Tracy Stark, International Women's Day, Dancing With the Stars and More

Natalie Wood (as Gypsy Rose Lee) in Gypsy
Rose Hovick: You need something to remind you your goal was to be a great actress. Not a cheap stripper.
Louise "Gypsy Rose Lee" Hovick: My sister's the actress, mother. And I'm *not* a cheap stripper. I'm the highest-paid in the business.
Rose Hovick: You won't be ready for vaudeville when it comes back.
Louise "Gypsy Rose Lee" Hovick: No, I'll be *dead*.
--Natalie Wood (as Louise Hovick) and Rosalind Russell  in the film version of Gypsy

Happy March 8th, 2016!
I hope this finds you well. There is so much to celebrate today. Tonight, I will be attending the 31st Annual Bistro Awards. Tonight, I am just an audience member. I don't remember the last time I attended just to enjoy. I won my own Bistro Award in 1998. I cannot believe it has been that long! I won for my portrayal of Carol Channing in my first real show performing as Carol. I have Roy Sander to thank for that award! I have served as associate producer and I have sold ads for the Bistros and I have done Red Carpet interviews!
I even accepted for Carol Channing when she was unable to attend: Click HERE.
 It’s an incredible feeling to see our hard work pay off. What I love at the Bistros is that the recipients
already know they are receiving an award. Sherry Eaker and the late great Bob Harrington were doing this LONG before anyone else was doing this. The recipients are chosen by a committee of critics and industry professionals.
In the world of entertainment, the next season of Dancing With The Stars has been announced. The former wife of someone who is running for President has been named as part of the cast. I don't think it is coincidental in the timing and I think it is a very bad move on behalf of ABC.
There was a time when all of the candidates were given equal time on TV. This one particular candidate (I'm not going to mention his name because I refuse to mention his name) has hijacked the media and the media have gone along with it.
There are many who think all of this is a joke. It's HUGE for ratings. However, I am not laughing. Our future is in the balance and it scares me.
 It should be clear to everyone by now that HE is a racist, misogynist, and xenophobe.
There's only one thing more frightening than HIM as the likely nominee of the Republican Party: The fact that so many Christians are supporting him.
I saw a great tweet on Twitter this AM: It's Primary Tuesday! Embrace your favorite Jews day! It's everything to lose day! It's stir a witches brew day! 

That sums it all up! 
All of us reach the point where we want to give up – but successful people climb over that hurdle and keep going anyway. Carpe Diem!

March 8 is the 68th day of the year  in the Gregorian calendar. There are 298 days remaining until the end of the year.
Today, I celebrate  a great women in cabaret in honor of International Women's Day who is making a difference in the landscape of entertainment. 

I start with Tracy Stark!
Tracy Stark and Marcus Simeone pay tribute to multiple grammy-winning songwriter, Janis Ian, in their MAC-Nominated Major Duo show, On Sacred Ground; The Songs Of Janis Ian
Janis Ian’s music is poignant, poetic, humorous, political, personal, and spans both decades and
Tracy Stark
Their next show is April 15th, 7 PM at Don’t Tell Mama

Here is my mini-interview with Tracy Stark:
What is the biggest challenge you face each week?
Scheduling!   My schedule is a constant sudoku puzzle, and it may take hours on any given day, to make sure everybody I work with, is given the time they need for shows, sessions, rehearsals, or planning of their next project.

Did you make resolutions at the beginning of the year? Did they stick?
I knew I wanted to focus on my health this year, and I have been extremely conscious of taking care of myself.   You know, as you get older, weight comes on easier, muscle mass disintegrates faster. 
So, after a year of watching my belly grow, and being angry that my metabolism has come to a complete stop, I've decided to go down fighting as hard as I can!   I hope I can keep up the focus needed to stay in good health.  It’s just so important on every single level.

Compliment three people right now.
Marcus Simeone and Tracy Stark

Random people?  I will compliment those people who are involved with the projects that this interview is covering.  
There are 4 people who are involved, and I don’t want to leave anybody out.

Marcus Simeone:  No matter what is going on in his life, he will give 100% onstage. 
I love making music with Marcus.   I love his talent, and the ease in which music pours out of him.

Maria Ottavia:  Maria is one of the kindest, gentlest people I have ever met.  And, her sweetness comes across in the purity of her voice, which is absolutely beautiful.

Kitty Skrobela:  Aside from the obvious generosity and support that Kitty has shown to the family of artists that she has almost single-handedly created, I love her honesty and loyalty.  I have never heard her utter a false word.   She just loves talent, and artists, and she lets everybody know how much she loves them with her unwavering love and support.

