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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



SHOWBIZ Barry Manilow, 'The Kardashians,' gay Marine drama, Tonys, 'Unleashed'
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3263 times since Fri May 5, 2023
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The Barry Manilow/Bruce Sussman production Harmony will make its Broadway bow in the 2023-24 season, beginning performances Oct. 18 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, with opening night on Nov. 13, according to Playbill. The musical—featuring music by Manilow and lyrics and a book by Sussman—tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, an ensemble of six young men in 1920s Germany who took the world by storm until their inclusion of Jewish singers put them on a collision course with history. Warren Carlyle is back to direct and choreograph after staging the work's New York premiere off-Broadway at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in 2022.

The third season of the Hulu show The Kardashians will debut May 25, per a press release. According to the release, "The cameras return as Kris, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie invite viewers back into their lives as they navigate motherhood, co-parenting and building their own empires. Their bond will be tested and tensions arise [through everything from divorce to disease], but as a family they will stand together through the storm."

Netflix has OK'd a series—which has the legendary Norman Lear among its executive producers—that will follow a gay teenager who enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps, per The Hollywood Reporter. The streamer has ordered 10 episodes of The Corps, a drama that will follow Cameron Cope (Miles Heizer), a bullied gay teen who joins the Marines with his straight best friend, Ray McCaffey (Liam Oh), in 1990—before "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The Corps is the latest project for the 100-year-old Lear.

Deadline unveiled its list of snubs and surprises in the wake of the Tony nominations being released. Among the performers and productions being snubbed were Aaron Sorkin's Camelot, John David Washington (The Piano Lesson), Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan (The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window), Nathan Lane (Pictures from Home), Laura Linney (Summer, 1976) and Ohio State Murders. Nods considered pleasant surprises included Shucked (which got nine nominations, including one for Alex Newell), Ain't No Mo' and Julia Lester (Into the Woods).

Actor Joel Grey, 91, and 96-year-old composer John Kander (who are both members of the LGBTQ+ community) will each receive the 2023 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, according to Deadline. Grey memorably co-starred in both the stage and film version of the Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret, but was also in Chicago, Wicked and many other productions. Kander is best known for his longtime collaboration with writer and lyricist Fred Ebb (who died in 2004); together, they wrote classics such as Cabaret, Chicago, Woman of the Year and Kiss of the Spider Woman. The 76th Annual Tony Awards will air live on Sunday, June 11.

Unleashed LGBTQ—a first-of-its-kind conference and entertainment festival for brands, artists, and LGBTQ+ professionals to connect—announced new talent joining its lineup, including Billy Eichner and Dyllon Burnside, for its first live and in-person Unleashed LGBTQ 2023 conference, taking place in on Sept. 22-24, according to a press release. Some of the others slated to appear include Antoni Porowski (Queer Eye), Indya Moore (Pose), Shangela (RuPaul's Drag Race; Dancing with the Stars), former Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, Alternative Wealth Partners founder/CEO Kelly Ann Winget and Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls; Looking). Also, independent filmmakers can submit works for the Unleashed LGBTQ 2023 Film Festival at

And speaking of Shangela (real name: Darius Jeremy Pierce), the drag performer is denying sexual-assault allegations made by a former crew member on the HBO series We're Here, according to TVLine. The former production assistant claims that Pierce sexually assaulted him after a crew party in February 2020 in a hotel room. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Pierce said, in part, "I can't begin to explain how hurt and disgusted I am by these totally untrue allegations. They are personally offensive and perpetuate damaging stereotypes that are harmful not only to me but also to my entire community…"

Out revealed its list of 12 LGBTQ+ films to watch this summer. Some of them include the Trace Lysette/Patricia Clarkson vehicle Monica; the British lesbian drama Blue Jean, The Flash (with embattled non-binary star Ezra Miller), the Asian-American movie Joy Ride, the Ben Whishaw item Passages (in which his male partner has an affair with a woman) and Greta Gerwig's film Barbie. The full list is at

The LGBTQ+ movie Velvet Jesus—from Breaking Glass Pictures and starring Jensen Atwood (Noah's Arc), Ernest Harden Jr. (The Unemployment of Danny London) and model/actor Melvin Ward—will be coming to digital platforms on May 9, per a press release. According to the release, "Velvet Jesus tells the gripping story of a man's desperate journey to discover the truth about his past. Along the way, he uncovers secrets about himself that will forever change the course of his life."

