Happy Birthday, Carol Channing...an Early Valentine to you!

If I talk about something I either talk about it or I DO it... the minute I talk about it it's lost all it's
drive and all it's fun.
-Carol Channing 


Happy Birthday, Carol Channing!
It is hard for me to believe that Carol is 95. However, that is what everyone keeps telling us.
I have so many fond memories of Carol that it would take several blogs to cover what she means to me as an artist and as a person. Anyone who knows me knows what she means to me. If you google our names together, blogs, photos, articles, and more will pop up.
I don't see her or hear from her like I used to but she still means the world to me. We are even both Aquarians. I will be turning 55 in 11 days! My birthday greetings from her over the years I will always treasure in my heart. I want to celebrate Carol and what she has brought and will continue to bring to the world. I have reached out to colleagues and friends to help supplement this blog today. I hope Carol sees this. Carol, I LOVE YOU! I am not alone!
with Luis Villabon and Carol after her appearance with Mx. Justin Vivian Bond on Fire Island,summer of 2013

I was 15, and there was some kind of benefit dance in Nyack. My boyfriend, Steve Kurland, invited me. His father introduced us to Carol, who looked exactly like she does now (!) and Gene Krupa, who was also there. Carol was charming, as always. It was quite an evening!
-Judy Negron

Being interviewed by Dori Berenstein for the Documentary, Carol Channing: Larger Than Life
Carol's publicist, Harlan Boll, previously reported that some of Broadway's biggest stars are going out to celebrate Carol in a one-night-only tribute concert produced by the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California on Saturday, March 5, at 8 p.m.

Lucie Arnaz, Eden Espinosa, and Laura Bell Bundy, have just been added to the lineup of artists
Harry Kullijian, Carol, Dori Berenstein, Adam Zuker (photo courtesy: Patricia Gay)
scheduled to perform or appear at the event. Read more HERE.

Back in 2010, Randy Slovacek performed with Carol again (he was in the 1995/96 Revival of Hello, Dolly!) in the opening number of the Gypsy of the Year competition, which is a major charity event for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  She brought the house down as only she can. I was lucky enough to be there. TWICE! Read Randy's loving blog tribute to Carol and Dolly HERE.
I remember when Carol was appearing in the Albany, NY area which is very near the Berkshires where many of us live. She left the most delightful, insane, hilarious, long and rambling message on Marge Champion's answering machine in Stockbridge. I was able to get a very good sense of what a truly delightful person she is although I have never met her in person. I have always loved watching and hearing interviews with her because she is a true original - incredibly inventive in her humor and smart as a whip. I just love her!!
Manisha Lynne Tanzman-Rivas (Happy Birthday to you as well, Manisha!)

I have one memory of Ms. Carol Channing. I saw her last Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! I had just turned nine years old and my grandparents had taken me as a birthday present. My Granny was a notorious stage door fly and so we waited for Ms. Channing after the performance.
The door swung open at the Lunt-Fontanne and there she was! I was speechless and starstruck. My grandmother had thanked Ms. Channing for the performance and said that she had seen the original production as well. Carol laughed and said something like: "Well I'm so glad you liked the show so much that you decided to see it again. It's a good thing you came to the right theater, you know. People keep trying ro see me at the St. James!" They both laughed and I got the widest smile from "The lady in the red dress." I still regret to this day not saying anything.
Matthew Bancroft

You know, if you're lucky enough to have two smash hit shows, the traffic of the world goes through your dressing room.
-Carol Channing

Dear Carol,

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday! You are such an inspiration! One of my favorite memories would be when I attended along with my mother  the premiere of Dori Berenstein's Carol Channing: "Larger Than Life" which Lily Tomlin Hosted for you at The Paley Center in Beverly Hills.And also attending your 90th Birthday Celebration at The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood when you performed as Dolly Levi in your original costume!  You can bet I will be at your 95th Birthday Celebration at The McCallum Theatre on March 5th 2016. Can't wait!
Katharine "Kat" Kramer

