Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jana Robbins, New York's Next Top Drag Queen Finale, Sally Olson's Karen Carpenter Trinute...and MORE!

Richard Skipper did an excellent job introducing "Jezebel" (1938) at the TCM Classic Film Festival on 4/6/17. It was a fun and lively introduction that brilliantly set up the film and showed a great knowledge of behind the scenes facts.
-Kennedy Reed

Reserve TODAY for May 20
Happy April 13th, 2017!
April 13 is the 103rd day of the year. There are 262 days remaining until the end of the year. 
It is a gorgeous day here in New York. It is estimated that it will get up to 75 degrees today. The full moon was earlier this week. It was the PINK moon!  
Any full moon that occurs in April is called a ‘Pink Moon’ simply because of the pink flowers, such as North America’s wild ground phlox, which blossom in April and are seen to
At The Turner Classic Film Festival last week.
symbolize new beginnings.
As I begin my blog today, I'm listening to the 40s channel on Sirius XM. Right now, the song playing is Mary Martin singing Kiss The Boys Goodbye. It's Jazz Appreciation month but I love all kinds of music.
It's all setting the tone for the day. A lot has happened since my last blog last week. My apologies for those that I promised blogs to and have not gotten to...yet!
For me, it's no longer about getting everything done every day but getting done what I am able to get done.
I get requests almost daily asking me to coach others. I feel like I'm just learning to coach myself. 

Then [David] took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepard's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached Goliath. 
-1 Samuel 17:40
Martha Raye as Dolly Levi. I see Bette Midler April 20 (Opening night!)
I put the above quote from the Bible because I believe it sums up who and where I am at this point in my life. I feel that I am really hitting my stride and I'm ready to take on the world.
As I sat off to begin this year, one of my intentions was to really brand and solidify Richard Skipper Celebrates...

That is happening! In addition to my blog, which is not as consistent as it once was due to my busy schedule, last May, I launched my series, Richard Skipper Celebrates...a talk/variety show ON STAGE!

We opened last May 25th at The Triad. It is hard to believe that was a year ago.
KT Sullivan celebrates the songs of World War II with me May 20th
I was scheduled to also do a June show and then the Pulse Massacre happened. It really hit me hard and I cancelled my show and decided to regroup and return in September. This series began at The Triad and I will always be grateful to Peter Martin and the entire staff for making me feel so welcome.
As Spamilton became a bigger and bigger hit there, prime show times became rarer and rarer. Twice, my show had to be rescheduled and twice there was a mad rush to push my audiences out into the street for the next show. I don't blame The Triad. These things happen

but the comfort level was stressed to the max.
It was then that I was offered a time slot at The Laurie Beechman for my birthday show in February.
What a great afternoon that was. My mom, middle brother, and his girlfriend even surprised me from South Carolina!
Then last month, we celebrated Liza Minnelli's birthday. In addition to Julie Reyburn, we had an amazing cast.
Last week, we celebrated Yip Harburg's Birthday. Leslie Orofino led an amazing cast.
On May 20th (Armed Forces Day), we are celebrating the music of World War II led by Diane J. Findlay and Sue Matsuki.
June 18th (Father's Day), we are doing our last show of the season. We are getting back to our roots and celebrating the date, June 18th. Sarah Rice will be celebrating the birthday of Jeanette McDonald, Warren Schein celebrates Sammy Cahn, and I have a few more surprises up my
sleeve. We will take July and August off and will return in September. I am already booked at The Laurie Beechman September-January, monthly!
Please join us on the 20th and let's celebrate!
Win TWO tickets to Richard Skipper Celebrates on May 20th
(Brunch included!)

Here is what you do: Tweet about the upcoming show. Include #RichardSkipperCelebrates and The most clever tweet will win (voted upon by a committee) and the winner will be announced at 5PM Today. (If you have already bought your tickets or are out of town, will make a great gift for two friends!) Please LIKE and SHARE. Please include The Laurie Beechman Theatre.
Last night, we celebrated Jana's Birthday!
Last night I was asked to sing as part of Jana Robbin's Birthday show at Feinstein's/54 Below. Here is Bob Ost's (Theater Resources Unlimited, TRU) account of the evening:. What a beautiful night it was at Feinstein's/54 Below! Jana Robbins was in spectacular voice, particularly moving in a deeply felt rendition of "As If We Never Said Good-bye" and profoundly raucous in not one but two striptease numbers, "Zip" from Pal Joey" and "Gotta Have a Gimmick" from you know what, a recreation of a number our fair lady performed on Broadway for several years as Mazeppa while understudying Tyne Daly's Mama Rose. 
Not a stitch was actually removed, mind you, but mimed precision was on view and a trumpet was blown.

