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SHOWBIZ Jinkx Monsoon, Xavier Dolan, 'Frida,' Lena Waithe, out singer
by Andrew Davis
2024-03-08

This article shared 13238 times since Fri Mar 8, 2024
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Two-time RuPaul's Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon is headed back to the New York stage, joining off-Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey beginning April 2, according to Playbill. The casting makes Monsoon the first drag queen to play the role in a major production of the Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical. Monsoon will join the cast alongside Corbin Bleu, who is returning to the company as Seymour after starring in the production opposite Constance Wu last year. Also, Monsoon made her Broadway debut in Chicago in 2023 and will rejoin the revival in June.

Openly gay Canadian actor/director Xavier Dolan has been named president of the Un Certain Regard Jury, celebrating emerging talent, for the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival taking place in May, per Deadline. Dolan said, in part, "I see, in this responsibility I'm assigned, the opportunity to focus with the members of the Un Certain Regard Jury on an essential aspect of the art of film: stories told truthfully." A self-taught filmmaker, Dolan made his feature directorial debut at 19 with I Killed My Mother, an adaptation of his own short story, which was chosen to represent Canada at the Academy Awards. He's also helmed films such as Heartbeats, Mommy and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, among others.

The documentary Frida, about LGBTQ+ artist Frida Kahlo, will debut on Prime Video on March 14, per a press release. Covering more than 40 years of her life. Frida (the feature-film directorial debut of editor Carla Gutierrez) "is told through her own words for the very first time, drawn from her famed illustrated diary, revealing letters, essays, and candid print interviews—and brought vividly to life by lyrical animation inspired by her unforgettable artwork," per the release.

Black Women Film Network (BWFN) announced its 2024 class of honorees to be celebrated during the awards luncheon at its ninth annual BWFN Summit on March 23 at Atlanta's Loudermilk Conference Center, per a press conference. Queer writer/actor/producer Lena Waithe is one of the honorees, along with producer Mona Scott-Young, actress Gail Bean, creator/showrunner/EP Raamai Mohamed and senior executive Amber Rasberry. Also, during the 2024 BWFN Summit Awards Luncheon, where the class of 2024 will be celebrated, BWFN will announce the 2024 BWFN Scholarship recipients who will receive as much as $1,000 each to support and encourage their film and TV careers.

LGBTQ+ singer Robert Bannon—who's been on shows such as SNL and The Real Housewives of New Jersey—will return to NYC club 54 Below on Friday, June 14 to celebrate PRIDE for the second year in a row with Robert Bannon's Pride Playlist, per a press release. He will share his personal journey, set to music that will include his Pride anthem "I Think He Knew." Interested persons can visit 54below.org/events/robert-bannon-proud-2/ for tickets.

Kathy Griffin discussed the darkest chapter of her life, which included a suicide attempt in 2020, per People Magazine. The actress/comedian—who announced her lung cancer diagnosis on social media recently—talked about the news in an interview that aired on ABC News' Nightline. She also delved into her mental health journey, her addiction to pills, a suicide attempt, her newfound sobriety and more. "I started thinking about suicide more and more as I get into the pill addiction," Griffin said. "And it became almost an obsessive thought. I started really convincing myself it was a good decision." She underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. "She is now out of surgery and everything went well, per her doctor," her rep told People.

The cast of Modern Family recently reunited at the SAG Awards to present the Ensemble in a Comedy Series category, which was won by The Bear—but it served as "proof of life" regarding one cast member, Deadline noted. Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson were there—and Ferguson, who played gay son Mitchell Pritchett on the sitcom, said during The Tonight Show that he talked Burrell into attending the ceremony to ward off rumors among fans who thought he'd died. Ferguson said, in part, "The last time we had a reunion, Ty Burrell wasn't able to come, and so we posed with a photo of Ty… and then the internet thought he was dead."

GLAAD announced that LGBTQ+ allies Kate Hudson and Chloe (formerly Chloe Bailey) will perform at the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, per a press release. As previously announced, Oprah Winfrey will receive the Vanguard Award for her decades-long commitment to allyship and Emmy-winning actress and producer Niecy Nash-Betts will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Special guests are slated to include Billie Joe Armstrong, Billy Harris, Chrishell Stause & G Flip, Alexandra Shipp, Hannah Waddingham, Da Brat & Judy, Daniel Franzese, Sydney Sweeney, Jonathan Bailey, ALOK and many others; Wayne Brady is scheduled to host the event.

