Monday, December 11, 2017

Laurie Krauz, Linda Amiel Burns, Tym Moss...and MORE!

Any problem can be solved with a little ingenuity.
-The fictional character MacGyver

Happy Monday, December 11th, 2017!
December 11 is the 345th day of the year. There are 20 days remaining until the end of the year.
As I sit down to write today's blog, I'm listening to the original Broadway cast recording of Cole Porter's Can-Can.

We had our first snow over the weekend. The world seems on edge right now. We had a terrorist attack this morning in New York. According to what I'm reading and hearing, there were no casualties. Thank God! We have an unhinged president in the White House. In Alabama, there is an accused pedophile poised to take the Senate seat although I'm praying that is not the case. Thank God we have the arts for escapism even if those moments are fleeting.

Every year at this time, I start  thinking about my 'intentions' for the new year instead of  resolutions. I'm taking advantage of today to spend quality time in the cozy little nest I and Danny enjoy so much to work on my book celebrating the legacy of Hello, Dolly!, Call on Dolly: From Carol Channing to Bernadette Peters and Beyond.  A healthy, peaceful atmosphere reigns here.  Today marks an important new beginning for me. I are in control of my destiny. Success is for all of us when we aren't afraid to take risks.  It's a time of much change for me.
With Bernadette Peters taking over for Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! in January, I'm more determine than ever to get my book on the shelves celebrating the legacy of Dolly Levi.
You can help speed up the process by contributing to the Call on Dolly Project.
There are many expenses involved in the process. Click HERE to see how YOU can help. 2018 brings me a little closer to the end of my fifties!

Whatever your interest, make this month the one you get started on it.
Daryl Kojak with Laurie Krauz

Today, I'm celebrating artists who are making a difference in the landscape of cabaret.
The first is Laurie Krauz.
Yesterday afternoon, December 10th at 3pm, Laurie participated in a concert benefiting Partnership for the Homeless in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Great lineup of artists, accompanied by the fabulous Deanna Witkowski and produced by Kevin Scott Hall

On Tuesday, December 19th at 7pm, Laurie is appearing in Famous Duets II as part of Urban Stages' Winter Rhythms.

Produced by the delicious Sue Matsuki, this is an  incredible cast singing all manner of duets.  Along with the incredible and dashing Rob Langeder (accompanied by the also dashing Daryl Kojak).
They will be singing two duets from ... I’m not telling!  It’s a surprise but no one has ever heard Laurie do this kind of thing before!

If you were not doing cabaret right now, what would you want to be doing?
I teach public speaking as a side business and I really do love it - so I suppose I would expand that part of my world. OR I would sneak on to a freighter and travel around the world!!

Over your years of music, do you have a particularly interesting story that you'd like to share with the readers?
Years ago I toured around doing musical theatre.
I did “Aldonza” in “Man of La Mancha” quite a bit on some pretty grand stages around the country and Canada.
Aldonza’s first scene is staged on a giant table top that gets lifted up off the stage by the Muleteers (the men).  One night I get out there and there’s no table.  No table top.  No warning.  The stage manager was running around backstage trying to find it but it was too late.

The guys are all sitting on chairs around nothingness.  So we all had to improvise the lines, the choreography etc.
It was SOOOO much fun.

Laurie Krauz and Johnny Mercado
Who is the most famous person you have ever met? 
Bill Cosby (or is that infamous?).  Spent the day on set because I sang in a gospel choir that was in an episode of “The Cosby Show.”  Phylicia Rashad was such a class act.  The choir spent the entire day just waiting to film and the MD was trying to keep us warmed up so we sat around singing randomly and she sat down and joined us.  Just to hang and sing.

What's the best thing you've seen in NYC and
Wow so many things.
I started going to Broadway shows as a child.  Incredible memories but so many!  Last year I saw The Band’s Visit Off Off Broadway.
(Now on Broadway)
I thought it was spectacular.

They’re backing Mavis Staples and - in the first photo - that’s Alix Korey in the red hair top row; Lillias White to the left of Mavis and me to the left of Lillias).

What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?

I love to see other people’s shows.  It’s so inspiring.
When I’m deeply moved by something I see, it reignites a craving in me to explore.
If you could perform with one person, who would that be?
I think this may come as a surprise to some folks but that would be Bette Midler.
 I admire artists who risk accessing deep, rich areas of themselves to communicate when they perform.  She owns this!  So, yep, Bette Midler.

