Celia Berk, Jennifer Roberts...and MORE!

Happy Birthday, Sharon Stone!
Continue to stand tall, stand for a proud America and don’t fall for the malarkey.
-Sharon Stone

Happy Thursday, March 10th, 2016!
March 10 is the 70th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 296 days remaining until the end of the year.
There is a LOT to celebrate today. Let's start with the birthdays.
Notable Birthdays today
 1903 – Bix Beiderbecke, American cornetist, pianist and composer (d. 1931).
1903 – Clare Boothe Luce, American playwright, journalist, activist, and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Italy (d. 1987).
1905 – Richard Haydn, English-American actor and director (d. 1985)
1927 – Barbara Marx Sinatra, American socialite and businesswoman.
Skeeter Davis, center, pleading in fun with a security guard to let Ralph Emery, left, put up a poster at Andrew Jackson Hotel
1933 – Ralph Emery, American radio and television host.
1938 – Norman Blake, American singer-songwriter and guitarist.
1945 – Katharine Houghton, American actress and playwright.
1960 – Lance Burton, American magician
1962 – Jasmine Guy, American actress, singer, and director.
1977 – Robin Thicke, American singer-songwriter

Notable Transitions on this Date
1986 – Ray Milland, Welsh-American actor (b. 1905)
1988 – Andy Gibb, English-Australian singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1958)
1996 – Ross Hunter, American actor and producer (b. 1920). Art director, set designer and filmJacque* Mapes (1914-2002) and Ross Hunter (1920-1996) were a power couple during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Mapes is best remembered for creating the sets for Singin’ in the Rain (1952), and Hunter for producing many Rock Hudson and Doris Day films. Among Hunter’s first successes was Magnificent Obsession (1954), and his last major hit was Airport (1970), for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Mapes and Hunter were frequently co-producers on the same film projects, thus sharing professional and private lives. Together they produced Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) with Julie Andrews. (READ MORE)
Ross Hunter (right) on the set with Rock Hudson (Magnificent Obsession - 1954)

1997 – LaVern Baker, American singer and actress (b. 1929)
1998 – Lloyd Bridges, American actor (b. 1913).
2010 – Corey Haim, Canadian-American actor and producer (b. 1971)

In Entertainment News
Harlan Boll, who is Carol Channing’s longtime publicist, sent Greg Hernandez a recap of what sounds like an amazing 95th birthday party over the weekend for the Broadway legend.
Read about it HERE).

Was Liza Minnelli pre-destined for show business? Certainly. Her father was Academy Award-winning director Vincente Minnelli (1903-86), who helmed two Best Picture Oscar-winning musicals. Her screen debut was in the arms of mother Judy Garland (1922-69) at the end of In the Good Old Summertime (1949). In 1963, she starred in an off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward, winning a Theatre World Award.
Two years later, she became the Great White Way's youngest Tony Award-winner in Kander and Ebb's musical Flora the Red Menace. (Read MORE)

Richard Holbrook will be performing his Richard Rodgers show this coming Monday, March 14th at 7:00 P.M. at The Metropolitan Room!! Reservations are going fast so if you're planning on going, ORDER NOW BY CALLING (212) 206-0440 or going on line at www.metropolitan room.com.

2015 Bistro Award winner Celia Berk returns with a new CD and a new Metropolitan RoomRoom show in April. The album, to be released on April 1, 2016, follows Celia Berk’s critically acclaimed debut You Can’t Rush Spring. It is Co-Produced by Tony Award-winning sound designer Scott Lehrer and renowned arranger and musical director Alex Rybeck. Lyricist David Zippel (“City of Angels,” “Hercules”), whose THE BROADWAY SONG written with Cy Coleman is receiving its first commercial recording, writes in the album’s Liner Notes:

A tribute to her hometown, this collection is anything but renditions of the obvious New York songs. Manhattan Serenade is curated: a connoisseur’s compilation of one exquisite, undiscovered musical gem after another. Celia Berk and her arranger/conductor, the esteemed Alex Rybeck, consider themselves to be “musical
Celia's previous CD (WHICH I LOVE!)
truffle hounds,” and they have indeed rooted through the Great American Songbook to uncover superb, overlooked songs by the crème de la crème of composers and lyricists: Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes, Richard Whiting & Gus Kahn, Burt Bacharach, Rupert Holmes and Cy Coleman.

There are so many reasons to love this album—the lush arrangements, the extravagant orchestrations and, of course, Celia Berk’s knowing vocals sung with charm, warmth and wit. 
She chooses great songs, has superb arrangements and then trusts her material. Her interpretations are honest, unadorned, and imbued with intelligence, sensitivity and an intuitive understanding of what she is singing about.
A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN is a recently discovered song by legendary songwriting team Richard Whiting & Gus Kahn, completed by musical director Hubert “Tex” Arnold. It was given to Celia Berk and Alex Rybeck by Whiting’s granddaughter Debbi Bush Whiting. Michael Feinstein has said, “There is nothing more special than finding a new song that’s classic and fresh at the same time, and A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN is just that. The combined pedigree of Gus Kahn and Richard Whiting, with an assist from Tex Arnold, have made this a long overdue winner that in my book is an instant standard.”

To celebrate the release of this new album, Celia Berk will be performing at the Metropolitan Room every Sunday in April. For additional details, please go to the Metropolitan Room Website.

Today, I also celebrate singer Jennifer Roberts.
 Jennifer has been been singing since she was eight or so - classically trained, but loves all song styles and genres.
Received a BFA in Theatre - Acting from Wayne State University.
A Highlight - later studied Acting with Uta Hagen.
Jennifer Roberts
Jennifer is working on two Projects right now!
First of all, she is putting together an all-new show featuring the brilliant lyrics of SHELDON HARNICK - a true Broadway Legend, best known for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and SHE LOVES ME, both back on Broadway!
Jennifer's show - JENNIFER ROBERTS: SHE LOVES......SHELDON!  features Spectacular arrangements and Musical Direction by TEDD FIRTH!
 Wonderful LANCE ROBERTS is Directing with TOM HUBBARD on bass.
They celebrate Sheldon's early work, most popular shows, unknown and little-known gems and his 92nd Birthday, which is next month!
Their upcoming show is MARCH 31st at DON'T TELL MAMA - 10:30pm.

(They will be doing more of them)

Jennifer has also been working in the Studio, since late November - recording an Album with TEDD FIRTH and STEVE DOYLE....almost completed!....It is a recording of their first show together - AN EVENING WITH JENNIFER ROBERTS.
They hope to do a few shows featuring the New Album once it is complete, and Steve Doyle is off the boat and back on dry land. :)
Here is my mini interview with Jennifer. The statements are based on questions posed to Jennifer.
I began by asking Jennifer what her work means to her at this point in her life.
Jennifer Roberts
with Tom Wopat in Guys and Dolls
The Work I am doing NOW means Everything to me! What I find refreshing, rewarding and exciting is Creating New Work from previously written material - The Great American Songbook and The Golden Age of Broadway.  Having Artistic Freedom to Choose what Lyrics and Music I put out there...it is not about Me at all!  I feel a great compelling and even a responsibility to share the incredible work of others - unknown to so many!

Jennifer thought she already had a complete show of Sheldon Harnick material, until she purchased his Hidden Treasures album -I was overwhelmed with emotion and new choices - just now narrowing down the material for the new show.....I could do another 2 shows showcasing even more of his brilliant work!

I think the Key to getting past worrying about/thinking about/focusing on fulfilling your own needs, is as simple as stepping out and doing something for someone else. It can be as easy as writing a note, sending a card, making a phone call or giving a gift.
It can be as large as you want it to be - giving a donation - even when you can't really afford it, donating clothes, your time and talent.....sacrifice is the greatest gift, when it costs you something - and it really does take your eyes off of yourself, and gives you great joy! And, blesses someone else - which is the best there is!

When I interviewed Jennifer. It was Tuesday. I asked her what that meant to her.
It's Tuesday - this Tuesday is special to me because I'm in Detroit today, where I grew up, and as I'm driving around so many memories have been flooding back....my home growing up, my High School and College, my friends and family - memories of film and tv work I did here, theatre.....and very special today, because I'm reconnecting with a couple of people that kind of adopted me when my parents moved away several years ago....I stayed with them, while in the area for auditions and work and special occasions. Very Blessed to have friends!

Advice for new people in the business :
Have a very Strong Sense of Self and very strong Work Ethic....Believe in yourself and don't take rejection personally. I've been in the business almost 30 years....wouldn't trade it.....I never really tried to make it, though, by moving to LA or NYC...I took opportunities wherever they opened up, and along the way grew and learned and stretched myself, and tried to give back. I wanted to live a normal life, with house and yard, which I purchased 20 years ago.  I am always learning, and I bring my life experience to my work.  I work and audition in LA, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The greatest JOY is Creating your own Work and working with The Best Musicians and Material!

What are you currently reading?
I am Reading currently - To Broadway,  to Life! The Musical Theatre of Bock and Harnick, The Magic Art of Tidying Up, and My Utmost for His Highest.

Where would you go if you could choose anywhere in the world? 
Paris, of course, for its art, fashion, food and culture...and it's love of Great Music!

What is a specialty that you possess that might surprise some people?
Do you mean within this business? I'll let people decide for themselves, as each show and song will feature a different song style.
In life, I have numerous survival jobs - most of
which I love and have developed skill and experience.
-- Make-up Artistry, for one, but it seems like a dying art....I have an eye and love for color, and nothing is more fulfilling than to see the esteem boost in a woman after teaching her to find and apply the right colors for her coloring, age and lifestyle.

--Drama Director - I directed plays and musicals for several years -- loved watching the esteem and confidence building in high school students as they learned and grew into roles, and succeeded!

--Automotive Trainer and Specialist
I take a couple of tours a year - educating consumers on Product Benefits of BMW vehicles, as well as work as a Trainer - educating
BMW Staff or Honda Dealership personnel on New Product launches and IQS issues.....another field I stumbled into, that I really enjoy.

I've worked all of these fields for several years, as well as my Theatre, Film and TV work and my NYC music adventures. Three words to describe me - well, - Adventurous for One....Full of Faith,Content .....also.

I already have a few careers - I guess another might be - Produce/direct Film.

Please be sure and visit Jennifer's Website for more info.

Thank to ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts they have given to the world and continue to give!

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!    
March 12 th: Will Friedwald and Lynn DiMenna celebrate Dinah Shore
Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM
322 W 48th St, New York, New York 10036 ring:
Lynn DiMenna
Meredith DiMenna
Margi Gianquinto
Kimberly Hawkey Jeff MacAuley and your host, Will Friedwald
Music Director: Paul Greenwood
Bass: Tom Hubbard
Drums: Eric Halvorsen

Dinah Shore was one of the most beloved female pop singers of all time. Whether she was singing on the radio, hosting her own variety show or TV's talk show queen, she was "America's Sweetheart!"
Please join Will Friedwald, Lynn DiMenna and a cast of "Dinahphiles" to celebrate her 100th birthday on Saturday, March 12th, 2016

Doors open at 12:30.
Program promptly at 2PM
$15.00 at door for NON-Members/$50.00 to join
Richard Skipper is the EXCLUSIVE publicist for American Popular Song Society. For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at Richard@RichardSkipper.com or 845-365-0720

NEXT UP April 9th

Join today at http://www.AmericanPopularSongSociety.org

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Please contact Richard Skipper Celebrates
(Richard@RichardSkipper.com) for more info for more info. —

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

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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

MARCH 19th in NYC

The Metropolitan Room Presents...

David Meulemans returns in Lucky To Be Me! Directed by the incredible Sally Mayes with great musical direction by Tex Arnold. David will take all of us on a great musical romp through the ups and downs of his life.David Meulemans combines a love for the American Songbook with his classically trained voice to entertain audiences from Miami to New York, London and around the nation.
In a recent review, Charles Truenski describes David’s performance of “Lucky to Be Me” at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room, as “a perfect night of cabaret” stating this is the kind of cabaret New York City needs more of.  A popular leading man in South Florida musical theatre, David brings his comfortable style, passion for music and remarkable vocal talents to every project he tackles, with humor, heart and joy.   
This show WILL sell out! So reserve today and be a part of his star studded audience!
This is a CD Release Event! ALL in attendance will receive complementary copy of Lucky To Be Me: Recorded LIVE at the Metropolitan Room August 22nd, 2015
Richard Skipper Celebrates is the publicist for David Meulemans and Lucky To Be Me at NYC's Metropolitan Room. 
For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at Richard@RichardSkipper.com or 845-365-0720 


  1. Thank-you So Much Richard, for your Support of Me, Our Shows and THE ARTS!
    We need more of you! We really appreciate your Effort, Time and Many Talents!


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