Friday, June 1, 2018

Christian Hoff, The Tonys, The V Foundation...and More

I miss New York terribly. There is no place like the city. I miss people-watching. I miss the nightlife. I
with Leanne Borghesi in Richard Skipper Celebrates...
miss the food. There are so many options in New York City.

-Regina Hall

Happy Friday, June 1st, 2018!
June 1 is the 152nd day of the year. There are 213 days remaining until the end of the year.
June is Bustin' Out All Over but it is another overcast June day here in New York. As I sit down to write today's blog, I'm listening to the Studio 54 channel on Sirius XM and thinking about how lucky we are to have music in our lives. There is so much to celebrate today.
Today is the birthday of Marilyn Monroe so I take a moment to thank her for the gifts she gave to the world.

I have been so busy that I haven't written a blog in a while but I'm returning today with a celebration of Christian Hoff, The Tony Awards, and The V Foundation. Two weeks from tonight, I'll be emceeing a fabulous event at The Palm West Restaurant celebrating all of the above! Please join us.
with Kathleen Hochburg and producer and friend Russ Woolley
Last year I was there as a guest. I'm thrilled that Pat Palumbo asked me to emcee this year!

Christian Hoff was born in San Francisco, California, and later moved with his family to San Diego. At eight years old he began acting at the San Diego Junior Theater, and not long after was playing Winthrop in The Music Man.
Since then he has appeared on numerous television, big screen and Broadway shows. He also had a guest role as Marty on All My Children.

He starred until 2008 in the original cast production of Jersey Boys which opened at the August Wilson theater on Broadway in 2005.
His dynamic portrayal of Tommy DeVito, one of the founding members of Four Seasons musical group, won him the "Best Featured Actor in a Musical" Tony award in 2006. He was scheduled to return to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre's 2008 production of Pal Joey in the title role; however, due to an injury, he was forced to leave the production.

He is currently with The Midtown Men, a group that consists of four former cast members of Jersey Boys who perform music from the 1960s.
Christian holds the world record for "Most Character Voices in an Audio Book" for Tell Me How You Love the Picture, based on the career of movie producer Ed Feldman.
In it, he performs 241 separate voices.
A few days ago, I sent him a few questions for a mini interview. Here is the result of that interview. Enjoy!
If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be...Shirley MacLaine.

Tell us a secret.
When I was eleven I split an orange, a bag of trail mix and danced the pas de deux with Shirley MacLaine.

What’s been your most mortifying or crazy onstage mishap? 
After three failed double jump-through rope trick attempts as Will Rogers, mortification turned into a “bit” and I won the audience. Fear of failure is fuel for opportunity.

What was the early role(s) in your life that put you on the path and made you confident about pursuing musical theatre as a profession? 
At eight, I surprised even myself and auditioned for Cinderella with “Yes Sir That’s My Baby” on Ukulele. My role of Stage Left Page as directed by Ole Kittleson changed my life.
Ole became an instant mentor and eventual matchmaker, pairing me up with my bride-to-be as Mordred and Morgan Le Fey. He changed my life once again!

Where are you from? 
Born in tumultuous 1968 Berkeley.

What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?
Creative problem solve.

What great challenges did you have in pursuing your career? 

Creating opportunities to creative problem solve for a living, can be a challenge.

How does a Tony Award-Winning Actor find fulfillment out of the spotlight?
Thankfully I can quote Shakespeare on this one. “All the worlds a stage.”

I am inspired by the world around me as an artist and enjoy participating in it, learning from it and affecting how we think about onstage and off. 
Name one person you would like to see profiled in my blog.
Eric Anderson. (Eric, if you see this, let's talk!
Please visit Christian's Website for more info. 

The Tonys!
Is there a bight more exciting in the theatre? I don't think so. 
The award was founded in 1947 by a committee of the American Theatre Wing headed by Brock Pemberton. The
award is named after Antoinette Perry, nicknamed Tony, an actress, director, producer, and co-founder of the American Theatre Wing, who died in 1946.

The First Tony Awards were held on April 6, 1947, in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
On June 10th, we will be celebrating The Tony Awards at Palm West Restaurant in NYC and our setting will be reminiscent of that first awards ceremony in 1947. 
Let's take a nostalgic look back. 
The first prizes were "a scroll, cigarette lighter and articles of jewelry such as 14-carat gold compacts
Jose Ferrer was the first Best Actor Recipient
and bracelets for the women, and money clips for the men." It was not until the third awards ceremony in 1949 that the first Tony medallion was given to award winners. Awarded by a panel of approximately 868 voters (as of 2014) from various areas of the entertainment industry and press.
Jose Ferrer, Helen Hayes, Agnes deMille, David Wayne, and Ingrid Bergman were among those first winners in '47. 
In the 18 years that followed, the dinner and Tony Awards presentations took place in ballrooms of such hotels as the Plaza, the Waldorf Astoria, and the Astor. WOR and the Mutual network broadcast the awards ceremonies over the radio, and television coverage began in 1956 when Du Mont's Channel 5 telecast them locally for the first time.

Because of the untimely death of Helen Menken, then chairwoman of the Wing, The 1966 Tony Awards were presented at the Rainbow Room. The ceremony was subdued and, for the first and only time, held in the afternoon without entertainment. The following year the Tony ceremony was once again a gala affair, but with a key difference. 
Baayork Lee Accepts The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award At The 71st Annual Tony Awards
With Isabelle Stevenson as its new president, the Wing invited The Broadway League - then known as the League of New York Theatres - to co-present the Tonys in 1967, just in time for the ceremony's inaugural broadcast on network television. For the first time, a national audience could watch the presentation of Tony Awards.
Presenter Barbra Streisand poses backstage with the winners of the 1967 Tony Award for best musical
I was six years old and believe it or not, I remember this! 

