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Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold bring double-bill act to Lauderdale

Staff Writer

Comedians Judy Gold and Bruce Vilanch are the perfect couple.

Sure, she’s a lesbian, and he’s gay, but the two have formed an act called “Big & Tall with Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold,” which will open this weekend’s LGBT festival Pride South Florida with a performance Friday night at Parker Playhouse.

“We’re both Jewy Jews,” Gold says. during a telephone interview “We have the same sensibility, both of us being Jews who grew up in New Jersey.”

Vilanch says the show is for mature audiences. “She’s the tall one, by the way,” he adds. “Yes, we’re just two gay Jews carrying on and out in the world. This is a show Judy and I have put together, just doing what we do.”

The multiple-Emmy-winning writer says he’s wary of doing too much material based on Florida’s penchant for bizarre news, as tempting as that might be as comedy fodder.

“You’ve also got a lot of people working at Wendy’s selling burgers … Pep Boys selling tires or Midas doing lube jobs or delivering for FedEx. They are just people who happen to live in the middle of a resort. It’s within that unique aspect of Florida … that is what you play with. Then again, you’ve got everything from hurricanes to stand your ground. It’s certainly an interesting state,” Vilanch says. “In the north, you’ve got rednecks and sailors. In the south, you’ve got Cubans and Jews. And in the middle, there’s Mickey Mouse and Goofy. There are some of the wealthiest people in the world there, and then, there are sharecroppers still working the land.”

Vilanch knows the region so well because he spent summers in Miami Beach in the 1950s while visiting his grandparents, has performed his standup routine in Wilton Manors a few times and “grand-marshaled” a gay pride parade in 2012, returning later that year in “Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” at the Broward Center.

Gold, an actress and star of long-running off-Broadway shows, is also a frequent visitor.

“Oh, my God, I’ve been to Florida like a million times,” she says. “I’ve played Kravis Center. And I was in ‘The Glades.’ I played a suspect. I was the daughter of the world’s tallest man. I used to love going to Les Beans Coffee Shop in Lake Worth, but I think it closed. And we went to this restaurant in West Palm with Florence HendersonRhythm Café. I love, love, love that place.”

Will some of Florida’s weirdness make it into her act?

“It might,” she says. “But to tell you the truth, I’m there so much I don’t even notice anymore. Alicia [her partner] and I drive around there, and we say to each other, ‘This isn’t so bad.’ Then, we realize, ‘Oh, great. We’re old.’ “

“Big and Tall With Bruce Vilanch and Judy Gold” will begin at 8 p.m. at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $31.50-$76.50. Call 954-462-0222 or go to




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