Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Sadie Hawkins Day, Leap Year, Dinah Shore's 100th Birthday...and MORE!

May you never steal, lie, or cheat, but if you must steal, then steal away my sorrows, and if you must lie, lie with me all the nights of my life, and if you must cheat, then please cheat death because I couldn't live a day without you. –Old Irish Blessing

Happy February 29th!
I’d like to wish an especially happy birthday to everyone born on February 29. After all, they only get to celebrate on their actual birthdate every four years, thanks to the quadrennial adjustment of the calendar to ensure the seasons remain in step with the date. It’s also a time when a man must accept a marriage proposal from a woman, according to an Irish tradition made for a romantic comedy, aptly called Leap Year, starring Oscar-nominated actress Amy Adams.
How many would-be wives take advantage of proposing on February 29? (Pawan Singh / The National)
 It’s not surprising that an entire catalog of traditions has sprung up around this date. The most famous is the supposed pact between saints Patrick and Brigid in Ireland, allowing women to propose marriage to men on this day. In the modern world with much greater gender equality, that tradition seems as outdated as the plot of a Doris Day movie. (Read more HERE). Thanks to Al Capp and Lil' Abner, it became known as Sadie Hawkins Day.
Today is also the 100th Birthday of Dinah Shore. Like a lot of people born February 29, she relished the uniqueness of her birthday. She even thought that there was an advantage to marking her real birthday just once every four years.Click HERE to see one of my favorite clips of Dinah Shore joined by my friends Carol Channing and Dody Goodman. Carol Channing and Dody Goodman were both Christian Scientists. They didn't believe in celebrating birthdays until I told them that this wasn't about them celebrating, it was about US celebrating them!
February 29, also known as leap day in the Gregorian calendar, is a date that occurs in most years that are divisible by 4, such as 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, and 2024. Years that are divisible by 100, but not by 400, do not contain a leap day.
Dinah Shore

Thus, 1700, 1800, and 1900 did not contain a leap day, 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not contain a leap day, while 1600 and 2000 did, and 2400 will. Years containing a leap day are called leap years. February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of the year. In the Chinese calendar, this day will only occur in years of the monkey, dragon, and rat.
Neil Sedaka with Frankie Valli, Dinah Shore and Tony Orlando
As I mentioned above, today marks the birthday of Dinah Shore. She was born on this date 100 years ago.
She Passed on in 1994. She reached the height of her popularity as a recording artist during the Big Band era of the 1940s and 1950s, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet.

Jeff Macauley "MWAH! The Dinah Shore Show" Tuesday, March 1st at 7pm at the Metropolitan Room
There are a couple of celebration of Dinah Shore happening around town. First off, to kick off Cabaret Month in NYC, Jeff Macauley in MWAH! The Dinah Shore Show tomorrow night, March 1st 7PM A CENTURY OF DINAH.
I am very excited to finally be able to see this show.
As I celebrate Dinah today, I also celebrate
Jeff Macauley who was just nominated for a MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award. This is my MINI-interview with Jeff.
If you were running for president, What would be your five word campaign promise?
Healthcare, Housing, Security For All
Favorite theater?
The Booth.
Could you tell me what your creative process is like?
Figuring out what the song means and then learning it. Then connecting it with the other tunes in the evening. Working on what I’m going to say by writing it out once but then just saying it, letting it be different each time so it’s not a script. Figuring out what I can bring to the song to make it interesting, since you’ve probably heard the tune somewhere before. And procrastinating. Lots and lots of procrastinating.
If you could get rid of one thing, what would it be? 
Back fat.
I hope you will join us!
Also, Will Friedwald and Lynn DiMenna present Dinah Shore Centennial Celebration! at Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM 322 W 48th St, New York, New York 10036.
322 W 48th St, New York, New York 10036
Starring:
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 Richard@RichardSkipper.com or 845-365-0720
SAVE THE SECOND SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH
NEXT UP April 9th

With fellow Hall of Famer Arnie in an ad from April 1974 Golf Digest.
President John F. Kennedy with Dinah Shore and George Montgomery at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner March 18th, 1961
James Mitchell in the film of The BandWagon
One of my favorite dancers was born on this date. More recent audiences know him as Palmer Cortlandt on All My Children. That man is James Mitchell.
I met him years ago when he came to an all male concert version of Bye Bye Birdie at the now defunct Rose's Turn. I played Mae Peterson and sang A Mother Doesn't Matter in the TV version introduced by Tyne Daly! 
Today is also the birthday of Jimmy Dorsey as well as Alex Rocco. 1944 – Phyllis Frelich, American actress (d. 2014). 1956 – J. Randy Taraborrelli, American journalist and author.

