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Entertainment: Larry Kramer; Jussie Smollett; Warhol; Kristen Stewart
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 7801 times since Tue Jun 16, 2015
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The feature Larry Kramer in Love & Anger will debut on HBO on Monday, June 29, a press release stated. The debut coincides with Kramer's 80th birthday on June 25. Larry Kramer in Love & Anger is highlighted by present-day footage as he reminisces about his life in the midst of battling complications from a liver transplant and a decade of living with HIV. Featuring unprecedented access to Kramer in his hospital room with David Webster, his partner and now husband, the film aims to show a divisive man who has fought tirelessly for gay rights.

Jussie Smollett, the out star of the Fox hit show Empire, is slated to join Greater Than AIDS and the Black AIDS Institute in New Orleans on July 3 to headline an ESSENCE Empowerment Experience panel on "The Power of Love & Family: Ending AIDS in Black America," according to a press release. The panel will be moderated by Soledad O'Brien at the 2015 Essence Festival. Throughout the festival weekend, July 3-5, Greater Than AIDS and partners at the Louisiana Office of Public Health and Black AIDS Institute will be on the floor of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, aiming to spread knowledge and reduce stigma.

Auction house Christie's has announced "Andy Warhol @ Christie's: Andy's Randy Summer" online-only sale, which will take place June 16-25, a press release stated. This sale features more than 100 photographs, prints and drawings in which the artist focused his unique gaze on the LGBTQ community. Interested persons can visit to learn more about the sale and register to bid.

Guitar virtuoso and pop-culture icon Charo, and her family, will appear in a new episode of Celebrity Wife Swap ( June 17 ), where she and her husband Kjell ( "Shel" ) Rasten swap roles with Charo's Love Boat co-star Jill Whelan and her sister, Nancy, according to a press release. Currently, Charo is working on a new single "Ejercicio/Exercise," based on her exercise and nutrition plan. Charo is also a humanitarian and an activist for LGBT rights, human rights and animal rights.

Kristen Stewart's mother has reportedly confirmed that the actress has a romance with her personal assistant, Alicia Cargile, The New York Daily News reported. "I've met Kristen's new girlfriend, I like her. What's not to accept? She's a lovely girl," Jules Stewart told Britain's Sunday Mirror. While there have been rumblings about Stewart and Cargile before, the elder Stewart's comments were the first official confirmation that the two are dating. Meanwhile, Stewart's longtime flame, Robert Pattinson, is engaged to British pop singer FKA Twigs.

Janet Jackson announced June 15 that she is returning to the stage for an upcoming Unbreakable World Tour, US Weekly noted. The "Together Again" singer, 49, will hit the road to play shows across the globe for the first time since her Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour in 2011. Jackson will kick off the run of shows in Vancouver Aug. 31, and will hit cities such as Miami, Nashville, Las Vegas, Chicago and San Francisco before wrapping the tour in Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 12.

Ghostlight Records will release Lea DeLaria's House of David: delaria + bowie = jazz on digital formats June 23 and on CD July 24, according to a press release. DeLaria is the television, stage and music star currently best known as Carrie "Big Boo" Black in the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. The first major jazz reworking on Bowie's beloved catalog, the album features tracks such as a bossa nova interpretation of "Golden Years," DeLaria's version on "Life On Mars" and a gospel take on "Modern Love." To pre-order, visit

Lea DeLaria recently dished about her upcoming wedding to fiancee Chelsea Fairless, revealing that Sandra Bernhard will officiate the ceremony "because she's a really good pal," Page Six noted. "We're going to do a night wedding [in New York City] and we're going to go right to the dancing," DeLaria added. "We're not doing a sit-down dinner. We'll have Mexican trucks ... stuff like that." DeLaria and Fairless plan to marry later this year.

Logo announced that Grammy nominee and GLAAD Media Award recipient Adam Lambert will perform at the 2015 Logo "Trailblazer Honors," which will air June 27, according to a press release. LGBT celebrities and allies such as Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sir Ian McKellen, Raven Symone, Judith Light and others will be included throughout the event. Lambert will perform his new single "Ghost Town" from his newest album, The Original High.

Out actor Zachary Quinto is teaming with J.C. Chandor and distributor A24 to produce a movie adaptation of Vicky Ward's book The Liar's Ball, which Chandor is eyeing to direct, according to TheWrap. The book, which has been optioned by the producers, explores a complex tale of industry titans fighting over one of the crown jewels of New York City real estate: the GM Building. Chandor and Quinto had worked on the 2011 movie Margin Call, which was set in the world of the financial industry.

Queer musician Natti Vogel has written a song for teen mental-health organization Project UROK, according to a statement. The project features videos from young adults sharing their experiences and coping strategies with respect to mental health. Each video ends on a positive note, and aims to combat isolation about depression and anxiety. Visit

Trans actress Laverne Cox ( Orange Is the New Black ) has snagged yet another magazine cover, according to On Top Magazine. Cox appears as the Statue of Liberty on the cover of Entertainment Weekly's ( EW ) LGBT Pride issue. "@OITNB's @LaverneCox stars in our first LGBT issue in 15 years," EW tweeted. In the issue, Cox discusses the debut of Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair.

Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez were crowd-pleasers at the gay pride parade in Los Angeles on June 14, as the stars rode and waved from a Magic Mike XXL float, according to TheWrap. The actors appear in Warner Bros.' sequel to the hit 2012 film about male strippers which hits theaters on July 1. Cast members from TV shows Transparent, The Fosters and Chasing Life also appeared at the event.

Out filmmaker Dustin Lance Black and Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn play a former couple in the video for the rock band's latest single, "Songs I Can't Listen To," On Top Magazine noted. In the 3-minute video, Glenn sings, "And it's all because we're through; I got a list of songs I can't listen to," over images of the pair riding in a convertible and waking up in bed. In one sequence, the men float into air, as if in space, after sharing a kiss. Glenn came out as gay on Twitter last year.

R&B singer, dancer and actor Ne-Yo has denied a satirical website's story that he was inspired by Caitlyn Jenner's journey to come out gay, according to On Top Magazine. "Bruce Jenner really gave me the inner strength to admit to my kids, my family, my friends, my fans and ultimately to myself that I am gay," quoted Ne-Yo as saying. In a tweet, Ne-Yo posted, "U should all know by now not to believe everything you read. Much luv to #CaitlynJenner but I'm not on that team. Not gay folks. So sorry."

YouTube sensation Ingrid Nilsen has revealed that she's lesbian, according to The Huffington Post. "I'm gay. It feels so good to say that!" she said in an emotion-filled video, posted on YouTube to her 3.3 million followers. "I'm shaking right now because this moment is real and it's here. And I've been waiting for this." Nilsen talked about learning to understand her sexuality and how she came to accept that she couldn't deny her true feelings.

Singer Miley Cyrus has described her sexuality—and her gender identity—as fluid, according to On Top Magazine. In a cover story for Paper, Cyrus, the 22-year-old daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, recounted coming out bisexual to her mother, Tish Cyrus, at age 14. Miley also said, "I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn't involve an animal and everyone is of age. ... I don't relate to being boy or girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to boy or girl. "

A week and a half after officially canceling her Great Escape tour, Iggy Azalea scrapped another performance at Pittsburgh Pride, amid outcries from the city's LGBTIQA community over years-old tweets from the hip-hop star, Billboard reported. Azalea announced that she had pulled out of Pittsburgh Pride, in an effort to avoid a situation where her presence would "further distract from the true purpose of the event." Azalea also apologized for the homophobic and racist tweets she wrote years prior to her "Fancy" days, including social-media posts that casually tossed around words like "homo" and "dyke." Nick Jonas stepped in for Azalea.

Speaking of Nick Jonas, he has promised "a big reveal and surprise" for his gay Kingdom character in the show's upcoming second season, On Top Magazine noted. The series from creator Byron Balasco revolves around a gym for Mixed Martial Arts ( MMA ) competitors in Venice Beach, California. In Kingdom's season 1 finale, a drunken Nate is ejected from a gay bar but still manages to find some company, revealing his sexuality for the first time.

Singer/talk-show host Tamar Braxton mysteriously dropped out of her performance at L.A. Pride, one of the nation's biggest LGBT Pride events of the year, noted. She was one of the first artists confirmed for Pride's 45th-anniversary event, organizer Jeff Consoletti has said, but the The Real co-host hasn't been returning calls or emails since she committed to participating. Rapper Angel Haze and pop artist Ivy Levan have been tapped to replace Braxton.

Rapper, poet and performance artist Mykki Blanco has publicly revealed that he is HIV-positive, Rolling Stone noted. Blanco shared the diagnosis in a note on his Facebook page. "I've been HIV Positive since 2011, my entire career," he wrote. "Fuck stigma and hiding in the dark, this is my real life." The Harlem rapper, whose real name is Michael Quattlebaum Jr. and at times identifies as transgender, has long been active in the fight for LGBT rights.

Sir Elton John recently had a major meltdown during a concert at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester, according to Queerty. Reacting to a house rule that forbids fans from waving their hands in the air, John unleashed his rage at an usher who'd been zigzagging down the aisles, aggressively reinforcing the policy. The singer yelled, in front of thousands, "This is my f**king concert, who are you? Especially you with the f**king blonde ponytail, you're a f**king c**t … Yes you, this isn't f**king China, now piss off." After bringing the usher to tears, John brought her on stage and hugged her, saying, "No one should ever talk to a lady like that!"

Tony winner John Benjamin Hickey and Patrick Breen—both featured in the 2011 Broadway staging of The Normal Heart—will lead the cast of Peter Parnell's Dada Woof Papa Hot at Lincoln Center Theater this October, according to Playbill. The new work examines the challenges faced by gay parents, as played by Hickey and Breen. The cast will also feature a host of Broadway performers, including Gypsy actress Tammy Blanchard and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof's Alex Hurt.

