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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ LGBTQ movies, 'Color Purple,' Nick Jonas, gay coach
by Windy City Times staff
2021-01-17

This article shared 1773 times since Sun Jan 17, 2021
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The film Draw with Me has launched its virtual theatrical release at ArenaScreen through Feb. 9, and was the subject of the first-ever panel at the United Nations on Transgender Health, a release stated. Featuring Jennifer Lopez and President Joe Biden, this short film is the story of teen artist Brendon Scholl, who identifies as trans non-binary and whose art has been a vital outlet for self-expression. Draw with Me was created in partnership with The Trevor Project (the leading suicide prevention line for LGBTQ+ Youth) and powered by the Onassis Foundation. Scholl also happens to be Lopez's nibling, and is the child of her sister, Leslie Ann.

Actor Brendan Fraser is to star in the next movie project from Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky—a film called The Whale, Queerty noted. The Whale is adapted from a play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter. It made its debut off-Broadway in 2012 and won a clutch of prizes, including a Drama Desk Award for 'Significant Contribution to Theatre' and a GLAAD Media Award. According to Variety, The Whale focuses on a 600-pound middle-aged, gay man named Charlie who lives in Idaho and who attempts to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter.

Hulu announced that the streaming platform acquired the U.S. rights to Lee Daniels' The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which will debut as a Hulu Original film on Feb. 26, according to a press release. Beginning in 1940s New York City, the federal government targeted the openly bisexual Holiday (played by Andra Day) in a growing effort to escalate and racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial ballad "Strange Fruit." NAACP Image Award nominee Trevante Rhodes and Emmy nominee Natasha Lyonne co-star, along with Garrett Hedlund, Miss Lawrence, Rob Margan, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Evan Ross, Tyler James Williams, Tone Bell and Erik LaRay Harvey.

Broadway Records announced the release of the Grammy-winning recording of The Color Purple as a double-record set printed on purple vinyl, a press release noted. It will be available Feb. 5, in celebration of the five-year anniversary of the recording's original release. This limited-edition vinyl set includes a special album insert with photos from the Broadway production and full billing, plus a gatefold cover, complete with show artwork, full billing, track list, album notes and additional production photos. It's available for pre-order on BroadwayRecords.com and other major music retailers, such as amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com .

Nick Jonas is in talks to play Frankie Valli in a streaming event performance of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys, Deadline noted. Jonas will sing the song catalog that Valli and the Four Seasons built up in a show that traces his origins from Newark to the top of the charts in the '60s. Jonas is part of the hit-making Jonas Brothers, who've earned three consecutive number-one albums (including 2019's Happiness Begins) and have sold out shows on three continents.

The WNBA's Connecticut Sun of the WNBA inked a four-year extension with current head coach/general manager Curt Miller—the only out male coach of a professional sports franchise in the country, out.com noted. Miller has led the team to four straight playoff appearances, a trip to the WNBA Finals in 2019, and an 89-69 record since joining the team in 2016. The Connecticut Sun is owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Native Americans—the first tribe to own a professional sports franchise. Miller told Outsports he regretted not coming out sooner.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined his intent to reposition the state as a cultural hub in the first half of 2021, Playbill noted. The public-private initiative, under the banner New York Arts Revival, will support numerous performances and events, beginning with its official launch Feb. 4. Cuomo has said that at least 150 artists are on board to take part, including Tony-nominated opera star Renee Fleming; Tony winner Hugh Jackman; Tony nominee Amy Schumer; Chris Rock; and Grammy and Pulitzer winner Wynton Marsalis. Additionally, among the participating organizations he mentioned in his Jan. 12 State of the State address were the National Black Theatre, Ballet Hispanico and Ars Nova.

