Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mary Wilson, Nancy Reagan, Pat Conroy...and MORE!

Mary Wilson
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it. Mary Wilson Little (Not the other Mary Wilson!)

Hi from Richard Skipper Celebrates again.
It is March 6th, the 66th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 300 days remaining until the end of the year.
At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end .....That applies to me, you, and all of the artists mentioned in today's blog. 
A dear friend posted on Facebook this AM: I find myself doing a lot of re-assessing lately about who or what is important, and not wasting as much time waiting or hoping. What rarely works out? Who rarely shows up? Who's always there? What paths seem consistent and reliable? Things feel both black and white and ambiguous at the same time. Maybe that's a side effect of bereavement. Or mid-life. Or both. Grateful for a little time off with a few good friend
My dad with my brother Emery
(aka keepers).
Our feelings are what make us human – and what make life a much richer experience. Here’s a great list of emotions we should all strive to experience at some point in our lives.  (Read MORE)
With a  a recent birthday and thinking about my dad on the anniversary of his passing, I've been thinking about feelings. I have a lot of them. I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately. My father passed on 13 years ago today. . He was 67 years of age and I loved him, although we had a very contentious volatile relationship.  I will admit the world has not been the same without him.
With the passing of Pat Conroy earlier this week, that, too, stirred up a lot of memories. Pat Conroy was one of my favorite writers. It will always be one of my big regrets that I never met him. I would have liked to have told him what his writing meant to me. There were a lot of similarities between us. We both came from South Carolina and we both had similar relationships with our dads. I'm bridging the past with the present. I would like to begin by wishing a very happy Birthday to Mary Wilson!
Ms. Mary Wilson still performs with the same passion as she did singing with the original Supremes, but the world renowned celebrity is now using her fame and flair to promote humanitarian efforts to end hunger, raise AIDS awareness and encourage world peace.
While Ms. Wilson is best known as a founding member of the world’s most famous female trio – they recorded 12 No.1 hits from 1964 to 1969 – the legendary singer’s career did not stop there, and she continues to soar to untold heights.
In the news: On display through spring 2016 at the Grammy Museum, the THE MARY WILSON SUPREME GOWN COLLECTION features rare photographs and memorabilia from my personal collection, as well as an assortment of performance attire from THE MARY WILSON SUPREME GOWN COLLECTION. 
Ms. Wilson has worked tirelessly over the years restoring
our original gowns so they can tour the world. It has been a labor of love, and I hope you can enjoy seeing them in person.
Set against the backdrop of the meteoric rise of Motown records and the American civil rights movement, the exhibition explores the inspirational role The Supremes played in changing racial perceptions, and their influence on today's performers.
Transitions  
Nancy Reagan, wife of former President Ronald Reagan, died of congestive heart failure, her
Nancy Reagan
representative Joanne Drake said in a statement. President Reagan died in 2004.
Nancy Reagan was born on July 6, 1921 in New York City, New York, USA as Anne Frances Robbins. After her parents separated, she grew up in Maryland, living with an aunt and uncle for some years. As Nancy Davis, she was a Hollywood actress in the 1940s and 1950s, starring in films such as The Next Voice You Hear..., Night Into Morning, and Donovan's Brain. In 1952, she married Ronald Reagan who was then president of the Screen Actors Guild. They had two children together. Reagan was the First Lady of California when her husband was Governor from 1967 to 1975 and she began to work with the Foster Grandparents Program.
Nancy Reagan became First Lady of the United States in January 1981, following her husband's victory in the 1980 presidential election. She was criticized early in his first term largely due to her decision to replace the White House china, despite its being paid for by private donations. She aimed to restore a Kennedy-esque glamour to the White House following years of her perceived informality, and her interest in high-end fashion garnered much attention as well as criticism. She championed recreational drug prevention causes by founding the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign, which was considered her major initiative as First Lady. More controversy ensued when it was revealed in 1988 that she had consulted an astrologer to assist in planning the president's schedule after the attempted assassination of her husband in 1981. She had a strong influence on her husband and played a role in a few of his personnel and diplomatic decisions.

President Johnson orders the deployment of the first combat troops to Vietnam to protect an American airbase.
On this date in 1967 - Lyndon B. Johnson announced his plan to establish a draft lottery.


Notable March 6th Birthdays Birthdays
1906 – Lou Costello, American actor, singer, and producer (d. 1959).