Today, I also celebrate Linda Amiel Burns!
Linda Amiel Burns has had a lifelong love affair with cabaret and the musical theater. In 1977 she founded The Singing Experience, Workshops in performance technique for people who want to explore their potential, discover their hidden talents, and gain self-confidence through the magic of music. Since that time, thousands of people of all ages and all walks of life, have taken this remarkable journey including me!

The Singing Experience "Holiday Stars!" will perform on Thursday, December 14th at The Triad, celebrating the end of 2017, the holiday season, and completing our 40th year of getting the world to sing! Showtime is 7:30 (doors open at 7:00 for seating) and there is a $15 music charge at the door plus a 2 drink minimum at the Club.
with Irving Caesar and Linda's dad at an
early workshop on July 4th celebrating Irving's birthday.
This was at Nola before they went to actual nightclubs.
Reservations can be made by calling 212 315-3500 and/or by emailing director Linda Amiel Burns at After only four fun-filled rehearsals, the cast of this renowned workshop will perform for an enthusiastic and SRO audience of family, friends and fans.
1977, thousands of people of all ages and walks of life has participated in this life-changing experience, gaining confidence and joy through music and song!  The Singing Experience has been featured in the NY Times, CBS Sunday Morning, The Today Show and many others.Amiel Burns at LABs.
If you were not doing cabaret right now, what would you want to be doing? 
I have been involved in music most of my life and understand the impact that music has on people to heal,  to change and transform.  I think that if not involved in the cabaret world, II would be working with children trying to improve their lives in some form whether it be through music or humanitarian work. It is painful to see so many children living in poverty, abused, and not given any opportunities or love in their lives.
Over your years of music, do you have a particularly interesting story that you'd like to share with the readers? 
Having workshops for 40 years, there are thousands of interesting stories.  One woman I remember in particular - her name was Doris and she came to the workshop looking very dowdy - gray hair, no make-up and unflattering clothes,

 looking much older than her years.  I heard her sing a self-pitying song, and told her to come back the following week and learn "That Terrific Rainbow" from Pal Joey.  She looked at me like I was crazy, arguing with me that that song would not be appropriate for her as it begins, "I'm a Red Hot Mama, etc." I was very firm and told her not to come back if she didn't sing that song. 
Young Linda!
I usually am not so emphatic but felt for some reason that it was important for her to listen to me. the next class she showed up looking like a different person - her hair was no longer gray, and her outfit was form fitting and sexy.  She sang the song like she was born to sing it - bumping and grinding and having the time of her life!
The class couldn't stop applauding. 

When I asked Doris about the transformation, she told me that she had once been a showgirl in Vegas and that since I saw her in a different light - that she must still have IT!  After that life-changing experience - she went back to school and became a teacher, something that she had always wanted to do.  Even now I get holiday cards from her thanking me for changing her life and recognizing her inner "Red Hot Mama."
Who have you worked with who had the biggest impact on you?
The lyric from King and I is that "when you become a teacher, by your students you'll be taught." So each and every person has had a great impact on me. Clinton Kelly was a magazine editor when I met him and he took The Singing Experience with a fellow magazine writer who was doing a story on the workshop. He told me that he had sung in high school and really loved it ...and the workshop sparked the "performer" in him.  When he auditioned for the TV Show "What Not To Wear" he said that he heard my words in his head, that he was special, that he was "enough" and all the things that I tell my students to boast their confidence. Well, he got the job and many others and is a now on "The Chew," written a lot of books, and I am so proud of all he has accomplished.  All you need sometimes is someone to light the match, to give you encouragement and  permission to be who you really are or can be!  

What's the best thing you've seen in NYC and why?
Linda Amiel Burns' Singing Experience
I grew up in NYC and love this city. As a child I was taken to nightclubs and began going to the theater at a young age- my mother even took me out of Kindergarten to see Oklahoma. Maybe the best thing about the city was my father's two restaurants, The Turf and Jack Dempsey's, in the Brill Building on Broadway, where music publishers had their offices - the uptown Tin Pan Alley.  I met many famous and infamous people and learned to talk to everyone and how to be social.
with Danny Aiello
This sparked my interest in music as the publishers sent the sheet music to my dad who brought it home.  I met many legendary songwriters and learned about the great energy and excitement that NYC has to offer.

