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SHOWBIZ Matt Bomer, Todrick Hall, Chely Wright, 'Drag Race,' U.S. Open
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-08-27

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Matt Bomer will return for the revived Will & Grace's third and final season in the recurring role of McCoy Whitman, NewNowNext.com noted, citing TheWrap. In the second season finale, he and boyfriend Will ( Eric McCormack ) had just gotten engaged. Guest stars Vanessa Bayer and Blythe Danner are also set to reprise their roles as Amy, a bakery owner, and Will's mother, Marilyn Truman, respectively. Will & Grace, which ran on NBC for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006, returned in 2017 with all four original leads: McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes.

Following their viral performance at World Pride 2019 in New York City, Ciara joined singer-songwriter/choreographer Todrick Hall to release the remix for "Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels," a press release announced. The new remix comes off the heels of Ciara's performance at Montreal Pride.

Out country-music star Chely Wright was invited back to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time since coming out in 2010, LGBTQ Nation noted. She sang her 1999 hit "Single White Female" but changed a line to "A single white female, looking for a girl like you," as well as "Shut Up and Drive." Wright first played the Opry 30 years ago.

RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 queens A'Keria Chanel Davenport, Soju and Silky Nutmeg Ganache spent a day volunteering at LGBTQ organization The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, a press release noted. The queens participated in a discussion about mental health and online bullying, during which they shared their different experiences both as bullies as well as survivors. A video of the discussion is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF0UfYjjoRs&feature=youtu.be.

The USTA event "Open Pride" debuted as a part of 2019 US Open Fan Week on Aug. 22, USOpen.org noted. The event also featured a panel presentation, entitled "Love All: An Open Conversation," in association with the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. Former NBA player Jason Collins, former MLB player Billy Bean, former ATP player and USTA board member Brian Vahaly, Olympic medalist/figure skater Adam Rippon, tennis legend Billie Jean King, and Belgian active WTA players and partners Greet Minnen and Alison van Uytvanck spoke, with sports commentator/journalist Nick McCarvel hosting.

Soul Train—the iconic music variety series created and hosted by Don Cornelius beginning in 1971 that showcased mostly Black musicians—may have a Broadway run, Deadline noted. Playwright Dominique Morisseau ( Ain't Too Proud ), director Kamilah Forbes ( Meet Vera Stark ) and choreographer Camille A. Brown ( Choir Boy, Once on This Island ) will form the nucleus of the creative team, with The Roots' Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson ( The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon ) as an executive producer. The musical will feature more than 20 hit songs from the era while telling the personal story of Cornelius as he creates the television series.

In a cover interview for Rolling Stone magazine, singer-actor Harry Styles talked about his "aura of sexual ambiguity" and why his new album is about sex and heartbreak, according to PinkNews. The article says, in part, "On his first solo tour, he frequently waved the pride, bi, and trans flags, along with the Black Lives Matter flag." When asked why he does, the entertainer said, "I want to make people feel comfortable being whatever they want to be. Maybe at a show you can have a moment of knowing that you're not alone. I'm aware that, as a white male, I don't go through the same things as a lot of the people that come to the shows."

GLAAD praised Bachelor in Paradise's episode in which a contestant on the series spoke openly about coming to terms with her sexuality, which affected her path to finding a potential love interest on the show, according to a press release. "'Bachelor in Paradise's' inclusion of Demi Burnett's coming out story and her journey to accepting her queer identity is groundbreaking for the series," said Anthony Ramos, GLAAD's head of talent. "Tens of millions of people around the world watch 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' franchises and this move to include a same-sex relationship in an honest fashion has the power to upend preconceived notions of LGBTQ people like Demi who are attracted to more than one gender."

On Sept. 17, the horror movie Annabelle Comes Home will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers, including Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others, a press release noted. On Oct. 8, "Annabelle" will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles. The plot is as follows: Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc on innocent victims, demonologists Ed ( Patrick Wilson ) and Lorraine Warren ( Vera Farmiga ) lock the possessed doll in their home's special artifact room, placing her behind sacred glass—but the doll escapes and awakens the room's evil spirits.

