Wednesday, October 26, 2011


You I like, so let me tip my hat / In your path I spread my welcome mat / You I like, can you imagine that? / Although your ways may be strange / And there's much that I'd change, somehow
-Jerry Herman, The Grand Tour,
The Grand Tour is a musical with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman.

Happy Wednesday!

Great job last night, Jason! What an amazing crowd of adoring fans too. Congratulations!
-Scott Willis
Hope you're relishing getting halfway to the week and inching towards the weekend.  
If you've been following my blogs lately, you've read a lot about Jason Graae. Congratulations to Jason on am amazing successful run at The Laurie Beechman Theatre at The Westbank Cafe in New York. Directed by Lee Tannen and musical arrangements and direction by John Boswell.
Well, his show arrived (for me) last night and it was well worth the wait. I wonder if there is anything this man can't do! In a packed audience that included Ann Hampton and Shirley Callaway, Mr and Mrs. Brian Gari (yes, he is a newlywed!), Amanda McBroom, Michael Musto, Mary Testa, Nina Hennesey, Peggy Herman (pictured), Sara Berg, and too many more to mention here, he had EVERYONE eating out of the palm of his hand from the moment the overture started...with Jason on oboe. 
Read what Michael Musto wrote about last night HERE. (Speaking of Peggy Herman, she has her own successful  Jerry Herman show...Herman sings Herman. Directed by Peter Glebo and Tommy Tune, Musical directed by Alex Rybeck. Her goal is to have the CD ready by November 28th in time for our Jerry Herman tribute! See below!!) Jerry Herman is definitely getting his due here in New York as you will see in today's blog.

"When I think of Jason, I always recall how witty and zany and uproariously funny he is. Sometimes I forget that he has an absolutely beautiful singing voice, and works magic in ballads. This show happily gave him the opportunity to show both sides."
Sara Louise Lazarus

Herman show from start to finish, he kept the entire audience thoroughly entertained. There were several occasions where he brought more than a tear or two to the eye.
It is thrilling to have brilliantly talented friends like you, Jason. But when years of hard work, life experience and innate genius culminate, the results are astonishing. Thanks for "Perfect Hermany." It is the perfect blend of hilarity and heart. I'm so glad you are what you are and thanks for the shout out to my voice teacher mom telling her to drop her jaw! 
-Ann Hampton Callaway
Jerry Herman and Jason have worked together over the years and they are more than mere acquaintances. Jason and Jerry first worked together in "Hello, Jerry!", a musical revue celebrating the music of Jerry Herman WITH JERRY HERMAN on piano! It doesnt get any better than that!

Then, the ultimate compliment when you get a call from someone like Jerry Herman saying that you were born to recreate on stage a character that he helped to create.
S.L. Jacobowsky in The Grand Tour. I agree. Hearing Jason sing Marianne and Mrs. S.L. Jacobowsky and Jaon's anthem, You I Like solidifies that for me every time I hear these songs.
Based on S. N. Behrman's play Jacobowsky and the Colonel, the story concerns an unlikely pair. S.L. Jacobowsky, a Polish-Jewish intellectual, has purchased a car he cannot drive.
Stjerbinsky, an aristocratic, anti- Semitic colonel, knows how to drive but has no car. When the two men meet at a Paris hotel, they agree to join forces in order to escape the approaching Nazis. Together with the Colonel’s girlfriend, Marianne, they experience many adventures while on the road, but trouble ensues when Jacobowsky falls in love with the young girl.
I have grown tired of others incompetence and when I see someone at the top of their game, it excites me and stimulates me like no drug can!
Brian Gari and Jason Graae
Jason did the first West coast revival of The Grand Tour. He also did a scaled down production of this show at The York Theatre several years ago.  
The Grand Tour is one of Jerry's under rated shows.
I think the timing is ripe for an off-Broadway production starring Jason Graae. ason can also be seen in Amber Edwards' incredible documentary, Words And Music, celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman.

I am still floored by the incredible performance last nite by Jason Graae. He is in every way the consummate musical comedy performer.
Brian Gari

He recorded for my album last week, and I would like to say that "I never have laughed so hard, or been more impressed with someone as I was with him" I can't wait to hear him on my album. It's called Cautiously Optimistic, releasing in December and he is singing a song called JUST A WORD.
-Scott Evan Davis

Last night, while my mother was seeing Hugh Jackman, I was lucky enough to be in the audience for none other than Mr. Jason Graae. It's hard to imagine how one town can host two of the most charming, talented, and completely heterosexual men in one night. I'm pretty sure I had the better time.
-Perry.. Balin 
WOW! WOW! WOW! Jason, your entire show was absolutely amazing. However, your "I Am What I Am" was the BEST I've ever heard. I didn't know if I could make it at 9:30 since I'll have nineteen 6 and 7 years old to face this morning, but I'm so glad I did. You made me laugh (a lot) and cry. We look forward to seeing you at Merkin Hall too. Aren't we lucky?
-Fred White 

You were absolutely stunning last night in Perfect Hermany. You have the amazing ability to touch our hearts with your artistry, and I thank you so much for that. Much love to you, and have a great show tonight.
Cathy Venable
Jason's all right, if you like talent.
Alex Rybeck
Jason is also available on Brian Gari's LATE NITE COMIC 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION recently on CD and Available HERE

And speaking of Amber Edwards, meet her at the afternoon I have put together for The Sheet Music Society on November 12th! My only regret is that Jason is not available to be part of this awesome panel.

