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SHOWBIZ Charlize Theron, Mapplethorpe, Karamo Brown, ABBA
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-05-15

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On Watch What Happens Live, Charlize Theron confirmed that an Atomic Blonde 2 is in development, Deadline noted. The Academy Award-winning actress simply confirmed the buzz around a sequel to the 2017 David Leitch-directed action thriller in which she played super-spy Lorraine Broughton. The Focus Features and Sierra/Affinity film raked in more than $95 million at the global box office.

The trailer for Mapplethorpe, the long-awaited Robert Mapplethorpe biopic, has arrived, NewNowNext.com noted. Matt Smith, of Doctor Who fame, plays the lead role, and newcomer Marianne Rendon plays Mapplethorpe's close friend and collaborator, Patti Smith. Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989 at 42 due to complications from HIV/AIDS, was one of the most prominent and still-celebrated photographers of his generation.

Karamo Brown—one of the quintet in the new Queer Eye series—is engaged to boyfriend Ian Jordan, Page Six noted. Brown, 37, popped the question during a surprise birthday party for Jordan at Hyde Sunset bar and restaurant in Los Angeles. Brown, who has two adult children, also praised his fiance on Instagram.

Streams and sales of ABBA's music in the United States rose in the wake of the group's April 27 announcement that the quartet had reunited to record new music for the first time in 35 years, Billboard noted. In the week ending May 3, ABBA's songs garnered a 36-percent gain in on-demand streams ( audio and video combined ) according to Nielsen Music. ABBA's most-streamed song in the week ending May 3 was their 1977 No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, "Dancing Queen," with 1.42 million streams ( up 19 percent ).

LGBT actor Ezra Miller ( Justice League; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ) will play the young Salvador Dali in Mary Harron's upcoming biopic Dali Land, Deadline.com noted. Miller, also well known for starring in Cannes Film Festival dramas We Need To Talk About Kevin and Afterschool, will play the young Dali through a series of flashbacks. Ben Kingsley, Lesley Manville, Tim Roth and Frank Dillane will star in the film; set in New York and Spain in 1973, the story is told through the eyes of James ( Dillane ), a young gallery assistant who helps Dali prepare for a big show.

RuPaul Charles is teaming with Sex and the City showrunner Michael Patrick King for the Netflix comedy series AJ and the Queen, TheWrap noted. The RuPaul's Drag Race host will star as Ruby Red, a larger-than-life but down-on-her-luck drag queen who travels across the country from club to club in a rundown 1990s RV with unlikely sidekick AJ—a recently orphaned, tough-talking, scrappy 11-year-old stowaway. According to Netflix, Charles will also perform "a killer musical number in every drag club" along the way.

During the last few months of the Deadpool 2 marketing campaign, the movie's star and producer Ryan Reynolds has publicly bombarded actor Hugh Jackman on social media to return as his iconic character Wolverine in a crossover movie of their two characters—and now Jackman has responded, according to Movieweb. On Good Morning America, Jackman ( seemingly conveying disinterest, according to the article ) said, "I might just have a little message for Ryan. I love you, man. I love Deadpool. I can't wait to see the movie. You're one of my best friends. Blake [Lively, Reynolds' wife], the fam, the whole thing. But back it up a little. Play a little hard to get. It's too much; it's not sexy."

Bradley Cooper will direct and star in the Leonard Bernstein biopic Bernstein, according to a Page Six item that cites Variety. The movie is the second project to be announced in the last week revolving around the legendary composer; Jake Gyllenhaal is also developing a pic about Bernstein called The American; Cary Fukunaga is directing, with Gyllenhaal starring and producing.

Actor Jim Parsons was hurt while performing on Broadway in Boys in the Band on May 12, and was forced to cancel his evening performance, ABC7NY.com reported. During the matinee, Parsons reportedly tripped and fell, forcing him to limp off the stage. People who said they attended the performance tweetedthat Parsons tripped during the encore and limped off while other cast members took their bows. Parsons is part of the ensemble cast of the 50th anniversary production of the landmark play about gay life in the pre-Stonewall era.

Charlie Sheen is firing back against a woman who claimed the actor failed to disclose his HIV diagnosis to her before they began a sexual relationship, according to Page Six. The "Two and a Half Men" alum claims in legal documents that the anonymous accuser is an "extortionist," according to TMZ, and that she's a "professional hooker party girl" who gets paid for sex as a high-end escort. Sheen said he gave her money and gifts during their brief relationship, in which they had unprotected sex, and said he revealed his HIV-positive status to her when they first met.

