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SHOWBIZ Jane Fonda, Lee Daniels, Lady Gaga, 'The Babadook'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-06-04

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Jane Fonda said she suffered a nervous breakdown during the first season of Grace and Frankie because she felt "triggered" by her character's plotline of being abandoned by her husband for another man, Page Six noted, citing The Hollywood Reporter. "It took me a season to come to care for my character. I had to go back into therapy and start Prozac," Fonda said. She said she eventually grew to love her character on the Netflix hit.

Star co-creator Lee Daniels took to Instagram to update fans on the music drama series, which has been looking for a new home since Fox canceled it after three seasons, Deadline noted. "Fighting guys! Will know this week… or top of next!" Daniels wrote next to a clip from the series. "I'm NOT letting them STOP the CULTURE.. SORRY!!" Daniels and Tom Donaghy created Star, about three talented singers trying to navigate life's challenges along with the cutthroat music business.

Lady Gaga is joining forces with her home away from home in Las Vegas to create "Haus of Gaga/Las Vegas" at Park MGM, a press release noted. Curated by longtime Lady Gaga collaborator and fashion director Nicola Formichetti, "Haus of Gaga/Las Vegas" includes items such as the iconic 2010 MTV Video Music Awards meat dress and the Versace iridescent bodysuit worn during her 2017 Super Bowl performance.

Shout! Factory is celebrating Pride Month by offering a "Shout Proud" Sale—and that will include a Pride-themed version of the horror film The Babadook, a press release noted. Due to the unpredictable world of social media and passionate fans, the hit thriller became an unexpected and embraced LGBTQ mascot in 2017, and continued into 2018. The slipcover has a gloss finish with embossed highlights. Only 2,500 of this variant are being made and will be sold exclusively on ShoutFactory.com .

MGM will produce a feature film based on the life of iconic singer Boy George, with Sacha Gervasi ( My Dinner with Herve; Anvil: The Story of Anvil ), set to write and direct, Deadline reported. George becomes the latest superstar to get screen treatment, this after Freddie Mercury and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody grossed north of $900 million with an Oscar for Rami Malek and a Best Picture nomination. The Dexter Fletcher-directed Elton John biopic Rocketman is currently out in theaters, with Taron Egerton playing the singer.

Less than a week after season two of the award-winning and acclaimed drama Vida debuted on the premium cabler, the Tanya Saracho-created series has been renewed for a third season, Deadline noted. Led by Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada, Vida also stars Ser Anzoategui, Chelsea Rendon, Carlos Miranda, and Roberta Colindrez. Recipient of the 2019 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy series, Vida is the Latinx saga of two very different sisters who return home to their old neighborhood after their mother's death.

Lambda Legal honored Starz ( accepted by EVP and General Council Audrey Lee ) and Vida creator/showrunner Tanya Saracho at the 2019 West Coast Liberty Awards, a press release noted. They were celebrated for their ongoing commitment to equality, and support of Lambda Legal's ongoing fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community and everyone living with HIV. The ceremony was hosted by stand-up comic, actor, and writer Cameron Esposito on May 30 at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, and featured a special performance by America's Got Talent standout Brian Justin Crum.

Showtime has ordered an eight-episode season of the new half-hour comedy series Work in Progress, created by Abby McEnany and Tim Mason, a press release noted. The series features McEnany as a 45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke from Chicago whose misfortune and despair unexpectedly lead her to a vibrantly transformative relationship. Lilly Wachowski ( The Matrix; Sense8 ) will co-write the first season and executive-produce with McEnany and Mason.

Ellen DeGeneres has spoken openly about her stepfather, who sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, to empower survivors of abuse to have the courage to come forward, according to an Advocate.com item that cited Entertainment Tonight. Appearing in an episode of the second season of Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, DeGeneres said that her stepfather used her mother's breast cancer diagnosis as an excuse to continually assault her when she was about 15 or 16.

GLAAD thanked global superstar Taylor Swift for "a very generous donation in honor of LGBTQ Pride month," a press release stated. "Swift's donation will be used for GLAAD's ongoing work to amplify stories as well as create campaigns that fight back against the current rise of hate and discrimination and also accelerate acceptance of LGBTQ people." Swift's current single, "ME!," features Panic at the Disco frontman Brendan Urie—who came out as pansexual in 2018. Swift has also knocked President Donald Trump's stance on LGBTQ issues as she launched a campaign aimed at convincing senators to support the Equality Act, HuffPost noted.

Descendants 3 will premiere on the Disney Channel Aug. 2, Playbill noted. High School Musical's Kenny Ortega returns to direct the latest installment, starring recent off-Broadway alum and upcoming The Light in the Piazza star Dove Cameron. As previously reported, Broadway vet Cheyenne Jackson joins the franchise to play Hades.

