Saturday, March 19, 2016

Renee Taylor, Patricia Morison, Ursula Andress....and MORE!

Renee Taylor
The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others! 

Happy Saturday, March 19th!

March 19 is the 79th day of the year. There are 287 days remaining until the end of the year.
Do you feel like you’re on track with your goals - or do you feel that despite your best intentions, you’re falling further and further behind?
There is so much to celebrate AND remember today. As I began this blog today, I was listening to Hamilton on Sirius XM. There is such excitement in this show. Speaking of exciting shows, I'm looking forward to seeing David Meulemans tonight at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. If you see this before tonight's show, please join us. Afterward, we all will go to BXL also on 22nd Street to not only celebrate David, but to celebrate each other. Tomorrow is the first day of spring and we are expecting a snow storm here in New York! We are scheduled to have dinner in Connecticut with friends. There is never a dull moment!
Entertainment Elite gather around Ms. Patricia Morison for her 101st Birthday
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. —Albert Einstein 

I'll begin today by wishing a very Happy Birthday to Renee Taylor. I have always been a fan of hers and how lucky we all are to be able to see her on a regular basis thanks to The Nanny

Today is also the 101th Birthday of Patricia Morison! I was lucky enough to interview her three years ago. Click on the link to read my interview with her.  
I want to thank Harlan Boll with sending me the following.
Best friend and host director John Bowab, Charlotte Rae, Janis Paige, critic Sylvie Drake, Peter White, Anne Jeffreys and Marty
Party host, celebrated director John Bowab, stands by as Patricia Morison blows out her candles
Wiviott of the Pantages Theatre, were among the  select industry elite on hand to celebrate Film and Broadway legend and icon, Patricia Morison's 101st birthday this week.
An evening of abundant comraderie and conversation, included memories of Hollywood greats in it's Golden Era and Broadway, while some of the original lights on the Great White Way were still shining. Even a childhood recollection of traveling aboard a ship during
Legend and Icon, Patricia Morison, overwhelmed with joy
World War I, and being partially responsible for the discovery of a bomb meant to sink the boat.
"I really had two careers, one in film and one in the theater. I was lucky," says Ms. Morison.
Ms. Morison achieved full-fledged stardom on the Broadway stage, where she created the role of Lilli (and Katharine) in Cole Porter's hit musical "Kiss Me, Kate." In 1933, the teenager made her Broadway debut in the comedy Growing Pains. By 1935, she was waiting in the wings to replace Helen Hayes in Laurence Housman's play "Victoria Regina," but had to remain behind the scenes throughout the run as an understudy. Morison's start in a Broadway musical took place, when she appeared in the original cast of Eleanor Farjeon's "The Two Bouquets," playing alongside the future Broadway legend Alfred Drake (with whom she would famously collaborate again) and the already well-established thespian Leo G. Carroll.
Alfred Drake ;THE TWO BOUQUETS Patricia Morison / Leo G. Carroll 1938
Her performance and striking looks caught the attention of Hollywood, and she soon appeared in a steady stream of films: the thrillers The Magnificent Fraud and Persons in Hiding, and the comedy "I'm from Missouri." In the 1940s alone she appeared in twenty-five films, sharing the screen with such Hollywood royalty as Ralph Bellamy, Katherine Hepburn, Myrna Loy, Fred MacMurray, Ray Milland, William Powell, Basil Rathbone, Spencer Tracy, and Johnny Weissmuller. Other films that have survived the test of time, include "The Song of Bernadette," and the early Tracy-Hepburn vehicle Without Love.
She had the leading role in the adventure film Queen of the Amazons and played opposite Johnny
Weissmuller in Tarzan and the Huntress.
Despite her busy schedule in the movie studios, Morison briefly returned to Broadway to play in the musical "Allah Be Praised!," and then on to her next experience on the Great White Way which proved far more gratifying, when she starred opposite her old colleague Alfred Drake in the original production of Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate!," a musical about an acting troupe performing Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.
Her solo numbers “I Hate Men” and “So in Love,” and her famous duet with Drake, Wunderbar, were high points in the show ... and she has performed them as recently as 2015 on stage for charity events ... The chemistry between Drake and Morison was superb, and the musical was a smash hit - winning six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical and Best Composer and Lyricist, and playing for 1,077 performances. Morison went on to reprise the role of Lilli in the London production and on television.
She returned to Broadway once more, stepping in to star as Anna Leonowens in The King and I.
Patricia Morison and Yul Brynner in The King and I
She continued to take to the boards beyond Broadway in such works as "Milk and Honey," "Kismet," "The Merry Widow," "Separate Tables," and "Private Lives." Later film credits include "Song Without End," "Won Ton Ton: the Dog Who Saved Hollywood," and "Mirrors."
 It seems as though the entire theatrical community is wishing Ms. Morison continued health and happiness for her 101st birthday. (Source: Harlan Boll)