At the Gotham Awards, Chloe Zhao's Nomadland won for Best Feature and captured the Gotham Audience Award, Deadline reported. On the acting side, Sound of Metal's Riz Ahmed and Miss Juneteenth's Nicole Beharie won Best Actor and Best Actress respectively while Kingsley Ben-Adir took home the Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor for his turn as Malcolm X in Regina King's One Night in Miami. For series, Michaela Coel's critically acclaimed and profound I May Destroy You won for Breakthrough Series-Short Format while 11-time Emmy winning HBO comic/sci-fi series Watchmen won for Breakthrough Series-Long Format. In addition, Moonlight actor Andre Holland honored the late, great Chadwick Boseman with a posthumous Actor Tribute and Viola Davis with an Actress Tribute.

Netflix released its inaugural inclusion report that takes an in-depth look at its company diversity numbers and trends since 2017, its progress and its plan to increase diversity within its workforce, Deadline reported. The report finds that women make up half of Netflix's workforce (47.1%)—including the leadership level. Directors and above are at 47.8%; vice presidents clock in at 43.7% and senior leadership is at 47.6%. The full report is at about.netflix.com/en/news/netflix-inclusion-report-2021 .

Fashion designer Christian Siriano has introduced Siriano Interiors to the world, Architectural Digest noted. In an Instagram post that received comments from such stars as actress Selma Blair and model Martha Hunt, the winner of season four of Project Runway shared a photo of himself standing in a midtown Manhattan townhouse that the new firm designed. The Siriano Interiors website revealed that, in addition to the townhouse and Siriano's Connecticut place, the firm has dabbled in commercial projects such as the designer's own New York boutique, The Curated, and the soon-to-open London Hotel in West Hollywood.

Queer Eye co-host Jonathan Van Ness is launching his first haircare line, out.com noted. On Instagram, Van Ness posted, "Biossance, [a brand available in Sephora in the U.S.,] has earned my trust in skincare over the years and we're ready to take our relationship to a whole new level. GAME CHANGER ALERT I'm teaming up with their parent company Amyris to develop their, and my first-ever haircare line!"

Actress Mary Wiseman—who made her debut in the Star Trek universe in the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery—has come out as part of the LGBTQ+ community, heavy.com noted. Wiseman recently confirmed on Twitter what she had said during a recent interview, stating, "I just didn't want to say I'm straight when I'm not! Before Noah, I dated and loved people of all genders." She added, ""I never liked it when straight-presenting women dominated conversations about bisexuality/pansexuality when I was with women, so I try not to do it now, but I also don't want it to feel like I'm hiding anything because I'm queer and proud!"

Andre Leon Talley praised Vogue's controversial Vice President Kamala Harris cover and backing his former boss, Anna Wintour, Page Six noted. "It's GREAT. JUST GREAT. GREAT," he wrote on Instagram. Harris appears on the cover in a blazer, jeans and Converse sneakers. The casual look sparked outrage after the image was leaked online, but Talley said he believes it will usher in a new era of women's fashion. Vogue also released a digital cover with Harris appearing in a more formal Michael Kors pantsuit. Both covers were shot by 26-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell, whom Talley also praised.

Siegfried Fischbacher—half of the world-famous Las Vegas magic and entertainment act Siegfried & Roy—died of cancer eight months after the death of his long-term business partner, Roy Horn, NBC News reported. Siegfried & Roy, known for their work with big cats, put on Las Vegas shows for decades—until Horn was in a near-fatal accident that put a stop to their long-running production. In 2003, 380-pound tiger Mantecore bit Horn's neck and dragged him off the stage during a show at the Mirage Las Vegas. Fischbacher and Horn met more than 60 years ago on a cruise ship, according to a statement from the act's publicity firm.

Lil Nas X has achieved yet another milestone with the song "Old Town Road," out.com noted. The song just went 14 times platinum, making it the highest-certified single ever. When the song came out in 2019, it stayed at number one for a record-breaking 19 weeks. The previous record was 17 consecutive weeks, held by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day;" and "Despacito," by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber. Other songs that have been certified more than 10 times platinum include "Despacito," John Legend's "All of Me," Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and Katy Perry's "Firework."

