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SHOWBIZ Queer playwright, LGBTQ+ films, BMI Pop Awards, new superhero
by Andrew Davis
2022-05-15

This article shared 906 times since Sun May 15, 2022
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Jeremy O. Harris, the queer Tony-nominated author of Slave Play, has been named the presiding playwright for the 2023 Yale Drama Series Prize—one of the theater world's most prestigious playwriting honors, Deadline noted. Harris joins the ranks of such previous presiding playwrights as Edward Albee, David Hare, John Guare, Marsha Norman, Nicholas Wright, Ayad Akhtar and, most recently, Paula Vogel.

Non-binary director Zen Zadih Pace's debut narrative short, Fraud—starring trans actress Dana Aliya Levinson (STARZ's American Gods) and Babak Tafti (Showtime's Super Pumped)—was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival, and will screen on June 10 and 15, a press release noted. In the short, a trans rocker girl getting by with petty credit-card theft is forced to question who she wants to be when her latest target surprises her with an unforeseen proposition. Up next, Pace and Levinson are working on their first feature, Jude—a surrealist psychological thriller about grief, atonement and the lies we tell to survive. See www.fraudthefilm.com .

The drama Firebird arrives on EST and VOD in the United States and Canada June 3 from Lionsgate, per a press release. The film follows a handsome, soulful young soldier who embarks on a clandestine sexual affair with a charming ace fighter pilot assigned to his base at the height of 1970s Communist rule. Firebird stars Tom Prior, Oleg Zagorodnii and Diana Pozharskaya.

BMI paid tribute to the best in songwriting at the 70TH Annual BMI Pop Awards held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, a press release noted. Legendary music creators Carole Bayer Sager and Mike Stoller were named BMI Icons, while BMI's Pop Songwriter of the Year was a tie between Omer Fedi and Michael Pollack, with each writing four of the most performed songs (including Fedi co-writing Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me By Your Name"). BMI also honored dozens of other songwriters, including Megan Thee Stallion, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Troye Sivan, Sam Smith, Miley Cyrus, benny blanco, Khalif "Swae Lee" Brown, Johnny McDaid, RedOne, Denzel Baptiste, Victoria Zero and Chance the Rapper, to name a few.

As part of Marvel's ongoing Marvel's Voices series, readers everywhere will soon meet Escapade in Marvel's Voices: Pride #1, a press release announced. Joining fellow LGBTQIA+ Marvel heroes this June, Escapade will debut in the book's central story, written by Charlie Jane Anders and drawn by artist duo and Eisner-nominated cartoonists Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, with colors by Tamra Bonvillain. Escapade (real name: Shela Sexton) is a trans mutant who can instantaneously switch physical locations with another person or trade any specific physical or abstract attributes such as possessions, organizational status, skills, superhuman powers and even situations.

Mariah Copeland (Camryn Grimes) and Tessa Porter (Cait Fairbanks), also known as "Teriah" to fans, are about to celebrate The Young and The Restless' first-ever same-sex wedding, Out Magazine noted. The couple have been together on the show since 2017, and they proposed to each other earlier this year. Grimes came out as bisexual in 2020, and told People Magazine she is especially proud to be able to portray an LGBTQ+ storyline like this.

Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise), Oscar nominee Bette Midler (The First Wives Club) and Emmy winner Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) are attached to star in The Fabulous Four, from director Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker), Deadline reported. The feel-good comedy will follow two lifelong friends (Sarandon and Mullally) who travel to Key West to be bridesmaids in a surprise wedding of their college girlfriend (Midler).

Emmy winners Darren Criss and Julianne Hough have been named co-hosts of The Tony Awards: Act One, an hour of exclusive content streaming live only on Paramount+ that will commence Sunday, June 12, prior to the live broadcast of the Tony Awards on CBS, a press release noted. Criss and Hough will kick off the evening celebrating the 2022 Tony Awards, bestowing multiple awards and introducing special performances throughout the program.

Fourteen-time Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar has been the subject of controversy since releasing his fifth studio album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers—particularly for the song "Auntie Diaries," Out Magazine noted. The song not only features an anti-gay slur but also has the lyrics "My auntie is a man now … Demetrius is Mary-Ann now." "Auntie Diaries" ends with Lamar seemingly calling out his preacher for turning against his trans relatives.

Embattled actor Kevin Spacey (TV's House of Cards) will star in the historical drama 1242: Gateway to the West, which will be on sale at Cannes Market, Deadline confirmed. The UK/Hungarian/Mongolian co-production represents Spacey's biggest feature to date since several people accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted advances in 2017. The movie also stars veterans Eric Roberts, Christopher Lambert and Terence Stamp as well as newcomers Jeremy Neumark Jones and Genevieve Florence. (Another Spacey vehicle, Peter Five Eight, is also headed for Cannes.)