Warm, embracing and heart-felt from beginning to end. And so moving in her encore "And That's Why I'm a Singer," a tribute to her mom who was there last night (and even joined Jana for a song). So generous in so many ways, bringing the young writer of musical-in-development "Timothy Cratchitt" up to do a song, and following her standing ovation with a party celebration of other performers she knows and loves, including my dear old friends David Sabella, Julie Reyburn (destroying me with "We Can Never Go Back to Before" from "Ragtime") and Richard Skipper (taking over the room with expert showmanship), plus funny and fabulous
with Jana at mine and Danny's wedding
David Austin who starred in Jana's production of "I Love You Because..." and a lovely young actress she discovered and directed in a college production of "Little Women." The undercurrent of the show was dreams, some fulfilled and some still yearned for, and it touched and tugged at chords within me.

The room was filled with Broadway producers, including TRU pals Cody Lassen and Jim Kierstead, plus TRU board alum Douglas Denoff, Robert R Blume of the Drama Desk, Richard Winkler, Margot Astrachan, Merrie Davis. Plus Cabaret award winners Bobbie Horowitz and Joan Crowe, on-line critic of Times Square Chronicle
Jana in The Drowsy Chaperone (Regional)
(and another old friend of mine) Suzanna Bowling, Jana writers Alan Knee (Little Women and "Timothy Cratchitt") and D. Tucker Smith ("Roof of the World"), dear PDMP team leader and producer R Erin Craig, my dear friend Doug DeVita (sitting right behind me through the entire show without my knowing it), former PDMP leader Meredith Lucio and for heavens sake, Dan Goggin, the writer of "Nunsense" and a friend of mine I haven't seen in over 20 years (he's too busy making money)! And stage manager Anita Ross who ran over to say hello for the first time since 1978, when I was a writing "prodigy" (in her words) having my first show done at the old Network Theater where she worked. (I think she may have been my stage manager.) And PDMP member and pal Prudence Wright Holmes who sat with me and Gary.
Photo: Jana Robbins is pictured here with Bob Ost, who publishes TRU, the online newsletter which “offers postings of jobs, goods, and services
I am surely forgetting others. But so nice of Jana to invite all of my friends! One of the best nights ever!

While we're waiting for the 20th, please commit to seeing at least ONE SHOW A WEEK until then! If you see someone, you would like me to celebrate, please let me know. Here are some of my recommendations.

After six Long Weeks, it all comes down to eight minutes. TONIGHT:  New York's Next Top Drag Queen Finale at 7PM Tonight at The Metropolitan Room.
For the fifth year in a row, this hardcore drag arena welcomes the city's toughest queens to sinc, dance and lip-sync their way to eternal glory. Head to Metropolitan Room to witness them in action.
Each Queen will sing two songs and give you a little sneak peak into what their show would be like if they won.
They started out with 12 Queens and now they are down to the Top five. Diana Carefire, Bella Lemay,Cherry Poppins,Easy Mac, and Celah Doore.
Showtime 7pm Doors open 6:!5
$12 Cover $15 Food/Bev Min
The Metropolitan Room

Masterworks Broadway proudly announces the release of The New Broadway Cast Recording of Hello, Dolly! starring three-time Grammy Award-winning legend Bette Midler as Dolly Gallagher Levi.
Produced by multiple-Grammy Award® winner Steven Epstein, with a cast of thirty seven and twenty eight musicians, the album will be released May 12, 2017 and is available for pre-order now. Read MORE.

 Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. -Will Rogers

Acclaimed Karen Carpenter sound-alike and
look-alike Sally Olson will appear in concert on Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 pm at the famed Triad Theatre on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The show will include signature covers and hits by the Carpenters, such as “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “(They Long To Be) Close To You,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Superstar,” and more.
Sally offers commentary on the history behind the Carpenters’ music, as well as Karen
Carpenter’s rise to fame and her sudden and tragic death at the age of 32.
This Carpenters Tribute Concert debuted in January 2015 and was conceived by Bill Reed (arranger, music director) and Sally Olson (artistic director and lead vocals).
Tickets: $25 in advance | $30 day of show. Available at the door or online at For more information, please contact Peter Martin: or Sally Olson:;

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The Singing Experience Workshop #481 "Silver Lining" begins on Monday, May 15th (a little over a month away) and there are still a few places available for some lucky person.  Give yourself or that special someone in your life the "Gift of Song!"
 The dates:  Rehearsals at Studio 353 from 6:30-9:30PM on May, 15, May 22, (Skip Memorial Day), June 5, June 12. 
Visit: for more information or phone multi-Award Winning Director Linda Amiel Burns at 212 315-3500 to register!
Performance at The Triad on June 19th 7:30 Showtime. (Tech Rehearsal before show from 5:30-7:00).
June 26 - DVD Viewing Party at TSE Offices 7-10 (professional 2 hour DVD included in tuition). 

