Richard Shelton and MORE!

Richard Shelton
It isn't what people think that's important, but the reason they think what they think.
-Eugene Ionesco, Romanian-French playwright (born in 1909, died this date in 1994)

Happy May 28th, 2018!
March 28 is the 87th day of the year. There are 278 days remaining until the end of the year.
One of my favorite actors, Dirk Bogarde, was born on this day.
Flora Robson was born on this day.
Swifty Lazar, the agent, was born this day.
Jay Livingston was born on this day.
Jimmie Dodd was born on this day.
They all should be celebrated. Today, I am celebrating someone who was not born on this day, but he is very much worth Celebrating.

Throughout his extraordinary, multi-faceted career, Richard Shelton has acted on stage, in films and television, performed for British Royalty and Elton John, lit up London’s West End with his stirring, critically acclaimed portrayal of Frank Sinatra in “Rat Pack Confidential” and earned raves for his tour-de-force show Sinatra and Me everywhere from the UK and Middle East to California.
Produced by Sean Hargreaves – who has worked with, among others, Michael Buble, Natalie Imbruglia, Alison Moyet and Us3 - the track’s elegant ballad arrangement as a vocal duet with Sinatra’s longtime pianist Mike Lang reveals the deeper joys and heartfelt romance of the lyrics. It was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, in Sinatra’s lounge in studio B, using Ol’ Blue Eyes’ microphone.

“My idea to arrange Dec ’63 (Oh, What A Night) like that was inspired by Frank and Nelson Riddles’ work on ‘One For My Baby,’” Shelton says. “I wanted to make it as simple as possible so that when people hear it, though they are familiar with the original version, they will say, ‘Oh, that’s what the song is about.’ It is a tune that literally stops people in their tracks because they all know it, yet this minimalist version forces them to stop and listen. For those who are not familiar with my story and career, it’s a great introduction to what I sound like without any effects. We often live in such a hyped-up world that offering the simplest things can help everyone gain perspective.”

Dec ’63 (Oh, What a Night) is the lead single to Shelton’s soon to be released self-titled debut album, which will feature Lang, two other former famed Sinatra musicians (double bassist Chuck Berghofer, drummer Gregg Field) and a full, swinging band recorded at Capitol. The album will feature a set list blending dynamic originals, contemporary pop classics (“It’s Not Unusual,” “And I Love Her”) and standards ranging from Where or When and “My Kind of Girl” to Pure Imagination and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”
Two of the originals are deeply autobiographical. “Sinatra and Me” is a spirited reflection on Shelton’s lifelong affinity for, physical similarities to, performances as and interpretations of  Frank’s music, while “An Englishman in Love in LA” is a whimsical chronicle of the longtime Brit’s decision to relocate five years ago.
His success in Los Angeles was far from a sure bet, but he has thrived both personally and professionally living in Southern California. “Life is nothing but a journey,” he says, “and on that journey, you take twists and turns, you fall and tumble and you pick yourself up and find unexpected beauty. You can’t have a map in life because life is about the unexpected. One of my favorite sayings is ‘Man cannot discover new oceans unless he first has courage to lose sight of the shore.’

“After several years of settling in, I now feel at
home in America,” he says.
“I feel I belong and the songs on the album express that. I pay homage to the part of my life that was about playing Frank, and I cherish it, but I now see that as a different aspect of my career. I had reached a point in my career in Britain where I was a regular face in movies and on TV and had accomplished everything I had hoped to. I wanted to keep growing and always had a dream to come to the U.S. and experience a fresh new life. The song ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’ sums that up beautifully. It’s about somebody who wants to walk in the sunshine and feel that hope, choose to live that dream even when there’s no guarantee about what tomorrow holds.”

In the U.S., Shelton is best known for his role as Mr. Benson on Showtime’s “House of Lies,” with Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell and portraying Arnaud in “Jane the Virgin” on the CW. In the U.K., he played the charmingly murderous series regular Dr. Adam Forsythe in the long-running British drama “Emmerdale.’ He has also appeared in the films “My Week With Marilyn,” the Japanese cult hit, Joker Game, BBC Films I Capture the Castle and the L.A. based Stuck.

As a founder of The Bridwell Theatre in London, he has performed in Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing” and “Julius Caesar”; he also starred on the West End stage as Jumping Jack Flash in the rock musical Carnaby Streetand internationally as Harry Bright in “Mamma Mia!” Shelton recently traveled to Argentina Buenos Aires to shoot the upcoming film “Palau,” in which he plays a WWII Army major who turns his life over to God.

