Saturday, January 5, 2019

Richard Skipper Celebrates Joshua Lance Dixon AND MORE!

It is the job that never started that takes longest to finish-J.R. R. Tolkien

Happy Saturday, January 5th, 2019!
January 5 is the fifth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 360 days remaining until the end of the year.
I'm kicking off this week's blogs with an artist I highly recommend and you can catch him live and in person tonight at The Beach Cafe in NYC.
Today, Richard Skipper Celebrates Joshua Lance Dixon!

Where did the idea for your upcoming show come from? 
Pack of One was simply born out of the idea that I wanted to do something different than before. FLY UP! - my debut cabaret show, was very personal in an autobiographical way especially in my patter - whereas Pack of One is more
biographical and still feels personal, but only in relating to the personal stories I learned about the guys and singing the music - and this show barely scratches the surface of their (The Rat Pack’s) work.

Who are some of the artists that you enjoy hanging out with?  
Oh my... what a question. All of them. I learn so much from every artist I have the opportunity to hang with. I am attracted to artists that take risks and find the  courage to share their vulnerability.

What was your favorite subject in school? 
Choir. Is that a subject? That’s not a really a subject. It was an activity. I can honestly say joining the choir was the best thing I ever did. And it was by mistake. I wanted to join the band but my parents couldn’t afford an instrument - I wanted to play the trumpet. But joining the choir let me use and discover my voice. I was a painfully shy kid. I could barely communicate - especially in big groups of kids - I was so afraid of people, being the subject of a lot of bullying up to that point.
Singing in a choir - a forum of a big group of people - I let my guard down, I learned to listen, to blend - I began to discover that not everyone was scary - I began to come out of my shell so to speak.

Tell us your thoughts on the cabaret community...
Saved my life. Music saved me when I was young. Helped me discover I had voice. But the cabaret community helped me realize I had something to say with my voice. I remember the first time I saw a “cabaret performance.” It was Natalie Douglas singing  “Get Here” mad popular by Oleta Adams, at Brandy’s. I was blown away. I mean I already loved that song, but she turned it inside out - simply by singing the lyric from her unique perspective. Charging the words of a song I’d played on repeat 100’s of times, with her experience... channeling love... but it was more than that even... to me, it felt like I was witnessing what it felt like to be free... My heart cracked open.
I was forever changed. I would not do my first cabaret for another 12 years.

If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you choose?  
Acting! I guess I sort of do that when I sing. So, let me pick something else. It would have to be something where I could put my people pleasing skills to good work.
Turning something that’s generally looked upon as an negative and turn it into a positive… So, something where what I engage in comes from a space of love and service. Or... something totally different - Maybe a nurse? Or a Bikram Yoga Teacher.

What is your favorite book and why?
Goodness, I have a few...

My favorite series of books is Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling is a genius. She nails the battle of light and dark.
True love and redemption. The magic of those books and her writing go way beyond potions, spells, which craft, and wizardry.

And staying in the magic theme... The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

My favorite self-help books are by Lynn Grabhorn. “Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Feelings” - I need to pull that one off the shelf and re-read it.
and I also really love The Four Agreements - by Don Miguel Ruiz
 If our entire world could master the four agreements - we would find peace quickly.

What makes you want to support the cabaret community?
I suppose love of our community. There are so many people I admire. The NYC cabaret community is something very special. if I can give back even an iota of what’s so freely been given to me... I would in a heartbeat.

If you could meet any person throughout History, who would you want to meet most? 
Princess Diana

What are your biggest challenges?
My own mind and Fear

What was your favorite Halloween costume that you’ve ever worn?  
When I dressed up as Harry Potter!

What are the unglamorous aspects of your career that the average person doesn’t realize? 
It’s work. You have to be very good at multitasking (which I am not). You also need to be your own personal assistant in all things.

What would you say is the weirdest thing about your routine? 

I don’t think there is anything weird in my routine... question: do you mean routine as in the show? Or do you mean routine as in daily life routines.  I suppose I don’t have weird things in my daily routine either… But so I can say I answered this question... I think the weirdest thing about my routine is that I was able to pull it together and figure it all out in the short amount of time that we built the show – I am very lucky - I might be the weirdest thing in my routine… is me.


