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Archive for the ‘Benefits’ Category

SAGE honors Vilanch, Jewel Thais-Williams in L.A.

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Washington Blade
SAGE honors Vilanch, Jewel Thais-Williams in L.A.
March 10, 2017 at 11:38 am EDT | by Karen Ocamb

Bruce_Vilanch_and_Jewel_Thais-Williams_insert

LOS ANGELES — The fundraiser for SAGE USA March 4 in the Hollywood Hills felt like a reunion, a coming together of a generation of LGBT people with shared memories and a desire to confront aging, an issue, SAGE Board Development chair Bill Weinberger said, he heretofore had avoided thinking about. Honorees Jewel Thais-Williams and Bruce Vilanch, however, exemplify how LGBT people can age as respected elders with grace, continued activism, and humor.


Weinberger introduced Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, whom he has known since the early 1980s. Shortly after, Wilson discovered he was HIV positive. He noted that while “many of us were dealing with whether we would survive or not, SAGE has always believed we would.” Wilson shared how Thais-Williams bravely opened Jewel’s Catch One Disco as a refuge for LGBT people desperate for a place where they could be themselves.


“Jewel has been a leader, a hero, and a visionary and an advocate for a long, long time,” Wilson said. “Jewel was one of those ‘bridge’ people,” linking the LGBT African-American community to organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and her alma mater, UCLA. You always speak up, whether you’re afraid or not.”


Thais-Williams joked that she was honored to be honored, having spent the last 42 years at Catch One “partying,” adding that she will turn 78 in a couple of months. “To be of service to my community has been a great joy,” she said. “But there is still a lot of work to do. Remember to always reach out to those in need.”


“There has never been a more important time to come together,” SAGE CEO Michael Adams told the diverse crowd of SAGE board members, staffers and supporters at the elegant home of James Frost and William Yi. “We are living in very challenging times,” a notion received with a knowing chuckle for its understatement.


A civilization is historically measured by how it cares and supports its children and most vulnerable and how it supports its elders, Adams said, not just the “right kind of elders….We owe it to our elders, the pioneers who paved the way for the equality we celebrate today….We need the wisdom of our pioneers, our elders.”




Demographic estimates predict that there will be 6 million LGBT people age 65 years or over in America by 2030. That sets the stage for a potentially disastrous future since, as SAGE notes, LGBT seniors are “twice as likely to be single, twice as likely to live alone, and four times more likely to be without children than their heterosexual peers.”  And, Adam said, facilities that take care of the aging population are “woefully unprepared” to take care of LGBT seniors who fear having to go back in the closet in order to get care and treatment without discrimination.


In introducing comedic writer/actor Bruce Vilanch, SAGE Board co-chair Elizabeth Schwartz—whose co-chair is former LA-based board activist Kevin Williams—said Vilanch’s appearances on “Hollywood Squares” were “instrumental in shaping gay images.” Watching him, “we didn’t have to speculate obsessively” about whether he was gay “as I did over Kristy McNichol.”  She was also grateful that he was also out about being chubby. Vilanch, she said, has a “tireless dedication to the LGBT community.”


In accepting the handsomely shaped glass award, the legendary Oscar writer said that when he was told he was being honored by SAGE, his first thought was: “You have the wrong envelope,” referring to the Best Picture mishap at the Academy Awards.


However, a recent interview with a young journalist underscored that he is now arcing “into my dotage.” The young gay man had no idea who Ted Mack was, though “Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour,” the variety-show precursor to shows like “American Idol,” launched the careers of such future celebrities as Pat Boone and Ann-Margret.  The young man sat stone faced at the mention of her name.


“When queens don’t know who Ann-Margret is, we’re in trouble,” Vilanch said to an uproar of laughter.


“Senior gays are not venerated,” he said. “But we are valued because we can pick up the check or write it.”


As to his decision to be openly gay at a time when being out was a brave decision, Vilanch noted that he worked in the more accepting entertainment industry. But early on, he worked as a journalist writing features for the Chicago Tribune and tried to get gay stories into the paper. Vilanch cited a quote that stuck with him: “A faggot is a homosexual gentleman who just left the room.” He determined to be “the faggot who stayed in the room.”


