Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tamra Hayden, Chris Lemmon, Barbra Streisand...and MORE!

Happy July 5th!
I hope that you all had a great holiday weekend and that you are looking forward to a great week and an even greater month.
My holiday weekend consisted of dinners with great friends and seeing Gypsy starring the amazing Karen Ziemba at The Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, Connecticut. It was the first time I had ever been at this theatre.
It was a spur of the moment decision. We had talked about it but could never get around to settling on a date.
When we got up Monday morning with no real plans for the day, we decided to drive up for what was the last performance.
Glad we went. The Sharon Playhouse is a rustic theatre that brought me back to my early days in theatre doing summer stock. I believe I read somewhere that when I came to New York in 1979, there were over 175 regional Equity summer stock theatres in existence in the United States. Now, there are less than 75. That saddens me. 
Last week, I saw one of the greatest concerts in my lifetime, Dolly Parton. She was a bucket list performer. There have been so many in my lifetime that I regret that I never saw perform live. Frank Sinatra is one. I had tickets to see Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine at Radio City Music Hall in 1992. I was so excited. The day that we were scheduled to attend, we got an automated phone alert that Sinatra's concert had been cancelled that night due to pneumonia.
Two artists right there that I never got to see live. I keep hoping Shirley MacLaine will do at least one more cabaret or concert tour.
Today, in stead of focusing on the artists that I never saw or haven't seen, I want to focus on some upcoming performances that those of us who live in the tri-state area are lucky enough to see. If you have any trips scheduled to New York and surrounding areas, please check out these great artists.
You, however, don't have to be in New York to partake in great entertainment around the globe.

Chip Deffaa is going back to Korea today. They'll be doing his show "George M. Cohan Tonight!," starring the one-and-only Jon Peterson, with musical direction by Richard Danley. Chip wrote this show for Jon, and it's been done in many cities, in the United States and abroad, since they first did it Off-Broadway. And they like this show enough in Korea to bring it back--which makes this playwright/director very happy!

Natalie Douglas
It's that time of year!!! For their 8th consecutive summer, Natalie Douglas and Brian Nash will be back in Michigan, teaching, singing and generally having a fantastic time! Don't miss this particular evening with special guest the divine Kate Botello! and who knows what surprises!

And for those of you who wanna study with Natalie and Nash whilst they're in town, check out their Vocal Master Class the night before, at 6:30PM,TONIGHT July 5, 2016
All ages welcome!
Please bring sheet music to workshop a song with Natalie and Brian.
$20 fee for participants
Old Town Playhouse
148 E Eighth St Traverse City, MI
(231) 947-2210

Chris Lemmon
CHRIS LEMMON (of Glastonbury, CT) -Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 7pm -  at LI’s Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington:  Live Theater in Words and Music - first US Preview of London West End Production.
Just back from his critically-acclaimed three-week London West End debut in June, son Chris Lemmon becomes his twice Academy Award winning father Jack Lemmon in the first U.S. preview of his multimedia stage play Twist of Lemmon, which includes “Jack/Chris” performing more than a dozen of Jack’s favorite standards and their own original compositions on the Steinway,  along with clips and images.  (Based on Chris's acclaimed 2006 memoir.) Throughout the play, “Jack” regales the audience with stories of his life and career, re-enacts scenes from his greatest films and impersonates his famed co-stars, while musing on the complex but loving relationship he had with his son -  all couched in the lore of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  Directed by London’s Hugh Wooldbridge and sponsored by Steinway & Sons, Long Island.  Chris Lemmon conducts an audience Q&A afterwards. A gala reception follows with live jazz by guitarist Mike Soloway.

Tickets are $38 for members / $46 public, including reception.   Tickets available in advance at http://www.cinemaartscentre.org or at box office.  Cinema Arts Centre - 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743 -
CHRIS LEMMON IS  JACK LEMMON in  TWIST OF LEMMON: A True Father/Son Story From the Golden Age of Hollywood
Thursday, July 28 at 7:00 pm - Two Acts with Intermission (120 min.), followed by Audience Q&A with Chris Lemmon  (20 min.) 
$38 Members | $46 Public – Includes  Gala Reception with Live Jazz Guitar by Mike Soloway.

Another great superstar is on the concert trail again. I have been lucky enough to see her three
times in concert. I don't think I can afford this time around. But I can afford her CD! Cannot wait! I just ordered mine through Amazon Prime!
Save the date and pick up Barbra's new album on August 26th! You can also pre-order the album now at:
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/StreisandENCOREama
Apple Music: http://smarturl.it/StreisandENCORE
Barbra's Music Store: http://smarturl.it/StreisandMusicStore
Barnes & Noble: http://smarturl.it/StreisandENCOREbn
Target: http://smarturl.it/streisandENCOREtarg.

The greatest gift those of us in the arts can give is to donate our arts for a worthy cause. There are several benefits coming up in response to the recent Orlando massacre. Here are a couple that I'm aware of.

By Command of TMISM Emperor XXV Tree and Empress XXX Sugar B. Real, The Imperial Court of New York Presents

A Benefit Concert for Orlando
Benefiting the One Orlando Fund

Hosted by Emperor X Gabriel Della Notte & Princess Royale Doris Dear

The Copa (268 West 47th Street)
Monday, July 11, 2016
Doors - 7:00 PM, Show - 8:00 PM
Cash Bar/Food Menu
Silent Auction

TICKET PRICING (MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from "l.facebook.com" claiming to be www.icny.tix.com)
$50.00 - VIP Front Table Seating
$25.00 - Standard Seating
$15.00 - Standing Room

Speech by:
Larry Kramer (GMHC, The Normal Heart)

Performances by:
Carol Woods (Chicago)
Woods performing aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in 2007

T Oliver Reed (Sister Act)
Crystal Kellogg (Finding Neverland)
Kate Rockwell (Legally Blonde)
Maree Johnson Baruch (Broadway)
DJ Chauncey Dandridge
Doris Dear (MAC Award Winner)
Robin Kradles
Ellia J. Garlands
Meg Flather (Hansen Award, and 2016 MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs Award winner)
Stacy Sullivan (Award Winning Cabaret Artist)
Sean Harkness (Multi Award Winning Guitarist)

Musical Director - Barry Levitt.