Name one person you would like to see profiled in this series 
Natalie Arneson. Natalie, if you see this, please call me and let's make it happen!

That sounds absolutely perfect! Anything else we should mention? 
I can’t think of anything... except to look out for future performances of Pack of One as i get it ready to perform out of town! And a potential spin-off series I’ve been dreaming up... A Pack of One Night Stands. One night with Frank. One Night with Dean. One night with Sammy. Each night will feature a guest, maybe two... essentially building our own pack - then bringing back the whole pack for One Night of all their Christmas arrangements . Each night will also be a one night stand for something... haven’t figure out the benefit part of it all yet. Still working it all out in my mind. I have also been dreaming up my debut album and a brand new solo show, not Rat Pack related...


You don't have to go out of town to see Joshua Lance Dixon in Pack of One! Call The Beach Cafe in NY and reserve for tonight! Let him know I sent you! Click HERE for tickets.

And Keep in Mind...

January 10
If you've been unable to free up a Saturday to check out Shake Rattle N Roll Pianos show in Times Sq. - they are having a RARE Thursday night show on 1/10 at 10pm (doors open at 9)
Rattle and Hum West
306 W. 39th St.
Click HERE for your FREE tickets! (while supplies last)

January 11th:
The Erik Lawrence Trio featuring vocalist Marya Lawrence
Erik Lawrence - Saxophones and Flute
Cameron Brown - Bass
Ben Perowski - Drums
Beautiful Live Jazz
Sets at 8:00 and 9:30

Reservations are highly recommended
Maureen's Jazz Cellar in Nyack

January 15th:
Encore by popular demand! Jill Eikenberry, Golden Globe award winner most known for her starring role on the NBC drama “L.A. Law” and Obie award winner for the Off-Broadway plays Lemon Sky and Life Under Water, returns to Feinstein’s/54 Below in Here I Go Again! Expect songs from her life and her career, including works by Kurt Weill, John Kander, Peggy Lee, Janis Ian, Ricky Ian Anderson, and Joni Mitchell, as well as some exciting new
Jill Eikenberry
composers.  Order Tickets HERE

January 27
Matthew Saldivar, J. Elaine Marcos, Alton Fitzgerald White, More Round Out Fox’s Rent: Live Cast
A handful of stage veterans—including some Rent alums—will make appearances in Fox’s upcoming live presentation of the rock musical.

Matthew Saldivar, J. Elaine Marcos, and Alton Fitzgerald White
Rounding out the company are Matthew Saldivar (Bernhardt/Hamlet), J. Elaine Marcos (Gettin’ the Band Back Together), Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King), Bryce Ryness (Hair), Emerson Collins (Bravo’s The People’s Couch), Jennifer Leigh Warren (Marie Christine), Debra Cardona (On Your Feet!), Darius Crenshaw (Hello, Dolly!), Khori Petinaud (Moulin Rouge!), Mia DeWeese (The Lucky Ones), Benjamin Rivera (Moulin Rouge!), Robert Roldan (So You Think You Can Dance), Morgan Marcell
(Hamilton), Fred Odgaard (Hamilton), Tilly Evans-Krueger (The Lucky Ones), and recent So You Think You Can Dance winner Hannahlei Cabanilla, as well as dancers Jessica Lee Keller, Lenin Fernandez Jr., Nick Lanzisera, Sasha Dominique Mallory, and Ty Wells. (Source:Playbill.com)

Tony Award nominee Denée Benton was hitting the red carpet at the 2017 ceremony for her celebrated Broadway debut in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 when a mic-wielding celebrity interviewer asked how she chose her sparkly green-and-white leaf-embossed Oscar de la Renta gown.
Denée Benton and Josh Groban starred in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, for which both earned Tony nominations. CHAD BATKA
The Central Florida native, who made it to Broadway as leading lady Natasha in record-breaking follow-your-heart fashion, flashed her dazzling smile, performed a tasteful half-twirl and shared, “It was a journey, but this one just kind of spoke to us. It’s full of life. It’s green. I’m green. It’s time, you know?” Read MORE

Now, go and do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return! Treat Them to Two Tix to Joshua Lance Dixon!!


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Thank you all! Here's To a Great 2019! 


