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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



SHOWBIZ Warhol/Basquiat, 'Raven's Home,' Jonathan Bailey, Broadway, Ricky Martin
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by Andrew Davis

This article shared 1016 times since Sun Jul 17, 2022
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The Collaboration—Anthony McCarten's hit London play about artists Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat—will make its U.S. premiere on Broadway this fall, with Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope as the two painters, Deadline noted. The Manhattan Theatre Club production will begin previews at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 29, with an opening night set for Tuesday, Dec. 20. Kwame Kwei-Armah directs.

The show Raven's Home (the update to That's So Raven, with Raven-Symone) made history by introducing the first live-action transgender character in the history of the Disney Channel, Out Magazine noted. The episode, titled "The Fierce Awakens," featured actress Juliana Joel playing a new character named Nikki. As a kid-oriented cable network, the Disney Channel is behind Nickelodeon, who introduced a live-action trans character on Danger Force back in June 2021.

Bridgerton leading man Jonathan Bailey has signed on for a lead role in the Showtime limited series Fellow Travelers, Variety noted. Bailey joins previously announced cast members Matt Bomer and Allison Williams in the show, which is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Mallon. In the show, the handsome and charismatic Hawkins Fuller (Bomer) avoids emotional entanglements—until he meets Tim Laughlin (Bailey), a young man brimming with idealism and religious faith. They begin a romance just as Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn declare war on "subversives and sexual deviants," initiating one of the darkest periods in 20th-century U.S. history.

Ain't No Mo', the comedy written by and starring Jordan E. Cooper, will be produced on Broadway this fall by Lee Daniels and Brian Anthony Moreland, Deadline noted. The comedy will begin previews at the Belasco Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 3, ahead of an official opening on Thursday, Dec. 1. Cooper, a playwright/actor, is perhaps best known to TV audiences as MC Tyrone on FX's Pose.

Beanie Feldstein is leaving the Broadway revival of Funny Girl earlier than expected, per The Hollywood Reporter. The actress announced in an Instagram post that she will be departing the show July 31. (She also missed all performances the weekend of July 15 due to a bout with tonsillitis, per Playbill.) Last month, producers said she and fellow LGBTQ+ actress Jane Lynch would be departing their roles Sept. 25 instead of at year's end, which had originally been expected. In her post, Feldstein said the decision came after producers "decided to take the show in a different direction," but did not elaborate. Feldstein's and Lynch's replacements will be, respectively, Glee actress Lea Michele and Tovah Feldshuh; Ramin Karimloo will continue as Nick Arnstein, as will Tony nominee Jared Grimes as Eddie Ryan.

Out actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson will step into the roles of Cinderella's Prince and Red Ridinghood's Wolf for a weeklong stint in Broadway's hit revival Into The Woods, taking over for Gavin Creel during a previously scheduled absence, per Deadline. Jackson will play the roles July 24-Aug. 2 while Creel fulfills prior commitments. Creel will return to the production Aug. 6 following a residence at The O'Neill National Musical Theatre Conference performing the project he wrote, Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice.

An attorney for singer Ricky Martin has strongly refuted disturbing allegations that the singer abused his nephew, calling them "not only untrue" but "disgusting," Variety noted. Martin was served a restraining order in Puerto Rico in early July, citing domestic abuse. On July 15, TMZ reported that the singer's brother, Eric Martin, identified the alleged victim as Martin's 21-year-old nephew Dennis Yadiel Sanchez, according to the Spanish news site Marca. However, attorney Martin Singer said Martin's nephew is "struggling with deep mental-health challenges." Martin is due in court July 21 regarding the restraining order; he is also facing other legal troubles, with his former manager suing him for $3 million, claiming that he owes her unpaid commissions.

Apparently, Wanda Sykes does not plan on hosting the Oscars again anytime soon. "Oh, hell no," the comedian said on Live with Kelly and Ryan when asked if she would, in hindsight, emcee March's ceremony over again alongside Regina Hall and Amy Schumer. "I mean, I shouldn't say it like that. It was an amazing honor and I think it's something that you want to do, you do it once, and I don't know if I would want to do it again." She also talked about the moment Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock: "It was just like, what is happening? Couldn't believe it—shock. So, everybody's just going to sit here? It was like, the show just kept going on and I'd look [from] behind the curtain, like, 'He's still sitting here? What is happening? What is going on?' It was crazy; it was just bizarre."