Collette Black:  Collette directed the Rogers, Hammerstein and Hart show, and in a very small amount of time, completely turned the show around, with exactly the right amount of subtleties needed for this show.   Apart from her great directorial ideas, she is also one of the best technical directors around.  I always trust her implicitly, when she is in the booth.  Plus, she’s so much fun to work with!

Do you plan your days the night before?

I usually need to do 2 phases of planning.
At the beginning of the week, I look at the whole week, and figure out where there might be stress, and where there might be extra time to finish any additional work that will inevitably come my way.
Then, each night, I will make sure I am prepared for the next day's activities.

Please Visit Tracy Stark's website for more info.

In the News
Andrea Marcovicci and Shawn Ryan in
“The Queens of Cabaret”
At The Great American Music Hall
in San Francisco, CA!
April 9, 2016 (8:00pm Show / 7:00pm Doors)

Two of today’s greatest Cabaret talents take the stage for a One Night Only Concert Event that is not to be missed! Andrea Marcovicci, the Queen of Cabaret and consummate cabaret temptress joins forces with the outrageously eccentric other Queen of Cabaret, Shawn Ryan to give San Francisco audiences a pure entertainment treat! Gay-rights and HIV/AIDS activists remain bitter at Ronald Reagan for a slow response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Views are more mixed about his wife, Nancy, but there's deep regret that she didn't push sooner and more forcefully for stepped-up government action. Read more HERE. 

As we approach Liza Minnelli's birthday, we have two great artists that have celebrated Judy Garland brilliantly on stage. One is about to pay the same loving tribute to Liza and the other will be recreating a concert, that in of itself was a recreation of a famous concert,  later this year.

After two years of musical tributes to Judy Garland, singer Seth Sikes will pay homage to the only other performer who he feels matches the "Wizard of Oz" icon in terms of star quality: her daughter, Liza Minnelli. (Read MORE).

In honor of the tenth anniversary of his sold-out Judy Garland tribute concerts at Carnegie Hall, pop singer Rufus Wainwright is planning to recreate the concert for two performances, June 16 and 17 at the same venue. (READ MORE).
One person who did work with Judy Garland AND Vincente Minnelli was one of my favorite dancers and MGM Stars, the legendary Cyd Charisse.  

Cyd Charisse (March 8, 1922 – June 17, 2008) was an American actress and dancer.
Legendary performer and one of the most beautiful stars of the Golden Era, Cyd Charisse, would’ve been 95 today.

After recovering from polio as a child, and studying ballet, Charisse entered films in the 1940s. Her roles usually focused on her abilities as a dancer, and she was paired with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly; her films include Singin' in the Rain (1952), The Band Wagon (1953) and Silk Stockings.  
She stopped dancing in films in the late 1950s, but continued acting in film and television, and in 1992 made her Broadway debut. In her later years, she discussed the history of the Hollywood musical in documentaries, and was featured in That's Entertainment! III in 1994. She was awarded the National Medal of the Arts and Humanities in 2006. (Source: Wikipedia).
Happy birthday Edy Vessel, born 8/3/40: Seven Seas to Calais, The Thief of Baghdad, The Trojan Horse

LYNN REDGRAVE | b. 8 March, 1943 | star of Georgy Girl (66), Gods and Monsters (98), Spider (02) & Peter Pan (03)

Your lesson for today: If you're important they'll make a way, if you're not they'll make an excuse.

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!

BARBRA STREISAND hello dolly! - YouTube


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
Saturday, March 12 th: Will Friedwald and Lynn DiMenna celebrate Dinah Shore
Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM
322 W 48th St, New York, New York 10036 ring:
Lynn DiMenna
Meredith DiMenna
Margi Gianquinto
Kimberly Hawkey
Jeff MacAuley
and your host, Will Friedwald
Music Director: Paul Greenwood
Bass: Tom Hubbard
Drums: Eric Halvorsen

Dinah Shore was one of the most beloved female pop singers of all time. Whether she was singing on the radio, hosting her own variety show or TV's talk show queen, she was "America's Sweetheart!"
Please join Will Friedwald, Lynn DiMenna and a cast of "Dinahphiles" to celebrate her 100th birthday on 
Saturday, March 12th, 2016

Doors open at 12:30. Program promptly at 2PM
$15.00 at door for NON-Members/$50.00 to join
Richard Skipper is the EXCLUSIVE publicist for American Popular Song Society. For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at or 845-365-0720


NEXT UP April 9th

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

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Happy Birthday, Carole Bayer Sager

Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,

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 Meulemans 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!
This is a CD Release Event! ALL in attendance will receive complementary copy of Lucky To Be Me: Recorded LIVE at the Metropolitan Room August 22nd, 2015
Richard Skipper Celebrates 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 or 845-365-0720   


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