Taylor Swift has made history once again, per a press release. The vinyl release of folklore: the long pond studio sessions debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, marking the "The highest chart debut for a Record Store Day Vinyl ever." Swift currently occupies three spots in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 (#3 folklore: the long pond studio sessions, #4 Midnights, #10 Lover), joining Whitney Houston as the only female soloist to achieve this milestone.

Jonas Brothers announced a massive 35-date stadium and arena run—simply called "The Tour"—during which the band will perform five albums every night, a press release noted. The momentum comes off the response from their sold-out Broadway engagement and their two-date Yankee Stadium sell-out, kicking off the tour in August. (Stops include Chicago, Toronto, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami, among others.) In addition, their new record—simply called The Album—will be out May 12.

Pride Live announced that Grammy-winning singer-songwriter/entrepreneur Christina Aguilera as the headline performer for Stonewall Day, per a press release. This year's benefit concert will be held on Friday, June 23, in the Public Square & Gardens at Hudson Yards on Manhattan's West Side. Spotlighting and uplifting women in the LGBTQ+ community, Stonewall Day features an all-star female lineup, with actress/trans-rights advocate Angelica Ross as host, Lina Bradford as resident DJ, and performances by Mila Jam, BETTY and Mariyea; additional performers and in-person appearances will be announced. For more, visit

Non-binary Yellowjackets actor Liv Hewson—who plays the teenage version of Van Palmer, the team's goalie and Tai's girlfriend, on the show—told Variety that they will submit themselves for an Emmy this year despite being eligible and a possible nominee, Out noted. "There's not a place for me in the acting categories," Hewson said. "It would be inaccurate for me to submit myself as an actress. It neither makes sense for me to be lumped in with the boys. It's quite straightforward and not that loaded. I can't submit myself for this because there's no space for me."

Kiss member Paul Stanley commented on Twitter about his stance on kids' gender identities and the parents who are "normalizing and even encouraging participation" in embracing them, calling it a "sad and dangerous fad," Yahoo! noted. "There is a BIG difference between teaching acceptance and normalizing and even encouraging participation in a lifestyle that confuses young children into questioning their sexual identification as though some sort of game and then parents in some cases allow it," he wrote. However, trans TikTok star Jesse Sullivan disagreed with Stanley, telling TMZ that anyone who is considering transitioning is doing it because they know deep down who they truly are—and the process is anything but fun.

And Jesse Sullivan is now engaged—to Too Hot to Handle alum Francesca Farago, Out noted. After appearing on Too Hot to Handle, Farago began dating Sullivan in July 2021; however, they took a break the following year, and Farago appeared on Perfect Match. After that show ended, she and Sullivan reconciled.

It turns out that there were only two complaints in connection with country singer's Kelsea Ballerini's CMT Music Awards performance with drag queens, according to TMZ. In comparison, the FCC received 103 complaints about Rihanna's Super Bowl halftime show.

Ahead of the annual Met Gala and this year's theme—"Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty"—the New York Post ran an article on the late designer, who once made Kim Kardashian cry. Paris Hilton, a Kardashian pal, was invited to the May 1 gala for the very first time, Page Six confirmed, while Hayley Bieber, Zoe Kravitz, Uma Thurman and Suki Waterhouse and boyfriend Rob Pattinson were also expected.

On a related note, actor Jameela Jamil took to Instagram to criticize the celebrities who attended the 2023 Met Gala, per Variety. (The fashion designer infamously told the German fashion magazine Focus in 2009, "No one wants to see curvy women.") "Last night[,] Hollywood and fashion said the quiet part out loud when a lot of famous feminists chose to celebrate at the highest level a man who was so publicly cruel to women, to fat people, to immigrants and to sexual assault survivors," Jamil wrote (via Entertainment Weekly). "And all the women's publications and spectators online chose to gleefully ignore it."

