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Archive for the ‘Broadway’ Category

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.

New Petula Clark Musical From Bruce Vilanch Could Be Headed to Broadway

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

New Petula Clark Musical From Bruce Vilanch Could Be Headed to Broadway
02/02/2017 03:56 am ET | Updated 6 days ago
By Pollo Del Mar

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From penning witty zingers for the Tony Awards to hosting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraisers, Bruce Vilanch is no stranger to the New York theatre community. In 2005, Vilanch even starred as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. When the Hollywood funnyman returns to Broadway, though, he hopes it’s as writer of the next great jukebox musical.


“Think Mamma Mia!said Vilanch when describing his new musical Sign of the Times. “In fact, please think Mamma Mia! — because Mamma Mia! ran only 12 years, so please think of that!”



WEGOTBRUCE.COM

Bruce Vilanch has penned a new musical! The hysterical out comic says Sign of the Times, featuring the music of Grammy-winner Petula Clark, could be Broadway-bound soon.

Like other “jukebox musicals” — productions such as Jersey Boys and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical — Sign of the Times utilizes hit pop songs rather than an original score. In this case, the music of Grammy Award-winning, ‘60s British pop icon Petula Clark “and other hit-makers of the day” takes center stage.


“When I was in college, and I was hearing Petula’s music, every time I would hear one of her songs, I’d say, ‘What show is that from?’” the comedian shared during an interview on Party Foul Radio with Pollo & Pearl. “They all sounded so theatrical, because they had big orchestras behind them.”


Vilanch recalled a similar feeling when listening to ABBA years later, he told Podomatic’s No. 1-ranked LGBT podcast. Therefore it was not surprising, he said, when the quartet’s catalogue later became the foundation for the wildly successful Broadway hit Mamma Mia!


“They had these big, Broadway pop arrangements behind everything,” said Vilanch of ABBA, noting that, like the Swedish super-group, Clark’s music also “lends itself very well to a Broadway show.” He said: “It always had that feel from the beginning.”



WEGOTBRUCE.COM

Having penned three of her stage shows, Bruce Vilanch has worked with legendary Bette Midler for 47 years. “Which is difficult, because she’s only 32,” the comedian quips, “i’m contractually obligated to say that.”

A six-time Emmy Award-winner, Vilanch has supplied jokes to a veritable Hollywood who’s who, was the quirky center square for four seasons of Hollywood Squares, a long-time reporter and columnist for The Advocate and even cowrote Eartha Kitt’s campy 1980s hit “I Need a Man.” A featured writer on almost every major televised awards broadcast, he’s served as head writer for the annual Academy Awards since 2010.


The hilarious blond – equally known for his inimitable appearance – is far more than champion of the one-liner though. He’s written successful stage productions stretching back more than four decades.


Vilanch cowrote Bette Midler’s 1974 Broadway show Clams on a Half Shell and later inked her 1980 epic Divine Madness. The Divine Miss M again teamed with The Divine Miss V for The Showgirl Must Go On, Midler’s 2008 residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.


Vilanch forged a similarly long-standing relationship with Diana Ross. After befriending the MoTown legend on the set of Mahogany, in which he had a bit part, he wrote An Evening with Diana Ross. The show played Vegas, Broadway and was later turned into a television special.



BROADWAYWORLD.COM

In 2005, Bruce Vilanch starred as “Edna Turnblad” in the Broadway production of Hairspray.

When approached by Richard Robins — “a big real estate guy in Chicago,” who purchased Clark’s musical catalogue — to work on Sign of the Times, Vilanch was “immediately interested.” What emerged is the tale of Cindy, a young woman who moves to New York City in 1965 and (according to production notes) discovers “unexpected friends, lovers, careers, and conflicts are all a subway ride away.”


Based on an original story by Robins, and written by Vilanch, Sign of the Times features Clark’s biggest hits including No. 1 single “Downtown,” “I Know a Place” and, of course, the song from which the production draws its name. Also included are smashes from contemporaries Leslie Gore (“You Don’t Own Me”), Nancy Sinatra (“These Boots Are Made for Walking”), Dusty Springfield (“I Only Want to Be With You”) and more.


