Saturday, October 20, 2018

Richard Skipper Celebrates Mary Elizabeth Micari...and More!

Next to ingratitude, the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.
Mary Elizabeth Micari

-Henry Ward Beecher, American Clergyman ((1813-1887)

Happy Saturday!
It is an overcast morning here in New York. October 20 is the 293rd day of the year. There are 72 days remaining until the end of the year.
Happy Birth of the Bab Day! As the name implies, Birth of the Bab celebrates the birth of the Bab, a prophet and forerunner of the Bahá'í faith. It is a Bahá'í holy day, and one of three dedicated to the Bab, along with the Declaration of the Bab and Martyrdom of the Bab.
Siyyid Ali Muhammad was born in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), on October 20, 1819, and became known as the Bab, which means "gate" in Arabic. He is believed to be from the line of the Prophet Muhammed. His father died when he was young, and he was raised by his maternal uncle, Haji Mirza Siyyid. Possessing a great depth of knowledge of the Qur'an and spirituality, he began his ministry in 1844. He traveled to Mecca, eventually was imprisoned in a mountain, and was executed by a firing squad in Tabriz in 1850.
Jamie Brickhouse
As I sit down to write today's blog, I have limited time before heading into the city this afternoon to see Jamie Brickhouse in his one-man show, I Favor My Daddy. I interviewed him earlier this week. Then, tonight, we will be seeing Mary Elizabeth Micari. 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. Mary is a singer who specializes in Jazz and Blues.
In addition to Don’t Tell Mama, Mary has also appeared at
Rev. Mary is “The Lady in Black,” Saturday, October 20th, 2018 at 7 PM at Don't Tell Mama
The Duplex, Pianos, Freddy’s, Otto’s, and even The Augusta Music Festival “Blues Week” in West Virginia.
She enjoys making her own healing music (including original compositions) using traditional instruments like harp, drums, bowls, and tuning forks as well as her voice. She is a co-founder of Genesis Repertory

Ensemble, a classically-based non- profit arts and education organization designed to make quality theatre – including Shakespeare and his contemporaries as well as the Greeks –
accessible to new audiences. She currently serves as its artistic director and has directed and performed in numerous works.

For a long time, her “day job” was doing makeup and hair in live theater and film. Her credentials in that area include nearly a dozen Broadway shows, independent films, as well as events at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Roundabout Theater.
Mary also has a rich spiritual life as well. She is a healer and an ordained Minister utilizing Reiki, Herbalism, Homeopathy, Acupressure, Sound Healing and more. Her nickname, “the singing sorceress,” comes from her roots in the Pagan community and the work she does with cool things like Tarot, Astrology, and Magickal work. “The Magic Apothecary” is her line of magickly-infusedproducts for health and healing.

You can visit her website HERE to learn more about her but I had some questions of my own.
I hope you'll enjoy this interview and that you will join me tonight at Don't Tell Mama as I continue to celebrate her.

Where are you from originally? 
I am from Brooklyn, New York. Bensonhurst to be exact!

When you first arrived in New York, what were your aspirations?
To Grow up!

What was the most memorable moment in your career?  
I have so many memorable moments! Each time I perform, it’s a sacred thing!
I’d have to maybe go back to my very first show when I was a child.
Being on the stage as one of the kids in The King and I.

It was the first time I discovered my true home. Everything was special, as though I had been transformed and moved into space the Gods inhabit.  I was only 10 and it was a tiny show but to me, it was the beginning of my life’s work.
Seen here with publicist extraordinaire, Jay Michaels

Who is your Musical Director? Can you please say something about working with them?  
Musical Director is Dan Furman
I have been working with him for over 5 years now. 

He’s worked with me in my vocal studio, recordings and now live Cabaret shows.  
He’s amazingly talented. He can play anything and because he is also a composer he knows how to really work with harmony, orchestration and he’s got a great eye for a stage picture and is very good at finding and using songs I’d never hear of to add to the work. 
I am entirely comfortable on stage with him.
He is really the most adept and supportive pianist I have ever know, not to mention is jazz work on stage and the beauty of the solos I am sure to make sure he gets in every show!

What were a few of your first jobs before you got into entertaining?
I have had many day jobs WHILE entertaining.
I worked in bars, strip joint bars, waitressing and for 10 years in Veterinary Hospitals.
I also did a 7-year stint working backstage on Broadway and in Films and TV doing wigs, hair, makeup and FX Make Up.
Now I am a full-time Voice Teacher and Acting Coach.

