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SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, Olivia Wilde, Tessa Thompson, 'Ragtime,' Dan Levy
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 4475 times since Tue Dec 24, 2019
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Stars of stage and screen have come together to celebrate Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award-winning star for Billy Porter's lip-sync video for his chart-topping dance single, "Love Yourself," a press release noted. The video features Porter's Pose co-stars MJ Rodriguez, Ryan Jamal Swain, DyllÃ"n Burnside, Jeremy McClain, and Jason A. Rodriguez as well as other s such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cyndi Lauper, Jerry Mitchell, Kelly Ripa, Miss J, Debra Messing, Christian Siriano and others. "Love Yourself" was released in 2019 by the Butler Music Company, Inc., and the tune reached number one on the Billboard Dance Club Play Songs chart.

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics ( ) chose Olivia Wilde as its Wilde Artist of the Year for 2019, with a special tribute to the Booksmart filmmaker set for Sunday, Feb. 2, at the national group's 11th Dorian Awards Winners Toast in L.A., a press release noted. In addition to earning raves for her first-time directorial effort, Booksmart, Wilde also scored excellent notices earlier this year for her performance as Sadie, a domestic abuse victim-turned-vigilante, in the independent film A Vigilante. The accolade, named for GALECA's "patron saint" Oscar Wilde, goes to "a truly groundbreaking force in film, theater and/or television."

Creed and Avengers: Endgame star Tessa Thompson will star in and produce the podcast The Left Right Game, the latest fiction pod from Blackout and Carrier outfit QCode, Deadline noted. Thompson plays Alice, an idealistic young journalist who tries to make a name for herself at a new job by following a group of paranormal explorers, obsessed with a seemingly harmless pastime known as the Left/Right Game.

A concert version of the Tony-nominated musical Ragtime will be presented April 27, 2020, at the Minskoff Theatre to benefit The Actors Fund—and it will reunite six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell, Playbill revealed. The concert will be dedicated to the late Marin Mazzie, who received one of her three Tony nominations for her portrayal of Mother in the original 1998 production. Based on the classic novel by E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime has a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty ( Once On This Island; Anastasia; Seussical ) and a book by Terrence McNally ( Master Class; Love! Valour! Compassion! ).

An L.A. billboard for the queer fan-favorite show Schitt's Creek—which debuts its sixth and final season Jan. 7—features a giant-sized same-sex kiss between actors Dan Levy and Noah Reid, The Washington Blade noted. Levy, who is out, created Schitt's Creek with his father, veteran comic actor Eugene Levy. The fifth season has been nominated for four 2019 Emmys, and the show has received dozens of nods throughout its run from the Canadian Screen Awards, the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and others.

Speaking of Dan Levy, he is seeking answers after a UK television channel reportedly edited queer content out of the show, Queerty noted. A British fan claimed that the station, 4Music, cut out dialogue that references David ( Dan Levy ) and Patrick ( Noah Reid ) sleeping together. "Is this true, @4Music? Censoring kissing and intimate dialogue? Also, I will be retweeting this every day until I get a response," Levy tweeted. "Aside from this censorship being highly disturbing and dangerous, it was a big laugh in the scene! This is very disheartening."

Jake Gyllenhaal's West End debut was "formative" in shaping his approach to acting, the star revealed to Evening Standard. The Oscar nominee's first theatrical role was in Kenneth Lonergan's revival of This Is Our Youth at the Garrick Theatre in 2002, and he will return to the London stage next year to star in Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George. Gyllenhaal said that his previous stint in London "changed the whole process of [his] work" and praised the capital's "supportive" theater community.

Netflix is in trouble with some viewers after releasing a new Christmas special that portrays a gay Jesus, noted. The First Temptation of Christ is a new Netflix holiday special from the Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos. According to Variety, the episode—available on the streaming service on Dec. 3—follows Jesus, who returns home "after 40 days in the desert with a new close friend, Orlando ( played by Fabio Porchat ), who is almost certainly gay, just as his family throws Jesus a surprise 30th birthday party." Almost 2 million people signed the online petition for Netflix to remove the special, but Porchat called the backlash "homophobic."

Queer Eye co-hosts Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Karamo Brown and Bobby Berk will join the 28th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party with Honorary Chairs Sir Elton John and David Furnish in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2020, a press release noted. IMDb will once again broadcast its annual "IMDb Live" streaming show during the party. The four-hour show will be co-hosted by Aisha Tyler and Dave Karger.

Antonio Banderas will be presented with the International Star Award, Actor for his performance in Pain and Glory at the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival ( PSIFF ), TheWrap reported. The annual gala will take place on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs Jan. 2-13. Past recipients of the International Star Award include Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Gary Oldman and Saoirse Ronan.

Empire showrunner Brett Mahoney revealed to TVLine that there have been internal discussions about bringing back Jussie Smollett before the sixth and final season ends, Complex noted. Smollett's character Jamal Lyon was written off of the final two episodes of season five as he was embroiled in a legal battle over accusations that he staged a racist and homophobic attack Jan. 29 in Chicago. In June, Variety reported that Smollett would return in the sixth season, but Empire co-creator Lee Daniels emphatically rejected that rumor on Twitter.

