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Oprah, Lindsay clash; Travolta on Menzel's name
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-03-05

This article shared 5852 times since Wed Mar 5, 2014
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The first trailer for the reality show Lindsay Lohan filmed for Oprah Winfrey's network shows the two stars clashing, according to EW.com . The series from Oprah Winfrey's OWN network promises an "honest, no-holds-barred account" and "an intimate, unflinching look" at the actress after she left rehab last year. At one point, Winfrey says to Lohan, "This is exactly what everybody said was going to happen and I believed differently. You need to cut the [expletive]." The show, Lindsay, debuts March 9.

John Travolta has broken his silence following his unfortunate mistake at the March 2 Oscars ceremony, in which he mispronounced Idina Menzel's name as "Adele Dazeem," Digital Spy reported. Travolta has now released a statement, saying: "I've been beating myself up all day. Then I thought, 'What would Idina Menzel say?' She'd say, 'Let it go, let it go!'" He added, "Idina is incredibly talented, and I am so happy Frozen took home two Oscars Sunday night."

A new study compiled from Internet Broadway Database reveals interesting statistics for women when it comes to leadership roles on Broadway, according to TheWrap.com . Of the productions that opened on Broadway during the 2012-2013 season, women directed only 14 percent of them. Regarding writers, the news was worse: Women wrote just three of the 28 plays that opened on Broadway during the 2012-13 season. On the music front, a woman scored just one of the 12 musicals that opened on Broadway—and that was Cyndi Lauper, who won the Tony award for best original score for Kinky Boots.

After Anna Wintour failed to show up at Giorgio Armani's autumn/winter 2014 fashion show yesterday in Milan, Armani did not hide his displeasure, according to Newser. "There are some who prefer to snub the Giorgio Armani show and go to Paris," he said at a press conference. "She took an airplane, dumped Mr. Armani and went to Paris. ... She is influential and powerful. But, perhaps, I'm influential as well." Since Armani is the only big designer whose show was on the last day of Milan Fashion Week, so much of the press had already left for Paris Fashion Week.

Jon Hamm, Jennifer Westfeldt, Stacy London and Whoopi Goldberg were among those who paid a visit to the Feb. 25 performance of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Playbill noted. The musical's score includes songs Carole King penned with Gerry Goffin as well as tunes Barry Mann wrote with Cynthia Weil. Based on King's life and music, Beautiful had its world premiere earlier this season at San Francisco's Curran Theatre. The Broadway production began previews Nov. 21, 2013, prior to an official opening Jan. 12 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

HBO has renewed the gay series Looking for a second season, according to The Wrap. The dramedy is about three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men. The series has also elevated a trio of cast members to regular status: Lauren Weedman as Doris, Raul Castillo as Richie and Russell Tovey as Kevin.

Celebrity chef Paula Deen has compared her struggles to Michael Sam, the Black NFL prospect who recently came out of the closet, The Wrap reported. Deen's $100-million empire crumbled last year after she admitted to using the N-word in her life. She told People Magazine, "I feel like 'embattled' or 'disgraced' will always follow my name. It's like that black football player who recently came out. He said, 'I just want to be known as a football player. I don't want to be known as a gay football player.' I know exactly what he's saying."

Speaking of Deen, she's opening a new restaurant, Paula Deen's Kitchen, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., according to The New York Daily News. A hub for tourists visiting the Dollywood theme park and the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge attracts about 10 million vacationers a year. Deen is reportedly pouring $20 million into the 20,000-square-foot restaurant.

In New York City, Christine Finley is curating "The Whitney Houston Biennial: I'm Every Woman," an all-female event celebrating the work of 75 female artists, according to a press release. The show will be held March 9 in Brooklyn. Houston passed away Feb. 11, 2012, at the age of 48.

Perhaps best known for his Tony-winning role as Lola in the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Billy Porter is releasing his debut on Concord Records, Billy's Back on Broadway, on April 15, according to a press release. Cyndi Lauper, who penned the score for Kinky Boots, makes a special guest appearance on Billy's Back on Broadway, dueting with Porter on "Happy Days/Get Happy," a tune Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland made famous. Among the other songs are "Luck Be a Lady," "I Am Changing" and "I've Gotta Be Me."

In the latest shakeup related to ABC's Dancing With the Stars, Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be returning to season 18 of the hit reality competition show after a two-season break, according to US Weekly. Chmerkovskiy, 34, will return once again as a dancing pro after leaving in 2012 because his contract expired.

HBO has confirmed that the movie The Normal Heart will debut on May 25, according to a media release. Directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Larry Kramer—adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name—The Normal Heaert tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Among those in the movie are Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts.

Gay singer Steve Grand, who made it big with his viral video "All-American Boy," launched a Kickstarter program to fund his debut album—and raised $114,000 on Feb. 27, the first day, according to Queerty. ( He wanted to raise $81,000 before March 30. ) Grand appeared on the show Larry King Now to talk about the album and campaign, and King pulled out his checkbook to make one of the first contributions.

Former talk-show host Montel Williams has weighed in on anti-gay bills in Uganda and Arizona, On Top Magazine noted. Appearing on CNN's Piers Morgan Live, Williams told host Piers Morgan that he opposes both bills, saying that they "use religion to justify hate. ... How can you stand under a veil of God, a veil of love, and turn around and propagate such hate?"

