Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bette Midler, Roger Gindi, Scott Rudin...and MORE!

The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.

-Bette Midler

Happy Tuesday, January 19th!
I hope this finds you well! I got an early birthday present this AM.
This is an exciting day for Broadway and Dolly fans everywhere! 
 Hello, Dolly!--which turned fifty in 2014--is coming back to the lights of 44th Street (or thereabouts) in the spring of 2017, with the outsized title role essayed by the outsized Bette Midler.  (READ MORE)
Over the weekend, the Divine Miss M announced on Twitter that she will appear as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the first Broadway revival of the Jerry Herman hit in 20 years. (Source: TabletMag.com) Directed by four-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly! will begin performances on Broadway on March 13, 2017, with an official opening night of April 20, 2017.

Scott Rudin

Rehearsals begin one year from today.
This will be produced by Scott Rudin.

From All Movie Guide: American film producer Scott Rudin learned how to make instant sink-or-swim decisions while a casting director on Broadway.

As a theater producer, Rudin won a Tony award for his staging of  Passion. He entered films in the early '80s, working his way up to the vice presidency and then the presidency of 20th Century Fox. He left that studio when he was 29 in favor of independent production.
Among Scott Rudin's most lucrative productions have been Sister Act (1988) and The Addams Family (1991); he has also managed to parlay "small" films like Little Man Tate (1989) into audience favorites. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi (Source: The New York Times)

She is perfect and this has been a dream of mine (AND Jerry Herman's) to see this come to fruition.
I would LOVE to interview Ms. Midler when the timing is right! Fingers crossed.
Happy Birthday, Roger Gindi!
Today is Broadway producer Roger Gindi's Birthday. I asked him a few questions this AM. Here are his responses:  

Worst job you ever had: 
Working with Whoopi Goldberg on MA RAINEY... 
Something about you that would surprise people: 
I'm a naturist. 

Words of advice for aspiring entertainers: 
If you've got "it" you'll know it, so stick with it!

Roger's last project:  
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in December.

Victoria's Secret Swimsuit Show coming up in March

What's next:  
Too early to say.

In other Show Business News:  
Josh Bardier

Josh Bardier will be performing with Steven Lowenthal at Parnells Bar and Restaurant, located on 350 East 53rd Street starting at 8:00pm. For more information, visit Parnells online to make your reservation.

February 2 is a critical day. This is the day that Bill Cosby’s lawyers will argue that charges should be dismissed against him because the former prosecutor who handled the case verbally promised not to prosecute him or, if so, by means other than that critical civil deposition.
Here’s Lionel's video tutorial on the issue.

Brand New Melba Moore CD Titled "Forever Moore" Release Date To Be Announced,

The largest LGBT organization in the nation has endorsed Hillary Clinton's campaign for the presidency.

What on earth were the Clintons thinking? This question has been plaguing political watchers ever since Chelsea Clinton, in her first solo campaign outing for her mom last week, threw a punch at Bernie Sanders. Specifically, Chelsea accused the Vermont senator of pushing a health-care agenda that would “dismantle” Obamacare and Medicare.
The assault was misleading, to be sure. (Given his druthers, Bernie would implement a comprehensive single-payer system.) But it was the messenger more than the message that rocked people’s world. READ MORE HERE.

Mary Foster Conklin News:
Her voice is smoky with a tart twist of lemon. Her style has been described as both recognizably traditional yet unmistakably contemporary, as she puts her personal stamp on a smart repertoire that spans over nine decades. “Scratch her witty tough-girl-from Jersey patter," wrote The Washington Post, “and you’ll find a sensitive artist (but not frail) with a wide-ranging boldly colored voice and an open ear for off-beat material."Less than three weeks away - please call to reserve today or use the link HERE.
Thursday, February 4 @ 6-7:30pm
Birdland Jazz Club, 315 West 44th Street
Reservations -  212 581-3080 Mary Foster Conklin - vocal
John diMartino-piano
Ed Howard-bass
Vince Cherico-drums
Joel Frahm-sax

