Great Pairings...PART ONE!

"Those who nobly set out to be their brother's keeper sometimes end up becoming his jailer. Every emancipation has in it the seeds of a new slavery, and every truth easily becomes a lie."
-I.F. Stone, American journalist (1907-1989)

Happy Monday!
I hope you had a great weekend and are gearing up for an even greater week! It's been a fantastic kickoff to autumn.
I had a great RELAXING weekend. Danny, Horace, and I stayed with friends in East Hampton for the weekend. Very relaxing day on Saturday. Saturday night, we had dinner with friends and made a few new ones. Fun night! A "make your own pizza" night!  Only problem was I ate too much! I feel like I ate all weekend! Yesterday was spent walking around Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor. The International Hamptons Film Festival was this weekend, which I knew nothing about , so I kept running into friends yesterday.
This week, a dear friend of mine from San Francisco is coming to visit for a few days.
He is flying in from Malaysia so he must have some interesting stories.
We will cap the week off with Betty Buckley at Feinstein's.
Looking forward to it!
Today, I want to write about a few amazing show business pairings . If you have two dynamic entertainers and you pair them up, sometimes the results can be magic!
Hepburn and Tracy, Burton and Taylor, Astaire and Rogers, Myrna Loy and William Powell are just a few that come together off the top of my head.

    Another great pairing is happening right now on the West coast! Michael Learned & Granville Van Dusen in the Hit Romantic Comedy
    Southern Comforts
    Written by Kathleen Clark
    Directed by Jules Aaron

    Falcon Theatre is proud to present the hit romantic comedy Southern Comforts, written by Kathleen Clark and directed by Jules Aaron, the second production of its 2011-2012 Subscription Season. This sweet and sexy comedy stars Michael Learned (The Waltons, One Slight Hitch) and Granville Van Dusen (The Memoirs of Abraham Lincoln, Darwin in Malibu, Jonny Quest).

    WHERE: The Falcon Theatre is located at 4252 Riverside Drive in Burbank, CA
    PREVIEWS: October 19 & 20 at 8pm
    DATES: Friday, October 21, - Sunday, November 13, 2011 & Wed. - Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 4pm
    TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased online at or call (818) 955-8101

    Previews $29.50 - $32.00 - Opening Night $52.00 - $57.00
    Wed/Thurs - $34.50 - $37.00 & Fri/Sat/Sun- $39.50 - $42.00
    Student Rate (valid student ID) $27.00

    This Off-Broadway hit romantic comedy follows the enchanting romance between New Jersey widower Gus (Granville Van Dusen) and Southern widow Amanda (Michael Learned). While waiting out a thunderstorm, their opposite natures collide to create a sweet and intoxicating romance filled with perceptive humor and unpredictable tribulation, proving that it's never too late to find the love of your life. The New York Times calls this must-see-show "a delightful and sneakily sexy romance!"
    Michael Learned (Amanda) is a four-time Emmy award-winning actress, three for The Waltons and one for Nurse.
    She has a People's Choice Award and has been a three-time Golden Globe nominee.
    On stage, she recently starred in Steel Magnolias at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, in the national tour of On Golden Pond and in Lewis Black's One Slight Hitch.
    Other theatre: Elizabeth the Queen at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Edward Albee's All Over at the Gramercy and McCarter Theatres.
    Broadway: Gore Vidal's The Best Man and Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosenweig.
    West Coast premieres: Woman in Mind and Hapgood both for American Conservatory Theatre Company, as leading lady with Peter Donat for three years. Los Angeles: Mary Stuart, Picnic, A Month in the Country at the Music Center and Looking for Normal at the Geffen. She has toured in A.R. Gurney's Love Letters and Edward Albee's Three Tall Women. Michael premiered in Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Films: For the Love of Mary, Life During Wartime, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and Power, directed by Sidney Lumet. Television: Cold Case, Scrubs, Law and Order's, Living Dolls, Profiler, A Father for Brittany, A Walton Easter, A Walton Wedding, Murder in New Hampshire, Roots: The Gift, All My Sons, to name a few.

