News Round-Up: December 26, 2018

Do not forget to watch the Kennedy Center Honors tonight on CBS at 8pm as Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, and Wayne Shorter receive the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors.  Hamilton co-creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire receive a special Honors for groundbreaking work.
The 2018 Kennedy Center Honors air tonight on CBS at 8pm

Some news items you might have missed:

• Do not forget to watch the Kennedy Center Honors tonight on CBS at 8pm as Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, and Wayne Shorter receive the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors.

Hamilton co-creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire receive a special Honors for groundbreaking work.

• An unhinged Catholic priest claimed Satan designed the Pride flag.

• Legal pot was a popular Christmas gift in California this year as cannabis businesses reported up to 5x normal foot traffic in the days leading up to the holiday.

• House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi trolled Donald Trump and his infamous wall telling USA Today he’s now shifted from a concrete structure to “a beaded curtain or something.”

• The transgender teen who was bullied by an assistant principal in a bathroom speaks to the press about the hideous experience.

• A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll asked Democratic and Independent voters who would excited them the most in the 2020 presidential race.

“Someone entirely new” garnered 59%, followed closely by former Vice President Joe Biden (who is the exact opposite of that) at 53%.

‘Will & Grace’ Serves Up Guest-Star Mashup Video

Patti LuPone guest starring on ‘Will & Grace’

Over the 8 years of its original run (plus the two reboot/revival seasons), Will & Grace has given us not only lots of laughs from the ‘fearsome foursome,’ but tons of great guest stars.

Patti LuPone, Rosie O’Donnell, Blythe Danner, Ellen DeGeneres, David Schwimmer, Matt Bomer and Adam Rippon have all dropped by the hit NBC series to take part in the hilarity.

Plus, we’ve gotten cameo spots by music icons like Elton John, Janet Jackson, Madonna, JLo, Britney Spears and the one-and-only Cher.

With so many guest stars, the series has shared this awesome mash-up of celeb visitors over the years.

The comedy champ is still going strong having already been confirmed for a third revival season for fall of 2019.

The current second revival season returns on January 31, 2019.

Who is your favorite W&G guest star? I’ll go first – the fabulous Blythe Danner (as Will’s mother) always made us giggle. Totally brilliant.

A post shared by Will & Grace (@nbcwillandgrace) on Nov 29, 2018 at 6:09pm PST

A post shared by Will & Grace (@nbcwillandgrace) on May 7, 2018 at 3:49pm PDT

A post shared by Will & Grace (@nbcwillandgrace) on Jun 5, 2018 at 10:19am PDT

‘The Cher Show’ Opens On Broadway Complete With The Diva Herself Onstage



The Cher Show, a new musical chronicling the life and career of the Oscar, Grammy and Emmy Award winner opened last night at the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway.

Starring Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks, and Micaela Diamond as the diva in different periods of her life, the production is directed by Jason Moore (Shrek the Musical), choreographed by Tony Award winner Chris Gattelli (Newsies) and features a book by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys).

The critics appeared to be mixed in their assessment of the production.

The New York Times’ Jesse Green:

There’s a fine line between tacky and spectacular. In creating costumes for Cher over the years – costumes that often tell the story of a shy woman emerging triumphant from a chrysalis – the designer Bob Mackie has kept on the right side of the line by making sure the level of craft supports the extravagance of the gesture. Sadly that’s not the case with “The Cher Show,” the maddening mishmash of a new musical that opened on Monday at the Neil Simon Theater. Except for the dozens of eye-popping outfits Mr. Mackie gorgeously recreates for the occasion, it’s all gesture, no craft: dramatically threadbare and surprisingly unrevealing.

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney:

Is the show good? Certainly not in the sense of traditional musical-theater craft. Would I see it again? Duh, already planning on it. Director Jason Moore’s production, which breaks new frontiers on Broadway for bare midriffs, underboobs, wigs and paillettes, unashamedly embraces its abundance of trashy-flashy, tacky vintage-Vegas kitsch. But it’s also slyly fabulous and imbued with a plucky feminist spirit that’s quite stirring, basically recounting the story of how the innately shy Cherilyn Sarkisian stopped letting men tell her what to do and found the strength to run her own show.