Speaking of Meg Flather, who is one of the featured entertainers, she is returning with her critically acclaimed Carly and Me on July 31st at 4PM at Don't Tell Mama. Reservations Highly Suggested.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: The outside marquee at Circle in the Square Theatre on April 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Steven A Henry/WireImage) Steven A Henry / WireImage

The cast and creative team from "Fun Home" will assemble for a one-night benefit concert version of the Tony Award-winning show on July 24 in Orlando for survivors and victims' family.  Read MORE
If you are in NYC on Sunday night, I will be hosting The Salon in the Ayes Have It. That is our theme. We will be at Etc. Etc. Restaurant and celebrating Peggy Eason's 70th Birthday. Please come with a favorite song to sing or even just to listen. Please contact me for more details. This is my only scheduled New York appearance for the summer. Same for Peggy Eason.  

On July 7th from 6-7:30PM, Bobbie Horowitz is holding her  “Psychology of Color Workshop”.
It’ll run from 6 –7:30PM (participants will be able to catch a show!)  Attendees get vital knowledge about the major Color Families and the different effect each has on people. They each affect all people we’ve studied the same way!  You’ll learn you can take control of whether or not people will want to say “YES” to you the first 30 seconds of your meeting!  The price is only $50.00 (and only $45.00 for MAC, SAG/AFTRA and AEA members).  PLUS - one needs to take this  workshop only one time in your life! Once you “get it”- you've got it!  Attendees will learn how to choose the Color Family (for the clothes and accessories you wear and carry) that will serve you best to get a “YES!” in any specific situation! People don’t realize your brains are being affected by the color you’re looking at when others' making the decision to say “Yes” or “No” to you.   The attendees learn how to put yourselves in control of the situation before you’ve said a word.  Did you ever notice that police uniforms are usually Navy Blue? This is not an accident!  People can check out “Your Free Monthly Image Tip” at www.bobbiehorowitz.comThis month you’ll get a free tip about the Color Purple.
My featured artist of the day is Tamra Hayden. She will be appearing tomorrow night, July 7th, at Feinstein's 54 Below. 
From Broadway to the Blues, critics have called Tamra Hayden an 'emotionally rich, psychologically-detailed singer that can “reheat coffee" and 'outsizzle’ Peggy Lee.’ 
Tamra Hayden is a celebrated vocalist and accomplished multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, guitar, and viola. She has five solo albums to her credit, as well as dozens of musical collaborations. She has appeared on Broadway as Cosette in Les Miserables and as Texas in Cabaret. Off-Broadway performances have included
Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris, and she has toured nationally as Christine in Phantom Of The Opera, Hodel in Fiddler On The Roof opposite Theodore Bikel, and It Ain’t Nothing But The Blues. Tamra Hayden is versatile, spirited, and prolific.
This show features the music from Tamra Hayden’s latest CD, Love Is… Tamra celebrates the many facets of love with sexy jazz tunes such as: “Fever” and “Something’s Gotta Give,” rousing Broadway anthems such as “It All Fades Away” from Bridges of Madison County, and plenty of spontaneous hilarity to make for an extraordinary performance. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. 
You’ll fall in love all over again!

I sat down recently to get to know a little bit more about Tamra beyond the press releases and to give you a chance to get to know her better as well. I hope you enjoy.
Right after our exchange on Facebook, Tamra was cast as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha and has been in a whirlwind since then! She had to reschedule her 54 Below show, Love Is..., to TOMORROW NIGHT July 6th at 9:30 pm because it conflicted with the show schedule. 

What do you think it takes to succeed in this business?
I find that the nicest and most compassionate people make it to the top! Of course, a lot of grit and talent doesn't hurt. I believe if you have the passion to do something and you work hard with all your heart and never give up, you will eventually succeed!

When you see a bunch of talented people, why do you suppose one goes on to become a star while the others fall by the wayside?
I think it has a lot to do with timing. There are soooo many talented people in the World! So many that are great and deserving of a big break! Getting the right role at just the right time can mean everything! I think that is what helped me land my Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables. I just happened to be the right age, look, and vocal type at just the right time. Of course, that didn't make me a star. But, it gave me a nice start to my career.

Why do you keep doing what you do?

I LOVE it! I love using music and creativity to spread peace, love and tolerance! To help people have cathartic release from what binds them up inside. We are in the midst of such insanity right now! I hope that I can use my gifts to serve humanity! That is all. That is everything!

What do you still want that you don't have now?
Well, I was recently gifted a Harp and a Mountain Dulcimer... so that is taken care of. Now, I just need plenty of time to learn how to play them! That would be nice... and a villa in Tuscany... is that too much to ask?

At what point, if ever, did you think of quitting?
I contemplate quitting quite often. Luckily those moments pass because I truly love what I do! It's just the business of the biz that gets to me. I keep my eye on my message and 'why' I do what I do. That motivates me and keeps me going!

What Wisdom would you like to offer my readers today?
Stay true to who you are and know that is enough. You are perfect as is!

Do you consider yourself competitive?
Yes, but not with other people. I like to reach my goals and accomplish what I've set out to do. But, never at the expense of someone else. At the end of the day, I just want to know that I've done my personal best. 

Buy Your Tickets 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!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Dolly Gallagher Levi!


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!
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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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