Mondays on Memory Lane: Richard Skipper weaves a magical evening with Tommy Tune – On Thursday night, May 23rd, 2013, Richard Skipper hosted an extraordinary evening of intimate conversation with nine time Tony winner Tommy Tune at Queensborough Community College. The evening was a rare privilege for all. First and foremost for Richard, since it was Tommy himself who had requested him for the interview. Secondly for all of us lucky enough to be in the audience. To see this talented icon of Broadway theater open up to Richard’s questions and reminisce freely was an exciting treat. We’ve all seen Tommy Tune dance and perform, but a shared moment like this is irreplaceable. Richard knows his theater history, combined with both their friendships with legend Carol Channing – their bond made for an insightful conversation. Tommy shared lessons learned from luminaries such as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Carol, Michael Bennett, Lucie Arnaz, Honey Coles and his perfect pairing with Twiggy in the film “The Boyfriend” and the hit Broadway show “My One and Only”.
At age 74, Tommy has a youthful energy that comes from the love of his craft. He simply radiates joy. The audience was riveted by the insight and advice Tommy gave, many times reinforcing that our own uniqueness should drive our determination to forge forward and take chances and leaps of faith. Richard steered the ‘conversation’ masterfully. In ending the evening Richard with his usual warm charm, asked the audience to participate in asking questions of Tommy which added to the bond that had been created with both Tommy’s and Richard’s fans. It was an evening not to be forgotten, thank you Richard!
Tommy Tune’s autobiography ‘Footnotes’ is available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/FOOTNOTES-What-Stand-More-Important/dp/B000H2M7SE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369688583&sr=1-1&keywords=tommy+tune
DEBBIE REYNOLDS AND HANS / HANS AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS – 20 YEARS LATER: When you think of the Hollywood classic movies of all time – one of the top five films is 1952’s “Singing In The Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. When you think of Hollywood scandals it’s Eddie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds/Liz Taylor.
I first met Debbie Reynolds in 1973 as she was appearing in the Broadway musical “Irene” at the Minskoff theater. Twenty years later, in 1993, we met at her Las Vegas hotel and museum. Now twenty years later again, in 2013, we met again last night!
Debbie Reynolds is truly the Unsinkable Molly Brown! She is the symbol of a survivor. She has made her mark on every form of show business and is still going strong. The epitome of the ingenue, America’s sweetheart, singer, comedian, dancer, television mom to Grace Adler on “Will & Grace” and now….she will play Liberace’s mom in the upcoming HBO biopic of his life. Debbie turned 81 on this past April 1 and loves being born on that day since she says she always has an excuse to act crazy.
She has just released her final memoir “Unsinkable” because she wanted to leave a truthful record behind and “not all the crap that they say about you after you’re gone!” So she dished all the dirt in a witty, heart-on-your-sleeve, brutally honest, always with a wink page turning book, co-authored by the delightful Dorian Hannaway. Her pensions for always marrying the wrong man, her cruel trial at starting a hotel and Hollywood museum in Las Vegas in 1993, being $20 million dollars bankrupted due to the hotel and a con artist (possibly murderous) third husband and recently selling of course one of the most prestigious Hollywood memorabilia collections of all time including Marilyn Monroe’s white halter “Seven Year Itch” dress for $4.6 million dollars, all because she has been the pack rat preserving our film history.
She is sadly doing very limited press appearance for the book. Her only three appearances so far include
– 4/9/13 6:30 PM at the Egyptian Theater – Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.
– 4/13/13 6:00 PM at Barnes & Noble – Grove Drive. Los Angeles, CA.
– and last night at New York’s 92nd Street “Y” to an audience of enthusiastic fans. She did not disappoint. She loves to interact with her audience and is as sharp as a tact.
She is as irreverent, funny and honest as she has ever been, did her classic celebrity impersonations, spoke from the heart about her famous talented daughter Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and even sang a little tune. The sparkle in her eyes, the childlike impish enthusiasm is infectious. The cherry on the icing on the cake of the evening, in partial thanks to the co-author of her book Dorian Hannaway, Debbie signed my coveted Blackglama “What Becomes A Legend Most?” poster.
So Debbie – see you on our duo decennial schedule in 2033???