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Bette on Broadway; Beyonce's NYE gig
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-01-08

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Bette Midler is returning to Broadway, playing legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers (who died last year) in a one-woman show, according to Out.com . Joe Mantello will direct the production, entitled I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers." Playwright John Logan won a Tony Award for Red and wrote the screenplay for Skyfall, while Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is producing. The play will open April 24.

Beyonce rang in the new year by performing in a corset during a private show at Vegas' Wynn Hotel, according to the Huffington Post. Beyonce performed for a crowd of just 700 at the private, invitation-only event. In 2013, the "Love on Top" singer is gearing up for her Super Bowl halftime show, the premiere of her HBO documentary and a possible new album.

Kathy Griffin embarrassed Anderson Cooper during CNN New Year's Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, according to Hollywood.com . First, Griffin demanded that Cooper "spoon" her after midnight had struck, then claimed that she'd gotten a rise out of him. Later, she started to crouch down and attempt to simulate something a bit more provocative; however, he (repeatedly) crouched down with her to maintain eye contact.

Speaking of Anderson Cooper, reports indicate that Ann Curry is begging NBC to release her from her contract so that she can join CNN to replace Cooper in the TV network's coveted 8 p.m. time slot, according to International Business Times. However, leaving the job at NBC will not be that easy for Curry. According to a "non-compete" clause in her contract, if she quits without permission from NBC, she will be banned from working for any other news outlet for two years.

Lady Gaga is offering safe spaces for her fans during her U.S. tour, according to Advocate.com . The Born Brave Bus will be open outside each of her upcoming U.S. concerts several hours before the concert and it will provide free, safe space for 13- to 25-year-olds "to learn more about local resources on anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and mental health services." The tour starts Jan. 14 in Tacoma, Wash.

Out figure-skating champion Johnny Weir is taking his competitive skills from the ice rink to the kitchen in the show Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off, according to Gay Star News. Previews of the series show him kissing a fellow competitor, actor Dean McDermott, who is married to Tori Spelling. Other celebrities on the show, which premiered Jan. 6 on the Food Network, include actress Kathy Najimy, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, football icon Hines Ward, singer Carnie Wilson, philanthropist Cornelia Guest and singer/rapper Chilli (of the group TLC).

In what Outsports called a possible first, TV network ESPN showed an out gay athlete kissing his husband after winning the 2012 PBA Chameleon Bowling Championship in Las Vegas, according to an Advocate.com item. The winner, Scott Norton, held his head in his hands and cried after winning, then kissed and hugged husband Craig Woodward. Norton—whose mother is Hall of Fame bowler Virginia Norton—came out in 2011.

Actress Dame Helen Mirren was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Jan. 3, according to USA Today. The Oscar winner, 67, received the first star of the new year. The Hitchcock actress was honored with star No. 2,488 at 6714 Hollywood Blvd., in front of the Pig N' Whistle pub.

In an interview with Seventeen magazine, singer Ke$ha said she is attracted to men and women, according to the Huffington Post. She said, "I don't love just men. I love people. It's not about a gender." In 2010, the "Die Young" singer told Out magazine, "I wouldn't say I'm gay or straight—I don't like labeling things anyway. I just like people."

A police report has revealed the real reason out singer Frank Ocean was recently arrested, according to Gigwise.com . Initial accounts stated that Ocean was arrested for engaging in "suspicious behavior" with a male companion in a car. However, the official report reveals Ocean and his friend were pulled over for more routine reasons, includiong speeding, driving on a suspended license and what radio station V-103 described as a "tinted window violation." The Huffington Post added that Ocean was also cited for marijuana possession.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will guest-star on 30 Rock's series finale, according to Deadline.com . There was no word if Pelosi would play anything other than herself on the show's one-hour Jan. 31 episode. "I would do almost anything Tina Fey asked me to do," Pelosi said to The Washington Post today in a statement about her scripted TV debut.

