Sunday, August 15, 2010


I am reminded daily how lucky I am living in a city where LIVE THEATRE is available to me on a daily basis. And not just one or two shows, but a plethora. If I was to see three shows a day over the next 52 week, I still wouldn't see everything.
Today, I want to write about a show I saw last night, a show I saw this afternoon, and anticipation of things to come! Last night a group of friends: Dave Chontos, Eileen Fisher, Bobbie Horowitz, Dana Lorge, Chuck Mosseau (with two friends of his), Tym Moss, and myself met at the diner directly across the street at 5PM. Although it was conveniently located, I cannot recommend this diner (and I LOVE diners!). When we walked in, NO ONE was there. The food was mediocre at best, the service was ok, and the management was blah! When will these restaurants learn to love their customers? Especially in today's economic climate!
One of my favorite restaurants in NY is Chez Josephine. Jean Claude Baker (son of the grat Josephine Baker) is a classic example of the perfect host! He told me once that when he started in the restaurant business over 25 years ago he was allergic to food and knew nothing of the restaurant business! He said, "Richard, 25 years later, I'm still allergic to garlic and I still know nothing of the restaurant business. However, I know how I want to be treated when I walk into a restaurant." And I will tell you, he treats EVERY customer like the star they are! Go see for yourself. A few restaurants (including one I'm in every week) could take a lesson from this man!
But back to last night. We had a great time just enjoying each other's company before going to the show. I try to get a group together for every show I go to. It makes the evening more exciting and helps to expand the artist's that we're going to see fan base.
I've been following Steven Fales' career for years. I, of course, am very interested in working entertainers. That precious few who keep the momentum going even in a tough economy. Steven Fales is definitely in that category. And thanks to FACEBOOK, we have actually connected and are now working with each other. We bounce ideas off of each other and we are joining forces on September 20th for an all day workshop at DON'T TELL MAMA in NY: Sep 20

DON'T TELL MAMA, 343 West 46th Street, NYC

This dynamic one-day workshop on all things solo performance will give you everything you need to begin your journey creating and producing work that is viable and meaningful. Lead by veteran solo performers Steven Fales, CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY, and Richard Skipper, CAROL CHANNING IN CONCERT STARRING RICHARD SKIPPER. The cost is $199. for the workshop. Paypal accepted at For more info. email

Look at my track record. Look at his! This is definitely one workshop you will not want to miss! Sign up now! Seating is limited.

MISSIONARY POSITION, Steven's latest in a trilogy about his life as a gay Mormon is an incredible piece of theatre. I laughed and cried last night. Moving towards my own autobiographical piece, AS CAROL, it was a master class in story telling. I was thrilled to be part of that first night audience. I do feel that there needs to be minor trimming and that some parts need to be fleshed out more (no pun intended). But Bravo, Steven! I am proud to call you friend.
Steven's next show is Friday afternoon at 2PM. It is part of New York's Fringe Festival. Go see this show! It is at The Soho Playhouse 15 VanDam Street.

You can also catch Steven on September 2nd at The Iguana!


THE IGUANA, 240 W 54th St
MORMON AMERICAN PRINCESS Co Produced by Richard Skipper
Steven Fales, Actor / Writer of Off-Broadway hit CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY coming to the Iquana with his cabaret confection, MORMON AMERICAN PRINCESS. Tickets are $25 (cash at the door) now food or drink minimums but the food is great. For reservations call (212) 765-5454 or visit their website to make an online reservation. Mormon American Princess is a revue combining original songs with standards and Broadway showtunes to explore “our self-absorbed society.” He’s still finding inspiration in the life journey that took him from married Latter-day Saint to out “latter-gay saint,” as the titles of his musical numbers—including “The Excommunication Polka,” “Cult Rap” and “Mormon Broadway Medley”—might suggest; the playlist also features “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Son of a Preacher Man.” Join Fales for this high-energy adventures in sin and fabulousness.
You can take Steven home with you! Confessions of a Mormon Boy: Behind the Scenes of the Off-Broadway Hit

To read more about Steven Fales, please visit his web site:

"What a rare and skillful thing is Confessions of a Mormon Boy, Steven Fales' engrossing, funny and often quite harrowing tale. A fine writer and actor."- Chicago Sun-Times A hit at New York's Fringe Festival, Steven Fales' true-life story has become a smash across the country. Now playing off-Broadway, it continues to dazzle audiences with its honesty and wit as the author recounts his story of being excommunicated from the Mormon church for being gay, leaving his wife and children, and his subsequent descent into the dangers of sex and drugs.