    Granville Van Dusen (Gus) is a forty year veteran of stage, screen, and television. Recently, he made the choice to move away from television and film and re-commit to his first love: the theater. Since then he has performed at the Old Globe in San Diego, the Asolo in Sarasota, the Pantages in LA, the Manitoba Theatre Co., Cerritos CFTPA, the Rubicon in Ventura, and the Matrix in Hollywood. This is his fifth appearance at the Falcon Theatre where he has appeared in One Slight Hitch, Golf With Alan Shepard, Darwin in Malibu (Ovation nomination), and The Memoirs of Abraham Lincoln. He has won Dramalogue Awards for Otherwise Engaged and for Undiscovered Country at the Mark Taper Forum, and has starred in over 200 TV shows, and has narrated close to a thousand commercials, as well as voicing the role of 'Race Bannon' in the cartoon classic Jonny Quest.
    The Falcon Theatre is a 130-seat performing arts space located in the Burbank, California media district. Built by Director/Writer/Producer Garry Marshall and his daughter Kathleen Marshall LaGambina, the Falcon offers a 5-play subscription series from August through April, in addition to summer productions. For more information visit

    Meet Michael Learned in person on December 2nd at Loew's New Jersey for a special showing of The Homecoming. Please join me!

    Another great pairing coming to Broadway are Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone! When I first came to New York in 1979, they were the rage on Broadway in Evita! Evita is returning to Broadway in the spring with Ricky Martin. But before then, we have the incredible chemistry of Mandy and Patti!

    Author of the NY Times best-selling autobiography, Patti LuPone: A Memoir, most recently starred on Broadway in the musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Miss LuPone swept the 2008 theatre awards winning the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance for her performance as Rose in the critically-acclaimed Broadway production of the classic Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents musical Gypsy, directed by the show’s author, Mr. Laurents.

    Recent stage credits include her debut with the Los Angeles Opera in Weill-Brecht’s Mahagonny (the cd recording of that production recently won two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Recording and Best Opera Recording), the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s new opera To Hell and Back with San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Mrs. Lovett in John Doyle’s award winning Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations – Best Actress in a Musical; Drama League Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre), the title role in Marc Blitzstein’s Regina, a musical version of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, a critically acclaimed performance as Fosca in a concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion, which was also broadcast on PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center, and a multi-city tour of her theatrical concert Matters of the Heart. She has also performed Matters of the Heart internationally, including runs at Australia’s Sydney Festival and London’s Donmar Warehouse Theatre. Her CD recording, based on this concert, was named one of 1999’s best recordings by both The Times of London and Time Out/New York.

    In addition to Matters of the Heart, Miss LuPone also performs two other solo concerts Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda and The Lady With The Torch. She made a triumphant solo concert debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall in Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda resulting in a sold-out encore performance, and performs the concert with major symphony orchestras around the country. The Lady With The Torch is the basis for Miss LuPone’s solo CD on Ghostlight Records. She also tours in a new concert with her Evita co-star Mandy Patinkin – An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin. Her most recent cd is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches, a digitally remastered recording from soundboard tapes of her now-legendary 1980 nightclub act which she performed during her Broadway run in Evita.

    Photo by Ethan Hill
    Patti LuPone’s other recent New York stage appearances include performances as La Mome Pistache in the Encores! production of Cole Porter’s musical Can-Can at New York’s City Center, as The Old Lady in the New York Philharmonic’s concert production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, and performances on Broadway in the hit revival of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off, in David Mamet’s The Old Neighborhood, Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play Master Class and in her own concert Patti LuPone On Broadway, for which she won an Outer Critics Circle Award. Over six consecutive summers, she’s appeared in the Ravinia Festival’s Sondheim series, starring as Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, as Desiree in A Little Night Music, Fosca in Passion, Cora Hoover Hooper in Anyone Can Whistle, Rose in Gypsy and was featured in two different roles in Sunday in the Park with George.

    After completing her training with the first class of the Drama Division of New York’s Juilliard School, she began her career as a founding member of John Houseman's The Acting Company playing a variety of leading roles, both on and off-Broadway and on tour throughout the United States. Her subsequent New York dramatic credits include Dario Fo's Accidental Death of An Anarchist; David Mamet's The Water Engine, Edmond, and The Woods and Israel Horovitz' Stage Directions. Miss LuPone's memorable performances on the New York musical stage include Vera Simpson in the Encores! production of Pal Joey, Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, (1988 Drama Desk Award, Tony nomination, Best Actress in a Musical), The Cradle Will Rock, Nancy in Oliver!, Evita (1980 Tony and Drama Desk Awards- Best Actress in a Musical), Working and Rosamund in The Robber Bridegroom (1976 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, Best Featured Actress in a Musical).

    In London, she created the role of Fantine in the the RSC production of Les Miserables, a role she subsequently played on the West End. For that performance, as well as the reprise of her performance in the London production of The Cradle Will Rock, she won an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
    Miss LuPone created the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1994 Olivier nomination, Best Actress in A Musical), and recreated her Broadway performance of Maria Callas in the West End production of Master Class.

