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Archive for June, 2015

Annaleigh Ashford, Bruce Vilanch & More Set for VILLAIN: DEBLANKS at Rockwell Table & Stage, 7/27

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Broadway World
Annaleigh Ashford, Bruce Vilanch & More Set for VILLAIN: DEBLANKS at Rockwell Table & Stage, 7/27
June 15, 2015

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(VERB)____ until your sides hurt on Monday, July 27 at The Rockwell Table & Stage, where Villain: DeBlanks will be performed to benefit the ASPCA.

Starring six-time Emmy-winner Bruce Vilanch (Get Bruce!, “Hollywood Squares“), stunningly prolific Missi Pyle (Gone Girl, The Artist), three-time Tony-nominee Kevin Chamberlin(Disney’s “Jessie”), Tony-winner Annaleigh Ashford (“Masters of Sex,” Kinky Boots), omni-present voice artist/actor Robin Atkin Downes (How to Train Your Dragon, “The Strain”), and Tony-winner Daisy Eagan (The Secret Garden, Sunday Brunch of Shame), proceeds will benefit the ASPCA.

A Time Out NY Critics’ Pick written by Billy Mitchell, Villain: DeBlanks is an uproarious improvisational comedy where the cast says words you put in their mouths! The audience provides nouns, adjectives, and verbs (the wilder, the better), and the actors provide the laughs—uncensored and unrehearsed—as they enact the story of Philip DeBlanks’ untimely demise. It’s “Clue” meets adult “Mad Libs,” performed by some of the funniest people in show biz. Like a ride to summer camp in the back of a station wagon, this hilarious performance will be ridiculously one-of-a-kind.

Villain: DeBlanks benefit for ASPCA will play The Rockwell Table & Stage (1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA) on Monday, July 27. Show: 8pm. Cover charge is $10.00-$25.00 and there is a 2-item minimum per person.

For tickets & information, call 323.669.2550 ext. 20, or visit: villaindeblanks.com

Bruce Vilanch Donates T-Shirts To ‘Reel to Real: Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood’

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Broadway World
Doris Roberts, Bruce Vilanch, Barry Livingston, and Many More Stars Support Opening of ‘Reel to Real’ Exhibit
June 13, 2015

4-27-2013 4-17-52 AM

The Hollywood Museum is proud to offer an exclusive new exhibition – Reel to Real: Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood – an entertaining and informative retrospective of LGBT images in film and television throughout the decades. Check out photos from the event below!

The showcase runs through July 20, coinciding with LGBT Heritage Month and Outfest LA (July 10- 20). Featured in the collection are photos, costumes, props and iconic imagery from the past and present. The exhibit provides a unique perspective on how the homosexual community has been portrayed in Hollywood from early stereotypes to modern representations. The Reel to Real exhibition is sponsored by Wells FARGO Bank and The Hollywood Reporter (Media Sponsor).

Among eclectic list of patrons who attended the the VIP reception preview of the “Reel to Real” LGBT History Month exhibit at The Hollywood Museum (Located in the Historic Max Facter Building), that opened to the public on June 12th, were Doris Roberts, Barry Livingston, Ann Walker, Morgan Brittany, Lee Purcell, Jack Betts, Kate Linder, Steve Wishnoff, Barbara Van Orden, Erin Murphy, Jerome Ro Brooks, Shelly Goldstein, Margaret O’Brien, Channing Chase, Carolyn Hennesy, Geri Jewell, Nick Verreos, Scott T. Scofield, Cynthia J. Popp, Judy Tenuta, as well as City Controller Ron Galperin, Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell and the Reverend Grace.

The Petite Flower, Love Goddess, and Princess of Pantyshields, Judy Tenuta, remarked “I love, love doing shows for my Gays. They are FLAWLESS. The most enthusiastic, and adoring fans ever to appreciate that I even have my own religion: Judyism, and they are the first to worship at my altar! IT COULD HAPPEN!”