After debuting last summer with a successful five-week run at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, Vilanch says it could be only a matter of time before New York calls. To gain perspective on the process, he turned to modern musical theatre genius and Tony-winning Broadway superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda (who Vilanch calls “Mr. Hamilton”).


“He said Hamilton took seven years; everything takes seven years,” shared Vilanch, noting Sign of the Times is now in its third year.


“Legitimate theatre, on the Broadway end, is like movies these days,” Vilanch concluded, “Things happen years down the pipeline. Hopefully the next year or so, it’ll end up on Broadway. We’re working our way there!”


LISTEN: Bruce Vilanch talks Sign of the Times, Personal Stories About Diana Ross, Bette Midler & More

Bruce Vilanch To Write Special Material For, Trevor: The Musical, Based on Oscar-Winning Short, Aiming For Broadway

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Playbill
Trevor: The Musical, Based on Oscar-Winning Short, Is Aiming for Broadway
BY ANDREW GANS
JAN 27, 2017

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Marc Bruni, who directed the Tony-winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, will helm the world premiere of Trevor: The Musical, based on the Oscar-winning 1994 short film Trevor, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Broadway-aimed musical will make its debut this fall at the non-profit Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Chicago. U Rock Theatricals will produce. Casting will be announced at a later time.

Trevor: The Musical, about a gay 13-year-old boy who is a fan of Diana Ross, has book and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis.

The 1994 film won the Academy Award for Best Short Film, Live Action. It also won awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Peggy Rajski, the musical is adapted from the screenplay by James Lecesne with special material by Bruce Vilanch. The film cast included Brett Barsky, Judy Kain, and John Lizzi. Internet Movie Database describes the film as such: “Upon hitting puberty, a high-school boy realizes he is homosexual and faces prejudice from his parents and friends.”

The film was the inspiration for The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people ages 13-24.

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 www.TicketWeb.com or www.ChrisIsaacsonPresents.com or call (866) 468-3399.

Chris Isaacson Presents is currently nominated for four BroadwayWorld.com 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 www.ChrisIsaacsonPresents.com.

West Coast Broadway, My Way Benefit, With Tyne Daly, Andrew Rannells, Bruce Vilanch, Lillias White, Held April 6

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Playbill
West Coast Broadway, My Way Benefit, With Tyne Daly, Andrew Rannells, Bruce Vilanch, Lillias White, Held April 6
By Michael Gioia
06 Apr 2013

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Tony Award winner Tyne Daly (Gypsy) and The Book of Mormon Tony nominee Andrew Rannells are among the lineup of performers taking part in the 29th annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.), Broadway, My Way, April 6 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

The one-night-only performance benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles, one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the U.S. that provides bilingual direct services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation.

Scheduled to appear are Rannells (The Book of Mormon, Hairspray), Patrick Cassidy (42nd Street), Carole Cook (42nd Street), Karen Culliver (The Phantom of the Opera), Daly (Master Class), Davis Gaines (The Phantom of the Opera), Florence Henderson (The Girl Who Came to Supper), Shirley Jones (42nd Street), Jane Lanier (Guys and Dolls), Vicki Lewis (Chicago), Kimberly Locke (“American Idol”), Tom Lowe, Pat Marshall (The Pajama Game), Patricia Morison (The King and I), Janis Paige (Mame), Madison Claire Parks, Valarie Pettiford (Fosse), Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray), Jim Bailey, Mary Jo Catlett (The Pajama Game), Joely Fisher (Cabaret), Kathy Garrick, Gordon Goodman (Hear! Hear!), Marsha Kramer (Peter Pan), JoAnne Worley (The Drowsy Chaperone), The MuMos, Alex Newell (“Glee”), Michael Orland, Lisa Vroman (Aspects of Love), Lillias White (The Life) and Terri White (Follies).

George Gray is the celebrity auctioneer. The event is directed by David Galligan with music direction by John McDaniel.

Special guests at Broadway, My Way include Mackenzie Bourg (“The Voice”), Charo, Carolyn Hennesy (“True Blood”), Bret Lockett (NY Jets) and Jack McGee (“Rescue Me”).
The Saban Theatre is located at 8440 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, CA. For more information and tickets, visit StageLA.com or APLA.org/Stage.

Bruce Vilanch At The After Party For Broadway Backwards 7

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012