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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Bruce Vilanch’s Petula Clark Inspired Musical, Sign Of The Times, Announces Cast And Songs

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Playbill
Goodspeed’s Petula Clark Musical, Sign of the Times, Announces Cast
BY ROBERT VIAGAS
JUN 28, 2016

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Bruce Vilanch is writing the libretto.

A Sign of the Times, a new musical that uses songs made famous by 1960s pop sensation Petula Clark “and other hit-makers of the day,” has announced the cast for its summer production at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT.

Running July 29–September 4, the show has an original story by Richard Robin and an original book by comedy writer Bruce Vilanch. The score includes such period hits as “Downtown,” “Call Me,” “Don’t Sleep in the Subway” and “The Boy From New York City.”

Gabriel Barre will direct the musical, which tells the story of a young woman named Cindy who comes to New York in 1965. According to production notes, “Unexpected friends, lovers, careers, and conflicts are all a subway ride away in a pop-fueled new musical. Forget all your troubles, forget all your cares—go ‘Downtown’ and find out who you are!”

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. Also in the cast: Bryan Fenkart (Broadway’sMemphis), Nick Bailey (Broadway’s Casa Valentina) and Crystal Lucas-Perry ( 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 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).

Other creative team credits: choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, scenic design by Paul Tate dePoo lII, costumes by Jennifer Caprio, lighting design by Ken Billington, projection design by Benjamin Pearcy, sound design by Jay Hilton and music direction by Rick Fox.

Tickets are available through the Box Office (860) 873-8668, or on-line at Goodspeed.org.

Here are the songs used in the show, along with the artist who recorded them and who wrote them:

“Color My World,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Yvonne J. Harvey and Tony Hatch
“I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Yvonne J. Harvey and Tony Hatch
“I Only Want To Be With You,” Sung by Dusty Springfield, Written by Michael Edwin Hawker and Ivor Raymonde
“The Other Man’s Grass Is Always Greener,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Yvonne J. Harvey and Tony Hatch
“I Know A Place,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Tony Hatch
“Turn Back The Hands Of Time,” Sung by Tyrone Davis, Written by Jack Daniels and Bonnie Thompson
“Round Every Corner,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Tony Hatch
“Baby The Rain Must Fall,” Sung by Glenn Yarbrough, Written by Elmer Bernstein and Ernie Sheldon
“Five O’Clock World,” Sung by The Vogues, Written by Allen Reynolds
“Call Me,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Tony Hatch
“These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” Sung by Nancy Sinatra, Written by Lee Hazlewood
“Rescue Me,” Sung by Fontella Bass, Written by Raynard Miner and Carl William Smith
“The Boy From New York City,” Sung by The Ad Libs, Written by John Taylor and George Davis
“If I Can Dream,” Sung by Elvis Presley, Written by Earl Brown
“Who Am I,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Yvonne J. Harvey and Tony Hatch
“The In Crowd,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Billy Page
“A Sign Of The Times,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Tony Hatch
“It’s In His Kiss,” Sung by Betty Everett, Written by Rudy Clark
“Society’s Child,” Sung by Janis Ian, Written by Janis Ian
“Don’t Sleep In The Subway,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Yvonne J. Harvey and Tony Hatch
“You’d Better Come Home,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Tony Hatch
“You Don’t Own Me,” Sung by Lesley Gore, Written by John Madara and David White
“Kiss Me Goodbye,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by John Barry Mason and Leslie David Reed
“Downtown,” Sung by Petula Clark, Written by Tony Hatch

Orlando: Naked Boys Singing is a boozy, bawdy evening of ogling buff boys with their balls swinging in the breeze

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Orlando Weekly
Naked Boys Singing is a boozy, bawdy evening of ogling buff boys with their balls swinging in the breeze
By Seth Kubersky
Feb 12, 2016

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We live in a world of lies, bombarded daily by half-truths, obfuscations and outright falsehoods from promoters and politicians. So let’s get erect and give a standing ovation to Naked Boys Singing for earning the “truth in advertising” award. This spirited musical revue may not have any dialogue, characters or plot, but it’s got more exposed penises than a half-dozen productions of Equus. Which just goes to show how far our city has evolved: Back in 2000, a lone Naked Guy at the Orlando Fringe faced threats of arrest, but in 2016 seven nude dudes can strut on the Footlight stage for five weekends and no one blinks an eye.

