marianne and Mrs. S.L. Jacobowsky and Jaon's anthem, You I Like solidifies that for me every time I hear these songs.
Based on S. N. Behrman's play Jacobowsky and the Colonel, the story concerns an unlikely pair. S.L. Jacobowsky, a Polish-Jewish intellectual, has purchased a car he cannot drive.
Stjerbinsky, an aristocratic, anti- Semitic colonel, knows how to drive but has no car. When the two men meet at a Paris hotel, they agree to join forces in order to escape the approaching Nazis. Together with the Colonel’s girlfriend, Marianne, they experience many adventures while on the road, but trouble ensues when Jacobowsky falls in love with the young girl.
I have grown tired of others incompetence and when I see someone at the top of their game, it excites me and stimulates me like no drug can!
Brian Gari and Jason Graae
Jason did the first West coast revival of The Grand Tour. He also did a scaled down production of this show at The York Theatre several years ago.  
The Grand Tour is one of Jerry's under rated shows.
I think the timing is ripe for an off-Broadway production starring Jason Graae. ason can also be seen in Amber Edwards' incredible documentary, Words And Music, celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman.

I am still floored by the incredible performance last nite by Jason Graae. He is in every way the consummate musical comedy performer.
Brian Gari

He recorded for my album last week, and I would like to say that "I never have laughed so hard, or been more impressed with someone as I was with him" I can't wait to hear him on my album. It's called Cautiously Optimistic, releasing in December and he is singing a song called JUST A WORD.
-Scott Evan Davis

Last night, while my mother was seeing Hugh Jackman, I was lucky enough to be in the audience for none other than Mr. Jason Graae. It's hard to imagine how one town can host two of the most charming, talented, and completely heterosexual men in one night. I'm pretty sure I had the better time.
-Perry.. Balin 
WOW! WOW! WOW! Jason, your entire show was absolutely amazing. However, your "I Am What I Am" was the BEST I've ever heard. I didn't know if I could make it at 9:30 since I'll have nineteen 6 and 7 years old to face this morning, but I'm so glad I did. You made me laugh (a lot) and cry. We look forward to seeing you at Merkin Hall too. Aren't we lucky?
-Fred White 

Jason,
You were absolutely stunning last night in Perfect Hermany. You have the amazing ability to touch our hearts with your artistry, and I thank you so much for that. Much love to you, and have a great show tonight.
Love,
Cathy Venable
Jason's all right, if you like talent.
Alex Rybeck
Jason is also available on Brian Gari's LATE NITE COMIC 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION recently on CD and Available HERE


And speaking of Amber Edwards, meet her at the afternoon I have put together for The Sheet Music Society on November 12th! My only regret is that Jason is not available to be part of this awesome panel.

Nov 12
1:45pm
 LOCAL 802 MUSICIAN'S HALL, 322 West 48th Street, NYC An Afternoon Celebrating The Legacy of Jerry Herman

 I am hosting an incredible panel that includes Klea Blackhurst, Ken Bloom, Marge Champion, Amber Edwards (Words and Music, the award winning documentary on Jerry Herman), Sondra Lee (Hello Dolly!'s original Minnie Faye), Miles Phillips, Donald Pippin, Lee Roy Reams with John Fischer on piano. $10 non members of the Sheet Music Society.
But we do have Klea Blackhurst! 

Klea Blackhurst is an actress best known for Everything the Traffic Will Allow, her tribute to Ethel Merman that debuted in New York in 2001.

Among many accolades, this production earned her the inaugural Special Achievement Award from Time Out New York magazine. The recording of Everything the Traffic Will Allow was named one of the top ten show albums of 2002 by Talkin' Broadway.com.

Klea next turned her passion for musical-theatre history toward the Broadway career of composer Vernon Duke and debuted Autumn in New York: Vernon Duke’s Broadway at New York’s Café Carlyle which subsequently played a sold-out engagement at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater. In the Fall of 2007 Klea teamed with Billy Stritch to create Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael which they debuted at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room.
This performance received a Back Stage Bistro Award. The recording of Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael was released in October 28, 2008.

Lee Hartgrave, BeyondChron


 AND: 


Richard Skipper Celebrates...Jerry Herman!

For Immediate Release
For Press Inquiries, please contact Richard Skipper 845-365-0720 



158 West 72nd Street New York, NY


YOU ARE INVITED TO A PARTY!
Magda Katz is joining forces with Richard Skipper to launch
Richard Skipper Presents...

