Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mary Jo Catlett: Bridging The Gap With Dolly!

David Burns and Mary Jo Catlett Hello, Dolly! 1964
Mary Jo Catlett is notable for her role as housekeeper Pearl Gallagher on the television sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, and currently for her role as Mrs. Puff in SpongeBob SquarePants, which she has held since the show's debut.
She was also in the original Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing as Ernestina Money.

Mary Jo and I sat down to talk after the opening night of Bette Midler's Hello, Dolly!
Prior to this production opening, Mary Jo was talking with a friend of hers and she said, "Oh, they're going to do Dolly with Bette Midler and she's perfect for it. She truly is the most perfect Dolly since Carol, in my opinion." Then in came off the top of Mary Jo's head, "Wouldn't it be fun if they invited some of the original cast members." Mary Jo's friend said, "That's a perfect idea!
You should talk to somebody." Well, that planted a seed and the wheels started turning.
Mary Jo's dear friend, theatrical attorney Mark Sendroff, who is a great guy, after speaking with Mary Jo, said, "Let me forward this on to Scott Rudin and see what he thinks." Shortly thereafter, Mary Jo received an email from Scott Rudin saying, "I wish I had this idea! I think it's a terrific idea and we;re going to make it happen." Then the waiting game began. Mary Jo didn't hear and she began to think, 'It's not going to happen.' She resolved herself to the fact that that opening night ticket was next to impossible to obtain.
Charles Nelson Reilly, Eileen Brennon, Jerry Dodge, Sondra Lee Original company
She kind of wrote it off.
Just about three weeks prior to opening night, the email came in that she would have a ticket. She received a follow up email telling her that she would have a ticket plus one. She got excited that she would be able to bring a best friend with her.
She followed up with very appreciative e-mails. Mary Jo credits Sendroff for really getting things in motion.
Mary Jo from Different Strokes
 In addition to Mary Jo, David Hartman (Rudolph), Sondra Lee (Minnie Fay), and Ron Young (ensemble) also attended.  It was a great reunion.
Mary Jo knew going in that she would probably start to tear up seeing the dancing once again from Before The Parade. What really got her, however, was Put on Your Sunday Clothes (choreography, by the way, for this production is by Warren Carlyle with a huge homage to Gower's original choreography).
Out of all of the choreography for this current revival, Mary Jo feels, repectfully, that Sunday Clothes came the closest to Gower's original concept and you just can't go wrong with that.
Mary Jo missed the original choreography from Parade. When Gower choreographed the original, there was a wonderful musical interlude in which Dolly sings "Look at that crowd over there' and the curtain rises to reveal one fireman,
David Hartman and Mary Jo Catlett opening night
'Buttons' Leonard in the original, starts prouncing out as the leader of the parade and little by little the rest of the parade emerges with a big build.
As much as she loved Carlyle's choreography and Jerry Zaks direction in that number, there were aspects from the original that she missed.  Sunday Clothes was the 'take you away' number!  She turned to her date, Rodney, and said, "I keep seeing ghosts up there". It was reminiscent of Follies for her!
Eileen Brennon and Sondra Lee Original production
"It was thrilling, exciting, and a bit scary." As of this writing, it has been 53 years since the original production of Dolly opened on Broadway.  Since the original production, Mary has seen subsequent productions with Channing and she also caught Pearl Bailey and Ethel Merman during the original run. She also worked with Ginger Rogers and Dorothy Lamour in their productions.
When Mary Jo originally auditioned for Dolly, she auditioned to be in the chorus. She was required to audition with '8 bars'. She wracked her brain trying to figure out what she should do. She chose Everything's Coming Up Roses. She started with, "Goodbye to blueberry pie..." and went on from there. Carnival! He came to a club where Mary Jo was performing at the time.
Mary Jo celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dolly at Sardi's
They said, "Thank you", and she left. She felt satisfied because she got to meet Gower Champion whom she had long admired.  She had met him once. Mary Jo is from Denver and he came to Denver with 
After her audition, she went about her business as most actors/actresses do, reading Back Stage, and auditioning for other shows.  One such audition that she wanted to go after was Jerry Herman's Milk and Honey. She was able to tell this story to Jerry Herman later. She got the audition and then got scared. She felt she was too young. They were casting older actresses.
with Jeanne (Lehman) French
She got called back for Dolly...FOUR TIMES!  One day she was walking down the street and an actor came up to her and said, "I heard you got Dolly!" She said, "I did?" That's how she found out! She was surprised. That's how news traveled in those days.
She ran home and to her answering machine. Indeed there was a call from the Merrick office. Lucia Victor, who was the stage manager, had left a message. She was cast as a chorus member. In the original concept, during I Put My Hand In, there was a crossover of four ladies, called the four biddies, very a la the Pick a Little women from Music Man. It never made it beyond the rehearsal stage. It was just a cross over bit in which they would talk to Dolly.