In the scheme of things, How important is what you do? 
It's not going to save the world…or is it? I think that giving people a place to relax, laugh and
remove themselves from the ordinary is kin to being a Priestess!

I am there as a healer or souls and minds. So, in the vein that is important.

As you are continuing to move forward, what is something that might inspire the next generation of artists?
I teach …a lot.  I have a full studio at the moment and do classes and lectures as well.  I find the most important thing to say to them is that they CAN do this and that the world wants them.
I also believe that fame in the large scale is for a select few and that being a working artist is the best thing there is. We are here to be a light in the dark. That is the job of a performer.

How successful have you been in getting yourself “out there” and into the clubs and on the stages beyond your comfort zone? 
'Out there' is where I live!  I love to try anything new…at least once.  I have really no fear on the stage.
Just did a Burlesque class and yes…got naked in front of a huge audience of screaming people I loved it.

Tell me about your experience with the next
generation of entertainers and what your legacy to them will be? 
As I said, I teach so I am with the next generation of entertainers much.  I have worked with many young actors as well. I think it's about what I learned listening to an interview with Paul Newman many years ago, Tenacity.  I also say, never ever give up. Always move forward.
Never stay still. Be there and ready for anything. Never be fearful and always know that the audience, for the most part, loves you.
That is what I hope I can impart.

What’s a Bette Davis movie you can watch over and over again and never tire of? 
All About Eve

What do you do to keep fit? 
I do water aerobics, walk and try to bike!

A favorite indoor game? 
Aside from sex? Backgammon or Monopoly.

Name one person you would like to see profiled in my blog 
Becca Kidwell or anyone new to the world of Cabaret…. (Here is the blog I've already done on Becca Kidwell!)

Anything else you wish included? 
We are good!

Aside from these talents, Mary is a trained opera singer, having performed with some of NYC’s most respected opera companies for more than 14 years. Ironic, since she began her singing career in a
band doing Jefferson Starship as well as many years doing musicals. I hope that you'll join me this evening at Don't Tell Mama as I continue to celebrate Mary Elizabeth Micari!

Also Recommended...
If you are in Germantown, Maryland this eve, Please check out Jeff Harnar and Sally Mayes in Double Take (with Alex Rybeck). I saw this show at The Laurie Beechman Theatre and I highly recommend it.
"Two powerhouse performers giving it all they've got is more than anyone has a right to hope for in the world of entertainment. 'DOUBLE TAKE' is a double dose of wit, sparkle, savvy and music, stirred with love, laughter and a lifetime of dedication to show business sensationalism! I absolutely loved every enchanting minute of it!" Rex Reed

Sally Mayes & I bring DOUBLE TAKE to The BlackRock Center For The Arts in Germantown MD this Sat Oct 20th with our amazing trio Music Director Alex Rybeck, Bob Renino (Bass) and Dan Gross (Drums).


Buy Tix to Fringe NYC Performances of I FAVOR MY DADDY
When: Sat., Oct. 20, 2:30pm; Thurs., Oct. 25, 6:30pm: Sat., Oct. 27, 2:45pm
Where: FringeHUB, 685 Washington Street at Charles, NYC
Why: Because it's gonna be good.
New Circle Theatre Company in midtown Manhattan will present 5 performances of IT'S A BEAUTIFUL WOUND.  Performance times are:

Thu Oct 25 at 7 pm
Fri Oct 26 at 7 pm
Sat Oct 27 at 3 pm and 7 pm
Sun Oct 28 at 3 pm

You can make a reservation by using the password SANDBOX HERE

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL WOUND is the true story of Rich Orloff's adventures in underground therapy using MDMA (a.k.a. Ecstasy) and psilocybin mushrooms, based on cutting-edge experiments designed to help people heal from deep emotional wounds.  Rich describes the piece as one person's journey towards reconciliation with the soul... with a short detour for an appendectomy.

Inspired by the autobiographical monologues of Spalding Gray and Mike Daisey, my goal with IT'S A BEAUTIFUL WOUND is to take the audience through the experience with me, in a vivid, compelling and honest way.

Please observe this courtesy:  If you make a reservation and later realize you can't attend, PLEASE CANCEL THE RESERVATION.  This will allow others to see the show.  Thanks!
Feel free to share this blog with friends.

