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SHOWBIZ Sundance items, Green Day, 'Wednesday,' Queerties, 'The Wiz'
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 10787 times since Fri Jan 26, 2024
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At the Sundance Film Festival, Jodie Foster told Variety that the $1.4-billion success of Barbie helps confirm that Hollywood no longer views women directors as too much of a risk. She said, "With a big success like 'Barbie,' they gave Greta Gerwig, who had made two mostly independent films, they gave her the keys to the kingdom and said 'We're going to give you our most important child' and all the money to support it. That's new for women. I hope that continues." Foster is currently headlining the fourth season of HBO's True Detective, titled True Detective: Night Country. She stars opposite boxer-turned-actor Kali Reis in a murder mystery that centers on an Indigenous Alaskan woman.

And speaking of Sundance, Out listed 14 iconic LGBTQ+ documentaries that have screened at the festival. Some of them include Before Stonewall (1985), Paris Is Burning (1991), The Celluloid Closet (1996), Small Town Gay Bar (2006), How to Survive a Plague (2012), Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen (2020) and Flee (2021). The full list is at

The Deadline Studio at Sundance hosted a talk with Dawn Porter, who discussed the Luther Vandross documentary Luther: Never Too Much. The intensely private Vandross started his career supporting David Bowie, Roberta Flack, Bette Midler and others before reaching individual status as a singing superstar. In part, Porter said, "I wanted Luther to tell his own story as much as possible. So that's why it was such a gift to have all this archival. And so I was like, we're going to let Luther have the last word, but the last thing I want to do is have anybody think I'm homophobic. So it was a struggle to not kind of go beyond where he wanted to go [in discussing his sexuality]. So we let people who loved him talk about his struggles."

And here's yet another Sundance item: The Kristen Stewart movie Love Lies Bleeding—a lesbian bodybuilding film—apparently "drew hoots and hollers and big cheers throughout in an ultraviolent, twisty and turny tale of familial revenge," per Deadline. Director Rose Glass received a standing ovation at a venue where ovations are rare. Stewart plays a down-on-her luck gym manager, Lou, who falls for the competitive amateur bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O'Brian) in the gym. When Lou's sister (Jena Malone) gets beaten by her husband (Dave Franco), Jackie takes affairs into her own hands—and things go awry.

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is more than happy to identify as a bisexual icon, according to People. He told the entertainment outlet, "I like it. I think it's f—-ing cool that someone calls me a bisexual icon. I've seen that before. I'm like, 'Fuck, yeah!'" Armstrong first came out as bisexual in a 1995 interview with The Advocate. Armstrong—who has been married to his wife, Adrienne, for 29 years—added, "Sexuality is always so much more than what the standard, nuclear-family type of way of looking at things. But I have been married—there's this other side of me that's very conventional when it comes to my 30-year marriage to my wife. But I just look at sexuality: It's not one way or the other."

The first season of the hit Netflix series Wednesday will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on March 26 via Warner Bros. Discovery, per a press release. The series stars Jenna Ortega as the title character, along with Gwendoline Christie as Principal Larissa Weems, Jamie McShane as Sheriff Donovan Galpin, Hunter Doohan as Tyler Galpin, Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe, Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair and Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay. Guest stars include Catherine Zeta-Jones , Luis Guzman, Isaac Ordonez and Fred Armisen. The series received 12 Emmy nominations in 2023, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Ortega).

Queerty announced its nominees for the 12th anniversary Queerties awards, taking place March 12 in Los Angeles, per a press release. Winners will be voted on by Queerty readers from now through Feb. 22. Categories include Badass, Best Feud, Drag All-Star, Style Icon, Coming Out for Good and many others; the many nominees include (among others) Wayne Brady, Bella Ramsey, Ncuti Gatwa, the shows Gen V and Elite, the movies Joy Ride and Barbie, and Christian Siriano. To vote, visit

The Broadway-bound national tour of The Wiz will go back on the road after coming to Broadway, per Playbill. A second leg for the tour will begin performances in February 2025. The only city to be announced so far is Dallas, where the production will run Sept. 9—21, 2025, but additional cities will be announced. The production is currently in San Francisco through February 11, after which it will move to Los Angeles before hitting Broadway's Marquis Theatre beginning March 29. The Broadway opening night will be April 17.