Mary Jo heard years later that Merrick said to Champion, "We have to fire that heavy set girl." It's not easy to acclimate her into the other chorus numbers. Gower, thank God, said "Let's not be too hasty.Maybe I can figure something out for her." Lucia came over to Mary Jo one day when she was still being a biddie and said, "Gower would like you to read for Ernestina. That role had already been cast so Mary Jo thought it would be to understudy her. Lucia asked Mary Jo to keep it under her hat and not tell anyone.
The original concept of Ernestina had her more glamorous. Gower felt that it should go in a different direction and be more comical. He wanted more of a sight gag. He also wanted someone who could sing.
Renee Taylor came in to audition for the role and Mary Jo found herself in the hallway with her. Renee said to Mary Jo in that inimitable style of hers, "I think you're perfect for this."  Mary Jo went in, read for it, and she got the part!
In the early stages, a lot of actors came and went. Several Barnabys were fired before they settled on Jerry Dodge. In was in Washington DC when Mary Jo felt that they were in a hit. This was, of course, after Detroit. In Detroit, there was a show that preceded Dolly called Bravo, Giovanni.
with Patricia Morrison
For some reason, it didn't capture an audience and there was a sort of hatred for this musical that surrounded it.
One review in Detroit began it's review of Hello, Dolly, with, "Not since Don Giovanni have I seen a worse show!" The entire company was crest fallen because they truly felt they had something. Gower decided to take chunks of the show and redo them.  There were approximately thirteen people replaced at that time, maybe even more. It was a sad time. Working with a company like this, it is very much a family and close bonds do form. For some, it was the best thing that could have happened because they went on to better things. Always at the center, however, was Carol Channing who was a comedic genius. 
When they got to Washington, Richard Coe, who was THE top critic with The Washington Post, raved about the show. There was a swing in Dolly, Alvin Beam, he said, "We can get a new refrigerator! We can get anything on time payments. We are a hit." 
Opening week was a tragic week. The first performance was on November 18th, 1963 at The Fisher Theater in Detroit. On November 22nd, President Kennedy was assassinated.  Trying to be excited for a show against the backdrop of a worldwide tragedy was horrible and forever burned into Mary Jo's memory. She shared a dressing room with three other women and they were just sitting around talking when Charles Nelson Reilly came in to break the news. Now, please take into account, that every few days he would come into the dressing room with something hilarious and they would be screaming with laughter.
Carol Channing was always a trouper!
On this particular day, he came in and said, "They shot Kennedy."  The women responded with, "That's not funny." They could not believe this could be real. He said, "No. It's real." These little black and white TVs were brought in. They were placed in the dressing rooms. Everything came to a complete stop and they gathered around these TVs and couldn't stop watching everything as it was unfolding. Everyone from Gower on down were so terribly down. Of course, the show was cancelled that night. This was a huge deal. That just didn't happen.  It was a good thing because the entire company was awash. Even Carol, who was a trooper, couldn't go on. It was unbelievable that something like that could happen.
The next day was dark as well. They did go to rehearsal that second day. Gower sat down and addressed the entire company. Everyone consoled each other and they all knew they had to go on. Because of the shape the show was in, they also knew they had to keep working to ensure the show's success. "It is amazing that theater folk are such heroes. There are many times that we have to go on when tragedy strikes."
The biggest change Mary Jo saw, which is still no longer a part of the show is the Come and Be My Butterfly number. That was in place of the polka contest. Jerry Herman says that it is one of his biggest regrets that it was cut. Mary Jo says it was a beautiful number. There are a few pictures around. There were women scantily clad with these extensions like gossamer butterfly wings. Look at Tessie Tura in Gypsy. This was popular in that day. It was artistic. Unfortunately, critic Walter Kerr told Gower Champion after a smashingly successful opening that he didn't think Come and Be My Butterfly was on the same par as the rest of the show. 
In the number Horace is chasing Barnaby and Cornelius and they are getting caught up in the wings.
David Burns warns the women, Watch those feelers, Miss!" 
He was brilliantly funny in this number. This number was cut after Carol Channing left the company and Ginger Rogers stepped in. It went into the Mary Martin company and has been there since. This was probably at a loss of $30,000 which was a lot of money then. It probably cost $100,000 for all of the costumes of Dolly
These numbers cost a lot of money and time.   
When Before The Parade Passes By was added in Washington DC, it went in even before costumes were constructed!  It was a mishmash and the audience was on their feet.  It really is Dolly's show. It's called Hello, Dolly! Audiences were so in love with that character as they are now with Bette as Dolly.