Shelton’s performance as Sinatra in the London stage production of Rat Pack Confidential earned him the Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination from the Manchester Evening News Awards.
He later re-created that role for an international tour of a show titled Sinatra – The Main Event.
In August 2016, Shelton produced and starred in the critically acclaimed Sinatra and Me at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Interwoven with song, the show examines the 20 incredible synchronicities between him and Sinatra. In addition, he has performed at The Coliseum and the world-renowned Ronnie Scott’s in London and sung with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Big Band, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. He currently hosts a monthly jazz night at the exclusive members club Soho House in Los Angeles.

Enjoy our Interview...
Where does your drive come from?
By nature, I’m a very driven person. Early life experiences form and shape you. Sadly, I lost my mother when I was 12 and my father had an overbearing personality and didn’t approve of my early desire to act and perform. Those experiences mean I’m constantly seeking their approval - I want to do them proud. I also a very ambitious in my own right and want to keep discovering new things, enjoy new experiences. For example, whilst my current album features a wide catalog of music ranging from original songs with the big band and orchestral arrangements to just piano and voice on a pop
standard, my next album will be purely American classics and standards with just piano and voice. This means I’m always looking to create a new texture and add to my catalog of work and experiences.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
Frank Sinatra, whom I was lucky enough to portray in the hard-hitting drama, Rat Pack Confidential on the London stage. I was nominated ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ and it was a real privilege to get behind the blue eyes of the icon as an actor and feel what motivated him. His voice and phrasing are utterly unique. Ella Fitzgerald is another favorite. I was lucky to meet her and stand on stage with her. A truly gorgeous and inspirational person and performer.
Ella Fitzgerald
I also listen to Harry Connick Jr. and Diana Krall, both of whom who I think is just great.

Why don't cabaret shows attract more of the public, in your opinion?
I think they do every night in our homes. Look at the popularity of The Greatest Showman, which is all about unique, strange and unusual talent. Or shows like The Voice and every country in the world has the Got Talent franchise. It’s all cabaret.

How did your latest project come about?
From the acorn of an idea over dinner in a London restaurant, this oak tree grew! I was headed to live in LA to discover new lands and experience life in the US. I’d appeared in movies and was a regular face on TV in my native Britain. On arriving in LA, I carried on my research into Frank Sinatra whilst putting together ideas for my album and it
seemed natural to record at Capitol Studios which was his home for so many years and where he recorded so much of his seminal music. I recorded in his studio with his microphone and worked with his living band mates which was a real privilege. It also offers integrity to the recordings.

What about your career isn't working?
I’m grateful to say that it’s working very well. But I’m a big believer in ‘The harder I work, the better I get.’ I work hard on getting work and getting better.

How did you hear you’d booked your first big gig?

All gigs are big. It doesn’t matter if you’re performing in an intimate venue for a handful of people or a concert hall in front of thousands. It’s the work that matters. You have to give 100%, always.
Or try to. My first gig was in a London restaurant performing jazz while people ate. I was grateful for the opportunity to work and start learning. That gig was just as important as performing for Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, Sir Elton John or with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, all of which I’ve done.

What is your favorite event in the entertainment industry?
The Oscars. Especially this year.

If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?
Someone who faced up to his hopes, dreams and ambitions and lived them. And also enjoyed a good laugh along the way. You have to make time to smell the roses otherwise what’s the point?

What’s something about entertaining that fascinates you?
I love being able to influence peoples mood and to touch people emotionally. Make them happy, make them sad, put them in touch with their own feelings. Find the truth in lyrics or in a character.

If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?

I’m already doing what I dreamed of. If I wanted to do something else, I’d just do it. I ignore barriers. I don’t believe in them.

If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?
This interview! You’re asking about my career - it’s been hard won and without guarantee.
The road on the journey through life is far from straightforward. It can be a steep climb through dangerous forests or sliding down muddy slopes. We all necessarily take the wrong turn and fall foul at times, but those are the experiences that shape us. The most important thing is to pick yourself up and carry on, especially when the odds are against you. It’s at moments like that when you turn the bend in the road and suddenly see a beautiful view you hadn’t reckoned on. I’ve been fortunate to work and meet with my heroes on TV and in film, record at Abbey Road and in Capitol Studios in LA with great musicians. But it’s all part of a bigger tapestry. Who knows what’s next?

YOUR top 5 credits are…
1. Recording my debut album Richard Shelton at Capitol Studios in LA.
2. Being nominated ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for playing Frank Sinatra in ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ on the London stage. A nice review was from the BBC - ‘Shelton as Sinatra was quite simply phenomenal’ -
★★★★★ Mike Young, BBC.
3. Playing series regular, Dr Adam Forsythe in K TV drama Emmerdale.
4. Being nominated ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for Do Not Disturb at the London and Chicago Horror Film Awards.
5. Performing for Prince Charles at Windsor Castle.

What can we expect from your current CD?
Mood and music to dance to and listen quietly. 6 original tracks in big band and jazz style, a pop classics in jazz and a few standards. My favourite piece is One for My Baby which I recorded as a bonus track with Mike Lang who played for Sinatra at his retirement concert. It’s quite a connection!

