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Archive for the ‘Comedy Show’ Category

Comedians Judy Gold & Bruce Vilanch Coming to The Alden in McLean, 11/7

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Broadway World
Comedians Judy Gold & Bruce Vilanch Coming to The Alden in McLean, 11/7
October 8, 2015


The Alden in McLean bring the NSFW (not safe for work) humor of Judy Gold and Bruce Vilanch for a late show at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7. Tickets are $35, $20 for McLean Community Center (MCC) tax district residents. The Alden is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue, inside MCC.

In the show, entitled “An Evening with Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold,” the comedians pair up for separate stand-up sets united by their gay, Jewish identities and raunchy, sidesplitting observations. One of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry, Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right, thanks in part to his stint as a regular on the television show “Hollywood Squares,” for which he also served as head writer. He has written for virtually every awards show and Hollywood comedian, including most of the Oscar casts over the past 20 years-his Jack Palance-inspired jokes have famously passed through the lips of Billy Crystal.

Gold gets around, everywhere from her Comedy Central and HBO specials to cohosting “The View,” to starring Off-Broadway in her two acclaimed long-running hit shows, including “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.” She has won two Emmy Awards for her work on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” Gold is an observant Jew, 6 feet 3 inches tall and a lesbian mother of two.

Together, Vilanch and Gold will fill the order of making the audience laugh and laugh.

Please note: This show is for mature audiences only.

Tickets are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit: or call 703-790-0123, TTY: 711.

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

4-27-2013 3-29-19 AM

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.”

Bruce Vilanch Heads Celebrity Autobiography Jan. 28-Feb. 1

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

South Florida
Thanks for the memoirs
Humor breaks out when celebs do book readings in “Celebrity Autobiography,” coming to Kravis Center.
By Rod Stafford Hagwood, Staff writer
4:42 p.m. EST, January 26, 2015

1-31-2015 8-33-28 PM

“Celebrity Autobiography” just might be one of the most successful shows you’ve never heard of.

The comedy – actors read from celebrity memoirs live onstage – has run for five sold-out years in New York City, landed a 2009 Drama Desk Award and toured all over the United States. It arrives at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Jan. 28-Feb.1.

The ever-revolving talent roster has included Ryan Reynolds, Debbie Harry, Matthew Broderick, Will Forte, Kristin Wiig, Brooke Shields, Nathan Lane, Dick Cavett, Rosie Perez and Tony Danza.

In West Palm Beach, the cast will include Lainie Kazan (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “My Favorite Year,” “Beaches”) and Gary Beach (“The Producers,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “La Cage aux Folles”). Bruce Vilanch (“Hairspray,” writer for the Emmys, Tonys and Oscars) will appear in the Saturday matinee show.

“Celebrity Autobiography” started when wife-and-husband co-creators Dayle Reyfel and Eugene Pack, both television writers and producers, had some friends go onstage in L.A. and try the concept out in front of an audience. It was an instant hit.

“We just got about 12 friends together and we read excerpts,” explains Reyfel. “[The theater owner] was so blown away by the audience’s reaction he wanted us there every week.”

Pack recalls, “Years ago, 10 years ago or even more, I came across a hard-cover edition of Vanna Speaks by Vanna White, her memoir. I went through the book and there’s this one chapter where she talks in detail about how challenging it is to flip the panels on ‘The Wheel of Fortune.’ And my background in comedy kicked in. I thought, what if you were to read this out loud…what would be the reaction?”

The reaction was lines around the block, particularly when the show went overseas in London and Sydney, Australia.

“I think that mainly because people understood what this was,” says Reyfel. “The show had a reputation already and people knew what they were coming to see.”

What they are seeing are famous people, script in hand, reading from autobiographies. For the South Florida run, famous snowbirds such as Tiger Woods, Jennifer Lopez, Burt Reynolds, Ricky Martin and Joe Namath will have their words in the spotlight alongside word-for-word snippets from the likes of Bieber and Beyonce.

“The concept of the show is that we have a lot of celebrity performers getting onstage and acting out other actors’ memoirs,” says Pack. “But when you read it out loud, it’s just astounding what people have written. It’s not only funny, but fascinating and dramatic.”

But the show adds drama by having multiple memoirs read together, forming a scene, as is the case with the Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor/DebbieReynolds/Eddie Fisher scandal (“It’s he said, she said, she said, he said,” says Pack.)

Reyfel explains further, “The Liz Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher thing, that’s like a Rashomon three-act play where everyone has a different point of view and we merge them back together.”

That theatrical staging is also given to the Burt Reynolds/Loni Anderson saga.

“One of our big pieces is we combine autobiographies from Burt Reynolds, Loni Anderson and Burt Reynolds’ secretary, who wrote a book about him,” says Pack. “Again, it’s he said, she said, she said.”

Reyfel adds, “And a lot of it takes place in Jupiter, Florida.”

The show also puts autobiographies into groupings such as sport stars and foodies. “Neil Sedaka, that was a gem from the beginning because he just talks about what he eats for every single meal,” says Reyfel.

And the material in the show is in a constant state of flux.