Nov 12
 LOCAL 802 MUSICIAN'S HALL, 322 West 48th Street, NYC An Afternoon Celebrating The Legacy of Jerry Herman

 I am hosting an incredible panel that includes 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. $10 non members of the Sheet Music Society.
But we do have Klea Blackhurst! 

Klea Blackhurst is an actress best known for Everything the Traffic Will Allow, her tribute to Ethel Merman that debuted in New York in 2001.

Among many accolades, this production earned her the inaugural Special Achievement Award from Time Out New York magazine. The recording of Everything the Traffic Will Allow was named one of the top ten show albums of 2002 by Talkin'

Klea next turned her passion for musical-theatre history toward the Broadway career of composer Vernon Duke and debuted Autumn in New York: Vernon Duke’s Broadway at New York’s CafĂ© Carlyle which subsequently played a sold-out engagement at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater. In the Fall of 2007 Klea teamed with Billy Stritch to create Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael which they debuted at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room.
This performance received a Back Stage Bistro Award. The recording of Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael was released in October 28, 2008.

Lee Hartgrave, BeyondChron


Richard Skipper Celebrates...Jerry Herman!

For Immediate Release
For Press Inquiries, please contact Richard Skipper 845-365-0720 

158 West 72nd Street New York, NY

Magda Katz is joining forces with Richard Skipper to launch
Richard Skipper Presents...

A New Monthly Series at the Triad that will be partly a cabaret show, partly a party! And They ALL will benefit The Dr. Carol Channing-Harry Kullijian Foundation For The Arts 

The first of this series will be celebrating the music of Jerry Herman!
Jerry celebrated his 80th Birthday in July! We are STILL celebrating111

Richard has lined up an amazing cast!
Nov 28 8pm

THE TRIAD, 158 West 72nd Street
This is the launch of a new series. For now, once a month, Richard will be celebrating a different theme. Hopes to go to weekly in January! A Benefit for Carol Channing's Foundation for the Arts. Anna Bergman, Diane J. Findlay, Peggy Herman, Sue Matsuki, Bob Mattern, Miles Phillips, Lee Roy Reams, Sarah Rice, Jana Robbins, Alex Rybeck, John Patrick Schutz, Richard Skipper,Walter Willison, and a couple of other surprises!
Featuring the John Fischer Trio!
RESERVE TODAY AT 845-365-0720
$25.00 Tickets for show/$50.00 Tickets Include Champagne Reception

And HOLD THE DATE: December 20th! Richard Skipper Celebrates Christmas! Featuring Miles Phillips, Maureen Taylor, Leslie Orofino...and others!

Jerry Herman is the multi-Tony-award-winning composer and lyricist of the classic Broadway musicals:
Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles, Dear World, Mack & Mabel, The Grand Tour, Milk & Honey and much more..

Best known for her long-running Broadway version of Hello Dolly, actress/singer Carol Channing says that even in the depth of the Depression, her San Francisco public middle school had the arts. So she really doesn't understand why so many public schools these days, claiming the need for cutbacks because of the national recession, are dumping music, poetry, visual arts and dancing. The Foundation raises money to bring public awareness to this issue.

Richard Skipper has received artistic and critical acclaim over the past 19 years performing as Carol Channing. 2011 has been a breakout year for Richard. When he closed his off-Broadway tribute to Carol Channing in February, it had garnered Richard 25 rave reviews! Richard was the associate producer of the 2010 and 2011 Bistro Awards in association with Sherry Eaker for the second year in a row. Richard can be seen in Dori Berenstein's CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE. The film premiered April 23rd at The Tribeca Film Festival. In February, Richard debuted "To Carol Channing With Love" (now available for booking!) at Blame It On Midnight in Palm Springs. It honored Carol Channing's 90th Birthday and was a benefit for Carol Channing's Foundation For The Arts ( Carol and Harry were in attendance. Richard has focused mostly on his writing this year. He has a highly successful blog called RICHARD SKIPPER PRESENTS, focusing on an entertainment world that seldom exists anymore. Richard continues to teach his workshops on HOW TO MAKE A LIVING AS AN ENTERTAINER. He has served on several panels on the business end of show business and is often asked to emcee many prestigious events. He is campaigning diligently for Carol Channing to receive a long over due Kennedy Center Honor THIS YEAR in 2011. He also continues to raise money for The Dr. Carol Channing-Harry Kullijian Foundation For The Arts, Established in 2005 with the hopes of bringing the importance of arts education to the general public, provide music instruments for underfunded public schools and scholarships for California State University students. Be on the lookout for exciting things that are happening in the autumn of 2011!
If you cannot attend and would like to make a contribution, please go to

