Tag Archives: Ken Kleiber

Poppin’ at PIPPIN: Patina Miller Gets Engaged on Opening Night!

26 Apr

Yes, there was poppin’ at the PIPPIN party and Patina answered in the positive to the proposal!  And that’s a lot of plosives for one paragraph!

Patina Miller Gets Engaged!

Patina Miller Gets Engaged!

Patina Basking In the Glow of the Moment

Patina Basking In the Glow of the Moment

Patina Takes It In

Last night, as if the Opening Night of the Broadway revival of PIPPIN wasn’t exciting enough, “Leading Player” Patina Miller found that there was magic to do in the corner of SLATE Restaurant when in no time at all this extraordinary kind of woman spread a little sunshine among partygoers who witnessed the glory of boyfriend David Mars popping the question.  The simple joy of this love song captivated the hearts of everyone in attendance.

David Mars Pops the Question to Patina Miller

CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW FOR A LITTLE VIDEO MONTAGE OF THE JOY!

Patina and David 2

VIDEO: Click the pic above for a little video montage of the joy.

PIPPIN co-star Matthew James Thomas congratulates the happy couple.

PIPPIN co-star Matthew James Thomas congratulates the happy couple.

Matthew shares a hug with his co-star.Matthew shares a hug with his co-star.

PIPPIN stars Patina MIller & Matthew James Thomas

PIPPIN stars Patina MIller & Matthew James Thomas

Patina Miller, I was honored to be in the room with you for this special occasion!

VIDEO: Ken interviews Patina Miller earlier in the evening.

VIDEO: Ken interviews Patina Miller earlier in the evening.

I’ll bet Patina and David had morning glow when the sun came up today and am certain they’re on the right track to a lifetime of happiness.  Congratulations on the PIPPIN Poppin’!!

Patina and David take it all in.

Patina and David take it all in.

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

p.s.  Extra points if you noticed that this entire post is comprised of every song title from PIPPIN…what is a science to some is just an ordinary life for me.  :)

At the PIPPIN Party

At the PIPPIN Party

 

 

Is Carol Channing alive? YEEESSSSHHHH!

25 Aug Carol's still kickin'!

Carol and Ken: The Magic Castle 2009

OK, that’s a lousy post title, especially since many-a-Carol Channing impersonator over-exaggerates that aspect of Carol’s wonderfully unique voice and speech pattern (except Richard Skipper, who is not so much an “impersonator” but wholly (and respectfully) embodies the true Carol Channing experience).  But, back to the cliche but eye-catching title.  Earlier today the Associated Press, for some reason, put out the very erroneous story that Carol Channing had passed away.  Concerned, I called a few contacts and was overjoyed to find that the reports of Carol Channing’s death had been greatly exaggerated (thank you Mark Twain.  By the way, did you know Mark Twain was kind of a stud?).

Carol's still kickin'!

Carol & Ken share a holiday laugh.

In any case, among the folks I spoke with today was my pal Larry Ferguson who is in the finishing stages of production of Carol Channing’s new patriotic CD, “True to the Red, White & Blue” (isn’t that a great title! I love it.).  Carol’s new CD (tentatively due in stores around Veteran’s Day 2011) features some old American chestnuts like “Over There”, “God Bless America” & “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, a couple sacred songs like, “Amazing Grace”, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” (a personal favorite) and even “St. Louis Blues” (for which Carol has quite the accompanying story as to why she includes this track).  Also featured is a new version of Carol’s signature tune from HELLO, DOLLY!: “Before the Parade Passes By”.  Carol has sung this song so many times over the years and it will be great to hear a new take on this classic.  Below, you can even hear a live version from one of my annual “Christmas Carol” episodes of “That’s Kentertainment!” (you just have to get through the surreal pseudo-Peanuts Christmas-Ken-Id-Ego opening bit…another personal favorite).  :)

Speaking of surreal, here’s a quick clip of Carol Channing “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” – an except of a longer opening number from my “8th Annual Christmas Carol” from 2009.  I adore Carol and her terrific sense of humor.

Click here to see Carol "Gettin' Jiggy With It"!

