Saturday, March 26, 2016

Diana Ross, Anything Goes, Goodspeed Opera House...and MORE!

Happy Birthday, Diana Ross!
You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself. Diana Ross

Happy March 26th, 2016!
March 26 is the 86th day of the year. There are 280 days remaining until the end of the year.
Happy birthday to Leonard Nimoy, Bob Elliott, and Pierre Boulez and to Diana Ross and Martin Short! Ms. Ross, if you see this, THANK YOU! Thank you for the years of great entertainment you have given us. I have been lucky enough to attend your concerts. You are the antidote for all the strife in the world!
Diana Ross  and the Supremes: Reflections
There are other exciting things that happened on this day. 1967 – Ten thousand people gather for one of many Central Park be-ins in New York City.
In 1985, mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904–October 30, 1987) sat down with legendary interviewer and idea-monger Bill Moyers for a lengthy conversation at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch in California, which continued the following year at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The resulting 24 hours of raw footage were edited down to six one-hour episodes and broadcast on PBS in 1988, shortly after Campbell’s death, in what became one of the most popular series in the history of public television.Click HERE.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. ~ Joseph Campbell

Viktor Frankl
Happy birthday, Viktor Frankl! One of the most inspiring humans who ever lived on the heart of our search for meaning Click HERE.

Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!
- Viktor Frankl

Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.- Sophia Loren.

1911 – Tennessee Williams, American playwright, and poet (d. 1983)

In memory everything seems to happen to music. – Tennessee Williams  
Happy birthday to the sublime Sterling Hayden, who bought a schooner & joined the Communist
 party on the same day!
Studio publicity portrait of Sterling Hayden for The Asphalt Jungle (1950 film). Copyright details Additional source information: This is a publicity photo taken to promote a film actor.

1919 – Strother Martin, American actor (d. 1980).

Today is the birthday of a terrific friend, Bob Diamond. As a director, he's worked at the Metropolitan Opera, and on TV shows of all sorts. For many, many years he directed the longest-running talk show in television history, "The Joe Franklin Show." He sings in venues around town, too, from Don't Tell Mama to the
Leonard Nimoy, who would've been 85 today, on tour as Sherlock Holmes, 1974. Via  
Laurie Beechman Theater. Happy birthday, Bob!

The tame ask. The wild do not answer.

1930 – Sandra Day O'Connor, American lawyer and jurist.
On March 26th 1778, at the age of 7 ½, Ludwig Van Beethoven gave his first public performance at Cologne.
Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine
 Today is the birthday of Alan Arkin, American actor, singer, and director
James Caan, American actor and singer.
Nancy Pelosi. American lawyer and politician, 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
Erica Jong, American novelist and poet.
Bob Woodward, American journalist and author.
Vicki Lawrence, American actress and singer.
Teddy Pendergrass, American singer-songwriter (Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes) (d. 2010).
Martin Short, Canadian-American actor, screenwriter, and producer

In Entertainment News

Anything Goes Premiers at the Goodspeed Opera House!
All Aboard! Goodspeed Musicals kicks off its 2016 season at The Goodspeed with the Broadway hit Anything Goes. It is definitely a star turn for the actress and they have found her: Rashidra Scott!
You’ll get a kick out of this dance- filled musical comedy running April 8 – June 16 at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn.
Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman in Anything Goes, 1934 Credit: Paramount
Sutton Foster playing the role of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes! on Broadway
Bon voyage! Set sail on a "de­lovely" cruise through some of Cole Porter's most famous songs. A brassy nightclub singer, a starry­eyed stowaway and Public Enemy No. 13 are booked on a
transatlantic luxury liner bound for romance and laughter. Hum along with an easy­to­love score
packed with hits including I Get a Kick Out of You, "You're the Top," "It's De­Lovely," Blow, Gabriel,
Blow and more! A tap ­happy classic docks at Goodspeed for the first time.
Anything Goes features music and lyrics by Cole Porter; original book by Guy Bolton, P.G.
Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay, and Russel Crouse; with new book by Timothy Crouse and John
Weidman. This effervescent musical will be sponsored by Chester Village West, Liberty Bank,

Sennheiser and The Shops at Mohegan Sun.