Not to be outdone, Taylor Swift has broken yet another record in her music career, Fox Business noted. For a fifth time, Swift has secured the top-selling album of the year in the U.S., according to Billboard. Swift's 2020 hit album folklore reportedly sold 1.276 million copies between its release on July 24 and Dec. 31.

The Emmy-winning HBO comedy series Insecure will conclude with its upcoming fifth season, a press release noted. The series stars Emmy, Golden Globe and NAACP Image Award nominee Issa Rae, who heads the ensemble cast; the new season will continue to follow our favorite characters as they evaluate their relationships, both new and old, in an effort to figure out who and what comes with them in this next phase of their lives. The fifth and final season is scheduled to begin production later this month and is set to debut later this year.

Tyler Perry and the Motion Picture and Television Fund have been selected by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Board of Governors to both receive Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards to be presented at the 93rd Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25, according to Deadline. Perry is being honored for his extensive work on humanitarian and social justice causes, while the Fund will receive the first Hersholt ever awarded to an organization.

Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl; A Private War; Radioactive) plays a lesbian scammer in Netflix's upcoming film I Care A Lot—about a woman who builds an empire grifting elderly people out of their homes, out.com noted. Dianne Wiest co-stars as the victim of her scam; Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver) is Pike's business and romantic partner; and Peter Dinklage is the career criminal Pike makes the mistake of crossing. Neither Pike nor Gonzalez is publicly known to identify as queer.

Tessa Thompson has launched a new production company, gotten a first-look deal at HBO and HBO Max and is executive-producing two big book adaptations: Who Fears Death and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Deadline reported. The Westworld star has launched Viva Maude, with a two-year deal at the WarnerMedia-owned cable network and streaming service.Thompson stars in and exec-produces the Amazon feature film Sylvie's Love.

Oprah Winfrey is getting the biographical documentary treatment after Apple TV+ ordered a two-parter focusing on her, Deadline revealed. Academy Award winner Kevin MacDonald is re-teaming with Emmy-nominated producer Lisa Erspamer and her banner, Happy Street Entertainment, on the project. The pair previously made Whitney Houston biographical doc Whitney—and Winfrey is a fan of that film. Also, Erspamer produced The Oprah Winfrey Show between 1999 and 2009.

Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Shannon, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Andrea Riseborough, Matthias Schoenaerts and Alessandro Nivola have joined David O. Russell's forthcoming feature for New Regency, Deadline noted. Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek and Zoe Saldana will also star in the untitled project, which is based on an original idea from the five-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker. Filming is currently happening in California.

Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group; and Wren & Rook, an imprint of Hachette UK announced the forthcoming Billie Eilish—a photo-filled book that Eilish herself is curating, a press release noted. Billie Eilish will be published in hardcover and e-book, with an audio companion on May 11, and is available for pre-order at BillieEilish.com/book. Published simultaneously with the book, Hachette will release a standalone audiobook of exclusive, unique content in which the artist reflects on her life.

Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem are in negotiations to play Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in Amzon and Aaron Sorkin's Being the Ricardos—a film about the relationship between the I Love Lucy stars, Deadline reported. Oscar winner Sorkin (who also wrote the screenplay) will direct the film from Amazon Studios and Escape Artists. The film is set during one production week of I Love Lucy when the couple face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.

Grammy-nominated saxophonist Dave Koz and R&B superstar vocalist Brian McKnight will headline "A Romantic Night In," a one-night-only livestream concert that will take place on Valentine's Day Eve—Saturday, Feb. 13—at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST via Looped, a press release announced. They will be joined by special guest Shelea. The virtual event comes on the heels of Koz's 2020 livestream concerts. The first event celebrated the release of his latest album, A New Day, while the second, "Dave Koz & Friends The Greatest Hits of Christmas 2020," featured Koz and an all-star line-up of guests performing holiday favorites.

