News Round-Up: April 22, 2021

Out professional wrestler Anthony Bowens
Out professional wrestler Anthony Bowens
Out professional wrestler Anthony Bowens (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

NewNowNext: We’re less than four months into the year, but 2021 is already on track to outpace 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent memory, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Instagram: Out professional wrestler Anthony Bowens (above) thanked his fans recently for allowing him to be who he is. “Five years ago, I was in the closet, fearing that if I ever said something my wrestling career would be over. Fast forward…and I’m living my dream. Thank you.”

Back2Stonewall: Uh-oh, a serious throw down here – who sang the Kander & Ebb classic “Maybe This Time” best? Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth or Oscar winner Liza Minnelli? All are fabulous, but you know the answer…

Gr8erDays: General Hospital hunk Steve bond turns 68 today. Check out the hunky film & TV actor (who also appeared in Playgirl back in the day).

New York Post: Following the Derek Chauvin verdicts in the murder of George Floyd, it’s worth remembering the other three police officers involved in the incident also face charges of  charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter. Their trials begin in August.

The Wrap: Fox News host Tucker Carlson identified himself as being part of the “Dan White Society” in his 1991 Trinity College yearbook entry. Dan White notoriously murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay elected official, in 1978.

TBT: Liza Minnelli ‘Don’t Drop Bombs’

Liza Minnelli in 'Don't Drop Bombs'
Liza Minnelli in 'Don't Drop Bombs'
Liza Minnelli in ‘Don’t Drop Bombs’

For a little #ThrowBackThursday action, I was reminded of this music video from EGOT legend Liza Minnelli.

Jumping into some new wave pop synth vibes with the oh-so-awesome Pet Shop Boys in 1989, Liza totally landed the new sound.

‘Don’t Drop Bombs’ was the second single from her album, Results.

Plus, Liza pulled off the new stylish look, which shocked some longtime Liza fans.

The musical collaborations with PSB hit the bulls-eye with unerring ease. I love this.

p.s. the legendary Liza turns 75 tomorrow. HB, Miss Minnelli.

News Round-Up: June 12, 2020

Some news items you might have missed:

Queerty: The sugar baby of a retired priest says he grieved for two days before collecting his roughly £260,000 ($330,000) inheritance. Now he’s insisting he is not a gold digger.

Australia: My hubby Michael recently helped coordinate pop icon Olivia Newton-John taking part in this terrific video (below) of unity from Australia and all the Aussies banding together to get to the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.

NBC News: Despite massive problems at the voting booth, Democratic turnout in Georgia’s primaries skyrocketed — with three times as many votes cast in the Senate primary as in 2016. With 91 percent of the vote in as of Friday, nearly 960,000 voters had cast ballots in the Democratic Senate primary race won by Jon Ossoff, compared to 310,000 who voted in the Senate primary in 2016.

Out Music: Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter drops “For What It’s Worth (King Garbage Remix)” today.

Porter released his acclaimed cover version of the classic Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” on April 24 as a means to encourage and support voter registration and voter initiatives across the country. In light of recent events, the song is now organically taking on its original intent as the ultimate protest anthem.

AP News: Joe Biden’s search for a running mate has apparently been whittled down to as few as six serious contenders after initial interviews. Those still in contention include Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California, as well as Susan Rice, who served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser. Also in contention are Florida Rep. Val Demings and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Twitter: The legendary Liza Minnelli will outlive us all. If you don’t know it, make sure to check out this humorous Twitter account humor account, curated with love by Scott Gorenstein, of all the people, trends and pop culture references the diva Liza has outlived.

America’s First Superstar Fashion Designer Gets The Documentary Treatment ‘HALSTON’

Long before folks were getting their fashion fix discovering new design talent on Project Runway, Americans were gaga over the disco-chic glamour of Halston.

The new documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng (Dior & I), titled Halston, chronicles the rise of America’s first superstar fashion designer.

From a Midwest childhood in conservative Des Moines, Iowa, to landing a job as a hatmaker at the famed Bergdorf Goodman department store, to putting that famous pill box hat on former First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s head, the film follows the life and times of Roy Halston Frowick as he became famous as simply ‘Halston.’

