"I was born and raised in Boston, and I still haven't made it to Martha's Vineyard."Billy Masters.
They're dropping like flies in Englandliterally! My faithful followers know that nothing makes me happier than a video of someone fallingwhy, seeing Beyonce plummet down a flight of stairs face-first is almost as enjoyable as seeing Madonna nearly strangled by her cape! But even I was concerned while watching the honor guard standing by Queen Elizabeth. One member was noted to be swayingwhich is never a good sign in a guard who isn't even allowed to crack a smile (not that there's much to smile about around the queen's coffin). Suddenly, the swaying guard collapsed. But he didn't just faint; he fell face-forward and down a step! And, he didn't quickly pop uphe laid there until he was helped up. We hear he was uninjured and returned to his post a few hours later. And then he started swaying again. Needless to say, he was removed before any other incident took place.
The newly minted King Charles III is not without scandal, goodness knows. But did you know there have been gay rumors? I guess that goes with the territory. Apparently, Princess Diana made mention of a servant's claim to have caught Charles in flagrante delicto with a member of the same sex. That servant, George Smith, claims that he once brought Chucky his breakfast in bed and found him with a male aide in what is described as an "unmistakable sexual position." Shortly thereafter, palace insiders branded Smith a drunk. And?
Since I'm in Europe, I was unable to attend the Emmys. But I'm always glad when friends win awards, and two of my nearest and dearest are Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jennifer Coolidge. Both embraced their moments memorablyone by singing and one by dancing. And yet, neither of them won for a musical. Go figure.
A Broadway-bound musical is taking a hiatus on the road to the Great White Way. The Elton John musicalized version of The Devil Wears Prada played Chicago to a tepid response. "It's not ready," said John. "It'll be ready in about another year. …We learned a lot from our run in Chicago and look forward to continuing to work on the production and make the necessary changes. We have every intention of bringing the production to the stage again when we have the proper theater and the timing is right."
This does not mean that Elton is taking a hiatus from all theater. His collaboration with Jake Shears on a musical about Tammy Faye Bakker is still moving forward. Tammy Faye opens at the Almeida Theatre in London's West End on Oct. 13. It will star Katie Brayben as Tammy Faye and our own Andrew Rannells as Jim Bakker.
Broadway's biggest box-office blockbuster has also announced plans to close. The Hugh Jackman/Sutton Foster helmed revival of The Music Man will shutter once Jackman's contract expires on Jan. 1not unlike when he played Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz.
Lea Michele's first week as Broadway's Funny Girl resulted in a box-office record for the show, bringing in $1.6 million. That's even more impressive when you consider that she only got to do four shows before she was felled by COVID. She is expected back on Sept. 20.
Congrats to my pals, Gary and Larry Lane. Also known as the Lane Twins (or the Filth2Go Twins), they have released a new documentary, Still Working 9 To 5. It spotlights the social relevance of the film 9 To 5 and how things have (and have not) changed for women in the workplace over the past 40+ years. Not only is the doc beautifully produced, but it is massively educational and moving. Cast members from the original film are included, and the Lanes even persuaded Dolly Parton to re-record the iconic theme songas a duet with Kelly Clarkson! To learn more and find out about how to see it, check out StillWorking9To5.com .
Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Henry in NYC: "I was surprised to see Zac Efron on a magazine cover looking even younger than usual. Has he had some work done?"
He hasbut it seems to have been mental work. Zac claims that he has found some balance in his life in the October issue of Men's Health. Remember his incredible Baywatch physique? He now says, "I don't know if that's really attainable." He now confesses that achieving that body required endless workout sessions, a severely limited diet and very powerful diuretics. The medication and supplements led to bouts of insomnia and depression. He added, "At one point, that was a dream of minewhat it would be like to not have to be in shape all the time. What if I just said, 'F*** it' and let myself go?" Welcome to my world, Zac Efron! He claims to have discovered how to be in good physical shape and also be happy. You can see the results on BillyMasters.com .
When the difference between Zac and me is a diuretic, it's definitely time for me to go on the dark web and end yet another column. Perhaps these drugs can be found in my undisclosed Eastern European locale. While I look into that, you can check out www.BillyMasters.comthe site that never falls short. If you have a question, dash it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before someone explains where Posh was. Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.