A long-running hit in New York, NBS comes to Orlando courtesy of producer-director Tim Evanicki, who recently took the reins of the Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre. Under former artistic directors Michael Wanzie and David Lee, Footlight hosted not only PH’s popular drag shows, but legit dramas and comedies that drew audiences of every orientation. That leaves Evanicki some big shoes to fill in his new role, as he graciously acknowledged at the packed press preview.

“I am loving this job,” Evanicki told me in an interview after opening night. “Parliament House is an LGBT resort that caters to everyone. I’d like the programming in the theater to reflect that. We will be bringing in more book musicals and big names that appeal to all walks of life.”

Evanicki first saw Naked Boys Singing at NYC’s Actors Playhouse in 2004 and made it his top priority upon becoming PH’s new artistic director. “I wanted to make sure we kicked it off with something that would put the Footlight Theatre on the map,” he said. “I also wanted to pick a show that would cater to and attract more than just the LGBT community.” Of course, assembling a show where the cast is unclothed nearly the entire time required some adjustments. “Singing auditions were fully clothed, but the dance callback was done nude,” Evanicki recalled. “It was funny, because we have union performers, and the union required us to have a monitor from Actors’ Equity audit the audition process. Poor Doug Truelsen.” The early rehearsals were done dressed, but drawers were dropped once Pete Simpson’s choreography – which puts a floppy twist on the classic chorus kickline – was complete. “I left it up to the boys as to when they felt comfortable rehearsing nude,” said Evanicki. “We had 12 total rehearsals, and they were nude on day seven.”

It’s one thing to hoot and holler at a stage of stripped strangers, but I found the show a tad awkward to watch (at least at first) because I know some of the cast. For example, I’ve been friends with Joshua Roth since we worked on Tod Kimbro’s 2011 Fringe musical Suckers, but I’ve never seen him as exposed as during his “Perky Little Porn Star” number. “There is nothing that truly prepares you for 90 minutes of nudity; you kind of just have to jump into the deep end headfirst and with a smile on your face,” Roth told me. A theme-park performer by day, Roth’s NBS role has let him “step way out of my comfort zone, as well as become more comfortable with myself, my peers and also complete strangers.” Of course, you can’t do a nude musical without some unintended side effects: “I have been working a lot with aerial silks lately, and I have a pretty bad bruise on my upper left thigh … pretty much my groin area. I pulled Pete (our choreographer) into the dressing room, and without even thinking about it pulled down my pants and showed him the bruise. It wasn’t even until about five minutes after he left the dressing room that he realized that I had just whipped it all out for him and he didn’t even notice or care … and neither did I.”

So after all that, how is the show? As I said above, if you are interested in story or deep meaning, better move along: There’s a nod to nakedness as a metaphor for emotional vulnerability and a maudlin song about a dead lover, but otherwise the mood is kept light and campy. The performers are all solid (ahem), especially Kevin Kelly, who wears Liza well in the Fosse-flavored “Entertainer,” but the majority of the music is simply unmemorable. With a baker’s dozen of credited writers (including Bruce Vilanch), it’s a clear case of too many cooks muddling the man-chowder, and musical director John T. Gardner’s keyboard often drowned out the unamplified singers. As a hetero male, I didn’t identify with some of the topics (like gym addiction), though it appears sung schlong synonyms make everyone’s inner 12-year-old snicker, gay or straight. But if a boozy, bawdy evening of ogling buff boys with their balls swinging in the breeze sounds like ideal entertainment, better buy your seats now; Naked Boys Singing looks to be the hardest ticket of this theater season.


