It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is one week away. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was brining my turkey for last year's feast. I love to cook and had 12 dear friends here to enjoy. This year, we have been invited to a friend's, and other than baking a couple of pies, that chore is off my shoulder's...at least until a few dinner parties for friends over the holidays come into play.
The friend that is inviting us, according to her, is EIGHTY YEARS OLD! I don't see it. As a matter of fact, to me, she is 52, my age! All my friends, regardless of what their birth certificates might tell them were all born the same year I was, 1961.
It makes it easier for me. I have no sense of direction when it comes to someone's age.
This past Sunday, I went to see award winning singer Diana Templeton in a concert performance celebrating her 80th birthday. I know that most of my readers may not know who she is, but she was a mainstay in the cabaret community for 27 years. As a matter of fact, she won her MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award after 27 years of paying her dues! A lesson that most who are doing their work for the sake of winning awards should think about. I have known Diana for about twenty five years and she hasn't aged or slowed down a bit.
Diana got tired of the paradigm of New York cabaret (everything being self produced and having to worry about filling houses...although she did) and walked away a winner several years ago. However, she did not walk away from performing. She became her own self contained enterprise. She took on a circuit of senior residences, libraries, and cultural arts centers. She averages between 3-5 bookings per week! She takes the money and she is performing in front of full appreciative audiences. At Sunday's performance, she received a well deserved sustained standing ovation at the end of her show.
Last night, I went to see Frank Torren in his sold out show at Don't Tell Mama here in New York.
Again, here is a vital handsome and well dressed (he wore a tux!) man in the prime of his life doing what he does best, entertaining. I was joined by Bob Levy and Ronny Whyte. Highlights for me was hearing songs written by both performed by Frank. Here is one from an earlier show.
On Sunday, the 24th, I was scheduled to do an on stage interview with Eileen Fulton for Habitat For Humanity.
We decided to move it to February due to scheduling conflicts. Here is another great actress who is still going strong. Look for us at The Metropolitan Room on February 16th in honor of my 53rd Birthday! Earlier this week, it was announced that Carol Channing will be at Town Hall on January 20th to recapture the magic that she and Justin Vivian Bond created on Fire Island last August. I was there and cannot wait to see them together again (although I wish it was me interviewing her!) Carol will be turning 93 eleven days later. She shows NO signs of slowing down. I spoke with producer Daniel Nardicio yesterday and he told me the theater is already a third filled and it was just announced. Get your tickets now to see a true Broadway legend and a newer legend in the making!
Today, I want to celebrate these great artists who are slightly older than me and STILL going strong!
|Margaret O'Brien, Randal Malone, The Pink Lady, George Chakiris and Barbara Van Orden (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
Kirk Douglas, Debbie Reynolds, George Chakiris, Carol Channing, Rip Taylor,Florence Henderson, Michael Learned and more, offer encouragement to Senior Star Power Productions, as they embark on a mission to establish a
year-round theatrical performing arts complex for seniors.
|Cast finale: Larry Covin, Bobbi Stamm, Larry Lederman, Susie McIver Ewing, Joe Giamalva, Kit Smythe, Richard Fox, Anna Pagan, Dominick Morra,Michelle Gillette (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
This past week, Senior Star Power Productions (SSPP) presented a teaser for their new musical revue entitled "We Have A Dream," before a star studded audience of supporters that included George Chakiris, Florence Henderson,
Jerry Mathers, Channing Chase, Kate Linder, Erin Murphy, Alison Arngrim, Lee
Purcell, Hank Garret, Lee Hale, Margaret O'Brien, Joan Steiger, Gary Martin
(retired President Sony Pictures Studios), Ron Hasson (President of NAACP), Nyla and Oscar Arslanian (Hollywood Arts Council), Councilman Mitch O'Farrell,
Leron Gubler (Hollywood Chamber of Commerce), The Honorable Senator Nate Holden and former US Rep, Diane Watson, and many others.