TV personality and RuPaul's Drag Race judge Ross Mathews tied the knot with Dr. Wellinthon Garcia during an intimate beachside ceremony attended by 110 of their closest friends and family at the Almar Resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, according to an Out Magazine article that cited People Magazine. The resort has a special place in the couple's hearts and holds significant meaning in their love story, as it was reportedly where the couple first met in January 2020—right before the ongoing global pandemic. Drew Barrymore (on whose show Mathews appears) was the flower girl.

Personality Frankie Grande and actor Hale Leon also got married, Out Magazine noted. (Sister Ariana Grande made news by wearing a custom Vera Wang Haute Couture two-piece—a bra top and a maxi skirt—to the event, per Teen Vogue.) "Hale and I were married at a small intimate galactic ceremony in my family home in Florida on May the 4th be with you, cause we really are both that nerdy," he wrote in a recent post on Twitter. Grande also shared the couple will have a wedding ball with all their friends sometime "in the upcoming months." Before meeting Leon, Grande was dating a married couple, Daniel Sinasohn and Mike Pophis.

The hit comedy The Lost City—starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe and Da'Vine Joy Randolph—will be available for purchase on Digital starting May 10, and will arrive on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD July 26 from Paramount Home Entertainment, according to a press release. Bonus content will include bloopers, deleted scenes, "Building The Lost City," "The Jumpsuit" and more.

Deadline confirmed that TNT and TBS will no longer air the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. Launched in 1995 on NBC, the SAG Awards have aired on TNT since 1998. The ceremony returned to an in-person format in February, where CODA and Squid Game were the night's big winners.

The provocative play Afterglow is running at Hollywood's Hudson MainStage Theatre through June 19, according to its website, afterglowtheplay.com/losangeles. The production explores the emotional, intellectual and physical relationships between three men (played by Nathan Mohebbi, Noah Bridgestock and James Hayden Rodriguez). As Josh and Alex explore their open marriage, they invite free-spirited Darius to share their bed one night. When an unexpected connection forms, all three men must come to terms with new definitions of love, trust and intimacy.

Netflix announced content being released from its Netflix Is a Joke Fest and Dave Chappelle's Hollywood Bowl event—where the comedian was attacked on stage last week—isn't included, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The set's absence isn't due to the assault, however. The streamer made it clear before the festival that the comedian's four sold-out Hollywood Bowl shows were not being taped for a special.

Outloud—the concert series which celebrates Pride year-round by spotlighting established and up-and-coming queer artists, returned with a new Spotlight concert May 12, a press release noted. The concert featured Whatever Mike (FKA Michael Blume), Mikalah Gordon, Black Gatsby and Eyemaki, and follows April's Spotlight concerts, which garnered 250,000+ views. The partnership with Twitch will also showcase OUTLOUD: Raising Voices Music Festival at the City of West Hollywood's inaugural Pride celebration taking place June 3-5, with headliners Lil' Kim, Marina, Jessie J, and Years & Years.

The 1992 Eddie Murphy classic film Boomerang arrives for the first time ever on Blu-ray on June 28 from Paramount Home Entertainment, per a press release. In the movie, Marcus Graham (Murphy) may be a success in his industry, but he's also an insatiable womanizer who's completely unprepared for his new boss, Jacqueline (Robin Givens)—a female version of Marcus in terms of all things romantic. Murphy leads an all-star cast that includes Robin Givens, Halle Berry, David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, Grace Jones, Geoffrey Holder, Eartha Kitt, Chris Rock, John Witherspoon, Tisha Campbell and Melvin Van Peebles.

Country-music superstar Naomi Judd died of a self-inflicted firearm wound on April 30, daughter Ashley Judd said on ABC's Good Morning America, according to Deadline. Ashley said she had been authorized by the Judd family to discuss Naomi's death in order to spread awareness of the disease of mental illness and available treatments.

Twelve go-go boys will be competing in the newest LGBTQ+ reality-competition series from Canada-based OUTtv: Gogo for the Gold, per Out Magazine. Hosted by Jonny McGovern, Gogo for the Gold will feature judges Adrian Hart, Greg McKeon, Jojo Guadagno and Teddy Bea,r and will follow 12 dancers who will be competing for the grand prize of $10,000 and the title of "America's #1 Champion Gogo Superstar Star."

Fast X, the 10th installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, looks to have rounded out its all-star cast with Alan Ritchson, the breakout star of Prime Video's Jack Reacher series, Deadline noted. The film is in production with Vin Diesel and the core Fast cast returning alongside franchise newcomers Jason Momoa and Brie Larson.

Ezra Miller claimed in body-cam footage from their March 29 arrest in Hawaii that they film themself getting assaulted for the sake of art, according to a Page Six item that cited TMZ. "I film myself when I get assaulted for NFT crypto art," the non-binary actor told law enforcement in the clip. Miller—who ultimately pled no contest to a disorderly-conduct charge—then attempted to justify their actions inside of a Hawaii karaoke bar.