Entertainment Weekly confirmed that there won't be a major Arrowverse crossover when the CW's superhero shows return because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last May, CW President Mark Pedowitz revealed that the network was hoping to tone things down following the massive five-show spectacle "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and were developing a two-hour crossover involving Batwoman and Superman & Lois.

Amazon has muzzled The Pack after one season, EW.com noted. The Amazing Race-style show, hosted by Olympian Lindsey Vonn, faced controversy in the past months over leaked, unaired footage that showed the dogs in allegedly unsafe conditions. However, a source with knowledge of the production tells EW that there is no connection between the PETA complaints and the show's cancellation.

Fresh off the holiday-timed Hulu release of Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special, RuPaul's Drag Race season five winner Jinkx Monsoon announced that she's now married, out.com noted. "Well — I guess the cats are out of their respective bags," she wrote to Instagram. "On January 9th, 2021, Michael and I said our vows and [became] spouses by law. That's right! Mama got married." According to the post, the pair got married at home with their housemates as witnesses. Comedian Deven Green Skyped in as officiant, while other family and friends watched via Zoom.

Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans confirmed that he has split from his art director boyfriend Rafael Olarra in a new interview with The Times, out.com noted. The couple started dating in the summer of 2019 and went public with their relationship in February 2020. Fans had been speculating that the pair split up in October when Evans unfollowed Olarra on Instagram and deleted all photos of Olarra on his own account. Evans confirmed that the couple are no longer together, saying "It is what it is." Evans also speculated on the possibility of starting a family.

Film critic/filmmaker Chris Stuckmann came out as pansexual in a video posted to his YouTube channel, where he also discussed his troubled experiences growing up as a Jehovah's Witness, according to Out.com . Stuckmann's YouTube channel has more than 1.87 million subscribers and almost 600 million views. "I am pansexual," he said in the video. "If you don't know what pansexuality is, essentially you are attracted to all genders. And that's me." As for his wife, Stuckmann said, "She is demi-pan, and so she was actually very excited [when he told her of his pansexuality]. And, if anything, this has made our relationship even better and more open."

It turned out that, in the mid 1980s, none other than David Bowie was offered the part of the evil adversary in what was to be the fourteenth installment in the James Bond franchise, A View To A Kill, RadioX.co.uk noted. The villain in question was Max Zorin—a part that ultimately went to Christopher Walken, who squared off against veteran leading man Roger Moore when the film was released in the summer of 1985. However, Bowie felt that the role was somewhat beneath him. "I think for an actor it's probably an interesting thing to do," he told NME, "but I think that for somebody from rock it's more of a clown performance."

The comedy movie Breaking News in Yuba County will on digital and in select theaters Feb. 12, a press release announced. After her husband goes missing, Sue Buttons (Allison Janney), an underappreciated suburban wife, gets a taste of being a local celebrity as she embarks on a city-wide search in Yuba County to find him. The film co-stars Ellen Barkin, Mila Kunis, Awkwafina, Regina Hall, Matthew Modine, Juliette Lewis, Samira Wiley and Jimmi Simpson.

This Is Us star Justin Hartley and the series' director/executive producer Ken Olin are optioning the rights to Jeffery Deaver's 2019 thriller novel, The Never Game, Deadline noted. Hartley is attached to star in the potential first season and Olin is set to direct the project. The Never Game follows Colter Shaw (Hartley), who travels the country in his old-school RV to help police and private citizens solve crimes and locate missing persons, until his latest case changes everything. He soon learns that he isn't the only one on the hunt: Someone is on his trail and closing fast.

Stars of ABC's classic daytime dramas All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital will reunite next month to present a streaming concert of their past musical performances benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Deadline noted. ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway will gather musical performances by soap stars including Susan Lucci, Walt Willey, Anthony Geary, Jason Tam and Eva La Rue during the seven annual benefit concerts staged in New York from 2005-11. The daytime actors will revisit the performances in new interviews as part of the special, which will stream free of charge Feb. 11.

