Thursday, November 9, 2017

Deborah Stone, Robyn Spangler, Joel Vig...And More!

Deborah Stone
I think charm is the ability to be truly interested in other people.
-Richard Avedon, American fashion photographer (1923-2004)

Happy Thursday, November 9th, 2017!
November 9 is the 313th day of the year. There are 52 days remaining until the end of the year. Good humor and a need to see the funny side of my relationships characterize your life today.
Happy Birthday to Dorothy Dandridge. The first African-American actress to be nominated for an Oscar for Best actress. Today she would have turned 95 years old. 
Remembering actress Edna May Oliver on her Birthday, born in 1883.
It is also the birthday of Ed Wynn and Frances Faye.
I love celebrating these great artists of the past. I also love celebrating today's artists. There are many that are not known on a wider scale. 
Hopefully, these blogs will intrigue you enough to want to check them out.   
There is a mad dash every year at this time deciding on Holiday gifts. My suggestion is give the gift of LIVE entertainment and continue to do so throughout the year.  
with Daniela Kurucz, yet another wonderful person I have met through BFF and producer Russ Woolley.
List three "gifts" that you've gotten over the years from friends or family members - not the kind you can unwrap, but the kind that
have contributed to the person you are today.
Maybe you had an experience with a friend that gave you the gift of compassion. 
The artists mentioned in this blog today have given me gifts that are immeasurable.
My horoscope tells me today that I won't have any idea how to fight if I don't know who my enemies are.Their energy may be subtle so you might not even notice their influence at first. Carol Channing once told me that for every person who likes me, there are an equal number who don't. It was great advice. Although I struggle with it, I try and focus only on those who add to my life in a positive way. 
I have the willpower to overcome these challenges. I'm  getting ready to make some major changes to the way I do business. Stay tuned! I'm not shrinking away from what could potentially advance me. I feel extremely antsy and over-stimulated. I started taking ten minutes at home in the morning and ten minutes at night to do some deep breathing and stretching on the floor, and I am feeling its immediate effects.

As parents, we guide by our unspoken example. It is only when we're talking to them that our kids aren't listening. -- Robert Brault.

Today, I am presenting a few artists that I highly recommend you check out.  I also asked each a few questions just for a little variety here.

Deborah Stone
I first met Deborah several years ago when I was asked to co-host The Salon. Deborah sang that night and I was instantly taken aback by her class, elegance, and poise, three attributes you rarely see anymore. Deborah will be doing her last show, Siren Songs, at Don't Tell Mama on November 15th and December 14th. 

A native New Yorker, Deborah began studying
ballet at age eight at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School.  She became smitten by the stage when cast as a supernumerary in Met Opera productions from that time forward into her late teens.  While there, she studied with Margaret Craske, Alfredo Corvino, and Antony Tudor.  Upon leaving the Met, she continued her ballet training with Nadine Revene and expanded into the world of jazz dance, studying with Lynn Simonson.  Deborah went on to perform with The Linea Dance Company  with Yvonne Hicks and the New Jersey Classic Ballet with Lori Picinich, and danced as a show-girl/dancer in several revues, both in New York City and in a Dallas revue produced by Augie and Margot Rodriguez, choreographed by Ronn Forella.
How did Siren Songs happen for you? 

For this new show, I wanted to explore my saucy and sultry side; and to truly draw the audience in, as sirens are known to do.  Also, I wanted to explore all of our "siren songs"; places as well as people.

How did you approach your work for THIS show? 

At first I was casting about, seeking material, trying to find a footing for the theme, as we all do with our shows.  We tried and tossed many songs.  As time progressed, the magic just seemed to come into play.  Ann McCormack, my director, was a great help in organizing the numbers, and guiding me in the interpretation.  She's wonderful.

If you could go back and relive it all, What would you do differently now?  

Not sure how far back you're asking me to go!  Differently?  To coin the title of a past show, I truly think I'm "Exactly Where I Belong" at this point.  So whatever I did, whatever mistakes I made, threw me into a trajectory which placed me firmly in my very positive present.  

