News Round-Up: December 9, 2020

(Via Stephen Amell’s Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

KIT212: Kenneth wonders as to how much ‘seasonal sentiment’ is really attached to some InstaHunky posts like the above pic from Arrow star Stephen Amell?

Boy Culture: Matt Rettenmund’s list of his ‘Top 50 Sitcoms’ is pure gold – I especially agree with his Top 10.

The Tonight Show: Jimmy Fallon and Andrew Rannells recap the year 2020 through Broadway songs like “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, “Memory” from Cats, and “My Shot” from Hamilton.

Orlando Sentinel: Florida man coughed, sneezed, spit throughout a Best Buy after refusing mask. He told the police he’s “been going through a lot this year and got carried away.”

World Of Wonder: Porn performer Reno Gold donated a week’s worth of his online earnings – over $27,000 – to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which is awesome. p.s. if you do the math, Reno makes over $1 million a year, so, wow…

Instagram: A 21-year-old fashion/lifestyle photographer in Mexico City shared the emotional moment he told his mother he was marrying his boyfriend and his religious mother denounced him for being gay. The video quickly went viral.

“The day I die you are gonna be the one who kills me because I’m always thinking about all the stuff you’ve done wrong,” she told him. “You do wrong. You sin. Think really hard about what you’re doing. Think about it and don’t sin for Satan.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by H (@henrit0)

Trailer: ‘The Prom’ With Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Andrew Rannells

Meryl Streep and James Corden in ‘The Prom’ (photo: Netflix)

Netflix drops the official trailer for the upcoming screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical The Prom.

The stellar cast includes Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Andrew Rannells, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Chamberlin, Mary Kay Place, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Jo Ellen Pellman, and Ariana DeBose.

James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, Meryl Streep in ‘The Prom’ (photo: Netflix)

Synopsis:

Dee Dee Allen (three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (Tony Award-winner James Corden) are New York City stage stars with a crisis on their hands: their expensive new Broadway show is a major flop that has suddenly flatlined their careers.

Meanwhile, in small-town Indiana, high school student Emma Nolan (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman) is experiencing a very different kind of heartbreak: despite the support of the high school principal (Keegan-Michael Key), the head of the PTA (Kerry Washington) has banned her from attending the prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose).

When Dee Dee and Barry decide that Emma’s predicament is the perfect cause to help resurrect their public images, they hit the road with Angie (Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman) and Trent (Andrew Rannells), another pair of cynical actors looking for a professional lift.

But when their self-absorbed celebrity activism unexpectedly backfires, the foursome finds their own lives upended as they rally to give Emma a night where she can truly celebrate who she is.

In select theaters in December and premieres on Netflix on December 11, 2020.

‘The Prom’ Serves Up Big Stars & Sweet Same-Sex Romance

Meryl Streep and James Corden in The Prom (image via Netflix)

Netflix has dropped the Glee-tastic first trailer for the upcoming movie musical, The Prom, starring Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman as well as Tony Award winner James Corden and Andrew Rannells.

The film follows Dee Dee Allen (Streep) and Barry Glickman (Corden) as New York stage actors whose latest big Broadway musical flops and the actors scramble to revive their careers.

At the same time, high school student Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman), in small-town Indiana, has been banned from bringing her girlfriend, Alyssa (Ariana DeBose) to prom even though she has the backing of her principal.

The cast of The Prom (image via Netflix)

When Dee Dee and Barry decide that Emma’s predicament is the perfect cause to help resurrect their public images, they hit the road with Angie (Kidman) and Trent (Rannells), another pair of cynical actors looking for a professional lift.

But the quartet finds, as often happens on the silver screen, that self-absorbed celebrity activism can backfire, leaving the four thespians in chaos even as they struggle on to give Emma a night where she can truly celebrate who she is.

The film’s sweet, teenage love story is balanced by big, splashy production numbers. And let’s face it – does anyone do over-the-top egocentric character roles better than La Streep?

Meryl Streep (center) in The Prom (image via Netflix)

The stage production of the musical opened in November 2018 to rave reviews winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. 

When the Broadway cast appeared on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that year, the performance featured the first-ever same-sex kiss in the history of the annual event.

And the show went out with a bang with two same-sex members of the production exchanging vows onstage right before closing night.

The cast also includes Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Tracey Ulmann, and Nico Greetham. Hollywood wonder-boy Ryan Murphy directs the musical created by Chad Beguelin, Bob Martin, and Matthew Sklar.

The Prom arrives on Netflix and in theatres on December 11. Watch the trailer below.

Don’t Miss ‘The Great Work Begins: Scenes From Angels In America’

(image via amFAR)

Don’t miss the all-star benefit performance of The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels in America which premieres tonight, October 8,  in support of amfAR’s Fund to Fight COVID-19.

This free 60-minute livestream also features an introduction by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner that contextualizes COVID-19 in relation to the early days of the AIDS epidemic.  This special event marks amfAR’s historic first foray into Broadway.

Among the theater luminaries taking part in the event are Glenn Close, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson, Andrew Rannells, Daphne Rubin-Vega and many more. Shot during the coronavirus pandemic, high-level technology has been used to place the actors in scenes with each other even though filmed separately.