So there ya have it.  Carol Channing is alive & well and ready to roll out her new CD.  At 90 years of age, this is not only impressive but also makes one ponder:  “What did I do today?”  Well, besides write this post.  :)

p.s.  Richard Skipper started a petition to get Carol Channing a well-deserved Kennedy Center Honor.  Carol Channing is an American original.  As someone once said, “If Carol Channing didn’t exist, you couldn’t make her up.”  Her legendary stage, screen and television performances plus her tireless crusade & numerous benefit appearances to bring Arts Education back to schools are inspiring to all.  Click here to sign the petition.

Carol & Ken film the 2010 That's Kentertainment! "Christmas Carol"

I Am Strong

6 Jun Dolly & The Grascals. Photographer: John Russell / CMA

MUSIC COMMUNITY GATHERS TO SUPPORT THE GRASCALS & DOLLY PARTON IN RAISING AWARENESS FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER

Lots of updates and changes are taking place behind the scenes of my website which is why I started doing this blog – to update what I can’t update while my wonky webpage is being worked out.  Wow!  I loves me my run-on sentences!  Several months ago, I added a video clip to my “That’s Kentertainment!” website entitled, “I Am Strong” featuring the bluegrass group The Grascals and the guest talents of Dolly Parton.  I first became aware of the immensely-talented Grascals when they were members of Dolly’s band on previous tours, and then opened up for Dolly in various cities, like here in NYC at Radio City Music Hall.

Dolly & The Grascals. Photographer: John Russell / CMA

Here’s a bit of the background behind the song:

“I AM STRONG,” was written by Grascals’ band member Jamie Johnson and his wife Susanne Mumpower-Johnson along with Jenee Fleenor after The Grascals visited the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® in Memphis and were inspired by the stories and power of the children being treated there. “I Am Strong” is powerful in its message and artistic vision and brings together vocals from all of the artists who also appear separately with The Grascals on other tracks on this CD.

You wonder where I get it from? Dad's Bday June 4, 2010

This track truly resonates with me as my Dad, Otto “Dutch” Kleiber, passed away from pancreatic cancer about a month before this song was released.  Though it was, and is, a terrible blow to my family and myself (and all those who loved my Dad) he was at least able to live a rather full life.  We can only pray that many of the children at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital get that chance as well, and buying this CD and/or making a donation separately can help these kids live the kind of lives which many seem to take for granted.  My Dad’s birthday would have been June 4th (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!) so in honor of him (and my Mom, whose birthday is today- June 6th…HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!) and all those affected by cancer (patients and families alike) I am reposting this clip and hoping you’ll donate in any way possible.  Remember, every little bit adds up!

From the press notes:  Two versions of “I AM STRONG” have been recorded. Version 1 (above) includes award-winning, Grammy-nominated group, The Grascals, with special guest Dolly Parton.  Version 2 includes The Grascals, Dolly Parton, Randy Owen, Joe Nichols, Darryl Worley, Terri Clark, Charlie Daniels, Tom T. Hall, The Oak Ridge Boys and Steven Seagal.  The music video was directed by cancer survivor David Corlew of d. corlew films.

In honor of the children and this song, Cracker Barrel is donating a percentage of the proceeds from this CD to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The album, The Grascals & Friends – Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, has 13 country music songs on it that you have probably heard before, but most likely not like this.  The Grascals bring their own bluegrass style to the tunes and bring the different tracks to life with eight of their friends, including Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels and Dolly Parton.  The Grascals & Friends – Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin is available exclusively at all Cracker Barrel locations.

Link to St. Jude Children's Hospital

Link to info on The Grascals

Link to Cracker Barrel Stores

The Uproarious and Exquisitely Divine Sister

3 Apr

Friday evening I saw the legendary and ambrosial Charles Busch in the uproarious Off-Broadway confection, “The Divine Sister“, also written by Mr. Busch.  This was my second visit to St. Veronica’s, the convent in which Mother Superior (Busch) and Sister Acacius (played by the always-inspiring and hysterical Julie Halston) reside. Possibly the best-written and performed play currently Off-Broadway (and Broadway, come to think of it), “The Divine Sister”  will make you laugh until all demons within are spewn-out onto the streets of New York City, or more specifically 15 Vandam Street where the show is playing until May 1 at the Soho Playhouse).  The other cast members are celestial as well:  Amy Rutberg who is giddily-glorious as Agnes (the young postulant who has healing powers and sees visions),  Jonathan Walker (who does a surprisingly accurate impersonation of fellow castmember Julie Halston…you just gotta see it to know what I’m talkin’ about)  in the dual-roles of  Jeremy & Brother Venerius, Jennifer Van Dyck (who I have adored since her stint on “The Days & Nights of Molly Dodd” and who is transcendent  in dual-roles as Mrs. Levinson & Timothy), and the immaculately marvelous Alison Fraser as both Sister Walburga (wait til you hear that dialect!) and Mrs. Macduffie (come to think of it, wait til you hear THAT dialect too…Ms. Fraser’s performance is truly heavenly.)  How about that for a run-on sentence!

