Bruce Kimmel (born December 8, 1947), also known as Guy Haines, is an actor, writer, director, composer, and Grammy-nominated CD producer (for the revival of Hello, Dolly).
Kimmel appeared in many TV shows, such as The Partridge Family (multiple episodes), Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Alice, M*A*S*H, Donny & Marie (four guest shots), and various pilots. His other TV appearances include The Young Lawyers; Honeymoon Suite; the TV-movie Beggarman, Thief; The Bob Crane Show; Forget-Me-Not-Lane on PBS; Carl Reiner's Good Heavens; Rob Reiner's The Super; Lucas Tanner; Doctors' Hospital; Marcus Welby, MD; the TV-remake of the film If I Had a Million; Dinah and Her New Best Friends, which was a CBS summer replacement for The Carol Burnett Show and aired for eight weeks in the summer of 1976.
He acted in the films The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), The First Nudie Musical (1976), Racquet, with Bert Convy, Tanya Roberts, Lynda Day George, Björn Borg, and Phil Silvers, First Family (1980) and The Creature Wasn't Nice (1983).
Kimmel wrote and directed The First Nudie Musical (1976),.
The First Nudie Musical became one of the first cable-TV hits and featured in the second volume of Danny Peary's Cult Movies.
His second film,The Creature Wasn't Nice (1983) was completely recut by its producers, with no involvement from Kimmel, retitled Spaceship, played a short theatrical run, then went to cable TV. The film was retitled once again as Naked Space for some DVD releases with an incorrect aspect ratio. In 2019, a special edition DVD was released, finally allowing audiences to see Kimmel's original cut of the film in its proper ratio of 1:85:1. The DVD also included Spaceship cut (in 1:85:1), three commentary tracks, trailer, and a 24-bit version of the soundtrack.
He was also the director (as Mark Rutland) of Prime Suspect (1989).
He also wrote and directed multiple segments of the HBO comedy series Likely Stories. He directed an award-winning KABC documentary called Weekday Heroes, and for home video he directed the Hanna-Barbera show, Rappin' and Rhymin'.
He wrote and directed the web series Outside the Box, which, was initially uploaded on YouTube, and later became a Broadway World exclusive series for its second season. The third season of Outside the Box, intended to start filming in April 2013, never came to fruition.
In 2021, he directed two filmed productions that were designed for streaming, an original musical Tonight's the Night, starring Eric Petersen and Hartley Powers, and a thriller titled Revenge. Kimmel wrote and directed two original shows designed for streaming and playing online. Tonight's the Night was an original musical starring Eric Petersen and Hartley Powers. The show was designed and directed to appear as if it was live on Zoom, but it was instead filmed and then edited (by Marshall Harvey). The second show was a thriller titled Revenge, which was also designed to appear as if it were happening live on Zoom, but was filmed and edited.
On April 23, 2023, Kimmel's new streaming series Sami premiered on Amazon Prime. A short form comedy series with music, it stars Sami Staitman, Cindy Williams, Kerry O'Malley, and Karim Hazime. Guest stars over the ten episodes include Charles Busch, Karen Ziemba, Brad Oscar, Liz Larsen, Sal Viviano, Allie Trimm, and others. Each episode runs between ten and eighteen minutes. There is one original song in each episode except the season finale, which has five songs. The show is about a young actress living in New York "trying to navigate the treacherous terrain of auditions, temp jobs, open-mic nights, dating, and everything else."
Kimmel has written many plays/musicals, including a thriller, Deceit (2006), and a musical, The Brain From Planet X (2006). The Brain is a spoof of 1950s alien invasion movies and was featured in the New York Festival of New Musicals (NYMF) in 2007, and the Festival of New American Musicals in 2008, with a run at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, California. It was picked up for licensing by the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization and has since been performed internationally. Two of his other musicals, Stages and Together Again are paired on a Kritzerland CD. His first musical, Start at the Top is the only show to have ever had a "backer's audition" on The Merv Griffin Show.
In 2011, he directed a new musical revue, Lost and Unsung, based on his albums "Lost in Boston" and "Unsung Musicals". He also directed Li'l Abner and Inside Out. In 2015, he wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the one-girl musical, "Welcome to My World", and also directed. The show starred fifteen-year-old Sami Staitman, who was nominated for a Robby Award as Best Actress. In 2016, he created a new musical revue, L.A. Now and Then.
In 2017, he directed a production of Dial M for Murder, as well as the world premiere of a new musical, Levi, the story of Levi Strauss, with a book by Larry Cohen and a score by the Sherman Brothers. This show, which was originally written in 1979, was previously unproduced. Kimmel provided additional material to the book as well as the lyrics to a new song with music by Richard M. Sherman. The cast recording is on his soundtrack label, Kritzerland.
