Friday, June 1, 2012

June and Hello, Dolly Are Bustin Out All Over!

June Is Bustin’ Out All Over!
I hope you all had a marvelous May and are now looking forward to a joyous June. I had such a great month working on my Hello, Dolly! book. I just wanted to give you the latest updates on my book, CALL ON DOLLY: A celebration of Hello, Dolly! in May.
Jerry Herman's score for the long running musical Hello, Dolly! is one of the most popular ever written. 
Set in 1890s New York City and Yonkers, Hello, Dolly! tells the adventures of the widowed Dolly Levi, an entrepreneur and professional matchmaker who sets out to match herself with half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder. 
There is an exceptionally long list of actresses who have played Dolly Levi-Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey, Ethel Merman on Broadway. Streisand in the film and many many others! At one time, Elizabeth Taylor was being considered, as well. She WAS excited by the prospect. However, screenwriter and producer Ernest Lehman later decided she wasn't right for the part.

Everyone knows the story on stage what most people don't know are the stories off stage! I plan to change that.
I kicked off the month writing about Alan Eichler.  
AlanEichler is a theatrical producer, talent manager and press agent who has represented numerous stage productions, produced Grammy-winning record albums and managed such singers as Anita O'Day, Hadda Brooks, Nellie Lutcher, Ruth Brown, Johnnie Ray and Yma Sumac.
Alan's very first job was as apprentice to Lee Solters and Harvey Sabinson in the fall of 1963 (October), working his way up from the mail room. 

Dora Bryan
It was fun to sit down with Jim Brochu regarding his memories of David Burns, the FIRST Horace Vandergelder (that is in Hello, Dolly!).  Jim Brochu is one of the finest actors working in the theater today. At a very young age, David Burns became a mentor. 
Jim was lucky enough to be surrounded by a Who's Who of the greatest names in show business early on in his career. 

Read my blogs on  
Ruta Lee 
Barbra Streisand starred in the 1969 film. 

Francie Mendenhall auditioned in Los Angeles for  producer Robert Cherin and was hired as a singing ensemble member  for the Pearl Bailey/Billy Daniels revival.

Terri DeMari hired Arnott Mader as a dancer for the original Carol Channing company which was already on the road (1966). They had been in Camelot together.He joined the company in Des Moines, Iowa. Dolly was "mid-career" for Armott. 

Mary Martin International Company
What a thrill it was for me to sit down and chat with Carleton Carpenter last month. Carleton Carpenter  is a movie/television/stage actor, a magician, author and songwriter. He was also Cornelius Hackl in the Mary Martin international tour of Hello, Dolly! 

Also in that company was Bob Avian.
Bob Avian (Bob is a choreographer and a theatre producer and director. Born in New York City, Avian's spent his early career dividing his time between dancing in such Broadway shows as West Side Story, Funny Girl, and Henry, Sweet Henry and working on projects like I Do! I Do! and Twigs

I also wrote about Dorothy Lamour, Yvonne De Carlo, Lainie Kazan, Mary Martin’s International tour, Carole Cook’s Australian tour, Judy Norton, and Danny LaRue! 

Keep checking (It is a work in progress. Updated daily.
What is not there that YOU would like to see there?)
We Have a Fan Page On Facebook. Hit the LIKE button and get book updates:

I have interviewed Mary Ellen Ashley, Bob Avien, Gary Beach, Johnny Beecher (Barnaby Tucker in Mary Martin’s international tour), Wayne Clark, Gordon Connell, Stephan deGhelder,  Marcia Milgrom Dodge (recent production of Dolly at Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Florida), Jack Dyville (Yvonne deCarlo company), Charles Karel, Sue Ane Langdon, Sondra Lee (Broadway’s original Minnie Fay), Marilyn Maye, Bruce Morgan (Yvonne deCarlo’s son), Roberta Olden (she was Ginger Rogers’ personal assistant), Jim Stoker (Marilyn Maye’s Dolly!) , and Gary Wright (Barnaby Tucker, 1988 tour).

I also have interviewed cast and crew of various productions. This book will be a definitive history told from those who LIVED it!
I am including some of these interviews as part of my blog to build up the excitement in anticipation of this book.
Still looking forward to sharing your stories with the world!
Is there anyone else YOU think I should talk with?  

Thomas Ryan Ward, George Marcy, Me after show last night. Photo credit: Ronald Giles
Last night, I debuted my new show. 

Here is a review: A review of last night's show: Yesterday, May 31st, I had the distinct pleasure to enjoy a thoroughly stunning evening of entertainment out-on-the-town in historic Asbury Park near my new home of Red Bank, NJ. The star attraction, Richard Skipper, beloved international performer best known for his spot-on and celebrity approved, loving portrayal of the incomparable Carol Channing, performing his new, 'all-male' review, 'Richard Skipper: At Last'. The show was produced as a benefit for ReVision Theatre of Asbury Park – a young professional company launched five years ago with Richard's help (Richard starred in their first large-scale production, 'Hello, Dolly!', as America's favorite musical matchmaker, Dolly Levi, herself!)

'Richard Skipper: At Last' is Richard in his all new stage persona...himself. Off have come the wig and gown but the sparkle and energy remain; offering the audience a rare musical treat. Richard shares his fateful, life-affirming journey to the stage – from South Carolinian tobacco farmer's son to adolescent stage hopeful, from starry-eyed, new New Yorker to Toast of the Town. Along the way, the audience gets an intimate look into a life well lived interspersed with polished-off Broadway treasures, performed by a personality that gets the crowd moving, stirs them deeply, and keeps them wanting more.

Thanks must be given to Revision Theatre for bring this sparkling stage offering to a new audience of music lovers and kudos to Richard Skipper and brilliant Musical Director, Rich Siegel, for creating an evening that show-people and people who love a great show alike will want to enjoy again and again.

With gratitude for your support and here’s hoping you’re having an arts filled June!
Richard Skipper 845-365-0720

Thank you to all the people I interviewed in May for the gifts you have given and continue to give to the world! I am looking forward to my June interviews! Just you wait!!

With grateful XOXOXs ,
I want this to be a definitive account of Hello, Dolly!  If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with you!  Do you have any pics? If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at


Please join me on Sunday for a very good cause!
June 3
GREAT PAINTED PAW BRIGADE, 22-24 New Main Street Haverstraw, N.Y. 10927
First of its kind in Rockland County, N.Y. Public Arts Project. Gallery Opening Friday March 2, 2012 7pm-9pm Haverstraw Arts Alliance. Auction: Sunday June 3, 2012 Union Restaurant 1pm-4pm Village of Haverstraw, N.Y. For details visit: OR e-mail:

Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
Tomorrow's blog will be..YOU TELL ME! I'M OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

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

Richard Skipper,                            

This Blog is dedicated to ALL THE DOLLYS and ANYONE who has EVER had a connection with ANY of them on ANY Level!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Richard, and as always you were just the PERFECT SHOWMAN last night at Chico's in Asbury Park, NJ. You never once let your audience down......excellent job, and DEFINITELY take this Show on the Road!