Saturday, June 15, 2013

Los Angeles Celebrates New York's Big Night

Tony Party Overview Photo Credit: Nina Prommer/Milestone Photos
Tommy Tune Hosts/Photo Credit: Nina Prommer/Milestone Photos

Davis Gaines opens the evening by singing the National Anthem
Broadway Icon and nine time TONY Award winner, Tommy Tune, hosted The Actors Fund's 17th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party at the Taglyan Cultural Complex on Sunday, June 9th, 2013.  Produced and written by David Rambo and directed by Luke Yankee, the event featured the only approved live TONY® Award feed direct from New York to California, allowing guests of the Actors Fund to view the awards before the rest of West Coast viewed the delayed broadcast.

Unique to this evening is the presentation of the Actors Fund “Artistic Achievement Award,” which was presented to several of Broadway's legendary ladies. Among the TONY Award winners and nominees to be honored were Nancy Dussault (The Sound of Music/Side by Side by Sondheim/Into the Wood), June Lockhart (For Love or Money and The first ever TONY award winner - then know as the Antoinette Perry Award), Millicent Martin (The Boy Friend/King of Hearts/42nd Street), Charlotte Rae (Li'l Abner/Pickwick/Morning Noon and Night), Cathy Rigby (Peter Pan/Seussical/Jekyll & Hyde), Marissa Jaret Winokur (Grease/Hairspray), and included a special presentation of the Nedda Harrigan Logan Award to Anne Jeffreys (My Romance/Kiss Me, Kate/Three Wishes for Jamie). 

“I've received so many acknowledgments over the years, but this one truly matters to me,” says Charlotte Rae. “I love the Actors Fund. It is the most wonderful community. Everyone should become a member.”
Loni Anderson and Sandra Currie
Kate Linder
Millicent Martin and Charlotte Rae

Two-time TONY nominee, Millicent Martin, said “I've been involved with the Actors Fund since 1997.
What pleases me most about this award is that it comes from people with whom I've worked.
So, it's a great compliment to feel they think my work has merit.”

The first Olympian to be nominated for a TONY, Ms. Cathy Rigby, remarked “It's almost too much … like icing on the cake, I have been so blessed.  I've been in theatre for 31 years and involved with the Actor Fund for just as long.”

“I grew up loving the TONYS.  I have friends who are nominated this year and I wish they all could know that same feeling that I felt when I won my TONY 10 years ago,” commented honoree, Marissa Jaret Winokur

Previous honorees have included Julie Harris, Gwen Verdon, Charles Durning, Rita Moreno, James Earl Jones, Tyne Daly, Lauren Bacall, Stockard Channing, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Herman, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Hal Holbrook and Jason Alexander.

“Sunday's 17th Annual Tony Awards Party was a spectacular success,” says Actors Funds National Director of Special Event, Louis Anchondo.
Charlotte Rae and Cathy Rigby
Mickey Rooney and Mitzi Gaynor
Stephanie Powers
“With the help of Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo, we raised more than $210,000 for The Actors Fund's essential services and honored some of the American stage's most distinguished leading ladies.  We are particularly grateful to Mr. Tommy Tune, who hosted the evening, and producer/writer David Rambo, whose combined talents produced a singular celebration that everyone in the room will long remember and cherish.”

Among the guests were such noted entertainers and   industry captains, as Loni Anderson, Mitzi Gaynor, Norm Crosby, Stefanie Powers, Marc Cherry, Bob Fleck, Ruta Lee, Frances Fisher, Kate Linder, Alan Mandell, Sondra Currie, George Pennacchio, Tai Babilonia, Karen Kondazian, Davis Gaines, Ilene Graff, Bridget Hanley, Theo Bikel, Barbara Van Orden, Nancy Malone, Wendy Burch, Gabriel Gornell, David Michaels, Gregg Oppenheimer, Andy Mientus, Michael Arden and Mickey Rooney.

Tai Babilonia
“Tommy Tune charmed the audience as our host with witty banter and a surprise tap dance,” remarked Actors Fund CEO, Joe Benincasas.
“Davis Gaines started the evening with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and Marc Cherry brought the house down singing “Beautiful Girls” from Follies.  Their dedication and spirit created a magical night. Bravo!”

This years Sponsors include: Wells Fargo (Presenting Sponsor), Corner Bakery, DirecTV, Sextant Wines, Flourishing Art, Staging Techniques, and United Airlines.

