Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl Sunday, Christina Bianco, James Gavin...and MORE

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also
Carol Channing performing at the Half time Show in 1970

Rosa Parks, Celebrate Black History Month

Happy Sunday,February 7th, 2016!
Wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year!
I hope this finds all that read this making it a great day for all of those around you. There are many things swirling around in my head as I sit down to begin today's blog.
First of all, I would like to ask ALL of you as you think about who you will be voting for this year, Who truly is exhibiting leadership qualities? I am not seeing any of that on the Republican side. I can honestly live with either Hillary Clinton (my first choice) and/or Bernie Sanders. RUN TOGETHER!Bucking a trend of declining debate ratings, ABC's Saturday night GOP face-off was the highest rated debate so far in 2016, according to Nielsen. (READ MORE)
Also, make this upcoming week about LETTING GO! A grudge is a worn, ugly, itchy sweater you can't get rid of – because if you do, how will you stay warm? Nursing a grievance is part of human nature: At some point, almost everyone does it. Freeing yourself from a festering grudge that's taken on a life of its own isn't easy. But the relief and lightness you'll feel are worth it. Below, therapists explain how grudges hurt you and outline steps for letting go. (READ MORE)

Today marks the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 328 days remaining until the end of the year. Today is the 50th annual Super Bowl. It has become a billion dollar industry with a major emphasis on the halftime show and the commercials.

We've come a long way from a star like Carol Channing being the half time show.
It was Jan
11, 1970 at  Tulane Stadium (New Orleans, Louisiana). The theme of the Half Time Show was a tribute to Mardi Gras. The performers were Carol Channing and the Southern University Marching Band!
In our household, however, Horace is watching the Puppy Bowl!

Later on, Baby and TJay will get equal time with the Kitten Bowl.  

Yesterday, I focused on this date 55 years ago. Today, just for the fun of it, I'd like to take you back to this date in 1962, a few days shy (February 11th) of my first birthday.
February 7th, 1962 was a Wednesday.
A coal mine explosion in Saarland, West Germany killed 299 people.
The blast occurred at the coal mine, located near Völklingen, at around 9:00 am.
Grace Kelly and kids Royalty, Gstaad, Switzerland, 7th February 1962
Also, on this date, The United States Air Force announced that in the first 15 years of its Project Blue Book investigation of U.F.O. sightings, there was no evidence that any of the 7,369 unidentified flying object reports indicated a threat to national security, any technological advances "beyond the range of our present day scientific knowledge", and no sign of "extraterrestrial vehicles under intelligent controls". The United States government ban against all U.S.-related Cuban imports (and nearly all exports) went into effect at one minute after midnight.
The next day, the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. approved a $133 million program of military aid to Cuba, after having delayed action on it for four months.

One, Two, Three has been opening around the country over the past month.The Cold War comedy was once notable as James Cagney's final film, but after Cagney re-emerged for Ragtime in 1981 the Billy Wilder film has had to get by on Wilder's reputation. The second feature features the adopted son of George Burns and Gracie Allen in what was most likely the best job he could get after the parents closed down their sitcom. It's readily available in the public domain

Sam Snead won the Royal Poinciana Plaza Invitational, a tournament sponsored by the Ladies Professional Golf Association, where he was the lone man competing against 14 women pros. Snead, who had lost the tournament the year before to Louise Suggs, finished five strokes ahead of Mary Kathryn "Mickey" Wright.
Snead the only man to ever win an official LPGA Tour event.
Garth Brooks was born on this date in 1962.
A 17-ft outboard motorboat, believed to be the one being used by Jayne Mansfield on a water-skiing trip in the Bahamas, is found overturned. There is no sign of the actress or her husband or the man who had been with them...The next day, all three are found after having spent the night on a tiny coral
The actress said the experience was an “awful shock” with the ever-increasing tide and sharks surrounding the reef.

Happy Birthday today to Christina Bianco! Two time Drama Desk Award nominated actress, singer and impressionist Christina Bianco has become a YouTube sensation with her diva impression videos. Gaining over 21 million views worldwide, Christina is best known for her renditions of Total Eclipse of the Heart and “Let It Go”, leading to performances on major television programs such as The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Queen Latifah Show.
Christina made her West End debut starring in The Menier Chocolate Factory’s hailed production of
Forbidden Broadway at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. In New York, Christina recently starred Off-Broadway in the one-woman, multi-character comedy, Application Pending (Drama Desk Award Nomination). Other New York credits include Newsical the Musical, Forbidden Broadway; Goes To Rehab (Drama Desk Award Nomination),
Raffi On Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre, Tony and Tina's Wedding (Tina) and It Must Be Him. Christina originated the
Christina Bianco
role of Dora in the long-running National Tour of Dora The Explorer Live, including a sold-out run at Radio City Music Hall.
As a cabaret artist, Christina performed weekly in an unprecedented eight-month run of 11 O'Clock Numbers at Feinstein's at Loew's Regency. She has performed her critically acclaimed solo shows, Diva Moments and Party Of One, to sold out crowds at NYC’s Birdland and regionally across the U.S. Abroad, Christina has sold out extended runs headlining at London’s famed Hippodrome and Royal Albert Hall’s prestigious Elgar Room. Christina also performs her shows on various international cruise ships.

