The Broadway League announced that theaters will continue their recently adopted mask-optional policy for audiences at least through August, Deadline reported. The mask-optional policyin which audiences are encouraged but not required to mask upwas announced in June for the month of July. That timeline has now been extended through August "and until further notice," the League said. The news comes as New York City and the country are seeing surges in COVID cases due to the omicron BA.5 subvariant. Prime Video has renewed the series.
The Wheel of Time was renewed for a third season, Deadline noted. The move, unveiled during the show's Comic-Con presentation, came ahead of the launch of season of the Rosamund Pike-fronted series. (Pike plays LGBTQ+ lead Moiraine Damodred.) The first season of the series, which consisted of eight episodes, premiered in November. The Wheel of Time is set in a sprawling, epic world where magic existsbut only women can use it.
LGBTQ+ representation will be part of HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series, according to Out Magazine. House of the Dragon will be centered around the family members within House Targaryen and will cover the relatives' "civil war" to rule Westeros. Among the candidates vying for the position to rule the Seven Kingdoms is the character of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, who will be played by non-binary actor Emma D'Arcy.
Come Dance With Me judge Dexter Mayfield participated in Out Magazine's re-creations of 10 iconic covers. Mayfield is the star on a cover that redoes a Swimsuit issue cover, donning green bikini briefs just like the original model. The magazine stated, "Mayfield has fashioned himself into a star, walking runways for brands like Rihanna's Fenty and dancing for the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry. And now he brings that same confidence to Out."
Music icon Shania Twain's Not Just A Girla new, career-spanning documentary produced by Mercury Studios and directed by Joss Crowleywill be available Tuesday, July 26, on Netflix, per a press release. The film takes viewers from Twain's humble beginnings in Timmins, Ontario, where she was raised poor and inspired by the story of Dolly Parton; through her initial record label signing in Nashville; and onto her career-defining moment meeting future husband and rock producer Mutt Lange ahead of writing, recording and releasing her breakthrough album The Woman In Me. Among the guest voices in Not Just A Girl are Lionel Richie, Diplo, Avril Lavigne and Orville Peck. In addition to the documentary, Twain will release a compilation album entitled Not Just A Girl (The Highlights) via Mercury Nashville/UMe, which includes a new bonus title track.
The Sims 4 is set to release its most in-depth update for LGBTQ game play on July 28, with an entirely new way to represent the sexual identities of its players and their virtual characters, Mashable noted. Designed in collaboration with LGBTQ organizations the It Gets Better Project and GLAAD, the game's sexual orientation update adds two new customization scales for players interested in exploring a fuller range of sexual and romantic identities. The new feature can be used so players' Sims can experience same or different-sex attraction, experiment with different attraction naturally over game play, feel physical but not romantic attraction (and vice versa), or not feel any sexual or romantic attraction at all.
Fitness trainer Jillian Michaels tied the knot with fiancee DeShanna Marie Minuto in a private ceremony in Namibia, People Magazine reported. The couple got married on July 11 at a Miami courthouse before traveling to the southern African country for an intimate ceremony and honeymoon. Michaels and Minuto plan to have their official wedding celebration on June 23, 2023, in Venice, Italy.
Lady Gaga kicked off her long-awaited Chromatica Ball tour to promote her latest studio album released in 2020, Out Magazine noted. During this first concert in Dusseldorf, Germany, Gaga performed songs from most of her albumsfrom The Fame to the A Star Is Born soundtrack to Chromatica. At the moment, the Chromatica Ball has 20 scheduled shows taking place in North America (including Chicago, Boston, Toronto, San Francisco and Atlanta, among other spots), Europe and Asia.
Speaking of Gaga, federal authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of James Howard Jackson, who was accidentally released from jailed after being suspected of shooting her dog walker, Ryan Fischer, in 2021, according to Out Magazine. Jackson was one of five people arrested in connection with the shooting, where the thieves targeted Gaga's valuable French bulldogs, which can be sold for thousands of dollars.
Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling artist Sophie B. Hawkins is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of her debut album, Tongues and Tails, with a 2022 U.S. tour, per a press release. She'll also be joining Paula Cole and Judy Collins on select dates. That album includes the hit song "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover," and Hawkins' career has included multiple awards, sold-out concerts, a documentary feature, five more albums and a critically lauded performance as Janis Joplin in the nationally-touring play Room 105.
The family of Frida Kahlo has authorized the development of Frida, The Musicala new stage work based on the life story of the groundbreaking 20th-century artist, Deadline noted. The first workshop is slated for 2023, and the musical will feature music by the Mexican composer Jaime Lozano and lyrics by the Obie Award-winning playwright Neena Beber. In the announcement, the production said the musical will reveal "new, rarely explored layers of this most complexand ardently Mexicangenius as it follows her journey from Mexico City to Paris and New York, and finally back home to the house of her birth for one final professional triumph."
Olivia Colman, Luke Evans and Jessie Buckley are set to lead Netflix's animated adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, from Stephen Donnelly (Lost in Oz), Deadline noted. Evans will play Scrooge while The Lost Daughter stars Colman and Buckley are the Ghost of Christmas Past and Isabel Fezziwig, respectively. Co-stars will include Jonathan Pryce, Fra Fee (who, like Evans, is LGBTQ+), Giles Terera, Trevor Dion Nicholas and James Cosmo.
