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SHOWBIZ Jennifer Hudson, 'Horror Story,' Kathy vs. Ellen, gay boy band
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Jennifer Hudson will be making a new movie "Memory" playing the "glamour cat" Grizabella in Universal and Working Title's big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's beloved stage musical Cats, TheWrap reported. Taylor Swift, James Corden and Ian McKellen have also joined the cast of Tom Hooper's film. It will be British director Tom Hooper's first musical since his award-winning 2012 hit adaptation of Les Miserables.

The American Horror Story "House/Coven" crossover season has an official title now: "Apocalypse," TheWrap reported. The announcement came with creepy images: a blood-red baby being toyed with by a scary, jet-black hand with some killer nails. Last month, Murphy revealed on Twitter that the crossover installment will arrive on FX this September.

Comedian Kathy Griffin has upped the ante in her feud with Ellen DeGeneres, telling a story about a fight she had with the daytime talkshow host over Joan Rivers, LGBTQ Nation noted. At a recent show in Los Angeles, Griffin talked about the last time she saw Rivers before she died in 2014; she said that DeGeneres "shunned" Rivers, and that Rivers was hurt by that. In 2016, Griffin included a blind item in her book about a "daytime talk show host" with "short blonde hair," adding that this person had a "mean streak that all of Hollywood knows about."

The members of what has been called the first all-gay boy band have released their first single. Jay, Mike, Randy, Devin and Gama compose the band Echo V—and the act has released the song "Rainbow," a press release touted. The video for "Rainbow" is at For more information, visit .

Jude Law talked with Entertainment Weekly about playing a younger Albus Dumbledore for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Regarding the character's sexuality, Law said, "[Author J.K.] Rowling revealed some years back that Dumbledore was gay. That was a question I actually asked Jo and she said, yes, he's gay. But as with humans, your sexuality doesn't necessarily define you; he's multifaceted. ... We learn a little about his past in the beginning of this film, and characters and their relationships will unfold naturally, which I'm excited to reveal. But we're not going to reveal everything all at once."

Actor/Instagram star Derek Chadwick has come out as gay, Gay Star News noted. The 23 year-old Scream Queens actor revealed all in an interview with Gay Times, saying, 'I would identify now as gay. … I think I realised vaguely at school that I was gay, like, officially. There was a point that I just knew." Chadwick, who boasts 277k followers on Instagram, admitted his fears about coming out, but feels hopeful about how his coming out may benefit his fans.

The private investigator who allegedly planted a tracking device on Richard Simmons' car has been charged with a crime, noted. Scott Brian Matthews was charged with two counts of the crime of unlawfully using a tracking device. Prosecutors say Matthews planted the device on the car Richard bought for his housekeeper, Teresa Reveles. Simmons sued Matthews last month, the National Enquirer hired Matthews to keep tabs on him. The Enquirer had published a story claiming Simmons was undergoing a gender change; Simmons sued the Enquirer—but the case was dismissed.

Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz spoke candidly about his sexuality in a new interview with Billboard, USA Today noted. Speaking of a poem he penned for June's Pride Month, with the words "I am bi your side," Mraz said he didn't realize the line would be so revealing. "Honestly, I didn't realize it was going to be so telling," he admitted. "But I've had experiences with men, even while I was dating the woman who became my wife." Mraz added that his wife said he is "'two-spirit,' which is what the Native Americans call someone who can love both man and woman. I really like that."

Fashion designer Christian Siriano and his husband, Brad Walsh, have split after nearly two years of marriage, US Weekly noted. "Bit more than a month ago my husband and I separated," Walsh wrote on Instagram in late June. "I was contacted by a writer for a website who somehow found out, so rather than let them break it, I'm telling you myself. It's nobody's business and I don't want to discuss, but that's what's up." Siriano's rep also confirmed the breakup. The couple was together for 11 years.

Cyndi Lauper joined Grammy-nominated band Panic! At The Disco on stage recently at NYCB Live in Uniondale, New York, a press release noted. Frontman Brendon Urie previously met Lauper during their time together on the critically acclaimed, Tony-winning Broadway hit Kinky Boots. Urie starred as Charlie Price, while Lauper provided music and lyrics for the musical. Panic! At The Disco's tour will take the band to such stops as Seattle, Vancouver, Tokyo, Nashville and Rosemont, Illinois, through next February.