Robyn Spangler
Remembering Billy Barnes
If you are in L.A. November 18... Jackie Joseph will be Robyn Spangler's very Special Guest at The Gardenia. call 323-467-7444 to make a reservation.
What about Billy Barnes resonates with you? 
Billy's partner, Richard Tyler Jordan, and I worked together at The Disney Studios in Burbank years ago. When Billy passed in 2012 Richard and I became closer. Richard came to one of my shows and suggested I include some of Billy's songs in upcoming shows. 
I was unbelievably flattered. We decided to do a whole CD of Billy songs but I didn't want to do song that hadn't been heard before, or
Billy Barnes
at least for a very long time so I asked permission to see Billy's catalogue. Richard gave me the keys to the storage unit to go through Billy's catalogue. When I opened the unit, not only was there music, but personal photos, programs and posters of his shows, Christmas cards from Cher and Helen Hunt, a personal cassette from Rosemary Clooney to Billy. And boxes and boxes of sheet music notated in Billy's own hand. So much more than a 10 song CD. 
The amount of music he wrote - songs you've heard a million times on TV but didn't know he wrote them - is incredible. 

What wouldn't you give to see a film of the Billy Barnes Revue?
I am so glad you asked that question. A taped version exists. When I saw Billy's life in the storage unit I decided to produce a documentary on Billy's life, which has taken three year to get to rough cut. When I get though the legal clearances, I hope to share with the world!

What are your thoughts on Jackie Joseph?
Joseph in The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
She is a love and a treasure. She had no idea who I was when I asked to interview her for the documentary but she so adored Billy - and also eager not to let his legacy die - she has been a champion of this project. 

To learn more about Billy Barnes, go to the newly formed Foundation.

 Joel Vig
 A shout out to all the Trump children and Trump circle:  you do not need to have secret meetings with crooked millionaires and Monday, November 13th at 7 PM at the Episcopal Actors Guild
Joel Vig
Russian spies and Russian "diplomats" in clandestine hotel rooms to learn the truth about "Russian Adoption."  This information is free and open to all.  On
at 1 East 29th Street a reading of "I PROMISE YOU A MIRACLE" by Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about Russian Adoption by telling Elizabeth Fuller's true story.  There is no Muslim ban for this event...all are welcome.  To reserve seats contact
Elizabeth Fuller's other play -- "ME AND JEZEBEL" -- is currently running in 4 countries and optioned for 4 more.  It also won best play last season out on Long Island.
From Joel:  I  had heard this true story told to me by Elizabeth 7 years ago.  I had prodded her to write the story as I thought it was one of the most powerful and important first person tales I had ever heard.  She had been so traumatized by the events in Russia that she said she could not tell the story.  When all the news broke
Elizabeth Fuller
within the last year about Russian involvement in our election and the bizarre statements from the Trump family and campaign that they had secret meetings with Russian agents to discuss 'Russian Adoption' I told Elizabeth that this was the time to put this story out to the world.  She said she would only write it if we wrote it together.

We are currently performing it as a two character play.  I originally thought of it as a solo piece (think Spaulding gray or Anna Deavere Smith) but Liz wanted to have it be a two person play.  Part of this I think springs fro the enormous success Liz has had with her other true story ("ME AND JEZEBEL") which began as a best selling book then became a play which has a great life around the country and has had productions around the world.  I think it is currently running in 4 countries with additional  producers in several countries looking to translate and have productions in Asia and other cities in Europe.  I play the voices of many people in Liz's memory as she tell and relives the story.  We are hoping to have a producer see the potential of this play
and also a film down the line would make great sense.  "ME AND JEZEBEL" is currently under option for a feature film.
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.

Deborah Stone is part of the cast of Richard Skipper Celebrates December (December 3rd
Below  are a Few Testimonials for Richard Skipper Celebrates: Next One December 3rd 1PM Laurie Beechman Theater
: Reserve HERE:
With Guest Stars: Bobby Belfry, Ann Kittredge, Sidney Myer, Deborah Stone, AND special guest star Kathryn Crosby!

Richard Skipper's shows are always a joy to watch and listen to!!! He takes ninety minutes and make
Richard Skipper Facebook LIVE Roundtable
it seem like ten minutes!! I anxiously look forward to the next!!

Lisa Dascoli, Talk of The Town Podcast

I have been watching Richard Skipper perform for over 25 years now and must say that there are not
Shana Farr, Denise Spann-Morgan, Leanne Borghesi, Richard, Jesse Luttrell, Phyllis Pastore, producer Russ Woolley
many people in the entertainment business with the passion and talent that Richard has. His shows are beautifully composed and extremely entertaining! I look forward to seeing him again on October 8th! We love Richard Skipper, Go Richard!!!
Monica Murray, Oakland NJ  

As someone relatively new to the world of cabaret, I absolutely loved your October 8th show. Not only was the talent amazing and the venue and atmosphere delightfully engaging, but October 8th also happens to be my birthday so many, many thanks for making it a truly wonderful celebration of "my day" in music!
-Kimberly Player: Portland, OREGON

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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