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Ricky Martin loses pants; Anderson loses show
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.

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Ricky Martin recently dropped trou for charity, according to . The openly gay singer-actor posted a photo on his WhoSay page showing him only in a T-shirt, skivvies and shoes—with a shocked expression on his face. Martin, 40, is auctioning his pants to help benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a nonprofit that's actively raised funds to help AIDS-related causes for more than two decades.

After two seasons, Warner Bros. Domestic TV has cancelled Anderson Cooper's Anderson Live!, according to . The producers tried a revamp after the first season with a new venue, new title and all-live format; however, the series still struggled to find viewers. In a statement, Cooper said, "I am very proud of the work that our terrific staff has put into launching and sustaining our show for two seasons. I look forward to doing more great shows this season, and though I'm sorry we won't be continuing, I have truly enjoyed it."

In Virginia, the Falls Church News-Press has started hosting a new column by two-time Olympic figure skater and three-time U.S. figure skating champion Johnny Weir, according to a press release. His first column, entitled "Johnny's World," begins, "As a gay man, I find myself constantly surrounded by women." Later, he writes, "I am personally disgusted by the term 'fag-hag,' and I don't think treating people as disposable is healthy." Weir has returned to competition, hoping to qualify for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

In Illinois, Lincolnshire's Marriott Theatre's revival of My One and Only—the 1983 Broadway musical comedy about an aviator and a female endurance swimmer—will feature The Color Purple's Tony Award nominee Felicia P. Fields as the Rev. Montgomery, according to . (The late actor Roscoe Lee Browne originally played Fields' role.) The production will also feature Emmy Award winner and Tony nominee Ted L. Levy (Jelly's Last Jam) as Mr. Magix. Performances begin Nov. 7; the regular run is Nov. 14-Dec. 31.

Lana Wachowski, the director of the Matrix trilogy and the new movie Cloud Atlas, discussed her journey as a transgender woman while receiving the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC's) Visibility Award in San Francisco recently, according to an HRC press release. Wachowski's emotional speech included stories about her inability to fit in as a child and her suicide attempt during high school. Wachowski closed her remarks by stressing that she wants to a beacon of hope for youth struggling with those same feelings of isolation: "I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn't find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others."

A family spokesperson is denying reports that Tina and Joe Simpson, the parents of Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, are ending their 34-year marriage because the Joe is gay, according to the New York Daily News. The rep released a statement saying "it is an amicable split and there is no third party involved" after the National Enquirer reported that Joe recently "came out of the closet" during a family meeting two months ago. Tina filed for divorce from Joe Simpson Sept. 24 in McLennan County, Texas.

Despite the struggles that Oprah Winfrey has had since leaving her long-running talk show and launching her own network, she insists that she's happy with her decision, reported. "I never regret," Oprah told Entertainment Tonight's Nancy O'Dell. "Would you tell the world on Entertainment Tonight right now—I have not one regret about leaving that show, because I did exactly what I wanted to do. If I'd have done the 26th year, there is no question that we would've had to go into outer space and take the audience."

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker threw some political punches during an interview with Access Hollywood, reported. "Romney's record is really hard to capture," the Sex and the City star said. "It's slippery. It's been all over the place." She added that Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, is "extremely right-wing" and she called Donald Trump a "jackass" for his announcement offering President Obama $5 million if the chief executive releases his college records and passport applications.

While on the talk show Katie, musician Rod Stewart confronted the rumor that he once had to have his stomach pumped after a wild night with sailors in San Diego, the Huffington Post reported. Stewart said an angry rep was responsible for that rumor: "I used to have this guy work for me, he was a gay publicist. He's dead now so he might be watching. I had to fire him because he did something terrible, which I won't go into."

Cuban hunk William Levy has been cast in three Lionsgate movie projects, according to . In Tyler Perry's Single Mom's Club he'll play a character named Manny; shooting starts after Thanksgiving. In addition, the former Dancing with the Stars participant will be in Addicted, directed by Billy Woodruff, and the horror western Rio Sangre, directed by Chris Wyatt.

On the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, the young same-sex couple Will and Sonny will make love on the show's Nov. 14 episode, according to TV Guide. Freddie Smith, who plays Sonny, said, "I don't expect anyone will think the sex scene is controversial. Hopefully, we're past that. This isn't a story about two gay guys. It's about two human beings who truly love each other." Chandler Massey, who plays Will, added, "We took our time before getting to the sex and the characters and the show are better for it. But"—he added with a laugh—"I will also say that it's about time!"