This afternoon, I saw the INCREDIBLE Jim Brochu's ZERO HOUR. Another that I have followed for years and a big fan of. I was lucky enough to attend The Drama Desk Awards this year. I was thrilled that he won and he brought the house down!
The following is from THEATREMANIA: Zero Hour
Reviewed By: Les Spindle · Jul 10, 2006 · New York

Jim Brochu in Zero Hour
(Photo © Michael Lamont)

In Jim Brochu's entertaining new solo play Zero Hour, the writer-performer gives us a flavorful glimpse at the remarkable life and career of the late, great actor-singer-painter Zero Mostel. Nearly two decades after his death, Mostel is remembered for his indelible accomplishments in such shows at Fiddler on the Roof and Rhinoceros but also for his infamous temper, his volatile behavior, and his tribulations at the hands of Senator Joseph McCarthy's ruthless communist investigation committee in the 1950s.

The show is meant as tribute, though it's scarcely a wart-free depiction of Mostel. The text consists of intriguing biographical and historical tidbits, peppered with Brochu's intermittently successful attempts to conjure up the essence of this larger-than-life clown with a dark side. Meanwhile, director Paul Kreppel's mounting feels like a solid workshop effort in which the characterization could be refined and the mix of anecdotes should be reconsidered. At times, Zero Hour, which runs about two hours, feels less like a play and more like a lecture.

The multi-talented Brochu (co-writer of the hit musicals The Last Session and The Big Voice: God or Merman?) knows whereof he speaks.
He often likes to relate an incident during the 1960s in which he asked Mostel for his autograph. According to Brochu, Mostel bellowed back "You're not worthy!" The kicker is that the men were more than casual acquaintances at that point; Brochu had been introduced to Mostel by his own mentor, actor David Burns.

The play begins in Mostel's Manhattan art studio in 1977, as he is preparing to play Shylock in a play called The Merchant. (Mostel died during an out-of-town tryout in Philadelphia.) The premise is that a New York Times reporter has come to interview Mostel; in exchange Mostel insists on painting a portrait of the newsman. (Mostel always called himself a painter who sometimes acts, not vice versa.) In a fully believable development -- based on what we know of Mostel -- the actor takes over the interview, and his bombastic mix of tirades, jokes, digressions, and laments becomes a crash course in his tumultuous life.

Most of the expected details are touched upon: His modest upbringing on New York's Lower East Side with his Orthodox Jewish parents; his miserable first marriage and happier second union; the devastating accident in which a bus ran over his leg, leaving him in excruciating pain for the rest of his life. Midway through the first act, the specter of McCarthyism rears its ugly head, when Mostel and many of his friends were called before the House Un-American Activities Committee. These anecdotes are fascinating and heart-wrenching, but so much time is spent on them that we don't get sufficient details on other parts of his life, such as his work in the Broadway shows and his disappointing efforts to forge a film career.

Brochu makes it clear that the bellowing Mostel had a bark worse than his bite, and that much of his aggressive, outlandish behavior derived from his innate nature as a born clown. Yet, when we get a fleeting admission from Mostel at the end about his life frustrations, we find ourselves wishing that more examples had been as well fleshed out as the blacklist business.

Wisely, Brochu avoids impersonating Mostel. There are physical resemblances between the two men, but Brochu realized a too-boisterous portrayal would likely be overbearing, for the same reason Hollywood producers worried that Mostel's persona would look too oversized onscreen. Nonetheless, Brochu captures the all-important wild-eyed look and the actor's idiosyncratic outbursts are fully credible.

