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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

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.

Future Productions Planned for New Musical A SIGN OF THE TIMES Following Goodspeed Run

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Broadway World
Future Productions Planned for New Musical A SIGN OF THE TIMES Following Goodspeed Run
By Broadway World Staff
September 22, 2016

 

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A Sign of the Times, the new pop-fueled musical featuring songs made famous by Petula Clark and other hit-makers of the 1960s, recently wrapped up a successful five-week run at Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn. where the show played from July 29 – September 4 to packed houses. News of an upcoming production will be announced.

“Welcoming A Sign of the Times for its first full developmental production, and watching it grow over the course of its run, was a thrill for all of us at Goodspeed Musicals,” said Executive Director Michael Gennaro. “We’re so pleased that the show proved to be one of the most highly rated shows by Goodspeed audiences.”

Creator and producer Richard Robin added, “A Sign of the Times truly found its feet under the guidance and support of the top-notch team at Goodspeed. After a summer of audiences humming the sounds of the 60s and connecting with our show’s heroine as she struggles to find her place in an era of change, we’re now looking forward to what’s next as A Sign of the Times explores options for future productions.”

Below is a sampling of what audiences had to say after attending A Sign of the Times:

– “A Sign of the Times was absolutely wonderful, lifting my heart and spirits. It brought back that youthful uplifting feeling of great hope.” – “Just loved this play! It brought me back to my middle to late teenage years. The music and singing and dancing was super! I especially liked that it had humor but also took a look at the racial issues and women’s rights that were so front and center during those years. All in all it was just delightful!” – “I have never had a show leave such an impression on me! I grew up with Petula Clark…”Downtown” was my first 45 record. I can’t get the music out of my head.” – “My wife and I have been to nearly every show that you have produced at both theaters over the last eight years. This is your best so far!” – “A Sign of the Times captured the legacy and impact of the cultural changes wrought by the 60s that were expressed through its music. An inspiring array of songs, outstanding script, crisp choreography, great sets and outstanding performances by all. Bravo for a fabulous show!”

This is the story of Cindy, a 20-something whose dreams are bigger than her Midwestern hometown will allow. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the 1960s women’s liberation, the civil rights movement, and protests of the Vietnam warCindy searches for her place in the world. A Sign of the Times, featuring chart-topping hits from the 1960s, celebrates friendship, love, and discovering one’s sense of self. A Sign of the Times was sponsored by Essex Savings Bank.

1965. The pulse of a changing era lures Cindy from Middle America to the swirl of Manhattan. Unexpected friends, lovers, careers, and conflicts are all a subway ride away in a pop-fueled new musical featuring songs made famous by Petula Clark and other hit-makers of the day. “I Know a Place,” “The Shoop Shoop Song,” and “If I Can Dream” are among the fabulous favorites on an eye-opening ride from innocence to experience. Forget all your troubles, forget all your cares – go “Downtown” and find out who you are!

A Sign of the Times includes popular hits by Petula Clark, as well as classics by Elvis Presley, Lesley Gore, Nancy Sinatra, and Fontella Bass. The musical’s original book is by Emmy Award-winning writer Bruce Vilanch. Vilanch’s career as writer and performer spans the worlds of television, film, and stage. For television he has written for shows as diverse as “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour,” “Donnie and Marie,” “Comic Relief,” and “Hollywood Squares,” as well as serving several years as head writer for the Academy Awards. For Broadway, Bruce not only appeared as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, but wrote the book for the musical Platinum and penned special material for a number of revues and concerts for the likes of Bette Midler, Michael Feinstein, and Diana Ross, among others.

The cast of A Sign of the Times featured Ephie Aardema (Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County and Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre production of Snapshots) as Cindy; Robert Lenzi (Broadway’s Tuck Everlasting, and South Pacific) as Brian; Bryan Fenkart (Broadway’s Memphis) as Dennis; Nick Bailey (Broadway production of Casa Valentina) as Matt; and Crystal Lucas-Perry (Little Children Dream of God at the Roundabout Theatre) as Tanya.

The ensemble includes Lauren Boyd (Broadway’s West Side Story), Lauren Nicole Chapman (Broadway’s Kinky Boots), Melessie Clark, Drew Franklin (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at The Goodspeed and Broadway’s Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Jeremy Gaston (1st National Tour of Sister Act), Alexandra Matteo (Broadway’s Annie), Keven Quillon (Broadway’s Grease, Shrek the Musical, and Annie), Kevin Santos (Broadway’s In the Heights and the National Tours of A Chorus Line, and West Side Story), Dave Schoonover (National Tour of Young Frankenstein), and Alet Taylor (National Tour and Las Vegas productions of The Producers) who will play Cleo.

A Sign of the Times was directed by Gabriel Barre and choreographed by JoAnn M. Hunter. The creative team included Paul Tate DePoo lII (scenic design), Jennifer Caprio (costume design), Ken Billington (lighting design), Benjamin Pearcy (projection design), and Jay Hilton (sound design). Music Direction was by Rick Fox, Music Supervision by Joseph Church, Dance Arrangements by David Dabbon, and Casting was by Tara Rubin Casting.

