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Rihanna talks Madonna; Annie Leibovitz exhibit
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times..

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On a Facebook Live chat, Rihanna said that she'd like to work with Madonna, according to . The "Umbrella" singer said, "You know, Madonna is one of those artists who was very self-expressive; she was bold, she was fearless, and all of those were things I looked up to as a young woman. Madonna's still the sh*t, and she'll always be Madonna. She's the queen. [Working with her] would be so sick. I would love to. Who knows? Let's put it in the air." Madonna has worked with artists including Nicki Minaj, Prince, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West.

Speaking of Madonna, she said that Lady Gaga's rejection of a duet between the pair "is okay," according to Digital Spy. There was been tension between the two pop giants in recent months, on stage and off. This all culminated in October, when Gaga turned down an offer to perform with Madonna on the New York date of the latters "MDNA" tour. Madonna told a crowd in St. Paul, Minn., that Gaga "turned me down. It's okay. I've been rejected before. It builds a little character."

In Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio State University's Wexner Center for the Arts is devoting its entire gallery space to a major presentation of work by photographer Annie Leibovitz through Dec. 30, according to a press release. "Annie Leibovitz," which the center organized, will feature more than 200 photographs. Leibovitz personally selected and oversaw the printing of the limited edition, large archival pigment prints, and this will be the only stop for the exhibition.

The man who accused Kevin Clash—the puppeteer who performs as the Sesame Street character Elmo—of an improper relationship when the alleged victim was 16 has recanted his story, according to . In a quick turnabout, the man described his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual. Clash responded with a statement of his own, saying he is ''relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest.'' Clash, who was 45 at the time, said he had a consensual relationship with a man—who is now 23—that occurred when the accuser was of legal age, reported. (The legal age of consent in New York, where Sesame Street films, is 17.)

Bent-Con—a nonprofit organization that focuses on LGBT and LGBT-friendly contributions to comic-book, gaming, sci-fi, fantasy and horror mediums—will hold its annual event Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Los Angeles Burbank Marriott Convention Center, according to its website. Among the slated guests are writer Christopher Rice (the son of Anne Rice), artist/writer Phil Jimenez (known for his work on Wonder Women) and Jane Espenson, who's done work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the webseries Husbands. See .

Shout! Factory has released "A MusiCares Tribute to Barbra Streisand" on DVD and Blu-ray, celebrating Streisand's MusiCares® Person of the Year award at a 2011 gala event in Los Angeles, a press release stated. "MusiCares" features Streisand and an all-star cast of guests including Tony Bennett, Faith Hill, Diana Krall, Barry Manilow, Seal, Stevie Wonder and more performing many of the songs she made famous throughout her career.

Sundance Channel has unveiled its 2013-14 original scripted development slate, revealing five new dramas, according to a press release. One of the dramas is T, a personal look at Terrence, a transgender male who has recently undergone gender reassignment surgery and is beginning to live life as a man. The series cuts between Terrence's emotional struggle in the present and his past as Thora—a lesbian, student activist at Mt. Holyoke College circa 2005.

Adelia Zeidler, the older sister of actor George Clooney, told the New York Daily News that her brother is not gay. When asked if Clooney's gay, she said, "Yes. that's quite ridiculous; we don't even listen when people say things like that anymore," adding that he's not the marrying kind and that acting is his focus. Clooney has been dating former wrestler Stacy Keibler for some time.

Kirstie Alley is also shooting down gay rumors—about pal John Travolta, according to a New York Daily News item. Talking with Barbara Walters, Alley said, "I know John with all my heart and soul. He's not gay," adding that she "fell in love" with him on the set of the 1989 film Look Who's Talking—and that the feelings were mutual. Travolta has denied claims that he sexually assaulted two male massage therapists or that he had a six-year affair with ex-pilot Doug Gotterba.

Zachary Quinto (Star Trek; TV's Heroes) responded to Donald Trump's tweets denouncing the presidential election's results, according to Gay Star News. Trump had posted that the election was "a total sham and a travesty," and that "the world is laughing at us." The openly gay Quinto tweeted, "Do you actually take yourself seriously? If so: redirect the energy. Seriously. You actually have A LOT more to offer. ... Imagine if you took all the energy you channel into diminishing your fellow Americans and lifted them up instead."