Richard Skipper has assembled a great cast to Celebrate and honor for the first edition of Richard Skipper Celebrates in 2019 . . . RICHARD SKIPPER has become synonymous with "feel good entertainment of the highest quality". For decades Richard has entertained thousands and celebrated the careers of many of Theatre Row’s finest and most honored stars… The afternoon will prove to be an event where all will arrive and leave with smiles! This will be similar to the old-fashioned TV specials and series where we get to chat with and honor these cabaret icons. 

Richard Skipper Celebrates Love Aquarian Style February 10th! Tickets Go On Sale January 10th!
I am excited about working with Kacey Fassett for the first time! 
SAVE THE DATE! Richard Skipper Celebrates Sunday, February 10, 2018 at 1:00PM The Laurie Beechman Theatre 407 West 42nd Street Downstairs at the West Bank Cafe New York, NY 10036  There is also a $20 food/beverage minimum per person. Russ Woolley Proudly Presents Richard Skipper Celebrates...Love Aquarian Style featuring Meg Flather, Lina Koutrokas, Rosemary Loar, Karen Mack, Stacy Sullivan, All under the Musical Direction of Christine Talbott with Kacey Fassett on sax, Adi Myerson on bass
!  (ALL Aquarians!) You never know who you might see there and what might happen!  $30 Cover and $20 Minimum per person.  The afternoons are also made possible by Wright Bros. Real Estate. Do yourself a favor and CELEBRATE! 

A Few Audience Testimonials about Richard Skipper Celebrates
Sheree Sano
When Richard Skipper hosts the party is ON! He sparkles with a charm that is sincere, sophisticated and frequently HILARIOUS!! He asks excellent questions when he interviews guests that always lead naturally to fascinating answers and when he ad-libs with the audience he's amazingly quick-witted and endlessly entertaining. In my book, he's the Best of the Best - Always puts on a fabulous, happily satisfying show - I love him to bits!!
Sheree Sano, NYC

Love Richard Skipper Celebrates. Looking forward to a new season.
Bea Sonnenshein, Sparkill, New York

No one can deliver a show like Richard Skipper. 
His passion and enthusiasm along with his singing and a brilliant roster of performers ......knocked it out of the park!
Thanks for being you, Richard Skipper!
Judy Stewart, American Popular Song Society
PS... Richard is The American Popular Song's good luck charm and I am looking forward to what he produces for us next June as well.

This Show Is Also Made Possible by  Wright Bros. Real Estate, Nyack New York

With grateful XOXOXs,





Please LIKE (if you do!) and SHARE!

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

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

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com
This Blog is Dedicated to the Memory of Christine McGuire

 
 




Thursday, January 3, 2019

Remembering DARYL FRANK DRAGON

You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be.
-Johann Kaspar Lavater

Happy January 3rd, 2019!
January 3 is the third day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 362 days remaining until the end of the year. Well. congratulations, we've all made it through another holiday season.
How did your 2018 go? Are you ready to kick 2019 off?  I've been thinking about what worked and what didn't. And what comes through loud and clear is that a lot worked.

2019 is a very special year for me. It was 40 years ago this August that I came to New York.  I have decided to devote this year to reflecting 40 years back in the journey that led to my coming to New York on August 5th, 1979. 40 years ago today, I was 17. I was living in Conway South Carolina. I was going to Conway High School, a senior. I was known by everyone as Ricky Skipper.
January 3rd, 1979 was a Wednesday. My guess is that we were back in school, but I can't be certain. I can be certain that we had a REAL POTUS in the White House, Jimmy Carter. I was listening to the Bee Gees. I was probably listening to The Captain and Tennille as well. It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing yesterday of Daryl Dragon, The Captain.

"He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly. I was at my most creative in my life, when I was with him." - Toni Tennille.

DARYL FRANK DRAGON
Born: August 27, 1942 in Los Angeles, CA
Died: Tuesday, Jan 2nd in Prescott, AZ

Daryl Dragon was a brilliant keyboardist, arranger and record producer, known to his many fans worldwide as “The Captain” half of the pop music duo, Captain and Tennille.  Daryl passed away on Wednesday, Jan 2nd at 1:37am due to renal failure at the age of 76.

