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SHOWBIZ Gaga/Bennett, 'House of Gucci,' Leslie Jordan, Murray Hill, Lil Nas X
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by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 572 times since Sun Dec 5, 2021
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MTV announced that the special MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga will air on the music network Thursday, Dec. 16, according to . The performance, which was filmed in New York earlier this year, features the House of Gucci star and the iconic jazz singer as they perform songs from their Grammy-nominated album Love for Sale. This is the second album released by the pair; the first, Cheek to Cheek, was released in 2014. MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga marks the return of MTV's iconic Unplugged series, which first premiered in 1989.

On a related note, fashion designer Tom Ford reviewed the film House of Gucci—and didn't seem overly thrilled with the movie, noted. "I recently survived a screening of the two-hour-and-37-minute film that is House of Gucci," Ford wrote for Air Mail in a review of the film. "The shiny, ambitious, beautifully filmed and costumed tale of greed and murder is stunning by the sheer number of stars that have been cast." He continued, "I'm still not quite sure what it is exactly, but somehow I felt as though I had lived through a hurricane when I left the theater. Was it a farce or a gripping tale of greed? I often laughed out loud, but was I supposed to?" However, Ford was impressed with Lady Gaga.

Leslie Jordan released "Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth," featuring actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson, a press release noted. This take on the seasonal classic was originally written and performed by David Bowie for Bing Crosby's holiday television special that aired Nov. 30, 1977. The new single follows Jordan's debut album Company's Comin', which was released this spring and featured duets with Dolly Parton, Eddie Vedder, Brandi Carlile, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Ashley McBryde, Charlie Worsham, Katie Pruitt, Tanya Tucker and TJ Osborne. People can listen to the Jordan/Jackson duet at

NYC drag-king comedian Murray Hill lost "virtually everything" after a fire at his apartment on Thanksgiving—which was also his 50th birthday, Page Six noted. One hundred and forty firefighters were on the scene for the four-alarm blaze, and six were injured. Hill—who has been living in the Brooklyn building for 20 years—was luckily out of town and no residents were injured. A GoFundMe page surpassed its $100,000 goal by more than 50 percent.

Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" is the second most-streamed song globally in 2021, noted. According to Spotify, "Montero" only trailed Olivia Rodrigo's "drivers license." Other songs in the top five include "Stay," by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber; "good 4 u," by Olivia Rodrigo; and "Levitating," by Dua Lipa and DaBaby. Nas X's debut disc, Montero, was also the sixth most streamed album; Rodrigo topped that list as well.

Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!, The Devouring Mothers) announced the release of the music video for "Day Old Coffee," from her new seven-song EP, At War With The Silverfish, per a press release. "This is the worst song I've ever written but the video turned out really good," Grace said of clip filmed by directors Chris Bauer and Richard Louis Ulrich. Additionally, Grace recently announced her upcoming March 2022 Canadian headline tour. The one-minute, 37-second video is at

The platinum-selling group Neon Trees are releasing versions of you, a new digital EP celebrating the 10th anniversary of "Everybody Talks," one of the band's biggest hits, a press release noted. Set for release via UMe on Friday, Dec. 10, the four-song EP features a new recording of the 5x platinum Top-10 hit, plus the new title track and newly recorded versions of fan favorites "Animal" and "Sleeping with A Friend." Neon Trees is composed of Branden Campbell, out queer lead singer Tyler Glenn, Elaine Bradley and Chris Allen.

Adele announced that she'll begin a Las Vegas concert residency in January at the Colosseum of Caesars Palace Hotel, noted. Titled "Weekends With Adele," she'll perform two shows a weekend Jan. 21-April 16. Adele's fourth studio album, 30, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 last week and is already the best-selling album in of 2021 in the United States, according to MRC data reported by Billboard.

Production is underway on a documentary about Whitney Houston that will explore the iconic singer before she became an international superstar, Deadline noted. Whitney Houston In Focus, directed and produced by Benjamin Alfonsi, is based on an upcoming book on Houston by photographer Bette Marshall. Emmy, Grammy and six-time Tony-winning actress/singer Audra McDonald will narrate the documentary and serve as executive producer.