The Divine "The Divine Sister" Cast

Here is how “The Divine Sister” is described in the press release: 

The Divine Sister is an outrageous comic homage to nearly every Hollywood film involving nuns. Evoking such films as ‘The Song of Bernadette,’ ‘The Bells of St. Mary’s,’ ‘The Singing Nun’ and ‘Agnes of God,’ The Divine Sister tells the story of St. Veronica’s indomitable Mother Superior (author Charles Busch) who is determined to build a new school for her Pittsburgh convent. Along the way, she has to deal with a young postulant who is experiencing ‘visions,’ sexual hysteria among her nuns, a sensitive schoolboy in need of mentoring, a mysterious nun visiting from the Mother House in Berlin, and a former suitor intent on luring her away from her vows.” It’s a “madcap trip through Hollywood religiosity” that “evokes the wildly comic but affectionately observed theatrical style of the creator of Die, Mommie, Die! and Psycho Beach Party.”

 

The Sisters take you on a ride too!

Nectarous Charles Busch as "Mother Superior"

 

Charles Busch is equally masterful in his humorous yet moving post-show Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS speech, which as you know, makes one want to contribute even more to this worthy cause (as well as the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic which the donations also support). 

 

The (holy) spirit of the show SO moved me that immediately afterwards I found myself in the Gramercy Park area at a church auditorium school dance (FOR REAL!  Don’t ask.). 

Neither a student nor a chaperone...

 I’m not quite as hep as I used to be when it comes to the latest dance crazes, but I did manage to teach the kids a mean “Bottle Dance” from “Fiddler on the Roof“. 

However, when it was discovered that I BYOB’d with a different kind of Busch for the aforementioned dance number, I quickly hightailed it out of there and skipped back to the streets of NYC where I feel most comfortable (or at least I keep telling myself that as I am 4 months behind on my rent and anticipate a happy future with all the urchins of the street who I know will welcome me with open arms and possibly even open cans of half-eaten tuna.  How’s THAT for another run-on sentence!)  But, lest I digress, “The Divine Sister” is truly one to check out and I URGE you to see it before it closes or you find yourself homeless, whichever comes first.

"That's Kentertainment!" interviews Charles Busch.

Daniel Radcliffe “Succeeds” on Broadway (Video Highlights)

30 Mar

OK, not the most original title but it gets the job done…as does Daniel Radcliffe, who makes a smashing musical comedy debut in the 50th Anniversary production of  “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying“, Frank Loesser’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece from 1961.

Daniel Radcliffe knows how to succeed.

Below I’ll post some clips (just click on the pix) from the March 27, 2011 opening night where I conducted interviews for the licensing house for “How to Succeed”, Music Theatre International.  Interestingly enough, MTI (the largest music theatre licensing company in the world) was founded in 1952 by composer Frank Loesser (and orchestrator Don Walker) and is now run by Chairman Freddie Gershon and President Drew Cohen.  Keep checking back as I’ll keep adding more clips and highlights to the mix:  H2S PLAYLIST.  (For more info, video clips, theatrical resources & more, visit MTI Showspace.)

