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Entertainment news: 'Looking' movie, Maroon 5, 'Grey's Anatomy,' Whoopi
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-05-24

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HBO has confirmed the debut date for Looking: The Movie, with the feature-length presentation scheduled to debut Saturday, July 23 exclusively on HBO, a press release stated. Starring Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett, Looking: The Movie wraps up the story of three close friends living in San Francisco who explore the options available to a new generation of gay men seeking fulfillment in love and life. In the film, Patrick ( Groff ) returns to the city for the first time in almost a year to celebrate a momentous event with his old friends. In the process, he must face the unresolved relationships he left behind and make difficult choices about what's important to him.

Maroon 5 canceled two upcoming concerts in North Carolina over a law that targets the LGBT community, On Top Magazine noted. "We have announced that we will be canceling our upcoming shows in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina because of the recent passage of the HB2 legislation," Maroon 5 said in a statement on their official website. "This was a difficult decision for us to make as a band. We don't want to penalize our fans in North Carolina by not performing for them, but in the end it comes down to what we feel is morally right."

Joining Maroon 5 is Grammy-winning violinist Itzhak Perlman, who cancelled his May 18 show, ABC11.com reported. In a statement, he said, "As Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently stated, HB2 'is about a great deal more than just bathrooms. [It] is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens.' I couldn't agree more and will look forward to returning to North Carolina when this discriminatory law is repealed."

Grey's Anatomy fans are mourning the departure of Sara Ramirez, who played LGBT character Dr. Callie Torres for 10 seasons, Time noted. Ramirez tweeted after the season 12 finale Thursday night that she would be "taking some welcome time off." Her hiatus from acting was explained in the show with Torres planning to move from Seattle, where the show is set, to New York. Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey's Anatomy, tweeted, "I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland."

Justin Timberlake blasted onto the Billboard Hot 100 ( dated May 28 ) at number one with his new single, "Can't Stop the Feeling!," according to Billboard. Timberlake's fifth solo leader dethrones Drake's "One Dance" ( featuring WizKid and Kyla ) after it rose to the top the previous week. Plus, Rihanna rose to number 10 with "Needed Me," matching Michael Jackson for the third-most top 10s in the Hot 100's history.

Oxygen Media is greenlighting Strut, a new original series from Executive Producer Whoopi Goldberg and 44 Blue Productions, Broadway World noted. Strut will follow a set of driven and determined models— and supporting them every step of the way is Slay Model Management, the world's first exclusively transgender modeling agency. The series is set to premiere later this year.

Oscar-winning actress and activist Angelina Jolie has been appointed a visiting professor at one of Britain's most prestigious universities, according to Page Six. The London School of Economics announced that Jolie will be working with students studying for a master's degree in women, peace and security. Among others appointed to teach the course is former British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Twitter trended "Daniel Craig" for the rumor that he turned down about $99 million to return as James Bond for two more films, Moviefone.com reported. That news came via anonymous sources to The Daily Mail but, shortly afterward, separate "authoritative Bond sources" told BBC News that Daniel Craig hasn't made any decisions about his future as 007, and "no decision is likely to be made for a while," as the next film wouldn't be expected in theaters until late 2018, at the earliest.

Openly gay Shahs of Sunset figure Reza Farahan has described co-star Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi as sick, Page Six noted. "I think that GG is a very sick individual, and not just whatever ailments she's claiming on the show. I think she really needs to evaluate her life," the Bravo personality said. "I mean home girl needs to get a life coach, see a shrink. Bitch needs some help." Gharachedaghi, whose ongoing battle with rheumatoid arthritis has been documented on the series, is also said to be struggling in more ways than one.

Mariah Carey was the centerpiece of -NBCUniversal's upfront presentation recently, and was carried onstage on a chaise by two men after she'd tripped on the red carpet earlier, Page Six noted. Carey—at the event to promote her E! show, Mariah's World—was one of the last to arrive to the NBCU event, with a huge entourage that included her own hairstylist and makeup artist. Meanwhile, fellow diva Jennifer Lopez presented and was more low-key, arriving nearly an hour earlier than Carey, but without an entourage or the bling. The two reportedly never made contact at the -presentation.

Speaking of Carey, director Lee Daniels loves her, but he still doesn't want to be part of Mariah's World, her reality show, according to Page Six. Daniels said on SiriusXM's Bevelations show that Carey's sensitive state of mind may not make her the best candidate for reality stardom. He added that Carey tricked him into appearing on her series, although he didn't fight it initially.

Jussie Smollett left Empire fans in a frenzy after he claimed he was leaving the show following the finale. Now, the star, whose character was shot in the second to last episode of the season, is clearing the air, saying he's here to stay, BET.com noted. In a Twitter video with co-star Gabourey Sidibe, he said, "First of all, I said 'I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Empire Fox,' which is true," he said. "I said 'I love you all,' which I do. I said, 'Time to go make a record and some movies,' which I am."

