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Franco, Quinto selfies; Ellen's new HGTV show
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 10671 times since Tue Apr 29, 2014
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Actor James Franco took a photo of himself in bed—with a man, according to the New York Daily News. "Bed selfie with Keegan Allen!!!!! Time to go nuts!!!!," Broadway's Of Mice and Men star captioned an Instagram photo in which he is lying shirtless under a blanket with the 24-year-old Pretty Little Liars actor. Franco, 35, had been dealing with some controversy after it was revealed he recently chatted online with a 17-year-old female fan.

Speaking of selfies, out gay actor Zachary Quinto has apparently been hitting the gym and took to Instagram to show off his newly pumped-up body, according to The Huffington Post. The Star Trek star ( who played Spock ) posted the selfie with the caption "back to work( ing out ). agent 47. home stretch." Quinto is currently shooting Agent 47, Fox International's action sequel to the 2007 movie Hitman.

Daytime talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres will launch her first cable series on Scripps Networks Interactive's HGTV, according to Variety. Ellen's Design Challenge will pit six competitors against each other as they tackle challenges to sketch, design and build furniture, all in a 24-hour span. The last person standing in this six-episode series will win a cash prize. The show is slated to debut next year.

Joan Rivers is defending a joke she made on the Today show that made light of the women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade, The Wrap reported. She initially said "those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space," comparing where they were to her own living situation with daughter Melissa. After two of the former captives' attorneys asked for an apology, Joan told TMZ, "One of them has a book deal, neither are in a psych ward. They're OK. I bet you within three years, one of them will be on Dancing With the Stars."

Talking with Inside Edition, Johnny Weir's estranged husband Victor Voronov said he feels "betrayed, heartbroken [and] shocked" after officially separating from Weir last month, The Huffington Post reported. Although he calls Weir's behavior "unforgivable" and "morally irrepressible," he added, "That doesn't take away from the fact that I love him." In recent weeks, Weir has dismissed reports that the couple was planning to reconcile.

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder led this year's Tony nominations ( announced April 29 ) with 10, followed by Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which stars Neil Patrick Harris in the title role, according to The Wrap. Best Play nominees include Act One, All the Way, Casa Valentina ( which Harvey Fierstein wrote ), Mothers and Sons, and Outside Mullingar. Best Musical nominees are After Midnight, Aladdin, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. Among the many actors nominated for Tonys are Harris, Bryan Cranston ( All the Way ), Audra McDonald ( Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill ), Cherry Jones ( The Glass Menagerie ), Tyne Daly ( Mothers and Sons ), Sutton Foster ( Violet ), Stephen Fry ( Twelfth Night ), Idina Menzel ( If/Then ), Anika Noni Rose ( A Raisin in the Sun ) and Kelli O'Hara ( The Bridges of Madison County ). The Tonys will air June 8 on CBS.

Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Berg confirmed that she has been working on a film about alleged sex abuse rings operating in Hollywood for the last two years, The Wrap noted. "It is a huge problem, it's pervasive in Hollywood and the time to explore it is now," Berg said. Berg—who recently made West of Memphis, an acclaimed documentary on the West Memphis Three—said the film includes the latest accusations against X-Men director Bryan Singer, who was recently sued for allegedly raping a male teenager in the 1990s.

Speaking of Singer, he has issued a statement regarding the allegations, according to The Wrap. "The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false. I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men: Days of Future Past. ... So, out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I've decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film. However, I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shakedown it is."

Also, in a related development, American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis has said that news of Bryan Singer's parties with underage or barely legal boys is not news to him, according to The Wrap. Ellis said he dated one man in his late twenties who told the Less Than Zero writer he was a willing participant in Singer's party scene. Ellis also said he was at a dinner party in December 2007 where several other gay men invited him to another party later that night at the M & C Estate in Encino, California.

Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain is nearing a deal to play Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik's passion project Blonde, according to The Wrap. First announced in 2010, Blonde is based on Joyce Carol Oates' 700-page novel of the same name that reimagines the inner, poetic and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker—later known as Monroe. In 2001, Oates' imagined memoir was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Iconic sketch-comedy group Kids in the Hall will bring its new live tour "Rusty and Ready" to five U.S. cities in June 2014, according to a press release. The cities are Boston ( June 6 ); Washington, D.C. ( June 7 ); Philadelphia ( June 8 ), Chicago ( June 13 ) and Detroit ( June 14 ). The all-new "Rusty and Ready" is the first tour for Kids in the Hall since 2008, and will see the return of fan favorites like Chicken Lady and Buddy Cole, from the long-running HBO TV series, along with new skits.

