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SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, 'Death Drop,' Brandi Carlile, vintage films, Gaga
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1371 times since Sun Aug 29, 2021
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Billy Porter will direct a queer teen comedy feature titled To Be Real for Amazon Studios, which is being helmed by Gabrielle Union's I'll Have Another Productions, noted. Porter, who is currently working on his feature directorial debut What If?, will direct an original screenplay written by Ryan Shiraki. According to Variety, the LGBTQ-centered film will be similar in tone to coming-of-age comedies like Superbad and Booksmart.

Dark Star Pictures' Death Drop Gorgeous, advertised as "an ode to John Waters," will premiere Sept. 10 in virtual theaters as well as On Demand and digital, a press release noted. The premise is as follows: A dejected bartender and an aging drag queen fight to survive the eccentric and hostile nightlife of a corrupt city, as a masked maniac slaughters young gay men and drains them of blood. The trailer is at

"Right On Time (In Harmony)," an acoustic version of Brandi Carlile's new single, is out, a press release noted. The intimate stripped-down performance features signature three-part harmonies from the out six-time Grammy winner with longtime collaborators Phil and Tim Hanseroth, and was recently recorded at their home studio outside of Seattle. "Right On Time" is from Carlile's upcoming studio album, In These Silent Days, which will be released Oct. 1 on Low Country Sound/Elektra Records.

Kino Lorber announced its October film releases (on Blu-Ray, 4K and other formats), per a press release. Some of the movies include the '90s horror classics Misery and Silence of the Lambs, along with the Bette Davis item Scream, Pretty Peggy; Elizabeth Montgomery's The Victim; the TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker; Tallulah Bankhead's The Cheat; and the Rock Hudson-Gina Lollabrigida comedy Come September.

Academy Award, Golden Globe and 12-time Grammy-winning superstar Lady Gaga announced she will return to Las Vegas' Park MGM in October, a press release noted. Presented in partnership by MGM Resorts International and Live Nation, Gaga will take the Park Theater stage for nine performances of her "Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano" show that will span Oct. 14-31. The shows will celebrate her forthcoming collaborative album with Tony Bennett, Love For Sale, which will be released Oct. 1 via Interscope. For more info, visit .

Courtesy of Fathom Events and ABC Signature, The Golden Girls head to movie theaters nationwide for the first time in "Forever Golden! A Celebration of the Golden Girls," a press release noted. Starring Bea Arthur (Dorothy Zbornak), Betty White (Rose Nylund), Rue McClanahan (Blanche Devereaux), and Estelle Getty (Sophia Petrillo) as four women in their golden years who share friendship and a home in Miami, this event (on Sept. 14 and Sept. 21) will feature episodes including "The Engagement," "The Flu," "The Way We Met," "Ladies of the Evening" and "Grab That Dough." See

The biggest-selling girl band of all time, the Spice Girls, are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut hit single "Wannabe" by releasing the limited-edition EP Wannabe25 via UMC / EMI, a press release noted. "Wannabe," originally released July 8, 1996, catapulted the Spice Girls to global stardom. The new EP includes the original single; a remix by Junior Vasquez (originally a bonus track on the 1996 "2 Become 1" CD Single); the original demo recording; and "Feed Your Love", a demo of a previously unreleased ballad.

On social media, Lil Nas X pointed out what he felt was hypocrisy, noted. Earlier this year, the rapper sparked controversy when he announced that he was releasing a limited-edition line of customized Nike Air Max 97s with art collective MSCHF; the shoes featured pentagrams, soles with red ink and "one drop of human blood," and a reference to Luke 10:80. However, skating legend Tony Hawk is now collaborating with beverage brand Liquid Death to release a limited-edition run of 100 skateboards with artwork crafted using paint mixed with Hawk's real blood—and there's been no blowback. "Now that Tony Hawk has released skateboards with his blood painted on them, and there was no public outrage, are y'all ready to admit y'all were never actually upset over the blood in the shoes? And maybe [you] were mad for some other reason?" Lil Nas X tweeted.

Also, Lil Nas X announced the release date for his debut album, Montero, according to LGBTQ Nation. The album will come out Sept. 17. "Creating this album has been therapy for me," Lil Nas X tweeted. "I've learned to let go of trying to control people's perception of who I am, what I can do, and where I will be."

Trans singer Kim Petras has released "Future Starts Now," a press release noted. The track is the first taste of her upcoming debut album and the first release from her newly inked partnership with Republic Records. Petras recently teased the new track with a debut performance at Lollapalooza in Chicago.

SF Sketchfest announced dates for the 20th anniversary of the comedy festival, a press release noted. After hitting pause on the live festival in 2021 due to COVID, the San Francisco Comedy Festival returns to celebrate its milestone 20th year on Jan. 7-23, 2022. SF Sketchfest is now accepting submissions for the 2022 comedy festival. Acts welcome to apply include stand-up comedians, improv/sketch groups, solo shows, podcasts, musical comedy acts, self-produced short comedic plays and alternative comedy acts. Find the application form with all details at:

Pose star Michaela Jae (Mj) Rodriguez—whose turn as determined drag ball empress and nurse Blanca Evangelista on that drama made her the first transgender performer to score a leading-role Emmy nomination—will accept GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics' latest LGBTQIA+ Trailblazer Award in the group's Dorians TV Toast 2021 airing Sunday, Aug. 29, a press release noted. LA broadcasting veteran and LGBTQ rights activist Karel is the pre-recorded program's host and executive producer.

Demi Lovato said ending their engagement to Max Ehrich helped them find their true self, noted. In a new interview with The 19th, Lovato shared how saying goodbye to that relationship changed everything for them. "I was able to stand on my own two feet without needing someone else to validate me or to make me feel accepted," they said. "And when I said goodbye to that relationship, I also said goodbye to everything that was holding me back from being my most authentic self." After calling it quits in September 2020, Lovato began to explore their gender more, and eventually came out as non-binary in May during an episode of their podcast, 4D with Demi Lovato, changing their pronouns to they/them.

On the heels of 11 Emmy nominations across the franchise, VH1 announced that RuPaul's Drag Race and RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked have been greenlit for new seasons, a press release noted. RuPaul's Drag Race will introduce a new group of talented queens for its 14th season. The Emmy-nominated after-show RuPaul's Drag Race Untucked will again air each week after brand-new episodes of "Drag Race." Additionally, RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race has been okayed for a second season, giving a new batch of celebrities the chance to become "America's Next Celeb Drag Superstar" and donate to the charity of his/her/their choice.

The "We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert" was cut short Aug. 21 because of inclement weather, USA Today noted. About halfway through the gathering at the Great Lawn in Central Park—just as Barry Manilow was segueing from "Mandy" into one of his other countless hits—rain, lightning and an evacuate-the-premises order from the city ended the event. Jennifer Hudson, The New York Philharmonic, LL Cool J and Earth, Wind & Fire and other acts that managed to entertain the 60,000 fans; however, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, The Killers and Patti Smith were among those unable to perform.

While accepting Outfest's annual Achievement Award recently, trans actor Elliot Page said that seeing the film But I'm a Cheerleader when he was young changed his life, noted. Page said, in part, "At 15, when you are flipping through the channels and you stumble on But I'm a Cheerleader and the dialogue in that film, and scenes in that film just transform your life. I almost think we don't talk enough about how important representation is and enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for." He also thanked Outfest for changing the face of queer representation.

Out Nashville Predator prospect Luke Prokop recently received a call from none other than Elton John, noted. "It was really cool for someone to do that kind of really outside of the hockey world," Prokop explained to . "To see someone that big, that famous, who has a humongous impact on the LGBTQ+ community to reach out and phone me and thank me for being brave and coming out and being able to help kids going through what I went through and allowing them to have someone to look up to, in a sense. He thanked me for that." Prokop, 19, announced to the world he was gay in an Instagram post last month.

Six-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves will release her fourth studio album, star-crossed, on Sept. 10, via Interscope Records/UMG Nashville, a press release announced. star-crossed : the film was directed by Bardia Zeinali and stars Musgraves; it will be streamed exclusively via Paramount+ the same day.

Nearly 15 years after first visiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where he was immediately inspired to pledge his support, three-time Grammy winner Darius Rucker surpassed the $2.5-million mark in his fundraising efforts with this year's 12th annual "Darius & Friends" benefit concert, a press release noted. In returning home to Ryman Auditorium this year, a live-streamed (and live) show allowed fans at home to tune in alongside the sold-out audience who were treated to a surprise lineup of stars featuring Jason Aldean, Brothers Osborne, John Daly, Keb' Mo', Runaway June and Elvie Shane.

A little more than two years since it debuted the first trailer for the first Downton Abbey movie at CinemaCon 2019, the sequel to the Focus Features hit big-screen transfer also got a Las Vegas unveiling during Universal's slate presentation, Deadline noted. Downton Abbey 2, whose official title is now Downton Abbey: A New Era, is due to open globally starting March 18, 2022.

John Mellencamp and Republic Records released the live album to accompany The Good Samaritan Tour 2000 documentary available now on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) YouTube channel, a press release noted. The album features live versions of some of John Mellencamp's most popular songs, including "Pink Houses" and "Small Town," as well as a cover of "Oklahoma Hills" written by Woody Guthrie.

Showtime announced a pilot order for the drama series Coercion, written and directed by Oscar and Emmy nominee Susannah Grant (Unbelievable; Erin Brockovich) and starring Sydney Chandler (Don't Worry Darling; Pistol). The series, produced by wiip, is inspired by the life of Rebecca Bender, a national leader on and survivor of sex trafficking. The series picks up with her escape from this world after six years, her struggles to return to a "normal" life, and her emergence as a confident, funny and impassioned advocate for justice.

