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ShOWBIZ 'Drag Race' judges, Dwyane Wade, 'Porgy,' Of Montreal, Cirque du Soleil
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-02-18

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RuPaul Drag Race's season-12 guest judges consist of film, music, television, fashion and political figures such as Nicki Minaj, Whoopi Goldberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chaka Khan, Robyn, Leslie Jones, Normani, Jeff Goldblum, Daisy Ridley, Thandie Newton, Olivia Munn, Rachel Bloom, Daniel Franzese, Jonathan Bennett and Winnie Harlow, a press release noted. The season premieres Friday, Feb. 28, on VH1.

Dwyane Wade said he's "proud" of his daughter Zaya and her decision to come out as transgender, UPI.com reported. The retired basketball star voiced his support for Zaya during an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show after the 12-year-old's coming out. "Me and my wife, my wife Gabrielle Union ... we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we're proud allies as well," Wade told host Ellen DeGeneres. "We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously."

MGM set Dee Rees to write and direct a feature film adaptation of George Gershwin's acclaimed Porgy and Bess, Deadline noted. Irwin Winkler and Charles Winkler will produce. The film rights were granted to MGM by the Gershwin estate, which worked closely with Winkler and Rees to secure them. Originally written as an opera and adapted from the 1925 DuBose Heyward novel by composer George Gershwin with libretto by Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin, Porgy and Bess is set in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina.

Of Montreal—the indie band fronted by Kevin Barnes, who Westworld has referred to as "gender-bending"—released their new electro-pop album, UR FUN, via Polyvinyl Record Co., a press release noted. Prior to the album's release, the act shared the electro-pop protest song "Peace to All Freaks," the pet-friendly video for "Polyanuerism" and the song "You've Had Me Everywhere." The band is also going on tour to support the album, with stops in Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Nashville, Phoenix and Seattle, among many other cities.

Cirque du Soleil hosted a very special Equality Night celebration of its new show, VOLTA, on Feb. 13 under the Big Top at Dodger Stadium, a press release noted. A portion of ticket sales from this performance will be donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Just a few of the guests included Anna Camp, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Jake Borelli Latrice Royale and Jack Falahee.

"Turner Classic Movies ( TCM ) announced it will honor iconic actress and comedian Lily Tomlin with a hand and footprint ceremony at the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood during the eleventh annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Friday, April 17," a press release read, as quoted in LGBTQ Nation. TCM cited Tomlin's eight Emmys, two Peabody Awards, Tony and Grammy along with her "remarkable career starting in the 1960s" as their reasoning behind the honor.

Actor Nathan Lane opened up about his sexuality in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter's 'It Happened in Hollywood' podcast, according to Queerty. In the candid interview, the 64-year-old explains that he came out to his close friends and family in his early 20s. He also said that, while promoting the film The Birdcage with Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey tried to out him—but that Williams "sensed she might be going toward the sexuality question and he immediately swoops in and diverts the interview to protect me." Lane officially came out "officially" in The Advocate in 1999.

GLAAD announced that singer Adam Lambert will open the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards with a special performance on Thursday, March 19, a press release noted. GLAAD previously announced that Ben Platt—the Tony-winning star of Netflix's The Politician—will also perform at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York. Special guests Jaboukie Young-White ( comedian and correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah ), the cast of Pose, and Schitt's Creek star Emily Hampshire will also attend the New York ceremony, which will take place at the Hilton Midtown.

On May 1, Capitol Records will release Sam Smith's third album, To Die For, a press release noted. Smith shared the title track and the accompanying video. Opening with a sample from the 2001 cult film Donnie Darko, the new track pairs soaring strings and evocative piano with Smith's vocals. The video is at http://samsmith.world/ToDieForVidPR. Since the release of their 2014 debut album, In The Lonely Hour, Smith has sold more than 25 million adjusted albums worldwide.

A pop-culture website is reporting that Sony is working on a movie where Spider-Man is bisexual, LGBTQ Nation noted. Several unnamed sources told We Got This Covered ( WGTC ) that a live-action Spider-Man movie starring Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield—in which the iconic hero is bi—is in the works. In the movie, Holland, the current Spider-Man, meets his alter-egos from the Spiderverse; the character was played by Maguire and Andrew Garfield in other movies. The sources said that Sony really wants to get Garfield back in a Spider-Man movie, and his Spider-Man would be bi and have a boyfriend.

