Richard Skipper: Cabaret Scenes’ Man About Cabaret

| December 1, 2015

Richard Skipper

Cabaret Scenes’ Man About Cabaret

December 2015

Richard-Skipper-Man-About-Cabaret-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212“If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I? — Erich Fromm

Happy December!

I remember the anticipation of Christmas when I was a kid and everyone telling me that when I got older, the days would seem to come quicker and quicker. I’m here to tell you they weren’t kidding! If these years get any faster, I’ll be 79 before you know it! (I’m 54, if you’re wondering!) One of the aspects that makes it all worthwhile is the music. I just saw a documentary on the healing powers of music. I have often said that I believe there would be no violence in the world if everyone began every day with a show tune!

What a great month November was for me in cabaret rooms in NYC, with a jaunt to the Wick Theatre and Costume World Museum in Boca Raton, Florida. I began the month at Sardi’s for a special afternoon with Charlotte Rae in celebration of the release of her memoirs, The Facts of My Life. Comedienne Esther Goodheart and my co-host for Talk of the Town Lisa Dascoli joined me and it was a great afternoon. A few nights later found me at the latest installment of Gretchen Reinhagen’s Reinhagen Redux, in which she has been revisiting each of the shows that she has done throughout her career, each for one night only. This time around, the show was How ‘Bout Them Apples? which first introduced me to Gretchen in 2008! It was great to once again go down memory lane, as it has been for all of these shows in this series. Gretchen will be wrapping up this series with Reinhagen Redux Recap on December 2 at the Metropolitan Room in which she brings together for one night ALL of the musical directors and those that have shared the stage with her throughout her career AND this series. I hope that you will join me. See details below.

The next morning, I flew down to Florida for Lee Roy Reams’ star turn AS Dolly in Hello, Dolly! Not only has Lee Roy shared the stage with this iconic musical’s ORIGINAL Dolly, Carol Channing, he also directed her grand finale as Dolly when she returned to the role in 1994 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the show’s opening on Broadway in 1964. The show runs through December 6 and I recommend going down to Florida to see it if you can get away.

A few days later we joined Peggy Eason for a road trip that included a few days with my family in South Carolina. We made it back in time for Jim Speake’s amazing CD launch party at the Laurie Beechman for his latest CD, The Sweet Life. I highly recommend this. In the spring, Jim will be back on the boards with his latest cabaret outing based on the CD.

The next night, it was off to the Triad to see Dean Benner and Christine Shuler in Still Cookin’, also to commemorate his new CD of the same title. Director was Linda Amiel Burns and there was a great band. Please be on the lookout for his next appearance.

A few night’s later found us back at the Metropolitan Room for Yvonne Constant’s show, Now and Then, which reflected on her incredible career. Directed by Russ Kassoff, she says this is her last cabaret outing. Based on her enthusiastic reception, I don’t think audiences are ready to let her go. Yvonne, please say it isn’t so!

The next night found us at Don’t Tell Mama for Sally Darling’s latest cabaret show, Perceptions. It was sold out! Musical direction was by Matthew Martin Ward. See below for details on her return to Don’t Tell Mama.

As I set this column to rest tonight and send it off to Cabaret Scenes for your enjoyment, I am looking forward to attending Robin Westle’s Robin’s Nest at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, directed by Eric Michael Gillett.

Like it or not, here we are at the end of another year and in the throes of yet another holiday season.

Skipper’s Stocking Stuffer Recommendations for December

December 1 @ 7:00 pm
We Can Be Kind
A concert to benefit Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS and Help Is On The Way Today
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St. (Between 5th & 6th Avenues)
Reservations: 212-206-0440
$10 cover

Joseph Macchia is keeping the cover to only $10, plus 2 drink minimum, to make it affordable to more people. Many Cabaret performers will be there to entertain you! It’s a wonderful benefit. Ira Lee Collings will be singing a song written by a friend who lost his life to AIDS.  Performing this night will be Ruth Carlin, Alison Nusbaum, Stearns Matthews, Meghan Jenkins, Bob Diamond, Marla Green, Daryl Glenn, Risa Finkel, Christina Cataldo, Duvorah Bailey, Sheree Sano, Lynn Henderson, John Kropowski, Sheniqua Trotman, Natalie Randall, Dawoyne Hall, Natasha Castillo and more to be announced.

