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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ 'Love, Victor,' R.E.M., Cher, HIV film, Jane Lynch
by Windy City Times staff
2021-05-23

This article shared 842 times since Sun May 23, 2021
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The Holy teen dramedy series Love, Victor returns June 11, as season two finds a newly out of the closet Victor entering his junior year at Creekwood High, a press release noted. This season, Victor faces a family struggling with his revelation, a heartbroken ex-girlfriend in Mia, and the difficulties of being an openly gay star athlete—all while navigating his relationship with Benji. The series stars Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Mason Gooding, George Sear, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, James Martinez, and Ana Ortiz.

For the first time in 40 years, rock icons R.E.M. are reissuing their foundational, debut single "Radio Free Europe," first released in 1981, a press release noted. While many fans know the 1983 version of the song, which appeared on the band's first studio album Murmur, only a few have heard the earlier version, which marks one of R.E.M.'s earliest recordings. Due for release July 23 via Craft Recordings, it is available to pre-order at found.ee/rem-radiofreeeu. "Radio Free Europe" (Original Hib-Tone Single) will be presented in its original format: as a 45-RPM single, housed in a jacket featuring photography by lead singer Michael Stipe. In addition to the seven-inch single, R.E.M.'s 1981 demonstration tape—titled Cassette Set—is also being made available for the first time. This ultra-rare collection will be available exclusively via the official R.E.M. store as a bundle with the seven-inch single, limited to 1,500 copies worldwide.

On the eve of celebrating her 75th birthday, Cher announced on Twitter that a movie biopic of her life is in the works with Universal Pictures, a Warner Records press release noted. The film will be produced by Judy Craymer (the Mamma Mia! movies) and Gary Goetzman (the Mamma Mia! movies, News of the World, Greyhound) and Cher. The untitled biopic will be written by Oscar-winning writer Eric Roth (Munich, The Insider, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Forrest Gump, A Star is Born and Mank). Roth previously worked with Cher on the film Suspect.

Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness and Hamilton star Javier Munoz are bringing their knowledge and experience as people living with HIV to Vice TV, out.com noted. Vice Versa: The Neglected Pandemic, 40 Years of HIV & AIDS is premiering this year to mark the 40th anniversary of HIV/AIDS in the United States, with Van Ness narrating. (Van Ness revealed their status in their 2019 memoir Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love and appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss it.) The documentary will also feature U.S. residents living with HIV/AIDS as well as HIV/AIDS-rights activists and insights from Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

The Bleav Podcast Network is launching the new dark comedy podcast The Bystanders, starring Jane Lynch as well as Emmy and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth, Deadline noted. Heather Morris (Glee) will also co-star and co-produce the show. Other cast members include Oscar Nunez, Ed Westwick, Ki Hong Lee, Michael Hitchcock, Karen Huie, Matt Mattson and Jim Lau.

Openly gay American Idol alumnus David Hernandez released "ILY."—advertised as a new summer anthem—on May 21, according to a press release. The music video stars Benji Schwimmer—from So You Think You Can Dance, and a former Mormon who is also openly gay—as Hernandez's embattled love interest, while trans actress Alexa Abraxas is the therapist who is helping them to work through the issues of their relationship. "Growing up, I was only taught the dynamic and gender roles between a man and a woman," Hernandez said in the release. "There was never any rule or guide book on how two men can coexist in a romantic relationship. Navigating it on my own has been challenging, especially when many people in the world still continue to view same sex relationships as not normal."

Country-music artist Ty Herndon, in partnership with CMT, announced Wed., June 30, as the date for the 2021 Concert for Love and Acceptance, a press release noted. Produced by Herndon's charitable foundation, The Foundation for Love & Acceptance, the event will return as a star-studded online event (with guests such as Kristin Chenoweth, Rissi Palmer, Brothers Osbourne and Kathy Mattea) co-hosted by Herndon and CMT's Cody Alan, who has hosted the event alongside Herndon since 2017. GLAAD, MusiCares and Nashville's Oasis Center are the beneficiaries of event proceeds. The show will take place at 8 p.m. ET and will be live-streamed exclusively on CMT's Facebook and YouTube channels, and at F4LA.org/concert.

Pose co-star Mj Rodriguez went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert—and revealed she is working on a comic book, out.com noted. "This is my character," Rodriguez smiled, as she held up a book of drawings. "As you can see, we're going through name changes. I don't know what I'm going to name her, it was either Nivea or Patience." Rodriguez is currently portraying Blanca Evangelista on the third and final season of the FX series Pose.

