Monday, July 2, 2018

Toni Thompson, Rose Mallett, The Invasion...and MORE!

It Is What It Is
I get knocked down but I always get up again
I’m proud of myself today!
-Toni Thompson's Mantra

Happy Monday, July 2nd, 2018!
July 2 is the 183rd day of the year. There are 182 days remaining until the end of the year.

As I sit down to begin today's blog, I'm listening to Rose Mallett's CD, Building Dreams.
I was lucky enough to catch Rose's celebration of Sarah Vaughn Saturday night at The Triad. I became an instant fan! I was brought to Rose's
attention and vice versa by a mutual friend in Palm Springs. She was making her New York debut at The Triad on Saturday night. She reached out to me to help spread the word. After visiting her website, it made me want to help get the word out about her show. It was beyond my wildest expectations. She WAS Sarah Vaughn on that stage. She deserved bigger fanfare especially with her being invited to perform in New York.
I'm going to get something off my chest. SHE was pursued to come to New York. Not only was she not promoted by the person who invited her but they were not even at the venue! This is BAD FORM!
For me, it is always about celebrating the artists and audience development. Rose is worth celebrating. Check her out HERE and don't miss her if you get a chance to catch her.
One other artist that I celebrate today is Toni Thompson.

It’s My Life Is a Funny and Poignant Cabaret into Toni Thompson’s World while singing Broadway Show-tunes. She will take you on her rollercoaster ride starting in foster care (Maybe, Annie), to her first time on stage (I Could’ve Danced All Night, My Fair Lady), through her awkward teens (I’m Not That Girl, Wicked), marriage, motherhood, career ups and downs, her NYC dreams (Over The Rainbow, The Wizard of Oz) and acceptance. You may laugh. You may cry. You will Enjoy!


Toni Thompson is a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, cousin, niece, loyal friend,, graduate of Point Park University and performer. Toni has been performing both in the community and professionally her entire life.  Her favorite roles include Mae Peterson, Bye Bye Birdie, Berthe, Pippin, Golde: Fiddler on the Roof, Mother Abbess: The Sound of Music, the Fairy Godmother, Cinderella. Toni has also enjoyed performing at BroadwayCon  2016 and 2018 and twice at Broadway Sessions. Her NYC debut one-woman show “Toni Thompson Takes On NYC” thrilled MAC award winners Collette Black and Sidney Meyer and was presented at Don’t Tell Mama, Above 53 @Broadway and The West End Cafe. Toni is proud to be a foster care system survivor!  A big thank you goes to Louis, Jordan, Ginny for the opportunity to perform “It’s My Life” at Music Mountain Theatre. Much love goes to her husband Joe & her son JT for their support.  This show is dedicated to the only woman Toni has ever called Mom.

We sat down to talk recently about her upcoming show.

When you first went into this profession, what was your initial goal?  
Mrs. Mayor in Seussical

When I was in 1st grade we had an assembly with a traveling acting group and they asked “a planted actor” to come up on stage, however, I took it upon myself to jump onto the stage and dance and singalong. The instant gratification from the applause totally hooked me.  It was a wonderful way to receive positive attention. My initial goal was to feel at home somewhere and on the stage, I was home.

Tell us about this production of Grease that you recently appeared in.  
This production of Grease was with Music Mountain Theatre in Lambertville, NJ.  This group formed on the Jersey side of New Hope, PA which houses Bucks County Playhouse a professional regional theatre.  Music Mountain Theatre and The Theatre School at Music Mountain Theatre offer the community high quality, affordable productions, and arts education year-round.
Son JT and Husband Joe
As a nonprofit organization,  Music Mountain Theatre has become an important part of the arts community in Hunterdon, Mercer, and Bucks counties.  Much of the talent and it’s entire production staff are former professional actors, singers and or dancers. For more information on MMT check out their website MusicMountainTheatre.org

What is the most interesting fact you learned recently?
Well, I’ve had a few careers in my time but I must say besides performing I’m really loving my job as a part-time cashier at Target. I sing sometimes and I really enjoy interacting with the public every day. I’m truly a people person.

