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SHOWBIZ Streisand, GLAAD book, Spice Girls, Boy Erased, Rhapsody
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-11-06

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Barbra Streisand has released an LGBTQ anthem that doubles as a statement against President Trump, NewNowNext.com reported. The legendary singer's latest album, Walls, includes plenty of shots at the current administration, including the title track. The song "Love's Never Wrong" is a pro-LGBTQ statement made at a time when the community is under attack from the federal government.

GLAAD and Bonnier Publishing USA have released Jack ( Not Jackie )—the second book in a partnership aimed at integrating and elevating positive LGBTQ representation in children's literature, a press release noted. Jack ( Not Jackie ), by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Holly Hatam, is about gender identity and gender expression, but is also a story about love between siblings and wholeheartedly accepting people for who they are.

Page Six reported Nov. 3 that the Spice Girls will finally formally reunite—without Victoria Beckham—to announce a huge British stadium tour next summer. The group have secretly recorded a video message to the world that was set to be broadcast on Bonfire Night. The Spice Girls were a four-piece for two years after Geri quit the band in 1998; the remaining four members went ahead with their North American tour and recorded their third album, Forever, before going on hiatus in 2000.

The conversion-therapy drama Boy Erased, from Focus Features, handily topped the weekend's slate of specialty releases, Deadline noted. The Telluride and Toronto debut—starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton—grossed $220K in five New York and Los Angeles locations. ( In related news, Alyssa Milano, Alyson Stoner, Nico Tortorella and GLAAD partnered with Focus Features to offer tickets to select screenings this past weekend of Boy Erased in in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, a GLAAD press release noted. )

However, in terms of box-office toppers for the weekend ending Nov. 4, the Freddie Mercury/Queen-focused movie Bohemian Rhapsody was the champion, TheWrap reported. The film earned a better-than-expected $51.1 million opening from 4,000 screens this weekend; it's the second biggest opening for a music biopic behind only the $60-million start of 2015's Straight Outta Compton. This success is despite more lukewarm reviews from critics who gave the film mixed reviews with a 60-percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

In honor of the life and legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, and celebrating the new biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, singer Troye Sivan has released his interpretation of the band's 1976 gospel-inspired hit, "Somebody to Love," a press release noted. The track was produced by Bram Inscore—who collaborated with Sivan on his 2015 debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, and the recently released follow-up, Bloom—and mixed by Josh Gudwin.

Grey's Anatomy actor Jake Borelli just came out as gay—at the same time the character he plays came out as bisexual, according to Gay Star News. Borelli plays Levi Schmitt, who kisses Nico Kim ( Alex Landi ) in the hallway of the latest episode. Then, the 27-year-old actor took to Instagram to share his own coming-out story, posting, "As a gay guy myself, tonight's episode was so special to me."

Bette Midler is the latest Hollywood star set to join Julie Taymor's Gloria Steinem biopic The Glorias: A Life on the Road, Deadline noted. Oscar winner Julianne Moore will play feminist icon Steinem with fellow-Oscar winner Alicia Vikander in talks to play the activist between the ages of 20-40. The movie, based on Steinem's memoir, will follow her journey to become a crusader for equal rights and her groundbreaking work as a journalist and campaigner.

Anita Hill, Barbara Boxer, Alyssa Milano, Tarana Burke, HAIM, Felicity Jones, Mira Sorvino, Zoe Saldana and Sherry Lansing were among the women leaders gathering Nov. 1-2 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Los Angeles for TheWrap's inaugural Power Women Summit, TheWrap reported. The dummit was said tp be the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and nonprofits across the entertainment industry landscape.

Singer Mavis Staples has announced Live in London, a new live album recorded over two nights at London's Union Chapel ( which she calls "the best place in the world to sing" ) and produced by Staples herself, a press release noted. The album will be released Feb. 8, 2019, via ANTI- Records. Songs on the CD ( her first live one in a decade ) will include "Take Us Back," "Slippery People" and "Let's Do It Again," among others.

Actor Billy Porter, in hopes of getting people to vote, opened up about the past sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his now-deceased stepfather in a detailed piece for Out magazine, according to The Daily Mail. The entertainer said that the abuse took place between between the ages of nine and 13, and that his stepfather groomed him with cuddling and spooning. 'Innocent enough, right?' wrote the Broadway veteran, who said his stepfather subsequently exposed him to pornography in the form of magazines such as Playboy and Hustler. Porter said that a year later, his stepfather was sexually assaulting him, and believes a reason why he focused on him, specifically, was because he "was born gay and [his stepfather] knew it."

The annual LACMA Art + Film gala got political, thanks in part to director Guillermo del Toro, Variety noted. del Toro—who was honored, along with photographer Catherine Opie—said during his acceptance speech at the Nov. 3 event ( about his fellow honoree ), "This is not accidental, a time when my race is vilified or the LGBTQ community is trying to be legislated out of existence. … We are the outcasts. ... We have been told there are reasons in religion, nationality, gender, sexuality to separate us. We are invited to rage or to hate the other; we are told that are differences are irreconcilable. [But] we need our differences because sameness is madness, difference is sanity."

The Color Purple is headed to the big screen once again—but this time, as a musical, Variety reported. Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey are teaming to develop the property as a movie musical at Warner Bros. Spielberg directed and produced the 1985 movie ( adapted from the Alice Walker novel ), which received 11 Academy Award nominations but was denied an Oscar. The musical, with a book by playwright Marsha Norman, opened on Broadway in 2005 and earned 11 Tony nominations.

