Richard Skipper Cabaret Scenes’ Man About Town

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Richard Skipper

Cabaret Scenes’ Man About Town

March 2016

Richard-Skipper-Man-About-Cabaret-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212“I believe if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer

Happy Cabaret Month!

Here we are in the third month of the year and the excitement of awards season! The month kicks off with the Bistro Awards (celebrating their 31st year) at Gotham Comedy Club on March 8 and the MAC Awards ending the month on March 29th at B.B. King.

The month started out with Gretchen Reinhagen’s return to the Metropolitan Room in Reinhagen Redux Recap. (She just received a MAC nom for this series!)  It was a packed house with a lot of familiar faces. It was a great way to start the month. A few days later, I did a doubleheader by seeing Charles V. Baran, who also got a MAC nom for HIS show, at the Metropolitan Room that afternoon and, later that evening, Marta Sanders at the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café. Both of them share the talent of combining great songs along with comedy and life experiences to create the perfect cabaret show. I suggest getting them both on your radar and try and catch them next time around.

On February 9th, I did the latest installment of Talk of the Town with Lisa Dascoli. This is a monthly podcast that we do for Broadband Radio. We were lucky enough to have as our special guest Peter Filichia, who was there to discuss his latest book, The Great Parade: The Astonishing, Never-to-Be-Forgotten Broadway Season of 1963-64. I produced an event for American Popular Song Society on February 13th with an all-star cast. Anita Gillette kicked off the afternoon with “The Secret Service” from Mr. President and the program ended with Diane J. Findlay performing “Before the Parade Passes By” from Hello, Dolly! Then, the entire cast joined everyone on stage for a rousing finale of “Hello, Dolly!” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, please join American Popular Song Society. It is the best deal in town. It is $50.00 to join for the year and includes all of the programs October through June. (It is $15.00 for non-members yo attend individual events). The Society meets on the second Saturday of every month. Next up, Lynn DiMenna and Will Friedwald are joining forces with an array of singers to pay homage to Dinah Shore in celebration the centennial of her birth.

February is also my birth month—February 11 to be exact. On the afternoon of my birthday, I joined some of my favorite friends of the cabaret and theatre worlds: Randi Levine-Miller, Beck Lee, Josh Ellis, Beth Fowler, Peter Martin. It was a fun way to spend my birthday. It was a wonderful afternoon celebrating each other and discussing our art. No gossip! I left there to rehearse my own show, which I was doing on the 14th. My special guest was Peggy Eason and we both were accompanied by Michael Lavine. Michael also played for my tribute to Peter Filichia on the 13th for APSS. While we were there, Barbara Minkus, who flew into town specifically for this event, and Danielle Rhodes stopped by to rehearse. What voices!

After rehearsal, I went to Patsy’s for a birthday dinner with Julie Budd, Stephen Sorrentino, Dr. John Wagner, Bruce Himmelfarb and Ellen Easton. Owner Sal sat at our table and regaled us of stories of Frank Sinatra. I could not have asked for a better birthday!

The day after the Peter Filichia event, Michael Lavine accompanied me and my special guests Peggy Eason and Sue Matsuki as we entertained at the Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, New York for my 16th (and last) annual concert there. It was nice to see so many familiar faces show up on what was the coldest day in over 100 years in New York!

The music kept flowing the next night when I was asked to be the featured guest in Sarah Rice’s and David Vernon’s new open mic at the Harp Raw Bar & Grill. I was also thrilled to be accompanied by Fred Barton, one of my favorites. Peggy Eason, Tym Moss and Steve “The Whistler” Herbst were among the attendees. They meet every other week. Check in with the venue for scheduling. A fun night, great reasonably priced food. Highly recommended.

The week ended with me doing a rare double header. We saw The Ziegfeld Society’s Punchbowl of 2016 in the afternoon and Kelley Karel as “The Singing Hillary Clinton” in HILLARY CONFIDENTIAL: A Heart-To-Heart Cocktail Cabaret later that evening at The Duplex. Both were highly entertaining and I would be on the lookout for more appearances of Kelley as Hillary.

The following week found me at Sin Twisters, Too! starring Anita Gillette and Penny Fuller at Feinstein’s/54 Below. It repeats on March 2nd. PLEASE GO SEE THIS SHOW! It’s highly entertaining, with a rich history of their respective careers. Direction is by Barry Kleinbort, with musical direction by Paul Greenwood and Ritt Henn on bass. It was thrilling to be a part of that star-studded audience. The next night, I went to see Fiddler on the Roof starring Danny Burstein. GO! GO!! GO!!!

