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Archive for the ‘Cabaret’ Category

Bruce Vilanch To Host Upright Cabaret’s 9th Annual A Broadway Christmas

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Broadway World
Upright Cabaret Presents 9th Annual A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS, 12/17-18
December 7, 2014

4-27-2013 4-03-03 AM

Chris Isaacson Presents in association with Ryan O’Connor has announced Upright Cabaret’s 9th Annual A Broadway Christmas. Hosted by six-time Emmy Awardwinner Bruce Vilanch with musical direction by Gregory Nabours, there will be two performances only on Wednesday, December 17 and Thursday, December 18 at 8:30pm at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Brandon Wardell, with more to be announced.

Under boughs of holly and multi-media of silver and gold, stars and snowflakes will glitter as Upright Cabaret combines the Best of Broadway with the Carols of Christmas. Along with the extraordinary vocal talent of the performers, brassy horns and sentimental strings will create a wonderland of cheerful songs and melodies guaranteed to bring on the holiday spirit.

Host Bruce Vilanch is best known for his work as a writer on 23 Oscar telecasts. He spent six years on The Hollywood Squares and played Edna Turnblad in Hairspray on Broadway an on tour across the U.S. Musical director Gregory Nabours is a composer/lyricist and music director who recently had an evening of his original work performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He is a founding member of the Coeurage Theatre Company and is the winner of two Ovation Awards, and LA Drama Critics Circle Award, an LA Weekly Award, and the NAACP Theatre Award.

Upright Cabaret’s 9th Annual A Broadway Christmas will take place at the Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Boulevard, in Hollywood. Tickets are $25 and $30 with a $5 discount on purchases made by December 10. VIP packages are available, and tickets purchased online receive priority seating. Single entrée or drink minimums apply. Go to or or call (866) 468-3399.

Chris Isaacson Presents is currently nominated for four Awards for its presentation of concerts this past year starring Laura Benanti, Danny Gurwin, Jeremy Jordan, and Jennifer Holliday. For more information about this and other CIP events including evenings with Mandy Gonzalez and Molly Ringwald coming up in 2015, visit

Kritzerland to Celebrate 4th Anniversary with Special Guests Kerry O’Malley and Bruce Vilanch, 9/7

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Broadway World
Kritzerland to Celebrate 4th Anniversary with Special Guests Kerry O’Malley and Bruce Vilanch, 9/7
August 14 2014

4-27-2013 3-55-20 AM

Kritzerland at Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal presents its fourth anniversary show—THE SONGS THAT GOT AWAY III —on Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Evan Buckley Harris (Li’L Abner, (Abner) LACC; Memphis (Huey); Grease 40th Anniversary (Kenickie); South Pacific (Lt. Cable).

Kimberly Hessler (La Mirada/McCoy-Rigby, Les Miserables (Cosette); El Portal Spelling Bee (Olive); Most Happy Fella (Rosabella).

Travis Leland (Norman Rockwell’s America, Freedom Machine, Justin Love, The Giver, Fly By Night, Adding Machine: A Musical.)

Bruce Merkle (McCoy-Rigby, Les Miserables; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; Rules of Engagement, How I Met Your Mother.)

Hadley Miller (National: Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan; Tiny Tim; A Christmas Carol, South Coast Rep,

Madison Claire Parks (Oklahoma! (Laurey), Musical Theatre West; Phantom of the Opera (Christine); Lil Abner (Daisy Mae).

Jenna Lea Rosen (Disney’s Sofia the First (Shelly, Singing Voice of Clio & Hildegard), Parade 3DT (Monteen, Ovation Award.)