Smashing Pumpkins—who were just made part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame—announced their North American arena tour with special guests Jane's Addiction, according to a media release. Produced by Live Nation, the 32-date Spirits on Fire Tour will start Oct. 2 in Dallas and conclude Nov. 19 in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl. (The stops include a Nov. 5 date at Chicago's United Center, with Jane's Addiction and opener Meg Myers.) See www.smashingpumpkins.com/tour.

Apple TV+ announced the guest-star lineup and released the trailer for season three of Daytime Emmy Award-winning kids and family series Helpsters, premiering globally on Friday, May 27, according to a press release. The third season features appearances by Bradley Cooper, James Monroe Iglehart, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Christian Borle, Adrienne Warren, Andre De Shields, Judy Gold and many others.

Todd Chrisley is slated to host and executive-produce the dating series Love Limo for E! as his other two reality series have been renewed, Deadline noted. The show will see singletons put their dating life into the hands of Todd Chrisley, who will guide one unlucky-in-love single person on a whirlwind day of speed dating that will hopefully end in the match of that person's dreams. E! will also launch a fourth season of Growing Up Chrisley this summer, and USA Network has renewed Chrisley Knows Best for a tenth season.

After posting a TikTok revealing that they're allergic to coffee and various other foods, Halsey took to Instagram Stories to provide an update on recent health issues, according to iHeart. Halsey continued the new update saying they've seen a "hundred-thousand doctors" and have been diagnosed with more medical issues including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Sjogren's syndrome, mast cell activation syndrome and POTS (which affects blood pressure). "I'm still looking for answers to the root cause of some of these things," they said. Late last month, the singer revealed they had been in and out of the hospital for weeks after undergoing surgery to treat their endometriosis, which they were first diagnosed with in 2017.

After 140 years, the Actors Fund is getting a new name, Variety noted. The charitable organization will rebrand itself as the Entertainment Community Fund, which it says better reflects the work that it does to help industry professionals from various jobs and disciplines. "One of the challenges we have always faced is that we are not just for actors, we are here to work with everybody in show business," says Tony Award-winning actor and Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell. "Our name needed to reflect that."

Britney Spears announced in a joint statement with fiance Sam Asghari via Instagram that she suffered a miscarriage, Page Six reported. "It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that we have lost our miracle baby early in the pregnancy," the statement read. Spears announced in early April that she and Asghari were expecting their first child together, and what would have been her third.

Following the leak on social media of cellphone video and photos of a naked Jesse Williams, star of Broadway's Take Me Out, the venue has installed an infrared camera system facing the audience that will be monitored in real time by the venue's security team, Deadline reported. The video—shot from the audience and then posted on social media the day of the Tony Award announcements—infuriated the Second Stage Theater, Actors' Equity and Williams' co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education) is to take command of the TARDIS, having been named the new Doctor in the BBC's Doctor Who, per The Hollywood Reporter. He replaces the outgoing Timelord Jodie Whittaker, who unveiled she was leaving last year. Gatwa becomes the first Black actor to play the iconic figure.

The 2020 award-winning documentary Rondo and Bob—about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre art director Robert Burns and his obsession with cult actor Rondo Hatton—will be released on streaming platforms this June, per a press release. While attending the University of Texas, Burns discovered Hatton—a former Tampa sports reporter who contracted acromegaly, a condition that caused his face, hands and feet to grow out of proportion to the rest of his body. The film weaves together the stories of Burns and Hatton and delves into their horror filmographies and personal life stories.

A Los Angeles judge ruled that five additional witnesses will be allowed to testify against Harvey Weinstein at his upcoming rape trial—but excluded testimony from actresses Rose McGowan and Daryl Hannah, Variety reported. Prosecutors wanted to call 15 witnesses to testify about the producer's "prior bad acts," but the judge excluded 10 of them. McGowan was famously among Weinstein's first public accusers, alleging that Weinstein assaulted her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997.

In California, comedian Andy Dick was arrested by Orange County Sheriff's deputies on charges of felony sexual assault, per Deadline. Dick had been staying with a group of people living out of their RVs in an Orange County campground and livestreaming their lives together on the Captain Content YouTube Channel. According to a man named Maximiliano in the group, one of the members alleged Dick "molested" him recently. Dick (who has been released from jail) has had a string of arrests in recent years. There is an Aug. 10 court date scheduled for Dick; however, if the DA's Office decides not to pursue charges after the investigation, he will no longer be required to attend and the case will be dismissed, Page Six noted.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali was found not guilty of indecent assault and battery following a swift trial in which the celebrity chef waived his right to have a jury decide his fate, WLBT noted. In delivering the verdict, Boston Municipal Court Judge James Stanton agreed with Batali's lawyers that the accuser had credibility issues and that photos suggested the encounter was amicable. Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said he was disappointed in the verdict but grateful Batali's accuser had come forward.


This article shared 906 times since Sun May 15, 2022
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