Sunday, November 15, 2009

Florence Henderson takes ALL THE LIVES OF ME on tour beginning with Cabaret at the Castle.

"Can I have a hug?," asked Days of Our Lives actor Yuval David. "That is the number one question ask of me," says Florence Henderson as she invited him to come up on stage to receive his hug on Tuesday night at Cabaret at the Castle.

At 75 years young, she is an extremely impressive woman with a great deal of energy and terrific sense of humor.
Among those in attendance included, Romi Dames, Ilene Graff, Tippi Hedren, Ben Lanzarone (pictured), Kate Linder, and Florence's TV child, Eve Plumb (Jan Brady) among others.
Making the evening extra special, was the fact that her own daughter, Barbara Chase, was in the audience celebrating her birthday.

As the title so aptly explains, Miss Henderson offers an intimate look at the many wonderful chapters of her life from early Broadway successes to becoming a television Icon. During a portion of the show, when Miss Henderson recalls what growing up in a family of 10 children during the post depression era ... "Don't laugh," she warns, "I was number ten" ... by passing a hat while performing as her mother would have her do as a child. A more than anxious audience filled the hat to overflowing, prompting Miss Henderson to match the amount and donate the funds to a local charity - An action that in tern encouraged director Dale Hindman to also match the amount raised.

Opening to tremendous success this week in Los Angeles at Cabaret at the Castle, Florence Henderson will be crossing the country with ALL THE LIVES OF ME under the Music Direction of Emmy winning Musical Director Glen Roven with future engagements in Indianapolis (Indianapolis Symphony), San Francisco (The Rrazz Room), and New York (Joe's Pub).

Henderson is the very definition of a successful business, as a mother, a grandmother, a singer, a humanitarian, a philanthropist, as one of the top 5 American spokeswomen, and an actress who has conquered the boards of Broadway as well as both the silver screen and television --- And most of that before she ever became First Lady Michelle Obama and America's Favorite Mom on the Brady Bunch. Is it any wonder that in 2009, Florence was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute's first permanent Entertainment History Exhibit as one of the Leading Ladies of Stage and Screen - .

Whats next? She is currently in negotiations for the rights to publish her memoirs.

Audiences rave about IT'S MAGIC at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Since the days of ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs, magicians have practiced the art of magic. From the prehistoric caves of Europe and North America, to ancient Greece and Rome, to the Middle Ages, long before the days of Vaudeville, and television, archaeological evidence and historical records show that audiences were held captive by the masters of trickery and illusion.
Delighted audiences gathered at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, not for the Oscars, but for this years production of the critically acclaimed “It's Magic!”which is the brainchild of Hollywood Walk of Fame Star recipient and co-founder of The Magic Castle®, Milt Larsen. “It's Magic!” and is co-produced by Terry Hill, whose production and staging credits include projects for Disneyland and Universal amusement parks as well as the local EMMY Awards. Larsen and Hill proudly offered a potpourri of edgy, jaw-dropping and hilarious illusionary pleasures this week. A great deal of the shows success must be attributed to the direction of past AMA president, Dale Hindman. With special guests Neil Patrick Harris, Romi Dames, David DeLuise, Phill Lewis and Steve Valentine and masters of illusion such as Lance Burton, Jorge Blass, Rudy Coby & Co, Joseph Gabriel, Kevin James (Who performed at the White House for President and Mrs Obama earlier in the week), Mac King, and Shimada.

“It's Magic!” was the highlight of a week-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the structure known today as the Magic Castle. Audiences witnessed an impressive array of talents, presenting incredible feats of magic during this one night only extravaganza.
(Both of these articles coutesy of Harlan Boll)

Liza Minnelli News!

New York Premiere: Liza’s at the Palace...
Liza's at the Paley

The Paley Center for Media is welcoming Liza Minnelli to their stage for the New York premiere screening of her new special before it airs on public television. (I already have my tickets!)
Liza will stay for a conversation after the screening.

