One of the greatest things to come out of this year has been my weekly series with Dana Lorge. Wednesday Nights At The Iguana. I never realized when this fell into my lap in May that I would still be doing it. I continue to campaign for the importance of ARTS IN EDUCATION.
I hope that as I write my blog this time next year, that EVERY school in the nation has an arts program as part of their curriculum.
I will continue to work with Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian and their foundation for the arts.
At the end of this blog, you will see how you, too, can help.
This has been a great year for Liza Minnelli! Talk about come-backs! She inspires me! In February, the DVD of her Tony Award winning (and now Grammy nominated) LIZA'S AT THE PALACE comes out.
I was lucky enough to see the concert at The Palace at the end of 2008. Last month, I saw the filmed version at The Paley Center. Liza was in attendance and was interviewed by Michael Feinstein afterwards.
Marc Rosen and Arlene Dahl were in attendance. As well as most of the cast of the show.
2010 is going to be a concentrated plan to get to Broadway. I am going to work and study with (and surround myself) with the people that I think will get me there. I will be keeping you abreast of my progress through my blogs, twitters, and Facebook. I hope that you will support me in this quest. I don't mean financially! I mean emotionally and spiritually.
When I was 13, I committed to come to NY on August 5th, 1979. I DID IT! I did a lot of theatre and 15 years ago, I went in another direction with my tribute to Carol Channing. It has been an incredible journey and I will continue to do those performances when the time arrives.
On Tuesday, I have my first audition of 2010. It's for a role and a show that I really desire A LOT! Keep me in your thoughts and prayers at 10:15AM on the 5th!
On a sadder note, this decade started with Tragedy at the World Trade Center. The decade ends with us STILL dealing with threats to our way of LIFE.
This is in today's NEW YORK POST: O furious over botch in security
By CHUCK BENNETT
President Obama yesterday trashed the “systemic failure” by security and intelligence agencies that allowed an al Qaeda crotch bomber to nearly blow up a US airliner — as it was revealed the CIA had been tracking the jihadi since August. “When our government has information on a known extremist, and that information is not shared and acted upon -- as it should have been -- so that this extremist boards a plane with dangerous explosives that could have cost nearly 300 lives, a systemic failure has occurred," Obama said."And I consider that totally unacceptable."The president, speaking from Hawaii, where he's on vacation, hit the system responsible for keeping airline passengers safe, after remaining largely silent for two days following the thwarted Christmas Day attack over Detroit.
"There was a mix of human and systemic failure that contributed to this potentially catastrophic breach of security," Obama said, confirming reports that would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's father had warned US officials in Nigeria about his son on Nov. 19.
The CIA had been tracking a person of interest dubbed "The Nigerian," but missed the connection with Abdulmutallab, even after his dad contacted the US Embassy in Lagos, CBS News reported.
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said the agency didn't have Abdulmutallab's name until November and didn't connect the dots with "The Nigerian" until after the bungled bombing.
The agency is reviewing data "to determine if more could have been done to stop Abdulmutallab," he said.
The young thug's father told embassy officials his son might have traveled to Yemen to rendezvous with Islamic terrorists.
That led to a broader meeting the next day, in which the information was shared with representatives of the Homeland Security Department, the FBI and the State Department, a US official told The Wall Street Journal.
It's unclear whether intelligence officials then effectively analyzed the information from Nigeria.
But a US intelligence source told The Post the State Department cable warning about Abdulmutallab on Nov. 20 was "very thin" and could have been summarized in "one sentence" -- so sparse that he wasn't added to any watch list, nor was his US travel visa revoked.
The president ordered a review of airline screening procedures and the way in which terrorists are placed on watch lists. He said he wants answers about the stunning breach on his desk tomorrow.
In other developments yesterday:
* Yemen-based radical imam Anwar Aulaqi, the former Virginia mosque leader who counseled two 9/11 hijackers and the Fort Hood Massacre gunman, had approved of Abdulmutallab's failed attack and was becoming more involved in planning assaults, sources told the Washington Times.