James Mitchell as the Dream Curley in the film version of Oklahoma!
Even though today is not my friend Jamie Lee Farrar's birthday, I would like to share her story with you. She has become a dear friend thanks to Facebook. Last year, 124 people died in vehicle crashes in Metro Police jurisdiction in Las Vegas. One young woman could have shared the same fate after a crash in 2013, but instead, she's a success story. Read MORE.

In Entertainment News
SARAH RICE and DAVID VERNON will be hosting an evening of Performances/Open Mics on every other Monday.

First hour will be a PERFORMANCE with Sarah and David and a different featured special guest TBA each time.
OPEN MIC at 8-10PM. (Sign up starts at 6:30)
Go sing out tonight!

STARRING YOU! -- All musical Genres NO COVER NO MINIMUM
Delicious food and drink at reasonable prices in welcoming surroundings and a great deal of fun. Sangin' and hangin', great music, wonderful friends together.
Come and promote your show, try out a new song, revisit an old friend.
All in an atmosphere of good cheer and safety. Come early and have a drink and dinner and enjoy the show then stay and sing!
HARP RAW BAR AND GRILL
729 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017
Bet 45-46th Street

Gay Marshall brings her acclaimed concert, Gay Marshall Sings PIAF, back to the Metropolitan Room on March 7th and April 4th at 9:30pm, featuring music from her Billboard Top World Album, Gay Marshall sings PIAF la vie l’amour. Her vivacious take on Édith Piaf presents the French icon as a versatile powerhouse of heartwarming and heartbreaking emotion. 

Full of personality and humor, Marshall delivers the dramatic repertoire – including Marshall's own English adaptations - with stirring authenticity, and not a hint of imitation. The repertoire is an unusual mix of the well known (La Vie en Rose and L’Accordeoniste) and the rare (Avec Ce Soleil and The Lady From Pigalle) with accompaniment by Ross Patterson.

Songwriters of the world, unite! Well, anyway, songwriters who have had their songs performed at
the Metropolitan Room (or want to) and aspire to have more of them done there, listen up. Bernie Furshpan has asked MAC nominee Tom Toce to form a songwriters group. Tom loves songwriters. He loves hanging out with them, talking shop, swapping songs, and trying to figure out ways to create interesting new material. That's really it. He doesn't envision a "workshop," really. He thinks "alliance" is the best word. He'll be contacting some of his fellow songwriters over the next few days to stir up some interest. Meanwhile, if you're interested, please contact me and I will forward to Tom.
If you want to hear some of the most popular love songs from the Golden Years of the American Songbook performed with unbridled passion and joy, go out and enjoy the:
Oleg Frish QUARTET: "AN EVENING OF LOVE SONGS", WITH SPECIAL GUEST AND GRAMMY AWARD NOMINATED SINGER        ROSEANNA VITRO
 Saturday, March 5,  2016 at 8 PM & 10 PM. See Postcard below 



Sad News
George Kennedy has passed away.  

Humbert Allen Astredo, a stage actor who played opposite James Earl Jones, Frank Langella and Elizabeth Taylor but is best remembered by generations of scared kids as the evil, devil-bearded warlock of Dark Shadows, died February 19 at the age of 86. No cause of death was listed in the death notice published today in The New York Times.

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!

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
Penny Fuller

WEDNESDAY NIGHT in NYC

March 2nd
FEINSTEIN'S 54 BELOW


Anita Gillette and Penny Fuller return in a sequel to their critically acclaimed, Sin Twisters! This is Sin Twisters, Too! Directed by the incredible Barry Kleinbort with great musical direction by Paul Greenwood. They will take all of us on a great musical romp through their Broadway careers, which have criss crossed from time to time, resulting in confusing the two!...even though they don't look a thing alike!
This show WILL sell out! So reserve today and be a part of their star studded audience!
http://54below.com/artist/anita-gillette-penny-fuller/
Anita Gillette
Richard Skipper is the publicist for Sin Twisters, Too! For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at Richard@RichardSkipper.com or 845-365-0720




Saturday, February 27, 2016

Joanne Woodward, Carol Channing, John Steinbeck...and MORE!

Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), displaying "Eve Black", the 'bad girl' personality
Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat. Joanne Woodward

Happy Saturday, February 27th, 2016! February 27 is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 
Oscar nominated Carol Channing is being feted tonight in Palm Springs
There are 308 days remaining until the end of the year. I hope this finds you well. It is Oscar weekend. Today, I celebrate Oscar winner Joanne Woodward who was born on this date. Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward is an American actress, producer, activist, and philanthropist. She is perhaps best known for her Academy Award-winning role in The Three Faces of Eve. Wikipedia
Born: February 27, 1930 (age 86), Thomasville, GA). I never met Joanne, but she truly is one of my favorite actresses of all time. Whenever one of her films comes on, I'm always compelled to spend time with her and I never regret it. I think my favorite film of hers is The Stripper. She plays opposite Richard Beymer who is more known for the film version of West Side Story.  Count Three, and Pray is another great film. 

