Saturday, November 15, 2014

Kim Grogg Marin: Go Where The Love Is

On November 14th, 2014, Ellen and I went to see a show at "Don't Tell Mama" located at 346 West 46th Street in NYC (between 8th & 9th Ave) where we saw Kim Grogg Marin with her show called: - "Go Where The Love Is". I was told about this show by the talented Richard Skipper. What we discovered was a truly lovely, warm, witty, enjoyable, funny, great vocalist / entertainer cabaret style show, starring Kim Grogg. With The great sounds of her accompaniment consisting of Steven Ray Watkins on piano, Tom Hubbard on Upright Bass and Donna Kelly on Drums, and Lennie Watts who also sang a lead and also was part of the groups harmonies that flowed beatifly with a great blend of Kim's Wonderful voice. 
with Valene Hathaway
Musically Directed by Steven Ray Watkins, "this is a show you gotta see".
, Rev. Dennis Gustaferrri

Read what Andrew Martin of has to say. CLICK HERE.

Read  LEAVE IT TO BEAVERHAUSEN: Buddy Beaverhausen Goes Where the Love Is with Kim Grogg 
 In 2011, Kim Grogg Marin  was nominated for a MAC Award in the category of Female Cabaret Debut and in 2012 was nominated in the category of Female Vocalist. Her favorite theatrical experience is a production of Wait ‘til You Get to Wabash that she directed and choreographed in her home town of Wabash, Indiana.  Other theatre credits include productions of Gypsy, Hello Dolly!, Pippin, Annie, The Music Man, Show Boat, Dames at Sea, Damn Yankees, Fiddler on the Roof, Big River, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Nunsense and Menopause, the Musical.  Kim is also a print model.

In magazines you can find her representing Heinz ketchup, Liberty Mutual life insurance, Meridia, Januvia, Raptiva, Alli and many other pharmaceuticals.
Now, Kim is bringing her latest show, Go Where The Love Is, to Don't Tell Mama in NYC. She is musically directed by Steven Ray Watkins (who is joined by Tom Hubbard on bass and Donna Kelly
with Lennie Watts
on drums) and directed by Lennie Watts who also does double duty by joining her on back up vocals and a rousing duet with Kim.
All those who were lucky enough to be in attendance last night truly went where the love is. I cannot wait to go back on Tuesday night, the 18th. Please join me if you are in New York.
I was so taken by Kim and the show that I scheduled an interview this morning to celebrate Go Where The Love Is and Kim Grogg Marin. This is the result of that interview.
As a little girl, all that Kim desired to do was to sing and dance. That is even in her bio. She was caught singing and dancing in the bathroom when she was supposed to be taking a nap when she was a kindergartener.
Her teacher opened the door and asked, "What are you doing?" Kim replied, "I'm singing and dancing!" She didn't desire to take a nap. From then on, she always had a love for it. She pursued it...but not right away, at least not wholeheartedly.
She made a lot of "questionable" choices along the way. In her teens and twenties, she didn't have the confidence that was needed to really pursue it. She is a big tall woman. She always felt how could a big woman succeed in this. So, she really allowed that to keep her back.
In her thirties, when she moved to New York, she started teaching drama. She taught and directed many productions. When she turned forty, she thought, "You know what? I think I have the confidence to pursue this now." She had finally become the character woman that she had been cast as and she began to work. She did a lot of theatre that included tours and regional theatre and "that sort of thing". At 47, Kim met her husband, Rich Marin. Once he came into the picture, she no longer desired to pursue the traveling life of an actress.    

She didn't want to be traveling for six weeks or longer. She then asked herself what she could do that would still allow her to sing and entertain and kind of nurture that creativity that is inside of her and feeds her.
Cabaret suddenly felt like an easy fit and here she is seven or eight years later!
What does Kim do when she desires a little "nonsense" in her life? She has a little dog, Cecil, which makes an "appearance" in her current show. He brings a lot of joy and nonsense and play and fun into Kim's life. Rich, Kim's husband is a motorcyclist and they belong to a motorcycle group.
They go on road trips and it is pure fun. She loves to find a little nonsense and silliness in her life every day in what she says and what she does.
That is important to her.
I am interested in the subtext when a singer sings. With Kim, as it is with most singers, that could change song by song. She really pays attention to the lyrics and what they say to her.
She then forms a little story around each song.
Then she goes on her journey when she starts to sing each song and as she is taking the journey through HER subtext, she is hopeful that the audience will form their own journey with their own subtext.

