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SHOWBIZ Seth Rudetsky, LGBTQ films, Janelle Monae, trans singer
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Norm Lewis, Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson will join the line-up of talent slated to participate in The Seth Concert Series—the weekly virtual series based on Seth Rudetsky's international Broadway series that began at The Art House in Provincetown, a press release noted. Lewis will appear July 19, followed by Hilty on July 26 and Jackson on Aug. 2. Each weekly show will premiere Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET with a second showing Mondays at 3 p.m. ET for viewers in other time zones. Tickets are available at for $20 ( early bird )-$25 each.

Film Forum will present Tania Cypriano's Born To Be, opening theatrically at Film Forum in late summer, a press release noted. The 92-minute movie looks at pioneering surgeon Dr. Jess Ting and the patients of Mount Sinai's Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. See .

Kino Lorber is releasing two pioneering films of queer cinema, a press release stated. The movies are Reinhold Schunzel's romantic musical Victor and Victoria ( 1933 ), and Leontine Sagan's German lesbian feature Madchen in Uniform ( 1931 ). See .

Dutch journalist Max Westerman announced the release of My Friend, the Mayor: Small-Town Democracy in the Age of Trump, a press release noted. It's a documentary film Westerman made about Sean Strub, an AIDS activist and POZ Magazine founder who ran for mayor in a small conservative Pennsylvania town that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Strub's book—Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival—was published by Scribner in 2014. The film has premiered on Amazon Prime; the trailer is at

In an excerpt from her new interview with Empire, Janelle Monae said that she is interested in playing Ororo Munroe—better known to X-Men fans as Storm—in an upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Billboard noted. The star said that she's even floated the idea of playing the character with Ryan Coogler, the director of Marvel's 2018 hit movie Black Panther. Monae also voiced her respect for the other actresses who have portrayed the thunder-wielding character, including Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp, and said that she would be honored to join their ranks.

Trans singer-songwriter Kyler O'Neal has released her debut music video, "Satan's Tears," a press release noted. In addition, there's a documentary, Behind Satan's Tears; O'Neal talks about her experiences as a transwoman and having empathy for outcasts in this short film. The video is at

Singer-songwriter VINCINT teamed with the cast of Netflix's Emmy-winning series Queer Eye to unveil the music video for "Be Me," a press release noted. Directed by Jake Wilson ( Cher; Lizzo; Jonas Brothers ) and filmed by VINCINT and the Queer Eye co-hosts using their iPhone cameras during quarantine, "Be Me" is out on VINCINT's official YouTube channel. "Be Me" arrives on the heels of VINCINT's debut EP, The Feeling.

Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson ( Modern Family ) and husband Justin Mikita have welcomed their first child together, noted. Ferguson shared that he and Mikita were expecting during a January visit to The Late Late Show, telling host James Corden and fellow guest Charlie Hunnam, "This is something I haven't even mentioned to anyone, if we could just keep it between the three of us and you all, but I'm actually expecting a baby in July with my husband."

Team USA softball star Haylie McCleney has come out as a member of the LGBTQ community, and hopes to be a role model for other young LGBTQ athletes, noted. In a recent profile on, McCleney recounted her engagement story; she met her partner, Kylee Hanson, on the diamond, and they immediately became friends. For McCleney, who hails from small-town Alabama, the prospect of telling her friends and family about her sexuality was daunting; while the conversations weren't easy, McCleney said the couple were ultimately embraced.

More than a month after first performing a cover of Coldplay's "Fix You" as part of the iHeartRadio Living Room Series, Sam Smith released their version of the song, Billboard reported. "Thank you @Coldplay for writing such a beautiful song," Smith wrote alongside a brief clip of the stripped-down performance.

Walk the Moon frontman Nicholas Petricca opened up about his sexuality in an Instagram post celebrating the last day of Pride Month on June 30, sharing with his followers that he identifies as bisexual, noted. The "Shut Up and Dance" singer went on to explain that he hopes to give "a degree of courage" to others by publicly speaking out about his sexuality. Petricca also shared a message of support to those who may be struggling with their own sexuality, saying, "i want you to know whoever you are, however you're built, however you were created, however you share your love with another human being, I LOVE YOU. and God loves you. Jesus loves you. the Universe loves you."

Stylist Law Roach announced the details of a fund: He had partnered with the organization Rebuild the Hood in his hometown of Chicago to help raise $100,000 earmarked for Black-owned fashion and beauty business in the city that were impacted by the uprisings, noted. In early June—after a career of working with, supporting and speaking out about the Black community—he decided to get publicly involved, raising money to help small, uninsured Black-owned businesses that were impacted by the recent uprisings. Donors who were listed publicly include Zendaya, Christian Siriano, showroom Alta Moda, MAC's Drew Elliott and Fall Risk designer John Targon.

John Travolta revealed that actress wife Kelly Preston passed away of breast cancer at age 57, Deadline reported. Married in 1991, the couple have 20-year-old daughter Elia and 9-year-old son Benjamin; 16-year old son Jet passed away in 2006 from circumstances related to his autism and seizures. Born in Hawaii, Preston's credits included Jerry Maguire ( in which she played the aggressive ex-girlfriend ), Twins, Old Dogs, Battlefield Earth and Gotti ( the last three, with Travolta ).

Heather Morris wants to join the search for Naya Rivera, her Glee co-star who went missing July 8 after renting a boat with her young son on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, noted. "My name is Heather Morris, I'm Naya's close friend and co-worker, and I'm trying to conduct an on foot search and rescue mission along with a small group of friends at Lake Piru," Morris tweeted to the Ventura County sheriff's office. She also thanked local authorities, who have invested countless hours in searching for Rivera.