Cabaret star & Jerry Herman fan Marilyn Maye congratulates Jason Graae at his opening last night of PERFECT HERMANY saluting the great Jerry Herman.
Marilyn Maye has her own Jerry Herman tribute coming up next month at Feinstein's! Marilyn starred in several regional productions of Hello, Dolly! and recorded a full album of the score.(which I love and highly recommend)                   
FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY will continue its Fall 2011 season with the return engagement of Grammy Award nominated singer and entertainer Marilyn Maye. Her new show, "The Best Of Times Is Now!" - which honors the legendary Broadway composer Jerry Herman on this 80th Birthday year - features songs from his shows including Mame, Mack and Mabel, Hello, Dolly! and Milk and Honey
Marilyn starred in Hello, Dolly! many times and recorded a CD of all the songs from the Tony Award winning score. Her recent local appearances have been received with rave reviews and full houses. Stephen Holden's New York Times review of her Feinstein's show last May stated "By the end of the evening, as is usually the case with her shows, I was walking on air, infused with a giddy certainty that life really is a cabaret." 
Peggy Herman and Marilyn Maye, Photo credit: Peggy Herman
To quote Rex Reed in The New York Observer, "Her show is not to be missed. It's a master class in singing conducted by a polished pro who majored in unforgettable." Maye will be joined by pianist/conductor Tedd Firth (Billy Stritch on November 8-11), bassist Tom Hubbard, and Jim Eklof, her drummer, who is celebrating 50 years with Ms. Maye. The show runs at Tuesday, November 1 to Saturday, November 12 at the Loews Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street).

Jason, Thank you so much for an incredible night last night. I have been, I am now, and I am forever a fan!

Ann Hampton Callaway wrote on her wall on Facebook this morning,
"We have been spoiled by the best, working with Marilyn Maye at The Cabaret Convention, hearing Amanda McBroom and Michele Brourman at dazzle us at The Met and last night seeing Jason Graae in sidesplitting and makeup-ruining form in his Jerry Herman tribute "Perfect Hermany." Tonight we see Clint Holmes at The Carlyle pay tribute to Bobby Short. How lucky can you get?"

I agree! And I'll add once again into that mix last week of seeing Betty Buckley at Feinstein's! 

Next up on my list is City of Angels at The Goodspeed Opera House on November 5th! We can take two! Please let me know if you're interested in a day trip.

And Events I Highly Recommend!

Once again, 
Linda Amiel Burns, MAC Award Winning Director of THE SINGING EXPERIENCE  announces that the last 2011 workshop of The Singing Experience, "HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS", (#452) begins on Thursday evening, November 10th. Rehearsals take place at STUDIO 353 (353 West 48th Street). The 6-Session workshop will continue on Thursday, November 17th, (skip the 23rd for Thanksgiving holiday), then Wednesdays, 30th and December 7th from 7 to 1-, with a performance on Wednesday, December 14th at THE TRIAD (158 West 72nd Street, NYC - 212-362-2590 ) at 7:30 pm (tech rehearsal from 5:30 to 6:45 pm). There will be a DVD Viewing Party on Wednesday, December 21st from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Tuition includes a 2-hour professionally taped high def DVD. 
Linda Amiel Burns personally conducts each workshop. THE SINGING EXPERIENCE in its 34th season, (established 1977) was started to give aspiring cabaret and musical theater performers the opportunity to explore their talents, conquer fear, and develop self-confidence by learning the "tools of the trade" through great coaching and actually performing before audiences in a supportive, nurturing and non-competitive environment. 
For Registration and information call 212 315 3500 or email

GREAT NEWS!!!!!--- JOHN O'HURLEY (Seinfeld, Dancing With the Stars and others.
O'Hurley has also been the host of Purina's annual National Dog Show every Thanksgiving since 2002) has joined the performers roster for the Zani's Furry Friends Benefit on November 26 and the Laurie Beechman. GET YOUR TICKETS! With Emily Buttner, Sean Harkness, Amy Ralske, Len Cariou, Phil Geoffrey Bond, Mark Janus, Eve Weiss, Tanya Moberly, Bill Zeffiro, Elena Bennett, Jonathan Russell, Peter Napolitano, David Vernon, and Deb Berman! See The Variety Show does exist!

Have your voice heard – You can make a difference!

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.

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

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

Before "Milk and Honey" and "Hello, Dolly!" made him a Broadway household name, Jerry Herman was busy working the showbiz trenches. His gifts as a composer, lyricist and musician were already mature in this 1960 revue, now available again in an original cast recording, Parade.
"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 YOU TELL ME
I'm open to suggestions!

My friend the late great  Dody Goodman in Parade. She also appeared with Carol Channing in Lorelei

Richard Skipper,

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