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Entertainment news: LA gay chorus, 'Wonder Woman,' Scruff event, 'Arrow' star
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-05-31

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The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles ( GMCLA ) hosted the 6th Annual Voice Awards celebration May 20 at the J.W. Marriott in Los Angeles to honor members and allies of the LGBTQ community who use their voices to promote social change and equality, a press release stated. Some of those who attended included Lisa Vanderpump, Lance Bass, Stephen Guarino, Survivor's Zeke Smith, Daniel Franzese and Craig Ramsay.

Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, was voted the summer's most anticipated movie by fans in a Fandango survey, ahead of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, TheWrap noted. Rounding out the top five of movies opening Memorial Day weekend and beyond are Universal's Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower and Christopher Nolan's WWII epic Dunkirk. Other films on the top 10 include Despicable Me 3, The Mummy and Baywatch. The Warner Bros.-DC Films release Wonder Woman, opening June 2, is also currently outpacing Captain America: The First Avenger in advance ticket sales at the same point in the sales cycle, Fandango noted.

Rosie O'Donnell surprised the crowd at the May 22 Scruff-sponsored event "Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back: Broadway Roasts Michael Musto" by offering to match all the money raised from ticket sales, a press release noted. Among those who attended the event were Bianco del Rio, Randy Jones ( of the Village People ), Bruce Vilanch, Countess LuAnn D'Agostino ( of the Real Housewives of New York ) and Judy Gold; Cheyenne Jackson, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Alan Cumming and Perez Hilton were among those making video appearances. All proceeds from the event went to benefit Callen-Lorde, the community health center that provides sensitive, quality healthcare and related services targeted to New York's LGBT community.

Arrow actor John Barrowman revealed he's been written off of his hit show—and he's not happy about it, Queerty noted. "By now you know that Malcolm Merlyn is no more," he said in a pair of videos uploaded to Instagram. "I know they've done it off-camera but I'm here to tell you I won't be coming back next season. ... As sad as it may be, I understand how shows must change and also characters must change and develop. But that doesn't mean that I'm not very sad and upset about it. I appreciate your support and love you all."

In an interview with The Guardian, Jill Soloway says they identify as non-binary and prefer gender-neutral pronouns, LGBTQ Nation reported. They also used the word "trans" to describe themselves. Soloway is best-known for creating the Emmy Award-winning show Transparent, a series about a Los Angeles family whose father is transgender. They also worked on the HBO series Six Feet Under as a writer, and have written and produced several films.

Ariana Grande has announced that she'll perform a benefit concert in Manchester, England, to raise money for the victims of a recent concert attack and their families, ABC News noted. The singer wrote in a statement that since the bombing at her concert at Manchester Arena, she has been thinking of her fans "nonstop" and plans to return to the city to spend time with "Arianators" there. Details of her visit and her forthcoming show have not yet been released.

In a related matter, reality star Kim Kardashian deleted a tweet showing support for Ariana Grande that she posted following the terrorist attack outside the singer's Manchester show, Extra noted. While the tweet showed Grande ove and support, the Twitterverse did not like the fact that it included a photo of her with Kardashian. Kardashian took the message down after users accused her of making the tragedy all about herself.

Actor Anton Yelchin ( Chekhov in the most recent Star Trek films )—who died unexpectedly in a car accident nearly one year ago—plays a gay son with PTSD in his final film, We Don't Belong Here, Queerty reported. We Don't Belong Here—which also features Catherine Keener ( who plays his mother ), Molly Shannon, Cary Elwes, Riley Keough and Maya Rudolph—is currently available on DVD.

Actress/model Diora Baird ( Shameless ) opened up about coming to terms with her sexuality in an interview with The Advocate, according to LGBTQ Nation. Baird, who is the mother of a 4-year-old child who she had with her ex-husband, said, "I tried to be what was expected of me, but I have reached the point where I don't want to hide anymore. In all my relationships with men, I knew something was missing and I finally figured out what that something is. … I am meant to be in a relationship with a woman."

Ellen DeGeneres will appear in a new stand-up special for Netflix, Variety confirmed. "It has been 15 years since I did a stand-up special. 15 years," DeGeneres said in a statement. "And I'm writing it now, I can't wait." DeGeneres got her start in stand-up comedy before moving into acting and then hosting her syndicated daytime show.