There is still much work to be done before Zero Hour becomes the gem it could be. But even now, its mix of something for everyone -- comedy, tragedy, showbiz history, and nostalgia -- results in a fresh and inventive piece.

Jim Brochu, Charles Kimbrough, Andrea Marcovicci, Kristine Nielsen, et al. Set for York Musicals in Mufti Concerts

Preliminary casting has been announced for two of the York Theatre Company's Fall 2010 Musicals in Mufti concerts.

Andrea Marcovicci will play fashion designer Coco Chanel in Coco (September 10-12), joined by Jessica Grové as Noelle, Charles Kimbrough as Louis Greif, and Kristine Nielsen as Pignol. Mark Kaufmann will direct, with music direction by Michael Horsley.

Jim Brochu, Quentin Earl Darrington, and Josh Grisetti will play the roles of Sir, The Negro and Cocky, respectively, in The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd (October 1-3).
Marcia Milgrom Dodge will direct with Ethyl Will as music director.

The following is from Ken Davenport's wonderful blog, The Producer's Perspective, dated February 22nd, 2010 (BTW, Sign up for Ken's blog. It is one of the best blogs around!)Zero Hour Resumes Performances Tuesday
ZERO HOUR, Jim Brochu’s acclaimed play about the life of theatre legend Zero Mostel, will begin an open-ended Off-Broadway run at the DR2 Theatre (103 East 15th Street) beginning February 23rd, with opening night set for Sunday, March 7th. ZERO HOUR recently completed a limited 11-week limited engagement at Theatre at St. Clement’s, where it opened on November 22nd to rave reviews.

“In this solo bioplay directed by Hollywood veteran Piper Laurie, writer and performer Brochu is freakishly convincing as the blustery, brilliant Mostel. It’s more than just the ridiculous comb-over, the bug eyes and the Tevye beard. Brochu seems to have captured the soul of the bombastic clown who could wring laughs out of an audience with a bit of mime or a booming punch line…a funny tribute to a funny man.” – NY1

“Singularly captivating. Zero Hour is a success. Brochu is the spitting image of the bearish Mostel, down to the strands of hair barely covering his head. His wildly expressive gestures are particularly spot on. It brings Mostel back to life, just the way his fans want him.” - The New York Times

“Very funny. Brochu's living restoration has brought Mostel's larger-than-life personality back into the spotlight for a laugh-filled, much-welcomed presentation. - Associated Press

“It all flows and provides plenty of big laughs as well as hushed drama. After a while, you stop caring whether a particular line is Brochu’s or Mostel’s; all you know is that you’ve been privy to the work of a great comedian.” - The New Yorker

****(FOUR STARS/Critic’s Pick) “We owe Jim Brochu a debt of gratitude for Zero Hour, an extraordinary act of reincarnation that restores the outsize actor to us in all of his daunting dimensions. From the moment that Brochu spins around to face the audience, he is a Hirschfeld drawing come to pulsing life. You can’t help being swept up in the tornado of energy as Brochu’s star turn conjures forth a Zero larger than life and death.” - Time Out New York

“The rumors of Zero Mostel's death have apparently been greatly exaggerated. Jim Brochu recalls his subject so uncannily in looks, voice and anarchic spirit that one immediately wants to see him in revivals of Forum and Fiddler. Thirty-two years after Mostel's untimely death, it's a pleasure to have him back on the boards.” - New York Post

Three-time Academy Award nominee Piper Laurie directs ZERO HOUR, which was originally produced in Los Angeles, winning the Ovation Award for Best New Play. And just last month, ZERO HOUR received two Helen Hayes Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Non-Resident Production.

