Saturday, February 27, 2016

Joanne Woodward, Carol Channing, John Steinbeck...and MORE!

Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), displaying "Eve Black", the 'bad girl' personality
Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat. Joanne Woodward

Happy Saturday, February 27th, 2016! February 27 is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 
Oscar nominated Carol Channing is being feted tonight in Palm Springs
There are 308 days remaining until the end of the year. I hope this finds you well. It is Oscar weekend. Today, I celebrate Oscar winner Joanne Woodward who was born on this date. Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward is an American actress, producer, activist, and philanthropist. She is perhaps best known for her Academy Award-winning role in The Three Faces of Eve. Wikipedia
Born: February 27, 1930 (age 86), Thomasville, GA). I never met Joanne, but she truly is one of my favorite actresses of all time. Whenever one of her films comes on, I'm always compelled to spend time with her and I never regret it. I think my favorite film of hers is The Stripper. She plays opposite Richard Beymer who is more known for the film version of West Side Story.  Count Three, and Pray is another great film. 

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen
novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories. He is widely known for the comic novels Tortilla Flat (1935) and Cannery Row (1945), the multi-generation epic East of Eden (1952), and the novellas Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Red Pony (1937). The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939), widely attributed to be part of the American literary canon, is considered Steinbeck's masterpiece. In the first 75 years since it was published, it sold 14 million copies. All of these titles mentioned here were made into major successful films and a slew of Oscar noms and wins.

Carol Channing in the Opening Number at Gypsy of the Year in 2010
Today is not Carol Channing's birthday.  That was January 31st. However, tonight in Palm Springs, there is an all star tribute to Carol.   The one-night-only tribute concert will feature the talents of Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Florence Henderson, Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod, Lily Tomlin and more. The evening will include live performances and taped tributes from an array of show-business luminaries, as
Leonardo DiCaprio (I believe he will walk home with Oscar Gold tomorrow night)
well as video clips of many of Channing’s career milestones. 

It seems like it was just yesterday when I was at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood to celebrate Carol's 90th birthday! It is killing me that I am not in Palm Springs tonight. I wish all involved a very success-FULL event!
Born Today 1903 Character Actor Reginald Gardiner: Great Dictator, Christmas in CT, Damsel in Distress, Man Who Came to Dinner He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and, by the early 1930's, had become an established revue and musical star on the London stage.His first foray into films was in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed The Lodger (1927) in 1926, but it was in Hollywood where his career really took off. At the prompting of Beatrice Lillie, he left for America in 1935.
After appearing in two of her shows, he delighted Broadway audiences in An Evening with Beatrice Lillie and Reginald Gardiner, performing a series of witty impersonations of various inanimate items, such as lighthouses and wallpaper.
Franchot Tone
Today in 1905 Franchot Tone was born. He is perhaps best known for his role as Midshipman Roger Byam in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), starring alongside Clark Gable and Charles Laughton.
 Tone attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and Cornell University, where he was President of the drama club and was elected to the Sphinx Head Society. He also joined Alpha Delta Phi fraternity.
He gave up the family business to pursue an acting career in the theatre. After graduating, he moved to Greenwich Village, New York and got his first major Broadway role in the 1929 Katharine Cornell production of The Age of Innocence.

Mildred Bailey
Mildred Rinker Bailey (February 27, 1907 – December 12, 1951) was a popular and influential American jazz singer during the 1930s, known as The Queen of Swing, The Rockin' Chair Lady and Mrs. Swing. Some of her best known hits are When Day Is Done, Trust in Me, "Where Are You?", "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart", "Small Fry", Please Be Kind, Darn That Dream, Rockin' Chair, "Blame It on My Last Affair", and "Says My Heart".

Hope you can go see this show! I saw it last week and LOVED it!
Kelley Karel as "The Singing Hillary Clinton"
HILLARY CONFIDENTIAL:A Heart-To-Heart Cocktail Cabaret
Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 4:30PM
The Duplex Cabaret Theatre
61 Christopher Street (at the Corner of 7th Avenue)
$20 Ticket in Advance & a 2 Drink Minimum in the Cabaret Theatre
$25 Ticket at the Door (plus service fee) & a 2 Drink Minimum in the Cabaret Theatre
SAY YES! Starting a conversation with someone you don't know is always awkward. It can be harder still when you're talking to someone you don't know, and don't know much of anything about. But in every single social situation, there's a way to start a conversation--I guarantee it.
All it takes is a little imagination, a little gumption, and a few conversational openers that apply in nearly any situation. Get out of your comfort zone today. Go out and see a LIVE show.
Start up a conversation with whomever you are sitting next to. It may change the trajectory of your life. I have met so many wonderful people that way who are friends with mine to this day!

In other Entertainment Related News
Bryon Sommers here with Julie Wilson
Tomorrow afternoon in New Jersey, Bryon Sommers will be be playing for the wonderful Peggy Eason in Michael Colby's presentation of the Algonquin Kid, a book containing a first hand account of his years of growing up in this fabulous historic hotel.
It had many of America's most famous writers and composers staying there while his grandparents owned it. Bloomfield, NJ get ready for this and the other 2 fabulous singers on the program.

