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SHOWBIZ Religion movie, Laverne Cox, 'Will & Grace,' Jeopardy!, Elton John
by Andrew Davis
2022-09-11

This article shared 567 times since Sun Sep 11, 2022
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The LGBTQ+ film Wonderfully Made—LGBTQ+R(eligion) will have its New York premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival on Thursday, Sept. 29, following its world premiere at Out in Film in Atlanta on Saturday, Sept. 24, per a press release. Emmy-winning actor Yuval David directed the film, which explores the challenges of LGBTQ+ Catholics and features interviews with leading advocates of full church acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. The film also shows the creation of unprecedented iconography depicting Jesus as a member/ally of the LGBTQ+ community. Wonderfully Made is the first in a planned documentary series, LGBTQ+R(eligion), in which each episode will focus on a different faith tradition.

Amazon Freevee has picked up to series the Laverne Cox-George Wallace comedy Clean Slate, from Norman Lear's Act III Productions and Sony Pictures Television where the company is based, Deadline reported. The comedy was initially announced as part of NBCUniversal's development slate in January 2020, and moved to Amazon Freevee (previously IMDb TV) for development in early 2021. Clean Slate follows old-school and outspoken car-wash owner Henry (Wallace), who is thrilled his estranged child is finally returning home to Alabama after 17 years. However, Henry has a lot of soul-searching to do when the child he thought was a son returns as the proud trans woman Desiree (Cox).

Former Will & Grace co-stars Leslie Jordan and Megan Mullally reunited recently while appearing at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., Queerty noted. Mullally hosted an "In conversation with" session with Jordan to discuss his book, How Y'all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well-Lived. Jordan revealed that when he was invited to audition for the role of Beverley Leslie on Will & Grace, he was unaware the part was originally written for Joan Collins. He and Mullally offer their own account of what led to the part going to Jordan instead.

Transgender Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider—who made history in January as the winningest woman the show has ever seen—will return to the popular game show for the Tournament of Champions, premiering Oct. 31, Out Magazine noted. The event will bring together some of the show's top competitors, including Schneider, Matt Amodia and Mattea Roach. Fans noticed that the event will run during the midterm elections on Nov. 8—which will also mark the second anniversary of longtime host Alex Trebek's passing. Co-host and producer Sarah Foss shared that the show will "certainly pay tribute" to Trebek on the Election Day special episode.

The Elton John-Shaina Taub stage musical adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada, which recently ended a five-week engagement in Chicago, is "not ready" for subsequent stagings, John said—seeming to end speculation that a Broadway or West End production was going to happen immediately, Deadline reported. In an interview with BBC Radio2's Zoe Ball, John said, "It'll be ready in about another year. We can't get our theater, anyways." In the meantime, the rock icon will focus on Tammy Faye, the musical he co-wrote with Jake Shears that opens this fall at London's Almeida Theater.

Pitbull will open the iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 23-24, iHeart announced. The festival lineup includes Avril Lavigne, Black Eyed Peas, Halsey, Lionel Richie, LL COOL J, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Megan Thee Stallion, Morgan Wallen, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Sam Smith, The Black Keys, Diplo, Marcus Mumford and more, with Ryan Seacrest hosting. Fans can catch the event on The CW app and CWTV.com; the CW Network will also broadcast a two-night television special this October.

Brendan Fraser has been earning rave reviews for his performance in The Whale—Darren Aronofsky's film about a gay 600-pound teacher. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the movie is adapted by Samuel D. Hunter from his play; Hunter, who bases most of his work in his home state of Idaho, tends to examine questions of queer identity, spirituality, solitude, existential sadness and the collective loss of vanishing communities. In its review, the Reporter stated, in part, "The heroic performance in The Whale that will deservingly dominate the attention, however, is Fraser, who hasn't been this good since Gods and Monsters." Also, Fraser broke down in tears as the movie received a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, per Variety.

Dave Koz & Friends will release Christmas Ballads (25th Anniversary Collection) on Sept. 23, per a press release. The chart-topping, Grammy-nominated saxophonist (who's also a member of the LGBTQ+ community) is joined on the album by pianist David Benoit, trumpeter Rick Braun and guitarist Peter White—the friends who accompanied him on the road in the earliest years of the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022 and holds the record as the longest-running, jazz-based Christmas tour. Rebecca Jade is the featured vocalist on the album's medley of John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)/Imagine."

