Friday, January 13, 2012

Bobbie Horowitz!

"To love your neighbor as you love yourself is the most important thing in the world. If you look around, I’ll bet you that everyone you see loves their neighbor exactly the way they love his/herself.
Professor Konvitz at Cornell University

Happy Friday, the 13th!

If you are as superstitious as I am, that phrase probably sends shivers down your spine. Well, not anymore, I believe that we ALL are capable of creating our own luck...and no one epitomizes that as much as my friend, Bobbie Horowitz. I have known Bobbie even longer than I've known Bobbie! Let me explain.I had heard people singing Bobbie Horowitz's songs around the cabaret circuit long before I actually met her. Also, I'll never forget that Halloween when Ricky Ritzel and Jim Lazar showed up at Don't Tell Mama as Horowitz and Spector.

From the mid-1980s until the end of the decade, the comedy songwriting duo of Horowitz & Spector occupied a very special and extremely-visible place in the cabaret sphere. Known as much for their catchy melodies and snappy lyrics as their penchant for flashy garmenting (matching metallic pantsuits and headbands in gold and silver, huge rhinestone brooches proudly announcing “Horowitz & Spector” and the glitter the two would liberally sprinkle into their hair), it was a very short matter of time before they were headlining at such clubs as The Duplex and Panache Encore. (Source Andrew Martin)

Proud daughters of Brooklyn, Barbara “Bobbie” Horowitz and Sharon Spector Schapow each began their own foray into writing and entertainment at young ages, and before they even knew each other.

I don't remember the first time I physically met Bobbie, but I do know there was a definite bonding and this many years later, at least two decades, I consider her one of my TRUE best party. I was asked to perform at her 60th birthday party and for her 70th, I threw a surprise birthday party at our home. 

Although Horowitz and Spector, are no longer performing together, Bobbie continues to go, showing the world that a woman in her 70s is still sexy, vibrant, and a contributor to the world and this ever ready dynamo shows no sign of slowing down. In addition to her songwriting, which she continues to do, she is now a successful  author and blogger.

Let's go back to the beginning with Bobbie...

The first live show she saw was “Song of Norway”, an operetta written in 1944 by Robert Wright and George Forrest, adapted from the music of Edvard Grieg and the book by Milton Lazarus and Homer Curran. Bobbie saw it in 1944 when she was 4 years old. Her father was Labor Relations counsel for the Hotel Industry and knew many hotel and theater owners and got her into the theater at age 4.
BOBBIE LOVED it. Shes remember that the countess played by Kitty Carlysle , whom she later got to meet because she lived in my neighborhood while Bobbie was bringing up her son – threw a party for Edvard Grieg.  Onstage, there was a small Ferris Wheel with cupcakes on it. She told all her little friends that she’d been to the countess’s party. Live theater made her feel that she was there!  She said she could taste those cupcakes!
It was on Broadway at the Palace Theatre. It was the first Broadway show to cross the Atlantic after the end of the Second World War.

Were you exposed to the arts growing up?
 Very much so! Thank God for giving me my family!


Tell me about your first time on stage?
I know I was on stage in Junior High. I can’t remember the play. I remember playing Magnolia Hawks in Show Boat at camps Reena and Mohican in 1954 and the same year, at New Utrecht High School, playing on of the two visitors – the one who brought Sheridan Whiteside the calves foot jelly - in The Man Who Came To Dinner.


First professional job?

My first professional job as an actress was for the Village Players Guild at Washington Street and 6th Ave.  in a musical called Off White. I played the wicked Queen who had two children Snow and her illegitimate son, Off (played by my legitimate son David F. Slone, Esq. at age 6!


Your thoughts on Arts in Education

It’s one of the most important thing we can include in education. I’m blessed to have had it. I founded an arts in ed 501(c )(3 ) with my son in the 90s. We went into middle and high schools, both schools for artistically gifted children and schools for severely damaged children.

What makes you cry out of the blue when you see or hear it?

One simple line, from South Pacific, can have the tears flowing on stage or off when needed - or anytime, “Lieutenant Cable is on the hill.”



Your thoughts on Carol Channing (All my blogs focus on Carol Channing’s Foundation For The Arts)

I’ve already sent you my request to have Carol win that award.  I can’t imagine her not winning one. She is one of the “center pieces of the American Musical. You can’t really replace her. Someone else can take the part –but – it won’t be the same. It never is – but in this case we’re speaking about someone so unique that a part becomes her rather than she becoming the part (although she does and is real as well as large.)

