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Entertainment: Drag Race, Jared Leto, Melissa Etheridge, Where the Bears Are
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-08-09

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RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season two debuts Thursday, Aug. 25, with a 90-minute episode, a press release stated. For the first time in "Drag Race" history, the full season will simulcast on Logo and VH1. Joining the main stage panel of Todrick Hall, Carson Kressley, Michelle Visage and RuPaul will be Raven-Symone, Ross Mathews, Jeremy Scott, Nicole Scherzinger, Graham Norton, Aubrey Plaza and more. For more information on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars and sneak-preview clips, go to allstars.logotv.com .

Jared Leto believes a gay leading man would not have the same opportunities in the film industry which he believes is still "very conservative," The Guardian reported. In a new interview with GQ Style, the Oscar-winning actor ( for playing an HIV-positive transgender character in Dallas Buyers Club ) added, "We're in an interesting time right now where people are exploring all kinds of different ideas of identity, not just masculinity or femininity. … For myself, I have never had a specific idea of masculinity. I think it's OK just to be yourself and whatever that entails." Leto's comments echo what Matt Damon said to the Observer in a 2015 profile, that "it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly" and manage to find great success in Hollywood.

Melissa Etheridge premiered her new single "Hold On, I'm Coming"—a cover of the Sam & Dave classic—from her upcoming album MEmphis Rock and Soul, Billboard noted. Dropping Oct. 7, the release will feature covers of songs from the legendary ( now-defunct ) Stax Records as well as original verses Etheridge wrote to add to those songs. Some of the other songs on the CD include "Respect Yourself," "Dreams To Remember" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long ( To Stop Now )."

The award-winning comedy web series Where the Bears Are will return for a fifth season ( and another mystery ) on Thursday, Sept. 1, according to a press release. The newest season follows the exploits of four gay bear roommates living together in Los Angeles as they become involved with intrigue and murder while couple Nelson and Todd are on their honeymoon in Palm Springs, California. Chaz Bono, Perez Hilton and Paolo Andino are among the special guest stars in the season subtitled "The Honeymoon Is Over." See WhereTheBearsAre.tv .

Empire producer Ilene Chaiken said there could be a spinoff centered on the character Cookie Lyon during the show's Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, TheWrap noted. "There certainly could be," Chaiken said. "We talk about it. I think the show offers so many opportunities. There are potential spinoffs with Lucious and Cookie's characters, sure." Taraji P. Henson earned back-to-back Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe for portraying Cookie.

A new website, I'm With Cher, created by artist Anna Niess, immortalizes the singer/actress and outspoken liberal's most anti-Donald Trump burns as posters, pins and bumper stickers, Papermag.com noted. Her disdain for Trump—whose name she refuses to use and, instead, replaces it with a toilet emoji—is well-documented. People can also register to vote on the site, ImWithCher.com .

Rapper/producer 50 Cent is reportedly upset that his penis is revealed in a scene in the TV show Power, Digital Spy noted. In a scene from the latest episode of the show, of which 50 Cent is a producer, the rapper's character, Kanan, is seen masturbating. 50 called out the show's writer, Courtney Kemp Agboh, over the scenes in since-deleted Instagram posts. ( "Yeah that's your ( penis ). You signed the waiver like everybody else," Agboh responded on Instagram, according to The New York Daily News. ) However, in a previous interview with TV Guide, he said, "My penis is going to debut!"

It seems to be a week for penises. Five-time NBA champion and sometime actor Dennis Rodman has talked about breaking his penis on three separate occasions, Wetpaint noted. The initial break—which he really opened up about in a video released by Viceland—occurred on a boat, and he revealed hearing a "crunching" sound.

Lastly, after nude photos of Justin Bieber were published online last week, the singer's dad took it upon himself to joke about his son's manhood—again, The Huffington Post noted. The younger Bieber was photographed skinny-dipping with a group of girls while on vacation in Hawaii, and the New York Daily News published the full-frontal pics. In a tweet that has since been deleted, the father, 41, wrote, "My boy," along with a cactus emoji, according to US Weekly. After posting his tweet, he shared an Instagram photo of the CN Tower in Toronto followed by a selfie in front of the Canadian landmark, and tagged his son in both.