 I’ve been looking for this for a long time ever since I met Richard Skipper in the mid eighties. I drew this back in 1973 when I was in art school for illustration. I was at lunch with a friend from class and I was talking about Carol Channing. This person didn’t know who I was talking about. I said she was famous for the Broadway musical “Hello, Dolly!” and he still didn’t know her, so I drew this for him and then he knew exactly who I was talking about. Pictured is a scan of the original napkin drawing.
-Glen Charlow

Patricia Gay interviewed Carol Channing and met her at the Tribeca Film Festival . She is an award-winning journalist and editor of The Weston Forum newspaper in Connecticut. Read her BLOG today about Carol. 

Carol was featured at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival in the world premiere of 'Carol Channing: Larger Than Life.' The film was directed by Dori Berinstein and written by Dori Berinstein and Adam Zucker. The film was received by the audience with great enthusiasm. At the end of the screening there was a Q&A with Dori Berinstein, the film's director, Carol Channing, her husband Harry Kullijian, producer B. Harlan Boll, and others involved in the project. Check out photos from the event HERE

Make sure you nominate her for the 2016 Kennedy Center Honor by going to The Kennedy Center page (at the bottom of their page) and submit her as a nominee. Click HERE

I got the following from David Kenney who hosts Everything Old is New Again on WBAI Radio (he has a birthday tomorrow!)  Hey Richard, Thanks for the b'day wishes. I did see Carol at Feinstein's. I consider myself so very lucky! A rare treat to see this great star and legend. 

Carol, Ann Hampton Callaway, Kevin Taylor
From Ann Hampton Callaway
Happy birthday, to beloved Carol Channing!  Here’s to 95 years of a glowing spirit that has shone dazzling light on Broadway, television and film, not to mention the hearts of everyone she meets  The life affirming spirit of what makes Carol so lovable is revealed in this 2005 interview with The Austin Chronicle:

My mother said, “Carol, would you like to help me distribute Christian Science Monitors backstage at the live theatres in San Francisco?" And I said, "All right, I'll help you." I don't know how old I was. I must have been little. We went through the stage door alley (for theCurran Theatre), and I couldn't get the stage door open. My mother came and opened it very well. Anyway, my mother went to put the Monitors where they were supposed to go for the actors and the crew and the musicians, and she left me alone. And I stood there and realized – I'll never forget it because it came over me so strongly – that this is a temple. This is a cathedral. It's a mosque. It's a mother church. This is for people who have gotten a glimpse of creation and all they do is recreate it. I stood there and wanted to kiss the floorboards.

Thank you for kissing the floorboards of everything you do with love and life, Carol!  To your health, happiness and legacy-long may you live!

Click HERE for a special video clip. 

Chip Deffaa with Carol
From Chip Deffaa:
Today is the birthday of legendary Broadway performer Carol Channing. There's no one in this business I think more highly of, as a performer or person, than Carol Channing. Wonderful woman! Smart, wise, generous. A glorious burst of positive energy! Unlike anyone else i know.... We've been friends for many, many years. and she's had a profound influence on my life.... Of course, I enjoyed her greatly as a performer on stage--on Broadway in "Hello, Dolly!" and "Lorelei," and the one-woman show she used to tour in--long before I ever dreamed we'd become friends.... But she's taught me more about this business than

anyone else, and every time I direct a show or produce an album, or sit down to write a script, insights she's shared help me. And I know no one more committed to her work. There is no other actress in American who has played any role as many times as Channing has played Dolly Gallagher Levi. She's played the role--on Broadway and on national tours--some 5,000 times. And she performed it more than 4,500 times before ever letting an understudy go on. 
I've seen her go out on stage--on sheer nerves, putting mind over matter--despite some fierce challenges to her health. (No one knew it at the time, but she was fighting cancer during her first national tour in "Dolly"--flying back and forth to Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York on her free
day each week, to get treatments.) I've never missed a deadline with my editors (of magazines, newspapers, books) or producers; and I learned that discipline/dedication directly from her. Lord knows, I wasn't disciplined by nature. 
But if she could do eight shows a week, while fighting cancer, I could damn well do my work with the Flu. "We do our best work when challenged," she would tell me. (I can hear her saying those words, in that inimitable deep voice of hers.) If I ever need a booster-shot of positive energy, I can listen to a message she's left on my answering machine. A great, great gal. And still goin' strong! 

