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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SHOWBIZ 'Shucked,' Melissa Etheridge, 'Elite,' composer dies, Orville Peck
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4303 times since Thu Oct 19, 2023
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The Broadway production Shucked has set a closing date of Jan. 14, 2024 at the Nederlander Theatre, Playbill noted. At closing, the Tony-nominated musical will have played 28 previews and 327 regular performances. A North American tour launching next fall has been announced, and a 2025 West End debut is also on the books. The Broadway production of Shucked received nine Tony nominations at the 2023 awards, with Alex Newell winning the award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for their performance as Lulu—and becoming the first nonbinary winner in Tony history.

Melissa Etheridge: My Window—starring the legendary singer—officially opened Sept. 28 at NYC's Circle in the Square, Playbill noted. My Window is an autobiography of sorts, beginning with that Kansas childhood and walking through her coming out, romances and break-ups, cancer diagnosis and current marriage (to television writer/showrunner Linda Wallem Etheridge, who helped develop the show). The songs from her career serve as a live soundtrack. "My Window" is slated to conclude Oct. 29.

Netflix announced on X, formerly Twitter, that the eighth season of the LGBTQ+-inclusive Spanish drama Elite will be its last, Variety noted. Netflix Spain's longest-running fictional series, Elite follows a group of working-class students at an elite high school and their relationships with their wealthier classmates. Though the series' stars come and go, recent featured players include Omar Ayuso, Valentina Zenere, Andre Lamoglia, Carmen Arrufat, Alex Pastrana, Anitta and others.

Steven Lutvak—the composer and co-lyricist of the hit Tony-winning 2013 Broadway musical comedy A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder—died Oct. 9 at age 64, Deadline noted. Since "Gentleman's Guide," Lutvak was an adjunct professor at the New York University Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. Lutvak is survived by his husband, choreographer Michael McGowan, and daughter Eliot Rose Lutvak-McGowan.

GLSEN will honor South African gay country singer Orville Peck on Oct. 28 at its Rise Up LA fundraising gala at Los Angeles' Neuehouse Hollywood, the Los Angeles Blade noted. "Orville Peck's authentic advocacy and commitment to championing a world where LGBTQ+ youth can feel safe and embraced reflects GLSEN's mission," said Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. Wayne Brady and Fortune Feimster are slated to be in the gala's line-up.

The new deluxe version of LGBTQ+ musician Joy Oladokun's album Proof of Life is out via Amigo Records/Verve Forecast/Republic Records, a press release noted. Alongside the album's 13 original tracks, the extended edition also features new songs "Black Car" and "Wild Enough" as well as alternative versions of album tracks "Sweet Symphony" (featuring Chris Stapleton), "Somehow" and "Keeping the Light On," among others.

On the new Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, openly gay musician/actor Troye Sivan talked about his new album, Something to Give Each Other, Billboard noted. Sivan said the only intent with the new album was that he knew he was very "drawn to warmth," with this work being more joyous. "I talk a lot about Janet Jackson," Sivan added. "She's so important to me, but I saw her show at the Hollywood Bowl really early on in the process. And, to me, it took me right back to when I was like, however old I was, I was probably like 7… hearing 'Together Again' for the first time. And that melody and those chords and the warmth that's in that song literally changed the trajectory of my life."

In a recent interview with Conde Nast Traveler, actor/singer Jonathan Groff recounted his 2008 trip to Italy that led to him coming out as gay to his brother, Instinct Magazine noted. Upon viewing Michelangelo's statue of David, the Statue Of David, Groff saw it as a "perfect, liberated form"—which led to him crying. Groff added, "Afterward, I sat in a piazza, journaling, thinking about how nobody here knew or cared about me, and I decided to come out to my brother—who is also named David—the next day." He publicly came out in 2009.

Actor Timothee Chalamet revealed to GQ, among other things, that Tom Cruise sent him an email after they met following the production of Dune in which Cruise offered a list of all the stunt trainers, motorcycle coaches and more that Chalamet could reach out to, per Variety. Chalamet is a huge Cruise fan, and watched Top Gun: Maverick eight times in theaters while in Budapest filming Dune: Part Two in 2022. Also, when asked how he personally processed the allegations against Call Me By Your Name co-star Armie Hammer, Chalamet said, "I don't know. These things end up getting clickbaited so intensely. 'Disorienting' is a good word."

