Friday, April 1, 2016

April Showers: Celia Berk, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell...and MORE!


I gave it all that I had, and it's gratifying that others seem to be receiving it so well. Debbie Reynolds

 I didn't quit movies. They quit me. Jane Powell

Happy April Fool's Day!
April 1 is the 92nd day of this year. There are 274 days remaining until the end of the year.
I know it is April Fool's Day, but I'm not fooling you with today's blog and these incredible artists I wish to celebrate. First of all, it is the birthday of two of MGM's greatest artists, Debbie Reynolds and Jane Powell. They have contributed so much to the cultural landscape of entertainment. I love them both dearly. I have had the opportunity to interview Debbie Reynolds and I have seen her in concert. I have met Jane Powell many times and still hope to have the opportunity to interview her some day.
Mark Hamill tweeted this: Happy Birthday Debbie Reynolds- Hollywood legend, brilliant actress,
Jane Powell, Steve Reeves, Debbie Reynolds
nice person... oh, and 's MOM!:-)  

It's hard to believe April is here. It is a gorgeous day here in New York and there is LOTS to celebrate.

First of all Celia Berk's much anticipated CD lands today!
Celia Berk's much anticipated CD is released today!
Celebrating the release of her highly anticipated second album Manhattan Serenade, 2015 BroadwayWorld, Bistro, MAC and Margaret Whiting Award Winner CELIA BERK returns to the Metropolitan Room every Sunday in April. 

The album follows Celia Berk’s critically acclaimed debut You Can’t Rush Spring. It is Co-Produced by Tony Award-winning sound designer Scott Lehrer and renowned arranger and musical director Alex Rybeck.

Lyricist David Zippel City of Angels, Hercules), whose THE BROADWAY SONG written with Cy Coleman is receiving its first commercial recording, writes in the album’s Liner Notes:“A tribute to her hometown, this collection isanything but renditions of the obvious New York songs. Manhattan Serenade is curated: a connoisseur’s compilation of one exquisite, undiscovered musical gem after another. Celia Berk and her arranger/conductor, the esteemed Alex Rybeck, consider themselves to be “musical truffle hounds,” and they have indeed rooted through the Great American Songbook to uncover superb, overlooked songs by the crème de la crème of composers and lyricists: Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes, Richard Whiting and Gus Kahn, Burt Bacharach, Rupert Holmes and Cy Coleman.

There are so many reasons to love this album—the lush arrangements, the extravagant orchestrations and, of course, Celia Berk’s knowing vocals sung with charm, warmth and wit. She chooses great songs, has superb arrangements and then trusts her material. Her interpretations are honest, unadorned, and imbued with intelligence, sensitivity and an intuitive understanding of what she is singing about.”

A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN is a recently discovered song by legendary songwriting team Richard
Whiting  and Gus Kahn, completed by musical director Hubert “Tex” Arnold. It was given to Celia Berk and Alex Rybeck by Whiting’s granddaughter Debbi Bush Whiting. Michael Feinstein has said, “There is nothing more special than finding a new song that’s classic and fresh at the same time, and A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN is just that. The combined pedigree of Gus Kahn and Richard Whiting, with an assist from Tex Arnold, have made this a long overdue winner that in my book is an instant standard.”
Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks are featured on another rarity, Irving Berlin’s MANHATTAN MADNESS. A little-known Kurt Weill & Sam Coslow song, THE ROMANCE OF A LIFETIME, is teamed with Rupert Holmes’ THE PEOPLE THAT YOU NEVER GET TO LOVE. Also included is SECONDS, a Burt Bacharach/Neil Simon song written for an unproduced movie version of “Promises, Promises.”

To celebrate its release, Celia Berk returns to the Metropolitan Room April 3rd at 7pm, April 10th at 4pm, April 17th at 7pm, and April 24th at 4pm with a new
show featuring songs from the album. It is directed by Jeff Harnar with musical direction by Alex Rybeck. Tickets information can be found here.

