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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Film on gay rugby star; Oprah tour; Tegan and Sara win
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-04-02

This article shared 8031 times since Wed Apr 2, 2014
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Mickey Rourke has said that his upcoming biopic of Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas will be "10 times better than The Wrestler," according to Digital Spy. Rourke revealed that he has written the script for and intends to star in the project, which will be titled The Welshman and center on the life of the first openly gay professional rugby union player. Rourke added that Thomas gave him his blessing after reading a draft of the script. Rourke earned an Oscar nomination in 2009 for The Wrestler, losing the award to Sean Penn, who portrayed the late gay politician Harvey Milk in the film Milk.

Starting in September, Oprah Winfrey will set out on an eight-city Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend tour—although Chicago will not be one of those stops, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She will make tour stops in Atlanta; Auburn Hills, Mich.; Houston; Miami; Newark, N.J.; Seattle; San Jose, Calif.; and Washington, D.C., with tickets starting at $99 and rising to $999 for VIP packages that can include meeting Winfrey. Among those signed to participate: Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, pastor Rob Bell, OWN star Iyanla Vanzant and, in certain cities, guru Deepak Chopra.

Lesbian duo Tegan and Sara won big at the 43rd annual Juno Awards ( the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys ), according to Billboard.com . Among the act's wins were single of the year ( for "Closer" ) and group of the year. Robin Thicke—who holds a Canadian passport—canceled his appearance at the last minute after being placed on "mandatory vocal rest," but the acts who did perform included Sarah McLachlan, The Sheepdogs, Matt Mays, OneRepublic, and Tegan and Sara. Justin Bieber ( a no-show ) was booed when he was announced as the Juno Fan Choice.

Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada has blasted talk-show host Wendy Williams for the latter insulting her child, according to NewsOne.com . On one of her show, Williams called Lozada's son with baseball player Carl Crawford a "cash register." Lozada then tweeted, "Since you want me to open Dulce in LA, maybe your man can come to that store and purchase shoes for another woman like he did at my Miami store. ... #DontComeForMe #INeverBotherU #NowPutThatOnHotTopics." Williams has not yet responded.

Montecore, the white tiger that left famed Las Vegas illusionist Roy Horn disabled, has died at age 17, according to People.com . Horn, who was injured by the 380-pound tiger during a live performance by Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage hotel-casino in 2003, has always maintained Montecore did not attack him but was trying to save his life.

Chris Evans ( Captain America ) said he plans on retiring from acting when his Marvel obligations end, USA Today reported. "I've known for a while I wanted to direct," he told Variety. "But [time] never really opens up. There's another movie to do, there's another acting job. It just got to a point where I was like, you know what—I have to do this." Evans has conceded that the major exposure and success that comes with helming a huge franchise is a double-edged sword.

Outkast and Calvin Harris will join Eminem, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon and Skrillex as headliners Aug. 1-3 at Lollapalooza in Chicago, according to The Chicago Tribune. The complete 130-band lineup for the three-day festival's 10th year in Grant Park includes rising stars Lorde, Chance the Rapper and Krewella as well as acts such as legendary rapper Nas, Cut Copy, Iggy Azalea and Lykke Li. Lolla is expected to once again reach capacity of 100,000 people for each day.

Queer rapper Angel Haze was boarding a Virgin Atlantic flight to New York when she allegedly witnessed alleged anti-gay discrimination by Virgin Atlantic flight attendants toward a gender-nonconforming passenger, according to NewNowNext.com . Haze tweeted, "A girl ( with a haircut who was both clearly a girl and a lesbian ) comes onto the flight and the flight attendant says 'good morning sir.' ... [A] male flight attendant laughs and goes 'that was a girl' to which the other one replies 'I already knew that.' Wow. Bitch. No. Like she is getting all types of evil stares from me."

ESPN released a new poll that revealed that 81 percent of baseball players are ready to accept an openly gay player in Major League Baseball ( MLB ), EDGE on the Net reported. The poll came just after New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi stated in February that the MLB would be cool with an out player. The poll of 143 players also revealed, among other things, that 44 percent belive the New York Yankees is the most overhyped team and that 49 percent would consider using marijuana for pain relief is the drug became legal in every state and with MLB, according to ESPN.

Capitol Records artist Mary Lambert has announced that she will hit the road as a special guest ( along with Andrew McMahon ) on Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson's North American summer tour, according to a press release. The Seattle-based singer-songwriter has been lighting up the airwaves at adult top-40 stations nationwide with her single "She Keeps Me Warm." In addition, Lambert was nominated for two 2014 Grammy Awards for "Song of the Year" and "Album of The Year" for writing and singing the hook on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' marriage-equality anthem"Same Love."

