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Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press’

Kritzerland Announces THE APRIL FOOLS Concert with special guest, Bruce Vilanch

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Broadway World
Kritzerland Announces THE APRIL FOOLS Concert
by BWW News Desk Mar. 17, 2017

4-27-2013 3-29-19 AM

Kritzerland has announced a new concert event coming on Sunday, April 2, 2017 entitled “The April Fools.” This entertaining evening will take place at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal in North Hollywood, California.

For the 76th Kritzerland show, we have our annual wild and wacky April Fools show, always a favorite for us at Kritzerland. You can always expect the unexpected – you’ll get some Spring songs, some April songs, and some Foolish and crazy songs – as always, you’ll know some and many you won’t know at all – for this iteration, we have songs from several flop musicals we all know and love, including Carmelina, Bring Back Birdie, We Take the Town, Minsky’s, and others, while we also have songs from Promises, Promises, Hallelujah, Baby, Annie, Newsies, as well as some classic pop standards. We’ve assembled a merry and fun cast for this one as well as our hilarious guest star, Bruce Vilanch and we can only say that what he’s doing in this show you will not want to miss. So, come join us in the merriment and mirth and tuneful evening we have in store. Kritzerland is produced and hosted by Bruce Kimmel and co-produced by Doug Haverty.

Included in the line-up are:

Will Collyer [Regional: Breaking Through (Smith) Pasadena Playhouse; Parade Mark Taper Forum; Carousel (Enoch Snow, Jr) Hwd. Bowl, Local: MTG, WCE, Boston Court, Odyssey]
Jennifer Foster [Off B’way: If There Is … ; Regional: Merrily We Roll Along, Hair, Carrie: The Killer Musical; TV: Looking, Glee; Film: Looking; Disney: Frozen: Live at the Hyperion]
Hadley Belle Miller [Voice, Lucy van Pelt, Peanuts Movie; National Tour: Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan (Michael); (www.hadleybellemiller.com)]
Kerry O’Malley [B’way: Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), White Christmas (Betty), Billy Elliot (Mum), Annie Get Your Gun (Dolly), On a Clear Day (Sharone); TV: Shameless, Boardwalk Empire, etc.]Jenna Lea Rosen [Regional: Parade, Ovation Award 3DT; TV: Sofia the First (Shelly, Clio, Hildegard), Elena of Avalor (Ciela) Disney Jr. series.]
Hayley Shukiar [Meet Me In St. Louis (Tootie); Peter Pan (Wendy); Little Mermaid (Ursula); Willy Wonka (Veruca Salt) Cabrillo; Studio singer for Hal Leonard Publishing.]
NICK TUBBS [Regional: Assassins (Balladeer), Forever Plaid (Jinx), Les Miserables (Enjolras) The Full Monty (Malcolm); Other: Princess Cruises, Kit and The Kats]
Robert Yacko [Do I Hear a Waltz? (Renato) MTG; Addams Family (Mal) 3-D; Parade (Dorsey) Mark Taper, Company (Paul) w/ Carol Burnett, Sunday in the Park with George (George) LA Premiere]

Bruce Vilanch (Special Guest) [B’way: Hairspray (Edna); Off B’Way: Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous; Film: Mahogany; TV: Hollywood Squares, The Simpsons, The Oscars (2 Emmys/Writing)]

RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED!

IMPORTANT RESERVATION INFORMATION!

The only way to reserve is via Brown Paper Tickets! It’s easy! Go to sterlingsupstairs040217.brownpapertickets.com.

Dinner reservations: DOORS OPEN 5:30pm. SHOW STARTS 7:00pm

Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal is located at 5303 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601

SAGE honors Vilanch, Jewel Thais-Williams in L.A.

