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Jesse Tyler's project; Streisand's honor; an offer to Bieber
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-01-20


Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Tie The Knot bowtie collection has released three limited-edition items inspired by Ira Sachs' movie Love Is Strange, which stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, according to a press release. The bowties are "The Sachs-Torres" ( expressing a collaboration between Ira and his husband, Boris Torres ), "The John Lithgow" and "The Alfred Molina." The bow ties, which retail for $25 each, are now available exclusively at The Tie Bar ( www.thetiebar.com/jtf ).

Barbra Streisand has been selected to receive the American Society of Cinematographers' ( ASC's ) 2015 Board of Governors Award, which will be bestowed at the group's 29th annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards gala Feb. 15 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, according to Deadline. The ASC Board of Governors Award is given to an individual who has made extraordinary achievements in advancing the art and craft of filmmaking. Previous recipients include Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Christopher Nolan, Warren Beatty, Morgan Freeman and Steven Spielberg, among others.

Justin Bieber has been offered $2 million to film a gay-porn scene, Complex reported. The adult entertainment website Men.com formally pitched the idea to Bieber in a video starring Johnny Rapid. This seems to all stem from Bieber's recent and mildly controversial Calvin Klein campaign; there have been plenty of accusations that several aspects of the photos were Photoshopped.

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NBC has signed a development deal with Dolly Parton, according to a press release. In conjunction with production partner Sam Haskell of Magnolia Hill Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, NBC will develop a slate of two-hour TV movies based on Parton's songs, stories and life. Over the past 40 years, the Grammy winner has 41 albums that have reached the top 10 in the country charts—the most for any artist—as well as 25 albums have either been certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum. In addition, 110 singles have reached the country charts.

The Lifetime movie Whitney ( based on the relationship between late singer Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown ) brought in 4.5 million total viewers for the network, according to Deadline. With that viewership and demo result, the movie of the singing superstar was the best the A+E subsidiary has done since Flowers in the Attic aired Jan. 18, 2014.

The same month Bjork releases her upcoming ninth album, Vulnicura, she will kick off her invasion of New York City, according to Billboard. On Jan. 16, she announced six dates, all in March and April, set to take place in the Big Apple. The "Big Time Sensuality" singer is also scheduled to perform at the Governors Ball Music Festival, which will take place June 5-7.

Derek Hough is ditching Dancing with the Stars to play the male lead in the New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall in March, NJ.com reported. The five-time mirror-ball trophy winner, who has been a professional on the show since season five, will star opposite Laura Benanti. Hough ( who is taking his second hiatus from "Dancing" ) will be joined at the famed venue by Whoopi Goldberg, Bella Thorne, Carmelo Anthony, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart and Henrik Lundqvist. The engagement runs March 12-May 3.

Katy Perry said her female-empowerment anthems make her the ideal Super Bowl halftime performer after an NFL season shadowed by highly publicized domestic violence cases involving players, according to Billboard. When talking with the NFL about performing, Perry promised a 12-minute mash-up of her hits, humor, multiple costume changes, at least two distinct "worlds" and special guests including Lenny Kravitz. However, she said she balked at paying to play the gig. The halftime show had had controversy in the past—from Janet Jackson's 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" to M.I.A.'s middle finger flash when she assisted Madonna in 2012.

Broadway and Frozen star Idina Menzel and singer-songwriter John Legend will belt out a couple of patriotic tunes to get the Super Bowl started Feb. 1, according to Today.com. Menzel will follow in the footsteps of Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Neil Diamond and Beyonce when she steps up to sing the national anthem. Legend, fresh off a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination for the Selma song "Glory," will deliver a rendition of "America the Beautiful" before kickoff—an honor Queen Latifah took on last year.

TV personality Ellen DeGeneres recently took one of her critics head on, according to US Weekly. DeGeneres was the subject of a Christian Post column entitled "Are You Aware of the Avalanche of Gay Programming Assaulting Your Home?," that conservative pastor and author Larry Tomczak published. "Larry, I don't even know what it means to celebrate my lesbianism. I mean. Well, I guess I do, it's like that!" DeGeneres said on her talk show, pulling a party popper out of her pocket and popping it. "I'm gay!" She added, "Larry, the only way I'm trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another."

Speaking of DeGeneres, Mariah Carey confirmed her first Las Vegas residency at Caesar's Palace on her talk show recently, according to Billboard. Confirmation of Carey's residency comes on the back of reports Celine Dion is postponing her dates at Caesars Palace. The Canadian-born star was expected to return to the Colosseum in March but, according to various published reports, she's pushing back her music engagements to look after her ill husband, Rene Angelil.