The New York Post’s Joe Dziemianowicz:

Granted, the jukebox musical that opened on Broadway Monday night has some clumsy and dopey dialogue. The story – a 50-50 mix of narration (yawn) and not-quite-skin-deep dramatization – tracing the pop goddess’ personal and professional ups and downs won’t surprise those with even a passing knowledge of Cher. Or access to Wikipedia. Still, it’s thrilling watching the 72-year-old diva’s rags-to-riches-and-back-again life woven by wall-to-wall hits – “Bang Bang,” “The Beat Goes On,” “Half-Breed” and “Believe,” among them.

In addition to the drama onstage, there was also a bit of Twitter drama as well.

In attendance for the grand opening night were Kim Kardashian and hubby Kanye West, who apparently forgot that the actors onstage can see the audience.

Actor Jarrod Spector, who plays Sonny Bono in the show, took to Twitter to call out West for staring down at his phone during the show:

For his part, West did respond directly to that tweet with kind words about the show:

That said, according to sources, the audience did have a fab time at the premiere. Not only did the attendees experience the storytelling of Broadway, but the diva herself got onstage.

Cher surprised the audience by joining the cast for the curtain call, and even sang with Broadway veteran Stephanie Block on “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Watch below.

Kelly Clarkson Totally Fan-Girls Out Meeting Cher

Cher and Kelly Clarkson at the Kennedy Center Honors

For everyone (including me) who has ever fan-boy/fan-girled out over an artist you really, really, really admire…

Kelly Clarkson found herself on the red carpet of the Kennedy Center Honors last night at the same time as honoree, Cher.

While Clarkson was there to sing in honor of country superstar Reba McEntire, Clarkson was adorable in her fan-moment speaking to Extra’s AJ Calloway.

“I’ve never met her,” she tells Calloway.

Calloway, surprised, asks, “Never?”

Clarkson: “No, never. And don’t do anything either – it’ll make me so nervous I’ll want to cry…”

You have to watch. I laugh because I’ve done the exact same thing in my life 🙂

News Round-Up: November 28, 2018

• Hottie Dave Marshall is an openly gay pro-wrestler in Australia who uses his OnlyFans account to raise money for suicide prevention after his dad took his own life last year.
Dave Marshall and Ronnie

Some news items you might have missed:

• Hottie Dave Marshall is an openly gay pro-wrestler in Australia who uses his OnlyFans account to raise money for suicide prevention after his dad took his own life last year.

• Openly gay super-producer Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, Pose, GLEE, Assassination of Gianna Versace) is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

• This far-right pundit says women become lesbians because they’re too ugly to love. By that logic, he must be a screaming queen.

• Cher showed up at her own Broadway showThe Cher Show – last night, and the crowd lost its mind.

• Judy Sheindlin, more famous as TV’s Judge Judy, made an astounding $147 million last year before taxes making Sheindlin the world’s highest-paid television host. The lion share of that was for selling the rights to her 5,200-episode library, as well as future episodes of the show, to CBS for an estimated $100 million.

• A man was brutally beaten, robbed & humiliated during an Instagram hook-up.

• A gay Virginia firefighter got married in 2014 and suddenly became the ridicule of not only fellow firefighters but his superiors. He was eventually filed for early retirement after being told he would be fired if he didn’t resign. He’s now suing for lost wages and benefits.

• Check out Upsahl’s new music video, “The Other Team,” about unrequited feelings and crushing on people that don’t like you back.

The lyrics focus on those folks who are swinging for somebody else’s ‘other team,’ so there’s lots of missed connections between characters throughout the video. Definitely has some ‘Breakfast Club’ vibes, so it really takes you back to high school and the whirlwind of emotions that go with it

Cher Slows Things Down With “One Of Us” From Upcoming DANCING QUEEN

This week we got one more advance track from Cher’s upcoming album of ABBA cover songs, Dancing Queen.

After dancing along with the upbeat “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” and “SOS,” Cher slows things down a bit for the somber, but lovely, “One of Us.”

Originally from ABBA’s final studio album in 1981, The Visitors, the track appropriately closes Cher’s new collection.

Check it out below. Dancing Queen drops September 28.

New Music From Janet Jackson, Cher & Madonna

As we lost our indisputable “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, the two “Queens of Pop” – Janet Jackson and Madonna – dropped new music videos that are singularly unique to the two artists visual and musical style.
New music from Janet Jackson, Cher and Madonna

It was quite the week for music royalty.