Justin Timberlake has apologized for a video that was shown at his wedding to Jessica Biel. According to Ace Showbiz, the video showed a toothless homeless man reading pre-written wishes to the couple; a shirtless man and transgender individual were also in the video. (Gawker posted the video despite a cease-and-desist letter from Timberlake's longtime friend Justin Huchel, who reportedly made the video.) In part, Timberlake said, "I want to say that, on behalf of my friends, family, and associative knuckleheads, I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by the video."

Attention, Gleeks: Sebastian will enroll back to Dalton Academy on the show Glee, reported. After being absent since the beginning of the show's fourth season, the openly gay member of Warblers, played by Grant Gustin, will appear in a few episodes starting in November. It's unclear if Sebastian still has a crush on Blaine when he returns, but Blaine is available after he and Kurt split in "The Break-Up" episode.

The band Scissor Sisters told fans in London that the members are going on an indefinite hiatus—but promised they'll be back to continue the "kiki," reported. The band members announced they're separating for a while, with gay front man Jake Shears telling the crowd, "This will be the last time we will play in London for quite some time." The members have no immediate plans for a follow-up to the latest album, Magic Hour, which features the gay anthem "Let's Have a Kiki."

Steve Honig has quit his job as Lindsay Lohan's publicist, according to Ace Showbiz. Honig, who became Lohan's publicist in May 2011, simply said, "I have resigned," when asked about the matter. Honig, who also represents singer Courtney Love, added about Lohan, "I really feel very firmly that it's private and I don't want to say anything." Sources say the split had nothing to do with Lindsay, but reportedly with her father, Michael.

Actor Jack Scalia—most recently known for his role on the now-defunct daytime soap All My Children—was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport Oct. 25 after agents discovered he had a Glock in his carry-on bag, Ace Showbiz noted. Scalia, 61, rose to fame in the '80s by appearing in ads for Eminence briefs and Jordache jeans; he also was in the original Dallas TV series.

Elizabeth Taylor is the highest-earning deceased celebrity, according to Ace Showbiz. Taylor, who died of heart failure last March, has earned $210 million in the past 12 months; Michael Jackson, who was Taylor's close friend, earned $145 million. Taylor owed her earning to the record-breaking Christie's auction in which her jewelry, costumes and art work went for sky-high prices.

Sir Ian McKellen, 73—known for his Shakespearean roles and for playing Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movie triology—talked with students at London's Acland Burghley School (a facility for students 11-18) about homophobia, according to the Islington Tribune. At one point, the out gay actor told the assembly that he "wished that every child, every teacher, every person in this room can be free to be who they are, whatever [that person's] sexual orientation." Stonewall, the gay-rights organization McKellen co-founded in 1989, organized the event.

In another McKellen-related item, he and another openly gay actor, Derek Jacobi, are slated to star as a gay couple in a new sitcom, Gay Star News reported. The show (tentatively titled Vicoius Old Queens) will feature both actors, who made their names in Shakespearean theater, as an elderly gay couple living in London's Covent Garden. The show will air on ITV next year.

In an interview promoting her most recent CD, Revelation Road, country singer Shelby Lynne discussed her personal and professional lives—to a point, reported. When the interviewer asked Lynne about her sexual orientation, she replied, "Let me put it to you this way. I've been around the world and back so many times, I think everybody's gay. Everybody's a little gay." She added, "As far as my personal life, I don't go into details because that's all I've got. With the person that I allow out in the music, that's plenty. But I am secure enough to say that of all of my relationships, I've covered the boundaries."

So Much Drama Studios is stirring the gaming field with Dragopolis, a one-of-a-kind app that introduces a new kind of heroine, according to a press release. Dragopolis is an adventure starring a drag queen fighting for the spotlight; users must get our heroine to the nightclub to reclaim her title as Queen of Dragopolis by jumping and clawing her way past increasingly difficult fierce minions of the evil drag queen Apocalypstyk—while serving up new looks for the paparazzi. Dragopolis will be available for free download on iTunes for iOS devices Nov. 14.

After initially backing Mitt Romney, Lindsay Lohan has had a change of heart, E! Online reported. During the Oct. 22 presidential debate, the Mean Girls actress reportedly retweeted (and has since deleted) a pro-Obama tweet from the Democrat's re-election feed. However (maybe to be diplomatic), she later tweeted, ""Nice work to both @BarackObama and @mittromney. I'm so relieved that [the debate is] over. Maybe more than both of you…severe anxiety- God bless xo L"

Speaking of Obama, Madonna drew some boos in New Orleans for praising the president, according to E! Online. At one point during her concert she said, "Who's registered to vote? I don't care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama." After the crowd booed, she said, "Seriously, I don't care who you vote for. Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote." She had previously made headlines for calling Obama a Black Muslim, although she later said she was being ironic.

