Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good Bye 2015! Hello, 2016...PART ONE!

There are only a few hours left in 2015 — and if I am going to keep moving forward in 2016, I need you with me from day one.This has been a very interesting year. I have always been able to count on you, my friends, family, fellow entertainers, and fans, especially during the big moments.Good, bad, surprising and shocking. I am Grateful everyday for many things. As I go into this new year, I will continue to move forward in gratitude and blessed. 

Wishing YOU ALL a Happy, Healthy and Great Abundance in the New Year!
From Karen Mason: Wishing everyone a wondrous and adventure-filled New Year! Peace, joy, understanding, and curiosity, with a really healthy amount of compassion!
Today, I am focusing on most of the things that I have been grateful for this year.

Happy New Year! Come with it 2016!I wish

PEACE, HAPPINESS, ACHIEVEMENT OF DREAMS, and a snark free, Bully free, violence free, gun free, world for all!
Much happiness, music and dancing in the new year! It Was A Very Good Year
This was a year of triumphs and some sadness as well. We are just a few hours away from the start of a monumental election year, and we have our work cut out for us...but today, let's focus on great entertainment! I want to begin with the entertainment highs I experienced this year.
One of the true highlights of this year was Melba Moore's amazing birthday concert earlier this year. I have been a fan of hers since I first heard her sing. To see her up close and personal and in amazing voice was just out of this world. 
Thank you to my friend Craig Witham for asking me us to join him. 
The place was packed beyond capacity and it was truly like going to a revival meeting! Thank you, Melba! Melba will be at 54 Below in Melba Moore Live 1/9/2016 9:30pm Tickets on sale now.
This was the year of Sinatra's 100th Birthday. The first show I saw this year celebrating Sinatra was Richard Malavet's wonderful tribute at the Metropolitan Room. He is included in Navida Stein 's TOP PICKS of 2015 over at Stage Buddy for this show, "Very Good Years: The Intimate Sinatra!"

Speaking of Sinatra, the year was very busy with Julie Budd's Remembering Mr. Sinatra shows and Jerry Costanzo's Sinatra Inspired. I spent a wonderful evening at WPIX 11 thanks to Ellyn Marks for producing a show moderated by Marvin Scott that featured Julie, Bill Boggs, and Steve Tyrell. 

A big shout out to my designer and friend Glen Charlow. He has been my designer from the beginning of MY internet age and I would be lost without him. A BIG THANK YOU!
Another highlight this year was getting to South Carolina to spend a few days with my sister, Brother Emery, and niece Lakyn. 
Unfortunately, my mom left for Pigeon Forge Tennessee and Dollywood just as we arrived and I didn't get a chance to even see her. My sister has had some serious health issues and I am glad that she has pulled through with flying colors! 
It was fun to see my cousins Karen, JoAnn, and Patsy, and my Uncle Gilbert while I was home. 
You all may not realize it, but you are my lifeblood!   Danny and I were lucky enoughto see Bette Midler this summer at Madison Square Garden thanks to Scott Eberle! He told me about StubHub and I was able to get affordable tickets TWELFTH ROW CENTER! Wow! And thank you, Scott! 
Another great show that I just saw rounded out the year. That was Michael Feinstein at 54 Below. I'd like to thank Ellen Easton, who has been a TRUE friend this year, for this amazing night and NO ONE surpasses John Iachetti in the hospitality department. He reminds me so much of Jean-Claude Baker, who we sadly lost earlier this year. He was the owner of Chex Josephine and the ultimate host!
 I also got to work on some amazing shows this year as a publicist. I began the year working on the film, Life Inside Out, an indie film of a mother returning to her artistic roots. I thank Tessa Bell for giving me this amazing opportunity. It was also wonderful getting to know author and actress, Maggie Baird.  
Produced by Tessa Bell ; written by Maggie Baird and Lori Nasso ; directed by Jill D'Agnenica.
I became familiar with Jimmie Bush Jr. through George Bettinger. He made his New York City debut this year at the Metropolitan Room. Sadly, I missed his performance due to the fact that I was in Malibu. He returns The Metropolitan Room Feb 16th RSVP now! I was also happy to get to know and work with Sally Darling on her amazing show, Perspectives. She was brilliantly accompanied by Matthew Martin Ward. 
I also got to work on Dean Benner's show at the Triad thanks to Linda Amiel Burns. He was joined by Christine Shuler and a kickin' band led by Richard Danley. Catch him next time he is around. 
I would like to thank Bernard and Joanne Furshpan for all the support they have given me this year. 

