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SHOWBIZ Rufus Wainwright, LGBTQ films, Billy Porter, Janelle Monae
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-05-27

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Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright unveiled the latest single from his eagerly anticipated new pop album, Unfollow the Rules, a press release noted. "Alone Time" is available now at all DSPs and streaming services; an official companion video is on YouTube. Unfollow the Rules is slated to arrive via BMG on Friday, July 10. Wainwright also has his ongoing #Quarantunes series of #MusicalEverydays and #RobeRecitals, presented each day via his official Instagram and Facebook.

Ariztical Entertainment has announced the June 2 VOD and cable on demand release of filmmaker Doug Spearman's feature film From Zero To I Love You, followed by a DVD release this summer, a press release noted. The film stars Scott Bailey and Darryl Stephens—the latter who has been in numerous popular productions including LOGO's Noah's Arc, Boy Culture the movie, the upcoming Boy Culture series and the series DTLA. The LGBT film is Spearman's second feature, following the gay detective movie Hot Guys With Guns.

OUTstream Film Fest—which will make its debut June 1-7—announced its initial lineup of titles, a press release noted. Two festival-favorite documentaries will open and close the brand new film festival, with Michael Barnett's Changing the Game opening OUTstream Film Fest and David Charles Rodrigues' Gay Chorus Deep South taking the Closing Night slot. The LGBTQIA+-focused film festival will kick off Pride month amid the COVID-19 crisis offering a selection of films celebrating queer cinema from around the world with its initial 11 titles representing 10 countries. To purchase tickets and passes, visit OUTstreamFest.com/boxoffice.

In celebration of LGBT Pride Month, streaming service Tubi is offering a range of independent LGBT films without the need for any paid subscription, a press release noted. Just a few of the movies/series include Poison, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, Latter Days, G.B.F., Jeffrey, Lip Service, The Brandon Teena Story and After Sex, among others. See Tubi.tv .

Francis Lee, the director of God's Own Country, is urging fans to boycott the film on Amazon Prime, Gay Times magazine reported. Lee asked viewers in the United States to not stream the critically-acclaimed romantic drama on the streaming service because several of the gay sex scenes—for some reason—were censored. According to several fans, who wrote in response to the British director, the love scenes have been cut in the version you can stream for free—but they remain in place if you purchase the film via Prime Video.

Breaking Glass Pictures acquired global rights to the documentary Pornstar Pandemic: The Guys, an intimate examination of LGBTQ adult actors and their lives during the COVID-19 quarantine, a press release noted. Directed by adult director Edward "EJ" James and executive-produced by Breaking Glass CEO Rich Wolff, Pornstar Pandemic: The Guys will arrive July 28 on DVD and all major VOD platforms. The movie will focus on actors such as Dante Colle, Pierce Paris and DeAngelo Jackson as well as newcomers Elijah Wilde and Jack Loft.

Dekkoo, a subscription-based streaming service dedicated to gay men, announced six winners for its cash prizes in the Love and Distance short-film competition, a press release noted. The Jury Award went to UK-based Italian filmmaker Marco De Luca's "Two Meters Apart" ( www.dekkoo.com/two-meters-apart ). Audience favorites include Lucio Nieto's "Omorfia," James Patrick Nelson's "Without Touch," Colin Sheehan's "What to Expect When You Are Expecting," Mariano Rodriguez Ingold's "The Meeting" and Jess Darnell's "I Miss You, I Miss London" ( the latter being an honorable mention ).

Pixar's first gay main character arrives in a Disney+ short film, EW.com reported. Out, the latest Pixar short released through Disney+'s SparkShorts series, arrived this week with the story of Greg as he moves in with his boyfriend, Manuel. The problem is that Greg isn't out to his parents, who arrive at his new doorstep eager to help. However, thanks to a pair of fairy god-pets, Greg learns that maybe there's nothing to hide after all. Earlier this year, Pixar's Onward became the first feature film to include an LGBTQ role in the form of Lena Waithe's cyclops cop Officer Spector, who mentions her girlfriend

In a new cover story on Janelle Monae for Vanity Fair, Billy Porter revealed that she had to fight for him to perform at this year's Oscars, Out.com noted. "There were different suggestions and she said, 'I'll only do it if I can have Billy," Porter told the magazine. "She lobbied for me." They celebrated the successful gig by having cocktails at Beyonce and Jay-Z's Oscar party.

