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Posts Tagged ‘Neil Patrick Harris’

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

10

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

Oscars 2015: Bruce Vilanch’s Guide to Watching the Telecast

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Hollywood Reporter
Oscars 2015: Bruce Vilanch’s Guide to Watching the Telecast
By Bruce Vilanch
Feb 22, 2015

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THE NIGHT BEFORE
Gather all viewing essentials. These should include:


Chinese food
• A cheap bathrobe onto which you can drop pork lo mein in duck sauce
• Boxes of filthy wine
• Popcorn, to make you feel like you are at the movies and not just watching clips of movies you’d never think of seeing
• A Koosh ball in all the colors of the gay-pride rainbow (more on this later)

 

AROUND NOON
Red carpet begins

It won’t be the same without Joan Rivers asking:

• Who are you wearing?
• Who are you married to this year?
• Why are you here?
• What is that smell?
• Do you know any single, straight guys in Bel Air (East Gate) who might be interested in my daughter or me, or both of us?

 


Drink every time someone looks over the shoulder of the person they’re talking to because there’s someone more famous out of camera range.

5:00 P.M.
Half-hour to showtime

• Rid yourself of distractions, including your well-meaning but dim friend who will ask, “But what’s the difference between sound editing and sound mixing?”
• Put on cheap bathrobe
• Open carton of spring rolls

 

5:30 P.M. 

Neil Patrick Harris bursts forth to host. The biggest shock of the night will be if he offends anyone, even aged Nazi war criminals watching from huts deep in the jungles of Paraguay. But on the Oscars, you never know. People who never watch TV or go to the movies or have ever heard the phrase “self-cleaning oven” invariably tune in to the Oscar show and are outraged by everything they see, hear or think they saw/heard.

 


 

DRINKING GAME #2 

Drink every time there’s a shot of an actress with ridiculous cleavage.

Bonus drink if she’s texting or checking her teeth for lipstick. Unless it’s Patricia Arquette, because she just doesn’t care. If it’s a bad year for cleavage, you can substitute a drink for each time the camera lingers on someone that no one on the planet recognizes, which means it’s the director’s spouse or the seat-filler where Marion Cotillard is supposed to be — or it’s Meryl Streep, who has stopped dressing for these things.

 

6:00 P.M.-ISH
First acting awards: supporting actor/actress

You will know it because it will be presented by last year’s winner, of whom you will have to be reminded. If you love the winner, have a spare rib. If you loathe the winner, here’s where that Koosh ball comes in. Fling it violently at the screen. You’ll do no harm. Repeat this all evening. Very therapeutic. People in the theater will wish they had a Koosh ball. Or any balls.

 


 

GOOD TIMES TO TAKE A WHIZ

• Recap of Sci-Tech Awards
• Governors Ball festivities
• Documentary Feature
Documentary Short Subject

Because you probably aren’t interested, unless Kim Kardashian’s rear end is presenting the award.

HOURS LATER

There may be an awkward political moment when the documentary award is presented. That’s usually when it happens. But by then you won’t care. In fact, as the afternoon turns into evening, a good deal of the audience no longer cares. For each person who wins, there are four people who don’t, so the audience fills up with losers. And with seat-fillers, for losers who are so bitter they’re already at the bar or in the car, or the bar in the car. But you have no such worries. You are in a duck sauce-stained universe, watching Adam Levine manfully tackle a song you’ve never heard from a movie you didn’t see. And in a few hours, there’ll be Julianne Moore looking terrific as she hoists her Oscar high. Next year, you’ll get dressed up and go to a big party. And watch the whole thing on DVR when you get home. Of course you will. Now then, what’s on TCM?