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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SHOWBIZ Kim Petras, LGBTQ+ movies, TIFF, canceled shows, yachts
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by Andrew Davis

This article shared 1447 times since Fri Sep 15, 2023
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Ahead of her Feed the Beast world tour, Grammy-winning international trans pop singer/songwriter Kim Petras has shared reimagined, symphonic, seven-piece string-ensemble performances of fan favorites from her debut album Feed The Beast—out now via Republic Records/Amigo Records, per a press release. The North American leg of Petras' upcoming tour, produced by Live Nation, will kick off Sept. 27 in Austin, Texas, bringing her live shows to cities including Miami, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Houston and San Diego. Petras is also slated to perform at festivals around the world this year, such as Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas on Sept. 24 and Corona Capital in Mexico City on Nov. 18.

Breaking Glass Pictures announced the Oct. 10 release of the LGBTQ+ thriller Candela, per a press release. The film is described as "a captivating Caribbean thriller that takes audiences on a mesmerizing journey through the lives of three strangers whose fates become entwined amidst the looming threat of an approaching hurricane." Part of the trio is Candela, a drag queen who performs at a small cabaret. The movie has earned 18 official selections and 10 awards, including the Jury Prize in Biarritz and three Adopresci Awards. The trailer is at

The LGBTQ+ film short An Avocado Pit has qualified to be considered for a 2024 Academy Award, per a press release. Written and directed by trans activist Ary Zara, the movie "follows the meeting of trans woman Larissa and cis man Claudio with wit and sensitivity. We follow these two worlds colliding in a heartwarming story free from violence but rather filled with light and hope," the release stated. An Avocado Pit—which stars Portuguese actor Ivo Canelas and trans actress Gaya de Medeiros—has already won the Oscar-qualifying awards at Outfest and the Guadalajara International Film Festival (2023), and the Grand Jury Special Mention for Best Lead Acting at the AFI Festival (2022), among other honors.

Out Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and LGBTQ+ U.S. actor Colman Domingo were among those honored at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), per The Hollywood Reporter. Almodovar received the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media, and was at the fest with Strange Way of Life—the gay narrative short he directed that stars Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke. Domingo—the star of fest films Rustin (for which he has garnered best actor Oscar buzz) and Sing Sing—received a Tribute Performer Award from Clement Virgo, who directed him in the upcoming Netflix limited series The Madness.

Also at TIFF, a bomb threat delayed the world premiere of the Lil Nas X documentary Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero, The Advocate noted, citing Variety. As Lil Nas X arrived, he was held in place for 20 minutes while officials informed the film's team of the threat. A source claimed the threat targeted the rapper for being a Black queer artist; however, TIFF officials told Variety and other outlets on record that the threat wasn't directed at the artist.

Additionally at TIFF, Elliot Page returned to the festival for his latest film, Close to You—his first leading-man role since coming out as transgender in 2020, Yahoo! noted. The movie's director, Dominic Savage, confirmed that the movie is very much rooted in Page's own journey. After the screening, the actor took the stage and called the film, "one of the most incredible experiences of my career." (As an independent production, Close to You qualified for an interim agreement with the striking SAG-AFTRA, which allowed Page to attend the festival.)

Out published a list of what it stated are 28 LGBTQ+-inclusive shows that have been cancelled this year. A few include The L Word: Generation Q, Snowpiercer, Uncoupled (the Neil Patrick Harris project Netflix cancelled but Showtime has picked up), One of Us Is Lying, Doom Patrol, Soulmates and A League of Their Own. The full list is at

Research conducted by Yacht Charter experts Ritzy Charters revealed the owners of the most expensive celebrity yachts—with gay billionaire David Geffen topping the list, per a press release. Geffen took first place with his $590-million, 82-room superyacht, The Rising Sun; Larry Ellison owned the boat before Geffen purchased it in 2010. Yachts owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos; Belgian fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and husband Barry Diller; Laurene Powell, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs; and music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs also made the list.

Charles Busch's autobiography, Leading Lady: A Memoir of a Most Unusual Boy, is now out, The New York Times noted. The work from Busch—whom the Times called a "celebrated male actress [and] Tony-nominated playwright," and who calls himself "the godmother of drag"—was 14 years in the making. According to the book's description on Amazon, among other things, "Busch shares his colorful and sometimes outlandish interactions with film and theatrical luminaries including the hilarious comedian Joan Rivers, Angela Lansbury, Rosie O'Donnell, Claudette Colbert, Valerie Harper, Kim Novak and many others."

