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Entertainment: Megan Rapinoe, Sia, Neil Patrick Harris, 'Jersey Boys'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-09-13

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In the soccer world, the Washington Spirit prevented Seattle midfielder Megan Rapinoe, an out lesbian, from kneeling again during the national anthem by altering its pregame ceremonies rather than "subject our fans and friends to the disrespect we feel such an act would represent," LGBTQ Nation noted. The National Women's Soccer League team moved up the anthem, playing it while the teams were off the field at the Maryland SoccerPlex. During the match, a group of supporters chanted "Let Her Kneel!" The Spirit said team owner Bill Lynch is a veteran who has lost friends in overseas conflicts, as had his close friends.

A music video from Sia once again features Maddie Ziegler, a teen with fluid dance moves featured in four of the singer's earlier works. But in the video for "The Greatest," her new song, Ziegler ( sporting rainbow-colored facial paint ) is joined by 49 other young dancers, each representing one of the victims of the June 12 massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, LGBTQ Nation noted.

In other Sia-related news, the singer has marked six years of sobriety, Page Six noted. On Twitter, the "Cheap Thrills" singer, 40, thanked all of the people who have "contributed knowingly and unknowingly" to her sobriety. Sia, who famously hides her face, has been vocal about her struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.

Neil Patrick Harris is appearing in a new Heineken Light commercial and it's rubbing some folks the wrong way, LGBTQ Nation noted. In the new spot, Harris claims "Heineken Light makes it okay to flip another man's meat"—as a bearded man grills beside him. Eventually, Harris asks, "Can I flip your meat?" before the other guys pauses and says, "No." Right-wing pundits, the religious right and some beer drinkers are up in arms over the commercial and the gay innuendo.

Jersey Boys—the most successful jukebox show Broadway has produced and a global phenomenon later revisited in Clint Eastwood's less successful 2014 film—will end its record-breaking 11-year run on Jan. 15, 2017, Deadline noted. The 12th-longest running show in Broadway history, it will have played 4,642 performances at Jujamcyn Theatres' August Wilson Theatre and taken in more than $2 billion in ticket sales. Making his Broadway debut in the show Oct. 18 through the end of the run, Dancing With The Stars star Mark Ballas will be the final actor to play Four Seasons frontman Frankie Valli.

Openly gay singer Brian Justin Crum was among the 10 finalists on the current season of America's Got Talent. USA Today noted that half of the finalists were singers, with contortionist Sofie Dossie, juggler Viktor Kee and mime/comedian Tape Face among the others. Crum, who was 28 when he auditioned, was on Broadway as a teenager.

Antwon Jackson—the Emmy-winning hairstylist responsible for talk-show host and New Jersey native Wendy Williams' many wigs—died suddenly at age 44, NJ.com reported. Longtime friend Crystal Wright says Jackson had recently returned from vacation with his fiance, fellow hairstylist Dontay Savoy, in Mexico, but didn't have any details on his death and could not comment on reports that he suffered from lupus. Jackson leaves behind a son, 25-year-old DeAntwon Jackson.

Project Runway mentor, author and fashion educator Tim Gunn has written an editorial for Washington Post about "the baffling way ( the industry ) has turned its back on plus-size women," USA Today reported. He added, "This a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can't look just as fabulous as all other women. The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape. Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up; it's a matter of adjusting proportions." Gunn even admitted his own design competition show, Project Runway, has failed in addressing the issue.

Beyonce threw a Soul Train-themed party for her 35th birthday, E! News reported. Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams dressed up as disco divas, as did Solange Knowles. Other partygoers included Alicia Keys, Carmelo Anthony, LaLa Anthony, Swizz Beatz, Cassie, Chance the Rapper, Sean "Diddy" Combs, The-Dream, Chanel Iman, Kendrick Lamar, Serena Williams and Usher.

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert is thankful for the support of her fans after revealing that her marriage ended because of a new romance with her longtime female best friend, Rayya Elias, People noted. Gilbert announced her relationship with Elias on social media, explaining that she fell in love with the fellow author after 15 years of friendship. The revelation followed Elias' diagnosis with pancreatic and liver cancer this past spring, and also lead to the end of Gilbert's marriage to Jose Nunes, the man who inspired the "love" portion of Eat, Pray, Love.