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen
novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories. He is widely known for the comic novels Tortilla Flat (1935) and Cannery Row (1945), the multi-generation epic East of Eden (1952), and the novellas Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Red Pony (1937). The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939), widely attributed to be part of the American literary canon, is considered Steinbeck's masterpiece. In the first 75 years since it was published, it sold 14 million copies. All of these titles mentioned here were made into major successful films and a slew of Oscar noms and wins.


Carol Channing in the Opening Number at Gypsy of the Year in 2010
Today is not Carol Channing's birthday.  That was January 31st. However, tonight in Palm Springs, there is an all star tribute to Carol.   The one-night-only tribute concert will feature the talents of Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Florence Henderson, Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod, Lily Tomlin and more. The evening will include live performances and taped tributes from an array of show-business luminaries, as
Leonardo DiCaprio (I believe he will walk home with Oscar Gold tomorrow night)
well as video clips of many of Channing’s career milestones. 

It seems like it was just yesterday when I was at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood to celebrate Carol's 90th birthday! It is killing me that I am not in Palm Springs tonight. I wish all involved a very success-FULL event!
Born Today 1903 Character Actor Reginald Gardiner: Great Dictator, Christmas in CT, Damsel in Distress, Man Who Came to Dinner He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and, by the early 1930's, had become an established revue and musical star on the London stage.His first foray into films was in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed The Lodger (1927) in 1926, but it was in Hollywood where his career really took off. At the prompting of Beatrice Lillie, he left for America in 1935.
After appearing in two of her shows, he delighted Broadway audiences in An Evening with Beatrice Lillie and Reginald Gardiner, performing a series of witty impersonations of various inanimate items, such as lighthouses and wallpaper.
Franchot Tone
Today in 1905 Franchot Tone was born. He is perhaps best known for his role as Midshipman Roger Byam in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), starring alongside Clark Gable and Charles Laughton.
 Tone attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and Cornell University, where he was President of the drama club and was elected to the Sphinx Head Society. He also joined Alpha Delta Phi fraternity.
He gave up the family business to pursue an acting career in the theatre. After graduating, he moved to Greenwich Village, New York and got his first major Broadway role in the 1929 Katharine Cornell production of The Age of Innocence.

Mildred Bailey
Mildred Rinker Bailey (February 27, 1907 – December 12, 1951) was a popular and influential American jazz singer during the 1930s, known as The Queen of Swing, The Rockin' Chair Lady and Mrs. Swing. Some of her best known hits are When Day Is Done, Trust in Me, "Where Are You?", "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart", "Small Fry", Please Be Kind, Darn That Dream, Rockin' Chair, "Blame It on My Last Affair", and "Says My Heart".

Hope you can go see this show! I saw it last week and LOVED it!
Kelley Karel as "The Singing Hillary Clinton"
HILLARY CONFIDENTIAL:A Heart-To-Heart Cocktail Cabaret
Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 4:30PM
The Duplex Cabaret Theatre
61 Christopher Street (at the Corner of 7th Avenue)
$20 Ticket in Advance & a 2 Drink Minimum in the Cabaret Theatre
$25 Ticket at the Door (plus service fee) & a 2 Drink Minimum in the Cabaret Theatre
SAY YES! Starting a conversation with someone you don't know is always awkward. It can be harder still when you're talking to someone you don't know, and don't know much of anything about. But in every single social situation, there's a way to start a conversation--I guarantee it.
All it takes is a little imagination, a little gumption, and a few conversational openers that apply in nearly any situation. Get out of your comfort zone today. Go out and see a LIVE show.
Start up a conversation with whomever you are sitting next to. It may change the trajectory of your life. I have met so many wonderful people that way who are friends with mine to this day!

In other Entertainment Related News
Bryon Sommers here with Julie Wilson
Tomorrow afternoon in New Jersey, Bryon Sommers will be be playing for the wonderful Peggy Eason in Michael Colby's presentation of the Algonquin Kid, a book containing a first hand account of his years of growing up in this fabulous historic hotel.
It had many of America's most famous writers and composers staying there while his grandparents owned it. Bloomfield, NJ get ready for this and the other 2 fabulous singers on the program.

