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Windy City Times 2023-12-13



SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, queer novel, 'Tammy Faye,' queer DJ, Bella Ramsey
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4480 times since Fri Nov 24, 2023
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Billy Porter released his long-awaited new album, Black Mona Lisa, via Island Records UK/Republic Records, and it's executive-produced by Justin Tranter, a press release noted. Porter said, "So many of the songs on my album have a very similar theme: getting to a place of recognizing your own worth and celebrating yourself. The world will try to tell you who you are, and the world will try to decide if you matter. No outside force or entity gets to decide that." Tracks include the title song, "Fashion," "Baby Was A Dancer" and "Stranger Things," among others.

Also regarding Porter, the film Our Son—starring him and Luke Evans—will be in theaters on Dec. 8 and available on streaming platforms on Dec. 15, per a media release. The actors portray a married couple; however, Porter's character (Gabriel) has been dissatisfied with their marriage for some time and files for divorce from Nicky (played by Evans), leading to a custody battle that forces both of them to confront the changing reality of their love for each other and for their son.

Justin Torres' queer novel Blackouts won the National Book Award for fiction, NBC News noted. The book follows a dying older man, Juan Gay, as he discusses the erasure and distortion of LGBTQ+ history with his young friend, whom he affectionately calls "Nene." During his acceptance speech at the 74th National Book Awards ceremony, Torres thanked his partner, literary scholar David Russell, for "putting up with my excessive lamentations about this book"; and thanked his "queer family."

Tammy Faye—the Olivier-nominated Elton John/Jake Shears/James Graham musical about '80s-era televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker—will premiere on Broadway during the 2024-25 season, according to Deadline. Tammy Faye features music by John, lyrics by Scissor Sisters' Shears and book by Ink playwright Graham; Rupert Goold will direct Tammy Faye and Lynne Page will choreograph. Tammy Faye had its world premiere at London's Almeida Theatre in fall 2022; it ended up being nominated for four Olivier Awards, including Best Musical.

Queer DJ The Blessed Madonna has released a two-track EP, Carry Me Higher—a collaboration with London-based duo Joy Anonymous, featuring the vocals of U.S. soul singer/multi-instrumentalist Danielle Ponder, a press release noted. The tracks are "Carry Me Higher" and "Something Doesn't Feel Right."

Actor Bella Ramsey received the Gay Times honor of On-Screen Trailblazer, the publication announced. According to Gay Times, "The Last of Us was faithful to the source material by depicting Ellie as queer. Episode seven memorably saw the beloved character embark on a romance with their friend Riley (Storm Reid). Alongside their acclaimed acting career, Ramsey has continued to use their platform to leverage coverage and spotlight the LGBTQIA+ community." Many also know Ramsey, who identifies as nonbinary, from their role on the Game of Thrones series as Lyanna Mormont—the outspoken 10-year-old head of House Mormont.

Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova led the old-school protest art action "God Save Abortion" at the Indiana Supreme Court, per a press release. "God Save Abortion" is part of a bigger reproductive-rights campaign of art actions that Pussy Riot is launching this upcoming year. This first piece is in collaboration with students from Indiana University.

Rapper Lil Wop opened up about being gay and having a son, according to XXL. "I'm gay & I got a son mfer that ain't got s**t to do with my shorty, he gone grow up a real stepper like his daddy," Wop tweeted. Last February, Wop said he is bisexual and later revealed he was transitioning to being a woman. Wop made headlines this past July when he was criticized by then-incarcerated rapper Ralo, who called Wop a fake woman.

Gay actor Matt Bomer told Vanity Fair that he decided to turn down a role in the Barbie movie that allowed him to star in two of the biggest gay roles of his career, according to Out. Bomer spoke with Barbie director Greta Gerwig about the role before ultimately deciding to turn it down because he didn't want to be away from his family, as Bomer has three sons with husband Simon Halls. With his schedule wide open, the former White Collar star also scored the role of Bradley Cooper's lover in the upcoming Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro.

The Kissing Booth actor Taylor Zakhar Perez said he was surprised by co-star Jacob Elordi's criticism of the rom-com franchise, per Variety. Perez—who is also a co-lead in the recent LGBTQ+ movie Red, White & Royal Blue—said "I thought it was a shame because to my knowledge, everybody else had such a wonderful experience." Elordi (Saltburn; TV's Euphoria) sparked controversy by telling GQ, "I didn't want to make those movies before I made those movies. Those movies are ridiculous. They're not universal. They're an escape."

On Thanksgiving, country-music legend and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dolly Parton performed at halftime of the NFL game between the Washington Commanders and host Dallas Cowboys with a three-song, six-minute concert, Deadline noted. Wearing a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader outfit, Parton began with a pitch for the Salvation Army before playing two of her signature hits ("Jolene" and "9 to 5") and newly revamped Queen classics ("We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions") from her new album, Rockstar.

World of Wonder revealed the dates for DragCon LA 2024, per a press release. The event will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center July 19-20, 2024. The convention will feature the LIVE taping of the third season of WOW Presents Plus (WOWPP) Original Series Bring Back My Girls. The series' sophomore season is set to premiere Dec. 6 on WOWPP.

Entertainer Wayne Brady, who came out as pansexual three months ago, was involved in a car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California that led to a physical fight between him and the other driver, per The Advocate, citing People and TMZ. The other man has been charged with driving under the influence, hit-and-run and battery.