The legendary Liza Minnelli's triumphant return to Broadway was one of the major events of the 2008–09 season, resulting in five weeks of sold-out shows and bringing her a Tony Award in the process.
Variety said: "Minnelli had the opening-night audience in the palm of her hand from her first moment onstage...the affection flowing from the crowd hung in the air like perfume."

Fortunately, this concert, Liza's at the Palace..., has been captured on film, with material performed during the New York engagement including her affectionate tribute to her godmother, singer/vocal arranger Kay Thompson.

By subway: E or V to Fifth Avenue and 53 Street; N, R, or W to 49 Street and Seventh Avenue; 1 to 50 Street and Broadway; B, D, F, or V to 47-50 Street/Rockefeller Center. Click here for map. The Paley Center is on 52 Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Madame is a showbiz evergreen
Madame (with an "E') is a showbiz evergreen

By TOM CHESEK • CORRESPONDENT • November 13, 2009

There are legends, and there are Legends — so when a bona fide show business Legend consents to an interview by phone, well, that's a phone call you dress up for.
The people at Algonquin Arts certainly know the value of a Legend - which is why, when it came time to plan their first in a projected series of Celebrity Benefits events, they turned to one of the most iconic stars in the business — an evergreen by the name of Madame — to help raise funds for the restoration of the venerable Algonquin Theatre in Manasquan. For those who need refreshing, Madame — and really, was a second name ever even necessary? — is that grande dame of stage and screen who became a household word in the 1970s and 80s, through her partnership with the late comic ventriloquist Wayland Flowers.

A funnier, friendlier Norma Desmond for the age — with a Mae West-sized playbook of double-entendre jokes and a legacy of alleged liaisons with multiple generations of Hollywood leading men — Madame staked out an appeal that embraced the largely gay audience of the cabaret circuit, as well as the mainstream millions who tuned in weekly to the era-defining music program "Solid Gold," a stint about which she quips, "There's no such thing as solid gold — only old, dyed platinum blonde."
The polished performer with the brash, acerbic, tell-it-like-it-is persona was all over the tube in those days, from talk and variety shows to countless episodes of "The Hollywood Squares" and even her own syndicated sitcom, "Madame's Place." It was a grueling schedule for both Wayland and Madame, who recalls her TV heyday with, "one thing they don't tell you when you do a sitcom, is that sit-com doesn't include sit-down!"

"I did 75 episodes in one season," says Madame. "Poor Wayland was never off his back. That made two of us!"With Wayland's passing in 1988, Madame went into a self-imposed seclusion that only recently ended with her first tour of live shows in years.

"When I lost Wayland I lost more than a handler — he was my friend," recalls Madame in a rare serious moment. "Sometimes I feel like he's still up there inside of me."

Restore cuts in arts, education, Liberals told

Committee of government, Opposition MLAs offer advice for 2010 B.C. budget

By Rob Shaw, Canwest News ServiceNovember 13, 2009

VICTORIA — The provincial government should restore funding cuts in arts and education, says a committee of government and Opposition MLAs providing advice for the 2010 provincial budget.

The 10-member committee of Liberal and NDP politicians issued a report Friday with 49 recommendations for the B.C. government as it prepares for its 2010 budget in March.

They unanimously supported restoring funding for arts groups to last year’s level, before millions were cut from gaming grants and the B.C. Arts Council as part of cost-saving efforts in the September budget.
But the government isn’t apologizing for the cutbacks, which were “hard decisions that we frankly took no pleasure from” during a tough year for the economy, said John Les, the Liberal MLA who chaired the select standing committee on finance and government.

But MLAs are saying the money should be restored in the future, he said.

Arts groups have repeatedly pressed politicians to return the cut funding — which they peg at almost $13 million, representing more than a 25-per-cent cut from last year’s funding — because it’s crucial to keeping theatre, music and culture festivals afloat. At one finance committee meeting last month, artists performed music for politicians while 100 others sang in protest in the legislature’s rotunda.

The finance committee meets each year to gather public feedback on the budget, although the provincial government is not obliged to accept any of the recommendations.

