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Showbiz: Zac Efron, Gaga, Rafael Nadal, Mariah, Maupin love triangle
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-12-26

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Zac Efron ( currently in the film The Greatest Showman, with Hugh Jackman ) has joined the cast of Harmony Korine's new film, The Beach Bum, Indiewire.com noted. Efron is set to play a character named Flicker opposite Matthew McConaughey, Isla Fisher, Jimmy Buffett and Snoop Dogg. The film—reportedly about a stoner named Moondog ( McConaughey ) who lives life by his own rules—is currently wrapping production in Miami. The Beach Bum is Korine's first feature since 2012's Spring Breakers became his biggest project to date, grossing more than $31 million worldwide.

Lady Gaga has become the latest chart-topper to sign up to headline her own show in Las Vegas, Forbes reported. The set of performances ( an exact number of shows hasn't yet emerged, although Variety reports that it will be at least 36 ) will begin in December 2018. Gaga has signed on for a two-year stint at the Park Theater at the Park MGM in Las Vegas.

A new play recently ran off-off-Broadway has a plot featuring "tennis star Rafael Nadal" in a same-sex marriage, Outsports noted. Playwright Peter Gil-Sheridan penned The Rafa Play" as a "self-indulgent" exploration of "what a perfect life would look like for me." According to Gil-Sheridan, Nadal's character in the play is not "gay," but rather a "gay icon"—who's married to a man. Nadal has never said he's gay, and has been dating his girlfriend, Xisca Perello, since 2015.

Mariah Carey's holiday classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has finally hit the Billboard Hot 100's top 10, US Magazine noted. The song has been a yuletide jam since its 1994 debut but has just recently jingled its way past the No. 10 spot on the music chart. The tune sits at number nine for the week of December 30, according to Billboard. This marks the "One Sweet Day" singer's 28th Hot 100 top 10 song, and her first since "Obsessed" reached number seven in 2009.

In a new memoir called Logical Family, author Armistead Maupin reveals he had a "friend with benefits" relationship with actor Rock Hudson, as well as a love triangle that involved Sir Ian McKellen, Queerty noted. Maupin is quite candid about his affair with Hudson, including the pair's first sexual encounter together, which was less than successful. As for McKellen, there was a time that Maupin and McKellen both had eyes for the same guy: Broadway /TV actor Curt Dawson, who passed away in 1985 from AIDS.

Britney Spears will give Vegas one last piece of her before the ball drops on New Year's Eve, Page Six noted. The pop princess announced she will perform on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, as her Sin City residency comes to a close. Spears is expected to perform "Toxic" and "Work Bitch" from inside the AXIS auditorium at the Planet Hollywood resort in Las Vegas—her first New Year Eve's set since 2002, according to Billboard.

Spoiler alert: When the producers decided to bring a Roseanne reunion to ABC, they didn't want to do it without Sarah Chalke, who took over the role of Becky Conner in season six after Lecy Goranson went off to college—and producers have come up with a way to include both actresses, EW.com revealed. Chalke will play a middle-class married woman named Andrea who hires Becky ( Goranson ) to serve as her surrogate. The plot twist not only leads to some drama within the Conner family but it gives the producers a chance to wink at how important both women were to series, which aired from 1988 to 1997.

Universal Pictures released the trailer for its Mamma Mia sequel, officially titled Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again," TheWrap reported. At the end of the two-minute, 24-second teaser, Cher shows up as Amanda Seyfriend's grandmother. The trailer seems to tease the death of Meryl Streep's character, who, as Seyfriend's on-screen mother, would likely be Cher's daughter.

Oprah Winfrey has alerted fans to a financial scam hitting social media that uses her name and photo, Deadline reported. In a video posted on her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, Winfrey says the imposters are asking for money for signing up for an OWN account on Instagram. "It's a fraud, it's a fraud, it's a fraud!," Winfrey says. "Don't believe it. Don't give up any of your bank accounts or personal information to anybody posing as me, or anyone else, for that matter. And, have a merry Christmas."

German police confiscated about 100 items that once belonged to the late Beatles icon John Lennon, King5.com reported. The items were stolen from the New York home of the musician's widow, Yoko Ono, in 2006. Lennon's stolen valuables include three leather-bound diaries, two pairs of metal-rimmed glasses, a cigarette case, a 1965 Beatles concert recording, a 1952 school-exercise book, contract documents for the copyright of his song "I'm the Greatest," and handwritten scores for "Just Like Starting Over" and "Woman." Ono confirmed the authenticity of the stolen goods.

One day after T.J. Miller was accused of sexual misconduct, film critic Danielle Solzman released a transphobic email she claims she received from the comic, according to Page Six. Solzman, who writes for the site Cultured Vultures and is a member of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, wrote that she and Miller became friends years ago—and she came out to him as transgender in 2015 and told the Huffington Post that he was supportive. However, last August, Solzman became aware of a transphobic joke on Miller's personal website and sent him a brief email saying, "It's very offensive." In his alleged reply, Miller appears to refer to Solzman as "Daniel," calls her a "f—king asshole" and also writes, "I feel pity for you."

Marcelo Gomes, a high-profile principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, has resigned amid an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct eight years ago, Page Six noted. American Ballet Theatre said the alleged misconduct did not involve any current or former members of the company and did not occur while he was an employee. Gomes, a native of Brazil, was invited to join ABT in 1997 at age 18 and was promoted to principal dancer in 2002; he made his debut with the Bolshoi Ballet in 2013.