Miley Cyrus and singer boyfriend Cody Simpson showed off their moves on TikTok, dancing a choreographed routine set to the smash 1990 hit "Gonna Make You Sweat ( Everybody Dance Now )," from C+C Music Factory, Page Six noted. "If we can't get back to work….. let's get back to WERK," Cyrus captioned the clip, tagging Simpson. In addition to keeping their fans entertained on social media, Cyrus and Simpson have also given back during the coronavirus pandemic; this spring, the pair delivered tacos to health care workers at a California hospital.

Westworld star Thandie Newton opened up to New York magazine about what it was like to work with To Cruise on the set of the 2000 film Mission: Impossible 2, Page Six noted. On the set, Newton received "a book with the greatest hits of Scientology—a bit like a Bible kind of thing," she said, adding that Cruise was "a very dominant individual" and that filming was a "nightmare." She also discussed why she left the cast of Charlie's Angels and mentioned other tales of survival from her long career.

Peter Morgan has changed his mind on bringing the curtain down on The Crown after five seasons—meaning that the Netflix show will now run for six seasons, Deadline noted. It means that the new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton, will follow her predecessors in filming two series, as will Lesley Manville, who was recently confirmed as Princess Margaret.

Kristian Alfonso, one of the daytime drama's most recognizable and longest-tenured stars, is leaving the NBC series Days of Our Lives, which she first joined in 1983, Deadline noted. Days Of Our Lives plans to return to production Tuesday, Sept. 1. "I will not be returning to Days when it resumes production in September," Alfonso said. "I've already filmed my last episode several months ago."

Zendaya completed a secret new film titled Malcolm & Marie that was shot completely during the COVID-19 shutdown, noted. The film, co-starring John David Washington ( BlacKkKlansman ) is said to have similarities to Marriage Story, and will tackle some of the social themes relevant to what the world is experiencing right now. The entire film was shot June 17-July 2 at an environmentally conscious, state-of-the-art house in Carmel, California. Some of the precautions the film took were temperature checks at the beginning and end of each day, separate dwellings each with their own HVAC, rehearsals in a parking lot and more.

During a Zoom event for his new show The Long Run, Idris Elba was asked about the future of the hit BBC crime drama Luther, noted. "There isn't a real formal plan for Luther at the moment," Idris said according to Sky News. "I've made it very clear that I'd like to see Luther come back as a film," Idris added. "And I can tell you this, that we are this close to making a film of Luther." Luther first premiered in 2010 and has had five seasons so far, with the most recent season airing in January 2019.

HBO Max has given a series commitment to an original DC drama set in the Gotham City police department, Deadline reported. Written by Winter, the series is set in the world Reeves is creating for The Batman feature and will build upon the film's examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City, launching a new Batman universe across multiple platforms. It is unclear if Batman will be among the characters on the show.

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor is unveiling Treat Myself Deluxe ( Epic Records ) on Friday, July 17, a press release noted. She expands her acclaimed third full-length offering, Treat Myself, with three brand new songs and unreleased alternate recordings of two fan favorites. Treat Myself includes the platinum smash "No Excuses" as well as songs such as "Genetics" ( featuring Pussycat Dolls ) and "Nice to Meet Ya" ( with Nicki Minaj ).

The horror movie Random Acts of Violence will be out in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland on AMC's horror streaming platform, Shudder, on Thursday, Aug. 20, a press release noted. Starring Jay Baruchel ( who also directed, co-wrote and co-produced the film ), Jesse Williams, Jordana Brewster and Niamh Wilson, the plot involves a crazed fan who is using a comic-book creator's work as the inspiration for several killings.

An exhibition dedicated to the late actor John Wayne at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts will be removed, reported. The move comes in the wake of persistent student protests over the exhibit due to Wayne's history of racist remarks. The controversial remarks in question occurred in 1971, when Wayne endorsed white supremacy, in so many words, in an interview with Playboy magazine. "I believe in white supremacy until the Blacks are educated to a point of responsibility," the actor said.

Fans called out Cardi B on Twitter after she used a racial slur to describe her sister's facial features, The Daily Mail noted. When a fan commented saying how similar a composite of her and husband Offset's faces looked like Cardi's younger sister Hennessy, Cardi replied, "I think cause Hennessy got ch*nky eyes like Offset and so KK. It's the only think I could think off [sic]." After getting blowback, Cardi commented, "I didn't know that ch*nky eyes was a slur like wtfff I DONT KNOW F**KIN EVERYTHING!! ... Im [sic] sick of the internet." The comments, as well as the composite Instagram photo post itself, were later deleted.

The latest episode of Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk set a new record for the most views in 24 hours for a Facebook Watch original episode, with more than 15 million views reported in less than a day—doubling the previous record, reported. The new episode saw the couple addressing rumors that Pinkett Smith had an affair with singer-songwriter August Alsina with her husband's blessing. Pinkett Smith said she had a relationship with Alsina while she and Smith were separated.

Actor Armie Hammer ( Call Me By Your Name; The Social Network ) and wife Elizabeth Chambers are splitting after 10 years of marriage and 13 years together, ABC News noted. Both parties posted the same message on their respective Instagram accounts, writing that they have decided to "turn the page and move on" from the marriage.

The rock band Great White was criticized for holding a concert in North Dakota with no social distancing rules or mask requirements, noted. A representative for the band told Blabbermouth, "North Dakota's government recommends masks be worn, however, we are not in a position to enforce the laws. We have had the luxury of hindsight and we would like to apologize to those who disagree with our decision to fulfill our contractual agreement." North Dakota remains one of the U.S. states with the lowest number of confirmed cases and number of deaths to date.

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