The story of A Sign of the Times was created by Richard Robin. This production made possible by special arrangement with Richard Robin, president of Wells Street Productions.

For 30 years, The Terris Theatre has been Goodspeed’s home for developing fresh, innovative, and original new musicals. These new works have been developed in Chester, Conn., before they’ve moved on to Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours, and other Regional Theatres. Because this is a developmental theatre, the show can change on a day-to-day basis. New scenes are added, songs are moved, costumes are changed, dialogue is tweaked?all based on audience response and feedback.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation, development and advancement of musical theatre. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed produces three musicals each season at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn. and additional productions at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals, and official auto sponsor Hoffman Audi. Goodspeed is supported in part by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

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

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

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

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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

‘Scrooge & Marley’ DVD, Blu-ray, Soundtrack Available Now! Buy Yours Today!

Monday, December 10th, 2012

‘Scrooge & Marley’ DVD, Blu-ray, Soundtrack Available Buy Yours Today!

CHICAGO — “Scrooge & Marley,” a modern-day variation on Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story, “A Christmas Carol,” is now available on DVD and soundtrack and Blu-ray.

The film is also playing in theaters nationally and in Canada this holiday season. In Chicago, it plays Friday, Dec. 21, 8:15 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 22 at 7:45 p.m.; and Thursday, Dec. 27, 7:45 p.m. at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N., State Street, Chicago, http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/scroogeandmarley.

Acclaimed out actor David Pevsner portrays Ben Scrooge while former Saturday Night Live star Tim Kazurinsky appears as the Ghost of Jacob Marley. The film also stars Rusty Schwimmer, Bruce Vilanch, Megan Cavanagh, Ronnie Kroell, David Moretti, Richard Ganoung, and JoJo Baby. It is narrated by Tony award-winning actress Judith Light. The stars at the gala opening include Pevsner, Schwimmer, Vilanch, Cavanagh, Kroell, Moretti and Ganoung.

DVD:

Blu-Ray:

Soundtrack:


Bruce Vilanch, Liz Larsen, KT Sullivan Among Those Starring In “At Home Abroad” Concert Oct. 15th

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Playbill
At Home Abroad Concert, With Bruce Vilanch, Liz Larsen, Christine Pedi, Offered Oct. 15
By Michael Gioia
15 Oct 2012

Tony Award nominee Liz Larsen (The Most Happy Fella), Drama Desk Award nominee Garrett Long (South Pacific, The Spitfire Grill), Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray, “Hollywood Squares”) and KT Sullivan (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) are among the artists featured in UnsungMusicalsCo.’s one-night-only benefit concert of the 1935 musical revue At Home Abroad Oct. 15.

At Home Abroad, which kicks off the company’s season at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, is directed by UMC artistic director Ben West. Written by Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, the work has been newly restored and adapted from the original manuscripts. Show time is 7:30 PM.

Also in the cast are Chris Hoch (La Cage aux Folles, Shrek The Musical), Michael Mastro (Twelve Angry Men), Pilin Anice (Junie B. Jones), Cicily Daniels (The Little Mermaid), Tim Falter (Some Like It Hot), Nadine Isenegger (42nd Street), Matthew LaBanca (Young Frankenstein), Kristin Maloney (The Talk of the Town), Brent McBeth (White Christmas), Jim Middleton (Goodspeed’s 1776), Kevin Vortmann (A Little Night Music), Tiffany Westlie (The Truth About Jane), Julie Halston (Anything Goes, The Divine Sister), Christine Pedi (Forbidden Broadway), Noah Racey (Curtains, Never Gonna Dance), Margaret Colin (The Columnist, Defiance, Arcadia), Fred Berman (The Lion King), Rachel de Benedet (Catch Me If You Can), Amy Hohn (November), Catherine LeFrere (The Judy Holliday Story), Greg Roderick (South Pacific), Tony Award nominee Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q, Once on This Island, Rent) and Laura Woyasz (Wicked).

Here’s how the concert is billed: “Captained by a terrifically tactless American tourist, At Home Abroad is a wonderfully satirical musical cruise assaulting every port from the French Riviera to the islands of Japan. This stylish entertainment sets sail for hilarity with such standards as ‘What a Wonderful World,’ ‘Love is a Dancing Thing’ and ‘Got a Bran’ New Suit.’ UMC’s concert event is conceived and staged as a live broadcast of a 1930s radio special, complete with a live jazz trio and a series of tap dance specialties. The UMC production is the first time the revue will be seen in over 70 years.”

Other members of the creative team include choreographer Rommy Sandhu and lighting designer Joe Hodge. Musical direction and arrangements are by Fran Minarik.

UnsungMusicalsCo. Inc., under the artistic direction of West, is a not-for-profit production company dedicated to the “preservation of musical theatre through the restoration and presentation of obscure but artistically sound works.”

The Peter Norton Symphony Space is located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street.

For tickets to At Home Abroad, call (212) 864-5400 or visit SymphonySpace.org. For more information, visit UnsungMusicals.org.