With the release of her fourth CD Photographs (MockTurtle Music), Mary Foster Conklin puts her unique personal spin on a collection of standards and contemporary tunes by Oscar Brown, Jr., Benny Carter, Lennon and McCartney, Johnny Mandel and Joni Mitchell, with five tunes by Beat poet Fran Landesman, best-known for “Spring Can Really
Hang You Up The Most.”  Mary's work was recently praised by the New York Times as "full of salt and vinegar -- with the intensity and tough humor of someone who might have lived on the bohemian fringe in the late ’40s and ’50s, when the word ‘hip’ meant something."   www.maryfosterconklin.com

Conklin is one of those singers that you want to feel like she’s singing just for you.  A top notch set for when you’re ready to get off the beaten path.” Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“Like her earlier recordings, this one is full of one magic moment after another.  

Her distinctive rich and dusky sound is completely captivating, conjuring up images of a film noir femme fatale.  She is a supreme storyteller, and chooses songs that provide the kind of lyrics that lend themselves well to her approach.” Joe Lang Jersey Jazz
MARY FOSTER CONKLIN has appeared in theatres, jazz clubs, cabarets and even fire escapes in the metropolitan New York area and throughout the United States and Canada. A New Jersey native who came to New York to pursue theatre work, her transformation from actor to jazz singer began when she joined drummer/composer
Art Lillard’s 15-piece Heavenly Band and her song selections naturally shifted from show tunes to blues, Latin and bebop. As a leader, her sets are a mix of contemporary material and standards, with an emphasis on the lesser known treasures of the Great American Songbook. In New York, Conklin’s talents have earned her a place on the stages of The Blue Note, Zinc Bar, Iridium, Birdland, Jazz at the Kitano, the Metropolitan Room and the Triad Theatre. She can also be seen from time to time singing off various fire escapes as The Lady in the Red Dress with the Renegade Cabaret. Her latest project, LIFE IS A BITCH - a tribute to poet/lyricist Fran Landesman, (best known for "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" and "The Ballad of the Sad Young Men") has been praised by the New York Times as "full of salt and vinegar -- with the intensity and tough humor of someone who might have lived on the bohemian fringe in the late ’40s and ’50s, when the word ‘hip’ meant something."
On the West Coast she has performed in Los Angeles at the In House Jazz Series, Vitello’s, the
Gardenia and the Jazz Bakery. She has appeared in Chicago at the Cultural Center and in Palm Beach, Florida at the Royal Room.
Ms. Conklin was awarded the 2010 MAC Award for Jazz Vocalist by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, and has been praised by The New York Times as “a highly creative singer whose style blends cabaret and jazz so thoroughly as to defy any easy categorization." Her debut CD, Crazy Eyes, was listed as one of the ten best CDs of 1998 by In Theatre Magazine, and won the 1999 Bistro Award presented by Backstage Magazine for Outstanding Recording. Her second recording, You’d Be Paradise, was released in September 2001 to critical acclaim, worldwide airplay and was a jazz bestseller for two years on www.CDBaby.com.
Several years ago, what began as a simple quest for some lesser known Matt Dennis material (she recorded “Everything Happens to Me" on her second CD) quickly became an all-out obsession.
She began her search at the Library of Congress, then teamed up with Los Angeles singer/songwriter Mark Winkler to present a bi-coastal tribute to the music of Matt Dennis and Bobby Troup. Her recording, Blues For Breakfast - Remembering Matt Dennis (Rhombus Records) is a collection of songs by the late Matt Dennis, best known for his hits “Angel Eyes" and “Violets for your Furs". The award winning CD has been hailed by the press as "delightfully dramatic" (Jazz Times) “a work of art and heart" (powerlineblog.com), and “an overdue reminder of the honored place of Matt Dennis in American music" (Jazz Society of Oregon). She is currently at work on a new recording, Photographs, which will be released in February 2016.

