Wednesday, November 16, 2016

LOVE THEATER DAY: TheaterTalk, David Sabella, Carol Woods...and MORE!

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Happy Birthday, Donna McKechnie
Razzle Dazzle 'em
Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give 'em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather 'em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

-Fred Ebb

Happy, November 16th, 2016!
November 16 is the 321st day of the year. There are 45 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday (58 in 400 years each) than on Saturday or Sunday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Thursday (56).

My horoscope tells me today, You are eager to hang out with your colleagues in a social setting today, even if it means that you're a little less productive than you planned.  
I am meeting a friend for dinner tonight!   

There are 155 Days until Bette Midler's opening night on Broadway.
This will be the first major revival of this landmark musical that has not starred with Carol Channing or Pearl Bailey.
Here's wishing this revival a run to give Chicago a run for its money!
This week marked the 20th anniversary of the current revival on Broadway. My goal was for Monday's blog to focus on the history of Chicago. Monday and Tuesday kept me away from writing.

Better late than ever. I want to focus on two of the artists who have been at one time or another a major part of this current revival. I also saw both of them within the last week with top notch
Amra Faye Wright in the current revival of Chicago
shows at New York City's Metropolitan Room.
The world has been aching over the past week. There has been a lot of anger and dissension here in the United States. I have spoken out on my feelings. I have even written blogs on the political climate which is worse than I have ever experience. Over the course of the last week, I have seen a side of people that I love and admire that I hope will disappear soon. I'm not going to get political here.
It is bad on both sides. Everyone needs to take a break and start listening more and commenting less. One thing that is my oasis in the midst of all this is music. There is a constant soundtrack playing in the background. As I type these words, the soundtrack of Evita is playing. Did you know that today is Love Theatre Day? I love all the positive things that theater is all about. For me, I knew from the moment that I knew what show business was, that I HAD to be part of that world. My friend Julie Budd says the same thing.
I did my first show when i was thirteen. The show was Mame and I was hooked. And little by little, my dream was becoming a reality.
Hello, Dolly! has entertained audiences around the world
I continued to do shows in South Carolina with The Theater of the Republic in my hometown and eventually The Upstage Company at Coastal Carolina. I left home at the age of eighteen on August 5th, 1979 and never looked back.I have been a proud member of Actors Equity for over twenty five years. I've done summer stock. I've done touring shows. I've appeared in cabarets, off-Broadway, off-off Broadway, casinos (even Trump's Taj Mahal in two long running shows), concert halls (including Carnegie Hall). The list goes on and on. I love writing about theater. I'm a vociferous reader.
I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what is happening in the theater. I don't, unfortunately, see as much theater as I would like. It has become an elitist art form. It is sometimes way beyond my budget. I do, however, see a lot of cabaret because I am so immersed in it.
I would like to recommend to all my friends in New York, TheaterTalk.
This Friday night, Jennifer Holliday is the guest. Tony Award winner Holliday makes her first appearance on THEATER TALK in a revelatory conversation about the creation of her career-making Broadway role as “Effie” in the now-legendary Michael Bennett’s production of Dreamgirls (1981-83), as well as her more recent “major acting class” – the month-long rehearsal period with director John Doyle as he prepared her to take over the role of “Shug Avery” in the current Broadway revival of The Color Purple.
Holliday’s rendition of And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, from the 1982 Tony Awards telecast, the night she won the Best Actress award for Dreamgirls, remains one of YouTube’s most-viewed Broadway videos – but it’s

one Jennifer herself doesn’t like to watch. 
Patrick Pacheco, Michael Musto, and Jesse Green, Preview Fall 2015 Season on THEATER TALK
Co-hosted by Michael Riedel of the New York Post and Susan Haskins, the Jennifer Holliday episode of
THEATER TALK premieres Friday, Nov. 18 (2016) on PBS station Sunday 11/20 at 11:30 AM; it re airs on CUNY TV* Saturday 11/19 at 8:30 PM,
Thirteen/WNET at 1:30 AM (Saturday morning) and repeats there on Sunday 11/20 at 12:30 PM, and Monday 11/21 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM; and also airs on WLIW/21on Monday 11/21 at 5:30 PM and on 

NYCLife/25 on Thursday 11/24 at 11 PM.
Critics Panel 2012. Scott Brown, New York Magazine Charles Isherwood, The New York Times Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post
THEATER TALK is jointly produced by the not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. The program is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to one hundred plus participating public television stations nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The CUNY TV Foundation, and The Friends of THEATER TALK.

CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is broadcast in the NYC metropolitan area on digital Ch. 25.3 and cablecast in the city’s five boroughs on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Optimum Brooklyn), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS). THEATER TALK episodes are available online anytime at and and via iTunes. (Source: Michael Shepley)

David Sabella in MY pick for the show of the year
Also , in just a few weeks, we have Hairspray LIVE! to look forward to! BWW Exclusive Photos Straight from Set of NBC's. Richie Ridge comes to you directly from the set of NBC's HAIRSPRAY LIVE! in Los Angeles, CA and shares first look images of Tony Award winning set designer Derek McLane's recreation of 1960's Baltimore. Check out the photos by clicking HERE.