Joanne Trattoria—the NYC restaurant family-owned by Lady Gaga's parents, Joe and Cynthia Germanotta—will launch a weekly drag show series (Drag Me to Joanne's) beginning Feb. 14, Playbill noted. Jupiter Genesis will host the shows, held every Wednesday. The opening night will feature MARIYEA and Angel Au, with the Feb. 21 show spotlighting Vidana and Lana Ja'Rae. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.

A Jennifer Lopez drag impersonator got the surprise of a lifetime when the real-life superstar made a surprise appearance on stage, per NBC News. As drag artist Jo Lopez finished performing Jennifer Lopez's song "Can't Get Enough" at the West Hollywood spot The Abbey, the real Jennifer Lopez appeared behind her impersonator—causing Jo Lopez to scream in shock. According to The Abbey, Jennifer was at the bar to celebrate the venue's 33rd anniversary, honor Cooley's LGBTQ+ advocacy work and promote her new single, "Can't Get Enough," from her upcoming album This is Me… Now.

The third and final season of Netflix's Young Royals will debut in March, per Out. The first five episodes will drop on Monday, March 11 while the series finale will then be released a week later, on Monday, March 18. Created by Lisa Ambjorn, Lars Beckung and Camilla Holter, Young Royals is a Netflix original series from Sweden that tells the love story between Prince Wilhelm (played by Edvin Ryding) and Simon Eriksson (Omar Rudberg).

In the wake of the song being featured in the final scene of Saltburn, British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor has found global chart success as one of her most loved and successful songs—"Murder on the Dancefloor"—has become a worldwide viral hit, per a press release. "Murder" charted at #2 on the Official UK Singles Chart, matching the chart position it achieved 22 years ago. It also hit a new peak on the Billboard Hot 100, rocketing up 40 spots on the chart from #98 to #58—marking Ellis-Bextor's first song to chart on the Hot 100 in her career. Ellis-Bextor has also shared a seven-track Murder on the Dancefloor EP, featuring "Murderr" alongside the original B-Side "Never Let Me Down," the Extended Album Version, and remixes from Jewels & Stone, Danny D, Hq and Twin Murder.

Fans of Max's Our Flag Means Death have taken to the internet to demand that the streamer save the LGBTQ+ pirate comedy, per the website them. Max had announced that the series had officially been cancelled after two seasons. News of the cancellation revitalized the viral "Renew as a Crew" campaign, which was launched in August 2023 ahead of season two's premiere. A fan-run petition titled "Renew Our Flag Means Death" has amassed more than 61,000 signatures; see

RuPaul's Drag Race Madame LaQueer (from the show's fourth season) has come out as trans—and she's celebrating with a new stage name as well, noted. "It's something I've been pondering for myself for years," she told EW, explaining that she'll now go by the name Cassie (short for Cassandra) out of drag; in drag, she'll perform as Madame Cassandra Uzumaki LaQueer. Madame—who hails from Puerto Rico, and is also the drag mother of Drag Race season-five contestant Lineysha Sparx—said she first realized she was trans in 2006, but regularly allowed her "inner saboteur to reel" her back from being her true self.

And speaking of "Drag Race," fellow alum Alaska claimed that actress Lea Michele (Glee) wouldn't acknowledge her at the 2017 Grammys, per . On her Race Chaser podcast with fellow Drag Race alum Willam, Alaska said, "People wouldn't look us in the eye. Like, Lea Michele looked through us, wouldn't even acknowledge that we exist. Kris Jenner was there just looking so mad at her life that it had come to this. She was hosting the E! carpet, and just looked so miserable. But, celebrities, at least back then, were mortified of drag, so Princess Poppy doing this [being at the 2024 Emmys dressed as a green goblin], I think, is a great statement because she's the sum of all fears."

Ariana Grande debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "yes, and?," a press release noted. The debut marked Ariana Grande's eighth #1 and 21st Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Each lead single from her first seven studio albums debuted in the Top 10, making her the only artist to achieve this accomplishment.

