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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ 'Drag Race,' George Michael, 'The Talk,' Don Lemon
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-04-09

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Production company World of Wonder and Voss Events are presenting The Official RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 11 Tour, to kick off a run of shows on Sunday, May 26, in Los Angeles, a press release noted. All 15 season 11 queens ( including Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Honey Davenport, Scarlet Envy and others ) will be part of the show, which will continue through 16 cities across the United States and Canada.

There's a new Christmas romantic comedy coming down the pike: Universal's Last Christmas, Deadline.com noted. Paul Feig was looking to do a holiday movie like It's a Wonderful Life, and Emma Thompson was asked to write a movie inspired by the George Michael hit "Last Christmas." Last Christmas opens Nov. 15.

Sara Gilbert is leaving The Talk after nine seasons, Variety reported. The co-host made the announcement on the April 9 episode of the CBS talk show. "This is something I have been struggling with for a while, and going back and forth. But I've decided it's time for me to leave the show," Gilbert said at the beginning of the program. She has been with the show since its debut in 2010, and along with Sharon Osbourne, has served the longest tenure of any co-host; she also created and executive-produces the show.

CNN anchor Don Lemon announced his engagement to boyfriend Tim Malone, Fox2Now.com noted. "He gave me a present on his birthday. How could I say no?" the anchor captioned the photo of their bowtie-shaped dog tags engraved with the words, "daddy will you marry papa?" The tags were on their puppies, Boomer and Barkley.

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs, 55, and high-end candlemaker Char Defrancesco, 35, said "I do" in New York at a star-studded celebration that looked like an elite fashion show, USA Today noted. Celebrity guests include supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Kaia Gerber, Emily Ratajkowski, Amber Valletta, Helena Christensen, Rita Ora, Christina Ricci, rapper Lil' Kim and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. Justin Theroux and Bette Midler were among the other guests, AOL.com noted.

Adidas has signed Beyonce as its new creative partner, Page Six noted. As part of the deal, singer/actress will be developing all-new line of products for the athletic giant ranging from performance to lifestyle, which will include shoes and clothing. Adidas also plans to relaunch her own brand, Ivy Park, which initially started with Topshop in 2016.

Speaking of Beyonce, Netflix has released the trailer for Homecoming—the upcoming Beyonce documentary chronicling the star's 2018 Coachella performance, Deadline.com noted. The trailer for the film, which debuts April 17, shows footage of Beyoncr and her large crew of dancers, musicians and other creatives in preparation for the show. At first the footage unspools with only the voice of the late Maya Angelou heard as narration; bout halfway through, as the film moves from rehearsals to the actual stage performance, crowd sounds and drum beats of a marching band emerge. Netflix describef Homecoming as an "intimate, in-depth look at Beyoncé's celebrated 2018 Coachella performance" that "reveals the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement."

And speaking of Coachella, less than a week before Solange was set to appear onstage at the event, the singer has canceled her upcoming sets due to unspecified "major production delays," Page Six reported. A rep for Goldenvoice, the production company behind Coachella, referred a request for more information to Solange's spokesperson. A rep for Solange referred Rolling Stone to the festival organizers' tweet and declined to comment further.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival's lineup has been announced, a press release noted. Just a few of the acts slated to perform include Childish Gambino, Post Malone, Donna Missal, Phish, Brandi Carlile, Princess ( Featuring Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum ), Cardi B, Hozier and Kacey Musgraves. The 18th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival—which will include its first-evere Pride Parade—will take place June 13-16 in Manchester, Tennessee. See Bonnaroo.com .

Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBTQ-advocacy group, Billboard.com noted. The organization has been actively fighting a series of bills in the state, including one that permits adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples based on religious beliefs. Swift's donation came with a handwritten note to Chris Sanders, the group's leader.

