Nelson Aspen Thrills at Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Show, With Special Guest Anita Gillette

Nelson Aspen and Anita Gillette at Don't Tell Mama on October 2, 2015.
Photo courtesy of Nelson Aspen
International entertainment reporter Nelson Aspen performed at Don't Tell Mama in New York City on Friday night for the first time in nearly 30 years. He brought back the music director from his '80s show, Gerry Dieffenbach, and created a fantastic night of music, comedy and showbiz scoops.

From his performances of everything from "Herb the Verb" and "Rhode Island Is Famous For You" to "I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together" and "Love Is All Around" (Theme Song from The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Aspen packed the evening with pop culture references that made the crowd cheer with laughter and joy. The audience absolutely loved singing along to "Three's Company, Too"!

Aspen's special guest was the Tony nominated Anita Gillette (Mona the mistress in Moonstruck, Tina Fey's mother in 30 Rock et al). Three decades after they met working on Search for Tomorrow, Aspen brought Gillette on stage for a story about working with Ethel Merman in "Gypsy" on Broadway, and a showstopping number that proved why she's the best cabaret performer in New York. Note: Gillette will next play Nick Offerman's mother in a Huntington Theatre Company production of "A Confederacy of Dunces" in Boston.

One of the packed room's favorite moments was when Aspen sang "You Take Me Away (to Another World)," with Dieffenbach playing Crystal Gayle to his Gary Morris during the chorus of the Another World theme song. It received extra loud cheers from the large assemblage of former Another World staffers who reunited to attend the show.

Throughout the night, Aspen shared stories about his life, including his first stage production at age 8, working in soap operas, launching his morning show career, and kissing a lot of frogs to find a prince. There were beautiful songs, lots of laughs, and an audience-challenge game called "Two Degrees of Nelson Aspen." No one could stump the Hollywood Insider!

It felt like being at a really fun party with a group of good friends. I can't recommend this show enough if you're looking for a fun evening in New York City. More familiar faces from the worlds of TV, film and theatre will be turning up in the coming shows.

Guiding Light stars Lezlie Dalton and Denise Pence with
Nelson Aspen at Don't Tell Mama on October 2.
Photo courtesy of Denise Pence.
The audience was jam-packed with friends and fans, many of whom are familiar faces from the world of daytime drama. Spotted in the crowd were Emmy winner Louise Shaffer (Rae on Ryan's Hope; Serena/Jose on The Edge of Night et al); Marcia McCabe (Sunny on Search for Tomorrow; Alicia Grande on One Life to Live et al) and her daughter, Yvonne Goutman; Colleen Zenk (Barbara on As the World Turns); P&G publicist Lee Fryd; Denise Pence (Katie on Guiding Light); Lezlie Dalton (Elizabeth on Guiding Light); Randy Lein and Marie Brossard (casting directors at The Edge of Night, Another World, One Life to Live and Search for Tomorrow); Michele DeVito (Assistant to the Executive Producer at Another World and As the World Turns), Meg Beliveau (associate producer and later supervising producer at Another World); Janet Iacobuzio (Emmy winner writer at Days of our Lives, One Life to Live et al); and Marge Doherty (Assistant to the Producer at Another World).

If you missed Aspen's first show at Don't Tell Mama, there are two more chances to attend. He will be performing on October 9th and 16th, and there are a few seats left. Call (212) 757-0788 (after 4 p.m. daily) or visit to reserve a seat. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. performance.

- Melanie Mitchell In as Guest Star for Nelson Aspen's October 9 NYC Performance
- Karen Jacobsen to Join Nelson Aspen at October 16 Cabaret Show

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