Richard Skipper: Cabaret Scenes’ Man About Cabaret

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Richard Skipper

Cabaret Scenes’ Man About Cabaret

May 2015

Richard-Skipper-Man-About-Cabaret-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Dr. Seuss

Happy May!

Another busy month on the cabaret scene!

The month began on April Fool’s Day at the Metropolitan Room for Gretchen Reinhagen’s first show of a three-part series in which she is revisiting award-winning and critically-acclaimed shows from her incredible cabaret career. The show we saw was Almost Blue. She will return on May 4th at 7PM for Special Kaye: A Tribute to the Incomparable Kaye Ballard. Please don’t miss this Triple Crown winner (Bistro, MAC, Nightlife Award).

I also was very fortunate to catch Carolyn Montgomery-Forant in Visible Phoenix at the Laurie Beechman. DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW when she returns on Friday, May 8th at 7:00.

I was thrilled to be at The New York Sheet Music Society earlier this month when John Fricke presented a wonderful presentation celebrating Judy Garland. The next meeting for NYSMS is May 9th. Board member and lyricist/director/producer Tom Toce continues his commitment to the “Living Songbook” with a selection of songs that have won cabaret’s highest honor. Featured are songs by Craig Carnelia, Julie Gold, Francesca Blumenthal, and many others.   The cast includes Lianne Maria Dobbs, Tom Gamblin, Minda Larsen, Kristoffer Lowe, Sidney Myer, Devon Yates. Musical direction by Tracy Stark. Produced, directed, and hosted by Tom Toce. I am also happy to report that I was elected to the board. I will keep you up to date for upcoming events.

I had two performances of my own in April. I did my 15th annual appearance at the Helen Hayes Hospital Atrium. I was accompanied by Bryon Sommers, and Peggy Eason guest. Check out the great article on Peggy in the current issue of Cabaret Scenes written by John Hoglund. The following week, I appeared in Nyack in Rockland County doing a benefit for Gay Pride Rockland. Once again, I was joined by Sommers and Eason. Rounding out the cast were Cynthia Crane and Greta M. Heron.

I accompanied Julie Budd to two great radio interviews this month: David Kenney’s Everything Old is New Again and WPAT with cabaret’s Andrew Martin.

Martha Lorin is one of the best jazz singers around today! She was raised to be a singer and has pursued a career in jazz as a singer/lyricist/songwriter. I was among the lucky ones who attended her show this month at Don’t Tell Mama with Jon Weber on piano and Sean Harkness on guitar. Catch Martha in Laurie Krauz’s Jazz Soup Saturday, May 9th at 1pm at the Metropolitan Room. See below for more info.

The month ended with the Julie Wilson Memorial at The Town Hall produced by The Mabel Mercer Foundation. Tax-deductible contributions in the memory of Julie are welcomed. A list of supporters for the evening will be included in a special section of the 26th New York Cabaret Convention program at The Town Hall October 13-16, 2015. Thank you to KT Sullivan and ALL involved for making the evening unforgettable.

After the Memorial, we attended Jerry Costanzo’s sold out show, Sinatra Inspired, at Iridium NYC celebrating Frank Sinatra’s centennial.


May is for variety in genres and styles. Aside from the fabulous Julie Budd, Metropolitan Room is offering great entertainment by talents the likes of Donna Hayes, Gloria Reuben, Giselle Wolf, Delphi Harrington, Brenda Braxton, Gretchen Reinhagen, Laurie Krauz, Dawn Derow, Kenny Karen, Sara Zahn, Kevin Dozier, Jeff Macauley, Stacy Sullivan, Lauren Fox, Arlo Hill, Elizabeth Sullivan, Hedda Lettuce and T. Oliver Reid. Several are highlighted below.

Don’t miss actor/singer, Danny Aiello, Sat., May 2nd at 8:30pm at Iridium NYC. For tix: or call 212-582-2121!

Julie Budd presents Center Stage: Those Fabulous Broadway Musicals, a benefit for the Thommie Walsh Education Scholarship, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 2 Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Emerson Park, East Lake Road, Owasco.

Speaking of Jule, please join us May 14th as we celebrate her residency at the Metropolitan Room. They Wrote the Songs. These are the songs of our generation, from some of the greatest songwriters of our time, with great orchestrations and stellar vocal performances from one of America’s premier vocalists of today.