The trans-focused film Changing the Game will premiere on Hulu on June 1, a press release announced. Changing the Game takes viewers into the lives of three high school athletes—all at different stages of their athletic seasons, personal lives and unique paths as transgender teens. Their stories span across the country—from Sarah, a skier and teen policymaker in New Hampshire; to Andraya, a track star in Connecticut openly competing on the girls track team. The film centers on Mack Beggs, who made headlines when he became the Texas state champion in girls wrestling. The movie will debut with new, updated footage and a new original song called "Chasing Dreams," by Goze featuring Old Man Saxon and singer-songwriter/trans activist Shea Diamond.

In a recent series of posts on Instagram, bisexual actress Anna Paquin (TV's True Blood and Flack) did not mince words when trolls started claiming she's not "queer enough" because she's married to a man, her former True Blood costar Steven Moyer, out.com noted. "Hey! FYI (for those unaware) June is LGBTQIA+ pride month," she wrote. "So the folks who put their bigotry on display in the comment sections of my recent posts why don't you hit that unfollow button right now."

Bravo exec Andy Cohen quote-tweeted a comment that read, "can someone interview @andy and ask him how he deals with his lazy droopy left eye?," according to Yahoo! News. The Watch What Happens Live host responded, "I ignore it[,] baby." Fans rallied behind Cohen in the replies of the tweet, disregarding the negative tweet to show their support. In 2017, Cohen opened up about previously feeling self-conscious about his eye during an episode of the podcast "How to Be Amazing."

Gay Michigan personal and professional partners Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas flip homes in Detroit on their very own HGTV show, Bargain Block, PrideSource.com noted. The couple (who are transplants from Colorado) buy boarded-up and abandoned houses in neglected Detroit neighborhoods for as little as $1,000; then, they live in them while they invest their own money fixing them up and bringing them back to life.

Army of the Dead director Zack Snyder said he also worked on a 300 sequel during the pandemic, but Warner Bros. passed on it because it ended up being a gay love story, out.com noted. He told The Playlist podcast The Fourth Wall, "I was writing this thing about Alexander the Great, and it just turned into a movie about the relationship between Hephaestion and Alexander. It turned into a love story. So it really didn't fit in as the third movie. … I would love to do it, [WB] said no… you know, they're not huge fans of mine. It is what it is." The studio and Snyder clashed over the Justice League drama that resulted in HBO Max releasing "The Snyder Cut" of the film this year.

Gay mixologist John deBary, who is leading the alcohol-free spirits movement, is profiled in out.com . The New York City-based deBary—the author of Drink What You Want: The Subjective Guide to Making Objectively Delicious Cocktails as well as the founder of the zero-proof spirits company Proteau—said, "New Yorkers are always pushing, so it makes sense that an innovative and somewhat counter-intuitive movement would gain a foothold here." deBary served for five years as the bar director of David Chang's Momofuku, which has been hailed as the "most important restaurant in America" by Bon Appetit.

Former Grey's Anatomy actor Sara Ramírez will join the cast of Sex and the City sequel And Just Like That... alongside Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon as a series regular, NBC News noted. Ramírez "stars as Che Diaz (they/them), a nonbinary, queer, stand-up comedian that hosts a podcast on which Carrie Bradshaw is regularly featured," according to a press release. In 2016, the actor came out as bisexual; last year, Ramirez announced they are non-binary.

Singer and LGBTQ-rights activist Ryan Lill will release his newest single, "Ocean," on June 1—in time for Pride Month, according to a press release. Lill has worked with Meghan Trainor and has opened for artists such as Todrick Hall. "Adore Me" is the South Carolina native's first song to hit syndicated radio; the video (which has an '80s workout theme, and Lill in drag) is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amABrytvT_g.

Kumail Nanjiani is to star in and exec-produce a limited drama series about the origin story of stripper troupe Chippendales, according to Deadline. The series, entitled Immigrant, will detail the insane, darkly comedic, crime-ridden story behind the unique male revue that became a cultural phenomenon. It is the true story of Somen "Steve" Banerjee, an Indian American entrepreneur who started the Chippendales; Nanjiani will play Banerjee.

And there's another Chippendales-related project in the works. Discovery+ ordered Curse of the Chippendales—a new four-part true-crime series that revolves around the dark side of the 1980s all-male striptease dance troupe, from Lightbox, the production outfit run by Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmakers Simon and Jonathan Chinn, Deadline noted. With exclusive access to a cast of characters including Michael Rapp (The Perfect Man), original line-up dancers, owner Bruce Nahin, the club's lawyer and key investigators, "Curse" aims to reveal how a new kind of dance troupe took the LA nightclub scene by storm—and ended up with international fame and untold wealth, along with bizarre murder plots and multiple deaths entwined in their legacy.

