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WINDYCITYMEDIAGROUP

SHOWBIZ Disco fundraiser, drag queen dies, Randy Rainbow, Outfest's tribute
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-08-24


Chaka Khan, Gloria Gaynor, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers and Kathy Sledge, and Marti Gould Cummings are slated to perform at a virtual Studio 54-themed event/fundraiser for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. ET, a press release noted. Hosted by songwriter Denise Rich and her daughters Daniella Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter, the evening will also feature appearances by Pat Cleveland, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Star Jones, Beverly Johnson, Yovanna Ventura, Madison Headrick, Ethan Zohn, and SiriusXM "Studio 54" hosts Marc Benecke and Myra Scheer, among others. ( DJ Cassidy will keep guests dancing throughout the evening. ) Visit https://gabriellesangels.org/product/virtual-disco-party-2020/.

Chi Chi DeVayne—the stage name of Zavion Davenport, an accomplished entertainer who competed on two seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race—died at age 34, EW.com reported. News of the drag queen's passing came less than a week after DeVayne informed her Instagram followers that she was back in the hospital. In July, DeVayne was previously hospitalized with high blood pressure and suspected kidney failure, telling fans she had catheters to her heart and kidneys surgically installed before undergoing dialysis treatment; she was later released later that month.

Comedian Randy Rainbow apologized after old tweets resurfaced online in which he uses racist and transphobic language, Variety noted. In an interview with The Advocate magazine, he said that the decade-old tweets were made in his "maiden quest to be funny," adding, "I am incredibly sorry. I would never intentionally do anything to hurt anyone. ... There are issues that I was not aware of back then. In 2010, we weren't anywhere near where we are now." He insisted he has never been racist or transphobic: "I'm a gay Jew who was brought up in a very open, accepting family."

The 2020 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival—in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan ( R.O.C ) and Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles—will host Taiwan Program featuring Taiwanese films The Teacher and Sunshine in the Ruins on Aug. 24-26 to highlight the LQBTQ culture and achievements of Taiwan, a press release noted. Taiwan passed the same-sex marriage bill in May 2019, and the law went into effect on May 24 that year, making Taiwan the first country in Asia to legalize the same-sex marriage. One year after the law took effect, over 4,000 LGBTQ couples got married in Taiwan, demonstrating Taiwan's achievements in equal rights for sexual minorities. See OutfestLA2020.com.

James William Ross IV—known to many as drag performer Tyra Sanchez, a persona that he has recently distanced himself from—was arrested in Atlanta, Out.com noted. Ross was arrested for allegedly committing vandalism, and was charged with one count of criminal damage to property in the second degree. In March, Ross retired from drag and, in June, he asked to be disassociated with RuPaul's Drag Race, the show that brought him to national prominence.

Rose McGowan accused The Descendants and Sideways director Alexander Payne of sexual misconduct that allegedly happened when she was 15, according to Deadline. "You sat me down & played a soft-core porn movie you directed for Showtime under a different name," she tweeted. "I still remember your apartment in Silverlake. You are very well-endowed." McGowan—who was one of the fist women to openly speak about Harvey Weinstein's predetory behavior that eventually led to his eventual trial and conviction on sexual-assault charges—said Payne left her on a street corner after their time together.

Also regarding McGowan, she recently attacked Kamala Harris for once accepting a donation from disgraced Hollywood tycoon Harvey Weinstein, Page Six noted. "Did you return the money Weinstein gave you? @SenKamalaHarris How many predators bankroll you?" McGowan tweeted.

Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza has signed with ICM Partners, Deadline reported. The Oakland-based writer and public speaker is also the Principal at the Black Futures Lab and the Black to the Future Action Fund. Garza, creator and host of the Lady Don't Take No podcast, has a number of future projects already lined up, including her first book; Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart will drop on Oct. 20.

Capitol Records released In a Dream—Troye Sivan's new six-song concept EP, a company press release noted. The leadoff track, "Take Yourself Home," trended at number one on Twitter worldwide following its release earlier this year and now has more than 92 million cumulative global streams. Interested persons can visit https://TroyeSivan.lnk.to/Store for music bundles, including a deluxe CD package and new merchandise.

Singer Frank Ocean seemingly has a secret project in the works with Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, Out.com noted, citing The New York Times. "We were collaborating on a music video that never happened," Guadagnino said according to a tweet from Times journalist Buchanan. The pair had been discussing the director's upcoming HBO show We Are Who We Are. "I use the Times to launch an appeal to Frank: Frank, let's do that video. Come on," Guadagnino stated.