The first time Mary Jo heard Louis Armstrong's version of Hello, Dolly! was New Year's eve 1963.  In December 1963, at the behest of his manager, Louis Armstrong made a demonstration recording of "Hello, Dolly!" Gower got an advance and played it for the company. The company was a little modest about it. How wonderful of him to sing that song. He's well known! Then that recording exploded! 
It was good for Louis Armstrong and it was good for the show as well. Everybody was singing that song. Jerry Herman was over the moon. 
Next stop, St. James Theater on Broadway! One preview and then opening night, January 16th, 1964! Compare that to the current production, five weeks of previews with no out of town try out. 
The music started at the top of the show for Call on Dolly and the audience is roaring. Gower, who was very cinematic in his staging, had the back drop moving from stage right to left which gave the illusion of the cast moving. The company was standing in place but moving their feet. It was an incredibly brilliant way of staging it. Carol then made her entrance on the horse cart with the 'twins'. The moment she said, "Dolly! Levi...Born Gallagher", there was pandemonium in the theater. The same thing happens nightly with Bette. As Mary Jo, watched the opening with Bette, it immediately took her back to her own opening night. 
Alice Playten
Working with Carol Channing was a terrific experience for Mary Jo. "She's such a wonderful person. She was always so nice to me and Alice Playten. She was a brilliant Ermengarde. She found a wail that was uniquely her own. What an actress." Carol, Alice, and Mary Jo became buddies. Alice and Mary Jo used to go to Carol's apartment which was in an upscale hotel. 
Carol and Charles (Lowe) would say, "Come over! We'll have a slumber party." The three of them would do each other's hair and other similar things that young girls do on slumber parties. They had so much fun and Carol was great with all of this. 
They laughed a lot. Mary Jo also recalls the strange diets Carol was always on. Carol mostly ate chicken and turkey at that time. She would bring her silver containers with her to dinner parties.
Igors Gavon and Alice Playten
The cast were always being invited to these fabulous parties and Carol would always bring her own food. 