LGBT progress is result of taking action. “We did the bravest thing—we came out and that changed everything,” Vilanch said. But the LGBT community cannot rely on help from outside. “We have to do it for ourselves….[and] we’re not done yet.”


SAGE CEO Michael Adams also announced the launch of a new initiative in conjunction with AARP—SAGETable— to build “intergenerational connections in the LGBT community” by “breaking bread with your LGBT family on May 18. Visit sagetable.org.

Bruce Vilanch, Chris Hendricks, Roslyn Kind and More Slated for MY NEXT BREATH Fundraiser

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Broadway World
Bruce Vilanch, Chris Hendricks, Roslyn Kind and More Slated for MY NEXT BREATH Fundraiser
Mar. 6, 2017

iconsquareMyNextBreatheFlyer

An evening of music and comedy will serve as a fundraising event for the filming and editing of the documentary project “My Next Breath” (mynextbreathfilm.com/about), hosted by Bruce Vilanch, with musical performances by Chris Hendricks, Roslyn Kind and Mary Wilson, on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at Catalina Jazz Club 6725 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.

The evening features the comedy of Kathy Buckley and Geri Jewell. Under the musical director of Michael Orland with director/producer and David S. Zimmerman, the event will include special surprise guests.

Program: 8:00 pm show (6:00 pm doors / VIP Seating – 6:30 pm doors / General Seating). Tickets here.

My Next Breath is a documentary that takes a journey inside the world of an intensive acting class, and finds out how the artists are able to be thoroughly open enough to create from a true and sacred place inside. The documentary also shows the profound impact the workshop has had upon its participants years later and how it facilitated a powerful imprint among each of the members the group.

 


 

SAGE honors Vilanch, Jewel Thais-Williams in L.A.

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Washington Blade
SAGE honors Vilanch, Jewel Thais-Williams in L.A.
March 10, 2017 at 11:38 am EDT | by Karen Ocamb

Bruce_Vilanch_and_Jewel_Thais-Williams_insert

LOS ANGELES — The fundraiser for SAGE USA March 4 in the Hollywood Hills felt like a reunion, a coming together of a generation of LGBT people with shared memories and a desire to confront aging, an issue, SAGE Board Development chair Bill Weinberger said, he heretofore had avoided thinking about. Honorees Jewel Thais-Williams and Bruce Vilanch, however, exemplify how LGBT people can age as respected elders with grace, continued activism, and humor.


Weinberger introduced Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, whom he has known since the early 1980s. Shortly after, Wilson discovered he was HIV positive. He noted that while “many of us were dealing with whether we would survive or not, SAGE has always believed we would.” Wilson shared how Thais-Williams bravely opened Jewel’s Catch One Disco as a refuge for LGBT people desperate for a place where they could be themselves.


“Jewel has been a leader, a hero, and a visionary and an advocate for a long, long time,” Wilson said. “Jewel was one of those ‘bridge’ people,” linking the LGBT African-American community to organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and her alma mater, UCLA. You always speak up, whether you’re afraid or not.”


Thais-Williams joked that she was honored to be honored, having spent the last 42 years at Catch One “partying,” adding that she will turn 78 in a couple of months. “To be of service to my community has been a great joy,” she said. “But there is still a lot of work to do. Remember to always reach out to those in need.”


“There has never been a more important time to come together,” SAGE CEO Michael Adams told the diverse crowd of SAGE board members, staffers and supporters at the elegant home of James Frost and William Yi. “We are living in very challenging times,” a notion received with a knowing chuckle for its understatement.


A civilization is historically measured by how it cares and supports its children and most vulnerable and how it supports its elders, Adams said, not just the “right kind of elders….We owe it to our elders, the pioneers who paved the way for the equality we celebrate today….We need the wisdom of our pioneers, our elders.”




Demographic estimates predict that there will be 6 million LGBT people age 65 years or over in America by 2030. That sets the stage for a potentially disastrous future since, as SAGE notes, LGBT seniors are “twice as likely to be single, twice as likely to live alone, and four times more likely to be without children than their heterosexual peers.”  And, Adam said, facilities that take care of the aging population are “woefully unprepared” to take care of LGBT seniors who fear having to go back in the closet in order to get care and treatment without discrimination.