A schism in the late actress Carrie Fisher's family has been revealed. Actress Billie Lourd (Fisher's daughter) issued a statement confirming and explaining why she did not invite her late mother Carrie Fisher's siblings—Todd, Joely and Tricia Leigh Fisher—to Carrie's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony on May 4, according to Variety. Lourd said, in part, "Days after my mom died, her brother and her sister chose to process their grief publicly and capitalize on my mother's death, by doing multiple interviews and selling individual books for a lot of money, with my mom and my grandmother's deaths as the subject." Todd Fisher told TMZ on May 2 that it was "heartbreaking" and "shocking" to be left off the guest list for Carrie's ceremony.

The Morning Show, which stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, will return for a fourth season on Apple TV+, Deadline noted. The early renewal comes ahead of the premiere of season three later this fall. Jon Hamm, Stephen Fry, Tig Notaro and Nicole Beharie are among the new people joining the series in season three.

Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us) is in final negotiations to join the untitled Gladiator sequel for Paramount, according to Deadline. He joins Paul Mescal, who will star as Lucius, as well as Barry Keoghan, Joseph Quinn, Connie Nielsen and Denzel Washington. Ridley Scott is returning to direct.

After one season, Netflix has canceled the gay Spanish romantic comedy Smiley, according to Out. Smiley was based on creator Guillem Clua's play of the same name that followed the love story between two Barcelona men—Alex (Carlos Cuevas) and Bruno (Miki Esparbe). Other queer shows Netflix has canceled in the last few years include Warrior Nun, I Am Not Okay With This, First Kill, The Get Down, Special, Sense8, One Day at a Time, GLOW, The Society, Q-Force, Uncoupled, Everything Sucks! and Atypical.

Singer Neko Case is releasing the career retrospective album Wild Creatures as a physical two-LP set on limited-edition colored vinyl and a CD version on June 30, per a press release. Also, Case will begin a leg of summer tour dates (mostly on the West Coast) on June 20 that will include a run of co-headlining shows with Indigo Girls (in Bend, Oregon; Seattle; and Canby, Oregon).

The Flaming Lips will unveil a new limited-edition pink vinyl EP, Hypnotist, on June 16, a press release noted. Of note is that Hypnotist has four fan-favorite tracks previously only available on the six-CD Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots 20th Anniversary Box Set, including the 24-minute "Psychedelic Hypnotist Daydream (demo)."

SiriusXM announced that eight-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood will launch an exclusive year-round SiriusXM channel, Carrie's Country, in June, according to a press release. The release also stated that "Underwood will highlight her friends, favorites, and influences—new and classic country, workout hits, gospel and beyond. Listeners will also hear high-octane favorites from classic to hard rock for your morning exercise or your late-night jam sessions."

Grammy-winning band Aerosmith, which is also in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, announced that its farewell tour will begin in September, Deadline reported. The group's 40-date run of shows, called the "Peace Out" tour, will begin Sept. 2 in Philadelphia and end in Montreal on Jan. 26, 2024. The band will play its hometown of Boston this New Year's Eve; play at Chicago's United Center on Sept. 15; and perform at NYC's Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19.

Michael Douglas will receive the Honorary Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, per Variety. Cannes revealed that the Basic Instinct star will return to the Croisette this month for the festival, and will be honored as part of the May 16 opening ceremony. Douglas was most recently in Cannes for Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra, which is about the life of Liberace.

During the latest episode of his Brotherly Love podcast (with brothers Andrew and Joey), actor Matthew Lawrence recalled being offered a role at a Marvel production—but only if he stripped, according to Deadline. "There's been many times in my life where I've been propositioned to get a huge role," Lawrence said. "I've lost my agency because I went to the hotel room—which I can't believe they would send me to—of a very prominent Oscar award-winning director who showed up in his robe, asked me to take my clothes off and said he needed to take Polaroids of me." Lawrence also mentioned the double standard that exists when male actors talk about being harassed, as opposed to when female actors discuss it.