Former E! Entertainment Television host Catt Sadler has explained why she left her job at the network in a post to her official website, Page Six noted. In the statement, she explained that her male co-host, Jason Kennedy, had been receiving "close to double [her] salary for the past several years." She wrote that she and her team asked the network to pay her "what I know I deserve and were denied repeatedly." Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain have been among those showing public support for Sadler.

More former child actors have come forward accusing producer Gary Goddard of sexual misconduct, according to Page Six. Following ER alum Anthony Edwards' allegation that Goddard sexually assaulted him when he was 12, seven others from the Santa Barbara theater group are accusing their one-time mentor of molesting or attempting to molest them in the 1970s. Goddard—a writer, director, producer and the founder of entertainment design company the Goddard Group—has, through a spokesman, "unequivocally" denied the allegations.

Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company's numerous legal tribulations are far from ending, and now there's a $10-million sexual-harassment suit filed from a former associate producer on Marco Polo, Deadline noted. "The causes of action are based on repeated sexual harassment, sexual intimidation, emotional abuse, assault and battery of Plaintiff by Defendant Harvey Weinstein over a period of years through 2017," says the filing from Alexandra Canosa. The suit is at https://pmcdeadline2.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/weinstein-redacted-wm.pdf.

TV showrunner Mark Schwahn—who has been accused of sexual misconduct by cast and crew members of both One Tree Hill and E!'s The Royals—has been fired, USA Today noted. One Tree Hill stars Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton were among 18 cast and crew members who wrote an open letter accusing Schwahn, 51, of "traumatizing" sexual harassment that was published by Variety in mid-November. Days after the One Tree Hill accusers came forward, 25 female cast and crew members from Schwahn's current show, The Royals, issued their own letter to Variety revealing he had also exposed many of them to "repeated, unwanted sexual harassment."

Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell resigned his post amid an investigation into offensive emails he sent about a pageant winner, Deadline reported. In a statement he has resigned along with president and COO Josh Randle and Lynn Weidner, the board chair who sent emails involved in the controversy. Emails surfaced in which he criticized the appearance, intellect and sex lives of a pageant winner. ABC is set to air the 97th Miss America Pageant live from Atlantic City on Sept. 10, 2018, with hosts Chris Harrison and Sage Steele.

NBC has issued strict new anti-sexual harassment rules to employees—including that staffers must snitch on any misbehaving colleagues—in the wake of the firing of disgraced Today show host Matt Lauer, Page Six revealed. Detailed rules also have been issued about conduct in the office, including how to socialize and even how to hug colleagues.

David Eaton, VP and executive editor of NFL Media, has resigned after reports that he engaged in hundreds of sexually explicit exchanges on Twitter with porn stars and prostitutes over several years, Variety noted. Eaton, who joined the NFL in 2011, oversaw news operations for the NFL Network and NFL.com . Before joining the league, he had been a bureau chief at ABC News in L.A. and Atlanta.

The Richard Avedon Foundation has called on Spiegel and Grau, an imprint of Random House, to cease publication, distribution or any derivative or collateral use of Avedon: Something Personal, by Norma Stevens and Steven M.L. Aronson, which it is billing as an "intimate biography" of the late photographer, per a press release. The foundation said the book was "written under false pretenses" and claims it contains many inaccuracies.

Patrick Schwarzenegger—the actor and elder son of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and JFK niece Maria Shriver—told TMZ he'd consider running for political office someday. Patrick said that he would run if he feels he can better the country somehow.

Elizabeth Vargas—an ABC News staple for two decades and co-anchor with David Muir of the network's newsmagazine 20/20 for 14 years—is leaving the company in May after the show's 40th season wraps, according to Deadline. Vargas has worn many hats at ABC's news division, and famously was named co-anchor of the networks' World News Tonight with Bob Woodruff. There was no mention of a 20/20 anchor replacement.

Real Housewives of New York City figure Luann de Lesseps has apologized after she was arrested in Florida and charged with multiple offenses, including disorderly intoxication and felony battery of a police officer, The Huffington Post reported. In part, she said, "This was my first time in Palm Beach since my wedding and being there brought up uried emotions. I am committed to a transformative and hopeful 2018."

Sarah Hyland took to Twitter to express her frustration over not being able to get her medication at CVS, US Magazine noted. She posted, "Hey @cvspharmacy when you tell a kidney transplant recipient that her medication will be ready before you close and that you will notify her when it's ready to be picked up. F—KING DO IT BEFORE YOU CLOSE. PEOPLE LIKE ME CANT AFFORD TO GO WITHOUT MEDICATION." When a Twitter user replied, "Or you could check to see what time they close like everyone else does," the Modern Family star responded, "Called at 9:02pm. They were closed. But yes you're right. I'm an idiot."

Nick Castle—who played Michael Myers, credited as "The Shape" in the original 1978 Halloween movie—will return to reprise the role in the upcoming Blumhouse movie, TheWrap reported. David Gordon Green is directing the film that will also star original cast member Jamie Lee Curtis and also Judy Greer. Laurie Strode ( Curtis ) will have her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she barely escaped his killing spree four decades ago. Green and Danny McBride are scripting the new Halloween film, due in theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Nadya Suleman—famously known as "Octomom" when she had octuplets in addition to the six children she already had—said her decision to have 14 children was "foolish, immature and selfish," News.com .au reported. She also spoke about her past as a stripper and a porn star, saying she was "disgusted" with her behavior, but did it to support her children. During her lowest moment, she was taking lots of prescription drugs. "I had to medicate to just get through what I was doing. I would mix it with alcohol, which I later found out was what Whitney Houston died from," Suleman said.


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