Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Amazing Kreskin, National Kiss A Ginger Day, Maureen O'Hara...and MORE!

The Amazing Kreskin
Necessity Does the Work of Courage
-Nicholas Murray Butler, educator and Nobel Laureate (1862-1947)

Happy January 12th!
Today, I celebrate EXCELLENCE! Everyone mentioned in this blog possesses that trait.
Tip of the Day: "Always take the time to stop and look in the mirror. If you look good, say 'Damn! I LOOK GOOD!' And you know what? However you feel, you'll suddenly feel better."

Today is The Amazing Kreskin's Birthday! I LOVE this man! He never fails to send me a Christmas Card every year and one of the nicest men I have met in this business! Happy Birthday, you truly ARE Amazing! Here's to the NEXT 81 years!
I got this from Kreskin this AM: 

Many many thanks for your well wishes.  We are about to celebrate the debut of my new book "In Real Time'
you can get more information from www.thaneandprosepress.com and it is my 20th book so its a celebration for me.  It encompasses my World predictions for the decades to come. 

We might be doing something together in the coming months! Will keep you posted!

 Today has been officially designated (well, by people on the internet ) as National Kiss a Ginger Day!
Here are some of my favorite Gingers!
Jesse Tyler Ferguson:  (born October 22, 1975) is an American actor best known for portraying Mitchell Pritchett on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, which has earned him five nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Previously, he played the role of Richie Velch in the CBS sitcom The Class.

“It is observed that the redhaired of both sexes are more libidinous and mischievous than the rest, whom yet they much exceed in strength and activity” — Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels.

Maureen O'Hara (From her fan Website): The
image of Maureen O'Hara began in Hollywood in 1939 in the classic film Hunchback of Notre Dame and now embodies a career that has spanned over 60 years.  Maureen's dynamic Irish beauty and persona of womanly  strength
has made her a role model for women and produced a legacy of all-time classic films.  Maureen O'Hara is still beautiful and
enjoying her retirement.  More importantly, she is representative of all fine actors of her era.  I have always joked that to
keep up with this energetic lady you need plenty of frequent flyer miles and twice the stamina. Maureen O'Hara indeed remains a much needed heroine of "all" times - a gifted performer "then and now" -
a woman for all seasons - truly a Woman of the Century!"

This website contains research information about Maureen O’Hara Blair about her life, career and
with Gen. Charles Blair
family, as well as hundreds of images.  It was incorporated into this presentation over the past 17 years with the support and contributions  of Ms. O’Hara, her brother Charles FitzSimons, her family, fellow actors, friends and fans.
 If you go to this site,  you will find special features on specialmovies, TV appearances, Gen. Charles Blair (her late husband) – his aviation accomplishments; photos of her family - her sisters and brothers from many decades.
 There is also a Facebook Extension page which I encourage you to visit  because it is updated almost daily with current happenings and allows you an opportunity to be more interactive .  So if you’re a Facebook member, drop in on them at: Maureen-OHara-Magazine-on-Facebook-Site.

A Great website I found this AM: The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1939 American film starring Charles Laughton as Quasimodo and Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda.
Directed by William Dieterle and produced by Pandro S. Berman, the film was based on Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
The script  of the 1939 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame was written by Bruno Frank and Sonya Levien. Frank wrote an adaptation and Levien wrote a screenplay based off that adaptation. The thing to keep in mind about Frank’s adaptation is that he was a German author, poet, dramatist and humanist of Jewish descent.  

He fled Germany because he feared the Government  and lived in Austria and England before going to America in 1937.