Lee Roy Reams, Daniel Sherman, Richard Skipper and Linda Amiel Burns.
A Belated Birthday Shout Out to Linda Amiel Burns:
What have you been working on most recently? Was thrilled to receive "The 2015 TRU Entrepreneur Award" at Sardi's in November celebrating 38 years of "helping thousands of people find their voice, etc."  Don't have the award here - so forgot the wording. Always working on The Singing Experience workshops and just put up the 2016 Schedule which begins with "Spring Fling" in March.  This is the 39th Anniversary Year and there are 3 workshops scheduled through the Summer. 
March/April  Spring Fling!    May/June   Here's To Us!     July/August  Sing in the Sunshine! Hoping to get the documentary SING! completed and released soon. 
Also working on a book about my life and what led me to find music to heal and
Me, Linda Amiel Burns, Sidney Myer, Jerry Laird. PHOTO CREDIT: Jerry Laird
transform lives.

People can go to www.SingingExperience.com for more
info and to register.

2) What are you working on NOW?  

 Gave a few lectures recently without a pianist and singers and just talking about my life with a great reaction.

Working  on maybe taking this on the road, perhaps being booked by a speakers bureau, guest lecturer on cruise ships and see where it goes. Also, always have lots of  cabaret acts brewing that I am directing,  helping people put together and get booked at the clubs.  Aside from the 5000+ people who have participated in The Singing Experience over the years, have worked on over 500 acts and helped so many make their dreams come true.

3) What is next for you? Hoping to win the billion dollars in the Power Ball, but if it doesn't happen - then will have to continue working and thinking up different ideas to promote music in creative ways. 

For the first time in nearly 4 decades, I am not having a Jan/Feb workshop and taking some time off to think about what the next chapter will bring.  Am now in Florida exploring a different lifestyle and maybe living in a warm climate and seeing if I can survive outside NYC.  

Stay tuned....... 
Anything else you would like me to include?  You can add that I have been President of the American Popular Song Society for nearly 20 years and won a MAC Award in 2013 for creative programming in the "Recurring Series" category. 
Linda Amiel Burns (president of American Popular Song Society Society), Linda Langton, Lee Roy Reams, Richard Skipper, Glen Charlow, Daniel Sherman:
Was given a MAC Board of Directors Award in 2008 presented to my by Danny Aiello for my 30 plus year contribution to the world of music.  For the past 10 years have been writing and reviewing for many theater sites including Theater Pizzazz, TheaterScene and Theater Life.
Visit: www.SingingExperience.com - lots of photos.  Also a good group shot on Facebook with Linda leading the group in merry song!


DON'T MISS Marta Sanders in Follow Me
Saturday Feb. 6th 2016 at 7pm and Sunday Brunch Feb. 7th @ 1pm 
407 West 42nd Street (Ninth/Tenth Aves) NYC, NY
Tickets for the show are available for $30 (Music Charge) plus a Food & Beverage Minimum of $20. Buy tickets on line at:    
Shake those post holiday blues off with the queen of cabaret, Marta Sanders. Brand new show, "Follow Me," about travel, movement and transition. Directed by Deborah Zalkind and Musical direction by the man, himself, John McMahon.
You don't want to miss this. 
Please visit Marta's Website for more INFO. 

Tommy Tune continues through  Friday Night at the Café Carlyle, 35 East 76th Street, Manhattan; 212-744-1600, thecafecarlyle­.com.

Next up, Rita Wilson!  Musician, actress and producer Rita Wilson makes her return to Café Carlyle in a two-week engagement, February 23-March 5, 2016. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote of her debut residency in the fall of 2014: "[If you] closed your eyes at certain moments you could imagine you were cruising down a Southern California highway in the early 1970s. Sandwiched between the music of Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne on the car radio was a promising new voice whose sound fit right in with theirs." Rita Wilson's forthcoming Café Carlyle residency will center around her first original collection of songs as featured on her self-titled sophomore album which will be released March 11. At the Carlyle, she'll be joined by musical director Andrew Doolittle on guitar and background vocals, Lee Nadel on bass, Clifford Carter on piano and Rich Mercurio on drums.

