Friday, February 19, 2016

Richard Holbrook, Anna Bergman, Baby Jane Dexter...and MORE!

Happy February 19th!
It is the 50th day of the year and there are 316 days left in the year. Today, I celebrate all that this day holds and then some.
I ask all who see this today to be pro-active. Your dreams are too important to wait for another day. Act on them today.
Highly successful people refuse to let fear or doubt stop them from acting on exciting opportunities. Here are three powerful ways they have trained themselves to lean into their fear and take action anyway.
I am beginning this blog to a shout out to one of my favorite entertainers, Happy Birthday, Smokey Robinson.
On this date in 1904, Elisabeth Welch was born. She passed on  in 2003.
Elisabeth Margaret Welch was a singer, actress, and entertainer, whose career spanned seven decades. Her best-known songs were Stormy Weather, "Love for Sale" and "Far Away in Shanty Town". She was American-born but was based in Britain for most of her career.
Merle Oberon
It is also the birthday of Merle Oberon.
Merle Oberon once  asked why Hedda Hopper why she kept writing such horrid things, Hedda smiled sweetly and patted her arm. ‘Bitchery, dear, sheer bitchery,’ she said.

On this date in 1963, The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique reawakens the feminist movement in the United States as women's organizations and consciousness raising groups spread.
Today is also the birthday of Carlin Glynn.
Sad news out of Alabama this morning. Author Harper Lee has passed on.

On this day 1958, Billie Holiday recorded It's Easy To Remember for Lady In Satin. Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart. Speaking of Richard Rodgers, this March, Richard Holbrook will be reprising his cabaret tribute to the celebrated composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) which he performed to a packed house last October. The show, Richard Holbrook: Richard Sings Rodgers With A Lot Of Heart, will be once again presented at The Metropolitan Room (located at 34 West 22nd Street - between 5th and 6th Avenues) in Manhattan at 7:00 P.M. on Monday, March 14, 2016.
Throughout his brilliant career,  Rodgers wrote unforgettable songs for the Broadway stage and Hollywood film musicals with such gifted and prolific lyricists as Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim.
In this program, Richard will be singing Rodgers songs from such classic Broadway shows as A Connecticut Yankee, Spring Is Here, Jumbo, Babes in Arms, Too Many Girls, Carousel, No Strings, and Do I Hear A Waltz? Also featured will be songs from memorable movie musicals such as Love Me Tonight and Mississippi.
Richard will be accompanied by the fabulous Tom Nelson Trio – Tom Nelson on piano; Tom Kirchmer on bass; and Peter Grant on drums. Tom Nelson is Musical Director. Veteran Broadway and cabaret performer Richard Barclay will direct the show. The ticket price is $22.50 (for general admission) and $115.00 (for premium seating) with a two beverage minimum. To order tickets, go to or call The Metropolitan Room at (212) 206-0440 Monday-Sunday.

What is the greatest thing about being Richard Holbrook?
I think the greatest thing about being Richard Holbrook is that I am definitely a fighter and a survivor. A few years ago, I faced the greatest challenge of my life - cancer and instead of the disease controlling me, I took control of the disease and my life. I refused to let it get the better of me. I kept saying to myself, "I still have things to do."  I knew what I had to do to in order to get well and I was more than ever determined to come back to my true passion - which is singing. Also, in doing research on Richard Rodgers for my show, I found out that he too underwent the same kind of cancer I did so I really feel a connection to him and his music. To sum it up, I think the greatest thing about Richard Holbrook is that he is resilient - he never gives up and because I've gone through so much these past two years, I find my singing has more meaning and depth to it than it ever has before.

Name what you admire the most about your profession and one person in it that you think I should
interview and what you would like us to discuss if I got the opportunity to interview that person!
The one thing that I admire most about my profession is that it not only instills discipline in you, such as choosing songs, arrangements, etc. but just in planning to do a show, it gives you incentive. You might be going through the most terrible ordeal of your life, but somehow if you plan on doing a show, the creativity of doing it and performing for your audience can really help you get through the rough times. It also gives me as well as many others joy and happiness just to be able to sing and interpret songs and make people smile and be entertained.
Richard Holbrook at the Metropolitan Room March 14th. Order Tickets HERE

To answer the second part of your question, I would recommend that you interview two gentlemen who have really taught me a lot about performing and what show business is all about. The first is my director and friend Dick Barclay, who is a veteran Broadway and nightclub performer having performed with such luminaries as Mitzi Gaynor and Lisa Kirk. He took over for Darryl Hickman on Broadway in "How To Succeed..." playing opposite Rudy Vallee and Michele Lee. Dick is also a  highly esteemed documentary filmmaker. He produced the Academy Award-winning documentary "Norman Rockwell's World: An American Dream". The other person would be my very best friend Ken Starrett, who as you know is the US Director of "The Noel Coward Society". But before that, Ken was not only a very gifted actor-singer-dancer on and off-Broadway, but also an aerialist and an acrobat in
Rose Billlings and Ken Starrett
circuses. He was in Hello, Dolly! with Betty Grable in Las Vegas and "Annie Get Your Gun' with Ginger Rogers in stock.
Ken also stage managed the first production of Jean Genet's The Blacks with James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson. Ken has practically done everything there is to be done in show business. So, between these two special friends of mine, you can get a rich history of show business if you interview both of them.