Honoree, Marissa Jaret Winokur
The Proscenium Committee included, Mary Lou Westerfield and Actors' Equity Association, as well as the Funds' Host Committee: Joni Berry; Professional Dancers Society; Jim Casey; Integrated Wealth Management; Illyane Morden Kichaven, SAG-AFTRA; David Rambo and Ted Heyck; Stephanie Troulman; Bonnie Tseng, Chinatrust Bank; and Martin Wiviott, The Nederlander Organization and, of course, the Western Council Members/Co-Chairs of the event, Jomarie Ward and John Holly.
Ruta Lee

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone-performers and those behind the scenes-who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 13,500 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency assistance, health care and insurance, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has-for 131 years-been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition.

Thank you to Harlan Boll for the contents of this blog!
Honoree Anne Jeffries

Thank you to ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and will continue to give!
Charlotte Rae

With grateful XOXOXs ,

If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at


Photo Credits: Nina Prommer/Milestone Photos via Harlan Boll)
Ann Jeffries, Tommy Tune, Charlotte Rae
Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
Rambo (Producer Writer), Nancy Dussault, Keith McNutt (AF WC Director), June Lockhart, Anne Jeffreys, Tommy Tune, Millicent Martin (below), Charlotte Rae, Marc Cherry, Cathy Rigby, John Holly (AF WC Chairman), Luke Yankee (Event Director), Jomarie Ward (AF Trustee) and Marissa Jaret Winokur

               My next blog will be... Celebrating Father's Day!
June Lockhart
Please click on the banner below to visit my website celebrating the first fifty years of Hello, Dolly!

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

Cathy Rigby

Richard Skipper,                            

This Blog is dedicated to Tony Award Winners (Past, Present, and Future) and ANYONE who has EVER had a connection with ANY of them on ANY Level!  

Honoree, Nancy Dussault

And Reserve Today for MY Next Event!
Richard Skipper Celebrates Jackie Joseph: LIVE at The Metropolitan Room in NYC JULY 3rd at 7PM!

A benefit for Actors and Others For Animals (
Richard and Jackie will sit down for an intimate chat to discuss her career and life and the people she has worked with for the first forty-five minutes in a VERY RARE New York appearance!
Imagine "Inside the Actor's Studio" but with Richard Skipper's own personal style.
The last fifteen minutes will be comprised of questions from the audience.
Jackie will meet and greet the audience downstairs afterward.
RICHARD SKIPPER  is a Storyteller! He is also a popular entertainer, theater historian and pop culture blogger. He has conducted over 500 interviews for his daily blog celebrating people in the arts and is currently writing a book to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Hello, Dolly!, based also in part on his award-winning website chronicling the Broadway classic. He has covered several opening nights as the voice of Feinstein’s at Loews Regency and has conducted on-stage interviews for Carol Channing, Tommy Tune, Ron Young
and Peggy Pope at Barnes & Noble and Queensboro Community College. ( and )
2013 has been a breakout year for Richard. Richard was the associate producer of the 2010, 2012, 2013 Bistro Awards. He recently produced Peggy Herman’s CD Release Party at Feinsteins, directed by Peter Glebo and Tommy Tune, and it was an SRO success.
He produced Pamela Luss’ run at The Metropolitan Room, NYC which was a huge success. Richard can be seen in Dori Berenstein's CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE.
Richard is now focused mostly on his writing and producing this year. He has a highly successful blog called RICHARD SKIPPER CELEBRATES, focusing on Artists and their body of "Worth" and what makes a great UNIQUE entertainer!

Jackie Joseph is an American character actress, voice artist, and writer known for portraying Alan Brady's niece Jackie on the Dick van Dyke Show, as well as the film characters of: Audrey Fulquard in the original The Little Shop of Horrors, Sheila Futterman in both Gremlins films, and the voice of Melody in the animated television series Josie and the Pussycats and Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space.
Doris with Jackie Joseph at animal function 1975.
Jackie was a regular on The Doris Day Show portraying Doris' friend, Jackie Parker and also famously played the love interest of Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show as well as Imogene Harris, the eccentric love-interest of Mario (Bob Denver) in Who's Minding The Mint…THAT’S JUST FOR STARTERS!
Fifty percent of every cover will benefit Actors and OthersFor Animals 

$20.00. Cover ($10.00 of every cover goes to Actors and Others for Animals)/Two drink minimum. Reservations a MUST: 34 W 22nd St  New York, NY 10010
(212) 206-0440
Also…a  chance to win a fabulous gift basket!
Please call with any questions you may have 845-365-0720
See Jackie Joseph in the ORIGINAL Little Shop of Horrors:

1 comment:

  1. How I wish we could have seen this show aired on television!! To be able to see June Lockhart, Millicent Martin, Nancy Dussault & Charlotte Rae!! Come on! I love these ladies!!
    Thanks for posting the photos, Richard! It makes such a difference to see their faces. Makes me happy to see them somehow. :)