I probably have spent more time at the Metropolitan Room than any other club in town. 
Many
 of my clients appeared there this year: Julie Budd, celebrity artist in residence did several shows this year beginning with They Wrote the Songs, celebrating great songwriters
with a nod to those that are still writing great songs.  I also had the pleasure of doing the PR for David Kenney's Christmas Benefit for WBAI. Check out David's Everything Old is New Again every Sunday night at 9PM on WBAI. 

Another highlight was attending Jim Speake's CD Release party earlier this year at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. I worked with Jim last year on his wonderful tribute to Cy Coleman.  I will be working with him in the coming months on his latest show celebrating his CD. 
Be on the look sometime in the spring.  
I am grateful that Sherry Eaker asked me to do the red carpet at this year's Bistro Awards. There were many highlights with this year's award show. One being the incredible Carol Fredette for ongoing jazz artistry.
From Suzanna Bowling: 

A new year is all about starting afresh and realizing your
dreams. So, let’s raise a toast to a Happy New Year and even happier beginnings. New is the year, new are the hopes,
new is the resolution, new are the spirits, and new are my warm wishes just for you.

Have a promising and fulfilling New Year.  
I'd like to thank Suzanna Bowling of Times Square 
Chronicles for the coverage and support she has given to my clients this year. 
It is much appreciated. Much success to you in 2016! 
Another highlight was hosting Dancers Over 40's  2015 Legacy Awards. I hosted the very first Legacy Awards as Carol Channing
How wonderful to come full circle and host as Richard Skipper. I thank John Sefakis for this. This year's recipients were Gene Gavin (who sadly passed before the ceremony, Donna McKechnie, Janice Herbert, Tony Sheldon, and James Dybas. I love them all so it was a great treat! 
Thank you, George Bettinger, for all of the support you have shown me and my clients this year and congratulations on your induction into the Friar's Club. 

 I am excited to start my year by seeing Once Upon a Mattress being presented by the Transport Group on Sunday afternoon. What a great way to start the New Year. It has been sold out almost every performance. I am so looking forward to seeing Jackie Hoffman as Winifred the Wobegon!
Princess Winifred the Wobegon is known as the Princess from the Swamps.Also in the cast is the always amazing Lypsinka!
From Christina Via:
Happy New Year to you all!! Ahhhh 🌟 2016🌟 is going to be so blessed, May you always see the beauty around you in you and in others just like this beautiful flower photo!!
That inner Island that is in us all!! and May God shine blessings on your path, in your heart as His Love, and our trust in The Greatest Power ..the spirit in
Happy New Year!!!
All my Love, Christina
us all leads the way... May we all find more kindness and more pause for patience.... and whatever we learned from this past year may we apply it. what we need to be the best we can be and offer to others as we are building our dreams .

George Bettinger will present Jimmie at 7 PM. For reservations call 212 206 0440 or visit metropolitanroom.com
One site that has become my go to site for entertainment related news this year is Sandi Durell's TheaterPizzazz.    Read her cabaret critic's top Cabaret Shows  of 2015 http://www.theaterpizzazz.com/top-cabaret-shows-of-2015. No surprise to see Ann Hampton Callaway, Marilyn Maye, Michael Feinstein, BabyJaneDexter, Norm Lewis, and RickyRitzel among that list.

Lemmy

Legendary Motörhead frontman and bassist Lemmy has died following a short battle with cancer, his bandmates have announced. He was 70. Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was also a member and sometime vocalist of the band Hawkwind in the 1970s, found that he was suffering from "an extremely aggressive" form of cancer on December 26 -- the day after Christmas. He died at home with his family.


