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Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Vilanch’

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 Appear On RuPaul’s Drag Race April 7th 2014

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014


Pro tip, hunties: It’s not very elegant for a lady to spit… unless she’s spitting beats, that is.
On the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, airing Monday night at 9 p.m. ET on Logo, the queens are tasked with reading while rapping, and they have some serious guest judges to impress. In an exclusive clip below, hip-hop divas Eve and Trina see one team of queens — including Adore Delano, whose experience under the American Idol spotlight fails her when it really counts — werk their way through the beat-dropping challenge.

But that’s not all! EW can exclusive reveal that Drag Race will be “Rupersized” on April 7, airing back-to-back episodes. Leah Remini and My Big Fat Greek Wedding‘s Lainie Kazan will guest-judge during the first episode of the night (starting at 9 p.m. ET), and the second hour will see panel appearances by Jaime Pressly and Bruce Vilanch. As they say, double the pleasure, double the tuck!

Bruce Vilanch To Receive Icon Award April 26

Friday, March 28th, 2014

White Party announces firstIcon Award winners
Dave Nyczepir, The Desert Sun 1:54 p.m. PDT March 27, 2014

4-27-2013 3-54-35 AM

PALM SPRINGS – White Party Palm Springs will recognize people whose achievements “embody the spirit” of the gay dance music festival with the first Icon Awards at this year’s 25th anniversary celebration.

The festival is April 25-28, with the awards bestowed April 26.

Among the 28 recipients are singer Cher in the artist category, songwriter Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish in the philanthropist category, actor Bruce Vilanch in the activist category, and BRAVO TV personality Andy Cohen in the pioneer category.

“We are thrilled to present our special Icon Awards to individuals who have exemplified White Party’s defining principles of unity and celebration, commitment to excellence and leading edge creativity,” Jeffrey Sanker, founder and producer, said in a statement. “I look forward to presenting those attending recipients their awards on the White Carpet.”

About a third of the honorees have tentatively committed to attending, according to organizers. Sanker promised elaborate video displays, Bent Collective’s live DJ performance debut, and that SiriusXM would broadcast live from the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Conceptual photographer Duke Shoman will create photographic tableaus throughout the weekend as part of a fundraising auction effort to benefit Desert AIDS project.

Uber, a ride-hailing service through your phone, will serve as the official transportation, with stations set up throughout the festival.


Icon Award recipients


Carmen Electra — artist, activist

Cher — pioneer for LGBT community, activist

Jai Rodriguez — actor, activist

Kathy Griffin — comedian, philanthropist, activist

Lady Gaga —pioneer for LGBT community, philanthropist, activist

Lance Bass — actor, activist


Aaron Walton — philanthropist, activist

Bryan Singer — director, activist

David Cooley — founder of Abbey, philanthropist

Fred Arens and Jason Duguay — philanthropists, activists

Roland Emmerich — director, philanthropist

Sir Elton John and David Furnish — philanthropists, activists


Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley — NoH8 Campaign, activists

Bruce Vilanch — actor, writer, activist

Lisa Vanderpump — reality star, activist

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo — Prop 8 activists

Ron Oden — Former Palm Springs mayor, activist

Ronnie Kroell — activist

Todd Saporito — philanthropist, activist


Andy Cohen — BRAVO TV personality, activist

Candis Cayne — pioneer of LGBT community, activist

David Stern — former publisher of Frontiers, activist

DJ Abel Aguilera — deejay, activist

Reza Farahan — BRAVO TV personality, pioneer of LGBT community

Bruce Vilanch and More Set for THE BIG GAY COMEDY SHOW to Benefit REAF, 4/13

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Broadway World
Bruce Vilanch and More Set for THE BIG GAY COMEDY SHOW to Benefit REAF, 4/13
March 11, 2014

4-27-2013 3-29-19 AM

Philanthropy and stellar entertainment take center stage as the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation presents a special one-night-only benefit cabaret to raise funds to support local AIDS services. Don’t miss this evening of outrageous stand-up and musical comedy.

The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation (REAF) presents a special One Night Only benefit show THE BIG GAY COMEDY SHOW- featuring Bruce Vilanch (Comedian & B’way. star),Marga Gomez, Shann Carr, Ali Mafi, Kitty Tapata, Shawn Ryan, Katya Smirnoff-Sky, B.O.OB.S! Sunday, April 13, 2014 – 7:30 pm.

At the Marines’ Memorial Theater – 609 Sutter St. (at Mason St.) San Francisco 94102. Tickets for this “One Night Only Cabaret” are: $75/VIP Orchestra – Performance & dessert party with cast. $50 Side Orchestra & Dress Circle $35/balcony. (VIP orchestra tix include wine & dessert party with the cast in theater lobby after show.) Tickets are available by phone by calling 415-273-1620 or online

The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation has worked with over 35 touring casts to date to produce “One Night Only Cabaret” events. To date, REAF has distributed well over $3 million to AIDS service agencies.

Bruce Vilanch Headlines “Hollywood Dine and Dish: The Tinseltown Stories You Haven’t Heard,” on Nov. 15.

