Saturday, February 10, 2018

Shari Pine, Deborah Stone, Adrian Culver...and MORE!

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

Happy February 10th,  2018!
February 10 is the 41st day of the year. There are 324 days remaining until the end of the year  There are 351 days remaining until the end of the year. Currently, it is 39 degrees here in New York with cloudy skies and rain in the forecast.
This is my first blog of the New Year. It has already been incredibly busy!

As I sit down to begin my blog, Barbara Cook and Malcolm Gets' Move On is playing in the background.

I feel like I am riding a powerful wave that’s carrying me into my future.  I am more hopeful today than yesterday when comparing my present situation with my long-term goals.
Setting my goal on THIS for the year!
Thank God for my music and entertainment or I would crack. I don't want to start my year on a political note, but our POTUS' actions and words on a daily basis are enough to consistently
raise my blood pressure.
It has to do with his bullying tactics. I was a bullied child.
For God's sake, I've been bullied as an adult!
I pray for him. I pray for our country. I pray for the world. The bottom line is he is who he is. We knew that when he was elected. He has not changed.
He won't.
All we can do is be responsible on how we respond. No matter how low he and his base goes, I will ALWAYS maintain a higher standard.
That is ALL I will say on the subject.
Now is the time for celebration!
My mission in 2018 is to celebrate great artists through my blogs, my interviews, and my shows.
My hope is that if you know them, that you learn something new about them and if you don't know them, you will take the time to check out their shows.
Here goes!

The first artist is Shari Pine. Shari appeared in one of my first shows as part of the Richard Skipper Celebrates series. This was when it was at the Triad. Here is our pop up interview.
Send a brief description of what is happening in your life now.
Recently, I performed my show From Crayons To Perfume: Songs Chicks Are Made Of January 18th at 53 Above, NYC.
It featured some original compositions as well as gorgeous numbers by Stephen Sondheim, Jimmy Webb, Burt Bachrach and Neil Diamond just to name a few.

Why do you feel that celebrities are such an important part of our lives?   (especially in today's social climate)?
To be sure celebrities of all sorts are influential. But in my view, they're not as important as we convince ourselves they are. Celebrity, while regarded as a vast segment of the fabric of our society, is only as far-reaching as an individual's personal ambitions and aspirations, I believe.
For example, if you're an aspiring actor, athlete or musician, then it would stand to reason that figures in those arenas would naturally be very important to you.
The issue is, the reverse is rarely true: we are not as important to them.
And if we are, then right there that's a different relationship, one that most do not possess and can only 'aspire' to. Through no fault of their own, celebrities  are in the business of being adored, not adoring others. We chase them - literally and figuratively -not the other way around. They have millions of 'followers'. We don't. But numbers matter.  So while I acknowledge their huge existence and am as awestruck as the next guy, I view the actual influence they have as potentially more important than the person, who, at the end of the day, lives and breathes as we all do.

If you could perform with one person, who would that be?
Count Basie!

What person do you most admire, living or dead?
I admire any maestro of an orchestra.  Having that much control over all that music is tremendous.

How did your upcoming show with Peter Calo come about?
I had been thinking of From Crayons To Perfume: Songs Chicks Are Made Of for quite some time, bouncing the idea off a few people when accompaniment immediately came to mind.
I had to work with someone who had most of the songs in the show already running through their veins. (It's one thing to learn a tune, read a lead sheet or listen to the audio.. it's quite another to know a song to the extent that after playing it, it actually plays you.)
That's what, and who came to mind when I thought of the song variety in this show. Peter's worked with so many different artists from Pop and Rock to Country music and Broadway. I had been on a session with him years ago back in New England and never forgot how outstanding he was.

What is it that you like most about performing this show?
The Music. It's always been about the music for me. I realize most songs are comprised of lyrics and music but somehow the words Yankee Doodle Dandy  just wouldn't feel the same were they set to the tune of Moon River (Mancini/Mercer).  I'm sure the reverse is equally true.  It's chord progressions, haunting overtures and melody lines that I can get lost in. I usually find my way back though. Am I sounding like a jazz musician? I am not one although I have been know to swing.

What would you do if all the electricity at your full house gig went bust?
First, notify the band that the show ain’t stopping!  We get low, close and quiet ...still playing. (when volumes are low, more attention is paid - interestingly enough. ) Continuing,  I walk through the crowd eyeballing everyone and I whisper the song.
They feel so special with all the individualized table-to-table attention that they don't even know that they can't hear or see a damn thing.

Deborah Stone

Deborah returns to Don't Tell Mama on March 22nd with Siren Song.
What excites you right now?
Working on the encore performances of "Siren Song", my new show.

What are you looking forward to?
Doing "Siren Song" again, bigger and better this time!

What’s the best thing that happened to you this year? 
Working with Daryl Kojak for the first time!  It's been, and continues to be, a liberating experience; a true collaboration, stretching my musical boundaries!

Where did you grow up?
New York City - Manhattan to be exact.

What do you do for fun?
Sing; dine with my husband; do funny dances for and with my husband (we like to make fun of ballet to music on the radio; after all, I was a ballet dancer, so who better to do so?); go to museums; go on day-trips;  binge watch Golden Girls, Blue Bloods, NCIS and Law and Order - all of them.