VH1 announced that Grammy-winning artist Ricky Martin will be in the premiere episode of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars airing Friday, June 5, a press release noted. The global superstar will guest judge the all-star queens in a premiere where the returning favorites open the library for a reading mini-challenge and hit the runway for a "Werq the World" variety extravaganza. Martin will kick off a show stopping line up of guest judges including Tessa Thompson, Madison Beer, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Nicole Byer, Sarah Hyland, Tommy Dorfman, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Bebe Rexha, Jane Krakowski, Sam Richardson and Todrick Hall; they will join RuPaul and judge alongside show regulars Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews.

Openly LGBT actor/singer Keiynan Lonsdale ( The Flash; Love, Simon ) plans to release his debut album, Rainbow Boy, on May 29, Gay Times Magazine noted. The album is expected to include the new self-love anthem, "Gay Street Fighter", in which he celebrates being LGBTQ and rallies for the community to stand behind him in the fight for equality. Lonsdale told Gay Times, "Everything in life is queer—it's just nature's way, hence why it's cooler and more colorful. Any display of homophobia is a reflection of someone that hasn't done the necessary work to be truly comfortable with their own complex sexuality."

The new streaming service Broadway on Demand launched May 17, Playbill noted. The "30 Days of Opening Nights" series marks its official kickoff and includes filmed presentations of Broadway titles, classes, concerts, interviews and more. Among the filmed performances featured is Broadway's Allegiance, which makes its online streaming premiere May 29 following various showings in movie theaters; members of the original 2015 Broadway company, including George Takei and Telly Leung, will also take part in a virtual red carpet. Earlier, Bandstand will air as part of a Memorial Day celebration May 25. See BroadwayOnDemand.com .

On Thursday, May 28, at 6 p.m. CT ( on YouTube ), Indigo Girls will have a live conversation with two of their favorites, author Glennon Doyle and soccer legend Abby Wambach, a media release noted. Indigo Girls' 16th studio album, Look Long, is out now on Rounder Records.

Emmy- and SAG-nominated actor, musician, writer and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt co-star Tituss Burgess released his first official dance track, "Dance M.F." ( featuring Imani Coppola ), a press release announced. Burgess said, "'Dance M.F.' was born out of the panic I felt at the onset of the global crisis that has all of us in isolation. It was written for me—until I realized I wasn't the only one that needed to hear it." The song is available on all streaming platforms and digital retailers.

A musical stage adaptation of NBC's Smash is in development for Broadway, with Steven Spielberg, Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron on board as lead producers, Deadline noted. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who wrote more than 20 songs for the 2012-13 TV series, will write the musical's score, with a book co-written by Bob Martin ( The Prom; The Drowsy Chaperone ) and Rick Elice ( Jersey Boys; Peter and the Starcatcher ). Although the series—which chronicled the development of fictional Broadway musical called Bombshell about Marilyn Monroe—lasted only two seasons on NBC, the show has taken on a cult-favorite afterlife, with a 2015 one-night-only Broadway concert version of Bombshell songs selling out within 15 minutes of going on sale.

Producer Mark Cortale announced that Seth Rudetsky's Broadway concert series that first began in Provincetown at The Art House in 2011 will debut as a weekly virtual series entitled The Seth Concert Series, according to a media release. Hosted by beloved musical director and Sirius XM Star Seth Rudetsky, the first event will take place on Sunday, May 31 and will feature Tony award-winning actress Kelli O'Hara; stage and screen figures Jeremy Jordan and Jessie Mueller will headline the following two weeks. Each weekly show will premiere Sunday nights at 7 p.m. CT, with a second showing Mondays at 2 p.m. CT; tickets are available at TheSethConcertSeries.com for $20 ( early bird )-$25 each.

Kit Williamson's LGBTQ series Eastsiders has been nominated for eight Daytime Emmy Awards—the most nominations of any digital series and of any show on Netflix this year, according to a Wolfe Video Press media release. Williamson is nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Digital Drama Series. Insidious star Lin Shaye is nominated for Outstanding Guest Performer, and Leith M. Burke ( Bosch ) and drag star Willam are both nominated in the Supporting Actor category, among other nods. ( Willam is the first drag performer to be nominated in an acting category at the Emmy Awards, Out.com noted. ) The series' fourth and final season premiered on Netflix late last year.

