Before the parade passes by, you’d better catch Carol Channing in Concert Starring Richard Skipper, who’s well known for ebulliently capturing the sibilant, wide-eyed wonder of one of Broadway’s platinum treasures. (Wings Theatre at 154 Christopher Street, through February 16). Rather than ask Harry Winston to tell me all about it, I contacted Skipper himself and asked three crucial questions.
Q: What is the secret to being a Carol Channing impersonator?
Skipper: I don’t like to think of myself as an “impersonator,” but rather a “tribute artist.” I approach my work from an actor’s point of view. Rather than giving a caricature or just the visual, I try to present the “entire package.” . . . I have also become good friends with Carol and have had the luxury of spending time with her. I approach Carol with the UTMOST respect and love! It is never parody and/or mean-spirited.
Q: Not to be mean-spirited, but do you think the wonderful Carol has gotten to show tremendous range in her career?
Skipper: Carol has an amazing range! If her career had not gone in the direction it did, I think she would have been a great Shavian actress. She appeared as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, she did The Millionairess.
Q: But what the hell is Skidoo? (Hint: it’s a weird little 1968 psychedelic comedy with Carol as the wife of hitman Jackie Gleason.)
Skipper: Carol refuses to acknowledge that film, so I’m going to follow suit!
Q: OK. I guess it’s a Ski-don’t. Thanks, Richard. Break a wig!