She would say to Mary Jo, "Now, Mary Jo, taste that and tell me how it is." It was just a beautiful time!
Mary Jo was very star struck and it was her first Broadway show. All the greats came to see the show. Mary Jo met Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, all these people that you just dream about.  She would be looking down the stairs as they came back stage. From time to time she would meet them but she was too shy to approach on her own. Carol got on to this and she would always let Mary Jo who would be attending that night.
"Oh, Mary Jo, tomorrow night, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor are going to be here!" Mary Jo was so excited and she came in early to get ready for the show in case she got to get a glimpse of this god and goddess. Then she heard, "Mary Jo Catlett to Miss Channing's dressing room." She went down and Carol said, "Oh, Mary Jo, I'm so sorry. Richard and Elizabeth are not going to be here tonight." Mary Jo said, "Oh no! What happened?" Carol responded, "Elizabeth is under the weather." Mary Jo responded, "I'm so sorry. " Carol answered, When Elizabeth called, I told her Mary Jo Catlett is going to be disappointed."
Mary Jo asked, "What did she say?" Carol responded, "She said,'who'?" 
Mary sayed with the Broadway company for eighteen months. She then went on the road with Ginger Rogers and Dorothy Lamour. All told, Mary Jo was with Hello, Dolly! for three years. 
Ginger had a wonderful hair dresser named Kathy Engel. She had wonderful kids and Mary Jo bonded with her family. Ginger wanted Mary Jo on the road with Kathy and it was all negotiated and they had a great time. Looking back, Mary Jo doesn't think it was one of the best career moves she ever made.
Looking back, she would not have done it. 
She feels that she should have stayed in New York and kept auditioning. When you're in a Broadway show, it gives you a little entree into having a little advantage to go to another Broadway show. Being on the road for as long as she was, she came back to New York,for lack of a better word, 'cold'. She did get into other Broadway shows but it did take a while. She feels that if she had stayed that it would not have taken as long which would have been better for her career. 
There were no negatives, otherwise, working with Ginger. Her Dolly was very different from Carol's. She was an adorable Dolly. So Long, Dearie was the max. She did a little tap break and the audiences went wild! She was always great to work with. When Mary Jo first worked with her, she looked into Ginger's eyes and could not get over the fact that they appeared turquoise with gold flecks. 
She doesn't feel that film did those eyes justice. They were so beautiful. Nice lady AND the best she had ever seen with fans. She would sign every autograph. She would wait till the very last person and this would be, sometimes, a hundred people waiting! She would stick around and sign every single one after matinee AND evening. She was so wonderful to her fans. 
When she was doing Dolly on Broadway, a white stretch limousine would pull up to the stage door, and she would come out and stand on top of the stretch limousine and sign autographs for everyone. Marlene Dietrich used to do the same thing when she did her one woman show. This was a very clever idea. It gave fans a chance to see them. However, she wasn't the same with autographs. At least fans got a chance to see their movie goddesses. 
Dorothy Lamour
One of Dorothy Lamour's regrets was that she didn't do it on Broadway. Dorothy Lamour brought Dorothy Lamour to Dolly. People just came to see HER. They had loved her in all the 'Road' movies. She was a 'sweet' Dolly. She delivered the humor but there was an underlying kindness in her performance.    
Great to work with. Mary Jo only worked with her in Vegas. When Mary Jo went to Vegas with Ginger, they were scheduled to do twelve shows a week. This was a tab version of the show which emphasized the songs more so than the dialogue. They would do two shows a night. Mary Jo doesn't believe they had a day off. Not positive about that. Ginger, as is Carol, is a Christian Scientist. She could not do Sundays. She told them they would have to get someone else and that's how they got Dorothy Lamour. It was decided that Dorothy would do four shows a week and that Ginger would do eight. It wasn't as difficult a schedule for the two stars. They did not lose audiences. As a matter of fact, some people came to see both. 
The major names of the world came to see Carol Channing in Dolly
The biggest change that Mary Jo noticed years later when seeing Carol in later revivals and tours was that her tempos had slowed down. 
It was slower, but in a way, it was more meaningful. She really looked at the people she was talking to in the Dolly number. A lot of her performance was also now played out front to the audience, which is what they came to see. It didn't hurt the show at all. She was such a good actress that within each stage of her aging, she was true to herself. 
Mary Jo's memories of seeing Pearl Bailey's Dolly was that she was 'real fun'. She was Pearl Bailey first and Dolly Levi second casting asides to the audience.
When Mary Jo saw Bailey's production, Cornelius' understudy went on that day. After all the bows, Bailey called him center stage and said, "I think this young man deserves extra applause." He had done a brilliant job and she gave him a star bow at the end. Mary Jo thought, "Now, that's a giving star. Very nice." 
Bette Midler..."What can you say? She's fabulous and I hope everyone will see it and tell their friends to see it as well. Please do everything you can to go see her while you can. She's awesome! Awesome! Awesome!!! And so Beautiful as Dolly!" 
There's an adage. Always leave them laughing. On opening night, during the curtain calls, she got two huge bouquets of white roses. There must have been four dozen white roses. She was laden with these bouquets. She mocked surprise at receiving the roses and then staggers off! GO GO GO SEE Bette Midler! You have only until January 14th, 2018!