What can your followers expect from you over the next five months? 
After the Richard Rodgers show has run its course, I plan my next show to be about me - meaning a program of songs that Richard Holbrook likes to sing because they are meaningful to him. But that's not for a while.

Finish this sentence: If I had another chance...
If I had another chance, I wouldn't have waited so long to live in New York to pursue my dream of singing. It took me almost twenty years to overcome the fear of living in New York and not knowing whether I would survive. I moved to New York City to live at the age of 41 and it was like I was learning how to walk for the first time literally.  For a long while, I felt I had a lot to catch up on.  I guess I just had to conquer my fear of not knowing what the future would bring and just take a chance which is what I did when I moved to Manhattan. At 41, I jumped, landed on my feet, and I'm still here to tell the story but fear was what set me back those previous years. If I had another chance, I guess I would choose not to let fear paralyze me in terms of taking risks.

What is YOUR daily motivation?
To keep singing for as long as I can.

Compliment three people right now.
Jeff Harnar - Jeff is a not only a wonderful singer but a consummate entertainer - his lyric interpretation of songs is superb. He is also very warm, gracious, and a terrific friend. All in all, a great guy!!

KT Sullivan - KT is amazing. She is a first-rate cabaret artist and her energy is remarkable. Also, not only does she possess a beautiful soprano voice but she can also be extremely funny. She is so multi-talented and the way she puts her shows together is incredible. I'm amazed at the abundance of her talent every time I see her.

Josephine Sanges - Josephine has been performing in cabaret for just about a year. I've seen her show twice and also I saw her at the New York Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention. I AM A FAN!! All I can say about Josephine is here is a very special performer who is definitely (if not already) going places with her beautiful voice and her great talent as an interpreter of The Great American Songbook

Go see Richard March 14th. It will be a great evening of song – a wonderful precursor to the upcoming spring season.

Anna Bergman
Carol Ostrow
There will be MORE Richard Rodgers coming your way a week later! Anna Bergman has the Actor's Temple benefit on March 21 with HER Richard Rodgers show and Anna is starring with Nat Chandler as her guest. Carol Ostrow and The Actors’ Temple Board of Directors
cordially invite you to an evening of pure joy as they proudly present their Annual Gala
Honoring Rabbi Jill Hausman and their president Robert J. Reicher

Monday Evening, March 21st, 2016, at 7:30pm
Anna Bergman live at Feinsteins in 2015, Photo: Stephen Sorokoff

Come join us for:
Romantic songs by Richard Rodgers
Starring Anna Bergman
Produced by Carol Ostrow Featuring Nat Chandler ● Musical Director: Joseph Thalken
Lighting and Sound: Josh Iacovelli
Publicity: Katie Rosin/Kampfire Films, Inc.
Stage Manager: Jana Llynn
Fall in love again, or for the first time, at the Actors’ Temple!
This once beautiful “jewel of a shul”, is trying to keep its doors opened. Listed on
Sophie Tucker
the National Register of Historic Places, built in 1917, it is falling into terrible disrepair. If it is not renovated in the near future, the building will be lost. It is more than a building. It is  show business heritage. The stars who built this Temple paved the way for Jewish actors, dancers, comedians, directors, and producers to be taken seriously and to have careers in New York.

Milton Berle
If those old walls could talk, we would be screaming with laughter or crying our eyes out with the likes of Sophie Tucker, Edward G. Robinson, The Three Stooges, The Ritz Brothers, Marx Brothers, Milton Berle, Shelly Winters and sooooo many more. This is OUR history too!!! Please do what you can. They cannot do this without US and OUR generosity.

Ticket Pricing:

PRODUCERS: $1,000 plus 2 Prime Orchestra Seats
(Dinner included, name in the program booklet, and a special “thank you” mentioned that evening)
SUPPORTERS: $750 plus 2 Prime Orchestra Seats
(Dinner included, name in the program booklet)
(Dinner included)
The Three Stooges

Dinner at Da Rosina prior to the performance at 6:00pm
342 West 46th St.
New York, NY 10036

To order tickets call Larry Roberts at 917-796-312, The Actors’ Temple office at 212-245-6975, or call me Carol Ostrow at 212-265-8500.