Politicians received almost 3,500 oral and written submissions during meetings in September and October.

The committee also recommended that $110 million in annual facilities grants for school districts be made a “high priority” in next year’s budget, after the government eliminated them this year to save money.

The grants paid for maintenance of school buildings. Outraged school trustees complained the cuts left them cash-strapped and forced them to reduce services.

“From a government perspective, for this year that was absolutely the right decision to make,” Les said of the facility-grant cuts. “But we also clearly understand this is not a decision that can be carried on year after year. You do have to take care of your [buildings].”

The committee’s four Opposition NDP members said they were pleased Liberal MLAs supported reversing their own cuts.

“I think that flies in the face, to some degree, of what the current B.C. government policy is,” said Doug Donaldson, NDP MLA and the committee’s deputy chairman.

“I was happy with the common ground we found,” Donaldson said.

Although the NDP supported around 75 per cent of the recommendations, it ultimately voted against approving the entire report because it contained recommendations on mitigating the effects of the new Harmonized Sales Tax.

Donaldson said the Opposition is unable to support a tax it fundamentally disagrees with.

Overall, health care funding remained the top issue for taxpayers, the committee said. Politicians recommended a greater emphasis on “smarter” health-care delivery, including an “activity-based” funding model in which fees are provided per service to encourage innovation by local health authorities, instead of lump-sum funding.

It also called for increased funding for mental-health and addictions services.

Other suggestions focused on improved services for K-12 education, post-secondary education, sports and early-intervention programs for special-needs children, according to the committee’s report.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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 on Friday! Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper

Dear Richard,
I had a wonderful time being in the show and as part of the audience,too. You and Dana are soooo funny together and Barry Levitt and Saadi Zain are a terrific band to work with.The show just kept moving along at a great pace and the time just flew by.I look forward to singing at the Iguana again...the audience was so wonderfully was a pleasure !!! xx Jane Scheckter

Great meeting you on Wed night. I was thoroughly entertained and impressed with the show, and the diverse, incredible talent that you had lined up. Can't wait to come back. Truly a gem venue in NYC!Gregory Nalbone

Hi Richard!
What a fantastic show you and your incredibly talented crew put on last night!! It was my first time at the Iguana and I plan to make it a regular part of my routine from now on :)Every performance was unique and kept my interest from the moment I arrived...I didn't notice the time flew by! Wonderful to meet you as well!
All The Best,
Vicki Burns


Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price!
Dana Lorge and I have now put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge ( in the heart of
NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).

Barry Levitt on keyboard and Saadi Zain on bass!
on bass. Time: 8 - 11:00 p.m.

Cover: $10 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!

This is a nice night
out with the family!
"throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.
For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
212-765-5454. No one admitted before

Nov 18
IGUANA VIP LOUNGE, 240 West 54th Street, NYC
Barry Levitt on keyboard & Saadi Zane on bass. Tonight's guests include: Frans Bloem, Natalie Douglas, Ray Jessel, Rob Langeder, Cindy Marchionda, Ben Rauch ... A few other surprises as well! Remember $10.00 Cover/No food or drink minimum!
Reservations a must (212) 765-5454

November 25th: OUR THANKSGIVING SHOW! PLEASE NOTE 7PM TONIGHT!James Alexander joins us!

December 2nd: Cynthia Crane, The debut of The Marquee 5 (Mick Bleyer, Adam Hemming, Vanessa Parvin, Sierra Rein, Julie Reyburn) singing selections from their upcoming revue, "We Can Make It...The Songs of Kander & Ebb" and Hector Coris!

December 9th: Richard Holbrook, Josh Zuckerman, Helena Grenot, Jillian Laurain, Jerry Wichinsky

December 16th: Jessee Luttrell and Susan Eichorn-Young

December 30th: Linda Fields, Ritt Henn, Annie Hughes, Yvette Malavets-Blum, David Nathan Scott

January 20th: D'Yan Forrest and Scot Wisniewski
Keep checking

February 17th: James Alexander!

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