The Sad Truth Is People Can Be Pretty Shallow

Cover of Time Magazine July 20th, 1961
I want to live my life, not record it.- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Happy Wednesday, July 20th, 2017!
July 20 is the 201st day of the year. There are 164 days remaining until the end of the year.
My goal today is to make YOU feel better! It is an extremely hot day here in New York and as I sat down to begin today's blog, I was listening to the 70s channel on Sirius XM Radio, most specifically, Cheryl Lynn's Got To Be Real from 1978.
July 20th, 1978 was a Thursday as well. Most likely, I was working at Grand Strand Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I'm sure that the above mentioned song was wafting throughout the park from the Himalaya, one of my favorite rides in the amusement park.
Swamp Fox Roller Coaster, Grand Strand Amusement Park, Myrtle Beach, SC
Even as I write these words, a flood of memories are racing through my head. 

Believe it or not, the title of today's blog is the first line of one of my horoscopes today. It goes on to say that as much as I could use some appreciation and acknowledgement, I'll mostly be judged on how I make others feel about themselves. I'll take that. Whether you believe in horoscopes or not, I am finding that there are daily lessons available to us.
As a matter of fact, I am finding that clues and lessons are being presented to me daily on so many levels. I just have to be open to them. These life lessons come in conversations, situations, and various other situations. When your mind is clear and focused, and your body is relaxed and calm, you can access information, both internal and external, that can help you make better decisions.
Go out and enjoy dinner with friends: Please note: No phones on table!

Danny and I have been having dinners lately with really good friends and we are making new friends as well. For some, it is the first time that we all sit down to break bread together.
I like to sit down with no devices and have great conversation! I love covering a myriad of topics and sometimes I don't desire to leave.
One such topic that seems to resonate most with me these days, besides politics, is the subject of communication in today's world. The song that runs in a continuous loop in my head is I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore.

Speaking of communicating with each other, what does my blog offer you? I hope it offers a lighthearted way of looking at the things that affect our lives on a daily basis. I love social media but it sometimes becomes a big distraction in our lives...on so many levels.
I got a call from a friend of mine earlier this week who was feeling down on several things happening that were truly coming from outside sources.
The Internet is giving us access to whatever everyone is doing no matter where we live. Please know, however, that we are getting this 'news' based on what OTHERS desire to share.
Why do we put so much emphasis on what others are doing with their lives?
Imagine if we focused on ourselves instead of
what our 'Facebook friends' or our favorite celebrity was/is doing with their lives.
Well, I am going to focus on ME while celebrating the achievements of others! I'm happy and excited when I see what they are doing!
I'm taking a few moments today and visualizing myself reaching my goals.I am imagining how it will feel to accomplish my goal. I'm picturing my future self: what will be different after I succeed?
I am making my visualization as specific as I can.

She Doesn't Play With Dolls Anymore (Photo credit: Ivan Farkas)
(Photo credit: Ivan Farkas)
I feel like a proud papa today! What a thrill it was to bring Peggy Eason back into cabaret last night in celebration of her 71st Birthday! I give credit where it is due and that goes to Russ Woolley who suggested it and got the wheels rolling! Once we had an idea of the date, we called Kenny Bell at the Laurie Beechman (pay attention cabaret rooms on how to really run a cabaret room!). Once we had a date, we reached out to one of the best musical directors on the scene today, Tracy Stark. (On a side note, Tracy will be the musical director for the December 3rd edition of Richard Skipper Celebrates...)She elevated Peggy to a whole new level.
I then asked Peggy to send me at least 20 songs that she would like to do and we shaped that (with a few eliminations) into a show. I was thrilled to be asked by Peggy to join her for a duet. She also wanted Sue Matsuki to join her.
Once you get Sue involved in a project, she throws herself in 150 % and does what she can to ensure success on every level! Their duet last night rocked 42nd Street! Kenny, Abby Judd, Michael Kirk Lane, and the entire staff at The Laurie Beechman are so phenomenal that they make it difficult for any other venue I work in. A+++++ Then there are those doing the work behind the scenes: Daniel Sherman, Michael Lee Stever, Scott Barbarino: HUGE THANK YOUS!
Then there are those of you who CHOSE to spend a Wednesday night with Peggy. We know there are so many options in this great city so thank you for choosing us.
Bosom Buddies: Sue Matsuki and Peggy Eason Photo credit: Ivan Farkas
Peggy was at the top of her game. Voice was glorious and she was VERY FUNNY! She was quite the comedienne.

