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Windy City Times 2023-12-13
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SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal
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by Andrew Davis
2023-03-10

This article shared 4506 times since Fri Mar 10, 2023
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Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD on April 21, a press release noted. Little Richard: I Am Everything "tells the story of the Black queer origins of rock 'n roll, exploding the whitewashed canon of American pop music," the release stated. "In interviews with family, musicians, and cutting-edge Black and queer scholars, the film reveals how Richard created an art form for ultimate self-expression, yet what he gave to the world he was never able to give to himself."

At Florida's Sarasota Film Festival (SFF), Indigo Girls (Amy Ray and Emily Saliers) will receive the Sarasota Maestro Award, a press release announced. SFF will also screen Alexandria Bombach's It's Only Life After All, which offers an intimate portrayal of the Indigo Girls, as the festival's Documentary Centerpiece film. Other music documentaries will include Little Richard: I Am Everything and Love to Love You, Donna Summer. Regarding SFF, live and in-person screenings and events (closing with the movie On a Wing and a Prayer, starring Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham) will take place across Sarasota on March 25-April 2.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced that actress, singer and activist Michaela Jae Rodriguez will be honored with the HRC Visibility Award at the 2023 HRC Los Angeles Dinner on Saturday, March 25, per a press release. Rodriguez is the first transgender woman to receive a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her role as Blanca on Pose—a role which won her the Golden Globe for Best Actress in 2022. She is currently shooting the second season of the Apple comedy Loot, opposite Maya Rudolph. Also, Rodriguez received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 2022 GLAAD Media Awards.

Pioneering choreographer-director Bill T. Jones will be in the spotlight as the award-winning documentary series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange kicks off its 15th-anniversary series on April 3, per a Black Public Media release. Black Public Media and WORLD Channel's series will present the television premiere of Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters—a film about Jones' groundbreaking dance conceived in 1989. It was during the AIDS epidemic, which was ravaging the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and the LGBTQ+ community. A link to the trailer for season 15 is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xL0FNPeE9U&t=1s.

Actor Pedro Pascal (TV's The Last of Us) expressed support for his trans sister, Lux Pascal, and the LGBTQIA+ community with a new Instagram post, Extra noted. The actor shared photos of Pride flags, including the trans flag, along with the Bob Dylan lyric, "The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind" and the hashtag #LGBTQIA. Lux shared the post on her Instagram Stories, and Pedro got positive comments from Gal Gadot, Jonathan Van Ness, Sophie Turner and others.

Heather Dubrow (formerly of the Real Housewives of Orange County) announced that her 12-year-old child with Dr. Terry Dubrow now identifies as trans, Extra noted. Alongside an image of a beach with the name "ACE" written in the sand, she wrote, "Our job as parents is to give our kids a safe and supportive environment so they can grow up as healthy, happy, confident, independent humans. Since Ace is a 12 year old child, with a long life ahead of him - we will let him tell his own story someday if he chooses to do so. All we can say is Ace, we love you so much and we are proud to be your parents. Your brother and sisters love and support you too."

The upcoming sequel film Shazam! Fury of the Gods will include some LGBTQ+ representation with the introduction of a gay character, Movieweb noted. In an interview with Dorkaholics, screenwriters Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan discussed inclusion and representation in the film, which will come from Jovan Armand/D.J. Cotrona's character, Pedro Pena. In this second installment, Billy Batson (played by Zachary Levi) and his family will have to face new challenges and villains in the forms of Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren and Rachel Zegler. They will play the daughters of Atlas—Kalypso, Hespera and Anthea—who will come to Earth to reclaim the power taken from them, endangering all of humanity.

Macklemore said there's been "immense growth" around LGBTQ+ acceptance in hip-hop as more people realize that "hatred and homophobia doesn't serve anybody," according to PinkNews. His song "Same Love" (with Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert) became a hit around the summer of 2013 when the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in the United States, and Macklemore used his platform (and the song) to advocate for same-sex marriage in Australia in 2017. He currently has a new album, Ben (titled after his actual first name).

Billy Porter announced The Black Mona Lisa Tour-Volume 1, a press release noted. For six weeks this spring, Porter will visit cities such as Seattle (on April 29), Dallas (May 10), New Orleans (May 14), Chicago (May 26) and NYC (May 31), wrapping up the tour in Mashantucket, Connecticut on June 3. According to the release, "This 90-minute powerhouse event will feature his chart-topping hits "Love Is on the Way" and "Love Yourself," a tinge of Broadway, a nod to Pose and stunning performances of future pop classics from his forthcoming new album, Black Mona Lisa." See www.theebillyporter.com/ for tickets.

