Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Applause! Applause! Review of "Camouflage Cabaret" in the Xanadu Showroom at Trump's Taj Mahal by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of “Camouflage Cabaret” starring Richard Skipper, Holly Faris and Mr. Randy Roberts in the Xanadu Showroom at Trump’s Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and appeared in Volume III, Issue 1 (April, 1998) of Applause! Applause!

"Camouflage Cabaret" - Richard Skipper, Holly Faris & Mr. Randy Roberts
Xanadu Showroom at Trump's Taj Mahal (Atlantic City, NJ)
Reviewed 2/8/98 at 3:00 p.m.   

Richard Skipper, a Distinguished Artist of the Beaux Arts Society and a former Leonardo da Vinci Award Winner for Best Impersonator, opened in the Xanadu Showroom of Trump's Taj Mahal on January 4, 1998 in a fabulous show which ran through March 5, 1998. Co-starring with Mr. Skipper in "Camouflage Cabaret" were fellow impersonators Holly Faris and Mr. Randy Roberts. The show, from opening curtain to the grand finale, was entertaining, fast-moving and well-written. The performances, the lighting and the choreography were all top notch, as was the music played by The Mark Owens Quartet perched on stage and yet out of the way of the performers. I have seen many well-reviewed shows in Atlantic City that I thought were poorly produced and not well conceived. However, "Camouflage Cabaret" was a winner and should be revived.     

Holly Faris opened the show singing "I'm Every Woman", with snippets of Dr. Ruth, Liza & Marilyn Monroe. She then introduced Carol Channing, superbly and flatteringly portrayed by Richard Skipper, who proceeded to perform the crowd pleasing "Show Girl", "Elegance" and "Before The Parade Passes By". Mr. Skipper, who in my opinion was the star of the show, returned later as Judy Garland performing "Almost Like Being In Love", "This Can't Be Love", "You Made Me Love You", "For Me And My Gal" and "The Trolley Song". Ms. Faris also portrayed Joan Rivers, Fran Drescher, Bette Midler performing "Great Big Knockers", and Tina Turner performing "Simply The Best" and "Proud Mary". Mr. Randy Roberts portrayed Consuelo performing "At The Copa", Mae West performing "Champagne Taste" and Cher performing "If I Could Turn Back Time" and "Shoop Shoop Song".

In his impersonations of Judy Garland and Carol Channing, Richard Skipper, unlike other impersonators, pays the highest possible tribute to these great ladies. He portrays them at their best and flatters them instead of exploiting them. Therefore, he doesn't portray Judy Garland as a pill popper and wears no smeared lipstick when portraying Carol Channing. Of the many Carol Channing impersonators I have seen, I must say that I think Richard Skipper is the best. I never get tired of visiting with Richard Skipper's Carol Channing, a friendly, lovely and talented lady. I only hope that if one day I meet the real Carol Channing, she is as I have come to know and love her through the multi-talented Richard Skipper.

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