Starring Jim Brochu as Zero Mostel, ZERO HOUR is set at Mostel’s West 28th Street painting studio where a naïve reporter attempts to interview the famously volatile actor, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage, and juicy backstage lore. It is July 1977 and the actor is giving his final interview before leaving for the pre-Broadway tryout of The Merchant in Philadelphia. Mostel only played one performance as Shylock before his sudden death at the age of 62. ZERO HOUR traces Mostel's early days growing up on the Lower East Side as the son of Orthodox Jewish immigrant parents, through his rise as a stand-up comedian, from the Borscht Belt to Manhattan's most exclusive supper clubs, and from the devastation of the blacklist to his greatest Broadway triumphs, most notably as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and working through his love-hate relationship with Jerome Robbins.

ZERO HOUR is produced Off-Broadway by Kurt Peterson and Edmund Gaynes in association with The Peccadillo Theater Company.

The playing schedule is Tuesday at 7PM, Wednesday at 2PM, Thursday & Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 2 & 8PM, and Sunday at 2PM. Tickets are $59.50 & $35.50 and are available through 212-239-6200. For more information about ZERO HOUR, visit

The Mufti season will also include I Remember Mama (October 8-10), directed by Michael Montel with Mark Hartman as music director, and I Love My Wife (October 22-24), directed by Carl Andress with music direction by Matt Castle.


I had the best time at the Iguana last Wednesday night (8/4/10. It was a night to remember. Where else can you go and get that vast variety of a show? It was without a doubt the most entertaining night of my year! Thanks!!
DeOnzell Green

A big Thank you to Dana and Richard for such a joyous evening on Wednesday at the Iguana. They love what they do and the entire room loves them for what they do. The show was terrific on so many levels. They are gracious and welcoming to audience and performers, offstage and on - Richard and Dana are FABULOUS onstage. Hey Folks, see you there!! Judith A. Caporale, New York, NY

Thank you so much for hosting such a wonderful show at The Iguana, which I experienced for the first time last night. I've attended many cabaret shows, but never (yes, I mean never) before have I heard such a wonderful variety of music and such excellent vocalists with great performance abilities. God willing, I will definitely be back! I recommend this event to anyone looking for a great night out in NYC.Richard, I also want to express my appreciation for your generosity of spirit; you [and the very-funny Dana!] unselfishly promote all the performers' shows and CD's, not to mention the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, a most admirable trait! Sophia Niarchos, Upper Brookville, NY

Aug 18
IGUANA VIP LOUNGE, 240 West 54th Street, NYC
Barry Levitt on keyboard & Saadi Zain on bass.

Lynda D'Amour: Lynda grew up listening to an eclectic assortment of music, virtually anything she could get her hands, or ears, on and it shows in her varied selection of material and her delivery of a song. In any given minute you might hear a hint of jazz, pop, rock, R&B, or show tune. Lynda began her professional career in music working as lead vocalist in various Top-40 bands throughout the Northeast and in Original Rock bands locally in the Boston area. In keeping with her eclectic musical nature she spent a few years performing exclusively in musical theater but returned to performing in clubs and enjoys redefining the ever growing Great American Songbook. “I’m drawn to a great lyric”

2010 BISTRO AWARD WINNER Loli Marquez-Sterling:Loli's has been involved in the performing arts business for the past 20 years, which has taken her down different venues of the theatre world. Her namesake her Tia Lolita, was a great opera singer from Havana, Cuba. Loli began to follow in her footsteps beginning her studies studying Voice/Opera at Peabody Conservatory of Music. Her first professional NYC job was in 1991 singing in Grammy winner Phillips Springer's Requiem for an Artist, where she was a featured soloist. Stage and musical theatre productions have dominated most of Loli’s career performing in productions and touring companies of Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Man of La Mancha, Annie, Sound of Music and a Chorus Line. The summer of 2002 Loli was involved in NYC's Fringe Festival, where she played Adolfina in Reynaldo Arenas play The Palace of the White Skunk. Loli also had the honor of sharing the stage with the late Irene Worth in a Library of Congress musical Production of Oscar Wildes, After the Ball and with Marnie Nixon in Verrisimo Opera Company’s A Christmas Carol.