The musical adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada will open in London's West End in October 2024, per Playbill. The musical is set to play in the Dominion Theatre with a score by Elton John, lyrics by Shaina Taub, a book by Kate Wetherhead, and direction and choreography by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell. The Devil Wears Prada had its world premiere at Chicago's Nederlander Theatre during summer 2022.

The late gay voice actor Kevin Conroy—who thrilled millions of fans as the definitive voice of Batman—is honored in a 4K featurette of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Collider noted. Warner Bros. Entertainment has released "Kevin Conroy: I Am the Knight." The featurette features interviews with Batman: The Animated Series developers Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, writer Paul Dini and voice/casting director Andrea Romano. Although Batman: The Animated Series ended in 1995, Conroy continued to appear as Batman in the DC Animated Universe; he died in 2022 at age 66.

Laurie Anderson and out actor Harvey Fierstein will be celebrated at La MaMa ETC's 62nd season Gala on Oct. 26 at NYC's Ellen Stewart Theatre, per Broadway World. Anderson will be honored for her artistic explorations and pioneering use of digital technologies; Fierstein will be honored for his long-standing support of La MaMa and the LGBTQ+ community.

FIBA recently introduced retired WNBA great Sue Bird—who's engaged to retiring soccer icon Megan Rapinoe—as the global ambassador for the 2026 Women's Basketball World Cup that will be played in Berlin, ESPN noted. Bird takes the role from Pau Gasol, a Spanish retired NBA player who was ambassador for the 2022 women's tournament in Sydney.

Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts and longtime love Amber Laign got married in Farmington, Connecticut, Extra reported. The newlyweds announced the development by posting an image to their dog Lil Man Lukas' Instagram account. In the photo, Lukas wears a bowtie and the caption reads, "My mommies are MARRIED!!!! Married?……yes….married!!!"

Gay showrunners Greg Berlanti and Ryan Murphy have started separate $500,000 funds to support the casts and crews of their projects, Deadline noted. "Every story we've woven, each character brought to life, and every set constructed carry with them an inimitable thread of collaboration," Murphy wrote in an Instagram post announcing the initiative. "As my colleagues face the challenges brought forth by the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the imperative to support each other is even more pronounced." Back in May, soon after the start of the WGA strike, Berlanti was among top showrunners who collectively contributed $1.7 million to the Entertainment Community Fund.

Bishme Cromartie won Bravo's Project Runway: All-Stars' season 20 finale with a collection inspired by his grieving process as he navigated the recent loss of his sister, per a press release. The season 17 all-star proved to be the one to beat and took home the grand prize of $250,000 provided by Pilot FriXion Erasable Pens and a feature in Elle magazine as well as a mentorship with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and representation from Agentry PR. During the finale, the three finalists—Cromartie, Brittany Allen and Laurence Basse—were able to partner with eliminated designers Prajje Oscar Jean Baptiste, Kara Saun and Fabio Costa to put together eight looks for the judging panel of Nina Garcia, Elaine Welteroth, and guest judges Zac Posen and Billy Porter.

Vice President Kamala Harris partnered with the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective and Live Nation Urban for a Sept. 9 event that took place at her residence in Washington, D.C., The Hollywood Reporter noted. Dozens of artists took part—including Common, MC Lyte, Jeezy and Roxanne Shante—and hundreds of people attended. Among the 400 or so present were Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia), Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

There was outrage after a leading Polish TV talent show featured celebrity contestants in blackface, impersonating Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce, per The Guardian. Singer Kuba Szmajkowski won the second episode of the 19th series of Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo after performing Lamar's track Humble in blackface, fake cornrows and a fake beard; he also used the N-word, which went uncensored on the broadcast. In 2021, the Czech iteration of the show banned its contestants from using blackface.

Kelly Clarkson is previewing the deluxe version of her 10th studio album, chemistry, with the new track "roses," available now via Atlantic Records, a press release noted. The expanded 22-track chemistry (deluxe) will arrive Sept. 22, featuring five brand-new songs alongside remixes and more. Clarkson will celebrate the release of chemistry (deluxe) live from Rockefeller Plaza for the Today Show's 2023 Citi Summer Concert Series on Sept. 22, followed by performances at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sept. 23 and Audacy's 'We Can Survive" concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Oct. 14.