Five-time Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams will narrate the audio edition of The Woman in Me, Britney Spears' upcoming memoir, Yahoo! noted, citing People. The pop icon will record an introduction to the audiobook, while Williams will lend her voice to the rest. "I stand with Britney," Williams said in a statement of her support for the Grammy-winning singer.

Actor Jussie Smollett reportedly entered a rehab treatment facility's outpatient program, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, citing a TMZ report. Smollett is awaiting a ruling by a three-judge panel of the Illinois Appeals Court on whether to uphold his conviction for faking a 2019 hate crime near his Streeterville home in Chicago. The former star of the show Empire was charged in 2019 after it was revealed that he had made up a story about being the target of a racist and homophobic attack while near his home.

Warner Bros. and DC Studios will reportedly be calling it quits with nonbinary The Flash star Ezra Miller, according to The Direct and several other outlets. As DC launches a reboot, the superhero franchise is set to recast several of its most important characters, including Batman and Superman. There have been calls from the public to recast Miller, who returned this summer for his solo movie in the midst of legal battles.

At London's O2 Arena—on the first night of her rescheduled tour—Madonna told the crowd, "I didn't think I was going to make it," per Deadline. She added, "I forgot five days of my life—or my death. But the angels were protecting me. If you want to know my secret, how I survived, I thought, 'I've got to be there for my children. I've got to pull through for them.'" It was the first night of the tour that had to be rescheduled after Madonna fell seriously ill in June and spent time in intensive care in hospital in New York. The show took a tour of more than 40 hits from her 40-year career, including "Like a Prayer" and "Holiday"; she opened with "Nothing Really Matters."

At the British event the Iris Prize, Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies doubled down by saying he's "absolutely sticking" to his view that gay actors should be cast to play gay characters, PinkNews noted. "I know a straight actor can portray a gay character brilliantly," Davies said during a panel. "I know certainly a gay actor can play a straight character brilliantly." Also, Davies—who has also been behind such series as It's a Sin and the original Queer As Folk—suggested that he is likely to address this "hatred" and "nonsense" (referring to anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric) in an upcoming series.

Focus Features just dated the horror comedy Lisa Frankenstein, written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody, for a Feb. 9, 2024 opening, Deadline noted. Lisa Frankenstein—marking the feature theatrical debut of Zelda Williams—follows a misunderstood teenager and her high school crush, who happens to be a handsome corpse. The film also stars Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, Henry Eikenberry, Joe Chrest and Carla Gugino.

Nonbinary performer Rob Madge's solo show My Son's a Queer (But What Can You Do?) will embark on a 16-week run on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, with previews beginning Feb. 27 and opening night set for March 12, per Playbill. Madge will reprise their performance. The autobiographical solo show centers on Madge at age 12 as they attempt to create a full scale Disney parade in their house for their grandmother.

Legendary UK girl group Bananarama is celebrating more than 40 years by announcing the forthcoming album Glorious: The Ultimate Collection, to be released on collector's triple vinyl and double CD on March 8, 2024, per a press release. The collection will also include songs from throughout the group's career, including "Cruel Summer," "Venus" and "Move in My Direction." The group has released the first track, "Feel the Love." Touring and recording constantly, they founded their own IN SYNK label and embarked upon a resurgence that resulted in the 2019 album In Stereo.

Apparently, Sense8 actor Brian J. Smith and Blue Bloods actor Matt Consalvo are a couple, according to Queerty. In a post on his Instagram Story, Smith shared an image smiling in a hospital bed with Consalvo seated next to him. "Surgery day!" Smith captioned the photo. "Couldn't have done it without the love of my life - @matt.consalvo." Smith came out publicly for the first time in a 2019 interview in which he said he grew up feeling "terrified."

Embattled gay two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey received a standing ovation after an appearance at the University of Oxford lecture "What Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Cancel Culture," Deadline reported. In what is thought to be his first stage appearance since he was acquitted of sexual assault, Spacey delivered a five-minute scene from William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens. The reception came days after London's Prince Charles Cinema declined to host the premiere of Spacey's new film, the Welsh thriller Control, after discovering he had a voice role in the movie.