Gay British actor Mark Gatiss has compared gay discrimination in Russia to Nazi Germany, Gay Star News reported. The Sherlock co-creator, writer and actor ( playing Sherlock's brother, Mycroft ) has reflected on the recent Sochi Winter Olympics, saying people need to "keep the flag flying" and pressurizing anti-gay countries. Citing the 1936 Olympic games held in Berlin under Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, Gatiss said the UK and other pro-gay countries should have done more to stand up for LGBTI rights.

People Magazine named 12 Years a Slave actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o as the world's most beautiful woman, USA Today reported. "There was really no contest this year. She seemed like the only choice," said Jess Cagle, People's editorial director, on Today. "She's obviously talented, obviously beautiful. But the way she carries herself with such grace and such humility is what put her over the top."

Oscar winner Jodie Foster and her photographer girlfriend of almost a year, Alexandra Hedison, got married recently, according to E! Online. ( A rep for Foster confirmed the news. ) Hedison, who dated Ellen DeGeneres for about three years before things ended in 2004, has had her photography shown in New York and Los Angeles. Foster and Cydney Bernard, who are co-parents to sons Charles and Kit, ended their relationship after 20 years in 2008.

Actor George Clooney got drunk and blew up at a table full of honchos in Vegas, including Republican casino magnate Steve Wynn, after Wynn criticized the president and the Affordable Care Act, according to USA Today. "He called the president an [expletive deleted] ... that is a fact ..." Clooney said in a statement that his publicist issued. "At that point I told Steve that HE was an [expletive deleted] and I wasn't going to sit at his table while he was being such a jackass."

New York City's annual Pride March will feature actress/activist Laverne Cox, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey and actor Jonathan Groff as grand marshals, according to . "Our 2014 marshals are leaders in brilliant forms of activism through which LGBT people and their allies engage," March Director David Studinski said in a statement. This year's NYC Pride marks the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, with a theme of "We Have Won When We're One." It will be held starting at noon on Sunday, June 29.

Olivia Travel—which offers chartered cruise, resort, adventure and luxury vacations specifically for the lesbian community—has scheduled its first-ever health and wellness program on Hawaii at the five-star Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Aug. 30-Sept. 5. Guests will be invited to participate in workshops on yoga, meditation, nutrition and other fitness/health programs, and will also have the opportunity to enjoy comedic and musical entertainment.

Victor Willis—who dressed as the police officer in the Village People's videos and concerts—said he plans to formally ban the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers from playing "Y.M.C.A." during home games, according to The Denver Post. Willis reportedly holds the rights to the song, and is outraged by the recent developments regarding alleged racist remarks from Donald Sterling, the team's owner. The singer tweeted, "Sterling, you're banned from playing 'Y.M.C.A.' or any of my music @LAClippers games. And I mean it! #Clippers #BoycottClippers."

Amanda Seyfried has joined Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and Rooney Mara in Joe Wright's Pan, the big-budget Warner Bros. movie that started principal photography on April 28, The Wrap noted. Offering a new take on the origin of the classic characters that J.M. Barrie created, the film follows the story of an orphan ( newcomer Levi Miller ) who is spirited away to the magical Neverland, where he eventually becomes Peter Pan.

Openly gay professional basketball player Jason Collins is among President Obama's latest round of key administration appointees, according to a White House press release. Collins, who came out last year, currently plays with the Brooklyn Nets, and has played with teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies and the New Jersey Nets. In addition, Collins received another honor recently when Time magazine listed him among its 100 Most Influential People, The New York Daily News reported. Chelsea Clinton—who knew Collins at Stanford University—wrote the column on him.

Speaking of Time's 100 Most Influential list, Beyonce Knowles scored the national cover of the issue, according to The Wrap. "She's the boss," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg writes in a profile of the pop star. The issue features many notable names in the film and music industry, including Amy Adams, Pharrell Williams, Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron, Matthew McConaughey, Kerry Washington and Miley Cyrus.