Among those who spoke to the gathering were Emmy winner, Doris Roberts, who commented, “I was once asked if I was gay, and I said ‘No … but, I am a Russian Jew.’” CELEBRATED Producer/Director, Cynthia J. Popp, spoke of the importance and honor it is to be part of something as meaningful as the transgender storyline, currently playing out on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” while comedienne, Geri Jewell stated “Over a decade ago I decided to come out … as someone with Cerebral Palsy.” After a pause during laughter, she added “Seriously, just as I was born with Cerebral Palsy, I was also born a Lesbian. This has made me a more understanding, caring, and compassionate human being.”

Among the impressive and eclectic array of paraphernalia and memorabilia on display are items from “Modern Family,” “Orange Is The New Black,” “Life Interrupted,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Hot In Cleveland,” “Days Of Our Lives,” the controversial “K-11,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots.” Also included are items representing the considerable contributions made to entertainment by out and proud members of the industry including the sheet music for “I am What I am” by Jerry Herman and costumes from his hit productions, such as “LA Cage Aux Folles” and “Hello Dolly!,” costumes worn by noted actors such as Ramon Navarro (“Ben Hur”), Rock Hudson (“Captain Lightfoot”), Agnes Moorehead (“Bewitched”), and Nathan Lane (“Bird Cage”), Lily Tomlin’s extra large rocking chair from LaughIn and the walk of fame plaque commemorating the star she shares with her partner, Jane Wagner, and famous T-Shirts worn by comedy stars Bruce Vilanch and Geri Jewell. Of particular interest to patrons were dresses by designers, Nolan Miller, Bob Mackie and the late creator of the Best and Worst Dressed List, Mr. Blackwell and his life partner of 59 years, R. L. Spencer.

“The museum welcomes the opportunity to create and showcase this important exhibition, sharing with the public the artistic expression of the LGBT culture and its transformative impact on the world through the entertainment industry,” says Donelle Dadigan, Founder and President of The Hollywood Museum

In addition to some of his personal effects, The Roddy McDowall Powder Room contains photos and quotes supporting the LGBT community by Antonio Banderas, Kristin Chenoweth, Bette Davis, Rupert Everett, Tina Fey, Portia de Rossi, Ian McKellen, Marilyn Monroe, Daniel Radcliffe, Barbara Stanwyk, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, and Betty White, among others. A touching display features a cocktail dress belonging to Elizabeth Taylor, with quotes regarding friends and AIDS.

This and so much more are waiting to be experienced by patrons who visit the museum during the presentations limited run.

The Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building, located in the heart of Hollywood, just steps from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, houses the largest collection of entertainment memorabilia in the world. It attracts fans from around the world and has been named the #1 top tourist attraction in Hollywood by LA Weekly, and one of the “Top 10” Museums in LA by the LA Tourism and Convention Board.

Will Holt ‘Who Wrote ‘Lemon Tree,’ ‘The Me Nobody Knows,’ ‘Platinum’ Dies At 86

Friday, June 5th, 2015

New York Times
Will Holt ‘Who Wrote ‘Lemon Tree,’ ‘The Me Nobody Knows,’ ‘Platinum’ Dies At 86
June 5, 2015

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Will Holt, a songwriter whose lyrics for the 1970 musical “The Me Nobody Knows” were nominated for a Tony Award, and whose Latin-tinged folk song “Lemon Tree” became a musical signpost of the 1960s, covered by myriad artists and finding its way into advertising and the literature of the Vietnam War, died on Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 86.

The death was confirmed by his son, Courtney, who said his father had Alzheimer’s disease.

Mr. Holt spent much of his musical career creating theater projects. They included “The World of Kurt Weill in Song,” an Off Broadway revue that he conceived and performed with the Viennese soprano Martha Schlamme in a handful of different incarnations in 1963 and 1964. He also wrote a pair of one-acts, twinned under the title “That 5 A.M. Jazz,” and produced Off Broadway in 1964, starring James Coco. The first was a playlet in the form of a creation parable, the second a rhythm-and-blues musical set in a Las Vegas hotel suite. Another project Mr. Holt conceived and staged was a tribute to the theater music of Leonard Bernstein in 1965. “A Walk on the Wild Side,” a musical he wrote based on Nelson Algren’s novel of New Orleans, had its premiere in Los Angeles in 1988.

