Showing posts with label GRETCHEN REINHAGEN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GRETCHEN REINHAGEN. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gretchen Reinhagen!

How ‘bout them apples?!” 
-Gretchen Reinhagen's Grandmother!

Happy Thursday!

I hope you enjoyed my blog yesterday on the Persian Room. Of course, that is a bygone era. Last week I read an incredible review of Mark Nadler in the Huffington Post written by Mr. David Finkel. Mr. Finkel is not usually effusive in his reviews. He was, however, when writing about Mark Nadler. He wrote that in a different era that Mark would be a star. It, unfortunately, is the times. It seems odd to me that the type of entertainment that I enjoy is not get the airtime on television or the media coverage that it deserves.It's no secret that there is much that I do not like about the current state of Cabaret in New York I think the bar keeps getting lowered and lowered. There are many factors that are contributing to this. However, once in a while, someone comes along that raises the bar every time they walk out on stage. 

The subject of today's blog happens to be one of those people. The first time I saw her on stage I knew I was watching someone that needed our attention. When she did her tribute to Kaye Ballard, she won the hearts of everyone who caught the show. As a matter of fact, she went on to win a perfect trifecta in the Cabaret world: a bistro award, a Mac Award, and a New York Nightlife Award. I've loved getting to know Gretchen over the past five years. I hope that you enjoy getting to know her. Today, through my blog… even if you think you know her! 
And my hope is that everyone who reads this blog will go and see her upcoming shows! Tell her I sent you! Now, how 'bout them apples? 

“How ‘bout them apples?!” …is Gretchen's favorite saying.  It seems to be a philosophy of sorts! It’s something her Grandmother has always said and she has always loved it.  There’s something upbeat and light about it, and while she says she can’t profess to always being upbeat or light, she at least loves the possibility of it.  This is a tough world we artistic types live in – she likes the idea that once in a while we have to just laugh at it.


What was the first live show you remember seeing (elaborate on that)
 I don’t remember specifically.  More than likely it was hearing my dad’s band.  He played a lot of clubs when I was very young.  Not many clubs let toddlers in! However, one of the clubs had an annual holiday party for the staff and their families.  I always got to go to those, and my dad’s band was the entertainment.  When I was 5, I informed my dad that I would like to sing with the band at the party.  I sang Karen Carpenter’s “Sing” and a rockin’ rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Where was this?
 A club in Falmouth, MA called “The Farm”.  Since I grew up on a farm, this all made perfect sense to me! 

Were you exposed to the arts growing up?
 Very much so.  I had music coming at me from all sides! My father was a music teacher, a singer, and a bass player.  My mom was a dancer, who also studied Music Ed, but eventually went the way of classroom teaching.  Throughout her career she’s been a teacher, a principal and an Assistant Superintendent of Schools and she has highly promoted the Arts. She was responsible for me getting a music teaching position in her school district.   
Her Father, my Grandfather, was a pianist, and a music teacher.  And the list goes on.  So I come by it honestly!  My parents also joined a community theater group when I was about 10, in which they stayed very active throughout the rest of my childhood.  In addition to the theater and music programs my school offered, this was another great outlet for me.  Some people have parents who want them to study something else in hopes that they’ll have a more financially secure future.   
My parents were the opposite.  When I started to get more and more involved in my corporate day job, they got a little worried! 
When I announced that I’d earned my Associate title at my Investment Banking day job, their response was something along the lines of…”That’s great! 
But….when are you going back to auditioning?”

Tell me about your first time on stage?
Well that would be my stint on-stage at “The Farm” that I mentioned earlier.  I was 5.  My Uncle played the keyboards and he’ll still tell you that his favorite part of that gig was when I turned to him, after singing 1 full chorus, and said “Take it!”  and then – of course – I came back in at the bridge.