Daryl was born into a musical family, the son of Academy Award winning arranger, composer and conductor Carmen Dragon and his wife, Eloise Dragon, a true coloratura soprano whose exquisite voice was often featured in film scores and in the recordings of Bing Crosby and other recording stars of the time.
Daryl's Godfather was the famous actor and comedian, Danny Thomas.
Daryl was a classically trained pianist, but preferred to play Blues and Boogie rather than Bach and Beethoven.  His piano heroes were Fats Domino, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.  Two of his greatest musical thrills were playing duets with Fats, and performing on television with the great blues guitarist and singer, BB King, another of his idols.  Daryl had a very dry sense of humor and drew quite a few of his comedic musical ideas from Danish classical pianist and comedian, Victor Borge.

Daryl's familiar stage name came from his time as a backup musician for the Beach Boys in the mid 1960s and the early 1970s.  He had taken to wearing a Captain's hat onstage, and Mike Love used to introduce him to the audience as DARYL DRAGON, CAPTAIN OF THE KEYBOARDS!!! During his time with the Boys, Daryl made significant contributions to
their concerts and some recordings with his unique keyboard style, playing and arranging on the Beach Boys' 1972 release Carl and the Passions “So Tough.”  He also worked with Dennis Wilson, helping Dennis, who could not read music, transfer his often strikingly beautiful song-writing into musical notation.  He co-wrote one of Dennis' finest ballads, Cuddle Up, which was recorded not only by Dennis himself, but later by Captain and Tennille.

In 1971 Daryl met his future wife, Toni Tennille, when she hired him to play piano for a musical called Mother Earth, which she had written while at South Coast Repertory Theatre in southern California.
Soon after that, Daryl recommended her as acoustic pianist for the next Beach Boys tour, since their regular pianist needed to take some time off.  While touring together with the Beach Boys, the couple gradually began a musical and romantic relationship.  Whenever they were not touring with the Boys, Toni and Daryl began performing together in small clubs and other venues around Southern California.  During their club days, after considering other options, they finally decided to call themselves Captain and Tennille.
They began to develop a fan base of loyal followers on the club circuit from 1972 through 1974.
Also during this time, Toni wrote the first of many love songs she would write for Daryl. The Way I Want to Touch You.  The two scraped up enough cash to have a few hundred records pressed and distributed to local stations.  When the The Way I Want to Touch You quickly became a listener favorite, record labels took notice.  They signed with A&M Records in 1974, and were soon on their way to becoming one of the most loved musical duos of the 70s and 80s.  Their first album for A&M and their first single were both named LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER, from a song written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield.  Love Will Keep Us Together started climbing the charts in November of 1974 and hit #1 in July of 1975, remaining at #1 for 8 weeks.  It was the Song of the Summer of 1975, winning the Grammy for 1975s Record of the Year.

Due to the duo's rising popularity and guest appearances they had made on television, ABC approached them with an offer of their own television Variety Show.  The Captain and Tennille show became a network hit, drawing 34,000,000 viewers each week.
Toni loved doing the show, but Daryl, who never enjoyed being on camera, did not.  As a result, they declined ABC's offer to do another season, but did agree to do three annual specials for the network, beginning with Captain and Tennille in Hawaii, then Captain and Tennille in New Orleans, and ending with 1980's Captain and Tennille Songbook. Nine more albums and fourteen chart hits came in the next decade, all produced by Daryl, and concluding with another #1 hit, written by Toni for Daryl, called Do That To Me One More Time. Daryl and Toni kept up a busy schedule of touring and performing all over the US and Canada, as well as England, Australia, Japan, and in other countries.

After 39 years of marriage, Toni and Daryl separated in 2013, and finalized their divorce in July of 2014.  They remained in constant contact and were dear friends to the end.

In a statement, Toni has asked that all of Daryl's many fans remember him as she does, with love and a grateful heart for the music they created together.

Survived by:  Older brother, Doug Dragon of Hawaii; and two nieces, Kelly Arbout and Renee Henn of California.
Services:  Daryl requested that there be no services.