Will Holt ‘Who Wrote ‘Lemon Tree,’ ‘The Me Nobody Knows,’ ‘Platinum’ Dies At 86

Friday, June 5th, 2015

New York Times
Will Holt ‘Who Wrote ‘Lemon Tree,’ ‘The Me Nobody Knows,’ ‘Platinum’ Dies At 86
June 5, 2015

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Will Holt, a songwriter whose lyrics for the 1970 musical “The Me Nobody Knows” were nominated for a Tony Award, and whose Latin-tinged folk song “Lemon Tree” became a musical signpost of the 1960s, covered by myriad artists and finding its way into advertising and the literature of the Vietnam War, died on Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 86.

The death was confirmed by his son, Courtney, who said his father had Alzheimer’s disease.

Mr. Holt spent much of his musical career creating theater projects. They included “The World of Kurt Weill in Song,” an Off Broadway revue that he conceived and performed with the Viennese soprano Martha Schlamme in a handful of different incarnations in 1963 and 1964. He also wrote a pair of one-acts, twinned under the title “That 5 A.M. Jazz,” and produced Off Broadway in 1964, starring James Coco. The first was a playlet in the form of a creation parable, the second a rhythm-and-blues musical set in a Las Vegas hotel suite. Another project Mr. Holt conceived and staged was a tribute to the theater music of Leonard Bernstein in 1965. “A Walk on the Wild Side,” a musical he wrote based on Nelson Algren’s novel of New Orleans, had its premiere in Los Angeles in 1988.

Mr. Holt’s first foray on Broadway — a 1969 musical called “Come Summer,” for which he wrote the book and lyrics — vanished quickly after unfavorable reviews. He had much better success in the 1970s, lending a significant hand to three well-received shows.

The first, “The Me Nobody Knows,” a surprise hit that began Off Broadway, was about city youngsters living in poverty and was based on essays written by New York schoolchildren. Mr. Holt’s lyrics, to a pop-rock score by Gary William Friedman that evoked both pain and hope, were all adapted from the ideas of the original child writers.

“I keep on knocking/No one is there,” Mr. Holt wrote for a plaintive chorus in “Let Me Come In,” a lyric that continues:

Windows are black, and the walls are all bare

I stand in darkness, followed by fear

Tell me I’m dreaming, tell me you’re here

Look through the window, give me some light

Tell me I’m home now, say it’s all right.

Though Mr. Holt failed to win the Tony (Stephen Sondheim did, for “Company”), the show ran on Broadway for nearly a year, first at the Helen Hayes Theater and then at the Longacre. He subsequently wrote the book for “Over Here!,” a 1974 musical about life on the home front during World War II, starring two of the Andrews Sisters, Patty and Maxene, and Ann Reinking. And in 1975, with the actress and singer Linda Hopkins, he conceived and wrote the show “Me and Bessie,” which starred Ms. Hopkins as the blues singer Bessie Smith and ran for more than 450 performances.

Mr. Holt was part of the folk-music revival of the 1950s and ’60s. His melancholy song about the passage of time, “Raspberries, Strawberries,” was a hit for the Kingston Trio. His most enduring song, “Lemon Tree,” was written in Chicago in the late 1950s for a nightclub act he was performing with Dolly Jonah, his wife at the time. The melody was adapted from a Brazilian song, “Meu Limão, Meu Limoeiro,” and it retained its samba-like lilt. Mr. Holt’s lyric tells of a father’s warning about the vicissitudes of love, invoking the title as a metaphor:

But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

Catnip for folk singers of the era (and others, subsequently), the song was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, Chad and Jeremy, the Seekers and Trini Lopez. It was appropriated for a television commercial for Pledge, a lemon-scented wood furniture cleaner. And much later, in 1990, in Tim O’Brien’s celebrated novel about the Vietnam War, “The Things They Carried,” one passage testified to the song as an emblem of that era. The narrator recalls a soldier named Lemon, who had stepped on a booby trap and was blown to bits, his remains sprayed onto nearby branches.