Can’t Wait to Hear from You!

Carol Ostrow Productions & Group Sales
1776 Broadway, Suite 1400
New York, New York 10019
(212) 265-8500
Edward G. Robinson

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.-Thoreau

The Actors’ Temple · 339 West 47th Street · New York, N.Y. 10036
Phone (212) 245-6975 · Fax (212) 586-3025 · ·

When she stars in the recently announced Broadway revival of HELLO, DOLLY! next season, Bette Midler will be playing the beloved charmer who has always been, as the Jerry Herman song says, "a woman who arranges things."
But Midler herself is a woman dedicated to putting her hand into worthy causes.
Her Jeckyl Foundation, named for, as she describes her, "one of the greatest and most influential garden designers of the 19th and 20th centuries, Gertrude Jeckyl," helps renovate public parks and gardens, supports theater, dance and music programs in public schools, assists homeowners with rebuilding their storm damaged homes, helped secure the acquisition of thousands of acres of sacred Sioux lands and provided critical financial support to health organizations working in Haiti.
The Jeckyl Foundation's newest project, Stages for Success, is a campaign devoted to modernizing outdated and dysfunctional public school auditoriums. Naturally, this a cause very close to the heart of the multi-talented star who made her Broadway debut in the original production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. The project has renovated four schools so far and is hard at work on its newest project in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. (Source Read more HERE)
The International Cabaret Festival continues tonight and Sunday. Frank Dain is  hosting the 7 pm Don't Tell Mama show which features Amorika Amoroso, Yvonne Constant and Rick Jensen. Frank Dain is once again hosting one tomorrow at 5 and two on Sunday at 3 and 6:30. Plus, there are shows at the Met. Click HERE for more info.

March 6th 12:30 PM
Seth Sikes singing Liza Minnelli in honor of her 70th birthday on David Kenney's next Everything Old Is New Again LIVE. 
Reserve your seats: 212-206-0440 or
Everything Old Is New Again Radio Show Cabaret Scenes Magazine.

A new campaign ad, narrated by Academy Award winner and Dolly alumni Morgan Freeman chronicles former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's journey from law school to working to reform juvenile justice, student debt, health care and more. *"She understand that our country can't reach it's potential unless we all do."
One of the most surprising and gratifying comebacks of 2015 was Baby Jane Dexter’s triumphant and life-affirming “It’s Personal!” at the Metropolitan Room.  The Dexter holiday tradition took on new meaning, as Baby Jane -- after a year of health and personall challenges -- seemed to graciously surrender to her physical and vocal limitations.  The result was a joyous, soul-stirring bombshell of beauty.
Now Baby is about to give us four encores of “It’s Personal!” -- four weekend matinées.  The show that Stephen Holden of The NY Times said was greeted with “tears and cheers” will warm the heart as we thaw out in time for spring.  The limited engagement performs on Saturdays March 5, 19, and 26, and Sunday March 20, all at 4pm. If you were hibernating and missed this show last fall, dig yourself out and give me a call.  It’s Baby Jane Dexter at her most honest, unvarnished best.
Supported by her longtime music director Ross Patterson, on piano, whose “musical sophistication” and “pungent blues-flavored pianism” Holdensingled out, Baby unwraps songs from such legends as Cy Coleman, Peggy Lee and Cole Porter, as well as John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney, and other wonderful tunesmiths like Felix Cavalierre, and Billy Roy.
In his Times rave in November Holden observed, “her mighty pop contralto descended into a baritone and she exuded the authority of an inspirational commander-in-chief.  Dexter has endured more than her share of hard times, but she keeps hanging on.”
Baby Jane Dexter
The recipient of seven major MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Awards, two Nightlife Awards, and two Back Stage Bistro Awards, Baby Jane has performed at an endless array of major venues throughout the country, including Reno Sweeney, The Ballroom, Eighty Eight’s, Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center and Weill Recital Hall.  As she did last year, Baby Jane dedicates “It’s Personal!” to Julie Wilson, who died in April 2015.

The new reigning Grande Dame of Cabaret, Baby Jane Dexter performs “It’s Personal!” Saturdays March 5, 19, 26, and Sunday March 20.  All are matinees at 4pm.
There is a $25 music charge and a two-drink minimum. For reservations call 212/206-0440 or to pre-pay online visit
The Metropolitan Room, located at 34 West 22nd Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues), celebrates its 10th anniversary in May. (Source Beck Lee)
For more information on Baby Jane Dexter, please click 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!   
Happy Birthday, Saul Chaplin

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

Happy Birthday, Carson McCullers (photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1959 July 31)

Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,

Happy Birthday, C. Z. Guest
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:

Feb 24
March 2nd

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!
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 845-365-07

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