Saturday, March 29, 2014

Goodbye, Cabaret Month...Hello, April!


"There is a secret garden where miracle and magic abound, and it's available to anyone who makes the choice to visit there." ~ Dr. Wayne Dwyer

Dear Friends,
On Thursday Night, the 28th Annual MAC Awards took place at BB King's here in New York City.
I would like to applaud ALL the winners, the nominees, and ALL that have ever graced a cabaret stage whether they have been nominated or not.
2014 MAC Award Winner Marissa Mulder





MAC was founded in 1983 as an organization of businesspeople in the cabaret industry, comprising club owners, booking agents, managers, journalists and publicists. Its ORIGINAL intent was “to heighten the public’s awareness of cabaret as an art form”* and to unify and empower the various cabarets around NYC.

MAC’s purpose was primarily about improving the climate in which the business of owning and running those clubs was conducted and, when necessary, to serve as an advocate for those in the cabaret business.(Source: MAC website).

MAC's original founder was Erv Raible who passed away earlier this year.

Somewhere along the line, the organization expanded to include artists. Although it is still the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs , artists are left out of the name of the very organization they are supporting.

Cynthia Crane
I was not part of the cabaret community and/or MAC at the time of it's inception. I spoke with Cynthia Crane this morning regarding the early days of MAC. She was a very early board member. I interviewed Cynthia two years ago to celebrate her birthday (which is today). At that time, I wrote: Someone that deserves to be honored today, not only because it's her birthday, but because of her enormous contributions to cabaret is Cynthia Crane.
Penny Landeau was a founding member of MAC, when she left the board, Cynthia took over as secretary. She served on the MAC board for many years. As a matter of fact, when I served on the board (as vice president), our meetings took place at the home of Cynthia and Ted Story, her husband of 48 years. 
In the 25 plus years of my involvement in the cabaret community, I have seen many people come and go.  I've seen clubs come and go. Cynthia knows what it takes to maintain a career. She is still at the top of her game.
She is one of those people that I can't, for the life of me, know how, when, and how we met.
I know she has not always been a part of my life.
However the years that she has been a part of me have been enhanced by our friendship and generosity of spirit.

One week from tonight, I will be bringing 6 great entertainers to celebrate cabaret here in Piermont, New
New York as it looked in 1985
York where I live.
I am also bringing a great musical director.

Bryon Sommers, our musical director, lives primarily in Virginia these days, but maintains a residence here in New York. It was our lucky day when he agreed to do our show next Saturday.
I met Bryon YEARS ago at an outdoor concert at
Lincoln Center. We were out with friends and we all happened to be seated in the same section. We just started talking and it was as if we were long lost friends.
We discovered in a matter of minutes that we both were in the business AND that we knew many of the same people. 
Bryon and Richard


Now, please note that I was in my early thirties and just starting to put my feet into the waters of cabaret.

Bryon ended up inviting us to a party at his home.
When we walked in, Bryon was seated at the piano playing, surrounded by some of the greatest voices to grace a Broadway and/or cabaret stage.
When we stepped into that apartment, it was like stepping into an MGM musical.

This would be the first of many such parties at Bryon's. Sadly, some of those that were there, then and through the years, have passed on.
Mark-Alan will be joining us in Piermont next Sunday night

I still have very solid friends from those days. The feeling that I want to bring to Pier 701 Bar and Restaurant next week is the feeling that I remember from those parties. I desire that our audience feels that they are at a party where a few friends stand around the piano and sing.
I have asked all of our entertainers to do upbeat material. This will NOT be an evening of angst and/or experimental material.

I'll even encourage the audience to be as involved as possible. After all, they have invested their time and money to spend a few hours with us.
Ellen Bullinger will also be joining us next week
The cabaret "community" is a very tight community here in New York. However, I currently see very  little effort to cast a wider net beyond the "community" itself.
I have been saying for years that the lines are blurred between who the audiences are, who the critics are,who the press is, etc. I don't care what level any of us have achieved in cabaret, we are all swimming in the same fish bowl fighting for our very survival. I want to bring more awareness to this great art form.


It didn't feel so isolated from the general public when I first discovered this world. Why did it all change? I know some will be offended by these comments and I truly don't desire to offend anyone.
I desire to raise the bar. I hope that all that love this art form will desire to do the same. I am not sure how many cabaret rooms are currently in existence.