Diana Ross has made history on the charts, a press release touted. In seven weeks, the new remix of "The Boss 2019" has hit number one on Billboard's Dance Club Songs Top 50 Chart. "The Boss 2019" is Ross' fourth remix in a row to reach the top, and it does so during the 40th anniversary of the original version topping the same chart. It marked the first time any artist had back-to-back number-one Dance Club Chart hits with songs that were originally number one.

The original cast album to the Broadway hit The Cher Show will be released digitally on Friday, April 12, on Warner Bros. Records, with the physical CD album release on Friday, May 10, and pre-order available now, a press release noted. The release contains 22 songs, including the legend's biggest hits like "If I Could Turn Back Time," "I Got You Babe," "Believe," "Just Like Jesse James," "Bang, Bang" and "Strong Enough."

The Depeche Mode 12" vinyl singles project continues with the release of Black Celebration/The 12" Singles and Music for the Masses/The 12" Singles on May 31 from Rhino, a press release noted. A few of the songs on the releases include mixes of "Strangelove," "Never Let Me Down" and "People Are People." In 2018, Depeche Mode completed the Global Spirit Tour, a worldwide concert itinerary that launched May 2017.

Hugh Jackman has stated that a follow-up to his cult smash hit The Greatest Showman could happen, Movieweb noted. Jackman recently appeared on BBC 2, and seemed optimistic about the possibilities of a sequel to the 2017 musical. He also indicated he definitely wants to be a part of it.

Celine Dion announced during a Facebook Live event that she would be heading out this fall on her Courage World Tour—the first tour she's been on in over a decade, People.com reported. Dion's venture will also come with a new album, she said, due "roughly" around November. The LP will feature a song called "Courage," which inspired both the name of the album and the tour. The Courage World Tour will begin on Sept. 18 in Canada before coming over to the states on Oct. 18, for a performance in Cleveland, Ohio; a few of the other cities Dion will visit include Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami.

Following criticism surrounding one of Rihanna's latest Fenty Beauty launches, the brand has pulled the offending product from its lineup, Page Six Style noted. Fenty Beauty announced a new line of bronzers and highlighter shades: Mo' Hunny/Afternoon Snack, #PENNY4UTHOTS and Geisha Chic. The latter immediately sparked controversy online, with fans saying that the red color and name fetishizes Japanese culture.

NBC booked some heavyweights for SNL's May 4 episode as Shawn Mendes will be the musical guest during the Adam Sandler-hosted broadcast, IHeart.com noted. While the episode will mark Sandler's big comeback to the longtime variety show after 24 years, it will, reportedly be his first time hosting the show. Mendes appeared on SNL back in 2016 and performed hits like "Mercy" and "Treat You Better" during the show, which Emma Stone hosted.

Lee Daniels has picked a new president for the TV arm of his production company and to run his Inclusion Fund, Deadline noted. Moving up from head of development for Lee Daniels Entertainment, to boss of Lee Daniels Television, Marc Velez will now run point on all new small-screen projects for the Oscar nominee's shingle.

Evan Peters has become a staple of the American Horror Story franchise, appearing in every season since the beginning—but he won't be back next season, The Washington Blade noted. Peters told reporters at WonderCon, "I'm gonna sit this season out." The actor also starred in Ryan Murphy's groundbreaking LGBTQ series Pose, but it hasn't been announced if he will return for the second season of that project.

Esteemed actress Helen Mirren got a crowd of movie-theater owners going—by hurling obscenities at their streaming competitors, Page Six noted. "I love Netflix, but f— Netflix!" Mirren said onstage at CinemaCon, the annual convention of movie exhibitor. She continued, "There is nothing like sitting in the cinema."

Emmy-winning Anna Friel stars in Hulu's Butterly, a from BAFTA award-winning writer Tony Marchant ( Holding On; The Mark of Cain ), a press release noted. Butterfly is about the acrimonious relationship between separated parents Vicky and Stephen, and their division in opinion over how to support their gender-variant child, Max. From a young age, their now 11-year-old son has identified as a girl and presented signs of gender dysphoria.

