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Entertainment news: Zachary Quinto, 'Walking Dead,' Prince, Lady Gaga
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-03-28

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Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts and Julianne Nicholson are set to star in Who We Are Now, the follow-up movie for writer-director Matthew Newton after his SXSW-winning pic From Nowhere, Deadline reported. The drama centers on convicted felon Beth ( Nicholson ), who forms an unlikely alliance with a young public-defense lawyer Jess ( Roberts ), who does everything she can to get Beth's young son back from her sister after Beth went into prison 10 years earlier for manslaughter. Beth finally lowers her guard enough to meet a former U.S. soldier ( Quinto ) unfazed by her checkered past.

The Walking Dead's good-natured rebel, Jesus, has officially come out as gay, NewNowNext.com noted. When Tom Payne made his debut on The Walking Dead last season as Jesus, fans wondered if the character would be gay like he is in the original comic book series—and it has now been confirmed. The Walking Dead now has three gay characters in its main cast ( including gay couple Aaron and Eric )—a significant number for an action-led series with a large fan base of both liberal and conservative viewers.

David Bowie, Prince, Andre 3000 and the Smiths are among the numerous artists with special releases for Record Store Day's 10th anniversary on April 22, Rolling Stone noted. Both Bowie and Prince have several posthumous releases lined up. Prince's include a handful of 12-inch singles ( including "Sign O' the Times," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" and "Batdance" ) and a seven-inch picture disc featuring "Little Red Corvette" and "1999." And Bowie will share his previously unreleased 1974 live album, Cracked Actor, as well as BOWPROMO, a reproduction of some of his earliest demo promos.

Lady Gaga delivered a monologue during her RuPaul's Drag Race appearance recently about her relationship with the LGBTQ community and the significant role gay men have played in her life, The Huffington Post reported. She said, in part, "I have always been surrounded by incredibly intelligent, powerful gay men who have lifted me up through lots of changes in my life. Becoming famous was very strange and it's the gay men in my life that helped me to become a woman."

While a guest at The Economist's Pride & Prejudice LGBTQ summit, actress Amber Heard looked back at her decision to come out as bisexual in 2010, Vulture noted. "I just answered honestly. I could tell by the look on this person's face it was a big deal. My poor publicist," the actress said while applauding her fellow actresses—women she sees being open about their sexuality. Heard added, however, "If every gay man that I know personally in Hollywood came out tomorrow, then this would be a nonissue in a month."

Singer Demi Lovato recently talked with Extra about her sobriety. The "Confident" singer recently posted a message on social media about her five-year anniversary of freedom from her addictions. She told the entertainment-news show, "My fans are part of the reason why I'm sober; they hold me accountable. If it weren't for my friends, family, and fans, I wouldn't be here today."

Out singer Rufus Wainwright will host "Wainwright Libre"—a fan experience in Havana, Cuba—on Sept. 21-25, a press release noted. Guests will join Wainwright for four days and four nights of Cuban adventures, sightseeing, fine cuisine, dancing and music while staying at the Melia Miramar Hotel in Havana. Wainwright will perform with both a full orchestra as well as Cuban superstar Carlos Varela, the subject of HBO Latina's The Poet of Havana; also, Interactivo's Roberto Carcasses will conduct a workshop on Cuban music. See RufusInHavana.com .

Ian McKellen will return to the stage for a one-man show at London's Park Theatre on July 3-9, according to WhatsOnStage.com . Titled Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You, the show will offer audiences the chance to see the legendary actor recall his work from the last 50 years as he reprises roles from Gandalf to Macbeth. Talking about the production, McKellen said: "I'm performing at Park Theatre to help raise funds for the charity. ... With no public subsidy for core costs, they need to bring in donations of around $250,000 every year just to keep the doors open."

Mariah Carey's hit holiday song "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is the basis for a new CGI animated movie, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Carey narrates the film, which features a voice cast including Henry Winkler, Lacey Chabert, Breanna Yde, Phil Morris, Laya Hayes and Keiko Agena. The movie's plot expands on that of Carey's 2015 children's book of the same name, which has sold more than 750,000 copies.