I can honestly and say that on most of those stages tonight, that the artists entertaining run their entire parade. In other words, EVERY detail is resting on
their shoulders. It saddens me AND angers me that the very venues that are booking these acts, for the most part, have no vested interest in the acts that have been booked. It saddens me that these artists will not be paid, for the most part.
It saddens me that many who are deserving of an audience are struggling to get that audience. It saddens me that MANY will never get the exposure they so richly deserve.
Here in New York, "cabaret month" is coming to a close. Years ago, the Mayor of New York declared March cabaret month. Two years ago, cabaret entertainer Craig Pomranz worked diligently to get this reinstated and succeeded. Believe it or not, he received flack from some in the cabaret community! No good dead...
At that time, traditionally, the Bistro Awards (at one time, the Back Stage Bistro Award) would kick off the month and the month would end with the MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs). Sherry Eaker does all she can to keep this tradition going year after year. The Bistro Awards are about recognizing, encouraging, nurturing, and educating cabaret, jazz, and comedy artists for over 28 years through our insightful reviews and our annual awards — the oldest awards of its kind in the industry.

Did you know that from prohibition until 1967, a permit called the New York City Cabaret Identification
Card was required of all workers, including performers, in New York City nightclubs? Their administration was fraught with politics, and some artists' cards were revoked on specious grounds. For many performers, the revocation of their cabaret card resulted in the loss of their livelihood.

Those of Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk,Jackie McLean, Elmo Hope, Billy Higgins and Billie
Billie Holiday
Holiday were suspended because of drug charges, and that of Lenny Bruce for his reputed obscenity.
 In 1983, I was 22 and living in the Bronx having come to New York just four years prior. It was also at this time that I was truly beginning to discover myself. I think it was 1984 when I stepped into Don't Tell Mama for the first time. In 1985, I moved to 47th Street. For those of you who don't know, Don't Tell Mama is a cabaret room on 46th Street in NYC in a section called Restaurant Row because of the number of restaurants there.

Dick Gallagher
I remember at that time of walking that block and feeling like it was Carnival in Provincetown, regardless of the time of year.
Walking into Don't Tell Mama on any given night, you would find the late great Dick Gallagher at the piano. There was NEVER a time that I walked in that I was not asked to sing. I felt safe and comfortable being me. I felt like  was going to see family members when I walked in.
At that time, there was ONE cabaret room. I remember LATE shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
About half an hour before the show, an announcement was made that the cabaret room was now open and that if we wanted to see the show, to let our wait person know so that whatever we were drinking could go towards our two drink minimum! When was the last time an announcement was made about a show going on in the cabaret rooms? Now there are two cabaret rooms at Don't Tell Mama. For a short period, there were three! But now, there is a disconnect between the bar and the cabaret rooms and that is a huge shame. In those days, I saw for the first time Karen Mason, Nancy Lamott, Jenifer Lewis, Lina Koutrakos(who would eventually become my first director in cabaret), and Julie Sheppard as Judy Garland (which I saw five times!).
Karen Mason

That was the world that I desperately wanted to be a part of. It would be ten years before I would put my toes in those waters.

The former Grove Street Playhouse 39 Grove Street
In the 1980s, I had an acting career that included stock, tours, and showcases in New York. I went from show to show.
 One of the theatres I appeared in was the Grove Street Playhouse at 39 Grove Street (now a laundry).
I was cast as "Broomhandle", Cinderella's stepfather, who dies at the top of the play!, in their Children's Theatre production of Cinderella. Our first rehearsal was on April 1st, 1980...the day that the New York Transit system went on STRIKE! AND, I was living  on the last stop on the D train in the Bronx!
I was living on the corner of Hull Avenue. It was a trek but I made it into town for rehearsals. This strike went on till April 14th. I actually remember it like it was yesterday. I had a nice long run performing every Saturday and Sunday in that play for five months.With  volunteer actors prancing before flimsy sets of utopian forests and kingdoms, the Grove Street Playhouse kept children laughing for years.
Offstage for the last 15 years of its existence, the nonprofit Greenwich Village theater waged a battle with the
TL Reiley and Stephen Liebhouser, Men of Manhattan
city just to stay open.
 Marilyn Majeskiwas the artistic director of the Grove Street Playhouse.
In the spring of 1990, I was cast in a show called Men of Manhattan by John Glines.We opened at the Grove Street Playhouse at 39 Grove Street in Manhattan.Directed by Charlie Cantanese, this play is made up of eleven scenes of New York City gay life.