Taylor Swift tied a record for most wins in one night (nine) at the MTV VMA Awards, which were shown Sept. 12. NBC News noted that Swift won for video of the year ("Anti-Hero"), artist of the year and album of the year (Midnights), among other honors—although there was a glitch as the televised event ended without announcing Swift as the winner of Album or Artist of the Year, per The Independent. The artist of the year category marked the first time that the nominees were all women (including Beyonce, Shakira, Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj and Karol G). Other highlights included Shakira becoming the first South American artist to win the coveted Video Vanguard Award; Sean "Diddy" Combs receiving the Global Icon Award; and the appearance of a reunited *NSYNC.

Fran Drescher was re-elected president of SAG-AFTRA in a landslide, per Deadline. Drescher, winning a second two-year term, handily defeated independent candidate Maya Gilbert-Dunbar. Drescher's unity slate running mate, Joely Fisher, also was re-elected as the guild's secretary-treasurer. Two years ago, Drescher (repping Unite for Strength) edged Matthew Modine to win the presidency while Fisher (on the opposition party's MembershipFirst ticket) easily defeated Drescher's running mate, Anthony Rapp. However, in an unprecedented show of solidarity, the factions joined forces in June to form a unity slate in advance of the guild's strike.

Openly gay actor/restaurateur Mitchell Anderson (TV's Doogie Howser, M.D.) is taking his You Better Call Your Mother one-man show to Jamestown, New York, on Sept. 15-16, and LA on Oct. 27-28, per Broadway World. In Jamestown—Anderson's hometown—the show will benefit Jamestown Pride and the restoration of the AIDS Memorial Park. Now the chef/owner of Atlanta restaurant MetroFresh, Anderson (who came out in 1996) recently re-mounted the show as a benefit for Atlanta's OutFront Theatre and as part of his Williams College 40th Reunion Weekend.

Also, out actor/business owner Bryan Batt has returned to off-Broadway in a new play, Pay the Writer, Gay City News noted. The play, by novelist Tawni O'Dell, tracks the multi-decade relationship between a gay literary agent and his client—a Black best-selling novelist near the end of his life trying to tie up loose ends and find closure. Batt has played gay characters over the years, including in the movie Jeffrey and the series Mad Men. Pay the Writer is at the Signature Theater through Sept. 30.

On the 20th anniversary of the smash hit single "Milkshake," Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Kelis released her first re-recorded version of the song remixed by Parisian DJ Alex Wann, a press release noted. "It's nice that after twenty years, 'Milkshake' is still connecting with people all over the world, across all genres and across all ages, the Alex Wann remix is a great record and I'm excited for people to hear it," Kelis said.

And Fatboy Slim announced the forthcoming 25th-anniversary reissue of You've Come a Long Way, Baby, dropping Oct. 13 via Astralwerks, a press release noted. The album has the singles "Rockafeller Skank," "Gangster Trippin," "Praise You" and "Right Here Right Now," among others.

Tina Turner's legacy of survival and perseverance will celebrated on Sept. 29 in Pensacola in "Many Faces of Tina Turner"—a mix of music, dance and storytelling that benefits FavorHouse of Northwest Florida, the only certified domestic-violence center in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, according to Pensacola New Journal. The event will take place at the Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Community Center.

Full casting has been revealed for MCC Theater's upcoming world premiere of Gavin Creel's Walk On Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice, set to take the off-Broadway company's Susan & Ronald Frankel Theater Nov. 13—Dec. 10, Playbill noted. Joining Creel on stage will be Sasha Allen, Madeline Benson, Chris Peters, Ryan Vasquez and Scott Wasserman. The work is inspired by Creel's time wandering the collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which commissioned the work.

Rockers on Broadway announced that Grammy nominee KT Tunstall will be a special guest for the group's 30th anniversary on Monday, Oct. 16 at Sony Hall, per a press release. The annual music event raises money for charities that include pre-professional training and scholarships in the performing arts. The concert will honor the LGBTQ+ multi-platinum artist Melissa Etheridge; and Rick French, chair of The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.