Nominated for the 2015 LaMott Friedman Award for Best Recording, Celia Berk’s debut album You Can’t Rush Spring appeared on a number of Best of 2014 lists and has found a global audience,
with airplay and sales extending across the US and into Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada. David Hurst of the New York Arts Review called it, “One of the more auspicious debut recordings of recent years… an intoxicating revelation!”
Celia has made memorable appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Town Hall as part of the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s annual Cabaret Convention and will appear again in October 2016 in an evening devoted to Stephen Sondheim.

For more information about Manhattan Serenade, visit GramercyNightingale.com/Media. Additional information about Celia Berk can be found at GramercyNightingale.com. 

Tracklisting for Manhattan Serenade:

    MANHATTAN HOMETOWN
    [David Heneker; Arranged by Alex Rybeck]

    ALL I NEED (IS ONE GOOD BREAK)
    [John Kander/Fred Ebb; Arranged by Alex Rybeck; Orchestrated by Jeffrey Klitz]

UP ON THE ROOF
    [Gerry Goffin and Carole King; Arranged by Alex Rybeck; Orchestrated by Jeffrey Klitz]

   
SECONDS
    [Burt Bacharach/Neil Simon; Arranged by Alex Rybeck]

    MANHATTAN MADNESS
    [Irving Berlin; Arranged by Alex Rybeck and Vince Giordano and Earl Norman; Featuring
    Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks Combo Orchestra; Backups by The Gramercy Nightingales]

    LONELY HOUSE
    [Kurt Weill/Langston Hughes; Arranged by Alex Rybeck]

    THE ROMANCE OF A LIFETIME/THE PEOPLE THAT YOU NEVER GET TO LOVE
    [Kurt Weill/Sam Coslow; Rupert Holmes; Arranged by Alex Rybeck]

   
A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN
    [Richard A. Whiting and Hubert “Tex” Arnold/Gus Kahn; Arranged by Alex Rybeck]

    I GOTTA GET BACK TO NEW YORK
    [Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart; Arranged by Alex Rybeck; Orchestrated by Larry Moore]

    MANHATTAN SERENADE
    [Louis Alter/Harold Adamson; Arranged by Alex Rybeck]

    SPRING IN MANHATTAN
    [Anthony Scibetta/Alice S. Reach; Arranged by Alex Rybeck]

    THE BROADWAY SONG

[Cy Coleman/David Zippel; Arranged by Alex Rybeck; Orchestrated by Larry Moore; Backups by The Rialtos (Joshua Lance Dixon, Jeff Harnar and Kristoffer Lowe)]

    A TREE IN THE PARK
    [Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart; Arranged by Alex Rybeck]

Celia Berk Upcoming Performances:

Metropolitan Room – April 3rd at 7pm
Metropolitan Room – April 10th at 4pm
Metropolitan Room – April 17th at 7pm
Metropolitan Room – April 24th at 4pm 

Read more of what some of the most respected individuals in the cabaret world have said
about Celia Berk:

One of the best singers I’ve heard in a long time.

- Rex Reed

Beautiful sound, style and taste in song choices.

- Michael Feinstein

Lovely understated elegance.

- Ann Hampton Callaway, Singer/Songwriter/Composer

Celia delivers the message and heart behind each song with velvet intelligence.

Amanda McBroom, Songwriter/Composer of The Rose

Celia Berk proved that one's "second act" can be most satisfying, that singing was her destiny.
 
- Melody Breyer-Grell


More on Celia Berk and Gramercy Nightingale Music Co.:

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Instagram


Info/Requests:
Theresa Montgomery

Here is my interview with Celia:
What is your advice for people to get past their own needs to really be selfless and do something to make the world a better place for all people. I WOULDN'T PRESUME TO GIVE ANYONE THAT KIND OF ADVICE. BUT I LIKE THE CONCEPT OF PAYING IT FORWARD. I CAN'T BEGIN TO PROPERLY THANK THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HELPED ME, BUT I CAN TRY TO SHOW THE SAME KINDNESS TO SOMEONE ELSE.

