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Entertainment: John Barrowman; Dallas Buyers Club; Ellen Page; Downton Abbey
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-06-23

This article shared 7300 times since Tue Jun 23, 2015
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Gay actor John Barrowman ( Doctor Who; Torchwood; Arrow ) is again in trouble with the trans community after using an anti-trans slur and then telling those who were offended to "lighten up," according to Gay Star News. The situation first started in October 2014, when the Scottish-American entertainer posted a video online in which he used the word "tranny-tastic." After getting some blowback then, he responded in a Q&A video in which he defended the term, made jokes and called the complainers "haters." A Twitter user found the video recently and got involved in an exchange with the actor; Barrowman concluded with, "In general no one knows my struggles or a lot of my history so be careful when u judge and throw daggers. JB"

Investors in the AIDS movie Dallas Buyers Club filed a potentially multi-million dollar fraud and breach of contract lawsuit in Texas against Voltage Pictures and its CEO Nicholas Chartier, according to Deadline. The plaintiffs allege that Voltage owes them cash from the almost $28 million that the film has made around the world, plus global home-entertainment revenues

Actress Ellen Page said of working on the film Freeheld that "[t]o be shooting the movie so soon after coming out was some of the most joy I've ever felt on a film set," according to Gay Star News. Page stars opposite Julianne Moore in Freeheld, which tells the true story of Laurel Hester ( Moore ), a police detective with incurable lung cancer who fought a legal battle to have her pension benefits left to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree ( Page ). Freeheld will be in theaters this fall.

NBC's Smash will continue to live on, as Universal Stage Productions has begun development on Bombshell, the fictional musical at the center of the short-lived drama, as a stage production, according to TheWrap. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the executive producers on Smash who also produced the Actors Fund "Bombshell" concert recently, will be the lead producers of the new musical. No casting has been announced for Bombshell and, at the moment, no performers from Smash—including Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Christian Borle, Debra Messing and Angelica Huston—are involved.

San Francisco-based Breanna Sinclaire became the first trans singer to perform the national anthem at a professional sporting event, KQED.com noted. Sinclaire's life has been profiled in publications, as she went from experiencing homelessness on the streets of New York to becoming the first openly trans classical voice major at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Trans actress Laverne Cox is getting her very own flavor of ice cream, according to Time. Three Twins Ice Cream announced its yearly lineup of flavors for PRIDE weekend to celebrate the LGBTQ community. This year, the company named the flavor "Chocolate Orange Is the New Black" to honor Cox. Other flavors include "Maple Stonewall-Nut" in honor of the Stonewall Riots ( maple walnut ) and "Two Tops Don't Make a Bottom" ( vanilla ice cream and muffin tops ).

Downton Abbey—the hit PBS television show chronicling the life of the wealthy British Crawley family before, during and following World War I—is being adapted as a stage musical that would go on a global theatrical tour, Playbill noted. The show is currently in its sixth and final season, and is scheduled to conclude this December with its Christmas show. Series composer John Lunn is collaborating with the show's creator, Academy Award winner Julian Fellowes ( Gosford Park ), to bring the story to the stage.

Jennifer Hudson shows her support of same-sex marriage with her new music video, "I Still Love You," The Huffington Post noted. The clip, which made its MTV and Logo debut June 3, follows a father as he comes to terms with his gay son, who then ties the knot in an interracial wedding. Hudson said "I Still Love You," which is a cut from her latest album, "JHUD," is "about love, and everyone should have love and have the right to love who they want to love."

George Michael has reportedly been checked into an expensive rehab clinic in Switzerland, according to a Gay Star News item that cites the German publication Bild. The newspaper reports that Michael is checked into the Kusnacht Practice in the town of Zolliko, near Zurich, and claims his stay has been several months long so far. However, a spokeswoman for the singer claims "he is well" and not an in patient at the rehab clinic, adding that the "Father Figure" singer was there as part of an "extended break" he's been "enjoying" in Europe.

Ruby Rose appears to have become the "lust object" of not only Alex and Piper but the entire Internet in the wake of Orange Is The New Black season 3's arrival on Netflix, The Independent noted. Her androgynous good looks and playful performance as new inmate Stella has had the actress trending within hours of the new season dropping.

Neil Patrick Harris' new hourlong TV variety show, Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, will premiere Sept. 15 on NBC, according to a Playbill item. However, it will be shown in at least two different time slots at various times during its first season. Harris won the 2014 Best Actor in a Musical Tony Award for his performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and has been in films such as Undercover Brother and TV shows like How I Met Your Mother.