Bobbie's most recent appearance

My most recent appearance was on January 4th at Wednesday Night at the Iguana which is produced by Dana Lorge.

Next appearance:

I will be the featured speaker at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations Alumni breakfast on September 10th.  I’ll be speaking about my Dress to Get YES workshop. All attendees will get a nice discount for my color/style analysis.  Let me know if you’d like to attend. The room can hold only 25 people max. Where: Putney Twombly Hall & Hirson LLP – 521 Fifth Ave. (Entrance on 43rd Street), New York, NY
Price: ILRAA Members $5; Non-ILRAA members $10.

What is your biggest success in Show Business

Wow! My heart would have to choose 2
Horowitz and Spector’s Winning the MAC Award for Outstanding Comedy Duo
As Producer of The Betrayal of Nora Blake getting 12 out of 12 rave reviews and being extended in London and being voted Best Musical of the Year for 2001 in Florida by The Palm Beach Post.

What was your lowest low and how did you surpass that?

I have to say that getting divorced from my son’s father was the very hardest thing I’ve done in my life. I loved him and dreamed of being together and raising our family for as long as we lived. “Surpassing” how I felt then didn’t happen in one quick fix. I need to lift myself over and over.  At that time, theater and being with my son were the things that pulled me through at that time. Walking my son to PS 6 and then running off to Equity for an EPI helped me get up in the morning.  A few years later,  managing a cabaret and then reuniting with and writing songs with Spector lifted me. Hearing my son and my mom applauding in the audience really got me on track. My late baby sister, Susie was my stalwart supporter as was my college roommate Lynda and my other Cornell buddies. I also thank the love Horowitz and Spector got from the cabaret community. In those early days in cabaret, people like you, Richard - and people like Sidney Myer, Diana Templeton, Ricky Ritzel, Jimmy Luzar, Ruby Rims, Nancy Timpanaro, Dana Lorge, Spider Saloff, Alex Rybeck, Sherry Eaker, Annie Hughes, Julie Wilson, Roy Sander and the late Bob Harrington, Ben Martini, Bob Bendorff, Dottie Burman, etc, etc, etc. kept the sun shining for me. I know I must have left names out. OH! I mustn’t forget to thank my wonderful “furry friends”: Hotspur, Debbie Mae, Pookie & Marvin (inherited from Bob Harrington), and Rabeen.

About 20 years ago I discovered inner faith and was lucky to befriend spiritual guide, the late Barbara Van Diest. I made wonderful friends, like Marla Tomazin, in the Image Consulting world and I made great friends in the USA and London while producing theater and I’ve recently met wonderful new positive people.  I shall always thank David Friedman for brilliant insights and ministers: Shawn Moninger, Carlos Anderson, Justin Epstein and Paul Tenaglia for their guidance.  Loving people.  That’s what pulls me through every time!



What one change would you like to see in today’s industry?

If you’re referring to The Cabaret Industry I would like to see it once more become an industry. Cabaret needs to keep up with the times. Being a family is lovely – and there are so many Americans who deserve to share in the creativity that abounds. New Yorkers in other industries and tourists from all over the globe desrve to know this entertainment exists. If they did many would love it and come back and tell their friends about it and the clubs would earn money and the artist could get the wages they deserve to get.

Who are your TOP FIVE models and influences as an artist

Top 5 is hard. Wow! Off the top of my head I’ll say:
Oscar Hammerstein
Larry Hart
Noel Coward
Cole Porter
Tom Lehrer
Stella Adler
Carol Channing
David Friedman
Margaret Whiting
Lucie Arnaz
Cy Coleman
Comden & Green
Eartha Kitt
Julie Wilson
Hugh Jackman
Bette Midler
Can I keep going on and on and on?

What do you think ultimately made you become a performer?

My wonderful parents having the smarts to take me to Broadway shows whem I was very you – 4 and 5 years old and up.  My wonderful uncle Arnie Horowiz who always inspired me to go on -  and Mel Stecher and Norm Horowitz, my musical directors at Camps Reena & Mohican. The Stecher & Horowitz Foundation is still going strong preparing, promoting and presenting young classical pianists to new Yorkers and the world.

Are you happy at the point you are right now in your career?

I’m happy to be back writing songs. Yes.


Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?

I would still like to see my songs played nationally and in other countries giving more people giggles and every once I a while a warm tear or two.

What do you do to remain positive when life's hiccups get you down?