The true-crime thriller Roll Red Roll will mark the 32nd-season debut of POV on PBS Monday, June 17, a press release noted. As it painstakingly reconstructs the night a teenage girl was assaulted by members of the Steubenville, Ohio, high school football team and its aftermath, the film uncovers the ingrained rape culture at the heart of the incident. Roll Red Roll has a impact campaign spearheaded by director Nancy Schwartzman, a human-rights and anti-violence activist.

On June 3, a defense attorney for actor Kevin Spacey asked a judge to order that the cellphone of the young man whom Spacey allegedly sexually assaulted in 2016 be turned over to the defense, The Boston Globe reported. Attorney Alan Jackson, who several times during his argument sympathetically laid his hand on Spacey's shoulder, said the defense believes the cellphone contains exculpatory evidence and raised questions about whether information from it had been deleted by the young man; his mother, former Boston TV news anchor Healther Unruh; or both. First Assistant District Attorney Brian Glenny said the state "categorically denies" making any misrepresentations to the defense.

British personal trainer Steve Brockman has mentioned his breakup with actor Russell Tovey ( TV shows Quantico and Looking ) on social media. Posting an Instagram photo of himself relaxing at a Dubai resort, someone stated "Russell is missing out!"—to which Brockman replied, "dodged that bullet." The pair ended their engagement in 2018, according to E! Online.

Disney CEO Bob Iger is weighing whether to pull the plug on filming in Georgia—saying it would be "very difficult" to continue doing so should the state's new abortion law go into effect next year, Page Six noted. His comments come just weeks after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country—banning doctors from carrying out the procedure once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

SPOILER ALERT: The winner of season 11 of RuPaul's Drag Race has been announced ... and it's Yvie Oddly, NewNowNext.com noted. A'Keria Davenport, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Silky Nutmeg Ganache made it to the final round along with Oddly.

Shortly after Adam Levine's exit from The Voice after 16 seasons, fellow original coach Christina Aguilera is shedding light on her 2016 departure, explaining that the NBC reality singing competition wasn't the right fit for her, USA Today noted. Aguilera told People magazine her 2018 album Liberation represented a "shedding of a certain skin on some level"—and that skin was the show. Referencing her Las Vegas residency, which kicked off May 31 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, she said, "Vegas is coming at the perfect time for me."

Comic and actress Lea DeLaria recently bought a nightclub in Provincetown, Massachusetts, called The Club, and told Wendy Williams all about it, including the announcement of a headliner guest she has for the busy July 4 holiday: Rosie O'Donnell, Towleroad noted. There will be another big name in town at the same time as O'Donnell, as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be holding a rally and fundraiser on July 5.

Less than a week after a state judge ordered the files in the Jussie Smollett criminal case unsealed, the Chicago police made public the first round of paperwork—hundreds and hundreds of heavily redacted pages of investigation reports, gumshoe work and arrest documents, Deadline noted. Although Smollett got out of the 16-count indictment in late March for allegedly faking a Jan. 29 racial and homophobic attack, the backlash over the dropping of the criminal case by the office of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx has continued.

Hillary Clinton is taking a page out of both ex-Celebrity Apprentice host Donald Trump and her old boss Barack Obama's respective books and looking to partner up with Hollywood, Deadline noted. Distinctly not entering the jam packed race for the Democrats' 2020 nomination, the ex-secretary of state and her daughter Chelsea are looking to put together a production company and a deal very similar to what Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground Productions inked with Netflix last year.

Michael Shannon and Audra McDonald opened the Broadway revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune with full frontal and simulated sex —and told Page Six that the Terrence McNally show's the first on Broadway to use an intimacy director. McDonald ( who hasn't appeared nude onstage before ) said, "This is my first time, so I was scared," but "once the show is going, you don't think about it, you are playing the characters. It's an important part of the story." At opening night were Christine Baranski, Stephen Flaherty and F. Murray Abraham, among others.

Christopher Street West—the non-profit that produces the annual LA Pride Festival and Parade in West Hollywood presented by Verizon—announced that singer, actor, dancer, recording artist, director and choreographer Todrick Hall has been added to the lineup for the LA Pride opening ceremony presented by Johnson & Johnson, a press release noted. Hall's performance is the latest addition to the free programming that will take place on Friday, June 7, and include Grammy winner Paula Abdul.

Grammy-nominated country singer/songwriter Ty Herndon has released a re-recorded version ( with the pronouns reversed ) of his 1995 breakthrough hit song "What Mattered Most," along with a new video, a press release noted. Herndon has also announced the upcoming release of a new album, Got It Covered, for Aug. 23 through BFE/The Orchard. The 10-track item is a compilation album featuring reimagined hits and covers of some of Herndon's favorite songs.

