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Entertainment: Wanda Sykes, 'Transformation,' female superheroes, John Legend
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-11-15

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Wanda Sykes drew boos from the audience ( and then reportedly flipped off audience members ) at a charity event in Boston over the weekend when she criticized President-elect Donald Trump, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Onstage at the Nov. 12 Comics Come Home benefit show at the TD Garden, Sykes said, "After the election, I was going around consoling people. I said, 'Guys, look on the bright side ... I was telling everybody, 'It's OK. It's gonna be OK.' I am certain this is not the first time we've elected a racist, sexist, homophobic president. He ain't the first one—he's just the first confirmed one." Sykes, an out lesbian, was one of eight comedians at the event, which served as the 22nd annual fund-raiser for the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care.

CBS is in negotiations for The Big Bang Theory spinoff titled Sheldon, after one of the main characters on the original series played by out Emmy winner Jim Parsons, Deadline noted. The series is reportedly a prequel, described as a Malcolm in the Middle-esque single-camera family comedy centered on the child prodigy Sheldon character at age 12. Sheldon will be looking to join The Big Bang Theory on the CBS schedule next season.

MTV announced the premiere of Transformation, a one-hour documentary about Los Angeles-based transgender and gender non-conforming youth, on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, according to a press release. The latest film from the MTV Docs division is part of MTV's Transgender Awareness Week programming, airing Nov. 14-20. Transformation follows Madin Lopez, a young gender non-conforming hairstylist and their organization ProjectQ, which provides hairstyling and mentoring to help youth combat bullying, develop life skills, and embrace inner beauty and identity.

In the Nov. 7 episode, Supergirl's older, adoptive sister, Alex ( played by Chyler Leigh ), took an unexpected step out of the closet when she came out as a lesbian, NewNowNext.com noted. At the Television Critics Association press tour this past August, producers hinted that a character on the popular CW show would be coming out. While many fans expected it to be Winn ( Jeremy Jordan ), executive producer Andrew Kreisberg believes that Alex's coming out answers a lot of lingering questions about the character.

Gal Gadot thinks Halle Berry would be the perfect female love interest for Wonder Woman, The Washington Blade noted. In an interview with Israeli talk show Good Night With Guy Pines, translated from Hebrew by Batman-News.com, Gadot was asked what actress she would want to play Wonder Woman's love interest in the sequel. "I saw her the other day, Halle Berry. She's so beautiful,'" Gadot said."Wow. She's gorgeous. So yeah, I could do it with her." DC Comics confirmed that Wonder Woman is bisexual in September. Gadot told Variety last month that the big screen version of Wonder Woman could also be bisexual.

Jessica Chastain will star in and produce the vigilante drama Painkiller Jane, based on the graphic novel series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada, Variety noted. Painkiller Jane, as related in the original story, is a police officer imbued with superhuman regenerative powers. Painkiller Jane was adapted into a 2005 Syfy channel TV movie, starring Emmanuelle Vaugier; Syfy also aired a season of another Painkiller Jane series in 2007 starring Kristanna Loken.

Christina Hodson has cracked Paramount's Bumblebee spin-off movie ( from Transformers ), and will also pen Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Films' Birds of Prey, a.k.a. the Harley Quinn movie, ComingSoon.net reported. Margot Robbie is set to reprise her Suicide Squad role and co-produce the latter film.

In the video for "Love Me Now," singer John Legend showcases resiliency at four locations around the world: the memorial at Orlando's Pulse Nightclub, North Dakota's Standing Rock Reservation, the Domiz Refugee Camp in Northern Iraq and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, Rolling Stone noted. Director Nabil Elderkin ( Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Nicki Minaj ) interjects clips of Legend crooning the emotional lyrics to his wife, Chrissy Teigen, and daughter. "I don't know who's gonna kiss you when I'm gone," the singer belts over percussion and piano. "So I'm gonna love you now, like it's all I have."

Elton John is remembering his friend, mentor and "inspiration" Leon Russell, who died in his sleep over last weekend, USA Today noted. "He was a mentor, inspiration & so kind to me. I loved him and always will," John wrote on Twitter. John and Russell collaborated on the album The Union in 2010, right before Russell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the next year.