Sami Staitman (Annie, Annie, Pioneer, Utah;Young Cosette,Les Mise?rables;Singing in the Rain, Cabrillo; L’il Abner. TV: House of Lies)

Adrienne Visnic (BFA Acting USC, The Most Happy Fella (Cleo), USC Outstanding Actress, LA’s Next Great Stage Star Finalist)

Robert Yacko (Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof; Company with Carol Burnett; Sunday in the Park; Ovation Award, Parade)

Kerry O’Malley (Broadway/Off-Broadway: White Christmas; On A Clear Day; Billy Elliot; Into The Woods; Annie Get Your Gun; Promises, Promises (Encores!); Finian’s Rainbow; How I Learned to Drive; Dublin Carol. TV and film: Upcoming: Terminator: Genesis; Case 39; Earth to Echo; Those Who Kill; Masters of Sex; Shameless; Brotherhood; Boardwalk Empire.)

Bruce Vilanch (Primarily known as writer for a variety of celebrities, including Bette MidlerLily TomlinBilly Crystal, and many more, he went to write for the Academy Awards, and scored acting roles in the film Mahogany, Bosom Buddies, Law & Order, his own one-man show, and starred on Broadway as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray after playing the role for two years in the show’s first national stage tour.)

Music DirectorJohn Boswell

For our 49th Kritzerland show, we celebrate our four-year anniversary of doing monthly shows. We began in September 2010 at the Gardenia. We moved to Michael Sterling’s room at Vitello’s for only three months, before finding our new home here at Kritzerland at Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal. As with our past three anniversary shows, this one is a potpourri – no theme other than the songs have been recorded by producer Bruce Kimmel on various albums that we haven’t gotten to yet or songs we weren’t able to include because of time. But it’s also the ten-year anniversary of Bruce Kimmel’s hit musical revue, What If, so we’re celebrating that, too, by doing a few of its parody numbers. We’ve assembled an amazing cast, and have two great guest stars – Kerry O’Malley and the wonderful Bruce Vilanch. It will be an evening of wonderful songs, lots of humor and fantastic performances. As with our past anniversary shows, as our gift to our loyal and incredible audiences, this show will have no cover charge. These anniversary shows sell out in about ten minutes so don’t delay because when they’re sold out they’re sold out, although we will be taking a waiting list and usually we have no-shows and the waiting list usually does get in.

This show is likely to be jam-packed. We recommend early reservations. Don’t wait until the last minute!

The only way to reserve: 818-754-8700. Your phone reservation will be confirmed (usually a few days before the show). Dinner reservations: DOORS OPEN 5:30pm. SHOW STARTS 7:00pm! Reservations have already started coming in, and are highly recommended. FOR THIS SHOW ONLY: NO COVER CHARGE! $10 food minimum + $4 facility charge. Yes! You can eat dinner and see the show for only about $15!

Sterling’s at The Federal is located at 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. The Federal Bar is adjacent to the El Portal Theatre. The North Hollywood Stations for the Metrolink Red Line and Orange Line are directly across the street, north of Chandler on Lankershim. Parking is available—entrance for Federal lot
is on Weddington Street (directly behind the building) at $3.50. There is also available street parking.

For information about Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal, visit:

Bruce Vilanch’s Big Gay Comedy Show Lands in San Francisco

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Bruce Vilanch’s Big Gay Comedy Show Lands in San Francisco
By Corey Andrew | Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014 | Updated 4:03 PM PDT

4-27-2013 3-51-51 AM

We got Bruce!

Vilanch, that is. One of the most celebrated joke writers in the business has descended on San Francisco to mine local news nuggets, gobs of gossip and salacious stories to share on the Marines Memorial Theater stage at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 13, for the Big Gay Comedy Show, a benefit for Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.

“It will be a lot of comedy with a couple of cabaret performers thrown in, but they’re funny: Shawn Ryan and Jason Brock. San Francisco is such a uniquely comic town. You get really political comics like Marga Gomez, and then you get really artistic people,” Vilanch said.

Big Gay Comedy Show will also feature B.O.O.B.s, Leanne Borghesi, Shann Carr, Cassandra Cass, Ali Mafi, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy and Kitty Tapata.

The red bespectacled, wacky T-shirt adorned Vilanch is currently “casing the joint” to gather up-to-the-minute material for his portion of the show.

