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Angelina on her leg pose; Madonna's MDNA gets mixed reviews
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times..
2012-03-28

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Angelina Jolie has spoken out about her often-imitated Oscar-night leg pose, according to the Huffington Post. That night, she stuck out her leg while on the red carpet and on the stage presenting an Academy—which resulted in everything from a viral video to that right leg having its own Twitter account. Regarding the attention given to the pose, Jolie said, "I honestly didn't pay attention to it. ... I don't watch those TV shows and if I go online and see something about myself, I don't click on it. And the people I surround myself with don't really talk about that kind of stuff."

Madonna's new album, MDNA, has generated mixed reviews, the Washington Blade reported. While some critics panned the 53-year-old's newest offering, others said this as the best and most daring CD she's put out in years. The L.A. Times wrote, "the Madonna of today has lost the art of surprise, and the shock and awe she used to inspire with each new move have gone the way of her bullet bra and taffeta skirts." Rolling Stone critic Joe Levy praised the album, saying, "There's something remarkable about Madonna's decision to share her suffering the way she once shared her pleasure."

Speaking about previous controversial comments he made about hommosexuality being "unnatural," former TV star Kirk Cameron said on Today that he loves "all people," CNN.com reported. Cameron, insisting he's no bully, said, "When you take a subject and reduce it to a four-second sound bite and a checkmark on a ballot, I think that's inappropriate and insensitive." Various celebrities, including Growing Pains co-star Tracey Gold, have spoken out against Cameron's statements.

Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kim Zolciak is expecting her second child with her husband, football player Kroy Biermann, CNN.com reported. Zolciak, a popular figure in the LGBT community who has promoted songs in gay clubs, also has two daughters from a previous marriage.

Mad Men star Jon Hamm has again verbally attacked reality-TV star Kim Kardashian, the New York Daily News reported. Hamm had recently called Kardashian a "f***king idiot;" however, in a new interview with Time Out London, he addressed his own sex-symbol label by saying, "The sexy thing is so ephemeral and meaningless other than in the world of selling magazines. Who cares, when it's reduced to just that? You might as well be a Kardashian and have a sex tape."

Madonna has vowed to defy a new anti-gay law when she performs in St. Petersburg, Russia, (President-elect Vladimir Putin's hometown) Aug. 9, according to a press release. "I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed," the pop star stated in an email. "I'm a freedom fighter." The law, signed March 7 by St. Petersburg Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko, bans LGBT-related "propaganda" that could give minors "the false perception that traditional and nontraditional relationships are socially equal."

The current season of the reality show Survivor has lost its villain. According to the New York Daily News, gay college student Colton Cumbie—who had manipulated several of his teammates—had a medical emergency in the March 21 episode of the series, and had to exit the show. However, still creating drama, Cumbie decided to keep the idol he had found as a "souvenir."

NBC has renewed the musical drama Smash for a second season, Deadline.com reported. The heavily promoted series that stars, among others, Anjelica Huston, Debra Messing and Megan Hilty, is the network's highest-rated drama in adults 18-49 and total viewers. Smash is the second NBC series to get an early renewal, following Grimm.

Queen Latifah is joining the cast of Lifetime's all-Black reboot of the movie Steel Magnolias, according to EW.com . Latifah will portray M'Lynn, the character played by Sally Field in the 1989 feature film. Condola Rashad will play Shelby (played originally by Julia Roberts), and Rashad's mother, Phylicia, will reinterpret the role of Clairee (portrayed by Olympia Dukakis). Alfre Woodard, Jill Scott and Adepero Oduye (who played the lesbian daughter in the movie Pariah) are also in the remake.

Dame Edna Everage—the Tony Award-winning drag act known for her purple hair, gladiolas and oversized rhinestone eyeglasses—will soon open her final stage show tour in Australia, 57 years after her debut, according to the Huffington Post. Barry Humphries, the actor who created Dame Edna, wants to take the farewell show "Eat Pray Laugh!" to England and New York over the next two years following the two-month Australian tour. Dame Edna's career began in 1955 as Mrs. Edna Everage.