Former hockey star Jeremy Roenick—who was suspended and then fired as an analyst with NBC Sports after talking on a podcast about the possibility of having a threesome with co-worker Kathryn Tappen and his wife—blames his termination on "woke culture," The New York Post noted. "I gotta be a little bit more aware of the culture that we're in right now, the things you can say, whether it's public or whether it's in a podcast that you're very comfortable telling stories," Roenick told TMZ Sports. Roenick, who once played with the Chicago Blackhawks, also said on Barstool Sport's Spittin' Chiclets podcast originally that he would consider sleeping with another ex-Blackhawk, Patrick Sharp, if he were asked, according to CNN.com .

Janet Jackson is gearing up for her first album since 2015's Unbreakable, HipHopDX.com noted. The multi-platinum selling singer announced a new LP titled Black Diamond as well as a supporting tour of the same name. Jackson didn't share a timeframe for her Black Diamond album's release, but her tour is scheduled to begin this summer. The "Rhythm Nation" artist will kick off her run of concerts at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on June 24.

Five-time Grammy winner Billie Eilish has dropped her latest song, "No Time To Die," the official theme song to the upcoming James Bond film, Deadline noted. The release of "No Time To Die" comes ahead of the film's global release, which hits theaters April 2 in the United Kingdom and April 10 in the United States. The 18-year-old Eilish is the youngest artist in history to both write and record a James Bond theme song.

So many people were upset that Luke Perry was left out of this year's edition of the annual tribute to stars who have died, Oscars officials have responded, Yahoo! noted. "The Academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment," an official statement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences read. "An executive committee representing every branch considers the list and makes selections for the telecast based on limited available time. All the submissions are included on Oscar.com and will remain on the site throughout the year. Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce are remembered in the Oscar.com gallery."

Lance Bass announced he has partnered with Sony's TriStar Pictures to produce a film about two girls who quit school to follow NSYNC on their final tour in a Winnebago they won from the game show The Price Is Right, EW.com noted. He said, "It's actually been about a 20-year journey. When I first found out about this true story, we were towards the end of our [Popodyssey] tour, and these girls had been following us for two and a half months already."

Actor Rick Cosnett, 36, known for playing Detective Eddie Thawne on CW's The Flash, just came out as gay in an Instagram video, LGBTQ Nation noted. "Hi everyone. Dramatic pause. I'm gay," he said in the clip. Cosnett, whose cousin is Hugh Grant, said in the video that he absorbed and internalized homophobia over his life but now he wants to live his truth.

Talk-show host Wendy Williams esd under fire for remarks she made about the LGBTQ+ community—but has since apologized, Page Six noted. At one point on her show, Williams originally critiqued men who choose to wear feminine clothing: "Stop wearing our skirts and our heels. Just saying, girls, what do we have for ourselves. Looky here now, gay men, you'll never be the women that we are—no matter how gay." However, after a lot of social-media backlash, Williams issued a video saying, "I'll start by saying, I apologize. I did not mean to offend my LGBTQ+ community on yesterday's show," adding that she maybe sounded like "somebody out of touch."

The critically praised film Birds of Prey ( and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn ) was renamed Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey after a relatively poor box-office showing its first weekend of $33 million, EW.com noted. Birds of Prey follows Harley Quinn ( played by Margot Robbie ) in the wake of her breakup with the Joker, as she falls in with the titular crew of antiheroines, including Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as Huntress; Jurnee Smollett-Bell, as Black Canary; and Rosie Perez, as jaded Detective Renee Montoya.

Speaking of Robbie, she has come aboard David O. Russell's currently untitled New Regency film, which Deadline previously reported had Christian Bale attached to star, Deadline noted. Robbie was up for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar this year for her role in Bombshell, and was previously nominated for her leading role in I, Tonya. Bale has been nominated for four Oscars, winning for his role in The Fighter.

Oakland, Callifornia, queercore band Middle-Aged Queers have dropped a new single and video titled "Gary's Making Biscuits," a press release noted. The song appears on the band's upcoming debut album, Too Fag For Love, out March 14 via the band's own label Outpunx Records, in collaboration with Bay Area indie Sell The Heart Records. Middle-Aged Queers features ex-members of bands such as Flipper, Fang, Yaphet Kotto, Bread and Circuits, The Cost, Wet-Nap, Saviours, The Shudders, S.P.A.G., The Insaints and No Alternative.

Zachary Levi ( Shazam! ) has signed on to headline the new musical comedy film Undercover, according to a Broadway.com item that cites Deadline. Oscar winner Diablo Cody, book writer of Broadway's Jagged Little Pill ( more on that below ), is among the writers on the new motion picture. Riverdale's Cole Sprouse will co-star. Undercover sees Levi as a "down-on-his-luck rocker-turned-father who secretly joins a group of young musicians in a wedding cover band led by Sprouse. When things start looking up for the band, Levi's character gets exposed."