Also on the talk-show front, Sony Pictures TV's The Queen Latifah Show will launch in fall 2013, according to . The daily syndicated talk show—which Latifah, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith will executive-produce—has gone to the CBS TV stations in a premium deal. The Queen Latifah Show will feature celebrity interviews, human interest stories, comedy, pop culture and musical performances.

Out actor Neil Patrick Harris, a fan of magic since his childhood, will direct Nothing to Hide, a theatrical event that will feature sleight-of-hand artists Derek DelGaudio (2011 Close-Up Magician of the Year) and Helder Guimaraes (2011 Parlour Magician of the Year), according to . Geffen Playhouse will present the engagement, opening Nov. 27 in Los Angeles. "I dare say, watching Derek and Helder perform together was one of the most amazing, confounding, and magical nights of my life," Harris said of their earlier appearance at Magic Castle in L.A.

On the CBS show The Good Wife, viewer reaction has been so negative regarding bisexual character Kalinda and abusive husband Marc that he's being written out sooner than expected, reported. Robert King, one of the show's creators, told TV Guide, "I think a) people just don't want Kalinda to go there, which I think is a worthy response that I never thought of and b) I think that it was pushing buttons that are not really healthy buttons to push, which are about domestic violence and dominating men and things like that."

Another nighttime soap is coming. reported that Deception (previously named Infamous) will debut on NBC midseason. The series stars Meagan Good (D.E.B.S.) as a detective who returns undercover to the wealthy and troubled Lawson family she grew up in—as the maid's daughter—to solve the murder of an heiress who was once her closest friend. Victor Garber co-stars.

NBC has released the gist of its midseason line-up—and there are many changes, according to . For example, The Biggest Loser will move to Mondays to bridge the two cycles of The Voice; its companion will be the new series Deception (see above). Smash, which aired behind The Voice last spring, is moving to Tuesdays, premiering Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. CT. In addition, the hit Revolution won't run original episodes after November until March 25.

Lady Gaga got into a war of words with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Harris—who's worked with Rihanna and Florence Welch—angered Gaga by saying he'd turned her down in 2008 because her music didn't move him. Gaga later tweeted, "Seems to be trendy lately to talk shit about 'lady gaga' when your albums/singles drop. Y'all should live off your own hustle. #Ido" However, Harris seemed contrite with a subsequent tweet: "@ladygaga no your label emailed me. I always make sure I say Im a fan when asked about it, I apologise if I offended u, wasn't the intention."

Speaking of Gaga, British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London just a couple of weeks after Gaga paid him a visit, the Hollywood Reporter noted. The designer wore a T-shirt with the words "I am Julian Assange" next to a picture of her own face. Among other supporting Assange are film directors Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.

Musician/actress Natina Reed, 32, was killed Oct. 26 after a car struck her as she was crossing a street in Atlanta, according to the Hollywood Reporter. A member of the '90s girl group Blaque (which had hits like "Bring It All to Me"), Reed also starred in the 2000 Kirsten Dunst cheerleader comedy Bring It On.

Kim Cattrall (Samantha from Sex and the City) is bringing an adaptation of the 2005 British comedy series Sensitive Skin—to Canada, according to . Cattrall has been trying since 2008 to produce an adaptation of the show, which originally starred Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous). Canada's Movie Central and The Movie Network have given a six-episode order to the remake.

Donovan Leitch Jr.—who plays Hedwig, star of the glam-rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch—was named the honorary mayor of the West Hollywood (Calif.) Halloween Carnaval that took place Oct. 31, Business Wire reported. Leitch (the son of '60s folk singer Donovan) was the understudy for the original off-Broadway performances of Hedwig, and was the lead in a recent Los Angeles run of the play.

Openly gay director Bryan Singer has just closed his deal to return to helm the X-Men franchise to direct X-Men: Days Of Future Past, the next installment of 20th Century Fox's superhero series, reported. Matthew Vaughn was to direct the sequel to the hit spinoff X-Men: First Class, but he decided to step back. Fox already has the script for X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and set to return is Fox's First Class cast that includes Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence. The studio hopes to make the release date July 18, 2014.

When Madonna was a guest on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show Oct. 29, the host revealed that Madonna reached out to her in the days leading up to her coming out in 1997, according to the Huffington Post. Although she did not reveal many details of the conversation in the preview clip, DeGeneres noted that Madonna also sent her words of wisdom from late modern-dance legend Martha Graham, which "meant the world" to her at the time.

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