One of the men responsible for the killing of gay-porn tycoon Bryan Kocis back in 2007 is speaking out from prison about James Franco's new film, King Cobra, Gay Star News reported. Speaking with NewsChannel 3, Joseph Kerekes—currently serving a life sentence without parole in a Pennsylvania state prison for second-degree murder of Kocis—said the film "is very, very lifelike and very true. Even some of the quotes, I have no idea how they captured them." Kerekes' partner in crime was his lover, Harlow Cuadra; the two started the amateur gay-porn company BoyBatter.com .

Out British actor Rupert Everett is receiving raves for portraying Oscar Wilde in David Hare's play about the writer, The Judas Kiss, at Brooklyn's BAM, according to Heat Street. Everett said, "Oscar Wilde is a typical star because he's got such a big head the moment he takes a court case against Lord Queensberry, he doesn't consider whether he's right or wrong." Everett, who has been openly gay since 1989, added it was special performing the role on the night same-sex marriage was legalized in the United Kingdom.

Actor Stephen Amell—who portrays Oliver Queen/Green Arrow on the CW's Arrow—congratulated Colton Haynes on his coming out, according to On Top Magazine. Haynes, who is best known for his roles as Jackson Whittemore in MTV's Teen Wolf and Roy Harper/Arsenal in The CW's Arrow, gave his first interview in which he discussed his sexual orientation. "I'm so happy for Colton," Amell told E! News. "I've seen him struggle with anxiety and that's why he, well certainly one of the reasons why, he left Teen Wolf and he left Arrow. When he came back to Arrow this year simply for an episode, it was such a different version of Colton. He and I bonded more. I'm very very happy for him."

In the memoir Dear Mom and Dad, Georgia Lee McGowen details her life with dual genderism as a single soul reacting to the elements of two spirits —both male and female, according to a press release. By sharing her story, McGowen hopes to help others struggling with their own gender identities to avoid the missteps she made in life. For more information, visit GeorgiaLeeMcgowen.authorsxpress.com .

Sobriety has changed Zac Efron's life, the actor said, according to Page Six, citing Elle. "There was a moment when my morning routine was, like, get up and Google yourself," he said of his pre-sober life. "But that stopped, dramatically and instantly, probably three years ago. I realized that viewing yourself through other people's pictures is not living your own life." Efron's struggle to transition from teen heartthrob to adulthood resulted in an addiction to alcohol and drugs, for which he entered rehab in 2013.

Susan Sarandon's younger brother Terry Tomalin died of a heart attack while taking a lifeguarding test with his young son Kai, according to Us Weekly, citing the Tampa Bay Times. "Thank you to everyone who reached out with love at the passing of my brother Terry Tomalin," Sarandon wrote in a Facebook post, linking to Tomalin's obituary in the Tampa, Florida, paper, where he had served as its outdoors editor. According to the obit, Tomalin collapsed while he and Kai, 14, were at the North Shore Aquatic Complex in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Rebel Wlson—best known for her role as Fat Amy in the films Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2—is to make her West End debut, taking over as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Playbill noted. In a press statement, she said, "I saw my first musical at age 14, a show called 42nd Street, after one of my family's dogs had unsuccessfully auditioned to be in it. It blew me away and I've loved musical theatre ever since." She will reprise her iconic role as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect 3, which will be released in the summer of 2017.

The stars of Nashville have joined in on the #BringBackNashville campaign following the ABC drama's cancellation, which was announced May 12, Us Weekly reported. Nashville, which premiered in 2012, got the boot after four seasons. The series centered on the relationship between two competing country singers played by Connie Britton ( Rayna James ) and Hayden Panettiere ( Juliette Barnes ).

Tamar Braxton may have been fired from her talk show The Real, RollingOut.com noted. Supposedly, Braxton "wasn't reading too well with the audience and sales people didn't find her to be a good fit with advertisers. She was also too difficult dealing with production," according to LoveBScott.com . It also appears that the singer and television personality, 39, has un-followed everyone tied to the daytime talk show—co-hosts Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai, Loni Love and The Real itself on Twitter—with the exception of Tamara Mowry-Housley.

WWE superstar/actor John Cena will host the 2016 ESPYS, which are set to air Wed., July 13, on Walt Disney's ABC, according to TheWrap. Cena is a 15-time WWE world heavyweight champion and the host of Fox's American Grit; he's also been in movies such as Sisters and Trainwreck.

During CBS' upfront presentation, CBS Corp. chairman Leslie Moonves confirmed a straight-to-series order to a Good Wife spinoff project, starring The Good Wife's Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo, to premiere in spring 2017 on CBS All Access, Deadline reported. It will be CBS' fledgling SVOD platform's second original series, following the new Star Trek, which launches in January.


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