Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  NIGHTSPOTS

Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2016-12-14

This article shared 520 times since Wed Dec 14, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


"Why is it so hard to find a sexy, charismatic, hunky, non-girlie Link?"—A notable Hairspray alum, after seeing the live telecast. We have two filmed versions of this show where Link oozes all the raw masculinity of a young Tatum O'Neal. Strike that: Tatum had more testosterone than Zac Efron and Garrett Clayton combined.

Some people felt it was too soon to do a new version of Hairspray—after all, the John Travolta film was made in 2007. But this "live" version was much closer to the Broadway musical, due in no small part to the extraordinary talents of the show's original choreographer, Jerry Mitchell. Since he was not involved in the film version, his vision went unseen ... until now. When he introduced me to Maddie Baillio after the live telecast, he said, "Billy's known every great Tracy"—and, I daresay, some of the lesser ones!

I'd put Maddie near the top. ( Nobody can touch my Marissa. ) Her vocals were incredible, and her acting really touched me. I would have liked to have seen more exuberance and joy, but when your first major role is carrying a three-hour live television event, you've got a lot on your plate! There was plenty of joy on the screen once the two original Tracys appeared. Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur showed up in "Welcome To The '60s" as the two lead Hefty Hideaway girls. I wondered where Nikki Blonsky—the Tracy from the musical film—was. All anyone would say was a "financial issue" kept her away. I've always loved The Dynamites—the girl group that comes to life from a poster. The live telecast reunited the original Broadway trio: Kamilah Marshall, Shayna Steele and Judine Richard Somerville. And I'm sure most of you caught the sly nods to the Hairspray history, most notably the names of storefronts. I particularly liked Divine Pet Food, with the flashing neon pink flamingo.

Of course, this production immortalized the original musical Edna of Harvey Fierstein. In many ways, Jennifer Hudson was miscast—she may have been blond and beautiful, but the only thing big about her is her voice ... and her breasts! She sang the role like nobody's business, so I got past her looking like Seaweed's sister. And how perfect was Kristin Chenoweth as Velma? Her arch, sardonic, laconic portrayal was impeccable. As Andrea Martin proved, there are no small roles. Every line reading had me howling. When she rolled over the bed to get to the window, I almost burst. She's a national treasure.

Garrett Clayton sang and danced the role great. But can we please get back to the archetype set by the unsurpassed Matthew Morrison, Broadway's original Link? Now, THAT was sex on a stick! And whose bright idea was it to have Darren Criss take us out of the show at every commercial? Wrong! There were some technical issues. Some were on the fly—like the giant Ultra Clutch can that rolled out with the door open. Chenoweth altered her lines asking what was in there, while trying gallantly to close the door with her foot. ( The West Coast didn't see this since the dress rehearsal footage was dropped in there. ) Many scenes were badly lit, and singers often sang in the dark—most notably while Tracy's walking to school during "Good Morning Baltimore."

I know this was live, but there must be some lights on the Universal backlot. At least give Tracy a flashlight! Ultimately, none of that mattered. The real star of the show was the show itself. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote a musical that is as tuneful as it is relevant. It sounded great and proved that, as always, you can't stop the beat.

Ever since the election, talks have been underway for some new Will & Grace episodes. That project took a giant leap forward when the four stars tentatively agreed. While promoting the film Why Him?, Megan Mullally filled in some details: "All I can say is that there is a very good chance that that might happen. It's not happening right this second. I mean, we're not rehearsing or anything like that. But there is a very good chance that something is going to materialize. But I can't really talk about it or say anything ... because you know how it is."

Shannen Doherty's had a crappy year. She's battling cancer and found out her management let her health insurance lapse. But she's not letting anything slow her down. She was just cast in the TV Land series based on her hit 1988 film Heathers. Rumor has it she'll be playing one of the more wicked moms. But there's another reason to check out this new version. The role Doherty played, Heather Duke, will now be played by a male actor. His birth name is Heath, but he's a "self-identified gender-queer." Sigh, if only Alexis Arquette were still alive...

It's time for Billy's Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions. I love buying people calendars. Everyone needs one and nobody buys them for themselves. Our first choice is new to this column. The Men of the Vet School calendar features the hunky frat boys from Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. If seeing a strapping shirtless stud carrying a goat doesn't turn you on, you're dead on the inside. You can find them on Etsy.com .

One of our perennials is the Warwick Rowers. The ripped rowers not only pose nude, but they raise money for Sport Allies, a group that fights homophobia in sports. "We're here with our boats, our oars and no clothes to show that your true identity is the best way to be," the group says. You might get a splinter on WarwickRowers.org .