    Film: City By The Sea, David Mamet’s Heist, State and Main; Just Looking, Summer of Sam, The 24 Hour Woman, Family Prayers, Driving Miss Daisy, Witness.

    Television: 30 Rock, PBS Great Performances The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Ugly Betty, Will & Grace (as herself), PBS Great Performances’ Candide, Oz , the TNT film Monday Night Mayhem, PBS’ Evening At The Pops with John Williams and Yo Yo Ma, Falcone, Bonanno: A Godfather’s Story (Showtime); Frasier (1998 Emmy nomination); Law & Order, An Evening with Patti LuPone (PBS), the NBC movie Her Last Chance, Showtime's ACE Award and Emmy nominated The Song Spinner (Daytime Emmy nomination, Best Actress), The Water Engine, L.B.J., AMC's Remember WENN and ABC's Life Goes On.

    Recordings include: Sweeney Todd (both the 2006 Broadway revival cast recording and 2000 live performance recording on NY Philharmonic’s Special Editions Label); Pal Joey (DRG); Heatwave with John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (Phillips Classics); Sunset Boulevard (Polygram); Patti LuPone Live (RCA Victor). Click here for a complete list of recordings. (This bio is from Patti LuPone's website)

    In his 1980 Broadway debut, Mandy won a Tony Award® for his role as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita and was nominated in 1984 for his starring role as George in the Pulitzer Prize–winning musical, Sunday in the Park with George.

    In 1991 he returned to Broadway in the Tony Award®-winning musical The Secret Garden and in 1997 played a sold–out engagement of his one-man show, Mandy Patinkin in Concert, with all profits benefiting five charitable organizations. Mandy’s other solo concerts, Dress Casual, Celebrating Sondheim and Mamaloshen, have been presented both on Broadway and Off. He recently celebrated the 20th Anniversary of performing his solo concerts with a two-week run of all of his concerts in rep at New York’s Public Theater, the very space he began his concert career twenty years ago. Mandy continued the celebration with a critically acclaimed two-week run of Mandy Patinkin in Concert in London’s West End at the Duke of York’s Theatre. January 2010 marks Mandy’s stage debut at Yale Rep in the world premiere of Compulsion, written by Rinne Gross and directed by Oskar Eustis. Other stage credits include playing Prospero in The Tempest with Classic Stage Company, The Wild Party (2000 Tony nomination), Falsettos, The Winter’s Tale, The Knife, Leave It to Beaver is Dead, Rebel Women, Hamlet, Trelawney of the ‘Wells’, The Shadow Box, The Split, Savages, and Henry IV, Part I.
    Feature film credits include: Everybody’s Hero, The Choking Man, Piñero, The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland, Lulu on the Bridge,Men with Guns, The Princess Bride, Yentl (1984 Golden Globe nomination), The Music of Chance, Daniel, Ragtime, Impromptu, The Doctor, Alien Nation, Dick Tracy, The House on Carroll Street, True Colors, Maxie, and Squanto: Indian Warrior. He won a 1995 Emmy® Award (as well as a Golden Globe nomination) for his critically acclaimed performance in the CBS series, “Chicago Hope,” and recently starred in the CBS series “Criminal Minds” as FBI profiler Jason Gideon and in the Showtime Original Series “Dead Like Me.”as the reaper Rube Sofer. His other television appearances include the role of Kenneth Duberstein in the Showtime film “Strange Justice,” playing Quasimodo opposite Richard Harris in the TNT film presentation of “The Hunchback” and a film version of Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass” for BBC/WGBH-Boston, and episodes of “The Larry Sanders Show” (1996 Emmy nomination), “Law & Order,” “Boston Public,” “Touched By An Angel” and “The Simpsons.”