A New Monthly Series at the Triad that will be partly a cabaret show, partly a party! And They ALL will benefit The Dr. Carol Channing-Harry Kullijian Foundation For The Arts 

The first of this series will be celebrating the music of Jerry Herman!
Jerry celebrated his 80th Birthday in July! We are STILL celebrating111

Richard has lined up an amazing cast!
RESERVE TODAY!
Nov 28 8pm

THE TRIAD, 158 West 72nd Street
RICHARD SKIPPER CELEBRATES...JERRY HERMAN
This is the launch of a new series. For now, once a month, Richard will be celebrating a different theme. Hopes to go to weekly in January! A Benefit for Carol Channing's Foundation for the Arts. Anna Bergman, Diane J. Findlay, Peggy Herman, Sue Matsuki, Bob Mattern, Miles Phillips, Lee Roy Reams, Sarah Rice, Jana Robbins, Alex Rybeck, John Patrick Schutz, Richard Skipper,Walter Willison, and a couple of other surprises!
Featuring the John Fischer Trio!
RESERVE TODAY AT 845-365-0720
$25.00 Tickets for show/$50.00 Tickets Include Champagne Reception

And HOLD THE DATE: December 20th! Richard Skipper Celebrates Christmas! Featuring Miles Phillips, Maureen Taylor, Leslie Orofino...and others!


Jerry Herman is the multi-Tony-award-winning composer and lyricist of the classic Broadway musicals:
Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles, Dear World, Mack & Mabel, The Grand Tour, Milk & Honey and much more..

Best known for her long-running Broadway version of Hello Dolly, actress/singer Carol Channing says that even in the depth of the Depression, her San Francisco public middle school had the arts. So she really doesn't understand why so many public schools these days, claiming the need for cutbacks because of the national recession, are dumping music, poetry, visual arts and dancing. The Foundation raises money to bring public awareness to this issue.

Richard Skipper has received artistic and critical acclaim over the past 19 years performing as Carol Channing. 2011 has been a breakout year for Richard. When he closed his off-Broadway tribute to Carol Channing in February, it had garnered Richard 25 rave reviews! Richard was the associate producer of the 2010 and 2011 Bistro Awards in association with Sherry Eaker for the second year in a row. Richard can be seen in Dori Berenstein's CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE. The film premiered April 23rd at The Tribeca Film Festival. In February, Richard debuted "To Carol Channing With Love" (now available for booking!) at Blame It On Midnight in Palm Springs. It honored Carol Channing's 90th Birthday and was a benefit for Carol Channing's Foundation For The Arts (
www.ChanningArts.org). Carol and Harry were in attendance. Richard has focused mostly on his writing this year. He has a highly successful blog called RICHARD SKIPPER PRESENTS, focusing on an entertainment world that seldom exists anymore. Richard continues to teach his workshops on HOW TO MAKE A LIVING AS AN ENTERTAINER. He has served on several panels on the business end of show business and is often asked to emcee many prestigious events. He is campaigning diligently for Carol Channing to receive a long over due Kennedy Center Honor THIS YEAR in 2011. He also continues to raise money for The Dr. Carol Channing-Harry Kullijian Foundation For The Arts, Established in 2005 with the hopes of bringing the importance of arts education to the general public, provide music instruments for underfunded public schools and scholarships for California State University students. Be on the lookout for exciting things that are happening in the autumn of 2011!
If you cannot attend and would like to make a contribution, please go to www.ChanningArts.org


Cabaret star & Jerry Herman fan Marilyn Maye congratulates Jason Graae at his opening last night of PERFECT HERMANY saluting the great Jerry Herman.
Marilyn Maye has her own Jerry Herman tribute coming up next month at Feinstein's! Marilyn starred in several regional productions of Hello, Dolly! and recorded a full album of the score.(which I love and highly recommend)                   
FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY will continue its Fall 2011 season with the return engagement of Grammy Award nominated singer and entertainer Marilyn Maye. Her new show, "The Best Of Times Is Now!" - which honors the legendary Broadway composer Jerry Herman on this 80th Birthday year - features songs from his shows including Mame, Mack and Mabel, Hello, Dolly! and Milk and Honey
Marilyn starred in Hello, Dolly! many times and recorded a CD of all the songs from the Tony Award winning score. Her recent local appearances have been received with rave reviews and full houses. Stephen Holden's New York Times review of her Feinstein's show last May stated "By the end of the evening, as is usually the case with her shows, I was walking on air, infused with a giddy certainty that life really is a cabaret." 
Peggy Herman and Marilyn Maye, Photo credit: Peggy Herman
To quote Rex Reed in The New York Observer, "Her show is not to be missed. It's a master class in singing conducted by a polished pro who majored in unforgettable." Maye will be joined by pianist/conductor Tedd Firth (Billy Stritch on November 8-11), bassist Tom Hubbard, and Jim Eklof, her drummer, who is celebrating 50 years with Ms. Maye. The show runs at Tuesday, November 1 to Saturday, November 12 at the Loews Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street).
      