Netflix has given a 10-episode series order to Q-Force—a gay spy half-hour adult animated comedy from Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills, Mike Schur's Fremulon, Gabe Liedman ( Brooklyn Nine-Nine ) and Universal TV, Deadline.com noted. Written by Liedman, Q-Force is about a handsome secret agent ( possibly earmarked for Will & Grace star Hayes ) and his team of fellow LGBTQ superspies.

New York City-based writer/actor/choreographer Biodun Abudu has written his newest book, Stolen Sanity, according to a press release. The LGBT-themed book focuses the emotional journey of the heroine, Funke. Abudu's previous novel was Tales of My Skin. See https://biodunabudu.com/.

Page Six TV, the half-hour daily strip focused on pop culture, will end after its second season, Deadline.com reported. Co-hosted by Bevy Smith, Elizabeth Wagmeister and Carlos Greer, Page Six TV, hailed from Endemol Shine North America, Twentieth Television and the New York Post. The syndicated series launched in fall 2017 with the Fox O&Os as a core station group; John Fugelsang as host; and Smith, Wagmeister and Greer as a panel of "insiders."

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, told E! News that Jersey Shore co-star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino is "having the time of his life" in prison and keeping busy by working on his body and helping other recovering addicts, Page Six noted. "It's like he's in a senior home, he's playing Bingo, he's helping people recover in jail," Polizzi said. "He's in the gym a lot, so he's probably gonna come out ripped." In January, he began serving an eight-month prison sentence for tax evasion.

Grammy-winning DJ/producer duo Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi—known as Deep Dish—will reunite at Coachella on April 13 and 20, a press release noted. To celebrate, and teaming with Dancing Astronaut, Deep Dish have made available an hour of their two-hour live recording from their only set since 2014 when last summer the pair came together for a special 20th-anniversary appearance at world-renowned nightclub Pacha in Ibiza. The mix is available at https://soundcloud.com/dancing-astronaut-mixes/exclusive-deep-dish-reunion-mix-taken-from-pacha-ibiza.

Vlade Divac, Jack Sikma, Teresa Weatherspoon, Sidney Moncrief, Paul Westphal, Bill Fitch and the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens women's program were among the 12 inductees named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on April 6, ESPN.com noted. The Flying Queens, coached by Harley Redin, won 131 consecutive games during 1953-58; also, the program was the first four-year college to provide full scholarships for 13 female players.

Smallville actress Allison Mack has changed her plea to guilty in the Nxivm sex-cult case, Deadline reported. She originally had pled not guilty on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy that include racketeering. Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan for 10 seasons on the Superman TV series, was indicted a year ago along with Keith Raniere, the alleged leader of a self-help program and purported pyramid scheme being investigated for operating a shadow society of female "slaves."

Former "Bachelor" Colton Underwood is being ripped apart on social media for saying it is "so gross" for women to wear stained underwear, Page Six noted. Several female viewers criticized Underwood on social media, pointing out that his comments were immature. One woman tweeted, "Why is anyone surprised @colton is grossed out by periods? He is an actual man-child."

In a move that may get people to hate you, for 99 cents per episode, Spoiled.io will automatically and anonymously send a text to any phone number that ruins the newest episode of the hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, LMTOnline.com noted. The messages will be sent after each episode airs, so it's perfect to use for those friends who watch Game of Thrones after it first airs on TV.

Kendall Jenner recently opened up about promoting the disastrous Fyre Festival in a recent New York Times profile on her family, Billboard noted. "You get reached out to by people to, whether it be to promote or help or whatever, and you never know how these things are going to turn out. Sometimes it's a risk," she explained. The explanation comes in the wake of two detailed documentaries on the festival via Hulu and Netflix, highlighting the business behind-the-scenes and festival founder Billy McFarland, who is currently serving six years in prison.


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