Billy Porter didn't hold back while delivering a politically charged speech at the opening of this year's Outfest, Variety noted. "Fuck SCOTUS!" he said while accepting the Outfest Achievement Award while adding "We lost our vigilance. It's time for us to take that shit back." His appearance marked Porter's return to Outfest after first attending the festival 22 years ago for the premiere of the Greg Berlanti-directed LGBTQ+ movie The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy.

Passion River, in association with Herra Productions, released the multi-award-winning documentary A Sexplanation, which is available on Digital Download, per a press release. To right the wrongs of his all-American sex education, 36-year-old queer Asian American health reporter Alex Liu goes on a quest to uncover naked truths and hard facts—no matter how awkward it gets. The uncensored trailer is at; the censored version is at

Julia Roberts will receive the Academy Museum Gala Icon Award at the second annual Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures Gala on Oct. 15, Deadline reported. She joins the previously announced honorees Miky Lee, Steve McQueen and Tilda Swinton. The Pretty Woman star was most recently seen as Martha Mitchell in the Starz Limited Series, Gaslit, and will be seen this Fall opposite George Clooney in Universal's comedy Ticket To Paradise.

Sylvia Fowles and out athlete Sue Bird—named to their eighth and 13th WNBA All-Star Games, respectively—bowed out of their final showing recently in the event in style, with co-captains A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart presenting them flowers at midcourt during the game, ESPN noted. Fowles got the crowd going late in the first half with a breakaway dunk, and she and Bird—who finished scoreless for the first time in a WNBA All-Star Game—received a standing ovation from the crowd as they checked out of the game for the last time. Team Wilson beat Team Stewart 134-112.

Lena Dunham's movie Sharp Stick will open in NYC and LA on July 29 and will expand on Aug. 5, according to a press release. (It will also be available on digital platforms on Aug. 16.) Sarah Jo (Kristine Froseth) is a sensitive and naive 26-year-old living on the fringes of Hollywood with her disillusioned mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and influencer sister (Taylour Paige). Working as a caregiver and just longing to be seen, she begins an exploratory affair with her older, married employer (Jon Bernthal), and is thrust into a startling education on sexuality, loss and power.

And speaking of Jon Bernthal, Showtime released the official trailer of his TV series American Gigolo, which is based on the 1980 film that starred Richard Gere, a press release noted. The series follows Julian Kaye (Bernthal) after his wrongful conviction release from 15 years in prison as he navigates his complicated relationships with his former lover Michelle (Gretchen Mol), his troubled mother and the people who betrayed him; Wayne Brady and Rosie O'Donnell are among the co-stars. The trailer is at

Queen Sugar creator/executive producer Ava DuVernay, who directed the pilot, will return to direct the series' final episode, per Deadline. Production on the seventh and final season has begun in and around New Orleans. DuVernay will wrap up seven seasons of an all-women directorial team for OWN's award-winning drama series.

Hulu ordered a third season of the comedy series Only Murders in the Building, which stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, per The Hollywood Reporter. The renewal for the show from 20th Television came just three weeks after the second season debut of what Hulu said is its most-watched comedy. The first two seasons are 100% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, a press release touted.

More than 130,000 people are expected to attend San Diego Comic-Con (which will take place July 21-24)—and everyone will be required to wear a face mask, according to Variety. Per Comic-Con's void policy, the mask mandate, as well as verification of full COVID-19 vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event, will be protocols that apply to all Comic-Con attendees, "including but not limited to exhibitors, guests, staff, press, professionals, volunteers and cosplayers." Reinfections and hospitalizations are increasing with the spread of the BA.5 variant of COVID-19.

Daniel Kaluuya will not be reprising his role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Variety reported. Kaluuya played W'Kabi in 2018's Black Panther—the best friend and confidant of T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and the head of security for the Border Tribe. He couldn't film due to scheduling conflicts with Jordan Peele's upcoming horror film Nope.

NYC-based pop dance artist Scott Gardner has returned to the music scene with two new singles—"Daydreaming" and "What You Do To Me"—that are out now on all major streaming platforms, a press release noted. Among other things, in 2019, he gave his debut live performance at the Live. Life. Love: Concert For Suicide Prevention, presented by Journey's in Nashville, opening for Lizzo, Louis Tomlinson, Chelsea Cutler and other major artists. Gardner collaborated with Venezuelan producer and three-time Latin Grammy Nominee and 13-time Promax Award winner Arturo Cabrera Brambilla to co-produce his two new singles.