After a year on the road performing in some of the country's top performing arts centers and Symphony concert halls, twin brothers Will and Anthony Nunziata brought their Showstopper Concert to the Highline Ballroom last night and BroadwayWorld was there.
Check out the photos HERE.

Bright Star, the Broadway-bound Steve Martin-Edie Brickell musical, has released a music video previewing the song "Sun's Gonna Shine," sung by Carmen Cusack.

Critically acclaimed modern vaudevillian Jesse Luttrell makes his highly anticipated solo debut at 54 Below: Jan 29th 9:30pm TICKETS: bit.ly/1HvnQHA
featuring Fred Barton’s Broadway Band. In this high octane evening, Jesse unleashes his shattering voice for an evening of classic swing, pop, and show songs. Jesse’s repertoire runs the gamut from songs of Jule Styne, Cy Coleman and Rodgers and Hart, to Anthony Newley, Jerry Herman specialties, and Peter Allen showstoppers. The show features new arrangements created by Fred Barton, who leads his 8-piece Broadway Band. Jesse is a concert and recording artist, and longtime cabaret and musical theatre performer

We sat down for a quick chat today. Here is a quick interview!

The most difficult job I've EVER had was appearing in the chorus for an entire season of West Virginia Public Theatre. It was my first theatre job after years of working in ballet and WVPT is one week stock meaning you rehearse a show for a week, put it up at night and rehearse the next show during the day. I wasn't used to learning material (and choreography) so quickly so it really kicked my butt.

Words of advice for aspiring entertainers
Find YOUR truth in everything that you do and trust that you're unique. Don't try to be anything, just BE.

Finish this statement: I’ll never understand why…
I'll never understand why tiny people need huge umbrellas. I'm 6'3 so those things are right at eye level with me.

If you could change one thing about the profession, what would it be?
I wish the people in charge would take a bigger chance casting unique and exciting talent instead of trying to cram people into boxes that fit their archetypal ideas.


 Jennifer Hudson, star of Broadway's THE COLOR PUPLE, stopped by ABC's THE VIEW yesterday to talk about making her Broadway debut in the hit musical. "It's such an overwhelming response," said Hudson of the audience's reaction to the show. "And I've never seen it in a show before like that."

Thank to ALL that are mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give! 

Make 2016 the year of YES!

With grateful XOXOXs ,


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


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

Just ride the WAVE! take a Bossa Nova staycation.

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

Cecil Beaton  and Rudolph Nureyev by David Bailey, 1966

Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

Sarah Rice, Broadway's original Johanna of Sweeney Todd, will be joining us on February 13th. See Below!
Sarah Rice, Broadway's original Johanna of Sweeney Todd, will sing a Valentine's Day concert of songs from the operetta, classical and musical theatre repertoire, with Paul Jackel, in upstate New York, Feb. 14. - See more at: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/kiss-me-sweeney-todds-sarah-rice-sings-of-love-with-paul-jackel-feb.-14-111546#sthash.bYCP2Q2p.dpuf

February 13th, Peter Filichia in conversation with Richard Skipper at American Popular Song Society 

with Musical Director Michael Lavine
Sarah Rice and an all star cast
join  Peter Filichia and Richard Skipper
to celebrate the 1963/64 Broadway Season
Talk/Performance/Book Signing

Call Richard Skipper Celebrates at 845-365-0720 if you need more details.
Many surprises are in store. 
Please contact me if any questions.
Please LIKE Richard Skipper Celebrates on Facebook
Admission is Free for Members/$15.00 for Non-Members .

Doors open at 12:30 for those who want to buy sheet music Also members can take tables and sell their stuff. 2:30 -1:30 "Flea Market" 1:30 seating - showtime: 1:45 - 3:30.

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