Skipper’s Suggestions for March

March 1 @ 7 pm

Jeff Macauley
MWAH! The Dinah Shore Show
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440

Jeff Macauley performs his Bistro Award-winning 1997 show MWAH! The Dinah Shore Show, with Daryl Kojak on piano, to celebrate the legendary singer’s 100th birthday.
MWAH! is an exceptionally well-conceived and highly entertaining show . . . Macauley is stand-up-comic funny . . . His passion and adoration [for Dinah Shore] informs every note, lyric, and anecdote . . . One of the most successful shows of its kind I’ve seen.” –Victoria Ordin,

March 2 @ 7 pm

Anita Gillette and Penny Fuller
Sin Twisters, Too!
Feinstein’s/54 Below
254 W. 54th St., NYC

Anita Gillette and Penny Fuller’s NEW show is a sequel to their critically acclaimed Sin Twisters! Those two multi-award winning Broadway actresses (often mistaken for each other, although one is a redhead and the other, the blonde, is three inches taller!) are back at Feinstein’s/54 Below armed with MORE adventures from the Golden Age of Broadway: stories and songs of their glories and disappointments, adventures in the land of motherhood, friendship, romance, London (and, of course, à la the show’s title, a juicy spoonerism or two)!

March 5 @ 5 pm

Cabaret Beats Cancer
A Benefit for Erin Cronican
Don’t Tell Mama
$20.00 cover charge and a 2-drink minimum
Cash Only

Singers performing: Erin Cronican, Rob Davis, Richie Eisenberg, Janice Hall, Tanya Moberly, Marissa Mulder, Candice Oden, Sarah Rice, Adam Shapiro, Walter Willison & Zach Wobensmith. Musical Director duties shared: Jim Lahti, Barry Levitt, Mathew Martin Ward & Bill Zeffiro

March 5 @ 8 pm

Craig Pomranz
Café Noctambulo at Pangea
178 2nd Ave.

With musical director Michael Roberts, Craig explores love with music from Basie, Berlin, the Bergmans and more. Craig just released a new song, “Different,” written for him by Amanda McBroom (“The Rose”) and Michele Brourman (“My Favorite Year”). The song was inspired by Craig’s children’s book Made by Raffi, now in 8 languages and 11 countries! Listen and download here:

March 6 12:30 – 2:30

Everything Old Is New Again LIVE
Hosted by David Kenney & Frank Dain
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440

This first-Sunday-of-each-month event brings David’s radio show to a live audience. Proceeds benefit Cabaret Scenes.

Scheduled to appear (as of this writing) are John Bucchino, Robert Creighton, Vivian Reed, Janis Siegel, Seth Sikes and Lennie Watts. More TBA

March 6 @ 6:30 pm

Mason Griffin
No Blue Monday
The Duplex
61 Christopher St.
No Blue Monday is a biographical presentation of the life and work of Jerry Herman. “Before the Parade Passes By,” “It’s Today,” “I Won’t Send Roses,” and “I Am What I Am” are just a taste what you’ll hear throughout the evening. With nothing more than a piano, Mason Griffin (music director and pianist) provides an intimate portrait of the man behind the music, lyrics, and shows.

March 8 @ 6:30 pm

The 31st Annual Bistro Awards
Gotham Comedy Club
208 W. 23rd St.

Jazz greats Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, and Janis Siegel  are among the winners to be honored.  Christine Andreas, Sharon McNight, Jarrod Spector & Kelli Barrett, Molly Pope, Matt Baker, Aaron Morishita, Ann Dawson, Dawn Derow, Rob Sutton, Charlie Johnson, Urban Stages’ Winter Rhythms and Another Hundred People (KT Sullivan, Jeff Harnar, Jon Weber, Sondra Lee) also honored. Jason Graae hosts.

March 10 @ 7 pm

It’s Just a Number with Bobbie Horowitz
Honoring Barb Malley
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440

This series at The Metropolitan Room, hosted by songwriter/performer/producer Bobbie Horowitz intends to open America’s eyes to the fact that every age can be filled with vitality. People over age 50 are still cookin’! Teens,  20, 30 & 40-year-olds,  come on in to see great performers and learn you don’t have to fear getting older. It’s just a number!

