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Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Vilanch’

From ‘Golden Girls’ to ‘Silver Foxes’?

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Boston Globe
From ‘Golden Girls’ to ‘Silver Foxes’?
By Michael Andor Brodeur
AUGUST 08, 2017

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Do not adjust your hearing aids: That persistent buzz is just the chatter surrounding “Silver Foxes” — the gently ballyhooed “gay reboot of ‘The Golden Girls’” that isn’t actually a gay reboot of “The Golden Girls” but sort of is.

The brainchild (or grandparent?) of screenwriter Stan Zimmerman (who, back in the day, penned some fine “Golden Girls” episodes himself), “Silver Foxes” is certainly “inspired by” by the original “Girls, and will tell the tangling tales of four older gay men living (and likely grousing) together in Palm Springs — that is, if it gets picked up before the idea is shipped off to Shady Pines.

Right now, “Silver Foxes” exists in just two incomplete forms: 1) a scarcely documented table reading held at Zimmerman’s home that went swiftly viral on Instagram;
2) as a dream tumbling around in the heads of gay men everywhere. However, the latter could not have fathomed the fierceness of the foursome brought together for the former: the lead roles were read by George Takei, Leslie Jordan, Bruce Vilanch, and Todd Sherry. (OMG which one is the tramp?!) Rumor has it they’ve even written a cameo opportunity for Betty White.

This is one hip replacement.

I, for one, am screaming. Networks, meanwhile, are showing Zbornak levels of skepticism.

“Ageism and homophobia are not only keeping the show from getting picked up, but from even being read by a major network,” Zimmerman told HuffPo, all but raising his bugle to summon sleeping armies of slighted gays into clicking formation, let’s-get-Betty-White-on-“SNL” style.

This may or may not work, but here’s a slice of cheesecake and some truth: I’ve seen this move before. You flirt with the ones you don’t want (NBC, ABC, CBS — I mean, give me a break here) in order to draw the interest of the ones you do (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon). I’m pretty sure I learned that one from Blanche. Will it work? Depends.

Netflix seems not to have noticed it has absolutely no money for these sorts of things (might I and Tom Selleck suggest a reverse mortgage?) but it seems like a no-brainer that a comedy about aging gay men in Palm Springs would draw viewers like . . . well, aging gay men to Palm Springs.

In the meantime, not sure if you know this already, but you can get in a solid (or slightly mushed-up) four servings of “Golden Girls” each and every night from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Why so late? Because “The Golden Girls” is the raciest thing the Hallmark Channel airs by leaps and bounds (or short, careful steps).

(And with that, I conclude my housesitting for the vacationing Matthew Gilbert. Notice how I didn’t break anything. Thanks for letting me crash on your couch.)

Gay, male ‘Golden Girls’ reboot delayed by ‘ageism,’ ‘homophobia’ in Hollywood

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Washington Blade
Gay, male ‘Golden Girls’ reboot delayed by ‘ageism,’ ‘homophobia’ in Hollywood
July 31, 2017 at 8:28 am PDT | by Mariah Cooper

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The gay, male reboot of “Golden Girls” has hit a roadblock.






George Takei, Leslie Jordan, Bruce Vilanch and Todd Sherry had already done a table read as the core four. Daniele Gaither and Cheri Oteri also read for the lesbian neighbors. Zimmerman told Fox News a Betty White guest appearance was also planned.

However, Zimmerman says homophobia has kept the show from being developed.

“Unfortunately, we cannot get one network executive to read it,” Zimmerman told Fox News. “Or even a producer to pass it to them. We have found ageism and homophobia alive and well in Hollywood.

They plan to continue shopping the series around to networks and hope a streaming service will pick up the show.

“Hopefully a groundswell of support from the viewing public will get an outlet like Hulu or Amazon to make it,” Zimmerman says.

‘Golden Girls’ writer addresses reboot rumors

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Fox News Entertainment
‘Golden Girls’ writer addresses reboot rumors
By Stephanie Nolasco Published July 28, 2017 Fox News

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“Golden Girls” writer Stan Zimmerman confirmed to Fox News that a new series inspired by the classic sitcom is in the works featuring four older gay men living together.

The Golden Girls,” which stared Rue McClanahan, Betty White, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty, aired from 1985 until 1992. Throughout its run, it racked up 68 Emmy nominations and 11 wins.