NBC has set series premiere dates for six original scripted series this summer: Night Shift, Undateable and Crossbones in May; the just-announced Taxi Brooklyn in June; and Welcome To Sweden and Working The Engels in July, according to Deadline. Another new series is the unscripted Food Fighters, which debuts July 22 and joins alternative regular American Ninja Warrior, set for Monday, May 26, and the return of Last Comic Standing on Thursday, May 22.

After leaving the band in 1998, Christine McVie has rejoined Fleetwood Mac, according to USA Today. A world tour is in the works, with U.S. dates starting Sept. 29 in Minneapolis, 17 years after the full lineup ( which includes Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham ) last hit the road. During her 15-year retreat, "there were times I didn't touch a piano for months," said McVie, 70. "Obviously, I've got to relearn all those songs to get my muscle memory working."

Jerry Jones—the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and arguably the most famous of the NFL's 32 owners—told gay former football player Wade Davis that he and the Cowboys would welcome an openly gay player, The Detroit Free Press noted. However, it wasn't just Jones who expressed change. Coaches like John Fox of the Denver Broncos called Davis' presentation the best he had ever seen at an NFL annual meeting, and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said it is up to NFL owners to spearhead this culture change.

Athlete/heartthrob Michael Phelps could begin competing in meets over the next few months, paving the way for a fifth Olympic appearance in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, according to USA Today. Phelps has been practicing five times a week on average at the North Baltimore ( Md. ) Athletic Club. He has not competed since the London Olympics, but he rejoined the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's drug testing pool last year.

Jennifer Lopez, the executive producer of The Fosters, says she took on the show in memory of her gay aunt, according to On Top Magazine. On the ABC Family drama, Lena ( played by Sherri Saum ) and Stef ( Teri Polo ) are two working moms coping with raising five children, including the recent addition of a wayward teenage girl. "It's about two lesbians who are raising foster kids and some of their own kids," Lopez told Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show. "It's just a beautiful family drama about life and love."

The ongoing bitter divorce drama between Johnny Weir and estranged husband Victor Voronov caused the Olympic figure skater to drop out of Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice this season, according to Radar Online. Weir claimed in legal documents filed in his ongoing divorce that he isn't worth $10 million, lives in a rented apartment, drives a leased Lexus SUV and will not be appearing on the upcoming season of Trump's Celebrity Apprentice.

Supermodel Cara Delevingne and her girlfriend, actress Michelle Rodriguez, were photographed passionately kissing before hopping into a car on March 30 in Miami, according to Just Jared. They were reportedly on a vacation after spending a week in Mexico together.

Bethenny Frankel is getting right back on the horse after her talk show was canceled; she's reportedly working with Andy Cohen to return to Bravo with her own show, Radar Online reported. The former Real Housewives of New York City star, 43, is hoping her show will be one of the first items Cohen starts with his new production company.

The 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, recognizing an outstanding stage work that premiered during the 2013 calendar year, will be announced April 14 at Columbia University, according to Playbill. Finalists will also be announced at that time. Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced was named the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Past winners also include Tracy Letts' August: Osage County ( 2008 ), August Wilson's The Piano Lesson ( 1989-90 ), Margaret Edson's Wit ( 1998-99 ), Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches ( 1992-93 ) and Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife ( 2003-04 ).

Actress/talk-show co-host Sara Gilbert married musician Linda Perry March 30, according to a Huffington Post item. Gilbert's co-hosts on The Talk attended the ceremony, and one of them, Aisha Tyler, tweeted "It was an amazing night.The most beautiful ceremony @ sunset over-looking the ocean." The pair began dating in 2011, and Perry popped the question last year.

Actress Cameron Diaz believes every woman has been sexually attracted to another woman at some point, according to E! Online. Diaz—whose exes include Jared Leto, Alex Rodriguez and Justin Timberlake—told Glamour UK she's had crushes on women in the past. "I think women are beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And I think that all women have been sexually attracted to another woman at some point," she said. "It's natural to have a connectivity and an appreciation for the beauty of other women."

After months spent running the world on her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, Beyonce concluded the tour in Portugal, according to The Huffington Post. The Grammy-winning singer kicked off the concert series last April in Serbia, making her final stop at Lisbon's MEO Arena, and breaking down onstage when she spoke to fans about her time on the road. "I just want you to know that I am so lucky," Beyonce said, beginning to cry. "I'm giving y'all an ugly cry. Thank y'all again. Thank you for allowing me to have a career."