“The parts were just hanging there,” Mr. O’Brien wrote, “so Dave Jensen and I were ordered to shinny up and peel him off.”

“The gore was horrible and stays with me,” he continued. “But what wakes me up 20 years later is Dave Jensen singing ‘Lemon Tree’ as we threw down the parts.”

Will Holt — that was his full name — was born in Portland, Me., on April 30, 1929. His father, William, was a doctor. His mother, the former Marjorie Scribner, who played the piano, was the musician in the family.

He attended Phillips-Exeter Academy and Williams College and studied with the folk singer and voice teacher Richard Dyer-Bennet. After traveling for a time in Europe — he found work in a Helsinki nightclub singing cowboy songs — he served in the Air Force. For much of the 1950s he performed in clubs in St. Louis, Las Vegas, New York and elsewhere.

Mr. Holt’s later stage projects included three shows with short Broadway lives: “Music Is,” a 1976 musical adaptation of “Twelfth Night,” for which he wrote the lyrics in a collaboration with the director and book writer George Abbott and the composer Richard Adler; a 1978 musical, “Platinum,” starring Alexis Smith as a film star of the ’40s and ’50s attempting a comeback as a rock singer, for which he wrote the lyrics and, with Bruce Vilanch, the book; and “A Kurt Weill Cabaret” (1979), in which he performed and also translated some of the lyrics.

Ms. Jonah, an actress, died in 1983. In addition to his son, Mr. Holt is survived by his second wife, Dion Alden, and two grandchildren.

American classic theater, bawdy faves & B’way stars light up the ‘off-Commercial Street’ season in Provincetown

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

WellFleet
American classic theater, bawdy faves & B’way stars light up the ‘off-Commercial Street’ season in Provincetown
May 20, 2015

Bruce+Vilanch+2015+amfAR+New+York+Gala+Inside+ThYBoo41hdEl

From Eugene O’Neill to Ryan Landry to Broadway stars, The Provincetown Theater’s 2015 season promises to have something for everyone. Both contemporary and early cutting-edge plays, a Broadway concert series, a centennial celebration of the Provincetown Players, a workshop of a new musical and Ryan Landry’s “Thoroughly Muslim Millie” on Sunday nights, there should be more than enough to entice theater-goers to leave the bustle and excitement of downtown Provincetown and flock to the theater’s off-Commercial Street location at 238 Bradford St.

There is even a new downtown box office at Kiss & Makeup, 244 Commercial St., to make it easier to buy tickets.

The season begins with Provincetown favorites Joe MacDougall and John Long in “The Lonely Planet” by Stephen Dietz from May 27-June 7. The play, influenced by Ionesco’s “The Chairs,” explores the evolution of two gay men in an unknown city during the AIDS epidemic. The play won the 1994 PEN Center Award for Drama.

CTEK Arts is presenting the world premiere of “Rosetta,” Candyce Rusk’s musical about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, considered by many music aficionados to be the godmother of rock ’n’ roll. Directed by Margaret Van Sant, working with musical director Clyde Shelby Mellert, this staged musical workshop runs June 11-14.

Beginning June 21 and playing Sundays through Sept. 13, Ryan Landry and his Gold Dusk Orphans, open their new comedy “Thoroughly Muslim Millie” after a sold-out, rave-reviewed run in Boston. Landry recently received the Boston Critic’s Association’s 2015 Eliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence in Theater.

July brings “Then & Now: A Centennial Celebration of the Provincetown Players.” A group of actors, writers, intellectuals and Greenwich Village bohemians formed a theater company in Provincetown in the 1920s and changed the face of the American Theater. Among the company members were Eugene O’Neill, Susan Glaspell, George Cram Cook and Neith Boyce, all of whom acted, wrote and produced new plays. Because of them, Provincetown became known as the birthplace of modern American drama. The theater presents an evening of short plays by these illustrious writers July 2-18.