Her gown was gorgeous. She was relaxed and truly at the top of her game. Again, I am very proud! Russ, YOU are the real deal! Thanks for a night I won't forget for a long time. As you know, I needed it!

From Sue Matsuki: Regarding Peggy Eason's show last evening at The Laurie Beechman Theater: How does one put into words the joy of joy? To see a friend, Peggy Eason who has not been able to do a show due to finances (like many of us at times) be gifted a show by two other friends, Richard Skipper and Russ Woolley at the Beechman last night was beyond what I can express in words.
Photo credit: Ivan Farkas did a really good thing here! My heart was so full watching Peggy just glow on stage. I cried happy tears and lost it when she sang "Defying Gravity" while showing a flim of her sky diving. This was a 2 lb. blind baby that was not supposed to live and here she was in all her glory...defying the odds. I lost it! I have heard her sing many times but I never saw her do a whole show. 
With Tracy Stark on the keys and working with Peggy, she took her to yet another level, it was bliss. To then be asked to do a duet with her (Bosom Buddies) was just icing on the cake. 
Congratulations Peggy. I hope you are still over the moon today. You earned it!

Earlier this week, The Signature Theater in Washington DC started their 28th season as they began rehearsals for
  A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Florence Lacey Stella has joined the cast!
This will be Eric Schaeffer's 28th Sondheim production that he'll direct and the first time doing NIGHT MUSIC. As he says, "Some things are worth waiting for". I wish all involved a very successful run.
Who would like to join me for a road trip?
                  appearing at Nino's                   Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
            Performing The Great American Songbook.................................           
            7:30PM to 10:30PM
                          1354 First Avenue, New York, NY 10021                               (between East 72nd and 73rd Streets)
                 Reservations: 212-988-0002

New Plays and Musicals can sometimes take years to nurture before making it to a professional stage with paying customers.
One such play opening at the 2017 NY Summerfest July 31 at Hudson Guild Theatre has had a 15-year journey; Jack Dyville's My Stage Daddy. (Read MORE)

Actor's Equity Actors. Join the Equity's Stage Door  page on Facebook. It's a place to share
your feelings about your professional
experiences and all things union.

Michael Masci with Michael Feinstein Photo credit: Stephen Sorokoff
Kindly take a moment to listen to Jim Caruso's New York Minute on Palm Beach's Legends Radio to hear all about our new celebrity in NYC, Michael Masci  AND my Video guru! Michael does all of my promotional videos as well as the opening montage videos for my Richard Skipper Celebrates...series.
I'm overjoyed to announce that since the airing of this radio plug, Michael Masci Trio will perform at Cafe Carlyle July 23rd (on their daughter Felicity's 15th Birthday) and his contract is extended for three additional Sundays in August
Michael Masci with Avery Sommers, Sunny Sessa, Terence, Michael Feinstein, Matt Baker. Photo credit: Stephen Sorokoff
Michael Masci Trio will be performing at Cafe Carlyle for two of those August performances, but you'll just have to come in to The Carlyle find out which Sunday!  God is good!  Keep ya comin' back for more!

Michael Masci Entertainment

Eric Michael Gillett
Ricky Ritzel's 2017 MAC Award Winner for Best Recurring Series returns for it's July edition. Now entering the third year, the show features Broadway's Eric Michael Gillett with Sean Bernardi, Fran Leonardis, Sue Matsuki, Ann McCormack, Tara Moran, Aaron Morishita, Sidney Myer and Jay Rogers. with songs from La Cage Aux Folles, The Grand Tour, and Woman of the Year.
Fashioned after Sylvia Fine Kaye’s Musical Comedy Tonight PBS programs from the 70's,
each show highlights songs and stories from 2 or 3 Broadway musicals with a star studded
revolving cast. Ricky Ricky, last seen on Broadway hailing a cab, will give wry commentary as well as accompanying on the piano.
$20 cover/$15 MAC 2 Drink minimum, Cash only.
DON’T TELL MAMA   call 212-757-0788  or for reservations.