Other Notable Birthdays
Born Today 1909 Louis Hayward: Anthony Adverse, And Then There Were None -& the 1st actor to play Simon Templar (The Saint in New York)

Joseph "Jo" Mielziner (March 19, 1901 – March 15, 1976) was an American theatrical scenic, and lighting designer born in Paris, France. He was described as "the most successful set designer of the Golden era of Broadway", and worked on both stage plays and musicals. He designed the sets of the the Yul Brynner/Patricia Morison King and I.
Frederick Leonard Clark (March 19, 1914 – December 5, 1968) was an American film and television character actor.  
Fred Clark
This popular, baggy-eyed, bald-domed, big lug of a character actor had few peers when called upon to display that special "slow burn" style of comedy few others perfected. But perfect he did -- on stage, film and TV. In fact, he pretty much cornered the market during the 50s and 60s as the dour, ill-tempered guy you loved to hate...
Today is also the birthday of Bruce Willis
 Actor and musician Bruce Willis is well known for playing wisecracking or hard-edged characters, often in spectacular action films. Collectively, he has appeared in films that have grossed in excess of $2.5 billion USD, placing him in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts.

Phyllis Newman
The happiest of "Happy Birthdays" to Phyllis Newman. She's theater royalty. A Tony Award-winner, she's graced such Broadway shows as "Wish You Were Here," "Bells Are Ringing," "Pleasures and Palaces," "The Apple Tree," On the Town, "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," "Awake and Sing!, " "Broadway Bound," and "Subways Are for Sleeping," She's the creator of and driving force behind one of Broadway's top annual benefit galas, "Nothing Like a Dame," which has raised over $3.5 million for breast cancer and other health issues. She was married to one of the greatest of all musical-theater writers, Adolph Green (of the team of Comden and Green); her two talented children are Amanda Green and Adam Green.... As for me, I've loved her work since I first saw her on Broadway in "The Apple Tree." I don't have room for all her assorted TV/film credits. But if you want more info, she's written a charming memoir, "Just in Time" (Simon & Schuster).... Happy birthday, Phyllis, and many more! Cheers for you, your terrific kids, and the Phyllis Newman Women/s Health Initiative. (Source: Chip Deffaa). 
Today is also the birthday of Glen Close

Ursula Andress The quintessential jet-set Euro starlet, Ursula Andress is the third of six children, born in Ostermundigen, Canton of Bern, Switzerland to Anna, who was Swiss, and Rolf Andress, a German diplomat who was expelled from Switzerland for political reasons. He disappeared during World War II.
She has a brother and four sisters, including Katey Andress, who had a brief modeling career in the mid-1960s.this date, one of six children in a German Protestant family. Although often seeming icily aloof, a restless streak early demonstrated itself in her personality, and she had a desire to explore the world outside Switzerland. Former model and sex symbol, who has appeared in American, British and Italian films.
Andress became famous as Honey Ryder, a shell diver and James Bond's object of desire in Dr. No (1962), the first Bond movie.
Ursula Andress in Dr. No
In what became an iconic moment in cinematic and fashion history, she rose out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini sporting a large diving knife on her hip.
Due to her heavy Swiss-German accent, her character's voice was provided by Nikki van der Zyl, while the calypso was sung by Diana Coupland.
The scene made Andress a "quintessential" Bond girl.
Andress later said that she owed her career to that white bikini: "This bikini made me into a success. As a result of starring in Dr. No as the first Bond girl, I was given the freedom to take my pick of future roles and to become financially independent."
The bikini she wore in the film sold at auction in 2001 for £41,125 ($59,755).
In 2003, in a UK Survey by Channel 4, her entrance in Dr. No was voted #1 in "the 100 Greatest Sexy Moments".
Andress won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year in 1964 for her appearance in the film.
A birthday salute to the late Fred "Rerun" Berry originally of the west coast pop locking crew.

Harvey Weinstein, American director and producer, co-founded Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company.

The secret of making movies is having the strongest possible script. - Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein

Today in 1996 The second Beatles Anthology series was released.

Notable Transitions on This Date
1973 – Lauritz Melchior, Danish-American tenor and actor (b. 1890).
 1974 – Anne Klein, American fashion designer (b. 1923)

Clothes aren’t going to change the world, the women who wear them will. -Anne Klein

Edward Cuthbert Platt (February 14, 1916 – March 19, 1974) was an American actor best known for his portrayal of "The Chief" in the 1965-70 NBC/CBS television series Get Smart. With his deep voice and mature countenance, he played an eclectic mix of characters over the span of his career.

