Richard Skipper: Cabaret Scenes’ Man About Cabaret

| June 3, 2015

Richard Skipper

Cabaret Scenes’ Man About Cabaret

September 2015

Richard-Skipper-Man-About-Cabaret-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212“All of us, at certain moments of our lives, need to take advice and to receive help from other people.” — Alexis Carrel

Happy September!

Even saying those words fills me with both excitement and dread. It always has. As I write these words, school has started in most parts of the country. Labor Day is looming on the horizon signaling the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season. Next month will find us preparing for Halloween with Thanksgiving and Christmas and a New Year following in quick succession. I get exhausted just thinking about this. But now, it is time to get busy for the autumn and all that entails. I always thought that the calendar should start on Labor Day. Think about it. It’s all about getting down to business. The Broadway and television seasons traditionally start in the autumn and, in a way, so does the cabaret season. Before I get to what’s happening this month and my recommendations, I’ll bring you up to date with the past few weeks.

The summer has been a virtual blur. I have been so busy in fact, that I have barely had time to write a column, lots of activities and shows. I have only been in a pool twice this summer. I haven’t even been to the beach. I leave for Malibu this Friday for 10 days. I am trying out a show that I hope to bring to New York within the next five months. Stay tuned!

On the Cabaret Scenes front, you have to check out the September/October magazine available in cabaret rooms around town. It is their biggest issue ever! This is an exciting issue on many levels. So big, in fact, that there are two separate covers: Cover girls are Julie Budd and Gabrielle Stravelli.

I’ve seen some great theater this summer: It Should’ve Been You starring Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris just before it unfortunately closed. That was a great afternoon. I had lunch at Sardi’s with Barbara Minkus, who was in town literally moments before her first grandchild was born. We were joined by Marilyn Michaels. You can well imagine the laughs.

I also saw South Shores Theatricals’ production of The Melody Lingers On. Not only did the show have the still vibrant Kathryn Crosby (who has appeared at the now defunct Feinstein’s in New York), but the show also boasted Frank Basile, Judi Mark, and Sarah Rice, all of whom grace our cabaret stages in New York.

I saw (for the second time) a reading of a new musical Rocket Boys, based on the book of the same title, which was made into the film October Sky starring Jake Gyllenhaal. With a little tweaking, I think this can be a highly successful musical.

Believe it or not, I saw Wicked for the first time this summer. Hard to believe that it has been 12 years since that show opened on Broadway. It was Michele Lee who finally got me to the show. Go see her! Amazing.

David Meulemans was back at the Metropolitan Room a few weeks ago. I am proud to announce that he has been named artist in residence and will back at venue four times throughout 2016. Keep checking this column for updates.

Over the past five weeks, highlights include Grey Gardens at the Bay Street Theatre starring Betty Buckley and Rachel York, Josh Ellis Call My Publicist at the York Theatre, the film The Outrageous Sophie Tucker at Cinema Village, La Cage aux Folles at Goodspeed Opera House, and Donna Hayes at the Metropolitan Room.


On the second Wednesday of every month, I am lucky enough to be a co-host, along with Lisa Dascoli and Annie Weiss, on a show called Talk of the Town. It is a LIVE podcast. I cover cabaret and the arts. Follow us HERE.

September 24: Broadway and Cabaret veteran Jana Robbins returns to Don’t Tell Mama in her autobiographical show I’m Still Here. Contact Don’t Tell Mama for more info.

September 10: In NYC!! Cabaret Scenes September/October cover girl Julie Budd returns to the Metropolitan Room (34 W. 22nd St., New York, NY 10010 They Wrote the Songs: Remembering Mr. Sinatra. RESERVATIONS A MUST! (212) 206-0440) http://metropolitanroom.com/event.cfm?id=215165

Julie Budd is the celebrity in residence at the Metropolitan Room. She is returning in the second installment of her series, They Wrote the Songs: Remembering Mr. Sinatra, paying tribute to America’s greatest musical legend. Remembering Mr. Sinatra is Julie’s personal valentine to not only Mr. Sinatra, but to the music as well.

When Julie Budd was only 16 years old, Mr. Sinatra personally invited Julie to be His guest artist at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. These Songs are filled with wonderful memories of the glorious concerts that Julie Budd shared with Mr. Sinatra on stage At Caesars Palace. . Songs from America’s greatest composers, with lush orchestrations… They Wrote The Songs… ‘Remembering Mr. Sinatra ‘ is an evening of the classic American standards, passed down To Julie, by a great legend, memories that Julie will cherish forever. Pre-order Remembering Mr. Sinatra today through Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/remembering-mr-sinatra-julie-budd/28957101

Please reserve TODAY if you are able to attend and be a part of this star studded celebration. ALMOST SOLD OUT! Please LIKE and SHARE Julie Budd’s new page on Facebook celebrating Remembering Mr. Sinatra: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Budd-Remembering-Mr-Sinatra/1635403290051920?ref=bookmarks

Then, September 28th, Julie is in conversation with Tom Santopietro at 7 PM at Barnes & Noble, 150 East 86th Street in NYC. Joining Julie are her Musical Director Herb Bernstein and her. 212-369-2180 Priority seating with CD purchase. Julie Budd’s Remembering Mr Sinatra is NOW AVAILABLE through Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/remembering-mr-sinatra-julie-budd/28957101

September 12: George Bettinger presents Jimmie Bush Jr. at the Metropolitan Room http://metropolitanroom.com/event.cfm?id=212768

September 6, 13, 27: Carole J. Bufford in Birdland Jazz Party, Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (8th & 9th)(212) 581-3080 Reservations Strongly Recommended.