In a new memoir, Forward, retired soccer star Abby Wambach says that she abused various substances but is clean now, Newser stated. Her DUI arrest in Portland, Oregon, was the culmination of years of substance abuse, celebrating her successes down with vodka, Vicodin, Ambien and Adderall, she writes. "That night getting arrested was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Because if I don't get so publicly shamed and publicly humiliated, I don't think I wake up," she pens.

Drag persona Lady Bunny has extended the run of her show "Transjester" at the iconic Stonewall Inn until October—and the show includes a number of songs with unprintable lyrics, a segment on being PC and a number of over-the-top jokes, Page Six noted. Among her targets are Chris Brown, Caitlyn Jenner and the presidential candidates. The show initially ran April to July and has been seen by Andy Cohen, Patricia Field, and John Cameron Mitchell.

The late trans entertainer Alexis Arquette had been approached several times to write a tell-all book, and was considering the most recent offers, Page Six noted. An activist for transgender rights, Arquette made headlines in January with a Facebook post ( deleted afterward ) blasting Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, the day after Jada announced that she was boycotting the Oscars. "When Jada comes out as gay and her beard husband admits his first marriage ended when she walked in [on] him . . . servicing his Sugar Daddy, then I will listen to them," Arquette wrote, adding that "outing was healthy."

Domestic diva Martha Stewart is quietly penning a memoir, sources tell Page Six. A source said, "She said she is writing her autobiography. She has even been telling pals, 'You'll be pleasantly surprised how good it is." The insider said of the tome: "She said she's learned a lot, and she thinks everyone will learn a lot from her book." She's already penned books such as The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Build, or Manage a Business.

Has Queen Latifah been outed? In its description of the entertainer being at this year's U.S. Open, WireImage wrote, "Queen Latifha [sic] ( R ) and girlfriend Ebony Nicholas at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City." Latifah has been the subject of numerous lesbian rumors over the years; however, it is possible that "girlfriend" could simply mean "friend" in this case.

Out actress Heather Matarazzo is set to star in Stuck—an indie drama about an ER nurse who never met a rule she didn't break, bend or ignore, Deadline noted. The story follows Darby Dixon ( Matarazzo ), a nurse who finds herself in trouble with the law, is subsequently sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and is legally confined to the same house she once shared with her ex-boyfriend—who now shares it with his new fiancee. Others in the cast include Joel McHale, Felicia Day, Constantine Maroulis and Vivian Bang.

Finding Prince Charming's Robert Sepulveda Jr. was served with eviction papers in 2013 after failing to pay at least three months of rent for his one-bedroom New York City apartment, RadarOnline.com revealed. Sepulveda's landlord filed a petition against the former model on Dec. 19, 2012, claiming he had failed to pay his $2,200 a month rent in October, November and December of that year. The court claims there are no records indicating that Sepulveda paid off his rent debts at the last minute in order to remain in the apartment.

Katy Perry has suggested she is prepared to end her ongoing feud with Taylor Swift and may even collaborate with her in the future—but only if the newly single "Bad Blood" singer says sorry, Page Six noted. Perry made the revelation during a Twitter Q&A on Saturday. A fan asked Perry if she'd be willing to record a song with Swift, who was once her friend. "If she says sorry, sure!" the Grammy-nominated singer replied, sending the Twitter world into a frenzy. The pop starlets had a fallout after Swift claimed Perry stole three of her backing dancers from her RED tour in 2012.

It was recently announced that actor Seann William Scott, 39, is set to play the leading role in Amy Poehler's new scripted comedy titled The Baby, which has already been granted a pilot production commitment by NBC, Just Jared noted. Scott will star as the youngest male in an organized crime family composed entirely of women.

Kirstie Alley is set as a series regular on the upcoming second season of Scream Queens, the comedy-horror series from executive producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, Deadline reported. Season two of Scream Queens graduates from the college campus and into a hospital. Alley joins previously announced Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Billie Lourd, Glen Powell and Niecy Nash, who are all set to reprise their season-one characters. Joining the season two cast are John Stamos, Taylor Lautner and James Earl.

Three decades ago, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt made musical history with the release of the Grammy-winning Trio album. The success and reach of the album was so strong that it inspired a 1999 follow-up, Trio II—and now Rhino Records has released The Complete Trio Collection, a three-disc set that ties together remastered versions of the 1987 and 1999 albums, but also includes another disc of rarities and unreleased takes on songs from the other albums, a press release stated.

Melanie "Mel B" Brown was blunt about why the impending Spice Girls reunion will only feature only herself, Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton and Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell, Page Six noted. Brown said, "Because the other two bitches didn't want to do it!" on the Late Late Show. She then continued, "Let me correct that: My other two fellow lovely ladies. You know, Victoria's busy with her great fashion line, Mel C. is doing her own album, so they gracefully said, 'You three, go ahead and do it.'"

Sarah Jessica Parker is taking the mic for an untitled drama that sees her reteaming with AMBI Pictures, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Parker, who previously collaborated with AMBI's Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi's on the romantic comedy All Roads Lead to Rome, will sing for the role. For the AMBI drama, Parker will play a New York chanteuse named Vivienne who wrestles with the implications of a serious health diagnosis.

Multiple reports are saying there's a reason Janet Jackson ( Mrs. Wissam Al Mana ) is staying out of public view while she's with child, according to Eurweb. Sources have said that the "Rhythm Nation" singer's weight has reportedly ballooned to 250 pounds and that doctors have ordered her to rest in bed due to risk of serious complications. Jackson, 50, secretly married 41-year-old Qatari billionaire in 2012, but didn't confirm the marriage until a year later. The baby will be her first child.

Britney Spears' lawyers have reportedly sent a sternly worded legal notice cautioning In Touch not to to move forward with a story about Spears' alleged "erratic" behavior at the MTV VMAs, Jezebel noted. According to TMZ, In Touch alerted Spears' team about a piece that focuses on "Britney allegedly acting erratic at last month's MTV Video Music Awards and 'talking and laughing to herself and using a British accent.'" Also, PerezHilton.com reported that Spears has settled her lawsuit with ex-manager Sam Lutfi, and the pop star allegedly paid her former friend an amount in the low six figures.

Kanye West's "Yeezy Season 4" fashion collection was unveiled—and Page Six reported that it was an utter disaster. Models stumbled and bumbled down a makeshift runway as the stilettos "designed" by the West practically disintegrated under their feet. The much-anticipated event—which started nearly two hours late—was staged on the grounds of a long-abandoned smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island. Also, guests were trapped on buses while waiting for West to show, and at least one model fainted from the heat.

Country-music icon Loretta Lynn, 84, has postponed shows after suffering injuries in a fall that will require minor surgery, according to Page Six. Lynn's injuries were described as not serious, but a statement posted on her website said her doctors have advised her to stay off the road until she's made a full recovery. The "Coal Miner's Daughter" released her first studio album in a decade, Full Circle, earlier this year.

Iman looked to be in excellent spirits at a recent Tom Ford fashion show, Page Six noted. It was the first time Iman, 61, attended a public event since the death of her rock-star husband, David Bowie, in January. Iman made the most of her night on the town—even posting a selfie with Cindy Crawford at one point.

True Blood and Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello will play the deadly villain Deathstroke in Ben Affleck's solo Batman film, TheWrap noted. The casting, which the Wall Street Journal first reported, came after TheWrap confirmed Deathstroke, a brilliant and deadly assassin, would be the lead villain in the Warner Bros. film. However, who would play him was a mystery. DC Entertainment President/Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns confirmed the casting in an interview with the Journal.

The Get Down: The Original Soundtrack to the Netflix Original Series is now available at all digital service providers and will be available in a super-deluxe physical version on Friday, Sept. 30, a press release stated. Along with the release of the soundtrack at all digital service providers, an official website ( TheGetDownSoundtrack.com ) will be launched for The Get Down where fans can listen to the soundtrack and watch clips from various episodes.

ABC has canceled the show Mistresses after four seasons, EW.com noted. The season ( and now series ) finale killed off original cast member Yunjin Kim's character, Karen. Fellow original castmate Alyssa Milano exited the series after season two, and was replaced by Jennifer Esposito, who departed the series after one season.

After a nearly four-month break, Dance Moms returned for more of its sixth season on Lifetime—and with a little bit less weight on its immediate shoulders. Deadline reported that host Abby Lee Miller won't have to return to a Pittsburgh federal courthouse next month for sentencing in her June 27 guilty plea to part of her indictment last year on 20 counts of fraud and a new charge of violating currency-reporting laws. The Dance Moms coach now will face the consequences of her illegal actions in December.


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