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Entertainment: Zarley's new CD; Dan Savage project; Kylie Minogue
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-01-27

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Out singer-songwriter Matt Zarley will release his newest album, hopefulROMANTIC, on Feb. 10, according to a press release. hopefulROMANTIC will be available in two versions: a pop album featuring original versions of each song, and a soundtrack to his short film of the same name with new arrangements of each track re-imagined specifically for the film. Zarley's first solo album, Debut, was released in 2002; he also has the distinction of being named the first openly gay bachelor in People Magazine's "Hottest Bachelors" issue that same year.

ABC has ordered a comedy from gay activist Dan Savage as well as a Shondaland drama and a cop project from Gossip Girl alums Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz in addition to a comedy pilot starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, Entertainment Weekly noted. Loosely based on the life of boundary-pushing columnist Savage, the untitled comedy pilot follows a picture-perfect family that is turned upside down when the youngest son comes out of the closet.

Kylie Minogue sings on the new Giorgio Moroder single "Right Here, Right Now," UPI.com reported. The 46-year-old singer and 74-year-old music producer collaborated on the song for Moroder's upcoming album 74 is the New 24. Moroder is known for producing several disco hits for Donna Summer, and contributed to Daft Punk album Random Access Memories ( 2013 ). 74 is the New 24 is his first solo album in 30 years, and also features Britney Spears, Sia and Charlie XCX.

An Israeli man was arrested for allegedly hacking Madonna's computer—among those of other musical artists—and stealing unreleased songs to sell online, Page Six reported. The 38-year-old Tel Aviv resident was detained but cops declined to name him, citing a court-issued gag order. In December, demos were leaked from the "Like A Prayer" singer's unreleased album Rebel Heart—an act the star called "artistic rape" in an Instagram post she later removed.

Openly gay Major League Soccer player Robbie Rogers has criticized FIFA's decision to hold the next two World Cups in nations where its LGBT citizens have few rights, according to On Top Magazine. FIFA awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia, while the 2022 soccer tournament will be held in Qatar. In an op-ed for USA Today, titled "FIFA Fails to Support Gays," Rogers chided the organization for not living up to its own ideals.

Out actor, singer, writer, director, composer Billy Porter gets his own one-man edition of "Live from Lincoln Center" on PBS on April 3, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. ( Cyndi Lauper will make a guest appearance along with Porter's best friend, Ty Taylor of the band Vintage Trouble. ) Porter won the best actor in a musical Tony in 2013 for his starring role in Broadway's Kinky Boots, but will be taking a break from the touring company through April 26.

Fox has made it official, confirming that Paula Abdul would be joining veteran summer reality-competition series So You Think You Can Dance as a new judge, Deadline noted. She will be one of two new judges on the show next season, along with singer-songwriter-dancer Jason Derulo. They will join co-creator/executive producer Nigel Lythgoe at the judges table. Also returning for season 12 of the show— which will feature a new twist in the competition: stage dancers vs. street dancers—is host Cat Deeley.

New Kids on the Block's Jonathan Knight and his boyfriend are taking their relationship around the world, The Huffington Post revealed. Knight and Harley Rodriguez will join the cast of CBS' The Amazing Race for season 26. The new season will be the first ever all-dating couples season, with five of the teams actually going on blind dates. On the show, the competing pairs can earn a new Date Night reward, which affords the winning couple some special one-on-one time together, UPI.com noted.

Ellen DeGeneres is producing a new sitcom slated to premiere March 17, The Huffington Post reported. Titled One Big Happy, the show will star Elisha Cuthbert, Nick Zano and Kelly Brook. The show's plotline reportedly involves a straight man ( Zano ) and gay woman ( Cuthbert ) who decide to have a baby together. However, after Cuthbert's character becomes pregnant, another woman enters the picture when Zano finds a serious girlfriend ( Brook ).

The OUTMusic Awards event—which honors LGBTQA artists, and which were supposed to be held Jan. 19—has been postponed. "Due to circumstances beyond our control we are forced to postpone [the Jan. 19] 9th Annual OUTMusic Awards, which was to be held at the Town Hall Theater," it states on the website's home page. "We apologize for any frustration caused by the abrupt postponement of the Awards and know you've made the effort to set aside time, travel and great expense in some cases to attend." Orange Is the New Black actress Lea DeLaria and singer Sir Ari Gold were slated to co-host.

British songstress Adele—who won an Oscar for her theme song for the last installment of James Bond film, Skyfall—is rumored to be working on Spectre, the upcoming Bond movie, according to Business Recorder. She was flown to Los Angeles to record potential new music for the film. Bond star Daniel Craig reportedly asked the "Rolling in the Deep" singer to return to sing the new theme song. The only artist ever to perform more than once on a Bond theme song is Dame Shirley Bassey, who lent her voice to Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.