Netflix released the first photos from the upcoming second season of The Politician, which hits the streaming service on June 19, NewNowNext.com noted. In the description for the seven-episode season, the fight between Payton ( played by Ben Platt ) and Dede ( Judith Light ) continues, but it sounds like Payton's mother, Georgina ( Gwyneth Paltrow ), will also be stepping into the political arena, making a "momentous decision that threatens to upstage him." Creator Ryan Murphy told Collider earlier this year, "We were lucky enough that we finished filming and editing right before the coronavirus thing happened. We have seven. We finished all of our episodes." Murphy also said says he intends to do one more season of The Politician, for a total of three seasons.

Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter will hold their second annual joint Pride Summit to celebrate the influence of the LGBTQ+ community across music, media and entertainment, a media release announced. This year's Pride Summit will be a virtual one, taking place Saturday, June 13, and hosted at BBTHRPrideSummit.com . The daylong event will feature engaging conversations with LGBTQ+ artists making an impact in the media space and, for the first time ever, a virtual Pride Prom, featuring a drag performance contest and crowning of the Pride Queen winner, as well as special performances by top artists and an interactive DJ set.

Amid a global pandemic, HBO is canceling this year's post-Emmy party, held traditionally at The Plaza at L.A.'s Pacific Design Center, Deadline reported. The network said it is redirecting funds set aside for its Emmy Awards party and FYC events to make a $1-million donation to The Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund. While the TV Academy has made changes to the Emmy Awards calendar and canceled its FYC events, the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony remains set for Sept. 20.

Charli XCX announced a charity art raffle in support of LA Alliance, with all proceeds going toward its cause, a press release noted. Artists involved in the raffle include Caroline Polachek, Seth Bogart, Regards Coupables, Naked Cherry, Sara Cwynar, Timothy Luke, Allison Zuckerman, Polygon and Jon Emmony. The raffle prizes will include original 1/1 artworks signed by the artist and Charli XCX. Each raffle ticket ( $10 each ) comes with an instant download of a handwritten letter from Charli XCX; the raffle for the artwork ( which represent her tracks "forever," "claws" and "i finally understand" ) will be drawn Friday, May 29. See https://charli-xcx-us.myshopify.com/products/original-art-raffle-ticket-chx.

Oprah Winfrey is donating $12 million to organizations helping underserved communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS Chicago noted. Her charity is giving the money to groups in five cities she has called home, including Chicago, which will get $5 million. The donation will support Live Healthy Chicago, which provides thousands of Latinx and African American families care packages, wellness visits and contact tracing.

The BET Awards will move forward with its 2020 edition this year—virtually, Variety noted. Celebrating the network's 40th anniversary, and the Awards' 20 years on the air, top stars in black entertainment, sports and philanthropy will appear on Sunday, June 28, via "innovative techniques and artist-generated content," BET revealed. The three-day BET Experience, which has taken place in Los Angeles as a lead-up to the big night, has been called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is slated to return in 2021. Nominations will be announced on a later date.

In an interview with SiriusXM's "The Morning Mash Up," singer Sia shared that she increased her family last year, CNN.com reported. "I actually adopted two sons last year," she said. "They were both 18." The "Chandelier" singer explained that the 19-year-olds were aging out of the foster care system and expressed her love for her new sons. She also shared that much of her relationship with famed music maker Diplo "is just being spent trying not to have sex so that we wouldn't ruin our business relationship, because he's super-duper hot."

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande released their new song, "Rain On Me," on May 22, a press release noted. The collaboration is the second single from Lady Gaga's sixth studio album Chromatica, which will be released Friday, May 29, via Interscope Records. Chromatica will be available in a variety of physical formats including standard CD, vinyl in various colors and cassettes in various colors.

Singer/songwriter VINCINT announced the premiere of "Be Me," a new song written expressly for the Netflixoriginal series, Queer Eye, according to a press release. The track—teased by a cryptic string of social media posts from VINCINT, Netflix and the cast of Queer Eye—can be heard now in the official trailer for Queer Eye's fifth season, set in VINCINT's hometown of Philadelphia and set to premiere globally via Netflix on Friday, June 5. "Be Me" follows the release of VINCINT's debut EP, The Feeling, available now via AWAL for streaming and download. The trailer is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WechPJGpqS8.

The Charlize Theron movie The Old Guard will debut on Netflix on Friday, July 10, a press release noted. Based on Greg Rucka's graphic-novel series, the film is about a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries—led by Andy, played by Theron—with a mysterious inability to die. When the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, it's up to Andy and Nile ( KiKi Layne ), the newest soldier to join their ranks, to help the group eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate and monetize their power by any means necessary.

