Subscribe In A Reader






Bootleg Betty



Amazon



Mister D



Towleroad



Feedjit Stats









Archive for the ‘Comedy Show’ Category

Motown & More, An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy with Special Guests Bruce Vilanch and Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy September 12, 2016

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

San Francisco Weekly
Bruce Vilanch on Whether It’s OK to Make AIDS Jokes (Yet)
Quentin QuickTue Sep 6th, 2016 5:47pm

11703147_10153508539734031_1165022170415543193_n

No one speaks of [HIV/AIDS] anymore and that truly saddens me, to paraphrase comedian Sandra Bernhard. But in 1981, it replaced hepatitis and mono as the topic on everyone’s lips.

That’s how Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and Tonys comedy writer and actor Bruce Vilanch (Hollywood Squares, Hairspray) remembers it.

“This thing came, but the devastation was so total,” Vilanch told SF Weekly. One week someone had a cough and the next week they were dead. No one knew what was happening, but there seemed to be so many gay people that it was happening to. And it resembled pneumonia, so we called it the gay pneumonia. It wasn’t even identified as AIDS till years later, so it was this horrible, baffling thing.“

While HIV cocktails have turned the deadly virus into a more manageable one, those who live with it still struggle to pay for cost-prohibitive medications and in some places to acquire safe housing. That’s why events like The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation’s one-night-only cabaret benefit Motown & More, An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy with Special Guests Bruce Vilanch and Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy remain vital.

Vilanch spoke to SF Weekly about the continued importance of AIDS benefits, holding out for a cure and whether it’s too early for AIDS jokes.

What can you tell us about Motown & More?

I’ll be cohosting and doing comedy mostly. I don’t have any plans to do any musical stuff, but you never know. Between now and then, we might cook something up. I just hate to pin myself down.

This is also a great opportunity for the kids singing Carol King eight times a week to sing anything but Carol King. Since Carol King wrote a lot of stuff for rhythm and blues acts during her Brill Building period, there’s a lot of Motown-y stuff in that show, and they’re going to get to sing that stuff that they can’t sing in her show. So that’s what makes it so much fun.

How did you first get involved with Richmond/Ermet’s One Night Only shows?

Well, I’ve been doing stuff for Richmond/Ermet for a long time. They do two big shows a year: Help is on the Way in the summer and Help is on the Way for the Holidays around Christmas. I’ve done a bunch of those at the Palace of Fine Farts. When I was in Hairspray, we toured the country for a year and we made it our business to take our Monday nights, which were dark and turn them into AIDS benefits for local charities, and Richmond/Ermet does the same thing.

When one of these musicals comes into town, they get the cast on a Monday night to sing everything else. The cast loves it because they get to sing something else and Richmond/Ermet is such a wonderful, close-to-the-ground charity, where all the money goes directly to the people who need it. They have a very low overhead. They’re not in the charity business. They’re really doing a great public service, so you get a great feeling of contribution.

People are still struggling with HIV/AIDS, yet there isn’t a single awareness-raising red ribbon to be seen at major awards shows anymore. People don’t talk about AIDS to the extent that they used to.

That’s because of the cocktail. With the drugs that are available, people are living longer. They’re not dying at the rate they were years ago. But at the same time, those cocktails are incredibly expensive and people need the support. Of course, the thing hasn’t been cured yet and it would be nice if one of these drugs was actually like a polio vaccine and could wipe it out. So, of course, the research and the work continue and that needs financing, too.

But Richmond/Ermet is not about research. They’re about helping people who have it and live with the financial burden and providing services for them. I think when people find out what this organization is about they see how worthwhile it is and begin talking again. When you stop the dying, then people’s attention shift to something else. That’s what we’re like.

How did the gay community handle the epidemic 45 years ago?

There was panic in the community because it seemed to be happening to so many of us and, of course, panic outside of the community because anyone dealing with us suddenly viewed us as a pariah.

As the contours of it became clearer, the gay community realized that the only way we were going to do anything about it was if we banded together. What had been the beginnings of a political liberation movement that had been gathering steam since Stonewall transformed into an AIDS movement. The government wasn’t going to do anything because they were as scared as anybody else, so it was up to us to force them to do things.

