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SHOWBIZ 'Hedwig,' Oscars, Demi Lovato, GLAAD, Stevie Nicks
by Windy City Times staff
2021-07-04

This article shared 766 times since Sun Jul 4, 2021
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Following 2019's sold-out, three-night engagement at The Town Hall in New York City (and several postponements in 2020), Hedwig and the Angry Inch co-creators John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask are returning with a rock spectacle Return to the Origin of Love: The Songs and Stories of Hedwig, premiering Dec. 29-31, 2021 at The Town Hall, a press release noted. The show will bring co-star Amber Martin; Hedwig's Broadway band, Tits of Clay; special guests; new songs; and revamped projections from designers Cho Su-Hyun and Michael Zumbrun. Tickets go on sale July 13 at 12 p.m. ET through Ticketmaster or the Town Hall box office.

The most recent Oscar winner—Yuh-Jung Youn, who took Supporting Actress in April for Minari—along with some of her recent fellow acting nominees (including Maria Bakalova, Andra Day, Vanessa Kirby, Leslie Odom Jr., Paul Raci and Steven Yeun) are among the new class of 395 artists and executives invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Deadline reported. Other recent winners and nominees—including both of the latest screenwriting victors, Emerald Fennell and Florian Zeller; and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter H.E.R.—are also on the list from the 17 branches of the Academy.

Roku, Inc. announced The Demi Lovato Show will premiere on The Roku Channel on July 30, according to a press release. Each 10-minute episode will feature a special guest and will cover topics including activism, feminism, gender identity, sex and body positivity, mental health, and even interplanetary visitors; episode guests will be announced at a later date. The new show will be the first of more than a dozen Roku Originals programs to premiere for the first time anywhere on The Roku Channel.

GLAAD, in partnership with UMG, released a video from LGBTQ musicians, celebrities, activists, and allies on the importance of respecting pronouns not just during Pride month, but all year long. The video features Demi Lovato, Cynthia Erivo, Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds, VINCINT, FLETCHER, Wrabel, Busy Phillips, Dashaun Wesley, GLAAD's Anthony Allen Ramos and Serena Sonoma, and many more. The video can be seen at www.instagram.com/p/CQvyu8AgIZX/ and https://twitter.com/glaad/status/1410230021499858950.

The 2021 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will include acts such as Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Lizzo, Demi Lovato, The Black Crowes, H.E.R., Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, the Beach Boys, Ludacris and Irma Thomas, WKRG.com noted. The event will be held Oct. 8-10 and 15-17 at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. See www.nojazzfest.com .

Sturgill Simpson, Amythyst Kiah, Margo Price, and Shovels & Rope will be joining Tedeschi Trucks Band, Melissa Etheridge, Mavis Staples, LeAnn Rimes and many more at the Wilkesboro, North Carolina music festival MerleFest on Sept. 16-19, according to clture.org . Featuring 13 stages, the multi-day family-friendly festival draws thousands across the region and includes local vendors, nature walks, kids showcases, music camps and more. See MerleFest.org .

Gabrielle Carteris (who played Andrea in the original Beverly Hills, 90210) is not seeking re-election as president of SAG-AFTRA, and has thrown her support behind Fran Drescher to succeed her in the union's election later this summer, Deadline reported. The Nanny star also has the support of Unite for Strength, the union's ruling party that Carteris has led ever since becoming president in 2016. Secretary-Treasurer Camryn Manheim (from the TV series The Practice), who was Carteris' running mate in 2019, is also not seeking re-election. Anthony Rapp, who stars on Star Trek: Discovery, is running for that post as Drescher's running mate, and also has the support of Unite for Strength.

Brazilian director Joao Dall'Stella debuted his latest short film, Steam, free for audiences on YouTube, a press release. (The LGBTQ film was initially released during Pride Month.) Over 15 minutes, Dall'Stella follows an attractive young couple who decide to spice things up by visiting a bathhouse—only to find a murderous rampage behind the steam instead. The film is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODPOXQOWDYE.

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) recently created an LGBTQ+ committee, TheDiasporaTimes.com noted. Diaspora obtained a letter to 120 members of the DGA announcing the formation of the committee. The letter explained how Kill Your Darlings director John Krokidas presented the case to the national board as he recounted his own personal encounters with homophobia on set.

After his provocative performance at the BET Awards, Lil Nas X is taking inspiration from superheroes for his upcoming summer album, according to The New York Post. The 22-year-old Grammy-winning musician (real name: Montero Lamar Hill) let fans know that his album, also called Montero, would be "coming soon." The announcement came with a short video teaser using Marvel's emblematic intro sequence, featuring shots of himself from various music videos in place of the usual comic-book drawings, including a shot where he spins down a pole in superhero-like fashion. Lil Nas X made history in 2019 as the first LGBT black musician to win an award from the Country Music Association for his smash hit single, "Old Town Road."