The 25th edition of Broadway Bares celebrated the golden age of Broadway with an evening of dancers, choreographers and showgirls, raising a record-shattering $1,598,501 on June 21 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway World noted. "Broadway Bares: Top Bottoms of Burlesque" featured 222 dancers, entertaining standing-room-only audiences at two performances at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom. This year's event featured appearances by Andy Cohen, Laverne Cox, Harvey Fierstein, Lesli Margherita and Christopher Sieber.

The Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons said he wasn't exactly living a closeted life—but when a reporter asked him a question and outed him as a gay man, he was relieved, E! Online noted. Parsons sat down with James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio to discuss his career, and when Lipton asked Parsons if he was pained living a closeted life, he said that wasn't the case with him. Parsons has been with partner Todd Spiewak since 2002; they met on a blind date at a karaoke bar, Parsons said.

Adam Lambert may have found a kindred spirit in fellow singer Sam Smith, The Huffington Post reported. Lambert—who became the first openly gay man to top the Billboard album charts in 2012—told the publication that he's spoken about the media scrutiny over his private life with four-time Grammy winner Smith, who came out just before the release of his smash debut, In the Lonely Hour, last year. Lambert, 33, said he and Smith, 23, have "commiserated on how it is to be gay in the media." Still, in the years since he first spoke about his sexuality in a 2009 Rolling Stone interview, "a lot has changed. People are not as hung up on it," Lambert added.

Jada Pinkett Smith revealed that she got a little touchy-feely with one of her co-workers on the set of Magic Mike XXL: Matt Bomer, E! Online reported. "I was so glad that he didn't sue me for sexual harassment. I really was," Pinkett Smith said during On Air with Ryan Seacrest. In Magic Mike XXL, Pinkett Smith plays a strip club owner and emcee, a role originally written for a man.

Showtime has renewed the critically acclaimed, BAFTA Award-winning drama series Penny Dreadful for a third season, according to a press release. The show stars Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. The second season of show—which has incorporated various LGBT elements—found Vanessa Ives ( Green ) and Ethan Chandler ( Hartnett ) forming a deeper bond as the group, including Sir Malcolm ( Dalton ), Dr. Frankenstein ( Harry Treadaway ) and Sembene ( Danny Sapani ), unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them.

FX's hit anthology series American Horror Story: Hotel is rounding out its cast for the new season, E! Online noted. Just a day after announcing that American Horror Story: Freak Show star Finn Wittrock would be returning for AHS: Hotel, executive producer Ryan Murphy revealed that another alum—openly gay actor Denis O'Hare—would be joining the cast. Fans can expect Hotel to be different from past AHS seasons for one huge reason: Jessica Lange will not be returning to the franchise.

However, Lange has said she's open to returning to the show, according to TheWrap. "If Ryan [Murphy] came to me and said, 'Would you want to do a small character for a couple episodes?' I would absolutely say yes if I liked it," Lange said. Four years on the FX anthology have netted the actress two Emmys, three Emmy nominations, a SAG Award and a Golden Globe.

Miley Cyrus and late-night talk-show host Andy Cohen were recognized in New York at amfAR's sixth annual Inspiration Gala for their work in the fight against AIDS, according to Page Six. Cyrus arrived at the red carpet with photographer, poet and former The Glee Project contestant Tyler Ford. Cyrus posted a photo of Ford on Instagram prior to the event saying, "Tyler is a queer, biracial, agender person whose pronouns are they/them/theirs."

Speaking of Cyrus, superfan Carl McCoid plans to remove his 29 different tattoos of the singer after Cyrus called the man's human shrine to her "ugly," Complex noted. McCoid says that he got his first Cyrus-related tat after his divorce in 2010, and it spiraled into an obsession from there. McCoid now plans to undergo three laser-removal procedures to remove the tats, which cost about $4,500.

Also, friends of Cyrus say she's dating Victoria's Secret Angel Stella Maxwell, The New York Daily News reported. Pals refer to the "Wrecking Ball" singer and the New Zealander as "a couple," and a spy who has spent time with the pair says they have the easy affection of people who have been dating for months. They met through the singer's best friend and assistant, Cheyne Thomas, and told V magazine it was "friendship at first sight."

For Tony-winning actress Laura Benanti, a recent performance with the Boston Gay Men's Chorus was very personal for her, according to The Huffington Post. Her uncle, the late Robert Wonneberger, was a founding member of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C.—and she performed with that group while he was alive. Benanti said, "I know that these choruses become family for a lot of these men, some of whom are rejected by their [biological] family. For me, performing with them is really, really important."

