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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez
by Andrew Davis
2022-06-26

This article shared 5015 times since Sun Jun 26, 2022
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Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of Umbrella," Page said, "When we first talked about it he seemed really excited about incorporating it into the show." Asked by GMA about how viewers have responded to his transition from Vanya to Viktor, Page responded, "So far it's seemed really positive, which makes me feel happy in terms of the representation and, hopefully, meaning something to people."

Out gay actor Neil Patrick Harris, who starred in the long-running sitcom How I Met Your Mother, is joining the venerable BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who as its latest villain, Deadline reported. Showrunner Russell T Davies called his character the "greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced." Harris—set to headline Darren Star's Netflix comedy series Uncoupled—joins new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa and Yasmin Finney, who will play Rose, as well as returning stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate.

On June 23, Madonna—known for her Pride Month activations and championing LGBTQ+ rights throughout her career—hosted and performed at an LGBTQ celebration at Terminal 5 in New York, per a press release. The show was also in celebration of Finally Enough Love, Madonna's 16-track career-spanning remix compilation album. Madonna was joined by drag queens Violet Chachki, Bob the Drag Queen, Pixie Aventura and Laganja Estranja, who arrived at the event on the Gaultier double-decker Pride bus. Estranja performed a rendition of "Vogue," in which she was joined by Jose Xtravaganza, one of Madonna's dancers on the Blond Ambition tour.

Winners of the Chita Rivera Awards were honored June 20 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, per a press release. Some of the honorees included Bill T. Jones, Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus (Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show, for Paradise Square); for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf (Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show); Myles Frost and Jared Grimes (tied for Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show for, respectively, MJ the Musical and Funny Girl); and Tendayi Kuumba (Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show, for her role in for colored girls…). Rivera is one of the most nominated performers in Tony Award history, having earned 10 nominations, winning twice; she also received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Superstar Jennifer Lopez recently performed with her child Emme, 14, and used gender-neutral pronouns during the performance, The Advocate noted. The singer and actor went on to say that her child was "worth every single penny because they're my favorite duet partner of all time, so if you will indulge me." During the performance, Emme held a rainbow-colored microphone. Emme, along with their twin Max, are Lopez's children with her ex-husband Marc Anthony.

GLAAD issued a press release praising Jon Batiste, who performed at the Something in the Water Music Festival in D.C. recently. Batiste's performance was in collaboration with the Gilead COMPASS Initiative, to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis that continues to plague some of the Southernmost states in the country; the South is most affected by the HIV epidemic, accounting for 54% of all new HIV diagnoses in the country. In part, Batiste said, "The number of folks living with HIV is staggering, and I love the work COMPASS is doing to educate and raise awareness around HIV/AIDS."

On Friday, July 8, Netflix will debut How To Build A Sex Room, per a media release. In the show (which features straight, queer and LGBTQ+ couples as well as a polyamorous unit), people hire looking for more spice in the bedroom hire luxury interior designer Melanie Rose to create stylish spaces where they can carry out any fantasy they wish. The trailer is at www.youtube.com/watch; more info is at www.netflix.com/HowToBuildASexRoom.

Maybelle Blair, who inspired the character played by Madonna in Penny Marshall's 1992 comedy A League of Their Own, has come out as lesbian, per LGBTQ Nation. The 95-year-old made the announcement at the Tribeca Festival premiere of Amazon's new series based on the film. "For the majority of her life, sports legend 95-year old [All-American Girls Professional Baseball League] player Maybelle Blair felt like she had to hide her authentic self," an Instagram video caption read. "Today she came out publicly for the first time. We couldn't be happier for her, and continue to push for love, acceptance, and education on and off the field."

San Francisco Giants broadcast announcer and former Cleveland Indian Duane Kuiper came to the defense of trans Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider, after Schneider's first pitch at a Giants-Dodgers match-up was cut from a rival telecast, LGBTQ Nation noted. While most fans may not have noticed, Fox Sports, which carried the game regionally, substituted Schneider's live first pitch with a ceremonial toss by NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, recorded two days before at a Giants-Rockies game, also at Oracle Park. The Fox Sports "broadcast implied that Kurt Busch threw out the first pitch yesterday, which is not true," Kuiper said. "It was Amy Schneider from Jeopardy! fame who threw out the first pitch on Pride Day yesterday. So I just wanted to make sure she got her due."

Speaking on a "Future of Entertainment" panel at the Cannes Lions advertising conference—where he was named Entertainer of the Year—Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos doubled down on his defense of Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais and other star comedians showcased on Netflix, saying, "We've always been a supporter of the art," Deadline reported. Sarandos was asked about the recent upset over jokes made, particularly in relation to trans people, by Chappelle, Gervais, Jimmy Carr and other high-profile comedians. The executive said, "We're programming to people with a real variety of tastes and sensibilities. [There's a range in] how they were brought up, what they think is offensive or what they think is damaging to themselves or to children."

The Tony-winning revival of Company will play its final Broadway performance at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Sunday, July 31, Deadline noted. The North American tour of Company is planned for the 2023-24 season. The production received five Tony Awards—more than any other musical this season—including Best Musical Revival, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Patti LuPone), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Matt Doyle), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Bunny Christie) and Best Director of a Musical (Marianne Elliott). Elliott is now the most honored female director in Broadway history.

Trumpet—a 4.5-year-old bloodhound from Saint Joseph, Illinois—won Best in Show at the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina Pro Plan, a press release noted. Judge Dr. Don Sturz bestowed the prize at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York, on June 22, and this is the first time in Westminster history a bloodhound has been awarded Best in Show. Trumpet, officially known as GCHB CH Flessner's Toot My Own Horn, beat 3,000 other dogs in a show that included new breeds such as Mudi and the Russian Toy.