Singer/actor Tyler Posey (TV's Teen Wolf) announced a release show for his upcoming album Unravel that will take place on June 10 at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California with special guests Phem and World's First Cinema, per a press release. The album will be out May 26. All tickets are on sale at

Lil Nas X responded to accusations from model/internet celebrity Woah Vicky, who recently made the unsubstantiated claim that the rapper is faking his sexuality, The Los Angeles Times noted. (The influencer claimed on a podcast that she had friends who knew him in high school, but didn't provide any evidence.) The rapper later stated on social media, "who gives af what ja rule thinks at a time like this," referring to Vicky.

Amazon Freevee has given the green light to The GOAT, a new reality series seeking to find the greatest reality star of all time, Deadline noted. Fourteen will enter, but only one will win the cash prize in the show that Daniel Tosh will host. A few of the entrants include Reza Farahan (Shahs of Sunset), Jill Zarin (The Real Housewives of New York City), Tayshia Adams (from The Bachelor franchise) and CJ Franco (FBoy Island).

And Freevee has also greenlit the Daytime Emmy-winning original series Judy Justice (Judge Judy Sheindlin's show after Judge Judy) for two more seasons, Variety noted. Freevee, too, has approved Justice on Trial, a new "Justice" spinoff created by and featuring Sheindlin.

During the season 11 finale of the NBC show Chicago Fire (airing May 24), Jesse Spencer will return to make a guest appearance, Variety noted. Taylor Kinney, who last appeared during the Feb. 22 episode and stepped away to deal with a personal matter, will not return. Spencer exited Dick Wolf's firefighter series in 2021 after 200 episodes, but has reappeared on several occasions.

Dancing with the Stars is coming back to ABC for its 32nd season, Variety confirmed. The move to bring the reality competition series back to the broadcast network comes after the show aired one season exclusively on streamer Disney+. For its upcoming season, the show will air on ABC while also streaming on Disney+. In addition, the show will be available the day after its linear debut on Hulu.

Sherri Shepherd axed Wendy Williams' top producers for season two of her eponymous daytime talk show, Page Six noted. Shepherd inherited Williams' longtime executive producers David Perler and Suzanne Bass, who also appeared with Williams on camera daily.

Rapper Drake may be leaving the United States for good after listing his Beverly Hills estate for $88 million—and it's the last of his properties in the country, according to Page Six. He reportedly is most comfortable in his hometown of Toronto, Canada's largest city. He only purchased the 24,260-square-foot California estate a year ago for $75 million from English pop star Robbie Williams, who bought it in 2015 for $33 million.

Monica Aldama denied claims that she helped cover up a sexual-assault incident at Navarro College, Page Six noted. The head coach from the hit Netflix series Cheer told TMZ that she is "heartbroken by the false allegations." In July 2022, former cheerleader and Cheer star Jerry Harris was sentenced to 12 years behind bars for soliciting naked pictures of underage boys.

After his second conviction, Harvey Weinstein hired a new legal team to handle his Los Angeles appeal, per Variety. Weinstein has hired California-based attorney Michael Freedman, who will work alongside Jennifer Bonjean, the criminal defense attorney who got Bill Cosby's conviction overturned. Recently, Weinstein was found guilty by a jury of sexual assault and rape, with a judge sentencing him to 16 years.

Nick Cannon celebrated Facebook's cancellation of Jada Pinkett Smith's "toxic" show Red Table Talk, Page Six noted. "If there was no Red Table Talk, then he wouldn't have slapped the s—t out of Chris Rock," Cannon claimed, referencing Jada's husband, Will Smith, slapping the comedian after Rock poked fun at her hair loss during the 2022 Oscars. Cannon explained that he believes Smith's reaction stemmed from him and Pinkett Smith bringing their relationship issues "to the table" in 2020 to discuss the actress' "entanglement" with singer August Alina.

This article shared 3263 times since Fri May 5, 2023
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