“It is not a rumor,” Zimmerman told Fox News in an email. “[‘Golden Girls’ writer] James Berg and I did write a pilot script called ‘Silver Foxes.’ It is NOT a reboot of ‘The Golden Girls.’ But it is inspired by the show, a show that we were lucky enough to have written on during the first season of the show.”

Zimmerman added a private reading of the script took place in his living room with George Takei, Leslie Jordan, Bruce Vilanch, and Todd Sherry as the foursome.

It also featured Daniele Gaither and former “Saturday Night Live” castmate Cheri Oteri as “the power lesbian couple” who live next door, as well as Melissa Peterman as a woman who runs a retirement home where Leslie Jordan resides until “the guys find out he has to go back in the closet.”

Unlike the original, which took place in Miami, “Silver Foxes” would be based in Palm Springs.

Zimmerman also revealed he’s hoping to get the last living “Golden Girl” to join as a special guest.

“We did create a one line role for Betty White to play,” he said. “Our fingers are crossed.”

However, Zimmerman said that despite the all-star cast, as well as having two original writers on board, he’s having trouble finding a network to pick up the series.

“Unfortunately, we cannot get one network executive to read it,” he explained. “Our even a producer to pass it to them. We have found ageism and homophobia alive and well in Hollywood. Hopefully a groundswell of support from the viewing public will get an outlet like Hulu or Amazon to make it.”

‘Kings & Queens in Their Castles’ is an intimate look at LGBT lives

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

The Washington Post
‘Kings & Queens in Their Castles’ is an intimate look at LGBT lives
By Michele Langevine Leiby April
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When Tom Atwood decided to launch himself into fine art photography, it was mostly because he wanted to see a different image of gay men. Until not long ago, most photographic images of gay men fell into one of two categories: a display of the ravages of AIDS or a paean to the idealized, sexualized beauty of the masculine form (usually nude or in advanced stages of undress).

Atwood’s new book, “Kings & Queens in Their Castles,” offers an alternative view. His style, the photographer says, is a studied melange of portraiture and architectural photography.

“I try to challenge my subjects by showing as much of their environment as possible in the frame of the camera,” he says. “I also use a wide-angle lens and a wide depth of field so that both the subject and the background are in focus.”

Atwood, 45, a self-proclaimed autodidact, has no formal background in photography or art history. His approach was honed through trial and error and a passion for his subject matter.

“I started out photographing gay people at home because I am gay and knew a lot of gay people,” he says. “And I think a lot of gay men especially have a flair for design and live in some really playful places.”

Atwood’s subjects in “Kings & Queens” include more than 160 members of the LGBT community. They’re urban and rural, famous and anonymous, beautiful and plain, extraordinary and decidedly ordinary. His work, displaying an intimacy sometimes bordering on voyeurism, captures LGBT men and women in the process of living their private lives.

Some of today’s tumultuous social movements rely on a fair amount of identity politics. This book isn’t about that. Says Atwood: “I thought it would be interesting to photograph this group of people just in everyday moments since, for most people, their sexuality is a part of who they are, but it’s not the predominant part of who they are.”

Here are six of the book’s compelling stories:






Don Lemon

When Atwood arrived at Don Lemon’s Harlem home, the CNN anchor was getting ready to walk his dog. “He’s very friendly, very easygoing, very approachable,” Atwood says. “I realized he’s just a really a social person that’s part of a neighborhood.” He shot Lemon sitting on a skateboard on his balcony, his neighborhood as a backdrop. “I really wanted to shoot people in their everyday environment and show what their private lives are like rather than focus on their public images.”

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Holly Taylor and Alison Bechdel

Atwood photographed the women in the garden of their Jericho, Vt., home. Holly Taylor, a self-declared “compost maven,” and Alison Bechdel, a cartoonist and the author of the Broadway musical “Fun Home,” live in the woods. “I love this photo,” says Atwood, himself a Vermonter. “I think it really shows a real Vermont sensibility in a number of ways. They’ve got a garden. They chop their own wood. They heat their house with wood.”