What do you do when you’re not performing?
I travel, walk and think of what to do when I’m next performing!

Name one person you would like to see profiled in my blog
Harry Connick Jr. (If you see this Harry, reach out to me!)

What's next?
A drama called Sinatra: RAW, set in Palm Springs, 1973. A middle-aged Frank Sinatra has three failed marriages under his belt.  British artists like The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, and their brand of androgynous rock'n roll, are taking over the music scene. Sinatra feels less like an icon and more like a relic. His management has assembled a small crowd to hear the blue-eyed crooner try out a few songs in advance of a show. The audience finds Sinatra's once-shining blue eyes bloodshot. The wrinkles on his face are deep; his countenance craggy from booze, cigarettes, and disappointment. His fans are expectant, but soon feel uneasy as their beloved idol turns belligerent.
This is a private, darker side to Sinatra: Sinatra: dangerous and unpredictable, yet brilliant. The evening shifts and Sinatra is redeemed when he finally sings a new song he’s been given by Paul Anka - My Way.

Anything else you wish included?
Follow me on:
FB - Richard Shelton
Instagram - Richard Shelton
Twitter - @RichardShelton

Richard Skipper also Celebrates
 Bernadette Peters Fandom, Godspell's Divine Early Days and More from Hello, Dolly!'s Victor
Garber on Show People: After steering clear of performing in musicals for over a decade, Victor Garber is back on the Great White Way alongside Bernadette Peters in the hottest ticket in town. Currently making classic musical theater magic as the delightful curmudgeon Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly!, Garber has won fans on both the stage and screen throughout his extensive career. Here's what we learned from the incredible talent as he looked back on the Sugar Shoppe, Sweeney Todd, Assassins, Annie with Audra McDonald, Titanic and more on this week's Show People with Paul Wontorek. Click HERE for more.

Congratulations to Dan Ruth on his MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award last
2018 Bistro and MAC Award Winner Dan Ruth with Director Tanya Moberly
night for Spoken Word. Click HERE to read my interview with Dan.

Go watch David Colbert, Aaron Morishita, Sally Darling, Sidney Myer, Bob Diamond, Laura Pavles, Laurie Krauz, Warren Schein, Barbara Malley and Kristine Zbornik recreate songs from
Tomorrow Night: Thursday, March 29 at 7 at Don't Tell Mama RESERVATIONS
212-757-0788 or
The Show is 2018 Recurring Series MAC Award Winner Ricky Ritzel's Broadway.
Click HERE to read my Interview with Ricky Ritzel.

Cabaret costume among vast Liza Minnelli collection for auction
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Liza Minnelli’s signature “Cabaret” bowler hat, boots and the halter top vest is going up for auction in a sale of more than 1,000 lots belonging to the singer, her mother Judy Garland and movie director father Vincente Minnelli. Read MORE.

Here are the 2018 MAC Award winners, revealed at the 32nd MAC Awards on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, New York City.

My Ship: Songs from 1941: Laurie Beechman Theatre; Crown and Anchor (Provincetown)

Joshua Lance Dixon

Pack of One: Don’t Tell Mama

Tribute shows (Sammy Davis, Jr., Linda Ronstadt, Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey): Birdland

Easy to Love; Sammy Cahn: All the Way; The 1959 Broadway Songbook: Beach Café; Metropolitan Room;
Laurie Beechman Theatre

It’s About Time; One Night Only: Metropolitan Room; Don’t Tell Mama; Feinstein’s/54 Below

David Baida
Unexpected Surprise: Metropolitan Room

Mason at Mama’s in May; Mason’s Makin’ Music; CD Release Show: Don’t Tell Mama; Davenport’s;
The RRazz Room; Birdland

ROBIN KRADLES (Richard Becker) Gambling on Love; Don’t Tell Mama

Gretchen Reinhagen
GRETCHEN REINHAGEN #iBlamePaleo: Don’t Tell Mama

DAN RUTH A Life Behind Bars: Laurie Beechman Theatre

Those Girls

THOSE GIRLS (Eve Eaton, Rachel Hanser, Karen Mack, Wendy A. Russell)
Those Girls; Those Girls Unplugged Laurie Beechman Theatre; Pangea

Various shows: Birdland; Jazz at Kitano; Kaplan Penthouse (Lincoln Center); Mezzrow; Gaslight Theatre (St. Louis); Café Sabarsky

Created and produced by Ricky Ritzel, staging and choreography by Jay Rogers and Aaron Morishita:
Don’t Tell Mama