He then starting working in Hollywood as a writer. So given the political environment of the late 30’s along with Frank’s experience it’s no wonder that the Hunchback of Notre Dame parallels Europe of the late 30s.
Considering Frank’s background as an author/poet/humanist it’s understandable why Gringoire is co-hero with Quasimodo.
 Speaking of Quasimodo and scenes that feature him, most of his lines are  pretty much  verbatim to what Victor Hugo wrote. The film also likes to insert him wherever it can: Louis commenting on the Bells and asking about the Bell ringer, the girl crying to grandmother about seeing him, scaring Esmeralda away from Notre Dame, confessing to Phoebus‘ murder, and him alone at the end. 
Clearly the film compensates for Quasimodo isn’t the main character in the book.
 One of the major problems with the plot is that because there is this push towards modernity, which Louis and Gringoire represent, there are lot of scenes that are either completely added, like opening scene or added to much larger parts of the film so that Louis and Gringoire can be featured more. Quasimodo’s flogging and Esmeralda’s trial are good examples. The pillory scene cuts away to other characters and sometimes just random extras, but it mainly cuts to Gringoire and Clopin, who are talking about the truth about beggary and Gringoire wanting to help Quasimodo, so he prolonged in the scene further by seeing Claude. Esmeralda’s trial has interjects made by Gringoire pleading for common sense, Quasimodo confessing to the murder, and Louis giving Esmeralda a “Trial by Ordeal” the “ordeal” is more chance, basically she just has to touch the right dagger (Louis) to be freed but she fails. These add on don’t add much and if they accomplish anyway it weak character develop at best.

Entertainer and writer Nancy Tierny yells me that her favorite ginger is ginger root!

Debra Messing:  
 Following her graduation from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Messing had short-lived tenures on the Fox sitcom Ned & Stacey and the ABC sci-fi Prey. She rose to prominence in her role as interior designer Grace Adler on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, earning both commercial and critical success throughout the series' eight-season run. She also received critical acclaim for her work as Molly Kagan in the USA Network series The Starter Wife. She also played the lead role of Julia Houston in the musical-drama series Smash, before it was cancelled by NBC after two seasons.

Karen Mack: Karen is a three time Manhattan Association of Clubs Award winner for vocal performance and song writing, and has earned four more MAC Awards, a Backstage Bistro Award, and a NYC Nightlife Award nod with her music partner-in-crime, Michael Holland, for their work as a vocal duo. Their musical and manic retro-pop series has been pleasing crowds for six years now and maintains a steady weekly run in New York City.

Hole-O-Matic was an audience all-request show with more than 160 possible picks of covers from over 300 different artists, medleys, originals, and anything else they were willing to pretend they know.

"NYC singer/ songwriter Karen Mack may be one of the best kept secrets in the city. 
 Anyone who has been tracking her career, seen her trophy case, or spun up her solo debut, Take That, knows that this singer is on the verge of something big... Mack's glistening vocals ring and shine like fresh mountain light across thick piano chords and distorted guitarwork on tunes like "Different for Girls" and "Crush." Then the singer melts and croons with a soulful R&B vibe on "She Gets A Little Crazy" before turning to watercolor through the cinematic orchestral strings of "Long Goodbyes." This girl refuses to be contained in sound or style. "I Remember You" drops in some Latin rhythms and "Another Life" bops with a light tropical groove before one of the disc's obvious stars, "Astronaut," orbits straight into heaven with exquisite vocal production and a celestial string arrangement.

Ginger Spice:  Geraldine Estelle "Geri" Horner (/ˈɛəri/; née Halliwell; born 6 August 1972) is Ginger Spice, a member of the successful girl group the Spice Girls; together they sold over 80 million records worldwide. In 1998 Halliwell left the Spice Girls, however she rejoined the group when they reunited in 2007. Halliwell has reportedly amassed a $30 million fortune during her last two years in the group.

 Domhnall Gleeson: an Irish actor, director, and writer, best known as Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Caleb in Ex Machina and Tim in About Time. He has acted on both stage and screen, earning a Tony Award nomination in 2006 for his part in the Broadway production The Lieutenant of Inishmore. He has performed in several shows at Dublin's Gate Theatre, including adaptations of American Buffalo and Great Expectations.
Gleeson's work on-screen includes appearances in the television series The Last Furlong (2006), the comedy sketch show Your Bad Self (2010) and the films Six Shooter (2004), Boy Eats Girl (2005) and Studs (2006). 
 He is mostly known for portraying Bill Weasley in the films Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011), in which he starred alongside his father Brendan Gleeson. His other notable films include Never Let Me Go (2010), True Grit (2010), Anna Karenina (2012), Dredd (2012), About Time (2013), Frank (2014), Calvary (2014), Unbroken (2014). 
In 2015, he starred in the dramas Ex Machina and Brooklyn, and co-starred in Alejandro González Iñárritu's survival tale The Revenant.

Phyllis Logan (born 11 January 1956) is a Scottish actress, best known for playing Mrs Hughes/Carson in Downton Abbey and Lady Jane Felsham in Lovejoy.