GLSEN announced that JoJo Siwa will be honored with the Gamechanger Award at the 2022 GLSEN Respect Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Beverly Wilshire, per a press release. Siwa will be honored for her advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and focus on anti-bullying and kindness. Since she came out in January 2021, she has advocated for the LGBTQ+ community, lending her time and raising money for non-profits and issues facing the demographic.

Singer Maren Morris took Brittany Kerr Aldean and Tucker Carlson's words and generated more than $100,000 for trans causes, according to Out Magazine. The country superstar released a new shirt late last week using the moniker that hate- and fear-monger Tucker Carlson gave her after she called out the wife of a fellow country singer for her transphobia. Morris started selling T-shirts based on the incidents; the shirts are black with the phrase "Maren Morris Lunatic Country Music Person," along with the phone number for a Peer Support & Crisis Hotline for trans youth.

Queer actor Tommy Dorfman (TV's 13 Reasons Why) recently announced that she's making her directorial debut with the film adaptation of the young adult novel I Wish You All the Best—and that the lead will be played by non-binary actor, per Out Magazine. Dorfman is holding an open casting call for the lead, with Dorfman urging hopefuls to visit Atomic Honey's casting page (www.facebook.com/atomichoneycasting/&. The post also encourages prospective stars to email iwishyouallthebestcasting@gmail.com .

Three-time Tony winner Nathan Lane had earned six Emmy noms (including for appearances on Modern Family)—but didn't win his first until Sept. 4, when he prevailed in the Guest Actor category for his work on Only Murders in the Building, Deadline noted. With his seventh Emmy nod, Lane surpassed the late Fred Willard to become the most-nominated guest actor ever across comedy and drama. He will get another shot in the category next year as he reprised his role as Teddy Dimas on the second season of "Only Murders."

Prime Video has already started promoting Nanny—an award-winning debut feature from writer/director Nikyatu Jusu, starring Anna Diop (Us; TV's Titans) and Michelle Monaghan (Mission Impossible: Fallout), among others. Set in New York City, this fable of a Senegalese immigrant's experience working for an affluent family is grounded in the real-life experiences of domestic workers. It's the first horror film to win the Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Grand Gury Prize and marked only the second time this honor has been bestowed upon a Black female director. The movie will be in theaters Nov. 23 and on Prime Video on Dec. 16.

LGBTQ+ actress Beanie Feldstein is set to join Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan in Ethan Coen's untitled pic at Working Title and Focus Features, Deadline noted. This is Coen's first time directing a film on his own after having spent his movie career co-directing and writing with his brother Joel. Feldstein (who was most recently in the Broadway production Funny Girl) is coming off her critically acclaimed role as Monica Lewinsky in the Emmy-nominated drama American Crime Story: Impeachment.

A week after being sued for alleging sexually abusing a minor almost a decade ago, Tiffany Haddish has finally spoken out, according to Deadline. Referencing the 2014 video "Through a Pedophile's Eyes" made with co-defendant Aries Spears, Haddish took to social media to say that "clearly, while this sketch was intended to be comedic, it wasn't funny at all—and I deeply regret having agreed to act in it." Haddish also said, "Unfortunately, because there is an ongoing legal case, there's very little that I can say right now." Haddish and MADtv alum Spears are accused of grooming and molesting a then-14-year old Jane Doe and her then-7-year old John Doe brother.

Pauley Perrette—who played the beloved character Abby Sciuto on NCIS for 15 years before leaving the series in 2018—offered fans an update on her health one year after she suffered a stroke, Variety reported. "Hey guys, oh my God, it's Sept 2," Perrette opened a video. "It's a one-year anniversary since I had a stroke. And I'm still here." She added, "Yes, I'm still here, again. How many times do I cheat death? Like I almost died from a hair dye allergy. I have food allergies, I'm a domestic violence and a rape survivor. … I'm feeling really grateful and especially for all my rescue dogs."

Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne will be awarded a Golden Eye for his career achievements during the 18th Zurich Film Festival (Sept. 22-Oct. 2), Variety noted. The British actor will receive the award in person on Sept. 25 prior to presenting the European premiere of Tobias Lindholm's thriller The Good Nurse, in which he plays a nurse who poses a deadly threat to his patients. He will also participate in a ZFF Masters session.

Serena Williams' final U.S. Open match was a ratings bonanza for ESPN, Deadline noted. The third-round match—in which Williams lost to Australia's Ajla Tomljanovich 7-5, 6-7, 6-1—was the most-watched tennis telecast in ESPN's 43-year history. An average of 4.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the match held at New York's Arthur Ashe Stadium, which likely signaled the end of Williams' storied 25-year career.

Hulu's award-winning, hit drama series The Handmaid's Tale has been renewed for a sixth and final season ahead of its season five premiere, per a Disney press release. In addition to season six of The Handmaid's Tale, Bruce Miller (creator, showrunner and executive producer) is actively developing The Testaments, a follow-up to "Tale" that picks up years later. The fifth season premieres with two episodes on Wed., Sept. 14, on Hulu.

The Boys co-star Erin Moriarty called out misogynistic fans for trolling her with sexually offensive commentary, according to Meaww. The actress, who plays Annie January (aka Starlight) voiced her disturbing concerns on her social-media platform. Moriarty noticed a Medium article that address the trolling and thanked the article's author for their support while admitting trolling has made her feel "silenced," "dehumanized" and "paralyzed."

Out gay TV producer/creator Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives; Devious Maids) struck a direct talent deal with Fox and has set up his first project at the network: the psychic-fueled spy drama Jenny Is a Weapon, Deadline noted. It follows the story of a sheltered Maryland housewife who, at the moment her marriage falls apart, discovers she has special psychic powers and is recruited by a secret government agency where she will have to juggle her broken family and saving the world.

In Men's Health, actor Zac Efron confronted 2021 plastic-surgery rumors, Extra noted. Efron said it all stemmed from breaking his jaw in 2013. He said the injury caused some of his face and jaw muscles to compensate and, as a result, he usually does physical therapy to mitigate the issue. Around the time the video was shot he took a break from the physical therapy, which caused his chewing muscles, known as masseters, to grow. Efron also touched on his romantic life in the interview, saying, "I've really been taking time to focus on, you know, self-fulfillment and trying to find my groove."

Kim Kardashian is launching her own private equity firm—SKKY Partners—alongside Jay Sammons, a 16-year veteran of The Carlyle Group, per The Hollywood Reporter. Kris Jenner will also be a partner at the firm. According to SKKY, the firm "will make both control and minority investments in growth-oriented, market-leading consumer and media companies."

Justin Bieber suspended the rest of his world tour after suffering a health setback, CNBC noted. "I realized that I need to make my health the priority right now," he wrote on Instagram. "So I'm going to take a break from touring for the time being." Earlier in the summer, Bieber postponed a series of concerts in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Toronto and revealed he had been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a rare neurological condition. The singer shared a video showing how the virus had paralyzed half of his face.

Singer The Weeknd was forced to cancel his concert in Los Angeles after losing his voice just three songs into the show, per Page Six. The chart-topper abruptly stopped the show and left the stage while performing his hit song "Can't Feel My Face." He later explained to the crowd, "I personally want to apologize to you guys. I don't know what just happened when I screamed, but I just lost my voice," adding, "You'll get your money back—but I'll do a show real soon for you guys." Country-music singer Luke Combs suffered the same setback during a recent show in Maine, and refunded every ticket, Digital Music News noted.

An image of a bite mark is being removed from House of Hammer, a new Discovery+ docuseries about the sexual-abuse allegations against actor Armie Hammer, Variety noted. Social-media users on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter noticed the image looked similar to that of a bite-mark tattoo photo that originated on the internet and appears to have been found on Pinterest. "The bite mark shown was a photo sent by Armie within our archived text thread and over a year later, I believed it to have been a photo of me given that I have dozens of photos depicting his abuse on my body," accuser Courtney Vucekovich told People in a statement.


This article shared 567 times since Sun Sep 11, 2022
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