Fox has picked up The Real Full Monty—a two-hour special inspired by the 1997 film and based on the popular British unscripted format—in which celebrities strip to raise money for cancer charities, Deadline noted. In the Fox special, slated to air later this year, a group of male celebrities will bare all to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer testing and research. The Fox special will follow male celebrities as they train and rehearse for a big strip-tease dance in front of a live audience; along the way, the men will push their limits of comfortability, modesty, and brotherhood while also sharing personal stories of how cancer has impacted their lives.

STARZ announced that 10 new cast members have joined the Samantha Morton-led series The Serpent Queen for its second season, which will air in 2024, per a press release. The newcomers are headlined by Oscar nominee Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting), The Serpent Queen tells the story of Catherine de Medici (Morton) who, against all odds, became one of the most powerful and longest serving rulers in French history.

Sex and the City will start streaming on Netflix on April 1, per Deadline. The series is one of HBO's most important library titles and has a modern spinoff series in And Just Like That…, which remains exclusive to Max. Sex and the City aired on HBO during 1998-2004, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall as four friends navigating love and life in New York City. The series gave rise to two movies and Davis, Parker, and Nixon reunited for And Just Like That…

Eggs Over Easy—a documentary starring Keshia Knight Pulliam, Golden Globe Award winner Andra Day, and actress Kellee' Stewart that originally aired on OWN:The Oprah Winfrey Network—is currently showing on all Delta Airlines flights in support of Women's History Month, per a press release. The film highlights the stories of women who have experienced the spectrum of reproductive health issues, ranging from miscarriages and IVF to egg freezing, surrogacy and adoption. The film also acknowledges women who are child-free by choice and/or circumstance. For more information on the film, visit eggsovereasyfilm.com .

Iris Apfel—a fashion icon known for her vast, colorful, eclectic wardrobe who was the subject of Albert Maysles' 2014 documentary Iris—died at age 102 at her home in Palm Beach, Florida, Variety noted. Born in Queens, New York, Apfel worked for Women's Wear Daily and became an interior designer starting in the 1950s, then ran the textile company Old World Weavers with her husband Carl, who died in 2015. She amassed a huge collection of clothing and accessories and, in 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of her wardrobe called "Rara Avis: Selections From the Iris Apfel Collection."

UK singer, actor and LGBTQ+-rights activist Olly Alexander launched the new single "Dizzy", now available on Interscope Records, alongside a video directed by Colin Solal Cardo, a press release announced. According to the release, "Written by Olly and seminal electronic producer Danny L Harle, "Dizzy" is that intoxicating rush you feel with someone new; its heightened-emotions and sense of pop drama as at home on the dancefloor as it is the Eurovision world-stage." Alexander has scored two #1 UK albums and 10 UK Top 40 singles, and he was recently awarded the BRIT Billion Award (with 6.5 billion streams globally).

Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal will return to Broadway in a revival of Shakespeare's tragedy Othello that is slated to open in spring 2025, per Variety. Kenny Leon—who won a Tony for directing the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Washington—will direct Othello. Washington will play the title character and Gyllenhaal will portray the antagonist Iago, who tries to convince Othello that his wife has been unfaithful. The role of Othello's wife, Desdemona, has not yet been cast.

Rapper Meek Mill responded to comedian Andrew Schulz teling a gay joke about him, per XXL. Talking about sexuality-related rumors about Mill, Schulz recently said at a Philadelphia show, "If someone accuses you of being gay, you don't go on Twitter and go, 'I love p***y so much, it's so juicy, it's wet, it's may favorite thing to put my d**k in.'" Mill responded on social media, "The first time I laughed at being gay," he posted along with several crying laughing emojis. "But don't wit me in real life I may swing lol." Mill has faced speculation he had sexual relations with Diddy following a lawsuit filed in February by producer Rodney "Lil Rod" Jones, who claims the Bad Boy mogul told him he had sex with a rapper whose name is redacted in the court filing.

