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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ Trans singer, Viola Davis, Jim Parsons, 'Wicked'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-09-18

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Filipino pop star Jake Zyrus—formerly known as Charice when he was on the TV show Glee—has released "Diamond," marking his first English-language crossover since coming out as a trans man last year, Billboard.com noted. In the song, he sings of overcoming the forces that have weighed him down amid the very public process of navigating his identity. In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer last year, Zyrus attested to rising above the fraught response—from media outlets to his immediate family, including his grandmother—to embracing his identity.

Oscar-winning Viola Davis has revealed that she has had regrets about the movie The Help, Deadline.com reported. Davis recently admitted in a New York Times interview that The Help was a great experience, but she took issue with the portrayal of the titular "help." "I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn't the voices of the maids that were heard," said Davis.

NBC has put in development The Inn Crowd, a multi-camera comedy from a team that includes Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons, Deadline.com noted. The Inn Crowd is inspired by Tony Horwitz's 1999 New Yorker article and centers around a gay couple who divide a small town when they open a very successful inn. The 1999 article The Inn Crowd—by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz—chronicles the the controversy surrounding the Inn at Little Washington, in Rappahannock County, Virginia, owned by Patrick O'Connell and Reinhardt Lynch.

It was announced last month that the movie adaption of popular musical Wicked was moved off its original Dec. 20, 2019, release date—but "that was always a fake date. There wasn't a prayer in hell," says Stephen Schwartz, the man behind the stage musical, according to The Hollywood Reporter. However, Schwartz assured that things are still progressing with the movie: "That being said, we're making really good progress. The screenplay has gone through a few drafts." Universal filled the date previously held by Wicked with another Broadway-to-big-screen adaptation: Cats.

Reporting that singer Frank Ocean's lawyers sent rapper Travis Scott a cease-and-desist letter over the song "Carousel," TMZ indicated that Ocean was angry Scott had manipulated his vocals and was seeking to get them removed from the album—but Ocean has clarified things, Stereogum noted. Ocean posted on Tumblr, "I THINK THE SONG SOUNDS COOL, I DID IT IN LIKE 20 MINUTES AND THE MIX SOUNDS THE WAY TRAVIS WANTED IT TO SOUND FOR HIS RECORD. I ALSO APPROVED IT BEFORE IT CAME OUT SO THE CEASE AND DESIST WASN'T ABOUT [anything]. IT WAS ABOUT [rainbow flag emoji]. ME AND TRAVIS RESOLVED IT AMONGST OURSELVES WEEKS AGO. [heart emoji]"

The Troye Sivan/Azealia Banks feud has apparently reignited, according to NewNowNext.com . On Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, host Andy Cohen asked Sivan what he would say to Banks if they found themselves riding in the same elevator—to which he responded, "Maybe I would say, 'Hey.' Actually, it's weird because it's not even a thing, but there was a little 'thing,' but I would just say, 'Hey, I love your music.' Because I do, that's true." Among Banks' multiple online replies were, "How about you turn around and face the corner of the elevator ? Or... how about you get off the elevator so I can ride in peace thank you" and "I do not need that kind of support from other artists. That's how these girls like @DUALIPA steal from me and think it's cool to not acknowledge it. If @troyesivan wants to show support make it genuine."

Netflix movie Sierra Burgess Is a Loser is being slammed on social media for transphobic and ableist storylines, NewNowNext.com noted. The movie, which debuted Sept. 7, stars bisexual actress Shannon Purser ( Stranger Things ) as Sierra Burgess, a teen who embarks on a journey of romantic deception. Minutes into the film, one of Sierra's bullies mocks her with a transphobic joke, saying she should write a school assignment "about [her] trans experience, super-topical." Sierra is cisgender—and plenty of folks have pointed out that given the growing epidemic of violence against the trans community, most often trans women, anti-transgender "jokes" are especially harmful.

The conpany 20th Century Fox conducted an open dance call to find ensemblists to play Sharks and Jets in the upcoming movie musical West Side Story, Playbill.com noted. Directed by Steven Spielberg and adapted by Tony Kushner, the project is a remake of the 1961 film based on the 1957 Broadway musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Jerome Robbins directed and choreographed both the original stage and screen versions.

Former model Jason Boyce—who, in December, sued famed photographer Bruce Weber for sexually assaulting him during a 2014 photo shoot—says that nine months after coming forward, he's still triggered by the experience, TheWrap.com reported. "There are some days when I get up and I sit in my car and I cry," he said. "I don't know why, and that's not something that I did before." In December, Boyce filed a lawsuit against Weber's company, Little Bear, and his former agent, Jason Kanner, accusing the photographer of groping him and kissing him against his will. ( Lawyers for Weber "unequivocally" denied the accusations called them "false," while Kanner did not respond. )

Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation—which built homes for New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their neighborhoods in 2005—has been hit with a lawsuit by two people who claim the homes built for them "were deficiently constructed and built," People.com noted. Lloyd Francis and Jennifer Decuir's lawyer, Ron Austin, told NOLA.com that residents "were forced to file this lawsuit because the Make It Right Foundation built substandard homes that are deteriorating at a rapid pace while the homeowners are stuck with mortgages on properties that have diminished values."