Openly gay country artist Chase Sansing has released a cover of Aerosmith's classic power ballad "Angel," a press release stated. ( The video is at ) Sansing also recently released a rendition of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie's "We Are the World" that was filmed throughout Nashville to raise awareness of homelessness in the city. The music video also features local Nashville musicians Kelsey Malone, Justin Shaw and Rae Cecil trading verses similar to the original USA for Africa video released in 1985.

In the wake of Scarlett Johansson leaving a trans-related role in the movie Rub & Tug, The Hollywood Reporter interviewed 21 transgender actors, directors and writers about what it means to be transgender in Hollywood in this day and age. Sense8's Jamie Clayton said that if Hollywood wants to tell transgender stories, then transgender people need to be involved both in front of and behind the camera. Zackary Drucker, a writer and producer on Amazon's Transparent, said, "I'm sick of seeing us die. Yeah. I'm sick of that. I want to see us live. I want to see us surrounded by abundance."

TV's first transgender superhero is coming to the CW's Supergirl, Deadline noted. Transgender activist Nicole Maines ( Royal Pains; The Trans List ) is set as a regular in the upcoming fourth season as Nia Nal, aka Dreamer. Maines' Nia Nal is the newest addition to the CatCo reporting team. A soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others, Nia's journey this season means fulfilling her destiny as the superhero Dreamer ( much like Kara came into her own as Supergirl ).

One of the longest running LGBT-film festivals has changed names for its 31st birthday, noted. The Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, happening Sept. 6-9, is now officially the All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival ( aGLIFF ). In addition to screenings and panel discussions, aGLIFF has added legacy awards to its programing this year.

Although it performed only two previews during the season's eighth week, Pretty Woman: The Musical ( starring Samantha Barks and Andy Karl ) grossed $328,854, 96 percent of its potential, with admission of 2,336 at 100 percent of capacity on Broadway, Deadline noted. The average ticket price was $141. Based on the 1990 Julia Roberts & Richard Gere movie and staged at the Nederlander Theater, the musical features direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell; an original score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance; and a book by the movie's director, Garry Marshall, and screenwriter J.F. Lawton.

The 61st annual Grammy Awards will return to Los Angeles and air on CBS Feb. 10, 2019, USA Today noted. Nominations for the 84 categories will be announced on Dec. 5; songs and albums eligible must be released between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30. The academy recently announced that its four major awards—album of the year, song of the year, record of the year and best new artist—would now include eight nominees each instead of five.

With the clock ticking and no television deal in place for the Golden Globes yet, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has taken the unprecedented step of announcing a date for the 2019 ceremony without a TV network, Deadline noted. The 76th Golden Globe Awards will take place Jan. 6, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, with the nominations announcement set for Dec. 6, 2018.

The NBC show World of Dance is about to add a few more big names into its expert panel of mentors and judges, TheWrap noted. The summer dance-competition series starring Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, NE-YO and Jenna Dewan is bringing five famous choreographers and performers in as guest mentors for its current season. These include Paula Abdul, Julianne Hough, Mel B, Savion Glover and Ciara; professional ballerina Misty Copeland has been set as a guest judge.

Paramount Network, which scrapped the controversial reboot Heathers in June, has sold the dramedy that features a school being blown up to multiple international territories, The Hollywood Rep;orter noted. The Viacom-owned outlet has sold Heathers to HBO in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Brandi Carlile's Girls Just Wanna Weekend—a brand-new destination concert vacation featuring an all female-fronted lineup produced by Cloud 9 Adventures, in partnership with The Bowery Presents—will take place at the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico, on Jan. 30-Feb. 3, 2019, a press release noted. In addition to multiple shows by Carlile, Girls Just Wanna Weekend will feature Maren Morris, Indigo Girls, Margo Price, Patty Griffin, Lucius, KT Tunstall, The Secret Sisters and Ruby Amanfu. See .

Late during Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, several tweets Brewers pitcher Josh Hader, 24, sent around 2011 and 2012 resurfaced—resulting in him turning his account to private, noted. At least one of the tweets used the N-word, while another read, "I hate gay people." He subsequently apologized in a locker-room interview, saying that he waas 17 when he posted those "inexcusable" items and that he was "immature," adding the tweets do not reflect who he is today.