Ellen DeGeneres is reportedly "at the end of her rope" as multiple allegations surface that's she demeaning to guests, treats staff poorly and holds grudges against other comics, LGBTQ Nation noted. In 2016, comedian Kathy Griffin not-so-subtly accused DeGeneres of treating her and Joan Rivers badly, saying DeGeneres "has a mean streak that all of Hollywood knows about." Recently, she rebooted the show Ellen in her home to comply with coronavirus prevention measures, but her staff accused her of using a non-union contractor while leaving them in the dark about their employment status.

Quibi debuted the trailer of the new musical comedy series, Royalties, created by Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning actor/songwriter Darren Criss, a press release announced. Royalties is a satirical take on the story of songwriters behind the world's biggest hits. On Friday, June 12, Republic Records will release the series' original soundtrack, marking the first major label release for a Quibi show. See Quibi.com .

HBO has a documentary about the early '80s University of Southern California women's basketball team called Women of Troy, HBO.com announced. The powerhouse squad—including Cheryl Miller, Cynthia Cooper, twins Paula and Pam McGee, and head coach Linda Sharp, and which won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1983 and 1984—garnered unprecedented media coverage at the time, and became the first collegiate women's team in history to be invited to the White House. See HBO.com/documentaries/women-of-troy.

As OWN's Greenleaf approaches its fifth and final season, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Lionsgate have put in development a spinoff of the megachurch drama, from creator and executive producer Craig Wright, Deadline reported. Wright and Winfrey envisioned from the inception of the series that the story would span five seasons, with Wright contemplating a spinoff. Additionally, the network announced Greenleaf's final season will premiere Tuesday, June 23.

CBS handed a two-year renewal to daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful, through the 2021-22 broadcast season, Deadline noted. Picked up for seasons 34 and 35, The Bold and the Beautiful joins CBS companion The Young and the Restless, which, in January, was renewed through 2024. The Bold and the Beautiful—the most-watched U.S. produced daytime drama in the world—is set in Los Angeles and combines elements of high fashion, glamour, honor, romance, passion and family.

The stars of the iconic soap opera All My Children ( AMC ) are virtually coming to people's homes as part of Entertainment Weekly's ongoing #UnitedAtHome series, the publication announced. During AMC Week, which kicked off May 26, EW will be bringing nearly 30 cast members to screens, including Susan Lucci, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos, Josh Duhamel and more. The weeklong event is also for a cause, with the AMC cast choosing to support Feeding America, which is putting food on the tables of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across the country; those who want to donate can visit EW.com/allmychildrenreunion.

On his Instagram account, Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood star Milan Christopher posted a photo of him and transgender girlfriend Lauryn England out on a date, BET.com noted. "It's something about the way he looks at me date night w/ my hunni," England wrote with a photo posted to her account. Christopher appeared on the reality program during its second season with his ex-boyfriend Miles Brock—the first LGBT couple on VH1 reality shows, according to the outlet. Christopher was openly bisexual, but Brock was a closeted rapper who feared what the industry and his family would think.

In Texas, the Southlake Department of Public Safety ( DPS ) tweaked the lyrics of Lisa Loeb's '90s hit "Stay" for the coronavirus pandemic, Southlake Style noted. However, through the app Cameo, Southlake DPS was able to catch Loeb's attention and get her to sing their version of the song. "Why did I not think of those lyrics?" Loeb asked after singing the "Stay at Home" version of her song. "They fit the music perfectly. Stay home, stay safe."

TNT's Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated psychological thriller The Alienist returns with a new season titled The Alienist: Angel of Darkness premiering Sunday, July 26, a press release noted. Based on best-selling author Caleb Carr's novel The Angel of Darkness, The Alienist's lead cast Daniel BrÃ╝hl ( Rush ), Luke Evans ( Midway ) and Dakota Fanning ( Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood ) will reunite in this next season.

Real Housewives of Atlanta star and Xscape member Kandi Burruss ( as Night Angel ) won the Golden Mask on the Fox show The Masked Singer—becoming the first woman to snag the title, People.com noted. "For a long time, I really stopped singing by myself because you get negative feedback and so it kind of messes with your head," the mom of three told the judges after removing her purple mask. "But thank you." The runners-up were singer Jesse McCartney ( Turtle ) and rapper/actor Bow Wow ( Frog ).

