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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ Superman, TheWrap, Oscar Wilde, Billy Porter, Cher, 'Dragula'
by Windy City Times staff
2021-10-17

This article shared 1166 times since Sun Oct 17, 2021
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The ongoing comic Superman: Son of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms, launched in July and saw Jon Kent officially take up the mantle of the Man of Steel now that his father, Clark Kent a.k.a Kal-El, is getting older, EW.com noted. But youth isn't the only thing that distinguishes these two Supermen: In November's Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, Jon will officially come out as bisexual and become romantically involved with another male character—and Jon falls for a young reporter named Jay Nakamura. "I'm incredibly honored to be working beside Tom on the Superman: Son Of Kal-El series showing Jon Kent tackling his complex modern life, while also saving the world from its greatest threats, villains and menaces," said Timms in a statement. (However, former TV Superman Dean Cain has criticized Jon coming out as bisexual, calling it "bandwagoning," among other things, according to out.com .) The issue will be available at comic-book shops Tuesday, Nov. 9.

Twenty current and former TheWrap staffers who spoke with The Daily Beast what they said is a toxic environment and culture of fear at the highly influential outlet. They said award-winning founder/CEO Sharon Waxman—who was a foreign correspondent, a New York Times columnist, a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a Hollywood reporter before starting TheWrap in 2009—has driven out one staffer after another and left current employees looking for their exits. At one point, in messages reviewed by The Daily Beast, Waxman lamented social mores regarding deadnaming transgender people, writing, "This may make a trans person feel better but I bet it's painful as hell to parents who lovingly chose that name for their baby. Must the new destroy all vestiges of the old?" Also, Waxman's ex-husband is TheWrap's human-resources department, leaving some employees feeling as though they have no safe place to turn.

In time for Oscar Wilde's birthday (Oct. 16), Warbler Press released My Own Dear Darling Boy: The Letters of Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas—the most complete collection of the surviving letters that Wilde wrote to his "own dear darling boy," per a press release. The 140-page book contains, among other things, Wilde's letters to Douglas used by permission of Merlin Holland, the executor of Wilde's estate; the introductory essays by legendary bookseller A. S. W. Rosenbach and philanthropist William Clark, who first published these letters in 1924; and a little-known letter from Douglas to Wilde.

Grammy-, Tony- and Emmy-winning actor/singer Billy Porter released the single "Children," a press release noted. The single marks Porter's debut under his newly minted joint partnership with Island UK and Republic Records. "Children" is a high-energy dance-floor anthem co-written with Grammy-nominated songwriter MNEK (H.E.R.; Dua Lipa) and Little Mix's Jade Thirwell. Speaking about the inspiration behind the track, Porter said, "It's a song that is inspired by my life and everything I've gone through to get here."

Cher filed suit in Los Angeles against former Rep. Mary Bono, alleging that she is illegally withholding royalties from the hits generated by Sonny & Cher in the 1960s, Yahoo! noted. Mary Bono, the widow of Sonny, is accused of keeping Cher from her share of royalties on such hits as "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On." The suit, filed in Los Angeles federal court, asks for $1 million. Cher and Sonny Bono divorced in 1975 but agreed to split the revenue from the songs they recorded as a duo.

Shudder released the trailer for season four of the drag-competition series The Boulet Brothers' Dragula, premiering exclusively on the horror streaming service, on Tuesday, Oct. 19, with new episodes to follow every Tuesday, a press release noted. The series follows 10 drag artists from around the world competing for a $100,000 grand prize—the largest in show history. Season four guest judges include Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical film series), Harvey Guillen (What We Do in the Shadows), Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones), Misha Osherovich (Freaky), queer country-music figure Orville Peck, pop-metal star Poppy, Ray Santiago (Ash vs. The Evil Dead), Bob the Drag Queen (We're Here) and more.

NSYNC alum Lance Bass and husband Michael Turchin welcomed twins—a boy named Alexander James and a girl named Violet Betty—via surrogacy, USA Today noted. "The baby dragons have arrived," Bass announced on Instagram with photos of the new babies' birth certificates that featured their little footprints. It's the second generation of twins in the family: Turchin is also a twin, with his sister.