In the middle of its second act at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York, the stage production of Jagged Little Pill was interrupted when a patron allegedly used a can of pepper spray, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Although the matinee was expected to resume, a Broadhurst Theatre spokesperson confirmed to THR that it was canceled. The musical is based on Alanis Morissette's 1995 alternative-rock album of the same name, and written by Diablo Cody.

Three people were shot at Atlanta restaurant Old Lady Gang—which Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Kandi Burruss and husband Todd Tucker own, WSOCTV.com reported. The East Point location opened in 2018, following the success of the original location on Peters Street. All three victims were expected to be OK, and police were actively searching for the gunman.

West Side Story is standing by cast member Amar Ramasar, despite protesters at the show demanding he gets the boot, Page Six noted. The controversy stemmed from Ramasar being accused of allegedly participating in a lewd text exchange when he was at the New York City Ballet that involved the sharing and receiving of explicit images of female ballet dancers with male pals. Protesters have called for West Side Story to fire Ramasar, who plays Bernardo in the show, over the allegations. Ramasar was dismissed from the ballet in 2018 after a female dancer filed a civil lawsuit against the company and other defendants.

Luke Evans went Instagram-official with the new love in his life: art director Rafa Olarra, Queerty noted. "He loves my welsh humour….no, honestly!! he does!!" Luke captioned a clip of the couple. According to Olarra's profile, in addition to being an art director, he's also a tri-athlete, "motivated climber," and globe-trotter.

Six months after canceling its release, Universal and Blumhouse are reintroducing The Hunt, Yahoo! noted. The satiric political thriller—which depicts rich, liberal "elites" kidnapping and hunting conservatives—will now hit theaters on March 13. Last year, Universal paused its marketing campaign for the violent film in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Girloy, California.

CBS is mulling a CSI event series to mark the 20th anniversary of the original series' October 2000 premiere, Deadline noted. The idea is for the new installment—from writer Jason Tracey ( Elementary ), CBS TV Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer TV—to be set in Las Vegas and be a sequel to the mothership CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Also, it may star some of the original actors.

Viewers of HGTV's popular show House Hunters recently were surprised as a polyamorous "throuple" searched for a new home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, NBC News noted. "Buying a house together as a throuple will signify our next big step as a family of five, rather than all four of them plus me," said Angelica, referring to her partners Lori and Brian and their two biological children. Brian revealed the trio had a commitment ceremony a few weeks ago in Aruba.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mikita celebrated their baby on the way with an epic baby shower that included many of Ferguson's Modern Family costars, lavish poolside decorations—and a performance by male synchronized swimmers, People.com noted. Modern Family stars Sarah Hyland and SofÃa Vergara were part of the star-studded guest list, which also included Betty Who, Jen Atkin, Lisa Rinna and Broadway actress Shoshana Bean, who serenaded the happy couple. ( The theme of the bash was "S— Just Got Real." ) Ferguson, 44, revealed he was expecting his first child during a January episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden while sharing advice about turning 40.

Nick Hornby's hit novel High Fidelity has been reimagined as a Hulu series with Zoe Kravitz as the lead—and the author endorses the gender twist, according to Page Six. "I thought it was really cool, especially when I found out who the woman was going to be," Hornby told The Post. "I never thought it was about guys, particularly; I thought it was about music and relationships." The 2000 feature film version starred John Cusack as a record-store owner struggling with love and in pursuit of making the perfect mixtape for it all.

Macaulay Culkin opened up about his close friendship with Michael Jackson in Esquire's latest cover story, Page Six noted. "He never did anything to me. I never saw him do anything. And especially at this flashpoint in time, I'd have no reason to hold anything back," the "Home Alone" star told the publication. He also said actor James Franco mentioned the documentary Leaving Neverland to him. Culkin said, "I turned to him and I go, 'Do you wanna talk about your dead friend?' And he sheepishly went, 'No, I don't.' So I said, 'Cool, man, it was nice to see you.'"

Jane Fonda is done changing her body, Page Six noted. "I can't pretend that I'm not vain, but there isn't going to be any more plastic surgery—I'm not going to cut myself up anymore," Fonda, 82, told Elle Canada for its March issue, before adding, "I have to work every day to be self-accepting; it doesn't come easy to me." Fonda memorably clashed with Megyn Kelly back in 2017, when the former NBC host asked the Grace & Frankie actress about her plastic surgery.

Actress Priyanka Chopra-Jonas is reportedly partnering with the Lambs Club guru David Rabin and her longtime friend Maneesh Goyal on a new Indian eatery in New York City, Page Six noted. The Flatiron District spot is slated for an early summer opening, with chef Hari Nayak tapped to create the cuisine.


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