Regarding the 2024 NAACP Image Awards, the newest version of The Color Purple led all productions by being nominated for 16 awards, per The Hollywood Reporter. The movie was nominated for outstanding motion picture, and stars Fantasia Barrino and Colman Domingo are both up for entertainer of the year. Also, the film Rustin (starring out actor Domingo as the late gay civil-rights leader) garnered eight nods. In the best motion picture category, The Color Purple and Rustin will face off against seven-time nominee American Fiction (another Oscar contender), four-time nominee Origin and nine-time nominee They Cloned Tyrone. On the TV side, Abbott Elementary led with nine nominations, followed by Survival of the Thickest (seven), and Queen Charlotte and Snowfalll (six each). Queer actor Ayo Edebiri was nominated for both her role in The Bear and her guest appearance on Abbott Elementary. The winners of the 2024 NAACP Image Awards will be revealed March 11-16.

And speaking of Domingo, the Oscar nominee has been cast as Joe Jackson, the father of Michael Jackson, in the Antoine Fuqua-directed biopic Michael, Variety revealed. The casting announcement comes after the news Jackson's real-life nephew Jaafar would portray the King of Pop, with 9-year-old Juliano Krue Valdi portraying the singer during his early days.

The annual Golden Raspberry Awards aka The Razzies—which (dis)honors the worst in cinema—announced nominations for its 44th edition, Variety noted. The most-nominated film is Expend4bles, the fourth entry in the action-packed The Expendables franchise; it received seven nods. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey and The Exorcist: Believer got five nominations each. Among those up for worst actor and actress are Chris Evans (Ghosted), Jason Statham (Meg 2: The Trench), Jennifer Lopez (The Mother), Salma Hayek (Magic Mike's Last Dance) and even Dame Helen Mirren (Shazam! Fury of the Gods). "Winners" will be announced on March 9.

Usher, Janet Jackson and Backstreet Boys are just a few of the acts slated to perform at the Lovers & Friends festival, which will return to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on May 4, per Variety. Other acts include Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Nas, Alicia Keys, Nelly Furtado, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, Ciara, TLC and Timbaland. In its first year (2022), the two-day event got shut down early after attendees heard gunshots and fled for the exits; however, last year, it went smoothly, with performances from Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey and 50 Cent.

Ryan Gosling issued a statement responding to his Oscar nomination for Barbie, expressing his disappointment that the film's director Greta Gerwig and star Margot Robbie were overlooked in their individual categories, The Independent noted. In part, Gosling said, "There is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie—the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film." Gosling also congratulated America Ferrera for being nominated for best supporting actress. The film garnered eight nominations.

American Cinema Editors (ACE) announced the nominations for the 74th Annual ACE Eddie Awards, recognizing outstanding editing in 14 categories of film, television and documentaries, a press release stated. The group also said that Nina West—who played Divine in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story and Edna Turnblad in the touring production of Hairspray—will host the March 3 ceremony at UCLA's Royce Hall. Nominees for Best Edited Feature Film (Drama, Theatrical) are the editors behind Anatomy of a Fall, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Oppenheimer and Past Lives, while the Comedy Theatrical race will be among Air, American Fiction, Barbie, The Holdovers and Poor Things. As previously announced, filmmaker John Waters will receive the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award.

Lindsay Lohan and Kristin Chenoweth are slated to star in Our Little Secret—a new holiday film that Stephen Herek (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure) is directing for Netflix, Deadline noted. This is the second in Lohan's two-picture creative partnership with the streamer, entered into in March 2022, on the heels of the forthcoming rom-com Irish Wish. Co-stars will include Ian Harding, Tim Meadows, Henry Czerny and Katie Baker as well as out actors Dan Bucatinsky and Brian Unger.

Erblin Nushi's film I Love You More—starring Luan Jaha, Don Shalia, Leonik Sahiti and Irena Aliu—will hit select theaters on Feb. 9 and be out on VOD on Feb. 13, per a press release. The plot is described as follows: "After a year of online pillow talk, Ben, a shy Kosovar teen, is exhilarated to finally meet his first (but secret) love, Leo. Consumed with passion, Ben carefully weaves the plans and cover story for his much desired romantic tryst with Leo, who is arriving from Germany in just one month. … Ben's mother surprises him and the family with a life-changing opportunity, but he just can't take it yet. He must meet Leo."