 
Jason, Thank you so much for an incredible night last night. I have been, I am now, and I am forever a fan!


Ann Hampton Callaway wrote on her wall on Facebook this morning,
"We have been spoiled by the best, working with Marilyn Maye at The Cabaret Convention, hearing Amanda McBroom and Michele Brourman at dazzle us at The Met and last night seeing Jason Graae in sidesplitting and makeup-ruining form in his Jerry Herman tribute "Perfect Hermany." Tonight we see Clint Holmes at The Carlyle pay tribute to Bobby Short. How lucky can you get?"


I agree! And I'll add once again into that mix last week of seeing Betty Buckley at Feinstein's! 

Next up on my list is City of Angels at The Goodspeed Opera House on November 5th! We can take two! Please let me know if you're interested in a day trip.

And Events I Highly Recommend!

Once again, 
Linda Amiel Burns, MAC Award Winning Director of THE SINGING EXPERIENCE  announces that the last 2011 workshop of The Singing Experience, "HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS", (#452) begins on Thursday evening, November 10th. Rehearsals take place at STUDIO 353 (353 West 48th Street). The 6-Session workshop will continue on Thursday, November 17th, (skip the 23rd for Thanksgiving holiday), then Wednesdays, 30th and December 7th from 7 to 1-, with a performance on Wednesday, December 14th at THE TRIAD (158 West 72nd Street, NYC - 212-362-2590 ) at 7:30 pm (tech rehearsal from 5:30 to 6:45 pm). There will be a DVD Viewing Party on Wednesday, December 21st from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Tuition includes a 2-hour professionally taped high def DVD. 
Linda Amiel Burns personally conducts each workshop. THE SINGING EXPERIENCE in its 34th season, (established 1977) was started to give aspiring cabaret and musical theater performers the opportunity to explore their talents, conquer fear, and develop self-confidence by learning the "tools of the trade" through great coaching and actually performing before audiences in a supportive, nurturing and non-competitive environment. 
For Registration and information call 212 315 3500 or email Linda@SingingExperience.com


GREAT NEWS!!!!!--- JOHN O'HURLEY (Seinfeld, Dancing With the Stars and others.
O'Hurley has also been the host of Purina's annual National Dog Show every Thanksgiving since 2002) has joined the performers roster for the Zani's Furry Friends Benefit on November 26 and the Laurie Beechman. GET YOUR TICKETS! With Emily Buttner, Sean Harkness, Amy Ralske, Len Cariou, Phil Geoffrey Bond, Mark Janus, Eve Weiss, Tanya Moberly, Bill Zeffiro, Elena Bennett, Jonathan Russell, Peter Napolitano, David Vernon, and Deb Berman! See The Variety Show does exist!

Have your voice heard – You can make a difference!






I have been fortunate enough to call among my friends several celebrities. The one thing that I've gleaned from them beyond their bodies of work is their humanness.

Thank you to all of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you ALL have given to the world!


REMINDER: Nov 12
1:45pm
LOCAL 802 MUSICIAN'S HALL, 322 West 48th Street, NYC
An Afternoon Celebrating The Legacy of Jerry Herman
Richard Skipper hosts along with Klea Blackhurst, Ken Bloom, Marge Champion, Amber Edwards (Words and Music, the award winning documentary on Jerry Herman), Sondra Lee (Hello Dolly!'s original Minnie Faye), Miles Phillips, Donald Pippin, Lee Roy Reams with John Fischer on piano.

Thank you for joining me on these nostalgic journeys!
I've added a new aspect to my blog.. I am now answering a question on video that YOU send to me. You can ask me ANYTHING and I will answer your question on video within my blog. Send your questions to
Richard@RichardSkipper.com



Before "Milk and Honey" and "Hello, Dolly!" made him a Broadway household name, Jerry Herman was busy working the showbiz trenches. His gifts as a composer, lyricist and musician were already mature in this 1960 revue, now available again in an original cast recording, Parade.
"Richard, for supporting the ARTS and calling attention to the STARS of yesterday. You are a STAR in your own right!! With admiration and friendship"
Arlene Dahl



Thank you to all who have encouraged me! Thanks to all who have tried to stifle my art. I have learned from ALL of you!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE day for ALL!


GO SEE A LIVE SHOW TONIGHT!




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Tomorrow's blog will be YOU TELL ME
I'm open to suggestions!




My friend the late great  Dody Goodman in Parade. She also appeared with Carol Channing in Lorelei
Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS



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