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Interview Clip 1

Grand Old Ivy Jump

Video: Faber has a “long day” with Rose & Daniel

Daniel Radcliffe (a.k.a The Most Happy Fella in NYC) meets Liza Minnelli

28 Mar DanielLiza 1

Earlier this evening, I covered the opening night of the latest Broadway revival of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS (WITHOUT REALLY TRYING), the classic Pulitzer-Prize winning musical written by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.   I was fortunate enough to interview members of the cast including the uber-charming Daniel Radcliffe (of HARRY POTTER fame),  John Larroquette (of NIGHT COURT fame), Christopher J. Hanke (as Bud Frump), Rose Hemingway (as Rosemary Pilkington) and the luminious-yet-hysterically funny Tammy Blanchard (as Hedy LaRue).  Seriously, all Tammy Blanchard has to do is step on stage, make a knowing grin or even open an envelope and she is a bona-fide scene stealer every stolen step of the way.  It’s a THRILL to see someone as confident and game as Ms. Blanchard but also equally thrilling to see Daniel Radcliffe having the time of his life on stage.  These two performers reinforced my hopes and dreams for a better Broadway-experience through sheer talent and life-force (and a great book and score don’t hurt none neither!). 

Daniel Radcliffe: Seriously happy.

BUT- this isn’t a review of the show.  I just babbled a bit to express my thanks (to the Theatre Gods or whomever may be responsible) for some fine talents hittin’ the boards.  What I meant to do is post a few pix of the moment Daniel Radcliffe met Liza Minnelli.  If he wasn’t already fully-charged after soaring in his opening night performance, the addition of Liza to the after-party proceedings seemed to make Daniel Radcliffe the happiest boy in New York City.  Actually, the happiest man, since he’s already 21.  Oh heck- let’s just go there and say that Daniel Radcliffe is the most happy fella in NYC (if you don’t get that Frank Loesser reference, you need to do some homework!).

Thank you to Jason Cochran for being cameraguy-extraordinaire for the evening and capturing these most-happy-moments on film.

UPDATE:  Jason Cochran wrote a terrific post offering his perspective from behind the camera for the evening,  You can read it here. 

Also, click here for interviews and video highlights from the opening night.

 

 

Ken&Jason: HOW TO SUCCEED Opening Night

City Center (sans Encores!)

18 Jan

The other day I posted a blog entitled, “Vegasish” where I promised to post some pix from my recent stay in the Las Vegas area.  Since the only person who knew about this blog at that time was my friend Mary (and she was with me when I took the pix) I figured there wasn’t a rush to get them out there since, well, who needs another forced deja vu.  In any case, here are some of the pictures I took with my trusty phone.  First up, City Center, the new 16,797,000-square-foot complex complete with pool, shopping, dining,  nightclub, Aria Casino, the Cirque du Soleil “Viva Elvis” show, apartments, etc. that cost approx. $11-billion bucks and sits on 76 ACRES!!  This is not to be confused with the New York “City Center Encores” concert series that now costs close to $11-billion bucks for a yearly subscription and sits on 56th Street.

76 acres! Cripes!

Wacky Typewriter Eraser Sculpture-Thingy

Slightly Curved

Look! There's Elvis! And an escalator! An Elviscalator?

Next up is The Cosmopolitan, the $3.9 billion “luxury resort casino and hotel” at which I could never afford to stay.  I wish I could because I’d love to see all the random animals running around the joint as witnessed in their rather stylish TV promo.  The place is outrageously chi chi (not to be confused with the Chi Chi’s Mexican Restaurant chain that now only exists overseas. Darn Hepatitis A!  And did you know that Chi Chi is Mexican slang for boobies ?  Some restaurant entrepreneur had a wacky sense of humor!).

How Cosmopolitan!

Swanky!

Nightclub or Star Wars battleship?

The Cosmopolitan also has this uber-upscale pool that overlooks the Strip.

Anyone for pool?

My friend Mary figured they must have left this part of the hotel open to “show off” as the place is pretty new, and once things get settled-in, we’ll likely never be allowed to set foot in there again.

Poolio!

In fact, as we walked around, we kept seeing Security Guards (a.k.a. Models) who we were certain were ready to evict us from the premises since we left our Model Cards at home.  Nearly everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was dressed to the hilt in swanky couture and 7-in. heels.  And you should have seen the ladies!  The place seemed to be crawling with the kind of rich socialites you’d see on some Bravo reality show, only without the hair-extension pulling (in all fairness, it was still early).  Even as we first entered into City Center, a chiseled greeter was handing out some sort of card advertising the nightclub but took one look at us in our jeans and casual attire and decided that we were suddenly see-through.  It was pretty hilarious.  In fact, it was so hilarious I found myself stepping all over his Berluti’s.  Thank goodness we were invisible so he didn’t know who did it.