The musical based on Sarah Silverman's 2010 memoir The Bedwetter will have its iff-Broadway world premiere next May, Deadline noted. Silverman herself announced the musical during the recent Tribeca Film Festival, but the premiere date had not been disclosed. The Bedwetter—with book by Silverman and Joshua Harmon, lyrics by Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger and Silverman, and music by Schlesinger—will begin previews May 9, 2020, at the Atlantic's Linda Gross Theater; opening night will be Wed., June 10, 2020.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington ( who played Jon Snow ) checked into a wellness retreat to deal with "personal issues," after the blockbuster series came to an end, CNN.com reported. Harington has spoken openly in the past about his struggles dealing with fame, and the emotional adjustment he was forced to make after the conclusion of the hit series.

The Jonas Brothers ( Nick, Joe and Kevin ) will fill in for Kelly Ripa on Live with Kelly and Ryan on Thursday, June 13, a press release noted. The brothers will update Ryan Seacrest and the audience on their new documentary, Chasing Happiness, as well as their latest album, Happiness Begins, and their upcoming tour. They will also join Seacrest as he welcomes actor Bill Pullman to the show.

UCP is developing Punky Brewster—a sequel to the 1984 NBC sitcom—with original star Soleil Moon Frye set to reprise her role as the titular character that became a pop culture icon of the 1980s, Deadline noted. In the multi-camera/hybrid reboot, Punky ( who a bright young girl raised by a foster dad ) is now a single mother of three trying to get her life back on track when she meets a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self.

Moby canceled his book tour amid backlash over a claim in his book that he once dated Natalie Portman, according to Page Six. The electro-pop artist posted a message on his Instagram page that tried to address the fallout from his autobiographical tome, Then It Fell Apart. Portman later told Harper's Bazaar that she had only been 18 when she met the musician, and that he was "creepy."

Judith Light, 70, stars in a campaign for the new bodysuit collection from Emily Ratajkowski's clothing line, Inamorata, Page Six noted. Models Ebonee Davis, Halimotu Shokunbi and Alessandra Garcia-Lorido, acupuncturist Walda Laurenceau and Our Lady J ( a writer and producer of Transparent and Pose ) also star in the campaign.

Lena Waithe said she didn't let actor Jason Mitchell's alleged misconduct slide while he was on her Showtime series The Chi—even though she knew about it, Page Six noted. Waithe said she wasn't aware of accusations against Mitchell until the first season of The Chi had wrapped. However, Waithe said she brought second-season showrunner Ayanna Floyd on set to oversee the daily happenings of the show was her effort to prevent any workplace misconduct from happening. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mitchell's alleged behavior consisted of a bad temperament and inappropriate remarks made on set.

Supermodel/actress Cara Delevingne was seen moving a leather sex bench into the apartment she shares with girlfriend and Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson in West Hollywood, California, Out.com noted. ( A sex bench is just a piece of erotic furniture meant for sex that facilitates much easier bondage, spanking and other types of adventurous play. )

Katy Perry dropped her latest single, "Never Really Over," according to iHeart.com . The single is Perry's third music project release this year after appearing on a few previously released collaborations, including Zedd for "365" and Daddy Yankee for "Con Calma ( Remix )." Perry's last full-length, Witness, was released in June 2017, and it featured a hits like "Swish Swish," "Chained to the Rhythm" and "Bon Appetit."

Lionel Richie's new album, Hello From Las Vegas, is set for release on Aug. 23 on Capitol Records, a press release noted. Recorded at Zappos Theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Hello From Las Vegas features Richie performing material from throughout his career, including songs from his solo albums ( "All Night Long," "Hello," "Say You, Say Me," "Dancing On The Ceiling," "Truly" ) and his time with The Commodores ( "Three Times a Lady," "Easy" ). Richie is also on tour, with stops in Toronto, Memphis and Atlantic City, among other cities. The album pre-order is at https://lionelrichie.lnk.to/HelloFromLVPR.

Proposed film Alien: Awakening—the direct follow-up to 2017's Alien: Covenant and 2012's Prometheus—is reportedly being written, and Ridley Scott is coming back to direct what will be the third Alien prequel, Movieweb reported. This news comes as 20th Century Fox celebrates the franchise's 40th anniversary and the release of Alien in 1979.

Designer Stephen F is showing his first vegan menswear collection at his Little West 12th Street store in New York City, Page Six noted. It includes tuxedos and double-breasted suits made from eco-friendly materials such as WonderFelt, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. The line reportedly came to be after PETA's Dan Mathews attended a Stephen F show with Alan Cumming, and noticed that the designer was using fur and leather in his work.

The ex-boyfriend of Fiat heir Lapo Elkann claimed he was sexually assaulted and left with "severe emotional distress" following a cocaine-fueled transgender orgy that spun out of control, according to The New York Post. Travis London said former lover Elkann—who once faked his own kidnapping to milk his wealthy family for cash—pressured him to participate in group sex with two trans prostitutes, one of whom allegedly attempted to bed London by pulling him down and accosting him.


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