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Washington Blade
SAGE honors Vilanch, Jewel Thais-Williams in L.A.
March 10, 2017 at 11:38 am EDT | by Karen Ocamb

Bruce_Vilanch_and_Jewel_Thais-Williams_insert

LOS ANGELES — The fundraiser for SAGE USA March 4 in the Hollywood Hills felt like a reunion, a coming together of a generation of LGBT people with shared memories and a desire to confront aging, an issue, SAGE Board Development chair Bill Weinberger said, he heretofore had avoided thinking about. Honorees Jewel Thais-Williams and Bruce Vilanch, however, exemplify how LGBT people can age as respected elders with grace, continued activism, and humor.


Weinberger introduced Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, whom he has known since the early 1980s. Shortly after, Wilson discovered he was HIV positive. He noted that while “many of us were dealing with whether we would survive or not, SAGE has always believed we would.” Wilson shared how Thais-Williams bravely opened Jewel’s Catch One Disco as a refuge for LGBT people desperate for a place where they could be themselves.


“Jewel has been a leader, a hero, and a visionary and an advocate for a long, long time,” Wilson said. “Jewel was one of those ‘bridge’ people,” linking the LGBT African-American community to organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and her alma mater, UCLA. You always speak up, whether you’re afraid or not.”


Thais-Williams joked that she was honored to be honored, having spent the last 42 years at Catch One “partying,” adding that she will turn 78 in a couple of months. “To be of service to my community has been a great joy,” she said. “But there is still a lot of work to do. Remember to always reach out to those in need.”


“There has never been a more important time to come together,” SAGE CEO Michael Adams told the diverse crowd of SAGE board members, staffers and supporters at the elegant home of James Frost and William Yi. “We are living in very challenging times,” a notion received with a knowing chuckle for its understatement.


A civilization is historically measured by how it cares and supports its children and most vulnerable and how it supports its elders, Adams said, not just the “right kind of elders….We owe it to our elders, the pioneers who paved the way for the equality we celebrate today….We need the wisdom of our pioneers, our elders.”




Demographic estimates predict that there will be 6 million LGBT people age 65 years or over in America by 2030. That sets the stage for a potentially disastrous future since, as SAGE notes, LGBT seniors are “twice as likely to be single, twice as likely to live alone, and four times more likely to be without children than their heterosexual peers.”  And, Adam said, facilities that take care of the aging population are “woefully unprepared” to take care of LGBT seniors who fear having to go back in the closet in order to get care and treatment without discrimination.


In introducing comedic writer/actor Bruce Vilanch, SAGE Board co-chair Elizabeth Schwartz—whose co-chair is former LA-based board activist Kevin Williams—said Vilanch’s appearances on “Hollywood Squares” were “instrumental in shaping gay images.” Watching him, “we didn’t have to speculate obsessively” about whether he was gay “as I did over Kristy McNichol.”  She was also grateful that he was also out about being chubby. Vilanch, she said, has a “tireless dedication to the LGBT community.”


In accepting the handsomely shaped glass award, the legendary Oscar writer said that when he was told he was being honored by SAGE, his first thought was: “You have the wrong envelope,” referring to the Best Picture mishap at the Academy Awards.


However, a recent interview with a young journalist underscored that he is now arcing “into my dotage.” The young gay man had no idea who Ted Mack was, though “Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour,” the variety-show precursor to shows like “American Idol,” launched the careers of such future celebrities as Pat Boone and Ann-Margret.  The young man sat stone faced at the mention of her name.


“When queens don’t know who Ann-Margret is, we’re in trouble,” Vilanch said to an uproar of laughter.


“Senior gays are not venerated,” he said. “But we are valued because we can pick up the check or write it.”


As to his decision to be openly gay at a time when being out was a brave decision, Vilanch noted that he worked in the more accepting entertainment industry. But early on, he worked as a journalist writing features for the Chicago Tribune and tried to get gay stories into the paper. Vilanch cited a quote that stuck with him: “A faggot is a homosexual gentleman who just left the room.” He determined to be “the faggot who stayed in the room.”


LGBT progress is result of taking action. “We did the bravest thing—we came out and that changed everything,” Vilanch said. But the LGBT community cannot rely on help from outside. “We have to do it for ourselves….[and] we’re not done yet.”