Rebecca Luker will be replacing Judy Kuhn in FUN HOME for a couple of months. She and Danny Burstein, currently starring as Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof at the Broadway Theatre, will be a two Broadway show family again.
Rebecca Luker
Rebecca Luker's Broadway roles include  Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, Marie. Winifred in the original Broadway production of MARY POPPINS (Tony Award nomination), Claudia Nardi in NINE opposite Antonio Banderas, Marian Paroo in THE MUSIC MAN (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination AND Outer Critics Circle Award nomination),  Maria in  THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination); Magnolia in SHOWBOAT (Tony Award nomination), Lily in THE SECRET GARDEN (Drama Desk Nomination); Christine in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. With the New York City Opera Ms. Luker was featured in X (THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MALCOLM X) and was Fiona  in BRIGADOON.  Off-Broadway she starred in Maury Yeston’s DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY – Outer Critics Circle nomination (Roundabout, 2011), the world premiere of A.R.Gurney’s INDIAN BLOOD (Primary Stages), CAN’T LET GO (Keen Company) and THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES.

Ms. Luker has performed leading roles at regional theaters throughout the country including the world premier of  LITTLE DANCER by Aherns and Flaherty,  Directed by Susan Stroman. Clara in PASSION at the Kennedy Center, Julia in TIME AND AGAIN at the Old Globe, Mary in HARMONY (Drama-Logue Award) at the La Jolla Playhouse and Amalia in SHE LOVES ME with the “Reprise!” series in Los Angeles. 
In concert she has appeared in ARIAS AND BARCAROLES with the Chicago Symphony, KNOXVILLE: SUMMER OF 1915 with the Melbourne, Fl Symphony, LIFE BEGINS AT 8:40, PARDON MY ENGLISH, PRIMROSE, and BABES IN ARMS, all at The Library of Congress; JUBILEE and MUSIC IN THE AIR at Town Hall; at Carnegie Hall: NO, NO NANETTE; TROUBLE IN TAHITI; GAY DIVORCE; THE ART OF THE LYRICIST (Ira Gershwin Centennial Series); MY FAVORITE BROADWAY: THE LEADING LADIES & MY FAVORITE BROADWAY: THE LOVE SONGS (both on PBS); an evening to honor Aherns and Flaherty with the NY Pops, A Tribute to Billie Holiday and A Comden & Green Evening. With the Encores! Series at  City Center: WHERE’S CHARLEY? And THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE and two concerts with Lincoln Center’s AMERICAN SONGBOOK SERIES honoring Arthur Schwartz and Leonard Bernstein. 

A recent research study found that those suffering from moderate to severe dementia did particularly well singing show tunes from movies and musicals such as The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and 'Oklahoma!' in group settings and had a marked improvement in their remembering skills versus those who simply listened during the sing-alongs. (Read MORE)

March 5th: Cabaret Beats Cancer - A Benefit For Erin Cronican at Don't Tell Mama 5PM
Songs About Courage, Healing and Love
Singers Performing: Erin Cronican, Rob Davis, Richie Eisenberg, Janice Hall, Tanya Moberly, Marissa Mulder, Candice Oden, Sarah Rice, Adam Shapiro, Walter Willison & Zach Wobensmith
Musical Director Duties Shared: Jim Lahti, Barry Levitt, Mathew Martin Ward & Bill Zeffiro
$20.00 cover charge and a 2 drink minumum per person
Cash Only
Approximate running time: 65 minutes
Seating from 4:30pm 

Los Angeles' Magic Castle co-founder Irene Larsen passed away a few days ago at her home near Hancock Park.
Irene was treasured by generations of magicians and entertainers who came to know her through the Magic Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts. She was the very first member of the club built by her, her late husband Bill, and brother-in-law Milt in 1963. The trio transformed a dilapidated old mansion in Hollywood into an elegant restaurant, theater, and international center for the performance of magic that is more popular today than ever before. Irene and Bill (and later their daughter Erika) edited Genii: The Conjurers Magazine for many years, spreading interest in the art form around the globe. - Read more HERE.

Thank you, to all of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!

Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward.
-Carol Channing

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!   

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

Richard Skipper,

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:

Next Wednesday in NYC

March 2nd
Anita Gillette
Anita Gillette and Penny Fuller return in a sequel to their critically acclaimed, Sin Twisters! This is Sin Twisters, Too! Directed by the incredible Barry Kleinbort with great musical direction by Paul Greenwood. They will take all of us on a great musical romp through their Broadway careers, which have criss crossed from time to time, resulting in confusing the two!...even though they don't look a thing alike! 
Penny Fuller
This show WILL sell out! So reserve today and be a part of their star studded audience!
Richard Skipper is the publicist for Sin Twisters, Too! For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at or 845-365-0720

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