Audiences who have seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker since it premiered Monday noticed something historic in the science fiction franchise: a same-sex kiss, LGBTQ Nation noted. Two women ( minor characters ) who are a part of the Resistance share a kiss during a celebratory scene. Before the film came out, some fans were hoping for a romance between Poe Dameron and Finn in the movie. Director J.J. Abrams, however, said in a press event that their "relationship to me is a far deeper one than a romantic one." However, Singapore has reportedly cut the kiss from its screenings, Yahoo! News noted.

NBA star Dwyane Wade is proud to have watched his 12-year-old, Zion, "become into who she now eventually came into" after the child came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Page Six noted. Zion is one of two children from Wade's first marriage to Siohvaughn Funches, and lives with the former Miami Heat player and his current wife, actress Gabrielle Union. Wade said he makes sure their children understand that with that responsibility comes the opportunity for a lot of scrutiny.

Actress Ashley Benson ( Pretty Little Liars ) revealed girlfriend Cara Delevingne had surprised her with a 30th-birthday trip to Morocco, sharing, "I couldn't have asked for anything better," Page Six noted. Benson, who celebrated her birthday on Dec. 18, posted a collection of images from the trip, which included a ride in a hot air balloon. "Morocco has always been a place I've wanted to visit. I faced so many fears and took on new adventures with my best friend by my side," Benson wrote on Instagram. "I love you @caradelevingne. Thank you for making my birthday the best yet.

Ricky Gervais was under fire for what some consider to be transphobic tweets—just weeks before he is set to host the Golden Globe Awards for the fifth time, noted. Gervais inserted himself into a situation regarding Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's support of a British researcher who was fired after expressing anti-transgender sentiments, posting a tweet that contained a link to a satirical article that was written from the "perspective" of a transgender woman. When a Twitter user said, "Kindness is magic," the comedian replied, "Exactly. We need to protect the rights of women. Not erode them because some men have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonize an entire sex." However, in another reply, Gervais claimed that his original tweet was "a joke tweet to a spoof account."

Drew and Jonathan Scott ( aka The Property Brothers ) renewed a deal with Discovery Inc.'s HGTV that will keep them on the home-improvement network through 2022, Variety noted. As part of the agreement, the siblings and their Scott Brothers Entertainment received pick-up orders for Property Brothers: Forever Home and a new season of the competition series Brother vs. Brother. They will also develop other home-related series and digital content.

The women behind the movie Harriet will receive the 2020 Stanley Kramer Award for Social Justice from the African-American Film Critics Association and family of the director, Page Six noted. Star Cynthia Erivo, director Kasi Lemmons, and producers Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg will receive the honor Jan 22.

Mariah Carey recently landed the top spot on the Hot 100 for her famous holiday hit, "All I Want for Christmas Is You," noted. This is the first time the 25-year-old song has hit number one; the song's previous record was number three on the chart. "All I Want for Christmas" has been featured in Love Actually, and is used as Carey's official holiday kickoff anthem every year.

The Sentinel-Record noted the Associated Press' top songs of the decade—led by Robyn's "Dancing on My Own." Other songs in the top 15 included tunes by Alabama Shakes ( "Gimme All Your Love" ), Adele ( "Someone Like You" ), CeeLo Green ( "[Expletive] You" ), Beyonce ( Run the World ( Girls ) )," Lady Gaga ( "Alejandro" ), Justin Timberlake ( "Strawberry Bubblegum" ) and Drake ( "Passionfruit" ), among others.

Kumail Nanjiani showed off his muscular body after a year of training for his role in Marvel's The Eternals, Page Six noted. "I never thought I'd be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I've worked way too hard for way too long so here we are," Nanjiani captioned on Instagram. The actor thanked those who trained him before and during filming, as well as Matthews Street Catering for his "delicious and healthy meals."

Zachary Levi previously fired back at the critics of his build in his superhero film, he has now admitted on Twitter that his Shazam suit was "a liiiiiittle padded," noted. The conversation around fake muscles largely dissipated after Shazam! came out and proved to be one of DC's best movies, but a fan mentioned it again on Twitter in response to Levi's advice to eat Wheaties for those who want to be Shazam.

From producer James Cameron and director Tim Miller ( Deadpool ) comes Terminator: Dark Fate. According to a press release, the movie arrives two weeks early on Digital Jan. 14, 2020, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on Jan. 28 from Paramount Home Entertainment. There will be various bonus features on the formats, including "A Legend Reforged," "Future Tech," commentary by director Tim Miller and editor Julian Clarke, and deleted and extended scenes, among others.

Singer Lizzo—who had been battling the flu in recent days—made her debut as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live during season 45's latest episode hosted by alum Eddie Murphy, who returned to the NBC series to make his first hosting gig in 35 years, noted. Recently, Lizzo was forced to cancel two performances after coming down with the flu. She was originally scheduled to perform in Boston at the KISS 108 Jingle Ball, and then in Hartford for the Hot 93.7 Jingle Jam days later.