Disney-owned cable network ABC Family has renewed scripted drama The Fosters for a third season and adding unscripted entry Job or No Job, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The Fosters, which is produced in-house, is executive produced by Jennifer Lopez and created by Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige ( Queer as Folk ). It won a TV Academy honor and a GLAAD Media Award for its depiction of a same-sex family.

Kathy Griffin slammed Amal Clooney's Golden Globes gown choice in the first post-Joan Rivers episode of Fashion Police," Fox News noted. The human rights lawyer and newlywed chose a full-length black Dior gown complete with long, white gloves. "Like, she used those bovine-insemination gloves to rake through her hair instead of a brush," Griffin said before warning "nobody's safe, nobody gets a pass," even "the great George Clooney's" wife.

Stephen Fry, 57, announced via Twitter on Jan. 17 that he and his fiance Elliott Spencer, 27, tied the knot, US Weekly noted. The news came just two weeks after the couple revealed that they were engaged. The couple said "I do" in the Norfolk town of Dereham, England. This is the first marriage for Fry. The 24: Live Another Day actor was previously linked to actor Steven Webb and salesman Daniel Cohen.

Billy Crystal is clarifying remarks he made regarding the depiction of gay sex on television, a day after a TCA panel for his new series stirred some controversy, according to The Wrap. "Sometimes I think, 'Ah that's too much for me,'" Crystal said of contemporary LGBT storylines. "I hope people don't abuse it and shove it in our face … to the point where it feels like an everyday kind of thing." In a subsequent statement, Crystal said, "What I meant was that whenever sex or graphic nudity of any kind ( gay or straight ) is gratuitous to the plot or story it becomes a little too much for my taste." Crystal played the groundbreaking gay character Jodie Dallas from the ABC comedy Soap, which aired 1977-1981.

Tyra Banks' new syndicated talk show, The FAB Life, has sold to nearly 70 percent of television stations in the country, The Wrap noted. Banks' panel—which will be co-hosted by model Chrissy Teigen, Yahoo! style editor Joe Zee, designer Lauren Makk and YouTube star Leah Ashley—will welcome celebrity guests and offer content to "motivate the audience to make their lives more fun and beautiful."

QVC shopping channel host Shawn Killinger and designer Isaac Mizrahi found themselves in a heated discussion—not about spring fashion trends but whether the moon is a planet, according to Yahoo! News. Killinger thought the moon is a star while Mizrahi said it is a planet. According to NASA, the moon is classified as neither a star nor a planet, but rather as the Earth's satellite.

Trans activists are frustrated by a recent issue of the tabloid InTouch Weekly that placed an evidently Photoshopped image of Bruce Jenner on its cover, along with the headline "Bruce's Story: My Life As a Woman," Advocate.com reported. The magazine also falsely claimed that the former Olympian planned to come out as a transgender woman in a future issue of The Advocate. "That anybody is still trying to 'shock' people about transgender people is really sad," said Mara Kiesling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Songwriter Ashley Hamilton was arrested at an LGBT medical center after impersonating an officer in order to get special treatment for his friend, TMZ reported. Authorities said Hamilton took a friend to the Los Angeles LGBT Center to get emergency care. When told they would have to wait, Hamilton ( the son of actor George Hamilton ) flashed a badge that turned out to be a movie prop. Ashley Hamilton is also the ex-husband of Shannen Doherty and Angie Everhart.

Prosecutors claim that the accused stalker of Orange is the New Black star Taryn Manning hatched a scheme to have the actress jailed, Page Six revealed. The lawyers claim that Jeanine Heller, 32, won a family-court order of protection by claiming Manning was her ex-girlfriend and was harassing her. Then Heller allegedly claimed Manning had threatened to kill her, violating that order. The actress was jailed and then released because "there was zero corroboration," said prosecutor Zachary Weintraub.

Tom Ford has been mentioned as the next designer for the Italian fashion house Gucci after it announced in December that designer Frida Giannini and her partner, CEO Patrizio di Marco, would exit the company, according to Page Six. Ford ran Gucci from 1994 to 2004, turning around an unprofitable business that eventually went public. Ford's return may be a long shot—he's since launched his own brand estimated by some to be worth $1 billion.

"Dame Edna's Glorious Goodbye—The Farewell Tour" launched Jan. 15 at Seattle's Moore Theatre, according to Playbill. The international gigastar is scheduled to play Seattle, Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre, San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre, Palm Desert's McCallum Theatre, Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre and Washington's National Theatre. The tour runs through late April.

