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SHOWBIZ 'Pose,' Beyonce, 'Days of Our Lives,' Serena Williams
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 616 times since Tue Apr 17, 2018
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Television audiences got their first glimpse of FX's hotly anticipated, history-making series Pose with the release of the show's first trailer, The Huffington Post noted. The eight-episode season will "explore the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the ball culture world, the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe and the downtown social and literary scene," according to a news release. Anchoring the show will be Evan Peters and Kate Mara as Stan and Patty, a New Jersey couple. However, the show is set to make history by featuring television's largest cast of trans actors in series regular roles and the largest LGBTQ cast for a scripted series.

Beyonce made history at Coachella, becoming the first woman of color to headline the music festival in Indio, California, according to . The singer opened her long-anticipated performance with a marching-band version of her hit "Crazy in Love," and later crooned a rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," also known as the Black national anthem. ( Destiny's Child also reunited for a few songs. ) The superstar singer was slated to headline last year's festival, but had to cancel under doctor's orders because she was pregnant with twins at the time; Lady Gaga stepped in as her replacement. Other headliners this year included The Weeknd and Eminem.

Also, Beyonce paid tribute to historically black colleges during her groundbreaking Coachella performance, and now the singer is donating $100,000 to four Black universities, reported. She announced the Homecoming Scholars Award Program for the 2018-2019 academic year through her BeyGOOD initiative. She plans to give $25,000 each to Tuskegee University, Bethune-Cookman University, Xavier University of Louisiana and Wilberforce University. One student from each school will receive the scholarship money.

Soap-opera actor Greg Rikaart ( who played Kevin on The Young & the Restless ) is now on Days of Our Lives—in which he plays Leo, who has a romantic relationship with Sonny, noted. Rikaart's stint on Days of our Lives was first announced back in October 2017, according to TV Line, just five months after he was let go from his Young and the Restless contract after 14 years with the show; however, he will continue to make appearances on "Young." In real life, Rikaart is married to writer Robert Sudduth, several outlets have noted.

Venus and Serena Williams are adding their names and voices to the push for equal pay across all types of jobs that the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative ( BJKLI ) is championing, noted. The two current tennis stars are joining the advisory board of the group that King founded, and the April 10 announcement was timed to coincide with Equal Pay Day, which approximates how far into a new year a woman must work to earn what a man made by the previous Dec. 31. King's group was formed in 2014, and other advisory board members include 2003 U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick, former NBA player Jason Collins, singer Elton John and CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood told TheWrap that her paycheck wasn't equal to those of her leading-male counterparts on Westworld, at least in the show's first two seasons. "I think I'm just now to the point where I'm getting paid the same as my male co-stars," Wood said. Wood found out she was getting a bump for season three equal to the likes of Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris.

Musician Andrew Bird is set for a run of orchestral tour dates in select U.S. cities this fall, performing alongside the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra, a press release noted. Prior to the fall orchestral performances, this May Bird will perform select songs from his score for the Patagonia-produced film Blue Heart following premiere screening events in New York and Chicago. See .

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had a storyline that reflected the ongoing debate over transgender people in the military, The Huffington Post noted. The April 11 episode, entitled "Service," focused on a trial involving a young woman, Sandy "Sky" Ksenivch ( played by Morgan Taylor Campbell ), who worked as an escort and was allegedly raped in a hotel room; one of the witnesses in the case was a soldier named Jim Preston ( Marquise Vilson ). In a climactic scene, Preston took the stand and discussed his gender identity during cross-examination by attorney James Olson ( Christopher Wiehl ). Among those to praise the show's depiction of such a hot-button issue was series star Mariska Hargitay, who plays SVU commanding officer Olivia Benson.

Filmmaker Vivian Kleiman and advocate/comics artist Justin Hall announced that their feature-length documentary film, No Straight Lines: The Story of Queer Comics, will launch a Kickstarter fundraiser in late April, a press release noted. This new effort is aimed at completing filming of the project, which tells the story of how LGBTQ comics evolved from a marginalized underground scene—offering uncensored commentary on everything from coming out to the AIDS crisis to gender politics—to one with worldwide, mainstream recognition. The fundraising campaign has set a goal of $38,000 and is scheduled to launch on April 23. Visit .