SAGE CEO Michael Adams also announced the launch of a new initiative in conjunction with AARP—SAGETable— to build “intergenerational connections in the LGBT community” by “breaking bread with your LGBT family on May 18. Visit sagetable.org.

Chicago’s Legacy Walk LGBT History Museum to honor Sylvia Rivera, Vito Russo, October 15, 2016

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Windy City Media Group
Chicago’s Legacy Walk LGBT History Museum to honor Sylvia Rivera, Vito Russo
Press Release
Sept. 19, 2016

456007788

Dedicated in 2012, Chicago’s Legacy Walk is the world’s only outdoor LGBT History Museum. This half-mile installation features bronze biographical memorials celebrating the lives of people like Leonard Bernstein, Audre Lorde, Sally Ride, James Baldwin, Jane Addams, Rudolf Nureyev, Frida Kahlo and Alan Turing.

The Legacy Walk’s markers serve as an “outdoor classroom” for bullied LGBTQ youth who come for guided tours in order to learn about historically significant positive LGBT role models whose contributions have made an incalculable difference in the world we share.

On October 15, 2016 they welcome two LGBT activist superstars to the Legacy Walk: transgender icon Sylvia Rivera from the Stonewall Era, and gay film activist/historian Vito Russo, who co-founded both ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). Their considerable legacies will soon be added to the 35 incredible stories of achievement which already line the only streetscape of its kind in existence.

This all-day tribute will feature legendary gay activist Cleve Jones, Chicago transgender spokesperson Myles Brady-Davis, Emmy Award-Winning writer-producer-actor Bruce Vilanch, and trans pioneer Judy Bowenwiener, a close personal friend of Sylvia and Marsha P. Johnson from the post-Stonewall Era. Judy will be talking about their involvement as three trans women in New York’s Gay Activist Alliance (GAA). She will be joined by Phillip Raia, who worked with both Vito and Sylvia in GAA in the 1970s. Never have all these people been brought together for a celebration quite like this.

The event will be in three parts:

1-3 p.m.: Opening Reception and Program, Center on Halsted

Transgender activist Myles Brady-Davis, Howard Brown Health, gay activist Cleve Jones, NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, “Reflecting on the Evolution of Activism across the Decades.”

3-4 p.m.: Legacy Walk Induction Ceremonies, Northalsted Streetscape, featuring the LGBTQ Youth from Lyons Township High School.

Sylvia Rivera Bronze Memorial Dedication, 3656 N. Halsted: Personal reflections of Judy Bowenwiener and Phillip Raia, Sylvia Rivera’s friends.

Vito Russo Bronze Memorial Dedication, 3411 N. Halsted, personal reflections of Bruce Vilanch, Emmy Award-winning writer-producer-actor.

4-6 p.m.: Celebration Party, Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted, “Building a New Legacy for the Future of Our Past.”

Tickets for this multi-part event are available for $30, $50, and $100 and include light appetizers and variable bar service. There will also be raffle prizes and door prizes. LGBT people from throughout the metropolitan area are expected to turn out to celebrate this unique Chicago cultural institution—built by our community, for our community—in this salute to the contributions of LGBT people.

TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED AT:

www.eventbrite.com/e/legacy-walk-dedication-v-tickets-27530936773 .

Broadway Veterans Will Lead Bruce Vilanch’s New 1960s Musical A SIGN OF THE TIMES in CT

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Broadway World
Broadway Veterans Will Lead Goodspeed’s New 1960s Musical A SIGN OF THE TIMES
By Broadway World Staff
June 28, 2016

4-27-2013 3-49-54 AM

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. This pop-fueled musical will run July 29 – September 4 at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn. A Sign of the Times will be 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 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.