They may not go what she goes through, but at least she is reaching them and enabling them to go with her.
Last night (November 14th, 2014) was Kim's opening night. She is back Tuesday night, November 18th and December 5th (Both Shows at 7PM) and December 7th at 5:30PM.
What happens next? Kim doesn't know!
She doesn't know whether she will bring this show back (maybe after the first of the year) or whether she will embark on a new show.
with cabaret entertainer Kristofer Lowe

It all depends on how this one is received.
Kim is absolutely sure that she is doing exactly what she SHOULD be doing at this point in her life in her heart of hearts. She has given up the dream of being a stage actress. She is OK with that. She has reached the point where she just knows that she doesn't desire to do that anymore.
The idea of doing eight shows a week just sounds overwhelming to her. 
She is very fortunate not to have that intense desire any longer. This also brings her heart joy. She admits to not having found any other talent that she wishes to explore or pursue that would lend itself to a career that would make her say "Oh my God!
Barbara Smith OConnell, Frank OConnell and Sandy Lynd.
I have to do this."
Sometimes Kim and Rich discuss what they are going to do when they "retire". They have a home out in San Diego. When they think about moving out there, Kim thinks, "What clubs are out there? Where can I go to sing? How can I get Lennie and Steven out there? We'll do a show there!" It is quite possible and feasible.
With Richard Marin and Diane Jenkins
This IS what she desires to do for the rest of her life until her voice is gone. "What stories will I still have to tell?" She feels that it is always important to have something to share.
Recently, I did a gig with Anita Gillette. She asked me what I did about "dry mouth." I told her to drink lots of water! I've been there. Although it was noticeable, Kim said she felt like she was fighting an uphill battle last night battling "cotton balls"! "I was fine with the sound check and warmup with the band." She felt as if all of the moisture in that room left. She felt as if she couldn't get her lips off of her teeth and as if that was the focus of the audience. She was totally committed although she questions if that came across.
with cabaret entertainer Georga Osborne
She was one hundred percent there and the audience was great. Everything went on this journey with Kim. The "mistakes" worked to her advantage. It was all good.
As for her musical director, Steven Ray Watkins, Kim loves him so much. She has worked with him a long time. She just trusts him so completely. 
He has her back. He is there for her and he desires that she be the best that she can possibly be.
She thinks he is brilliant.
Lennie Watts, director, is all that a good director should be. She also loves Lennie! They have developed a great friendship beyond the work. That also helped, especially on Go Where The Love Is. He even agreed to sing backup! It is a process where she goes in and says, "This is what
Kim Grogg Marin, Joshua Dixon, Vicky Modica and Erik Sisco.
I'm thinking and these are some of the songs I am thinking about." They as a team sit down and start trying on some of the songs and seeing where that takes them and see what the songs say and if they are what THEY wish to say. Lennie is very skillful helping the artists he directs hone in on what it is they sound best at and what it is that tells the best story and crafting that in a way that in a way that works in the show. Kim had a couple of doubts about fitting in the Millworker song by James Taylor and also the song from Bridges of Madison County.Lennie felt that both would work brilliantly and they do. He felt that she could add a different layer to the show and go where love isn't or going to where love left. Both added quite a bit of depth to the show. Kim is now glad that he has her sing those. He is also brilliant at arrangements. He and Steven come up with really great ideas for putting songs together and then helping Kim connect her patter.
with Randy Lester and Lennie Watts
He doesn't give her the patter but puts her in the right direction with everything.
It goes back to TRUST. She trusts that he will lead her in the right direction based on watching the other shows he has directed and his own show and the classes she has taken with him. She has taken the classes that he conducts with Steven Ray Watkins. As a team, they are the best. It works for Kim.
When Kim first started taking classes with Lennie and Steven, she was totally new to the cabaret world and knew nothing about MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs). She knew nothing of the other organizations surrounding it. Through Lennie, Kim became a member of MAC and ended up on the board on which she still.
That has been a really great way to stay involved and meet people and to know who they are. She is on the membership committee so she certainly knows a lot of the names that come across her desk and she sees lots of fliers for shows, She admits to not seeing as many shows as she would like. It is difficult due to her and Rich's schedules.The cabaret and MAC communities is a wonderful group of eclectic people. All in all, it is a very supportive community.
The advice that Kim would give anyone wishing to pursue a career as an entertainer is to really know in your heart of hearts that this is what you REALLY want to do. Then, do it by all means. Especially if that is what is going to feed your soul. Going into cabaret as a BUSINESS, please know it is not going to make you a lot of money. Don't go into it to get rich quick. It's just not going to happen. It really has to be just a love of singing and entertaining and sharing your stories. That has to be there. You are NOT going to make a lot of money unless you really hustle, hustle, hustle and make a name for yourself.
Photo Bombed by Oscar! — with Kim Grogg Marin and Randy Cohen Lester.
Then, maybe you might be able to make a little bit if you gain a following and you may be able to travel with your shows and go from city to city. That would be great!
In terms of crafting a show, the advice that Kim gives is to find a good team of people. She has seen a lot of shows in which people have decided not to have a director or they went in with a preconceived idea of all the songs they desired to sing and that was it. The musical director didn't have a lot of say in what they were saying, etc. It is really important to have a supportive team for collaboration and for having additional eyes. We cannot be objective without the
with Natasha Castillo and Lynne Hildebrand
ability of watching ourselves and thinking about the choices we are making in crafting it.
Kim has gone where the love is with Rich Marin. Meeting him changed her life completely. It truly is a Cinderella story. She had stopped teaching when she met him and was working several jobs. She was also living in a seven story walk-up. She prayed for "Rich" to come into her life just as she discusses in her show. Then he was there. They met on
Their worlds never would have "collided" otherwise. He was a Wall Street banker for many years. There worlds would never have intersected.They have created a wonderful life together.
More than anything, she has someone who loves her and she is totally in love with him. She had never had that LOVE before. They are good friends and they have fun. Every night, they go to sleep knowing they share that love for each other. She cannot imagine her life any other way.
When Kim was putting Go Where The Love Is together, she didn't know what shape it would even take or even what she desired the show to be about.
That IS what Kim is all about but she didn't know that is what she desired the show to be all about. She really struggled with what she wanted to sing and what she desired to sing about. With Lennie's masterful eye, they started picking songs and it just started to happen.
Kim came in  with what would end becoming the title song. Kim loved the groove of Edie Brickell's song, Go Where The Love Is. Lennie and Steven listened to it and said it was great. Lennie then said, "There is the title of your show." There it was! Everything then fell into place. Lennie then crafted the song order and the stories she would tell. It just felt right.
with Matthew Stuart