The voice is familiar; but, I can't quite place the face. -Lou Costello as Lou Francis in Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man
Episode 25 (6th March 1961) - Coronation Street

Happy Birthday, D. L. Hughley
1910 – Ella Logan, Scottish-American singer and actress (d. 1969).
Ed McMahon was born 93 years ago today in Detroit.
1944 – Kiri Te Kanawa, New Zealand soprano and actress.
1947 – Rob Reiner, American actor, director, and producer
1948 – Stephen Schwartz, American composer and producer.
1959 – Tom Arnold, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter
Happy Birthday to Suzanne Crough (RIP), best known for her role as Tracy Partridge on The Partridge Family, btd 1963.
1963 – D. L. Hughley, American actor, producer, and screenwriter
 Happy birthday to Sarah Rice. Her credits range from Broadway to Hollywood, to opera. I first saw her in the original Broadway cast of Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd," starring Angela Lansbury, (I've included one photo of her reuniting with Lansbury, in recent times, at a gala honoring Lansbury.) The first photo I've posted below shows her--with Billy Stritch at the piano--delighting the audience at Jim Caruso's Cast Party at Birdland. And I've seen her score big there. She can take a number written long before she was born (like Get Out and Get under the Moon) and make it sound like it was written for her. A real treat. Happy birthday, Sarah, and many more!
Transitions on March 6th 
1965 – Margaret Dumont, American actress (b. 1889)
 1967 – Nelson Eddy, American actor and singer (b. 1901)
 1973 – Pearl S. Buck, American author and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892).
 1982 – Ayn Rand, Russian-American philosopher, author, and playwright (b. 1905)
 1986 – Georgia O'Keeffe, American painter (b. 1887)
 2005 – Teresa Wright, American actress (b. 1918)
 2006 – Dana Reeve, American actress, singer, and activist (b. 1961)
 In 2014, Sheila MacRae, who starred as Alice Kramden in a re-creation (1966-70) of Jackie Gleason’s 'The Honeymooners', passed on at age 92.

Today, I also celebrate Travis Moser.
He has a special benefit coming up at Feinstein's/54 Below on Wednesday, March 4th.
Cabaret, concert and recording artist Travis Moser has packed houses and won acclaim for his solo shows in NYC and around the country.
His most recent show, This Can't Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart, debuted at the legendary Feinstein's/54 Below with special guest Samantha Shafer from Broadway's West Side Story, South Pacific, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Rocky - The Musical. This Can't Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart celebrates one of the most prolific and legendary songwriting duos of all time. Travis Moser takes the audience on a journey through the Rodgers and Hart songbook, while offering backstage and personal stories about the songs and the shows from which they came.
The show featured new arrangements and mash-ups of some of Rodgers and Hart's most beloved songs. This Can't Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart is returning to Feinstein's 54 Below on May 4th, 2016. We sat down for a mini interview yesterday. His show, by the way, is a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (It's their only event in May!) and it is being held at Feinstein's/54 Below on May 4th @ 9:30pm.

Why do you do what you do? 

 I love sharing emotions, feelings, ideas, etc. with an audience and the best way I know how is through song and just being myself. There is nothing like the connection with an audience when you feel like you're in the moment together.  I also love sharing the AMAZING new arrangements and mash-ups from my show, This Can't Be Love: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart, that my musical director, Steven Silverstein has put together.  It's also fun sharing the stage with Broadway's Samantha Shafer (Broadway's South Pacific, West Side Story, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Rocky - The Musical).

Have you ever considered giving it all up because you didn’t get a job you desired?

No, because I have found that the best way for me to share my specific talents is to collaborate with the best people and create my own opportunities. 


What advice would you give young artists who wish to pursue a career in this business? 
Don't wait around for someone to offer you something or for the perfect role/opportunity to come along. Create opportunities for yourself!

There are a lot of amazing writings, singers, actors, directors, etc. in this city.  Use your resources and get something going on your own!  It's also SO much more fulfilling!

What is your key goal and how do you go about trying to achieve it?

My goal is to keep connecting with audiences and sharing the songs and stories that touch me.  It's great to have the opportunity to play at such amazing venues as Feinstein's/54 Below (on May 4th at 9:30pm), Joe's Pub, etc. 

What do you think it takes to succeed in show business these days?
I think you just have to hang in there!  Keep doing what it is you do best, keep learning and never stop!  If you stick in there long enough and keep improving yourself, you've already won.

What are your thoughts on the Republican Debate last week?
I think it's GREAT for the Democratic party!  Let the republicans eat themselves alive and continue to make fools of themselves as LONG as they can!   