Edith Drake:  The gorgeous, tall, slim showgirl who loved and was loved by so many passed on September 30, 2015 – Edith Bermaine Drake – always at the side of her beloved husband, songwriter Ervin Drake, who left us on January 15, 2015. They were a stunning pair, inseparable, out every night at cabaret, theater, gala events, at the NY Sheet Music Society (now American Popular Song Society – APSS), the Dutch Treat Club, holding hands and in love till the very end. (Source Sandi Durell, Theatre Pizzazz)
Donna McKechnie: received a Tony Award as Best Actress for her performance as Cassie in the original company of A CHORUS LINE.

Kathryn Crosby:

Mrs. Crosby is the wife of Bing Crosby and was a Movie star in her own right appearing in films such as Arrowhead, Rear Window, My Sister Eileen, Operation Mad Ball and Anatomy of a Murder. She has also appeared in numerous TV shows and Specials. 

Clay Aiken :
In the news recently! READ MORE HERE

In the sad news department today: Actor David Margulies dead, 78.

Tonight at the Metropolitan Room, Bernie Frushpan, owner, is celebrating his father who passed away this past year. 
The following is from Bernie: Dad, I'm gonna make you proud tonight. 
 I'm so grateful for our dear friends joining us tonight to witness a collaboration of talent whom will pierce the heart.
 HONOR THY FATHER is a celebration of all fathers and the story of the life of one sole survivor in particular, Murray Furshpan
Join me, my wonderful wife Joanne Camilleri-Furshpan, Julie Budd, Anita Gillette, Mark Nadler, Sara Zahn, Jim Brochu, Tom Gamblin, Elli Meyer, Lina Orfanos, Liz Mckendry, and Gary Crawford at 7pm Tonight for an extraordinary and moving experience. 

From Michael Musto
Oscar winning actress in her 70s says she was molested by priests as a kid. That's one of the attention-grabbing bits in my new column. Also: Why on earth did they let Alec Baldwin--who was fired from MSNBC for homophobic slurs--present an award to the lesbian film Carol? Also: My guide to the Oscar films, like Brooklyn, Straight Outta Compton, Joy, and Mad Max. And guess who I ran into at Marie's Crisis piano bar? READ HERE

From Times Square Chronicles:  The video is long but has some fabulous insight from some legends. http://t2conline.com/maurice-hines-tappin-thru-life-a-sent…/