Talk to us about your own personal involvement.

I got involved on the show business level, because show business is the great fountain of money when it needs to be, and you do that by putting on shows and raising a lot of money. That’s what we did with the people who were willing to identify themselves with it and that was generally people whose lives had been affected by it like Joan Rivers, Bette Midler and Nell Carter. Once Rock Hudson identified as an AIDS patient, then the floodgates opened and Elizabeth Taylor got involved and real charities began to be formed.

Are you still haunted by the ghosts of loved ones lost to AIDS?

All the time. I live now in a loft in West Hollywood and through one of my windows can look up at the Hollywood Hills. I point out houses of people who are dead. I knew them all. It’s a visceral reminder of all the people who used to be here who aren’t anymore. I think, as you get older, visions of people who you’ve lost begin to appear to you at the oddest times. But in the case of people like me, we lost so many people when we were young that we were not supposed to lose that it’s double what it would be for most people. To have a mass of people go at the same time was devastating and unprecedented.

What are the challenges, aside from overpriced medications, still faced by HIV-positive people today?

There’s still discrimination. People ask me why I continue to do benefits, and I say because no one with breast cancer was ever forced to leave an apartment because they have breast cancer. This is one of the few conditions in the world where you’re still made to feel like a leper in some places.

Will we see a cure in the near future?

Yeah, of course. I may be a cockeyed optimist, but we do have cures for things that used to be the scourge of the planet and I think we can find a cure for this. I suspect that we’re close because they have already found a way to contain and manage it, so they’re just a couple of hills away.

We often look for humor in the things that most distress us. That said, since you’re a comedy writer, I have to ask … Is it still too early for AIDS jokes?

I think people who have it can do that. But I think it’s difficult for anybody else to try and do it unless they’re going to make a comment about the fact that they’re doing it and that it’s too soon.

There are AIDS jokes that we always tell each other that we’d never do publicly. But then there are a lot of jokes that we tell each other that we’d never do publicly, so it falls into that category. I can’t think of one that I would do generally, because it ain’t fittin’.

Motown & More – An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy, Monday, Sep. 12, at Marines’ Memorial Theater, $36-$75, 609 Sutter St, 415-273-1620 or ONO-Beautiful.eventbrite.com.

Check Out: Bruce Vilanch & The Skivvies, SATURDAY, August 13, 8PM, Fire Island

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Bruce Vilanch & The Skivvies
SATURDAY, August 13, 8PM

Bruce-Vilanch-Skivvies-300x168

Bruce Vilanch & The Skivvies

In Association with rj productions

Emmy Award-winner, celebrated comedy genius and Fire Island favorite, Bruce Vilanch, comes to Whyte Hall in August with musical comedy sensations The Skivvies. From writing The Oscars for over 25 years to The Hollywood Squares, Bruce has many stories to tell.

The Skivvies, the “musically thrilling” undierock, comedypop duo don’t just strip down their musical arrangements, they literally strip down to their underwear to perform their distinctive mashups and eccentric originals for cello and ukulele starring Award-winning singer-actors Lauren Molina (Broadway’s Sweeney Todd & Rock of Ages) and Nick Cearley (All Shook Up, Buyer and Cellar) The Wall Street Journal called them “smart, sophisticated…ingenious.”

Tickets $100 & $75

TICKETS AVAILABLE IN THE HARBOR AND ONLINE NOW

To Buy Tickets: Click Here

Join Bruce Vilanch For A ‘One Night Stand’ Tonight, May 29, 2016 At The Olympus Theatre In Highland Park, MI

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

12768206_1149941241684422_2263975669606401998_o

Join us for “A One Night Stand” with gay icon, and 6 time Emmy winner, Bruce Vilanch at the newly rennovated Olympus Theatre!

Show date is May 29, 2016

It may be a one night stand but we have TWO shows for you to choose from!

Shows at 4pm and 8pm.