A US intelligence official told the paper that Aulaqi indoctrinated Abdulmutallab into al Qaeda, blessed him and told him, "You are going to be the tip of the spear of the Muslim nation." Officials said Aulaqi might have been killed in Yemen earlier this month.
* Obama and his advisers believe there is "some linkage" between al Qaeda and Abdulmutallab. The administration is "increasingly confident" that the group worked with him to secure the explosive mixture he took aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253, The Washington Post said.
The government also had intelligence suggesting a possible al Qaeda attack on the US around Christmas, the paper said.
* The United States and Yemen are looking at fresh targets in Yemen for a potential retaliatory strike over the foiled bombing, CNN reported.
* MTA police stepped up patrols and random bag inspections on commuter rails and major stations.
* Sen. Chuck Schumer said he wants Transportation Security Administration personnel stationed in foreign airports.
* Al Qaeda has its own security scanners and has been practicing concealing explosives, a Dutch newspaper reported. They have carried out test runs by smuggling explosives through European airports, the paper said.
Additional reporting by Tom Namako
I've often said that if everyone began the day with a show tune or a song, there would be no violence in the world! I BELIEVE THAT!
Here is an entertainer, I recommend: Jane Stuart Trio @ The New Leaf CafeFriday, January 15 at 7:30pm
New Leaf Cafe @ The Cloisters (Ft. Tryon park) NYC. She will also be appearing at The Iguana on February 3rd, my mom's birthday!
Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week! Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out next Tuesday! Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/Foundation.htm
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard SkipperFollow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper
HERE IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:
Richard: SO sorry to miss the party! I was so looking forward to it and singing with your glorious voice and the others! Your Carol Channing is SO marvelous, but, at Jim's Memorial, your voice sounded so rich and strong! We were so impressed! It's very difficult to just be yourself and stand and sing! You touched us all with your heart and your talent! What a treat - and -the bonus is, you are such a lovely person! You are really a superb, charming and warm performer! Hoping SOME day to get to your Wed. night fiesta! Sorry if I waxed compliments overboard, but it's not often we get to do it with sincerity and when it is, it's a joy!! Have the greatest New Year! Billie Stewart
I had the wonderful opportunity of performing last nite at the Iguana. Dana and Richard are the most inviting hosts and make every one feel welcomed and loved... They have created a comfortable atmosphere at the Iguana.. I was sitting between Celeste Holmes and Eileen Fulton.. Not too bad I'd say. A perfect place to meet new people and brainstorm. Come and be a part of New York's Gem and make a little of your own history. see you there! Esther Beckman
My sister, Joanna, and my student Omar Felix went with me to Dancers Over 40 on 12/13 for the tribute performance...your energy, warmth and enthusiasm as Carol Channing made the afternoon very special for all of us, and tied the whole program together. Can't wait to see more, Richard...
Garold Gardner, garoldgardnerscholarshipfoundation.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price! Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge (http://www.iguananyc.com) in the heart of
NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!
Cover: $10 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
This is a nice night
out with the family! A
"throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.
For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!!
212-765-5454. No one admitted before
December 30th: Ritt Henn, Annie Hughes, Cindy Marchionda, Sarah Rice, David Nathan Scott
January 13th: Barbara Gurskey returns!
January 20th: Douglas Davidian, Cait Doyle, D'yan Forrest, Greta Heron, Catt John, Alegra Themmen
Feb 3 : Michael Austin, Christopher Gerrard, Lucia Mozzola, Jane Schechter, George Stella, Jane Stuart
February 17th : James Alexander
March 10th: David Alpher & Jenny Litt, Louise Quick (pictured), Nicholas Tamagna, Pam Tate, Maureen Taylor
March 24th, Julie Reyburn returns!
April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!
Keep checking http://www.richardskipper.com/schedule.html for upcoming entertainers.