Kevin McHale has talked about his supposed coming out on Twitter in a new interview—and why didn't talk about his sexuality during his Glee years, PinkNews noted. In a Facebook Live chat with entertainment journalist Marc Malkin, McHale said although he hadn't explicitly come out as gay before, many of his fans already knew about his sexuality. "If somebody was a big fan and following everything I was doing [on social media], like the people I interact with on Twitter on a daily basis, I think there was zero surprise," he said. "People knew." McHale is dating actor Austin McKenzie; the pair met on the ABC series When We Rise.

Lee Daniels is staying in business with 20th Century Fox TV, as the Empire and Star co-creator and executive producer has signed a new overall deal with the studio behind the hit series, Deadline.com noted. The deal follows the recent fifth-season renewal of Empire; Star, created by Daniels and Tom Donaghy, was just renewed for a third season.

Rita Ora has apologized after her new song "Girls"—featuring all-star guests Cardi B, Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha—was criticized for a "tone-deaf" approach to same-sex relationships, The Guardian reported. The song's lyrics reference Ora's bisexuality, saying, "I'm 50-50 and I'm never going to hide it," before going into a chorus that rebuffs a man's advances, reading: "Red wine, I just want to kiss girls." A line from Cardi B reads, "I could be your lipstick just for one night." DJ Kittens wrote, "This song is literally about wanting to hehe kiss girls when you're drinking and smoking weed ... It's harmful when LGBT women are fetishised and no relationships are ever taken seriously." Ora had previously said the song was inspired in part by Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl"—although Perry has said the song is a bit outdated.

On June 29, the duo Indigo Girls will release the album Indigo Girls Live with The University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra, a press release noted. The album was recorded in front of a sold-out audience in Boulder, Colorado, and was mixed by Grammy winner Trina Shoemaker ( Sheryl Crow; Emmylou Harris ). Spanning material from throughout the band's career, the 22-song set features a mix of reimagined classics, deep cuts and tracks from Indigo Girls' latest studio album, One Lost Day. People can pre-order the album at https://rounder.lnk.to/IGLinkfire.

Project Runway is moving from Lifetime back to Bravo, TheWrap noted. Project Runway returns to its original network as part of a deal between Bravo Media LLC and Lantern Entertainment LLC. The latter company earned approval from Delaware bankruptcy court on May 8 to acquire the assets of The Weinstein Company. The series debuted on Bravo back in 2004, and moved to Lifetime in 2008.

Original Chicago Fire cast member Eamonn Walker has closed a new deal to return to NBC's firefighter drama for its just-ordered seventh season, Deadline.com reported. He joins fellow original cast members Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney; however, Monica Raymund may not continue with the show.

Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening is doing her first-ever superhero movie and joining the cast of Marvel Studios Captain Marvel, TheWrap noted. Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson as the studio's first female superhero to get her own standalone movie, will be a prequel set before Iron Man. Samuel L. Jackson will also return as Nick Fury—this time without the eyepatch because the film will be set in the 1990s ( presumably before he lost use of his left eye ).

Newly engaged Lea Michele revealed on Instagram that her former Glee co-star Jonathan Groff will be her "maid of honor" when she ties the knot with fashion exec Zandy Reich, Page Six revealed. Groff, 33, played Jesse St. James on the hit show with Michele, 31, from 2010 to 2015. Prior to that, they starred together in the Broadway musical Spring Awakening.

Independent singer-songwriter Be Steadwell has released her first full studio album, Queer Love Songs, according to a press release. Steadwell said of the album: "I'm a Black, queer, woman, singer-songwriter and I believe that everybody deserves a cheesy love song. That's why I wrote Queer Love Songs." Queer Love Songs" is the follow-up album to Steadwell's album Breakup Songs.

Naomi Campbell was unable to attend the Black Alumni of Pratt's annual Celebration of the Creative Spirit gala recently, so she asked longtime model pal Christy Turlington to step in and accept her lifetime achievement award, Page Six noted. "When a sister calls and asks you to stand in her shoes, you say yes, and so I am here," Turlington told the crowd at the Park Hyatt. Others at the event included Iman, Zac Posen and former NYC Mayor David Dinkins ( who was also honored ).

The Voice is getting its next band together. NBC said that Grammy winners Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson will return to the singing competition as coaches for season 15 in the fall, Deadline noted. Original American Idol winner Clarkson joined the show for the current season, and 2004 Idol finalist Hudson returns after serving as a coach during season 13 last fall. Their teams will square off against those of Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, both of whom have been with the show since its 2011 launch.

A musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot is coming to Broadway in 2020, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The show—based on Billy Wilder's 1959 comedy, starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis—will feature a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ( Hairspray ); the book is by playwright Matthew Lopez. Some Like It Hot will be directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, whose latest Broadway effort, Mean Girls, received 12 Tony Award nominations.

Networks have issued their renewals and cancellations for next season, with ABC's Quantico among the casualties, Deadline.com noted. It's season-three finale is set for May 17, and will now serve as the series ender. ABC's terrorism drama starred Priyanka Chopra as Alex Parrish; the cast also included Jake McLaughlin, Johanna Braddy, Russell Tovey, Alan Powell, Marlee Matlin and Blair Underwood. ( A few other shows that have been cancelled include SyFy's The Expanse, Fox's The Exorcist and Lucifer, ABC's Designated Survivor and Once Upon a Time ( which was slated to end this season, anyway ), and CBS' Living Biblically. Among the many renewals are CBS' Criminal Minds, Mom and Instinct ( the Alan Cumming vehicle ), NBC's Will & Grace and This Is Us, and ABC's Black-ish, Grey's Anatomy, Roseanne and How To Get Away with Murder.

Timothy Olyphant is currently in negotiations to join the cast of Quentin Tarantino's next project, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, TheWrap noted. Olyphant would join an already star-studded cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Burt Reynolds. Taking place in August 1969, "Hollywood" ( slated to be released in October 2019 ) will follow a group of characters in Los Angeles as the Sharon Tate murder unfolds.

NBC has renewed all four of its Dick Wolf series, Deadline noted. That includes Law & Order: SVU, picked up for a 20th season, tying the record for longest-running drama series, held jointly by Law & Order and Gunsmoke. The network also has renweed all three Windy City-set drama series for next season: Chicago Fire will return for season seven, Chicago P.D. for season six and Chicago Med for season four.

Over on Fox, Lethal Weapon has been renewed—although one of its stars, Clayne Crawford ( who played the role Mel Gibson had in the movie series ), has been fired for "bad behavior," TheWrap noted. "To my cast and crew — CONGRATULATIONS on season 3!" Crawford wrote. "To the Fans — Thank you for the overwhelming support and love. Riggs was a dream role and the experience will live with me forever. My heart is full. Seann William Scott ( American Pie ) will be joining the cast next season as a new character who folds into a partnership with Roger Murtaugh ( Damon Wayans ).

I. Marlene King will expand the universe of Pretty Little Liars for Freeform with a 10-episode series order for Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, featuring returning fan favorites Sasha Pieterse as Alison and Janel Parrish as Mona, a Freeform press release noted. It also stars Sofia Carson ( Disney's Descendants ) as Ava, newcomer Eli Brown as Dylan and Kelly Rutherford ( Gossip Girl ) as Claire, among others. In Beacon Heights, a seemingly perfect town, a group of three college friends struggles with the stress of being overachievers; in the aftermath of the town's first murder, each Perfectionist hides behind a secret, a lie and an alibi. Like its predecessor, Pretty Little Liars, The Perfectionists is also based on a popular book series penned by Sara Shepard.

Two women have accused music producer Detail of rape and now singer Bebe Rexha is speaking out about him, claiming he tried to sexually assault her, Page Six noted. "Glad these women came out. It's scary. He tried to with me, but I literally ran out of that studio," Rexha tweeted with a link to the report. "Karma is a bitch." Kristina Buch and Peyton Ackley filed court documents claiming Detail physically and sexually abused them, according to TMZ.

Singer FKA Twigs has been recovering after having six fibroid tumors removed from her uterus in December, Page Six noted. "I am a very private person as u all know and I have gone back and forth in my mind whether to share that this year I have been recovering from laparoscopic surgery to remove 6 fibroid tumors from my uterus," the 30-year-old revealed in an Instagram post. A nurse told her that with the weight and size of her tumors, it was like Twigs was six months pregnant.

Shawn Mendes has just revealed a brand-new arena tour, according to Just Jared. The 19-year-old "In My Blood" singer announced the 56 date Shawn Mendes: The Tour on May 8 on social media. Shawn will visit North America and Europe from March through August 2019, with more dates yet to be announced.

Singer Charlie Puth is scheduled to perform at the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards ( RDMA ) on Friday, June 22, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, a press release announced. The announcement of his RDMA performance comes on the same day as the release of his sophomore album, Voicenotes, which immediately shot to number one on the iTunes Album chart. SeeDisney.com/RDMA.


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