December 1 @ 9:30 pm
The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
I’ve Got a Little Twist
Feinstein’s/54 Below
Use discount code TWIST35 for 35% off the ticket cover charge! Get tix here: http://54below.com/artist/ive-got-a-little-twist-modern-gilbert-sullivan/
Conceived, written and directed by David Auxier-Loyola, with musical arrangements and direction by Mark York, …Twist debuted at the Triad in January 2009 and won a 2010 Bistro Award. Since then it has been touring regularly all around the country, and even made a trip to England for the International G&S Festival last summer.

December 2 @ 7:00 pm
Gretchen Reinhagen
Reinhagen Redux Recap
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St. (Between 5th & 6th Avenues)
Reservations: 212-206-0440

Directed by Barry Kleinbort with Musical Directors from Gretchen’s previous shows!. Gretchen is multi-award winning artist, having received the coveted TRIPLE CROWN of cabaret awards by winning the 2010 Nightlife Award, Bistro Award and MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award for her show Special Kaye: A Tribute to the Incomparable Kaye Ballard, which has played around the country, including the Off-Broadway theater, Urban Stages. Equally at home behind the scenes, Gretchen works as a voice teacher and director, having won the 2013 MAC Award for directing.

December 3 @ 7:00 pm
It Was A Very Good Year (Again)!!  
Don’t Tell Mama
343 W. 46th Street
Reservations: 212-757-078
$15 cover, 2-drink minimum

December 7 @ 6:00 pm
The Seventh Annual Legacy Awards
Lips Restaurant
227 E. 56th Street
www.dancersover40.org www.facebook.com/dancersover40

With: Donna McKechnie, Tony Sheldon, James Dybas, Janice Herbert and honoring the late Gene Gavin. Dancers Over 40’s last event of 2015, the 7th Annual Legacy Awards presentation, is its most joyous. With live entertainment by cabaret legend Barbara Minkus and Dames at Sea star Danny Gardner along with other surprise guests. dancersover40@aol.com

December 8 @ 7:00 pm
Robin Kradles
The Diva Selections: Holiday Cheer with a Twist
Don’t Tell Mama
343 W. 46th Street
Reservations: 212-757-078

$20 cover, ($15 for MAC members); 2-drink minimum

Says Robin, “As beautiful as those beloved tunes are, the repetition wears thin this time of year. So I’ve put a show together with some of the best singers on the cabaret scene today that takes a fresh look at the holiday season.” You can join Robin and her guests, Carmen Cancél, Wendy Russell, Samantha Joy Pearlman and Jim Speake. Musical Direction is by Rick Jensen and Lennie Watts directs. $20  plus a 2-drink minimum. Cash only. Reservations are appreciated: 212-757-078 or donttellmamanyc.com.

December 8 @ 7:00 pm
The Best of Ricky Ritzel’s Broadway
Urban Stages
259 West 30th St.

December 8 @ 8:00 pm
Please tune in to Broadband Radio to hear Lisa Dascoli and me give our top 10 lists of the shows we have seen this year. You might hear your name called!  Please call in with your feedback.