Out actor George Takei (Star Trek) is taking on Facebook. According to, Takei will publish a book with a chapter discussing the social network's controversial handling of page posts. Takei (whose Facebook page has nearly 3 million followers) talks in his book, Oh Myyy, about Facebook's filtering algorithm, called EdgeRank—and that it basically forces him to pay the network if he wants to reach all his fans.

Dancing with the Stars co-host Brooke Burke has revealed she has thyroid cancer and will need surgery, according to the Chicago Tribune. In a video on, she said, "I need to have thyroid surgery and a thyroidectomy, which means I'm going to have a nice, big scar right here on neck," Burke said, drawing a finger across her throat. Her publicist said Burke's work on the reality-competition show would not be affected.

On the reality-competition show X Factor, out gay performer Jason Brock was the first finalist to be voted off the show's second season, US Magazine reported. Brock, 35, lost after going head-to-head with CeCe Frey, 21. After finding out his fate, Brock said, "I think that being gay is a wild card in itself. When you're gay, some people still aren't OK with you being gay. So there are actually people in the country—I don't know how many—who think it's actually wrong. So I wouldn't doubt it if that does hurt in a way."

Downton Abbey Revisited, based on the popular PBS series, will air on the station Sunday, Nov. 25, 8-9:30 p.m. ET, according to a press release. The special, which Angela Lansbury will host, will feature many of the actors, including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern. Interviews with creators Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame reveal the origins of the series and how they envisioned it as a combination of Edwardian-era tradition with modern multi-character storytelling. The third season will premiere Jan. 6, 2013.

Out actor Alan Cumming hosted the 2012 Britannia Awards Nov. 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The event marked Cumming's fourth time as host of the event. For many, the high point was when Daniel Day-Lewis channeled fellow Oscar winner Clint Eastwood by addressing an empty chair as U.S. President Barack Obama, according to . Eastwood, 82, made headlines in July when he spoke at the Republican National convention and talked to an empty chair that was supposed to symbolize Obama.

Out entrepreneur David A. Cox appeared with openly gay comedian Bruce Vilanch on the Nov. 9 episode of the ABC show Shark Tank, according to a press release. The series, in which entrepreneurs compete for venture capital from a panel of established business experts, selected Cox as a contestant on the basis of his PC Classes Online site. However, the experts decided to pass on Cox's classes about how to use a PC, Mac, iPhone or iPad, prompting him to say, "I'm surprised and disappointed that the 'sharks' passed on the opportunity to partner with me and invest in what is a growing and much-needed service."

Lindsay Lohan's new PR reps at Rogers & Cowan pulled her out of a scheduled interview with Barbara Walters at the last minute, reported. Lohan was slated to be on the show Nov. 16 for an interview with Walters on 20/20, but the reps reportedly did not like the direction ABC wanted to take the talk. The 20/20 appearance was to promote Lohan's upcoming Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, in which she portrays Elizabeth Taylor.

On Live with Kelly and Michael, Taylor Lautner revealed that for the very last Twilight movie, he asked director Bill Condon to limit the amount of shirtlessness Lautner has to deal with in the movie, according to . Lautner said, "I had a conversation with our director [Bill Condon] for these last two [The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1 and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2] before we started filming them, and I was like 'Can we try and maybe limit the shirtless scenes just a little bit?' And so I was able to do that. There's only one in this one, but it's a serious one."

Speaking of Twilight, star Robert Pattinson told Ellen DeGeneres that if he had his way, vampire Edward Cullen would be gay in future installments of the film series, according to . Appearing on Ellen with Taylor Lautner, Pattinson said, "I was also thinking another way to do it would be to make it look like Will & Grace, where Edward turns gay—but [Edward and Bella] still stay together. They raise the kid and everything." Pattinson has played gay, most notably when he portrayed Salvador Dali in the 2008 film Little Ashes.