American Idol alums Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken are performing across the country on the Twenty | The Tour tour—two decades after being on the singing-competition show, per the tour's website. Studdard won the second season of American Idol and received a Grammy nomination in December 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Superstar," FOX40 noted. Aiken (a part of the LGBTQ+ community) was the runner-up against Studdard on "Idol" and, most recently, starred on Broadway in "Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show" at the Imperial Theater. Some future stops will be in Phoenix; Kansas City, Missouri; Billings, Montana; Portland; Palm Desert, California; Milwaukee; Irmo, South Carolina; and Lady Lake, Florida. Visit .

After being awarded the Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter award from Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds expressed how much it meant to him to be honored in that way, The Hollywood Reporter noted. "I miss Robin Williams. Pretty sure everyone does," he wrote on Instagram. "His kids have turned his legacy into a living, breathing love letter for good." Glenn Close began BC2M in 2010 with her sister and nephew to build awareness, understanding and empathy around mental-health issues.

Actress Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill; Chicago P.D.) is reportedly dating soccer star Ashlyn Harris after their respective divorces, per Page Six. Bush split from Grant Hughes in August after just 13 months of marriage; Harris filed for divorce from her wife, Ali Krieger, after nearly four years of marriage in September. Bush, who has called herself a "lifelong soccer fan," is an investor in the LA-based team Angel City FC and has been friends with Harris for years.

Piper Laurie—an actress who garnered three Oscar nominations while starring in films like Carrie and The Hustler—died at age 91, Variety reported. Her performance as Catherine Martell in David Lynch's TV series Twin Peaks brought her two of her nine Emmy nods. The actress won her only Emmy for her role in the powerful 1986 "Hallmark Hall of Fame" entry Promises, in which James Woods starred as a schizophrenic and James Garner was his brother.

Two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine—the British film star whose career has spanned eight decades and featured movies from The Italian Job to The Dark Knigh— confirmed his retirement from acting, CNN noted. Caine, who is 90, made the announcement on BBC Radio 4's "Best of Today" podcast. He confirmed that The Great Escaper, which was released earlier this month, will be his last acting job.

During a Vanity Fair lie detector interview with his Merrily We Roll Along co-stars Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez, actor Daniel Radcliffe confronted the internet rumor mill, Yahoo! noted. Denying rumors that he's angling to play Marvel superhero Wolverine, Radcliffe said, "I got buff because I am obsessive, and I want to… You've seen my parents, they're like insane fitness people." Also, when talking about the weirdest story he's read about himself, Radcliffe said, "There's a lot of shipping of [Harry Potter figures] Harry and Draco [Malfoy] as characters together."

Rapper/radio personality Yung Joc said he would turn down $250,000 to perform at a LGBTQ event, fearing men's "lustful eyes," according to XXL. On VladTV, he said, "It's not that I have nothing against the LGBTQ people. But I just may not understand. I may not be in the know enough to feel comfortable enough to do this. Nah, because I don't want to start doing that. Maybe I don't want to be comfortable with this lifestyle. Is that OK?" Fellow rapper Boosie BadAzz recently revealed that he turned down that same amount to perform at an LGBTQ+ event, adding, "My assistant is gay. This man deals with millions of dollars for me. I trust gay people more than regular people."

Fugees rapper Prakazrel "Pras" Michel was found guilty of criminal conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government earlier this year—but his new attorney has filed a motion demanding a retrial, Pitchfork noted. The motion called Michel's previous attorney, David Kenner, "ineffective," specifically alleging that Kenner relied on an AI program to write a "damaging" closing argument, Reuters reported. Following his conviction, Pras has made appearances with the Fugees; the group (which also includes Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean) will tour in October and November.

The late singer Aaron Carter's twin sister, Angel, invited his fans to visit him at his final resting place—nearly a year after his sudden death, per The New York Daily News. Taking to Instagram, Angel revealed a plaque which bears a portrait of her brother, who died of accidental drowning at his Los Angeles area home last November. "Aaron's portrait was placed this morning at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills," she wrote. "He adored his fans, and I know how much this would mean to him now having a final resting place where we could all celebrate his life. I invite you to visit, share your memories, and never forget who Aaron was deep down."

This article shared 4303 times since Thu Oct 19, 2023
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