December 10 @ 7:00 pm
Julie Budd
Remembering Mr. Sinatra…AND the Holidays
With Musical Director Herb Bernstein!
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St. (Between 5th & 6th Avenues)
Reservations: 212-206-0440

December 12 @ 8:00 pm
Julie Budd

Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday
Berrie Center for the Performing Arts
505 Ramapo Valley Rd., Mahwah, NJ
Reservations: 201-684-7500

December 12 @ 1:45 pm
Ben Yagoda

American Popular Song Society
Ben will discuss his book, The B Side.
Doors open at 12:30 for those who want to buy sheet music. Members can take tables and sell their stuff.
2:30 -1:30 “Flea Market” 1:30 seating – showtime: 1:45 – 3:30.
Local 802 – Musicians’ Hall
322 West 48th Street
Join today at http://www.AmericanPopularSongSociety.org  

December 13 & 19 @ 5:00 pm
Sally Darling
Sally uses humor to expose our human nature, the choices we make, and the way we look at life and then challenges us all to put ourselves into perspective.  She summed it up best with this African proverb: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try spending a night with a mosquito.”
Musical Director, Matthew Martin Ward
Don’t Tell Mama
343 W. 46th Street
Reservations: 212-757-078


December 15 @ 8:30 & 10:30 pm
Jerry Costanzo

Sinatra Inspired
1650 Broadway @ 51st Street
Reservations: 212.582.2121

December 16 @ 7:00 pm
Cabaret Life Production
First-Year Anniversary Songfest Holiday Party
A bevy of great talent (singing a couple of tunes) celebrate the holidays, produced and hosted by Stephen Hanks
Don’t Tell Mama
343 W. 46th Street
Reservations: 212-757-078

December 16 @ 7:00 pm
Delphi Harrington and Woody Regan

Cowardly Swann
The show features the songs of Noël Coward.
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St. (Between 5th & 6th Avenues)
Reservations: 212-206-0440

December 18 & 19
NYC composer, conductor, and arranger Robert Wendel will be having a somewhat rare occurrence when the New York Philharmonic will be performing his “Christmas a la Valse!” at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center while the New York Pops will be performing his “Little Bolero Boy” in Carnegie Hall at the same time. Robert Wendel is a protégé of famed Broadway Music Director Don Pippin, a student of Leroy Anderson, a former member of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and Music Director for Carol Channing for 12 years. He started “Robert Wendel Music” in 1990 to provide top quality pops compositions and arrangements to over 400 orchestras in 14 countries. 2015 marks his 25th year in business, and it comes to a close with this double performance “bang.”

December 18 @ 8:00 pm
December 19 @ 2:00 pm
Christmas Rappings
Christmas Rappings will deck the halls of historic Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village for two performances this year. Based on the gospels’ birth narratives, this high-spirited Christmas story is unlike any other telling of it. The late Al Carmines, Obie Award-winning composer, wrote his oratorio with a playful range of  musical genres, from country to classical to blues to gospel, and even a rousing tango.  Director: Russell Treyz. Musical Director: Brent Frederick
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
Tickets: $25 general admission / $50 premium seating

December 20 @ 4:00 pm
21 @ 7:00 pm
The Many Sounds of Christmas
St. Peter’s Church
22 Barclay Street
$15/parishioners (in advance) and $35/day of at the door

December 28 @ 7:30pm
Luigi… A Benefit-Tribute Concert
The concert offers “an evening celebrating the life and creative wonder of Luigi” and features an incredible list of talent.
Symphony Space
Broadway and W. 95th Street

December 30 @7:00 pm
Shawn Moninger
Because I Can
With guest Nancy Timpanaro-Hogan, “The Loudest Woman in the World!”
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St. (Between 5th & 6th Avenues)
Reservations: 212-206-0440

Happy and Merry everyone!  Enjoy your holidays—savor the warmth and love of the season.

I hope that you will commit to seeing at least THREE of the shows mentioned in the column. Please make one of them someone you have never seen before!

Have something to promote for January? Please send me a 100-word blurb about each event and I will include it in my article for Cabaret Scenes on-line to be published January 1. Send to Richard@RichardSkipper.com by December 27. Please put “January Man About Town” in subject line. Also, if you know of anything else I should promote for January, 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!

Till next time, keep thinking those good thoughts.

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