 Before there was Miley Cyrus, before there was Beyonce, before Madonna and Mariah… even before Diana Ross… there was Carol Channing! Now, the 95-year-old sex symbol is back with an all-new photo set by photographer Michael Freeby.Click HERE for more. 
From Chita Rivera:
Carol is a fabulous woman, a wonderful friend, a one and only one of a kind and I adore her. 
Happy Birthday sweet Carol.
From David Vernon I once had a dream starring Carol Channing. I dreamed that I was hitchhiking in full drag and blinding sunlight. Carol, driving a white van and smoking from a long cigarette holder hanging out the window picked me up. She was in full Dolly character with the huge hat and gown, and was carrying
on and on about all sorts of stories related to her career and yet what she was carrying on about was actually things related to Streisand's career. That made sense since I knew a lot about Streisand but hardly anything about Carol except for the Dolly Connection.. I don’t think I will ever forget that dream. Carol Channing has always been like an impersonator of her own self to me. In my mind she is illusionary and bigger than life itself. She is one of those species that real legends are made of. It wasn’t until I relocated to NYC and met Richard Skipper that I was exposed more to CC the performer, and the person. Except for the costumes that Bob Mackie designed for Lorelei the musical, I really never knew much about Carol Channing. It’s always been interesting to me that stars such as Carol possess so much originality that it makes them worthy of being copied.
with Vidal Sassoon
Please check David out tomorrow night at the Metropolitan Room. In anticipation of David's forthcoming album,  witness the true and intimate story of a love triangle come full circle as told through the compositions of the world’s most sensitive love songs.
Alex Leonard is Music Directing this concert and it will include material from my forthcoming album "LOVE". The LOVE album is a collection of favorite love songs rearranged and given a contemporary and cutting edge vibe. This concert at the Metropolitan Room will include many of these pieces in an acoustic and intimate setting. The album and concert are 2 thirds in the LOVE Trilogy project that they are launching this year. The project will culminate to Beloved which is a musical theatre piece.
LOVE...The Concert TOMORROW NIGHT Monday February 1st at 7:PM

Metropolitan Room 34 West 22nd St., New York, NY 10010 Phone: 212.206.0440
Broadway legend Carol Channing could've been knocked out during a knock-out performance of Hello, Dolly! on tour.  It was one of the most memorable nights of theater I've ever experienced.  It was also a memorable week because I got to interview her in her dressing room. Read more in Bobby Rivers' Blog HERE
Carol spent decades using her wide smile and exuberant voice to entertain audiences. Over her years in show business, she's appeared in
with son, Chan Lowe
everything from Broadway masterpieces to television and film to Super Bowl halftime shows. With such a long life and storied career, it should be no surprise to learn she's also had a very interesting existence. Here are six facts you may not know about this unforgettable performer:
"The Greatest Genes in Show Business" Read more HERE
Here is Scott Nevins' Tribute to Carol.  Click HERE.

A special video message from Lee Roy Reams.

I think Carol Channing is still the world’s funniest comedienne and I would travel to the edge of the earth to see her perform. I never tire of Carol’s reflections on growing up in San Francisco, impersonating her school chums, watching Nikita Bailiff’s revue, auditioning in New York, extolling the talents of Cecilia Sisson, telling stories about Talulah’s Chinaman with a sneer, Merman’s medical expertise, and helping raise money for worthy causes. Happy Birthday, Carol! 