All-in-all, City Center and Cosmopolitan Towers is très chic (not to be confused with Trey Songz or even Trey Lorenz …what’s he been up to lately?) and next time I’ll be bringing you some highlights of the shopping gallery and the Las Vegas Serendipity 3 where the menu actually tops the NYC menu!  (There was a topping joke I was going to make here butt…never mind.).

;)

I’m a-scared of Bonnie Raitt

14 Jan

OK, I’m not really a-scared of Bonnie Raitt.  I rather enjoy Bonnie Raitt, and not in a horror-flick kind-of-way.  But I was reminiscing with my friend Ashley tonight about the time I was in East Tennessee with my friends Angie & Susan.  We decided to visit the Forbidden Caverns located in Sevierville, TN which is Dolly Parton‘s childhood neck-of-the-woods and not too far from Dollywood.

Dolly's neck

We were getting ready to start our tour when we overheard two tour guides chatting.  One of the guides mentioned that he would often run into Dolly around town.  The other tour guide, who was a fella in his early twenties, volunteered, “‘I’d have no problem meeting Dolly Parton but if I ever ran into Bonnie Raitt I’d be so a-scared I’d probably scream mah head off, hitch-up and run in the other direction!”  Well, Susan, Angie and I thought that the notion of somebody being terrified of Bonnie Raitt was just hysterical and we did the best we could to contain our laughter, but, well, we were in a cavern, so the sound traveled rather easily and loudly.  Now every time Bonnie Raitt comes to mind, I also think of that poor guy.  I thought it might be fun to find a life-size cut-out of Ms. Raitt and return to the caverns to terrorize him, howling, “Bonnie’s gonna cut ya!”  but he really was a nice tour guide.

This got me to thinking about what Bonnie Raitt might look like these days.  I imagine she would not be the kind of gal who would go in for all sorts of fillers and plastic surgery, and that possibly her natural-aging might just be what scared the guy (since it seems every celeb of a certain age has been tinkered with).  So, I found a pic of what appears to be of her latest press photos.

I ain't a-scared-a no Bonnie Raitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She looks amazing!  No fear here.  In fact, she looks younger than she did in 1971.

Bonnie Raitt's gonna cut ya!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever she’s doing, it’s fantastic.  Besides photoshopping, it must be mostly natural since us redheads with fair skin don’t fare too well with cosmetic procedures (scarring, etc.) so hopefully I’ll meet Ms. Raitt one day, check behind her ears and find out her secrets.

You know, there’s really no point to this post other than for today it gave me something to talk about (I know, I know…have a heart! It’s just a blog- not a love letter!  Besides, I can’t make you love me if you don’t…however, I am ready for the thing called love.  I’m not the only one!  And you never know when love will come sneakin’ up on you!).

OK, OK.  I’m done.  Just in the nick of time.

:)

Vegasish

11 Jan

Armed with my Mom’s laptop and my friend Mary‘s suggestion that I do a little blogging, I come to you (and by “you” I mean Mary, since no one else knows I’m beginning to post blogs) from Henderson, just outside Las Vegas.  I took a bunch of pix the other night when Mary and I ran around the new City Center and Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino on The Strip and made a bunch of cracks along the way (the joking kind of cracks…I promise you we didn’t dent the $11-billion CC or the $3.9-billion CRC).  Since I have yet to upload the pix from my phone (didn’t think to bring my actual camera) I’ll instead post this pic that I took a few weeks ago and has made me giggle ever since.

What were they thinking?  Apparently not what I was thinking.  But then again, I’m always thinking poop.

More later.  I promise I’ll get the crap up rapidly.  :)

Ken

Love me!

9 Jan

Dear Fans,

“I only ask that you love me as much as I love myself.

Love me,

Ken

p.s. Actually…Hello!  This will be a place/site for me to put quick updates, links, videos, musings, etc. in addition to my “That’s Kentertainment!” website.  So, that I shall say good night till it be morrow (seriously, would it have killed Shakespeare to add the “to” to “morrow”?  ‘Cause I always thought he was talking about Vic Morrow, and  that just threw me off immensely.  I could maybe see Rob Morrow.  Ever see his film “Private Resort” with Johnny Depp, Andrew Dice Clay and Dody Goodman?  I didn’t either.)

Till Morrow,

Ken

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