Cindy will be played by Ephie Aardema who appeared in the Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County and Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre production of Snapshots. Robert Lenzi from Broadway’s Tuck Everlasting, and South Pacific will play Brian. The role of Dennis will be played by Bryan Fenkart who performed in the cast of Broadway’s Memphis. Matt will be played by Nick Bailey whose credits include the Broadway production Casa Valentina. Tanya will be played by Crystal Lucas-Perry who most recently played Madison in Little Children Dream of God at the Roundabout Theatre.

The ensemble includes Lauren Boyd (Broadway’s West Side Story), Lauren 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 (Broadway’s Sister Act), Alexandra Matteo (Broadway’s Annie), Keven Quillon (Broadway’s Grease, Shrek the Musical, and Annie), Kevin Santos (Broadway’s A Chorus Line, West Side Story), Dave Schoonover (Broadway’s Young Frankenstein), and Alet Taylor (Broadway’s The Producers) who will play Cleo.

A Sign of the Times will be directed by Gabriel Barre. Mr. Barre has directed numerous productions for Goodspeed Musicals including Camille Claudel, King of Hearts, Sweeney Todd, Houdini, and Fanny Hill. In 2012 Mr. Barre directed Amazing Grace at The Terris Theatre and again in 2015 on Broadway. Off-Broadway he directed Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party; Son of a Gun; Cyrano; Summer of ‘42; Stars in Your Eyes; Honky-Tonk Highway; john & jen; and Almost, Maine. As a performer he appeared on Broadway in Rags, Starmites, Anna Karenina, and Ain’t Broadway Grand.

JoAnn M. Hunter will serve as Choreographer. Ms. Hunter’s Broadway credits for choreography include Associate Chorographer for All Shook Up, The Wedding Singer, Spring Awakening, and Curtains and Choreographer for the recent hits School of Rock-The Musical, and Disaster!. As a dancer, she performed on Broadway in Miss Saigon, Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, among others. She returns to The Terris Theatre where she served as an Assistant Choreographer for the 2004 Goodspeed production of Princesses.

Scenic Design will be by Paul Tate DePoo lII who most recently served as the Scenic Designer for Goodspeed’s Guys and Dolls and the Associate Designer for Broadway’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Costumes are designed by Jennifer Caprio whose credits include the Broadway’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, as well as Goodspeed’s LMNOP at The Terris Theatre. Lighting Design will be by Ken Billington who has been nominated for nine Tony Awards, winning in 1997 for Best Lighting Design for Chicago. With nearly 100 Broadway productions to his name, some of his most recent designs include Dames at Sea, Amazing Grace, Chaplin, The Scottsboro Boys, Sunday in the Park with George, It Shoulda Been You, and The Drowsy Chaperone. He has also served as Lighting Designer for numerous Goodspeed productions including Amazing Grace, Lucky Guy, The Story of My Life, The 60’s Project, They All Laughed, and The Road to Hollywood. Projection Design will be provided by Benjamin Pearcy. Mr. Pearcy’s Broadway credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Big Fish. Jay Hilton who is in his 31st season at Goodspeed will provide Sound Design.

The Music Director for A Sign of the Times will be Rick Fox whose Broadway credits include Doctor Zhivago, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent, and Blood Brothers. Joseph Church will serve as Music Supervisor. Mr. Church is best-known for his music direction and supervision of the Broadway musicals The Lion King and The Who’s Tommy. Other credits include Amazing Grace, In the Heights, Little Shop of Horrors, Randy Newman’s Faust, and Radio City Christmas Spectacular. He returns to Goodspeed where he previously served as associate conductor for The Little Rascals, and as supervisor/orchestrator for The 60’s Project. Dance Arrangements will be by David Dabbon whose Broadway credits include providing the Dance Arrangements for Disaster! and additional Orchestrations for Sondheim on Sondheim. Casting for A Sign of the Times is by Tara Rubin Casting.

A Sign of the Times will run July 29 through September 4, 2016. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m..