I guess this question is telling me that I’m not the only one who feels hiccups.
I’ve learned to go to spirit for my answers. Then I check my body sensations (thank you David Friedman) and see if I’m trying to avoid them by not daring to do what’s needed to get what I want and love. Prayer and counseling from my ministers helps and having positive friends like you helps. I also think of what my late spiritual coach, Barbara Van Diest would say and I check in with my buddy Jesus who, by the way is a very light hearted but brilliant soul.  He doesn’t carry the Jewish guilt many of us have.

How on earth do you reach theatre goers now that newspapers are obsolete and there are so many channels on TV you can’t pick the right ones to advertise on and with the web being so hit and miss.
I haven’t been marketing to theatergoers recently. I have been trying to get my own song on sites that might place them. As in anything, we need to learn to work online where people are looking and – I’m just learning new things. I’ll share them as soon as I get them down. Marketing has changed. It’s good to keep up with the times. Ken Davenport has a great blog.


A genie pops out of the lamp, he grants you three wishes. What are those wishes?

Ah! What Do You Want has always the “puzzle question” for me because my tummy tightens up when I think of putting it out and them not achieving it.
Read my Say Yes To You column on Here Women Talk . It explains a lot.

I want the TV Spot I’m developing to be picked up by a channel that can pay me for it.
The HandS Christmas Song get’s picked up for a movie or TV show and becomes a Classic for another Jewish Christmas song writing team.
I earn large amounts of money passively so I can produce “Nutcracker Rated R”, the show my son and Angela Harriel have created, and do all the creative things I love to do.

If you could travel anywhere in the world and spend some time there, where would you choose, and what would you do?

I don’t feel the need to travel like I used to. I have in my life. New York City is still my favorite town, even with the bus changes.  I’d love to have he time to explore all the interesting streets and sections in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Other than New York, I’d love to spend some more time in London (it feels like home to me) and Italy (also like home) and I’d be very interested in visiting life on another “third planet from its sun” in another solar system.

What would you ask God if you could right now?

I guess this is a bit different from the Genie.
First I’d thank for having my son and so many loving people in my life and for my great health and my talent.

Then I’d ask God to let me relax, knowing I’ll always have enough income (since that’s the system of getting things on Earth right now) so as not to have to ask my son for anything and to be able to leave him a sizeable amount.

What is the last stage show you saw.  Local or professional.  
The Nutcracker Rated R

What book is on your night stand right now?
A Course in Miracles – Foundation For Inner Peace


I cannot wait to see what is next for Bobbie Horowitz! Buy her book, Finding Your Mini Qs...and see where YOU will be 1 year from now. 

NO COPY WRITE INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
Bobbie with Steven Fleeker, Dr. Garrett Bennett, and Rev. Shawn Moninger
Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!
Follow me on Twitter If you've seen one of my appearances/shows, add your thoughts to my guestbook at www.RichardSkipper.com
Scott Coulter and Bobbie Horowitz

Tomorrow's blog will be...CELEBRATING DONNA MARIE NOWAK and her book, JUST JOAN: A JOAN CRAWFORD APPRECIATION

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!


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



Bobbie with Dan Sherman and Dana Lorge
Now, GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TODAY!

 Become A Facebook friend of mine!
Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING  and HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS


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

My surprise b'day party at Don't Tell Mama in 2005 SIDNEY MYER  just over Scott Barbarino's right shoulder — with Leslie Orofino, Cynthia Crane, Joan Crowe, Mychelle Colleary, Miles Phillips, Judy Barnett, Ricky Ritzel, Bobbie Horowitz, and Daryl Kojak

In Loving Memory of Harry Kullijian Born:December 27th, 1919 in Turlock, CA. Died December 26th, 2011 in Rancho Mirage, CA.

4 comments:

  1. How much do I love your blog , Richard . What a treasure you are to me. And I love love love this Bobbie Horowitz featured piece.

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  3. Richard, we've never met, however, just this evening I was reunited with Bobbie via a VCR tape of a show I did with her on New Year's Eve in 1987....I couldn't believe I found this tape! I had recorded a few songs for Horowitz & Spector in 1986 (I was on the cabaret circuit with Sidney Meyer as well) and they heard me singing..they immediately asked me to record some of their work...they were great and we became quite friendly....Bobbie is a spitfire with all the courage to burst on to any scene there may be...I lost contact with her since then until just this evening..I called her and we were both overwhelmed with the memories of times past....She hasn't changed except to get better....I cannot wait to see her again, and with friends like you in her court for all these years, I can see why she has grown into an even more wonderful lady than the one I knew years ago....Barbara Starken, nee Riffe.

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  4. That's actually Kenneth Gartman next to Bobbie with Garret & Shawn, but Steven took the picture.

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