...and a few other surprises as well! $12.00 Music Charge/No food or drink minimum!
Reservations a must (212) 765-5454

Richard Skipper Brings CAROL CHANNING IN CONCERT To Cape Cod, 8/30-9/2

Richard Skipper, the 4-time MAC Award winning celebrity tribute artist, brings his critically-
acclaimed show "Carol Channing" IN CONCERT to Cape Cod for a 4-Night Only Special
Engagement prior to this Fall's Off-Broadway run. A portion of proceeds from each ticket will
benefit The Dr. Carol Channing & Harry Kullijian Foundation For The Arts. The performances
will occur Monday August 30th through Thursday September 2nd at The Madeira Room Vixen
located at The Pilgrim House in Provincetown.

"Carol Channing" IN CONCERT is a fully staged and researched musical montage celebrating
the career and persona of the unique theatrical legend. Blending Channing's standards with
original material and other familiar songs sung by Skipper in a spot-on Channing-on-Broadway
perfection, the musical evening surveys Channing's life with many stops along the way for
Skipper's unique--and riotous--"ad-lib" interactions with the audience is accompanied by a 3-piece
band. The show is directed by long-time NYC actor/director Mark Robert Gordon.

Making his return to Provincetown for the first time in 8 years, Skipper is fresh off a joint
appearance with Carol Channing preceding a 1-night standing room only engagement of
"Carol Channing" IN CONCERT in New York (a star-studded event with luminaries such as
Oscar-winner Celeste Holm, Betsy Palmer, Joe Franklin, original Broadway Hello, Dolly! cast
members, and Channing songwriter Ervin Drake in attendance). The buzz created by the
New York concert has prompted demand for a longer-term Off-Broadway production, which is
slated to open in New York City this Fall in conjunction with bookings worldwide. The Provincetown
and upcoming Off-Browadway productions of "Carol Channing" IN CONCERT are produced
by The Camelback Kid.

Richard Skipper is a 4-time recipient of the MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabaret) Award a
Back Stage Bistro Award, and a CLONEY AWARD in Las Vegas for best performer. He was
named as one of the Top Ten Cabaret Performers by Cabaret Hotline and as one of the
Top of the Century Premiere Cabaret Acts by Cabaret Scenes Magazine.

"Carol Channing" IN CONCERT runs 4-nights only from Monday August 30 through Thursday September 2 at 9:00pm at The Madeira Room Vixen located at The Pilgrim House, 336 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA.

Tickets: available in-person at The Madeira Room Vixen box office or at (508) 487-6424. Further information is available at,,, and

Tickets are $35.00 ($30.00 if advance purchased). A portion of proceeds from each ticket benefits The Dr. Carol Channing & Harry Kullijian Foundation For The Arts.

Running time is 1 hour 20 minutes (no intermission).

The show is suitable for all ages.

Carol Channing's Greater Cause, (SOURCE:Tommy Garrett, CANYON NEWS)

HOLLYWOOD—“Look at the old girl now, fellas!” There appears to be no stopping Carol Channing, who recently flew to New York City to not only promote her new CD, but to announce that she is currently embarking on a national campaign to restore the Arts back into the public school system through The Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts. No sooner than leaving NYC, Miss Channing was performing in California again. Doing her best to promote YES and GVA, which you can learn more about by going to her website.

“We’re trying to make Stanislaus County a model county in the state of California for bringing arts back in the public schools and to help children structure their lives so they are better citizens,” said Harry Kullijian. “Art is the catalyst to learning and education and to being closer to one another and treating each other with more respect rather than dropping out of school and getting into all sorts of problems,” he added. “I hope that the example set in Stanislaus County will lead the way in not only the state, but that this call to action would be picked up across the nation.”

Carol and Harry continued their national tour on August 6. They will also co-host an event in L.A. on August 14 for Spirit of ‘45, which will honor US Veterans of WWII on the 65th anniversary of the end of the war. Carol said, “My dear husband, Harry, and many others like him went to war so that their children could have liberty to study math, philosophy, geography, science, architecture, commerce and agriculture in order that future generations could study painting, poetry, dance, and music that could then enhance the knowledge their fathers had previously gained. Armed with these tools, they can reach beyond even the dreams their grandfathers had for them. The veterans of WWII achieved the goal of protecting these rights for today's and future generations and should always be remembered for doing so.”

