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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
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Anderson Cooper's blindness; Adele's milestone
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Anderson Cooper endured a temporary (and painful) case of blindness while filming a 60 Minutes segment in Portugal, according to . Cooper posted a picture of himself on Instagram Tuesday sporting a white gauze patch over his right eye. "Temporarily blinded last week while on assignment," he said. "UV light bouncing off water. Much better now." He added that he went blind for 36 hours because his eyeballs became sunburned.

Adele and her record-breaking CD 21 have reached another milestone, according to USA Today. The album has now sold more than 10 million copies (after 92 weeks on the charts). It became, fittingly, the 21st album to reach the 10 million mark since Nielsen SoundScan began compiling data in 1991 and one of only eight to do so within a two-year span. Among the other albums to reach the milestone are NSync's No Strings Attached, Shania Twain's Come On Over, The Bodyguard soundtrack and Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill.

Even though Starz's drama Spartacus is heading into its final chapter with the upcoming Season 3, Spartacus: War Of The Damned, the network may not be ready to end the successful franchise, according to . There is talk about a potential Spartacus spinoff series that centers on Roman leader Gaius Julius Caesar, who is being introduced on the upcoming final season of Spartacus, which premieres Jan. 25.

NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt has announced that singer Carrie Underwood will play Maria in the network's live adaptation of The Sound of Music, according to . Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, executive producers of NBC's Smash, are producing the new three-hour live adaptation, which is expected to air around Christmas next year. Underwood has sold 15 million albums globally, and has won three female vocalist awards from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

Jessica Simpson is reportedly pregnant again, according to US Magazine. Seven months after giving birth to daughter Maxwell Drew Johnson, the star is once again expecting, a source said. "It definitely wasn't planned. But yes, Jessica is pregnant again," the source revealed.

Rihanna has released her seventh album, Unapologetic—and it's her first CD to debut in Billboard's number-one spot, according to . Unapologetic moved 238,000 copies; Taylor Swift's Red was second for the week with 185,000 units sold while One Direction was number three with Take Me Home and newest American Idol champ Phillip Phillips was fourth with The World from the Side of the Moon.

Silver Linings Playbook, Moonrise Kingdom and Beasts of the Southern Wild received most of the nominations for the Indie Spirit Awards, according to . The Perks of Being a Wallflower—which stars Emma Watson and has a gay subplot—is one of the five nominees for best first feature. Openly gay scribe Jonathan Lisecki was nominated for best first screenplay for Gayby, which is about a gay man and a straight woman who decide to have a baby the old-fashioned way. The Spirit Awards will air on IFC Feb. 23, 2013.

Lindsay Lohan was arrested after allegedly hitting Tiffany Eve Mitchell, 28, in the face at Avenue nightclub in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, the New York Daily News reported. Lohan was questioned, along with witnesses, at the NYPD's 10th Precinct stationhouse and charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault. Lohan was issued a desk appearance ticket and is due in court Jan. 11.

Betty White—the television icon best known for her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland—has put herself up for auction, according to . The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) announced on its website that fans can bid to go on a date with the 90-year-old actress, and all proceeds from the date auction will benefit the Los Angeles chapter of the SPCA. Bidding has started at $1,000; see .

Wendy Williams gave New Yorkers and viewers everywhere an intimate look at herself as she unveiled her naked PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) advertisement in New York City's Times Square Nov. 28, the New York Daily News reported. Williams is hoping to discourage holiday shoppers from buying fur coats. "We should all try to be comfortable in our own skin and let the animals keep theirs," said Williams.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only daughter of the late Whitney Houston, was involved in a car accident in Alpharetta, Ga., but was not injured, according to The Celebrity Cafe. Police had concluded that Brown—who reportedly ended her engagement to adopted brother Nick Gordon—had lost control of her Chevy Camaro while making a turn out of her apartment complex, ran over a curb and flew down an embankment, hitting trees along the way.