September 6: Andrea Wolper Trio with Michael Howell and Ken Filiano
Two Sets: 12:30 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Reservations recommended especially for first set; call 212 254-1200 and be sure to say you want to sit in the music room! No cover or minimum. www.northsquareny.com

September 14: Unable to afford an ACTUAL therapist, Tim Evanicki takes you through his struggles of finding his place in this world through this hilarious and touching cabaret. Combining stand-up comedy with cabaret using funny novelty songs, some original tunes, and a few of your favorites, Tim makes the Duplex stage his therapist’s couch. An emerging young cabaret artist, Tim is a Juilliard alumnus and musical theatre performer. For this performance only, Tim will be joined onstage for a special song with his longtime friend and MAC Award nominee Cassandra Hohn. Tickets are $10 online at http://www.theduplex.com/site/calendar or $15 at the door, both with a 2- Drink Minimum.

September 14: For the first time in 15 years, cabaret star Julie Reyburn brings back her award-winning show, Fate Is Kind, to a New York nightclub stage when she performs the classic at the Metropolitan at 7 pm as part of the new monthly series, New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits (produced by Stephen Hanks and Cabaret Life Productions). Reyburn and her celebrated Musical Director Mark Janas (Producer of the award-winning open-mic show The Salon) introduced the show in February 2000 at The Singer’s Forum as a benefit cabaret for their scholarship program. It then moved to Judy’s Chelsea in March 2000 for its official cabaret debut, and the show ran off and on there for most of the year. Fate Is Kind would earn Reyburn MAC and Bistro Awards in 2001 for Outstanding Female Cabaret Debut. A CD recording of the show was released in the summer of 2000 and generated raves.

September 15: The Internet Ate My Brain: An innovative evening of hilarious topical songs, The Internet Ate My Brain lampoons how crazy we’ve all become because about gadgets and gizmos. Starring and written by Bill Dyszel, the author of “Microsoft Outlook for Dummies” and more than 20 books in the popular book series, this one-man “Forbidden Broadway of the Internet,” skewers topics as varied as our obsession with online shopping, addiction to selfies, online romance, and more. Combining live music, multimedia, and audience activities, The Internet Ate My Brain gives audiences an experience that nothing on the Internet can match. Don’t Tell Mama, Sept. 15 at 7 pm, Oct. 24 at 4pm

September 18: The Metropolitan Room will be the place to be on Friday night, September 18 at 7 pm when that Delightful Diva Dana Lorge hosts another one of her monthly variety shows. Cabaret Life Productions is proud to announce that three terrific singers—Tony Babino, Meg Flather and Lisa Jason—who are CLP clients or have performed in CLP shows will be featured in Dana’s latest offering. The show will also include comedian Ellen Karis “Greek Goddess of Comedy” and singer Gloria Waldman. As always, Barry Levitt will be on piano with Jon Burr on bass.

This is MAC’s first-ever two-day cabaret symposium! It’s a weekend-long experience jam-packed with seminars, workshops, classes, and more that will teach you so much about cabaret you won’t even know what to do with yourself.

– Technically Speaking: a seminar on finding your light, holding that mic, and more!

– Meet the Press: Learn more about the “man behind the curtain” when it comes to cabaret critics and journalists. Cabaret Scenes’ editor Frank Dain will moderate. I have been asked to be on this panel and I am very excited about that! Thanks to MAC president, Lennie Watts.

– Club MAC: It’s MAC’s very own piano bar, exclusively for MAC TO SCHOOL students.

– The whole shebang culminates in a master class with multi-award winning star Karen Mason.

Tickets go on sale next week, and are only $50 for the whole weekend–wait until you see the full list of what’s included! It’s a steal! Visit macnyc.com.

There is still time to join The Singing Experience as thousands have done over the years and changed their lives! The Best of Times – Workshop #474 begins on September 24th and there is still time to register. Visit: http://www.SingingExperience.com for the 2015 workshop schedule and learn more about this renowned workshop. You can register on the site or phone Director Linda Amiel Burns at 212-315-3500 for any questions and more info.

SEPTEMBER 21: Patty Farmer in conversation with Richard Skipper at 7:00 PM at Barnes & Noble 82nd & Broadway (http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/1979). Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music. Doors open at 6:30. Patty Farmer is acknowledged as the leading expert on all things pertaining to music, entertainment—and the entertainers—of Playboy. An interview with Richard Skipper followed by a Q&A with the audience! Many surprises are in store.

September 30: Donna Hayes returns in Ordinary Miracles to the Metropolitan Room at 7 pm. Last chance to see this show. www.Donna-Hayes.com

I hope that all who see this will commit to seeing at least THREE live shows in September.

Please make one of them someone you have never seen before!

Have something to promote? Please send me a 55-word blurb about the show and I will include that in my article for Cabaret Scenes on-line to be published in October. Send to Richard@RichardSkipper.com. Please put “October Man About Town” in subject line. Also, if you know of anything else I should promote for October, I’ll try and include that, as well. Don’t forget to look for me as your man about town! I’m the one applauding enthusiastically!

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