Jason Gotay—currently starring as Rafa Caparros in HBO Max's Gossip Girl reboot—tied the knot to longtime boyfriend and fellow actor Michael Hartung, out.com noted. According to a profile on Brides.com, the two met on the set of NBC's Peter Pan Live! musical (which aired in 2014), in which Gotay played one of the Lost Boys and Hartung was Sniffler.

After opening the Venice Film Festival and continuing on to the New York Film Festival, Oscar winner Pedro Almodovar's Parallel Mothers, from Sony Pictures Classics, will have a red-carpet premiere at this year's AFI Fest at Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 13, Deadline reported. In the movie, two women—Janis and Ana, played respectively by Penelope Cruz and Milena Smit—coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth.

Suni Reid—a non-binary performer who appeared in the Broadway, Chicago and Los Angeles productions of Hamilton in both ensemble and principal roles—filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, alleging their contract was not renewed in retaliation over a request for a gender-neutral dressing room during the L.A. production, Deadline reported. Hamilton's producers deny the charge, with a spokesperson saying in a statement that Reid was offered a contract "with terms responsive to their requests," and that producers provided the actor with financial support, housing and respect. Among the principal Hamilton roles Reid has performed are Aaron Burr, George Washington, Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson.

Actor Jon Bernthal—known for his roles as Shane Walsh on The Walking Dead and Frank Castle/the Punisher on both Marvel's Daredevil and Marvel's The Punisher—believes that true masculinity comes from empathy and compassion, not bombast and stubbornness, according to CBR.com . During Bernthal's recent appearance on Hot Ones, host Sean Evans brought up the actor's role as Johnny Soprano, father of Tony Soprano, in the new film The Many Saints of Newark, which serves as a prequel to HBO's The Sopranos. In part, Bernthal said, "As far as being a man, I think you need to be able to talk to anybody. You need to be confident enough in yourself that you know that you can make a mistake, that you can learn from everyone, that you should approach and engage in dialogue with people that think completely differently than you."

Among Kino Lorber's November home-video releases is In Balanchine's Classroom, which takes viewers back to the glory years of George Balanchine's New York City Ballet through the remembrances of his former dancers and their collective quest to fulfill his version. Opening the door to his studio, Balanchine's private laboratory, they reveal new facets of the groundbreaking choreographer. The documentary is filled with never-before-seen archival footage of Balanchine at work during rehearsals, classes and in preparation for his most seminal works, along with interviews with many of his adored and adoring dancers as well as those who try to carry on his legacy today. It will be out Nov. 16; the pre-book date is Oct. 19.

John Cameron Mitchell's 2006 erotic comedy-drama film Shortbus will open at New York City's IFC Center on Jan. 26, 2022, with a 4K restoration to mark the movie's 15th anniversary, per a press release. A sex therapist who has never had an orgasm, a dominatrix who is unable to connect, a gay couple deciding whether to open up their relationship, and the people who weave in and out of their lives all converge on a weekly gathering called Shortbus—a nexus of art, music, politics, and polysexual carnality. After the NYC showing, there will be a theatrical expansion to select cities.

Animal lover Carole Baskin told TMZ she was "stunned" when she saw just how much Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon managed to look like her in pictures from the set of McKinnon's new Joe Exotic miniseries, per out.com . "Kate must be channeling her inner cat lady to be rocking those flats, jeans, sunglasses, purse, and messy hair," she said. Baskin, who starred in Netflix's docuseries Tiger King, said that she has "almost exactly the same outfit" that McKinnon wears in the photos—down to the necklace. McKinnon is currently filming the series Joe Exotic in Australia; Hedwig creator John Cameron Mitchell is playing Exotic.

Six-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, performer, producer and New York Times best-selling author Brandi Carlile's new album, In These Silent Days, debuted at the tops of Billboard's Americana/Folk Albums chart, Top Rock Albums chart and Tastemaker Albums chart, per a press release. Carlile will make her debut as the musical guest on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on Saturday, Oct. 23, with host Jason Sudeikis; also, she returned to The Howard Stern Show recently for an in-depth interview and performance.

The horror film Malignant arrives for Premium Digital Ownership at home Friday, Oct. 22, via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. (It will also be available on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, Nov. 30.) Director James Wan returns to his roots with this movie in which a woman (Annabelle Wallis) is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders—only to have her torment worsen as she discovers that these waking dreams are, in fact, terrifying realities.