Dancing with the Stars is moving to Tuesday nights this fall, as the competition series makes its return to ABC (while continuing to simulcast on Disney+), Variety noted. The series' season 32 premiere will air Tuesday, Sept. 26, with a special expanded two-and-a-half-hour edition.

And Dancing with the Stars revealed its celebrity competitors for the upcoming season. Per Variety, they include Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, model Tyson Beckford, Vanderpump Rules' Ariana Madix, Bachelorette Charity Lawson, football player Adrian Peterson, Brady Bunch actor Barry Williams, LGBTQ+ musician Jason Mraz and Jamie Lynn Spears, among others.

A Murder, She Wrote movie is in the works at Universal Pictures, Variety noted. The original Murder, She Wrote series starred Angela Lansbury as Cabot Cove, Maine-based mystery writer/amateur detective Jessica Fletcher; the crime-drama series ran on CBS from 1984 to 1996. Lansbury scored an Emmy nod for each season, but never won the award.

Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto has apparently terminated his lifestyle brand, Twentynine Palms, per The Hollywood Reporter. Leto severed ties with the brand "many months" ago over claims including breach of contract, per Leto's rep; co-founder Jonathan Keren's LinkedIn profile stated that he also exited his role as co-founder and CEO of Twentynine Palms long ago—actually, two months after the brand's launch in December 2022.

Members of the striking Writers Guild Association (WGA) gathered outside the CBS Broadcast Center in New York to protest the restart of The Drew Barrymore Show and to discourage the daytime talk host and her guests from crossing their picket line, Deadline reported. And in another development, two college students with tickets to the taping told Deadline they were kicked out when security officers spotted them wearing WGA strike buttons. And the blowback against Drew Barrymore has continued with the National Book Awards rescinding her invitation to host its upcoming annual award ceremony because Barrymore's show has returned amid Hollywood strikes, Variety noted. The foundation added, "Our commitment is to ensure that the focus of the Awards remains on celebrating writers and books, and we are grateful to Ms. Barrymore and her team for their understanding in this situation."

Reality-TV stars' Todd and Julie Chrisley's sentences have been reduced since they were charged and convicted for involvement in a bank-fraud scheme, USA Today noted. Todd's release date from Florida's FPC Pensacola is currently set for Jan. 22, 2033, making his sentence two-years shorter than his original 12 years. Julie is set for release from Kentucky's FMC Lexington on Oct. 19, 2028—about a year before her original release date.

Reality star Abby Lee Miller tried to "set the record straight" after getting blowback for admitting she's attracted to high school football players, Page Six revealed. In an Instagram video, the Dance Moms star explained, "I do like those hot, athletic, muscular types of guys—the jocks. I always have, and I always will." However, Miller—who is wheelchair-bound following a cancer battle—added that the guys "must be able to go out to a club, gamble in Vegas [and] rent an ADA-compliant, handicap-accessible van."

Comedian Amy Schumer deleted an Instagram photo of Nicole Kidman at the U.S. Open after being accused of "cyberbullying" the Big Little Lies actress, per Page Six. "This how human sit," Schumer captioned a photo of Kidman, who had a serious expression. "Are you cyberbullying Oscar and Emmy winner Nicole Kidman right now?," one follower asked.

Aerosmith is on a farewell tour across North America—but that journey is on hold after singer Steven Tyler suffered vocal-cord damage during a recent performance, NBC Chicago noted. Tyler has been ordered not to sing for 30 days, which means that shows in Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Toronto, Raleigh and Cleveland have been postponed; the Chicago show will now take place Feb. 14, 2024 (Valentine's Day) at the United Center.

Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason Jr. posted a video stating that "Heart on My Sleeve" is not eligible for a Grammy, per Variety. The declaration clarified confusion about the eligibility of the song, which features AI-generated renditions of vocals by Drake and the Weeknd. However, it's not eligible because it's not commercially available; otherwise, "Heart" would've qualified, as Mason told the New York Times that "it was written by a human."

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis publicly apologized for the letters they sent to the judge of Danny Masterson's sexual-assault trial in which they call their That '70s Show co-star a "role model," Variety noted. "We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson," Kutcher said in a video posted to his Instagram. Kutcher and Kunis were two of more than 50 people who wrote to the judge in the Masterson trial to support the convicted actor ahead of his sentencing. However, some slammed the apology as appearing to be scripted, among other things.

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