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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2014-12-09

This article shared 2795 times since Tue Dec 9, 2014
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"I want Allison Williams as a boy to take my gay virginity."—Zach Braff chimes in with his positive comments about the latest Peter Pan. Clap if you believe in fairies.

The column for this same week in 2013 opened with me talking about The Sound of Music, starring that thespian, Carrie Underwood. And here we are in 2014, opening the column talking about yet another live musical on television. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. What do we have to say about Peter Pan? Alas, none of the Darling children plummeted to their deaths on live TV. I was pleasantly surprised to see Michael Park cast as one of the dancing and singing pirates—especially after memorably stepping on Laura Benanti's gown last year. But there was one tragedy—only half the viewers from last year tuned in. I'm sure Miss Underwood brought in people who would not typically watch a Broadway show.

When Christopher Walken was awake, he was quite entertaining. But more often than not, it appeared as if he was starring in Weekend at Bernie's—The Musical. He seemed to go for his climactic notes by opening his mouth but, strangely, nothing came out. It was all a bit too Marcel Marceau. Happily, he wasn't also cast as Mr. Darling. That double duty went to Christian Borle, who came through for live TV musicals two years in a row—I suspect he's on the shortlist to lead next year's The Music Man—Live. Most of my fans were curious about Borle's arms—his Smee was positively pumped. As the behind-the-scenes special showed, those were indeed his guns ... armed and loaded. Speaking of arms, Williams looked emaciated for a youthful boy; perhaps Mary Martin and Mia Farrow had the right idea with a half-sleeve. And how does one play Peter Pan without a Peter Pan collar?

For those of you who wondered why NBC kept the convention of a girl playing the part, I suppose I can now tell you that the role was originally offered to little Daniel Radcliffe. He was intrigued by the possibility, but ultimately decided it would be a step backward in his quest to be taken seriously as an adult actor.

Anderson Cooper is very much alive—but it was touch and go. For more than a week, the Silver Fox was feeling sharp stomach pains. He initially chalked it up to a hectic schedule. But while in France for Thanksgiving, he was convinced that he had food poisoning. Upon returning home, he went straight ... to the doctor. It turned out he had appendicitis and was immediately operated on. He missed his broadcast, but tweeted, "I'll be back on the air tomorrow. Had an appendicitis and had to have sudden surgery last night."

One person who is happy Cooper is fine is Kathy Griffin, who will once again join the newsman for CNN's New Year's Eve coverage. But that's not all—as we previously reported, Griffin has been officially named the new host of E!'s Fashion Police. Kathy made the announcement, saying, "I get it! These are some big shoes I'm going to fill. Joan was truly one of a kind. Now I hope you will accept me for me. I'm just Kathy. Did I say I'm just Kathy? I meant I'm Kathy F***ing Griffin and you celebrities better strap yourself in, as I am taking no prisoners. I am not holding back so DAMMIT let's have some fun!"

Griffin was hesitant to take the gig because of the inevitable comparisons to Joan Rivers, and because a weekly show would severely limit her touring. However, E! cut the show schedule in half and only ordered 17 episodes for 2015. That brings us to the other reason Griffin took the job—rumor had it that if she didn't sign on the dotted line, the show would have been cancelled. Since she wanted to protect Joan's legacy—and keep the crew gainfully employed—she jumped in. It should be noted that the other addition to the panel is the delicious Brad Goresky, from It's a Brad, Brad World.

Due to recovery from a viral infection, Cher has missed quite a few shows on her concert tour. And now it's official—the last leg of her "Dressed 2 Kill" tour has been cancelled. She stated, "I am totally devastated. Nothing like this has ever happened to me. I cannot apologize enough to all the fans who bought tickets. I'm so proud of this show. It is my best ever. I sincerely hope that we can come back again next year and finish what we started."

Divas in distress leads us to Billy's Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions. This week's item is something that will not only make your spirits bright, but will also raise money for a great cause. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has a limited edition Liza Minnelli holiday ornament. Liza, who is recovering from back surgery, said, "I'm simply delighted and so honored to be immortalized with such a wonderfully crafted ornament. I'm especially proud to help support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, an organization that has been very dear to my heart for more than two decades." Previous legends in the ornament series are Julie Andrews, Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon. Liza's six-inch glass likeness features her in a red sequin outfit and hat—circa "The Act" 1977. To order the ornament, head on over to BroadwayCares.org .

Finally, a bit of troublesome news. I would like you to brace yourselves because one doesn't deliver news like this every day. Susan Boyle—you know, the chick with Asperger's and a mustache—has her first boyfriend at 53 years old! That cagey minx said, "It's very early days so we'll see what happens. I hope he visits." Visits? Is he in some sort of a facility where he needs to get a weekend pass? Or perhaps it's the other way around. Susan added, "I don't want to say any more about who he is right now as that would be unfair on him. All I'll say is we are around the same age and he was a very nice guy." With that description, I kinda think she's describing someone she met on a bus! But, good on you, Susie.

When Susan Boyle has someone stuffing her stockings and I don't, it's definitely time to end yet another column. For all your gossip needs, be sure to check out www.BillyMasters.com . You'll notice that our iconic website is going through a metamorphosis. We hope to have our new look ready to be unveiled in the next couple of weeks. What's coming? I'm sworn to secrecy, but you can try and get it out of me. Just drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Susan Boyle gets cast in the UK version of Peter Pan—Live as Nana! So, until next time, remember one man's filth is another man's bible.


This article shared 2795 times since Tue Dec 9, 2014
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