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SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, Alan Cumming, Andre Leon Talley, AIDS drama
by Windy City Times staff
2023-02-05

This article shared 1480 times since Sun Feb 5, 2023
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Openly gay stand-up comic and recent Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael is set to star in a comedy documentary series for HBO, according to Entertainment Weekly. The yet-untitled series will center on Carmichael's personal life, following him through encounters with friends, families, and strangers amid his "quest for love, sex, and connection," a logline stated. His last comedy special, Rothaniel, won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing For a Variety Special.

LGBTQ+ actor Alan Cumming recently returned his OBE (Officer of the British Empire) award, according to Out. The distinction recognizes and rewards contributions to the arts and sciences, and Cumming noted on Instagram he was "incredibly grateful to receive it in the 2009 Queen's birthday [honors] list," making the announcement on his 58th birthday. Following Queen Elizabeth's death and subsequent conversations about the monarchy, as well as how the British empire profited at the expense and death of indigenous peoples, Cumming decided to return the award.

On Feb. 15, Christie's in New York will auction items from the personal estate of the late fashion icon Andre Leon Talley, The Guardian reported. Items will include everything from a Chanel navy silk faille opera coat to Birkin bags to 29 Louis Vuitton trunks. The media outlet added, "When Talley died, the gaudy inventory of his possessions and tales of unpaid rent and a painful exile at the hand of Anna Wintour seemed to paint an operatic, bittersweet portrait of an overdressed and overwrought figure. But Talley was a more creative, more interesting, smarter and kinder person than any of that." Proceeds from his estate sale, which are expected to exceed $1 million, will go to two historically Black churches close to Talley's heart: the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York and Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in his hometown of Durham, North Carolina.

Writer/director Rodrigo de Oliveira's LGBTQ+ drama The First Fallen—about the start of the AIDS epidemic in '80s Brazil—will be out this February in theaters and On Demand via Dark Star Pictures, a press release noted. The film is described thusly: "At the turn of 1983 in a small Brazilian town, a group of LGBTQIA+ men and women celebrate the New Year with no idea of the approaching. The biologist Suzano knows something terrible is disrupting his body. Uncertain of his future and desperate at the lack of information, Suzano reaches out to [trans] artist Rose and videomaker Humberto, both equally ill. Together, they'll try to survive the first wave of the AIDS epidemic." The First Fallen will be out in theaters on Feb.10, and DVD and On Demand on Feb. 21.

Justin David Sullivan, who is part of the cast of the Broadway production & Juliet who identifies as non-binary, has disqualified himself from Tony Award eligibility, citing gendered categories, Playbill noted. "I was told that I had to choose [the category in which] I felt comfortable, and in that process, I struggled a lot," Sullivan said to Playbill. "There's nothing more that I want to empower than non-binary people, to show that it's possible to be non-binary on Broadway, play a non-binary character on Broadway and be nominated, and possibly potentially awarded. I felt like I couldn't choose. I didn't feel right being in either category because it didn't resonate with me."

The HBO Original documentary Love to Love You, Donna Summer will debut in May on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max, according to a press release. The film portrait of "The Queen of Disco" will look at the iconic artist as she creates music that takes her from the avant-garde music scene in Germany to the dance clubs in New York. The film will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, taking place Feb. 16-26.

Outfest and American Cinematheque are celebrating Black History Month of films that honor the legacy and work of the late queer writer/activist James Baldwin through Feb. 25, a release noted. The series includes the movie I Am Not Your Negro, the James Baldwin Abroad Short Film Program and the acclaimed film If Beale Street Could Talk. See https://www.americancinematheque.com/series/james-baldwin-on-film-a-tribute/?mc_cid=a5f0ce7b3a&mc_eid=8f41b1bec4.

Theatrical advocacy organization Black Theatre United (BTU) will host a four-part discussion series, "The Business of Show," in honor of Black History Month, according to Playbill. The first entry, set for Feb. 27, will feature the founders of BTU and moderator Angela Robinson. A May 16 session will cover the meaning of EDIAB with moderator Kenji Yoshino, and the Sept. 12 session, "Minding Your Business," will feature moderator Ginger McKnight Shavers. The Feb. 27 free event requires an RSVP at BlackTheatreUnited.com . Additional dates and topics will be announced in the coming weeks; BTU is accepting topic suggestions through its website.

Tony and Grammy winner Leslie Odom Jr. will star in a new Broadway production of the classic Ossie Davis comedy Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch, Deadline noted. Purlie Victorious will be staged by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon, with the production scheduled to begin in late summer 2023 for the 2023-24 Broadway season. The play will mark Odom's return to Broadway after winning the Tony for his celebrated performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton.

