"Well, I am as hurt and shocked as if I have lost a family member. Leslie and I had a special bond. I think the world felt they had a special bond with him. I know people always say, 'Oh, they will be missed' but in this case that could not be more true. He will be missed by everyone who knew him personally and by everyone who was entertained by him."Dolly Parton remembers the great Leslie Jordan.
I ended last week's column mocking a friend who terms 99% of the news as "heartbreaking." A few hours later, I felt part of my heart actually break when I got a call that Leslie Jordan had died in a tragic car accident. I did what I always doI tried to make sense of it. I looked for details, for answers. But there are no answers … none that would change the outcome. I find it staggering that someone who had survived homophobia, alcoholism, addiction, the AIDS epidemic and a pandemic would not survive a drive to work on a Monday morning. Although the cause of his single-car collision is still unclear (popular opinion assumes a medical issue led to his losing control of his vehicle), I feel we should celebrate all he accomplished. With his scene-stealing performances, cult status, Emmy win, social-media following and Fox sitcom Call Me Kat, he was at the peak of his powers. While he would have enjoyed all the tributes from celebrity friends, Leslie would want to be remembered for two things: for providing love and light to so many people. My heart might be a bit broken, but the light will always remain.
My friendship with Leslie made it difficult to do last week's "Billy Masters LIVE." I had planned to chat with singer-songwriter Gabe Lopez (who was the opening act for Belinda Carlisle's mini-U.S. tour) and radio personality/voiceover legend Ben Patrick Johnson. But Leslie had died just a few hours earlier, so that had to be addressed. I reached out to many of our mutual friendsmost of whom were too upset to appear. Special thanks to my twins, Gary and Larry Lane. We were all friends and they worked with Leslie many times. So I was grateful they stopped by to share their memories. I'm not sure about the details of this week's show, so I'd recommend you subscribe to our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/BillyMastersTV or just check out BillyMasters.com/TV.
Someone else who has dealt with addictions is Belinda Carlisle. That she has come out the other side was never more evident than last week at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Carlisle is in the midst of a rare U.S. tour (well, a mini-tour), and she may be in the best shape of her life. Vocally, she's in solid form. Physically, it's as if time stood still. Watching Belinda effortlessly run through 90 minutes of her solo hits (and a handful of Go-Go's tunes), one couldn't help but notice she is constantly in motion. Maybe that's the secret of her youthful appearance. She's back in the studio with Diane Warren (who was at the show), so hopefully we'll have some new music soon. In the meantime, check out some fabulous footage from last week's concert on BillyMasters.com .
Hocus Pocus 2 just made a bit of history. In three days, it had more viewers than any other movie on a streaming service for the entire month! The sequel came out on Sept. 30 and when the rating period ended on Oct. 2, it had been viewed for more than 2.7 billion minutesapparently, that's how these things are calculated. It was only beaten by multiple episodes of Dahmerwhich, frankly, left a bad taste in my mouth!
While I was in LA, I went to see The Inheritance at the Geffen Playhouse. I missed both the London and Broadway productions, so this was my first time seeing this modernized queer adaptation of E.M. Forster's Howard's End. The parallels to another two-parterAngels in Americaare more than structural. I was impressed by Matthew Lopez's skillful script, which was aided invaluably by an extraordinarily talented cast. While I have nothing to compare it to, other reviewers say this production and cast far exceeds the previous ones. Part 1 was dominated by Bill Brochtrup with a lovely portrayal of two very different characters. In Part 2, Tuc Watkins gets to flex his acting muscles and lend gravitas and humanity to a difficult role. A trio of younger actors anchor the plays. Bradley James Tejeda jumped into the production at the last minute and masterfully portrays Adam and Leo. (He understudied the roles on Broadway.) Juan Castano makes a strong impression as golden boy Toby. However, it is Adam Kantor, as Eric, who holds the show together with skill, charm and immeasurable talent. Should you be in the LA area, both parts of The Inheritance run through Nov. 27. Get tickets and info at GeffenPlayhouse.org .
Ryan Phillippe was recently reflecting on his role in Cruel Intentionsparticularly, the infamous shower scene. He told an outlet, "I felt okay with my butt. Everyone has a butt, it's really not that graphic. So many guys on Twitter are like, 'That's the moment I knew I was gay.'" Alas, it didn't sway Phillippe. A few months ago, Ryan joined Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair at an art installation based on the film. One of the paintings was a rendering of Phillippe's perfect posterior. The trio posed in front of the portrait, which you can see on BillyMasters.com .
When we're waxing rhapsodically over Ryan's ripe rump, we've definitely come to the end of yet another column. Frankly, I'm not sure Phillippe's derriere needs any waxingit looks pretty smooth to me. Before I descend into that dark hole, let me direct you to www.BillyMasters.comthe site that goes where no man has gone before. If you have a question you'd like me to tackle, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before my next heartbreak! Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.