What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?
My work is so creative - I have directed, put together, and booked hundreds of cabaret acts and revues.  You have to be very creative to fit each act to each particular singer - what is the theme, what songs to sing, what music director and arrangements works for them. Each act is a challenge and very fulfilling.  Often, I sit at my piano and play to go over old songs, learn new ones and just enjoy the music. Am President of the American Popular Song Society for the past 20 years, and creating Programs and events to satisfy the members is a very creative endeavor.

Next up is Tym Moss.
Tym Moss
I caught his show last month and it was a brilliant debut. I reached out to to be included in this blog.
Here is the result based on questions sent to Tym.

Thank you Richard for including me in your blog. I am grateful for this and everything
you do for the community. Its been an amazing couple of months and I am pleased to announce that I’m going to do
an Encore performance of my Cabaret show: Tym Moss (A) Live: Fun! Fabulous!! Flamboyant!!!

I have been overwhelmed at the response I have received. Full houses every night. Standing ovations. And the reviews have been incredible. 
Michael Musto said its “one
of the best Cabaret shows in town.”  Richard Skipper, you yourself, said “If you look up
Photo credit: Jose Ramon of GNote Entertainment
the word PERFECTION in the dictionary, my guess is that you will see Tym Moss’ name.”
Those are HUGE compliments coming from the two of you! I am very grateful and overwhelmed, to say the least.
I basically recap my life, growing up gay in the Midwest during a time when I didn’t even know anyone else in the world felt the way I did.
Moving to a dangerous NYC by myself and getting manipulated into a path that was not mine.

Reaching for drugs and alcohol to mask the pain for decades. Until, facing death, I decided I had to change. And rediscovered my Truth that helped pull me out of the darkness.
I had a career changing experience putting this show together.
This show was completely a collaborative effort.
Firstly, my Director, Lennie Watts, is one of the best. He innately knows how to take a concept, trim it and present it effectively.
He is no nonsense. He tells you exactly what he knows will work and I love that!!
Secondly, my Musical Director, Andrew Sotomayor, is equally as brilliant. When
selecting the music numbers, Andrew could magically arrange them to fit and sound
perfectly with the flow of the story line we were telling.
Jose Ramon of GNote Entertainment
Then I added my story of despair, losing myself, then finding my way back and the three of us focused on putting it all together.
Working with these 2 have definitely been a highlight of my career.
They each had huge
creative impacts on my life. I would love for everyone to come to my Encore presentation of my very first legitimate Cabaret show.

Tym Moss (A) Live: Fun! Fabulous!! Flamboyant!!!
Sat Dec 30, 8pm
Don’t Tell Mama
343 West 46 th St, NYC
Tracy Stark on Piano Reservations: (212) 757-0788 or (go to Dec 30 – Tym Moss).Link to Facebook Event Page:
I have been very fortunate to have some incredible opportunities come to me.
I still have my weekly internet radio and television  show Artists Exposed with Tym
I love interviewing artists and covering Red Carpet events around town.
But my big news is, I just returned from a month in North Carolina where we shot my
first STARRING role in a feature film. A musical called JUNK.
It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
The hardest work I’ve ever been  overjoyed to do.
Tym Moss of Artists Exposed talks with DAWN DEROW
We all pushed our limits for a month. I hope the film reflects that. I just want people to enjoy it.
JUNK is about 2 gay me (one younger, one
older) that go into clean out the house of a recently deceased man.
We piece the man’s life together and have several revelations in the process.
Written/Composed/Directed by the brilliant Michael Penny.
Starring Tym Moss and Robbie Wayne. Theatrical release, hopefully, by Autumn of 2018.
I am truly having the time of my life. And things just keep getting better. I have Television and Live Tours coming up on the horizon.
To stay centered and connected to my creative side, I try to meditate regularly.
Let everything go and Trust myself that the Universe will properly guide me. I’m still working on the ‘letting go’ part! Lol.
From the set of Junk The Movie. First promo photo.
With Robbie Wayne
I am a work in progress, but I’m loving the ride!!
I also try to give back. I am very active in the entire NYC LGBT community. I perform or host at most of the Prides in all the different boroughs.

As far as cabaret shows, I think the best show I’ve ever seen was Karen Mason.
Watching her perform her show was like taking a Master Class. She’s incredible.
As far as an interesting anecdote, I have several, but one in particular is rather lengthy
and requires visual aides, so I’ll leave that for another  interview and it has to do with my
feet, eye and mouth…Again, I thank you Richard for taking the time to feature me in your blog. I truly
appreciate this.
Tym Moss
Reserve TODAY for December 30th! You'll thank me!