On Saturday, Oct. 12 ( National Coming Out Day ), actors Judy Reyes ( TNT's Claws ), Roselyn Sanchez ( Grand Hotel ) and Eric Winter ( The Good Doctor ) will join La Golda creator George Valencia for the second-season premiere of the series in Los Angeles, a press release noted. The bilingual ( English/Spanish ) animation series stars an orphaned heroine who travels around the world playing soccer for issues that affect kids.

Former X Factor contestant Naisa Lasalosi is currently making the rounds on the internet after his boyfriend, Adam Price, proposed to him, Instinct Magazine noted. As for Lasalosi, he joined the conversation over on Instagram to express his love and joy to be partnered with Price. "I love you A. I love everything about you. My heart leaps!" he wrote. "Cheers to forever catching the sun and sleeping under stars together."

Recently, Arrow star Colton Haynes took a different tone on his Instagram account as he addressed how projecting "a curated life" has taken a toll on his mental health, Instinct Magazine noted. The post, which he labeled "Throwback," included a collection of selfies from what appear to be past hospital stays. "I don't want worrying about if I look hot or not on Instagram to be my legacy," Haynes wrote. "I don't want to skirt around the truth to please other people or to gain economic success." In March of this year, Haynes openly addressed his struggles with mental health and addiction with Attitude Magazine saying, "In 10 years, there were maybe 25 days I didn't drink."

Miley Cyrus revealed, on Twitter, discussed her split from husband Liam Hemsworth, Vogue.com noted. The singer tweeted, "I can accept that the life I've chosen means I must live completely open and transparent with my fans who I love, and the public, 100% of the time. What I cannot accept is being told I'm lying to cover up a crime I haven't committed. I have nothing to hide." What followed was a series of tweets, including one that read, "But the truth is, once Liam & I reconciled,I meant it, & I was committed. There are NO secrets to uncover here. I've learned from every experience in my life. I'm not perfect, I don't want to be, it's boring. I've grown up in front of you, but the bottom line is, I HAVE GROWN UP."

In another Cyrus-related item, she made an admission about why she didn't appear in Hotel Transylvania as planned, People.com noted. Cyrus was originally attached to the movie in late 2011 to voice Mavis, the daughter of Adam Sandler's Dracula—but was replaced by Selena Gomez. Cyrus claimed she was actually "kicked off" the family-friendly film after a photo of her with a penis cake for then-boyfriend Liam Hemsworth surfaced. Sony Pictures had not responded to the claim.

Three days after being arrested by District of Columbia police for the alleged sexual assault and attempt to blackmail a woman he met on an online dating site, t Motion Picture Association of America general counsel Steve Fabrizio has been axed from the Hollywood lobbyist organization, Deadline reported. The incidents in question are said to have occurred Aug. 23.

Rapper Young Thug talked with veteran radio-show host Big Boy—and addressed rumors about his own sexuality, BET.com noted. The trap icon's gender-fluid fashion choices ( such as wearing a blue dress on the cover of his 2016 Jeffrey mixtape ) have resulted in some people spewing homophobia online toward him. Thug said, "People judge me and say 'gay.' If people think that I'm gay, they've already misjudged. I'm the straightest man in the world." Thug also discussed saying he wished Lil Nas X had not publicly come out to the world at large, stating, "[J]ust seeing how everything is and how he's taking...he don't give a f**k. He always said he looked up to me, too, so I know he don't care."

Taylor Swift is moving ahead in her clash with Scooter Braun, revealing plans to re-record her music catalog that fell into his hands, HuffPost noted. The "Shake It Off" singer intends to go back into the studio and re-record songs from her first six albums after the megaproducer and entrepreneur acquired her masters in a controversial $300-million deal with her former record label, Big Machine.

Viola Davis is set to portray Michelle Obama in First Ladies—a one-hour White House drama that has been put on fast-track development at Showtime with a three-script commitment, Deadline noted. The series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of our most enigmatic heroes, with season one focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Obama.

