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SHOWBIZ 'Glee' reunion, Charlie Carver, Michael B. Jordan, Whitney Houston
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-03-13

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The cast of Ryan Murphy's musical series Glee reunited in Los Angeles a little over a month after their disgraced former cast mate Mark Salling committed suicide, Page Six noted. "It's a GLEE-Union!!" Matthew Morrison wrote alongside a photo of the crew, which included Jane Lynch, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Becca Tobin and Vanessa Lengies. Lea Michele, Darren Criss, Jayma Mays and Dianna Agron were absent from the reunion.

Teen Wolf and Desperate Housewives star Charlie Carver, 29, said he was 11 when he learned of the reason behind his parent's divorce: His dad had come out as gay, People.com noted. Despite that, Carver didn't come out until his late teens, although he knew from a young age that he was different from his twin brother, Max. Carver says that when he was ready to come out as gay to his friends and family, his dad and brother confessed they "already knew," adding that the tricky relative was his mother: ""I didn't want to re-injure her" because of the divorce.

Michael B. Jordan took Frances McDormand's Oscars speech to heart, as the Black Panthe" star, announced that his production company, Outlier Society Productions, will adopt an inclusion rider on all future projects, according to Page Six. The internet was abuzz about inclusion riders after McDormand, 60, mentioned them in her Best Actress acceptance speech on March 4.

Whitney—a documentary detailing the life and career of singer and actress Whitney Houston—will make its U.S. debut on July 6, Variety reported. The Kevin Macdonald film offers a closer look inside Houston's personal and public life. Whitney contains several new glimpses into the late performer's past, including previously unreleased tracks and never-before-seen footage, as well as recorded live performances throughout her career. The film also features Houston's original studio recordings and a capella performances of some of her most beloved hits, as well as home video content the filmmakers were able to collect with access to the Houston estate.

A nun embroiled in a real-estate battle with pop star/American Idol judge Katy Perry over the sale of a Los Angeles convent collapsed and died Friday during a court appearance related to the case, Page Six noted. As she made her way into court earlier in the day, Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 89, issued a final plea to the "Roar" hit-maker: "To Katy Perry, please stop. It's not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people." Holzman and another nun had agreed to sell their eight-acre hilltop estate to a restaurateur in 2015 for $15.5‰million, with the understanding the woman would turn it into a boutique hotel; however, the archdiocese simultaneously made a deal to sell the property for $14.5 million to Perry, who planned to convert the 20,000-square-foot convent into a home.

GLAAD announced that it will honor actor/producer Jim Parsons at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 12, according to a press release. Parsons will receive GLAAD's Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. GLAAD previously announced that global icon Britney Spears will receive the Vanguard Award for her support of the LGBTQ community, and that Olympian Adam Rippon will also appear at the event.

Grammy-winning disco, soul and R&B singer Thelma Houston will take to the main stage at Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018, a press release noted. Houston—who has had hits such as "Don't Leave Me This Way"—will perform Sunday, April 8, on the festival's main stage in Lummus Park, in Miami Beach. In addition, '80s/'90s singer Taylor Dayne ( 'Tell It to My Heart" ) will sing the same day.

Also, it's been announced that Miami Beach Gay Pride will have Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy and NBC6 anchor/host Roxanne Vargas as its grand marshals. The two marshals will be honored at events throughout Pride Week and will lead the parade down Ocean Drive on Sunday, April 8, beginning at noon. Miami Beach Gay Pride, presented by Celebrity Cruises, will take place April 2-8 at venues throughout Miami Beach.

Billie Jean King is just one of the big names that has been announced as a marshal at NYC Pride, PinkNews noted. Jean King will be joined by Lambda Legal, the legal campaigners who are in the front line fighting President Trump's transgender military ban. Agender advocate Tyler Ford will also join the marshals, as well as OutRight Action International's Kenita Placide. Also, this year's NYC Pride March will undergo a change to its route along 5th Avenue, which will see it trace the original steps of campaigners who fought for gay rights in the city's first pride.

VH1 announced the guest judges set to join the 10th season of Emmy-winning RuPaul's Drag Race, premiering Thursday, March 22, a press release stated. This season's guest judges include Christina Aguilera, Shania Twain, Lena Dunham, Halsey, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Kate Upton, Billy Eichner, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon, Padma Lakshmi, Courtney Love, Nico Tortorella, Audra McDonald, Ashanti, Logan Browning, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Carrie Preston, Andrew Rannells, Miles Heizer, Todrick Hall and Lizzo. Additionally, Stephen Colbert, Andy Cohen and Cheyenne Jackson will make special guest appearances.

Actress Judith Light—who plays Shelly Pfefferman, ex-wife of Tambor's character, Maura, on the Amazon show Transparent—said the cast is "shellshocked" over now-former lead Jeffrey Tambor's departure, Entertainment Tonight noted. "I have not spoken to him," she confirmed. "Everybody's a little shellshocked, I would say." Tambor was fired from the show in February following allegations of sexual harassment by his former assistant, Van Barnes, and his co-star, Trace Lysette; he has denied the allegations.