In introducing comedic writer/actor Bruce Vilanch, SAGE Board co-chair Elizabeth Schwartz—whose co-chair is former LA-based board activist Kevin Williams—said Vilanch’s appearances on “Hollywood Squares” were “instrumental in shaping gay images.” Watching him, “we didn’t have to speculate obsessively” about whether he was gay “as I did over Kristy McNichol.”  She was also grateful that he was also out about being chubby. Vilanch, she said, has a “tireless dedication to the LGBT community.”


In accepting the handsomely shaped glass award, the legendary Oscar writer said that when he was told he was being honored by SAGE, his first thought was: “You have the wrong envelope,” referring to the Best Picture mishap at the Academy Awards.


However, a recent interview with a young journalist underscored that he is now arcing “into my dotage.” The young gay man had no idea who Ted Mack was, though “Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour,” the variety-show precursor to shows like “American Idol,” launched the careers of such future celebrities as Pat Boone and Ann-Margret.  The young man sat stone faced at the mention of her name.


“When queens don’t know who Ann-Margret is, we’re in trouble,” Vilanch said to an uproar of laughter.


“Senior gays are not venerated,” he said. “But we are valued because we can pick up the check or write it.”


As to his decision to be openly gay at a time when being out was a brave decision, Vilanch noted that he worked in the more accepting entertainment industry. But early on, he worked as a journalist writing features for the Chicago Tribune and tried to get gay stories into the paper. Vilanch cited a quote that stuck with him: “A faggot is a homosexual gentleman who just left the room.” He determined to be “the faggot who stayed in the room.”


LGBT progress is result of taking action. “We did the bravest thing—we came out and that changed everything,” Vilanch said. But the LGBT community cannot rely on help from outside. “We have to do it for ourselves….[and] we’re not done yet.”


SAGE CEO Michael Adams also announced the launch of a new initiative in conjunction with AARP—SAGETable— to build “intergenerational connections in the LGBT community” by “breaking bread with your LGBT family on May 18. Visit sagetable.org.

Bruce Vilanch, Josh Groban, Cynthia Erivo & More Join Broadway Backwards March 13, 2017

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Broadway Buzz
Bruce Vilanch, Josh Groban, Cynthia Erivo & More Join Broadway Backwards March 13, 2017
By Lindsey Sullivan February 28, 2017

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This year’s Broadway Backwards just got even more star-studded! The Great Comet star Josh Groban, Tony winner Cynthia Erivo, Tony winner Cady Huffman, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Santino Fontana and more have joined the previously announced lineup. The annual benefit showcases Broadway favorites offering gender-bending takes on their favorite tunes. Tony winner Julie White returns to host the event, which is directed by Robert Bartley and set for March 13 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Six-time Emmy winner Bruce Vilanch, Tony nominee Carolee Carmello, Cagneys Robert Creighton, School of Rocks Eric Petersen, Megan Sikora, Elizabeth Stanley, Dominic Nolfi, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard will also take the stage.

As reported, the roster already includes Sierra Boggess, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Javier Muñoz, Alex Brightman, Rachel Bay Jones, Andrew Rannells, Tituss Burgess, Kathleen Turner, Bobby Conte Thornton, Ariana DeBose, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Lora Lee Gayer, Len Cariou, John Glover, Levi Kreis, Bobby Steggert and Rachel York. Performers are subject to change.

Produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the event will benefit BC/EFA and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

Bruce Vilanch To Host ‘Right This Way Your Table’s Waiting October 16 At The Los Angeles Cabaret

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Bruce-Vilanch-Skivvies-300x168

 

It’s the third annual CABARET IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN LOS ANGELES, a 3-night, 2-show, 2-venue celebration of Los Angeles Cabaret as a benefit for The Actors Fund.  Conceived and Directed by David Galligan and presented by Fraser Entertainment Group, the Friday-Sunday event takes place October 14th-16th.  Buy advance online tickets to both shows and save. $60 for both shows. $50 single ticket for “Together at Last…”; $25 for “Right This Way...”

Please join us for:

“Together at Last for the Third Time”, two evenings of song, starring accomplished women of Cabaret at Tom Rolla’s Gardenia, 7066 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood on Friday, October 14th and Saturday, October 15th at 9PM.  Doors open at 7 for dinner.  ADVANCE DINNER RESERVATION REQUIRED FOR PREMIUM SEATING. PLEASE CALL THE CLUB  323-467-7444 – TO MAKE YOUR DINNER RESERVATION. TICKET PURCHASE ALONE DOES NOT GURANTEE SEATING IN THE MAIN DINING ROOM. Otherwise, the two-drink minimum applies.

Scheduled to appear:  Michele Brourman (Fri. only), Mary Jo Catlett, Carole Cook, Ilene Graff & Ben Lanzarone, Jane A. Johnston, Marsha Kramer, Pat Marshall, Kevin Odekirk, Lilli Passero, Lisa Passero, Marcia Rodd, Lisa Vroman, Pat Whiteman & Jo Anne Worley. Music Director Gerald Sternbach.

Click here for Night #1 and Night #2:  ”Together at Last for the Third Time”, Friday, 10/14 and Saturday, 10/15 at Tom Rolla’s Gardenia

“Right This Way, Your Table’s Waiting”, a superb line-up of singers from the worlds of stage, film, television and Cabaret at the Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood on Sunday, October 16th at 7:30PM (doors open at 6). Two-item food/beverage minimum applies.

Scheduled to appear:  Eileen Barnett, Karen Benjamin, Loretta Devine, Barrett Foa, Dianne Fraser, Julie Garnyé, Gary Imhoff, Mark Arthur Miller, Walter Winston Oneil, Kate Pazakis, Joan Ryan, Sally Struthers & Joanne Tatham.  Hosted by Peter Marc Jacobson & Bruce Vilanch. Special Appearance by Fran Drescher.
Music Director Michael Sobie.

Click here for Night #3 Right This Way, Sunday 10/16 at the Catalina Jazz Club

Bruce Vilanch Hosts “One Night Only Benefit Cabaret” September 12, San Francisco

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Outtake Online
Bruce Vilanch Hosts “One Night Only Benefit Cabaret” September 12, San Francisco
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2016

4-27-2013-4-01-43-AM

 

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Bruce Vilanch about hosting One Night Only Benefit Cabaret for the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation on Monday Sept 12th at Marines’ Memorial Theater in San Francisco. Philanthropy and stellar entertainment take center stage as REAF presents a special one-night-only benefit cabaret with the Broadway Touring Cast of “Beautiful”(The Carole King Musical) in “Motown & More, An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy” hosted by Bruce with Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy. Songs from “Beautiful” will not be performed. As we have been reporting, for over twenty years the Richmond / Ermet Aid Foundation has raised millions of dollars by producing Broadway quality entertainment events and galas to advance HIV treatments and support AIDS services until there is a cure. Recently REAF has expanded its fundraising focus to the Bay Area’s growing demand for two new areas by providing food for the needy and programs that support homeless, disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth. We talked to Bruce about this fabulous organization and his spin on our LGBT issues.

With the upcoming presidential election just months away, when asked what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Vilanch stated, “Well a lot depends on what happens in this election clearly. I mean if the Nazis actually win and I call them Nazis because they would like us to be eliminated. Read the Republican Party Platform, the reptilian party, as I call it, platform, you’ll see that they would like us to just shrivel up and die. They would like to enable us in that effort and I think if they win then we’re going to see a period of regression and of people feeling their oats so they can attempt to beat us into the ground. If the democrats win and Hillary is in charge I think we’re going to see a continued path towards complete civil rights. That means no rollback on marriage equality, which is what the republicans would like. We’ll see it extended and obviously the most important thing about this election is the next president will choose a bunch of Supreme Court Justices who will issue to the ultimate ruling on all things that affect our lives. So I think at the moment we have the coin in our hands and as a nation we’re going to toss it in November and we’ll see what happens. So I’m hoping it comes down on the girl side.”

Bruce Vilanch is one of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry. He began contributing to Academy Awards telecasts in 1989 collaborating with the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman and graduated to head writer in 2000. Since then Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right thanks to the feature-length documentary “Get Bruce” and his one-time stint as a regular on “Hollywood Squares” for which he also served as head writer. One Night Only Benefit Cabaret is produced by the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, founded by the late Barbara Richmond and Peggy Ermet in memory of their sons John Richmond and Doug Ermet who both lost their lives to AIDS. To date REAF has raised well over $3 million dollars for AIDS services and beginning in 2015 expanded to support hunger programs and programs for homeless and underserved youth.

For Info & Tix: reaf-sf.org