First professional job?
Gretchen and  her partner, Deborah (Mine/Danny's Wedding)
 Maybe the New Year’s Eve show that I got hired to sing in when I was 16.  I also had a summer job as a singer at a hotel lounge when I was 16 or 17.   
I’m not sure which gig was first!  (…or how long after that before I made any money again!!!)
Your thoughts on Arts in Education
I don’t think I have adequate words to describe the importance and impact my artistic education made on my life – both who I am as an artist, and who I am as a person.  Between the opportunities given to me (for FREE!!!) in school, as well as my family’s emphasis on the Performing Arts, I received gifts I wasn’t even aware of as gifts at the time! This was just a natural part of everyday life for me.  I couldn’t imagine having gone without it.  As a teacher in the public schools, I became increasingly aware of the benefits of the Arts in the lives of my students.  I’ll never forget taking a group of my students to LA to see “Ragtime”.  For you or me, this was just another trip to the theater. (Well…it was a great show!) But for these kids, it was a world they had never imagined – a truly special day and I’m grateful to have had opportunities to facilitate that experience for them.

What makes you cry out of the blue when you see or hear it?
Animal movies get me every time! (Even some of the animated ones – I mean…can YOU watch “Bambi” without crying???)  Especially, horses.  I think “Secretariat” was probably my favorite movie last year, and yes of course I cried when he won.  I still haven’t seen “War Horse”, and I’m sure I’m just dragging my heels because I’m fairly certain it will be my undoing. 

Your thoughts on Carol Channing (All my blogs focus on Carol Channing’s Foundation For The Arts)
Well, of course growing up as a musical theater kid, I was well aware of who she was, and her work, but truthfully, I’ve learned more about her through your wonderful tributes!  As I’ve mentioned already, I’m a huge fan of Arts in Education, and I think Carol’s work in this area alone is so important.  I’ve always been a fan of her talent.  Now I am a fan of Carol Channing the person.

I’m campaigning for Carol Channing to receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honor in 2012. If you agree that she should receive this honor, can you say why you think this should happen? 
Again, her body of work as an artist speaks for itself, but her additional work as a champion of education is worthy of every award!

Most recent appearance
My most recent appearance was at Urban Stages over the Holidays, as well as Don’t Tell Mama, with my new show, “Both Sides Now”.

Next appearance
 I’m bringing my show back to Don’t Tell Mama for one night on Friday, February 3rd @ 7pm.  (Full details available at “Both Sides Now” is a “Side A and Side B of the record” kind of show.  We’ve incorporated some of the music I’ve done in previous shows, as well as some wonderful songs that are new for me.  Additionally we’re exploring both my musical comedy roots and my more contemporary side.  Unlike shows I’ve done in the past, such as tributes to Kaye Ballard or Janis Joplin, this show is just ME! Just me, and a piano…no rockin’ band or jazzy trio.  Tracy Stark, is my Musical Director and Barry Kleinbort directed this show.  Tracy and Barry are 2 of my closest friends, and there’s something very special for me about sharing projects like this, with people that I quite frankly consider family.  It reminds me of why I do all of this in the first place!  They also gave me one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten with this show.  The funny thing is – it’s not splashy or shiny like the Kaye Ballard show, or as intense as covering Janis Joplin’s “Pearl” album – and it’s not as goofy as earlier comedy shows I’ve done like “How ‘Bout Them Apples?!” – but instead it’s  It’s the real me, both the quiet side, and comic side, and the light-hearted side, and the intense side, all rolled up into one me.  And it’s some of the finest work I’ve done.  I’m very proud of this show.  And I’m proud of the places I’ve allowed myself to go with this material.  It’s a show that I don’t mind my students seeing! And having students in the audience is a scary thing!!!

What is your biggest success in Show Business?
Without a doubt – “Special Kaye: A Tribute to the Incomparable Kaye Ballard”.  I won the Nightlife Award, the Bistro Award, and the MAC Award for this show!  It was an incredibly exciting and rewarding year for me.  Kaye Ballard herself came to see the show! Once again, the wonderful Barry Kleinbort directed.  He also was a huge part of the creation and writing of the show.  He even contributed 3 original songs that he had written for Kaye.  David Gaines musical directed and wrote all of the arrangements.  And lots and lots of people came out to help in all kinds of ways including research, finding obscure music, promotion, financial support, buying ads, and so on!