March 12th @ 12:30 pm

A Centennial Celebration of the Life and Music of Dinah Shore
Presented by Will Friedwald and Lynn DiMenna
American Popular Song Society

Musicians Hall 322 W. 48th St.

Dinah Shore was one of the most beloved female pop singers of all time. Whether she was singing on the radio, hosting her own variety show or TV’s talk show queen, she was “America’s Sweetheart”! Please join Will Friedwald, Lynn DiMenna and a cast of “Dinahphiles” to celebrate her 100th birthday. Doors open at 12:30. $15.00 at door for NON-Members/$50.00 to join

March 13 4:30-7:00 pm (Remember Daylight Savings Begins!)  

Beaux Arts Society Winter Carnival
232 East 9th St. (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues)
Admission is $20.00 (members & non-members) payable in advance and you are expected to purchase two drinks (soda, beer, wine or cocktail).  For more info, please contact Dr. Tom Stevens, President and General Counsel: 718-357-7075.

Sunday March 13 @ 9:30 pm

Maria Ottavia, Marcus Simeone, Tracy Stark, and Marco Brehm
Marcus & Maria Celebrate Rodgers, Hart & Hammerstein
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440
Director: Collette Black

March 14 @ 7 pm

Richard Holbrook
Richard Sings Rodgers with a Lot of Heart
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440

Richard Holbrook will be reprising his cabaret tribute to the celebrated composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) which he performed to a packed house last October. Throughout his brilliant career, Rodgers wrote unforgettable songs for the Broadway stage and Hollywood film musicals with such gifted and prolific lyricists as Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim. In this program, he will be singing songs from such classic Broadway shows as A Connecticut Yankee, Spring Is Here, Jumbo, Babes in Arms, Too Many Girls, Carousel, No Strings, and Do I Hear a Waltz? Also featured will be songs from memorable movie musicals such as Love Me Tonight and Mississippi. Richard will be accompanied by the fabulous Tom Nelson Trio – Tom Nelson piano/musical director; Tom Kirchmer on bass; and Peter Grant on drums.  Veteran Broadway and cabaret performer Richard Barclay will direct the show. It’ll be a great evening of song – a wonderful precursor to the upcoming spring season.

March 19 @ 7 pm

David Meulemans
Lucky to Be Me
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440

Directed by Sally Mayes with Musical Direction by Tex Arnold.
David Meulemans is an accomplished performer, as comfortable on the big stage as he is in the most intimate of venues. Classically trained, David earned a Bachelor’s degree from Lawrence Conservatory of Music in his native Appleton, Wisconsin, where he began his performing career in stage plays, concert work, recordings and solo cabaret shows.

March 22 @ 7 pm

Linda Purl
Midnight Caravan
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440

Linda’s recent running roles on television series have been on: Homeland, The Office and True Blood.  She has starred in over 45 made-for-TV movies, and is especially known for her series roles as Charlene Matlock on Matlock and Ashley Pfister, Fonzie’s fiancée, on Happy Days. Purl has starred in numerous plays and musicals on Broadway as well as in regional theaters across America.  Concert venues have included Jazz at Lincoln Center; Feinstein’s, NYC; Naples Philharmonic; Satin Doll, Tokyo, Japan; Princess Grace Theatre, Monaco.  Solo albums are Alone Together, Out of This World—Live and Midnight Caravan.

March 29 @ 7:30pm

The 30th Annual MAC Awards
B.B. Blues Club & Grill
237 W. 52nd St.

March 30 @ 7 pm

NY’s Next Top Drag Queen Contest
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440

The sparkles are already flying as ten hard-working cross-dressers are going stiletto to stiletto in the 2nd annual competition,  The six-week juried affair begins this night. Through sheer talent and hopefully not a  cat fight, NY’s Top Drag Queen will be crowned on the finale show on May 4 when the series will come to its ultimate climax.

March 31 @ 7 pm

Rob Davis
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd. St.
Reservations: 212-206-0440

Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday would both have been 100 in 2015; Rob just had his 70th! Big birthdays indeed! The show celebrates the music of Sinatra & Holiday and the songs they “probably” would have sung had they known Rob before moving on! Rob will be joined by a great band led by Musical Director Daryl Kojak and wonderfully talented guest artists.

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 April? 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 April 1st (No Fooling!) Send to by March 25. Please put “March Man About Town” in subject line. Also, if you know of anything else I should promote for April, 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.