Debra Messing took on Susan Sarandon again over her views on President Donald Trump, People.com noted. "This is a revolution," Sarandon said. "Maybe things had to get so bad before real change actually could happen. We just have to stay awake." "STFU SUSAN," Messing tweeted. "Oh yes, PLEASE let's give Trump CREDIT. I mean how else are you able to walk out on the street." Sarandon, 71, was quick to respond, tweeting, "Debs, before you get yourself all self-righteous try clicking on the video and listening to what I actually say, not @Variety's clickbait headline, which btw has no quotation marks. That's a clue."

Expanding her family did not come easy for Carrie Underwood, the singer revealed on CBS Sunday morning, Page Six noted. Underwood—who welcomed her first child, son Isaiah, with husband and retired NHL star Mike Fisher in 2015—said the couple endured three miscarriages before having their first child. Underwood announced in August she and Fisher are expecting their second child.

Andy Holtzman said he has no "ill will" toward actor Kevin Spacey—šthe man he said sexually assaulted him when he was 27, TheWrap.com reported. Holtzman was a young film program coordinator at the New York Shakespeare Festival's Public Theater in 1981 when he said that Spacey, an up-and-coming actor, walked into his office, pinned him to a desk and groped him. "I want him to get well," Holtzman, now a 64-year-old event marketer, said. "He's not well. Anyone who has been in the closet is not healthy."

One day after threatening "immediate legal action" against Rose McGowan, Asia Argento said she's now seeking "substantial damages for deception, fraud, coercion and libel" from her former friend and fellow Harvey Weinstein accuser, TheWrap.com noted. On Sept. 17, Argento demanded in a tweet that McGowan retract the contents of an Aug. 27 statement about sexual-misconduct accusations lodged against Argento. McGowan said that her partner, model Rain Dove, gave the LAPD text messages between Argento and Dove in which Argento acknowledged having had sex with actor Jimmy Bennett despite a public denial of sexual contact with the then-17-year-old actor in 2013.

Dancing with the Stars has revealed its celebrity cast and their dancer pairings for season 27, TheWrap.com noted. Some of the competitors will include Dukes of Hazzard actor John Schneider, former NFL player DeMarcus Ware, Bachelor contestant Joe "Grocery Store Joe" Amabile, Facts of Life actress Nancy McKeon and Olympic darling Mary Lou Retton. The season 27 premiere will air live Monday, Sept. 24, on ABC.

The Seattle Storm defeated the Washington Mystics 98-82 in the third game of the WNBA Finals at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia, to complete a series sweep and capture their third WNBA title, Bleacher Report noted. League MVP Breanna Stewart led the way with 30 points and eight rebounds as she added Finals MVP honors to her honors, while frontcourt running mate Natasha Howard poured in a playoff career-high 29 points.

Music icon Paul McCartney scored his first number-one album in 36 years on the Billboard 200 with Egypt Station, as of Sept. 16, Just Jared noted. The album moved 153,000 equivalent album units in its first week. Some of the other acts in that week's top 10 included Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Eminem, Drake and Lauren Daigle.

A night after hosting her Savage X Fenty Show in Brooklyn to close New York Fashion Week, Rihanna was back on the scene to throw her fourth-annual Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street, Page Six noted. Issa Rae hosted the event, which benefited the Clara Lionel Foundation, with guests including Joan Smalls, rapper A$AP Rocky, and Paris and Nicki Hilton. Childish Gambino ( aka Donald Glover ) performed as guests drank Jay-Z's Armand de Brignac rose champagne.

Angelina Jolie has attached to star in and produce for Imperative Entertainment an adaption of the James Scott frontier novel The Kept, Deadline noted. Published by HarperCollins in 2014, the novel takes place in the winter of 1897, when a trio of killers descends upon an isolated farm in upstate New York. Also, Jolie is starring with David Oyelowo in Come Away, a revisionist fairy tale that marks the live-action directorial debut of Oscar-winning The Brave director Brenda Chapman.

Norm MacDonald's appearance on the Sept. 11 episode of The Tonight Show was canceled at the last minute, Deadline.com noted. The Tonight Show's decision to pull Macdonald followed an interview with the Saturday Night Live alum posted by THR in which he indicated he was glad that the #MeToo reckoning in Hollywood seemed to have "slowed down a little bit," and spoke in defense of Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr following their scandals. McDonald has since apologized.


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