Special Kaye” was one of those ideas that I actually sat on for about three years, because I knew on some level that this was a big, important project, and I was a little bit afraid of it!  My partner, Deborah, was a HUGE part of this show.  There is no way the show would have even happened without her help.  It was actually through a brain storming session with her one day that we even got the idea.  I had been talking for years about Kaye Ballard, and then one day I started talking about doing a tribute show.  Deborah said – well of course it will be about Kaye Ballard! I just looked at her…and knew.  And in that moment, we knew it was such a good idea that we had to keep it a secret! So for three years I only referred to the show as “Project Cereal”.  The whole experience of that show has been magical for me.  I’m forever grateful.

What was your lowest low and how did you surpass that
 I could tell you…. but….

Well, I’ve had a few, but one of them would be towards the end of my career as an Associate Business Manager at a rather large Investment Bank.  First of all, I should say that I worked with some absolutely wonderful, smart, caring, beautiful people there.  And also other people.  For a long time I loved my job, but one day I realized I was very VERY stuck.  I couldn’t audition, I wasn’t moving forward as a performer, all my friends were far surpassing me, and I still didn’t have much money! But I couldn’t imagine how I would continue to pay the bills, provide insurance or live a life with Deborah that was financially stable if I didn’t have that job.  And the realization of that made me feel more stuck!  But then… “Special Kaye” came along.  More people were interested in studying voice with me.  More singing opportunities were coming along.  And the Universe seemed to be saying to go for it.  And then I turned 40.  So for my 40th birthday, I gave myself a gift: I quit my job.  Deborah gave me her full support (not to mention insurance!) and so what did I have to lose!

Gretchen and Deborah (Metropolitan Room)
I’d love to tell you it’s all been rosy since then, but of course it hasn’t.  Freelance work is not for the faint of heart.  And because I’ve been used to a paycheck that I could count on, (and a much larger one at that) I’ve made some serious budgeting errors at times!!!  But even in the toughest moments, we’ve gotten through.  My voice studio continues to grow, I have 4 new shows I’m directing this year, a new cabaret up and running, and I’m back to auditioning.  We continue to stay afloat, and I continue to remain free of the corporate world.  I wouldn’t trade these past 18 months for anything in the world.  Even the tough months!  I’m a completely different person than I was then, and for THAT I’m grateful.  (I think a few other people are grateful as well…)
What one change would you like to see in today’s industry?
 I have always wanted to see talent rewarded for just being talent! I’d love to see opportunities given to, and created for, artists based on their talents and ability, as opposed to the age, beauty (in whose opinion, anyway???!!!), who they know, their dress size, or even name recognition.  I’m a little over the “gotta have a gimmick” mentality.

Who are your TOP FIVE models and influences as an artist
1.) Kaye Ballard – all of my life, I’ve heard “Ohhh you remind me of Kaye Ballard!” so I figured it was high time I learned all about her! And she’s quite simply – BRILLIANT.  I have learned SO much from Kaye Ballard and she remains a huge part of my artistic career.
2.) Janis Joplin – her music gets in my bones, and her raw unapologetic approach to her music and her lyrics is thrilling and inspiring.
3.) Barbra Streisand (of course…I wanted to be her…who didn’t!)
4.) Karen Mason and/or Penny Fuller – I love them both so much, and having the opportunity to know them on a personal level, and learn from them, makes them all the more important to me.
5.) Barry Kleinbort (truthfully he’s number 1) – I can not honestly think of anyone who has had a greater influence on me, both as an artist and as a person, and I am thankful for that every day.

What do you think ultimately made you become an entertainer? 
 I’m not sure I know.  I think I was born into it! It’s part of my soul.  I’m not sure what kind of life I would have if there was no music in it.