Lennie and Steven, I'm ready to interview both of YOU!
Kim believes that her reason for being here is to LOVE! Do yourself a favor and GO WHERE THE LOVE IS!

Kim Grogg: Go Where The Love Is
on November 18th, December 5th (Both Shows at 7PM) and December 7th at 5:30PM
Don’t Tell Mama is located at 343 West 46th Street NYC (on Restaurant Row)
For more information about Richard Skipper and Richard Skipper Celebrates, visit

Thank to ALL mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating the first Fifty Years of Hello, Dolly!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
with Rachel Kaufman and Natasha Castillo

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

with Georga Osborne

Reserve Today for The Many Sounds of Christmas
At Historic St. Peter’s Church on December 21st
Experience a NEW New York City Musical Tradition!

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with Terry Palasz

Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,
 with Carolyn Marin


  1. Wonderful article, Richard! And thanks for including ME in so many of the posts! I loved Kim's show. I thought your comment about her connection with the lyric was spot on. In fact, I was reminded of Rosemary Clooney when Kim sang and how Rosie connected with the lyrics. As long as I've known Kim, I've only seen her perform a couple of times and a couple of those times we were on stage together in Lois Morton's show last year. Kim is a delight on and off stage, she is dedicated, positive and one of the kindest people one will ever meet. I'm so glad she's a friend and I'm so glad I got to be in her audience last night! Love you, Kim! (And you, too, Richard!)

    PS - The dog's name is Cecil, not Chester! xo

  2. on November 14th, 2014, Ellen and I went to see a show at "Don't Tell Mama" located at 346 West 46th Street in NYC (between 8th & 9th Ave). Where we saw Kim Grogg with her show called: - "Go Where The Love Is". I was told about this show by the talented Richard Skipper. What we discovered was a truly lovely, warm, witty, enjoyable, funny, great vocalist / entertainer cabaret style show, starring Kim Grogg. With The great sounds of her accompaniment consisting of Steven Ray Watkins on piano, Tom Hubbard on Upright Bass and Donna Kelly on Drums, and Lenny Watts who also sang a lead and also was part of the groups harmonies that flowed beatify with a great blend of Kim's Wonderful voice. Musically Directed by Steven Ray Watkins, "this is a show you gotta see". Blessings, Rev. Dennis Gustaferri, Host of the In-SITE Show on

  3. Richard Skipper is a FIRST CLASS performer, writer, critic, interviewer, public relations director and human being. His knowledge on the New York Theatre and Cabaret scene is astounding! 5 Stars!