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new. -Socrates


I'm throwing back the curtain and showing my followers the little man behind the Wizard who is always trying to put forth a positive image of a man. 

Let's Be Friends! I promise you a great experience!


You have the power to change anything, because you are the one who chooses your thoughts and feels your feelings.


Here are a Few Testimonials for Richard Skipper Celebrates: Next One September 10th 1PM Laurie Beechman Theater: Reserve HERE:
w/Ann Dawson, Emily McNamara, Ben Rimalower... AND a Beloved Cabaret Mystery Guest

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

Anyone who has an opportunity to see Richard Skipper's cabaret shows should BY ALL MEANS do so! They're sensational! Great entertainers, wonderful music, lots of laughs, just the best way to spend an afternoon! I just cannot wait for the next show because I will DEFINITELY be in the audience (quietly singing along)!
Arlene Jacks, New York, NY
Today again, Richard Skipper brought together an eclectic array of exceptional talents in his Father's Day Show.  Richard's upbeat personality and his superb showmanship always put a smile on my face and uplift my spirits.  Thank you, Richard, and bravo! 
Eileen Lacy,  New York, 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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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!  
  Keeping America great through Art!     

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      







Friday, September 1, 2017

Ann Dawson, Emily McNamara, Ben Rimalower...AND MORE!

Emily McNamara joins Richard Skipper Celebrates September 10th
When nothing is sure, everything is possible.
-Margaret Drabble, British author

Happy September 1st, 2017!
Rabbit, Rabbit!
September 1 is the 244th day of the year. There are 121 days remaining until the end of the year.
Can you believe it is September? I know I sound like a broken record, but where has the time gone!?!?! It seems like I was just setting my intentions (never resolutions) for the year and here we are careening towards the end of the year, the holidays, winter, oh my! 
Autumn is my favorite time of year! Don't want to let go of magnificent summer, but a time to bask in the wonder of life.
September will find me getting back on The Fast track for Call on Dolly!
August is always a very nostalgic time for me. I arrived in New York on August 5th, 1979 and I never looked back. This August was a strange time for me. I feel that Mercury Retrograde had a lot to do with that! 

So many wonderful things have happened in September! We are celebrating just one day, September 10th and I hope you'll be there to celebrate with us. We are at The Laurie Beechman at 1PM, thanks to my wonderful producer Russ Woolley and Wright Bros. Real Estate of Nyack.
Autumn is not officially here for another three weeks but there is so much to celebrate.As we approach Labor Day, the abundance of entertainment choices is increasing. There is a lot of great entertainment in store this month. 
My friends and colleagues may think I'm overly generous with my time today, but I'm not actually giving up as much independence as it seems.
Ben Rimalower Celebrateswith us on September 10th
My goal is to celebrate each other in the midst of the snarky dark climate that we now find ourselves in. If you are in New York on September 10th, please come celebrate with us. It is not just about me. It is about me celebrating the best that entertainment has to offer and we present it in a talk/variety show format. It gives our audiences to see these great artists that they rarely get to do even in their own shows.
As we get closer to showtime, your self-confidence is high and my mind is very positive.
9 Days from Today. Richard Skipper Celebrates September 10th! Check out The Promo. Thank you, Michael Masci!
I love having the chance to interact with great entertainers on stage, and to exchange ideas with them.
I get many of my ideas from television and/or movies.  
Has Ben Rimalower ever appeared with our Mystery Guest? You'll have to be there to find out!
As with all of our shows, we have a Mystery Guest, and this month is no exception. I posed a couple of questions to our Mystery Guest and here are the results:  
One regret you have about your career
I actually have no regrets. I have been lucky to have worked
my entire life in the business and I look back and think... "Wow, how fortunate am I" 