Are you happy at the point you are right now in your career?
Sometimes.  I’m thrilled with the success of the Kaye Ballard show.  I’m thrilled with the progress my voice students have made, with the successes of their own performances, with the cabaret classes I’ve been privileged to teach, and with the beautiful artists who’ve asked me to direct for them, and the outcome of those shows.  But – I want more! I still want my Broadway show for starters! And when that comes, there will be something else that I want.  So, I’m proud of myself for sure – but I’m ready for more.  Always!

Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?
with Barry Kleinbort and David Gaines
Nope!  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had successes I’m proud of – quite the opposite, actually – some of which I just mentioned.  But I think there’s always another level to reach for.  Ultimately, I just want to sing, to teach, to continue to explore and to continue to grow.  I don’t believe I’ll be done, until I’m truly…done.
What do you do to remain positive when life's hiccups get you down?
Well, I probably fail at this a lot, but one of the things that I often take comfort in is the fact that no matter what, the world seems to keep on spinning.  I’ve gone through some very difficult times and sometimes I have to just stop and say “Ok, I’m still here.  I’m still alive.  I still have people that love me.  And I can still sing.” If I have all that, how bad can it really be?

How on earth do you reach theatregoers now that newspapers are obsolete and there are so many channels on TV you can’t pick the right ones to advertise on and with the web being so hit and miss.
 This is a very tough question that many of us have tried to figure out with varying degrees of success.  I think networking (yes social – but definitely in person!) is a great thing.  A lot of my audiences have come from a combination of networking and word of mouth.  It’s tough when you don’t have a big budget for advertising.  I also think you have to just hang in there.  If you build it, they do eventually come! And then they go.  And then they show up again. And so on.  You have to keep showing up and you have to keep putting your name in front of people.  Easier said than done, I know all too well.
A genie pops out of the lamp, he grants you three wishes. What are those wishes?
1.) Enough money that Deborah, could quit her day job.
2.) A lead in a Broadway show (that stays open longer than a week!  I would probably need to be specific…)
3.) For Deborah to become a famous jewelry designer!

(So…maybe 2 and 3 would take care of 1…which would leave me with 1 wish: ummm… Peace on Earth?  Why not.)

If you could travel anywhere in the world and spend some time there, where would you choose, and what would you do?
Deborah has always wanted to go to Paris, and I think that’s a trip I would love too.  That one seems doable.  We will hopefully make a point to do that soon!

What would you ask God if you could right now?
With David Gaines at Kaye's Star in Palm Springs
Why couldn’t I ask now?  I ask for all kinds of things on a regular basis!
What is the last stage show you saw.  Local or professional.
I do see a fair amount of cabaret, although, not as much this year as I would like.  Most recently at the theater…it would have to be…Oh geez, it’s been a while….  It might have been “Million Dollar Quartet” on Broadway.  I’ve also seen a few workshops and readings, but cabaret is probably what I get to the most.  I recently saw the brilliantly funny Jay Rogers at the Metropolitan Room. Now THAT was a GREAT show!

What book is on your night stand right now? 
Oh dear.  Well, let’s see.  There’s a clock on my nightstand – my phone is usually there (with emails waiting to be read) – hmmm….as for an actual book – I think there’s a Pottery Barn catalogue on the nightstand?  These days I spend most of my time reading through music, notes for clients I’m working with, or MAC Membership forms I have to process!

Thank you, Gretchen, for the gifts you give to the world!

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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Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

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Please join our party on January 30th at Birdland  as we celebrate Anita Gillette, After All!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I hope you have had a great week. I certainly did! As you may recall from my last blog, I was attending Terese Genecco's show at The Iridium with special guest Klea Blackhurst.
A total WOW from start to finish! Terese, if you see this, I'm chomping at the bit to be a future guest! I suggested to two friends (who brought two more); they had never been to a cabaret show! Because of the incredible show all involved gave, they are joining us for Christine Pedi this eve. A little bit more about her further down.
Terese will be back at The Iridium on the last Tuesday in December, 8 and 10PM shows. DO NOT MISS HER if you want to see how to do it!