Important to note:
The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 to 13 years old have doubled, and concussions have risen 200 percent among teens ages 14 to 19 in the last decade. Strategies can and must be developed to reduce the number of concussions impacting youth.
As part of National Brain Injury Awareness Month, there will be a public meeting of the Concussion Task Force with concussion experts from Rockland and Westchester counties, as well as USA Women's Hockey member Josephine Pucci next Thursday, March 10th from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Ellipse Lecture Hall at Rockland Community College.
All those interested in attending to contact Cory Hassan in David Carlucci's office at (845) 623-3627 to RSVP.

In Entertainment News
In the late 1980s, Chazz Palminteri first performed his one-man show A Bronx Tale in Los Angeles. The show transferred to the now-closed Playhouse 91 Off-Broadway and quickly began to garner critical buzz. Among those who went to see it during its short run, was Robert De Niro. He immediately recognized the potential for a screen adaptation and just a few years later, the show inspired the film of the same name.
At the helm, was De Niro making his directorial debut.(Read More)

Cy Walter's Two "Sublimities" CDs Top Billboard's And Amazon's Jazz Album Best Seller Charts!
Yes, you read that right:  Cy Walter's music has made it to Billboard's Top 25 Jazz Album Charts!  In fact, during the week ending 20 February, the Cy Walter Centennial Tribute:  Sublimities, CD Vol. 1, at position number 13 on Billboard's chart, actually outsold Frank Sinatra's Centennial CD (which was at number 15)!  The Cy Walter Centennial Tribute:  Sublimities CD, Vol. 2 placed just behind, at position number 17.  In the two weeks preceding, Vol. 2 was at number 25 (the week of the 13th) and Vol. 1 was at number 24 (during the week of the 6th) (see http://www.billboard.com/charts/jazz-albums/2016-02-20, and before).

Mary Foster Conklin - new radio show/Los Angeles/Kitano
Mary Foster Conklin

Very excited to announce Mary Foster Conklin's debut on WFDU 89.1 FM hosting a weekly show from 3PM to 7PM streaming on their HD2 channel, Jazz and What's More - just go to http://www.wfdu.fm and click on “Listen to HD2”, you’ll be given a player for your device and will hear the channel instantly.There's also a free app you can download for both iPhone and Android. The program is called A Broad Spectrum and offers up an assortment of music by Women Who Inspire - Writers, Composers, Instrumentalists and Vocalists (there will be airplay of male artists too, in the Honorable Men-tion slot).

TRAZANA BEVERLEY
The MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Board has announced that they are  teaming up with Bistro Awards to present this fabulous, FREE event Friday night, March 11th,  celebrating March Is Cabaret Month!
6:00pm - 8:00pm

Barnes  & Noble150 East 86th Street (at Lexington Avenue)NYC

FEATURING:

2016 Bistro Award Winners
MATT BAKER
TRAZANA BEVERLEY
SHARON MCNIGHT
AARON MORISHITA
ANN DAWSON

2016 MAC Award Nominees
JIM SPEAKE - LaMott Friedman Recording
MAXINE LINEHAN - LaMott Friedman Recording
BARBARA FASANO - Major Recording
MARCUS SIMEONE & TRACY STARK - Major Recording


Hosted by JASON GRAAE and STEARNS MATTHEWS

Sutton Foster in-concert for Broadway at The Nourse in San Francisco Sunday, March 13
http://bit.ly/1QDMV7m  Tickets http://www.cityboxoffice.com/broadway

Make Someone Happy Today!

Thank to ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts they have given to the world and continue to give!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

 



 

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!
Tom Troupe, Carole Cook, Richard Skipper

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!


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!

March 12, 2016 Lynn DiMenna - A Dinah Shore Centennial Celebration.CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com
 
MARCH 19th in NYC


The Metropolitan Room Presents...


David Meulemans returns in Lucky To Be Me! Directed by the incredible Sally Mayes with great musical direction by Tex Arnold. David will take all of us on a great musical romp through the ups and downs of his life.
David combines a love for the American Songbook with his classically trained voice to entertain audiences from Miami to New York, London and around the nation.  In a recent review, Charles Truenski describes David’s performance of “Lucky to Be Me” at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room, as “a perfect night of cabaret” stating this is the kind of cabaret New York City needs more of.
A popular leading man in South Florida musical theatre, David brings his comfortable style, passion for music and remarkable vocal talents to every project he tackles, with humor, heart and joy.   
This show WILL sell out! So reserve today and be a part of his star studded audience!
http://metropolitanroom.com/event.cfm?id=222431
RichardSkipper Ceelebrates is the publicist for David Meulemans and Lucky To Be Me at NYC's METROPOLITAN ROOM. For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at Richard@RichardSkipper.com or 845-365-0720







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