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Archive for the ‘Cabaret’ Category

An Evening With Emmy Award Winning Comedy Genius Bruce Vilanch March 26, 7:30 PM, The Rrazz Room, New Hope, PA

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

An Evening With Emmy Award Winning Comedy Genius Bruce Vilanch March 26, 2016, 7:30 PM, The Rrazz Room, New Hope, PA

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From Mr. Vilanch: “Currently celebrating his seventeenth year as Lindsay Lohan’s sobriety coach, Bruce Vilanch is descending to The RRazz Room At The Raven 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 songs to sing and stories to tell.”

 

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Orlando: Naked Boys Singing is a boozy, bawdy evening of ogling buff boys with their balls swinging in the breeze

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Orlando Weekly
Naked Boys Singing is a boozy, bawdy evening of ogling buff boys with their balls swinging in the breeze
By Seth Kubersky
Feb 12, 2016

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We live in a world of lies, bombarded daily by half-truths, obfuscations and outright falsehoods from promoters and politicians. So let’s get erect and give a standing ovation to Naked Boys Singing for earning the “truth in advertising” award. This spirited musical revue may not have any dialogue, characters or plot, but it’s got more exposed penises than a half-dozen productions of Equus. Which just goes to show how far our city has evolved: Back in 2000, a lone Naked Guy at the Orlando Fringe faced threats of arrest, but in 2016 seven nude dudes can strut on the Footlight stage for five weekends and no one blinks an eye.

A long-running hit in New York, NBS comes to Orlando courtesy of producer-director Tim Evanicki, who recently took the reins of the Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre. Under former artistic directors Michael Wanzie and David Lee, Footlight hosted not only PH’s popular drag shows, but legit dramas and comedies that drew audiences of every orientation. That leaves Evanicki some big shoes to fill in his new role, as he graciously acknowledged at the packed press preview.

“I am loving this job,” Evanicki told me in an interview after opening night. “Parliament House is an LGBT resort that caters to everyone. I’d like the programming in the theater to reflect that. We will be bringing in more book musicals and big names that appeal to all walks of life.”

Evanicki first saw Naked Boys Singing at NYC’s Actors Playhouse in 2004 and made it his top priority upon becoming PH’s new artistic director. “I wanted to make sure we kicked it off with something that would put the Footlight Theatre on the map,” he said. “I also wanted to pick a show that would cater to and attract more than just the LGBT community.” Of course, assembling a show where the cast is unclothed nearly the entire time required some adjustments. “Singing auditions were fully clothed, but the dance callback was done nude,” Evanicki recalled. “It was funny, because we have union performers, and the union required us to have a monitor from Actors’ Equity audit the audition process. Poor Doug Truelsen.” The early rehearsals were done dressed, but drawers were dropped once Pete Simpson’s choreography – which puts a floppy twist on the classic chorus kickline – was complete. “I left it up to the boys as to when they felt comfortable rehearsing nude,” said Evanicki. “We had 12 total rehearsals, and they were nude on day seven.”

It’s one thing to hoot and holler at a stage of stripped strangers, but I found the show a tad awkward to watch (at least at first) because I know some of the cast. For example, I’ve been friends with Joshua Roth since we worked on Tod Kimbro’s 2011 Fringe musical Suckers, but I’ve never seen him as exposed as during his “Perky Little Porn Star” number. “There is nothing that truly prepares you for 90 minutes of nudity; you kind of just have to jump into the deep end headfirst and with a smile on your face,” Roth told me. A theme-park performer by day, Roth’s NBS role has let him “step way out of my comfort zone, as well as become more comfortable with myself, my peers and also complete strangers.” Of course, you can’t do a nude musical without some unintended side effects: “I have been working a lot with aerial silks lately, and I have a pretty bad bruise on my upper left thigh … pretty much my groin area. I pulled Pete (our choreographer) into the dressing room, and without even thinking about it pulled down my pants and showed him the bruise. It wasn’t even until about five minutes after he left the dressing room that he realized that I had just whipped it all out for him and he didn’t even notice or care … and neither did I.”

So after all that, how is the show? As I said above, if you are interested in story or deep meaning, better move along: There’s a nod to nakedness as a metaphor for emotional vulnerability and a maudlin song about a dead lover, but otherwise the mood is kept light and campy. The performers are all solid (ahem), especially Kevin Kelly, who wears Liza well in the Fosse-flavored “Entertainer,” but the majority of the music is simply unmemorable. With a baker’s dozen of credited writers (including Bruce Vilanch), it’s a clear case of too many cooks muddling the man-chowder, and musical director John T. Gardner’s keyboard often drowned out the unamplified singers. As a hetero male, I didn’t identify with some of the topics (like gym addiction), though it appears sung schlong synonyms make everyone’s inner 12-year-old snicker, gay or straight. But if a boozy, bawdy evening of ogling buff boys with their balls swinging in the breeze sounds like ideal entertainment, better buy your seats now; Naked Boys Singing looks to be the hardest ticket of this theater season.


