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THE MESHUGANUTCRACKER! Comes to Cinemas for One Night Only; Bruce Vilanch to Appear During Screening

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Broadway World
THE MESHUGANUTCRACKER! Comes to Cinemas for One Night Only; Bruce Vilanch to Appear During Screening
by BWW News Desk Oct. 9, 2017


Presented by Fathom Events, in partnership with Guggenheim Entertainment, “The MeshugaNutcracker!” will be shown in U.S. cinemas for one night on Tuesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m. local time. During this screening, Emmy Award-winning and Broadway star Bruce Vilanch will appear on screen as a special guest.

Tickets for “The MeshugaNutcracker!” can be purchased online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 350 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

“It’s a show that’s really never been done before,” says Susan Gundunas, one of the stars of the ensemble cast. “Not just because there’s finally a big, beautiful show about Chanukah in the same way there are big, beautiful shows celebrating Christmas, but also because the cast is singing an amazing challenging score that was originally intended for musical instruments! We get to sing the piccolo line and clarinet line of melodies you’ve had in your head forever but that have been wordless for hundreds of years. It’s a real treat to sing such melodious, grand music.”

“The MeshugaNutcracker!” showcases eight stories that pay tribute to the first celebration of Chanukah in the new state of Israel, as well as Judah Maccabee’s triumphant saga and accounts of perseverance. Written and directed by Scott Evan Guggenheim, Shannon Guggenheim and Stephen Guggenheim, the full-length musical comedy features the wonderfully silly sensibilities of the folklore of Chelm (a fictional town of fools), underscored by an invigorating Klezmer-ized orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” Alongside original lyrics in honor of Chanukah, “The MeshugaNutcracker!” includes dancing dreidels, singing sufganiot and special guest stars bringing audiences delight as they celebrate this holiday season.

“We are always thrilled to embrace the holiday spirit with audiences and celebrate such a special time of year, and this year there’s no better way than watching a fun twist on a beloved classic,” Fathom Events VP of Programming Kymberli Frueh said. “This performance is a fun way for audiences to learn more about the history and traditions of Chanukah in a kitchy spin, using the Nutcracker’s classic music in a way they’ve never experienced it before.”

“No matter what religion you are, no matter what you celebrate this time of year – it’s about finding the light in people, finding light in yourself, letting the holidays truly illuminate everything around you,” Shannon Guggenheim, lyricist and one of the co-producers, said. “And yes, it does sound schmaltzy but that’s why we balance it with a lot of schmaltz in our show! That really is what we’re trying to do: give families something bright and fun but also poignant and meaningful to celebrate this time of year.”

About Fathom Events

Fathom Events is recognized as the leading domestic distributor of event cinema with participating affiliate theaters in all 100 of the top Designated Market Areas, and ranks as one of the largest overall distributors of content to movie theaters. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) (known collectively as AC JV, LLC), Fathom Events offers a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events such as live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, dance and theatre productions like the Bolshoi Ballet and National Theatre Live, sporting events like “Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez, Jr.,” concerts with artists like Michael Bublé, Rush and Mötley Crüe, the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics film series, inspirational events such as To Joey With Love and Facing Darkness, and anime titles such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Fathom Events takes audiences behind the scenes and offers unique extras including audience Q&As, backstage footage and interviews with cast and crew, creating the ultimate VIP experience. Fathom Events’ live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 897 locations and 1,387 screens in 181 DMAs. For more information, visit

About Guggenheim Entertainment

Guggenheim Entertainment, Inc. is a theatrical Production Company based in California’s San Francisco Bay Area celebrating 30 years of producing musical theatre, events, and serving the needs of clients throughout the West Coast. The team at the helm of Guggenheim Entertainment is composed of directors, producers, writers, performers, and designers who produce and present full length and one-act musicals; design and teach classes for students of all ages; provide custom event design for a variety of clients; and originate educational arts programming. Since 1986, the Guggenheims have been at the forefront of Theatre In Education, having won an Antoinette Perry Award (giver of the coveted Tony Award) for Excellence in Theatre in Education. They’ve made “The MeshugaNutcracker!” available to non-profit organization as a fundraiser helping raise over $250,000 for West Coast non-profit organizations. In 2009, Guggenheim Entertainment opened The Retro Dome and premiered their original musical, “Thanks For Playing…The Game Show Show!” The team will open a venue in Downtown San Jose on New Year’s Eve 2017: 3Below Theaters & Lounge will offer the Bay Area another opportunity to enjoy live theater, interactive movie experiences, theatre conservatory for aspiring young actors, intimate operas, and film festivals. Visit for more information.