Also keep in mind...

Christmas Is a Drag at The Laurie Beechman Theatre Thru 12/30

Are you ready for Kracked Kristmess? It’s ready for you and the Twiizted Sisterz, best known as the cast of the long-running cult hit Distorted Diznee boldly proclaim, “Step aside, Radio City Rockettes!” as these nut-crackers of put their own bawdy spin on the most wonderful time of the year. Click HERE for more info.

 with the last performance of her debut show

 "Among the Stars"

Thursday, December 21 @ 7:00 pm

Don't Tell Mama
343 West 46 St

Musical Director - Gregory Toroian
Director - Deb Berman

For Reservations:

If you have followed my promotions for my Richard Skipper Celebrates or attended one of my shows, you have seen the tremendous contributions of Michael Masci who creates all of my promotional videos and opening montages. Checkout his new album! It’s fabulous! He and his wonderful wife, Blanca, selected each song, went over every detail together to co-produce this unique, labor of love. So proud of this guy and his Trio! I truly enjoy listening to his voice and it gives me joy to share this with you! Hope you enjoy it as much as he and I do! Click HERE

Last month, thanks to my friend Craig Witham, Russ Woolley and I were  invited to have lunch with Isaic Mizrahi! Also, at that lunch was Aaron Paul.
Aaron will behosting the FashionHub - Fashion and Beauty Expo next Saturday for Elucid Magazine.

Saturday December 16th 6pm - 9pm

704 Broadway  NYC 10003

For tickets and info:

HERE is one of Yolanda Roger Anthony Mapes' original Holiday songs based on A Course In Miracles:

They will be doing this live at Church With A 2 Drink Minimum on Sunday Dec 17, 3pm at Sidewalk Cafe 94 Ave. A and E. 6th Street.

Please support these artists! GO SEE A LIVE SHOW!

Here are a Few Testimonials for Richard Skipper Celebrates: Next One January 31st 8PM Laurie Beechman Theater: Reserve HERE:
Russ Woolley proudly presents Richard Skipper Celebrates Carol Channing's 97th Birthday (on her actual Birthday!) at 8PM at The Laurie Beechman Theater featuring Diane J. Findlay, Karen Saunders, Wendy Scherl, Christine Pedi, and a SURPRISE guest to be announced January 5th!

What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season! My daughter Jamie and I felt the the Christmas magic, and for me I took a wonderful stroll down memory lane. Thanks Richard for all that you do and for putting together such a wonderful show, we'll be back!
Rich Braaten, Ridgefied, CT
I was fortunate enough to be a part of Richard's wonderful series on December 3rd at the Laurie Beechman. The spirit of the holidays was crystallized on the stage by many great performances, but being in the presence of Kathryn Crosby was a special treat, especially when she and Richard sang "White Christmas" together.
Richard knows how to bring back the warm feeling of tradition while still being firmly rooted in the present, where the joy of the experience rests.
Bobby Belfry, Nyack, New York

I had the immense pleasure of performing in Richard's Nov. 5th show. Richard's introduction of me was so lush, that I was looking behind myself to see who he was talking about! So, with his wonderful band behind me, I hope that I gave the folks something to 'write home about"! By the end of the evening, I felt as if I had been missing out on a tradition that is integral to show biz!! Before I could even get through the doors of the theater, I was warmly greeted by people who had seen me perform in other venues
Cast and Band of Richard Skipper Celebrates December 3rd
but were "fierce cheerleaders" of the 'RICHARD SKIPPER CELEBRATES MOVEMENT' ...YES..I see this as a 'MOVEMENT', a wonderful way to keep us 'Baby Boomers' connected to iconic shows that set a standard for every show that would come down the pike ! Richard's show took me back to the grand days of variety shows that drew you in and held on to your heart for 60 to 90 minutes every Saturday and Sunday evening. Hey Richard, I could've sworn that I saw Pearl Bailey, Perry Como & Dinah Shore sitting at a table in the back of the room ! If you ever need me again, just remember the lyrics of that famous Michael Jackson song and "JUST CALL MY NAME AND I'LL BE THERE" !

Denise Spann-Morgan, Brooklyn 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 ,


Please LIKE (if you do!) and SHARE!


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!

Richard Skipper,

No comments:

Post a Comment