“I have a week to get to know all of that, which is more than usual. I will probably tell stories. That’s what I do,” he said.

After more than four decades in the business—writing for every conceivable awards show including a bunch of Oscars—Vilanch has more celeb, behind-the-scenes tales than Kathy Griffin. His “almost famous” life is chronicled in the documentary “Get Bruce,” which is now streaming on Netflix.

But while he’s made a sweet living writing funny lines for other performers to say on stage,

ilanch’s passion is performing. He’s probably best known for his years on “Hollywood Squares” and for performing in drag as Edna Turnblad in the Broadway and touring productions of “Hairspray.”

“I’ve been looking for the kind of stuff to do that Nathan Lane always gets to do because he’s the master of it right now,” Vilanch said. “The singing and dancing fat guys is what I would love to do. More acting. Playing a woman is one thing, but to get them to accept me as a straight man will be even more interesting.”

Vilanch is getting his chance with 42nd Street Moon’s revival of the Cole Porter musical, “Du Barry Was a Lady,” in which he plays a swanky nightclub men’s room attendant who wins the lottery, gets slipped a Mickey Finn and thinks he’s King Louis XV. Burt Lahr originated the role in 1939.

“Since I’ve been compared to the Cowardly Lion in looks alone, I thought it was time I brought one of Burt Lahr’s other roles out of the closet and see what I could do with it,” Vilanch said. “He was so brilliantly funny. I was a huge fan of his.”

The musical runs at the Eureka Theater April 30 to May 18.

“It’s lyrically wonderful. The stuff that I get to sing is all comic patter. The most famous is ‘Friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship!” That was written for him and Ethel Merman. People think it was written for Lucy and Ethel, because ‘I Love Lucy’ did it a couple of times,” Vilanch said.

 With Disney now in control of the future of “Star Wars,” one of Vilanch’s old projects might see the light of day. He was a writer on the much-maligned “Star Wars Holiday Special” that aired one time only in November 1978.

“Oh, my God, I have the script. I save the script to everything. Occasionally, I will go back and look at that thing and say, ‘Oh, my God, we actually did this. We really did this.’ I think there was a prop I took. I think I got a mug from the cantina on the planet Tatooine, where the aliens and Bea Arthur had a big number,” Vilanch said.

Tickets for Big Gay Comedy Show are available by calling (415) 273-1620 or online For more information on “Du Barry Was a Lady,”

Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. He recently published the book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.” Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family several years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them to or follow him at

Bruce Vilanch To Play Feinstein’s at the Nikko July 18, 2013

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Bruce Vilanch, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Donna McKechnie Among Feinstein’s at the Nikko Cabaret Series
By Michael Gioia
10 Jul 2013



Actor and comedian Bruce Vilanch and Tony Award-nominated composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have been added to the lineup of the new Feinstein’s at the Nikko cabaret series at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco.

Vilanch, who has been seen on Broadway in Hairspray, will perform July 18 at 8 PM, and Pasek and Paul, Tony-nominated for Broadway’s A Christmas Story, will perform July 19 at 8 PM and July 20 at 7 PM.

Other performers at Feinstein’s at the Nikko include Nicole Henry (July 12 at 8 PM, July 13 at 7 PM), Emily Bergl (July 25 at 8 PM, July 26 at 8 PM and July 27 at 7 PM), Christine Andreas (Aug. 1 at 8 PM, Aug. 2 at 8 PM and Aug. 3 at 7 PM), Ariana Savalas (Aug. 8 at 8 PM), Missi Pyle (Aug. 9 at 8 PM, Aug. 10 at 7 PM), Donna McKechnie (Aug. 16 at 8 PM, Aug. 17 at 7 PM), Andrea McArdle (Aug. 23 at 8 PM, Aug. 24 at 7 PM), Christine Ebersole (Sept. 5 at 8 PM, Sept. 6 at 8 PM, Sept. 7 at 7 PM), Jack Jones (Sept. 19 at 8 PM, Sept. 20 at 8 PM, Sept 21 at 7 PM) and Tommy Tune (Sept. 26 at 8 PM, Sept. 27 at 8 PM and Sept. 28 at 7 PM).