On the Oct. 11 episode of Dancing with the Stars, out Gen Z superstar and Dance Moms alum JoJo Siwa played Prince Charming while dancing the Viennese waltz with partner Jenna Johnson on a Disney-themed episode, per out.com . Siwa donned Prince Charming's classic costume to dance with Johnson (who took on the role of Cinderella's to Siwa's prince); they scored 35 out of 40 total points—and received the first nines of the season from the judges' panel.

Kim Kardashian opened her debut as Saturday Night Live (SNL) host Oct. 9 with a series of jokes about her famous family members, including Caitlyn Jenner, per PinkNews. At one point, she suggested that she would be running for president in the next election, alluding to her estranged husband Kanye West's failed presidential run and also Caitlyn Jenner's bid to be a politician, but then said, "I'm not running for president. @e can't have three failed politicians in one family." She also poked fun at herself, telling the crowd she was "surprised to see me here, too."

Oscar winner Anna Paquin and International Emmy winner Ray Winstone are leading the cast of A Bit of Light—the sophomore feature from actor/director Stephen Moyer, who is best known for playing vampire Bill Compton in HBO series True Blood, Deadline noted. Moyer, who also helmed several episodes of True Blood as well as Amazon show Flack, made his feature directing debut on The Parting Glass, which also starred Paquin.

"Sandra Bernhard: Bern It Down" is slated to take place at New York City's Joe's Pub on Dec. 26-31, PublicTheater.org noted. Bernhard is expected to talk about a variety of topics in her inimitable way. Comedy trio Unitard—which performs pieces with a queer sensibility—will open for her.

The longtime, award-winning visual display coordinator for AIDS Healthcare Foundation's (AHF) Out of the Closet thrift store chain won first place in a crafting and design competition in a special episode of HBO Max's reality program Craftopia, according to a press release. Edgar Eiotown, a respected artist who has designed windows and other visual displays for AHF's 21 'Out of the Closet' stores for more than 20 years, triumphed over two other contestants in a special Halloween-themed design competition titled "Bow-Wow Ween."

After 18 seasons, NCIS star Mark Harmon ended his run as a series regular on CBS' long-running procedural drama, with his character, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, opting out of a future in law enforcement, per Deadline. Episode 1904, "Great Wide Open," saw Gibbs and Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) out in Alaska, solving a case involving a contract killer hired by a local company. In the aftermath, Gibbs informed his partner and NCIS Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) that he'd be staying out in that state indefinitely.

Ronin Flix released the extremely controversial revenge film I Spit on Your Grave (1978) and the sequel I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu (2018) on Blu-ray, a press release noted. Camille Keaton stars in both films, as Jennifer Hills. In the first, a group of men attack her and leave for dead; she then exacts revenge in very grotesque ways. In the second, Hills and her daughter are kidnapped, and then have to contend with the family of those the mother murdered.

HBO Max has renewed its superhero series Doom Patrol and Titans, according to separate press releases. Doom Patrol—with new episodes airing on Thursdays until Nov. 11—has been renewed for a fourth season. Titans—with its finale set to air Thursday, Oct. 21—has also been renewed for a fourth season.

The animated movie Bug Therapy, from 88 Pictures and Citronella Stories, will have it world premiere at the 2021 Austin Film Festival on Oct. 24, a press release noted. Starring Meghan Trainor, Dr. Phil, Jay Leno, Sterling K. Brown, Tom Green and Emily Goglia, the film aims to shed light on mental-health struggles and how vital it is to have a support system.

Jeopardy! contestant Matt Amodio saw his 38-game winning run come to an end Oct. 11 as he finished third, putting him behind only superstar Ken Jennings on the list of most consecutive wins on the show, CNN.com noted. (Jennings had a 74-game streak.) During his time on top of the leaderboard, Amodio racked up 1,299 correct clues and won more than $1.5 million. Amodio will be back in front of the blue board during the next Tournament of Champions, the show said.

Speaking of Jeopardy!, the Jeopardy! National College Championship, an all-new tournament, will air in primetime on ABC in 2022, per a press release. Hosted by Mayim Bialik, the competition will feature 15 colleges and universities from across the country battling head-to-head for two weeks of intense competition. Each of the winning students gets a grand prize of $100,000.