Rebecca Luker will be replacing Judy Kuhn in FUN HOME for a couple of months. She and Danny Burstein, currently starring as Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof at the Broadway Theatre, will be a two Broadway show family again.
Rebecca Luker
Rebecca Luker's Broadway roles include  Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, Marie. Winifred in the original Broadway production of MARY POPPINS (Tony Award nomination), Claudia Nardi in NINE opposite Antonio Banderas, Marian Paroo in THE MUSIC MAN (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination AND Outer Critics Circle Award nomination),  Maria in  THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination); Magnolia in SHOWBOAT (Tony Award nomination), Lily in THE SECRET GARDEN (Drama Desk Nomination); Christine in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. With the New York City Opera Ms. Luker was featured in X (THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MALCOLM X) and was Fiona  in BRIGADOON.  Off-Broadway she starred in Maury Yeston’s DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY – Outer Critics Circle nomination (Roundabout, 2011), the world premiere of A.R.Gurney’s INDIAN BLOOD (Primary Stages), CAN’T LET GO (Keen Company) and THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES.

Ms. Luker has performed leading roles at regional theaters throughout the country including the world premier of  LITTLE DANCER by Aherns and Flaherty,  Directed by Susan Stroman. Clara in PASSION at the Kennedy Center, Julia in TIME AND AGAIN at the Old Globe, Mary in HARMONY (Drama-Logue Award) at the La Jolla Playhouse and Amalia in SHE LOVES ME with the “Reprise!” series in Los Angeles. 
In concert she has appeared in ARIAS AND BARCAROLES with the Chicago Symphony, KNOXVILLE: SUMMER OF 1915 with the Melbourne, Fl Symphony, LIFE BEGINS AT 8:40, PARDON MY ENGLISH, PRIMROSE, and BABES IN ARMS, all at The Library of Congress; JUBILEE and MUSIC IN THE AIR at Town Hall; at Carnegie Hall: NO, NO NANETTE; TROUBLE IN TAHITI; GAY DIVORCE; THE ART OF THE LYRICIST (Ira Gershwin Centennial Series); MY FAVORITE BROADWAY: THE LEADING LADIES & MY FAVORITE BROADWAY: THE LOVE SONGS (both on PBS); an evening to honor Aherns and Flaherty with the NY Pops, A Tribute to Billie Holiday and A Comden & Green Evening. With the Encores! Series at  City Center: WHERE’S CHARLEY? And THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE and two concerts with Lincoln Center’s AMERICAN SONGBOOK SERIES honoring Arthur Schwartz and Leonard Bernstein. 

A recent research study found that those suffering from moderate to severe dementia did particularly well singing show tunes from movies and musicals such as The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and 'Oklahoma!' in group settings and had a marked improvement in their remembering skills versus those who simply listened during the sing-alongs. (Read MORE)

March 5th: Cabaret Beats Cancer - A Benefit For Erin Cronican at Don't Tell Mama 5PM
Songs About Courage, Healing and Love
Singers Performing: Erin Cronican, Rob Davis, Richie Eisenberg, Janice Hall, Tanya Moberly, Marissa Mulder, Candice Oden, Sarah Rice, Adam Shapiro, Walter Willison & Zach Wobensmith
Musical Director Duties Shared: Jim Lahti, Barry Levitt, Mathew Martin Ward & Bill Zeffiro
$20.00 cover charge and a 2 drink minumum per person
Cash Only
Approximate running time: 65 minutes
Seating from 4:30pm 

SAD NEWS
Los Angeles' Magic Castle co-founder Irene Larsen passed away a few days ago at her home near Hancock Park.
Irene was treasured by generations of magicians and entertainers who came to know her through the Magic Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts. She was the very first member of the club built by her, her late husband Bill, and brother-in-law Milt in 1963. The trio transformed a dilapidated old mansion in Hollywood into an elegant restaurant, theater, and international center for the performance of magic that is more popular today than ever before. Irene and Bill (and later their daughter Erika) edited Genii: The Conjurers Magazine for many years, spreading interest in the art form around the globe. - Read more 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!

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!

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

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: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/kiss-me-sweeney-todds-sarah-rice-sings-of-love-with-paul-jackel-feb.-14-111546#sthash.bYCP2Q2p.dpuf

Next Wednesday in NYC

March 2nd
FEINSTEIN'S 54 BELOW
Anita Gillette
Anita Gillette and Penny Fuller return in a sequel to their critically acclaimed, Sin Twisters! This is Sin Twisters, Too! Directed by the incredible Barry Kleinbort with great musical direction by Paul Greenwood. They will take all of us on a great musical romp through their Broadway careers, which have criss crossed from time to time, resulting in confusing the two!...even though they don't look a thing alike! 
Penny Fuller
This show WILL sell out! So reserve today and be a part of their star studded audience!
http://54below.com/artist/anita-gillette-penny-fuller
Richard Skipper is the publicist for Sin Twisters, Too! For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at Richard@RichardSkipper.com or 845-365-0720