What motivates you to do what you do?
A LOVE OF MUSIC AND APPARENTLY A HIGH TOLERANCE FOR FEAR!

What advice would you give entertainers who wish to pursue a career in this business? 
CREATE FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SAFETY NETS BEFORE YOU NEED THEM.  AND YOU WILL NEED THEM.

What are you currently reading?
I HAVE BIOGRAPHIES AND AUTOBIOGRAPHIES STACKED UP AROUND MY APARTMENT. AS SOON AS I GET PAST THESE METROPOLITAN ROOM DATES, I AM BURROWING IN.

If you could travel to ANY destination for a vacation or getaway, regardless of cost or practicality, where would if be... and why? 
I WANT TO SEE ALASKA BEFORE GLOBAL WARMING MELTS IT AWAY.

What's Your Specialty that might surprise many?
I'M A PROBLEM SOLVER.  THE MORE COMPLICATED A SITUATION IS, THE MORE INTERESTING I FIND IT.

If you changed careers, what would it be and why?
A SECOND GRADE TEACHER. THAT'S THE YEAR THEY LEARN HOW TO READ.

Who is your favorite Disney Princess and why? WAIT -- I'M NOT ONE NOW?

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
THE LAST TIME I SANG THROUGH A SONG I WAS ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE WAS GOING TO BE PERFECT FOR ME

Don't miss Celia at the Metropolitan Room! Tell her I sent you!


In Other Entertainment News
I'd like to congratulate Jim Speake on winning the Nancy LaMott-David Friedman Award presented
by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs. Check out THIS VIDEO.  Visit his Website HERE.  
For more about the MAC Awards, Click HERE
Jim Speake is coming back to the cabaret stage in Sweet Life: The Show
The Laurie Beechman Theatre
Tuesday April 12th at 7PM
Directed by Lennie Watts
Musical Direction with Steven Ray Watkins
with the SRW Band
at WestBank Cafe 407 West 42nd Street
Reserve TODAY!


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


With grateful XOXOXs ,
 



 

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Dolly Gallagher Levi!
From Debbie Reynolds' Collection. Read my interview with Debbie about her auction and collection

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!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook



Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH US April 7th in NYC


Don't Tell Mama Presents...

Wendy Scherl returns in What Do You Do All Day?  Directed by the incredible Helen Baldasarre with great musical direction by Matthew Martin Ward. Wendy is an amazing vocalist with a rangy and rich sound. “This is someone to watch!” Go see her, you can thank me later.
- Sue Matsuki   In “What Do You Do All Day”, Wendy Scherl shares anecdotes and song about the numerous hats she wears every single day as a wife, a mother of two boys and two dogs, a short order cook, a daughter, a house manager, a chauffeur and Cabaret Singer! Her show is both touching and real, theatrical and funny!
This show WILL sell out! So reserve today and be a part of his star studded audience!
You will truly be amazed by what this full-time executive director of a family of four accomplishes every day!  Wendy will wow you with both her choice of material and her talent!
After graduating from Northwestern University with a BA in Theatre, Wendy performed in numerous
regional theatre productions around the country, including some of her favorite productions: Hair (The official 20th Anniversary Production in Chicago), Grease (numerous roles), Annie (Grace), The Pajama Game (Babe), and Godspell.  

$20.00 Cover/Two Drink Minimum Cash Only Reserve at 212-757-0788 (after 4PM or through me)

$5.00 OFF COVER OF ALL MAC MEMBERS
Richard Skipper Celebrates is the publicist for Wendy Scherl and What Do You Do All Day? at NYC's Don't Tell Mama. For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at Richard@RichardSkipper.com or 845-365-0720











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