On Wednesday afternoon, I met Josh Ellis, who was Carol Channing's publicist on LORELEI...among other shows)and we went over to Border's to see Carol Channing! We were met there by Charlie Karel who was in the original HELLO, DOLLY!
He also features prominently in Carol's life story. You'll have to come see my upcoming show to see how! I was proud that my friend and sometimes accompanist, Christine Talbott-Sutin and her husband, Daniel, came out on such a miserable day. Very cold and rainy! All things told, Carol had a VERY RESPECTABLE turnout considering the time and weather. I don't think that Border's did a very good job in promoting this. Anxious to see how Patti LuPone does tomorrow. She will be there at 7PM, a much better time. I'll be seeing Carol at THE GYPSY OF THE YEAR competition for BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS tomorrow. Afterwords, I did a reading as part of the Screenwriting class at Primary Stages. A few weeks agI auditioned and got cast in 4 readings! Friday night, I sang as part of Jenna Esposito's birthday bash at MetroJam at The Metropolitan Room. I had a great time and this is another monthly show that I highly recommend! Last night, I went to my first holiday show of the season and had a great time. Lots of great singers standing around and singing for each other. Heaven! Such great talent at that party last night AND at Friday night at MetroJam! And now I'm ready to embark on a new week! IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES!

This afternoon, Danny and I are attending an open house here in Piermont at Lisa Grubb's HAPPY DOG GALLERY. I'm proud to call Lisa a friend. She is also my neighbor! Lisa Grubb is a pop artist with a signature style, known for her irresistible characters and vibrant colors. Her paintings are bursting with energy—as if they just jumped out of some fantastic place to brighten our lives. The artist’s sun ripened palette features tangerine, turquoise, crimson, royal blue, yellow, and spring green in offbeat color combinations.

Grubb’s uninhibited creations captivate everyone from seasoned art collectors to young children.

With elements of pop art and naïve art, Grubb’s work combines playfulness and sophisticated humor. Although her style is completely unique, she has been compared with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring for her bold graphic elements.

Her paintings have been shown in numerous galleries from New York’s Soho to the Hamptons to Key West and beyond. Grubb’s customers are worldwide. Many of her paintings have found homes in Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and beyond. You can view Grubb’s work year-round at The Happy Dog Gallery in Piermont, NY which is located on the Hudson River about 30 miles north of New York City.

Grubb is the creator of Happy Dog and has written and illustrated two children’s books, “Happy Dog!” and “Happy Dog Sizzles!” both published by Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Putnam. She is currently working on her third book in the series.

Grubb has appeared on "The Today Show", "Channel 7 Eyewitness News", "Fox Channel 5 News", and "CNBC" with her colorful canvases. In addition, Lisa’s work has appeared in Art Business News, Art Trends, Fine Art Magazine, Dan’s Papers of the Hamptons, and U.S. Art, to name a few.

In 1998 Grubb was invited to paint the Looney Tune characters for Warner Brothers, which led to a one-person show at their gallery on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The show was an outstanding success. She was also invited to paint her interpretation of Disney characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy again, featuring her signature style.

In 1997, Grubb was asked to paint a 10-foot Spiderman for Marvel Entertainment in the Universal Studio booth at the Los Angeles Art Expo. Stan Lee, who is the creator of Spiderman, was also present and signed her painting.

Lisa Grubb grew up in the New York metropolitan area, spent her early career in Key West, Florida, and then returned to New York to make her mark. When Grubb decided to paint professionally and obtain more exposure in New York, she attracted attention from such luminaries as Barbara Walters and Arthur Salzberger.

