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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2010-04-14

This article shared 2543 times since Wed Apr 14, 2010
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"I'm not gay. A lot of people say that I'm gay and that doesn't bother me because I could eat a pizza in a male shower and not feel anything because I'm secure with myself."—Jamie Foxx uses a curious analogy to defend his heterosexuality. I'm wondering why he'd be eating a pizza in a male shower. And I don't know about you, but I'm suspect of anyone who's not even a little aroused eating a pizza!

While in Boston for Easter, I zipped down to the D.C. area for Tyne Daly and crabs. Well, I didn't get 'em from Tyne—I defy you to find me one man who has! Plus, you can get crabs anywhere. But you've gotta be in Baltimore for good crab cakes. As luck would have it, the Kennedy Center was celebrating the work of playwright Terrence McNally, so I had a perfect excuse for a quick jaunt. One day, two plays, six crab cakes, one penis, and Tyne Daly—it doesn't get better than that ( which is perhaps the saddest admission I've ever made in print ) .

Tyne Daly assumed the persona of Maria Callas in Master Class, and it was a triumph-in-progress. Since I saw the show in previews, Tyne only had five shows under her belt—certainly not enough for the role to fit as second skin. But to the actress' credit, the framework and intentions were crystal clear and spot on. Almost completely gone were the tough, gruff, trucker-esque mannerisms that color many of Daly's portrayals. She was almost—dare I say—feminine.

The Kennedy Center is also presenting The Lisbon Traviata. Once again, Callas is McNally's muse, but this time as a disembodied voice. In the first act, obviously John Glover's "Mendy" is going to grab all of the attention—much as Nathan Lane did in the original production. However, Malcolm Gets as Steven more than holds his own. Manu Narayan, as "Michael, does his best with what is really a thankless role. But let me single out Chris Hartl who plays Paul. When he's not acting, he's a trainer at Steel Gym in NYC. To equate his acting ability with his physical appearance would be high praise indeed. If for no other reason, you should see this production for his full-frontal entrance in the second act. I'd give him a 10—literally!

All is not rosy for Terrence. His availability to spend time in DC might be thanks to Megan Mullally, or director Joe Mantello—depending on who you ask. The Roundabout Theatre planned to open a Broadway revival of McNally's "Lips Together, Teeth Apart," which would be directed by Mantello and star Mullally, Lily Taylor, David Wilson and Patton Oswalt. Although the details are murky, we know that Mullally and Oswalt had some sort of issue during rehearsals. Rumors swirl that Oswalt ( in his Broadway debut ) was not up to Mullally's theatrical standards. Others say she clashed with the sometimes combative Mantello. Or, that Mullally wanted Oswalt replaced and Mantello refused. Whatever the reason, Megan walked. The Roundabout immediately issued a statement expressing sadness that Megan "had to withdraw from the production immediately in breach of her contract" ( sounds like a lawsuit is coming ) . Since the play was two weeks into rehearsal, it was thought a revised schedule could salvage the production. However, when it became clear that a competent replacement who was also a box-office draw could not be found, the play was "postponed" indefinitely.

And in London, we're told that Kim Cattrall is turning in quite a performance in Private Lives. The West End production is doing well enough to warrant buzz of a Broadway transfer. Before that, Cattrall has another character on the horizon—Cleopatra! Yes, the ageless beauty will play the fabled Queen of the Nile in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra this summer at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre.

Remember all that stuff about Nicolette Sheridan leaving Desperate Housewives on great terms, that everyone loved her and that her exit was simply storyline-dictated? Well, forget it. Nic has filed a lawsuit against DH creator Marc Cherry for wrongful termination; gender violence; and assault and battery! According to Sheridan's suit, she criticized Cherry about something in the script during rehearsal. He took her aside, and hit her with his hand across her face/head. Obviously I wasn't there, but I know Marc Cherry and find this impossible to believe. Of course, I also know Nicolette and I'd expect her to slug him right back! She says Cherry later went to her trailer to apologize, but she still reported the incident to ABC. Her role was immediately slashed and eventually she was killed off—depriving her of millions of dollars in salary ( she's suing for $20 million ) . BTW, she says she wasn't the only victim of his abuse. Sheridan claims that Teri Hatcher once complained to a higher-up about Cherry. She alleges that Marc responded by saying, "I hope Teri Hatcher gets hit by a car and dies." One big happy family...

This past week, Oscar-nominee Julianne Moore returned to her soap roots on As the World Turns. This prompted an "Ask Billy" question from Roger in San Francisco: "I've never seen As The World Turns before, but fell completely in lust with Billy Magnussen. He's gorgeous! What can you tell me about him?"

The young actor joined ATWT back in 2007 as a pivotal player with a penchant for parading in his panties. The lack of clothing is something he's also enjoyed on stage and the big screen. In 2007, he made his Broadway debut in a revival of Terrence McNally's comedy "The Ritz," where he played a non-speaking, towel-wearing patron in a gay bathhouse alongside such luminaries as gay porn legend Ryan Idol. He followed up his turn on the legitimate stage with an appearance in the movie "Happy Tears". You certainly would be hard-pressed not to experience some tears of joy seeing Magnussen without a stitch of clothing and exhibiting a rather weighty and lengthy appendage. Don't fret if your local video store has never heard of this flick. You can see all on BillyMasters.com .

When soap studs are cavorting in a gay bathhouse, it's time to end yet another column. Look at that—we started with Terrence McNally. And, poof, there he was at the end. I'd love to figure out what that means, but I have to dash to Jeffrey Sanker's White Party in Palm Springs. By the time you read this, it'll all be a distant memory. I'm sure I'll have a full report on www.BillyMasters.com—once I regain consciousness. In the interim, feel free to drop your queries to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Nicolette replaces Megan in "Lips Together". Until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.


This article shared 2543 times since Wed Apr 14, 2010
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