CBS ordered pilots for a new version of Matlock starring Kathy Bates and a spinoff of The Good Wife starring Carrie Preston, Variety reported. The original Matlock, starring Andy Griffith, aired on NBC during 1986-92 and on ABC during 1992-95, and led to the spinoff series Jake and the Fatman, which aired for five seasons on CBS. The spinoff from The Good Wife is titled Elsbeth, named after Preston's character, Elsbeth Tascioni, whom she played on both The Good Wife and streaming series The Good Fight.

The NFL and GLAAD are again joining forces to host a "night of Pride" in Phoenix during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVII between Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, Gay City News noted. The Feb. 8 event will feature, among others, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as well as out bisexual former NFL player RK Russell, out gay Hampton University defensive back Byron Jenkins, GLAAD president/ CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, Lance Bass, recording artist Betty Who and RuPaul's Drag Race cast members. The same kind of event was held ahead of last year's Super Bowl in Inglewood, California; attendees included Alyssa Milano, Anthony Bowens, August Getty, Big Freedia and Braunwyn Windham-Burke.

Openly gay figure skater Jason Brown was runner-up at the recent U.S. Figure Skating national championship. Ilia Malinin—who is a decade younger than Brown at 18—won the title, although Malinin was beating himself up afterward after falling short of executing an ambitious four-minute program that included six quadruple jumps and two challenging combinations in the second half of it, NBC Sports reported. "You did a triple lutz-triple axel-triple toe at the end of your program, and I did a knee slide and could barely stand up to do the flip," Brown said to Malinin, "The way you keep pushing the sport is incredible—so don't stop being you." Andrew Torgashev finished third.

The late singer Mary Wilson—who was one of the original/founding members of the Supremes and was its only original member from their start in 1961 until its end in 1977—will have a song released to celebrate her birthday on March 6, per a press release. "Soul Defender," a previously unreleased single written by Billie Ray Martin ("Your Loving Arms"), will premiere on March 3 as a digital release by Sweet Feet via UMe at all digital service providers. This year, The Supremes—still the #1 female recording group of all time—received the Lifetime Achievement Award during this year's 65th Annual Grammy Awards.

Jake Shears (the multidisciplinary musician and frontman of NYC indie glam-pop act Scissor Sisters) is back with a new single, "Too Much Music," a press release noted. It's the first sample of his new forthcoming solo album, Last Man Dancing, which will drop on June 2 on his new label home of Mute. Songs on Last Man Dancing will include "Doses" (with Big Freedia), "Radio Eyes," "Too Much Music" and the title track. The video for "Too Much Music" is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7OFptjex0Y.

LGBTQ+ singer Hayley Kiyoko—celebrating her sophomore album, Panorama, has announced a tour, per a press release. Produced by Live Nation, the Panorama Tour will kick off overseas on April 5 and travels through June 2 with 24 North American stops—including Chicago's House of Blues on May 4. Also, Kiyoko will debut her first novel; a coming-of-age romance based on her hit song and viral video, "Girls Like Girls," is available for pre-order now and arriving on May 30.

In his recently released memoir, Sex, Drugs & Pilot Season: Confessions of a Casting Director, Joel Thurm (who worked on such films as Grease and Rocky Horror Picture Show as well as TV shows like The Love Boat and The Golden Girls) claimed he had sexual encounters with Hollywood icons Rock Hudson and Robert Reed, Page Six noted. Although Thurm said he had performance issues with Hudson because he was intimidated, the casting director said he was more successful with Reed, who was best known for playing Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch.

Although production on the Shailene Woodley-led drama Three Women has been completed, the series will no longer premiere on Showtime, which has also decided not to renew Let the Right One In and American Gigolo (which both only ran for one season each), according to Variety. The three series are the first known casualties as Paramount moves the Showtime brand moves under the purview of Paramount+ and re-juggles its content. American Gigolo was based on Paul Schrader's 1980 film and starred Jon Bernthal, Gretchen Mol, Leland Orser and Rosie O'Donnell; based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's 2004 novel, Let the Right One In starred Demian Bichir, Anika Noni Rose, Grace Gummer, Madison Taylor Baez, Ian Foreman, Nick Stahl, Jacob Buster and Kevin Carroll.