Organizers of HOLA Mexico Film Festival presented by DishLATINO, the largest Mexican film festival outside of Mexico, unveiled the official 10th-anniversary film lineup ( which includes 23 Mexican films ) for the L.A. fest, a press release noted. Among other events, there will be 10th-anniversary rooftop screenings of Amores Perros, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Pan's Labyrinth. Visit

Bon Jovi reunited onstage with former members for a performance celebrating its admission into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the late icon Nina Simone was welcomed to the prestigious music club with performances from Lauryn Hill and Andra Day, according to Page Six. ( Simone's brother, Sam Waymon, accepted the honor on his sister's behalf. ) The Cars and four first-time nominees—including Simone, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe—make up the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class.

The official music video for Joan Baez's "Civil War" debuted at the Smithsonian Magazine, a press release noted. In collaboration with New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and produced by produced by Rick Litvin ( associate arts professor, New York University ), the video was created by Deborah Willis, Ph.D. ( university professor and chair of the department of photography and imaging ). The music video is the second piece unveiled as part of a visual album of distinctive short films that will accompany each of the 10 songs from Baez's new album, Whistle Down the Wind. The video is at

In People magazine, Mariah Carey revealed, for the first time, her battle with bipolar disorder. Although she was first diagnosed in 2001 ( when she was hospitalized for a physical and mental breakdown ), "I didn't want to believe it," the "Fantasy" singer said. Carey says she finally sought treatment recently after "the hardest couple of years I've been through"—years of professional upheaval, an E! reality show and romantic drama.

In other Carey-related news, she is facing a lawsuit from her former manager Stella Bulochnikov, Page Six noted, citing TMZ. Bulochnikov filed a summons in New York on Friday, stating that she plans to sue Carey, 48, for allegedly violating the U.S. Civil Rights Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act, as well as breach of contract. Carey fired Bulochnikov last year in favor of working with Roc Nation.

Czech-born director Milos Forman, who won best directing Oscars for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, has died at age 86, Variety reported. Forman was also known for directing Hair, Ragtime and The People vs. Larry Flynt.

The cast for the all-athlete season 26 of Dancing with the Stars was unveiled April 13, TheWrap noted. Amateur dancers include Tonya Harding, Adam Rippon, Johnny Damon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jennie Finch, snowboarder Jamie Anderson, NFL cornerback Josh Norman, luger Chris Mazdzer, figure skater Mirai Nagasu and Notre Dame women's basketball player Arike Ogunbowale. Unlike most seasons of the show, this one will only be four weeks.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney is reviewing a sexual-assault case against actor Kevin Spacey, CNN reported. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department ( LASD ) said its Special Victims Bureau began an investigation into allegations of a sexual assault involving Spacey back in December 2017. The case involves "events" that reportedly took place in October 1992 in West Hollywood, California, and involved a male adult, according to a statement from the LASD.

The cast and crew of Nashville recently shot their final episode, which is set to air on CMT on July 26, and the gang took to social media to commemorate the event with fond farewells, kind words, throwback photos and pictures from the set, Deadline noted. Nashville has been on quite a journey since it premiered on ABC in 2012. It was canceled suddenly in May 2016 and then moved to CMT for its final two seasons. Nashville follows country stars Juliette Barnes ( Hayden Panettiere ), Deacon Claybourne ( Charles Esten ) and the Highway 65 family as they strive to keep Rayna Jaymes' ( Connie Britton's ) dream alive. The final eight episodes will air on CMT starting June 7.

Avengers: Infinity War is gearing up to be the highest-grossing Marvel movie in history, The Huffington Post noted. According to ticket service Fandago, "Infinity War" is selling more than double the number of tickets that Black Panthe" had sold at this point before its release. Black Panther is currently the highest-grossing Marvel movie ever and the third highest-grossing film domestically of all time, not adjusting for inflation.

Netflix has picked up a third season of Marvel's Jessica Jones, according to . The renewal comes a little more than a month following its second season launch on March 8, International Women's Day. The series, starring Krysten Ritter as New York City PI Jones, was the second in a four-series Marvel package to launch, behind Daredevil and followed by Luke Cage and The Punisher.

