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Second 'Ab Fab' episode Feb. 6; Neil Patrick Harris and partner talk about their love
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times..

This article shared 5786 times since Wed Jan 25, 2012
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The second of three new Absolutely Fabulous 20th-anniversary specials will premiere in the United States Monday, Feb. 6, on Logo, according to a press release. In the newest special, titled "Job," Edina takes on a celebrity client who wants to sing. When Edina discovers how awful her client's voice really is, she'll need to recruit some help from her other clients, Emma Bunton (from the Spice Girls) and Lulu, to help prepare the client for her upcoming debut.

Actor Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka talk about their love in the February issue of Out magazine, according to the New York Daily News. Harris, 38, said of Burtka, "There's something kinetic about him and his being. He's classically sexy, yet he's very much a boy in his energy. It's a great dynamic." Burtka, 36,—a chef and E! News correspondent—talked about how they met: "I thought he was adorable, with these amazing blue eyes that are just hypnotizing to me. I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend and, a week later, Neil and I had a date." He added that Harris is his "lifeline."

The CW has given the green light to three very different series. According to, the shows are Arrow, based on the DC Comics book Green Arrow; an adaptation of Candace Bushnell's novel The Carrie Diaries, a prequel to Sex And The City; and a reboot of the 1980s series Beauty and the Beast. The shows join the first pilot ordered by the CW, the mystery drama Cult.

Christopher Plummer and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson have criticized an anti-gay group for protesting the 2012 Golden Globes, Digital Spy reported. Plummer—who won the Best Supporting Actor Award for playing a gay senior citizen in Beginners—said, Gays are part of our society and have been since the Egyptians, the Greeks; it is part of the human condition. I know there's an awful lot of anti-gay feeling right now, particularly at this moment, and I abhor it."

Speaking of Ferguson, he and Glee stars Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison are among those joining George Clooney in the March 3 reading of Dustin Lance Black's docudrama, 8, according to . Clooney will play David Boies, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which sought to overturn Prop 8. The production, which Rob Reiner will direct, will also include Christine Lahti, George Takei and Cleve Jones, among others.

Jeffrey Sanker said that his White Party Palm Springs—the largest gay-dance music festival in North America—"is going to be a 3-D experience," Business Wire reported. Sanker added that there will be "bigger and bolder LED and visual displays, and immense stage and platform structures designed to stretch the limits of your imagination." Also, Grindr will mark its third anniversary at the event, which takes place April 6-9. See .

Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, will officially launch the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) Feb. 29 at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre, according to a press release. Lady Gaga will be joined by some very special guests as she unveils BTWF before a crowd of policy makers, non-profit organizations, foundation leaders and youths. The foundation has partnered with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment and The Berkman Center at Harvard to explore the best ways to reach youth and create a culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment.

Tony winner and gay fave Kristin Chenoweth—most recently on Broadway in the revival of Promises, Promises—sang the national anthem before the 2012 NFC Championship game featuring the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers Jan. 22, reported. Chenoweth will soon be on the ABC series GCB and recently released the CD Some Lessons Learned.

Jeff Goldblum and Broadway veteran Brian Stokes Mitchell will play Lea Michele's gay dads on the TV series Glee, according to On Top Magazine. Goldblum and Stokes Mitchell will first appear on the series' Valentine's Day show, titled "Heart"; it is expected to air Tuesday, Feb. 14. Goldblum is known for his roles in the film The Fly and Jurassic Park; Stokes Mitchell was originally on the TV series Trapper John, M.D., and has been nominated for three Tonys for roles in Man of La Mancha, King Hedley II and Ragtime.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has announced the nominees for its 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. More than 150 English- and Spanish-language nominees will compete in areas ranging from TV and film to journalism. Ceremonies will be held in New York on March 24 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square; in Los Angeles April 21 at the Westin Bonaventure; and in San Francisco June 2 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. The full list of nominees is at

Female rapper Syd the Kyd accused musicians Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott of being in the closet, according to a article. Syd, the openly gay rapper in the duo Odd Future, said to LA Weekly, "There's Alicia Keys, who's married to Swizz Beatz—we know that sh*t ain't real. You got Queen Latifah kissing Common in movies. Missy Elliott saying she don't wanna hang with bitches. You know she loves her some bitches." Syd added that she hates the word lesbian: "I'd much rather say gay."