 Tonight, President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address. When he gives his final State of the Union tonight, take a minute to think ahead a year. What do you want to hear the next president say in speeches like this one? What do you want the next president to fight for?
 The last of his presidency, this speech will define his agenda for the next year. There is no upcoming reelection campaign or midterm to use as an excuse for inaction. The time for half measures is over.
This is the president’s final opportunity to put forward a progressive vision and make desperately needed reforms before he leaves office.
The president can use executive orders to push forward a progressive agenda and bypass the sabotage of Republicans in Congress. Here are ten top areas President Obama should prioritize in his final State of the Union – share this blog (Courtesy Credo Action) to help build pressure on President Obama to make the most of this last chance to be bold.
  1. Ending the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. The American soldiers on the ground in Syria represent the latest in a series of broken promises on war and peace — in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria. President Obama was elected and re-elected on promises to end George W. Bush’s failed wars, but now he’s
    poised to leave a legacy of broken promises and endless war. We need to speak out now against these dangerous military escalations. 
  2.  Cracking down on Wall Street. It is long past time for Obama to replace Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White, end golden parachutes from Wall Street banks for new administration employees, and demand his attorney general end “too big to jail.” 
  3. The place to start is with a strong endorsement of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s tough, specific, no-nonsense Wall Street reform agenda to end too-big-to-fail and hold criminal banks accountable. 
  4. Keeping fossil fuels in the ground. President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline saying that if we want to stop the worst impacts of climate change, “we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground.” Yet President Obama has yet to put any checks on the biggest pool of carbon under his control — fossil fuels on public lands, which account for nearly one quarter of all U.S. carbon emissions. It’s long past time for the president stop issuing new leases to extract fossil fuels on public lands. 
  5.  Standing up for abortion rights. Abortion funding restrictions like the Hyde and Helms Amendments keep low-income women and women of color, as well as women in crisis zones around the globe, from accessing abortions. They also perpetuate the false and dangerous idea that having an abortion is behavior that should be stigmatized and defunded. President Obama has two opportunities to push back on those restrictions. He should remove any restrictions on abortion funding from his 2016/2017 federal budget proposal, and he should clarify that the Helms Amendment does not bar U.S. foreign aid from funding abortions in cases of rape or incest, or when a woman’s life is in danger. 
  6. Filling vacancies on the federal bench. There are currently 66 federal judicial vacancies, including 32 judicial emergencies, but only 25 nominations are pending. That’s because President Obama has been respecting a tradition of nominating only judges who have the approval of their home-state senators. Under that policy, Republican senators can stall the process by failing to make recommendations. It’s time for the president to move forward and nominate judges for every vacancy. 
  7. Leading the way on criminal justice reform and ending police violence. Our broken, bloated, racist criminal justice system has continued to grow under President Obama. He should end any executive branch programs to militarize local police departments, direct his Department of Justice to investigate the murder of black people, and pledge to sign bipartisan, comprehensive criminal justice reform in the next 100 days. 
  8.  Stopping breaking up families by ending the deportations. The Obama administration has just launched a series of raids against undocumented families who came to the U.S. seeking refuge from violence in their home countries. These deportation raids stand in stark contrast to the executive action President Obama issued in 2014 that provided widespread relief to nearly 5 million children, young adults, and their parents under constant fear of deportation. Continuing these massive raids will tarnish his legacy. President Obama must halt his administration’s raids against immigrant families. 
  9. Saving our democracy by fixing the Voting Rights Act and fighting money in politics. President Obama should call on Congress to fix the Voting Rights Act, while announcing that his justice department will aggressively investigate new instances of Republican voter suppression. President Obama must also call on Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White to release the commission’s long-delayed rule mandating transparency in political spending or be replaced. 
  10.  Ensuring tax fairness by closing tax loopholes and promising to veto any legislation that doesn’t force corporations to pay their fair share. President Obama should commit to veto any tax deal that would reward corporations who dodged taxes with lower rates – like the one Sen. Chuck Schumer has championed. He should also immediately direct the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department to use their existing authority to close six major tax loopholes that allow hedge funds and the worst of the 1% to dodge taxes. 
  11. Restoring America’s moral standing by closing Guantanamo Bay and prosecuting torturers and their bosses. President Obama has the authority to close Guantanamo Bay and transfer the remaining inmates to equally secure federal prison facilities. He has one last chance to keep his promise and do so. He must also direct his attorney general to prosecute CIA employees who tortured prisoners, their bosses, and the Bush administration appointees who enabled and led the torture program.Time is running out for President Obama to deliver on his campaign promises. But he still has power to deliver major progress in these ten areas. It's what we're hoping to hear, what you should be listening for, and how we'll be gauging the success of his speech.

 In other news, I'm looking forward to the movie "Hail, Caesar!" - here's the Official Trailer (HD) https://youtu.be/kMqeoW3XRa0 via YouTube

NICOLAS KING returns to the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York City following his sold out debut at the venue last year. With a band led by pianist Billy Stritch, and with Rick Montalbano and Tom Hubbard on Drums and Bass, TWO SHOWS have been scheduled, 8:30pm AND 11pm!
KING has appeared in 3 Broadway productions, numerous national TV commercials (including award-winning Oscar Mayer Lunchables), as well as numerous appearences on "The Tonight Show", "Today", "The View", "Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon", and originated the role of Oscar on NBC's "Kenny The Shark". 
He is the recipient of 1995 & 1996 Talent America Award, 2010 Julie Wilson Award, 2012 Bistro Award, and named the AMG's 2015 Artist of the Year.
 Reservations are strongly recommended, so call 212-581-3080 or visit www.birdlandjazz.com for tickets!

Nutcracker Rouge – Naughty and Nude
Posted on Jan 12, 2016 in Theater Reviews
Naughty and nude, this Nutcracker isn’t for the kiddies.  (TheatrePizzazz Review)

ScoBarEntertainment is proud to announce Legendary vocalist Tony Middleton as he joins forces with rising star pianist Joe Alterman and his trio, which features Ahmad Jamal’s longtime bassist James Cammack at The Iridium Thursday January 14th sets at 8:00PM and 10:00PM.