The sequel to the male exotic-dancer movie Magic Mike is officially a go—and reportedly the title is Magic Mike XXL, according to MTV.com . Joe Manganiello—the True Blood hunk who was in the original Magic Mike—said he expects the movie to begin shooting this fall, with the film grinding into theaters sometime in summer 2015. Steven Soderbergh's go-to assistant director Greg Jacobs is helming the movie, and original star Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin are co-writing it.

Initial response to Queen + Adam Lambert's upcoming North American tour has been so strong, the band has added five dates, USA Today noted. Three new cities—Boston; East Rutherford, N.J.; and Atlantic City—will get shows on the group's first North American tour in eight years. Second dates have been added for Uncasville, Conn., and Toronto. The tour will now end July 28 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. The 24-date tour will begin June 19 at Chicago's United Center.

The late singer Amy Winehouse may tour as a hologram, according to Newser.com . "The idea is in its early stages, but it's hoped that Amy's dad Mitch will maybe join her and do the introductions," said a source to the UK Sun. Billionaire Alki David is behind the plan, which would use the same technology that put Tupac Shakur on the stage at the Coachella Music Festival in 2012.

Elton John and longtime partner David Furnish are officially headed to the altar and set to be married in May, according to People.com . The two have been in a British civil partnership for eight years, but plan to wed now that gay couples can legally get married in England. Known for throwing large parties—they held a $2 million reception following their civil ceremony in 2005—the couple said their wedding will be the antithesis of that.

Openly gay singer Levi Kreis is among the dozens of musicians nominated for the Chicago Independent Music Awards. The event will take place Sunday, April 13, at The Field Museum. Kreis is among the acts vying in the pop-music category. ( Among the other nominees are '90s singer Martika, T Dash and Hailey Rowe. ) Other categories include R&B, metal, alternative, rock, blues/jazz, country, hip-pop, electronica and gospel.

L.A. television station KTLA nabbed some winning ratings numbers during the week that Lance Bass guested as its entertainment host, according to The Wrap. The 'NSYNC alum filled in for KTLA's resident entertainment host Sam Rubin the week of March 24, which gave the morning show a 20-percent bump in its target demographic of adults 25-54 over the previous week's rating. Bass hands his hands full with his Sirius XM radio show Dirty Pop, his wedding series in development at E! and his Lifetime show Celebrity Home Raiders.

Cameron Monaghan, who plays gay teen Ian Gallagher on the TV show Shameless, is nearing a deal to join Bella Thorne in the new Amityville"horror movie, according to The Wrap. Franck Khalfoun ( Maniac ) wrote and will direct the film, which will star Jennifer Jason Leigh as a single mother who moves her three kids into the Amityville house that has a very dark history.

Speaking of Shameless, a coming-out episode has garnered the show its highest number of viewers ever, according to The Wrap. Shameless had 2.8 million viewers for the March 30 episode, in which temperamental gay thug Mickey Milkovich ( played by Noel Fisher ) came crashing out of the closet in foul-mouthed, violent fashion.

British actress Kate O'Mara, best known for her role in the 1980s nighttime soap opera Dynasty, died March 30 at the age of 74, according to USA Today. Her agent, Phil Belfield, said O'Mara died in a nursing home in southern England after a short illness. The actress, who began her television career in the 1960s, became a household name for playing Cassandra "Caress" Morrell, sister to Joan Collins' Alexis Colby, in Dynasty.

Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster has put her home in Hollywood Hills West back on the market for $5.75 million, according to The L.A. Times. The 6,000-square-foot Spanish-style villa, built in 1935, features a step-down living room with a cathedral ceiling, a fireplace, French doors and views of Century City. Items include a screening room, an office, four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, two half-baths and an attached guest apartment; the master suite has a sauna and a seating area. She had listed the home last spring at $6.399 million, then took it off during the holiday season.

Actor James Franco has denied sleeping with Lindsay Lohan, who allegedly wrote a list of past lovers, according to Fox News. In an interview with Los Angeles Magazine, Franco said Lohan "has told lies about me with her people-she's-slept-with list." Franco wrote about celebrities, including Lohan, in his new poetry book; he also once acknowledged to Howard Stern that he had turned down Lohan in the past.

Disney's blockbuster Frozen has become the highest-grossing animated film of all time, surpassing Toy Story 3's $1.063 billion box-office earnings, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Frozen now occupies the number-10 spot on the list of the biggest global blockbusters and is the first billion-dollar title from Disney Animation Studios, as well as the seventh from Disney. Frozen now takes aim at The Dark Knight Rises, which amassed $1.084 billion worldwide.