A new Broadway Concert Series from R.J. Productions takes the theater in a new direction. The all-star line up includes Lena Hall, Christine Ebersole, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Telly Leung, Trevor McQueen, Bruce Vilanch and Ann Hampton, and Liz Callaway. “The Provincetown Theater is very excited to be collaborating with Rich Aronson of RJ Productions in New York to bring the community an intimate Broadway Concert Series this summer,” says the theater’s board president Brian Carlson.

August brings the Broadway comedy “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man,” scripted by Matt Murphy and Jim Brochu and produced by Shawn Nightingale, to the theater. The play is based on the best-selling book of the same name by Dan Anderson and Maggie Berman.


David Mamet’s “Oleanna” plays two weekends in September. Directed by John Williams, the theater is producing the play in conjunction with Cotuit Center for the Arts.

In November, the theater hosts one play, to be announced, as part of the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. And later that month “The Verge: An Experiment in Feminism,” takes the stage. This was Glaspell’s first full-length play originally produced by The Provincetown Players at the Wharf Theater. Frank Vasello directs.

For the full season line-up go to provincetowntheater.org, call (508) 487-7487 or visit the box office at 238 Bradford St.

Bruce Vilanch To Be Celebrity Judge For The Second Annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Stoli® Gives Bartenders a Shot at Cocktail Glory with its Second Annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic

4-27-2013 4-00-51 AM

NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/—Stoli® Vodka, in partnership with the Key West Business Guild, today announced its second annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic – North America’s largest annual LGBT cocktail competition. The mix-off sees bartenders showcase their skill and ingenuity as they battle to be crowned the 2015 Cocktail Classic Champion at the Grand Finale during Key West Pride 2015.

Using Stoli Vodka as their primary ingredient, participants in 14 cities across North America will create an original cocktail for a panel of local celebrity judges, who will evaluate the drinks on uniqueness, taste and appearance. Aside from being crowned the 2015 Cocktail Classic Champion, the winner will ride in the Key West Pride Parade as the Honorary Grand Marshall and receive $5,000 for a LGBT or LGBT-friendly charity of their choice.

“It is an honor to host the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, North America’s largest annual LGBT cocktail competition,” said Patrik Gallineaux, the national LGBT Ambassador for Stoli. “Our community’s hard-working nightlife professionals often do not receive the recognition they deserve. It is amazing to see what our nation’s bartenders can do with their imagination, their cocktail shaker and Stoli THE Vodka!”

In partnership with the Key West Business Guild, an organization of LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly businesses in Key West, the competition will be hosted by Gallineaux and TV personality Jai Rodriguez. It will also feature a panel of celebrity judges including clothing designer Andrew Christian; legendary funnyman Bruce Vilanch; actress and singer LaToya London; and Key West personality and star of the annual New Year’s Eve High Heel Drop, Sushi.

“The LGBT community has some of the most inventive bartenders in the country,” said Matt Hon, executive director of the Key West Business Guild. “Through the Key West Cocktail Classic, they’re getting the opportunity to showcase their creativity and put a spotlight on the community. Key West, especially during Pride week, is the perfect stage to recognize them and the contributions they make to nightlife.”

The cocktail classic will take place at 14 events in the following participating cities:

Dallas – March 2
Los Angeles – March 15
Denver – March 30
Miami/Fort Lauderdale – April 6
New York – April 9
Chicago – April 15
Washington D.C. – April 20
San Diego – April 23
Philadelphia – May 5
Toronto – May 7
Boston – May 12
Vancouver – May 14
Seattle – May 17
San Francisco – May 27
Key West (Finale) – June 13

A maximum of seven bartenders will be selected to participate in each local event. For more information about the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic including how to apply, rules, guidelines and the full schedule of events, visit www.gaycities.com/cocktailclassic.