Armie Hammer responded to news about him and his recent departure from the Lionsgate Jennifer Lopez movie Shotgun Wedding, Deadline reported. In a statement, the star of The Social Network and Call Me By Your Name said, "I'm not responding to these bullshit claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic. Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I'm grateful to them for that." There were alleged leaked messages from Hammer about sexual fantasies, including cannibalism, Variety noted. Hammer's upcoming feature projects include The Billion Dollar Spy.

A week after top pro golfer Justin Thomas uttered a homophobic slur at a tournament, Ralph Lauren dropped him, out.com reported. "We are disheartened by Mr. Thomas's recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values," the company said in a statement. "While we acknowledge that he has apologized and recognizes the severity of his words, he is a paid ambassador of our brand and his actions conflict with the inclusive culture that we strive to uphold. At the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, Thomas said the slur after missing a putt; the same day, he made an apology, saying that what he had done was "inexcusable."

Bridgerton actor Rege-Jean Page recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to discuss the success of the Netflix show, CinemaBlend noted. During the interview, he responded to the suggestion of him possibly taking on the iconic James Bond role at some point in the future. In part, Page said, "If you're a Brit and you do something of any kind of renown that people regard well, then people start saying the B-word [Bond]. You know it's like a merit badge. You get the B-word merit badge."

Ray Fisher is continuing his battle against WarnerMedia, sending tweets about his recent dismissal from the upcoming Flash film, Deadline noted. The Justice League actor said he "strongly disagreed with their decision," but said it was "unsurprising." He again took issue with DC Films President Walter Hamada, claiming he undermined investigations into Fisher's complaints about executive conduct on the Justice League set. Fisher has been at odds with Warner Bros. since last July, when he accused Joss Whedon of abuse during the post-Zack Snyder reshoots of Justice League.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced on The Pat McAfee Show that he will be guest hosting an episode of Jeopardy! in the near future, CBS Sports noted. "One of my idols growing up was Alex Trebek. ... They're doing some guest-hosting spots. It's going to be released here very soon, but I had the opportunity to be one of those. … I'm excited about the opportunity," Rodgers said. The athlete was on Celebrity Jeopardy! in 2015; he ended up winning and earning a $50,000 donation for his choice of a charity, which was the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer).

After that disclosure, Jeopardy! producers announced that Katie Couric, Rodgers, Bill Whitaker and Mayim Bialik will serve as guest hosts this season, The New York Post noted. Couric will be the first woman to ever grace the lectern as host, the trivia show noted. Ken Jennings, who holds the record for the longest Jeopardy! winning streak, served as the first host since Trebek's death this past November.

After more than four years on the market, Tom Ford's sprawling New Mexico estate found a buyer, Architectural Digest noted. The property, better known as the Cerro Pelon Ranch, sits just outside Santa Fe in the Galisteo Basin area, and measures 20,662 acres. Perhaps one of its most unusual features is the Silverado Movie Town, built on site in the 1980s for the Western film Silverado, starring Kevin Kline, Danny Glover and Kevin Costner.

Singer Jonny Lang—who has recorded blues, gospel and rock music—has cancelled all confirmed upcoming appearances, per his doctor's orders, according to a press release. The release read, in part, "Over the course of the past year, medical challenges with his voice have not improved. There is hope for a natural recovery at some point in the future but until progress is witnessed no future plans will be initiated." Ticket holders will be refunded.

Actor Bruce Willis was asked to leave a Rite Aid in Los Angeles after refusing to wear a mask, NJ.com noted, citing Page Six. Willis was photographed in the Rite Aid wearing a bandana around his neck (but not pulled over his nose and mouth). "It was an error in judgment," Willis told People magazine. "Be safe out there everyone and let's continue to mask up." On social media, people criticized and roasted Willis for the maskless shopping trip, often with a Die Hard theme.


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