Grubb is dedicated to helping worthwhile causes through her artwork. In 2005, the PETA organization commissioned Lisa to paint the cover art for their 25th anniversary gala catalog. Lisa’s painting of a Big Bunny was not only on the catalog cover but also reproduced on T-shirts worn by over 400 wait staff. Sale of Big Bunny and Happy Dog raised a significant contribution. In 1996, she was asked to design the invitation to the prestigious Animal Rescue Fund benefit in the Hamptons, and her painting gained the highest bid during the charity auction. She has also contributed her work for other charities such as Elizabeth Taylor’s AMFAR, The Ronald McDonald House, Touch and Coats For Kids Foundation. In 2000, she painted a “Happy Dog” Absolut Vodka bottle for Center One, an AIDS organization, and celebrated the highest bid at the auction.

Future plans include developing her “Happy Dog” family of characters for animation. Grubb plans to continue painting original art and commissions and devoting her talents to worthwhile charities.

Grubb is inspired by, and lives in, New York. Take a moment to visit Lisa's website. Tell her I sent you. Lisa's book, THE HAPPY DOG SIZZLES, would make a great holiday gift!
The fifth person TODAY that buys tickets for my first preview will get a free autographed copy! Of course you have to let me know!
After leaving Lisa's open house, I'm off to have my first vocal session with Gretchen Reinhagen. Gretchen Reinhagen first hit the professional music scene at the tender age of five, fronting for her father's band at the Cape Cod nightclub, The Farm, singing a cover of Karen Carpenter's “Sing” as well as that classic standard “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. Yes, Gretchen delighted employees and their families at The Farm's annual staff holiday party, and a Christmas ham was truly in the making. The highlight of the evening for keyboardist Bill Deechan, was when Gretchen turned to him mid-song and said “TAKE IT!” The highlight of the evening for Gretchen was standing outside with Dad between sets, searching the skies for Santa's sleigh. I have been a fan of Gretchen's from the first time I saw her! It was also great to share the stage with her Friday night at MetroJam. She kicked the evening off with her flawless interpretation of MY ANALYST TOLD ME. Love it! Check out Gretchen's website at Tell her I sent you!
After my lesson, we are off to see the FABULOUS Christine Pedi! If you would like to join our party, please let me know. I have been a fan of Christine's for years as well. We have shared the stage several times together. Christine is probably one of the busiest women in the business! Christine was ALSO in MetroJam on Friday night (as the featured entertainer), she was in New Hope last night for Bob Egan, her show at The Laurie Beechman begins tonight, Newsical is re-opening soon, AND she hosts a daily show on The Broadway station on Sirus XM radio every day! Do you hear what I hear? Christine Pedi is lovingly lampooning all your favorite divas in her annual holiday show Christine Pedi'S THERE'S NO BIZNESS LIKE SNOW BIZNESS! Playing the Laurie Beechman Theater for the month of December, Christine will usher in the holiday season with her award winning comedic flair, spot on impressions, and songs of good cheer. From Roxie Hart's take on "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" to Liza's dramatic rendition of "Rudolf" to an impression filled "12 Divas of Christmas" audiences will fall on their knees with laughter, marvel at Christine's voice as big as the sea, and find comfort and joy in stories of Christmas past, present, and future! God bless her...every pun!

Currently starring in NEWSical The Musical, Broadway buffs will recognize Christine for her long association with Forbidden Broadway and her daily radio show, The Broadway Breakfast, on Sirius Radio. Christine Pedi has earned a Drama Desk nomination, an LA Ovation Award, and has appeared in companies of Forbidden Broadway all over the world including LA, Tokyo, Singapore, Australia, and London's West End. She made her Broadway debut in the revival of Little Me and was most recently seen (and heard) in Talk Radio. Her work as a cabaret artist has earned her a MAC Award, a Backstage Bistro Award, a Nightlife Awards, and was named ShowBusiness Weekly's 2005 Best Female Cabaret Singer of the Year. TV audience's may recognize her as the dearly departed Mrs. Bobby Baccala from The Sopranos (he loved her so much he couldn't defrost her ziti!). She has performed for President Clinton (playing Senator Hillary Clinton), headlined the Queen Mary 2, appeared on the Rosie O'Donnell show, sang on NBC's Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, and can be heard on many Forbidden Broadway cast recordings. Most recently, Christine was featured on starring as both Liza Minnelli and Carol Channing in a spoof of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video.