MTV has greenlit the new Alaska-based series Slednecks ( a take on Jersey Shore ), the extreme dance competition Beyond Dance, and One Bad Choice, about the consequences of a single bad decision, The Wrap reported. It also announced new seasons of Teen Wolf and Rob Dyrdek's Ridiculousness, as well as summer premiere dates for the scripted family drama Finding Carter and the competition series Snack-Off. In addition, Real World, Girl Code and Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out were renewed.

Billy Porter, star of Kinky Boots on Broadway, released a video that shows his support for the #MyLoveisEqual campaign and the music video for "Quite Like This" by DJ/Producer Ryan Skyy, according to a press release. When Porter found out that all proceeds from the sale of "Quite Like This" are being donated to, he jumped on board. #MyLoveisEqual works with musicians to create music inspired by marriage equality; moreover, they donate the proceeds generated from those songs to non-profit marriage equality groups.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary of saluting cinematic talents, The Chicago International Film Festival will honor Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Kline with a Career Achievement Award on Saturday, June 28, at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Pl., at a special summer gala celebration. Past honorees include directors Orson Welles, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Zemeckis as well as actors Sigourney Weaver, Liv Ullman, Shirley MacLaine, Faye Dunaway, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, among others. Among Kline's movies are In & Out, The Ice Storm, Sophie's Choice, The Big Chill and A Fish Called Wanda.

Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn recently talked about the reaction he got after he came out of the closet last month, The Huffington Post reported. "I was surprised at how many Mormon church leaders wrote me messages saying, 'This is great that you're doing this,'" Glenn, 30, said. "That really was cool." Glenn said he is looking forward to speaking up about gay acceptance in his religious culture and assisting young adults who face some of the hardships that he experienced.

Dan Haseltine, the lead singer of popular Christian band Jars of Clay, took to Twitter recently to voice his support for marriage equality, according to The Huffington Post. However, he also engaged with his followers in a discussion about the Biblical interpretation of marriage and he noted that he's unable to understand conservatives who use scripture to deny same-sex couples equal rights.

GLAAD announced that Grammy Award-winning country-music artist Kacey Musgraves will perform at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on May 3 at the Waldorf Astoria New York, according to a press release. Musgraves, the first country music artist to play at the New York GLAAD Media Awards, will perform her hit song "Follow Your Arrow." Openly lesbian country-music artist Chely Wright will introduce Musgraves. GLAAD previously announced that global superstar Kylie Minogue will also be performing at the New York event.

Gay actor Maulik Pancholy ( 30 Rock ) was named to President Obama's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to . Pancholy is active with a number of non-profit and social policy organizations such as Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the New York City Anti-Violence Project, and the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Fox will air a live, three-hour production of the musical Grease next year, according to The Wrap. The special, which bears the working title Grease Live, is based on the 1971 Broadway musical that spawned the 1978 film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Paramount Television will produce the special.

Paula Deen is taking her stab at a second act on the road: She's launching a 20-show tour of the South on June 21 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., the site of her upcoming restaurant, Paula Deen's Family Kitchen, USA Today noted. The 90-minute shows are so far announced only for Tennessee, Texas, Florida and her home state of Georgia. The events will be interactive: "We are going to play musical chairs and the dating game with the audience. That's the excitement of it all—my fans get to be a part of the show," she said.

Speaking of tours, husband-and-wife superstars Jay-Z and Beyonce are touring together, according to USA Today. Beyoncé posted a note on her site with tour dates. She and Jay-Z are wearing ski masks for the "On the Run" tour. Jay-Z's "Magna Carter" world tour ended in January, while Beyonce finished her highly successful "Mrs. Carter" trek last month.

Members of the LGBT community were angry at Madonna when she recently played a word-association game with Buzzfeed—and she labeled both kale and Vladimir Putin "gay" in terms many took as insulting, according to . One fan posted, "Saying kale is 'gay' is meant to convey that she doesn't like it, so it is an insult. I am SO TIRED of people using 'gay' in a negative context." As for BuzzFeed, the site responded to the kale issue by "interviewing" the leafy green, The Huffington Post noted. "Yep, I'm gay," was its response.

This article shared 10671 times since Tue Apr 29, 2014
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