    In 1989, Mandy began his concert career at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater. This coincided with the release of his first solo album entitled Mandy Patinkin. Since then he has toured extensively, appearing to sold–out audiences across the United States, Canada, London and Australia, performing songs from writers including Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Randy Newman, Adam Guettel and Harry Chapin, among others. In 1990 he released his second solo album entitled Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Dress Casual on CBS Records. His 1994 recording, Experiment, on the Nonesuch label, features songs from nine decades of popular music from Irving Berlin to Alan Menken. Also recorded on the Nonesuch label are Oscar & Steve and Leonard Bernstein’s New York. In 1998 he debuted his most personal project, Mamaloshen, a collection of traditional, classic and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish. The recording of Mamaloshen won the Deutschen Schallplattenpreis (Germany’s equivalent of the Grammy® Award). In 2001, Nonesuch Records released Kidults, a collection of beloved songs, designed — as the title suggests — for the kid in every adult. And, in 2002, Nonesuch Records released the live recording of Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim, a figurative journey through Sondheim’s music and lyrics. In October 2007, Mandy debuted his newest concert with dear friend Patti LuPone and they begin touring their show An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin throughout the US, Australia and New Zealand. Mandy resides in New York City with his wife, actress and writer Kathryn Grody, and their two sons.


    Chicago, IL


    The University of Kansas; Juilliard School of Drama


    Broadway: Evita (Tony Award), Sunday In The Park With George (Tony Nomination), Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Dress Casual, The Secret Garden, Falsettos, Mamaloshen, The Wild Party (Tony Nomination), The Shadow Box, Hamlet, Trelawney of the ‘Wells’ and Celebrating Sondheim

    Other Theater: The Tempest, Enemy of the People (Williamstown Theater Festival), Henry IV, Part I, Winters Tale, The Knife, Leave It to Beaver is Dead, Rebel Woman, The Split and Savages


    Ragtime (1981)
    Yentl (1983)
    Daniel (1983)
    Maxie (1985)
    The Princess Bride (1987)
    The House on Carroll Street (1988)
    Alien Nation (1988)
    Dick Tracy (1990)
    The Doctor (1991)
    Impromptu (1991)
    True Colors (1991)
    The Music of Chance (1992)
    Squanto: Indian Warrior (1994)
    The Hunchback (1997), International Release
    Lulu On The Bridge (1998)
    Men With Guns (1998)
    The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)
    Piñero (2001)
    The Choking Man (2005)
    Yankee Irving (2006)
    Everybody’s Hero (2006)


    Follies (1985) — RCA Victor
    South Pacific (1986) — CBS Records
    Mandy Patinkin (solo/1989) — CBS Records
    Dress Casual (solo/1990) — CBS Records
    The Secret Garden — Columbia Records
    Experiment (solo/1993) — Nonesuch
    Oscar & Steve (solo/1995) — Nonesuch
    Leonard Bernstein’s NY (1996) — Nonesuch
    Mamaloshen (solo/1998) — Nonesuch
    Kidults (solo/2001) — Nonesuch
    Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim (solo/2002) — Nonesuch


    Chicago Hope (1994-95), (Emmy Award) — CBS
    “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996) — TNT
    “Broken Glass” (1996) — BBC/WGBH Boston
    Strange Justice (1999) — ShowTime
    Dead Like Me (2003-2004) — ShowTime
    Criminal Minds (2005-2007) — CBS


    Married to actress/writer Kathryn Grody. They have two sons.

    Tony winners Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, who are teaming up on Broadway for the first time since Evita to bring An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, will follow up the Broadway reunion by taking their show back on the road.

    I have been fortunate enough to call among my friends several celebrities. The one thing that I've gleaned from them beyond their bodies of work is their humanness. However, when they reach an iconic stage, they lend themselves to being portrayed by others on stage.

    Thank you to all of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you ALL have given to the world!

    REMINDER: Nov 12
    LOCAL 802 MUSICIAN'S HALL, 322 West 48th Street, NYC
    An Afternoon Celebrating The Legacy of Jerry Herman
    Richard Skipper hosts along with Klea Blackhurst, Ken Bloom, Marge Champion, Amber Edwards (Words and Music, the award winning documentary on Jerry Herman), Sondra Lee (Hello Dolly!'s original Minnie Faye), Miles Phillips, Donald Pippin, Lee Roy Reams with John Fischer on piano.

    Thank you for joining me on these nostalgic journeys! I've added a new aspect to my blog.. I am now answering a question on video that YOU send to me. You can ask me ANYTHING and I will answer your question on video within my blog. Send your questions to

    Next question will be answered tomorrow! (Thank you, once again, Stephen Artist)

    "Richard, for supporting the ARTS and calling attention to the STARS of yesterday. You are a STAR in your own right!! With admiration and friendship"
    Arlene Dahl

    Thank you to all who have encouraged me! Thanks to all who have tried to stifle my art. I have learned from ALL of you!
    Here's to an INCREDIBLE day for ALL!


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    Tomorrow's blog will be GREAT PAIRINGS: PART TWO
    I'm open to suggestions!


    Richard Skipper,


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