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Billy Masters: Redford won't follow Babs back to the well, and all the dish you need
by Billy Masters
2022-12-19

This article shared 1791 times since Mon Dec 19, 2022
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"These gays — they're trying to murder me!"— Jennifer Coolidge's character, Tanya, on The White Lotus finale.

Have you heard of Ain't No Mo'? This Broadway show is a collection of sketches based on a fascinating premise—what if the US government offered Black people a one-way ticket back to Africa? Alas, clever as it may be, the show is not exactly burning up the box office. So the producers announced an imminent closing. Then Will and Jada Pinkett Smith bought out every single ticket for a performance. They were followed by Queen Latifah. And then people like Sara Ramirez, Shonda Rhimes, Tyler Perry, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade hosted pre- and post-show events. The producers—not people known for turning down money—granted the show an extension. It will now close on Dec. 23, unless by some Christmas/Kwanzaa miracle, tickets start moving.

Speaking of Americans traveling to Africa, my dear Jenifer Lewis was recently in Africa and returned home—just in time to appear on Billy Masters LIVE. Alas, a series of mishaps led to her missing our scheduled chat. Have no fear—we're rescheduling for next month!

I recently told you about the engagement of two Evan Hansens. Ben Platt recently proposed to Noah Galvin (he accepted—tearily). The twosome also has a professional marriage—they co-wrote and star in the film Theater Camp, about four people trying to keep a rundown theatre camp in upstate New York afloat. The film's world premiere will be at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 19 and will be available for streaming on Jan. 24.

Speaking of Sundance, we heard a fascinating story about Robert Redford. Allegedly, Barbra (no last name required) has been pestering him to make a sequel to The Way We Were—because, apparently, people are clamoring to know what those characters are doing 50 years later! According to the upcoming book The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen, author Robert Hofler has this to say about Redford: "He's too much of a gentleman to say it to her face, but she drove him crazy when they were making the movie and she's the last person he'd want as a leading lady. He's semi-retired, but she won't stop bugging him and won't take a hint." Of course, I don't believe anything from an "anonymous source," but it's still a fun story!

A holiday tradition in the UK is the seasonal pantomimes. These "pantos" are saucy plays presented as family-friendly fare with enough double entendres to keep both kiddies and parents amused. They typically rely on a star turn in a campy drag role. A current tour of Mother Goose is winding its way through Ireland and will land in London's West End next week—and the titular goose will be embodied by our very own Sir Ian McKellen. Why, it's almost worth a last-minute trip across the pond!

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, there was quite a to-do about a gay actor kissing his date. Yes, let that sink in—Ian McKellen is not only playing a woman but also a goose, and two men kissing is verboten (as they say in Deutschland). That it happened to a somewhat notable person didn't help matters.

The fantastic Drew Droege was on a dinner date at El Compadre—a venue which regularly hosts gay and drag performances in the basement. I'll let Drew tell you what happened next: "Finishing up our second drinks, we had our arms around each other and kissed a few times. A manager approached our table and said something to the affect of 'you guys can't do that in here.' We were confused at first, but then he very firmly stated, this is a family restaurant.'" When Drew protested, the manager asserted, "I don't care if you're the President of the United States, we don't allow your behavior here." Drew and his beau promptly left and posted his account on social media. Within hours, the owner posted a response. "We want to sincerely apologize for the actions of our manager the night of Dec. 12. This is not representative of our core values at El Compadre, and we wanted to let our customers know that the manager has been terminated." Happy holidays!

In what is apparently NOT a drinking-related story, we have an update on Anne Heche—which is hard to do since she's been dead for four months. When she drove into that woman's house, she was NOT under the influence of anything! According to the LA County Medical Examiner, there was "no evidence of impairment by illicit substances." Which begs the question —"What about prescribed substances?"

Get ready for our final Billy's Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions. Margaret Cho is celebrating her four decades in comedy with a new show — Margaret Cho: Live and Livid. The tour will take place throughout 2023, and here is how she describes it. "I will be radiating rage about homophobia, sexism, racism and the fight to stay alive in a culture that is killing us daily." If that doesn't scream comedy, I dunno what does. You can grab tix for a loved one at MargaretCho.com/tour.

Maybe you want to watch something special with your special someone right now. Consider Making The Yuletide Gay: A Very Special Paul Lynde Christmas. Michael Airington has long been playing the center square, and now he brings his talents to the special that never was. Written by Bruce Vilanch, the show features Jackie Beat and Lady Bunny—forever proving that they are not the same person. It also stars Spencer Day as Tab Hunter, David Hernandez as Sal Mineo, David Maiocco as Liberace and Jack Plotnick as Evie Harris (from Girls Will Be Girls), accompanied by Seth Rudetsky. I'm not exactly sure it's a special "special". I'm also not sure what the point is—because it is available for you to watch for free at Youtu.be/ADseNGgXXvc.

Our Ask Billy question comes from Henry in Detroit: "I saw The White Lotus and the gay guy who was plotting with Tanya's husband looked familiar. He is Tom Hollander. Isn't that the guy who played Spider-Man?"

That young Peter Parker was played by Tom Holland. The first time many of us saw Tom Hollander was in 1996, when he appeared on Absolutely Fabulous in The Last Shout as Paolo, the guy who was going to marry Saffron and ended up running off with the Gucci Girl. He's also a little bit of a thing at 5'5", which placed him somewhere between Tom Cruise and Tina Fey's husband. Hollander has had quite a busy career on television, film and stage—but playing one of "these gays" trying to murder Tanya was quite a memorable turn, indeed.

When a Hollander is in Sicily, we've definitely come to the end of yet another column. You don't need wooden shoes to check out www.BillyMasters.com—the site that'll give you a woodie within seconds! If you'd like me to stuff your stocking personally, send a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to come down your chimney before Redford files stalking charges against Babs! So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.


This article shared 1791 times since Mon Dec 19, 2022
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