Admitted child molester and anti-gay activist Josh Duggar was recently served legal papers while working at his used-car sales job in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, according to a Queerty item that cites In Touch Magazine. The papers were from Los Angeles-based DJ and photographer Matt McCarthy, who alleges Duggar used a stolen picture of him to create a dating profile on the Ashley Madison cheating website in 2015. Because of the theft, McCarthy claimes he's lost of work, been harassed in public, and suffered "prolonged pain and embarrassment."

After declaring that he's engaged to boyfriend Jeff Leatham, Arrow actor Colton Haynes changed his Instagram bio to read "'Uncle. Soon to be father. Traveler. Actor. Goof," according to NewNowNext.com . He also posted a photo in a swimming pool with the caption, "Covering that layer of pregnancy while I can @jeffleatham lol!" Leatham proposed recently on the beach in Los Cabos, Mexico, getting Cher to record a video message that played before he got down on one knee.

GLAAD awill honor Academy Award-winning actress and activist Patricia Arquette at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on April 1, a press release noted. Out comedian Cameron Esposito will host the event. Jussie Smollett will lead a special tribute to victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting that will include a performance by Cynthia Erivo. Special guests will include Matthew Daddario, Josh Hutcherson, Victoria Justice, Trace Lysette, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Tatiana Maslany and Harry Shum Jr.

Fox Searchlight's Battle of the Sexes, about the legendary 1973 tennis match between ex-champ/hustler Bobby Riggs and world number-one Billie Jean King, will debut in theaters on Sept. 22, Deadline reported. The film stars Steve Carell and Oscar winner Emma Stone as the iconic tennis stars, whose faceoff was one of the most-watched sports events of all time—a symbolic face-off about gender equality. Elisabeth Shue, Alan Cumming, Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman and Bill Pullman also star.

Cher has departed Flint—Lifetime's original movie about the water-contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan—citing a family issue that would prevent her from traveling to Toronto, where Flint is slated to begin production next month, Deadline reported. It is unclear whether the part, which was written for Cher, would be recast. She has been active in raising awareness about the water crisis, and has donated hundreds of thousands of bottles of water to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for distribution to residents.

Sir Elton John sat down with Beats 1's Zane Lowe to talk about his 70th birthday and reflected on moments from his career, including his 2001 Grammys performance of "Stan" with Eminem, according to The Huffington Post. Talking about the rapper, John said, "For me, Eminem was never homophobic. I listened to the whole of the Marshall Mathers album when I drove to a show in South Hampton and I was floored by it. And I thought how could anyone think this is… he's just writing about the way things are—not how he thinks, but the way things are."

Paula Abdul, who provided inspiration for the story that became NBC's single-camera comedy pilot from Kourney Kang, is set as a series regular in the project, according to Deadline. The untitled comedy centers on young Katie ( Isabella Russo ) and explores what it's like to grow up as the only girl in the only mixed-race family in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She deals with real-world issues while never losing focus of her life goal: to become a Laker Girl like her idol Paula Abdul. Abdul will play what's described as a "fun, imaginary friend version of herself."

The first production images have been released showing Sheena Easton and the cast of 42nd Street, which is currently in previews at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, WhatsOnStage.com noted. Grammy Award-winner Easton will make her West End debut in the musical that is about Peggy Sawyer, who is picked to replace the injured Brock in the fictional show Pretty Lady. The musical includes the songs "We're in the Money", "Lullaby of Broadway" and "Dames,"with Mark Bramble directing.

Singer Jackie Evancho, on March 31, is releasing Two Hearts, a joint venture with Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks, a press release noted. The release says, "Two Hearts features the classical crossover songs and enduring favorites that are her signature sound, along with a bonus disc of five songs that explore the newly discovered pop side of her voice, four of which she co-wrote." Evancho recently made news for performing at President Trump's inauguration as well as supporting her transgender sister.

Logo announced that the gay-centered reality series Fire Island will premiere Thursday, April 27, a press release noted. The cast includes Khasan, Jorge, Brandon, Cheyenne, Justin and Patrick. See LogoTV.com/shows/Fire-Island.

The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives and General Hospital are in the running for the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, Deadline noted. The Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment category has The Talk, The View, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Maury and Live with Kelly has its nominees. This year's Daytime Emmys will be held Sunday, April 30, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Tony-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley will introduce her new live double album Story Songs from Palmetto Records on Friday, April 7, a press release noted. presents an adventurous collection with music from all genres, from theater to folk to Top 40. Story Songs features a quartet of musicians, including the multi-Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Christian Jacob and jazz guitarist Oz Noy. See BettyBuckley.com .

CBS has finalized its deal with Warner Bros. Television for two more seasons of The Big Bang Theory, making the network's tentpole comedy one of primetime's long-running sitcoms, with at least 12 seasons, Variety noted. The renewal has been in the works for the past few months. The big hurdle was cleared last month when the five original members of the series ensemble—Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg —struck new deals with the studio. The deal is envisioned as taking the show through its final two seasons, for a total of 48 more episodes.

J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot has teamed with RuPaul and reality-production company World of Wonder ( RuPaul's Drag Race ) for a half-hour dramedy series project, a fictionalized version of RuPaul's rise from club kid to star, Deadline reported. Written by Power executive producer Gary Lennon, the drama is set in New York City during the Reagan-era 1980s. RuPaul, ( full name: RuPaul Andre Charles )—a San Diego native who moved to Atlanta to study performing arts—settled in New York City, where he became a popular fixture on the nightclub scene.

While serving as a commentator for the CBS basketball event known as "March Madness," Charles Barkley echoed Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski's stance against North Carolina's so-called "bathroom bill," Sports Illustrated noted. "No. 1, I really admire and respect Coach Krzyzewski because he doesn't have to do anything. He's already a living legend. He's got more money than he's ever gonna spend, but I really appreciate him standing up for my gay friends," Barkley said, "Now, my point, as a Black man, I am against any form of discrimination whether you're gay, Muslim, Hispanic, Jewish, whatever, and, if people in position of power don't support these people, they're gonna be left in a lurch by themselves."

Actor Chris Pratt took on some body shamers who claimed the actor looked "skeletal" in his Instagram posts by posting a photo of T. Rex skull along with a caption, The Huffington Post noted. Pratt posted, "Body shaming hurts. So to prove my security in the way I look I'm posting a current selfie of me at what I consider a very healthy weight. 500lbs. Zero percent body fat. Totally JK guys. This is a T Rex skull. Nailed you so bad. Omg."

Variety and and E! reported that Amy Schumer has had to back away from Sony's live-action movie due to issues with scheduling, according to USA Today. Variety noted that film production was expected to begin in late June, which conflicted with Schumer's promotional tour for Snatched, in which she plays Goldie Hawn's daughter, and obligations for She Came to Me, which also stars Nicole Kidman and Steve Carell.

After 25 years, the MTV Movie Awards is getting a makeover, expanding to recognize TV series along with features, Deadline noted. Additionally, after going pre-taped last year, the show will revert to being live. The 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards will air live from LA's Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, May 7. Under the recently unveiled strategy shift at MTV, the network is returning its focus to reality, music and live programming.

Gwyneth Paltrow shares her expertise on all things lifestyle, health and beauty on her Goop website—and now that apparently includes anal sex, People noted. The website released its second annual Sex Issue featuring content on a number of sex-related topics, including a very explicit Q&A about anal sex with psychoanalyst and author Paul Joannides that debunked many of the myths around the sexual act.

Toronto DJ Joel Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5, lashed out at the vogue ball scene in a recent tweet, according to NewNowNext.com . "Here's another thing I'll never fully understand—competitive vogue-ing," the Grammy-nominated producer posted. When someone tried to explain that the vogue scene is accepting, full of energy and allows participants "to live their fantasy," Zimmerman responded, "Except white people like me."

In her new memoir Grace Notes: My Recollections, Married with Children actress Katey Sagal reveals she had an affair with Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, ExtraTV.com reported. Aside from her on-again, off-again relationship with Simmons, Sagal also opens up about her 15-year-old battle with drugs and what led to it. At one point, she writes, "When I was 12, we lived on the same block as Judy Garland. Her daughter Lorna Luft and I became neighborhood buddies. Lorna's mom had a lot of pills on her bedside table and slept past noon just like my mom. We hung tight. And, of course, I thought everyone's mom took a lot of pills."


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