Those of us who live in New York are very fortunate with everything that is available to us on any given night. Broadway and off-Broadway shows are promoted with massive budgets to get the seats filled.
However, in the world of cabaret, artists are their own chief cook and bottle washers. It's a shame that they don't get the pre-show coverage that they deserve.
with Carol Woods at The Metropolitan Room this past Saturday night
I would like to share with you two shows that I saw this past week with a Chicago connection. One has a performance tonight (David Sabella) and the other (Carol Woods) just completed a very successful run at The Metropolitan Room.
David is celebrating the 20th anniversary of this iconic show with special performances of "LOOPIN THE LOOP - A celebration of CHICAGO and the music of Kander and Ebb" at the Metropolitan Room, TONIGHT November 16 and the 23rd, both at 9:30pm. I saw it last Wednesday night and I consider it the BEST cabaret show I have seen this year with all due respect to my many artist friends. In was the perfect pick me up after the blues all of us were feeling.
with John Kander
In addition to David's amazing talent, it is the structure of the show and how he uses these iconic songs to tell HIS story! It is a master class in how to do it.
And on Saturday night, I was at the star packed celebration of Carol Woods. WOW! Carol wowed the crowd over and over again. I practically flew home! I cannot wait for the CD of that evening! 
Jerry Orbach and Gwen Verdon from the original production of Chicago (1975)
When the current revival of Chicago opened twenty years ago, David originated the starring role of “Mary Sunshine”. The late great Marcia Lewis was Mama Morton. Several years later, Carol Woods would take over that role making it her own. David's show is called Loopin' The Loop and is a true celebration of this landmark occasion with Chicago which is worth celebrating. Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking, Joel Grey, and James Naughton rounded out the cast.
He joined the National Tour of CHICAGO for the Opening of Mandalay Bay (Las Vegas) and
returned to the Broadway Company to appear with Melanie Griffith as Roxie Hart. He is also
appeared in two workshop productions of Kander and Ebb's last collaboration, The Visit, with both Angela Landsbury and Chita Rivera.
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Carol Woods' show is entitled Ain't We Got Fun and celebrates the music of Richard Whiting and is produced by his granddaughter Debbi Bush Whiting, also the daughter of Margaret Whiting.
Recorded LIVE on November 12th for upcoming CD

If you are seeing this on Wednesday, November 16th, STOP whatever you are doing and call the Metropolitan Room and reserve for David's show tonight at 9:30 PM. You'll be thanking me tomorrow. You have to see the very surprise number that he and Jana Robbins bring the house down with!
With Musical Director Mark Hartman at the helm and guest star Jana Robbins, this truly is one of the best crafted cabaret shows I have ever seen.
I've known David for many years and have been a fan of his work. The last time I saw David on stage was several years ago in his tour de force show on the life of famed 'male actress' Julian Eltinge at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.
Loopin the Loop is the show that David was born to play! DO NOT MISS THIS! Show up TONIGHT! You never know who you might see there!

JANA ROBBINS was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where she began dancing lessons at the
early age of 4 at the Gene Kelly School of Dance, appearing in recitals and singing provocative solos like "Blues in the Night" by the age of 11. She attended Westmont Hilltop High School, where they luckily did a Broadway musical each Spring. Her junior year, she was cast as Nellie Forbush in SOUTH PACIFIC and played Eliza Doolittle her senior year in MY FAIR LADY, helping to further support and solidify her love of theater. Read MORE.   
Jana returns to Feinstein's/54 Below on February 1st, 2017 after her recent sold out performance.

David Sabella is a nationally recognized Master Teacher in Voice Techniques and Pedagogy. He has starred on Broadway, and in Opera productions throughout the US & Europe, and has appeared as principle soloist at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center numerous times. He is the Executive Program Director of The Broadway Theatre Project and a two-term President of The New York Singing Teachers' Association (2008-14). He is also a Professor of Voice at Montclair State University and Fordham University (Lincoln Center Campus). Please visit for more info
with Arlene Lazare and Lorna Luft.

Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

Click on site to go to website


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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“Let’s go on with the show!” -Irving Berlin 
Friday, December 9th at 7pm, at The Triad, Richard Skipper Celebrates an Old-Fashioned Variety/Talk Show with Musical Direction by Bryon Sommers, with Rex Benincasa on percussion & Jeff Carney on bass & a great lineup of featured guests including One Mystery Guest every month. Previous Mystery Guests have included Hilary Kole, Melba Moore and Stacy Sullivan
Featured guests for this upcoming celebration will include Broadway’s Eddie Korbich (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and A Christmas Story in which he appeared as Santa Claus, “so you better be good for goodness sake.”) Rounding out the roster are Kevin Dozier, Peggy Eason, Marieann MeringoloLisa Viggiano and a Mystery Guest
Richard Skipper knows everyone in cabaret and almost everything about them, making him the perfect host for The Classic Variety/Talk Show format, as he encourages and shows his guests and us how to celebrate each and every day and the hidden gems therein. 
What do Kirk Douglas, Judi Dench, Margaret Hamilton, Dalton Trumbo, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Buck Henry, Dick Butkus, Redd Foxx and Donny Osmond have in common? They were all born in the sign of Sagittarius on December 9th. If your birthday is Dec. 9th you will receive a complimentary entrance fee please contact Richard Skipper to reserve. 
Tickets are $30.00 plus a two drink minimum. Reservations are a MUST! Call 888 596-1027 to purchase tickets or you can also do it on Triad’s website
The Triad is also the proud home of SPAMILTON  and Celebrity Autobiography!
Please visit for updates 
The Triad 158 West 72nd Street NYC
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,

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