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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2020-05-27

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"Hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people started long before Trump and Pence took office. Defeating them will not solve the problem, but it is an essential first step in order to resume our march towards equality."—Joe Biden, while stressing his support of the Equality Act. See? Isn't that better than that stupid "you ain't black" quote?

One night I went to bed, and we were in a pandemic. I woke up the next day, and it's as if it never happened. People are walking around, playing, socializing and even tanning. A friend called me earlier today from Macy's. Would you risk life and limb to go to Macy's? OK, I understand it if you have a coupon. But still...

Not everything is back to normal. In South Lansing, Michigan, complaints were made about a complex right up my alley ... or at the very least, alley-adjacent. "Fantasies Unlimited" is one of those stores that has a back room. ( You know what kind of back room. ) The health officer for Ingham County popped in for an inspection and said, "No way they are six feet apart"—which should go without saying. The back room even has its own name—"Club Tabu." Now it has another name: "Closed By Order of the Department of Health." Not nearly as catchy.

Time for a Whodunit! Ruby Rose, who plays the title character in Batwoman, abruptly quit the CW show days after the show was picked up for a second season. The producers vow to recast! Why is Ruby leaving? Lots of rumors are circulating—including one about her being injured during a stunt and deciding she wasn't going to risk permanent physical damage. But people whisper that's not the real reason. Allegedly there was a personality conflict. Between whom? My sources are mum, but I'm not one to give up that easily.

Last week didn't go down exactly as planned on "Billy Masters LIVE!". There was much anticipation for the dual interview with Lainie Kazan and Michele Lee—speaking for the first time together about their experiences in the musical Seesaw. A couple of hours before we went live, Lainie called in sick. Michele was game to go solo—but would only give me 30 minutes ( 50 if she felt it was going well ). The show lasted an hour and a half! Since I had prepped so diligently, I was thrilled to discuss Lee's long and varied career. We even surprised her with Charles Busch, who wrote Tale of the Allergist's Wife. Michele had a great time and promised to return with Lainie very soon.

On Thursday, we had Gloria Allred. She was brilliant as we surveyed the pandemic, the political climate, the upcoming election and her many historic cases. I was aided by news anchor Sue O'Connell and, while it was different than our usual show, it was quite fascinating ... and still fun. You can check out all of our shows on our YouTube channel of Billy Masters TV, or at BillyMasters.com/TV.

This week, we'll reunite the hot gays from The People's Couch. Yes, Scott Nevins, Emerson Collins and Blake McIver will join me on my virtual couch May 26. We'll also talk about "Voice of Hope" ( the Desert AIDS Project benefit ), the all-star benefit reading of Del Shores' Sordid Lives, Blake's upcoming concert and much more.

Did you all watch "Bombshell in Concert?" It was, without question, one of the most THRILLING things I've ever seen. For those who don't know, Bombshell was a musical about Marilyn Monroe that was being staged in the NBC series Smash. After the series was cancelled, fans clamored for a stage version of Bombshell. This concert performance of that score ( written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ) was a benefit in 2015 for The Actors Fund—and was fortuitously filmed professionally for archival purposes. Although it wasn't televised on NBC ( where Smash aired ), it was livestreamed on People magazine's website—also as a benefit for The Actors Fund. ( We'll post the link on our website. )

Since it was a benefit, union rules only allowed a week for some vocal and dance rehearsal in a studio, and then a few hours in the theater the day of the show itself. Despite this tight schedule—to say nothing of the fact that the concert happened two years after the series' demise—everything was picture-perfect, including the thrilling choreography of Joshua Bergasse. The fact that Megan Hilty was effortless was expected from this Broadway vet. It was Katharine McPhee—at that point, a Broadway newbie—who blew me away. She handled intricate vocals during difficult dancing with aplomb. And it's impossible for me to let a Smash item end without noting the presence of the dreamy Wesley Taylor.

Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Danny in Denver: "What do you know about Christopher Fawcett? He's an underwear model and absolutely gorgeous."

You didn't ask, but you'll probably be pleased to hear that Fawcett is openly gay. HOORAY! He's also openly married. BOO! To fill in some other blanks, he's 34 years old, lives in NYC, and has modeled extensively for DKNY and CK. But, please, don't limit Fawcett to undies. He's also happy to pose in nothing at all—as you'll see on BillyMasters.com .

When you'll need two hands to turn this Fawcett, it's definitely time to get out the elbow grease and end yet another column. You may not be stuck at home, but you'll still need some entertainment. Might I suggest you check outBillyMasters.com—the site that doesn't require social distancing. And, of course, go to our YouTube channel of Billy Masters TV and subscribe. I'll make it worth your while. For details on how, drop a note to me at Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Macy's opens up a back room. Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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