Tony Middleton
Tony’s career is an interesting and diversified one, which spans many years of accomplishments. Although as a teenager, he was working towards becoming a “golden gloves” boxer, he changed course and became the lead singer and songwriter of a group called “The Willows”. They are most known for the crossover song, he wrote, “Church Bells May Ring”.

Joe Alterman
In a recent interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC, legendary journalist Nat Hentoff stated, “The last piece I did for them [The Wall Street Journal] – I’m so glad I had a chance to do it – is about a 24 year old pianist and composer named Joe Alterman, who is really the personification of the past of jazz – he’s really deep into that -, the present of jazz – he has his own voice – and that leads him into the future of jazz, and he’s so important in terms of the validity of jazz…[Joe Alterman & one of his mentors, tenor saxophonist Houston Person] make recordings that – to use the phrase that Duke Ellington really had a chance to use – are ‘beyond category’ because they’re timeless.”

For tickets visit http://bit.ly/1Opvohg  

Myriam Phiro EDITH PIAF AT 100: A Celebration of her Centennial

Acclaimed cabaret show tells Piaf’s story through chansons, circus and burlesque

On Jan 26th, Myriam Phiro will guide us through the decadent world of Edith Piaf using her timeless songs to retell the life of this iconic performer. Accompanied by a traditional musette band and multi-disciplinary backup singers, Ms. Phiro and the ensemble will recreate the brothels, circuses and nightclubs that created the great Piaf we all know. The performance will last 75 minutes.

2015 marked Edith Piaf’s centennial. ‘La Môme Piaf’, as she was nicknamed, introduced America to the world of ‘Chanson Réaliste’. Her songbook has become classic and still engages audiences worldwide. However, her early life is shrouded in mystery – daughter of a circus performer, childhood in a brothel, blind for years and ‘miraculously’ cured by a pilgrimage St. Therese – these stories and more are brought to life with music, dance and circus performance in our exciting cabaret show. Recent performances of the show include sold out events at 54 Below, the Metropolitan Room and at Drom.

Piaf is Ms. Phiro’s greatest inspiration and the reason she chose to become a perfomer. An internationally acclaimed actress, singer and cabaret chanteuse, Myriam Phiro is nowadays acclaimed for her silky voice and her unique renditions of classic masterpieces of Jazz and French chanson. Ms. Phiro fronts several jazz, swing and musette bands in New York and Montreal. She has residencies at the House of Jazz in Montreal and Harry’s New York Bar in Montreux. New York City appearances include 54 Below, the Rainbow Room, the Iridium, the Four Seasons, Sleep No More, the Metropolitan Room, Drom, the New York Botanical Garden, the Back Room Speakeasy, Whynot Jazzroom, the Cutting Room, Don’t Tell Mama and the Triad Theatre. Myriam recently released her full-length jazz album, Voyages, in October 2015 at the Iridium and it was received as “one of the best vocal releases this year”. Read all reviews here: www.artistecard.com/myriamphiro

Myriam Phiro website: myriamphiro.com

Look, it’s a Playbill on your phone!
When Ken Davenport started attending Broadway shows in his mid-teens, he purposefully got to the theater early so he could devour the Playbill. He read every word of every bio, read every name on the staff page, and tried to figure out what the people did to get listed in the Special Thanks (a little secret – on all of his shows, He lists his parents in the special thanks).

Vineyard Theatre Will Honor Kathleen Chalfant and Sam Rudy
Posted on Jan 12, 2016 in News and Previews (Source: TheatrePizzazz)

Read about Damian Lewis’ transformation into Bobby Axelrod for Billions‬ in the NewYorker.

 400 Lucky People Got To See Show Biz History Made Last Night at the Friars Sinatra Celebration and BroadwayWorld was there, check out the photos in the link above.

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!   
Please tune in LIVE TONIGHT (January 12th, 2016) at 7PM EST as I join Lisa Dascoli on Talk of The Town. Click HERE to join us. We may be talking about YOU!

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

Looking forward to seeing Nicholas King at Birdland on February 10th in Celebration of my Birthday (the next day!) Will you join us?

Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com
Steven Brinberg as Simply Barbra

February 13th, Peter Filichia in conversation with Richard Skipper at American Popular Song Society 
Local 802 AFM 322 W 48th St, New York, New York 10036  AT 1:30PM!

with Musical Director Michael Lavine
 Steven Brinberg 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.