Carol recalls, “A general once addressed England’s Parliament, saying that they had to cut the Arts to support the war effort, and Winston Churchill said, ‘Then what are we fighting for?’” On July 27, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote H Con Res 275, which is a concurrent resolution expressing support for designation of the week as Arts in Education Week that will begin on the second Sunday of September. The resolution had 101 cosponsors and was authored by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), with encouragement and support of Broadway legends.

Portions of the proceeds from Ms. Channing’s recently released CD, “For Heaven’s Sake,” will benefit the foundation’s efforts. The CD includes many of the songs she came to know and love as a child with spirituals that she learned from her family. The CD features handpicked spirituals from Carol’s childhood, taught to her by her father as well as hymns and rousing classic gospel tunes that southern gospel fans and people of all ages will know and love. In September, Carol is proudly releasing a new Patriotic CD, tentatively titled “American Carol,” that features songs such as “Over There,” “Dear Old Glory,” “God Bless America,” “America” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” among others.

Ms. Channing recently produced a PSA for California featuring friends and colleagues Lily Tomlin, Alec Mapa, Florence Henderson, Kevin Sorbo, Donna Mills, Lesley Ann Warren, Stefanie Powers, Kate Linder, JoAnne Worley and Phill Lewis with plans to produce another for national distribution. The Link to the Foundation PSA is

Is it any wonder why the nation's museum, The Smithsonian Institute, chose to induct Ms. Channing into the new and first permanent Entertainment History Exhibit as one of the Legendary Ladies of Stage and Screen?

To learn more about Ms. Channing’s national efforts visit

Photographs of Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian on the TODAY SHOW set and Carol Channing and Selena Gomez meet backstage at The View are Courtesy: Miss Channing and Harry Kullijian

Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in South Carolina (my home state) is doing HELLO, DOLLY! in December! I want to play Dolly Levi again! If you have seen my work and think that I should have this opportunity, PLEASE contact the theatre and tell them why you think it should happen!

Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a LIVE show this week!

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


Richard and Dana, thanks so much for inviting us to perform Wednesday evening (7/18/10). It was an especially smooth and enjoyable evening with wonderful fresh talent among the mix of wonderful familiar guests who are always entertaining. Richard, you were extra "on" this evening and had many of us in stitches. Dana, your song was great and you were gorgeous as usual. I spoke to two sets of new comers at intermission who said you both make people feel so warm and welcome and they plan to return. Kudos to you both. There is no stopping you, and nobody plans on it, so keep it up! We had a blast.
Jim & Mary Lahti

As always, a top-notch performance at St. Luke's (7/27/10). Dancers Over 40 is honored to have Richard Skipper as one of its friends. I'd say Richard is a consummate performer, but some may confuse him with the soup..., so I'll just say, PLEASE continue to channel Ms. Channing, and continue to work with DO40 on our projects! All of Dancers Over 40 LOVES Richard Skipper! And we look forward to working with him on our Agnes De Mille panel/event on October 11th at St. Luke's Theater and our DO40 Legacy Awards (which he will be hosting...for the second year in a row!) on December 12th at SWING 46 in NYC, honoring DO40 members Harvey Evans, Fred Curt, Richard Korthaze, Ken Urmston and Stuart Hodes. Sincerely, John Sefakis, President, Dancers Over40

Richard,MUST have Carol Channing's's a scientific miracle!!! And he makes the most of it all with his musical extravaganza and quick repartee!! I was recalling his equally smashing performance at my 60th Birthday Cabaret, and how our Board Members commented after about how wonderful Carol Channing looks and performs for 86!!!!! So happy that I was there to enjoy it on the 27th. It was all very exciting.....luv him......Anarene Barr, Boynton Beach, Fl

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper,

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