Tickets Available Now For ‘A Sign Of The Times’ Musical By Bruce Vilanch For Goodspeed Musical Season July 29 – Sept. 4

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Middletown Press
East Haddam/Chester: Tickets avaialble now for 2016 season at Goodspeed Musicals
POSTED: 02/17/16, 5:32 PM EST

4-27-2013 4-09-31 AM

EAST HADDAM >> Don’t miss your chance to get the best seats for each of the five musicals during Goodspeed Musicals’ upcoming 2016 season. There’s something for everyone at Goodspeed this season. All aboard for the Cole Porter classic Anything Goes; from the composer of Annie, it’s Bye Bye Birdie, the musical comedy inspired by Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army; be charmed by the new musical Chasing Rainbows –the story of Judy Garland’s Road to Oz; experience an arresting new version of the Broadway hit The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd; and relive the spirit of the 60s in A Sign of the Times, featuring with the songs of Petula Clark.

“Anything Goes”: Set sail on a “de-lovely” cruise through some of Cole Porter’s most famous songs. A brassy nightclub singer, a starry-eyed stowaway and Public Enemy No. 13 are booked on a transatlantic luxury liner bound for romance and laughter. Hum along with an easy-to-love score packed with hits including “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and more! This tap-happy classic docks at Goodspeed for the first time. Anything Goes features Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Original Book by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, and New Book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. Anything Goes is sponsored by Chester Village West, Liberty Bank, The Shops at Mohegan Sun and Sennheiser.

“Bye Bye Birdie”: Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie’s farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it’s a teenage crisis for new “steadies” Hugo and Kim: she just won the chance to give Birdie one last kiss before boot camp. Kids, parents and show folk collide in the Goodspeed debut of the hip-swiveling musical comedy set at the dawn of the sensational 60s. Bring the entire family to discover we’ve got a lot of livin’ to do! Bye Bye Birdie features a Book by Michael Stewart, Music by Charles Strouse and Lyrics by Lee Adams. Bye Bye Birdie is sponsored by Amica and Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, PC.

“Chasing Rainbows”: An awkward girl with a golden voice blossoms into Judy Garland in the inspirational new musical about the bumpy road to Oz. The future superstar’s complicated childhood comes alive with heartbreak, hope and the music that made her famous. “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “You Made Me Love You” and “Over the Rainbow” sweeten the story of Judy striving to hold onto her family. A love letter to gifted underdogs who reach high—and how the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. Chasing Rainbows features a Book by Marc Acito, Conceived by Tina Marie Casamento with Music adapted by David Libby. Chasing Rainbows is sponsored by ConnectiCare and Comacast.

Visit he Norma Terris Theatre in Chester and take in two unique musicals: In a world turned upside down, a rag-tag group relies on humor, song and dance to try to build a new life. But can show tunes and music hall merriment revive the human spirit? On the highway of life, hope is just around the bend in this arresting reinvention of the vivacious Broadway hit. Their world may have ended, but songs like “Who Can I Turn To?,” “The Joker,” “Feeling Good” and “A Wonderful Day Like Today” echo on, welcoming new love and another dawn. The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd features Book, Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

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 features a Book by Bruce Vilanch, Story Created by Richard Robin.

Single tickets may be purchased by visiting the Box Office, open seven days a week at 6 Main Street, East Haddam, Conn.; by calling 860.873.8668; or on-line at goodspeed.org. Special ticket packages are still available: see three shows at The Goodspeed for only $108 or see all five shows for just $196. Contact the Box Office for details. Ticket cost may vary by performance; please call for current pricing. All prices are subject to change.

At the Goodspeed, Anything Goes runs from April 8 – June 16; Bye Bye Birdie will run from June 24 – Sept. 4; Chasing Rainbows runs from Sept. 16 – Nov. 27.

At the Norma Terris Theatre: The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd runs from May 20 – June 26; A Sign of the Times runs from July 29 – Sept. 4.

Curtain times are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with select performances at 2 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., with select performances at 6:30 p.m.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation, development and advancement of musical theatre and is the first theatre in the nation 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 acknowledges the support of United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals, and official auto sponsor Hoffman Audi. Goodspeed is supported in part the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

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.”