Bruce Vilanch To Be Judge At Second Annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

4-27-2013 3-49-54 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:

  • DallasMarch 2

  • Los AngelesMarch 15

  • DenverMarch 30

  • Miami/Fort LauderdaleApril 6

  • New YorkApril 9

  • ChicagoApril 15

  • Washington D.C.April 20

  • San DiegoApril 23

  • PhiladelphiaMay 5

  • TorontoMay 7

  • BostonMay 12

  • VancouverMay 14

  • SeattleMay 17

  • San FranciscoMay 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

Bruce Vilanch’s Big Gay Comedy Show Lands in San Francisco

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Bruce Vilanch’s Big Gay Comedy Show Lands in San Francisco
By Corey Andrew | Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014 | Updated 4:03 PM PDT

4-27-2013 3-51-51 AM

We got Bruce!

Vilanch, that is. One of the most celebrated joke writers in the business has descended on San Francisco to mine local news nuggets, gobs of gossip and salacious stories to share on the Marines Memorial Theater stage at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 13, for the Big Gay Comedy Show, a benefit for Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.

“It will be a lot of comedy with a couple of cabaret performers thrown in, but they’re funny: Shawn Ryan and Jason Brock. San Francisco is such a uniquely comic town. You get really political comics like Marga Gomez, and then you get really artistic people,” Vilanch said.

Big Gay Comedy Show will also feature B.O.O.B.s, Leanne Borghesi, Shann Carr, Cassandra Cass, Ali Mafi, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy and Kitty Tapata.

The red bespectacled, wacky T-shirt adorned Vilanch is currently “casing the joint” to gather up-to-the-minute material for his portion of the show.

“I have a week to get to know all of that, which is more than usual. I will probably tell stories. That’s what I do,” he said.

After more than four decades in the business—writing for every conceivable awards show including a bunch of Oscars—Vilanch has more celeb, behind-the-scenes tales than Kathy Griffin. His “almost famous” life is chronicled in the documentary “Get Bruce,” which is now streaming on Netflix.

But while he’s made a sweet living writing funny lines for other performers to say on stage,

ilanch’s passion is performing. He’s probably best known for his years on “Hollywood Squares” and for performing in drag as Edna Turnblad in the Broadway and touring productions of “Hairspray.”

“I’ve been looking for the kind of stuff to do that Nathan Lane always gets to do because he’s the master of it right now,” Vilanch said. “The singing and dancing fat guys is what I would love to do. More acting. Playing a woman is one thing, but to get them to accept me as a straight man will be even more interesting.”

Vilanch is getting his chance with 42nd Street Moon’s revival of the Cole Porter musical, “Du Barry Was a Lady,” in which he plays a swanky nightclub men’s room attendant who wins the lottery, gets slipped a Mickey Finn and thinks he’s King Louis XV. Burt Lahr originated the role in 1939.

“Since I’ve been compared to the Cowardly Lion in looks alone, I thought it was time I brought one of Burt Lahr’s other roles out of the closet and see what I could do with it,” Vilanch said. “He was so brilliantly funny. I was a huge fan of his.”

The musical runs at the Eureka Theater April 30 to May 18.

“It’s lyrically wonderful. The stuff that I get to sing is all comic patter. The most famous is ‘Friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship!” That was written for him and Ethel Merman. People think it was written for Lucy and Ethel, because ‘I Love Lucy’ did it a couple of times,” Vilanch said.

 With Disney now in control of the future of “Star Wars,” one of Vilanch’s old projects might see the light of day. He was a writer on the much-maligned “Star Wars Holiday Special” that aired one time only in November 1978.

“Oh, my God, I have the script. I save the script to everything. Occasionally, I will go back and look at that thing and say, ‘Oh, my God, we actually did this. We really did this.’ I think there was a prop I took. I think I got a mug from the cantina on the planet Tatooine, where the aliens and Bea Arthur had a big number,” Vilanch said.

Tickets for Big Gay Comedy Show are available by calling (415) 273-1620 or online For more information on “Du Barry Was a Lady,”

Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. He recently published the book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.” Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family several years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them to or follow him at

Bruce Vilanch Set for Help Is On the Way XVI

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Carol Channing, Melissa Manchester, Karen Mason, Bruce Vilanch, et al. Set for Help Is On the Way XVI
By: Dan Bacalzo · May 6, 2010 · San Francisco

Leanne Borghesi, Carol Channing, Carole Cook, Franc D’Ambrosio, James Darren, Melissa Manchester, Karen Mason, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lisa Vroman, Paula West, Bruce Vilanch, and the cast of Forever Plaid will perform in the benefit concert, Help Is On the Way XVI, to be held at the Herbst Theatre, on Sunday, August 15, beginning at 5pm with a silent auction and the concert at 7:30pm.

This jazz, pop and live performance benefits four Bay Area AIDS Service Agencies: AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Larkin Street Youth Services, Meals of Marin, and New Leaf: Services for Our Community. David Galligan will direct the concert, with musical direction by Bill Keck.

Tickets begin at $75 (performance only), with gala packages priced at $125 and $175. For more information, visit or

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