Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Keith the Captain Gamble and MORE!

(as it is written: “I have made thee a father of many nations”), in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead and calleth those things which are not, as though they were.
-ROMANS 4:17

Happy May 8th, 2018!
May 8th is the 128th day of the year  There are 237 days remaining until the end of the year. It is a gorgeous May day here in New York and I am listening to the new cast recording of the Prince of Broadway and looking at all there is to celebrate! My life is buzzing with excitement and I'm eager to experience as much of it as I can. Today is the birthday of Lex Barker. How many Saturday mornings I spent watching him as Tarzan.
Barker was a direct descendant of the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and of Sir 'William
Henry Crichlow', historical governor-general of Barbados. He excelled in football and track at Fessenden School and Phillips-Exeter Academy. He went to Princeton but left to become an actor. 
A year later he was spotted in summer stock and received a contract offer from 20th Century Fox. World War II intervened; he enlisted as an infantry private and rose to the rank of major. Though later signed by Fox and then Warner, he was too tall for supporting parts and too unknown for leads. Tarzan's Magic Fountain (1949) (RKO) provided his first starring role. After five Tarzans he went into other adventure films. After 16 non-Tarzan films, mostly westerns, he went to Europe in 1957 (he spoke French, Spanish, Italian, and German). 
He went on to make more than 50 more films all over the world: Brazil, Germany, Spain, Yugoslavia, Italy, Lebanon, France. He became very popular in Germany because of his role as "Old Shatterhand," "Kara Ben Nemsi," and "Dr. Karl Sternau" in the movies based on books written by Karl May, a very popular author for adventure literature in Germany. Nearly every child in Germany knows some of his books. He won Germany's Bambi Award as Best Foreign Actor of 1966.

Tom of Finland, was also born on this day a Finnish artist is known for his stylized highly
masculinized homoerotic fetish art, and for his influence on late twentieth-century gay culture. He has been called the "most influential creator of gay pornographic images" by cultural historian Joseph W. Slade. Over the course of four decades, he produced some 3500 illustrations, mostly featuring men with exaggerated primary and secondary sex traits, wearing tight or partially removed clothing.

Don Rickles was born on this day. He became well known as an insult comic. His prominent film roles included Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) with Clark Gable and Kelly's Heroes (1970) with Clint Eastwood, and beginning in 1976 he enjoyed a two-year run starring in the NBC television sitcom C.P.O. Sharkey. 

Miyoshi Umeki was born on this day. She was
Miyoshi Umeki
best known for her roles as Katsumi in the film Sayonara (1957), Mei Li in the Broadway musical and 1961 film Flower Drum Song, and Mrs. Livingston in the television series The Courtship of Eddie's Father. She was a shin Issei or a post-1945 immigrant from Japan.

"Toni" Tennille[ was born on this day, best known as one-half of the 1970s duo Captain and Tennille with her former husband Daryl Dragon; their signature song is "Love Will Keep Us Together". Tennille has also done musical work independently of her husband, including solo albums and session work. Tennille has a contralto vocal range, spanning over 2 and a half octaves.

And today, I also celebrated vocalist, guitarist, and harmonica player, Keith THE CAPTAIN Gamble. He is a consummate performer whose talents are both exceptional and diverse. THE CAPTAIN applies his many talents to film and theater, also as a guest artist, lecturer, and a guest instructor with various cultural and educational organizations.
THE CAPTAIN holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the City College of NY. He has also performed in New York City venues e.g. B.B. King’s, the Apollo Theater, St. Nick’s Pub, Lenox Lounge, Londel’s and appeared regularly with his band in Greenwich Village. THE CAPTAIN was also a member of the first house band ever to perform on “The View”.

Various tours include a three-nation European tour, the Middle East, and US Embassy tours in six African nations. THE CAPTAIN was commissioned by the US State Dep. to perform at the W.E.B. Dubois Center in Ghana, honoring the first Inauguration of President Obama.

Here is our interview...

How did you get started?
I started sitting in with different jazz and Blues bands at Harlem bars
in the late '80s...That's where I learned most of my skills. And just about every summer in my childhood was spent in Mississippi where I picked up the harmonica.

What is the highlight of your career so far?
My biggest highlight so far was our tour of Ghana and Togo in West Africa.
We were commissioned by the US State Dept. to perform there as part of the 1st Inauguration of Pres. Obama. They built a stage for us in the back yard of the home of W.E.B. DuBois in Accra , Ghana! We are part of American history! LOL, I've been performing throughout Europe and six nations in Africa, but that was a major thang!