Christine Pedi'S THERE'S NO BIZNESS LIKE SNOW BIZNESS plays Sun, Dec 5th at 7pm, Mon, Dec 6th at 7pm, Mon, Dec 13th at 9:30pm, Sun, Dec 19th at 4pm, Mon, Dec 20th at 7pm, and Dec 26th - 30th at 7pm. The show will be performing at the Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 W 42nd St (just west of 9th Ave) and tickets can be purchased through or by calling 212-279-4200. Tickets are $40 and there is NO Food/Drink minimum. (SOURCE: BROADWAYWORLD.COM)
Visit Christine's Website at

Christine's work as a musical theatre singer & comedienne in the off-broadway satirical revues FORBIDDEN BROADWAY & FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD has earned her a Drama Desk nomination, an LA Ovation award & lots of frequent flyer miles (Tokyo, Singapore, Australia & London’s West End.) She spoofs a whole new stable of characters (real and imagined) this season in NEWSical the Musical off-Broadway, and her fun and festive annual holiday show THERE'S NO BIZNESS LIKE SNOW BIZNESS has become a beloved tradition at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

On Broadway she appeared in Eric Bogosian's TALK RADIO starring Liev Schrieber, and LITTLE ME starring Martin Short and Faith Prince. Recent credits include FANTASY FOOTBALL at NYMF (NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL) and PROJECT SHAW's presentation of GBS’s ON THE ROCKS at the Players Club. Other stage roles include several A TRAIN PLAYS, THE 24 HOUR PLAYS, Edith Wharton's XINGU, Fanny Brice, Audrey in LITTLE SHOP, DALLIANCE IN VIENNA at the American Theatre of Actors, A BROADWAY DIVA CHRISTMAS and Carlotta the Gypsy Cow (don’t ask.)

She is the proud host of THE BROADWAY BREAKFAST on SIRIUS/XM RADIO where she plays the music of the stage & screen and interviews show biz legends (Mon-Fri, 9a-3p ET.) She shares the mic with the “amaaaaahzing” Seth Rudetsky on Saturdays for DUELING DIVAS (9a-3pET.)

Her cabaret show GREAT DAMES (2008 New York NightLife Award, Backstage Bistro Award, MAC nominaton and “Top Ten Memorable Theatre Moments of the Year” on has performed in South Africa (Cape Town, Jo'burg & Durban,) London's Jermyn Street Theatre and all over the U.S. SHOW BUSINESS WEEKLY named her 2007's “Best Female Cabaret Performer.” She’s performed on the NY Cabaret stages of Birdland, The Metropolitan Room, The Beechman & The Algonquin Oakroom, earning a MAC Award award & several nominations, as well as a guest spot on John McD's Cabaret Corner on the Rosie O'Donnell Show.

Guest appearances include Avery Fisher Hall, the Broadway by the Year series at Town Hall, Sardi's, the Palace Theatre, the Queen Elizabeth 2 & the Queen Mary 2 and the BROADWAY UP CLOSE series at The Kaufman Center. She performed with Marvin Hamlish & the Indianapolis Symphony as well as many other orchestras throughout the U.S. & Canada, and has sung for President and Mrs. Clinton (playing Hilary Clinton.)

SOPRANOS fans may recognize her as the dearly departed Mrs. Bobby Baccala (2 episodes, 4 scenes, 5 lines ... DEAD! But he loved her so much he couldn't defrost her ziti for months.)