Bruce Vilanch and Pasek & Paul Set for Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 7/18-20

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Broadway World
Bruce Vilanch and Pasek & Paul Set for Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 7/18-20
July 3, 2013

4-27-2013 4-21-28 AM

Hotel Nikko San Francisco and Michael Feinstein have announced two upcoming performers at the all-new Feinstein’s at the Nikko—actor and comedian Bruce Vilanch and Tony Award nominated composers Pasek and Paul. Located within Hotel Nikko (222 Mason Street, San Francisco), Feinstein’s at the Nikko will present a wide range of entertainers all within an intimate 140-seat cabaret setting. Bruce Vilanch will perform for one-night-only on Thursday, July 18th at 8 p.m. Pasek and Paul will perform two performances only – Friday, July 19 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 20 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for Bruce Vilanch ($30-$40) and Pasek and Paul ($30-$50) are on-sale now and available by calling 866.663.1063 or visiting

Currently celebrating his fifteenth year as Lindsay Lohan’s sobriety coach, Bruce Vilanch is checking in at Feinstein’s at The Nikko for one night only, to dispatch more updates on his bizarre career behind, before, and squatting over the footlights. A Hairspray star, a Hollywood Square, and the latest success story on Christian Mingle, (who just hooked him up with a guy who used to be Pope), Bruce has more than a few stories to tell.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the Tony-nominated songwriters of the Broadway musical A Christmas Story, which opened in November 2012 and enjoyed a critically-acclaimed, record-breaking run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. In addition to the Best Score nomination, A Christmas Story also received Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Book. The holiday musical was named one of the Top 10 Shows of 2012 by Time Magazine, shared recognition as the #1 Musical of 2012 in USA Today and received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Outstanding New Broadway Musical. Benj and Justin’s score for the show also received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Music.

Benj & Justin are also the composers behind the Off-Broadway musical Dogfight, a Best New Musical nominee for the Drama League, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle awards. Benj and Justin also received an Outer Critics Circle Best Score nomination for their work on the show. Dogfight premiered in July 2012 at Second Stage Theatre, and a cast album, produced by Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, was released in May 2013. The album debuted in the top 50 albums on iTunes.

As television songwriters, their original songs were featured on Season 2 of NBC’s “Smash,” and have risen to the Top 25 on the iTunes Pop Charts.

The duo made their debut as songwriters with their widely-acclaimed song cycle Edges, which is licensed by Music Theatre International and has had hundreds of productions worldwide, including South Korea, Australia, China, South Africa, Singapore, France, the Philippines, Denmark and more. Other theatrical works include James & the Giant Peach, Duck for President and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. Their other musical work for TV can be seen on “Sesame Street” and “Johnny & the Sprites” (Disney TV series). Performances of their songs have been featured on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “The View,” “Good Morning America,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “VH1 Morning Buzz,” “The Rosie Show,” “Fox & Friends,” and more.

Benj & Justin are the recipients of the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2011 Sundance Institute Fellowship, the 2011 ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, the 2011 ASCAP Songwriters Fellowship Award, and a 2007-2008 Dramatists Guild Fellowship. They are the youngest recipients of the Jonathan Larson Award (2007) in the foundation’s history. They have participated in ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project and were named one of Dramatist Magazine’s “50 to Watch” in Contemporary Theatre.

As performers, Benj & Justin have traveled throughout North America, Europe & Australia performing concerts of their work. They also teach master classes in songwriting and theatre performance at universities around the world. They are proud graduates of the University of Michigan BFA Musical Theatre program and members of the Dramatists Guild of America. They are currently at work on a new original musical with playwright Steven Levenson and director Michael Greif.