Oppenheimer took the marquee Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) honor and The Holdovers landed the top Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy) award at the 74th ACE Eddie Awards hosted by Nina West, per Deadline. Also winning in the film categories were Spider-Man: Across The Spiderverse and Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie. In the area of TV, FX's The Bear and CBS' How I Met Your Father won on the comedy side and HBO's The Last of Us prevailed on the drama side. Blue Eye Samurai won for Best Edited Animated Series and Couples Therapy took the prize for Best Edited Non-Scripted Series. Netflix's Beef won for Best Edited Limited Series and Reality took the non-theatrical documentary honor while editors behind Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour took the award for Best Edited VarietyTalk/Sketch or Special.

On March 3 against The Ohio State University, University of Iowa women's basketball player Caitlin Clark officially passed LSU alum Pete Maravich to become the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer in women's and men's basketball, Yahoo! News noted. Iowa won the game 93-83 to secure the number-two seed in the upcoming Big Ten tournament with a 15-3 conference record; Ohio State remained the top seed after falling to 16-2. Clark averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game to stay on pace for the record largely viewed as untouchable over the past 54 years. Maravich's three-year career ended in 1970; Clark is forgoing her final year of eligibility to enter the WNBA draft.

Mayim Bialik and openly gay actor Jim Parsons will reprise their roles as, respectively, Amy Farrah Fowler and Sheldon Cooper in the series finale of the show Young Sheldon, per Deadline. The episode will air Thursday, May 16, on CBS and Streaming on Paramount+. This will be the first time their characters reunite in person following The Big Bang Theory finale that aired in May 2019.

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WeightWatchers after almost 10 years, following the entertainment mogul's revelation that she is using a weight-loss drug, per Variety. Winfrey informed the company this week that she decided to not stand for re-election at the annual meeting of shareholders to be held in May. "I look forward to continuing to advise and collaborate with WeightWatchers and CEO Sima Sistani in elevating the conversation around recognizing obesity as a chronic condition, working to reduce stigma, and advocating for health equity," Winfrey said in a statement.

In celebration of the Oscars, Mr. Man presented the 10th Annual Manatomy Awards—the only award to recognize the past year's naked male achievements in film and TV, per a press release. Saltburn star Barry Keoghan won "Best Full Frontal" and out actor Jonathan Bailey received two awards for his revealing scenes in the limited series Fellow Travelers while Elite's Andre Lamoglia and Fernando Lindez won for "Best Gay Scene." "Best Picture" was awarded to the gay erotic drama Passages, starring Ben Whishaw and Franz Rogowski; and Jake Gyllenhaal won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his numerous nude roles over the past two decades, following Antonio Banderas. The full list of winners is at https://www.mrman.com/manatomy-awards-2024.

British singer Liam Payne announced his return with the release of his single "Teardrops," via Republic Records, per a press release. "Teardrops," referencing the pop of the late 90s and early '00s, is about the first heartbreak within a relationship; the song was written by Jamie Scott and JC Chasez (*NSYNC). Payne has sold more than 23 million singles and over three million albums as a solo artist since One Direction.

Actor/model Sam Asghari said he holds no ill will toward Britney Spears following their divorce last year, Business Insider noted, citing People. "It was a blessing to be able to share life with someone for a long time. And people grow apart and people move on," Asghari said. He was married to Spears for 14 months before "irreconcilable differences" led to the divorce in August 2023.

With support from one of Donald Trump's closest aides, Stephen Miller, a SEAL Team staffer has filed a discrimination lawsuit against CBS and Paramount Global—claiming he was denied a writing position on the show because he's a straight white guy, Deadline noted. 'Defendants failed to hire or promote Mr. Beneker due to his race, sex, and heterosexuality," the complaint from longtime SEAL Team script coordinator/freelance writer Brian Beneker reads. Beneker says in the complaint seeking a jury trial that he has suffered by not being part of "the favored hiring groups; that is, they were nonwhite, LGBTQ, or female," and the "illegal policy" of increasingly attacked diversity, equity and inclusion measures. Beneker is being backed by Miller's MAGA Legal Foundation.


This article shared 13238 times since Fri Mar 8, 2024
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