The performance begins at 8:30 PM ET on Broadway.com’s YouTube. While free to watch, donations are encourage with proceeds going to the amfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19.

For more info, click over to TheGreatWorkBegins.org.

Andrew Rannells: “It’s Never The Priest You Want To Kiss”

Vulture has an excerpt from the very clever new autobiography, Too Much Is Never Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood, by out stage and screen actor Andrew Rannells.  Rannells, who shot to fame as the lead in the hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, details his rather unsettling encounters with a Catholic priest while growing up in Nebraska.
Andrew Rannells (image via Facebook)

Vulture has an excerpt from the very clever new autobiography, Too Much Is Never Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood, by out stage and screen actor Andrew Rannells.

Rannells, who shot to fame as the lead in the hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, shares in the excerpt details of rather unsettling encounters with a Catholic priest while growing up in Nebraska.

Using the alias ‘Father Dominic’ to refer to the priest, the Girls star explains how the priest forcibly kissed him after confession one day.

“He stood up and pulled me up with him. He hugged me tightly. I felt safe and heard and understood. Then, with unexpected force, he kissed me. On the lips. He muscled his tongue into my mouth and held the back of my head still. Then he released me and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. He smiled.”

It comes as no surprise that Rannells would spend the rest of that year avoiding the priest.

He was mostly successful in his avoidance until his mother insisted Father Dominic be invited to his graduation barbecue.

At the end of the party, the priest announced he was leaving and asked young Rannells to see him out.

Cringing at the idea of being alone with the sixty-something priest, Rannells knew what might be coming.

Standing at the door, saying what he hoped would be his final goodbyes with the priest, Rannells writes, “He grabbed me by the back of the neck and forced his tongue in my mouth.”

“I just stood there and let him,” he continues. “I didn’t kiss back, but I also didn’t move. He smiled at me and walked to his car.”

Rannells handled the moment in the best way he knew how – he went to the kitchen and “slammed a glass of wine before going back out to the party.”

The future Broadway star would ponder the kiss for some time.

“How many teenage boys have to deal with this shit at their graduation parties? Am I the only one? Or was Father Dominic just taking a tour of homes and forcing French kisses on young men throughout the city?”

Soon after, the teenager would leave the Cornhusker state and find himself (and his career) in New York City.

The actor would go on to starring roles in the aforesaid Book of Mormon as well as Falsettos, Hairspray, Hamilton, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jersey Boys and The Boys in the Band on Broadway. He would also make a splash in his recurring role on the TV series Girls as well as the films The Intern and A Simple Favor.

The 40-year-old says the new memoir is about “homesickness, bad auditions, good auditions, sex with the wrong person, occasionally sex with the right person (who generally turns out to be the wrong person), some unfortunate but inescapable life events on the path to adulthood, and lots of wine with friends along the way.”

I’m thinking a lot of folks will relate.

Throughout the tome, Rannells proves himself to be a deft storyteller with a sophisticated touch when it comes to humor.

Too Much Is Never Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood is available now.

You can check out Rannells’ chat with Stephen Colbert about the new memoir below.

Why Andrew Rannells Told @MonetXChange To “Sashay Away!”

Andrew Rannells explains to Seth Meyers why he told RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Monet X Change to 'sashay away!"
Andrew Rannells

Andrew Rannells (Girls, Book of Mormon), currently starring in the acclaimed Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band, sat down last night on The Late Show with Seth Meyers this week and his recent judging appearance on a special Broadway-themed episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race came up.

Rannells clearly enjoyed his guest spot on RPDR, especially the lighting: “The best lighting ever on that show – I look like a fetus!”

Rannells shared that after the queens had done their final walks, Monet X Change gave a “very sweet” speech about getting tickets to see Rannells’ wonderful performance in Spring Awakening on Broadway (Rannells never appeared in Spring Awakening).

Monet also gushed about seeing Rannells delivering snacks and goodies to kids outside the theater, waiting in line to see Spring Awakening. (Repeat – Rannells never appeared in Spring Awakening).

“He finished the whole speech, and then I said, ‘that’s Jonathan Groff!’” quipped Rannells.

“And then he said, ‘No, no, no, I meant Book of Mormon,’ and I said, too late! Sashay away!”

In all fairness, it’s worth noting that Rannells has replaced the handsome Mr. Groff in roles on Broadway (Hamilton), and they both exude boyish, charming personalities.

But, Monet got it wrong.

Just goes to show you a queen can be fierce in or out of drag.

Watch the interview below where Rannells also chats on getting a phone call from Kristin Chenoweth out of the blue and the upcoming midnight Actors Fund charity performance of The Boys in the Band.

Andrew Rannells will take over “Hedwig” from Neil Patrick Harris

Tony Award nominee for “The Book of Mormon” Andrew Rannells will assume the role of “Hedwig” in the hit Broadway production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” for a limited eight week run beginning in August.

The Broadway production recently won “Best Revival,” “Best Actor in a Musical,” and “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” Tony Awards.

In addition to “Book of Mormon,” Rannells is well-known for his recurring role on the TV series “Girls.”