Epic Records and Michael Jackson's estate have announced they'll release Xscape, an eight-song collection of previously unreleased tracks from the late King of Pop, on May 13, Billboard noted. Epic will release a deluxe edition of the album that will include all the sourced recordings in their original form. Jackson tallied 13 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, the best of any male soloist.

Pharrell Williams is joining the show The Voice, following Cee Lo Green's exit, according to Billboard. It's been a huge year for Williams, with recognition for his contribution in the world of music—the Despicable Me franchise soundtracks, his Oscar-nominated song "Happy" and his Grammy-winning collaboration with Daft Punk on the breakout dance hit "Get Lucky."

Legendary DJ Frankie Knuckles, nicknamed the "godfather of house music," has died at the age of 59. He had been rumored to be ill, and he missed his 59th birthday celebration this past January in Chicago. For his revolutionary club music, Knuckles was inducted into Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1996. "House" music was named for Chicago's Warehouse nightclub, where Knuckles was a crowd-pleaser during the 1970s and '80s.

Ben Stiller is in early talks to take a lead role in I Am Chippendales, a movie that openly gay producer Alan Ball wrote and will direct, according to Deadline. Chippendales ( based on the Rodney Sheldon book ) tells the story of Steve Banerjee, an immigrant who went from pumping gas in Culver City to running a high-end nightclub that evolved into Chippendales.

After months of speculation over Josh Elliott's future at ABC News' Good Morning America, contract talks broke down and he left his anchor spot for a gig with NBC Sports, according to The Wrap. Elliott informed GMA that he would be leaving for NBC Sports. In his new role at NBC, Elliott will be covering the NFL, Summer and Winter Olympics, Horse Racing and "other high profile sports properties."

Michael Strahan—one half of Live! With Kelly & Michael—will be seen on Good Morning America, according to Deadline. Strahan will continue to co-host his daytime talker with Kelly Ripa. Ripa also had been approached about joining GMA, but she declined. Talks with Strahan began about a month ago, which predates news anchor Josh Elliott's decision to depart GMA.

Fans closed out openly gay independent artist Steve Grand's Kickstarter campaign by making his debut album the third most-funded music project in Kickstarter's history—and the most-funded among musicians who have never been affiliated with a major record label, according to a press release. These rankings are based on pledges of $326,593 from 4,905 backers as the campaign wrapped up March 30. Final pledges were more than four times the original goal of $81,000.

Oscar-winning actress Sally Field released an open letter about her gay son, according to IndieWire.com . Field urged people to get behind the Human Rights Campaign, and discussed her youngest son, Sam, who is gay. In part, the letter reads, "One of the great privileges of my life to have been allowed to be a part of Sam's journey. There are people out there—organizations and politicians, strangers who have never even met Sam—who would rather devote themselves to denying his happiness. Why would anyone want to prevent my son—or anyone's son or daughter—from having basic legal safeguards like family medical leave, Social Security survivors benefits, or health insurance?"

More details have been revealed about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will take place April 10 in Brooklyn, Rolling Stone noted. R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe will induct Nirvana; Coldplay's Chris Martin will pay tribute to Peter Gabriel; and Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt will stage a tribute to Linda Ronstadt. An edited version of the ceremony will air on HBO on May 31.

The stars of Nashville are getting out of the country-music capital and hitting the road for the ABC drama's first-ever concert tour, according to TV Guide. Stars including Charles Esten ( Deacon ), Jonathan Jackson ( Avery ) and Chris Carmack ( who plays closeted singer Will ) are slated to take the stage in Chicago ( April 25 at Joe's Bar ); Washington, D.C. ( May 4 at Lincoln Theatre ); and New York City ( May 6 at Best Buy Theater ). The tour coincides with the release of Nashville's fourth soundtrack on May 6.

Top Chef champion Kristen Kish has come out—on Instagram, according to The Huffington Post. The South Korean-born chef, who nabbed the Top Chef crown in 2013 and currently resides in Boston, uploaded an image of her and girlfriend Jacqueline Westbrook on the social-media site. Kish also referenced Westbrook in a New York Times Magazine article about female chefs on March 30.

On the heels of the Lifetime original movie Flowers in the Attic, the network will premiere Petals on the Wind on Monday, May 26, according to a press release. Based on the second gothic novel of the V.C. Andrews series about the Dollanganger family, the film begins 10 years after the siblings have escaped the attic where their mother Corrine and grandmother Olivia kept them locked away for more than two years. Lifetime is currently in development on three additional V.C. Andrews' books, including If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, both from the Dollananger series, and the standalone novel My Sweet Audrina.


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