MOVING FORWARD BY LOOKING BACKWARD at the Great American Songbook…Following a career on the diverse stages of opera, musical comedy, resort hotels, luxury cruises, concerts and worldwide corporate events, Madelaine Warren now makes her debut on the intimate stage of the Metropolitan Room May 3rd and 7th.

THE SINGING EXPERIENCE CHANGE OF DATE FOR SPRING WORKSHOP! There has been a change in the Spring Schedule for The Singing Experience. The April/May Workshop HIT PARADE has been moved to MAY/JUNE! This will be the last workshop before the fall season. So if you have been thinking of joining The Singing Experience or are a “graduate” who wants to return — now is the time as there is a place in the workshop waiting for you! They polish up the pros and nurture the newcomers. Contact Linda Amiel Burns for more info.

David Meulemans in Lucky to Be Me at the Metropolitan Room. Reserve NOW for May 16th at 4 pm.

May 20 @ 6:30pm: Meg Flather takes part in The Concerts for City Greens at the South Park of Tudor City Greens Park (between 41st & 42nd Streets, and 1st & 2nd Avenues). Raissas Katona Bennett is host and producer.

Laurie Krauz’s Jazz Soup (Be Careful – Contents May Be Hot!) continues to sizzle Saturday, May 9th at 1pm at the Metropolitan Room. This acclaimed series (featuring an ever-changing mix of hot and spicy jazz artists) dishes out Natalie Douglas, Cleve Douglass, Martha Lorin, Anne Phillips and The Daryl Kojak Trio. Yum!”

Alex Rybeck is one of the busiest musical directors on the cabaret scene today! In addition to playing for Roslyn Kind in May, his month includes encore performances by Kevin Dozier (May 13 at The Met Room) and Susan Winter May 18 at Don’t Tell Mama). AND, on Thursday May 21, 9:30, he will be at 54 Below for More Music by Alex Rybeck, an evening of original songs written with top lyricists like Carol Hall, Michael Stewart, and others, featuring a cast of 16 stars of B’way, cabaret and jazz, directed by Sara Louise Lazarus. On Sunday, May 24, he will be musical directing GRAND HOTEL: THE MUSICAL (in concert), starring original B’way cast members Liliane Montevecchi, Karen Akers, Brent Barrett, etc. I hear that Tommy Tune might be there as well!

And you might also be interested to know that Liz Callaway, her son, Nick Foster, and Alex will inaugurate a new cabaret festival in Telluride, CO, produced by Michael Estwanik. The Telluride Cabaret Festival kicks off with the weekend of May 9 and 10 (Mother’s Day)!

Donna Hayes will be bringing back Ordinary Miracles to the Metropolitan Room on May 22nd. I saw it last month and loved it so much that I will be returning. This review sums up what I feel: “Hayes’s smooth eclecticism is nicely directed by Gretchen Reinhagen, and beautifully backed by musical director Justin Stoney (piano), Donna Kelly (drums) and Matt Scharfglass (bass). My only quibble is that Hayes, like too many other cabaret artists, only gets to do her show, one night at a time, four times a year, with several months in between each engagement. “ Robert Windeler,

Scott Barbarino (Scobar Entertainment) in association with Iridium NYC is producing Karen Wyman on Tuesday May 26th for two shows 8:30 and 10:30. Make your reservations now!

Talk of the Town, hosted by Lisa Dascoli and co-hosted by Annie Weiss is an eclectic mix of all the latest in arts and entertainment. Lisa and Annie strive to promote upcoming artists as well as established performers. I am joining them each month with my updates of news from the cabaret scene. Talk of the Town is broadcast on and streams live the second Wednesday of every month at 8 pm. May, we will be interviewing and celebrating Julie Budd.

I’d like to recommend a great entertainment blog, LEAVE IT TO BEAVERHAUSEN featuring THE BEST in INFOTAINMENT! Interviews, Reviews, Editorials and More! From Pop to Cult, Welcome Joan Crawford Fans, Grey Gardeners and DIVA Lovers!

Have a show or an event in May? Please send a 55-word blurb to Please include in the subject line: Man About Town/June and I will include it next month!

See you around in May at a cabaret show!