Donations:  If you would like to make a donation in his name, please do so to your favorite organization doing research into brain diseases and conditions such as Parkinsons Disease, familial and essential tremor, effects of concussion and PTSD.  Thank you. (Source: B. Harlan Boll
BHBPR
http://www.bhbpr.com)

Richard Skipper Celebrates Picks of the Week

Zachary Clause
Downtown supper club, Pangea, will showcase several of its signature artists in a six-day “Winter Alt-Fest” running from Friday, January 4 to Wednesday, January 9. Featuring a mix of new shows and special encores of productions seen in recent months, the six-day Festival spotlights performers from several genres, including theatre, music, dance, comedy and performance. The line-up includes the nightclub iconoclast Zachary Clause; David Bowie channeler Raquel Cion, improvisational singer-satirist David Nagler (with special guests Tammy Faye Starlite and Xavier), downtown legend Flotilla DeBarge, the dance-theatre duo Catherine Cabeen and Kristina Berg, cabaret artist Tim Cahill, spoken word multi-mediaist Alberto Zayden and the alternative folk-rock trio Vicki Kristina Barcelona. Read MORE

Veronica Swift and The Emmet Cohen Trio at Birdland, Saturday January 5th shows at 7:00pm & 9:45pm
Veronica Swift

Joshua Lance Dixon at The Beach Cafe, Saturday, January 5th at 9:30pm

Susan Werner and Ann Hampton Callaway at The Iridium, Saturday, January 5th at 9:30pm
(Source: Nitelife Exchange)

A "Live" Musical Production of Tony Award/Grammy Award/Pulitzer Prize Award winning show "RENT" will be airing on Sunday, January 27, 2019 on FOX TV, 8pm-10pm ET (PT tape delayed). Check your local provider listings for details. Click HERE for MORE

Now, go and do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return! Treat Them to A LIVE SHOW! 

********


Here's to A Great 2019!

A Few Audience Testimonials about Richard Skipper Celebrates
Richard Skipper Celebrates Marilyn Lester and Betsyann Faiella
Richard, your Facebook Live interview program from the YORK Theatre Oscar Hammerstein Awards Gala honoring Susan Stroman was great fun and you were, as always, a charming and skillful pro. I couldn’t help but think what a much needed service (and interesting and fun) it is for events like that one, smaller than the Tony Awards but important to many! And the Tony Awards and anyone else would be lucky to have you, too!
Betsyann Faiella, SavoyPR

I have LOVED Richard's Blogs and Articles, and have really enjoyed his Facebook LIVE series......they are always so helpful and informative. 
I've been able to catch a few of them, most recently - last week's featuring Melissa Manchester and the investigation and recovery of Judy Garland's Ruby Slippers. Melissa was so inspiring! Thank-you Richard!!
-Jennifer Roberts, Detroit, MI

Richard Skipper, You are Absolutely Amazing!!! So kind and So loving. It was such a joy to watch you craft your show on October 14th. What a Masterful job Of Singing and Hosting You Did. You knew just the right questions to ask and statements to make to help each of us to feel so special. As others have said you were born for your role.  I will never forget you bringing Reggie Whitehead on stage. I smiled from ear to ear with complete delight and laughed out loud! That was a brilliant moment! I am so grateful to you for inviting me to be a part of such a Fabulous Show that brought together so much incredible talent on one stage. Thank You to both You and your wonderful Producer Russ Woolley. Kudos to Everyone in The Laurie Beechman Theater for taking such good care of us. 
Continued Blessings On Your Wonderful Journey Richard. Love You 
Avery Sommers, Palm Beach, Florida

SAVE THE DATE! Richard Skipper Celebrates Sunday, February 10, 2018 at 1:00PM The Laurie Beechman Theatre 407 West 42nd Street Downstairs at the West Bank Cafe New York, NY 10036  There is also a $20 food/beverage minimum per person. Russ Woolley Proudly Presents Richard Skipper Celebrates...Love Aquarian Style featuring Meg Flather, Lina Koutrakos, Rosemary Loar, Karen
Karen Mack
Mack, Stacy Sullivan, All under the Musical Direction of Christine Talbott with Kacey Fassett on sax, Adi Myerson on bass

!  (ALL Aquarians!) You never know who you might see there and what might happen!  $30 Cover and $20 Minimum per person.  The afternoons are also made possible by Wright Bros. Real Estate. Do yourself a favor and CELEBRATE! Tickets go on sale on January 10th!        
This Show Is Also Made Possible by  Wright Bros. Real Estate, Nyack New York



With grateful XOXOXs,


 


Please LIKE (if you do!) and SHARE!

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

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

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

This Blog is Dedicated to Bob Einstein