In the sad news Department
The landscape of New York is constantly changing.A lawyer for the struggling St. Mark’s Bookshop says “they’re probably not going to be around much longer, we’re talking days.” The shop has been fighting against eviction in the face of $62,000 in back rent, its problems have only mounted in the form of a $34,400 tax lien and a dispute with one of its biggest book distributors involving thousands more dollars in debt. Yesterday, the shop announced a “clearance sale” in a last-ditch effort to raise money before a forthcoming auction.  (Read more HERE)

In honor of his birthday, today I celebrate one of my favorite people, James Gavin! (Here is our mini interview)

James Gavin is Manhattan-born and a graduate of Fordham University. Aside from his dozens of features in the New York Times, he has written for Vanity Fair, Time Out New York, the Daily Beast, and the Huffington Post. His subjects have included Annie Lennox, Elizabeth Taylor, Nina Simone, John Legend, Peggy Lee, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Miriam Makeba, Marilyn Monroe, Gal Costa, Mae West, Ned Rorem, Edith Piaf, Karen Carpenter, and Jacques Brel. He has contributed liner notes to over 400 CDs, including many reissues he produced himself for Verve, Blue Note, and Koch Jazz. His essay for the GRP box set Ella Fitzgerald – The Legendary Decca Recordings earned a 1996 Grammy nomination.

What have you done TODAY on your career?
I basked in hundreds of affectionate, confidence-building Facebook birthday messages; I also reread some of Judy Collins's very inspiring book Morning, Noon, and Night: Living the Creative Life. Soon I will go to the gym to heat up my energy, and tonight I will work on a new book proposal.

What is YOUR morning Motivation?
Sleep! I seldom get up before noon. Being a vampire, I tend to work until very late into the night.

photo by John Osler

If you could have been anyone in history who would you like to have been?
This is a tough one, because I am happiest being me, now, living in New York, living (more or less) the life I dreamed. I would not want to turn back the clock on ages of social change; and although I have written a great deal about the past, I am not nostalgic. So many of my favorite artists and historical figures were tortured and miserable, and I wouldn't want their lives. But if pressed, I might choose the great Brazilian modernist writer Jorge Amado (1912-2001), a great storyteller and a staunch leftist, richly acclaimed in his lifetime, prolific, highly intellectual, and seemingly happy, as we writers go. I consider Brazil my second home, and he lived and died in my favorite Brazilian city, Salvador, Bahia.

Why do you place so much emphasis on what you do? Why should others?
I live for language, storytelling, travel, and music, and I found a way to put them all together. Without them I would die. My path has been clear to me since I was a teenager.  This was a gift. What I've done with that gift has not constituted an easy road, but it's the only road that could make me happy. There is no division between my life and my work. I can't speak for anyone else.
I'm one of the lucky ones. I found my bliss, even if it oftentimes tests my endurance to the limit.

If you could have lunch with one Celebrity, who would it be and where would you like to take them?
I've already met her, but it would be my favorite actress, Jeanne Moreau.
 I would ask her to take me to a small, quiet, quintessentially French spot in Paris, someplace unknown to tourists. I would talk to her about film and sexuality and jazz and the greats with whom she's collaborated. She's a risk-taker of a high order. 

Favorite theater?
New York's Public Theater. It's an encapsulation of what I love about New York - the experimentation, the risk, the frequent anti-commercialism, the intellectualism, the soul. Most of all I love the Public because it contains Joe's Pub, my favorite cabaret now and forever, the place where I feel the coolest and the most connected to the New York of my current-day dreams.

Could you tell me what your creative process is like?
It is born out of sheer will to be a writer. The act of writing is hell for me. It involves deep anxiety, insecurity, and procrastination. Thank God I have the drive to get my stories out. I start by scratching out notes on a Word document or longhand. I put them in some kind of order. I turn a few of my scribbles into sentences. Eventually I assemble all the pieces, like a difficult jigsaw puzzle. Once I have a draft, I start having a bit of fun, because I love to revise and could do it endlessly. As many writers have said, what I really love is having written. For me, the fear of not doing is far worse than the fear of doing.

If you could get rid of one thing, what would it be?
In my life? Fear. It's no fun. But it also lights a fire under me, so maybe I shouldn't mess with it.

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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!   

Elizabeth Taylor during filming of Raintree County, 1956. Photo by Bob Willoughby.

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:

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

with Musical Director Michael Lavine
Barbara Minkus 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.
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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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