In a controversial move, RuPaul talked about her love of the word "tranny," LGBT Weekly reported. During an interview at SiriusXM OutQ and HuffPost Gay Voices, RuPaul said that apologizing for using the word is "ridiculous," adding, "I love the word 'tranny'…And I hate the fact that [Lance Bass] apologized. I wish he would have said, 'F-you, you tranny jerk!'" The premiere of the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race airs Jan. 30 on Logo.

On a recent episode of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, the host predicted President Obama will endorse same-sex marriage, according to On Top Magazine. Conservative journalist David Frum, director Rob Reiner, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi were the roundtable guests; last year, Frum admitted he was wrong about same-sex marriage after initially claiming it would the family unit. In 1996, Obama stated in a questionnaired that he supported marriage equality, but has since backed away from that stance.

Aretha Franklin has released a list of actors she'd like to star in a movie adaptation of her 1999 autobiography—but left out a choice for herself, according to the New York Daily News. Franklin wants Nia Long and Kerry Washington to portray her sisters, with Blair Underwood as her brother and Denzel Washington as her father. In 2010, she said she wanted Halle Berry to portray her; however, Berry said she couldn't do justice to the part because she can't sing. It's been speculated that Jennifer Hudson may play the Queen of Soul.

Etta James—the iconic singer who had hits such as "Something's Got a Hold on Me" and "At Last"—has died, according to longtime friend/manager Lupe De Leon, CNN reported; James was 73. She died from complications from leukemia. She was diagnosed with the cancer in 2010, and she also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C. James overcame a heroin addiction, but also opened for the Rolling Stones, won six Grammys and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"American Idol" associate music director and vocal coach Michael Orland recently gave President Obama's singing a thumbs-up, according to . Obama sang a couple lines from Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at a recent fundraiser in Harlem, N.Y. "I swear to you, if he auditioned for me in the big stadium [rounds], I would have put him through to the producers immediately," Orland said. Green himself said the commander-in-chief "nailed" the song.

Mary J. Blige is lending her support and vocal talents to a documentary at the Sundance Film Festival about sexual assault in the U.S. military, according to Yahoo! News. Blige attended the Jan. 20 world premiere of The Invisible War. Written and directed by Kirby Dick, The Invisible War looks at the trauma suffered by female and male victims of rape at the hands of their military colleagues as well as the difficulty they have in prosecuting their attackers.

In Nevada, Clark County District Court Judge Jessie Walsh dismissed the cocaine possession case against singer Bruno Mars after he successfully completed court-ordered drug education classes and community service, Reuters reported. Mars (real name: Peter Hernandez) was arrested in September 2010 after a bathroom attendant at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel caught him with a small bag of the drug. Mars' original guilty plea has been nullified and will not show up on his record.

Three's Company co-stars Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt recently reunited after a producer on Somers' web show asked DeWitt to make an appearance, according to Yahoo! News. Bad blood had kept the pair from speaking with each other for three decades. Somers initially resisted reuniting, telling Access Hollywood Live, "I was fired for [asking] to be paid what they paid the men and everybody turned on me." Somers added that the reunion was very "emotional."

Actor Alan Cumming has remarried husband Grant Shaffer, according to . They remarried in New York on the fifth anniversary of their London wedding. Cumming tweeted, "On the 5th anniversary of our wedding in London grant and I tied the knot again in NYC!!! #eatmericksantorum."

Out figure skater Johnny Weir, 27, has announced his return to competitive skating—with his goal being the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, according to . He tweeted, "The bitch is back! So excited to do this, with you all on my side. I promise to try my best to make you proud! At a news conference, Weir said, "I wanted to do this while I still have the time. I didn't want to be 50 years old and look back and say, 'Oh, those last two years before Sochi' and I kind of let them go, doing other things."

Out producer Michael Patrick King (best known for the TV series Sex and the City) was part of a controversial press tour while defending his CBS show 2 Broke Girls, according to Entertainment Weekly. After critics accused his show of indulging in racial stereotypes, King said at one point that he's gay but uses "gay stereotypes" in the show as well. One journalist responded, "Does being a part of one traditionally disenfranchised group give you carte blanche to make fun of other traditionally disenfranchised groups?"

Thomas Langmann's The Artist won the Producers Guild of America (PGA) motion picture category at the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards, according to . Other films and TV series that took honors included The Adventures of Tintin, Downton Abbey, Modern Family, Boardwalk Empire, 60 Minutes and Sesame Street.

Britney Spears' conservatorship may end in time for her wedding, Digital Spy reported. Her father, Jamie, took control of his daughter's financial affairs four years ago, at the height of her very public meltdown. However, Jamie reportedly feels his daughter is ready to control her own finances and wants to end the arrangement before she marries fiancé Jason Trawick.

Kelly Clarkson covered an Etta James song at a Jan. 21 concert, according to Digital Spy. Clarkson sang James' classic "I'd Rather Go Blind" at Radio City Music Hall, telling the crowd, "This isn't 'At Last' because everyone really covers that and so I wanted to do my favorite, actually." James recently passed away at age 73. Clarkson will also perform "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl Feb. 5.

On Feb. 7, fashion editor Anna Wintour and actress Scarlett Johansson will co-host a fundraiser at the clothing store Theory in New York's Meatpacking District as part of the campaign initiative "Runway to Win," according to . Designers such as Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Vera Wang, and Beyonce and Tina Knowles created custom Obama-themed clothing and accessories for sale. Last year, Anna hosted an Obama fundraiser with Harvey Weinstein that raised $2 million.

Supermodel/Project Runway host Heidi Klum and singer Seal have confirmed that they are splitting after almost seven years of marriage, reported. In a statement, they said, "We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart. This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition." The couple have four children, ranging in age from 2 to 7.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact are proud to announce a set of at least 40 nationwide productions of "8"—a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California's Prop 8, written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black, according to a press release. "This play will continue to show Americans—one by one—that prejudice and fear cannot stand up to truth and justice," said AFER Board President Chad Griffin.

The Golden Globe-nominated music from Madonna's upcoming film W.E.—composed, orchestrated and produced by Abel Korzeniowski—is scheduled to be released digitally on Interscope Records Jan. 31. The soundtrack includes Madonna's Golden Globe-winning song, "Masterpiece," which is played during the end credits of the film.

Aretha Franklin has called off her wedding to Willie Wilkerson, less than a month after their engagement was announced, the Chicago Tribune reported. "Will and I have decided we were moving a little too fast, and there were a number of things that had not been thought through thoroughly. There will be no wedding at this time," Franklin said. The "Freeway of Love" singer, 69, announced shortly after New Year's Day that she was getting married.

Olivia Newton-John has joined other prominent Australians—including Hugh Jackman—in calling for marriage equality, according to a press release. Newton-John said in a statement, ""With respect to marriage equality I believe that no one has the right to judge and deny couples who love each other the ability to make a marriage commitment. Love is love." Australian Marriage Equality National Convener Alex Greenwich has welcomed the growing support for reform.

Singer kd lang and longtime girlfriend Jamie Price are calling it quits, according to . Lang, 50, filed to end her domestic partnership with Price; the two were together for almost nine years. Lang cited irreconcilable differences.

Lesbian actress Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) is under fire for controversial remarks she said about homosexuality, the Huffington Post reported. When asked about those who question the validity of her relationship with partner Christine Marinoni, Nixon talked about a speech she gave recently where she implied that homosexuality is a choice, adding, "[F]or me, it is a choice. ... It doesn't matter if we flew here or we swam here; it matters that we are here." Some gay-rights activists criticized Nixon, saying homosexuality is not a choice. America Blog writer John Aravosis added, "Every religious right hatemonger is now going to quote this woman every single time they want to deny us our civil rights."

Is Whitney Houston broke? The "I'm Your Baby Tonight" singer, 48, has allegedly spent her $100 million fortune—and her record label, Arista, has reportedly given her an advance payment on her next album, according to the Daily Mail. A spokesperson for the singer strongly denied the claims, saying, "That is ridiculous and not true!"

Nancy Assuncao, Paula Deen's longtime publicist, has quit her post because Deen plans to get paid to promote a diabetes drug, according to the New York Post. Assuncao—who stuck with Deen through the celebrity chef's battle with rival Anthony Bourdain and her revelation that she has diabetes—left after Deen negotiated a deal to plug the drug Victoza. Deen publicly revealed she has the disease three years after doctors initially told her.

Nine movies received Best Picture nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. The films are the silent film The Artist; The Descendants; the 9/11 movie Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; The Help; Hugo; the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris; the baseball-based Moneyball; The Tree of Life; and War Horse. In LGBT-related news, Christopher Plummer followed his Golden Globe win with an Oscar nod for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for portraying a 75-year-old gay widower in Beginners. Glenn Close and Janet McTeer were nominated, respectively, for lead and supporting actress for their gender-bending roles in the film Albert Nobbs. ABC will televise the ceremony Feb. 26.

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