Andre 3000 ( from the rap duo Outkast ) isn't dropping a solo album—and he might never release another body of music, Rolling Stone noted. In an interview on the Broken Record podcast, Andre told Rick Rubin, "I haven't been making much music, man. My focus is not there. My confidence is not there." Later, the musician-actor said the constant dissection of his music and hyperbolic critical analysis of his every move is one of the reasons he's abstained from releasing a larger body of work outside of his occasional features.

Actor Dwayne Johnson revealed two new ice cream flavors with Portland, Oregon-based ice cream brand Salt & Straw, noted. ( Johnson is also an investor in the company. ) Johnson and Salt & Straw revealed flavors for their holiday-themed Dwanta Claus Holiday Pack available to customers online on Monday. The five pack of ice cream flavors includes Johnson's custom "Naughty" and "Nice" creations: "I Saw Mommy Kissing Dwanta Claus" ( peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough and a milk chocolate caramel fudge swirl, with whiskey ice cream ) and "The Rock'n Around the Christmas Tree" ( Pacific Northwest spruce ice cream, brownies, buttery frosting, raspberry jam and glace cherries ). Peppermint Cocoa, Chocolate Gooey Brownie and Cinnamon Spiced Chai Eggnog round out the pack.

Two post offices in California's San Fernando Valley will be renamed after late celebrities with ties to the area: Marilyn Monroe and Ritchie Valens, noted. Monroe grew up in Van Nuys and even attended Van Nuys High School, while Valens attended San Fernando High School.

CBS and the Survivor producers released a lengthy statement promising changes to the game and production following contestant Dan Spilo's season 39 removal, TheWrap noted. Among the changes will be a new in-game rule and better pre-production orientation, the parties said. Future "Survivor" seasons not already in the can ( so, season 41 and beyond ). A statement said, in part, "For Season 40, which has already filmed, the show added to its pre-production cast orientation specific guidelines regarding personal space, inappropriate behavior, and how to report these issues." Spilo, a talent manager, is the first Survivor contestant ever to be ejected from the show before being eliminated; he recently apologized to former fellow contestant Kellie Kim.

Speaking of the show, Survivor will be pulling out all the stops for its milestone 40th season in February 2020, noted. During the taped reunion show of Survivor: Island of the Idols on Dec. 18, host Jeff Probst revealed a teaser for season 40, "Winners at War." The season will feature 20 previous winners coming back to earn the title of Sole Survivor once more, including Rob "Boston Rob" Mariano, two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine, Yuk Kwon, Ethan Zohn and others.

Brian Tarantina—who appeared in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, among other films and TV shows—died as a result of a mix of different drugs in his system, NBC New York reported. The medical examiner said y that Tarantina's death was due to an accidental overdose from fentanyl, heroin, Diazepam and cocaine. The actor's long Hollywood resume included appearances in the films Summer of Sam and Uncle Buck as well as television's Blue Bloods and Madam Secretary.

Singer Camila Cabello says she's "deeply ashamed" of the racist comments she's made in the past, Yahoo! Entertainment reported. Cabello, 22, issued an apology to her fans after a Twitter account shared a series of tweets, believed to be from Cabello's Tumblr, showing the singer using racially insensitive language. "The truth is I was embarrassingly ignorant and unaware," Cabello wrote, adding that she now uses her platform "to speak out about injustice and inequality."

Singer Rick Astley has released a new pianoforte version of his classic "Never Gonna Give You Up," ALT 103.7 noted. Astley has performed his hit song countless times, even singing the song with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. The new version can be heard at

Betty: They Say I'm Different—about funk queen Betty Davis—will be out Jan. 17 on DVD via MVD Entertainment Group, a press release noted. A part of the '70s funk scene, she befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles Davis. Blending documentary and animation, the movie traces the path of Betty's life.

On Jan. 21, the recent theatrical release Doctor Sleep, starring Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson, will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others, a press release noted. On Feb. 4, Doctor Sleep ( a screenplay based on the novel by Stephen King ) will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

A new New York law for individuals who were molested or sexually abused as children revived an old claim again Harvey Weinstein in a new lawsuit, Deadline reported. Former model Kaja Sokola filed a sexual-abuse suit against the Oscar-winning producer and named his brother, Bob Weinstein, their old company Miramax and that company's old owners the Walt Disney Company as defendants as well. In a statement, Sokola said, "There is no accountability for the perpetrators, insufficient compensation for all of the victims and millions of dollars going to people that I believe enabled Weinstein."

Controversial vlogger PewDiePie ( real name: Felix Kjellberg )—who became one of YouTube's biggest stars before seeing his career dogged by allegations of racism and anti-Semitism—said he is "feeling very tired" and will take a break from the video-sharing platform, noted. Disney cut ties with the star in 2017 after he paid two men to hold a sign that read "Death to all Jews" in a video; later that year, he apologized for using the N-word in another clip.. The filmmaker is one of the highest earners on the website and was its most-followed account until earlier this year, with more than 100 million people subscribing to the Swedish video creator's channel.

This article shared 4475 times since Tue Dec 24, 2019
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