Glee star Naya Rivera has called daily showering a "white people thing," Page Six noted. Rivera shared her thoughts on The View after co-host Nicolle Wallace told viewers she showers multiple times a day. The actress added that dermatologists only recommend showering once or twice every three days, "so I'm right on the mark." Social media erupted with negative comments following Rivera's remarks, with one Twitter user writing, "Now white people gonna think we don't shower cuz of Naya Rivera."

Also connected to Glee, series star Lea Michele is set to co-star in Scream Queens, the followup Fox series from Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, Deadline reported. Also joining the cast are Joe Manganiello ( True Blood ), Abigail Breslin ( Little Miss Sunshine ), singer Ariana Grande and Keke Palmer ( Akeela and the Bee ). The first installment in the new anthology series, which also stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts, revolves around a college campus that is rocked by a series of murders.

In addition, on the recent "Jagged Little Tapestry" episode, Glee introduced a new transgender storyline for Dot Marie Jones' character Shannon Beiste, US Weekly reported. In an emotional scene, the football coach reveals that she will be transitioning from a woman to a man. Beiste made the revelation to Sue ( Jane Lynch ) and Sam ( Chord Overstreet ), explaining to the high school student that it's when "your outsides don't match how you feel on the inside." After Beiste's tearful speech, both Sue and Sam accept and support her.

A pilot who dated Britney Spears and helped her fight drugs and alcohol reportedly was killed when a missile hit his helicopter in Afghanistan, according to Page Six. John Sundahl, 44, who met the pop star at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 2007, had been flying dignitaries in and out of the war zone for a private company for a year.

Fitness guru, actor and model Greg Plitt, 37, has died after being struck by a train in L.A., the UK Mirror reported. Plitt appeared on the covers of more than 250 fitness magazines and 25 romance novels in the last four years. Men's Fitness once named him among America's 25 Fittest Americans, while DNA Magazine called him one of the 60 Sexiest Men Alive alongside Bond actor Daniel Craig.

In Vanity Fair's February issue, legendary actress Gina Lollobrigida, 87, is profiled, USA Today noted. Among other things, she commented on the late actor Rock Hudson. "I don't think he was gay then—people can change," she said. "When we did our love scenes, he was quite … normal. He liked me very much. I felt something. ... It was more than a kiss." She also talked about her "rivalry" with Sophia Loren and a feud with her son, Andrea Milko Skofic.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman has said that being gay "is not my lifestyle," Outsports noted. Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch asked Aikman about the story that's followed him for 20 years—ever since sports commentator Skip Bayless wrote in a book i that Aikman might be gay. Aikman told Deitsch, "I'm upset about it because it was made up, and there was nothing accurate about anything that was insinuated. ... If that is a lifestyle people choose, so be it. It doesn't affect me one way or another. But it is not my lifestyle.

Fox's live adaptation of Broadway hit Grease has found its Sandy, its Rizzo and its airdate, USA Today revealed. Julianne Hough will play Sandy, Rydell High's newest student, and Vanessa Hudgens will play Rizzo in the network's three-hour live musical, set to air Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Marc Platt ( Into the Woods ) will produce the event, which follows NBC's hit Sound of Music Live and December's less successful follow-up, Peter Pan Live.

Michael Sam confirmed on Twitter that he is engaged, NBC News noted. "Thank you for saying yes," Sam tweeted to his new fiancé, Vito Cammisano. The tweet was accompanied by a picture of Sam on one knee and a beaming Cammisano atop St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Sam posted a picture of the view on Jan. 7, which also happened to be his 25th birthday, but the engagement wasn't announced until Jan. 16. Sam is still waiting to be signed by a pro football team after the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys cut him.

Runaways producer and notorious L.A. music legend Kim Fowley has died at 75, Rolling Stone reported. Fowley is best remembered as the record producer for the all-female rock group the Runaways. He introduced Joan Jett, who was 15 at the time, to teenage drummer Sandy West and helped them find frontwoman Cherie Currie, lead guitarist Lita Ford and bassist Jackie Fox. Fowley produced the band's 1976 self-titled debut and co-wrote the band's biggest hit, the punkish "Cherry Bomb," with Jett.

Reportedly because of high consumer demand, IMAX Corporation and HBO announced that the first-ever presentation of a television program in IMAX theaters—featuring two episodes from season four of Game of Thrones followed by the worldwide debut of the series' season five sneak-peek preview created exclusively for IMAX—will now launch one week later on Thursday, Jan. 29, and extend through Feb. 5, a press release stated. The date change allows for an expanded roll-out of screens to upwards of 200 IMAX theaters.

