Sunday, November 27, 2011

Celebrating Lauren Bacall and Maureen Taylor!

A man's illness is his private territory and, no matter how much he loves you and how close you are, you stay an outsider. You are healthy.
Lauren Bacall 

 Happy Sunday!

 I'm back from Buffalo. I had a great Thanksgiving with my in-laws. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well. I'm taking a break from preparations for our big event tomorrow night to write my blog today about a great show opening next month with a great dame celebrating another.

When I refer to these two women as great dames, it is meant with the utmost respect. The one being honored, I actually broke bread once. The one doing the honoring is a great Aquarian friend. I refer to her as an Aquarian friend because we share that sign and I think of her as a soul mate on this earthly trip that we are now both sharing. Maureen Taylor will be honoring Lauren Bacall at The Metropolitan Room starting on December 11th. What a great holiday gift to look forward to. 

I have always loved Lauren Bacall. In 1994, she followed up her best selling autobiography, By Myself (1978) with her memoirs, NOW which reflected on what was going on in her life since her autobiography and reflecting on other aspects not covered in her first book. In 1994, Danny and I belonged to a book club in Connecticut that would meet once a month with an author for breakfast and to discuss his/her book. Imagine my excitement when I heard that we were going to be having breakfast with Lauren Bacall! Now had just come out and she graciously accepted the invitation to attend and to talk about her book and hopefully sell a few. It was a great turn out. 
There were 25 of us and Betty Bacall as she preferred to be called. She looked great. Was very friendly but the first thing she said when she walked in was, "My God, Why did I agree to do this? 
I am NOT a morning person!" And then let out that wonderful laugh of hers! She was very pleasant all through breakfast. Answered a few questions. Mostly about Bogart and mostly inane! 
I remember that when we stood in line to get our books autographed, the woman in front of me wanted hers inscribed to "The greatest Mother in the world". Mother's Day happened to be coming up. Bacall looked up and asked how this woman knew HER mother. The woman's response was, "Oh no! I mean MY mother." Bacall responded by saying, "I think we are at an impasse. I think MY mother is the World's greatest mother." The lady once again pushed the issue by practically begging Bacall to inscribe the book as she requested. Bacall refused. 
She felt that it was insincere especially since she had no clue as to who she was inscribing this for. After much back and forth, Bacall eventually signed it "Lauren Bacall" and summoned me to move forward. I had both books and asked if she minded signing both. She said, "It depends. Did you buy both?" I answered in the affirmative. The she responded, "Well then I'm obligated to sign both!" She did and that was my breakfast with Betty Bacall! AND I have my two autographed Bacall books!

A woman isn't complete without a man. But where do you find a man - a real man - these days?
Lauren Bacall 

 Find me a man who's interesting enough to have dinner with and I'll be happy.
Lauren Bacall 

 I am essentially a loner.
Lauren Bacall 

 Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall  born Betty Joan Perske, September 16, 1924) is an American film and stage actress and model, known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks.

I am not a has-been. I am a will be.
Lauren Bacall 
 She first emerged as leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have And Have Not (1944) and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in The Big Sleep (1946) and Dark Passage ( of my favorite films), as well as a comedienne in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and Designing Women (1957). Bacall took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. During this time, she became a theatre usher and worked as a fashion model.

As Betty Bacall, she made her acting debut, at age 17, on Broadway in 1942, as a walk-on in Johnny 2 X 4. According to her autobiography, she met her idol Bette Davis at Davis' hotel. Years later, Davis visited Bacall backstage to congratulate her on her performance in Applause, a musical based on Davis' turn in All About Eve.
  Bacall has also worked on Broadway in musicals, gaining a Tony Awards for Applause in 1970 and Woman of the Year in 1981. Her performance in the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.
 I used to tremble from nerves so badly that the only way I could hold my head steady was to lower my chin practically to my chest and look up at Bogie. 
That was the beginning of The Look.
Lauren Bacall

 On the set, Humphrey Bogart, who was married to Mayo Methot, initiated a relationship with Bacall some weeks into shooting and they began seeing each other.