Amazon has added dozens of LGBT films that screened at Outfest in L.A. to its Prime Video service, noted. The films were published to Prime Video directly by their filmmakers or rights-holders, who will earn royalties based on customer viewing time. Titles include Sinner In Mecca, winner of the 2015 Outfest Grand Jury Award for documentary, as well as G.B.F., the comedy Women Who Kill and all of the Eating Out films. This year's Outfest will be held July 12—22.

Producer Scott Rudin is offering to put on a live production of writer Aaron Sorkin's stage adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird inside a federal courthouse to help resolve a legal dispute, Page Six reported. He suggested the courthouse play in a lawsuit filed April 16 in hopes that it will put an end to his heated and ongoing legal dispute with Tonja Carter, the executor of the estate of Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird. Carter claims that Rudin's play, originally slated to open in December, departs too heavily from the book.

Disney's live-action Mulan has landed two famous Chinese stars, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Jet Li is in final talks to play the emperor of China and Gong Li is confirmed as the villain. The titular heroine, Hua Mulan ( Liu Yifei ), disguises herself as a man in order to spare her elderly father from having to join the military.

A new suspect is facing potential charges in the investigation into a 2016 jewelry heist in Paris targeting Kim Kardashian West, USA Today noted. A judicial official said the suspect was detained, and met with an investigative judge who is expected to file preliminary charges. Ten people have been charged in the case. The alleged mastermind wrote the reality TV star an apology letter from his prison cell.

Rapper Azealia Banks has claimed she was sexually assaulted last weekend after being drugged, Page Six reported. In a since-deleted Instagram story, the troubled star simply wrote, "Lowkey just got raped. I feel like dirt." It's unclear if the "212" rapper filed a police report. She did not name her accuser in her Instagram story.

An actor who appeared in the smash hit Black Panther has been forced to confront his past after being exposed as a former gay adult film performer, Queerty reported. Atlanta-based Patrick Shumba Mutukwa was touring his home country of Zambia talking about the film when images from an adult film he starred in when he was in his 20s began circulating online. In a statement, Mutukwa called the movie "unsavory," an "errored decision" and "immature behavior."

Former Silicon Valley actor T.J. Miller was arrested by federal officials for a false bomb threat he called in on a train last month, TheWrap reported. Miller was arrested at LaGuardia Airport in New York City and was charged with intentionally conveying false information to law enforcement, which has a maximum sentence of five years jail time. In December, an alleged victim of former Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller came forward with accusations that Miller hit and sexually assaulted her while in college, The Daily Beast noted. Miller has told friends over the years that he was wrongfully accused.

Costumes, memorabilia and other items owned by late actress Zsa Zsa Gabor have sold at auction for almost $1 million, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Heritage Auctions said a Margaret Keane portrait of the actress was sold for $45,000, making it the top seller at the April 14 auction. Overall, the auction, held online and at the actress' former mansion, earned $909,209.

The case against a New Jersey man found with comedian Rosie O'Donnell's missing daughter three years ago has been dismissed, Page Six noted. Court records indicate charges of child endangerment and distributing obscenity to a minor against 28-year-old Steven Sheerer were dismissed last month. O'Donnell reported 17-year-old Chelsea missing from her New York home four days before she was found in the attic of Sheerer's Barnegat home in August 2015.

Broadway's Waitress welcomed Katharine McPhee in her Broadway debut as Jenna on April 10, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, noted. McPhee, who replaces Waitress songwriter Sara Bareilles, will continue with the show through June 17. McPhee launched her recording career as runner-up on season five of American Idol. She led the cast of the Broadway-themed NBC series Smash, and she currently stars in the CBS dramatic series Scorpion.

Speaking of Broadway, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child ( Parts 1 & 2 ) played its first eight-show week at Broadway's Lyric Theater—and grossed a record-breaking $2,138,859, Forbes reported. It's the biggest week for a play in all of Broadway history The previous record-holder was All The Way, the 2014 LBJ play anchored by Bryan Cranston—which earned just more than $1.62 million.

Former Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller has returned to a halfway house, where she's been serving the reminder of her prison sentence, after being taken to the hospital for a lingering injury, noted. Miller was reportedly taken to the hospital from the residential re-entry center in Long Beach, California, due to a back injury. Miller was released from the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville, California, last month, after spending eight and a half months behind bars for bankruptcy fraud; she is scheduled to be released from the halfway house on May 25.

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