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SHOWBIZ Martha Stewart, Angelica Ross, gay wrestler, Rosie, COVID-19 items
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-03-24

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Emmy-winning television personality, cookbook author and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart helps guide six talented amateur bakers in the new primetime series Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart, premiering Monday, May 4, on Food Network, a press release noted. Together with host Jesse Palmer, Stewart leads the bakers through challenges each episode that test their skills over two rounds, with the most impressive baker of the first heat getting a personal one-on-one mentoring session with Stewart in her home kitchen. ( Carla Hall and Dan Langan will be the judges. ) The overall winner will get a kitchen filled with appliances worth $25,000.

Pose star Angelica Ross claims she found out via social media that the man she had been dating actually has a fiancee and child—and the actress shared the information with her 73,000 followers on Twitter, Page Six noted. At one point, she posted, "The internet is AMAZING. I've been talking to the mother of his son and fiance all morning. #PlotTwist!" She then posted a simple screenshot of her listening to music on her phone, with the caption, "#NowPlaying Call Your Girlfriend @robynkonichiwa @TIDAL."

Recently, pro wrestler Mike Parrow married longtime boyfriend Morgan Cole in what Parrow called the "perfect" ceremony, Out.com noted. "Thank you to our friends that were able [to] join us, especially during the current circumstances and all the others who sent well wishes, it meant the world to us," Parrow tweeted. "The wedding was perfect! It does get better!" Parrow came out in 2017.

Rosie O'Donnell's talk show returned for one night only, on March 22, to serve as a fundraiser for The Actors Fund—an organization that provides numerous services for people in need in the performing arts and entertainment business, Variety noted. The evening raised more than $500,000, which included $100,000 from O'Donnell. Just a few of the guests on the three-and-a-half-hour show included Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Billy Porter, Patti LuPone, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Gloria Estefan, Tituss Burgess, Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Barry Manilos and Gavin Creel ( who revealed for the first time that he thinks he has coronavirus because he has symptoms ). The show can be seen on Broadway.com .

Oprah Winfrey launched a new Apple TV+ series, Oprah Talks COVID-19, that will offer timely conversations amid the coronavirus outbreak, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The first episode features the host checking in with Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, who have both been in quarantine following Elba's recent positive test result for the novel coronavirus. ( Dhowre revealed that she's also positive. ) Throughout the series, Winfrey will continue to have remote conversations with experts and people facing challenges caused by the pandemic. The first episode can be seen at apple.co/-oprahtalks.

Ryan Reynolds asked people to support their local food banks in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Straight.com noted. Reynolds tweeted, "I think we can all agree, Covid-19 is an asshole. If you can help, visit, FeedingAmerica.org and/or http://FoodBanksCanada.ca." In addition, he and wife Blake Lively have donated $1 million in total to two different food banks across the United States and Canada.

Cirque du Soleil—the Montreal-based entertainment company that is the largest contemporary circus producer in the world—has temporarily laid off almost its entire workforce after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to cancel shows, Page Six reported. Job cuts will affect 95% of its staff, more than 4,000 people, the company said in a statement. It added that it hopes to support workers during the disruption and "rebuild once the global crisis subsides." Cirque has now shut down all 44 of its productions around the world.

Comedian Kathy Griffin shared on her social-media accounts that her mother, who she called her best friend, passed away on St. Patrick's Day at age 99, CNN.com noted. "My Mom, the one and only, Maggie Griffin, passed away today," she wrote. "I am gutted. My best friend. I am shaking. I won't ever be prepared. I'm so grateful you guys got to be part of her life. You knew her. You loved her. She knew it. Oh, and OF COURSE she went on St. Patrick's Day." Maggie Griffin became a fan favorite her daughter's reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, and was frequently a guest at her daughter's events and appearances.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder tossed a $2.8-million copyright infringement case against pop star Katy Perry, Page Six noted. Snyder found that Capitol Records and the team that worked on Perry's "Dark Horse" in 2013—which includes Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald—are not liable for infringing on Christian rapper Flame's song, "Joyful Noise." Snyder found that Gray failed the "extrinsic test," which, per the Hollywood Reporter, "requires that a copyright plaintiff identify concrete elements based on objective criteria that the works are similar."

Former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein filed a lawsuit against Netflix for what she claims was a defamatory portrayal of her in the Ava DuVernay series When They See Us, NBC News noted. Fairstein was dropped by her publisher and resigned from several organizations last year after the series inspired scrutiny over her role in the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of five teenagers of color in the 1990s. The youths, dubbed the "Central Park Five" by the media at the time of the case, were eventually exonerated in 2002.

Kenny Rogers, whose legendary music career spanned nearly six decades, passed at age 81, CNN.com reported. Rogers was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013, for what the hall of fame called a "distinctive, husky voice." He had 24 number-one hits and throughout his career, more than 50 million albums sold in the United States alone. Some of his hits included "Lady," "The Gambler," "Lucille," "We've Got Tonight," "Coward of the County," "Islands In The Stream" and "Through the Years."

Singer Sam Smith posted a video on social media, taking a moment to talk directly to their fans about living in the age of COVID-19, Billboard.com noted. "This is a weird, weird, weird time," Smith said, adding that they're staying indoors not just to stay socially distant, but also due to a headache and some allergies. "I just wanted to reach out to every one of you and send my love. I really hope you're OK." Smith urged their fans to take the threat of coronavirus as seriously as possible, saying that their actions could directly affect the health and well-being of the vulnerable around them.

The Met Gala will not go ahead as scheduled, on May 4, because of COVID-19 concerns, CNN.com noted. The annual red carpet event, hosted by Vogue editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, is a celebrity-packed fundraiser for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since 2005, the event has been held on the first Monday in May. This year's exhibition, "About Time: Fashion and Duration," is sponsored by luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton. It has been billed as a journey through the history of fashion from 1870 to the present

With the Broadway League weighing CDC recommendations for an additional four weeks of dark theaters, the likelihood of this year's Tony Awards staying on schedule is shrinking, Deadline noted. Many theater insiders said they are expecting the planned June 7 ceremony at Radio City Music Hall to be postponed—or even scrapped altogether—due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. CBS has broadcast the Tonys for 42 consecutive years.

Charli XCX announced a program of daily online events, aimed at providing support to those currently self-isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release noted. Taking place on Instagram live each day, Charli will invite various guests to spark conversation, share insight or simply entertain fans across the world who are currently practicing social distancing. Last week, guests were slated to include Rita Ora, Diplo and Kim Petras.

Fargo, starring Chris Rock, jumped onto the long list of productions in Chicago currently on hiatus, ReelChicago.com noted. This season, being its fourth installment thus far, is one of four FX films nationwide that suspended filming as of March 14. However, one production that did make it to the end without too many complications from the current COVID-19 situation is MCM's slasher film Candyman.

According to a post from Schitt's Creek creator/co-star Dan Levy, on April 7, when the finale of the show airs, it will be joined by an hour-long special. Titled Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt's Creek Farewell, Out.com noted. The special will include behind-the-scenes footage and commentary by Levy and the team on creating special Schitt's moments. Also, the cast has confirmed there will be a comedy tour set to kick off in May, although that's likely to be rescheduled given the coronavirus outbreak.

Showtime released the trailer for the Emmy-winning documentary series Vice ahead of its premiere on Sunday, March 29, a press relese noted. The 13-episode season will deliver immersive reporting from the frontlines of global conflicts, civil uprisings and beyond, tackling complex geopolitical stories from all corners of the globe. Kicking off the season premiere, Vice's team gained unique access at Camp al-Hol in northeastern Syria—where tens of thousands of women and children who once lived under ISIS are currently being held. The season trailer is at https://youtu.be/qdOTW9_0woc.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences ( NATAS ) said that its 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony—set for June in Pasadena—has been canceled, Deadline reported. The move came after NATAS announced it would postpone its annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards and its Sports Emmy Awards due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Bravo exec Andy Cohen and former Bachelor Colton Underwood have ( separately ) said they've tested positive for the coronavirus, Deadline noted. Cohen wrote on Instagram, "As much as I felt like I could push through whatever I was feeling to do [Watch What Happens Live] from home, we're putting a pin in that for now so I can focus on getting better." In a video posted to social media, Underwood said, "I'm 28; I consider myself pretty healthy I work out regularly, I eat healthy, I became symptomatic a few days ago, got my test results back today and they are positive. ... It's been kicking my ass, just to put it very bluntly. For those wondering what my symptoms are: headache, body aches, night sweats, fever, shortness of breath and a cough."

Miley Cyrus turned to her Hannah Montana past to offer some insight into quarantine life amid the COVID-19 pandemic, iHeart.com noted. "Day 2 quarantine. This is the REAL ME. RIGHT NOW," Cyrus captioned a clip of Montana, wearing a face mask and attempting to clean a dirty bathroom. In a follow-up post, she weighed in on the social distancing suggestion: "Social F—-ing Distancing," she captioned a photo of Montana sharing her dislike for people touching her, adding, #HannahAlwaysKnowsBest.

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to close movie theaters and affect release dates, Disney has officially announced that it's postponing three of its scheduled May releases: Black Widow ( May 1 ), Dev Patel's The Personal History of David Copperfield ( May 8 ), and the Amy Adams-starring The Woman in the Window ( May 15 ), EW.com reported. No new release dates have been announced yet. A number of other films have already been affected, and while some have already snagged new release dates for later this year or even 2021—like No Time to Die and Fast & Furious 9—others are still in limbo, like Disney's already-moved Mulan, Antlers and The New Mutants.

For the first time since 1945, the Run for the Roses will not take place on the first Saturday in May, ESPN.com noted. Churchill Downs announced that the 146th Kentucky Derby will be moved from May 2 to Sept. 5, contingent upon final approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The 146th Kentucky Oaks also has been rescheduled, for Sept. 4.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams recently said she is "on edge" as she revealed the impact self-isolating is having on her psychologically amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, CNN.com noted. The 23-time grand slam winner said last week she would be entering into six weeks of "solitude" to take precautions against contracting COVID-19, only spending time with her family. "Now I've been social distancing for actually a really long time, for probably two weeks now, and every little thing makes me crazy," Williams said. "Any time anyone sneezes around me or coughs I get crazy."

Filming of the untitled unscripted Friends reunion special ( with all six original stars ) for HBO Max has been postponed until May over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Deadline noted. If the current new production date holds, the special will still be ready for the launch of HBO Max, also slated for May.

Art fair Frieze New York canceled its 2020 edition because of the coronavirus pandemic, Page Six noted. The fair was to take place on Randall's Island May 7-10. The fair's LA edition successfully went off last month with attendees including Jennifer Lopez, Kendall Jenner, Leo DiCaprio and ASAP Rocky among others at Paramount Studios.

Pop star Bebe Rexha has been offering money to fans who lost their jobs over the coronavirus shutdown—while revealing she knows someone who died from the deadly contagion, Page Six noted. "A friend of a friend just died of corona at the age of 45," she revealed, offering no further details. The star asked a series of fans who wrote saying they had lost their jobs to "message me your cash app username I'll send you money."

Placido Domingo and his family are isolating in self-quarantine after the opera singer tested positive for coronavirus, Billboard.com noted. On March 22, Domingo shared that he had suffered from a fever and coughing—two symptoms of COVID-19—before he receiving his test results. The news came at the end of a week in which Domingo resigned from the American Guild of Musical Artists ( AGMA ) and donated $500,000 toward eradication programs for sexual harassment following an investigation into sexual-misconduct allegations against him.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens was accused of making insensitive remarks about the coronavirus pandemic in an Instagram video in which she said deaths are "terrible but ... inevitable," NBC News noted. "Um, yeah, 'til July sounds like a bunch of bulls—-. I'm sorry," Hudgens, who has 38.4 million followers, said of the potential length of the social distancing in this country. She later apologized in a statement on her Twitter account, saying she was "so sorry" for the way she has "offended anyone and everyone" who saw the clip from her Instagram Live.

Lyle Waggoner—a familiar face to millions of viewers from his work on The Carol Burnett Show and Wonder Woman in the 1960s and 1970s—died at his home in California, his family said in a statement, citing cancer as the cause of death, USA Today noted. He was 84. Blessed with leading-man good looks, Waggoner sometimes played the love interest for Burnett in comedic sketches. The tall, square-jawed Kansas City, Kansas, native screen-tested for the TV Batman role, and was a semi-nude centerfold for Playgirl magazine in 1973.

The Killers shared the details of their forthcoming sixth studio album, Imploding The Mirage, which is set for release on May 29 on Island Records, a press release noted. The list of featured artists includes Lindsey Buckingham, kd lang, Weyes Blood, Adam Granduciel ( War on Drugs ), Blake Mills and Lucius, and the first single is "Caution." Since the release of their 2004 debut, Hot Fuss, The Killers have sold 28 million albums.

Birds of Prey and the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn arrived on Digital on March 24, a press release noted. Directed by Cathy Yan ( Dead Pigs ) from a script by Christina Hodson ( Bumblebee ), the film is based on characters from DC. The main cast includes Margot Robbie, as Harley Quinn; Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as Huntress; Jurnee Smollett-Bell, as Black Canary; Rosie Perez, as Renee Montoya; Chris Messina, as Victor Zsasz; and Ewan McGregor, as DC Super-Villain Roman Sionis/Black Mask.

Sonic the Hedgehog will debut early for purchase on Digital March 31 from Paramount Home Entertainment, a press release noted. The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and for rental on demand or disc May 19. Sonic is voiced by Ben Schwartz, while Jim Carrey and James Marsden also star in the film.

With the nation's exhibition infrastructure on its knees, and temporarily closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Columbia Pictures made its Vin Diesel action pic Bloodshot available for electronic sell-through on March 24 for the retail price of $19.99, Deadline noted. Similar to Universal's decision of pushing its recent theatrical fare—The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma—into the home, the best way for Sony to recoup any money here on this $45M Vin Diesel movies is now via a digital release.

Showtime announced that it will offer a 30-day free trial to new customers, available now, a press release stated. Viewers who sign up before May 3 can access the network's original series, documentaries, specials and movies online via the Showtime streaming service by going to Showtime.com or the network's app, available on all supported devices. Just some of the series include Homeland ( in its final season ), Shameless, Billions, Ray Donovan, Black Monday, The L Word: Generation Q, The Chi, Back To Life, Kidding and Work in Progress.

For the duration of social distancing/quarantine practices in the United States, Diplo will live stream DJ sets from his house five nights per week, a press release noted. They include A Very Lazer Sunday, paying homage to his group, Major Lazer's, dancehall and reggae roots, airing Sundays at 1 p.m. PT; a mixed-bag Ronatronix set Tuesdays at 7 p.m. PT ( the name a throwback to the iconic Hollertronix parties that launched his career ); country-flecked variety show The Thomas Wesley Show Thursdays at 7 p.m. PT; ambient Corona Sabbath Fridays at 7 p.m. PT; and a good, old fashioned Coronight Fever rave Saturday nights at 8 p.m. PT. In an unprecedented coordinated effort, major publishers and record labels will allow the archived streams to live on YouTube ( youtube.com/diplo ) and to be monetized by respective rights holders, with royalties being paid to all those whose music is played in the shows.

Pop singer/Spice Girls member Melanie C has returned with the release of her new single, "Who I Am," a press release noted. Also revealed is the single's official music video, which the release says shows "a deeper, more biographical meaning to the track." Directed by Sylvie Weber, the video details the various chapters in Melanie's career ( and the dissecting from the public ).

Harvey Weinstein tested positive for the novel coronavirus while in prison, Deadline noted. Just days after being transferred to the Wende Correctional Facility from NYC's Rikers Island, the Oscar-winning producer and convicted rapist is now in medical isolation. Weinstein, 68, is one of two prisoners at the 961-capacity maximum security facility just east of Buffalo who was put in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Oprah Winfrey denied online rumors that her Boca Raton, Florida, estate had been raided by law enforcement and she had been arrested for sex trafficking, according to Page Six. "Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It's NOT TRUE," Winfrey wrote. "Haven't been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self-distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody."

Former Chicago P.D. actress Sophia Bush sold her three-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot penthouse condo in the West Loop for $1.97 million, The Chicago Tribune noted. Through a land trust, Bush in 2015 paid $1.6 million for the penthouse condo, which is on the seventh floor of the Acorn Lofts building.


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