Super-Sized Comedy: Bruce Vilanch

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Metro Weekly
Super-Sized Comedy: Bruce Vilanch
Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold team up for an evening of comedy and Hollywood secrets
By Connor J. Hogan on November 5, 2015

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“You get your start in comedy by looking in the mirror and thinking what you see is unusual,” says Bruce Vilanch. “So you start making funny faces and perform for yourself.”

Sixty-six years — and six Emmys — after first catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror, Vilanch is still screwing up his face and cracking wise. His signature heft, charmingly raspy voice, and unstoppable wit marked him for a career in comedy from the get go. It helped that he had a “deep-seated need to express [myself],” Vilanch says. “Also, to be funny.”

More than just a comedian, Vilanch has become a force of nature in Hollywood and is particularly known for co-penning the Academy Awards each year. Now, he’s teamed up with lesbian comedian Judy Gold (a two-time Emmy award winner herself) for Big and Tall: Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold, playing this weekend at the Alden Theatre. “I’m number one, and she’s number two,” Vilanch quips. The comedians met while Gold was working on Margaret Cho’s sitcom, All-American Girl. “I don’t remember exactly when lightning struck,” Vilanch says, “but we were two big gay Jews, and we’re both very showbizzy, so it was a natural fit.”

But beyond being gay and Jewish, Gold has one more more handicap — at least in Hollywood’s terms — than Vilanch: being a woman. “It was interesting for Judy, because at the beginning she wasn’t out. It was pre-Ellen,” Vilanch says. “And because all women are perceived as romantic figures, the vast unwashed audiences had to think she had a shot at getting a man.”

In our post-Ellen world, however, Vilanch believes comedians can thrive on being gay. “There are people who are Professional Homosexuals, and those who are Homosexual Professionals,” he says. “People who were gay who did what they did, and people who what they did was being gay. When I get up there, I play myself. I’ve been authentic my entire life.” — Connor J. Hogan

Big and Tall: Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold is Saturday, November 7th at 9 p.m. at the Alden Theatre in the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Va. Tickets range from $20 to $72. For more information, visit mcleancenter.org/alden-theatre.

Bruce Vilanch brings Carnival fun to Provincetown Theater

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Provincetown Banner
Bruce Vilanch brings Carnival fun to Provincetown Theater
August 18, 2015

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All kinds of fabulous people come to Provincetown during Carnival week. Bruce Vilanch is one of the funniest and he’s got a new 90-minute show at the Provincetown Theater, Aug. 20-22. Plus, he’s bringing some special friends, the Skivvies, with him.

The Skivvies, Vilanch explains, “are a man and a woman and they play instruments and they work in their underwear. They were in the John Doyle production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ and fell in love with their instruments.”

The Skivvies have a following of Broadway friends who hang with them and also play in their undies. For this show, Nick Adams, of “Wicked” and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” fame, and Randy Harrison appear with them.

Everywhere Vilanch goes it’s a party — a celebration of gay life and culture. Here is a man who doesn’t need the Supreme Court to make him feel like a real person. He’s been making queer folks laugh and feel good about themselves for years. A wickedly outrageous comic with a heart of gold, he’s the Jewish mother you always wanted.

Vilanch started out as a child actor in New York doing commercials and summer stock, never the star but always in the show. “I was never a child star or we’d be having this conversation in rehab,” he says. “My parents encouraged it. They were happy that I was happy doing it. However, they wanted me to have something to fall back on. They thought journalism would be the thing.”

After college he worked for the Chicago Tribune. While there, he interviewed Bette Midler. Before long, he was writing her act and when she hit it big both of them were off and running. He also wrote for Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams.

He was the head writer for the Academy Awards from 2000-2014 and served in the same capacity for the third iteration of Hollywood Squares.

“I’d been writing for Whoopi for years and when [‘Hollywood Squares’] made a deal with her, she said, ‘Vilanch should be the host,’” he says. “They thought she was crazy but they didn’t want to piss her off so early so they tested me.”

“They said your test is really funny but we need someone a little more mainstream to be the ringmaster in this circus,” says Vilanch. “They put me in a square next to Whoopi. They figured I could tame her, which is not a good idea because she’s really a Jewish boy and I’m a black woman. We had a lot of fun out there. All of a sudden I was on TV every night. Just like Donald Trump.”

‘One Starry Night’ Raises 200k For ALS

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Broadway World
Renee Zellweger and More Attend ‘ONE STARRY NIGHT’ Benefit for ALS Association
May 5, 2015

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“One Starry Night: From Broadway to Hollywood,” a one-night-only musical and entertainment extravaganza in benefit of the ALS Association Golden West Chapter, was presented Monday, April 20 at the historic Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA. Thanks to performances and appearances by an exciting gathering of Broadway and Hollywood talent, and the greater Los Angeles community at large, the evening raised nearly $200,000. BWW TV’s Los Angeles Correspondent and Co-Producer Michael Sterling, along with Co-Producer/Videographer Paul Preston of Digital Mind Productions, spoke to the stars as they walked the red carpet prior to the evening’s festivities!