Alexander H. Cohen produced the historic broadcast, which lasted only an hour, and organized a celebratory gala that followed immediately afterward. That
year the Tonys moved from their traditional hotel ballroom setting to a Broadway theatre - the Shubert. Cohen continued to produce the awards ceremony and the gala dinner for the next two decades, overseeing their national telecast on various networks on behalf of the League and the Wing. During his tenure, the Tonys became known as the finest awards program on television, incorporating live performances with the bestowal of actual awards. The Cohen era ended in 1987, and that year the Wing and the League created Tony Award Productions, a joint venture that has continued to produce the awards and their related events to this day.
CBS began carrying the awards ceremony in 1978 and has broadcast the Tonys nationally every year since.
For six years beginning with the 51st annual awards presentation in 1997, the Tony Awards program aired under a unique partnership between CBS and PBS. A one-hour PBS special covered 10 awards, followed immediately by the CBS broadcast.
However, beginning in 2003, CBS devoted an entire three-hour time slot to the Tonys. The result has been a seamless award and entertainment program broadcast on that network.
The Tony program has received numerous Emmy Awards during the CBS era and is broadcast each June in many countries across the globe.

Here are 10 favorite Tony moments from Facebook Friends

Angela Lansbury hosting the 1987 Tony Awards!! That was one of THE BEST Tony Award Shows Ever!! In fact, it won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series. And it deserved it!! This was a perfect example of when The Tony Awards WERE The Tony Awards. If you don't believe me, watch it on YouTube and judge for yourself!! Here's the link 

My favorite moment from that show is Angela Lansbury and Beatrice Arthur reprising "Bosom Buddies" from "Mame". It brings down the house!!

There are so many. Perhaps, watching on T.V. when Tommy Tune won for Seesaw. That was the first time I ever heard of Tommy Tune. I have loved him ever since.
Carol Channing performs "Before the Parade Passes By" on the 1971 Tonys.

Most definitely Michael Jeter performing WE'LL TAKE A GLASS from GRAND HOTEL and then accepting his TONY Award.

Seeing and hearing Idina Menzel's electrifying performance of "Defying Gravity" for the very first time. It made me want to see the show, and I did, eventually, and loved it.

Everyone of them when Alexander Cohen was producing them.

Any of the Neal Patrick Harris opening numbers.

“And I’m Telling You I’m not going” With Jennifer Holiday at the 1982 Tonys.... with the full staging including her being sucked backwards during her last long note!! It took my breath away!!

Barbara Harris performing "Gorgeous".

Wow! There is so much to celebrate. Please join us at The Palm West Restaurant on June 10th as we celebrate Broadway and The Tonys.

Pat Palumbo and Christian Hoff
Of course, we are there to benefit The V Foundation.

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

June 24th, 2018

Russ Woolley Proudly Presents
Richard Skipper Celebrates
New York and Pride

Last Show of this Season 

1 PM Brunch Show Laurie Beechman Theater
Celebrating Tommy Tune's Lifetime Achievement Award at The Carlyle 2015
As we Celebrate Pride, we celebrate Michael Kirk Lane, Sue Matsuki, Marieann Meringolo (joined by Doyle Newmyer), Tanya Moberly, and Sheree Sano
Tickets are now on sale! Reserve TODAY and Let's Celebrate! 
So — Order your tickets now online… RESERVATIONS A MUST!
Musical Direction Matthew Martin Ward with Rex Benincasa on Percussion, Steve Doyle on bass, and Erik Lawrence on Sax.
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, June 24th - 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.
with Artist Khoi Nguyen at RSC 5/20/18

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…
A Few Audience Testimonials about Richard Skipper Celebrates
I was so happy that we attended Richard Skipper Celebrates , thanks to Arlene Jacks, who recommended it very highly. What a great experience - it was fun, heartwarming and sentimental. Great performers and great audience! What a treat to see Kathryn Crosby - that really took me back in time to all the Bing Crosby Christmas specials. Richard: you and your team are a class act! 
~~Diane Merklinger, Briarwood, New York
with David Sabella
 Bravo and thank You for the spectacular, intimate conversation with Melissa Manchester. It was so warm, flowing easily with mutual respect and affection. The most real and down to earth interview I have seen ever, truly! We Fanchesters thank you sooo much for letting us get to know our so loved Melissa on such a personal level. 
~~Cathy Baker, "Fanchesters Are Us" Fan and Photo page, Facebook

Big congrats to Richard Skipper and Russ Woolley on another terrific show! It seems
impossible, but the shows just keep getting better and better! How to improve on perfection??! Such an amazing group of talented performers and an audience that is enthralled and exhilarated. And you, Richard Skipper, are the icing on the proverbial cake. You are not only talented, handsome and passionate, but you have an uncanny ability to bring people together and make us all want to be the best selves we can be. The love and respect in the room are palpable. It is a pleasure and honor to be part of your shows! 
~~Pamela Singer, NYC
The show is also made possible by Wright Bros. Real Estate.

Season Three Begins September 9th!
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,

1 comment:

  1. Richard this blog is so entertaining and INFORMATIVE......I should had left the house to meet friends for dinner, yet I became a bit engrossed! LOVE IT