Coming up:
written and performed by Rich Orloff
Oct 25 - 28 at New Circle Theatre Company in NYC
For information and tickets, visit

We are made up of the people we've met and the places we've been. Join Kenneth Gartman on a musical journey to some of his favorite places as he shares his passion for culture, language and people.

Lennie Watts, Director
Troy Fannin, Music Director/Guitar
Marcel Hamel, Bass
Mike Shapiro, Drums

KENNETH GARTMAN - Kenneth performed in the National Tour of THE MUSIC MAN. He has also performed internationally on a Live BBC Broadcast of Simply Sondheim and throughout Ireland in A New York Songbook: Way Off Broadway. Kenneth has appeared as both a singer and a pianist in the country's finest concert halls. Gartman’s work in cabaret garnered nominations for Best Music Director and Best Male Debut in the 2012 Broadway World New York Cabaret Awards. 

If you’re trying to use Instagram to advance your acting career, you’ll love this! 
Heidi Dean has created a new free web class to help you build your audience and make an impact on Instagram.  
In this free online training, you’ll discover…
The 6 BIG mistakes most actors make on Instagram (and why they’re keeping you stuck).
What's working on Instagram RIGHT NOW (and why most Insta-advice is either outdated or wrong).
How you can get bigger results in less time!
The secret to getting more followers for your acting career.
The (totally free) webclass expires soon, so make sure to watch it right away.
Click here to reserve your spot now. 
WHAT: FREE Instagram Class for Actors
WHERE: On your computer, phone or tablet 
COST: Free!
HOW: Grab your seat here before it's gone→

Mercedes Herman at Church With A 2 Drink Minimum
-Its Church-Its Trans-tastic Church Lady Realness-Its Brunch-Its, not a parody! Sunday, Oct 21, 3-5pm at Sidewalk Cafe 94 Ave A East Village NYC.

Another FUN afternoon tomorrow!
This month, they are fresh on the heels of Reverand Yolanda's autobiographical musical "The Passion of Rev. Yolanda"... so their theme is PASSION!
Freddy Freeman aka Goldenheart and his wonderful husband Jay Freeman are the musical guests this month. Goldenheart is an amazing singer-songwriter, CDs Country Gospel Kirtan vols 1 and 2, and creator of Bearapalooza and Bear Your Soul!

Also their regulars Doreen Younglove on vocals, Mercedes Herman Woman of Wisdom/Storyteller, Lady D*D* hostess with the mostess, and Rev. Glen Ganaway with the message.
The love offering this month will go to Bearded Lady Productions LLC. Bearded Lady Productions produces all of Rev. Yolanda's events and services. They provide Wednesday night Miracles study group, as well as workshops, speaking and singing engagements, events, weddings, funerals, baby blessings, and more. See details: 

Sunday, Oct 21, 3-5pm no reservations, no cover, 2 food or drink minimum, love offering taken, 94 Ave. A , East Village NYC at the Sidewalk Cafe.

Now, go and do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return! 
A Few Audience Testimonials of Richard Skipper Celebrates
Richard and Russ, your show this past Sunday, Oct 14, was spectacular. I have enjoyed many a
Sunday in your theatrical care, and the two of you understand the point of putting together a show -- it is to ENTERTAIN!!!!!!!! It was on the one hand so well produced and directed that an audience immediately feels taken care of, but then the consummate mastery of Richard's hosting skills to embrace the audience and the moment(s) and harvest such humor and pleasure from the unexpected.  
Do I really have to wait until February for another one?  LOVE this series, and so grateful for the laughs and the heart. Thank you.
With grateful XOXOXs,
-Ann Kittredge, NY

RichardSkipper was born to this mantle. What a spot-on splendid job he does. Always a treat to hear those glorious pipes when he sings AND now add to that this charming, spontaneous yet thoroughly primped, delightfully funny role as Host. What a gem of an entertainment he has concocted ... I was honored to be a part of the festivities
(He had me from the “Opening Credits!” Abundantly BRILLIANT) 
Jeff Harnar, NYC

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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!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!


Richard Skipper,


  1. Richard Skipper is not just at the heart of the Cabaret community...
    He IS the HEART & SOUL of the Cabaret community.
    My sincerest thanks to him for this amazing piece.

  2. Thanks so much for the shoutout Richard! #YouRock!

  3. Thanks so much for including IT'S A BEAUTIFUL WOUND among your recommended shows. Much appreciated! (Good seats available next Saturday.)