Country-music singer Chely Wright said that only three of her fellow acts supported her publicly when she came out of the closet, the Huffington Post reported. "The only ones who supported me publicly are Mary Chapin Carpenter, Leann Rimes and SHeDAISY," she said. She added that singers such as Naomi Judd, Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill reached out to her privately but may have been fearful of supporting Wright publicly. Wright also said, "I think some of the artists really have a fundamental belief that there's something wrong with me. But I think most of the artists don't want their fans to know that they're supportive of me because they don't want to lose a record sale."

A Los Angeles County coroner's report shows that Whitney Houston died directly from accidentally drowning, according to the Chicago Tribune. The coroner said heart disease and cocaine use were also factors in her Feb. 11 death at the Beverly Hilton Hotel; cocaine was found in her system. Traces of marijuana, Xanax, Flexeril and Benadryl were also found, but officials said those drugs did not contribute to her death.

The Real Houswives of New Jersey's fourth season starts April 22—and, as expected, there'll be no shortage of drama, according to US Magazine. Most of said drama involves Teresa Guidice, as she confronts Carolina Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita and sister-in-law Melissa Gorga (who, at one point, questions her husband's sexuality). Among the other developments on the Bravo series are a group trip to California and Manzo attending the wedding of her gay brother, Jaime Laurita.

In the world of comics, one of the X-Men will marry his boyfriend, according to EDGE Boston. The character Northstar, who first appeared in 1979, will wed boyfriend Kyle in an issue of Astonishing X-Men that will hit stores in June. Northstar first came out in a 1992 issue.

In the upcoming comedy movie Fading Gigolo, Modern Family's Sofia Vergara and actress Sharon Stone will become intimate with each other in a menage a trois with John Turturro, according to SheWired.com . The story focuses on Turturro's character, who's desperate for cash and goes into the gigolo business with his best friend, played by Woody Allen. Stone, 54, and Vergara, 39, play bisexual lovers.

Liza Minnelli was recently back on Broadway after recently breaking her ankle—watching Philip Seymour Hoffman, Andrew Garfield and other actors in Death of a Salesman, according to the New York Post. Also in the audience were the play's director Mike Nichols as well as Meredith Vieira, Carla Gugino, Jennifer Tilly and Tony Danza, who led a standing ovation.

Cook Rachael Ray and actress Gwyneth Paltrow are continuing their fight with the New York Times, according to the New York Post. They want the publication to correct a recent article claiming they are among celebrity chefs who used ghostwriters for their cookbooks. Appearing on Ray's show via Skype, Paltrow said, "You know normally I don't respond to gossip or anything, but you know this is my professional life and I'm writing more cookbooks." Chef Bobby Flay suggested on Today that a better word might be "collaborator," adding that he's seen Ray write her own recipes.

An unidentified woman flour-bombed Kim Kardashian at a red-carpet event, according to People.com . Paramedics were called to West Hollywood's London Hotel; however, Kardashian, who got most of the powder on her jacket and hair, refused treatment. Police took a report but Kardashian is not pressing charges; she reportedly went to a room in the hotel, cleaned herself and changed outfits. Now, Kardashian plans to take legal action against the flour-bomber.

The Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (MGLFF) will honor country singer Chely Wright with this year's inaugural Lavender Heart Award at the event's opening night April 27, according to a press release. The MGLFF created the award "to recognize an LGBT individual in the arts/entertainment industry who has demonstrated extreme acts of courage while promoting the LGBT community in a positive manner." Wright documented her coming-out process in the documentary Wish Me Away.

In The Life Media—producers of In the Life, the televised newsmagazine about LGBT issues—announced that it has received a $1 million gift from Henry van Ameringen, a longtime philanthropist to LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations. Ten percent ($100,000) of van Ameringen's gift will be used to match new and increased contributions. "Henry's unprecedented gift is transformative," said In The Life Media Executive Director Michelle Kristel.

Project Runway favorite Mondo Guerra was named the winner of Project Runway All Stars March 22 with his collection, "Therapy," according to HIVPlusMag.com . Guerra, a gay man who came out as HIV-positive during his first appearance on the show in season eight, said the six pieces in his collection was inspired by his own need to seek catharsis. Guerra—who lost in season eight's final to Gretchen Jones—received a cash prize of $100,000 as well as a yearlong guest editorship at Marie Claire magazine and an exclusive boutique at Neiman Marcus.

In Georgia, Chatham County Superior Court Judge Louisa Abbot refused to restrict pretrial comments in a sexual-harassment suit against celebrity chef Paula Deen and her companies, Courthouse News Service reported. Former employee Lisa T. Jackson claims Deen's brother, Bubba Hiers, created a hostile work environment that included harassment—and that Deen condoned it. Abbot rejected Deen's request for a gag order, adding, "the litigants' concerns about potentially adverse pretrial publicity and the potential effect of damage to their reputations do not outweigh any of the constitutional principles invoked by this motion, including freedom of press and speech."

Holy '90s! Mayim Bialik and Joey Lawrence—stars of the '90s TV series Blossom—have reunited in an Old Navy ad to promote the retailer's springline, "Old Navy Bee Bots," according to the Huffington Post. In the commercial, Bialik (now a regular on the show The Big Bang Theory) is in one of her famous floral hats while Lawrence says his trademark phrase, "Whoa!" "Blossom" aired on NBC 1991-1995, with Bialik starring as the titular teenager who had two brothers (Lawrence and Michael Stoyanov), a father (Ted Wass) and best friend Six (Jenna von Oy).

Glee's Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith hosted as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) honored producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago, Hairspray, Smash) and the best in television, film and journalism March 24 at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York. Bernadette Peters, Dakota Fanning, John Stamos, Harvey Weinstein, Megan Hilty, Russell Simmons and Carson Kressley were among the special guests.

YouTube has banned Madonna's video for the song "Girl Gone Wild," according to a New York Post item. The video has apparently been banned for scenes including nudity and a close-up of a man's crotch as well as an S&M-like scene of a silhouette in chains. Madonna's team was working yesterday on an edited version of the video because, for the first time, it's based its marketing strategy for her album on social media.

The life of Scottish singer Susan Boyle has been made into a musical called I Dreamed A Dream, according to the New York Post. The London production has no original music, but uses hit songs like Tony Orlando's "Knock Three Times" and Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" to illustrate Boyle's unhappy upbringing in Scottish public housing. The second act includes Boyle's appearance on the show Britain's Got Talent and her sudden rise to fame—as well as her pre-finale breakdown.

Actor Tom Hardy (Inception) may replace Mickey Rourke in a movie about openly gay rugby superstar Gareth Thomas, Advocate.com reported. Rourke, 59, has decided he's too old to portray Thomas, and found the training too intense. Thomas said the 34-year-old Hardy, who'll star as villainous Bane in The Dark Knight Rises this summer, is in talks to take over the role in the film, which is expected to begin filming this spring.

Jennifer Nettles, one-half of the country act Sugarland, has been ordered to testify in a lawsuit related to a stage collapse at the 2011 Indiana State Fair, according to SheWired.com . Sugarland was about to take the stage when strong winds caused the scaffolding to fall, injuring 58 people and killing seven, including Chicago lesbian activist Christina Santiago. Nettles' bandmate, Kristian Bush, has not been called to testify.

Nicole Richie told The Advocate that one of her style icons is lesbian DJ Samantha Ronson. The Fashion Star mentor said that Ronson "has the cutest style and even though we have very different senses of style, I get a lot of my personal fashion inspiration from her." Richie also cited Twiggy, Keith Richards and Marianne Faithfull as other sartorial inspirations but added that "confidence is the best thing that you can wear."

The Weinstein Company has announced that Bully, the award-winning documentary about the epidemic of school bullying in the United States, will open in theaters March 30 as "unrated." The development occurred after nearly 500,000 people signed an online petition at Change.org demanding that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) remove the "R" rating initially given to the movie by the MPAA's ratings board. Lee Hirsch, director of Bully, said that the "unrated" designation will allow the film to portray the real trauma and torment that bullied students experience each day in school.

Oscar-winning actress and The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg will guest-star on the TV series Glee for several episodes, according to a SheWired.com item. Goldberg—who will make her first appearance May 1—will portray Carmen Tibideaux, a theater veteran and professor at The New York Academy of Dramatic Arts, where Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Lea Michele) want to go.


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