Yoko Ono has been many things—such as a musician, activist and writer—and now she's a fashion designer, according to . Ono has debuted a menswear collection inspired by sketches she made for the late husband John Lennon as a gift for their 1969 wedding anniversary. Some of the items have unique details, such as pants with see-through rear window and handprint-embellished crotches, and a bandeau top with nipple headlights.

Cate Blanchett is in negotiations to play the evil stepmother in Disney's re-imagining of the classic fairytale Cinderella, the "Untitled Cinderella Story," according to . Blanchett would be the first to be cast in the live-action film. Mark Romanek (who has helmed videos for Janet Jackson, Madonna and other singers) is directing the movie for the studio, based on a script by Chris Weitz. Blanchett can next be seen on screen in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Dec. 14.

Music producer The-Dream has said that Beyonce is slated to drop new music right before her Super Bowl performance in February, according to . "She's got her stuff going. She took the summer to start recording, and now she's in a place where she's ready to start gearing up to reveal her plan," he told Billboard. The-Dream hinted that the project is far enough along that Beyonce might tease several tracks for fans.

Out film director Bryan Singer has confirmed key casting for the upcoming sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past, according to . Singer tweeted, "I'd like to officially welcome back James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult to 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past.'" However, he also posted, "Also thrilled to announce Sir Ian Mckellen and Sir Patrick Stewart." Fox is aiming to release the movie July 18, 2014.

NBC Bay Area, in partnership with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, announced that The Last Barrier—a one-hour special examining the issues that gay professional athletes face when contemplating coming out during their playing careers—will premiere Saturday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. PT, according to Business Wire. The Last Barrier (which will re-air Dec. 10, 13 and 17) will feature insight from such individuals as's Cyd Ziegler Jr.; outspoken pro football player/marriage-equality supporter Chris Kluwe; and Rick Welts, the out gay president and COO of the NBA's Golden State Warriors.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Ricky Martin talked about his role as an HIV/AIDS activist. He said he considers global prevention of HIV/AIDS as something he takes very seriously, adding, "It's really sad when people say, 'Yeah, that's an issue for gays,' because it's not only the gay community that's struggling with AIDS—it's [heterosexual] men, women and children, too."

Kim Kardashian brought out screaming fans, angry Muslim hardliners and police throwing stun grenades when she visited Bahrain to launch a milkshake franchise, according to Reuters. Thousands of fans paid up to 500 Bahraini dinars ($1,360) a ticket as Kardashian, 32, launched the Millions of Milkshakes franchise inside the mall. Kardashian stirred controversy even before she arrived in Bahrain from Kuwait, as hardline Sunni Muslim MPs presented a motion to parliament calling her "an actress with an extremely bad reputation."

Alexander Wang has become the new creative director of Balenciaga, replacing the departing Nicolas Ghesquiere, according to . Wang, 28, is known for a style that plays with traditional menswear, such as a pair of leather track pants. Wang, who appeared on the cover of Out's 2011 Tastemaker's Issue, has told the publication, "I've always thought of myself as more than a designer. I work just as much in sales, marketing, press, online, and e-commerce as I do designing the collection."

A few LGBT-themed movies will be among the films screening at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah, according to . One is Kill Your Darlings, which stars Daniel Radcliffe in director John Krokidas's untold story of murder that brought together young gay authors Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, as well as Jack Kerouac, at Columbia University in 1944. C.O.G. will be director/screenwriter Kyle Patrick Alvarez's take on the first-ever movie adaptation of David Sedaris' work; in addition, queer director/screenwriter Cherien Dabis goes back to her roots with the movie May in Summer, a film made in the United States, Qatar and Jordan. Lastly, the documentary Valentine Road looks at the tragedy of eighth-grader Larry King's murder at the hands of classmate Brandon McInerney.

Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Vol. 3 will be available Tuesday, Dec. 11. The album features holiday classics such as "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "White Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock." Six of the tracks recorded will be included on the holiday-themed episode of Glee, which airs Thursday, Dec. 13.

Speaking of Glee, Columbia Records and Twentieth Century Fox Television have released Glee: The Music Season 4, Volume 1. Available in both standard and deluxe versions, the CD features songs that cast favorites and newcomers have performed, including Imagine Dragons' "It's Time," Coldplay's "The Scientist" and Psy's "Gangnam Style." Three songs, including Scissor Sisters' "Let's Have a Kiki," are on the deluxe version only.

On Dec. 2, The Trevor Project honored singer Katy Perry with the Trevor Hero Award and Audi of America with the Trevor 2020 Award at "Trevor Live" in Los Angeles, according to a press release. "Trevor Live," which Adam Shankman directed by Adam Shankman, featured performances by Betty Buckley, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dermot Mulroney, Jessica Sanchez and Amy Poehler, among others. Ricki Lake, Zachary Quinto, Joel McHale and Zoe Saldana were among those who attended.

The Geneva (Ill.) Patch has profiled Todd Searcy, who played college football for the University of Illinois, according to . When he played for the school in the '80s, Searcy was leading a double life as a closeted gay man. He also talked with the Patch about being HIV-positive. (He tested negative in 1993, but didn't discover until 2003 that the test was a false negative.) Searcy added that because he had falsely tested positive, the AIDS virus damaged his immune system and, at one point, he thought he was going to die.

In the December issue of GQ, Maroon 5 frontman and The Voice judge Adam Levine criticizes TLC series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, according to US Magazine. "Seriously, Honey Boo Boo is the decay of Western civilization. Just because so many people watch the show doesn't mean it's good," said Levine. He also said, "That show is literally The. Worst. Thing. That's. Ever. Happened." The show has been a surprise hit for TLC, averaging more than 2 million viewers per episode.

The National Football League (NFL) told it will not take action regarding the anti-gay tweets of Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Tank Carder, who dismissed complaints about him posting "faggot" and "I don't agree with being gay" messages. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "We were in contact with the club and the club addressed it with the player. Divisive comments of that nature can only be hurtful to many fans and has no place in the NFL. The Browns made clear to the player that it was unacceptable and he issued a public apology."

As the World Turns star Van Hansis and Happy Endings actor Stephen Guarino have joined the cast of the new web series EastSiders, which is scheduled to premiere Friday, Dec. 14, according to a press release. Hansis, who was nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards, plays one half of the gay couple at the center of the show, opposite series creator Kit Williamson. EastSiders explores the aftermath of infidelity on a gay couple after Cal (Williamson) finds out Thom (Hansis) has been cheating on him.

Kim Stolz, best known as one of the first openly lesbian contestants on America's Next Top Model, has officially opened a new Manhattan "lesbian-leaning" eatery called The Dalloway, according to . New York Magazine has described the venue as a "soap-opera boudoir—plush banquettes, crackling fireplace, Ke$ha on the stereo." Stolz, a 29-year-old who is now a Citibank executive, launched the eatery with the Real L Word's Amanda Leigh Dunn, hoping to create "a venue with a strong female team that is open to everyone," Stolz said.

Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, a musical passion project by writer Kathie Lee Gifford, is slated to close on Broadway Dec. 9, noted. he biographical tale of McPherson—the spiritual leader whose life involved sex, drugs, celebrity, mystery and romance—had been struggling at the box office in recent weeks. The show opened Nov. 15 following previews from Oct. 13 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

The London revival of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Oklahoma!, starring Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman, is out on Blu-ray, according to . The 1999 production, which was filmed for PBS' Great Performances, starred Jackman as Curly. The Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes such classics as the title song, "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're In Love."

After a three-year absence, Fleetwood Mac will embark on a 34-city North American tour starting April 4 in Columbus, Ohio, according to USA Today. (Tickets for the first run of shows go on sale Dec. 14 at .) Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are slated to perform. Nicks said she sees the band—which is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its trailblazing album Rumours—performing hits and rarities.

Actor Neil Patrick Harris has launched a new Internet series, Neil's Puppet Dreams, on Google's Nerdist Channel, the Wall Street Journal noted. The premise is that when Harris sleeps, he dreams in puppet; his partner, David Burtka, also appears in the videos. Burtka, Janet Varney and the Jim Henson Company produce the series.

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