Jim Bailey passed on this year.  In the last few days, another part of the Times Square Landscape has changed. Frankie and Johnny's Steak House is moving to Restaurant Row, on 46th Street. 



One of the highlights of this year was Merman's Apprentice Starring Klea Blackhurst. For those of you who are lucky enough to attend on January 16th, you are in for a treat!

 "Melodies that have the perfect period pizzazz to remind us of  when Broadway really was Broadway. 
MERMAN’S APPRENTICE hits the bull’s eye."
Peter Filichia, theater critic, Star-Ledger emeritus

"A hilarious good time from start to finish!  Cole, the book writer and lyricist, has struck story line gold.  Book and lyrics are solidly supported by David Evan’s tuneful and sprightly music, which includes several lovely ballads for musical texture. Klea Blackhurst is the perfect Merman. Elizabeth Teeter is a young actor to watch; she has talent and confidence. 
Her synergy with Blackhurst is apparent. Seriously funny perfection...a true musical comedy!"
Marilyn Lester, Theatre Pizzazz

Here they come boys! Here they come world!
Merman's Apprentice in Concert is returning
  for ONE NIGHT only to Birdland on Jan. 18th at 7pm to celebrate the release of   the brand new Original Cast recording of the June Concert that SOLD OUT and   rocked 44th Street. They've got a fabulous cast featuring Klea Blackhurst, Anita Gillette, Elizabeth Teeter, Bill Nolte, Fred Applegate, Eddie Korbich, Adam Heller, Brian Charles Rooney, Desi Oakley, F. Michael Haynie, Sarah Sesler, Michael McCorry Rose and a 6 piece band led by Larry Yurman.
Go to   http://www.birdlandjazz.com/event/1017871-mermans-apprentice-starring-new-york to reserve early!
To see FIVE minutes of the concert that will make you want to see the rest,
Click HERE. Celebrate 2016 with the Films  and Music of Virginia O'Brien: MGM's Deadpan Diva ~ Look for the 2016 release of Robert Strom's new book "MGM's Deadpan Diva: Virginia O'Brien" the authorized biography from BearManor Media!
http://www.bearmanormedia.com
I want to give a nod to this year's Kennedy Center Honors. I think this show was one of the best
Aretha Franklin WOWS the 2015 Kennedy Center audience
produced shows I have seen in years. I loved  EVERY minute of it. Starting with Rita Moreno, who I was lucky enough to meet earlier this year at Barnes  AND Nobel when her memoirs came out. She was interviewed by Lin Manuel-Miranda who is having one of the biggest triumphs in the history of Broadway with Hamilton. I hope I can see it in 2016!
One show that I regret not seeing this year was Ben Vereen at 54 Below.
Want inspiration? Read this great article on Marin Mazzie that appeared in today's New York Times. 

To Be Continued...

Thank to ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts they have given to the world and continue to give!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

 



 

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!

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!    
           

Here's to an INCREDIBLE NEW YEAR for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook



Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY


Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com













Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Happy December, Giving Tuesday, and it is World AIDS Day

Where words fail, music speaks. Hans Christian Andersen 

Dear Friends, fans, fellow artists,

Here we are and it’s Giving Tuesday again already! December has begun and all of us are preoccupied with holiday plans, list making, shopping, decorating … it’s the busiest season of all!December 1 is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 30 days remaining until the end of the year.
 On this date in 800 – Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican.
I am starting a new blog series in which I will be celebrating all that TODAY and the upcoming days and weeks have to offer. I hope you enjoy. Please show your support by celebrating the artists and events within these blogs.


WHAT IS #GIVINGTUESDAY?

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals.
Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity. Always appreciate those who come into your life..you never know the impact they'll have on the world. We need to focus on sending positive energy into the world instead of all the negative energy.
A police officer who was a pastor at his local church. An Iraq war veteran. A mother of two, accompanying a friend.
Those were the three fatalities in Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I do believe that it is due to a lot of the negative misguided rhetoric that has been put out into the world in recent months from a certain Republican presidential candidate. Let's ALL focus on ending 2015 on a positive note. Let's ALL work together on this.
Woody Allen turns 80 today

Today is also World AIDS Day, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease.
Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Here are some upcoming events I recommend. 