How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan has joined Kate Walsh, Anthony Rapp and Jonathan Bennett in gay marriage drama Modern Love, with shooting under way in Los Angeles, Variety noted. Thomas Dekker, Alona Tal, Sam Anderson and Lee Garlington are also in the cast of the indie project, which follows an intimate group of friends and family gathering at the home of two gay men—portrayed by Rapp and Bennett—to celebrate their nuptials.

James Horner—the film composer known for his scores for Field of Dreams, Braveheart and Titanic, for which he won two Academy Awards—died June 22 in a plane crash near Santa Barbara, California, at the age of 61, TIME reported. Horner was piloting the small aircraft when it crashed into a remote area about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara. One of his two Oscars for Titanic was for the original song "My Heart Will Go On," performed by Celine Dion.

In what is appearing to be a potential shake-up at SiriusXM Satellite Radio's LGBT channel, Sirius OutQ, "The Derek and Romaine Show"—hosted by gay media specialist/author Derek Hartley and former queer activist Romaine Patterson—was abruptly cancelled, according to EDGE Boston. "We are sure many of you are upset about this news," Hartley and Patterson posted, in part. "But we ask that you be respectful if you post about this anywhere else online... Please ( AND ESPECIALLY ) don't contact or harass any other SiriusXM shows about this. It's not appropriate and we won't stand for it."

Amid rumors that Kristen Stewart is dating one of her female friends, her mother has clarified that she never confirmed the relationship in an interview with Us Weekly, according to Vine Report. Jules Stewart denied making any such statement to The Miror and reiterated that her daughter is not bisexual. Kristen hasn't said anything on the matter.

Melissa Rivers has been set as the new co-host of E!'s Fashion Police when it returns to air Aug. 31 for the MTV Video Music Awards, TheWrap reported. The daughter of the late Joan Rivers will appear alongside current panelists Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski, and will continue to serve as executive producer on the series. In each episode, the trio will be joined by two additional rotating celebrity guests, including comedians, stylists, actors and more.

Looking star Russell Tovey, Alistair Petrie and Douglas Hodge are joining the cast of AMC's upcoming limited series The Night Manager, TheWrap noted. The actors join previously announced cast members Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman and Tom Hollander. Hiddleston stars as former British soldier Jonathan Pine, who is recruited by an intelligence operative to infiltrate the inner circle of lethal arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper, played by Laurie.

Another cast member has been axed from the hit Bravo reality series Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Extra noted. Kim Richards was reportedly the first to be let go from the cast, and now Brandi Glanville has been cut as well. According to reports, Bravo has not asked Glanville back to the show for season six because of confrontations with the rest of the cast. Glanville, ex-wife of actor Eddie Cibrian ( now married to singer LeAnn Rimes ), first joined the cast in the second season.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is nearing a deal to sell itself to Sequential Brands Group, a retail licensing company, TheWrap noted. The company has been losing money, seeing revenue trail, and recently ceded control of its magazine business. For the first quarter of 2015, it lost $2.6 million. Sales plunged by 48 percent to $17.1 million, with declines in all segments of the business.

Singer, model and actress Amber Rose says she hopes that gay rights advance to the point that they're no longer an issue, On Top Magazine noted. On Larry King Now, she said, "I think, like, when my son is older he's going to look back and say, 'Wow, mom—when you were young, gay people couldn't get married.'" Rose starred in a 2010 PSA for the NOH8 campaign.

Some listeners of NPR are upset about an interview with Kim Kardashian that took place on the game show Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me, according to E! Online. Among other things, Kardashian hawked her selfie book and discussed the currently secret sex of her second baby. Hundreds of previously loyal listeners said they were "disgusted," "disappointed" and sure that NPR has "jumped the shark."

The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association named talk-show host Wendy Williams its 2015 New Yorker of the Year, Radio Ink. She was honored at the Annual "Excellence in Broadcasting" awards dinner in New York City. Now known for her syndicated television show, Williams previously had a successful 23-year career in New York radio. Also, openly gay radio personality Elvis Duran was named Broadcaster of the Year.

Singer Michelle Malone will be celebrating the release of Stronger Than You Think on July 14, according to a press release. Malone and Gerry Hansen produced the 12 songs on the album. Kristian Bush co-wrote and appears on "When I Grow Up," and Indigo Girls' Amy Ray co-wrote and appears on "I Don't Wanna Know." Immediately following the release, she will be hitting the road with the Indigo Girls.

A sprawling waterfront Miami Beach mansion once owned by pop sensation Jennifer Lopez has been sold to British musician Phil Collins for $33 million, Page Six revealed. The 12,000-square-foot spread—which looks out to the Miami skyline—has seven bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms. Features include an interior courtyard with koi pond, a cabana with outdoor kitchen, boat dock, a 60-foot swimming pool and a master suite with a 1,000-square-foot closet.


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