Mr. Holt’s first foray on Broadway — a 1969 musical called “Come Summer,” for which he wrote the book and lyrics — vanished quickly after unfavorable reviews. He had much better success in the 1970s, lending a significant hand to three well-received shows.

The first, “The Me Nobody Knows,” a surprise hit that began Off Broadway, was about city youngsters living in poverty and was based on essays written by New York schoolchildren. Mr. Holt’s lyrics, to a pop-rock score by Gary William Friedman that evoked both pain and hope, were all adapted from the ideas of the original child writers.

“I keep on knocking/No one is there,” Mr. Holt wrote for a plaintive chorus in “Let Me Come In,” a lyric that continues:

Windows are black, and the walls are all bare

I stand in darkness, followed by fear

Tell me I’m dreaming, tell me you’re here

Look through the window, give me some light

Tell me I’m home now, say it’s all right.

Though Mr. Holt failed to win the Tony (Stephen Sondheim did, for “Company”), the show ran on Broadway for nearly a year, first at the Helen Hayes Theater and then at the Longacre. He subsequently wrote the book for “Over Here!,” a 1974 musical about life on the home front during World War II, starring two of the Andrews Sisters, Patty and Maxene, and Ann Reinking. And in 1975, with the actress and singer Linda Hopkins, he conceived and wrote the show “Me and Bessie,” which starred Ms. Hopkins as the blues singer Bessie Smith and ran for more than 450 performances.

Mr. Holt was part of the folk-music revival of the 1950s and ’60s. His melancholy song about the passage of time, “Raspberries, Strawberries,” was a hit for the Kingston Trio. His most enduring song, “Lemon Tree,” was written in Chicago in the late 1950s for a nightclub act he was performing with Dolly Jonah, his wife at the time. The melody was adapted from a Brazilian song, “Meu Limão, Meu Limoeiro,” and it retained its samba-like lilt. Mr. Holt’s lyric tells of a father’s warning about the vicissitudes of love, invoking the title as a metaphor:

But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

Catnip for folk singers of the era (and others, subsequently), the song was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, Chad and Jeremy, the Seekers and Trini Lopez. It was appropriated for a television commercial for Pledge, a lemon-scented wood furniture cleaner. And much later, in 1990, in Tim O’Brien’s celebrated novel about the Vietnam War, “The Things They Carried,” one passage testified to the song as an emblem of that era. The narrator recalls a soldier named Lemon, who had stepped on a booby trap and was blown to bits, his remains sprayed onto nearby branches.

“The parts were just hanging there,” Mr. O’Brien wrote, “so Dave Jensen and I were ordered to shinny up and peel him off.”

“The gore was horrible and stays with me,” he continued. “But what wakes me up 20 years later is Dave Jensen singing ‘Lemon Tree’ as we threw down the parts.”

Will Holt — that was his full name — was born in Portland, Me., on April 30, 1929. His father, William, was a doctor. His mother, the former Marjorie Scribner, who played the piano, was the musician in the family.

He attended Phillips-Exeter Academy and Williams College and studied with the folk singer and voice teacher Richard Dyer-Bennet. After traveling for a time in Europe — he found work in a Helsinki nightclub singing cowboy songs — he served in the Air Force. For much of the 1950s he performed in clubs in St. Louis, Las Vegas, New York and elsewhere.

Mr. Holt’s later stage projects included three shows with short Broadway lives: “Music Is,” a 1976 musical adaptation of “Twelfth Night,” for which he wrote the lyrics in a collaboration with the director and book writer George Abbott and the composer Richard Adler; a 1978 musical, “Platinum,” starring Alexis Smith as a film star of the ’40s and ’50s attempting a comeback as a rock singer, for which he wrote the lyrics and, with Bruce Vilanch, the book; and “A Kurt Weill Cabaret” (1979), in which he performed and also translated some of the lyrics.

Ms. Jonah, an actress, died in 1983. In addition to his son, Mr. Holt is survived by his second wife, Dion Alden, and two grandchildren.

Bruce Vilanch makes a cameo in the season finale of “Child Of The 70″

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Bruce Vilanch makes a cameo in the season finale of “Child Of The 70” – “THIS USED TO BE A HELL OF A TOWN” Child of the ‘70s 3.6 Season Finale