I still remember the night that John Glines came into Marie's Crisis to tell me that he wanted me for a reading of a new play that he had just written.

He said he had written a part for me but that he didn't want me to have a script prior to the reading. He didn't want me to prepare for the character at all. He wanted my reaction to be as fresh as the audiences. The night of the reading in a packed theatre (also at the Grove Street Playhouse), we were doing the last scene of Act One, my scene.
In the scene, the lights come up to reveal a couple,  played by Cy Orfield and Steve Liebhouser,  who are having marital issues. Also lying behind the sofa, you see two feet almost like the Wicked Witch of the East in The Wizard of Oz.

As the scene progresses and Cy's character leaves the room, the character (played by ME) jumps up from behind the sofa. There is definitely something "off" about him. He immediately begins to seduce Steve's character. When Steve's character asks who "I" am, I announce that I'm Carl Channing! When I uttered that line, the entire audience fell apart. I now knew why John did not want me to prepare anything for this
Steven Liebhauser (left), me as Ian (center) and T. L. Reilly in Scene 8: At Sardi's-II
character. John wrote it for me.
At this point, the extent of my appearing as Carol Channing was relegated to Halloween and doing her voice at piano bars and open mics which were a major part of my life at that time.
As stated before, this show consisted of eleven vignettes. The cast would be comprised of seven actors who would double and sometimes triple on various roles.
T. L. Reilly talking to Steven Liebhauser as the bartender
Because of the impact of my portrayal as Carl, John and Charlie were concerned as to whether or not the audience would be able to accept me as another character. I had to audition several times and opposite a lot of actors before I could convince them that I could make this happen. This is a series of 11 vignettes in which 6 or more actors play 25 various characters, including yuppy lawyers, bodybuilders, a fragrance model, a stripper, and a political activist in drag. The other role that I would be playing would be this hyperactive blind date of Terence's (T.L.) character.
It was a running gag in which Terence's character always ends up with the "fuzzy end of the lollipop" in the love department. I did convince John Glines and Charlie Catanese to cast me and that led me on to the path for all that followed and I will be eternally grateful.    

Let's start celebrating artists again rather than tearing them down.

Thank you ALL of the artists 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!

Me as Carol Channing as Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! Revision Theatre, Asbury Park (director: Thomas Morrisey)

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.

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!



Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
               Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!




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



                                                                  Keeping Entertainment ALIVE!
                                                                   Richard Skipper Celebrates

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY











Friday, March 28, 2014

Penny Fuller: A Sin Twister!

Penny Fuller
"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." ~Benjamin Franklin

Happy Friday!

Two notable theatrical luminaries are setting their sights on the stage of 54 Below for SIN TWISTERS, a new evening of story and song set to play at the cabaret hotspot for two encore shows on March 30 and April 1.
When Penny Fuller and 2014 MAC (Manhattan Association and Clubs) Award Winner Anita Gillette hit the stage on Sunday Night at 54 Below, they will be bringing a lifetime of experience to the audiences lucky enough to attend with their show Sin Twisters. They are both winners because they are both good persons. Someone once divided the world into two categories: those you would like to have dinner with and those you wouldn't.These are two women I would LOVE To have dinner with, either separately or together.

I have gotten to know Anita over the years, even doing a couple of
Anita Gillette
blog features on her.

Penny and I actually don't know each other personally, although our paths cross from time to time at various shows.
I know her better now than I did a week ago at this time.
We also are both Carolinians. I am from South Carolina. Penny is from North. She always always always knew she desired to act. She was either going to be an Egyptologist or an actress. She had a great uncle in New York who was an actor. She always knew.

We sat down to discuss her upcoming show and touch upon her amazing past a few days ago.Our very lives are the results of our thinking and the results of our thinking processes.

Penny proves that in spades.
Lee Roy Reams, Lauren Bacall and Penny Fuller in "But Alive" from Applause
The genesis of Sin Twisters goes back to Penny and Musical Director Barry Kleinbort.
Anita Gillette
Both were teaching at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Festival/Cabaret Division. They were not teaching neophytes. They were singers who had already delved into the world of cabaret and were interested in improving their singing or finding out more about themselves.
There were even some actors that were trepidatious about singing.
Every Friday of the first week of the conference, Penny would perform her own show directed by Barry.
One day, he started talking about Anita, whom he also worked with.