Out singer Adam Lambert will host the "VH-1 Divas" show this year, according to the New York Daily News. Lambert will host and perform at the Dec. 16 event. Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, Jordin Sparks and Ciara will also perform at the special honoring dance music as well as its current and classic divas. Tributes to Whitney Houston and Donna Summer are also planned.

Cyndi Lauper revealed that her uncle was among the casualties of Hurricane Sandy, according to US Weekly Magazine. "I lost my Uncle George in the hurricane," Lauper said at Lenox Hill Hospital's recent Autumn Ball in Manhattan. Her uncle, 90-year-old George Stathis, was found dead inside his home in Rockaway, Queens, five days after the storm.

In other Lauper-related news, her 12-part series, Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual, will premiere Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 on WE tv, according to a press release. Each 30-minute episode lets viewers see Lauper as she juggles her many roles, including rock star, mother, wife, Broadway composer, best-selling author and philanthropist.

Matthew McConaughey has lost 30 pounds for his latest movie role—his "absolute lowest weight," a source told People magazine. McConaughey will portray a mid-1980s AIDS patient who seeks out experimental HIV drugs to prolong his life in the movie The Dallas Buyer's Club. The source added that the actor will start putting weight back on in about a month.

Reports are circulating that Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish are expecting a second child with a surrogate, Digital Spy noted. The couple—who already have 2-year-old son Zachary—are said to be "over the moon" about the second child, who is thought to be due next year.

A coroner's report stated that Real World: Hollywood star Joey Kovar died at age 29 from opiate intoxication, the New York Daily News reported. Family members reportedly believed drugs were to blame for the death of Kovar, who sought help for cocaine and ecstasy addiction in 2010 on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew. Kovar's body was found in an apartment in Chicago in August.

The mother of 14-year-old Modern Family star Ariel Winter has denied abuse allegations, the New York Daily News noted. Mom Chris Workman said she caught Winter in bed with 18-year-old boyfriend Cameron Palatas, and even reported him to authorities. Winter plays the precocious teen Alex Dunphy on the popular ABC sitcom.

Singer T-Boz of the girl group TLC has blasted singer/rapper/American Idol judge Nicki Minaz, according to . T-Boz (real name: Tionne Watkins) said, "Just because you're on TV gyrating and boning and sucking penises, it's not talent, honey." As for Minaj's "Idol" gig, she responded, "How the hell is she gon' tell me what I should be doing when her a— can't even sing? ... Get your money, honey. All I'm saying is, I will never watch [your] shows again."

Joan Rivers will perform at this year's Prince's Trust comedy gala, according to Digital Spy. "We Are Most Amused" is set to take place at the Royal Albert Hall Nov. 28, and will raise funds for disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom. Rivers said, "I am thrilled that at my age—three years after death—I am able to help disadvantaged young people get their lives back on track." Others slated to appear at the event include Dame Edna Everage and Rowan Atkinson.

TV chef Jamie Oliver, best known for his Naked Chef series, was embarrassed after accidentally taste-testing a dessert served on a vibrator, Digital Spy reported. Oliver and his friend Jimmy Doherty appeared on the show Alan Carr Chatty Man to promote their new series, Food Fight Club. Carr produced the sex toy when making fun of chef Nigella Lawson's overtly sexual cooking style, and offered a chocolate dessert on the item to Oliver. Without paying attention, Oliver leaned across as Carr pushed the toy in and out of his mouth.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will portray Hercules in a film that Brett Ratner will direct, according to . Paramount and MGM will co-produce the flick, whose screenplay was adapted by Ryan Condal from Radical Studios' graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.

Taylor Swift (Best Female, Best Live Act and Best Look) and Justin Bieber (Best Male, Best Pop and Best Worldwide Stage Act) dominated the 2012 MTV European Music Awards, winning three trophies each, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In the biggest surprise of the night, Rihanna—who had gone into the event with six nominations—was completely shut out. Other winners included One Direction, Psy, Lana Del Ray and Carly Rae Jepsen; Heidi Klum hosted.