After completing a long run as the tragic motorcycle club leader on Sons Of Anarchy, Charlie Hunnam is going to play another character who gets lost in the drug trade, according to Deadline. Legendary has acquired the 2011 Rolling Stone article American Drug Lord, and they have set American Sniper scribe Jason Hall to write the script as a potential star vehicle for Hunnam, who once starred in the UK version of Queer As Folk. The upcoming movie is based on the story of Edgar Valdez, a high school football player from Texas who would become the only U.S. citizen to rise to the level of cartel leader in Mexico.

Jimmy Fallon often gets stars to do unique things, and he did again with Gwyneth Paltrow, as she sang Broadway versions of rap songs during an appearance on The Tonight Show, JustJared.com reported. Some of the songs the actress sang on the show included Drake's "Started from the Bottom," Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" and a Big Sean's "I Don't F—k With You."

Wolfe Releasing has acquired the rights to two award-winning, coming-of-age films: Eric Schaeffer's Boy Meets Girl and Wade Gasque's Tiger Orange, a press release stated. Wolfe has the worldwide rights to Boy Meets Girl ( with the exception of Germany ) and the film will release across all VOD platforms beginning April 7 and on DVD April 28. Wolfe also has worldwide rights for Tiger Orange, which will debut later in 2015.

Shay Mitchell—best known for playing lesbian student Emily Fields on the ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars—said she's no "gay icon," she told Yahoo! Style. Mitchell said, "I don't feel like a gay icon. I don't feel like an icon at all. Every single interview was always, 'What's it like to play a gay character?' It would be nice if I was never asked that again. Why isn't anyone asking the other girls what it's like to kiss a boy?"

Taylor Lianne Chandler, the intersex woman who claims to be Olympian Michael Phelps' ex-girlfriend, has made a porn flick called Going for the Gold that debuted at the 2015 AVN and Adult Entertainment Expo, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The film reveals Chandler's version of intimate and erotic details of an affair with a world-famous Olympic gold-medal winner. Chandler revealed her alleged relationship with Phelps while he was in rehab in November 2014 after his second DUI arrest.

The Imitation Game—a movie about the life of the late gay British codebreaker Alan Turing—received eight Academy Award nominations when they were announced Jan. 15. The film was nominated for actor ( Benedict Cumberbatch ), supporting actress ( Keira Knightley ), director, film editing, original score, production design, adapted screenplay and picture. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel led the Oscar pack with nine nods each. Other highlights included Meryl Streep receiving her 19th acting nod ( for Into the Woods ) and The Lego Movie's "Everything Is Awesome" ( which lesbian duo Tegan & Sara performed ) being up for best original song. The 87th Academy Awards take place Sunday, Feb. 22; Neil Patrick Harris will host.

Just as it made a strong showing in the Oscar nominations, Birdman was the front-runner at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, winning seven, according to The Wrap. J.K. Simmons ( Whiplash ), Michael Keaton ( Birdman, edging The Theory of Everything's Eddie Redmayne ), Julianne Moore ( Still Alice ) and Patricia Arquette ( Boyhood ) repeated their Golden Globe wins in acting categories. Special awards were given to Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner and Ron Howard during the show, which switched from The CW to a live broadcast on A&E for its 20th-anniversary year; Michael Strahan hosted.

Julianne Moore isn't just the front-runner for best actress at this year's Oscars—she's also helping design the backstage green room, according to CBS News. Architectural Digest announced that the Still Alice star will consult on the room's look, and help choose furniture and decor for the celebrity enclave. The actress—a five-time Oscar nominee—will collaborate with Los Angeles-based design collective Commune, tapped to create Architectural Digest's annual namesake green room at the Academy Awards.

Transformers: Age of Extinction, which stars Mark Wahlberg, has received seven nominations for the 35th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards—leading all movies, E! Online noted. Transformers will have stiff competition in the Worst Picture category, which also includes Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas, Left Behind, The Legend of Hercules and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. New this year is the Redeemer Award, to be given to a mega-star who once laid a few eggs and were dishonored by the Razzies but has since rebounded with critical success; Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Mike Myers, Keanu Reeves and Kristen Stewart are the nominees. Awards will be handed out Feb. 21—the night before the Oscars.

Producers of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway have announced another major donation as part of its charitable partnership with Hetrick-Martin Institute ( HMI ), "the nation's oldest and largest organization helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth to reach their full potential," according to Advocate.com. The $200,000 donation brings the total raised by the show for HMI to $400,000 in less than a year. Since its first performance on March 29, 2014, the musical has donated a portion from each ticket sale to HMI, home of the Harvey Milk High School, a New York City public transfer school where at-risk youth can learn without fear of physical or emotional attacks.

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