Something you desire in this business
Hmmm. I guess that more people would be able to make a living in the business. It's not easy. I serve on a board for SAGAFTRA and I help and share my experiences with others to maybe help them get through times.

You'll have to be there to find out who it is. Go to RichardSkipper.com and click on the yellow star to order your tix. 

And from Ann Dawson:
One regret you have about your career
 In the words of Edith Piaf, "Non, je ne regrette rien!"

Something you desire in this business
Ann Dawson
To be able to keep performing with talented colleagues,  continue to expand my creative horizons and bring joy to my audiences.

Your most recent appearance and your thoughts on that
Performing  my show Traveling Solo (at the Metropolitan Room) for which I won a Bistro Award.  I learned a lot about myself working on this project with director, Barry Kleinbort.

Expect more pleasant surprises and sudden breaks this month. Life is treating me well. I'm stopping to smell the roses whether I like it or not.

Go out and see a LIVE show this month! And tag this hashtag #RightToBearArts!
Get into the groove of whatever daily life means to you and just "be here now".
Please contribute to my GoFundMe Campaign for Dolly if you can and please pay it forward
If you are in Piermont, NY tonight, there is a screening of A Funny Thing Happened on To The Way to The Forum at The Piermont Public Library
Enjoy the sweet and gentle music of THE RICK BOGART QUARTET in the beautiful 8th Floor
When will Doris Dear, my Mystery Guest? September 10th, October 8th, November 5th?
Lounge, overlooking Times Square of...
The Marriott Marquis 1535 Broadway at 45th St.

TONIGHT Friday September 1st AND Friday September 22nd and two Fridays a month thereafter for the rest of the year.
They will be performing from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Reserve Today and Also see me on September 18th!
For reservations please call...212.398.1900 And enjoy the fine music of this group on stage at the Living Room of
The Flatiron Hotel
1141 Broadway at 26th St.
Wednesdays..7 pm to10 pm
Saturdays...6 pm to 9 pm Reservations..917.432.8810

On a sad note, I just read that Shelly Berman has passed on. I had dinner with him when I was appearing in Atlantic City twenty years ago. Funny man and he will be missed.

TONIGHT~ FRIDAY~ Please join Sarah Hayes with Steve Doyle at La Rivista. They will bebe singing songs from the Great American Songbook from 8PM to 12...
This charming Restaurant is located in the Heart of Hell's Kitchen on NYC's Famous Restaurant Row. There is No Cover!
Go Sing a-long with Sarah and Steve, Drink, Dine and be Merry!
Located at 313 West 46th St. (Between 8th and 9th Ave.)



September 15th is ONLY 2 weeks away!  Time to mark your calendars and pick your song!  It's time for the next round of SPOTLIGHT ON YOU! Hosted by  Natasha Castillo and John Koprowski (currently on leave).Spotlight Guest:  MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) President/Multi-award winning
Natasha Castillo
performer/director Lennie Watts.  Musical Director For the Evening: the multi-talented Matthew Martin Ward.  Where: 53 Above Broadway
(Look for the Broadway Comedy Club Sign)
318 West 53rd Street,1st floor

(between 8th and 9th Avenue)
They offer:
- Opportunity to work with different musicians.
- Chance to meet and network with other performers!
- Chance to advertise your upcoming
Matthew Martin Ward seen here with Sally Darling (one of our featured guests October 8th!)
performances (we will promote YOU and your upcoming events)!

