News Round-Up: March 9, 2020

L-R Michael Caprio, Barry Manilow, me

Some news items you might have missed:

Las Vegas: Hubby Michael and I were invited to an industry night at the Westgate Hotel here in Las Vegas where pop music legend Barry Manilow is still thrilling audiences. In a fast-paced 90 minute show, Barry belts out hit after hit, inspiring standing ovation after standing ovation. If you’re heading to Sin City, I highly recommend you check out this truly authentic star who continues to knock it out of the park.

NY Times: A year after the “London Patient” was introduced to the world as only the second person to be cured of H.I.V., he is stepping out of the shadows to reveal his identity: He is Adam Castillejo. “This is a unique position to be in, a unique and very humbling position,” he said. “I want to be an ambassador of hope.”

CTV News: Legislation has been introduced in Canada that would make it illegal to cause a minor to undergo conversion therapy; to remove a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy in another country; cause a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will; profit from providing conversion therapy; or advertise an offer to provide conversion therapy.

Spokesman-Review: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill that prohibits defendants from using a “panic defense” in court to justify violence against a member of the LGBTQ community. Washington is now the 10th state to ban so-called “gay panic” or “trans panic” defenses.

The Hill: Former 2020 Democratic contender Michael Bloomberg gave $2 million to a nonprofit working to Collective Future, a nonprofit working to registering black voters ahead of November’s general election. The group is working to register 500,000 black voters in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Passing: Openly gay playwright Mart Crowley, author of the groundbreaking play The Boys in the Band, about a group of gay and bi friends in New York City, has died at age 84.

The play, a hit off-Broadway in 1968, went on to become a feature film directed by William Friedkin in 1970. Crowley finally received a Tony Award for his opus when an all-star cast brought the play to Broadway in 2018. Hollywood super-producer Ryan Murphy is now bringing that production to Netflix in the foreseeable future. RIP Mart Crowley.

News Round-Up: July 22, 2019

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Electric power went down for much of NYC Sunday night, but InstaHunk Jeff Ferreira is getting through the current heat wave. #sweat

New Yorker: Former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, one of the early targets of the #MeToo movement, regrets resigning so quickly. “Oh yeah, absolutely.”

NOLA: The Gretna Police Department has put Officer Charlie Rispoli on administrative leave following Rispoli’s Facebook comment last week that suggested a Democratic congresswoman should be shot. He commented on a story, clearly marked ‘Satire,’ that insinuated AOC had said, “We pay soldiers too much.”

Friendly Atheist: Christian hate-preacher Steven “Death to the Gays” Anderson of Arizona’s (independent fundamentalist) Faithful Word Baptist Church says he’s now banned from entering Australia. There are now 33 countries that have banned Anderson.

Talking Points Memo: Vice President Mike Pence will attend a $35,000 per couple fund-raising event in Colorado hosted at a private club owned by two gay men. #quislings

Broadway: Pop music icon Barry Manilow heads back to Broadway for an exclusive limited engagement July 26 through August 17 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street). For ticket information, click HERE.

‘Fanilows’ should expect a non-stop evening of Top 40 Hits from Manilow’s decades-long list of songs ranging from pop, to Broadway, Jazz, and adult contemporary.

Barry Manilow Hospitalized On Eve Of Las Vegas Opening

On the eve of his return to the Las Vegas Strip, pop superstar Barry Manilow fell ill Wednesday night and was rushed to a Las Vegas hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

And so, “Manilow Las Vegas – The Hits Come Home” has cancelled its opening tonight, as well as the Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances at the Westgate Las Vegas.

Here’s the full announcement:

On the eve of a sold-out opening weekend at Westgate Las Vegas, singer Barry Manilow has hospitalized and diagnosed with a bronchial infection.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” Manilow said. “Our new show is ready, we’re all ready, and we were all looking forward to tonight.”

Manilow is under the care of the best doctors and being closely monitored and supervised. He is expected to be released in a few days and make a speedy recovery.

“The entire Westgate family wishes Barry a speedy recovery and we know that he will dazzle audiences when. His show resumes on June 21st,” said David Siegel, Westgate Resorts’ Founder & CEO.

Full refunds for show tickets or ticket exchanges for future dates will be issued and all Manilow ticket holders can bring their tickets to attend a free Soundtrack show tonight (Thursday), Friday and Saturday.

“Manilow Las Vegas – The Hits Come Home” will resume its regular schedule on June 21 – 22 – 23.

Manilow’s opening performances this weekend were specifically planned to coincide with his 75th birthday, which is Sunday.

As mentioned in the announcement, Las Vegas headliners Clint Holmes and Earl Turner will perform their co-headlining “Soundtrack” show at International Theater at 8 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday.

For more information about Manilow’s upcoming performances, click here.

The Sadness In Barry Manilow’s Coming Out

As social media folks responded to music man Barry Manilow’s official “coming out,” my friend Roger Rosen, a talented writer, wrote the following.

I think this addresses an important aspect of the story:

Barry said, “I thought I would be disappointing [the fans] if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything.” There is so much sadness in this quote. We’re taught that the very nature of our being makes us “disappointing.” And while I understand that the majority of his fans have been straight women, I’m fascinated that he can’t even conceive of the fact that some of his fans, gay men, of which he is one, might be thrilled for him to speak his truth.

The idea that we come out of the closet suggests that we must go in. From that first red flag in the back of our heads as little children, we know to lie. It’s self-preservation. While I think it’s probably pretty human to look at Barry Manilow and say, “Really? You couldn’t have done this sooner,” or, “Please, grrl, who DIDN’T know???”, I think it’s probably more useful to create a world where little Barry Manilows everywhere never feel the impulse to go in a closet they then need to come out of.

Barry Manilow Officially Comes Out

Pop music icon Barry Manilow officially comes out (finally) in an interview with People Magazine.

Manilow says he stayed closeted, in part, because he didn’t want to “disappoint” his fans.

After skyrocketing to fame in 1974 with his pop-rock ballad “Mandy,” the Brooklyn native’s star only got brighter with the release of classics like “Looks Like We Made It,” “Copacabana (At the Copa)” and “Can’t Smile Without You.” Then in 1978, he met Kief — a TV executive and Houston native — and “I knew that this was it,” says Manilow. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”

Soon after, Kief became Manilow’s manager, a role he still holds today, in addition to being President of Barry Manilow Productions.

“He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life — and a great guy, too,” Manilow says.

And the couple has stayed together for 39 years, all while remaining mum on his sexuality — an open secret to some in his long-devoted, mostly female fan base, a shock to others — and even stepping out and living with once-rumored love interest Linda Allen during his relationship with Kief.

Manilow admits he’s always been hesitant to discuss the relationship — and to come out publicly, even after he finally married Kief in a clandestine ceremony at their 53-acre Palm Springs estate in April 2014.

In 2015, news of their marriage and Manilow’s sexuality made headlines, something the legend calls “a blessing and a curse.”

Considering his fans, “I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” says Manilow. Turns out, “When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful — strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.”

While it’s one of the worst kept “secrets” in Hollywood, you can look back and see a subliminal message in his songs. Was he trying to say something years ago?

Barry Manilow Marries Longtime Partner In Private Palm Springs Ceremony

People magazine is reporting that Barry Manilow and longtime partner Garry Kief recently married in a private Palm Springs ceremony.

The confirmation comes after the National Enquirer broke the news earlier today.

Apparently, the couple did not file official paperwork regarding the wedding out of fear the news would leak.

The love song crooner has always kept his private life out of the spotlight, and according to reports he had concerns his fans might not approve.

I think his fans are a little more savvy to have not seen the obvious.

Congrats to the happy couple.