Here is a tribute from Playbill.com
This is from my website celebrating Hello, Dolly! CallonDolly.com

What can one say about Carol Channing? Other than being one of the greatest inspirations I've ever had, the fact that she is a powerhouse goes without uttering any words. She is a living legend and her work is some of the most important work ever in the history of the American Theatre. I want to wish her the best birthday today as she turns 95! I had the pleasure of having lunch with her at a benefit in 2003 at the Adolphus Hotel. There was a misty-eyed moment for Carol before we parted ways after I told her just what she meant to me. A few years later, I wrote her a letter asking some advice before ultimately settling on a particular drama school in New York. 
with Michael Loris
I was living with my grandmother and caring for her at the time. The letter was one of my fourteen-paged rants (imagine that!). I was asked to house-sit for a friend for a day and care for her cat. While I was giving num-nums to the kitty, Mema called me on Lolly's landline -- as we were all Luddites then. I had no cell phone at that time. She told me that she had an important message for me. She said to  me, "Michael, a gentleman by the name of Harry 'Kill-Aide-Jwon' or 'Kill-Oode-Jwon' (as she struggled to pronounce it) called and asked for you saying it was very important that he reach you." I instantly recognized it to be Harry Kullijian, Carol's husband.
"Yes?! What did he say?", I asked emphatically.
She replied, "Well, he wanted to know when you would be back and I told him that I did not know."
"He simply said he had a message for you", she said.
"What was it?", I pressed.
 "Tell him Carol Channing called!"

-Michael Loris

with Gerard Alessandrini, the creator of "Forbidden Broadway" and Carol
My first Broadway musical was "Hello, Dolly!", starring CAROL CHANNING, December 1994. It
Courtesy: Ken Fallin
was on a Friday night, and the next night I saw Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl". You can imagine how exciting THAT was for a fifteen year old boy.
Our seats were in the second row, so it felt so thrilling when Carol and the rest of the cast walked around the famous ramp that encircled the orchestra.
I had never seen anything like Channing. She was pure magic, and the audience was crazy for everything she did.
At that moment, I became a huge fan. Years later, I was in
Peter Palmer, Carol, Lee Roy Reams, Brandon Maggart, Dody Goodman
Boston going to college, and "Lorelei" came to town. Again I had the thrill of seeing this amazing talent.
In 1986, Carol came to Boston in "Legends", with Mary Martin. The play wasn't great, but Carol made it worth seeing.
We were all thrilled when she paid a visit to see the Boston company of "Forbidden Broadway", ( see photo), and I got the chance to meet her.
In 1994, Carol came to Boston in "Hello, Dolly!". This time she knew who I was, and Stanley and I were invited to visit her in her dressing room before a performance.
We spent almost half an hour with her, and she was so warm and interested in my work.
CAROL CHANNING will always be an important person to me. I love her for always thrilling me with her bigger-than-life persona. A unique lady, and there will never be another.

Ken Fallin
One of my prized possessions! Click HERE for more

Thank you, Carol for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give! 

Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward.
-Carol Channing

With grateful XOXOXs ,


Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!


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

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
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Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

Thank you, Rancho Mirage Florist! You ALWAYS do an amazing job!
Sarah Rice, Broadway's original Johanna of Sweeney Todd, will sing a Valentine's Day concert of songs from the operetta, classical and musical theatre repertoire, with Paul Jackel, in upstate New York, Feb. 14. - See more at: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/kiss-me-sweeney-todds-sarah-rice-sings-of-love-with-paul-jackel-feb.-14-111546#sthash.bYCP2Q2p.dpuf

February 13th, Peter Filichia in conversation with Richard Skipper at American Popular Song Society 

with Musical Director Michael Lavine
Sally Mayes and an all star cast
join  Peter Filichia and Richard Skipper
to celebrate the 1963/64 Broadway Season
Talk/Performance/Book Signing

Call Richard Skipper Celebrates at 845-365-0720 if you need more details.
Many surprises are in store. 
Please contact me if any questions.
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Admission is Free for Members/$15.00 for Non-Members .

Doors open at 12:30 for those who want to buy sheet music Also members can take tables and sell their stuff. 2:30 -1:30 "Flea Market" 1:30 seating - showtime: 1:45 - 3:30.


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