Mother Flawless Sabrina

Considered a pioneer in the transgender and gay communities, Mother Flawless Sabrina ran a national drag pageant enterprise between 1959 and 1969 that put on shows across the country, culminating with an extravaganza in New York. The 77-year-old lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side surrounded by a bevy of quirky possessions: a 1980s-era telephone with giant buttons, wigs strewn about, jewelry draped on an ornate desk. “She’s a female impersonator, which I guess is a little different from a drag queen, but don’t ask me the difference because I’m not sure I know,” Atwood says.

 

James McGreevey


The former governor of New Jersey will always be famous for the 2004 news conference in which he publicly came out of the closet, his pained wife by his side. “My truth is that I am a gay American,” he declared. Today McGreevey is a Prius-driving resident of Plainfield, N.J., where Atwood photographed him, clad in shorts and a hoodie, pruning ivy in front of his house. “He did go through some difficult times,” Atwood says, “but he seems to be still happy and proud and willing to share his life through this book.”

 

 





Bruce Vilanch

Loyal viewers of the television game show “Hollywood Squares” will surely recognize the unruly mop of comedian Bruce Vilanch, whom Atwood photographed ferrying groceries back to his West Hollywood apartment. “I think this is a fun shot because Los Angeles has a lot of outdoor/indoor living spaces,” Atwood says, and Vilanch’s apartment building has hallways that are outside rather than inside.




Randal Kleiser

“I don’t think it’s that common to keep barn animals in Los Angeles,” Atwood says of the menagerie of pets that share the home of film director Randal Kleiser. “It was an otherwise suburban ranch house.” Kleiser, known for such films as “Grease” and “Big Top Pee-wee,” enjoys a spectacular view of the L.A. skyline from his swimming pool. “I like that there’s this strong light from the side in this picture and you can see a lot in both the foreground and background,” the photographer says. (Can you find BOTH horses?)

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.

Miss Golden Globe: Past Honorees Tell All – Nepotism Has Never Been Hotter

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Hollywood Reporter
Miss Golden Globe: Past Honorees Tell All – Nepotism Has Never Been Hotter
by Seth Abramovitch
January 05, 2017, 6:15am PST

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Sly’s kids join A-list offspring from Laura Dern to Dakota Johnson as alums dish on the gig their parents love: “He was so honored,” says Gia Mantegna of father Joe’s reaction to her selection in 2011. “It was the fact that your parents had a career in Hollywood that was respected.”

Scarlet, Sistine and Sophia Stallone were lounging in the living room of their family’s Beverly Hills estate when their father — that would be Sylvester — announced that he’d just been on the phone with Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The trio, ages 14, 18 and 20 (more about them here), had been chosen to share the honor of being 2017’s Miss Golden Globe.
“We all started screaming and jumping up and down, music blasting, dogs barking,” recalls eldest sib Sophia. “We didn’t think we would get it.” Perhaps they did not, but just about anyone else could have scanned the checklist — stunning, personable, fruit of the loins of a genuine Hollywood legend (and 2016 Golden Globe winner for Creed) — and seen the Stallone girls as shoo-ins.

In truth, the competition for Miss Golden Globe — the young women (and sometimes young men) who help hand out trophies and escort the winners on and off the stage at the HFPA’s annual awards ceremony — can get hairy. It may not be a speaking part, but it’s still a gig performing onstage at one of the biggest awards shows of the year, a chance to make a first impression not just on the Hollywood elite but on millions of viewers (18.5 million in the U.S. alone in 2016). For many actresses — Anne Archer (1971), Laura Dern (1982), and Melanie Griffith (1975) and her daughter Dakota Johnson (2006) — it’s among the very first screen credits on their résumé, while for others, like Candace Savalas (1987), Lisabeth Shatner (1985) and Lily Costner (2004), it’s also the last.

To qualify for the title, candidates must be poised, polished and harbor the DNA of a bona fide A-lister, although lineage has not always been among the criteria. When the HFPA first created the title in 1963, the honor was bestowed upon a pair of more or less randomly selected up-and-coming actresses, one from the world of film and one from TV: Donna Douglas (Elly May on The Beverly Hillbillies) and Eva Six (a Hungarian actress whose career didn’t quite pan out). “It was the very first award ceremony I ever attended,” says Linda Evans, Miss Golden Globe 1964, of her memorable night schlepping shiny hardware. “It was something MGM arranged for me to do,” recalls the 74-year-old Dynasty star. “They dressed me up, sent me there, I gave out the awards — and the rest is history.”
In 1971, though, the HFPA made a change: From that time forward, the title would be granted only to the offspring of the stars, preferably those with two famous parents. The shrewd move began what’s since become a Hollywood birthright and sparked a vigorous free-market competition among the town’s co-mingling gene pools. The next big change came 24 years later, when, in 1995, the club went co-ed, naming John Clark Gable, Clark Gable’s only son, the first Mr. Golden Globe (then 34, he also was the oldest ever chosen). “Truly an honor,” says Gable of the experience. “For the first time, they asked a male heir.”