Produced by Don’t Tell Mama and Lennie Watts: Don’t Tell Mama


Mama’s Next BIG Act!: Don’t Tell Mama

Dawn Derow/My Ship: Songs from 1941 (Laurie Beechman Theatre); Anna Bergman/You’re All the World to Me (Feinstein’s/54 Below); Tovah Feldshuh/Aging Is Optional (Feinstein’s/54 Below); Together: 2017 Cabaret Award-Nominated Vocalists (Don’t Tell Mama, Urban Stages); Margo Brown/Margo Sings Mercer (Metropolitan Room)


Meg Flather/Hold on Tight (Don’t Tell Mama); Gretchen Reinhagen/#iBlamePaleo (Don’t Tell Mama);
Kim David Smith/Morpheum Kabarett (Pangea, Café Sabarsky, Crown & Anchor); Peggy Eason (Laurie Beechman Theatre); Karen Kohler/The Home I Love—From Birdland to Tel Aviv (Congregation Emanu-El,
San Francisco)

Annie Ross; Stacy Sullivan/A Night at the Troubador; Marissa Mulder/Be Here Now: The Songs of Ray LaMontagne; Marilyn Maye/Marilyn by Request; Gunhild Carling/The Gunhild Carling Experience (all at Metropolitan Room)

Kathleen Turner (Ripley Grier New Studio, Philadelphia Theatre Company): Keith Richards/Sarah Dash (Joe’s Pub); KJ Denhert (55 Bar); Love Cures benefit concert (Symphony Space); Stacy Sullivan/A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee (Sheen Center)

TOMMY J. DOSE (Don’t Tell Mama)

ELAINE BRIER (Don’t Tell Mama)

GERRY DIEFFENBACH (Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex)

RECORDING (LaMott Friedman Award)
JOSEPHINE SANGES  Finding Beauty: Celebrating Ann Hampton Callaway

KAREN MASON It’s About Time

“I CAN TELL TIME” Music by Ben Schaechter; Lyrics by Dan Kael

Rachel Ravel
GO INTO FINANCE Music and lyrics by Billy Recce

NATALIE DOUGLAS Tributes Residency
Created by and starring Natalie Douglas, musical direction by Mark Hartman and Brian Nash (Birdland)


1982 Key West - Ruby Rims




May you always be true stand upright and courageous...and stay forever young.

Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for gifts you have given to the world and will continue to give

Now, go and do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return!

April 8th, 2018 

Russ Woolley Proudly Presents
Richard Skipper Celebrates
Broadway and off-Broadway Firsts...and More!

1 PM Brunch Show Laurie Beechman Theater 
Lane Bradbury created the role of Dainty June in the original Broadway production of the classic show Gypsy starring Ethel Merman.
Annie Hughes off-Broadway Closer Than Ever
Lauren Mufson Broadway and National Touring companies of Mamma Mia!
Marta Sanders Best Little Whorehouse In Texas Original Company
AND Stephanie Pope Chicago, Fosse, Pippin

Musical Direction Joe Goodrich with Rex Benincasa on Percussion, Steve Doyle on bass, and Erik Lawrence on Sax
Richard Skipper Celebrates Carol Channing's 97th Birthday 1/31/18
With music, reminisces and an afternoon of fun and show business! 90 minutes of merriment and excitement …Right on the heels of the 2/11 Russ Woolley's CELEBRATES Richard Skipper's’ BIRTHDAY…SELL-OUT Extravaganza…

When and Where:
Sunday, April 8th - 1 PM, Doors open 12:15

THE LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE, 407 West 42nd Street (lower level of the WEST BANK CAFE) Producer: Russ Woolley $30 ticket plus $20 food/beverage minimum - exquisite and reasonably priced food and drink

Richard Skipper has assembled a great cast to entertain and honor Broadway and off-Broadway artists… RICHARD SKIPPER has become synonymous with “feel good entertainment of the highest quality”. For decades Richard has entertained thousands and celebrated the careers of many of Theatre Row’s finest and most honored stars… It is now our turn to honor artists and the roles they created and/or made their own… The afternoon will prove to be an event where all will arrive and leave with smiles! This will be similar to the old-fashioned TV specials and series where we get to chat with and honor this Entertainment Icon.

So — Order your tickets now online…

A Few Audience Testimonials
What a great time we had 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

I was fortunate enough to be a part of Richard Skipper'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 love Richard Skipper Celebrates Shows I have had the pleasure of attending several. They are always entertaining and totally awesome. His guests are entertaining and so is Richard. His live talk shows are a plus for me because not only are they entertaining, they give insight into the cabaret and arts community and also the guests are given the opportunity to promote their upcoming events. I like that's it's fair and balanced. Keep up the great work bringing awareness to the Arts and entertainment world. 
Dianne Rike, Trotwood Ohio

The show is also made possible by Wright Bros. Real Estate. If you have attended Richard Skipper Celebrates, and if you haven't already, Please add your thoughts in Richard Skipper's 
Guest Book at
You Never Know Who You Might See There and What Might Happen!

Check out our promo video!

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!
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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!


Richard Skipper,


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