Singer Patti Page, famous for hits including "(How Much Is That) Doggie In The Window," has died at 85, according to Gigwise.com . The singer died after suffering heart failure Jan. 1 in a nursing home in San Diego. Page sold more than 100 millions albums during her 67-year career, and made her name in the 1950s with tracks such as "Tennessee Waltz."

In San Francisco, Frameline—the nation's only non-profit organization solely dedicated to the funding, exhibition, distribution and promotion of LGBTQ media arts—has announced the launch of Frameline Encore, a free community film screening and discussion series, according to a press release. Frameline Encore will debut at the Roxie Theater Jan. 10 with a screening of director Cary Cronenwett's Maggots and Men, the first-known feature film to include a cast made up entirely of transgender actors.

The Voice judge and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine will make his hosting debut on Saturday Night Live Jan. 26, with musical guest rapper Kendrick Lamar, Deadline.com reported. Levine is no stranger to the NBC sketch show, as his band Maroon 5 has appeared numerous times. Actress Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and The Lumineers kick off SNL's return to new episodes Jan. 19.

*****

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was injured when bikers attacked and attempted to rob her on a Paris street, according to the New York Post. Thugs attacked her Nov. 21 at 7 Rue de Moussy (the home of designer Azzedine Alaia) as she tried to get into a car. Her leg was injured during the incident, with the model suffering a suspected torn ligament. Campbell refused medical treatment.

Actor, writer and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt will host the 2013 Sundance Film Festival feature film awards ceremony Jan. 26 in Park City, Utah, and live-streamed at www.sundance.org/festival, according to a press release. Gordon-Levitt has appeared in seven films at the festival, including Mysterious Skin (in which he played a gay hustler), Brick and (500) Days of Summer. The festival takes place Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Nick Gruber, the ex of fashion designer Calvin Klein, totaled current boyfriend John Luciano's $100,000 BMW in a three-car accident in Los Angeles, according to the New York Post. Gruber went to Sherman Oaks Hospital after he suffered a broken nose and some bruises. None of the other passengers, including a woman Gruber was reportedly on a date with, was hurt.

Heartthrobs Taylor Lautner and Patrick Schwarzenegger were snapped enjoying a game of football with friends together in Calabasas, Calif., according to E! Online. The Grown Ups 2 costars were seen laughing and joking as they played under the California sunshine.

HBO announced that it will adapt the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play The Normal Heart, according to Deadline.com . The movie will star Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in the key roles, along with out actor Matt Bomer (White Collar). Glee creator Ryan Murphy will direct the film, which will feature Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner, the paraplegic physician who treats several of the earliest victims of the disease. Ruffalo portrays Ned Weeks; Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Weeks' lover. The Normal Heart will run in 2014.

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced four new unscripted series for 2013, according to Deadline.com . They include the docu-series Raising Whitley, about comedienne Kym Whitley and her friends; Dogfellas, about a mobster-turned-dog groomer; and Blackboard Wars, about the efforts to improve a troubled New Orleans high school. OWN also has given a series order to Golden Sisters, about octogenarian siblings. In addition, the network has set May 29 as a premiere date for its first scripted series from Tyler Perry, drama The Haves and the Have Nots and half-hour comedy Love Thy Neighbor.

A small plane carrying six people—one of them Vittorio Missoni, a director of Italy's famed Missoni fashion house—is missing off the coast of Venezuela, CNN reported. Missoni, 58, runs the company with his siblings, Luca and Angela. Missoni—which boasts such celebrity clients as Katie Holmes, Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie—is a high-end fashion label known for its patterned knitwear and signature zigzag stripe.

Openly gay writer Clive Barker—best known for horror entries Hellraiser and Candyman—won a legal victory over an ex-boyfriend, according to TMZ.com . The ex, Emilian David Armstrong, accused Barker of having sex with his own HIV-positive cousin before passing the virus on to him. However, the judge said the lawsuit (which also included alleged claims of S&M and drug-fueled parties) was without merit.

Gay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton is in an online feud with Azealia Banks, who was involved in her own tiff with fellow rapper Angel Haze, according to MTV.com . Hilton jumped into the middle of the Banks-Haze feud, supporting Haze. Banks then tweeted at Hilton, "lol what a messy f——t you are." She then added, "A f——t is not a homosexual male. A f——t is any male who acts like a female. There's a BIG difference." Hilton and his fans immediately took offense, but some people backed Banks as well, saying that Hilton can dish it but can't take it.

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara accidentally flashed clubgoers at a New Year's Eve party at the Miami nightclub Story, according to the New York Daily News. A fight broke out at a table near Vergara, who was partying with her fiancé, Nick Loeb, so she stepped over to break up the skirmish—but was knocked to the floor. It was at that moment that one of her breasts popped out of her strapless dress.

Reality-TV star and talk-show host Bethenny Frankel has begun divorce process, filing in New York, according to People.com . "It brings me great sadness to say that Jason [Hoppy] and I are separating," Frankel, 42, had said in a statement Dec. 23. "This was an extremely difficult decision that as a woman and a mother, I have to accept as the best choice for our family."

Director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich; Magic Mike) said that HBO's new Liberace biopic was "too gay" for every studio in Hollywood, according to the New York Post. Behind The Candelabra, which the Oscar winner says will be his last film, stars Michael Douglas as the flamboyant showman and Matt Damon as his young lover. "Nobody would make it," Soderbergh said. "We went to everybody in town. They all said it was too gay."

Actor Walton Goggins has played everything from a traitorous cop on TV's The Shield to a Congressman in the current film Lincoln—and added to his diverse resume by playing transgender hooker Venus Van Damm on the current season of the FX series Sons of Anarchy, according to the Chicago Tribune. Of the Van Damm role, Goggins said, "We went to great lengths to keep it a secret. ... We really wanted people to do a double take and not ring their experiences of me in other roles to it, but to say, 'Oh, my God, wow, oh, my God!'"

The Chicago run of the Tony-winning Broadway musical The Book of Mormon has been such a big hit since it opened in December 2012 that the show has gotten a 14-week extension, according to the Huffington Post. The production will now play at the Bank of America Theatre through Sept. 8. Tickets through March 3 are sold out, although some tickets remain from March 5 to June 2.

Actor Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds; Dharma & Greg) was arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to TMZ.com . Officer Cleon Joseph told the Associated Press that Gibson, 50, was arrested after he drove through a barricade set up to keep cars off the course of a nighttime half-marathon taking place in the downtown area. Gibson was booked and released on $15,000 bail.

Josh Brolin (Milk; No Country for Old Men) spent part of New Year's Day and the day after in a Santa Monica, Calif., jail for misdemeanor public intoxication, USA Today reported. Brolin was arrested Jan. 1, when officers found him heavily intoxicated on a sidewalk. His wife, Diane Lane, was at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, where she presented the Chairman's Award to Richard Gere.

Superstar Diana Ross threw a tantrum at the Beverly Hills restaurant La Scala after she was not allowed to sit at a table until her daughter showed up, according to the New York Post. The upscale Italian eatery has a policy of not seating incomplete parties unless someone has a reservation. Sources said that when her daughter arrived, a scene took place and both women stormed out of the restaurant.

American Idol's Nicki Minaj and The Voice's Adam Levine are reportedly poised to ink deals to create two new lines of fashion, accessories and housewares for a mass retailer, according to the New York Post. Minaj and Levine's lines will probably go to a mass retailer more along the lines of Kmart, Walmart or Target.

A homeless man who congratulated newlyweds Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in a controversial video has written an open letter to the singer, inviting him to tour his Los Angeles shelter to see how the other half lives, according to SFGate.com . The pop superstar's real-estate agent pal, Justin Huchel, shot footage of homeless people as a comedic wedding gift, which opened with a title card reading, "Greetings from your Hollywood friends who just couldn't make it."

Alhough Mariah Carey doesn't feel that drama was necessary to draw attention to the new season of American Idol, she said it might just help the show, according to SingersRoom.com . Looking back at her now-infamous clash with Nicki Minaj while talking with Barbara Walters, Carey said she did what she needed to do, including hiring security, because it was the appropriate thing to do when feeling "unsafe." However, Carey added that the show is ultimately about the contestants.

Best known for his starring role in ABC Family's KyleXY, actor Matt Dallas came out via Twitter, according to OUT.com . He tweeted, "Starting off the year with a new fiancé, @bluehamilton. A great way to kick off 2013!" Dallas' fiance is L.A. musician Blue James Hamilton.

Ultra Music Festival—an electronic-dance music gathering slated to run March 15-17 and March 22-24 in Miami—has announced its first slate of confirmed acts, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Among the acts named are Carl Cox, Tiesto, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, Thievery Corporation, Fatboy Slim and Afrojack. It was previously announced that Swedish House Mafia will perform for the final time at Ultra, and that deadmau5 will curate a live show exclusively for the festival, which is celebrating its 15 year anniversary.

Cher could be returning back to TV, according to the Hollywood Reporter. More than 40 years after The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour premiered, Logo announced at the Television Critics Association press tour to announce that the iconic singer, actress, writer and producer has signed a development deal with the LGBT-friendly network. Network official Brent Zacky said that Cher's collaborating with comedian Ron Zimmerman for a pilot script set in early 1960s Hollywood.

The Jan. 3 episode of TV's The Big Bang Theory—which stars out actor Jim Parsons as Sheldon—broke records, the Hollywood Reporter noted. Not only do Live+Same Day returns have the CBS comedy setting an even higher bar for total viewers (19.25 million), the episode topped its record haul among adults 18-49.

Lindsay Lohan's attorney, Mark Jay Heller, has predicted there will be no case against the actress in connection with an alleged fight at a Manhattan nightclub, according to SFGate.com . Office of Court Administration spokesman David Bookstaver confirmed that a criminal complaint has not been drawn up so far. The district attorney's office said only that the investigation is continuing.

Prospect Park has confirmed the online revivals of daytime soaps All My Children and One Life to Live, according to Deadline.com . Among other things, the production company has signed guild agreements with both SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America; entered into a consulting agreement with Agnes Nixon, creator of both serials; and arranged the necessary financing to being production in February.

A second inquest has confirmed that singer Amy Winehouse died of accidental alcohol poisoning, according to CBS News. Coroner Shirley Radcliffe ruled that the 27-year-old musician "died as a result of alcohol toxicity" and recorded a verdict of death by misadventure. The Grammy-winning singer was found dead at her London home July 23, 2011.

British singer David Bowie released his first new song in nearly a decade in a surprise launch coinciding with his 66th birthday, according to Reuters. The song, "Where Are We Now?," is available on iTunes and free to view on his relaunched website. The Next Day, Bowie's first studio album since 2003, will be out in the United States March 12.

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is getting a reality show on E!, according to The Wrap. The Olympic gold medal winner will star in What Would Ryan Lochte Do? The series will follow him as he meets women, copes with the fallout of his mom saying he only has time for one-night stands, explores his interest in fashion—and even occasionally swims.

Palm Beach Modern Auctions will put up items from nightlife legend Steve Rubell's Studio 54 archive Jan. 19, according to the New York Post. Items from the legendary disco's run include photos of patrons such as Halston, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger and Farrah Fawcett. One lot, expected to fetch between $4,000 and $6,000, includes a Polaroid of Rubell taken by Andy Warhol for Interview magazine.

Lesbian sister duo Tegan and Sara will release their latest studio album, Heartthrob, Jan. 29 on Warner Bros., according to a press release. Also, fresh off performances on both The Late Show With David Letterman and Conan, Tegan and Sara will be performing on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Jan. 31. People can pre-order Heartthrob at teganandsara.warnerbrosrecords.com .


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