The funniest man alive is performing in San Francisco and yet not everyone knows it.
Many of you may not even recognize his name – Bruce Vilanch. But you know his talent and he currently is performing in 42nd Street Moon’s production of Cole Porter’s “Du Barry Was a Lady” through May 18.
Before you wiki Vilanch, let’s make it clear you know his humor. He has been a long time comedy writer that has written every funny thing said by Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg and Academy Award hosts and presenters for many years. His writing is so witting and topical that there was a documentary made about him called “Get Bruce!” in which people would seek him out to make themselves funny or to doctor up some script that lacked luster.
Vilanch and his scruffy beardedness started to make a physical appearance several years back by being on TV’s “Hollywood Squares” before having a long a successful run in the musical “Hairspray,” which played for months on end in San Francisco. He wasn’t just in “Hairspray,” he was the star, taking the famed Divine (from the movie) and Harvey Fierstein (from the Broadmay musical) role and making it his own.
Apparently the acting bug bit Vilanch hard as he was willing to shave off his iconic facial hair and has also done more acting including being a semi-regular the wonderful internet series “Child of the ‘70s.” He must also be smitten by San Francisco as he has often made appearances at the Richmond/Ermet Help is on the Way AIDS fund raisers and now taking on Cole Porter.
His wit and charm certainly can complement the intelligence of a Cole Porter song – and he will likely have several.
42nd Street Moon takes lesser known musicals and present them in a simpler form with minimal sets and costumes, but high in performance.
“Du Barry” tells the story of a washroom attendant (Vilanch) who gets knocked out only to them dream he’s King Louis VX in pursuit of his mistress. Porter’s show may not be known but many of the songs are quite popular, in particular “Friendship,” which even made an appearance on “I Love Lucy” in the 1950s.
The show runs through May 18. It plays Wednesday-Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees. There’s a special family matinee this Saturday at 1pm and an extra matinee Saturday, May 17 at 1pm (due to popular demand). There’s a Q&A after the show this Sunday with the director and some members of the cast.
Get more information at www.42ndstmoon.org.
Also check him out at www.theofficialchildofthe70s.com.