When Jennifer Lopez confirmed her marriage to Ben Affleck in the July 17 edition of her "On The JLo" newsletter, she also mentioned others who stood in line in Vegas with them at a small chapel, including a same-sex couple, according to Page Six. In part, Lopez wrote, "Last night we flew to Vegas, stood in line for a license with four other couples, all making the same journey to the wedding capital of the world. Behind us two men held hands and held each other. In front of us, a young couple who made the three hour drive from Victorville on their daughter's second birthdayall of us wanting the same thingfor the world to recognize us as partners and to declare our love to the world through the ancient and nearly universal symbol of marriage." She then signed off by her married name, writing, "With love, Mrs. Jennifer Lynn Affleck."
And speaking of Affleck, actress Lynda Carter (TV's Wonder Woman) reminded fans on Tuesday that she once worked with a big A list Oscar winning actor, per The Daily Mail. Carter posted an image with Ben Affleck from 1991 from when they co-starred in the TV movie Daddy, which was based on a Danielle Steel book. "Daddy brings back great memories," she wrote in her Instagram caption. It's been a hard year for Carter: She recently wrote that her fatherColby Carter, a WWII veteranhad passed away and her husband, businessman Robert Altman, died a year ago from cancer.
Producer David Garfinkle announced that the world premiere of Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcrackerthe jazz-steeped reimagining of The Nutcracker based on the collaboration of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhornwill debut at Pittsburgh's Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 19-30, per a press release. The production will follow with a run at New York City Center during Nov. 15-27. This original production is directed by Emmy Award winner and Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominee Joshua Bergasse, with choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi.
Rapper Lil Uzi Vert updated their pronouns to they/them in their Instagram bio, per Out Magazine. The update happened in tandem with the Soundcloud release of "Space Cadet," from the artist's upcoming LP P!nk. Along with corresponding the pronoun update with the release of their new track, the shift is significant for another reason: It happened the same week as International Non-Binary People's Day, which was July 14. While many on social media supported the rapper, many in the LGBTQA+ community felt the pronoun change was not sincere, with many critiques pointing to Uzi's history of violence and anti-LGBTQ+ comments they have made.
University of South Carolina women's basketball star Aliyah Bostonwho won a national championship and was named unanimous National Player of the Year and Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 2022turned down a late invitation from the network to appear at the ESPY Awards, Yahoo! Sports noted. In a statement, she said, "I'm used to this. It's just another moment when the disrespect and erasure of Black women is brushed off as a 'mistake' or an 'oversight.' [It's] another excuse for why our milestones and accomplishments aren't a 'priority' this time, even now, 50 years after Title IX." UConn basketball player Paige Bueckers won the Best College Athlete, Women's Sports award last yearand was invited. (Interestingly, Bueckers, who is white, spoke about the lack of Black visibility.) However, this year's men's and women's college athlete winners were scheduled to be announced at a separate ceremony.
Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning actress/comedienne Mo'Nique is planning a new comedy special for Netflix, per Variety. "I'm so excited to share that I'll be shooting my first Netflix comedy special," she tweeted. "Oh, and in case you didn't hear, I'm also reuniting with my friend, my brother, director Mr. Lee Daniels on the Netflix film The Deliverance." Last month, Mo'Nique reportedly settled a race- and sex-discrimination suit against Netflix.
Tanya Kersey, founder of the Hollywood Black Film Festival, died of cardiac arrest at age 61, per Deadline. According to her family, Kersey had been battling multiple health issues for many years and "passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones." Kersey also founded The Kersey Group, a boutique film-consulting firm.
Openly gay actor/producer Dan Levy is launching a new production company with long-time publicist Megan Zehmer, Variety noted. The pair are teaming together on Not a Real Production Company, with Zehmer to serve as the company's president of film and television. It was announced in September 2021 that Levy had signed an overall TV deal with Netflix that also included a first-look deal for film.
Rosie O'Donnell and her new girlfriend, Aimee Hauer, recently made their red-carpet debut, per Page Six. The former The View co-host and Hauer posed for photos at the Stand Up for Friendly House comedy benefit at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. It was a big night for O'Donnell, who hosted the sold-out event. Also in attendance was O'Donnell's good friend Kathy Griffin, who returned to the stage for the first time since her battle with lung cancer.
Shonka Dukureh, 44, who played Big Mama Thornton in this year's movie about Elvis Presley, was found dead in a bedroom at her home in Nashville, per The Hollywood Reporter. Dukureh, a Fisk University graduate and Nashville singer, shared the apartment with her two young children, police said. Earlier this year, she shared the stage at Coachella with Doja Cat.
Johnny Pizarro, a crew member for Law & Order: Organized Crime, was shot and killed in New York while on location for filming of the show's third season, per Variety. PIzarro, 31, was sitting in his car in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn when an unknown person approached the car, opened the door, and opened fire.
Filming on the Chicago set of Justified: City Primeval, starring Timothy Olyphant, was temporarily halted after "two cars whose occupants were engaged in a gunfight smashed through the show's barricades" earlier this week, according to The Chicago Tribune. Justified: City Primeval, co-starring LGBTQ+ Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard), is a continuation of the original Justified series, which ran on FX from 2010 to 2015. The series is based on Elmore Leonard's stories about fictional U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens.