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SHOWBIZ Kristin Chenoweth, Lee Daniels, 'Tales of the City,' Janelle Monae
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2019-03-26

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The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus announced that Emmy and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth will be honored with the Vanguard Award, and that Olympic figure-skating medalist Adam Rippon will receive the Trailblazer Award at the annual Crescendo Gala on April 27, a press release noted. Both Chenoweth and Rippon are being recognized for using their voices as agents of changes and their commitment to uplift and empower the LGBTQ community. Funds raised at this year's gala will support two youth-oriented programs, RHYTHM: Reaching Youth Through Music and It Gets Better.

Empire co-creator Lee Daniels held nothing back in talking about the impact on the Fox drama of Jussie Smollett's alleged fake hate crime, Deadline.com noted. "We have, me and my cast have experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration, and really don't know how to deal with it," Daniels said on social media of the Jan. 29 "incident" that possibly saw Empire star Smollett facing up to three years behind bars and tens of thousands in fines if convicted on disorderly-conduct charges. Prosecutors have dropped all 16 grand-jury charges against Smollett.

Netflix is reviving Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City once more for a brand-new series—bringing back 1993 stars Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis while adding new faces, fresh perspectives, and an updated look at the modern LGBT community, Vanity Fair noted. New episodes of Tales of the City will drop on Netflix this summer. Lauren Morelli's version includes trans actors—including Jen Richards as a young Anna—and trans talent like writer Thomas McBee, and directors Silas Howard and Sydney Freeland behind the camera. Other actors on the show include Murray Bartlett, Ellen Page and Zosia Mamet.

Janelle Monae is set to star in an upcoming Lionsgate movie project from visionary activist filmmaking duo Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, Deadline.com noted. Bush + Renz are known for their deep creative layers, highlighting social issues as a hallmark of their innovative, edgy approach. They have worked on campaigns partnering with the MLK Memorial Foundation and Amnesty International, as well as directing Jay-Z's politically charged music visual "Kill Jay-Z."

Season two of Ryan Murphy's Pose—a groundbreaking TV series about New York City ballroom culture with a largely transgender cast—will star stage actress Patti LuPone and take place around March 1990, when Madonna released the "Vogue" track which introduced ballroom culture to the mainstream, Queerty noted. Madonna is not slated to play herself or appear in the series. At PaleyFest, Murphy told trans actress MJ Rodriguez and gay actor Billy Porter that they'd both have plenty of scenes with LuPone.

Since the new season of Queer Eye premiered on Netflix and viewers were able to see the Fab 5 make over their first lesbian, donations to a GoFundMe page to help send 23-year-old Jess Guilbeaux back to college have been rolling in, Advocate.com noted. The episode entitled "Black Girl Magic" has the Queer Eye guys headed to Lawrence, Kan., where they meet Guilbeaux, a lesbian of color who was kicked out of her home at 16 when her adoptive religious parents found out she is gay. Now, a GoFundMe page to send Guilbeaux ( who was forced to drop out of college ) back to school has racked up about $12,000 in an approximately 24-hour period.

Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher is denying that a gay scene in the biopic will be censored following a report from the Daily Mail that claimed Paramount Studios wanted to edit the scene, The Washington Blade noted. The 40-second scene featured Elton John ( Taron Egerton ) and John's manager/lover John Reid ( Richard Madden ) showing off their "fully exposed white derrieres." Fletcher took to Twitter to deny the report, calling it "nothing but rumors."

Singer Adele and actress Jennifer Lawrence appeared together at NYC drag bar Pieces, NewNowNext.com noted. They stole the spotlight during drag queen Brita Filter's show, where the stars reportedly played some sort of dancing-drinking game with members of the New York City Gay Men's Chorus. One attendee later tweeted, "Adele and Jennifer Lawrence last night at Pieces NYC LIVINGGGGGG."

Actor Ryan Phillippe told Entertainment Weekly he knew that his nude scene in the 1999 film Cruel Intention affected other men in an erotic way, Out.com noted. "I felt okay with [showing] my butt," Phillippe said. "Everybody has a butt, it's really not that graphic. So many guys on Twitter are, like, 'That's the moment I knew I was gay,' and there have been guys like, 'I behaved like Sebastian to get laid!' Which I never did." Also, Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar also talked to the publication about their infamous kiss, which landed them an MTV Movie Award for best kiss.

The longest-running series on the CW is coming to an end, as Supernatural will wrap its run after its upcoming 15th season, which will consist of 20 episodes, Deadline noted. Stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram. Supernatural ( which is the last remaining series from the CW's predecessors, the WB and UPN ) will end its run after 327 episodes, ranking as the longest-running sci-fi/genre series in the history of U.S. broadcast television.

Lizzo has been added to the entertainment line-up of the 30th GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, Deadline.com noted. In addition to Lizzo performing her hit song "Juice" to open the annual ceremony, GLAAD announced additional LGBTQIA+ luminaries and allies as presenters including Lena Waithe, Janet Mock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meghan Trainor, Olivia Munn, Erika Jayne, Adam Rippon, Hayley Kiyoko, and Barbara Corcoran. The ceremony will take place on March 28 at the Beverly Hilton.

Hours after news broke that Armie Hammer isn't interested in making a sequel to Call Me By Your Name, Andre Aciman has announced that he is officially writing a sequel to the novel the film is based on, Out.com noted. Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux shared a statement confirming that a sequel is being written. The follow-up, Find Me, will once again center around the Pearlman family and the man who changed their lives forever. Find Me will be published Oct. 29.

A parade of well-seasoned soap operas populates the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards nominations, Deadline.com noted. Days of Our Lives leads all programs with 27 noms, edging General Hospital's 25. The Outstanding Morning Program race also features the usual suspects ( CBS Sunday Morning, CBS This Morning, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ) as does the Entertainment Talk Show category, whose nominees are the same as last year—defending champ The Talk, The Real, The View and The Ellen Degeneres Show—except for Netflix's A Little Help with Carol Burnett getting the nom over Live with Kelly & Ryan. Judge Judy Sheindlin and chef Jacques Pepin will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards. The hardware will be handed out Sunday, May 5, during the the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

To mark the 30th anniversary of her Like a Prayer album, Madonna noted on social media that there's music related to the CD. On Twitter, she posted, "Madonna fans! To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Like A Prayer album, we are happy to share a devoted playlist including some of the album's original songs, remixes and more." The new Like A Prayer album is available on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and Deezer.

Roseanne Barr told The Washington Post that co-star Sara Gilbert was to blame for the Roseanne reboot's cancellation, USA Today noted. Barr caused an uproar in May 2018 when she posted what many considered a racist tweet about Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett; reaction was swift, with the network dropping its highest-rated show within hours. "[Gilbert] destroyed the show and my life with that tweet [condemning what Barr posted]," Barr told the publication. "She will never get enough until she consumes my liver with a fine Chianti."

In a related item, ABC has picked up The Conners ( which sprang from the Roseanne reboot once Barr was fired ) for a second season, an ABC press release noted. The show ranks as television's number-one new comedy this season in total viewers ( 9.5 million people/week ). The series stars John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner-Healy and Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy.

Despite the fallout from the release of the documentary Leaving Neverland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has no intention of making any changes to its Michael Jackson exhibits, Page Six reported. In a statement to Page Six, the Hall said it was separating the artist from the art, stating that it had recognized Jackson solely for his contribution to music. Jackson's sister Janet Jackson will join the singer in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame when she is inducted in later this week.

Cardi B has filed paperwork with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for her catchphrase "okurrr," IHeart.com noted. According to court documents obtained by Billboard, the rapper's company, Washpoppin, Inc., filed the trademark March 11 for her catchphrase to be printed on items like "paper goods, namely paper cups and posters."

On the heels of winning three awards at the 61st Grammys, breakthrough lesbian musician Brandi Carlile was featured on CBS News Sunday Morning on March 24, a press release noted. The piece celebrated Carlile's landmark year following the release of her Grammy Award-winning album, By The Way, I Forgive You. Carlile and her band have released six albums, including 2015's The Firewatcher's Daughter, which garnered a Grammy nod for Best Americana Album.

Sutton Foster—star of TV's Younger and a two-time Tony Award winner—will co-star with Hugh Jackman in next year's Broadway revival of The Music Man, Deadline.com noted. Jackman tweeted a photo of himself ( see it above ) dancing with Foster with the message, "For our next dance…@sfosternyc is #Marian @MusicManBway." Producer Scott Rudin confirmed the casting. Jerry Zaks will direct, with Warren Carlyle choreographing.

The story of TLC will hit the stage, Complex.com noted. Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas explained to Cheddar that she and her groupmate Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins have been working on music, but not necessarily for a new album. "We have so many stories to tell," Thomas said. "We didn't tell it all in our biopic we did with VH1. A lot of good stuff. It's gonna be very emotional but a good ride."

Nearly 10 years after Brittany Murphy's sudden passing, the cast of the hit '90s movie Clueless are looking back on working with the late actress, Page Six noted. "She was really lovely to work with," Alicia Silverstone, who starred as Cher Horowitz, told an audience at the C2E2 Expo in Chicago. Paul Rudd chimed in, "She was just always so smiley and sweet." Breckin Meyer—who played Tai's love interest, Travis Birkenstock—called Murphy "ridiculously talented," while Donald Faison listed off that she could also sing and dance. Murphy died in December 2009, when she was just 32, from pneumonia and a mix of legal prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Full House actor John Stamos is currently on tour with the Beach Boys—but his Dallas show got off to a rough start when Stamos ripped his pants, Page Six noted. "First time Tom Ford has ever let me down. Ripped pants five minutes in to @TheBeachBoys show in Dallas," he tweeted. "I think that Jonas kid is behind this! ( or my butt is getting bigger — ) #Rippers #Beachbums." Nick Jonas and Stamos have been embroiled in a fake feud for months, wearing each other's faces printed on T-shirts, hoodies and even a duvet cover.

In a plea deal unveiled in LA Superior Court, Ray Donovan co-star Marion "Pooch" Hall won't be facing a potential six years behind bars for charges of driving under the influence and endangering his 2-year-old son last fall, Deadline noted. Instead, Hall saw his child-endangerment felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor; that resulted in Hall receiving three years probation and having his driver's license suspended for six months. He also has to enter into a three-month alcohol abuse seminar and complete a one-year parenting class.


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