Reno Sweeney will be played by Rashidra Scott, who is currently performing on Broadway as Janelle
In the national tour of Anything Goes, Rachel York plays Reno Sweeney

in Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. Her other Broadway credits include Avenue Q, Finian’s Rainbow, Hair and Sister Act. Ms. Scott’s regional appearances include Dreamgirls at Marriott Lincolnshire, Hairspray at Paper Mill Playhouse, Little Shop of Horrors at STAGES St. Louis (Kevin Kline nomination), Sister Act at Ogunquit and Gateway Playhouse, and Hair at Arizona Theatre Company.

Internationally acclaimed leading man David Harris will play Billy Crocker. Connecticut audiences may recognize Harris from his turn as Jean Valjean in critically acclaimed production of Les Misèrables at CRT this past summer. Mr. Harris hails from
Stephanie J. Block, Quite Becoming as Reno Sweeney in "Anything Goes"
Australia where his performances in Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, and Legally Blonde garnered several awards. In 2012 he traveled to Singapore to perform the role of Fiyero in Wicked. Stephen DeRosa, whose Broadway credits include the recent revival of On The Town, Betrayal, The Nance, Henry IV, Hairspray, Into the Woods, and The Man Who Came to Dinner, will play Moonface Martin. For HBO, Mr. DeRosa played Eddie Cantor on the acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire. Erma
Norell Moore belts them out as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney

will be played by Desiree Davar. Ms. Davar performed on Broadway in the revival of West Side Story.

At The Goodspeed, Desiree performed in Half a Sixpence. Hope Harcourt will be played by Hannah Florence, whose Broadway credits include Gigi and Scandalous.­The role of Mrs. Wadsworth T. Harcourt will be played by Denise Lute. An Actors Studio veteran and a

film, television and theatre actor, Ms. Lute has been seen at The Goodspeed in Mame and Show Boat.
Actress Deb Wims plays the part of nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in Beef & Boards'

On Broadway, Ms. Lute performed in Monday After the Miracle. Sir Evelyn Oakleigh will be played by Benjamin Howes, who was last seen at The Goodspeed in the 2008 Festival of New Musicals presentation of The Trouble With Doug. On Broadway, Mr. Howes appeared as Asa Keyes in Scandalous, and in [title of show] and Mary Poppins.
Kingsley Leggs, who played Mister in the original Broadway production of The Color Purple, will play Elisha J. Whitney. Mr. Leggs also appeared as Curtis Jackson in Broadway’s Sister Act. The Purser will be played by Patrick Richwood. Mr. Richwood’s credits include the National Tour of Dixie’s Tupperware Party and the Off ­Broadway

productions of It Must Be Him and Peter Pan.

The ensemble includes Brittany Bohn (Goodspeed’s Mame,), Sy Chounchaisit , Alison Jantzie (Broadway’s Gigi), Jay Aubrey Jones (Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Cats, Goodspeed’s Gotham at The Terris Theatre), John Ramsey, Christopher Shin ( Broadway’s Mary Poppins), Karilyn Surratt (a Radio City Christmas SpectacularThe Merry Widow at
Chita Rivera  stars in Cole Porter's Anything Goes at the Paper Mill Playhouse
Rockette, The Metropolitan Opera), Sam Tanabe (Broadway’s Allegiance), James Tolbert , Edward Tolve (Goodspeed 2012 Festival of New Musicals’ Harmony, Kansas) and John T. Wolfe (Goodspeed’s A Wonderful Life, the world premiere of Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, and Mame). The swings will be Cooper Taggard and Chiara Trentalange.

Anything Goes will be directed by Daniel Goldstein, who directed the hit Goodspeed productions of
Damn Yankees and Hello, Dolly! at The Goodspeed, as well as productions of Snapshots and The
Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown at The Terris Theatre. On Broadway, Mr. Goldstein helmed the award ­winning revival of Godspell.
Eileen Rodgers (PHOTO: DON HUNSTEIN) Anything Goes - 1962 Broadway Revival Cast
In 2015, Mr. Goldstein received the Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre, being named most promising musical theatre librettist.