Take My Wife—the comedy series created by lesbian comics and real-life spouses Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher—is returning, The Huffington Post noted. The show, which starred Esposito and Butcher as slightly exaggerated versions of themselves, had been facing an uncertain future since last summer. However, Esposito recently announced that both seasons of Take My Wife would be available on iTunes. The show will also be available for viewing on the Starz app on May 1.

Bodybuilder and former gay-porn star Billy Herrington has died at age 48 after a "horrible accident," Gay Star News noted. Herrington had appeared in movies for Colt Studios and All Worlds. His mother, Kathleen Wood, shared the news, saying, "It is with a heavy and broken heart that I want to let everyone know my son Billy Herrington has passed away. I love you son. Mom." Chi Chi LaRue, legendary drag queen and porn director, said, "Heaven just got stronger!"

Guardians of the Galaxy star Lee Pace has opened up about coming out in an interview, according to PinkNews. In the interview Pace appeared to be taken aback by questions about his personal life, saying: "I've dated men. I've dated women. ... To be honest, I don't know what to say—I find your question intrusive." He subsequently tweeted, "In a recent phone interview, I was asked questions that I wasn't expecting and found myself momentarily at a loss for the right words. My privacy is important to me, so I protect it. When interviewed by the media, I keep the focus on my work." However, he has also posted, "As a member of the queer community, I understand the importance of living openly, being counted, and happily owning who I am."

Prosecutors have decided not to file criminal charges against WME partner Adam Venit, who was accused of groping actor Terry Crews at a party, saying the incident falls outside the two-year statute of limitations, Variety reported. Crews reported the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department on Nov. 8, alleging that Venit had grabbed his crotch at an industry party at Hutchinson restaurant in February 2016. Crews is also pursuing a civil case against Venit, accusing the agent of sexual assault.

Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer have been accused of insults, threats and verbally abusing women on the set of the popular Netflix sci-fi show, Page Six noted. Peyton Brown, a former grip on the crew during the Emmy-nominated show's first two seasons, said she wouldn't return for a third because she "personally witnessed two men in high positions of power on that set seek out and verbally abuse multiple women," she wrote on Instagram. She later confirmed she was referring to the Duffer brothers—but then deleted the original post with the comments implicating the Duffers within a few hours and then republished without naming them.

Comedian Kathy Griffin is embarking on her comeback, some nine months after she provoked outrage—and lost much of her work, including her annual CNN New Year's Eve gig with Anderson Cooper—by posing with a fake severed head that appeared to depict President Donald Trump, according to Page Six. Griffin announced on HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher that she had just booked upcoming shows at New York's Carnegie Hall and at Washington's Kennedy Center—"Trump's backyard," as she called it.

Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez is slated to appear on an upcoming episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine—and will reportedly play Detective Rosa Diaz's girlfriend, NewNowNext.com noted. Viewers learned that Rosa ( played by Stephanie Beatriz ) was bisexual earlier this season; after showrunners revealed that the character's girlfriend would pop up in a later episode, Beatriz suggested Rodriguez for the part.

Nearly two decades after allegations of sexual misconduct were lodged against a prominent U.S. figure skating coach, the U.S. Center for SafeSport—the Olympic movement's recently launched organization charged with safeguarding athletes' well-being—suspended Richard Callaghan, The Washington Post reported. U.S. Figure Skating followed with its own suspension, as required by the USOC. Callaghan, 72—who helped Tara Lipinski win a gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and played a key role in the Olympic careers of Todd Eldredge and Nicole Bobek—was added to U.S. Figure Skating's list of suspended coaches.

Michael Caine has joined a growing number of Woody Allen film alums who have publicly vowed to never work with the director again in light of the allegations leveled against him by daughter Dylan Farrow, People magazine noted. He told The Guardian, in part, "I'm a patron of the NSPCC [National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children] and have very strong views about pedophilia." The 84-year-old actor went on say that while he didn't "regret working" with Allen when he did, he would not do so again.

Khandi Alexander ( Scandal ) is set to co-star opposite Kylie Bunbury in ABC's Get Christie Love reboot drama pilot, from Power creator/showrunner Courtney Kemp and producers Vin Diesel, Debra Martin Chase and Shana C., Deadline reported. Get Christie Love—a co-production between Lionsgate Television and Universal Television—is inspired by the cult 1974 blaxploitation-themed TV movie and subsequent series. Treme and CSI: Miami alumna Alexander has been recurring on ABC's Scandal as Olivia's ruthless mother, Maya.

Guns 'n' Roses singer Axl Rose recently compared out Apple CEO Tim Cook to the current commander-in-chief, according to Page Six. The musician took to Twitter Thursday to make the statement, providing no context. He tweeted, "Tim Cook is the Donald Trump of the music industry." Rose has made his disdain for President Donald Trump clear in the past.

Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy wrote his very own Craigslist "Missed Connections" personal ad aimed at at Ricky Martin and his husband, Jwan Yosef, according to Queerty. Kenworthy and boyfriend Matt Wilkas ran into the couple at the Oscars. The dialogue was cut short, however, and now the guys are hoping to reconnect with the power couple.

Broadway alum Elizabeth Stanley will star in the world premiere of Jagged Little Pill, featuring the songs of Alanis Morissette, Playbill.com noted. The musical will premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Diane Paulus-helmed production will run May 5—June 30.

The Cranberries will release a new album with the final vocals from their late frontwoman, Dolores O'Riordan, Page Six noted. The record will be a remastered edition of the band's debut, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? The release was planned for the album's 25th anniversary, and the band began recording material before O'Riordan's untimely death in January. The new album is expected to drop in early 2019.

Trans personality Amanda Lepore returns to the dance floor this spring with Lepore., a brand new EP of songs that hit the Top Three on the iTunes Dance Album chart in its first week of release, a press release noted. The album is the first original solo release from her since I…Amanda Lepore, her 2011 album debut that featured the hits "My Hair Looks Fierce," "Turn Me Over" "Cotton Candy" and "Champagne," among others.

Frankie J. Grande ( the brother of singer Ariana Grande ) is joining the cast of off-Broadway's Cruel Intentions: The Musical in the role of Blaine Tuttle beginning March 18, according to Playbill.com . Grande, who will replace departing cast member Alex Boniello, will play the part through the rest of the show's engagement at ( le ) Poisson Rouge in New York City. Plans for a national tour are now in the works, with an expected launch date in the fall.

earMUSIC announced that the release Here Come The Aliens, the first studio album in seven years by pop icon Kim Wilde, will be out on March 30 ( out March 16 digitally ), a press release noted. The Here Come the Aliens world tour will start in the UK and will head to Scandinavia, Holland and the United States later in the year. Wilde has sold more than 30 million records worldwide, and has had hits such as "Kids in America" as well as remakes of "You Keep Me Hanging On" and "If I Can't Have You."

The iconic soap opera Days of Our Lives has been renewed for a 54th season on NBC, TheWrap noted. The daytime drama aired its 13,000th episode in 2017. The show debuted in 1965 with half-hour episodes that expanded to an hour a decade later. "Days" has earned 52 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Daytime Drama in 2013 and 2015.

Whistle Down the Wind, the new album from Joan Baez, debuted at #18 on Billboard's Top Current Albums chart and #4 on the Americana/Folk Albums chart—Baez's strongest chart position since 1975's Diamonds & Rust, according to a press release. The album is also finding success internationally debuting at #47 in the United Kingdom, #36 in France, #6 in Sweden and #8 in Germany.

Pop TV is going into production on its first scripted drama series commission, according to Deadline. True Blood and X-Men franchise star Anna Paquin will lead cast and co-produce the PR-world comedic-drama with UKTV and Episodes co-producer Hat Trick Productions. Paquin will play Robyn, a quick-witted London-based U.S. publicity expert whose personal life is in chaos.

Former CSI: Crime Scenes Investigation star Jorja Fox is returning to CBS and reuniting with former CSI executive producer Carol Mendelsogn for a starring role in drama pilot Chiefs. Fox has been tapped as one of the three leads opposite Alana De La Garza and Aunjanue Ellis in the pilot, from Mendelsohn and David Hudgins. Chiefs explores the professional and personal lives of three driven, successful but very different women—De La Garza, Ellis and Fox—who are each Chiefs of Police of their own precincts in L.A. County.

A month after his character on Law & Order: SVU made his exit, Raul Esparza is returning to NBC with a lead role opposite Derek Luke in drama pilot Suspicion, Deadline noted. Suspicion is described as a Hitchcockian thriller about how far one man will go to save the people he loves. Esparza first appeared as Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba on season 14 of SVU on a recurring basis.; that show is currently in its 19th season.

Nick Gordon—the late Bobbi Kristina Brown's former boyfriend—was arrested for domestic violence in Florida on March 10, US Magazine reported, citing The Blast. The Seminole County Sheriff's website states that Gordon, 29, was charged with battery and given a bond of $500. He is due to appear in court on April 6.

Oscar winner Gary Oldman's son Gulliver wrote an open letter in which he defends his father's character, after it was questioned by media outlets over allegations of domestic abuse, The Independent reported. Gulliver, the 20-year-old son of the Oscar-winning actor and former model Donya Fiorentino, criticized "clickbait journalism" for reporting on an incident he says "did not happen."

While Rihanna may be noticeably absent from the music scene, is reportedly looking to strengthen her empire by launching her own lingerie collection, according to a Billboard.com item that cites WWD. Rihanna reportedly inked a partnership with TechStyle Fashion Group, a company that has successful brands like Fabletics, ShoeDazzle, Just Fab and more under its belt.


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