Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Revisiting Betty Buckley!

Everything good that I know was taught to me by great teachers and I feel like giving back and sharing the technique is the thing to do.
Betty Buckley

Happy Wednesday!
I have been in bed the last three days with bronchitis. I am just now emerging again. I missed two events on Monday that I had been looking forward to for sometime and tonight I am missing an appearance at Sardi's that I have been preparing for for the past five weeks. Tis the season! So here I am feeling the first bit of normalcy in a few days...although I am ready to audition for the Brenda Vaccaro story.
I'm eating Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, I'm Dayquilled, and Nightquilled, and I'm attempting to write this blog which is my first steps at getting back on track. 

I received information from Harlan Boll regarding Betty Buckley's sold out show in LA earlier this week. Since I saw the show in October, one of the best I've seen this year, I decided to revisit it today.
Patricia Kelly and Betty Buckley

“Next stop, Carmel CA,” announced Betty Buckley as she wrapped a truly spectacular cabaret concert entitled “AH MEN! The Boys of Broadway” in the historic lobby of the Pantages Theatre.
The sold out benefit for The Actors Fund featured “Many of my favorite songs that I would otherwise never be able to sing on Broadway … because they were written for men.” 
Arrangements that included “I Can See,” “My Defenses Are Down,” and both the “Jet Song” and “Maria” from WESTSIDE STORY, as well as “Luck Be A Lady,” “Hey There,” “Come Back to Me,” and a SWEENY TODD medley.
Ms. Buckley introduced a new arrangement that received with wild enthusiasm from the patrons, entitled “A Hymn to Her” and dedicated to the question, “Why can't women play famous Broadway roles written for men?”  Among the men Buckley credited with influencing her most were the brilliant Russ Tamblyn, the graceful Fred Astaire and the very sexy Gene Kelly. Among those in attendance were colleagues and friends such as Ruta Lee, Alley Mills, Orson Bean, Juliet Mills, Maxwell Caulfield, and fellow TV Mom Marion Ross, among other industry notables like Tony Hoover (Hollywood Red-Line Tours owner), Patricia Kelly (wife of the late Gene Kelly) and the evening's producers John Bowab and Martin Wiviott.

THE ACTORS FUND is a national human services organization that helps everyone-performers and those behind the scenes-who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 12,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency assistance, health care and insurance, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has-for nearly 130 years-been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Please visit:

Source:  Harlan Boll
Photos Credit: SCOTT APPEL
From The Actors Fund - Dale Olson, Meg Thomas, John Holly, Betty Buckley, Keith McNutt and Barbara Allyne Bennet

 Feminism - the word - can give us a handle, a rallying point, a common ground, and help us build a bridge. Why not claim the gift of the word as a place to begin?
Betty Buckley 

  Here are a few testimonials:
I have seen Betty perform a number of times including her shows at Feinstein's, The Carlyle, Boston and Ptown. I recently saw her in "White's Lies", and thought she was amazing. 
Betty is friends with my cousins, so when we have gone to her shows together, I have had a chance to hang out a bit after the shows. She has been very nice and was very pleasant to speak with. I attached a photo from after Betty's show at Feinstein's last year.
Take care,
David Whitman

Hi Richard,
Unfortunately, I did not get to see her show this time around but I have enjoyed Ms. Buckley live (and recorded) before.

Tony Hoover  and Ruta Lee
A distinct memory of her performing that I can share (at least) was during TRIUMPH OF LOVE on Broadway. The show itself had a tremendously talented cast and wonderful writers but somehow just was not finding the right tone for the evening and thus didn't quite "work. as a whole. The show struggled between two and three dimensional. It never quite drew you in or engaged you - despite some delightful music - let alone provided the right key to caring for the characters ... that is until Ms. Buckley sang, "Serenity." All of a sudden, I completely forgot that I was in a theater watching actors on a stage. It literally was as if the rest of the world disappeared and I was drawn into an intimate space with only Hersione (her character) and myself. During those incredible minutes of song, I was mesmerized and (as exaggerated as it may sound) I glimpsed this incredibly vulnerable soul in a song and performance that told me everything I needed to know about Hersione and how she came to be the woman she was. Suddenly you were aware of what the show was capable of becoming but had not been able to fully achieve. When the song was over, we were back in a theater and back with a show that was struggling to find its voice.
And may I just say that no one has ever come near her, "He Plays the Violin" from 1776.

The other thing I will share is that - although I do not know Ms. Buckley personally (I have friends who do) - she has always been active and present on her Facebook page. She makes sure that you know she saw what you shared. She has been fair and open minded in the conversations and debates that take place sometimes on her wall. One time I even wrote to her with questions about meditation and she was so generous in her answer and time.

I know of no other performer of her magnitude and gifts and achievements who have made him or herself so accessible to her fans. 
 She is one of a kind.
I hope that helps!

Marion Ross, Juliet Mills, Betty Buckley  and Ruta Lee
Best and XOXOOX back to you!
Jonathan Kronenberger

Maxwell Caulfield, Juliet Mills  and Dale Olson
When my sister and I saw her at theParamount theatre in Charlottesville, she was as nice and friendly as any celebrity I have ever met. even though she was selling cds and signing autographs, she gave each person ample time and gave hugs and had pictures taken with fans.M y sister was over the moon; she's an even bigger fan than I am
My "Betty" experience is almost otherworldly. Thanks to a twist of fate,I was given a FRONT-ROW ticket when she did Sunset Boulevard and to say I was mesmerized doesn't begin to describe the experience. It was as thrilling a night as any I've ever had in the theatre. (When I went to see her the first time, in Edwin Drood, she was out and I had to "settle" for seeing Donna Murphy for the first time--which wasn't bad, either ...xo


Dec 20
THE TRIAD, 158 West 72nd Street
This is the the second installment of this series. Once a month, Richard will be celebrating a different theme. A Benefit for Carol Channing's Foundation for the Arts. ( Billie Brouse, Rosemary Loar, Miles Phillips, Diane J. Findlay, Maureen Taylor, Leslie Orofino, Scott Coulter, Carol J. Bufford, Karen Oberlin, Julie Reyburn, AND... Raissa Katona Bennett! RESERVATIONS A MUST! $25 show plus two drink minimum, $50 PREMIUM SEATS plus two drink minimum. PLEASE CALL 845-365-0720 TO RESERVE. DO NOT CALL THE TRIAD. 


Richard- YOU fill the bill (and more) as a ‘skipper’ who is responsible for the ‘voyage’, and with panache, know-how and talent makes sure those on the ‘journey’ have a fun-filled adventure!
MANY thanks for inviting me to have the experience.
Your fan AND ally,
Arlene B. Isaacs

I enjoyed Richard Skipper's Class so very much last night. Like Richard, it was lively and entertaining; AND it was also very informative. Please-for the sake of all of us Artists who know so much about the "Show" end of Show Business, but so often know very little about the "Business" end of Show Business-keep these intelligent, common-sense-filled Classes going. We need them, and we need RICHARD SKIPPER to keep teaching them!
Ronnie Giles
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

 "Richard Skipper is the consummate Master of Ceremony, with his breadth of theatrical knowledge combined with his showmanship extraodinaire, any show with Richard at the helm is unadulterated fabulous, fun- filled entertainment." Ellen Easton- RED WAGON PRESS.

Have your voice heard – You can make a difference!
Martin Wiviott, Betty Buckley and John Bowab

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!

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
Orson Bean, Meg Thomas, Alley Mills and Keith McNutt

"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!!
I'm open to suggestions!

Richard Skipper,

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