Bruce Vilanch, the bleach-blond, thick-maned, muppet-like comedy writer who has become a celebrity for his appearances on "The Hollywood Squares" and elsewhere, will make his New York City theatrical debut in a biographical comedy called Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous, opening May 11 at the Westbeth Theatre Center.
Conceived and written by Vilanch and directed by Scott Wittman, the show offers stories of Vilanch's brushes with the rich, famous and infamous of the Hollywood he makes his living in. Vilanch is much sought after as a special-material writer for celebrities who make public appearances. As profiled in the film documentary, "Get Bruce!," Vilanch is also a longtime writer for awards shows, including the Emmys, Oscars, Tonys and Grammys.
Previews for Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous began April 25. Performances in the limited engagement continue to June 10.
Vilanch contributed to the 2000 Academy Awards show in March. Miramax will release the video of "Get Bruce!" Feb. 26. Vilanch grew up in New Jersey, wrote for the Chicago Tribune and became a comedian, performer and comedy writer. He contributes a column to the gay and lesbian magazine, The Advocate, and appears (in print) in Playboy and The Los Angeles Times. Through his writing or appearances, he raises money for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Project Los Angeles "Commitment to Life" and Project Angel Food.
As an actor, he has appeared in films and TV programs, including "It Nearly Wasn't Christmas," "Bosom Buddies," "The Morning After," "Mahagony" and "Ice Pirates."
The limited engagement of Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous must end June 10, according to producers Westbeth Theatre Center/Arnold Engelman (Producing Director) and Joan Hyland.
Tickets are $35-$40. Westbeth Theatre Center is at 151 Bank Street in Greenwich Village. For ticket information, call (212) 741-0391.
-- By Kenneth Jones