Tickets : $40
(includes show and two drinks)

Optional $50
(includes show, two drinks, and VIP meet and greet after the show with Photo op)

Seating is assigned so grab your tickets at Showtix4u.com! Search for Bruce Vilanch or click the link in this event! Tickets are also available bar side at Menjos!


Bruce Vilanch Live At Olympus Theater in Highland Park, MI, May 29th

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

A One Night Stand!


Start Time: Sunday, 29 May 2016
Location: Menjos Complex – Olympus Theater
Address: 940 McNichols Rd W, Highland Park, MI, United States

12768206_1149941241684422_2263975669606401998_o
Join us for “A One Night Stand” with gay icon, and 6 time Emmy winner, Bruce Vilanch at the newly rennovated Olympus Theatre! Show date is May 29, 2016 It may be a one night stand but we have TWO shows for you to choose from! Shows at 4pm and 8pm. Tickets : $40 (includes show and two drinks) Optional $50 (includes show, two drinks, and VIP meet and greet after the show with Photo op) Seating is assigned so grab your tickets at Showtix4u.com! Search for Bruce Vilanch or click the link in this event! Tickets are also available bar side at Menjos!

Events at Menjos Complex – Olympus Theater

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

82e2b2bb95c8fd58e4c5f261f486efef_750x600

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.”

 

Buy Tickets

Bruce Vilanch Talks Showbiz, Politics in Coral Springs

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

South Florida Gay News
Bruce Vilanch Talks Showbiz, Politics in Coral Springs
BY JW Arnold 01/28/2016 12:31 pm

4-27-2013 4-08-15 AM

For Bruce Vilanch, controversy is a laughing matter.

Media Bids – Humane Society
The writer and comedian is bringing his one man show to The Rrazz Room in Coral Springs on Saturday and he has no plans to shy away from any of those traditionally taboo topics of polite conversation.

SFGN caught up with him on the phone while he hurried to finish up the script for the Producers Guild Awards last weekend. While the Producers Guild is incredibly diverse, he said, it’s also neither televised nor immune from the after effects of the controversy surrounding the Oscar nominations a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s Hollywood,” he said. “It’s the town industry and the city is full of people who don’t want to be branded as racist. It’s a lighting rod for publicity. Nobody understands the nominating process.”

Vilanch, who has also written 25 Oscars ceremony scripts, attributes much of the anger to “sour grapes from people who were eligible but not nominated. That makes it sound petty.”

“There’s certainly a problem in the industry and the Academy is trying to address it,” he explained. “We’re talking about art, not industry.”

He pointed out that while the 20 nominees in the acting categories were white, they were nominated by 1150 actors who are members of the Academy and still more diverse than the other branches, such as the writers and directors who also select the nominees in their professions.

“I’ve written the show 25 times and every year there’s something,” Vilanch said. “This issue just won’t go away.”

He also plans to talk politics. Not surprisingly, Vilanch is a proud Democrat:

“I’ll wind up voting for Hillary like everyone else with a brain. The Republicans are not an option,” he explained.

South Florida audiences should expect to hear Vilanch’s opinions about the current crowd of hopeful Republican candidates.

“They’re all such clowns. You don’t have to say anything, they write their own material,” he said with a hearty chuckle. “And there is Sarah Palin standing up and blaming Obama for her son being a lunatic. Imagine if Obama’s kids were as cracked out as hers.”

Of course, Vilanch will be armed with plenty of dishy Hollywood stories, too, although he warns he is not a conventional stand up comic.

“I’m a storyteller and I’ve been party to a lot of stories,” he again chuckled. “I was a child actor, you know. I never became a child star or we’d be talking from rehab. I love telling these stories about the behind the scenes in Hollywood and the ridiculous jobs I’ve had. It’s so hard to choose now.”

The Coral Springs appearance will be a homecoming of sorts. Vilanch’s grandparents lived in Miami Beach and he vacationed here as a child. Years later, his first job out of college was at the Miami Herald. His 95-year-old mother, who just passed away this year, was a snowbird in Boca Raton.

He sighed, “I’ve often thought maybe I could just pick up a little place there, but life gets in the way.”