Choreography will be by Kelli Barclay. In New York, Ms. Barclay choreographed the City Center Encores! production of Pipe Dream; New York City Center's 20 Years
Patti LuPone " Anything Goes "
of Encores!
, Camelot in Concert, and The Oscar Hammerstein Awards saluting Carol Channing. Kelli served as Associate Choreographer for Broadway’s Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Assistant Choreographer for Broadway’s 42nd Street. She also choreographed Goodspeed’s Damn Yankees; Hello, Dolly!; My One And Only; and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying as well as Hello!, My Baby at The Terris Theatre.

Scenic Design will be by Wilson Chin, who designed the critically ­acclaimed Broadway play Next Fall.

Mr. Chin also served as an associate/assistant designer to Santo Loquasto on nineteen productions including Broadway productions of Glengarry
Glen Ross, Three Days of Rain, Shining City and The Times They Are A­Changin'. Wilson was also an associate designer on the Broadway production of Fela! and Fiddler on the Roof. Costumes will be designed by Ilona Somogyi ,who designed Clybourne Park on Broadway. Lighting Design will be by Brian Tovar, who designed Goodspeed’s production of Damn
Yankees in 2014. Hair and Wig Design will be by Mark Adam Rampmeyer, whose work has been seen at The Goodspeed in last summer’s smash hit La Cage aux Folles, The Most Happy Fella, Good News!, Something’s Afoot, 42nd Street, Big River and Half a Sixpence, to name a few. On Broadway, he designed West Side Story, Lysistrata Jones and The Farnsworth Invention. Sound Design will be by Jay Hilton, who is in his 31st season at Goodspeed.

The Music Director for Anything Goes will be Michael O’Flaherty, who is in his 25th season as Goodspeed’s Resident Music Director. William J. Thomas will be assistant music director. Orchestrations will be provided by Dan DeLange, who has created the orchestrations for numerous Goodspeed productions. Casting for Anything Goes is by Paul Hardt of SH Entertainment.

Anything Goes will run April 8 through June 16, 2016. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.).

Tickets are available through the Box Office (860.873.8668), open seven days a week, or online at For show highlights, exclusive photos, special events and more, visit us at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @goodspeedmusicl, Instagram and YouTube.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed produces three musicals each season at The Goodspeed in East The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals, and official auto sponsor Hoffman Audi. Goodspeed is supported in part by the
Autographed "ANYTHING GOES" Joe Flynn and Karen Morrow
Haddam, Conn., and additional productions at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed also maintains Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
Background: The classic Cole Porter musical Anything Goes debuted on Broadway on November 21, 1934

at the Alvin Theatre. It ran for 420 performances, becoming the fourth longest­ running musical of the 1930s, despite the impact of the Great Depression. Directed by Howard
Singer/actress Patrice Munsel looking through a lifesaver in a scene from the musical Anything Goes.
Lindsay with choreography by Robert Alton, It starred Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney, William Gaxton as Billy Crocker and Victor Moore as Moonface

Martin. In 1935 the first West End production opened, and then in 1936 it was made into a major motion picture. In 1954 Ethel
Merman reprised her role as Reno in a specially adapted live television version of the musical, co­starring Frank Sinatra as the hero, and Bert Lahr as Moonface Martin.

Look at ALL that Goodspeed has to offer!

Kids’ Nights: April 13 and 14, 7:30 pm; April 15, 8 pm. Introduce your favorite young person to the magic of

musical theatre. Each adult who buys a regular­ priced ticket on the specified dates may purchase a $15 ticket for a youth age 5 to 18. Meet the cast after the April 15 performance for autographs.

Mother's Day Mom­tini: Sunday, May 8, 6:30pm. Includes a ticket to the show on Mother's Day plus Mom's favorite specialty martini. Just $49 per person!

Meet the Cast: Take part in a lively discussion with the cast after the Thursday evening performances on May 5 and 19 and June 2. Meet the Cast events are free with a ticket to that evening’s performance.

Add caption
Lady Katharine Lunch or Dinner Cruise: Enjoy springtime on the Connecticut River! Add a leisurely cruise and sumptuous buffet aboard the Lady Katharine to your theatre ticket. Available on Thursday, June 16.