Celebrity chef Cat Cora has sued a kitchen appliance company for allegedly stiffing her $100,000 on a promotional contract, Page Six noted. In a lawsuit, the former Iron Chef—who is now a judge on ABC's Family Food Fight"—says she signed a deal with Gourmia in June 2018 to pay her monthly installments totaling $300,000 a year. In January, Cora won a $565,000 judgement against since-shuttered restaurant Fatbird for unpaid consulting fees.

In the entertainment-news world, ET just said goodbye to anchor Nancy O'Dell; Extra's Mario Lopez left for Access Hollywood, which lost Natalie Morales; and E! News laid off 20 staffers and announced a move to New York as a morning program—and, now, Access has axed six to 10 editors, The Hollywood Reporter noted. As for Lopez, he's expected to start on Access ( joining Kit Hoover and Scott Evans ) Monday, Sept. 9, despite a recent spate of controversy for transphobic comments he made on The Candace Owens Show; he has since apologized.

Now in its seventh year, the LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL Music & Arts Festival—which takes over Downtown Las Vegas on Sept. 20-22 with headliners Chance the Rapper, Black Keys, Post Malone, Billie Eilish and Vampire Weekend—is unveiling the full line-up for The Kicker, Comedy & More, a press release noted. Comedians and pop-culture stars include headliner Fred Armisen, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' Alaska, The Bachelorette's Kaitlyn Bristowe and Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness, among others.

Tom Bergeron, the longtime host of ABC's Dancing With The Stars, isn't happy with the booking of Sean Spicer, Donald Trump's former White House press secretary, as a contestant for the upcoming season, Deadline reported. In a tweet following the casting announcement, Spicer wrote that he had hoped the upcoming 28 season "would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations." People.com noted that some of the other cast members will include Lamar Odom, Hannah Brown, Christie Brinkley, Karamo Brown, Kel Mitchell and The Supremes' Mary Wilson; the show's newest season premieres Sept. 16 on ABC.

A federal judge hearing the city of Chicago's lawsuit against Jussie Smollett says she'll rule on the actor's request to toss the suit in October, Billboard.com noted. The Aug. 20 status hearing was the first since the civil case was moved to federal court from state court. The city is accusing Smollett of staging a racist and anti-gay attack against himself on Jan. 29. It sued to force Smollett to pay $130,000 in police overtime and other expenses after state prosecutors dropped charges accusing him of filing a false report.

SAG-AFTRA presidential candidate Matthew Modine is crying foul over a Los Angeles Times article that alleged that Modine had accepted in-kind campaign contributions from his "employer"—the for-profit New York Film Academy, on whose board of directors he sits, Deadline reported. His opponent, current SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, blasted Modine—but he insisted the premise of the article is wrong.

City of Hope—an independent cancer research and treatment center—announced the artists and creators who will receive special recognition at the Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Group's 15th Annual Songs of Hope on Sept. 19, a press release stated. Producer Boi-1da and songwriter Diane Warren will receive the Clive Davis "Legend in Songwriting" Award; composer/lyricist Marc Shaiman will receive the Electronic Arts "Composer of the Year" Award; songwriter/recording artist Tierra Whack will receive the Universal Music Publishing Group "She Is The Music" Award; Facebook will present the "Facebook Songwriter Impact" Award to Hayley Kiyoko; The Dream will receive the Warner Chappell Music "Beacon of Excellence" Award; and Linda Malkas, Ph.D. will receive the Songs of Hope Beverly and Ben Horowitz Legacy Award. Legendary producer and songwriter Jimmy Jam will serve as emcee.

One of Disney Channel's biggest hits, Lizzie McGuire, is coming back with a revival at the upcoming streaming platform Disney+, according to Deadline. Hilary Duff is set to reprise her title role in the new series, which comes from the original series' creator Terri Minsky. In the reimagined version—a sequel to the 2001 Disney Channel series—Lizzie McGuire ( Duff ) is a 30-year-old millennial navigating life in New York City.