Queen Latifah was emotional during the BET Awards, during which she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her 35-year career, The Hollywood Reporter noted. MC Lyte, Megan Thee Stallion, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mary J. Blige, Lil' Kim and more paid tribute to Latifah, who gave a shout-out to "Eboni, my love, Rebel, my love"—a reference to her rumored longtime partner, Eboni Nichols, and son—neither of whom she has publicly confirmed a relationship with or spoken about. She ended her speech with "Happy Pride!"

HBO's Misha Green's Lovecraft Country—one of the most celebrated and inventive new series of 2020—will not be getting a second season, Deadline noted. With its unique blend of horror, fictional period drama, real historical figures, fantasy, sci-fi and social commentary, the empowering Lovecraft Country took pop culture by storm last August and helped advance the social conversation ignited by the death of George Floyd. The 10-episode first season followed Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip from Chicago across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father, Montrose (Michael Kenneth Williams).

Showtime debuted the official season-two trailer for The L Word: Generation Q, a press release noted. Before making its on-air debut on Sunday, Aug. 8, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, each new episode of the second season will be available on Fridays to stream via on-demand. The first five episodes of season two will air Sunday nights, with the final five episodes of the season airing Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT up until its Oct. 11 season finale. The trailer is at https://youtu.be/LAL3MZRqAzs.

Actor Jack Dylan Glazer (Shazam!; Luca; It) has come out as bisexual, out.com noted. When asked about his sexual orientation on Instagram Live, Grazer replied with a smile, "I'm bi," before breaking out a famous quote from his Luca character: "Silenzio Bruno!" Many of the 17-year-old's 4.6 million-plus followers on Instagram were also quick to point out that he updated his pronouns on his bio, listing he/they as his pronouns.

Timothy Hughes, star of Broadway's Tony-winning hit Hadestown, delighted audiences July 2 at Speakeasy-Times Square with a revealing performance of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "Getting to Know You," a press release noted. Hughes performed the immersive show at the Broadway eatery Bond 45 in the Hotel Edison (221 W. 46th St.) all weekend. Combining the worlds of cirque, burlesque, illusionists and musical theater, Speakeasy will play a residency through Saturday, July 31.

Focus Features is shifting Downton Abbey 2 from Dec. 22 to Friday, March 18, 2022, Deadline noted. Universal Pictures International will release internationally on the same date. The film's original principal cast have returned for the second iteration, which wraps production in August. New additions are Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West.

Chandler Kinney and Maia Reficco are set as the leads in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin—a darker, present-day iteration of the popular 2010-17 series, according to Deadline. The summary is as follows: Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, disparate teen girls—a brand-new set of Little Liars—find themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago … as well as their own.

Meghan McCain is leaving The View, USA Today noted. The TV personality revealed July 1 that she would be leaving the show after almost four years. The 36-year-old daughter of the late Arizona senator John McCain and Cindy McCain, joined the show as a conservative voice in 2017. Meghan added she would continue to co-host until the end of July, stating that the coronavirus pandemic "dramatically" changed the way she wants to live her life, which is one of the reasons she is leaving. She joins a list of former Fox News hosts who have left the ABC show including her predecessor Jedediah Bila, Abby Huntsman and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Samuel L. Jackson is among the actors set to receive honorary Oscars at the Academy's Governors Awards next year, NME.com noted. Alongside Jackson, Elaine May and Liv Ullmann will also be presented with awards, while the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will go to Danny Glover. The 12th Governors Awards, the first since the 2020 edition was cancelled due to COVID-19, will take place Jan. 15, 2022.

Miley Cyrus said she was "devastated" to learn that one of her Brazilian fans was murdered in an alleged homophobic hate crime, according to out.com . Cyrus found out about the murder when a fan shared a post written by the boyfriend of Gabriel, the man murdered in the attack, on Twitter, and tagged the artist in it. Cyrus later tweeted her sadness; the post is being shared with the hashtag #JUSTICAPORGABRIEL, or "Justice for Gabriel." Brazilian news source Globo1 reported that 22-year-old Gabriel Carvalho Garcia was shot three times, and that his family thinks homophobia was the killer's motivation.

Christina Aguilera is among the celebrities showing their support for Britney Spears amid her bid to end her conservatorship, EW.com noted. "These past few days I've been thinking about Britney and everything she is going through," Aguilera tweeted, along with a photo of her and Spears together as kids. "It is unacceptable that any woman, or human, wanting to be in control of their own destiny might not be allowed to live life as they wish." Spears, who has been living under a legal conservatorship since 2008, delivered testimony at the latest hearing in her ongoing case, detailing a list of abuses she has allegedly suffered under the guardianship while pleading with the judge for the arrangement to be terminated.