Actor Henry Cavill apologized for saying he is afraid of flirting with women because he is "going to be called a rapist or something," noted. Cavill, 35, drew criticism for his comments about the #MeToo movement in an interview with GQ Australia and how he prefers a "traditional" approach to dating where a woman is "wooed and chased." Cavill said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention. In light of this, I would just like to clarify and confirm to all that I have always and will continue to hold women in the highest of regard."

R&B singer R. Kelly released 19-minute track "I Admit" on July 23—and the song, which includes chorus "I admit it/I did it," covers the accusations that Kelly kidnapped women and held them as sex slaves, and that he slept with underage girls, TheWrap reported. Other admissions include not going to church, not owning his own music, loving Steve Harvey and being functionally illiterate. Kelly also says he was molested by a family member from ages 7 to 14.

James Gunn, who was fired from Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise after past offensive tweets surfaced, did make a planned appearance at Comic-Con in San Diego, Deadline noted. Disney responded quickly to the revelations of past tweets from Gunn that included references to topics including pedophilia and rape. "The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him." Several celebrities, including Selma Blair and Dave Bautista, have come to Gunn's defense.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the next series up for a reboot, TheWrap noted. 20th Century Fox has put a reboot of the Joss Whedon series from Midnight, Texas creator Monica Owusu-Breen into development. The new take, which Whedon will also executive produce, is set to feature a Black lead character. The original series, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as the titular hero, ran for seven seasons beginning in 1997—five on The WB and two more on UPN.

In an on-camera interview Roseanne Barr promised, she explains her Planet of the Apes tweet directed at former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, TheWrap noted. "I thought the bitch was white!" she screams in the YouTube clip. "Goddamnit! I thought the bitch was white! F—!" In late May, a tweet from Barr described Jarrett—who is of European and African-American descent—as if "Muslim brotherhood & Planet of the apes had a baby." Barr initially blamed a series of her unhinged tweets on sleep-aid drug Ambien, and eventually lost her show ( which is now a Barr-less spinoff called The Conners ).

Just days after its season-three premiere, Syfy has ordered a fourth season of cult favorite supernatural Western series Wynonna Earp, Deadline noted. Adapted from the IDW Publishing comic book created by Beau Smith, the show follows Wyatt Earp's great-granddaughter ( Melanie Scrofano ) as she battles demons and other supernatural beings and uses her unique abilities and a dysfunctional posse of allies to bring the paranormal to justice.

Netflix unveiled its initial slate of eight TV shows from mega-TV producer Shonda Rhimes, which includes adaptations of New York Magazine's story on Anna Delvey and Ellen Pao's Silicon Valley memoir, noted. The already-buzzed about New York Magazine's story on Delvey details how the social climber tricked New York high society. Another project is an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson's Jim Crow-era South novel, The Warmth of Other Suns, which tracks the decades-long migration of African-Americans fleeing the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in the North and the West between 1916 and 1970.

Former Dukes of Hazzard co-star Tom Wopat pled guilty to two counts of "annoying and accosting a person of the opposite sex" and was sentenced to one year of probation, USA Today noted. The plea allowed him to avoid jail time on allegations he groped two female cast members in a theater musical he was set to star in, in Waltham, Massachusetts, last fall. Wopat also admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of the charge of possession of a Class B substance, cocaine. The court withheld finding him guilty and postponed the case for one year as long as he adheres to probationary guidelines.

Hulu has put Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles in development, Deadline noted. Paramount TV and Anonymous optioned the popular 11-book series last year, with plans to bring it to the small screen. Anne Rice's son, Christopher Rice, will serve as executive producer alongside Anne Rice and Anonymous Content's David Kanter and Steve Golin.

The iconic home that served as the exterior of TV's Brady Bunch is up for sale—but among those eyeing the property are developers who may consider tearing it down, Deadline noted. The house, at 11222 Dilling Street in Studio City, California, is listed for $1.85 million and just went on the market. The listing calls the property "the second-most photographed home in the United States," after the White House.

Former Teen Mom 2 cast member David Eason, who is married to star Jenelle Evans, called out the network for casting Bristol Palin on Teen Mom OG, US Magazine noted. Eason, 30—who was fired from the show in February after homophobic tweets he posted went viral—took to Instagram with a post expressing his disdain for the network's latest addition: "I know MTV is comprised of hypocrites but how do you fire me and hire Bristol Palin after all of her homophobic and racist remarks?"

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