Christine Fournier as Tessie in a production of GYPSY directed by John Command
Today, I would like to also celebrate Christine Fournier! Her fifth novel, Gypsy Life - The Return, has just been published. 
Christine's career includes performing in the original Broadway production of Sweet Charity, directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse; and other credits include Broadway and national performances of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and internationally West Side Story, directed by Jerome Robbins. 

Here is our MINI interview!  The questions were posed to her yesterday. 
It was John Kander's birthday. Check out my blog from yesterday.

I began by asking Christine what her favorite John Kander song or musical was. 
My favorite Kander and Ebb is, ironically, And the World Goes 'Round, a review of their many hits and many unknown, which I worked on as AD a year ago at the re known Jungle Theater in Minneapolis.  Like visiting a dear, old friend!
Your Thoughts on THIS time in your life:
This time in my life is sweet for many reasons; old enough to have lived so many fabulous adventures, known so many incredible people, felt such love from friends, family and colleagues. The
payoff for aging is you aren't nearly so worried about being politically correct, needing approval as you were when you were so young and untried.
And, still feeling those towering feelings of "it doesn't get any better than this!"

Yesterday was also the Birthday of Edward Everett Horton

Your favorited Edward Everett Horton Film

Lost Horizon 

Being Friday at the top of this interview. What Does Friday mean to you?
I love TGIF because I regard the weekend as 'kick back, relax, enjoy!

What Shows will you be seeing over the Next Five Weeks?
A local production of Fiddler, Cyrano de Bergerac, adapted by an incredible local actor, in which he plays the title role, Bradley Greenwald, and a new play a friend and former
student is performing in, Who Has Eyes To See, written by a transgender gentleman, using his story to share though drama.

Jesus Christ came into the world so that those who cannot see may see, and those who see may become blind. 
He has said "He who has eyes to see, let him see, and he who has ears to hear, let him hear."

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Why do you keep doing what you do?
Because it's an extension of what I've done all my life: perform, teach, write!

What do you still want that you don't have now? 
A dog!  I've never successfully owned a dog my whole life!  Golden Retriever is my first pick!

At what point, if ever, did you think of quitting?  
Quitting is not in my vocabulary or mind set!

What Wisdom would you like to offer my
readers today?
Find something to get excited about every single day! 
To retain your youth of mind, body and spirit, surround yourself with young people! They breathe life into you!

Do you consider yourself competitive?

Not particularly!  Of course when I was a young gypsy in NYC in the 60's, competition was always there, trying and testing you.  A wise person in the business once advised, "Don't ever compare yourself with another, ever!"

I have read EVERY BOOK in the Gypsy series. Check it ALL out!
Here is the web site for the books:

In other Entertainment News 
She Loves Me opened on Broadway this week. Seeing it in May! Can't wait!!

My dear and talented friend Kelley Karel has added shows for her "Hillary Confidential". If you haven't seen her you'll really think you're seeing Ms. Clinton.

Here's what she's up to: After 2 sold out shows and rave reviews in February, HILLARY CONFIDENTIAL IS BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!
Kelley as The Singing Hillary Clinton

Updated versions of her one-woman show as The Singing Hillary Clinton
Duplex Cabaret Theatre (61 Christopher St. Corner of 7th Avenue)
Saturday, April 2nd 4:30 PM & Friday, April 8th at 7 PM.

$20 Ticket in Advance and 2 Drink Minimum in the Cabaret Theatre
$25 Ticket at the Door (Plus Service Fee) and 2 Drink Minimum in the Cabaret Theatre.

BroadwayWorld has teamed up with renowned caricature artist Ken Fallin, a life-long theater enthusiast, who has drawn many Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Below, check out his latest illustration of Danny Burstein and Jessica Hecht in Fiddler on the Roof, which just celebrated its 100th performance!
Fallin is an internationally published caricature artist whose work has appeared in many publications including the L.A. Times, the New Yorker Magazine, the Washington Post, In Style magazine, Playbill and for nearly 20 years, the Wall Street Journal. (Read MORE).

Mark Cortale has announced his 2016 season in Provincetown: Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Cheyenne Jackson, The Indigo Girls, Megan Hilty, Well-Strung, Varla Jean Merman, The Bianca Del Rio and many more!!!
Tickets are now on sale at 

Rom-coms from Annie Hall to Bridget Jones owe a debt to Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker. Penned in the 1930s and set in the 1880s, the play is a foundational pillar in terms of pop-culture ubiquity. Wilder's play was also the inspiration for the iconic musical Hello, Dolly!
The Matchmaker The Goodman Theatre dusts off an American classic. Catey Sullivan • Chicago • Mar 18, 2016 (Review).

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!    
Joseph "Jo" Mielziner (March 19, 1901 – March 15, 1976) was an American theatrical scenic, and lighting designer born in Paris, France.

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

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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,


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 or 845-365-0720  

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