I'm always amused by the annual calendar featuring erotic photos of Orthodox priests. Yes, hot nude ( and semi-nude ) priests! Now in its fifth year, the Romanian organizers have revealed that the models are not "necessarily" priests. I should have been tipped off by the new anagram they're using—PILF stands for "priests I'd like to fuck." The group says the calendar is "an artistic effort to creatively protest homophobia in the Orthodox Church." Have I mentioned these guys are HOT? Check out Orthodox-Calendar.com .

When Hairspray is opening with "Good Evening Baltimore," it's time to end yet another column. With the holidays upon us, it's the perfect time to check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that always delivers gay apparel. If you have a question for yours truly, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I hook up with a Romanian priest! So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


This article shared 520 times since Wed Dec 14, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-10-25
"There was talk of Harry Styles, but I think he ran. He was too scared."—Boy George discusses who will play him in a biopic—or, rather, who won't. The frontrunner currently is Yungblud—a young British singer. If ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Haring/Ortiz mural, Jamie Lee Curtis, Billy Porter
2021-10-24
Dancing the foxtrot alongside partner Jenna Johnson to Olivia Newton John's "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" for Dancing with the Stars' Grease night, 18-year-old social-media star JoJo Siwa received the season's first perfec ...


Gay News

Stage Left Theatre names new artistic director
2021-10-21
Stage Left Theatre announced Bobbi Masters as its new artistic director. Masters has directed plays at theaters around the nation such as No Strings Theatre Company in Las Cruces, New Mexico (The Bald Soprano); and Kitchen ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-10-18
"But we can curl your hair and put lotion on your face at the same time."—William Shatner's response to Prince William's criticism of space tourism. Are there any people less likely to be discussing hair than ...


Gay News

WORLD Plus magazine, The Guardian, Dutch princess, anti-trans ruling
2021-10-17
The largest circulated HIV publication in the country, Plus, unveiled its 25 Amazing People of the Year, per a press release. Just a few of the individuals are actor Billy Porter; Mandisa Nikita Dukashe: South African ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Superman, TheWrap, Oscar Wilde, Billy Porter, Cher, 'Dragula'
2021-10-17
The ongoing comic Superman: Son of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms, launched in July and saw Jon Kent officially take up the mantle of the Man of Steel now that his father, ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-10-11
"I kept hearing about Fat Bear Week and thought it was a celebration of body positivity within a gay subculture. It turns out it is about actual bears! Either way, I am here for it."—Lynda Carter ...


Gay News

Billy Masters talks Dolly, Katie Couric and more
2021-10-04
"I was so excited when someone told me that Lil Nas X had done my song #Jolene. I had to find it and listen to it immediately … and it's really good. Of course, I love him anyway. I was surprised ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-09-27
"Honey, turn that clock off; I ain't paying no attention to it. Turn it off—turn it off!"—Debbie Allen during her acceptance speech for the Governors Award at the Primetime Emmys. Four co-hosts go in, two come ...


Gay News

Billy Masters on RuPaul and more
2021-09-20
"The reason I said no wasn't because I wasn't proud of who I was, or I didn't want to represent the LGBTQ+ community in any way. It was because Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter. And Raven Baxter is ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-09-13
"If you want the most dramatic season ever, do an LGBT version. I think maybe it's the time for The Bachelor to do a gay Bachelor."—Lance Bass pitches his idea to ABC. You may recall that ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-09-06
"I'm so happy to know I have a fan in Maine!"—Joan Rivers in a letter to yours truly sometime in the mid-80s. Massachusetts had just begun using the MA abbreviation instead of Mass! She may have ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Calif. bill, lawsuits, Billy Porter, 'Southern LGBTQ Experiences'
2021-09-05
The California legislature okayed a bill that would launch a pilot program to better track the gender identity and sexual orientation of victims of fatal violence, Gay City News noted. Under AB 1094, or the Sexual ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-08-30
"I wasn't looking forward to this conversation. But you and your questions and your reintroduction to some of my past enlightened me [and] inspirited me, and I eagerly took the bait."—Ed Asner on Billy Masters LIVE. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, 'Death Drop,' Brandi Carlile, vintage films, Gaga
2021-08-29
Billy Porter will direct a queer teen comedy feature titled To Be Real for Amazon Studios, which is being helmed by Gabrielle Union's I'll Have Another Productions, NME.com noted. Porter, who is currently working on his ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.