Angelica Ross To Star In CHICAGO On Bway + More News

Angelica Ross ( photo: Steven Simione/Muze Magazine)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Hollywood Reporter: Pose star Angelica Ross is set to make her Broadway debut as “Roxie Hart” in Chicago this September. She is the first openly trans actress in the role, and among one of the first known trans actresses to star in a leading role in a Broadway musical. Continue reading “Angelica Ross To Star In CHICAGO On Bway + More News”

Broadway Icon Ann Reinking Passes Away At 71

Ann Reinking in ‘All That Jazz’ (screen capture)

Tony Award-winning actress/dancer/choreographer Ann Reinking (Chicago, Fosse, Pippin, Sweet Charity, Over Here!) passed away Saturday night at the age of 71.

From Variety:

She is perhaps best known for playing Roxie Hart in 1977’s “Chicago,” replacing Gwen Verdon. She reprised the part when she returned for the 1996 revival of the famed production.

“The hope is that in rediscovering ‘Chicago,’ audiences will rediscover what theater was,” Reinking told The New York Times at the time of the show’s revival. “It was sophisticated, complicated, adult.”

Her work on the later “Chicago” ultimately earned her a Tony Award for best choreography.

Reinking was also the co-creator, co-director and co-choreographer for “Fosse,” a musical meant to showcase Fosse’s choreography. She created the project alongside Richard Maltby Jr. and Chet Walker. The musical was Reinking’s final bow on Broadway, as she served as a replacement ensemble member in 2001.

The Broadway revival of Chicago the Musical was an unexpected and thrilling part of my career on Broadway.

I had moved to Los Angeles to be with my husband Michael in 1996, thinking perhaps my dancing career was behind me. And then, on a whim, I went to an open call for replacements for Chicago the Musical in early 1998.

Over 300 dancers attended that call, and at the end of the day, I was one of ten left standing. Three days later, Ann and director Walter Bobbie were coming through LA and the ten of us were called back to show what we had to offer.

Four months later, I got a call asking me to join the national touring company that was playing in Los Angeles, and ultimately I was hired about a dozen times over the next 15 years to go into the Broadway and touring companies. Sometimes, it would be for a year, sometimes for a month as a temporary replacement.

And I know that was because of Ann. She trusted me over and over again to be a part of her thrilling choreography.

Imagine not only meeting one of your heroes but working with them. And learning from them. And dancing right alongside them.

Ann Reinking as Roxie Hart in the Broadway revival of Chicago (photo: Max Vadukul)

One of my most memorable times with Ann was during brushup rehearsals for the Broadway company’s second anniversary.

I vividly remember, and I’ve quoted her often, her saying that dance represents tradition – and that it’s our responsibility as dancers to pass steps and style on to the next generation.

The last time I saw Ann was during her run in FOSSE in the early 2000s. We chatted backstage in her dressing room after the performance. She was, of course, brilliant.

As we parted ways leaving the Broadhurst Theater, she asked in passing, “So, you’re in NYC for a while?” I said, “Yes.”

Of course, the next day, the casting folks called – per Ann’s request – and asked if I was available to go back into Chicago.

With Ann Reinking in 1998 celebrating the 2nd anniversary of CHICAGO on Broadway

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Annie.  For the inspiration, for the laughs, for the insight, and for your genius.

RIP Ann Reinking.

By the way, just to underscore how lucky I’ve been in my theater career, I’ve danced with all three of these great stars. Color me grateful.

‘One Night Only: The Best Of Broadway’ Tonight On NBC

A quick reminder to tune in for the big Broadway celebration tonight on NBC hosted by Tina Fey in the heart of New York’s theatre district. 

One Night Only: The Best Of Broadway is bringing back the magic of the stage.

Fey promises performances from the casts of Jersey Boys, Ain’t Too Proud, Chicago the Musical, Mean Girls and more.

Catch the show tonight at 8/7c on NBC.

Chicago’s LGBTQ Neighborhood Is Changing Name From Boystown

Photo of a street sign in Chicago's Boystown, gay neighborhood

Photo of a street sign in Chicago's Boystown, gay neighborhood

From the Chicago Tribune:

Business leaders in Chicago’s largest LGBTQ neighborhood announced Wednesday that they would stop marketing the area as Boystown, following complaints that the 30-year-old name excludes women and gender nonbinary people.

Boystown will be called Northalsted and promoted as “Chicago’s Proudest Neighborhood,” according to a statement released Wednesday by the Northalsted Business Alliance, the local chamber of commerce.

The announcement follows an online survey by the Northalsted Business Alliance, answered by 7,900 people.