Iconic Australian rockers INXS have called it a career after 35 years, announcing at a show in Perth, Australia, (supporting Matchbox20) that they were playing their last concert together, the Hollywood Reporter noted. Drummer Jon Farriss announced the news that the group is disbanding and admitted, "I'm getting teary," before playing one of INXS' biggest hits, "Need You Tonight." The band members decided to play on after lead singer Michael Hutchence's death in 1997.

A judge has ruled that three and a half months after his death from lung cancer, actor Sherman Hemsley (TV's The Jeffersons) can be buried, noted. Flora Enchinton Bernal, a longtime female friend and business partner of Hemsley, can take over his estate and proceed with burying the actor. Hemsley was long the subject of gay rumors; Bernal told the Associated Press that when she met Hemsley, he was living with a longtime male companion, Kenny Johnston.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell threw a two-day, A-list-heavy, Indian extravaganza for her beau, Russian billionaire Vladimir Doronin, according to the UK Telegraph. Kate Moss and Bob Geldof were among those attending the event at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India; Diana Ross performed (and Campbell paid Ross $500,000 to do so).

England's Queen Elizabeth has knighted actor-director Kenneth Branagh, according to . In addition, the royal recognized actress Kate Winslet as a Commander of the British Empire, and Take That lead singer Gary Barlow received the Order of the British Empire.

Arts in the Armed Forces presented a free performance for military personnel and their families Nov. 11 (Veterans' Day) at New York City's Lucille Lortel Theatre, noted. The evening featured the talents of F. Murray Abraham, Jake Gyllenhaal, Frances McDormand, Michael Shannon, Tracie Thoms and David Strathairn, among others, as they staged readings of select monologues from contemporary American plays.

Out gay CNN correspondent Don Lemon had a Twitter feud with film actor Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street), according to ABC News. Lemon tweeted that he said "hi" to Hill, but Hill didn't return the favor, and he later called Hill a "tool." Hill later responded, "I said hi. What do you want me to do, move in with you? I was in a hurry. Didn't realize you were a 12 year old girl. Peace." Lemon then posted, "Hardly. You're not my type. But I know rude. And u were."

The London Evening Standard has published its shortlist for this year's Evening Standard Theatre Awards, according to . This year's event, which will be the 58th year of the awards, will be held Nov. 25 at London's Savoy Theatre. Charles Edwards and Simon Russell Beale are among those vying for best actor, while Cate Blanchett and Laurie Metcalf are among four nominated for the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress. Singin' in the Rain, Swallows and Amazons, and Sweeney Todd are competing for best musical.

Kelly Clarkson has released a new video for the single "Catch My Breath," Digital Spy reported. The song is the lead cut from her upcoming compilation Greatest Hits: Chapter One, which will be out Nov. 19. "Catch My Breath" is one of three new tracks on the upcoming LP, alongside a duet with country veteran Vince Gill entitled "Don't Stop" and the tune "People Like Us."

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), The Public Theater and Miami's GableStage will unite to present the world premiere of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, which e acclaimed Brother/Sister Plays author Tarell Alvin McCraney has edited and adapted, according to . McCraney's "radical edit" of Antony and Cleopatra will premiere at the RSC's Stratford-upon-Avon home in November 2013, move to GableStage in early January 2014 and play The Public in New York City in late January 2014.

Wolfe Releasing has acquired the U.S. and Canadian rights to Writer/Director Matthew Mishory's A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951 (AKA Joshua Tree: 1951, A Portrait of James Dean), according to a press release. The film stars James Preston (TV's The Gates), Dan Glenn (TV's Pushing Daisies) and Robert Gant (TV's Queer as Folk), among others, in an intimate portrait of Dean as he is on the cusp of achieving notoriety as a great actor and an American icon. Following its theatrical run through next June, Wolfe will release A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951 on VOD and DVD in 2013.

The band 10,000 Maniacs (known for songs such as "Like the Weather") is releasing its first album in 13 years, thanks to support through the act's PledgeMusic campaign, according to a press release. The album Music From The Motion Picture will be out Jan. 15, 2013; the band still has most of its founding members, although Mary Ramsey has replaced lead singer Natalie Merchant.

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