As we lost our indisputable “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, the two “Queens of Pop” – Janet Jackson and Madonna – dropped new music videos that are singularly unique to the two artists visual and musical style.

Jackson teamed with oh-so-sexy Daddy Yankee for her latest music video, “Made For Now.”

Visually reminiscent of “When I Think of You” and “Escapade,” the video (directed by Dave Meyers) is classic Janet as she celebrates among the folks of Brooklyn appearing all over the NYC borough in bold, high-style fashion.

Featured throughout are a mélange of international dancers that hail from Nigeria, Ghana, Grenada, Trinidad and the U.S.

In an interview with iHeartRadio, Jackson shared she’s “always loved Latin music, and obviously, the African music is there and always been an influence.”

“Coming from what Daddy Yankee does in reggaeton, it’s inspiration,” she added. “It’s reggae music, which brings you back to the African vibe, the whole bit. It was really nice working with him,” Jackson said.

Jackson and Yankee also performed the song live on The Tonight Show marking her first late-night appearance in 14 years.

Watch below.

Madonna released a stunning, long-form music video from her performance at the MET Gala earlier this year.

The video begins with bold, dynamic visions of religious imagery and Gregorian chanting leading into, of course, “Like a Virgin.”

After making her way down a huge stairway, Madge and company do a quick costume change at the 6:05 mark as she launches into “Beautiful Game.”

After a choreographed assault by her dancers that leaves her prone of the steps of the MET, the Queen of Pop performs Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” while slowly making her exit.

The dramatic final frames of the video (would we expect anything less?) focus on a concrete angel with the rumbling of thunder in the distance.

Quite the message.

Watch Madonna and company below.

In related Madonna news, can we say god bless the gay DJs?

The new Cher cover of ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” dropped last week and within 24 hours DJ Alex Simpson, based in Toronto, shared his fierce remix of Cher’s new track and Madonna’s 2005 hit “Hung Up,” which samples the ABBA classic.

I believe this is, technically, the first time the two divas have sung together before…?

Listen below.

New Music: Cher “Dancing Queen”

Pop music icon Cher will release her new album of ABBA cover songs "Dancing Queen" on September 28
The one and only Cher

Cher’s new album of ABBA cover songs, Dancing Queen, drops September 28.

Via press release:

The Oscar, Emmy and Grammy Award winning icon was inspired to record the album following her stunning performance in the recently-released mega-hit film, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

Says Cher, “I’ve always liked Abba and saw the original Mamma Mia musical on Broadway three times. After filming Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, I was reminded again of what great and timeless songs they wrote and started thinking, ‘Why not do an album of their music?’ The songs were harder to sing than I imagined but I’m so happy with how the music came out. I’m really excited for people to hear it. It’s a perfect time.”

Dancing Queen was recorded and produced in London and Los Angeles with Cher’s longtime collaborator Mark Taylor, who previously produced Cher’s global smash “Believe” which was number one in over 50 countries.

A co-producer for the upcoming The Cher Show on Broadway, she is scheduled to be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor on December 2nd in Washington DC.

The diva also has an ongoing residency at MGM Resorts.

Dancing Queen track list:

1. Dancing Queen
2. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
3. The Name Of The Game
4. SOS
5. Waterloo
6. Mamma Mia
7. Chiquitita
8. Fernando
9. The Winner Takes It All
10. One Of Us

Cher Teases First Track From Upcoming ABBA Covers Album

Cher

Cher thrilled fans yesterday as she teased the first single from her upcoming ABBA covers album.

The track, “Gimme Gimme Gimme,” offers the proper reverence to the 70s/80s super group but with Cher’s trademark throaty vocal style.

Gay Star News gushes:

Yes, there’s definitely something very 90s about Gimme, and there’s obviously something 70s about it, too. But it’s also very now. It’s nostalgic, but not cheap; it’s not chasing trends or vying for chart positions, thus it’s perfect for streaming, so confident is it in its camp, timeless quality.

This song, and most likely the album, fuses the two together to produce a piercing, crowd-pleasing result. Whether you listen to it on repeat, give it a single spin on Spotify, or hear it in passing it on the radio, we dare you to dislike it, to not tap your foot along to those 12 iconic central syllables.