Monday April 17 at 7 pm at Don’t Tell Mama
Something to Sing About is a show featuring six exceptional storytellers singing their hearts out. Music runs the gamut from Amos to Gershwin. 3 new original songs performed by the composer Rob Davis.
Directed by Eadie Scott. Musical direction by Ricky Ritzel. Truly something to sing about!

TONIGHT, April 13th, Jerry Costanzo's All-Star trio and he will be returning to Butterfields in Hauppauge for an evening of jazz, swing and the songs of the Great Crooners.. Frank, Dean, Sammy Nat Cole and much more... There's room for dancing, if you're so inclined!

Happy Birthday to Jeff Macauley!
He tells me today that he is taking one of my favorite shows to Provincetown in June as part of CabaretFest!
Macauley’s Bistro Award-winning Dinah Shore tribute debuted in 1997 at
Eighty Eights in New York’s Greenwich Village and
had a long run before moving to Los Angeles’ Cinegrill
Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. “MWAH!” is an
affectionate and humorous look at the life and career of
Dinah Shore as seen through the eyes of one of her most ardent fans, someone who sat transfixed in front of his TV during the 1970s watching the “Dinah!” show almost daily. Macauley presents many of Dinah’s 92 pop chart hits, ranging from million selling songs to lesser-known standards.
Wrote Backstage Bistro reviewer Roy Sander after Macauley presented this future “Greatest
Hit” in 1997: “With his considerable wit and charm, Jeff Macauley succeeds in making this course in Dinah 101 at once interesting and very funny . . . He sings some 20 songs, all of
them delivered with affection.”
And this from Cabaret Scenes Magazine: “Macauley deftly combined a musical tribute to Dinah Shore with spicy biographical stories from his own life.
The result was an evening of hilarity and impeccable musical performance.” Upon its 2016 revival, found MWAH! to be “... one of the most successful shows of its kind I’ve seen.” and that “Macauley was stand-up comic funny throughout.”

Drop by for a cocktail at COCKTAILS WITH COLE on Thurs., April 20 at 7:00 with Leslie Orofino and her fabulous trio. Daryl Kojak on piano, Boots Maleson on bass and Rex Benincasa on drums. Directed by Louis Pietig and dedicated to Julie Wilson. Call after 4 pm 212-757-0788 or go to Details:

Today's blog is dedicated to Howard Keel. He would have been 98 today. My favorite movie of his is Calamity Jane made in ( 1953 ), starring Doris Day.

Life is so much better when you stop caring about what everyone thinks, and start to actually live for yourself!!

Announcing Next Edition of Richard Skipper Celebrates...May 20th Laurie Beechman Theater 1PM Brunch Show
Let's Celebrate: May 20th at 1PM at The Laurie Beechman Theater. Russ Woolley proudly presents Richard Skipper Celebrates The Music of World War II
Richard will be joined by Diane J. Findlay, Sue Matsuki, KT Sullivan...AND a Mystery Guest

All under the musical Direction of Michael Lavine with Jeff Carney on bass and Don Kelly on Percussion . This is a 1PM SHOW! (90 minutes) At The Laurie Beechman Theater Reservations a Must! Please Reserve Today

Bill and I SO enjoyed seeing Richard Skipper Celebrates... for the first time. Richard's natural charm jumps off the stage with the ease of a skilled ballet dancer.  He has a light without a spotlight and he has a warm, large generous heart.  Thanks for a lovely afternoon.
Rosie Novellino-Mearns, NYC

$30 Cover and $20 Minimum per person
You Never Know Who You Might See There and what might happen!
Go To and click on the Yellow Star to Order Your Tickets Today

This afternoon is also made possible by Wright Bros. Real Estate, Nyack, NY

Sit Back! A New News Cycle Is About to Begin!

Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!

With grateful XOXOXs , 

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Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!  

Keeping America great through Art!     

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

Richard Skipper,

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