Lorna Luft, out for dinner at Spago with her big sister Liza's step mother, Lee Minnelli, 1989.
An Evening With Lorna Luft, a new show from the  acclaimed stage, screen, and television actress and vocalist, will take place Monday  evening at 8 at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor as part of its Music Mondays cabaret series. The show will feature music from the Great American Songbook, Broadway classics, shows in which she has starred, and a few songs from her show business legacy as the daughter of Judy Garland and Sidney Luft and half-sister to Liza Minnelli. Ms. Luft has performed on the world’s most prestigious stages, among them the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium, and L’Olympia in Paris.
Tickets range from $55 to $85.

Hello, Dolly! has been a sold-out hit that, nevertheless, has been greeted skeptically by some aficionados. 
Bette Midler is a crowd-pleasing artist, and her persona seems a perfect fit for the role of the enterprising matchmaker, Dolly Levi. Yet there are those who say her voice isn’t large enough for Dolly’s big songs. (Read MORE)

The Sad Truth MIGHT be that people can be pretty shallow...but I've been very lucky with the people in MY life!

I was recently lucky enough to attend *Richard Skipper Celebrates the Songs of World War II,* held on Armed Forces Day in May. Richard is in his element as the perfect host – welcoming, relaxed, knowledgeable, and funny. Joining Richard’s party were Diane J Findlay, Sue Matsuki, and KT Sullivan, plus mystery guests Carole Demas and Ruby Rakos. They were first-rate, and sang the heck out of their vintage selections, including some expected classics, and some less well-known songs. Richard Skipper Celebrates is clearly inspired by the old TV variety shows, and by Richard’s intense love for music, performers, and entertainment history. The brunch show at the Laurie Beechman Theatre left me happy, informed, and wanting to celebrate with Richard Skipper again and again. [The next installment is on June 18 for Father's Day!] Most of all, I was reminded of exactly what it was that I loved about Cabaret as a genre: at its best, there is an intimacy about it that leads to an intense bond between performer and audience that I have seldom seen elsewhere.
Maya Amis, Jackson Heights, NY

Though I have not have the great fortune to see Richard's show's live (Please come to Vegas!!!)   I do have the great fortune of calling him one of my dearest friends. And that dear ones, is  a great blessing indeed.   Richard is a blessing to all who he encounters.   His positivity   will help you through the hardest of days.   Truly one in a million :)  May God continue to bless all you do!

Jamie Farrar

What a wonderful afternoon at "Richard Skipper Celebrates" at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on June 18th.
Do you remember Johnny Carson and the Tonight Show or WNEW AM from years ago.This show brought me back to those days. Besides being a wonderful entertainer, Richard is an fascinating interviewer. His guests in this show included Sarah Rice and Mark Watson, David Sabella, Warren Schein and special guest Sharon McNight.
It's been such a long time since I have seen such a wonderful show.
Richard has this event as a Sunday Brunch once a month. He is taking the summer off but will return with a blockbuster show on Sunday September 10th. If you are in the New York area please join me to witness talent that is rare seen any more. (September 10th, brunch at the Laurie Beechman Theater on West 42nd Street)
Elaine Marlowe Mitchell, NYC
with Russ Woolley, Peggy Eason, Sue Matsuki

If you are in the New York area please join me to witness talent that is rare seen any more. (September 10th, brunch at the Laurie Beechman Theater on West 42nd Street)
Elaine Marlowe Mitchell, NYC

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 , 

There are very few individuals who know more about Dolly Gallagher Levi than I … Oh, and Jerry Herman, of course.  However, Richard Skipper certainly comes close.  When it comes to the history of Jerry’s brilliant production, beyond the 5000 plus performances of my own, even I turn to Richard Skipper when I have questions about the remarkable ladies who followed me in the role that the world fell in love with over 50 years ago.   From the world’s second Dolly, Carole Cook, to the original Broadway production’s last Dolly, Ethel Merman, and all of those talented ladies in between.  
 Pearl Bailey, who made the role of Dolly her own, Phyllis Diller, who has often been mistaken for me and I her, and Eve Arden, who wore the exact same size as I and stepped in for me so I could film Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Oh, and don’t forget JoAnne Worley, who so patently waited in the wings as my standby and did such a remarkable job of it when she eventually donned Dolly’s red gown for herself.  Dolly is America’s Hamlet and should be treated with the same respect and played by everyone.  I am so glad that Richard has taken the time to chronicle the history of the Dollys.  She is theatre’s ultimate Broadway Baby … with all due respect to Maria Van Trapp, Eliza Doolittle, Sally Bowles, Mama Rose and Mame. – Carol Channing


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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