After being engaged for more than a year, Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski and Kevin Harrington have broken their engagement, Out noted. "After many conversations and reflection during the wedding planning process, Antoni and Kevin have amicably decided to part ways," a representative for Porowski told People. "While they still have a lot of respect for each other, as they talked more about the future, they realized they were on different paths."

Yahoo! Entertainment noted that, according to insider CanWeGetSomeToast, there were plot elements and lines that were ultimately removed from the final cut of The Marvels—including a line that reportedly confirmed that Brie Larson's Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie had a romantic past with each other. Valkyrie's scene with Captain Marvel in the movie might have originally included the quote, "We work better as friends."

Drag Race Germany crowned its first ever drag superstar—and she's Pandora Nox, a World of Wonder press release announced. (Nox was also the first-ever assigned female at birth (AFAB) contestant to win Drag Race, per Out.) As part of the top three finalists for the inaugural season of Drag Race Germany, Pandora Nox went up against Metamorkid and Yvonne Nightstand in the final episode. The full season of Drag Race Germany is now available to stream on WOW Presents Plus.

Hot off the heels of his recent Grammy nod for Sweeney Todd (Best Musical Theater Album), award-winning singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban commemorates two decades of his multiplatinum blockbuster breakout album, Closer, with Closer 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, a media release noted. The new album is out now as a two-CD set and on Digital as well as a Limited Edition Orange Vinyl two-LP set. This collection also includes a never-before-heard extended version of "You Raise Me Up," "Mi Morena" and more.

Actress/singer Hannah Waddingham stars in her holiday special, Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas, which is now out on Apple TV+, per a media release. Waddingham is joined by special guests including Leslie Odom Jr., Luke Evans, Sam Ryder and some friends from her show, Ted Lasso.

Oscar winner Susan Sarandon was dropped by her talent agency, UTA, after she made controversial remarks at a pro-Palestinian rally in New York City's Union Square on Nov. 17, The Hollywood Report revealed. "There are a lot of people afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence," Sarandon said at the rally.

Actress Melissa Barrera broke her silence after being fired from Scream VII for her social media posts about the Israel-Hamas conflict, Deadline noted. "First and foremost, I condemn Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people," Barrera said on Instagram Stories. ""Every person on this earth—regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status—deserves equal human rights, dignity and, of course, freedom." A day after Barrera was axed from Scream VII, it was confirmed that Jenna Ortega would also not be returning to the horror flick due to her show Wednesday's shooting schedule.

Rapper DaBaby said his anti-gay comments were "a blessing in disguise," as they ended up helping him to grow, Out noted. During a July 2021 performance at the Rolling Loud music festival, DaBaby told his audience to put their cellphone lights up if they "didn't show up today with HIV or AIDS or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that will make you die in two to three weeks" and "if you didn't suck a n**** dick in the parking lot." On Shannon Sharpe's Club Shay Shay podcast, DaBaby recently said, "Who is to say where I would be mentally and spiritually had I not been forced to sit my ass down and self-reflect? Because I still didn't sit down when it took place."

Amazon is making A Very Royal Scandal—a limited series about Britain's Prince Andrew's disastrous interview with Newsnight journalist Emily Maitlis, Variety noted. Michael Sheen will star as Prince Andrew, while Ruth Wilson will play Maitlis. The series follows on Amazon's past successes with A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw; and A Very British Scandal, with Claire Foy and Paul Bettany.

A24 officially confirmed the cast set for its erotic thriller Babygirl, Deadline noted. Nicole Kidman, Antonio Banderas and Harris Dickinson lead an ensemble that also includes Sophie Wilde and Jean Reno. In the film written and directed by Halina Reijn, a successful CEO begins an illicit affair with her much younger intern.

Daryl Hall filed a lawsuit against former bandmate John Oates in Nashville's chancery court, CNN noted. The two musicians are famous as the members of the Hall & Oates pop-rock duo that had tremendous success with hits like "Private Eyes," "Sara Smile" and "Maneater." The suit by Hall against Oates as an individual and Oates's trust is listed as a "contract/debt" dispute; however, the details of the case are sealed.

Just more than 24 hours after Cassandra Ventura (aka Cassie) filed a rape/abuse lawsuit against former longtime boyfriend Sean Combs, the singer and the music mogul settled the matter, Deadline noted. Diddy—whose reps had vigorously denied the charges—simply stated, "We have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love." The settlement halts what could have been a deep dive via legal discovery into Combs' personal and professional lives. After Ventura filed suit, two of Combs' most famous friends—Janet Jackson and Naomi Campbell—removed their social-media posts that were connected with a Combs-hosted party they attended.

And Oscar winner Jamie Foxx (Ray) was sued for allegedly sexually assaulting a patron at the rooftop bar Catch NYC in 2015, per Variety. The woman, identified in the suit as Jane Doe, has claimed that Foxx took her to a secluded corner of the lounge and groped her against her will. A security guard allegedly witnessed the groping but did not intervene. The lawsuit also names Birnbaum and Catch NYC as defendants. The suit was filed under New York's Adult Survivors Act, which opened a one-year window to file sexual-abuse claims that would otherwise be banned by the statute of limitations.

This article shared 4480 times since Fri Nov 24, 2023
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