Lily Tomlin will be the 53rd recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, Deadline reported. The honor will be bestowed Jan. 29, 2017, at SAG-AFTRA's 23rd annual SAG Awards. Out actress Tomlin, who last year scored a life achievement award from the Publicists Guild, was nominated for an Emmy last month for a second consecutive year for her role on Netflix's comedy Grace And Frankie. She also earned an Oscar nom for her first feature film, Robert Altman's Nashville.

Zac Efron recently told The New York Times he has difficulty dating, Page Six noted. He said, "Dating is something I'll never be able to do. As in the dictionary definition of dating, because one way or another I've impacted that person's life and they'll soon realize it. A date has to be very long to dispel whatever people think about me." Efron, who split from ex Sami MirÃ" in April and previously romanced Vanessa Hudgens and Michelle Rodriguez, admitted that not even Tinder worked out for him.

Tegan and Sara debuted the video for "Faint of Heart" and, in it, many famous faces from the LGBT community lip-sync to the song, Curve Magazine noted. Each star is dressed in a legendary music icon's famous wardrobe, including David Bowie, Prince and even the Canadian twins themselves.

Manhattan Judge Lucy Billings recently asked how Orange Is the New Black actress Taryn Manning could claim ignorance of the legal system when her character's life plays out in a prison, Page Six noted. The actress, who plays Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett on the show, wants to sue the city for $10 million because she spent four hours in a holding cell after being accused of violating a protection order. ( The accuser was the star's ex-pal-turned-stalker Jeanine Heller. ) Manning was never prosecuted.

During the Hairspray Live! panel capping NBC's presentation during the Television Critics Association's annual summer press tour in Beverly Hills, executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan announced the addition of two newcomers to the cast: Sean Hayes as Mr. Pinky ( the dress shop owner who sponsors Tracy ) and Rosie O'Donnell as the gym teacher, EW.com reported. They join a cast that includes Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Derek Hough, Kristen Chenoweth, Ariana Grande, Martin Short and others. Hairspray Live! will be broadcast on NBC Dec. 7.

Since posting more pictures of himself topless, trans bodybuilder Aydian Dowling has received a number of negative and transphobic comments, including calls to "Put a shirt on!," Out.com noted. Dowling, who has been open about his transition on YouTube, took to social media to respond to the negative feedback. In part, Dowling posted, "Cis-men walk around daily, post IG posts, FB, Snapchat, all of it- and are seen as 'ok' no matter the age, size, color, anything- to have a shirt off. But once Transmen who work their ass off the AFFORD Top Surgery start posting shirtless photos- it's now seen as 'too much' or 'topless.'"

A new Britney Spears album is on the way, Vanity Fair noted. The singer announced the news on social media, revealing that Glory, her ninth studio album, will be released Aug. 26 via Apple Music. She also dubbed the release the "beginning of a new era." Glory is Spears' first album since 2013's Britney Jean. The singer recently released the single "Make Me," featuring G-Eazy, and is currently in the midst of Piece of Me, her Las Vegas residency.

Actor/reality-show figure Antonio Sabato Jr. told Variety that he's been blacklisted by Hollywood directors following his speech at last month's Republican National Convention, The New York Daily News. "It's been interesting," he told Variety of the backlash. "I've had fantastic directors who have said officially to my agents and managers they will never hire me again. They will never even see me for projects. That's unfair. It's just like Communism." He's also been bullied on social media for his right-wing stance. Sabato has portrayed an LGBT character at least once, in the 2003 movie Testosterone.

In its September issue, Vanity Fair will posthumously publish the final piece for the magazine by Ingrid Sischy, who died last year, Page Six reported. Sischy profiled fashion boutique Charivari, which opened in 1967 and closed in the late '90s after expanding and championing cutting-edge brands such as Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Dolce & Gabbana, Helmut Lang, Dries van Noten and Jean Paul Gaultier.

The Real O'Neals showrunner Casey Johnson set the record straight on the aftermath of cast member Noah Galvin's controversial interview in June, TheWrap noted. Johnson also downplayed any behind-the-scenes turmoil in the wake of Galvin's controversial Vulture interview, wherein he discussed/speculated about gay male identities within the industry, the coming out of actor Colton Haynes and s the sexual life of X-Men: Apocalypse director Bryan Singer; Galvin later apologized on social media.

Tony Bennett has revealed that he'd like to collaborate with Beyonce, People noted. At his 90th birthday celebration, the legendary singer said, "I like Beyonce so I'd like to do something with her. I think we're going to do that because I'm doing a major special for NBC about three months from now. She's a wonderful performer and a great person." However, Bennett added that no matter whom he performs with in the future, no one will ever actually take Lady Gaga's place in his heart; the two have collaborated on several projects.

In May, actress and U.N. Special Envoy Angelina Jolie signed on to be a visiting professor at the London School of Economics ( LSE ) for the fall. Now, she "will do the same guest spot at Georgetown University," LSE's sister school in Washington, D.C., US Weekly noted. Jolie will share her knowledge in lectures, workshops and research focused on women, peace and security.

Tony Award-winning singer/actor Idina Menzel has announced her forthcoming album idina., which will be released Sept. 23 on Warner Bros. Records, according to a press release. The record—announced last night directly to fans via a Facebook Live performance—will mark Menzel's first original studio album since 2008's I Stand and its first single "I See You" is available everywhere now. The album, produced by Eric Rosse ( Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles ) and Greg Wells ( Katy Perry, OneRepublic ), is now available for pre-order at IdinaMenzel.com .

On Twitter, Bette Midler has said she can't wait for the upcoming Beaches remake that'll star Idina Menzel, EW.com noted. Midler ended her tweet with a comical kicker, saying, "DON'T TELL ME THE ENDING!" Days before Midler's endorsement, Menzel praised the screen and stage legend. She tweeted on Thursday, "@BetteMidler has been one of my all time idols. I hope I can make her proud. #beaches." The announcements of Menzel and the remake have garnered mixed reactions.

STX Entertainment is leaving its role as distributor and co-financier of Gypsy, the Barry Levinson movie that had Barbra Streisand attached to play the iconic Momma Rose, according to Deadline. The move comes fewer than four months after the studio boarded the musical project, a long-gestating one that it picked up after Universal put it into turnaround last fall after a long development period.

Jimmy Fallon will host the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, Time reported. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt announced that The Tonight Show host had been tapped to preside over the 74th annual awards ceremony at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Fallon announced the news via Twitter, joking that he is "looking forward to spending time with the Hollywood Foreign Press before Donald Trump has them all deported."

Sharon Osbourne is standing by her husband Ozzy, and she recently opened up to her The Talk co-hosts about him undergoing therapy for sex addiction, People reported. "He's [been] going to outpatient for sex addiction for the last three months and after the Black Sabbath tour, he goes into inpatient for three months," admitted a teary-eyed Sharon. "He's working at it." In May, the couple announced that they were splitting after Ozzy's four-year-long affair with his former hair colorist, Michelle Pugh, was revealed. The longtime spouses ( married 33 years ) reconciled in July.

Nick Denton said he declared bankruptcy to stave off his worst fear—that Hulk Hogan could take over his beloved gossip website Gawker, Page Six noted. The investor in Hogan's lawsuit ( that resulted in his $140-million win over the website ) is openly gay PayPal founder Peter Thiel, who secretly funded Hogan's suit and who recently spoke at the Republican National Convention. Thiel has maintained that Gawker outed him several years ago.

Google's elite "Camp" has returned to Sicily, Italy—and attendees were stunned to see magician David Blaine swallow a live frog ( after regurgitating it ) during one session, Page Six noted. Among those on the list for the event were George Lucas, Charlize Theron, Bill Gates, Gloria Steinem, Alicia Keys, Barry Diller, Diane von Furstenberg, Queen Rania of Jordan and Brian Glazer.


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