- Monthly Feature Spotlights that will enchant and charm you!
- Low cost high quality video clips of your performance ($15 or $10 for MAC members)!
- LOTS OF FUN!
Sign up starts at 6:30 PM
$10 Cover for Performers and $5 for general audience
and $15 Food/Drink Minimum!

 

Gavin Creel Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Newly minted Hello, Dolly! Tony winner Gavin Creel and fellow stage favorites will revisit the most embarrassing performances of their lives in the October 15 concert Let Me Try That Again: Take 5 at Feinstein’s/54 Below. (Source: Playbill.com)

 Patrick J. Hamilton moved from Florida in 1995. He says that he would be hard-pressed to find another place that ticked off all the boxes like New York does. A lot of that has to do with landing in Hell’s Kitchen. (Read MORE

Happy Birthday, Lily Tomlin

Following several email requests for 'affordable photo shoots', Steven Mosher has decided to have a Labor Day Sale.
All photo shoots bought and paid for between now and Midnight on Labor Day will be half off of his usual fee ($500). The purchaser is welcome to schedule their shoot any time before December 31st, after which timehe will no longer be working behind the camera.
That's $250 a shoot, including the time you spend together, ten edited photos and the other (viable) photos in their raw, unedited form.
Any interested parties have only to Email me to set it up.

A lot of people have been asking "Where is up with Jenifer Lewis?"
Well-- along with filming season number 4 of BLACKISH, she has been writing her MEMOIR
BIG announcement coming SOON --


Sam Norkin (1917-2011), who drew Broadway for decades, honoring opening nights with the caricature of a star or the entire company, most notably for The New York Daily News, is the subject of an online exhibition at Broadway Design Exchange, beginning now through November 19. (Source: Broadway World)

It’s good to be Frank Marino. For starters, he’s one of the longest-running performers on the Las Vegas Strip, at 30-plus years and counting (and he recently signed a five-year extension with host property The
Linq Hotel for his hit drag queen show, Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas); then there’s his upcoming reality show Last Laugh, in which he serves as mentor to eight English performers looking to make a comeback in Las Vegas; and he recently premiered his new movie, Surge of Power (a sci-fi tale about the first gay superhero), at the Palms. And for those who can’t get enough of Marino’s show, there’s even better news: Starting in October, he’s going to a seven-day-a-week schedule, and the schedule already includes a happy hour deal—a 32-ounce drink and free souvenir Divas cup. “The more you drink, the better we look,” Marino joked. (Marino’s show has special days and times this week. Call for more information. Source: Las Vegas Magazine)

Get a sneak peek at Michael Feinstein and Betty Buckley dueting before Feinstein's "Showstoppers" series continues tonight, September 1st, through September 3rd at Feinstein's/54 Below! (Source Broadway World

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new. -Socrates


I'm throwing back the curtain and showing my followers the little man behind the Wizard who is always trying to put forth a positive image of a man. 

Let's Be Friends! I promise you a great experience!


You have the power to change anything, because you are the one who chooses your thoughts and feels your feelings.


Here are a Few Testimonials for Richard Skipper Celebrates: Next One September 10th 1PM Laurie Beechman Theater: Reserve HERE:
w/Ann Dawson, Emily McNamara, Ben Rimalower... AND a Beloved Cabaret Mystery Guest

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
Happy Birthday, George Maharis! Today, I celebrate YOU!
Anyone who has an opportunity to see Richard Skipper's cabaret shows should BY ALL MEANS do so! They're sensational! Great entertainers, wonderful music, lots of laughs, just the best way to spend an afternoon! I just cannot wait for the next show because I will DEFINITELY be in the audience (quietly singing along)!
Arlene Jacks, New York, NY
Today again, Richard Skipper brought together an eclectic array of exceptional talents in his Father's Day Show.  Richard's upbeat personality and his superb showmanship always put a smile on my face and uplift my spirits.  Thank you, Richard, and bravo! 
Eileen Lacy,  New York, NY

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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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Happy Birthday to Director David Wylie! He directed the late Great Patrice Munsel. Read his story HERE
David Wylie

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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com