RuPaul's Drag Race alum Jan Sport said TikTok temporarily suspended her account after she posted video of herself dressed as Kitara Ravache, the drag persona of embattled gay Republican U.S. Rep. George Santos, according to Queerty. Sport smiled in front of a screenshot of a Jan. 20 tweet that featured side-by-side images of Sport and Santos in drag. Its caption read, "Jan Sport vs Jan 6th [the date of the U.S. Capitol insurrection]." Sport told Insider that Tikok locked her account and put it under review for "adult activity" even though she hadn't posted anything sexual.

Portia de Rossi and wife Ellen DeGeneres, who have been married for 14 years, renewed their vows at de Rossi's recent birthday party, Out noted. "I was thinking about my life, my accomplishments, as you do when you have a big birthday," de Rossi said. "And it all just kept leading back to you. And I thought what greater accomplishment could I ever, ever, ever have in my life than being loved by someone who is so magnificent, by someone as incredible as you?" According to Us Magazine (citing TMZ), Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were among the guests.

Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson admitted to the New Yorker she was "utterly blind" to her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh's on-set relationships with other actresses and was left devastated when she found out, CNN noted. The Love Actually star married Branagh in 1989 after they met on the set of the 1987 drama series Fortunes of War. When the couple's marriage ended in 1995, it emerged that Branagh had been seeing fellow actress Helena Bonham Carter, who played his love interest in the 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which he also directed.

Information continues to be revealed about the axed Batgirl movie—which was cut, in part, so that Warner Bros.-Discovery could take a tax write-off on it, Variety noted. Leslie Grace, who played the hero, recently told Collider that she filmed numerous action scenes opposite Brendan Fraser, who was the villainous Firefly. Grace said, "Brendan [Fraser], our villain, our Firefly, he was just so outstanding. … I felt so blessed to have him as my sparring partner." Warner Bros. announced Aug. 2, 2022 that it would not release the $90 million Batgirl in theaters or on its HBO Max streamer, despite the movie being fully shot and in post-production.

Lisa Loring—who played Wednesday Addams on the classic '60s TV adaptation of The Addams Family—has died at 64, The Hollywood Reporter noted. She reportedly died of complications from a stroke caused by high blood pressure. Loring was recently praised as an inspiration for Jenna Ortega's interpretation on the hit Netflix series Wednesday.

Cindy Williams, who played Shirley Feeney on the popular TV sitcom Happy Days and spinoff Laverne & Shirley, has died at 75, Variety noted. Williams' children, Zak and Emily Hudson, told the Associated Press through family spokesperson Liza Cranis that Williams died in Los Angeles on Jan. 25 after a brief illness. Penny Marshall, the director/actress who played Laverne on the spinoff, passed away in 2018—also at age 75.

LGBTQ+ sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson claimed she was removed from an American Airlines plane after she argued with a flight attendant, according to NBC News. On Instagram, she said that a male flight attendant asked her to get off a phone call, which she did before telling him that she didn't like his tone. In a statement, an American Airlines spokesperson said, "We [re-accommodated] the customer on a later flight and a member of our team has reached out to learn more."

Embattled actor Armie Hammer told Airmail he was sexually abused as a child by a youth pastor at his family church, according to Deadline. The talk was Hammer's first interview since he was accused of extreme sexual violence in a series of allegations made in 2021. The Call Me By Your Name actor also said that he contemplated taking his own life when the allegations against him were first made, swimming out to sea at his home in the Cayman Islands, before thinking of his children and turning back.

The gift bags for this year's Grammys were worth approximately $60,000 each, Page Six noted. One of the most luxe items from this year's swag was a gift card from Art Lipo plastic surgery—and each celebrity was gifted with up to $10,000 worth of cosmetic and rejuvenation procedures, along with Miage skin-care products, a robotic cleaner and TurboFlex sunglasses, among other items.

James Gunn and Peter Safran unveiled their new slate of DC movies and TV shows, and one long-gestating project—prolific creator Greg Berlanti's Green Lantern—wasn't on it, Out noted. Instead, the slate featured a different Green Lantern project: Lanterns, reportedly based on True Detective. Berlanti was behind such DC TV shows as Supergirl, The Flash, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow, Titans, Doom Patrol and Stargirl.

Dr. Phil McGraw is ending his syndicated daytime show, Dr. Phil, after this season, Deadline noted. Dr. Phil received a five-season renewal in 2018 as part of a mega-deal extension with CBS Media Ventures, taking it through its current season. It's been a transformational year in the daytime talk-show landscape, with stalwarts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wendy Williams Show, Maury, Dr. Oz and The Real all ending within the past 12 months.


This article shared 1480 times since Sun Feb 5, 2023
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