|Final bow: With Pink Lady center. (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
to engage, inspire and enrich the lives of seniors and, by extension, the
entire community, through the arts. A unique aspect to the theatre company
is that all SSPP productions are performed by talented seniors aged 60, 70
and 80 plus years young to show that they are still vital, creative, energetic, productive, and entertaining.
|Bobbi Stamm, Susie McIver Ewing, Barbara Van Orden, Kit Smythe and Anna Pagan (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
|Jerry Mathers and Barbara Van Orden (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
"Anne and I wish Barbara and Pink much success --- What a wonderful idea!"-Kirk Douglas
"Imagine a theatre company built on the premise that with age comes wisdom,
both on stage and in life. Like Fall leaves, we are at our most beautiful
and creative before we drop."-Michael Learned
|George Chakiris, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell and Leron Gubler|
(Hollywood Chamber of Commerce) (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)
As a 90 years old senior, I know we are a vital, creative and productive
asset to both society and to the arts!
I know you will have much success and reach your goal in establishing a theatrical performing arts complex for
"I'm so excited and thrilled that someone had the foresight to established a senior theatrical arts complex in Hollywood. How wonderful "Senior Power" - We have a dream! Having an ongoing venue for seasoned talented performers. I think this is a fabulous endeavor."-Debbie Reynolds
|Kate Linder, Barbara Van Orden and Channing Chase (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
"Growing up in the Church of Christian Science, age was never an important
factor to me ... However, apparently it is to the rest of the world. It's
nice to know there are others in this world like Pink and Barbara who encourage us to celebrate the contributions that seniors bring to society.
Keep up the good work."-Carol Channing
|Mary Tyler Moore, Julie Andrews, Carol Channing (Thoroughly Modern Millie) ALL still going strong!|
Honda in Cleveland.- Rip Taylor.
Hollywood's Pink Lady (AKA Jackie Goldberg), produced and directed the production along with associate producer, Barbara Van Orden. Both women are famous for reinventing themselves. Pink, who after the age of 70, became
an actress, motivational speaker, and producer, also created a series of
seminars called "Get Up, Get Out and Get A Life" to encourage seniors to discover new ways to enhance their lives. Ms. Van Orden, tours the country
with her critically acclaimed cabaret act, since recovering from the devastating accident that resulted in 18 surgeries and years of
rehabilitation. The former leading cover model, Playboy club headliner andopening act for many of the industries greats, including Frank Sinatra,
Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett, Morey Amsterdam, Soupy Sales and
Red Buttons, is currently a sponsoring producer for the critically acclaimed LA's NEXT GREAT STAGE STARR, that has given many undiscovered talents their
start on Broadway.
Senior Star Power Productions is now gearing up for our 5th Rockin With the
Ages show planned for 2014.
|Lee Hale and Florence Henderson (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
For more information, please visit: www.seniorstarpower.org
Thank you to all the entertainers mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
Thank you Harlan Boll for the contents of this blog.
With grateful XOXOXs ,
Check out my site celebrating my forthcoming book on Hello, Dolly!
|Erin Murphy, Barbara Van Orden and Alison Arngrim (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
I desire 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!
If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at Richard@RichardSkipper.com.
|George Chakiris and Lee Purcell (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
|Barbara Van Orden and The Honorable Diane Watson (Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)|
Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!
|Michelle Gillette, Larry Covin, Kit Smythe, Dominick Morra, Susie McIver Ewing, Pink Lady-Jackie Goldberg, Joe Giamalva, Anna Pagan, Richard Fox, Bobbie Stamm and Larry Lederman|
(Photo Credit: AMIR KOJOORY)
Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!
Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
I hope you can join us February 16th in NYC as we celebrate Eileen Fulton to benefit Habitat For Humanity! Would LOVE to see you! Bring friends! It’s going to be star-studded party!
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
Richard Skipper Celebrates
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com