Openly gay football player Michael Sam has seemingly hit another road block, according to . Only a day before his first exhibition match with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, the team announced Sam was on his way back to the United States. After Sam's agent said he missed a June 11 practice because of a migraine, the team said in a statement, "[June 12], Michael asked the team for special permission to leave training camp and return home for personal reasons. ... The organization will have no further comment on this matter at this time." Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by the National Football League ( NFL ), recently signed with the Alouettes for a two-year deal after the NFL's St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys cut him.

Madonna's new single "Bitch, I'm Madonna" just got an A-list cast for the music video, TheWrap reported. The pop singer posted a teaser image on her social-media accounts June 16, revealing that the video would star Katy Perry, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora and Nicki Minaj, who also has a guest verse on the track. The announcement came about a month after Taylor Swift debuted the video for "Bad Blood" on the Billboard Music Awards, featuring a parade of her own famous friends, including Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham and Cindy Crawford.

In a new interview with Yours magazine ( via The Telegraph ), esteemed actress Dame Maggie Smith said she has enjoyed the whole period-television experience with the PBS hit Downton Abbey, but is happy to say good riddance to the show and her character, the Dowager, according to Vanity Fair. "It's not riotously funny to be in corsets and a wig," Smith said. "We have had a great time making the show—the cast are enchanting and all the young [actors] are really lovely, so it was all very enjoyable on that level." The last Downton Abbey season is currently filming; however, series creator Julian Fellowes recently confessed that he has not yet written the finale.

Cole Tucker, who became one of the most prominent adult-film performers of the the 1990s, passed away June 7 in Palm Springs ( reportedly from AIDS-related illness ) at age 61, Queerty noted. A memorial service was held June 13 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Palm Springs. Tucker, whose real name was Rick Karp, won Gay Performer of the Year in 1998 at both GayVN and the Grabbys.

Ellen DeGeneres' hit HGTV show Ellen's Design Challenge is set for season two, which will premiere next January, according to TheWrap. In a statement, DeGeneres said, "We have a new motto this season: Watch 'Ellen's Design Challenge,' where the furniture stays together longer than any couple from 'The Bachelor.'" Season one of "Challenge" ended in controversial fashion. Within a week of designer Tim McLellan being crowned champion, producers discovered that his seemingly unique sliding and hideaway table design already existed—resulting in him being disqualified.

The Fosters fans were surprised when Jake T. Austin announced he was leaving the show before its third season, but his character isn't going anywhere—he's just being recast, noted. The producers of the ABC Family drama confirm that his character Jesus will be still be on the show, but played by a different actor. "The announcement [about who it is] will be forthcoming, but right now [Jesus] is at boarding school wrestling to his heart's content and we'll be checking in with him. It'll be a little while [before we see him]," executive producer Peter Paige told TV Guide.

Mariah Carey will be the new face and body for the successful video game "Game of War: Fire Age," TMZ stated. Sources familiar with the situation said producers of the mobile game have inked a seven-figure deal with Carey. The singer, who replaces Kate Upton, will shoot a 30-second commercial for the game, which makes $1 million a day.

Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are set to return for Pitch Perfect 3, which the studio announced it will release on July 21, 2017, TheWrap reported. Pitch Perfect 2 boasts the highest-grossing movie musical opening of all time. Pitch Perfect 2 has grossed more than $250 million worldwide—more than double the original's $115 million gross.

Gwen Stefani is returning to NBC's The Voice for season nine, replacing Christina Aguilera, TheWrap noted. Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams are sticking around the NBC hit as judges; Carson Daly will again host.

Chris Hemsworth is joining the cast of Paul Feig's female-led Ghostbusters film, TheWrap noted. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon star in the film based on the classic '80s supernatural comedy. Hemsworth will be taking over the role played by Annie Potts in the original 1984 film, which featured Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and the late Harold Ramis as the Ghostbusters.

Long-running Canadian teen drama Degrassi will head to the U.S. streaming service Netflix in 2016, TheWrap noted. TeenNick had canceled the show—which was previously called Degrassi: The Next Generation, and which aired stateside—only five days prior to the announcement. Degrassi tackles tough teen topics such as sex, pregnancy, domestic violence, rape, suicide and domestic violence—and is known to some as where rapper Drake got his start.

TV network Lifetime has done unauthorized movies of the drama behind the shows Full House and Saved by the Bell—and now will do one of the original Beverly Hills, 90210, according to People. The original series made stars of Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty, who played new-to-town siblings Brandon and Brenda Walsh, as well as Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Luke Perry, Tori Spelling and more. he Unauthorized Beverly Hills, 90210 Story does not yet have a projected air date.

Multi-platinum superstars Duran Duran will release their 14th studio album, Paper Gods, in the United States on Sept. 18 and in the rest of the world on Sept. 11 through Warner Bros. Records, a press release stated. Singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor recorded the album in London with producers Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Josh Blair and Mr. Hudson. Among others, the album features Janelle Monae, violinist Davide Rossi and Lindsay Lohan. Over the years, Duran Duran has had hits such as "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "All She Wants Is."

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