Of those survey-takers, 58% favored keeping the Boystown moniker and 20% said they felt unwelcomed by the Boystown name, according to Northalsted Business Alliance spokesperson Jen Gordon.

The push for changing the neighborhood’s name began with a Change.org petition which currently has 1,400+ signatures.

However, a competing petition – which calls for keeping the Boystown moniker – has over 2,000 signatures.

Viral Video Trolls Pride Flag Thief: ‘We’re So Sorry A Rainbow Bruised Your Fragile Ego’

(screen capture)

A gay couple in Chicago went viral with their cheeky video clap back aimed at a thief who stole a Pride flag from their front porch.

Twitter user BowtieinChicago shared the video which mocks the banner bandit with sass galore.

“To the person who stole the Pride flag off our front porch, we’re so sorry a rainbow bruised your fragile ego,” begins the narration. “But, don’t worry – we have next-day Amazon Prime. You can keep taking our flag but you’ll never take our pride!”

During the clip, Pride flags literally run rampant as the boys show off a plethora of newly-acquired rainbows.

The duo warns the pennant pilferer to smile for the security cameras next time as they sign off with, “Love, the big ole homos who live here.”

The Twitterverse loved the cheeky video so much its been viewed over 358,000 times and received over 42K+ Likes.

Related: Iowa Man Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison For Stealing/Burning Pride Flag

One of the best responses on Twitter read, “This is Our Culture: clapback with humor, flair, and a generous helping of Petty. Love and power to you!”

Trump Said President Was Responsible For Crime In 2016 But Not Today

During a White House press briefing today, Donald Trump was flummoxed when CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins asked the Donald why he blamed President Obama in 2016 for violent crime in Chicago, but today Trump doesn’t take responsibility.

“In 2016, you said it was President Obama’s fault when shootings in Chicago were up,” said Collins. “So why was it President Obama’s fault then, but it’s not your fault now?”

“Chicago is a disaster,” said Trump, diverting from the question. “The mayor is saying, don’t come in, the mayor is telling us not to come in.”

After Collins followed-up on the question, Trump again blamed his predecessor, “Because President Obama was invited in, and he did a poor job … he could have solved the problem.”

Podcast: Possible HIV Cure, Chicago Gayborhood Getting New Name, And More

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• For the first time, HIV appears to be eradicated using only medications

• Poland’s anti-LGBTQ president squeaks out reelection

• White House press secretary raises eye-brows claiming Donald Trump’s “pro-LGBTQ” agenda

• Chicago’s Boystown may get a new name

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Chicago Mayor Sends Coded ‘F*** You’ To Trump

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (screen capture)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday called out Donald Trump for trying to “foment violence” and offered a coded response for tweets that appeared to threaten Minneapolis rioters protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

“We see the game he’s playing because it’s so transparent and he’s not very good at it. He wants to show failures on the part of Democratic local leaders to throw red meat to his base. His goal is to polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges. And we can absolutely not let him prevail,” Lightfoot said.

“I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It’s two words: It begins with F and ends with YOU.”

On Thursday night, President Trump took to Twitter as protesters surrounded a Minneapolis police station and set fire to it.

He characterized the protesters as “THUGS” and tweeted, “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

On Friday, Lightfoot accused the president with whom she has clashed repeatedly of attempting to “foment violence.” She made no apologies for the vulgar reference that ran contrary to the advice of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s infamous line that, “When they go low, we go high.”

“I am not Michelle Obama,” the mayor said.

Thousands Forced To Leave Ford Assembly Plant On Day Two Of Reopening

(screen capture via CBS 2 Chicago)

Day two of the reopened Ford assembly plant in Chicago came to a stop for many when an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

CBS Chicago’s Charlie De Mar spoke to many employees who are conflicted about their working environment.

“I’m worried right now,” said employee Timothy Shy. “This is the second day, and we are already hearing about this.”

Production was temporarily halted at part of the facility and the main plant.

“Social distancing doesn’t really work,” said employee Billy Cowart.

There are changes, from the social distancing reminders outside to temperature checks and re-configured work stations inside. Ford provided a video highlighting some of the updated health changes COVID has brought along to their plants

“All these people are crowded and on top of each other,” said Michael Hopper while wearing his Ford issued face mask.

“I lost a brother to coronavirus May 6,” Hopper said.

Hopper along with others describes an experience inside the plant that doesn’t sound or look like the polished video.

“I cleaned my own workstation myself,” said Hopper. “How our jobs are set-up, if one person gets in the hole that would affect the person behind him.”