A man's illness is his private territory & no matter how much he loves you & how close you are, you stay an outsider, healthy -Lauren Bacall
I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.
Lauren Bacall

 Born Betty Joan Perske in New York City, Bacall was the only child of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a secretary who later legally changed her surname to Bacall, and William Perske, who worked in sales.
Her parents were Jewish immigrants, their families having come from Poland, Romania, and Germany.
She is first cousin to Shimon Peres, current President and former Prime Minister of Israel.
Her parents divorced when she was five, and she took her mother's last name, Bacall.
Bacall no longer saw her father and formed a close bond with her mother, whom she took with her to California when she became a movie star. Bacall became a part-time fashion model.Howard Hawks' wife Nancy spotted her on the March 1943 cover of Harper's Bazaar and urged Hawks to have her take a screen test for . Hawks invited her to Hollywood for the audition. He signed her up to a seven-year personal contract, brought her to Hollywood, gave her $100 a week, and began to manage her career.
 Hawks changed her name to Lauren Bacall. Nancy Hawks took Bacall under her wing.
She dressed the newcomer stylishly, and guided her in matters of elegance, manners and taste. Bacall's voice was trained to be lower, more masculine and sexier, which resulted in one of the most distinctive voices in Hollywood. 
In the movie, Bacall takes on Nancy's nickname “Slim." 
I figure if I have my health, can pay the rent and I have my friends, I call it 'content.'
Lauren Bacall

Want more? Go see Maureen Taylor's tribute to the one and only Betty Bacall! 

  Maureen Taylor is a "Work In Progress")!!!

 Performing has been a fabulous JOURNEY for her!
First stop: OPERA - Chicago,Philadelphia,West Palm Beach,Montreal, NewYork and a wonderful chapter in Italy with Carlo Bergonzi and Renata Tebaldi!

 Next stop: SWITZERLAND - thrilled to perform Madame Giry in Phantom (in German),live on a purple bicycle for a year and receive my Reiki certification!

 Next stop: LONDON - lots of singing: London Palladium,Drill Hall,Bridewell,Hever Castle,
Theatre Royale Brighton,Brighton Pavillion Dome, and a "New Age" recording,Incantations
with Tim Wheater in Bath. (There was a brief stint in a book store called Hocus Pocus)!

 Returning stateside brought regional theatre,soaps,commercials,print work and Cabaret
(Cosmic,of course) - most recently at the Eugene O'Neill Cabaret Conference.
With joy and gratitude to all the "guardian angels" along the way....
the JOURNEY continues!!!!

Maureen Taylor brings her incredible new show to the Metropolitan Room!
 I don't sit around thinking that I'd like to have another husband; only another man would make me think that way.
Lauren Bacall 
Please join me for Maureen Taylor on December 11th! 

 Don't forget: TOMORROW NIGHT!
Nov 28
THE TRIAD, 158 West 72nd Street
This is the launch of a new series. Once a month, Richard will be celebrating a different theme. A Benefit for Carol Channing's Foundation for the Arts. ( Anna Bergman,Diane J. Findlay, Peggy Herman, Sue Matsuki, Miles Phillips, Jana Robbins, Richard Skipper, Lee Roy Reams, Walter Willison, Bob Mattern, John Patrick Schutz, Sarah Rice, and Helena Joyce0Wright. RESERVATIONS A MUST! $25 show plus two drink minimum, $50 PREMIUM SEATS plus two drink minimum (includes complementary glass of champagne).

Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog! 

I love you ALL!! 

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!


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Tomorrow's blog will be...YOU TELL ME...I'M OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!


Richard Skipper,


1 comment:

  1. Dear Richard:
    I wanted to send you a note regarding the wonderful time I had last night at the Jerry Herman celebration. It was such a fabulous combination of talent and both known and unique songs. I had never heard some of them and I thought I knew every Jerry Herman song written.

    I look forward to seeing your other upcoming productions.

    Thank you for your wonderful evening!!

    Lynn Manuell