A two-part documentary airing on the UK's Channel 4 aims to reconsider the role of the British press in outing George Michael, according to LGBTQ Nation. In George Michael: Outed, director Michael Ogden examines how the "Kissing a Fool" singer was relentlessly questioned about his sexuality, even before his 1998 arrest for performing "a lewd act" with another man in a Los Angeles public restroom. The documentary looks at Michael's ultimate defiance and the trail he blazed for out pop stars like Will Young and Olly Alexander. However, it's also an indictment of the press' recklessness in outing people during the '80s and '90s, when stigma around HIV/AIDS was at its peak.

Friends, family and former clients memorialized pioneering gay publicist Howard Bragman in an emotional event on March 5, Variety noted. A packed private park in North Hollywood welcomed guests including Stevie Wonder; Lizzy Caplan; Melissa Rivers; Judy Garland's daughter Lorna Luft; TMZ's Harvey Levin; former Entertainment Weekly editor Jess Cagle; and Bragman's musician husband, Michael Maimone. Rivers and many other speakers, including Bragman's doctor and trusted friend Gary Cohan, highlighted his fierce advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community.

Women dominated in gender-neutral acting categories in the first year of their institution at the Independent Spirit Awards, Deadline noted. Everything Everywhere All at Once's Michelle Yeoh nabbed Best Lead Performance, with her co-star Stephanie Hsu landing the new award of Best Breakthrough Performance; Abbott Elementary's Quinta Brunson landed Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted series, with The Bear's Ayo Edebiri landing Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series. The sole winner on the side of the men in acting categories was Everything Everywhere's Ke Huy Quan, who's the Oscar frontrunner.

Range Media Partners and actor/producer Taron Egerton acquired the screen rights to the upcoming LGBTQ+ psychological thriller HappyHead, from debut author Josh Silver, with plans to adapt for the big screen, Deadline reported. The story follows, Seb—who, when offered a place on a radical retreat designed to solve the national crisis of teenage unhappiness—is determined to change how people see him and make his parents proud. But as he finds himself drawn to the enigmatic Finn, Seb starts to question the true nature of the challenges they must undergo.

The HBO Original documentary Being Mary Tyler Moore will debut in May, a press release noted. According to the release, the film "chronicles the screen icon whose storied career spanned 60 years. Weaving Moore's personal narrative with the beats of her professional accomplishments, the film highlights her groundbreaking roles and the indelible impact she had on generations of women who came after her." Ed Asner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lena Waithe, Bernadette Peters, Rob Reiner and Joel Grey are among those in the film.

Apple TV+ released the trailer for the second season of Schmigadoon!—the Emmy- and AFI Award-winning, hit musical comedy series from co-creator Cinco Paul, a press release noted. Schmigadoon! will return for season two globally on Apple TV+ with all new original songs and guest stars on Wed., April 5. Returning cast members will include Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana DeBose, Martin Short, Dove Cameron, Jaime Camil, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Ann Harada, Jane Krakowski and Aaron Tveit, with Tituss Burgess and Patrick Page joining the cast for season two.

RuPaul responded to the recent wave of anti-drag and anti-trans legislation introduced by Republican lawmakers in the country, Variety noted. In an Instagram video, the Emmy winner called the bills "a classic distraction technique" and urged Americans to register to vote. In part, RuPaul said, "We know that bullies are incompetent at solving real issues. They look for easy targets so they can give the impression of being effective. They think our love, our light, our laughter and our joy are signs of weakness. But they're wrong because that is our strength."

Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch defended the author recently, telling the Telegraph she was shocked by the backlash Rowling has faced, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I just felt that [Rowling's] character has always been to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society," Lynch said. "The problem is that there's a disagreement over who's the most vulnerable. I do wish people would just give her more grace and listen to her." Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have, in the past, come forward and defended trans women and trans men.

Also, The Color Purple author Alice Walker is defending Rowling, according to Out. Walker has been known for supporting antisemitic conspiracy theories and has now subscribed to TERF conspiracy theories, saying that Rowling is right and that trans people exist because people use the word "guy" in a gender-neutral way. Walker has stated several times that she loves and supports the writing of conspiracy theorist David Icke, who says that Jewish people are shapeshifting reptilian aliens who control the world.

Chaka Khan said she didn't mean to "cause pain or upset anyone" after slamming "the world's greatest singers" on Rolling Stone's list, Page Six noted. "Recently, I was asked about a list of the 'greatest singers of all time' and instead of questioning the need for such a list, I was pitted against other artists and I took the bait," Khan wrote on Instagram. The apology came nearly one week after the "Ain't Nobody" singer called the magazine's editors "blind bitches" who "need hearing aids" for ranking her at No. 29 on "The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time" list.