A four-part Taste The Nation: Holiday Edition will premiere Thursday, Nov. 4, on Hulu, according to a press release. In Taste the Nation, award-winning host, executive producer and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi takes audiences on a journey across the country, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups. Each episode of "Holiday Edition" will highlight unique traditions through the lens of a different immigrant culture and city, like Korean New Year in Los Angeles and Cuban Christmas in Miami.

The second season of Peacock's reboot of the show Saved by the Bell will start Wed., Nov. 24, per a press release. In this season, Bayside High gears up to compete in the Southern California School Spirit Competition. Cast members include original cast members Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Mario Lopez as well as John Michael Higgins, Josie Totah, Haskiri Velazquez, Belmont Cameli, Mitchell Hoog, Alycia Pascual-Pena and Dexter Darden; Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen and Lark Voorhies are original cast members who will return.

HBO Max shared a first look of Robin Givens as an all-grown-up Darlene Merriman in the upcoming Max Original series Head of the Class, inspired by the 1980s sitcom of the same name, a press release noted. A member of the original Individualized Honors Program (IHP), Darlene Hayward (played by Givens, an original cast member) is an ambitious lawyer with a degree from Stanford; she wants what is best for her son and is hyperfocused on setting him up for success. However, all of the overachieving high school students meet their greatest challenge—a teacher, Alicia Gomez (Isabella Gomez, from One Day at a Time), who wants them to focus less on grades and more on experiencing life. The show will debut Thursday, Nov. 4.

Netflix has ordered That '90s Show—a spinoff of That '70s Show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. On the cast front, only Kurtwood Smith (Red Forman) and Debra Jo Rupp (Kitty Forman) have so far signed on to reprise their roles, but producers are hopeful that other familiar names will join in guest appearances. The original show's cast had several actors who went onto thriving careers, including Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon and Wilmer Valderrama. One member of the core cast, Danny Masterson, is currently set to stand trial for three rape charges in Los Angeles.

Daniel Craig was on restaurateur Bruce Bozzi's Lunch with Bruce Sirius XM podcast—and talked about kissing another man, among other things, LGBTQ Nation noted. Bozzi (who is now married to Bryan Lourd, director and co-chair of the Creative Artist Agency and Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher's former lover) was spotted having "an open-mouth passionate French kiss" with the James Bond star in 2010. "For me, it was one of those situations and, and, and the irony is, you know, we kind of got caught, I suppose, which was kind of weird cause we were doing nothing fucking wrong," Craig (who's been married to actress Rachel Weisz since 2011) said. "I've been going to gay bars for as long as I can remember," Craig added, saying he got tired of the toxic masculinity at straight bars.

Popeyes Louisiana has signed rapper Megan Thee Stallion as a franchisee, according to Restaurant Business. The agreement involves merchandise, a new hot sauce, charitable donations and a franchise-development deal that makes her one of the chain's operators. Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce will make its debut on Oct. 19 and represents the first expansion of the chain's sandwich, which first made its debut in 2019.

A prominent Bill Cosby accuser filed suit against the actor over a 1990 hotel-room encounter in Atlantic City, New Jersey, before the state's two-year window to file older sexual assault claims expires, KTLA.com noted. Los Angeles artist Lili Bernard told The Associated Press she was motivated, in part, by Cosby's recent release from prison. Cosby, 84, has been free since June, when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his 2018 sexual-assault conviction in another case on procedural grounds; he had served more than two years of a potential 10-year sentence.

Sharon Osbourne criticized her former bosses on The Talk, calling them "weak women" with no "backbone" for not defending her against the allegations of racism that led to her departure from the show, according to Page Six. Osbourne slammed CBS Daytime head Amy Reisenbach as well as showrunners Heather Gray and Kristin Matthews during a new interview on SiriusXM's The Megyn Kelly Show, saying they went from her longtime friends to people who destroyed her career.

Actress Raeden Greer says she was fired from True Detective after refusing director Cary Fukunaga's request she go topless for a scene, TheWrap noted. Greer told The Daily Beast that she had no nudity rider in her contract, and was reassured on multiple occasions that the speaking role would not include nudity. Greer said her role was downsized and given to an extra who agreed to do nudity.


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