Tom Petty has been given a songwriting credit for Sam Smith's hit song "Stay With Me," CNN reported. Petty and collaborator Jeff Lynne were added to the song credits after Petty's team noticed a likeness between Smith's song and Petty's "I Won't Back Down." "Not previously familiar with the 1989 Petty/Lynne song, the writers of 'Stay With Me' listened to 'I Won't Back Down' and acknowledged the similarity," a representative for Smith told Billboard. Smith's song is nominated for song of the year at the Feb. 8 Grammy Awards.

Speaking of Smith, shock jock Howard Stern hit the singer with some nasty labels on a recent broadcast, according to NewNowNext.com . "You know what I like about that guy? He's an ugly mutherfucker," said Stern. "He's fat and I love it." When co-host Robin Quivers suggested Smith might, in fact, be gay ( and Stern has already come out ), Stern had this remark: "You know what? He looks gay to me. Not that anyone looks gay, but he does seem effeminate." While staunchly supportive of LGBT equality, the iconic radio personality isn't known for being diplomatic on the air.

Archie Panjabi decided to leave the CBS show The Good Wife because of a pretty intense kiss, The Huffington Post revealed. Panjabi claims that while shooting a scene for another project—BBC/Netflix series The Fall—she realized her Good Wife character was creeping too much into her work. ( Spoiler alert: In the scene, co-star Gillian Anderson's character catches Panjabi's character off guard with a kiss. ) "When I was kissing her, Allan Cubitt, the show's creator and director, had to say, 'Archie, can you hold back?' because Gillian was supposed to take me by complete surprise," Panjabi said.

Already faced with reports that The View panelist Rosie Perez is on her way out, the executive producers of the show are now under attack from a Latina leadership group, over remarks made about Perez in Variety and the New York Daily News, according to The Wrap. In an open letter to the executive producers, the group, which identifies itself as #YoSoyRosie, takes issue with a quote in a Daily News story saying that Perez "is not the sharpest tool in the box" and a quote in Variety that Perez "can't read a TelePrompTer." The remarks weren't attributed to the executive producers, but rather a source from the series.

U.S. figure skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski are joining the Super Bowl XLIX pre-game show, Entertainment Weekly noted. The duo—who became the breakout stars of the Sochi Olympics broadcast last year—will report from the Super Bowl XLIX Tailgate Party, interviewing celebrities attending the big game and put their own spin while observing. Weir tweeted, "Me and @taralipinski are so excited to join the Super Bowl broadcast team for @nbc! Shoulder pads and spandex anyone?"

Melissa Rivers, Joan Rivers' daughter, filed a lawsuit against the Manhattan clinic where the comedian suffered fatal brain damage during a routine procedure, claiming the doctors treated her mother in a "negligent and careless manner," NBC News reported. The complaint filed in state court by Melissa Rivers and her mother's estate outlines a series of alleged missteps at Yorkville Endoscopy on Aug. 28 that it contends led to a coma and her death days later. The claims in the suit run the gamut from shoddy paperwork to a 12-minute delay in calling 911 for the 81-year-old celebrity, who was having trouble with her voice.

After launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the iconic girl group TLC's upcoming album, the now-duo's goal of $150,000 has been met and exceeded thanks to the help of Katy Perry ( who donated $5,000 ), Bette Midler, New Kids on the Block ( who gave $20,000 ) and other fans, Billboard noted. The album will be TLC's first studio album since the death of founding member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in 2002. The remaining members are T-Boz and Chilli.

Broadway star Kyle Dean Massey will play an openly gay singer-songwriter on the ABC series Nashville, according to On Top Magazine. Massey will join Nashville, now in its third season, in the recurring role of Kevin Bicks. Massey, 33, is himself openly gay. Massey's Broadway credits include stints in Wicked, Pippin and Next to Normal, while TV roles include The Good Wife and Inside Amy Schumer.

PBS declined to discuss the future of the period drama Downton Abbey beyond next January's season six, at Winter TV Press Tour 2015, according to Deadline. NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt announced Julian Fellowes' long-awaited NBC period drama The Gilded Age had been put on the front burner—disturbing news for Downton fans, given that Fellowes writes every episode of the PBS hit. Asked after her Q&A session if PBS had any discussions as to how NBC's project would impact the viability of a Downton season seven or eight, PBS chief Paula Kerger declined to discuss, said she was focused exclusively on season six.

The Ensemble Theatre Company of New York will make its debut with Diversions & Delights, Oscar nominee John Gay's solo play about Oscar Wilde and his arrest for "gross indecency," according to Advocate.com . This will mark the first professional New York staging of Diversions & Delights since Vincent Price performed it on Broadway in 1978. The play premiered a year earlier in San Francisco and subsequently toured more than 300 cities with Price over the next three years.

Phoebe Legere, a transmedia artist and LGBTQI activist, has released a CD of original music that includes her gay national anthem, a press release stated. All of the proceeds from the sales of GAY will be donated to ASTRAEA, the Lesbian Foundation for Justice. On March 23, immediately following the season finale of Girls on HBO, Legere will be shown in Lena Dunham's documentary It's Me, Hilary, a film about writer/artist Hilary Knight.