Cara Delevingne (Hulu's Planet Sex) addressed those airport paparazzi pics that were taken last fall, Extra noted. In Vogue's April cover story, the actress/model said she was embarrassed by the photos and that they were a "reality check" in terms of her alcohol and substance abuse. The September 2022 pics show a disheveled Delevingne at the Van Nuys Airport as she smoked a cigarette and walked around in her socks.

Almost a year after Ricky Martin was sued by his ex-manager over $3 million in alleged unpaid commissions and a threat of a "career-ending allegation," the parties cut a deal, according to Deadline. Rebeca Drucker—who was the "Livin' la Vida Loca" singer's manager from 2014-18 and again from 2020-22—claimed to have "saved Ricky Martin's career." Multiple Grammy winner and Emmy nominee Martin next is set to appear in Apple TV+'s 10-episode comedy miniseries Mrs. American Pie alongside Laura Dern, Carol Burnett, Allison Janney and Kristen Wiig.

Ben Savage—who starred on the '90s show Boy Meets World—has launched his campaign to run for Congress, USA Today noted. "Together, we can do better," the actor wrote on Instagram. "I am a proud Californian, union member and longtime resident of District 30 who comes from a family of unwavering service to our country and community." His official announcement comes two months after Savage (a Democrat himself) filed to run with the Federal Election Commission to potentially replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff. Schiff is expected to run for Senate to replace U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Producer Edward Zwick recently published a first-person essay for Air Mail about the making of Shakespeare in Love—noting that Julia Roberts was the original choice for the role of Viola de Lesseps that Gwyneth Paltrow won the Oscar for, according to Variety. Roberts later withdrew for various reasons, including the unavailability of Daniel Day-Lewis, who was committed to the film In the Name of the Father. Zwick's essay is at https://airmail.news/issues/2023-3-4/not-to-be.

After launching the first original court show on streaming with Judy Justice on Amazon Freevee, Judy Sheindlin could make history again with the first streaming show to sell in broadcast syndication, Deadline noted. The news comes amid an unprecedented upheaval in the broadcast syndication marketplace as well as the resilience of Judge Judy repeats two years after Sheindlin's show ended its original run.

In a 12-minute YouTube clip, Arnold Schwarzenegger criticized those who spout hate-filled ideologies, according to USA Today. Schwarzenegger said a tour of Auschwitz months ago spurred his message, and he described feeling a "tremendous weight" that reminded him of the "horrors" that occurred at the concentration camp where Nazi soldiers killed around 1 million Jewish people and other groups during the Holocaust. "Throughout history, hate has always been the easy path, the path of least resistance," Schwarzenegger said. "Let me be clear: You will not find success at the end of the road. You will not find fulfillment or happiness because hate burns fast and bright."

On the Table for Two podcast, Sharon Stone said she lost custody of her child in 2004 because of assumptions created by her brief nudity in the film Basic Instinct, Deadline reported. She said, in part, "When the judge asked my child—my tiny little tiny boy—'Do you know your mother makes sex movies?,' like, this kind of abuse by the system, this kind of abuse, that I was considered what kind of parent I was because I made that movie." Stone and her husband, newspaper editor Phil Bronstein, adopted a son in 2000; Bronstein filed for divorce in 2003 and received custody of their child.

Tubi TV is streaming new episodes of #THEDISH—a parody of reality TV starring "Mama June" Shannon and Adam Barta—in March, a press release noted. In the five-episode series, when rich widow Cynthia Beaumont gives Barta a blank check to create a new type of reality show unlike any the world has seen before, he enlists his celebrity friends. Said friends include Shannon (making her directorial debut), the infamous Tan Mom, singer Debbie Gibson, media personality David Pakman and RuPaul's Drag Race alums, among others.

A clip of Russell Brand on Real Time with Bill Maher went viral, Yahoo! News reported. The actor/comedian, who owns multiple multi-million-dollar homes, accused political analyst and fellow guest John Heilemann of hypocrisy for criticizing Fox News from "within the castle of MSNBC." Brand also highlighted MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's incorrect description of how the COVID-19 vaccine functions in a March 2021 broadcast, in which she repeated a common misunderstanding that the vaccine completely inoculates against symptoms and transmission.

Mr. Man proudly presented the Manatomy Awards: the only award ceremony to recognize the past year's naked male achievements in film and TV, a press release announced. Often referred to as the nude Oscars, winners at this year's Manatomy Awards included Harry Styles, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas (who received a Lifetime Achievement Award for 14 nude roles over three decades). For the full list of winners, people can visit https://www.mrman.com/manatomy-awards-2023.





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