After gossip spread through the art and fashion scenes in the early '70s that Yves Saint Laurent hated Andy Warhol's portraits of him, the iconic designer sent Warhol a letter to reassure him otherwise, Page Six revealed. Knowing the chatter was upsetting Warhol, Saint Laurent wrote in the message—which was mailed from Paris on July 31, 1974, and will be displayed in an exhibition called "Letters to Andy Warhol"—that he had heard the "stupid rumors" about the set of four multicolored silkscreens, and wrote a short list.

Just three months after announcing her divorce from her husband of 14 years, Christian author Glennon Doyle Melton has found love with soccer star Abby Wambach, People reported. "Feels like the world could use all the love it can get right now," Melton wrote on her Facebook page. "So today, I'm going to share with you my new love." The relationship news comes three months after Melton announced her divorce from husband Craig Melton, and two months after Wambach announced that she and her wife of three years, Sarah Huffman, would be divorcing following an April DUI arrest that forced the soccer star to confront her struggles with substance abuse.

Amy Poehler will executive-produce a new gay Odd Couple-style romcom for ABC, NewNowNext.com reported. The Parks and Rec alum will produce Family Style under the banner of her company, Paper Kite Productions. The single-camera, half-hour show will follow two mismatched men from different cultures as they find love in a family-run restaurant in Miami. Poehler's production company has also sold a multi-camera ABC comedy starring comedy legend Carol Burnett and the Seann William Scott comedy The Baby for NBC.

Bryan Singer is now set to direct Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic focusing on the band Queen and their frontman, Freddie Mercury, The Guardian reported. The openly gay Singer, best known for directing The Usual Suspects and four films in the X-Men franchise, is the latest name attached to the project. Mr. Robot star Rami Malek is slated to portray Mercury.

Rosie O'Donnell has joined the cast of Showtime's comedy pilot SMILF, Deadline reported. Frankie Shaw writes, directs and stars in the project, which is based on her film that won the Short Film Jury Award at Sundance last year. Set in Boston, SMILF takes a look at Bridgette, a single twentysomething ( Shaw ), whose desires for relationships, sex and a career collide with the realities of being a young single mother. O'Donnell will play Tutu, Bridgette's mother.

Pro-wrestling superstar Dustin Patrick Runnels—who is also known as Goldust—took to his public Facebook to say his transgender stepson was attacked, according to Sportskeeda. Runnels wrote, "My step son who is a transgender was attacked last night and I'm fu**ing pi**ed. Grow the eff up and let people live their lives the way they choose. Stop all this hateful crap towards one another. The three men who attacked and beat her up are still out there. You boys are three lucky individuals that I wasn't there or you would on life support." He received supportive messages on social media.

Andy Cohen lost his cool on the most recent Real Housewives of Orange County ( RHOC ) reunion show, BuddyTV.com reported. "Andy screams," RHOC cast member Tamra Judge told E! News of the reunion event which she described as epic. "Just screams on the top of his lungs, like 'Everybody, shut up!' Multiple times. I've never seen him do that—have you?"

Famously boastful Real Housewife of Atlanta Nene Leakes not only owes more than $1 million in taxes, but she also once filed for bankruptcy, RadarOnline.com revealed. According to U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents exclusively obtained by Radar, Leakes filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy back in March 1996. Although she now owns a $2 million mansion in Atlanta, Leakes, 49, listed her value in real property as $0 in the filing.

VH1's latest series is pulling back the curtain on daytime talk shows a la UnREAL, EW.com noted. Daytime Divas, a new series executive-produced by Star Jones and based on her 2011 novel Satan's Sisters, follows the women of the fictional daytime show The Lunch Hour. "Some [of the characters] are selfish, and some are sweet as can be," said Jones, who co-hosted The View for nine years. "Every one of them has some aspect of my personality."

Demi Lovato got into trouble for a tweet she says was just trying to make "light of the election," according to Page Six. "Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree and grab some p—y," the Hillary Clinton backer said in a since-deleted tweet referencing the leaked Access Hollywood tapes in which Donald Trump made lewd comments about women in 2005. After deleting her tweet, the singer apologized to her fans.

Azealia Banks is one of the few celebrities who's thrilled about Donald Trump winning the presidency, Page Six noted. The rapper, 25, took to Facebook—one of the few social networks from which she hasn't been banned—to gloat about the Republican's victory over Hillary Clinton. Banks specifically called out staunch Clinton supporters Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, who each campaigned heavily for the Democratic nominee throughout the 2016 election season.

Sean Penn is reuniting with Madonna—at her Raising Malawi charity benefit during Art Basel Miami on Dec. 2, Page Six noted. The starry evening of "music, art, mischief and performance" will feature appearances from Penn, Chris Rock and Ariana Grande, as well as a performance by Madonna herself; James Corden is hosting. Only 400 tickets are available, and they're $5,000-$150,000 ( the latter for a single Philanthropist Package, which includes a photo op with Madonna ).

Tom Atwood has another new LGBTQ photo book, Kings & Queens in Their Castles, that's slated to be out next March, a press release stated. Over 15 years, Tom Atwood photographed more than 350 subjects at home nationwide ( with over 160 in the book ), including nearly 100 celebrities ( with about 60 in the book ). Just a few in the latest book are Meredith Baxter, Alan Cumming, Don Lemon, John Waters, George Takei, Alison Bechdel, Barney Frank, Carson Kressley, Joel Schumacher and Christian Siriano.

Fashion designer James Galanos died Nov. 11 of natural causes at his house in West Hollywood, according to The L.A. Times; he was 92. He was known for dressing First Lady Nancy Reagan, but people as varied as Doris Roberts and Jessica Alba liked his designs; he also designed movie costumes for Rosalind Russell, Marlene Dietrich, Dorothy Lamour, Judy Garland and Diana Ross. Galanos retired in 1998 and began pursuing photography.

Bjork did not physically appear at the Nov. 2 opening of "Bjork Digital," her own exhibit of immersive video and virtual-reality experiences at the Icelandic concert hall Harpa, Rolling Stone noted. But she made up for her cancellation of an Iceland Airwaves show last year with a Nov. 5 concert at Harpa in which she revisited the anguish and healing of her recent album, Vulnicura, with dramatically expanded string arrangements, no electronics and emotionally acrobatic singing.

Wendy Williams found herself in an extremely heated feud with reality-TV star Blac Chyna, E! News noted. Recently, the talk-show host criticized Rob Kardashian for "giving up," and dating the model, who in her words, "comes from the world of the [stripper] pole." She continued to accuse Chyna of "taking full advantage" of Kardashian and his family's status for financial gain. Chyna responded the following day, defending her love for Rob and spewing some serious venom at Williams. "Wendy Bitch you're cruisin'," she wrote on Instagram. "Honestly, truly.. You go out there talking about my family like you just hit the pipe backstage!"

Nick Lachey, who was a member of 98 Degrees, and Donnie Wahlberg, formerly of New Kids On the Block, have teamed with Entourage creator Doug Ellin for Encore, a single-camera comedy that would draw on the duo's experience as ex members of popular boy bands, Deadline noted. Written by Ellin, Encore is about former boy band members who reunite 20 years later. New Kids and 98 Degrees actually embarked on a joint tour in 2013 along with a third boy band, Boyz II Men.

Law & Order: SVU's Donald Trump-ian episode, "Unstoppable," will not air next Wednesday, Nov. 16, Deadline reported. The scheduling change actually happened a couple of days before the Nov. 8 election, which Trump won. There are no more original SVU episodes scheduled though Jan. 4, with specials taking over the night on Nov. 23 and 30, so "Unstoppable" will not air until 2017. In the episode, the Trump-esque character, played by Gary Cole, is a wealthy and boorish man who makes a run for the White House; however, his plan may be thwarted by a woman who accuses him of raping her in the 1980s when she was 13.

Academy Award- and Grammy-winning disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder has released his new single "Good For Me" ( featuring Karen Harding ), a press release noted. In 1977, Moroder made history with Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." More recently, Moroder has enjoyed a second dancefloor renaissance in the 21st century; among other things, he guest-collaborated on Daft Punk's Random Access Memories in 2013.

Venus and Serena Williams returned to the tennis court where they honed their skills as youngsters in Compton, California, according to Footwear News. The sisters were recognized at a dedication ceremony for the newly vamped court, aptly named in their honor: the Venus and Serena Williams Court of Champions. "We literally lived around the corner, so just driving here brought back so many memories," Serena told a crowd of fans while accepting a plaque from Mayor Aja Brown.

The band Red Hot Chili Peppers has announced additional spring dates on their 2017 North American Tour in support of their 11th studio album, The Getaway, a press release noted. The Getaway Tour kicks off Jan. 5, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas, and crisscrosses North America through mid-March. A spring leg of the tour has been added, which begins April 12 in Washington, D.C., and winds up June 30 in Chicago. See RedHotChiliPeppers.com/.


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