“We’re always adding new pieces to the show,” explains Pack. “We like to keep it current. But we also like to dig deep into things like Zsa Zsa slapping the cop. People love hearing those classic stories. You’d be astounded how many memoirs come out for us to comb through, like very week. Miley Cyrus has a book out already.”

But no matter what celebrity they focus on or where they perform, there is one constant with the audience according to Pack: “They always ask, ‘You made that up on the spot. It was improvisation, right?’ I always answer, ‘Seriously, we could not make up this stuff if we tried.’ ”

“Celebrity Autobiography” runs Jan. 28-Feb. 1 at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $38. To order, call 561-832-7469 or go to

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

“An Evening with Bruce Vilanch” Saturday, Aug. 31, Los Gatos

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013
A wacky night at the JCC with Oscars joke-meister Bruce Vilanch
by dan pine, j. staff

4-27-2013 4-01-43 AM

Comedy writer Bruce Vilanch is normally not a praying man. But backstage at the Academy Awards, for which he has long served as head writer, he often gets religion.

“You pray that somebody will make a fool of themselves in the early minutes of the evening,” Vilanch says of the unpredictable live telecast, “then you take it and run with it.”

The classic example came during the 1992 Oscars, when Jack Palance celebrated his Best Supporting Actor win by doing a few one-armed push-ups. That sparked a night of priceless quips from host Billy Crystal, many written on the fly by Vilanch (“Jack Palance just bungee-jumped off the Hollywood Sign”).

With his Elton John eyewear, kooky T-shirts and trademark blond tresses on display, Vilanch might recount that story in delicious detail when he appears Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos. The event is billed as “An Evening with Bruce Vilanch.”

Avilanch_bruce_vilanch_normal_sizeAs this JCC performance shows, Vilanch is not just a behind-the-scenes funny man. He starred in a Broadway revival of “Hairspray” and currently stars in an off-Broadway hit, “Rubble.” He’s acted in films and for many years he was a familiar X and O on “Hollywood Squares.”

But his role as a writer for awards shows such as the Oscars and Emmys has given him his widest notoriety. Somehow, in a town famous for eating its young, Vilanch has lasted 23 years at the Oscars, serving up jokes for hosts great (Billy Crystal) and not so great (James Franco).

The New Jersey native credits the great Jewish comedians of old for his sharp wit. “I was exposed to so many of them as a kid,” Vilanch recalls. “I was a rabid fan of Henny Youngman and Alan King.”

He also salutes his mother, who was a master quipster like her son.

Vilanch tells the story of how his mom used to keep the living room furniture covered in plastic most of the time. Eventually she decided to reupholster the well-preserved pieces, and when Vilanch asked her why, she replied, “I’m telling people it’s because Sonny Bono died.”

The Vilanch family belonged to a local Conservative synagogue. Little Bruce attended Hebrew School three times a week, was a member of United Synagogue Youth, and was bar mitzvahed.

After college he gave journalism a try, but when Bette Midler met him in 1970 and offered him a job writing jokes for her, the comedy die was cast, and a lifelong personal and professional relationship began.

A move to Los Angeles led to staff writer positions on variety shows, and hired-gun joke-writing jobs with stars such as Lily Tomlin and Joan Rivers.

He made his premiere as an Oscar writer in 1989, eventually becoming head writer in 2000. Once asked if he wanted to keep working on the show after so long, he replied, “It’s the greatest show on Earth. It’s like asking somebody ‘Hey, would you like to play in the Super Bowl?’ ”

Long before it was cool or commonplace, Vilanch, who is gay, was a major activist for LGBT rights. He says the social progress made on that front in the last two years has been “absolutely staggering.”

But now he has turned his attention to Russia, which recently instituted harsh anti-gay laws and has seen an uptick in anti-gay violence.

Says Vilanch, “All of a sudden comes [Russian president] Vladimir Putin, fresh from a midnight reading of ‘Mein Kampf,’ and he decides to make gay people the new scapegoat in Russia.”

It’s a rare solemn moment for Vilanch, who prefers to make light of most situations.

And though he’s far from the first person to note the long, powerful link between Jews and comedy, Vilanch has his own theory as to why it’s been such a fruitful association.

“Any people who are oppressed find humor as a way to deal with it,” he says. “African Americans have, gay people have. It’s a common thread, and the Jews are really good at it.”

“An Evening with Bruce Vilanch” takes place 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. $15-$20. or (408) 358-3636.

Mara Wilson, Bruce Vilanch Preview 2013 New York International Fringe Festival

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Your first look at nine new shows that will premiere August 9-25.
By David Gordon • Aug 6, 2013 • New York City

4-27-2013 4-17-14 AM

Cast and creative team members from nine productions in this year’s New York International Fringe Festival (also known as FringeNYC) met the press and offered previews of their work on Tuesday, August 6 at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater.

On hand to present segments of their work were cast members from Save the Date, Old Familiar Faces, Kinematik, Sheeple, Someone to Belong To, Rubble, The Rufus Equation, Gertrude Stein Saints!, and Breaking Kayfabe.

For more photos: Click Here