Quentin Elias, the leader of the popular '90s French boy band Alliage, died in his New York City home of an alleged heart attack at the age of 39, according to EDGE Boston. After leaving Alliage in 1999, he also tried to launch a solo career and relocated to New York City in 2002. France Info reports Elias started a gay-porn career under the name "Q3." Elias maintained an active Instagram account until his death—he prided himself on what he said was his natural physique, and encouraged others to exercise regularly without using performance-enhancing drugs, according to Queerty.

Country-music icon Loretta Lynn suffered minor burns on her hands putting out a small fire at her ranch near Nashville, but the incident did not keep her from performing in Texas Feb. 29, according to The New York Daily News. Lynn, 81, snuffed a small fire in the sun room of her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., which is about an hour's drive west of Nashville.

A judge has ruled that Ellen Kardashian, the widow of Robert Kardashian Sr., can proceed with a defamation claim of her Aug. 7, 2013 complaint against Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, mother Kris Jenner and the producers of the hit E! reality series Keeping Up with the Kardasians, according to Deadline. While dismissing Ellen Kardashian's claims of public disclosure of private facts, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy to defame, the L.A. Superior Court judge said that several statements family members made about her on the June 2, 2013 "Enough Is Enough" episode of the show were potentially slanderous.

The arena-football team the Philadelphia Soul will host the nation's first pro-football LGBT-awareness event this spring, according to Philadelphia Gay News. "OUT with the Soul, Champions for Equality" will be staged May 10, during the Soul's game with the New Orleans VooDoo. About 9,000 spectators usually turn out for the Soul's games.

The Federal Communications Commission received more than 40 indecency complaints the 56th annual Grammy Awards Jan. 26—and many of them centered on Beyonce's risque performance of the song "Drunk in Love," according to a New York Daily News item. Some of the letters complained about Beyoncé's outfit, with one viewer claiming "she dressed like a prostitute." Other letters were upset that her performance with husband Jay-Z aired during a family-friendly hour. Others took issue with the same-sex marriage ceremonies that Queen Latifah officiated during a performance of Macklemore & Lewis' "Same Love."

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis had another scare recently. According to the New York Daily News, six months after Jodie Foster raced to her side at the scene of a car crash in Venice Beach, Calif., Curtis frantically called 911 to say a friend was suffering a possible overdose in her car. A publicist said the friend "was released hours later and is doing much better."

Speaking of Curtis, she and JUMA Entertainment are trying to make a film about Glenn Burke, the first openly gay Major League Baseball player, according to Indiewire.com . Burke came out of the closet in 1982 in an Inside Sports magazine article and then on The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel, and died of AIDS-related complications in May 1995 at the age of 42. Burke is also credited with inventing the high-five.

The New York medical examiner said that Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman died from acute mixed drug intoxication, according to The Wrap. Heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamines were found in the 46-year old's system and his death was ruled an accident. Hoffman—a star whose work in films such as The Master and Capote was greatly acclaimed—was found dead in his West Village apartment on Feb. 2. A needle was reportedly found in his arm and 70 glassine baggies of heroin were also in his home.

Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn is slated to play the earthy lesbian aunt of Natasha Lyonne's "reformed wild child" in the Amy Poehler produced pilot Old Soul, according to a SheWired.com item. The single-camera sitcom for NBC revolves around Lyonne's character Nadia, who runs a business caring for the elderly and identifies more with her older clients than with people her own age. Burstyn will play Eileen, a cancer survivor with a "new-age bent."

NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders said there was someone who was gay on "every team" he was a member of during his 14-year career, according to MSNBC. Moreover, Sanders said the fact a teammate was gay was common knowledge in the locker room. "We all knew, but he was cool," Sanders said. "That was our boy." During his career, Sanders played for Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, before playing his last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and retiring in January 2006.

Numbers for the 86th Academy Awards were up this year. According to The Wrap, there were 43.7 million viewers, making it the most-watched Oscars since 2000. Viewer-wise, it is an 8-percent increase from last year, when the show pulled in 40.4 million viewers.

The new Dancing with the Stars season 18 cast has been unveiled. According to USA Today, the cast includes champion ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, actor Billy Dee Williams, lesbian long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, reality star NeNe Leakes and comedian Drew Carey, among others. Pro Derek Hough announced a twist on Good Morning America, saying that at some point the cast will all switch partners.

Singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan and television producer/director/choreographer Kenny Ortega will be the grand marshals at the sixth annual installment of Miami Beach Gay Pride, according to a press release. Estefan and Ortega will lead the parade by riding in a vintage Rolls Royce convertible, waving to an anticipated 80,000 fans and supporters who are expected at this year's parade and festival. The Miami Beach Gay Pride parade and festival will take place Sunday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. along Ocean Drive between 5th and 15th streets.

Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice has pled guilty to four counts of fraud, according to Entertainment Weekly. Teresa and her husband, Joe, who was with her in the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., originally pleaded not guilty to the charges in November. The couple had requested to have two separate trials, but both pled guilty to the counts, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three counts of bankruptcy fraud. Teresa will be sentenced July 8 and could reportedly spend up to two years in federal prison; Joe is likely to serve between 37 and 46 months.


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