SHEREE SANO: TONIGHT (Tues. - Dec. 1) and ALL THROUGH DECEMBER...
Shereeewill be performing at the Metropolitan Room TONIGHT (December 1st - Tuesday) for
WE CAN BE KIND - a cabaret concert to benefit Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS and Help Is On The Way Today
Produced by Joseph Macchia

The Metropolitan Room
Dec 1st
Doors open at 6:30 - Showtime is 7:00 PM
$10 Cover plus 2 Bev Min
212 206 0440
In addition to my regular Happy Hour shifts on Fridays and Sundays at
Don't Tell Mama, I'll be adding Wednesdays and Saturdays in December -
All are (very) Happy Hour shifts from 5-8pm.
Beer/Wine - $4, Well drinks - $5, Cosmos (super potent) - $8
Don't Tell Mama Piano Bar
343 W. 46th St - NYC
212-757-0788
www.donttellmamanyc.com
Sheree Sano Sings: In Whatever Time We Have
(Intro by Lennie Watts, Piano by Bill Zeffiro)
https://youtu.be/bNJpt9hMoIM

Celebrate Gretchen Reinhagen's's incredible cabaret career  with Reinhagen Redux Recap at The Metropolitan Room tomorrow Night on December 2nd, 2015.
On Saturday at 1PM at the Metropolitan Room, Songwriter in the House represents veteran cabaret songwriter Tom Toce’s solo debut as a performer. Throughout his career in musical theater and cabaret, Tom has always written other songs, in a different style. Call them acoustic songs, singer-songwriter songs, or folk-rock songs--if they were easy to pin down, they might have been recorded by now! Emboldened by good reviews at open mikes and songwriter camps, Tom is stepping up to the mic and putting on a solo show. Accompanying himself on guitar, with Jon Burr on bass and Justin McEllroy providing backup vocals, Tom will take you through an eclectic collection of witty, tuneful, and sometimes moving new songs.



December 10th, Julie Budd: Metropolitan Room 34 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010  (212) 206-0440 Julie Budd returns to the Metropolitan Room with her new show of " They Wrote the Songs: Remembering Mr. Sinatra…and The Holidays " musical directed by Herb Bernstein. In this series, Julie revisits some of her favorite songwriters and those that sang their songs by remounting a new show each time.  The next show in the series is “They Wrote the Songs: Remembering Mr. Sinatra…and The Holidays”” and features Musical Director, Herb Bernstein This show explores the many aspects of Julie’s musical career and influences such as Sinatra classics like “I’ve Got the World on a String,” and other songs recorded by Sinatra, such as Herb Bernstein’s arrangement of “All The Way”, Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh’s “The Best is Yet to Come” and “More Than You Know”.

https://juliebudd.com/

JOIN US AND SEE AN ALL LIVE SHOW! Here is an interview Julie recently did on The Sue Bender Show. Enjoy!
Julie will also be appearing in concert at the Berrie Center for the Performing Arts on December 12th in celebration of Frank Sinatra's 100th Birthday.
Before you attend Julie's Show at the Berrie Center on the 12th, please check out   Ben Yagoda at the American Popular Song Society at 1:45 pm.
American Popular Song is Irving Berlin, Carole King, and The Lion King. It is not rock, but thousands of rock songs are popular song. It is not country, but the biggest country hits usually become popular song. These are the standards, the songs you know, the songs you've forgotten but remember immediately when you hear
Welcome back to another great event of our Society!
Just because I like it!
the chorus.
 