Queer singer Troye Sivan's recent Miami gig abruptly ended due to a noise complaint, per . At Architectural Digest's AD100 party during Art Basel week, the Australian singer was in the middle of performing his song "Angel Baby" when the music cut out. The performance was being livestreamed to fans on TikTok. "Okay, so basically I played 5 songs [tonight] and 'Angel Baby' was the LAST ONEEEE and the only one being streamed live on TikTok," Sivan tweeted. "But then turns out throughout the show we got a noise complaint and the city literally came and shut down our speakers during 'Angel Baby.'"

British actor Julian Morris—known for his roles in projects like Pretty Little Liars, Cry Wolf and more—came out in a post on his Instagram account celebrating his 18th anniversary with partner Landon Ross, noted. Morris posted, "18 years together, and they were the best ones because they were with you. I love you," tagging Ross. Ross, an LA-based artist, also made an Instagram post of his own, celebrating his anniversary with Morris. "Beginning our 19th year is the best thing in life. I love you," he wrote.

The Real Housewives of Miami, Peacock's first-ever original Housewives "city" series, will return for its fourth season Thursday, Dec. 16, a press release noted. The season four cast includes returning Housewives Alexia Echevarria, Lisa Hochstein and Larsa Pippen alongside newcomers Guerdy Abraira, Dr. Nicole Martin and Julia Lemigova, who is married to tennis icon Martina Navratilova and is the first LGBTQIA+ housewife in this series. Fan favorites Adriana de Moura and Marysol Patton, along with newcomer Kiki Barth, will also be featured. The trailer is at

Kathy Griffin declared she's cancer-free during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Page Six noted. The My Life on the D-List star explained the procedure to remove part of her lung, sharing that her doctor told her it would look like a "used condom." Griffin revealed in early August that she was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent surgery days after she shared her health news and said it "went well" but it turned out to be more difficult than she realized.

Joy Behar was widely criticized for her Thanksgiving message to viewers on The View, Queerty noted. Co-host Whoopi Goldberg said people should avoid talking about politics, but Behar said she enjoyed conversations about difficult subject matters at Thanksgiving. That's when she added that people should use the opportunity to come out. Although few would disagree with her latter statement about the importance of being one's authentic self, some were left unimpressed about Behar blithely telling people to come out over the holidays and "see what happens."

The first openly transgender Miss USA contestant, 27-year-old Kataluna Enriquez, was eliminated from the pageant before the round of 16, according to Yahoo! News. WHAS reporter Elle Smith from Louisville, Kentucky won the competition. "This is quite the accomplishment!!" Enriquez was boosted by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, earlier on Monday night. "Kataluna represents the best of her community and our state and when she takes the stage, she'll make history!" he tweeted

Winning Best Feature and three additional awards at The Gotham Awards was The Lost Daughter, director and screenwriter Maggie Gyllenhaal's assured screen adaptation of Elena Ferrante's novel about a solitary vacationing professor and mother of two grown daughters whose encounters with a different young mother provoke haunting memories of her own past, a press release noted. The film's Olivia Colman received the Outstanding Lead Performance award, having previously received a special Ensemble Performance award in 2018 as part of the lead trio of The Favourite.

Also winning awards (among others) was Flee, for best documentary. Frankie Faison won Outstanding Lead Performance for his performance in The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain, based on the true story of the resulting tragedy when police were sent to check on an elderly veteran with physical and mental health issues after his medical alert link was accidentally triggered. Career Tributes were also given during the ceremony to performers Kristen Stewart (presented by Julianne Moore and Pablo Larrain) and Peter Dinklage (presented by Ethan Hawke) as well as director Jane Campion (presented by Mark Ruffalo).

The new Chucky series, on SyFy and USA Network, has been renewed for a second season, per . The show was created by the genius behind the original Child's Play franchise, Don Mancini (a gay horror fan himself), and he made sure to include gay characters this time around. The new Chucky series focuses on 14-year-old gay student Jake Wheeler (played by Zackary Arthur), who finds the supernatural doll at a yard sale. Throughout the season, Jake has grown from a bullied and introverted boy to one who had his first kiss with another boy: his friend Devon.

Caitlyn Jenner again discussed her estrangement from daytime talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, and Jenner said she's still holding a grudge over a tense on-air exchange they had in 2015, Queerty noted. On Big Brother VIP, Jenner recalled the time she went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show shortly after coming out as trans. During the interview, Jenner labeled herself "a traditionalist" while talking about her views on same-sex marriage. "I kind of like tradition, and it's always been a man and a woman, and I'm thinking 'I don't quite get it,'" Jenner said six years ago before adding that she didn't want to "stand in front of anybody's happiness."

