Richard Skipper & Dana Lorge

Wednesday Night at The Iguana

Iguana Restaurant
New York, NY
Entertainment with a capital E!

Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge, resplendent in shocking pink, sequins and oversized pearls, are as dynamic a hosting duo as you’re likely to find anywhere in the Big Apple. They have infused new life into Joan Crowe's initial and well-conceived efforts to create a new venue for the so-called “variety show” brand of family–friendly live entertainment. The evening is called Wednesday Night at The Iguana and the excitement is building in the VIP Lounge on 54th Street.

Using Wednesday night, August 5th, to celebrate Skipper’s thirty years of performing in NY, Lorge joked, “After thirty years, he’s a household name, unfortunately only in his own household!” Skipper, in truth, is well known around the country for his brilliant impersonation of the legendary Carol Channing, and that prompted the very quick and funny Ms. Lorge to quip, “Carol Channing is now imitating him!”

From there, the evening was off and running! Barry Levitt on piano and Morrie Louden on bass insured the show’s success by providing solid accompaniment for the nearly 20 singers who took to the stage. Sandi Durell, wearing another one of her many hats, producer, critic and yes, polished performer, started off with a very impressive medley of Jerry Herman’s “Just Go to the Movies,” Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek,” and Ann Hampton Callaway’s homage to the great Fred Astaire, entitled “Astaire.” She set the tone for the generally high quality of performances that followed.

Like two swirls of cotton candy whirling through the room, show people extraordinaire Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge continued presenting a roster of eager and talented featured singers. Among the comedic standouts were Bobbie Horowitz with two clever, original songs—“Shows to Go Ya!" and “Never a Freshman Again,” Sarah Rice with “When I Was a Little Cukoo!” and hostess Lorge’s own rendition of “I Was Beautiful!” Skipper also sang Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields’ “It’s Not Where You Start” to a charmed and enthusiastic audience.

Deb Berman and Brent Winborn proved why they’ve been getting lots of attention around town with lovely singing on “Beautiful Love” and “On the Street Where You Live” respectively.

There are still some “kinks” to work out but overall it was an evening of spontaneous fun, laughs, good food and affordable entertainment! You absolutely do not want to miss the next one!

Wednesday NIght at The Iguana is an on-going series. Check for updates.

Lynn DiMenna
Cabaret Scenes
August 5, 2009