The Walking Dead's Christian Serratos may be moving to Netflix, as the actress is in negotiations to star as late Tejano music favorite Selena Quintanilla in a scripted series for the streamer, Billboard.com reported. Serratos has played comic book favorite Rosita since the fourth season of the zombie drama, which is based on the recently concluded comic book series from creator Robert Kirkman.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington has been confirmed to star in Marvel's The Eternals, Deadline revealed. Marvel boss Kevin Feige said Harington will play non-Eternal Dane Whitman in the pic, which now marks Harington's next film. Harington, who played Jon Snow on "Thrones" for eight seasons, now joins an Eternals cast that includes Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Lia McHugh, Don Lee and Gemma Chan.

Disney announced at the D23 Expo that it has set May 6, 2022, as the release date for Black Panther 2, Deadline noted. Director Ryan Coolger—who returns to helm and write the sequel to the fourth highest-grossing film of all time in North America—revealed the news onstage at the Anaheim Convention Center alongside Marvel's Kevin Feige. Chadwick Boseman starred in the first film, along with Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Latitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, Forest Whitaker and Sterling K. Brown.

Just over a year after splitting with her longtime producing partner Jenni Konner, Lena Dunham has launched a new production company, Good Thing Going, which will be based at Dunham's longtime home, HBO, Deadline noted. The company is already working on a full slate of projects across film, television, theater and podcasting.

Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Paula Cole is set for the release of her 10th full-length album, Revolution, on Sept. 13 via 675 Records, a press release noted. In celebration of the upcoming release, Cole is premiering her cover of the Marvin Gaye classic "The Ecology ( Mercy Mercy Me )," via Billboard. Produced by Chris Bruce ( Seal, Meshell Ndegeocello, My Brightest Diamond ) alongside Cole ( a Grammy-nominated producer herself ), the album delves into the themes of gender identity, race and age.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office can't or won't say why, but the criminal case against the man who allegedly stole Frances McDormand's Best Actress Oscar in 2018 is over—at least for now, Deadline noted. Terry Bryant was up against a felony grand-theft charge for lifting the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star's statuette at the post-ceremony Governors Ball—and there was video showing him with the award. Out on $20,000 bail after being arrested on March 6 last year, Bryant faced a maximum sentence of three years in county jail if convicted of stealing the award, which was quickly recovered.

Kate Spade's Upper East Side co-op has sold just over a year after her death, Page Six revealed. The prewar site—which was on the market for $6.35 million and is now in contract—overlooks Park Avenue at 77th Street Spade's widower, Andy, and daughter Bea moved to the West Coast following her passing in June 2018.

The criminal trial of Harvey Weinstein has been pushed from a September start to Jan. 6, Deadline noted. Weinstein entered a not guilty plea Aug. 26 to a new indictment related to the sexual-assault charges from multiple women he has faced for more than a year. The new indictment adds two additional charges of sexual assault to the existing charges; prosecutors had argued the additional indictment was necessary in order to allow actress Annabella Sciorra to testify in the trial.

Michael Benjamin Washington—recently seen on Broadway in The Boys in the Band—will star in the upcoming Signature Theatre production of Anna Deavere Smith's Fires in the Mirror, Playbill noted. Helmed by Saheem Ali, the monologue play marks the first production of Smith's residency at the off-Broadway venue. Fires in the Mirror ( running Oct. 22, ahead of a Nov. 11 opening, through Nov. 24 ) is MacArthur Award winner Smith's response to the 1991 riots that took place in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights.

GMA's Lara Spencer has apologized for laughing about Prince George taking ballet after getting blowback, Page Six noted. When discussing the curriculum at the 6-year-old's school during Good Morning America, Spencer revealed that in addition to math and reading, the young royal will also participate in religious studies, computer programing, poetry and ballet, sparking laughter from the host and their live audience. So You Think You Can Dance artistic director Travis Wall posted a video condemning Spencer for laughing, but later accepted her apology. Celebrities such as Rosie O'Donnell, Cheryl Burke, George Takei, Derek Hough and Debbie Allen also called her out on social media, People.com added.

Wendy Williams was still all over NYC recently—despite canceling a slew of comedy shows she scheduled during her hiatus from her talk show, according to Page Six. Williams was recently out partying with Cardi B and Madina Milana to celebrate radio host Jason Lee's birthday at Bryant Park Hotel. Resident NYC DJ Sean Doe and drummer OMG Cornelio hosted.


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