THEATER TALK presents “The Best of 2015,” featuring some favorite interviews from the past year. 
Up first, is the creative team from Hand to God, the hit Broadway comedy about a teen attending a Christian puppet-making workshop in Texas, whose sock-puppet seems to be possessed by Satan. 
Guests are playwright Robert Askins, director Moritz von Stuelpnagel and actor Steven Boyer (along with the outspoken puppet, Tyrone).
Next up, Dame Helen Mirren, award-winning star of the spring’s box-office bonanza The Audience, shares a few wise sentiments on fame.
The half-hour concludes with Fun Home, the Tony® Award-winning musical, with composer Jeanine Tesori and book writer/lyricist Lisa Kron, who created this masterpiece based on the bestselling memoir/graphic novel by the segment’s other guest, cartoonist Alison Bechdel. The trio discuss their collaboration on the show with Tesori and Kron performing a few songs from the Tony-winning
score.
THEATER TALK is co hosted by Michael Riedel, Broadway columnist for the New York Post, and Susan Haskins. This episode premieres in the New York metropolitan area on CUNY TV* Saturday 12/5 at 8:30 PM, Sunday 12/6 at 12:30 PM, and Monday 12/7 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM; and on WLIW/21 on Monday 12/7 at 5:30 PM – a total of 6 times this week. (THEATER TALK is preempted on Thirteen for Pledge Drive.).
It's time to make your reservations! I can't believe it's been 9 years of Sue Matsuki and Edd Clark's Annual Show. I was a guest there first year reading The Night Before Christmas as Carol Channing! Please know that each year they do a different show so, if you have seen it before, or, if we are part of your annual "Ring in the Holiday" ritual (for which they thank you) join them again!
Multi-Award winning singing team, Sue Matsuki & Edd Clark present their 9th Annual (FABULOUS) Christmas Show on
Wednesday, December 9th @ 7:00 pm & Saturday, December 12th @ 4:00 pm at METROPOLITAN ROOM - Ticket Price: $22.00 / 2 beverage minimum.
WHAT “THEY” ARE SAYING ABOUT SUE  and EDD’S FABULOUS CHRISTMAS SHOW!

It’s almost become a New York tradition: celebrating the holidays by seeing Sue Matsuki and Edd Clark’s
Christmas show. An engaging pair, it didn’t take long to get the show out of the gate. The opening medley was worth the price of admission and then some. - Peter Leavy, Cabaret Scenes

This show was a full course meal! As a team, Sue & Edd are unstoppable, both with split second comic timing and senses of humor and a group of songs that showcase the range and power of both their impressive vocals. The show feels like an impromptu living room concert. - Sherri Rase, QonStage.com
---
I am not alone in being totally enamored by the fantastic vocals of this multi-MAC Nominated Duo. Alone or in duet their voices are clear and beautiful. I have had the CD of this show loaded on my iPod. It serves as the sound-track to my life in December. This duo has enough chemistry to win them a spot in the Gilbert Hall of Science!” - Stu Hamstra, CabaretHotlineOnLine
---
Like old friends hanging around the tree singing favorites at a party, these genial singers would be welcome “presences” at the holiday season. - Rob Lester, Talkin’ Broadway


An extraordinary array of musical theater stars will perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Room to pay tribute to Barbara Siegel on Wednesday, January 27th at 7 PM. The concert will be performed by Broadway stars of the first rank, major award nominees and/or winners. Barbara, a theater critic and columnist, has been a nominator for both the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk (the latter for a total of 18 years, 12 of them as chairperson), and she has influenced the careers of countless performers. A great many of them will converge on the Metropolitan Room to say thank you. By the same token,
Barbara Siegel
a percentage of the profits for this event will be turned back to the people Barbara loves so much by making this event a benefit for The Actor’s Fund.

A full list of performers will be announced shortly.

Tickets are $30 plus a two-drink minimum
To Reserve your seats call: 212-206-0440  www.metropolitanroom.com (Source: Sandi Durell, TheatrePizzazz).

The Landmarks Preservation Commission just approved a proposal to lift the legendary Palace Theatre 29 feet and move its Times Square entrance to a side street so that the theater’s valuable ground-floor space, fronting on Times Square, can be converted to retail use.  Read more HERE

Thank to ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts they have given to the world and continue to give!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

 



 

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!
Phyllis Diller and Richard Deacon in Hello, Dolly! December 1969

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!    
            
Richard Pryor born on December 1st

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Happy Birthday, Bette Midler
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook


Today Marks the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' arrest

Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY


Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com