The show WandaVision was the big winner at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. Among the series' wins were Best Show, Best Performance in a Show (Elizabeth Olsen), Best Fight (Wanda vs. Agatha) and Best Villain (Kathryn Hahn). Some of the other winners included Chadwick Boseman (Best Performance in a Movie, for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Rege-Jean Page (Breakthrough Performance, for Bridgerton) and host Leslie Jones (Best Comedic Performance, for Coming 2 America). Also, Scarlett Johansson virtually accepted the Generation Award—during which her husband, Saturday Night Live's Colin Jost, slimed her; and Sacha Baron Cohen received the Comedic Genius Award.

HBO Max has given an eight-episode order to the docuseries Project Greenlight, from Miramax as well as Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Issa Rae—and the show is a reinvention of the critically acclaimed original Miramax/HBO series, a press release noted. Project Greenlight is a docuseries focusing on the next generation of talented female filmmakers who are given the chance to direct a feature film. Rae will appear in every episode as an executive producer, providing guidance and mentorship to these aspiring filmmakers. The finished film will then premiere on HBO Max.

From the minds of Steve Martin, Dan Fogelman and John Hoffman comes the Hulu comedic murder-mystery series Only Murders in the Building, a press release noted. The series follows three strangers (Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez) who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. Only Murders in the Building will premiere Aug. 31.

CBS cancelled the shows All Rise and The Unicorn after two seasons each, The Chicago Tribune noted. All Rise is set to air its final episode at the end of May, while The Unicorn wrapped up in March. The move to cancel All Rise came less than two months after series creator/co-showrunner Greg Spottiswood was fired from the series following a probe into allegations of race and gender issues in the show's writer room.

Season four of the Freeform show Grown-ish will debut July 8, according to Hidden Remote. As the series has done in the past, new episodes of the Black-ish spinoff will initially air on Freeform and then be released the next day on Hulu. The main cast of Grown-ish's fourth season is expected to be the same as the previous three seasons, including Yara Shahidi, Chloe and Halle Bailey, Trevor Jackson, Francia Raisa, Luka Sabbat and Diggy Simmons.

However, the other Black-ish spinoff, Mixed-ish, is being cancelled by ABC after two seasons, Deadline noted. The comedy, which was a promising newcomer last season, had found itself on the bubble this year with soft ratings, ranking among the least-watched ABC series. The news came after the network renewed Black-ish for an eighth and final season.

Last summer, Tom Goss paid homage to the subset of plus-sized gay men that enjoy superheroes and video games with his smash anthem, "Nerdy Bear"—and now he (with actor Daniel Franzese) has released "Nerdy Bear: The Markaholic Remix," a press release noted. The new version features brand-new rhymes by Franzese. "Nerdy Bear: The Markaholic Remix (featuring Daniel Franzese)" is available on iTunes, Spotify and all major digital platforms; the music video is at https://youtu.be/ymiXYYHrM1k.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actor Joshua Bassett issued a Notes app statement about his sexuality after a video of him calling singer Harry Styles "hot" went viral, NewNowNext.com noted. My entire life, people have told me my sexuality," the 20-year-old actor wrote. "People have shamed me for things they know nothing about." Bassett went on to thank "those of you who stand for love and acceptance," alluding to the fact that he is still "figuring out" how he identifies and isn't ready to put a label on it yet.

Showtime announced Hip Hop 50—a multiyear, cross-platform programming initiative celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop in collaboration with entertainment company Mass Appeal, a press release noted. Hip Hop 50 will encompass unscripted series and features, podcasts and digital shorts by and about some of the foremost names in the genre, driven by Mass Appeal partner Nasir "Nas" Jones and Mass Appeal Chief Creative Officer and partner Sacha Jenkins. A teaser is at https://youtu.be/3_BFLhHfSMY.

Dana Walden, chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television, announced Onyx Collective—a new content brand on Hulu designed to curate a slate of premium entertainment by creators of color and underrepresented voices, according to a press release. Onyx Collective will be led by Tara Duncan, who has been spearheading this effort since it was announced last year, while also continuing her role as president of Freeform.