Recordings include her soon-to-be-released studio album “Good To Mama,” as well as “GREAT DAMES: Live at the Metropolitan Room,” "Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey", "Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back," "Forbidden Hollywood," "Forbidden Broadway: Vol. 3," "Jekyll & Hyde," "Little Me," "Quel Fromage,” and “Broadway Musicals of 1962.”

Take Christine home with you! Forbidden Broadway, Vol. 8: Special Victims Unit
Can't wait to see you again tonight, Christine!
And today kick starts the week ahead: Tomorrow afternoon: BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS PRESENTS THE GYPSY OF THE YEAR featuring CAROL CHANNING...back on Broadway! Then I'm heading up to Border's for Patti LuPone's book signing.
I already have the book! Patti's former manager passed away earlier this week. The former managing partner of the firm that managed the careers and tours of performers from Suzanne Vega to Patti LuPone, has died in Manhattan. Byron Gustafson was 56.She has brought her special brand of "star quality" to shows such as Evita, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, The Robber Bridegroom, Oliver!, Les Miserables, Anything Goes, Master Class, Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd. The roles of Eva Peron, Reno Sweeney, Norma Desmond, and Mrs. Lovett have all lead her to her current triumph as Mama Rose.

She was a member of Julliard's first graduating class in 1972 and soon after a member of John Houseman's The Acting Company, she has brought her training, passion and intelligence to everything she has done, from theater, film, television and the concert stage. A master of her craft, she is actor, icon and most importantly, "Mom". had a moment to spend with her at the Tony Nominee Breakfast, she was warm, relaxed and engaged as she shared some insights into performing the work and the history behind the story of Gypsy.

Eddie Varley: Congratulations to you and everyone in the company

Patti LuPone: Oh, thank you.

EV: How are you feeling, it must be such a special time? You all are bringing the show to such thrilling life.

PL: Oh, I'm relieved, and I'm extremely grateful for everybody in the company and especially Arthur. Arthur cast it with actors and by a sheer fluke, he was allowed to have the 11 principals for a week around the table, which never happens in a musical, and we discovered the book, and we continue to discover the book. And he formed an ensemble of actors, Arthur took the biggest risk.

EV: I'm so glad he was recognized.

PL: Me too, you know, I mean the fact that he took the biggest risk, because if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and Gypsy certainly ain't broke, and he took a chance with rediscovering it as opposed to imposing preconceived ideas, blocking, dancing numbers, etc, and I think that what makes it fresh.

EV: I think this season that's what everyone is saying and feeling, the revivals are so fresh, but never more so than with this Gypsy, and your performances, there's such depth and emotion in the family.

Read more:

Take Patti home with you! Patti LuPone - Patti LuPone at Les Mouches

Dear Richard,

Thank you for coming to see Cassandra in THE LARAMIE PROJECT. After reading your blog, you are proof that 'busy people get more done'. Plus, you're a good writer!
Katherine McKenna, Woodbourne NY

It was my first time seeing Richard Skipper perform as Carol Channing and it was wonderful. I think he does important work reminding us of the talents and value of stars like Carol Channing who we don't see as often in the public eye as we once did. As CarI saw Richard Skipper at the Nyack Center (11/21/10). I have not laughed so hard in such a long time. He is truly talented and I especially loved his getting the audience involved.Thank you so much!!
Rosemarie, Tarrytown NY

In the short time I've known Richard Skipper, I have not only been impressed by his abundance of talent, but by Richard's incredible wealth of knowledge, honesty and COMMON SENSE about "all things Show Business"; with the emphasis on "BUSINESS".

As a retired Army Sergeant who is now a 63-year old "Johnny-Come-Lately" to the world of Cabaret Entertaining, HE is the person I've been searching for to guide and help me succeed in my career goals and pursuits.

I look forward to attending Richard's Workshop this coming January, and can't wait to get started. Stay well, stay happy & God bless you always!

Ronnie Giles,


. . . the first time ever I have been shown with such love, respect and polish. Richard Skipper is a true musical comedy star! He is fabulous as me!"~ Carol Channing

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With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper,