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J.Lo to portray cougar mom in film; Angelina to get another Oscar
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Jennifer Lopez is set to play a seductive cougar in the low-budget thriller movie The Boy Next Door, according to . Lopez will play a single mom who has a lustful affair with a teenage neighbor who befriends her son; when she tries to end the relationship, trouble ensues. The Boy Next Door will start production this fall before Lopez begins taping the new season of American Idol.

Honorary Oscars will go to Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury and Italian costume designer Piero Tosi, according to the Huffington Post. Jolie will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, while Martin, Lansbury and Tosi will get Oscars recognizing their career achievements. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors voted on the recipients of its fifth annual awards, which will be presented at an untelevised ceremony Nov. 16 at Hollywood & Highland Center's Ray Dolby Ballroom. (Jolie already has an Oscar for her supporting role in Girl, Interrupted.)

Ryan Seacrest is producing a dating-competition show for Fox called Dream Date, reported. The show reportedly revolves around a group of women looking for love and will feature a celebrity element. The show is reportedly currently shooting for a possible late midseason/fall premiere. Seacrest, the host of American Idol and the new series The Million Second Quiz, has launched such reality shows as Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Geraldo Rivera's infamous shirtless selfie has now led to the cancellation of an upcoming college speaking engagement, according to the Huffington Post. The Fox News host, 70, was scheduled to participate in a panel at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh for the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. The school said that the photo was "inappropriate and inconsistent" with the Catholic school's values.

Fitness guru Richard Simmons has weighed in on Miley Cyrus' controversial MTV Video Music Awards performance, according to . Simmons said, "Was it over the top? Yes. And why did she do that? To entertain the young people and to cry out, 'Won't you love me?'" However, he added that Cyrus' behavior is probably more a phase than anything else: "Miley Cyrus, like all of us, needs to be loved. We all come from complicated parents. … I understand her, and I love her, and I think things will be different with her. But you know, in the music business, sometimes you have to shock a little."

Recovering from breast cancer, singer Lorna Luft has announced she will perform for the first time in 20 years with her half-sister, Liza Minnelli, according to the Miami Herald. Luft and Minnelli, the daughters of Judy Garland, will appear for two "Pink Party" shows Oct. 14 and 21 at Birdland in New York City. Other celebrities scheduled to perform include Ann Hampton Callaway, her sister Liz Callaway, Jim Caruso, Kelly King, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marcia Strassman.

In other Liza-related news, Minnelli said she can't wait to see actress Michelle Williams playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret when she makes her Broadway debut next year in a revival of the legendary musical, according to E! News. Williams will play opposite Minnelli's good friend Alan Cumming as Emcee. (He earned a Tony for the same role in a 1998 revival.) Previews of Williams' 24-week limited engagement for the Roundabout Theatre Company kick off March 21 at the Kit Kat Klub at Studio 54. Opening night is set for April 24.

The cast of season 17 of Dancing with the Stars has been announced, ABC News reported. The line-up includes actress Valerie Harper (who's battling brain cancer), actress Leah Remini, former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson, reality star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, singer Christina Milian, Glee star Amber Riley, actress Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Saved by the Bell; Showgirls), Disney star Corbin Bleu, Pretty Little Liars actor Brant Daugherty, comedian Bill Engvall and Bill Nye the Science Guy. The new season kicks off Sept. 16.

The David France AIDS movie How to Survive a Plague will be part of PBS' new season of Independent Lens, according to a press release. This film tells the story of AIDS activist organizations ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group). Among the 22 other documentaries in the new season are The Trials of Muhammad Ali; A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at The New York Times; and Playwright: From Page to Stage. Stanley Tucci returns as the series host.

Co-writers J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman have quit working on DC Comics' Batwoman because the company won't let the titular superheroine marry her fiancee, according to an article. Batwoman, whose real name is Kate Kane, is an out and proud lesbian who's dating a cop, Maggie Sawyer. The writers posted on their blog, "Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. Most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. It's unclear who will take the reins of this comic book, which has won two GLAAD Awards, or how this development will impact Batwoman's plot trajectory.

Alec Baldwin will join MSNBC as the host of a new weekly current events and culture talk show to air Fridays from 10-11 p.m. ET, according to an MSNBC press release. Up Late w/Alec Baldwin will begin this October. Baldwin has won two Emmys for his role as Jack Donaghy on NBC's 30 Rock, and has been in numerous films, including Beetlejuice and Glengarry Glen Ross. He also has hosted the podcast Here's the Thing, where he interviewed various public figures such as David Letterman and Republican political strategist Ed Rollins.

Openly gay True Blood showrunner Alan Ball (who was also behind Six Feet Under) has written and will direct I Am Chippendales, according to . The film tells the story of Steve Banerjee, an immigrant who went from pumping gas in Culver City to running a high-end nightclub that evolved into Chippendales, which featured male exotic dancers. After hiring a New York choreographer to polish the all-male dance troupe, Banerjee became wildly rich—and just as paranoid, hiring a hit man to murder the choreographer when negotiations went sour. After being arrested, Banerjee died in jail awaiting trial.

The classic comedy Will and Grace, which won 16 Emmys during its run, will debut on WE tv Sept. 22, just in time for the series' 15th anniversary, a press release stated. The first day will feature an all-day marathon of the show, and will air weekdays 5-8 p.m. ET/PT and all night on Tuesdays beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The series—which starred Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally—also had many guest stars, including Madonna, Michael Douglas, Cher, Matt Damon, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Demi Moore.

Robert Pattinson has revealed that he actually pleasured himself while working on a gay film several years ago, Gay Star News noted. In the movie Little Ashes, he played real-life artist Salvador Dali, who explored his friendship and love affair with poet Federico Garcia Lorca. He said he pleasured himself to completion in a scene, as faking it "just doesn't work," joking, "My orgasm face is recorded for eternity."

Katy Perry has again topped Billboard's Hot 100 chart, nabbing her eighth number-one single in the process and displacing Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," the Huffington Post noted. "Lines" had spent 12 weeks atop the Billboard chart—a feat only a handful of songs topped, including Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" and Mariah Carey/Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day," which occupied the top slot for 16 weeks. Among Perry's other chart-toppers are "California Gurls," "I Kissed a Girl," "Firework" and "E.T." Perry's third album, Prism, is due Oct. 22.

Lesbian actress Jane Lynch has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Digital Spy reported. The actress received star number 2,505 at the unveiling Sept. 4, accompanied by Glee creator Ryan Murphy. Murphy said of Lynch, "She is the hardest-working person on the set... she makes everybody better and everybody happier. She is one of the comedy greats in our business—a true class act."

Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney have designed a fashion line together, according to Digital Spy. The collection x Goop will be available from Paltrow's Goop website, featuring jeans, blazers, jumpsuits and knits. The Iron Man actress told Women's Wear Daily: "I think of myself as a woman who is a lover of beautiful things. I'm very specific about my taste." The collection will be available Sept. 12.

The National Book Foundation announced that poet/author Maya Angelou will be this year's recipient of the Literarian Award, an honorary National Book Award for contributions to the literary community, the New York Post noted. She has received three Grammys for best spoken-word album, a National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor. In addition, E.L. Doctorow will receive an honorary medal for "contributions to American letters."

Speaking of Angelou, she will be the keynote speaker at Olivia Travel's Equality and Leadership Summit, according to a press release. Olivia is the world's largest travel company that offers chartered cruise, resort, adventure and luxury vacations especially for the lesbian community. The gathering will take place on a seven-day (Feb. 1-8, 2014) chartered eastern Caribbean cruise, and will highlight other nationally recognized individuals such as civil-rights pioneer Edie Windsor, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell.

Acclaimed actress Amanda Plummer reportedly has made life difficult for the cast and crew of The Two-Character Play, an obscure Tennessee Williams melodrama running at off-Broadway's New World Stages, the New York Post reported. Since the production opened in June, nearly 15 performances have been canceled, several because Plummer refused to go on. Once, she reportedly canceled a matinee two minutes before the curtain went up because she saw particles of dust floating around in the lights. Producers are allegedly considering lodging a complaint about her with Actors' Equity.

Lesbian Tony winner Cherry Jones, Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger and out gay actor Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) enter the world of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, staged by Tony Award winner John Tiffany, which began Broadway previews Sept. 5 at the Booth Theatre, noted. The production returns to Broadway after a premiere at the American Repertory Theater last winter. The Glass Menagerie will officially open Sept. 26 for a limited, 17-week run through Jan. 5, 2014; this is the seventh staging of The Glass Menagerie to be produced on Broadway.

Sir Ian McKellen has been cast as Sherlock Holmes in the upcoming film A Slight Trick of the Mind, noted. Set in 1947, the flim follows the retired detective, who is haunted by an unsolved case from 50 years ago. The film is the second collaboration between director Bill Condon and McKellen, who also worked together on Gods and Monsters, which is about gay Frankenstein director James Whale.

Bobby Steggert, a star of the Broadway-musical adaptation of the movie Big Fish, has come out of the closet, according to the Huffington Post. Talking about his roles with Out magazine, Steggert said, "I think it's a gay actor's responsibility to give full-blooded life to gay characters." Steggert, 32, played a conflicted gay soldier in the Off-Broadway World War II musical Yank! and earned a Tony nomination for his performance in the 2009 revival of Ragtime. Big Fish opens on Broadway Oct. 5, after an out-of-town run in Chicago; Susan Stroman (The Producers) directs.

Norman Oosterbroek—a 43-year-old Dutch security expert who has been a bodyguard to such celebrities as Lady Gaga, Jay Z, Beyonce and Rihanna—died after police stunned him with a Taser, according to the Huffington Post. Oosterbroek died shortly after he was discovered naked in his neighbor's house in Pinecrest, Fla. Miami-Dade Police say Christiane Jung heard strange noises in the house and was then confronted by Oosterbroek, who lives down the street. When police arrived, Oosterbroek became combative with officers, refusing to be subdued and violently resisting arrest—supposedly after swallowing "an unknown substance."

Lesbian couple Brooke Barnett and Maggie Voelkel are among the people featured in Jersey Strong, a docuseries that debuts Sept. 14 on the Pivot network, according to a press release. The true documentary-style series is set in Newark, N.J., which is primarily in the spotlight now because Mayor Cory Booker is running for the U.S. Senate. Brooke is a trial attorney balancing the stress of high-stakes litigation with the real-life drama of raising two college-aged kids with her partner in life and business, Maggie. See .

In New York City, Vogue magazine's Anna Wintour made a surprise video appearance at the Style Awards to honor Patrick Demarchelier, who was accepting an award for photographer of the year at Lincoln Center, according to the New York Post. Wintour told Demarchelier, "I'd tell you not to let it go to your head, but I know it won't. You're not the kind of photographer who needs an entourage ... except, of course, for a really good lunch." Also honored were Kate Upton (model of the year), Victor Cruz (most stylish athlete), Zac Posen (designer), Janie Bryant (best TV costume design for Mad Men) and John Varvatos (menswear designer).

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee has reportedly reached a settlement on a lawsuit alleging she was scammed into signing over the copyright to her classic novel by an unscrupulous literary agent who took advantage of her failing hearing and eyesight, according to a New York Post item. Lee had filed suit in May against Samuel Pinkus and others, including disgraced journalist Gerald Posner, to reclaim the copyright.

Grammy winner Bruno Mars will sing at halftime of the Super Bowl in February, USA Today reported. The NFL's regular season began Sept. 5 (as Denver beat Baltimore 49-27) and the Super Bowl will be Feb. 2, 2014, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Past halftime performers include The Who, Madonna, Beyonce and Janet Jackson.

After Miley Cyrus' controversial performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, Vogue editor Anna Wintour canceled plans to put the 20-year-old pop star on the cover of the magazine's December issue, according to . Her steamy performance at last month's MTV Video Music Awards—at which Cyrus suggestively cavorted in a flesh-colored bikini with giant teddy bears, a huge foam finger and Robin Thicke—set off a media firestorm. Wintour reportedly found Cyrus' performance "distasteful."

HBO's Behind The Candelabra will be front and center during the Primetime Emmys Sept. 22, according to . Elton John will make his first appearance at awards show, performing to pay tribute to Liberace, the subject of Steven Soderbergh's biopic that has earned 15 nominations. Nominees Michael Douglas, who played Liberace in the movie, and co-star Matt Damon were already announced as presenters for the ceremony, which will air live on CBS. Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the event.

Cher, Ed Sheeran, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and Miguel will be advisers for the upcoming cycle of NBC's hit singing competition The Voice, according to . Cher will work with coach Blake Shelton, while Sheeran will team with Chistina Aguilera. Meanwhile, Tedder will pair with Adam Levine and "Adorn" singer Miguel will advise Cee-Lo Green's team. The show's next season will air Sept. 23.

After publicly announcing he is gay, actor Wentworth Miller has opened up about the personal demons he faced before coming out, including a suicide attempt when he was just a teenager, according to the Huffington Post. At the Human Rights Campaign's Seattle gala Sept. 7, Miller, 41, revealed he first attempted suicide when he was 15. Miller then said that after becoming famous on his Fox series Prison Break, he had multiple opportunities to come out, but he chose not to "because when I thought about the possibility about coming out, and about how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear."

Randy Jones, the original cowboy for the music group The Village People, will marry partner Will Grega during three days of New York City-related events Sept. 12-14, according to a press release. Things will start with a marriage proposal on "The Ride," a tour of the city in a multimillion-dollar mobile theater. The marriage ceremony will take place Sept. 13, on Jones' birthday.

In an interview with her publication, O Magazine, Oprah Winfrey admitted that she is terrified of balloons, according to a New York Post item. "It reminds me of gunfire … really freaks me out," she said in the yet-to-be published interview. Oprah used the balloon story as a way to illustrate the idea that people should face their fears, which is a theme for the magazine's October issue that will hit stands Sept. 17.

Rufus and Martha Wainwright's tribute to their mother—entitled "Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle"—will make its digital premiere Sept. 17, according to a press release. The show will feature Rufus and Martha Wainwright as well as older sisters Anna and Jane and friends such as Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Jimmy Fallon and Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons). Directed by Lian Lunson, the film made its world premiere at Sundance London in 2012 and had a theatrical run earlier this summer.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) East has set Monday, Oct. 14, as the trial date for Joan Rivers, who the union has charged with violating its bylaws during the ongoing Fashion Police writers' strike, reported. The hostess of the E! Entertainment show faces a fine or expulsion from the union if performed writers' duties, such as writing jokes, while they are on strike. Nine Fashion Police writers walked off the job in May in an attempt to force the Comcast-owned network to recognize them as WGA West employees.

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