Out gay musician Bob Mould announced that his "Distortion and Blue Hearts!" tour will start Sept. 16 in Boston and ending Oct. 6 in Austin, Texas, a press release noted. Beginning Oct. 15 in Bloomington, Illinois, Mould will perform "Solo Distortion" electric shows. Also, on July 16, Demon Music Group will conclude its year-long Bob Mould retrospective campaign with its fourth vinyl box, Distortion: Live. The eight-LP set includes live recordings from Mould's solo career and with his band, Sugar.

The "Hella Mega Tour" featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer unveiled new dates, beginning in July and stretching into September, Variety noted. The Live Nation-produced tour, originally scheduled for last summer but postponed due to the pandemic, will hit 21 cities in North America, including such stadiums as Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Citi Field in New York and Fenway Park in Boston before wrapping Sept. 6 in Seattle. All three bands will participate in "Good Morning America's" Summer Concert Series on July 17; Weezer and Fall Out Boy will perform with Green Day joining them for an interview.

Thirty-five years after Fisher Stevens' breakout role in the sci-fi comedy Short Circuit, the actor is opening up about the regret he feels for playing an Indian character in brownface, EW.com noted. Stevens, who now produces and directs, played Indian engineer Ben Jabituya in the 1986 film—and even reprised the role in the movie's 1988 sequel. Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment in a recent interview while promoting his Apple TV+ drama Palmer, Stevens said the role "definitely haunts me. I still think it's a really good movie, but I would never do that part again."

Georgetown—which stars Christoph Waltz, Vanessa Redgrave and Annette Bening—will be out on DVD on June 22, according to a Paramount press release. In this R-rated thriller, Waltz stars as Ulrich Mott, an eccentric and smooth-talking social climber who seems to have everyone in Washington, D.C. wrapped around his finger. But when his wealthy, well-connected and much older wife (Redgrave) turns up dead in their home, her daughter Amanda (Bening) suspects Ulrich may not be who he seems.

HBO Max released images of Jamie Dornan (TV's The Fall) as "The Man" desperately searching for his identity in the new six-part drama/thriller series The Tourist, a press release noted. Dornan stars as a British man who finds himself in the glowing red heart of the Australian outback, being pursued by a vast tank truck trying to drive him off the road. A cat-and-mouse chase unfolds and the man later wakes in hospital—except he has no idea who he is. The series also stars Danielle McDonald, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Alex Dimitriades and Olafur Darri Olafsson.

Singer/songwriter Darren Criss released his newest single, "I Can't Dance," via BMG, a press release noted. This is the second in a series of new songs which Darren described as "character-driven singles." He announced the track on Instagram, posting, "Half masc, half fem, half bad bitch, half brazen baller… This song is an ode to both those we love to hate and those we hate to love. What can I say, I live for dualities."

Nick Jonas went to the hospital in an ambulance after sustaining an injury while filming, Page Six noted, citing TMZ. Jonas reportedly was already back at home the following day and appeared on the May 17 episode of NBC's The Voice, saying the injuries resulted from a bike accident. He suffered a hand injury in 2018 during a post-show workout in Mexico.

In honor of Janet Jackson's 55th birthday on May 16, Kim Kardashian revealed that she recently purchased the outfit Jackson wore in her 1993 "If" music video for $25,000, according to people.com . "Happy birthday queen!" Kardashian wrote on her Instagram Story, alongside a clip of Jackson wearing the ensemble. "For @janetjackson's bday bc I'm such a fan I can't believe I won this on juliens_auctions." The three-day auction, "Iconic Treasures From the Legendary Career and Life of Janet Jackson," was held to commemorate Jackson's birthday. A portion of the proceeds will go toward Compassion International, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian aid to children in need.

Law & Order; SVU actress Mariska Hargitay is beginning the recovery process after breaking her knee and her ankle as well as suffering a torn ligament, EW.com noted. The star revealed on Instagram that she had to go to the Hospital for Special Surgery, but that her injuries did not require an actual operation. It's unclear how Hargitay sustained the injuries.

Also regarding Hargitay, she took notice of Alyssa Bonal—the 11-year-old Pensacola, Florida girl who fought off an attempted kidnapping attempt and left blue slime on her attacker as evidence, thanks to watching her favorite show, Law and Order: SVU, the Pensacola News Journal reported. "Alyssa, first and most important, I am so relieved and grateful to know that you are safe," Hargitay wrote. "And I am so honored to be part of your incredible story. You are one BRAVE, strong and smart young woman. I think the SVU squad might have to add slime to their crimefighting gear!"

For the third installment of the Lifetime franchise Harry & Meghan—Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace—Jordan Dean and Sydney Morton take on the crowns for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and began production in Vancouver for a fall 2021 debut, a press release noted. Dean and Morton will fill the royal shoes vacated by Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser in 2018's Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, followed by Tiffany Smith and Charlie Field for the second installment, Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal, in 2019.

Supermodel/actress Naomi Campbell announced on social media that she welcomed her first child, sharing a photo of her holding the new baby's feet, USA Today noted. "A beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother," Campbell wrote on Instagram, tagging her mother Valerie Morris-Campbell in the photo. "So [honored] to have this gentle soul in my life there are no words to describe the lifelong bond that I now share with you my angel. There is no greater love."

Crystal Minkoff made her debut as the first Asian-American cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (RHOBH) during the season 11 premiere, The Daily Mail noted. The Los Angeles native has been a friend of Kathy Hilton—the older sister of Kyle Richards, who has been on RHOBH since its premiere in October 2010.

Million Dollar Listing New York gave an inside look at what it took to sell fashion designer Marc Jacobs' West Village townhouse, Page Six noted. However, the $11.7-million residence was marred by a premature selloff of Jacobs' Art Deco furniture, contemporary artwork and even the light fixtures. But after an aggressive off-market sales strategy, Serhant sold the three-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse owned by the former creative director of Louis Vuitton for $10.5 million.

Wrestler-turned-Marvel action hero Dave Bautista said on Ellen that his alien alter ego being shirtless is one of the reasons he's exiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise after the upcoming third installment, Yahoo! Entertainment noted. "I'm going to be 54 years old by the time Guardians 3 comes out," he said about why he'll no longer play Drax the Destroyer. "The shirtless thing is getting harder and harder for me." Bautista's currently starring in Zack Snyder's zombie heist film, Army of the Dead, which is on Netflix.

Twenty-nine men and one mystery box (!) will greet Katie Thurston when the 17th season of The Bachelorette debuts June 7 on ABC, a press release noted. After a whirlwind first evening that includes emotional moments and time with mentors Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams, 23 bachelors will remain to toast Thurston, the new Bachelorette.

A former assistant claims that Marilyn Manson subjected her to sexual harassment. abuse and battery in the latest lawsuit filed against the shock rocker, Deadline noted. Ashley Walters claims that Manson regularly engaged in threatening behavior toward her, including "drug induced fits of rage." Recently, Game of Thrones actress Esme Bianco also sued Manson (real name: Brian Warner) for sexual assault and sexual battery. After Bianco filed suit, his attorney Howard E. King called her allegations of abuse "provably false."

Rapper T.I. and wife Tameka "Tiny" Harris are under investigation by police in Los Angeles after a sexual-abuse allegation, HuffPost reported. The investigation comes after a woman in Los Angeles and another in Las Vegas filed a police report that accused the couple of sexual assault. Steve Sadow, the attorney for the couple, said his clients "steadfastly deny and repudiate" all the allegations.

County-music singer Morgan Wallen has not followed through with his plans to meet with the NAACP following his N-word controversy, Page Six noted, citing TMZ. After he was caught on camera by a neighbor saying the N-word in February, his team reached out to the NAACP to express interest in scheduling a meeting—and the organization responded it would be happy to meet with him. However, Wallen and his team dropped the ball on meeting with the NAACP. He did eventually apologize for his actions publicly in a 5-minute video shared to his Instagram account.

Podcaster Joe Budden apologized to DJ/podcast host Olivia Dope, who accused the rapper and media personality of sexual harassment, Rolling Stone reported. She said Budden sat in on a recording of See, the Thing Is—a female-led podcast on the Joe Budden Network—and "continuously made sexual, suggestive remarks to me that made me extremely uncomfortable as well as fearful of dampening the mood if I didn't laugh along while he made those sexual remarks to me." Dope, who has since left See, the Thing Is, called the experience "traumatizing" and "embarrassing." Budden said, "I apologize sincerely to Olivia, her former co-hosts, our staff, and the public. In an effort to not further any trauma, the episode will be removed from all platforms."

Baseball icon Alex Rodriguez (also known as Jennifer Lopez's ex) teamed with Hims & Hers—the beauty and wellness company in which he and Lopez became investors together last year—to develop the brand's first makeup for men, Page Six noted. Enter The Blur Stick ($17), "a convenient concealer specifically designed for men that can be used for skin imperfections," Rodriguez stated on Instagram, adding, "Check it out[.] I think you'll be surprised how often it comes in handy."


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Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.