Pirelli released the 2022 edition of its famous calendar, Page Six noted. Photographed by singer-turned-shutterbug Bryan Adams and titled "On the Road," the new calendar features some of the music world's top talent, including Cher, Grimes, Jennifer Hudson, Normani, Rita Ora, Iggy Pop, Saweetie, Kali Uchis and St. Vincent. Once synonymous with sexy shots of completely nude models, the Pirelli Calendar adopted a subtler approach starting in the mid-2010s.

After the original 2012 film helped turn Magic Mike into a global business, Channing Tatum, director Steven Soderbergh and writer Reid Carolin are ready to return to the franchise, Deadline noted. Warner Bros. is planning the next installment in the franchise, Magic Mike's Last Dance, with Tatum set to return as Mike Lane, Soderbergh directing and Carolin writing the script to the sequel, which will premiere exclusively on HBO Max. The first two films grossed nearly $300 million worldwide and, in 2017, the franchise spawned the successful stage show Magic Mike Live.

The global platform LiveOne announced that comedian, actor and writer Fortune Feimster will host the LiveOne 2021 Breakout Awards, per a press release. The show will be honoring Britney Spears and the #FreeBritney Movement as the Breakout of the Year award. The Breakout Awards will be taped in Los Angeles at Universal Studios Hollywood in front of a live audience featuring talent, influencers, fans and LiveOne members on Dec. 8,. The LiveOne 2021 Breakout Awards will be exclusively livestreamed on LiveXLive on Dec. 19.

Country-music star Carrie Underwood has added six dates in March and April to her Vegas residency, according to a press release. In addition to shows on Dec. 8, 10 and 11 for her first-ever residency, Reflection, at The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas, she is slated to perform March 23, 23, 26 and 30 as well as April 1-2. She joins Celine Dion, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan as the founding headliners at the Strip's new 3,500-room luxury destination.

And in other country-music news, superstar Reba McEntire announced that Reba's Place—a combination restaurant, bar, live-music venue and retail store—is set to open in in Atoka, Oklahoma, next year, a media release stated. Constructed in a century old Masonic Temple, "Reba's Place" features two stories of dining space that opens up to a central stage which will regularly host live music performances. The aesthetics of the venue are heavily influenced by McEntire's western heritage and include a curated collection of memorabilia from her personal archives. Reba's Place is created in partnership with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Atoka.

Stage and screen icon Kathleen Turner will return to the New York stage in a one-woman show for one performance only—Kathleen Turner: Finding My Voice—on Thursday, Dec. 16, at The Town Hall, a press release announced. Turner developed Finding My Voice in 2017 with director Andy Gale and Mark Janas, and the show has played both nationally and internationally. Tickets can be purchased at .

Todrick Hall latest album, Femuline, has been reimagined and re-released as Femuline Reloaded, per a press release. The collection features six additional tracks, including three remixes and three originals. The album was entirely written by Hall, with production from Grammy-winning Wiidope and Jeeve; guests include Chaka Khan, Nicole Scherzinger, Brandy, Tyra Banks and TS Madison.

Wendy Williams (who has been battling various health issues) appeared to be in good spirits as she exited a Miami wellness center in new footage from The Shade Room, per Page Six. "Wendy is doing fabulous," the Versace robe-clad talk-show host said in the third person as she entered her awaiting SUV; she then promised fans "much more Wendy stuff" before ending the conversation. Guest hosts who have stepped in for Williams include Michael Rapaport, Jerry Springer, Sherri Shepherd and Leah Remini, who is currently sharing hosting duties alongside Michelle Visage; the pair is set to co-host through Friday, Dec. 10.

Trevor Noah will return as master of ceremonies of The 64th Annual Grammy Awards, according to Deadline. The live broadcast from Arena (currently still known as Staples Center) in Los Angeles is set for Monday, Jan. 31, 2022; it will air live on CBS and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Noah hosted this year's ceremony.