Turner Classic Movies ( TCM ) and FilmStruck will celebrate Pride month this June with extensive movie lineups dedicated to exploring LGBT themes in cinema, a press release noted. TCM will spotlight "Gay Hollywood," hosted by entertainment journalist Dave Karger and author/historian William Mann, every Thursday in June; FilmStruck will present a Gay and Lesbian Cinema showcase, hosted by film critic Alonso Duralde. Among the celebrities who will be featured in "Gay Hollywood" are male heartthrobs of the 1950s and '60s, including Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson and Anthony Perkins; actress Linda Hunt; and gay playwrights Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee.

Model/actor Nyle DiMarco has called out Jamie Foxx and Jimmy Fallon for being "disrespectful" to deaf people over a joke about sign language, Attitude noted. DiMarco, who was born deaf, posted a video of a skit from Foxx's appearance on The Tonight Show, hosted by Fallon. "How was this allowed?" Nyle wrote. "Where's the cultural sensitivity. Not comedy when you make fun of others." Neither Foxx nor Fallon immediately responded to the criticism.

A woman referred to as Jane Doe is suing the production company behind America's Got Talent, claiming that her young daughter was traumatized when new host Tyra Banks "physically manipulated and verbally abused" the girl, Page Six stated. The suit claims, "As a result of her negative experience from 'AGT' and Defendants' abusive treatment, [the daughter] was traumatized and became deeply depressed."

Madonna's parenting has come under fire following a social-media share, according to Page Six. The mother of six posted a photo of one of her 4-year-old twin daughters leaning on a chair behind an embroidered pillow reading, "F—k cocaine." Although Madonna captioned the snap, "I couldn't agree more ….," the image was met with mixed reviews from fans. Madonna has been spending time in Portugal with her twin girls, Stelle and Estere, whom she adopted in February.

Chicago P.D. female lead Sophia Bush is leaving the NBC cop drama series after four seasons, Deadline reported. She is the second key Chicago P.D. player to depart, along with co-creator/showrunner Matt Olmstead, who left in March. A possible exit for the actress was hinted in the recent season finale of Chicago P.D, which saw her character, Detective Erin Lindsay, on the verge of accepting a job with the FBI in New York; the episode ended with a cliffhanger, with Lindsay standing on a bridge, ignoring Jay ( Jesse Lee Soffer )'s call.

NBC has delayed its plan to produce Bye Bye Birdie—starring Jennifer Lopez in the live musical—until next year, Page Six noted. The decision to push it a year was driven by Lopez's overflowing schedule, which includes two series for NBC: World of Dance and the drama Shades of Blue. The postponement of "Birdie" means NBC will not stage a musical event this holiday season.

Some fans of Voltron: Legendary Defender are trying to blackmail the animation studio responsible for the new cartoon series over unauthorized photographs of storyboards and artwork with demands for a gay romance, HeatSt.com noted. A follow-up to Voltron, an original American cartoon series that broadcast in the 1980s and '90s, the new Voltron: Legendary Defender is a collaboration between Netflix and DreamWorks Animation; it is animated by Korean-based Studio Mir. A user going by the name of "Klance14"—who presented him/herself as one of the leakers—demanded that Voltron's creators fulfill the gay romance fantasy popular with some fans of the show in exchange for his or her cooperation.

Heidi Klum has stripped for a risque new book featuring many never-before-seen snaps of the supermodel's most private moments, Page Six noted. Photographer Rankin shot Klum, 43, for the tome Heidi Klum by Rankin, which is selling for $134 at Marc Jacobs' ritzy Greenwich Village store Bookmarc. The duo are also releasing T-shirts, stickers and trucker hats.

Tom Cruise has confirmed rumors that a sequel to 1986 classic Top Gun is in the works, with filming to begin "probably in the next year," The Guardian noted. He revealed the news while on a promotional tour for his upcoming film The Mummy, telling Australian morning show Sunrise, "It is definitely happening." Co-star Val Kilmer said in April that a sequel would be happening, adding, "what a hoot it will be." There's no word yet if another co-star, out actress Kelly McGillis, will be part of the sequel.

Speaking of McGillis, an assault-and-burglary trial involving the former actress continued with testimony from a computer expert who examined the suspect's laptop—and who said he found a "Wanted Dead or Alive" poster with McGillis' picture from Top Gun on Laurence Dorn's computer, WLOS.com reported. Subsequently, a jury found Dorn guilty of misdemeanor breaking and entering in the June 2016 incident; she was sentenced to probation.

The house from the TV show Designing Women is officially on the market, NewNowNext.com noted. While the quintessentially southern residence belonged to Atlanta native Julia Sugarbaker, it's actually located in the historic Quapaw Quarter in Little Rock, Arkansas. According to the listing, the triplex house ( listed for $975,000 ) was built in 1880, and has several oversized rooms, parlors and a "sweeping staircase."

Amanda Lepore's "most expensive body on Earth" was on full display at New York City's Edition Hotel for Jeremy Kost's Like One of Your French Girls book launch, according to Page Six. The nightlife fixture took off her clothes in front of guests Rosario Dawson and Susanne Bartsch. In addition, party promoter Domonique Echeverria, who lost an arm and a leg in a subway suicide attempt last year, "was painted gray," a source said.

A singer has anonymously revealed online that she's allegedly been advised to stay in the closet by her team, gaytimes reported. The unnamed female singer explained that she identified as bisexual at the start of her career, and her manager and producers were fine with that. However, she's now come to the realization that she is in fact a lesbian, and approached the subject with her team of coming out publicly. "If you're bi, you can claim both the gay scene and the mainstream," the singer—who goes under the alias Throwaway210517—wrote on Reddit.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin's classics "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer" and "Bennie and the Jets" are reimagined in video as winners of "The Cut," supported by YouTube—and were revealed at a world-premiere screening in Cannes, a press release noted. Majid Adin's winning video for "Rocket Man" is at www.youtube.com/watch; Jack Whiteley and Laura Brownhill's "Bennie" video is at www.youtube.com/watch; and Max Weiland's winning video for "Tiny Dancer" ( a tribute to L.A. ) is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYcyacLRPNs.

Finding Kim—a documentary that follows three years of a transgender man's journey as he transitions from female to male—makes its debut on digital platforms on June 6, courtesy of Random Media, according to a press release. Captured by documentary filmmakers Aaron Bear and Gabriel Bienczycki, Finding Kim, set in Seattle, features insights, advice and real-life experience from Dan Savage, Carmen Carrera, Calpernia Addams, Buck Angel and more.

Netflix has opted not to proceed with a second season of Baz Luhrmann's ambitious musical drama The Get Down, Deadline noted. The decision came after the second six-episode part of the first ( and only ) season was released last month. The hip-hop-themed drama, set in the South Bronx section of New York City in the late 1970s, was among Netflix's most expensive shows, with the 12-episode first season costing about $120 million.

Actor Sir Roger Moore, best known for playing James Bond, died at 89 after battling cancer, the BBC reported. He played the famous spy in seven Bond films, including Live and Let Die and the Spy Who Loved Me. There was a private funeral slated to take place in Monaco. In 2015, the Huffington Post noted that Moore said he was against the idea of a gay Bond, saying a gay twist on the womanizing secret agent would contradict the way the character was portrayed in Ian Fleming's original novels and short stories; he added that it was "not about being homophobic or, for that matter, racist—it is simply about being true to the character."

Justin Bieber fans are urging the singer's manager to scrap his upcoming British tour dates out of fear of being targeted in another terrorist attack, similar to the one at the Ariana Grande concert, Page Six noted. Bieber, 23, is scheduled to play an open air concert at London's Hyde Park on July 2 and at Principality Stadium in Cardiff on June 30. He's also supposed to perform in Dublin, Ireland, next month.

Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has compared Presdient Trump to one of the most brutal, sadistic and despicable characters from the series—King Joffrey Baratheon, The Huffington Post noted. "I think Joffrey is now the king in America," Martin said in an interview with Esquire. "And he's grown up just as petulant and irrational as he was when he was thirteen in the books." Actor Kit Harington, who portrays the character Jon Snow in the show, has said, "Mr. Donald Trump—I wouldn't call him 'President'; I'll call him 'Mister.' I think this man at the head of your country is a con artist."

Playboy model Dani Mathers was ordered to spend 30 days cleaning up graffiti on Los Angeles streets as punishment for "body-shaming" an older woman in a locker room, USA Today noted. Mathers gained notoriety when she snapped a photo of an unwitting and unwilling subject—a naked 71-year-old woman in a gym locker room. Mathers, 30, pled no contest to misdemeanor invasion of privacy in Los Angeles County Superior Court; although she didn't admit guilt, the plea is recorded as a conviction.

Original Power Rangers star Jason David Frank had a scare, as a lone gunman headed to Phoenix Comic Con with the intention of killing him—although the would-be assassin was nabbed before anything happened, Yahoo! News noted. A heavily armed man—identified as 31-year-old Matthew Sterling—arrived at the convention claiming to be The Punisher … with a plan to kill numerous "bad" cops as well as original Green Ranger Frank. The would-be-attacker has since been charged with attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault, wearing body armor during the commission of a felony, resisting arrest and carrying a weapon in a prohibited place.


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