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Palm Springs Life
Jackie Collins, Michael Childers, Bruce Vilanch Headline AIDS Benefit
Trio bring star power, will dish Hollywood secrets at Nov. 15 event
Oct 7, 2013

4-27-2013 4-00-03 AM

New York Times bestselling author Jackie Collins, award winning photographer of the stars Michael Childers, and comedy writer Bruce Vilanch (pictured left) are joining forces to co-host “Hollywood Dine and Dish: The Tinseltown Stories You Haven’t Heard,” on Nov. 15.

This evening benefits the AIDS Assistance Program (AAP) in Palm Springs, and will include hors d’oeuvres, drinks and dinner courtesy of Brad and Lynne Toles of Savoury’s Catering. The event will take place in Rancho Mirage at the Waterford estate of Bob Deville and Bob Bennion, co-owners of Windermere Real Estate Southern California.

Proceeds from each ticket purchased will go directly to AAP, according to Executive Director Mark Anton.

Tickets are available for $1,000 per person or $1,500 per couple. The cost is tax deductible. Remaining seats may also be purchased during the live auction at the “Evening Under the Stars” gala featuring Cyndi Lauper on May 11. To attend the event, call Anton at (760) 325-8481.

Collins has been called a “raunchy moralist” by the late director Louis Malle and dubbed “Hollywood’s own Marcel Proust” by Vanity Fair magazine. With more than 500 million copies of her books sold in more than 40 countries, Collins is one of the world’s top-selling novelists.

Childers is one of the entertainment industry’s most renowned and highly respected portrait, fashion and art photographers who began his career in the 1960s and continues to influence the world of art photography today. He has been instrumental in capturing the beauty and magnetism of such explosive young stars as Mel Gibson, Demi Moore, Richard Gere, John Travolta, Sissy Spacek and Michelle Pfeiffer, Rock Hudson, Natalie Wood, and Elton John.

Vilanch is a two-faced fella: Bearded, he is one of the most sought-after comedy writers in Hollywood, winner of a bunch of Emmys, and noted as the “Hollywood Square” just to the left of Whoopi Goldberg. Shaved, he spent two years as Edna Turnblad, Baltimore housewife and superstar, on tour and on Broadway, in the smash musical adaptation of the John Waters film, Hairspray.

In addition to Hairspray, he has appeared in Ice Pirates, Mahogany, and The Morning After. A frequent guest on talk shows, Vilanch won his Emmys for co-writing back-to-back Oscar shows with Billy Crystal. He was also nominated for an Emmy as a lyricist on Eartha Kitt’s gold-selling album, “Where Is My Man”.

For more information about AAP, visit

Ray Romano Hosts IMF 7th Annual Comedy Celebration on 11/9 in Los Angeles

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Broadway World
Ray Romano Hosts IMF 7th Annual Comedy Celebration Featuring David Crosby on 11/9 in Los Angeles
September 27


For the seventh year, actor Ray Romano will host a memorable night of comedy. This year’s performers are Deon Cole, Jeff Garlin, Jackie Hoffman, Dom Irrera, Bruce Vilanch, with aspecial musical performance by the legendary David Crosby. This year’s Honorary Chairs are Julie Chen and Leslie Moonves, along with Chair Loraine Boyle and Vice Chair Amy Weiss. Additional guests to be announced.

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) will hold its 7th Annual Comedy Celebration at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre & Club benefiting the Peter Boyle Research Fund and supporting the Black Swan Research Initiative (BSRI). Renowned actor Peter Boyle died in late 2006 after a four year battle with myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow and one of the fastest growing blood cancers in the world. Through laughter, the event honors Boyle and raises money for research to find a cure. More than $3 million has been raised thus far for the Peter Boyle Research Fund because of this annual event.

The Peter Boyle Research Fund has supported the International Myeloma Foundation’s research since the Fund’s inception in 2007. This year, the Fund is turning its focus to the groundbreaking Black Swan Research Initiative. Understanding that the search for a cure for multiple myeloma demands constant innovation, the IMF has launched the Black Swan Research Initiative, a unique project to develop the first definitive cure for myeloma. Led by a multinational consortium of leading myeloma experts, BSRI seeks to bridge the gap from long-term remission to a cure.

The International Myeloma Foundation 7th Annual Comedy Celebration will be presented by Celgene, Millennium: the Takeda Oncology Company and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

WHEN: Saturday, November 9, 2013

6:00pm Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction

8:00pm Comedy Show

10:00pm VIP Cast Party & Dessert Reception

WHERE: The Wilshire Ebell Theatre & Club

743 South Lucerne Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90005

TICKETS: VIP Admission: $700 per person

Includes: VIP seating at the show as well as entrance to the pre-show cocktail party, silent auction, and post-show VIP reception.

General Admission: $400 per person

Includes: Preferred seating at the show as well as entrance to the pre-show cocktail party and silent auction.

Show Only: $100 per person

Includes: Admission to the show only. Seating is assigned based on date of ticket purchase.

To purchase tickets and for more information please visit