A revival of Criminal Minds is once again on the board at Paramount+, per The Hollywood Reporter. Almost a year and a half after the project was first announced, the streamer has given a series order to the show, which will reunite cast members Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler and Paget Brewster; however, Matthew Gray Gubler and Daniel Henney won't return.

The male Australian dancing ensemble Thunder from Down Under celebrated 20 years of performances at The Excalibur in Las Vegas, a press release noted. The festivities included Adam Steck, CEO of SPI Entertainment and co-owner of the show, receiving a proclamation from the Clark County Commission, declaring July 5-13 as "Thunder From Down Under Week." The show has hosted celebrities such as stars such as Demi Moore, Kelly Clarkson, Paris Hilton, Heidi Klum, Chrissy Teigen, KISS member Gene Simmons, The Property Brothers and dozens of others.

Alfonso Ribeiro will join season 31 of Dancing With the Stars as a co-host as the show moves to Disney+, Variety noted. He'll join host Tyra Banks as the show's two lead anchors. This will be the second time Ribeiro (who won season 19 with professional dance partner Witney Carson) joins a show previously hosted by Tom Bergeron, after he took over hosting duties of America's Funniest Home Videos when Bergeron left the show in 2015.

Openly gay country-music star Ty Herndon said he was "inches" away from killing himself on New Year's Eve 2020, according to Page Six. The singer—who has released a new album, Jacob—said he had been awake for days, relapsed on crystal meth and was holding a fistful of Ambien tablets. Although he did not remember making the call, he reached out to a friend. Herndon remembered ending up in rehab in Houston about 12 hours later, when "a beautiful journey began."

Britney Spears, who recently married longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari, took to Instagram to write a lengthy note that detailed her feelings on recent documentaries made about her time in the spotlight—seemingly referring to The New York Times' film Framing Britney Spears, which debuted on Hulu in February 2021; and Netflix's Britney vs. Spears, which came out in September 2021, Yahoo! noted. "And come on seriously is it honestly legal to do that many documentaries about someone without their blessing at all ??!," Spears wrote, in part. "Seriously though, think about it. ... I've never seen that many documentaries done on a person." In addition, the "Toxic" singer accused the documentaries of having an "embarrassing tone" and questioned why "people think it's legal to completely humiliate me."

Constance Wu returned to Twitter for the first time in nearly three years to announce her new book, Making a Scene, and to reveal she attempted suicide following the backlash that erupted against her in 2019, Variety noted. Social media was outraged at Wu after she expressed frustration over her ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat being renewed. Wu later clarified her comments, saying she was upset in the moment because the show renewal meant she'd have to turn down a passion project.

Rapper Cardi B accused the gossip site The Shade Room of taking repeated negative potshots at her, per Billboard, which cited Newsweek. The back-and-forth reportedly began when the site posted about Cardi and Offset's daughter, Kulture, in honor of the child's fourth birthday. When Cardi reportedly asked them to delete the post showing Kulture holding a stack of cash in the comments section and on Twitter, she then opened up about the Room's past posts.

Rapper Nicki Minaj's husband, Kenneth Petty, was sentenced in Los Angeles to probation and home detention for failing to register as a sex offender, per CBS Los Angeles. He was also ordered to pay a $55,000 fine. More than two decades before he married Minaj in 2019, Petty was convicted of the attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl in 1995. He served about four and a half years in prison and, as a condition of his conviction, he must register as a sex offender whenever he moves.

Vanity Fair noted that Robert Downey Jr. quietly paid for Call Me By Your Name actor Armie Hammer's six-month stay at Florida rehab facility The Guest House following allegations of emotional abuse, manipulation and rape, according to Page Six. A recovering addict himself, Downey reportedly also came through for Hammer, his estranged wife Elizabeth Chambers and their children by allowing them to stay at his house while Hammer—a great-grandson of the oil tycoon Armand Hammer who reportedly has been cut off from the family dynasty—dealt with media scrutiny after it was reported he was working on the Cayman Islands as a timeshare salesman.

Tim Westwood has been accused of having sex with an underage girl as the troubling allegations against the veteran British DJ continue to mount, according to a HipHopDX item that cited the BBC.The victim, identified as Esther, claims Westwood had sex with her on several occasions in the early 1990s, starting when she was just 14 (below the age of consent in England); the DJ, now 64, was in his 30s at the time. Westwood, who is white, is currently facing a string of sexual-assault allegations from multiple women, all of whom are Black.

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