Golden State Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry and Viola Davis have signed on as executive producers for Emanuel, the documentary which tells the story of the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, AOL.com reported. Directed by Brian Ivie, "Emanuel" chronicles the events of June 17, 2015, when a young man walked into a bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and killed nine African-Americans during their closing prayer. Emanuel will be featured at DOC NYC on Nov. 14-15.

After three months, singer Demi Lovato is out of rehab, People.com confirmed. Lovato was seen outside of Matsuhisa restaurant in Los Angeles on Nov. 3, sitting beside clothing designer Henry Levy inside a car, TMZ reported. TMZ also reported that Lovato was seen at a spa in Beverly Hills over the weekend.

Mac Miller died at age 26 on Sept. 7 from mixed drug toxicity, Us Weekly confirmed. An autopsy performed by the Los Angeles coroner's office revealed that Miller had fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of his death, which was certified as accidental.

Telly Leung—currently starring as the title role in Disney's Aladdin on Broadway—will release a new digital single, an updated version of the holiday classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You" to benefit ASTEP ( Artists Striving to End Poverty ) from Yellow Sound Label on Friday, Nov. 30, a press release noted. Lynne Shankel arranged the song.

People magazine has crowned Idris Elba the Sexiest Man Alive for this year, the publication announced. So what did the Luther actor think when he first heard about his latest title? "I was like, 'Come on, no way. Really?'" the actor said. "Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, 'Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.' But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise—an ego boost for sure."

On the heels of its blockbuster deal for The Real World, MTV Studios announced plans to reimagine Undressed, another series that explored the complicated dynamics of young adult relationships, a press release noted. Celebrated for its honest take on gender, class and race, "Undressed" helped launch the careers of hundreds of young actors and behind the scenes talent, including: Christina Hendricks, Jason Ritter, Max Greenfield, Brandon Routh and Chad Michael Murray. MTV aired more than 200 episodes during 1999-2002 of the GLAAD Award winner that was praised by fans and critics for being one of the only shows at the time to feature gay, lesbian and bisexual characters and same-sex relationships.

Two years after canceling Penny Dreadful, Showtime is ordering a spinoff of the Victorian-era drama titled City of Angels, TheWrap.com noted. As its name would suggest, the new series will shift from London to Depression-era Los Angeles ( 1938 to be exact ), "a time and place deeply infused with Mexican-American folklore and social tension," per Showtime. Penny Dreadful: City of Angels will explore a mix of the supernatural and the combustible reality of that period, creating new occult myths and moral dilemmas within a genuine historical backdrop.

Duran Duran dropped a brand-new music video for "The Edge of America," a song off their 1988 album Big Thing, a press release noted. It was created in collaboration with Colombian-Venezuelan media artist and engineer David Medina. For the video, Medina wrote custom software that created different and unexpected automatic compositions and collages from an extensive bank of public domain images around immigration and bird collisions in the United States. The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drKbHeQ8Drw&feature=youtu.be.

Hugh Jackman once again appears to be the focus of fellow actor Ryan Reynolds' sense of humor, with the Deadpool star releasing a mock political ad about Jackman, Page Six noted. The parody, released on social media Nov. 2, runs for just more than 40 seconds and talks about Jackman's latest movie, The Front Runner, in which he portrays onetime presidential candidate Gary Hart. By Reynolds' reckoning, Jackman "has fooled some people into thinking he deserves an award." The video continues with faux anti-Jackman voting material before concluding with "I'm not Ryan Reynolds and I approve this message."

Drake is hitting back against a casino in Vancouver that he claims racially profiled him—and it didn't take long for his fans to take up the cause, TMZ reported. Drake took to social media in the early hours of Saturday morning to let off some steam about Parq Vancouver Casino, calling it the "worst-run business I have ever witnessed." Almost immediately after his posting, fans went wild on the casino's social media. Hotel officials said they're investigating the matter.

YouTube personality Frankie Grande—the half-brother of singer Ariana Grande—went public with his unconventional new relationship at Bette Midler's Hulaween benefit in New York City, NewNowNext.com noted. "These are my boyfriends," Grande told Us Weekly, introducing married couple Daniel and Mike. "I'm the new addition," he later elaborated of the romantic situation; Daniel and Mike were married last year. But how does it work? "Let's just say it does," Frankie said.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade recently announced Diana Ross, John Legend and Ella Mai would be joining the festivities this year, Essence.com noted. The Motown legend will reportedly be joined by her family, including Tracee Ellis Ross and Evan Ross. The 92nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be broadcast on NBC on Thursday, Nov. 22. It will also include appearances by Anika Noni Rose, Leona Lewis and The Today Show crew.

Grammy-winning EDM star Diplo sported a long blonde wig and got half his mug made up for the new cover of biannual menswear magazine King Kong Garcon, according to NewNowNext.com . "Felt cute might delete later," tweeted the Los Angeles-based DJ and producer. The vocal LGBTQ-rights advocate tweeted in 2016 that he was "only half gay." Responding to subsequent headlines labeling him gay, he tweeted that he was "just gonna pretend I am."

HBO has cast Naomi Watts in its Game of Thrones prequel, TheWrap.com noted. Ordered to pilot earlier this year, the untitled project from Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin and Kingsman screenwriter Jane Goldman is set thousands of years before the events of the current Game of Thrones series in the era known as the "Age of Heroes." Game of Thrones, the most-watched show in HBO's history, is set to end next year with a truncated six-episode season.


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