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Darren Criss, Bruce Vilanch, Among a Cast of 14 in WordTheatre’s In the Cosmos

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Darren Criss, Bruce Vilanch, Among a Cast of 14 in WordTheatre’s In the Cosmos
Kenji Fujishima • Los Angeles • Aug 23, 2017

4-27-2013 3-29-19 AM

Darren Criss (GleeHedwig and the Angry Inch) will be among a cast of 14 participating in WordTheatre’s In the Cosmos, to be performed on Saturday, August 26, at 8pm at Ford Theatres.

The event is described as “a wild ride through the universe. From creation myths to the Big Bang to alien life forms, a constellation of actors will bring to life the story of the Cosmos in the words of the great poets, astronomers, comics, philosophers and more. Accompanied by rousing renditions of classical and contemporary music, we will contemplate our galaxy with such visionaries as David Bowie, Elton John, Monty Python, Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, and Diane Ackerman.”

In addition to Criss, the cast will include film and television stars Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Bellamy Young (Scandal), Chris Bauer (True Blood), Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray), Ryan Michelle Bathe (Army Wives), Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey), Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy), Stephen Tobolowsky (Silicon Valley), Gil Birmingham (Hell or High Water), Rhashan Stone (Mass Effect: Andromeda), Joey King (Fargo), Fred Melamed (A Serious Man), Sarah Clarke (24), and Gil Bellows (Patriot). The show is created, produced, and directed by WordTheatre artistic director Cedering Fox.

For tickets and more information, click here.

Boulder JFS Presents Reel Hope Boulder: Behind the Screen with Bruce Vilanch

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Boulder Jewish NewsReel Hope Boulder 2017 logo

Boulder JFS Presents Reel Hope Boulder: Behind the Screen with Bruce Vilanch

Boulder Jewish Family Service (JFS) will host its fifth annual fundraiser, “Reel Hope Boulder” on Saturday, October 14 at the Boulder JCC, 6007 Oreg Avenue. Guests will enjoy an entertaining evening with award-winning writer, comedian, songwriter, and actor Bruce Vilanch. Ron Bostwick, a freelance event producer and announcer, will interview Vilanch to showcase a “behind-the-screen” account of Bruce’s storied decades-long career. Bostwick has interviewed numerous celebrities at the Boulder International Film Festival, as well as featured speakers at three Reel Hope Boulder events.The evening’s schedule will be:

6:30 p.m.:  Sponsor reception with Bruce Vilanch for all sponsors

7:00 p.m.:  Wine and beer reception with substantial hors d’oeuvres

8:00 p.m.:  Program

Sponsorships starting at $540 are available now. Tickets are $90 and go on sale August 28. All proceeds support the life-transforming work of Boulder JFS. For tickets, sponsorships, and more information, visit or contact Bonni Raderman at 720.749.3404.

 Bruce VilanchAbout Bruce Vilanch

With his unmistakable presence—characterized by a big-girl figure, oversized red glasses, a shaggy blonde mane, and usually a hilarious T-shirt—Bruce Vilanch has been one of Hollywood’s most colorful characters for decades. His campy presence and outrageous apparel only heighten his broad appeal.

He’s known to many as an onscreen character actor and comedian, but Vilanch achieved his biggest successes as a writer for stand-up comics such as Bette Midler, Billy Crystal, Lily Tomlin, and Rosanne Barr. For many years, he was the go-to comic for stand-up sets and a first-choice writer for events, including the Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony telecasts.

A native of Paterson, New Jersey, Vilanch attended Ohio State University as a theater and journalism major. After graduation, he moved into show business professionally, with comic roles in features such as the 1975 Mahogany (as a fashion designer), the 1984 Ice Pirates, the 1986 thriller The Morning After, and the 2008 Adam Sandler comedy You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. On the side, Vilanch did frequent uncredited rewrites of Hollywood features and enjoyed a lengthy and productive tenure as a writer of features for the Chicago Tribune. Vilanch’s professional mainstay, however, remains comedy writing. He was the subject of the all-star 1999 documentary Get Bruce! and played an unforgettable Edna Turnblad in the long-running Broadway musical Hairspray.

About Jewish Family Service of Colorado

Founded in 1872, Jewish Family Service of Colorado (JFS) is a nonsectarian, nonprofit human services agency serving metro Denver and Boulder. JFS believes in strengthening our community by providing vital services to people in need. Every day, JFS helps people overcome difficult life’s challenges to live fuller, more meaningful lives.

Boulder JFS is a division of Jewish Family Service that provides older adults and adults with disabilities, their families, and individuals in crisis with services to enhance their quality of life. Boulder JFS provides a wide array of services to help older adults and adults with disabilities live independently and maintain a high quality of life. We work to ensure that older adults in the Boulder community are well cared for—and not alone. For more information, call 303.415.1025 or visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

‘Hamilton’ Diversity Does Not Extend to Age or Size, Bruce Vilanch Says

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The Wrap
‘Hamilton’ Diversity Does Not Extend to Age or Size, Show Business Veteran Says
By Matt Donnelly | December 30, 2016 @ 5:33 PM


Musical sensation “Hamilton” is revered for its inclusiveness — but that diversity doesn’t extend to age or body type, longtime show business player Bruce Vilanch said.

The stage and screen writer recently visited “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda when the newly-minted Hollywood darling was performing the show’s title role. Vilanch wasn’t shy in pitching himself for the part of the villainous King George — a role previously held by actor Jonathan Groff.

“I went back and saw Lin-Manuel and I said, ‘I want to play the King. One costume, three songs that are all the same and no stairs to climb? I’m in,’” Vilanch said during an appearance on RuPaul’s podcast “What’s The Tee?”, uploaded on Thursday.

“He said, ‘We have a casting concept.’ And of course the casting concept is ‘everybody is hot,’” Vilanch continued.  “Everybody is young and hot! There’s no old Ben Franklin wobbling across the street.”

Indeed the historical figures of “Hamilton” like the eponymous Alexander, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Eliza Schuyler are all played by attractive young people, a move that has seen nothing but praise for casting people of color to portray the white founding fathers and their cohorts.

Vilanch isn’t unthinkable casting for the king — a character beloved by deities as high as Beyonce. He played Edna Turnblad in the original Broadway production and subsequent national tour of “Hairspray” in 2002. He’s also worked on several original musicals and re-mounts in independent theater.

“If your idea of the founding fathers is the Wu Tang Clan … and if you like lyrics like, ‘John Adams shat the bed,’ then that’s the show for you. But I’m still looking for a melody,” Vilanch concluded. “I was underwhelmed by it.”

It’s unclear if Vilanch will return to the Academy Awards telecast this year as either a writer for the production or the host  (Vilanch has had turns doing both). The telecast — this year produced by Mike De Luca and Jennifer Todd and hosted by >Jimmy Kimmel — has yet to announce its staff.

” class=”tL8wMe EMoHub” dir=”ltr”>Representatives for Miranda were not immediately reachable for comment.


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