Bright Light Bright Light ( the performance alias of Welsh international pop star Rod Thomas ) released his dance single "It's Alright, It's OK" ( featuring Caveboy ), a press release noted. Thomas said, in part, "The lyrics nod to Silence = Death and the LGBTQ+ struggle through time against prejudice and lazy labelling, and the title obviously nods to Whitney Houston's "It's Not Right But It's Okay" ( specifically the Thunderpuss remix )." His album, Fun City, will be released Friday, Sept. 18.

The 1995 documentary Bloodsisters: Leather, Dykes and Sadomasochism is available for viewing with OUTFEST 2020 starting Wed., Aug. 26, a Kino Lorber press release noted. Also, a live digital panel will take place Friday, Aug. 28, with director Michelle Handelman as well as leather/kink/S&M community leaders Queen Cougar, Patrick Califia and Pony Lee. This controversial film was attacked in Congress by the conservative American Family Association for its depictions of radical lesbian sexuality. The trailer is at https:// Article Link Here , and the OUTFEST link is https:// Article Link Here .

Gay cowboy crooner Orville Peck teamed with country superstar Shania Twain to make a very LGBTQ-friendly country music video that has filmmaker and gay icon John Waters in a key supporting role, LGBTQ Nation noted. "Legends Never Die" features appearances by personalities such as Jaida Essence Hall, the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race's season 12; Miss Toto Clermont, a drag performer and bodybuilder from Chicago; Rebecca Brosnan, an actress and fashion influencer; and model Zachariah Shaw. "Legends Never Die" is one of six songs on Peck's new EP, Show Pony, now playing on streaming platforms.

Discovery and producers Raw TV/All3Media America distanced themselves from a 1990s homophobic song performed by Marty Raney, star of established wilderness show Homestead Rescue, Deadline noted. The song, "Adam & Steve," is from Raney's 1997 album Strummit From The Summit, which was available on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music until it was removed from the music-streaming services after Deadline approached Discovery, Raney and the producers for comment. Raney has been the face of Homestead Rescue for five seasons, helping off-grid homeowners fortify their houses against the elements.

Tyler Perry and The Perry Foundation have been selected as recipients of the Television Academy's 2020 Governors Award, Deadline reported. The entertainment mogul will be presented with an Emmy statuette during the 72nd Emmy Awards telecast on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 20. The Governors Award, traditionally presented during the Creative Arts Emmys, is making a leap to the main Emmy telecast.

Ben Cross—the English actor best known for his portrayal of the British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the 1981 multi-Oscar winner Chariots of Fire and as Sarek in the 2009 reboot Star Trek—died at age 72 in Vienna, Austria, following a short illness, Deadline noted. Cross's path to international stardom began in 1978 with his performance in the play Chicago, in which he played Billy Flynn, the slick lawyer of murderess Roxie Hart.

VH1 announced that RuPaul's Drag Race has been greenlit for a 13th season, a network press release noted. Additionally, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars will debut its sixth season. Untucked—the aftershow that gives viewers an all-access pass to the competition including behind-the-scenes drama—also has been greenlit to follow both shows.

Former MTV Real World star-turned-LGBT pop artist-songwriter DAVIS Mallory has released his new single "Jane Fonda," written in Stockholm, Sweden, a press release noted. "Jane Fonda" is slated to appear on Mallory's forthcoming album, which will include recently released singles "Shirtless," "Sun and Moon" and "Getting 2 Close."

The new video for Kylie Minogue's current single, "Say Something," features a kaleidoscopic, otherworldly visual; it was directed by Sophie Muller, who has previously worked with Beyonce, Bjork, Radiohead, Coldplay, Gwen Stefani and Minogue, a press release noted. "Say Something" is the first single to be released from Minogue's forthcoming album, DISCO, out Friday, Nov. 6.

Vida creator Tanya Saracho is getting into business with UCP, signing a development deal with the studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, Deadline reported. Saracho will develop and create original content for television as well as podcasts via the studio's UCP Audio extension. As part of the deal, Saracho will establish a lab and incubator program for Latinx voices.

HBO Max's documentary Class Action Park will premiere on the streamer Thursday, Aug. 27, according to a press release. The documentary looks at New Jersey's Action Park, regarded as the world's most dangerous amusement park and a staple of growing up in the New York/New Jersey area in the '80s and '90s.

For the first time in the 36-year history of MTV's Video Music Awards, the show will air live on a broadcast network, Deadline noted. The 2020 VMAs will simulcast on the CW. The network joins 11 ViacomCBS brands that also will carry the show live alongside MTV on Sunday, Aug. 30. Hosted by Keke Palmer, the star-studded awards show will feature performances by Lady Gaga, BTS, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, Black Eyed Peas, Doja Cat, DaBaby, Maluma, CNCO and others.

Josh Groban announced that he will be releasing a brand new album, Harmony, this November, a press release stated. In addition to the new album, Groban will take fans on a virtual concert "tour" this fall with three new, intimate concerts filmed in-person and live streamed directly to audiences; the shows will be Oct. 3, Nov. 26 and Dec. 19. See JoshGroban.com.

New court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court that CNN obtained show that Britney Spears wants Jodi Montgomery to continue as her conservator, reported. Montgomery was appointed as her temporary conservator after Spears' father, Jamie, stepped aside following health issues last year. Spears has been under a court ordered conservatorship since 2008, following a series of much-publicized personal struggles.

Garrett Rubalcaba, better known to his fans as former adult-movie star Roman Heart, died at age 33, Queerty noted. According to recent social-media posts, the former adult star and Falcon Studios exclusive passed away in late 2019, but friends and colleagues have only now learned of the news.

On the heels of her latest album release, B7, singer Brandy said it took her eight years to finish the album because she was "lost," musically, TheJasmineBrand.com stated. Brandy also spoke on the 2006 car accident that took the life of a 38-year-old woman. Although the singer wasn't charged criminally, the case settled out of court with the woman's family. Brandy said that following the breakup and car accident, she recalled an "insurmountable" amount of pain and even contemplated suicide; however, she added that daughter Sy'rai pulled her out of a dark place.

James Gunn revealed the cast of the Suicide Squad sequel film to DC FanDome, Deadline noted. Viola Davis will reprise her role as Amanda Waller while Joel Kinnaman will again play Colonel Rick Flag and Michael Rooker will play Savant. Flula Borg will step into the role of Javelin and, of course, Margot Robbie will continue to cause trouble as Harley Quinn. Also, Idris Elba will succeed Will Smith as Bloodsport and Steve Agee will play King Shark. In addition, there'll be Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Nathan Fillion as TDK, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang and John Cena as Peacemaker.

At DC FanDome, the title of the new Shazam! sequel was unveiled: Fury of the Gods, Deadline noted. Star Zachary Levi was, at first, alone on screen, but one by one, cast members appeared, including Asher Angel, Meagan Good, Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Adam Brody, director David F. Sandberg and Sinbad ( who many thought was in the first film ). However, few other details were revealed. Shazam! opened with $159.1 million around the world when it opened last year.

The next season of Dancing with the Stars—with Tyra Banks hosting—will premiere Monday, Sept. 14, an ABC press release announced. Some of the pro dancers competing include Val Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Gleb Savchenko, Keo Motsepe and Peta Murgatroyd. Celebrity dancers and additional production details will be announced at a later date.

The competition series American Idol is welcoming back judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie as well as veteran host Ryan Seacrest for a fourth season on ABC, a press release noted. The search for the next singing sensation is currently underway, with "Idol Across America" remote virtual auditions taking place across all 50 states. To sign up for "Idol Across America" and a chance to virtually audition in front of an American Idol producer, visit AmericanIdol.com/auditions; entrants must be at least 15 years old, and can audition on any "Idol Across America" date regardless of location.

Kelly Clarkson is gearing up to return to the studio for the second season of her eponymous talk show—before a live virtual audience, Deadline noted. The second season will premiere Monday, Sept. 21, while the show will also air five additional original episodes the week of Sept. 14 as a countdown to the sophomore season.

Actor/comedian Bryan Callen was dropped by his agents at Creative Artists Agency and Innovative Artists following multiple accusations of sexual assault and misconduct, Page Six reported. In July, four women came forward to the LA Times to accuse Callen, 53, of rape and sexual misconduct.

Netflix responded to the backlash over the poster for its upcoming release, Cuties, which some have accused of sexualizing children, WKYC.com noted. Cuties, a French-language film about an 11-year-old girl named Amy who joins a group of dancers at her school called "the cuties," is set to release on the platform Wed., Sept. 9. The poster—which shows young girls in their dance uniforms consisting of blue crop tops and short shorts striking poses while dancing—has drawn plenty of criticism online.

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj has ended on Netflix, Deadline reported. Minjah tweeted, "What a run. @patriotact has come to an end. I got to work with the best writers, producers, researchers, and animators in the game. My 2 babies were born and grew up with the show. TY to @Netflix and everyone who watched. Now it's time to return these screens to Best Buy."


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