The custom is not without its fans. “I love the Miss Golden Globe tradition. So retro. So old Hollywood. So ‘A Star Is Born,’” says New York awards season event planner Peggy Siegal. As for any aroma of entitlement, longtime Oscars head writer Bruce Vilanch is quick to wave it off: “Please — nepotism has never been hotter. Just look at the Trump kids! The Golden Globes are always ahead of the curve.”

The process of selecting a Mr. or Miss Golden Globe is not chiseled in stone. Some years it’s a more grueling gantlet than others. “There were about five of them in there,” remembers 24-year-old Greer Grammer (Kelsey’s daughter) of her interview with the HFPA at its Robertson Boulevard headquarters for the 2011 awards. “They asked, ‘What are you doing? What are your career hopes?’ I remember one person telling me that Frasier was more popular in England than in the United States, which I thought was hilarious.” Grammer had just been cast in the MTV series Awkward, and was feeling pretty upbeat about her prospects. “But I didn’t get it,” she says. “I was so sad because I had done pageants before, so I thought I’d be perfect.” Gia Mantegna, daughter of Joe Mantegna, remembers her audition that same year: “[They asked me] about my life and my career and what it meant to be the daughter of someone in the industry,” recalls the actress, now 26. “To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with what Miss Golden Globe was. [My father’s publicist] just told me to show up to this building and go on this interview. It seemed silly. Like, what is this? This is not anything I’m earning on my own. This isn’t a job. I’m just doing this because my dad’s an actor.” She ended up getting the gig.

Other years, the selection process has been considerably more laid-back. 2016’s Miss Golden Globe, Corinne Foxx, the 22-year-old daughter of Jamie Foxx, received a phone call “out of the blue” informing her she’d been chosen. “I was completely shocked,” she says. The same thing happened to Grammer, who in 2014, three years after being rejected, also received a call from the HFPA finally offering her the job. “I didn’t even have to go in for an interview!” she says.

There is no Miss Golden Globe training. Instead, the anointed are thrust into a whirlwind of nomination announcements, red-carpet appearances, pre-parties and rehearsals. Foxx says she “went into complete research mode” when she got picked. “Greer Grammer was the year before me, so I watched YouTube videos of how she gave out all the trophies.” The heavily publicized Miss Golden Globe party — the Stallone daughters’ was held at Catch on Nov. 11, though their selection had been leaked a few days earlier — serves as a dry run. “You are given a welcome by the HFPA president and you deliver a speech,” says Grammer. But those who’ve held the title say nothing prepares you for the physical (and even emotional) intensity of the job itself. “I didn’t realize how involved you are onstage,” says 2010’s Miss Golden Globe, Mavis Spencer (daughter of Alfre Woodard). “You have to give the winner the award and then move them to this mark. Then you have to move everyone off the stage and behind a wall. You’re running the show a little bit — it’s not just standing there being a pretty face. It isn’t as easy as you think, especially after the actors have gotten a few drinks into them.” Mantegna says she worked closely with the stage manager, “basically corralling everyone on and off. One of the scariest moments for me was seeing how comfortable everyone was just lingering.”

Spencer discovered this the hard way after The Hangover won best comedy or musical motion picture and “like 12 or 15 of them” rushed the stage, a task she likens to “herding sheep.” One of the Hangover crew — she’s not sure who — accidentally stepped on her foot, fracturing two bones. And that was not the evening’s only indignity: “I had a 6-inch pair of Valentino stilettos on,” says Spencer, who stands 5-foot-11 in flats. “Colin Farrell was one of the presenters and just looked at me and said, ‘I’m not standing next to her. I’m not doing it.’ I was a bit taken aback. And he was like, ‘Darling, I really don’t mean that in a bad way — but you’re huge.’”