There is a $20 food and beverage minimum per person inside the showroom which guests can use towards cocktails as well as a variety of small plates crafted exclusively for Feinstein’s at the Nikko by Executive Chef Philippe Striffeler, through Restaurant Anzu. Cheese and dessert platters will also be available in the showroom. All seating at Feinstein’s at the Nikko is cabaret style and available on a first-come, first-served basis within the section purchased. Guests who purchase the prix-fixe dinner at Restaurant Anzu will receive a complimentary section upgrade (subject to availability) and get to choose their exact seat locations within the upgraded section.

Guests of Feinstein’s at the Nikko can enjoy a variety of food and beverage options before performances. Kanpai Lounge, located in Hotel Nikko’s lobby, offers light cuisine, a full bar and specialty cocktails. Restaurant Anzu, Hotel Nikko’s intimate restaurant located on the second floor, serves sustainable California cuisine enhanced with Asian flavors. Restaurant Anzu will also offer Feinstein’s at the Nikko guests a special three-course prix-fixe dinner ($45 per person) prior to all performances. Reservations can be made by calling (415) 394-1100.

Other upcoming performers at Feinstein’s at the Nikko include:


Friday, July 12 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, July 13 at 7 p.m.


Thursday, July 25 at 8 p.m., Friday, July 26 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, July 27 at 7 p.m.


Thursday, August 1 at 8 p.m., Friday, August 2 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, August 3 at 7 p.m.


Thursday, August 8 at 8 p.m.


Friday, August 9 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, August 10 at 7 p.m.


Friday, August 16 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, August 17 at 7 p.m.


Friday, August 23 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, August 24 at 7 p.m.


Thursday, September 5 at 8 p.m., Friday, September 6 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, September 7 at 7 p.m.


Thursday, September 19 at 8 p.m., Friday, September 20 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, September 21 at 7 p.m.


Thursday, September 26 at 8 p.m., Friday, September 27 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, September 28 at 7 p.m.

Michael Musto Reviews Bruce Vilanch At 54 Below

Monday, June 17th, 2013
Musto on Bruce Vilanch’s Cher Dish, Lady Bunny’s Sex Life, and a Gay Club In Crisis

4-27-2013 3-58-43 AM

“I worked with Sonny and Cher, Sonny without Cher, Cher without Sonny, Chastity with a dick, Chastity without a dick….” said funny man Bruce Vilanch at the top of his 54 Below show. “For years, Cher thought I was Chastity.

“The last time I saw Cher,” he went on, “she said, ‘Vilanch, you fat fuck. You still in the business?’ I looked at her and said, ‘I like this face. Keep this one!’”

Vilanch—who’s written 23 Oscar shows and is also remembered for filling Hollywood Squares with rimshots—was wearing hot pink glasses over his own amazing features while also sporting a T-shirt that said “I Dumped Adele.” The fat fuck admitted that he was writer number seven (out of nine hard-working scribes) on the immortal film epic Burlesque, the one that gave poles a bad name. “Can you imagine it took nine of us to put that piece of shit together?” he intoned. And nine more people to see it, I guess!

But the roly-poly riot was more interested in making light of other people’s degradations. He related a story he’d heard about how Joan Crawford once peed on David Niven from above, while waving just to make sure he knew who she was. (I had no idea so many Oscar winners went to the Mine Shaft, lol!)

And Bruce also shared some horrors he’d witnessed personally, like:

*Bea Arthur accidentally slapping a wookie in the genital-looking face during the filming of the Star Wars Holiday Special and ad libbing, “I’ve never hit a man in the cunt before!”

*George Burns watching Pia Zadora in concert and moaning, “This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” “And he was 100,” reminded Vilanch.

*Mario Lopez being ditzy at a teen pageant Vilanch wrote. (“I’d dimple fuck him, but he’s not terribly bright up there.”)

*And when one of the beauty contestants messed up that night, cracked Vilanch, “Whitney Houston—who was alive at the time—called me and said, ‘I no longer believe the children are our future.’” With that, I almost got whiplash spinning my head around to look at Clive Davis’s reaction in the next booth, but his face didn’t move! Maybe it couldn’t. Still, I like it. He should keep this one.