What do u do to pass time between shows?
I go out into the crowd... I like to get to know the patrons... to get a feel for the atmosphere...And there is Pinot Noir!

Your overall thoughts on Club Bonafide:
Club Bonafide is a great venue to perform in .
The owner, Charles Piazza, gives us free~rein
when it comes to our sound. We are a high definition, high fidelity concert band... we play grown folks music with a 21st-century twist. The place is great for fully expressing our music.

What do you love about performing?
I love watching the crowd, waiting in anticipation, with bated breath for the surprise of their lives! It turns me on that I am the interpreter of God's language... I am the sanitation worker of their souls... We take out their emotional garbage! For two hours we make our audience forget about all their troubles and woes! It's a lovely feeling afterward...that I made someone feel better than when they came in...we bring them Joy and anesthetize the pain!

Do you see a lot of other artists as an audience member?

Yes, indeed! That's how you learn. Remember the musician's 2nd commandment: Thou Shalt Steal! LOL
I also sit in with a lot cats... sometimes just drop by and jam. We do a lot of that in Harlem.

The greatest lesson you've learned in this business.
...That it IS a business! As the bandleader, I have to stay on top of bookings, personnel, arrangements, sound, and venue readiness... the whole thang! There is just so much delegating you can do... in order to be successful, you have to be at the forefront.

What one major change have you seen in the industry since you first started in this business?
I see now that record making and music making is now done more and more by independent
artists...the record companies are taking a back seat now to the new trend of producing art on your own...It promotes freedom of expression and individuality without the politics and shenanigans a bunch of non~musicians in executive positions.

Do you have any rituals before going onstage?
Well...prayer, beforehand. And tuning LOL...and Pinot Noir LOL

What would you be if u weren't an artist?
A corpse!

Follow Keith on FaceBook.

Here's Keith Gamble in Las Vegas at Sherry Gordy Presents TAKE THE STAGE  November 13, 2015

Please read more about Club Bonafide.

Richard Skipper Also Celebrates...
Gavin Creel, who received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as Cornelius Hackl, returns to the Shubert Theatre today, Tuesday, May 8 in Hello, Dolly! starring Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters and four-time Tony Award nominee Victor Garber. While Creel was out temporarily to recover from back surgery, Tony Award nominee Santino Fontana stepped into the role of Cornelius. Read MORE

Saturday afternoon, May 12th– APSS (American Popular Song Society) presents the 14th Annual Songwriter Series, produced by Sandi Durell at Musicians Union Hall (Local 802) at 322 West 48thStreet.
 Pre-show performance, by new young talent in the spirit of the Great American Songbook, begins at 1:45 pm. Showtime 2pm
 Members – Free     Guests: $15         
SONGWRITERS presenting include Sam Carner and Derek Gregor and Singers Troy Iwata and Hanna Berggren,
Douglas J. Cohen and Singers Jillian Louis and Jesse Manocherian

Allan Harris
Allan Harris

Barry Kleinbort and Tony Award winner Penny Fuller and Jonathan Stewart
 Aziza Miller with Roland Guerrero

Brad Ross and Singers Christopher Michaels, Annika Boras, Jeanne Lehman
Tracy Stark is Musical Director for the young singers (Elizabeth Nucci and Kevin W. Bergen) pre show presented by Corinna Sowers-Adler

Rev. Mary is the Lady in Black
Rev. Mary (a.k.a. singing artist Mary Elizabeth Micari) takes a break from her bawdy tunes to serenade her audience with vintage songs from the heart made famous between 1910-1950.
Some tunes are familiar, some haven’t been heard in a century.
Dan Furman - pianist/musical direction
Alan Lighty - guitar
A.C. Weingarten - drums
Directed by Jay Michaels
$15.00 cover charge and a 2 drink minimum per person
$10.00 cover charge and a 2 drink minimum per person for MAC and MCenter members
Seating from 6:3 pm
Approximate running time: 65 minutes

Andrea Axelrod’s new show, CENTENARY, celebrates the
 a centennials of Pearl Bailey, Leonard Bernstein, Rita Hayworth, Alan Jay Lerner, Robert Preston and Jerome Robbins, with both hits and rarities.
Hear her at Don’t Tell Mama with John M. Cook, piano and music director, and Tom Hubbard, bass, on Thursdays May 24 and May 31 at 7 pm and on Sunday, June 3 at 4:30 pm.
Read more at www.andreaaxelrod.com and reserve on the DTM website: www.donttellmamanyc.com/shows.  $20 (cash) + two-drink minimum; MAC discount.