Brian May of Queen revealed to his followers that, in a gardening accident this month, he suffered a heart attack, USA Today noted. Addressing "the truth about what happened" because "people are kind of making up stories," May shared in an Instagram video that he had a tear in his "gluteus maximus," but the issues didn't stop there. After diagnosing the tear, "no other tests were done," May said. A week later, he was still on "severe painkillers" and experiencing serious pain, so he went back for a second MRI that revealed a severely compressed sciatic nerve.

Wendy Williams is taking a hiatus from her daytime talk show due to symptoms of fatigue surrounding Graves' disease, Variety reported. A return date has not been set at this time. Williams first announced to her viewers that she was diagnosed with Graves' disease in early 2018; the disease is a condition that causes the immune system to attack the thyroid.

Doja Cat denied participating in racist conversations online, CNN.com noted.The celebrated singer responded to the Twitter hashtag #DojaCatIsOverParty. The hashtag emerged after a song she released in 2015 titled "Dindu Nuffin" resurfaced. ( The song's title refers to a racist slur used to mock victims of police brutality. ) "I've used public chat rooms to socialize since I was a child," a statement from the singer read. "I shouldn't have been on some of those chat room sites, but I personally have never been involved in any racist conversations. I'm sorry to everyone I offended."

Speaking of Doja, fellow rapper Azealia Banks launched a scathing attack on Nicki Minaj for collaborating with Doja, The Independent noted. Among other things, Banks said, "Another thing that I find f***ing funny, Nicki, is for all the f***ing mouth you have for Cardi B for talking s*** about Black women, now you quiet because you got your little number one with this white bi***. ... Now I'm looking back at it, you was just jealous of Cardi [B]. You was just jealous because she's got more swag than you."

Rapper/actor 50 Cent hopped on social media to address the attack of an Australian street painter who has created countless mash-up murals of him as other public figures, XXL noted. The rapper responded to artist Lushsux's claims that he was beaten for creating the artwork he made of 50. "The artist got [fist emoji] in the [face emoji] that wasn't me I didn't do that. #STARZ #BMF," 50 wrote in a short caption of a photo showing an unfinished mural of the rapper as Oprah Winfrey. In another post, 50 shared the finished version of the mural, sending best wishes to the street artist.

A New York photographer has sued actress Jennifer Hudson and her company for allegedly ripping off his photo and posting it to social media, Page Six noted. Fernando Ramales snapped the Dreamgirls star wearing an iridescent pink blazer and thigh-high stilettos, according to a lawsuit. A news site bought the image and ran a story Dec. 21, 2019. A few days later, the same photograph was posted on Hudson's Instagram page—with the watermark scrubbed. Ramales wants up to $175,000 plus attorneys' fees for the alleged copyright infringement.

In a new interview with People, stylist Stacy London opened up about her journey since her days on TLC. "Dating was not at all in the cards for me," Londonsaid about meeting girlfriend and musician Cat Yezbak at a fundraiser for Cynthia Nixon's gubernatorial race in the summer of 2018. "My dad was so sick, and he was the top priority. It wasn't that I didn't think Cat was amazing, or cool, or cute; I just wasn't in that mindset." While Yezbak never met London's father, Herbert ( who passed away the same year she met Yezbak ), London wishes she could have. "They would've liked each other," London said.

Kendall Jenner settled a lawsuit concerning her involvement with the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival, Page Six noted. The supermodel agreed to pay $90,000 for promoting the fiasco music festival in a since-deleted Instagram post. Jenner, 24, was sued in August 2019 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York by Gregory Messer, who is recovering funds for creditors that lost money investing in the festival.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest "did not have any kind of stroke" during the show's finale, according to a statement from his representative provided exclusively to PEOPLE, EW.com noted. At one point, Seacrest's right eye suddenly appeared droopy and his speech was slightly slurred as he moved on to reveal the Top 2. Working from home—where he's been hosting the singing competition the past few weeks as well as continuing to do his daily radio show and co-hosting Live With Kelly and Ryan—Seacrest kept the show moving, but many took notice, expressing concern on social media. ( Seacrest later cited exhaustion for the physical changes. ) Just Sam was crowned the winner.

Empire actor Bryshere Gray was a "nuisance tenant" who clogged toilets with condoms and let his dog relieve himself indoors, according to a lawsuit his Chicago landlords filed last month, The Chicago Tribune noted. Vinod Venugopal and Payal Shah are suing Gray for $33,120, and they accuse him of causing issues almost as soon as he signed a lease for the West Loop condo in August 2019.


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