World-champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber—who came out as gay in 2017—died at age 29 in Texas from medical complications, per PinkNews. Agent Paul Doyle said of Barber, who was a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, "More than just an incredible athlete, Shawn was such a good-hearted person that always put others ahead of himself. It's tragic to lose such a good person at such a young age." Barber came out as gay at age 22 in a Facebook post, writing, "Gay and proud! Thank you to my parents for being such a great support."

Reba McEntire will perform the national anthem for Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, per a press release. The Super Bowl will take place at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 11, and will air on CBS. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. CT. The performance will mark a full-circle moment for McEntire, who was discovered at the 1974 National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma, where she sang the national anthem, launching her career. Along with McEntire, pre-game talent for the Super Bowl includes Post Malone and Andra Day; Usher will perform at halftime.

British singer Morrissey has claimed that he's being erased from the origin story of The Smiths, per Stereogum. Morrisey, who was the lyricist and lead singer of the group, wrote a letter about how nobody can deny that he was the guy in the Smiths.In the "messages from Morrissey" section of his website, Morrissey shared a statement mourning the loss of the former Smiths agent Mike Hinc; two days later, Morrissey returned to correct any misconceptions about the role that he played in the Smiths.

And speaking of The Smiths, guitarist Johnny Marr took to social media Tuesday to blast former U.S. President Donald Trump for using the iconic band's songs at his rallies, Deadline noted. "Ahh…right…OK. I never in a million years would've thought this could come to pass," said Marr on X. "Consider this sh*t shut right down right now." Adele and Aerosmith, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Tom Petty, the estate of Prince and the Village People are among those who have objected to Trump playing their music.

Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning debuted on Paramount+ on Jan. 25 in the U.S. and Canada, per Variety. The original title of the film was Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One," but that has been changed to the current title. The slight name change comes after the upcoming eighth movie, which was originally subtitled "Dead Reckoning Part Two," was delayed from June 28, 2024, to May 23, 2025, and it was announced it'd receive a new title.

Director Doug Liman declined to attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) premiere of his film Road House, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, to protest Amazon MGM bypassing theaters to stream it directly. On the website Deadline, Liman penned an essay that read, in part, "My plan had been to silently protest Amazon's decision to stream a movie so clearly made for the big screen. But Amazon is hurting way more than just me and my film. If I don't speak up about Amazon, who will? So here we go. … Amazon asked me and the film community to trust them and their public statements about supporting cinemas, and then they turned around and are using Road House to sell plumbing fixtures."

Jussie Smollett was trending because conservative trolls (The Silent Majority, specifically) on X decided to compare U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee to the embattled actor after she related a racist incident that happened on Capitol Hill, The Root noted. Lee described her encounter with a white man thusly: She told him, "'Sir, I'm a member of Congress,' and I showed him my pin. And he says, 'Whose pin did you steal?'" Several people came to Lee's defense, arguing that every time Black people talk about racism, they bring up Smollett.

Conde Nast fashion editor Anna Wintour reportedly didn't take off her trademark sunglasses the entire time she met with employees of Pitchfork to tell them they were losing their jobs after Conde Nast had decided to merge the music criticism site with GQ, Variety reported. "One absolutely bizarro detail from this week is that Anna Wintour—seated indoors at a conference table—did not remove her sunglasses while she was telling us that we were about to get canned," former Pitchfork staff writer Allison Hussey wrote on X. "The indecency we've seen from upper management … is appalling." In a 2009 interview with 60 Minutes, Wintour called the sunglasses her "armor."

SiriusXM and Stitcher beat a lawsuit from former Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek that accused them of reneging on a $700,000 podcast deal, per The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Broadbelt dismissed the suit, finding that the audio giant "did not enter into a contract" with the actor since they didn't finalize the agreement.

This article shared 10787 times since Fri Jan 26, 2024
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