In 2018, he directed the world premiere of the new musical, A Carol Christmas, a modernized, feminized version of the Dickens classic. The book was by Doug Haverty, and Kimmel wrote the music and lyrics. He also directed the world premiere of the satirical parody revue, Everybody Rise! A Resistance Cabaret,, which centers on the Trump administration. The parody show tune revue was written by Joe Keenan (Frasier), and starred Brittney Bertier, Kerry O'Malley, Eric Petersen, Nick Sacks, and Robert Yacko, with musical direction by John Boswell. In 2019/2020, he directed back to back productions of The Man Who Came to Dinner, starring Jim Beaver and Barry Pearl, and Doug Haverty's play, In My Mind's Eye.
From 2010, Kimmel has produced and hosted a monthly cabaret series, Kritzerland at... The series recently produced its 124th show, making it the longest-running cabaret show of its kind. The show began at the Gardenia in September 2010, played there until December 2011, them moved to Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's for three shows, and then to Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal, where it played until August 2018. Beginning in September 2018, the show moved back to Vitello's and is now back where it began at the Gardenia.
During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020/2021, Kimmel moved the monthly Kritzerland shows online. The shows were critically acclaimed for solving the technical issues that plagued other online shows. (Instead of presenting them live, as the others tried to do, the entertainment portions were pre-recorded, although the shows themselves were advertised as being live in toto.) During that time, the Kritzerland show reached its eleventh anniversary in 2021.
From 1988 to 1993, Kimmel co-owned the speciality label, Bay Cities, releasing over 100 albums that include American classical music, cast albums, and soundtracks. In 1993, Kimmel became a full time record producer with his own division at Varèse Sarabande, producing many cast albums (Broadway and off-Broadway), Broadway singers, and musical theater concept albums, initially for the Varèse Sarabande, and then for Fynsworth Alley, a company he founded. He was nominated for a Grammy for the revival cast album of Hello, Dolly!. An album he produced with jazz pianist Fred Hersch was also nominated for a Grammy.
Kimmel has produced over 180 CDs, including the Unsung Musicals and Lost in Boston series, Unsung Sondheim, The Stephen Schwartz Album, The Alan Menken Album, The Stephen Sondheim Album, Sondheim at the Movies, a classic series of Sondheim shows in jazz with Terry Trotter, vocal albums with Petula Clark, Helen Reddy, Liz Callaway, Laurie Beechman, Rebecca Luker, Jason Graae, Brent Barrett, Michelle Nicastro, cast albums for The King and I, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Bells Are Ringing, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (with Ann-Margret), Little Me (with Martin Short), and Ruthless! The Musical.
His album Titanic: The Ultimate Collection entered the Billboard Classical Crossover chart at number two and remained on the chart for forty consecutive weeks. His current label Kritzerland has issued close to 400 albums including cast albums, singers, and a series of reissues of limited edition soundtracks.
Kimmel has released two albums as a singer, using the pseudonym "Guy Haines" (named for Farley Granger's character in Strangers on a Train): Haines His Way (2001) and New Guy in Town (2007). Also a songwriter, Kimmel produced the album "It Might Be Fun" by singer Sandy Bainum, featuring his original songs, including his collaboration with Richard M. Sherman (of the Sherman Brothers), "Two Roads."
At the 2015 Mac Awards, Kimmel's song "Simply" won the award for Best Song of the Year. He also won a Scenie Award for Best Score for A Carol Christmas.
Kimmel has written twenty-four books, including a coming-of-age trilogy, Benjamin Kritzer, Kritzerland, and Kritzer Time, mysteries titled Writer's Block and Rewind, and a mystery series Murder at Hollywood High, Murder at the Grove, Murder at the Hollywood Historical Society, Murder at The Masquers, Murder at the School Musical, Murder at the Hollywood Division, and Murder at the Magic Castle. His other novels include the western Red Gold, Patrick Bronstein Presents, a time-travel novel titled Thrill Ride, and GEE. He also wrote a book of short fiction titled How To Write A Dirty Book and Other Stories. Between 2020 and 2022, a compendium of lyrics titled Simply - A Lifetime of Lyrics, a mystery titled Some Days Are Murder, and a mystery titled Tis the Season to Be Murdered were published. In May of 2023, his novel, Preview Harvey was published. And in October of 2023, twenty years after Kritzer Time he continued the saga of Benjamin Kritzer in a fourth book, Kritzer World.
He has also published two memoirs, There's Mel, There's Woody, and There's You - My Life in the Slow Lane, and Album Produced By.
Kimmel has a daily blog, HainesHisWay, which he started in November 2001. It also features a message board, linked to each day's blog. The message board has over 1,530,000 posts over its 22-year existence. For the last ten years it has featured roughly 13 regular contributors.
Kimmel shares his expertise on classical music in reviews for Amazon.com. He writes the occasional review for the IMDB under the screenname Whitesheik. He occasionally contributes information to Wikipedia, but in his own idiosyncratic style rather in the style necessary for Wikipedia, so those entries are typically deleted.
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