Reviews: Mister Vilanch Provides Comic Relief For ‘Help On The Way XII’

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Beyond Chron
A CHORUS LINE – Gripping, Vulnerable Classic, HELP ON WAY – Surprising, funny and outrageous
by Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave‚ Aug. 04‚ 2006

MAGIC ON NOB HILL. Yep, that’s what this ‘Help On The Way XII’ was to the enthralled audience at the Masonic Auditorium.

Carole Cook who sang “You Can Always count on Me” from ‘City of Angels’ and “Nobody Does it Like Me (Seesaw)…quipped after her mesmerizing performance “Who would have thought that I would live long enough to look better than Elizabeth Taylor”. The audience roared – and that was only the beginning of her sharply funny comments. She should be declared a ‘Living Landmark’.

The whole evening was packed with tremendous talent. Franc D’ Ambrosio (Phantom) gave us “This is the Moment”…and what a fab moment it was. Nick Lazarrini & Melody Lacayanga tore up the stage with their high-concept style of dancing to the music from “Chicago”. No wonder Lazarrini won the Best Dancer spot on that T.V program. Kimberley Locke took “Over The Rainbow” and made it her own, in the most intriguing rendition that I have ever heard.

Susan Anton is still Hot, Hot and Hotter! And did she ever sizzle with her sexy, no holds barred “Love For Sale”. That song when first recorded way back then…was ‘banned’. If Anton records it…if she hasn’t already, look for the South to call for it to be banned.

Valarie Pettiford gave a dazzling new sound to “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”, It was ‘Sin City’. Tender was definitely the night when Michele Lee hypnotized us with ‘I Wanna Be Around’. She was LeeTastic!

La Toya London (American Idol) gave us the evenings Masterpiece when she sang ‘Waiting for you’ written by Barry J. Eastmond & La Toya London. Joined by a chorus – La Toya made this evening a haunting evening that stays in your mind for a long, long time.

Everyone was great…Bruce Vilanch gave us the Comic Relief. Here is one of his jokes: A Husband and Wife visited Jerusalem. His wife died and the Husband went to the nearest mortuary and inquired what it would cost to take care of the final arrangements. The man told him that he had two choices. I can take care of it here for $150, or I can have the body sent back to America for $5,000. Which would you like? The man thought about it and said “I’ll take the $5,000 option.” The mortuary person said: “Why would you take the more expensive – when I can bury your wife here for $150.” The Husband replied. “There was a guy who was buried here a long time ago…and he rose up from the Grave. I don’t want to take that chance.” Vilanch was a big crowd pleaser, along with all the other performers.