 Do you see yourself living anywhere else if you had the choice?  NO!

Adrian Culver left Lexington, KY two years ago and headed to New York City with the full intention of becoming a star. He has spent his time so far pounding the pavement and performing in cabaret and piano clubs all over the city, garnering a very loyal and wonderful fan base.

Adrian brings his renowned cabaret act to The Duplex Cabaret Theatre for the very first time!  His act spans Weimar-era cabaret songs, Broadway hits (and some forgotten Broadway hits), as well as standards done in his own, very unique style. Under the musical direction of Richard Danley, this once in a lifetime opportunity is not to be missed! The show is Sunday, March 4 at 9:30 PM at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 or online for $15 here:

What excites you right now?
The most exciting thing in my life right now is my upcoming show at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre and what can come from it. I have always known of the famed cabaret theatre since I was a kid, so getting to work on the stage where stars like Barbra Streisand and Joan Rivers got their start is very special to me.

What are you looking forward to?
The future is looking bright to me right now. The opening number of my show, which is "I Can See It" from The Fantasticks, about sums up how I'm feeling right now.

What’s the best thing that happened to you this year? 
In the past year, the best thing that happened to me was getting to see Barbra Streisand perform (twice!) in Brooklyn.
It is an experience I will never forget. 

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Lexington, KY. If you haven't been, it is a wonderful place!

What do you do for fun?
When I'm not singing and rehearsing, I love to cook, and it has become quite a hobby for me. I'm going through some complicated French recipes now--some have turned out great, and some, unfortunately, have not.  Also when I have a chance to get out of the city, I love to canoe and go hiking.

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What performers inspire you the most and/or what is your favorite kind of music?
My list of inspirational performers: Barbra Streisand, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse. I have a wide range of musical tastes that range from Scriabin’s Symphonies to Techno. But my heart lies in cabaret and theatre music.

Also Recommended
Jay Leonhart Quintet and Special Guests Pay Tribute to Marlene VerPlanck, Thursday, February 15th at 5:30 PM. Click HERE for more Info.

Newly announced 2018 Bistro Award winner for Solo Play, Brooklyn actor-writer, Dan Ruth, brings his tour-de-force black comedy, A Life Behind Bars, back to the Laurie Beechman Theatre for one performance on Thursday, February 22nd at 7PM. Click HERE for more information.

Buy Tickets HERE For The Bistro Awards.
Early Purchase Discount Tickets available through Sunday, Feb. 11 at 11:59 pm
33rd Annual Bistro Awards
Monday, March 12, 6:30 pm
Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St. (bet. 7th and 8th Aves.)
Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award: André De Shields
Discount Premium Ticket: $150.00 $140.00
(There is no handling charge if you pay online.)
Reserved seating in the Showroom; show begins at 6:30 pm
Two drinks (includes top-shelf) and gratuity
Gift bag
Your name(s) listed in the show program as a Bistro Award Supporter
After-Bistros Party

Goldstein, a new musical about family, with music and lyrics by Michael Roberts and a book by Charlie Schulman, will open Off-Broadway on Thursday, April 5th at 7PM at the Actors’ Temple Theatre (339 West 47 Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues). Previews begin Monday, March 26th. Read more here.

From Patricia Fitzpatrick: Very excited to announce that multi Award Winning Vocalist and cabaret Director ,Jeff Harnar, will be our headliner at Provincetown CabaretFest 2018 celebrating the night club and Broadway years of the 1950's. He will be joined by the fabulous Alex Rybeck - a NYC cabaret scene treasure. We are so grateful to have them at our 18th Annual Festival May 31 - June 3, 2018. You won't want to miss these talented performers.

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

Don't Miss Adrian Culver at The Duplex!

Here are a Few Testimonials for Richard Skipper Celebrates: Next One TOMORROW 1PM Laurie 

Beechman Theater: Reserve HERE:

Celebrating My Birthday!

Wow! After interviewing you on our podcast Behind the Curtain: Broadway's Living Legends, I was on Cloud 9. Well, your show put me on Cloud 11! How you are able to create such magical events, time and time again astounds me. You are a national treasure and no one can really call themselves a New Yorker until they have seen a Richard Skipper show.
Robert W Schneider,

I commented on Facebook, but I wanted to write you a personal note to let you know how much my wife and I enjoyed your show Wednesday night. You are a consummate entertainer! And it was obvious from watching you onstage how generous you are and how delighted you were to offer your talented friends an opportunity to entertain a full and enthusiastic house.
Don't Miss Deborah Stone at Don't Tell Mama
I also loved the opening montage—especially the extended clip from What’s My Line? How cool!
I wanted to reciprocate your support for my York Theatre show last year, but I got far more out of attending your show than I could have imagined! Congratulations!
Best regards,
Charles Troy

What a great time we had on Wed night at Richard Skipper's Celebration of Carol Channing's Birthday.  Loved the personal stories as well as the personalities onstage.  Looking forward to more surprises in the future Anthony C. Andalft, Cherry Hill, NJ

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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