Legendary Broadway and screen actress Carole Cook makes her New York cabaret debut at the age of 94. After receiving rave reviews in Los Angeles and San Francisco, this fabulous evening of memories and song comes to Feinstein’s/54 Below. Carole sings numbers from Sondheim to Coleman – from Billy Barnes to Jerry Herman. She recalls a scrapbook of memories, from being Lucille Ball’s protege to working with Ethel Merman. Order your tickets HERE

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

with David Sabella

May 20th, 2018 *
Russ Woolley Proudly Presents

Richard Skipper Celebrates
The Art of Cabaret 

1 PM Brunch Show Laurie Beechman Theater 
As we Celebrate (Russ' Birthday!), we celebrate Leanne Borghesi, David Sabella, Jim Speake*, Quinn Lemley (as Rita Hayworth), AND Those Girls* (Karen Mack, Eve Eaton, Rachel Hanser, Wendy Anne Russell) Tickets are now on sale! Reserve TODAY and Let's Celebrate! 
with Stephanie Pope at April 8th Show
Check out our promo video HERE
So — Order your tickets now online… RESERVATIONS A MUST!

Musical Direction Joe Goodrich with Don Kelly on Percussion, Matt Scharfglass on bass, and Erik Lawrence on Sax.
*Steven Ray Watkins will accompany Jim Speake and Those Girls
Producer: Russ Woolley 
with Ann Dawson, Doris Dear (Ray De Forrest), Ben Rimalower, Emily McNamara and Russ Woolley (producer)
Anita Gillette, Penny Fuller, KT Sullivan
With music, reminisces and an afternoon of fun and show business! 90 minutes of merriment and excitement …Right on the heels of the 4/8 Richard Skipper Celebrates Life in the Theatre

When and Where:
Sunday, May 20th - 1 PM Doors open 12:15

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

Richard Skipper has assembled a great cast to Celebrate and honor . . . 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… 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…

Shana Farr, Denise Spann-Morgan, Leanne Borghesi, Jesse Luttrell. Phyllis Pastore, Russ Woolley

A Few Audience Testimonials about Richard Skipper Celebrates
I've said it before and I say it again...Richard Skipper Celebrates is the best series of shows available in NYC! The performers are always top-notch, the audience is filled with the most joyous and appreciative attendees and the entire productions are flawless! Thanks again to Richard Skipper and Russ Woolley for all the time and hard work you put into these shows. You're the GREATEST!!
-Arlene Jacks, NYC

My friends and I went to Richard Skipper Celebrates, and it was so much fun. I loved how Richard mixed interview with song. The love in the room was palpable, and his never-ending smile showed how much of his heart went into this show. I would recommend this show to anyone who wants to feel better, open their heart to song and be lifted by the sheer joy of music. Richard is one of a kind, and his gift inspires us all. Thank you, Richard Skipper
Michele Phillips, Piermont, NY

Richard Skipper Celebrates Carol Channing's 97th Birthday on 1/31/18
Richard Skipper Celebrated all over the Laurie Beechman stage December 3rd, 2017. Nothing could've been Christmas-ier. If you needed a little Christmas, this was the place to soak in it, being a tinseled treat of warmth and holiday cheer. It was wonderful to see Bobby Belfry, Ann Kittredge, Sidney Myer, and Deborah Stone all at the top of their respectively unique yuletide cabaret games under the musical direction of Tracy Stark and the band. The show opened with a charmingly nostalgic credit crawl designed by Michael Masci and a video sequence featuring the great variety TV stars of the past, concluding with Mr. Christmas himself Bing Crosby. The highlight of the show, or any Holiday show happening in 2017, would have to be Ms. Kathryn Crosby, Bing's widow, singing first "Holly Jolly Christmas" and of course ending with "White
with Peggy Eason
Christmas." That's Christmas right there. Richard tied it all together with great showmanship. His Richard Skipper Celebrates series produces some of the livelier and most just-plain-fun events in Cabaret.
-Jeff MacauleyThe show is also made possible by Wright Bros. Real Estate. 
*Everyone who RESERVES ON LINE for Richard Skipper Celebrates The Art of Cabaret on May 20th is automatically entered to win TWO VIP tickets to Live With Kelly and Ryan. Must Be Present to win! Reserve TODAY!

With grateful XOXOXs,


Looking forward to Betty Buckley as Dolly Levi in October! 
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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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Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com