Benedict Cumberbatch—nominated for an Oscar this year for his role in the movie The Imitation Game—has apologized for referring to black actors as "colored" on a U.S. talk show, CNN noted. The actor ( who is also in the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave ) said he was an "idiot" and "devastated" at his choice of words during an interview with PBS' Tavis Smiley about the lack of diversity in the British film industry. But Smiley, who is Black, defended the Sherlock star, tweeting: "Those who saw Benedict Cumberbatch on @PBS, know he feels persons of color are underrepresented in #Hollywood."

Nick Jonas has booked a recurring role on the Fox series Scream Queens, from Glee and American Horror Story masterminds Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The 15-episode, hourlong comedy will premiere in the fall, with season one set on a college campus that's rocked by a series of murders. Other cast members include Lea Michele, Joe Manganiello, Keke Palmer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts and Abigail Breslin.

Actor Freddie Fox stated that he cannot define his sexuality because one day he "might fall in love with a man," The Huffington Post reported. Fox, currently the star of queer drama Cucumber ( from the writer of Queer As Folk ) made the comments during an interview with The Telegraph, adding that, historically, the "appreciation of both sexes" is not a new concept. However, the actor stopped short of using identifiers such as "gay," "bisexual" or "queer" to define himself.

Ignoring the short-term implications and focusing on the longer-term opportunity, the online retailer Amazon made all 10 episodes of Transparent free for 24 hours starting Saturday, Jan. 24, The Wrap noted. The company also offered Amazon Prime for $72. The Golden Globe-winning Transparent stars Jeffrey Tambor, Gabby Hoffman, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Melora Harin and Judith Light, among others.

Twiggy, the '60s avant-garde model, has been named the UK ambassador for L'Oréal hair products, Page Six noted. New images of Twiggy ( real name: Lesley Lawson ) will lead the campaign for L'Oréal Professionnel Majirel High Lift, Shimmering Blonde Service.

The CBS and Warner Bros. Television series has chosen Glee actress Melissa Benoist ( she's Marley on the show ) for the role of DC Comics' Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. Supergirl, The Wrap noted. On the CBS series, Kara escaped Krypton amid its destruction years ago, hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin, Superman, since arriving on Earth. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always meant to be.

Bradley Cooper's The Elephant Man is taking a trip across the pond. The play, which is currently on Broadway, will have a limited run in London at the Theatre Royal Haymarket beginning May 19, EW.com noted. Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson will join Cooper in England.

Nineties R&B singer Alexander O'Neal apologized to the gay community for using an anti-gay slur—just moments before walking out of the house and quitting Celebrity Big Brother ( which films in Britain ), the UK Mirror reported. In an outburst against celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who had been antagonizing him by blowing kisses, O'Neal said, "I know what you want but you're not going to get it. You're going to sit there with that silly-ass f****t look on your face." O'Neal later said, "I apologize to the gay community. ... [B]ut I never apologize for what I said about him to him ever."

The 2016 Golden Globe Awards will air live on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and dick clark productions announced, according to The Wrap. The ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

Kid Cudi's gay make-out scene was cut from his latest film apperance—and he's not happy about it, The Huffington Post noted. The "Pursuit of Happiness" singer has a role in the film James White, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Of his deleted scene, the singer said, "I'm mad [the director] cut out my kissing scenes. We made out so many times—and it was so good! That's my only gripe." By contrast, actor Kevin Hart recently said he wouldn't play a gay character because of what "people are going to think" if he were to take on such a role.

Speaking of Sundance, one movie that got raves was Nasty Baby. According to Entertainment Weekly, the plot involves Chilean screenwriter-actor Sebastian Silva as part of a couple with Tunde Adebimpe ( lead singer of the group TV on the Radio ), and they try to have a baby with their best friend, played by Kristen Wiig.

On the upcoming season of the CBS show Survivor ( season 30—Survivor: Worlds Apart ), 18 all new players will be vying for the million dollars and will be separated into three tribes: White Collar, Blue Collar and No Collar, according to EW.com . ( "No Collars" are the people on the outside that don't have any interest in the status quo or tradition. ) Among the contestants are a man who taught a course on Survivor at Northwestern University, a professional barrel racer, a coconut vendor and a Yahoo! executive. The season debuts Feb. 25.

Advocat.com noted that on a recent episode of the game show Jeopardy!, host Alex Trebek ( under the category "Civil" ) unveiled the answer "Some opponents of same-sex marriage say, 'hey gay folks, how about these? Wouldn't these be good enough?'" The correct question was "What are civil unions?" The clue won praise from Slate associate editor J. Bryan Lowder, who stated, "With marriage equality poised to become the law of the land this year, Jeopardy! is wagering on the right side of history."

Following her recent appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter, Grammy-nominated hip-hop star Nicki Minaj will headline the X Games in Austin, Texas, according to The Wrap. Minaj will perform at ESPN's annual action sports event, which takes place June 4-7 at the 1,500-acre Circuit of the Americas. Additional headliners and musical performers will be announced at a later date.


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