Dan and Eugene Levy, the stars and creators of Schitt's Creek, announced their decision to cancel the Schitt's Creek North American farewell tour over concerns about the resurging global COVID pandemic, according to . The pair announced they are immediately refunding all tickets purchased to the tour, and apologized profusely.

LGBT sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson appeared to take a shot on social media at track-and-field legend Alyson Felix, according to Yahoo! Sports. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Felix (an 11-time Olympic medalist) said of Richardson, "She's obviously been through so much.I hope that she's just supported. I hope that people rally around her. Obviously she has a great personality, and she's brought a lot of attention to the sport. I think she'll be in the sport for a very long time." However, on Instagram Story, Richardson wrote, "Encouraging words on tv shows are just as real as well nothing at all." Recently, Richardson finished last in the 100-meter race at the Prefontaine Classic.

It turns out Rosie O'Donnell was so hard-pressed to remember her lines in the classic movie Sleepless in Seattle that a crew member taped them to his leg for the actor to read during filming, Page Six noted. O'Donnell revealed to Vulture that she was having difficulty with a long monologue in the 1993 romantic comedy—earning the hostility of late director Nora Ephron. In the film, O'Donnell's character is a friend of Annie, played by Meg Ryan, who falls in love with Tom Hanks' character, Sam, after he speaks about losing his wife on a radio show.

Chef and host of the long-running hit series Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine returns with a new season of Dinner: Impossible, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 5, on Food Network, a press release noted. Over six episodes, Robert and his team travel to California, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina and Ohio. Also, past episodes of Dinner: Impossible are available to stream on discovery+.

OnlyFans—the popular social site known for its risque content—suspended its ban against sexually explicit content amid ongoing backlash, reported. In a statement, the platform announced it "secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned Oct. 1 policy change." The announcement referred to a planned amendment to its guidelines that would've blocked users from posting explicit content at the request of its "banking partners and payout providers," but would continue to allow nudity within a new set of platform rules.

The Red Table Talk franchise is expanding with an overall deal with iHeartMedia to launch the Red Table Talk Audio Network, according to Deadline. A new slate of co-produced podcasts is part of said deal including five new shows set to premiere in the next two years. The first will be the podcast version of the Emmy Award-nominated Red Table Talk: The Estefans—featuring Gloria, Emily and Lili Estefan—that debuted Aug. 25 as part of iHeartMedia's My Cultura.

Searchlight Pictures announced the completion of principal photography on Eva Longoria's feature film Flamin' Hot, a press release noted. The film is the inspiring story of Richard Montanez—the Frito Lay janitor who channeled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to turn the iconic Flamin' Hot Cheetos into a global phenomenon. Cast members include Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, Tony Shalhoub, Dennis Haysbert and Mario Ponce, among others.

Sisters Serena Williams and Venus Williams will not play in the upcoming U.S. Open tennis tournament because of injuries, Deadline noted. They join standouts Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in their withdrawals, marking the first major tournament since 1997 without the quartet of stars who have largely dominated the sport. The tournament will start Aug. 30.

Mayim Bialik—who was announced as host of the Jeopardy! primetime and spinoff series—will fill in as host of the mothership syndicated program following the abrupt exit of Mike Richards as host after one day of tapings, Deadline noted. Richards pulled out as host the syndicated Jeopardy! after multiple controversies from his past emerged in the last few weeks.

On a related note, following a turbulent last two weeks for Jeopardy! that culminated in Mike Richards' ouster as host of the syndicated program after one day of production, the staff and crew were summoned for a Microsoft Teams meeting, according to Deadline. Richards reportedly apologized to his staff for comments he had made toward his female co-hosts and guests on The Randumb Show, a podcast he hosted in 2

013 and 2014, along with off-color remarks about Haitians and Jews. A similar virtual meeting was held with the staff of Sony's Wheel of Fortune, which Richards also executive-produces.

COVID and its real-life controversies have become part of ABC's General Hospital, seeming to spark a cast rift that's playing out on social media and prompting star and vaccine-mandate opponent Ingo Rademacher (who has played Jasper "Jax" Jacks on the show since 1996) to lash out at the "morons," "dictators," and "horrible, horrible" people calling for his firing, Deadline reported. Another cast member, Nancy Lee Grahn, is calling on SAG-AFTRA to address the issue of working "on a set with unmasked, unvaccinated actors."

Former porn star Ron Jeremy, 68, has now been indicted on 33 rape and sexual-assault counts based on new judicial action by Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon's office, Deadline noted. Like previous charges, the new counts involve 21 individuals and go back to the mid-1990s, according to prosecutors. The age range of the alleged victims go from 15-51, the indictment says.

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