Roku, Inc. announced that the Roku Brand Studio and Mast-Jagermeister US will create a new limited streaming series, The Lesbian Bar Project, per a press release. It was directed by Erica Rose and Elina Street, with Lea DeLaria hosting; DeLaria is also executive producer, along with The Katz Company. The series will spotlight lesbian bars and the communities they serve across the United States. The three-episode docuseries is slated to launch in October on The Roku Channel.

As one of its final acts, the current Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted honorary Oscars to directors Peter Weir and Euzhan Palcy and songwriter Diane Warren as well as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Michael J. Fox, per Deadline. They will be presented at the 13th Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 19, in Los Angeles.

Actress Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart; Broadway's Funny Girl) and girlfriend Bonnie Chance Roberts have become engaged, according to Extra. In her Instagram Story, Feldstein said, "@bonnie_chance you make me happier than I knew was possible. I love you." They met while working on How to Build a Girl.

Out singer Greyson Chance has returned with the release of his new single "Palladium," available now across all streaming platforms, per a press release. Chance's upcoming album this fall, also titled Palladium, will follow his critically acclaimed 2019 full-length release, portraits, which has to date accumulated over 100+ million streams. A native of Edmond, Oklahoma, Chance was thrust into the national spotlight in 2010 after a performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" that since has been viewed by more than 70 million people on YouTube.

The animated adventure film Spellbound, led by West Side Story's Rachel Zegler, has expanded its voice cast, Deadline noted. Other cast members include the Being the Ricardos duo of Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, along with John Lithgow (Killers of the Flower Moon; TV's Dexter), Nathan Lane (Only Murders in the Building), Jenifer Lewis (TV's black-ish), Andre De Shields (tick, tick… BOOM!) and Jordan Fisher (The Flash).

The Boston Pops and Conductor Keith Lockhart shared programming details for the 2022 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which returns July 4 to the stage of the Hatch Shell at the Charles River Esplanade for the first time since 2019, per a press release. Headline performers will include music icon and 10-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan, The Voice series premiere winner Javier Colon, and Tony and Grammy Award winner Heather Headley. Among the highlights will be a Stephen Sondheim tribute featuring Headley, the Boston Pops and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Grammy-nominated singer Tove Lo has released the single "True Romance" in advance of her fifth studio album, Dirt Femme, to be released Oct. 14 on Pretty Swede Records/mtheory, per a press release. The album has special guests such as SG Lewis, Channel Tres and First Aid Kit, and tracks include "2 Die 4," "I'm to Blame," "Grapefruit" and "Attention Whore," among others. Also, Lo will perform at various events in July, including Lollapalooza and Montreal's Osheaga Music and Arts Festival.

Mark Fleischman, who once owned Manhattan's Studio 54 nightclub, told the New York Post that he plans to use the Swiss nonprofit assisted suicide group Dignitas to end his life on July 13, Deadline noted. The group helps assisted suicides with a lethal dose of barbiturates after a lengthy screening process. "I can't walk, my speech is f—ked up and I can't do anything for myself," Fleischman—now 82 and confined to a wheelchair—told The Post. He took over Studio 54 in December 1978 when partners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were raided and charged with tax evasion, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

Brad Johnson—who went from portraying the Marlboro Man in cigarette spots to film and TV roles including Steven Spielberg's Always and Melrose Place—has died at 62, USA Today noted. Johnson died Feb. 18 in Fort Worth, Texas, of complications from COVID-19. Johnson's survivors include his wife of 35 years as well as their children. His family honored him as a "true Renaissance man" in a Facebook tribute released in March, per Parade Magazine.

James Rado—co-creator of the groundbreaking hippie musical Hair, which celebrated protest, pot and free love, and paved the way for the sound of rock on Broadway—has died at age 90, per The Hollywood Reporter. Hair was the first rock musical on Broadway, the first Broadway show to feature full nudity and the first to feature a same-sex kiss. The musical spawned four top four singles on the American pop charts, including the number-one hit "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" by the Fifth Dimension, which won the Grammy Award for record of the year and best pop vocal performance by a group in 1970.

On June 21, Peacock hosted a premiere event for the Peacock Original series The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip Ex-Wives Club at The Bowery Hotel in New York City, a press release noted. The second season of The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip franchise features eight former Housewives from various cities as they make their grand return for a week-long stay at Dorinda Medley's Bluestone Manor. Old friends are reunited, new friendships bloom and no one will ever be the same again.¯The series premiered June 23 on Peacock. Cast members include Brandi Glanville, Dorinda Medley, Jill Zarin, Eva Marcille, Phaedra Parks, Tamra Judge, Taylor Armstrong and Vicki Gunvalson.

Award-winning artist Donald Hershman is bringing his "Sexuality and Shadows" exhibit to the ArT LoVe GaLLerY (in Provincetown, Massachusetts) July 9-17, per a press release. The artist plans to present a unique look at the male form with other subjects such as a dog in the desert, tulips or a desk with shadow. The gallery is donating 25% of the proceeds from sale of Hershman's artwork at this exhibition to the Trevor Project.

Bobby Lytes—best known for being rapper Trina's cousin and appearing on VH1's Love & Hip Hop: Miami—has been announced as the lead of a new gay reality dating show called Bobby I Love You, Purr, according to Out Magazine. This brand-new gay dating series will be available on the reality TV streaming service known as The Zeus Network and will be hosted by Rolling Ray, who's known Lytes for years.


This article shared 5015 times since Sun Jun 26, 2022
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