Choose an 11:00 a.m. lunch cruise ($43) or a 4:30 p.m. dinner cruise ($48) to pair with your ticket to either the 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. performance.

Student Rush: $15 tickets with valid student ID available beginning at 10 am on any Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, Saturday, or Sunday for that evening's performance.

Friday Dinner Theatre Package: Includes dinner at the Gelston House (located next door to The Goodspeed) and a ticket to the 8:00 pm performance. Includes your choice of beef, chicken, fish, or pasta entrée ­ only $84!

Ethel Merman in promotional photos for the 1936 Paramount film adaptation, Anything Goe

Also for the first time in Goodspeed's history, two of the three productions set for the Goodspeed Opera House will be directed by women. That is great news and the timing couldn't be more appropriate since this is Women's History Month.
They are kicking off the season with Anything Goes, one of my favorite musicals. I did Anything Goes at the now defunct Hampton Playhouse in Hampton, New Hampshire SEVERAL years ago. I played Sir Evelyn Oakley opposite Deb Girdler as Reno Sweeney and directed by Sue Lawless.
I also have seen three productions: Patti LuPone on Broadway Chita Rivera in a lavish production at the Papermill Playhouse, and Goodspeed's own Dolly Levi, Klea Blackhurst at the Palace Theatre in Stamford. Of course, that was the closest thing to seeing Merman.

Sadly, the rest of the production were not on the same par with Klea.
After Anything Goes, Bye Bye Birdie will be directed by Jenn Thompson and choreographed by Patricia Wilcox. The Goodspeed Theater's final offering, Chasing Rainbows - The Road to Oz (September 16-November 27), will be helmed by Tyne Rafaeli and choreographed by Chris Bailey.
At the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Don Stephenson will direct The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd (May 19-June 26), with Liza Gennaro serving as choreographer.
Finally, A Sign of the Times (July 28-September 4) will feature direction by Tony nominee Gabriel Barre and choreography by JoAnn Hunter.
Meet the latest Reno Sweeney: Rashidra Scott!

In other news,in honor of Liza Minnelli’s 70th birthday on March 12, asked the dashing diva to answer some of their questions and some of your questions. Check out her answers HERE!

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 Dolly Gallagher Levi
Klea Blackhurst in Goodspeed's Hello, Dolly! Directed by Daniel Goldstein and choreographed by Kelli Barclay

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!
Richard Skipper Celebrates May 25th  AND Wendy Scherl (and OTHERS!) at The Triad in NYC 8PM Show... Reservations a MUST! You Never Know Who You Might See There!
Order your Tickets HERE
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook

Bridging the Past with the Present

Richard Skipper,


Don't Tell Mama Presents...

Wendy Scherl returns in What Do You Do All Day?  Directed by the incredible Helen Baldasarre with great musical direction by Matthew Martin Ward. Wendy is an amazing vocalist with a rangy and rich sound.
“This is someone to watch!” Go see her, you can thank me later.
- Sue Matsuki   In “What Do You Do All Day”, Wendy Scherl shares anecdotes and song about the numerous hats she wears every single day as a wife, a mother of two boys and two dogs, a short order cook, a daughter, a house manager, a chauffeur and Cabaret Singer! Her show is both touching and real, theatrical and funny!
This show WILL sell out! So reserve today and be a part of his star studded audience!
You will truly be amazed by what this full-time executive director of a family of four accomplishes every day!
Wendy will wow you with both her choice of material and her talent!
After graduating from Northwestern University with a BA in Theatre, Wendy performed in numerous regional theatre productions around the country, including some of her favorite productions: Hair (Theofficial 20th Anniversary Production in Chicago), Grease (numerous roles), Annie (Grace), The Pajama Game (Babe), and Godspell.  
$20.00 Cover/Two Drink Minimum Cash Only Reserve at 212-757-0788 (after 4PM or through me)

Richard Skipper Celebrates is the publicist for Wendy Scherl and What Do You Do All Day? at NYC's Don't Tell Mama. For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at or 845-365-0720

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