Wednesday night at the Iguana, on August 4, the theme for the evening was “Think Pink.” There were pink shirts and ties, and sequined outfits. And then there were the ladies in classic little black dresses who jokingly said, “Well, black is the new pink.” There were gentlemen dressed in muted gray or black who announced that they’re all wearing their pink underneath. The audience ‘tickled pink’ tittered. There was laughter and plenty of sweet music, played with style and finesse by accompanists, pianist Barry Levin and bass player Saadi Zain. Bass player Saadi Zain was celebrating a birthday. So, there was cake and a rousing round of Happy Birthday and a standing ovation. And there were songs that brought you near tears and others that kept you laughing. Even without a single drink one could begin to feel a bit intoxicated, drinking in the atmosphere and enjoying the performers who soulfully crooned or belted out a tune with complete abandon.
Wednesday night, August 4th at the Iguana VIP Lounge was quite an evening as Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge introduced a parade of performers from 8pm to 11pm. Jillian Laurain, who will be appearing in November at the Metropolitan Room, performed the melancholy, “Send in the Clowns.” Some of the audience might actually have started sniffling. And then shortly after they were laughing as Richard Skipper, clowning around, launched into a parody of Catherine Zeta-Jones in “A Little Night Music” singing the same song. There was also Sarah Rice, the original Johanna in Broadway’s “Sweeney Todd.” She treated the audience to a dreamy medley “Let’s spend a lazy afternoon . . . quiet with the daisies running riot . . . ” and, suddenly the audience was transported for a moment to a field in bright sunshine, and yearning for more.
And there was more, many more performers than can all be mentioned here. Among the performers were: J. Michael Reeds promoting his “West: Country, Cowboys, Camping” opening Sept. 16 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre;” Teresa Fischer “Miss Congeniality” appearing at Don’t Tell Mama September 12; Gregory Nalbone shared “A Moment” flashing a half-naked postcard of himself, see more of him at the Duplex on Tuesday, August 10; the Home Shopping Diva, Meg Flather sang some originals and will sing in September at Don’t Tell Mama; husband and wife team Rochelle Breyer and Paul Chamlin will be at Don’t Tell Mama on October 30; and Edie Stokes was “A Wicked Woman” with a fun faux German accent singing sassy lyrics by Francesca Blumenthal, and is appearing in an “Elegy to Ellington” on November 14 at Don’t Tell Mama.
In the midst of the parade of performers, Richard Skipper, a gracious host, was celebrating the eve of the 32nd Year Anniversary of his move to New York City. He shared his story of arriving in the city 32 years ago. He triumphantly sang, “It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish!”
In 1973, on August 5th, Richard Skipper set the goal of leaving his family’s tobacco farm in South Carolina and moving New York. He had just read Shakti Gawain’s book “Creative Visualization” advising him to set his mind on a goal. Richard Skipper decided his goal. In 5 years time, from that August 5th of 1973, he’d move to New York. Each year, for 5 years, he announced that he would move to New York on August 5th of 1978. Each year, his family thought him to be crazy. On August 5th, 1978 Richard Skipper hitchhiked to the airport and bought a one-way ticket to New York. He paid cash for his ticket, $86.95, and had $500 in his pocket when he got on an airplane headed to New York. A friend who lived in New York told Richard Skipper to take a car, meaning a taxi, to the apartment where he would be staying with the friend. Arriving in the airport in New York, Richard Skipper not realizing the difference between taxi and limo, went to the ground transportation stand with cars that said ‘LIMO.’ So quite by accident, or maybe it was the Universe’s way of smiling upon him, Richard Skipper, farm boy from South Carolina, arrived at his friend’s apartment in a limousine, embarking upon his new life in New York in style!
“It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish!”
Richard with Carol Channing & Sondra Lee
Richard has received much artistic and critical acclaim and 2010 has been a breakout year. In February, Richard was filmed and interviewed as part of an upcoming documentary on the life and career of Carol Channing and his close association with her. In July, Richard sat down in conversation with Carol Channing in a sold-out event at Barnes & Noble celebrating the release of her latest CD, “For Heaven’s Sake.” He also joined forces with producer Mark Robert Gordon and brought his show to Off-Broadway’s St Luke’s Theatre for a one night only special performance that is being launched as an Off-Broadway run in the Fall of 2010. Wednesday Night at the Iguana continues to pack in the audiences every week, winning two MAC AWARDS in the process for OUTSTANDING HOST and RECURRING SERIES. Richard continues to teach his workshops on HOW TO MAKE A LIVING AS AN ENTERTAINER and he just signed a contract to perform as “Carol Channing in Concert” at the Madeira Room Vixen in Provincetown, August 30th thru September 2.
Wednesday Night at the Iguana – 8pm to 11pm
A musical variety show
240 West 54th Street (between 8th & Broadway)
Hosted by Richard Skipper & Dana Lorge
For more info call 845-365-0720