About Stoli Group USA, LLC
Stoli Group USA, LLC is the North American subsidiary of SPI Group, recognized globally for pioneering heritage and the outstanding Stolichnaya® brand of premium vodkas. New York-based Stoli Group USA reflects significant growth investment in the U.S. market by parent company SPI Group and will drive the brand forward through new marketing, sales and brand innovation. Internationally distributed Stolichnaya vodkas are bottled in Latvia and are known for award-winning flavor and impeccable clarity. Considered a trailblazer in the vodka industry, Stolichnaya vodka defines the benchmark for quality with meticulously crafted liquid that meets the highest Alpha Spirit standard. The Stolichnaya brand portfolio includes Stolichnaya® Premium Vodka, ultra-premium elit™ by Stolichnaya®, Stolichnaya® 100 Proof Premium vodka, the super-premium Stolichnaya® Gold and Stolichnaya® Flavored Premium vodkas including Ohranj®, Razberi®, Vanil®, Citros™, Peachik® and Hot™. For more information visit www.stoli.com or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stoli and on Twitter @Stoli.

About Key West Business Guild
The mission of the Key West Business Guild is to promote LGBT travel to Key West through marketing and the promotion of specialty events; to support gay-owned, gay-managed, and gay-friendly businesses; to strengthen the Gay community’s position within the local community by supporting relevant LGBT issues. The KWBG was founded in 1978 by 8 local gay business owners and has grown to approximately 400 members, which work together to continue efforts to brighten the rainbow over the island, an island now known as Gay Key West. Promotion of events, such as Key West Pride, Tropical Heat and Womenfest, has made Key West a year-round LGBT travel destination.

Bruce Vilanch Talks Bob Hope

Friday, October 24th, 2014

New York Post
(Bob) Hope springs eternal — new bio tells of his days on Broadway
By Michael RiedelOctober 23, 2014 | 9:00pm

Bob Hope

If you grew up watching the Bob Hope specials on NBC as I did, your image of the comedian is Mr. Southern California — a rich old Republican clad in a yellow V-neck sweater and swinging a golf club.

I met Hope once. It was 1984, and I was a page at the Republican National Convention in Dallas. The New York delegation was staying at the Stouffer Hotel and so, too, was Bob Hope, who was there to cheer on his old friend Ronald Reagan.

Hope was walking his dog through the lobby one morning. His outfit caught my attention. He was wearing a pink and powder-blue striped pantsuit. His little dog was wearing the exact same thing.

I asked him for his autograph, and he said, “Aren’t you a little young to be a Republican?”

Well, I thought it was hilarious.

I mention this little memory — thanks for the memory! — because I’m reading Richard Zoglin’s fine new biography of the comedian, “Hope” (Simon & Schuster).

I’ve just finished the early chapters, and what strikes me is how different the young Bob Hope was from the country-club Republican he became later in life.

The difference, in a nutshell, is the difference between New York and Palm Springs.

The young Hope was a Broadway star who cut a dashing, somewhat caddish figure about town. He appeared in eight Broadway shows, including “Red, Hot and Blue” with Ethel Merman.

Here’s some gossip: Hope and Merman were apparently so hot for each other they’d hook up in dark doorways along Eighth Avenue on their way home from the theater.

Hope zipped around New York in a chauffeur-driven Pierce-Arrow. He lived in a swinging bachelor pad on Central Park West. He bought a Scottish terrier, which he used to pick up girls.

“He was .?.?. great bait,” Hope said. “When the girls went by they stopped and petted him. As a result, I did a nice business with those beauties.”

He never threw away a joke. In 1973, writer Bruce Vilanch worked with Hope on a TV show. The Arab oil embargo was in the news. Hope retrieved a tin box full of gas-rationing jokes from World War II.

“He dealt them out like a deck of cards,” Vilanch recalls. “ ‘Oh, that’s good,’ he’d say. ‘Nah, not that one.’ We repurposed — before there was such a word — the good ones for the oil crisis.”

At one point Hope had to leave. He told Vilanch: “Leave the jokes with the guard.”

As for the country-club Republican he later became — a figure of ridicule to baby boomers — Vilanch has this to say:

“Bob did one of the first AIDS public service announcements. I asked him personally, and he said yes right away. He did it with absolutely no qualms.”