How long have you been performing?
I’ve been performing for most of my life either on stage or off. I was an attention seeker as a kid and I suppose even now.  I was in the foster system until I was adopted at seven years old. That’s rough and to get noticed I would do just about anything to get someone/anyone to notice me. As I’ve said before the theatre has given me not only the attention but a whole new voice.
Has your perspective changed any since starting this project? 
No

Do you think about revising your character after you've opened?
Well,  funny you should ask this question. We only had ten rehearsals for Grease recently and that included tech so I felt the entire show evolved over the twelve performances.
Miss Lynch is a funny lady and over the three weeks she ended up creating a few extra laughs.


How do you see proceeding with your career? Do you have an upcoming project in mind after this one? 
My dream is to appear on Broadway.

Agents, managers, give her a call!

Is doing what you do at all difficult?  
At times..it’s a very competitive industry.  Plus I usually live an hour or more from the places I perform so the traveling does get tiring. Plus It Takes a ton of time and money. However, The applause is worth every penny and every mile.

What do you do when you’re not performing?
I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, an independent Consultant for Paparazzi Accessories, a target cashier and a loyal friend.

Are you happy?
Yes, it’s taken many years and many bumps along the way but I can finally say I’m happy warts and all.

Can you tell us how the project came about, and where the source materials came from? 
For my upcoming one-woman show at MMT on July 29th, the basic material stems from my life It’s a fragment of my history told through Broadway Showtunes...everyone has a story and everyone has been through sh*t but it’s what you do with all of it that makes up who you are today. I’m a hip old chick” as said by a recent reviewer for the New Hope Press


Anything else you wish included?


Life is a journey.
Fraulein Schneider, Cabaret
My life has been one crazy rollercoaster ride and I wouldn’t change a minute of it.  I am what I am, I like me and I’m here. Don’t EVER Throw away your shot.
Order Tickets For Toni Thompson HERE 

GO SEE A LIVE SHOW OR EVENT THIS WEEK!
From Ray deForest (Doris, Dear): Do you know your PRIDE!?!? INVASION OF THE PINES. This happens tomorrow! An important piece of our history. A reminder that we must be kind and accepting within our own community. During the summer of 1976, a restaurant in Fire Island Pines, New York, denied entry to a visitor in drag named Terry Warren. Fire Island Pines is a beach community on Fire Island east of New York City with a gay majority population that was at the time more affluent and conservative than the population of nearby Cherry Grove. When Warren's friends in Cherry Grove heard what had happened, they too dressed up in drag, and, on July 4, 1976, with Cherry Grove's 1976 Homecoming Queen Thom Hansen (aka Panzi) in the lead, sailed to the Pines by water taxi. The boatload of drag queens that stormed into the Pines that day—to a surprised but exuberant welcome—was the first "invasion," an event now repeated each year.  

 Burner introduces the Queen’s as they board the ferry!
Have a cocktail or BRUNCH on Cherry's Deck on Fire Island with a PRIME view!
Email info@cherrysonthebay.com
For your guaranteed seat!




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


NEXT UP!

A Few Audience Testimonials about Richard Skipper Celebrates
Thank you for your wonderful shows, Richard! They truly are celebrations and bring much joy!
Looking forward to September 9th when you return for Season 3!
Katie Niehesel, NYC

Richard Skipper did a great job MCing the program the other night. I've worked with the best (incl. Jack Benny and Sid Caesar), and his stage presence and delivery are right up there.
Rolf Barnes, NYC

No one can deliver a show like Richard Skipper.
His passion and enthusiasm along with his singing and a brilliant roster of performers ......knocked it out of the park!
Thanks for being you,
Judy Stewart, American Popular Song Society
Ps. You are APSS’s good luck charm and I look forward to what you produce for us next June as well.
Season Three Begins September 9th!
This Show Is Also Made Possible by  Wright Bros. Real Estate, Nyack New York

With grateful XOXOXs,


 


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NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
This Blog is Dedicated to Paula J. Riley
Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!  
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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com
This Blog is Dedicated to Paula J. Riley







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