While actor Tom Holland himself was skeptical on whether Spider-Man: No Way Home would be his last film as Marvel's wall-crawler, Sony producer Amy Pascal said not only will Holland be back as the superhero from Queens, but another movie trilogy is in the works, noted. Pascal has been involved with the current era of Spider-Man films, from Spider-Man: Homecoming to the Venom movies to the animated Into the Spider-Verse. In a profile on Holland published by GQ this month, the producer said she already spoke with the English actor about "doing, like, 100 more" movies.

Lee Elder, the first Black golfer to play at the Masters, died at the age of 87, according to NPR. Although there were other professional African American golfers who came before him, Elder made history in 1975, breaking the sport's race barriers when he competed at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia after winning the Monsanto Open, his first pro tournament.

Republic Records announced a Dec. 10 release for Don't Look Up (Soundtrack From the Netflix Film), a press release noted. The soundtrack includes the brand-new track "Just Look Up," featuring Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi, who star in the film and perform the song as pop-music power couple Riley Bina and DJ Chello. Academy Award-nominated/Emmy-winning composer Nicholas Britell helped to compose the song, and is behind the tunes on the rest of the soundtrack, including "Second Nature," which Bon Iver perform.

A blockbuster new series appears to be headed for Chicago in the form of Marvel Studios' Ironheart, which reportedly begins filming in April 2022, ScreenMag reported. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is producing the series, which will be presented on Disney+, with an anticipated 2023 release. Feige's team is led by head writer Chinaka Hodge (Snowpiercer) and lead actor Dominique Thorne (Judas and the Black Messiah) in the title role. Feige also revealed that Thorne will make her first appearance as Ironheart in the upcoming highly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sequel.

Kal Penn will produce and star in Stampede Ventures' biopic Superfan, which will tell the story of Nav Bhatia, a decades-long follower of the Toronto Raptors who, last year, became the first fan inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Deadline noted. Penn will play the Toronto man whose loyalty to the Raptors saw him honored with a championship ring, and leading the team's championship parade in 2019.

Lifetime has rounded out casts for both installments of Toni Braxton's Fallen Angels Murder Club (working title, fka Fallen Angels Book Club), and Angie Harmon's Barstow (working title) movies, Deadline noted. Eddie Cibrian has joined the first installment of Braxton's Fallen Angels, while Kelly Hu joins the cast of the second film.

Former Bachelor star Colton Underwood confirmed to Us Weekly he is currently in a relationship with Jordan C. Brown, saying he came along at just the right time to help him ease into his life as an out gay man, noted. "I'm happy, I'm in love and I'm in a good position," Underwood said. "Everything as far as that goes has been pretty smooth." Brown is a well-connected political strategist, having worked with multiple Democratic presidential campaigns, including Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign as well as Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Former Real Housewives of Orange County star Braunwyn Windham-Burke recently strolled down the beaches of Miami with her new girlfriend, Victoria Brito, per Page Six. Windham-Burke said that she and Brito are "having fun" exploring their relationship. Brito, who is based in New York City, is a model, dancer and designer with 1.8 million Instagram followers.

Nicolas Cage has been tapped to play Dracula in Universal Pictures' Renfield, a monster movie centered on Dracula's familiar henchman starring Nicholas Hoult in the title role, according to Deadline. In the original Dracula novel, R.M. Renfield was an inmate at a lunatic asylum who was thought to be suffering from delusions but actually is a servant of Dracula. Plot details of the movie weren't announced, but it's believed to take place during the present day.

Trump supporter/former Hercules star Kevin Sorbo took to Twitter on Thanksgiving weekend to argue that Democrats are subpar presidents and that's why none appear on Mount Rushmore—and the pushback was instant and overflowing, according to Queerty. "Ever wonder why there are no democrats on Mount Rushmore?" Sorbo tweeted. George Washington enacted a vaccine mandate. Jefferson invented progressive taxation. Lincoln crushed the racist secessionist traitors. Roosevelt was a staunch environmentalist. They were all Progressives," noted The USA Singers. "Do you need any other history lessons today, you ignorant bonehead?"

Aaron Carter said his newborn son will remain the priority following his breakup from ex-fiancee Melanie Martin, noted. Earlier in the day, Carter announced his split from Martin on Twitter, after nearly two years together—and one week after the birth of their son, Prince. Carter alluded to "a very big lie" that took place between Martin and Carter's estranged twin sister, Angel, but did not offer specifics; he only noted that he believed Martin had "been lying to me the whole time."

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