At that time, Penny didn't really "know" Anita. They had just never gotten to be friends. The strange thing, however, was that people were constantly mistaking Penny for Anita and vice versa.They were always telling Anita how great she was in Applause.

Move forward to a Christmas party at Len Cariou's.The party was crowded and Anita and Penny ended up

in the hallway with drinks in hand. They began conversing and they ended up sliding down to the floor where they sat for an hour and a half and a friendship was formed and they filled in the blanks.
One summer, about three or four years ago, the birth of this cabaret show began. Sin Twisters is a spoonerism from Twin Sisters, since they are not exactly twins...or even sisters, for that matter!
It ended up being performed first at the Eugene O'Neill Conference.
Penny also has a one woman musical that she performs now mostly for benefits. She is exhausted when those shows are over. With Sin Twisters, she shares that burden.She has a great time with it. It is kind of a history of the theatre in microcosm. They talk about their
Penny Fuller and Ken Kercheval in Naked City
careers. They came along at a time when the business was a lot different.

As they say in the show, Penny came to New York as an actress and "accidentally" fell into singing.Anita came as a singer who was dying to be taken seriously as an actress.
 All of this is covered in the show. It has only been performed at the O'Neill and 54 Below.
This is a return engagement.

The theater has changed drastically since when both Penny and Anita began.
Penny believes the biggest changes are due to television.
  People watching television just sit back and are entertained without the participation that the theater theoretically requires. The original theatre came from the Greeks and it was part of a healing process.
 Asclepius was the ancient Greek god of medicine and he was also credited with powers of prophecy. The god had several sanctuaries across Greece; the most famous was at Epidaurus which became an important centre of healing in both ancient Greek and Roman times and was the site of athletic, dramatic, and musical Games held in Asclepius’ honour every four years.
 People would go to Asclepius' healing center and they would have massages and etc. Then they would go to the theatre and have a cathartic experience.

It was as if something was pulled from you.
What has happened with television on, is that it happens "on you". You don't participate as much. You participate on a whole other level. You see actors jump up and down and cry and go through various emotions but doesn't seem to be a meeting of the forces as it once was.

The theatre controls the reactions of the audience more now than before. We are essentially told, Now, this is a big rousing number. Have a good time."
It seems to Penny, that in the "old days" , that the responsibility of the audience participated more by "leaning forward" rather than leaning backwards as we do by watching television.
Penny admits that she doesn't like today's "theatre" as much as she used to. It all kind of takes place "up there" and doesn't draw her in as much. It happens on her. She misses what it once was terribly. When she does go to London, she still sees vestiges of that kind of theatre. The last two things that really riveted Penny in the theatre were History Boys and The Habit of Art.
Now that we've lost Richard Griffiths, we've lost a major talent.
Musicals, Penny loves, but nowadays, they seem to be loud and not giving Penny room.
Penny does have a favorite theatre in New York, the Booth. It is not too big. It has the right amount of intimacy even though it it is not a tiny off-Broadway theatre. Actors can FEEL the exchange between themselves and the audience. One of her favorite experiences was a happy "accident".
Dividing The Estate

It was Neil Simon's The Dinner Party which played at The Music Box Theatre. There is a pivotal moment in the play in which Penny's character goes to the doors upstage left. She opens the doors expecting Len Cariou to be there and he's not. She had to play that moment with her back to the audience. She felt that at that theatre it was intimate enough to play her intent. The Golden and The Booth also have that feel.
 
I asked Penny if there was one particular moment in her career that she would like to live over. Although she lived in California for a while, she doesn't have this total positive outlook on everything. She does believe that everything worked out the way it was supposed to. One regret was that she she didn't get Promises, Promises, although she was in line for it. Not getting this show, she packed her bags and went to Hollywood. Her feeling was that if Broadway didn't want her, perhaps Hollywood would. She had not gotten her own role by this point. She had only been replacing or understudying others. She went to Hollywood where she did a lot of theatre. She did come back to Broadway to do Applause
After Applause, she went back to Hollywood, where she did a lot of television.
 Her dream was to be an "English actress in America", IE meaning, going from one genre to another...from comedy to drama, from television to the theatre, from musicals to film. That was her dream: Not to be just one thing. She remembers asking once in Hollywood, "Why am I out here trying to get a television series when I don't even desire that" 

She wanted what television would get her, the chance to play the roles she desired on Broadway.  
Penny believes that it is endemic of our entire society that we pigeonhole people into categories. She doesn't believe it is just in the theatre.
There is a rigidity. There is an illusion that we are all free floating and able to do whatever we desire to do. It looks like we're free but we're all rather uptight. Somehow, along the way, we have lost our imagination in both life AND the theatre. It is all financial. We don't have "time" to be creative because we all have to make a living because it costs so much to LIVE.
So, the imagination or the Joie de Vivre or the sense of adventure, no one has time for. She looks at her daughter and son in law. They have a daughter and Penny does not know how they do what they do.She goes to visit them and she can't wait to get home and rest.
It is hard today. It was not that kind of hard twenty five years ago.
There have been two roles in Penny's career that was hard for her to let go of. The first was the lead in Pinter's Betrayal. There is such a
rhythm to Pinter that when she went on to another play, she found the next play incredibly boring. She desired back those pauses and rhythms. The style is so specific. Everything else felt so pedantic. She wanted to stop playing Eve Harrington after a while because she is, in a way, so negative.
The character isn't negative in the sense that she is grasping and reaching. It took a darkness within Penny to pull it off every time. She was glad to stop doing it. 
Penny was in Applause a little over a year when they desired her to go on the road with the show to the MUNY in St. Louis.
She said no. They asked her again. Once again, she said no. They offered her more money. She told them she wasn't holding out for more money. She didn't desire to do it anymore. She had to get away from it. Can you imagine having a line like, "Screw you, Daddy! Look at your little girl now!" night after night in the theatre?
They told her they really wanted her to do the last stint of Bacall's tour in San Francisco and LA. She gave in to
Arlene Dahl
that.
In addition to Bacall, Penny also appeared with Anne Baxter on Broadway. She rehearsed with Eleanor Parker who took over for Bacall in LA. She was quite wonderful. Penny also rehearsed with Arlene Dahl who ended the run in New York.
Penny never played Margo which she thinks is a huge shame. It would have been such a hoot for all who saw her play Eve Harrington. That would be a complete circle.
One of Penny's favorite memories of the show was when she went to San Francisco. That company was very happy to have Penny back. At the beginning when she is receiving The Tony Award (the Sarah Siddons Award in the film All About Eve, on which Applause is based), she says, "And it is all due to Margo Channing", and she is supposed to hold her hand out with Margo glaring back. The voice over is "Eve, Eve, Eve...". Lauren Bacall was so glad to
have Penny back, that she had a huge grin on her face. 
THAT happens to be one of Penny's favorite moments.
Besides acting and singing, Penny also writes. She was acting a lot for a while. Acting has taken over to the point that she doesn't have much time for that.So has singing. Lots of singing. Penny considers herself basically as a dramatic actress. She played serious roles in musicals. In recent years, she has started singing more and more in cabarets. She maintains that her writing has actually helped her singing. She got Barry Kleinbort to write her one person musical, 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti, Based on the play by JEFFREY HATCHER. That show is an hour and ten minutes of Penny. It was done at the 59 East 59 Street Theatre here in New York last Christmas. They are trying to get another production up and running here in New York. They are slated to do it at Merrimack Rep in Lowell, Massachusetts in November. As a result of all of the above, Penny hasn't gotten back to her writing. However, she was recently sitting in her apartment here in New York one day when she was not working and said, "Look at what you unconsciously have made for yourself." She is on the 20th floor looking out at the Hudson River and she is thinking, "I've got my little area and what I have always wanted to do is write." She started writing and she met Joan Tewkesbury, writer, probably most known for writing the film Nashville. Joan gave Penny some exercises. Penny hasn't had the time to act upon this. The bad news is that she has been busy. The good news is that she has been busy.
Since her daughter's baby has been born, Penny has felt a yen to put her life on paper, not necessarily for the general public to buy. She feels that she 
should write all this down for HIM.
Working with Anita, they have come to realize how much they know and how much is gone.
She went to the last production of the Scottish play and after the play they went to a little bistro near Lincoln Center.
Friends of Penny and John Glover were having a conversation. At the next table were some kids from Julliard. The conversation spread. One of the kids said something and Penny followed up mentioning Marlene Dietrich. He immediately said, "Who is that?" Then, on the other side of the table, John Glover mentioned All About Eve, and a girl said, "What is that?" 
One of my personal soapboxes is that I don't feel that our history of the theatre is being respected and preserved and/or remembered to the extent that it should be. Penny absolutely agrees with me.
It's show BUSINESS. It's less theatre and more show BUSINESS. Last week, Penny was at an alumni dinner of NorthWestern.
Penny has discussed with Anita and Barry about lengthening Sin Twisters and adding a little more "heft" to it and taking it to universities. There is a lot about the theatre and Harold Arlen and Frank Loesser and Joe Papp, etc. Kids will have rich full lives not knowing who these people are, but they will not have as rich a life if they don't have some connection to who who they are/were.
Unless someone can find for a theatre museum to make money, they don't think of it. It's ALL about the money which is terrible.
Penny has had some incredibly wonderful moments in the theatre.
When Shakespeare wrote about how “age cannot wither” the “infinite variety” of Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt, ...
The one role that Penny has never played that she always yearned for is Shakespeare's Cleopatra. She has that great speech about a dream about Emperor Anthony. She asks, "Do you think there ever was such a man as this I dreamed of?"

CLEOPATRA
Do you think there ever was, or could there ever be, a man such as the one I dreamed about?

DOLABELLA
Gentle madam, no.
   
CLEOPATRA
You lie up to the hearing of the gods.
But if there be nor ever were one such,
It’s past the size of dreaming. Nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy, yet t’ imagine
An Antony were nature’s piece ’gainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.

It is a regret of Penny's that she has never been able to utter these great lines on stage.
Penny has learned a lot. The theatre is a place of magic and scary stuff. Those that are lucky enough to be a part of that world deal in universal psyche stuff. We are not just talking about "Boom, boom, boom...I love you Baby." "We ARE talking about love and death and "Screw you, daddy...what you did to me." Areas are being delved in to that are pretty powerful and the main thing is to keep it open and clear and don't shut down. To shut down, or to become so bitter that you do shut down, becoming angry, and not keeping open is a very bad career choice. In the work itself, the impulses that may have not been previously thought of may be sort of arbitrary things that pop into your mind may be more real than the obvious. Penny once had a teacher who said, "Actors cry, but watch those on television who try not to cry...the real people who deal with tragedies who try to be brave and not cry." Once again, it
is always about keeping open.
Penny doesn't like to "work" for a living. She likes to what she desires to do for a living. She finds it hard to do a play or to do anything, for that matter, just to get the money. There has to be something else in it for her. That is a vice and a virtue!
What goes through Penny's head just before stepping out on the stage? It depends. Penny has spoken to doctor friends of hers, telling them she would be willing to experiment on her brain with wires to find out what is really happening to her when she is on stage. Artists are free floating in creative stuff. She is hearing the music. She is remembering the lines and/or the lyrics. She is thinking, "Oh look at who is in the audience." She is still deeply involved.There are many levels of consciousness that are going on. She finds all of this fascinating. She believes, as I do, that neuroscientists would feel the same. Neuroscience is becoming more prominent as the brain is being studied. More study should be done on the study of artists. When Yo Yo Ma is playing a Bach cello piece, he is transported. He doesn't consciously think of what the fingering is. Again, there are many levels that he experiences as he transports his audiences.
How lucky New Yorkers will be on Sunday and Monday Night at 7PM at 54 Below as two artists at the top of their game will take their audiences (including me!) on whatever journey we all experience together.
On the 13th of April, Penny returns, not only to 54 Below, but she also returns to Eve Harrington! They are doing an evening devoted to Applause! Len Cariou, Penny Fuller, and Lee Roy Reams as well as others will come together for this celebration.

'A Little Night Music' at the White Plains PAC Mark Jacoby, Erin Davie, Penny Fuller (BroadwayWorld.com)
Several years ago, Penny played Desiree in A Little Night Music. She is returning to A Little Night Music

this summer in the Berkshires. This time, she will play Madame Armfeldt. Gregg Edelman will play the role of Fredrik Egerman for BTG's 2014 summer musical. Ethan Heard, who directed BTG's 2013 hit murder mystery The Cat and the Canary, will direct Stephen Sondheim's award-winning musical which also features Tony Award and Drama Desk nominee Kate Baldwin, internationally-acclaimed vocalist and actress Maureen O'Flynn, and Broadway and television actor Graham Rowat.

What does Penny Fuller do it for? It is a calling. It is a calling to be able to morph in a way to tell a story and change someone's life...if only for a moment. 

Let's start celebrating artists again rather than tearing them down.

Thank you ALL of the artists 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!



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.

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!



Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
               Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!




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




                                                                  Keeping Entertainment ALIVE!
                                                                   Richard Skipper Celebrates

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY