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  NIGHTSPOTS

Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2017-08-02

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"Yeah, we're still friends. Look, I said what I said. ... I didn't think what she said was appropriate. I wish her the best and I hope she bounces back and is back on the road. She's incredibly funny, and a lot of people love her."—Anderson Cooper tells Andy Cohen about the status of his friendship with Kathy Griffin.

It's over—our great national tragedy is coming to a close. Kathy Griffin is back. Well, not "back" as in working—but "back" as in ready to work. She tweeted, "I am no longer under federal investigation. The case is closed. I have been completely exonerated. Finally." The statement was meant to shoot down a report that Griffin was not only still under investigation but also facing jail time.

In these politically charged days, gossip and mainstream news seem to meld together. What president fires his chief of staff via Twitter? I suppose one whose latest senior advisor says, "I'm not trying to suck my own cock." That's even racier than most of our opening quotes! Still, I'm all for Anthony Scaramucci sticking around as long as possible. Why? Because it gives my buddy and native neighbor, Mario Cantone, the opportunity to flex his own thespianistic muscles ( such as they are ) by portraying The Mooch on "The President Show."

Didya know that Anthony Scaramucci is a fan of gay porn? Why else would he be following Blake Mitchell on Twitter? The 20-year-old Mitchell, who describes himself as a "young construction worker from Kentucky," is known in the industry as a "twink top"—there's an oxymoron if ever I heard one. At least now we know where Mooch picked up the idea that it was even possible to "suck my own cock!"

Screen legend Olivia de Havilland is eager to have her day in court. As you know, the 101-year-old two-time Oscar winner was less than thrilled with the way Ryan Murphy and the FX Network portrayed her in Feud. She filed suit against the network and the auteur for an undetermined amount. The network shot back, saying, "The law on this is very clear: No permissions of any kind were required in order to tell the tale. Docudramas, such as this one, are original narrative works, based on real, verifiable facts and events." Undaunted, Livvy is moving the case to court—and quickly. Her lawyers have requested a speedy trial: "Based on her unusually advanced age, Olivia de Havilland moves for preference in the setting of trial of this matter under California Code of Civil Procedure and asks the Court to set this case for a jury trial in November 2017, or in any event on a date within 120 days of the granting of this motion." The case has been assigned to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig, who will formally hear the motion on Sept. 13. We're told de Havilland, who lives in Paris, will not be attending. Perhaps she'll send Catherine Zeta-Jones!

Two of my favorite people are making a bit of history. As you may have heard, Anthony Rapp has been cast on Star Trek: Discovery. He will be playing Lt. Stamets, the first openly gay character to appear as a main cast member on any of the "Star Trek" series. But that's not all—his on-screen love interest will be the oh-so-delectable ( and, yeah, he's talented too ) Wilson Cruz, who will be playing Dr. Hugh Culber. Congrats, guys.

I'm gonna tell you right off the bat that I think this next story is stupid. Josh Groban left Broadway's "The Great Comet" on July 2, and the producers cast African-American actor Okieriete "Oak" Onaodowan to replace him. So they obviously weren't going for the same type. But Oak had a following, having just starred in Hamilton. Alas, the box office dropped precipitously, and the producers were worried. So they asked Mandy Patinkin if he'd be interested in playing the role for a limited run in August. Mandy liked the idea, so he said "yes."

While some people were excited to see Patinkin back on Broadway, the New York Times reported "widespread outrage" that an African-American actor was asked to vacate a part so that a Caucasian man could play it. But, of course, that's not what happened. A talented actor who is not selling tickets was being replaced by another talented actor who might also generate ticket sales. It happens all the time. It has nothing to do with race. And if race were an issue, riddle me this—where was the "outrage" when an African-American actor was hired to replace a Caucasian actor? The upshot is Mandy now doesn't wanna go anywhere near this show, and Oak says he's still leaving Aug. 13. If the producers don't find a replacement who can also deliver at the box office, the show will have to close, hundreds of people will be out of work—and they will have nobody but the politically correct people to thank.

Our brief "Ask Billy" question comes from Justin: "Thanks for the video of Angels in America from London. But, here's one better—Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! Nobody has any footage. If anyone can get it, you can."

I can, and do. Many people have attempted to film clips of Bette Midler in "Dolly." Most have had their phones confiscated. And those who posted footage online found it quickly removed due to the vehemence of pit bull producer Scott Rudin. There has been an embargo on any clips of Bette in the role—the rationale being, if you wanna see her, spend $600 and buy a ticket. But, the wait is over. There are a couple of tantalizing videos on BillyMasters.com . Well, the word "video" might be a misnomer. Yes, there are fleeting images of Midler, but most of the time she's onstage, the spotlight is so bright it almost completely washes her out. Still, you can hear her perfectly and see glimpses of a ghostly Divine Miss M on our website.

When our answer to an "Ask Billy" question is "You Bette," it's definitely time to end yet another column. Your best bet is to check out BillyMasters.com, a site I'm sure Scaramucci is familiar with. You can send your questions to me at Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Patinkin stars in a radical reworking of A Raisin in the Sun! So, until next time, remember:One man's filth is another man's bible.


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