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi, 39, became the first WNBA player to reach 9,000 points when she hit a layup against the Los Angeles Sparks, ESPN.com noted. Taurasi, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, was already alone on top of the charts. The next-closest player on the league's all-time scoring list is Tina Thompson, with 7,488 points.

Loki showrunner Kate Herron, who is bisexual herself, said there are no plans to explore the title character's bisexuality, according to out.com . "You're a prince," another character asks Loki at one point during a recent episode. "Must have been would-be-princesses. Or perhaps another prince?" Loki responds with a smile, "a bit of both. I suspect the same as you." When asked by Entertainment Tonight about further exploration of Loki's bisexuality, Herron said, "I would say in our story, this is how we acknowledge it. But I hope that that paves the way for deeper exploration."

Producer/songwriter Jonas Blue and rising Swedish pop star LEON are back with a sun-soaked music video for their house track "Hear Me Say," according to a press release. "Hear Me Say"—recently featured in the opening episode of the brand-new season of the British TV show Love Island—amassed more than 18 million global streams in just one month. The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsaDUsomFFI.

Singer Katy Perry, in collaboration with Theta Network, announced the launch of Katy Perry NFTs for her fans worldwide, a press release noted. The first digital collectibles of the collaboration will feature content from Katy's upcoming "Play" residency at the new Resorts World Las Vegas hotel, beginning in December. Perry will also acquire a minority interest in Theta Labs alongside Perry's talent agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of Theta's latest enterprise validators.

The ever-expanding Critics Choice Association (CCA) will introduce a major new awards event in 2022—The World Movie Awards—designed to honor the finest in non-English language films, Deadline noted. With the current well-publicized troubles of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, including the cancellation by NBC of the 2022 Golden Globes, plus the sheer globalization of the motion picture industry in general, the CCA has decided to strike while the iron is hot.

Timothy Olyphant will join writer/director Gareth Evans and actor Tom Hardy in the upcoming thriller Havoc, Movieweb noted. Evans is probably best-known for The Raid and The Raid 2, along with Netflix's The Apostle. The story is set after a drug deal gone wrong, when a bruised detective (played by Hardy) must fight his way through a criminal underworld to rescue a politician's estranged son, while unraveling a deep web of corruption and conspiracy that ensnares his entire city.

A federal judge pushed 19 Kids and Counting's Josh Duggar's criminal trial to Nov. 30, according to federal court records, people.com noted. It was originally set to begin July 6. The decision comes a few weeks after Duggar's defense team, led by attorney Justin Gelfand, filed a motion in the Western District of Arkansas Court to delay the trial until February 2022. In April, Duggar pled not guilty to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography; he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines on each of the two counts, if he is convicted.

Actor Kyle Massey, 29—who co-starred on That's So Raven and other Disney Channel shows—is accused of sending pornographic material to a 13-year-old girl, according to NBC News. King County (Washington) prosecutors allege the crime happened between December 2018 and January 2019, and happened on Snapchat.

TV actor Allison Mack—who played a key role in the scandal-ridden, cult-like group NXIVM—was sentenced to three years in prison on charges she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for the group's spiritual leader, WBAY.com reported. Mack had previously pleaded guilty to the charges and was expected to seek credit for cooperating against NXIVM leader Keith Raniere and taking responsibility for helping him create a secret society of brainwashed women who were branded with his initials. Under advisory sentencing guidelines, Mack would face between 14 and 17 1/2 years behind bars; however, her defense team argued in court papers for probation or a sentence to home confinement.

The action movie F9—the most recent in the Fast and the Furious franchise—opened to a mighty $70 million from 4,179 North American venues, Variety noted. That's by far the biggest start for a movie at the U.S. box office, not just since the onset of COVID-19, but since 2019's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Previously, Paramount's A Quiet Place Part II held the pandemic-era opening weekend record with $48.3 million in inaugural ticket sales.

Maximum Effort Marketing launched in 2018, the agency has helped fuel the growth of co-founder Ryan Reynolds' investments—such as Aviation Gin, which he sold to Diageo in 2020 for more than $600 million. Now, according to AdWeek, the agency itself became an acquisition target, with performance TV platform MNTN adding Maximum Effort Marketing as its creative wing. Reynolds will become MNTN's chief creative officer, while co-founder George Dewey retains his role as president of Maximum Effort Marketing.

Michael Strahan's ex-wife was arrested for allegedly harassing her former girlfriend in Manhattan, Page Six noted. Jean Strahan allegedly appeared at the Upper West Side home of Marianne Ayer—even though Ayer has an order of protection requiring Jean to stay away. Jean Strahan is the former football star's second wife; they divorced in 2006 and recently settled claims Michael had made alleging that Jean had abused their 16-year-old twin daughters.


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