The star-studded event featured a cast which (in alphabetical order) included Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Ed Asner, Broadway’s Brent Barrett (“Silence The Musical”, “Chicago The Musical”), Grammy Award winner and international recording icon Petula Clark, Micky Dolenz (“The Monkees”), Juliana Hansen (Disney musical and concert star; NBC’s “Grease, You’re The One That I Want!”), singer/songwriter Devin Kelly, television and film star Jean Louisa Kelly (“Yes, Dear”; “Mr. Holland’s Opus”), noted television comedienne Wendy Liebman, TV, Film and Theatre star Bethany Joy Lenz, Broadway’s Norm Lewis (Phantom of the Opera), TV and Film star Kate Linder (“The Young and the Restless”), Musical Theatre star Lisa Livesay (“Wicked”), Ben Mankiewicz ((Film critic and Turner Classic Movie Network host), Film and TV star Heather McComb , Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, George Newbern (ABC TV’s “Scandal”), Broadway’s Kerry O’Malley (“White Christmas”, “Annie Get Your Gun”; “Showstoppers”/Wynn Hotel/Las Vegas), Timothy Omundson (ABC TV’s “Galavant”), Reagan Pasternak (Disney Channel’s “In A Heartbeat,”), Illusionist Jonathan Pendragon, Broadway and TV’s Eric Petersen (Shrek and TV’s “Kirstie” starrin Kirstie Alley), Jenna Lea Rosen (Disney TV’s “Sofia the First”), Jason Ritter (NBC’s “Parenthood”), Richard Sherman (Academy Award-winning Composer Disney’s “Mary Poppins”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “The Jungle Book”), Bruce Vilanch (Broadway’s ” Hairspray”), and Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Renee Zellweger.

In addition to the performances, the Chapter’s Essey Awards were presented to notable supporters of the ALS community for their outstanding efforts in public awareness, care services, and research. The Essey Award is the Chapter’s highest honor and given annually in honor of one of the Chapter’s founding members, Richard Essey.

The Golden West Chapter recognized the following honorees for outstanding achievements in the fight against ALS:

THE 2015 SPOTLIGHT AWARD- The Filmmakers of “The Theory of Everything”

The Spotlight Award was presented to individuals and companies who help to raise ALS awareness by educating the public about the experience of living with ALS and the impact the disease has on loved ones and caregivers. The Golden West Chapter proudly presented this year’s Spotlight Award to the filmmakers of the Academy Award-winning film, “The Theory of Everything.” The movie, its cast and crew, the companies behind its production, and its real-life subjects – the Hawking family – have inspired the ALS community.

THE 2015 SPIRIT AWARD- Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland, Writers/Directors of “Still Alice”

The Spirit Award was presented to individuals who have displayed extraordinary determination while living with ALS. Richard Glatzer, who recently lost his battle with ALS, along with his husband Wash Westmoreland, adapted and directed, “Still Alice,” earning Julianne Moore a 2015 Academy Award. Shortly before receiving the green light to begin production on the film, Richard was diagnosed with ALS, yet both he and Wash persevered to complete their work on this acclaimed project. As a part of the Spirit Award’s presentation and tribute to Richard and Wash, the event was pleased to have Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Ed Asner and George Newbern (ABC’s “Scandal”) performing an excerpt from “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

In addition, the Golden West Chapter celebrated Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for having earned the distinguished designation as an ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is the only Certified Treatment Center of Excellence in southern California, and a flagship program in the country. Renee Zellweger presented the Cedars’ team with a plaque recognizing this outstanding achievement and Cedar’s commitment to ALS care and the search for an effective treatment and cure.

Produced by Juliana Hansen, Melissa Verdugo and Jonathan White, the evening was directed by Grammy Award-nominee and distinguished theatre director Bruce Kimmel directed, with musical direction and orchestrations provided by Richard Allen.

Proceeds from the event will provide funding for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter’s mission critical priorities in care services, public policy and cutting-edge global research toward treatments and cure for ALS. For further information, visit webgw.alsa.org or call (800) 750-2572.


Bruce Vilanch To Play ProvinceTown Theater This Summer

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

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Bruce Vilanch; Special Guests: The Barbrashop Quartet (Aug. 20-22). Vilanch, joins The Provincetown Theater for Carnival week to share funny stories alongside The Barbrashop Quartet, a new concert written by Vilanch, featuring four of Broadway’s hottest men honoring the one and only Streisand.

VIP $80 (First 2 rows)

RESERVED $65 (Middle rows A-D)

BACK $50 (Back 2 rows)

$3.50 is added to each ticket to support The Provincetown Theater Foundation. Select row AA or BB for handicap accessibility.

To purchase tickets: Click Here