Jesse Loves James
If All About Eve taught the world nothing else, it definitively spilled the beans about the fact that theater people are kind of crazy. Of course, All About Eve's lack of gay characters has always seemed like a glaring omission, but it was the 1950s, after all. Now enter Heights, a soapy, backstage drama about ego, deception, and burning desires, produced by the unambiguously gay duo of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory. Based on Amy Fox's play of the same name, the movie stars Glenn Close as a Bette-style stage diva and features Swimfan star Jesse Bradford as an openly gay actor, as well as X-Men's James Marsden as a closeted, married businessman. It's reported that the pair of young hotties do hook up on screen, so gay audiences will get eye candy and at least one makeout moment. There's your $10 worth right there.
Imelda Staunton Turns Fingersmith
For Oscar-nominee Imelda Staunton ( Vera Drake ) , 'going Hollywood' was most likely an option she didn't consider. That Academy nod was just icing; after all, her career in her native England is going big guns. And her latest U.K.-based project comes from Tipping the Velvet's openly lesbian author, Sarah Waters. Fingersmith, Waters' Booker Prize-nominated third novel, is currently in production as a three-part miniseries for the BBC, starring Staunton and fellow Brits Rupert Evans and Charles Dance. The story revolves around Victorian society folk as they clash with an underclass of petty thieves ( the 'fingersmiths' of the title ) . Staunton plays a veteran of the grift named Mrs. Sucksby—and no, Romeo did not make up that name. The series will premiere sometime this year in England. Devoted Waters fans should lobby BBC America for stateside airings, or else wait patiently for the DVD.
Call it 'Janis-mania,' if you will. Call it the desecration of a legend, perhaps. But don't call it bad television until it airs. Search for the Pearl, a reality series announced by the estate of Janis Joplin, is on the hunt to fill the late bisexual rocker's shoes. Vocalists across the country will audition for the sound-alike role, with the winner headlining a concert tour, performing with Big Brother & The Holding Company and The Kozmic Blues Band, both of which performed with Joplin before her death in 1970 at age 27. The tour will wind up with an all-star Joplin tribute concert some time in 2006. No word on which network will air the show, but Joplin's probably already having a pre-emptive laugh about it all in rock-'n'-roll heaven.
Honey Labrador Takes a Shower
Before she landed the role of The Lady on Queer Eye for the Straight Girl, lesbian glamourpuss Honey Labrador was just another struggling actor/producer working the indie film circuit. Now her expanded female fan base will get a chance to see her work her thespian muscles in the upcoming lesbian-themed comedy April's Shower. The story involves two former best pals who attend a bridal shower, only to have a 'secret' about them revealed. Written, directed, and produced by Trish Doolan, who also stars in the movie, Shower features Labrador, Randall Batinkoff ( from the original film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ) , and TV veteran Denise Miller, whom sitcom junkies may remember from her days as a regular on shows like Archie Bunker's Place and Charles in Charge. Here Films has picked up Shower for distribution and will let it bloom this May.
Romeo San Vicente loves lesbian thespians, even the ones who aren't on Desperate Housewives. DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com .