Using rare archival footage along with interviews with family, friends and famous clients like Liza Minnelli (“His clothes danced with you”), supermodel Iman, and Andy Warhol, Tcheng takes the audience behind-the-scenes as Halston struggles to find his artistic legacy amid the pressures of big business.

Halston’s meteoric rise during the celebrity disco culture of the 1970s was sadly followed by a just-as-quick fall from grace after the designer sold his brand to JC Penney for a rumored $1 billion. Apparently, the glam was gone when you could buy it at the local mall.

He would eventually pass away at the age of 57 in 1990 due to lung cancer related to HIV.

It is a fascinating story and the critics have raved about the film:

“A rollercoaster of fabulousness and folly” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Gripping…Thrilling stuff. A riveting ride.” – Variety

Halston gets the red carpet treatment at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on May 24 prior to a wider release.

News Round-Up: July 23, 2018

Derek Chadwick (image via Instagram)

 Some news items you might have missed:

• Instagram celeb/model Derek Chadwick (above) comes out as gay.

• Liza Minnelli is auctioning thousands of personal belongings July 30 – August 1, including personal items, correspondence, awards, and photos from her mother Judy Garland, as well as pristine bespoke outfits from designers such as Halston, Chanel, Givenchy, and more. For more info, click on this link.

The New York Daily News has gutted its newsroom by firing half its staff in an effort to refocus the newspaper’s efforts on breaking news. The below tweet is from the now-former editor-in-chief.

• Controversial soccer player Jaelene Hinkle has been cut from U.S. Women’s National Team. In 2017, she refused a call-up to the women’s national team on the basis that she didn’t want to wear a rainbow number for the team’s Pride Month initiative based on her religion.

• My Instinct colleague Samuel reviews Kathy Griffin’s new Laugh Your Head Off comedy tour.

Read this: The story of a woman who took care of hundreds of abandoned gay men dying of AIDS.

•  Delaware has become the 15th state to ban so-called “conversion therapy.” #happyDance

NYC: New Monthly Variety Show “Bazaaz! A Sequined Variety”

Rick Skye, who won the 2017 MAC Award for “Best Impersonation,” will star in and host Don’t Tell Mama’s new monthly variety show Bazaaz! A Sequined Variety.

Award-winning impersonations, guest performers, and Skye’s Kit Kat Boyz will all be featured in the new show, as well as Skye’s celebrated impersonation as Liza Minnelli singing in his own voice.

Bazaaz! A Sequined Variety will open on Friday, October 27 at 7:00PM.

Via press release:

Skye is well-known in London and New York for having written and performed in a series of outrageously comic, award-winning shows including The Flip Side of Neil Sedaka, which earned him a Bistro Award, A Slice O’Minnelli and The War of the Mama Roses. His show Its Madame with an E! played Atlantic City and Las Vegas and brought him to television where he appeared on Watch What Happens, Live! With Andy Cohen and Celebrity Apprentice as well as Fox & Friends and the WB. His most recent success was Judy and Liza Together Again which closed after an unprecedented seven-year run at Don’t Tell Mama’s and garnered two MAC Awards.

He has performed in many shows as Liza Minnelli in a number of hit shows that played internationally. He co-starred with Steven Brinberg in the London production of Barbra and Liza LIVE! which played the Dublin Gay Theater Festival and he toured with Liza LIVE! playing the New Players Theater in London and many spots in England. A Slice O’ Minnelli enjoyed successful seasons at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End, The Dublin and Edinburgh Festivals, and from cities New York to Chicago. Critics called Skye “Masterful…Astonishing…Brilliant (Chicago Sun Times) and the show earned him the 2006 MAC Award for Best Impersonation, the “Best Achievement in Performance” Award at the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Terrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Don’t Tell Mama’s is located at 343 West 46th Street in New York City. There is a $25.00 Cover/2 Drink Minimum (Cash only). Reservations can be made at www.donttellmamanyc.com.

Check out Skye’s “Liza” below.

FlashBackFriday: Liza Minnelli “Losing My Mind”

A little #FlashBackFriday as I remember this awesome performance by Liza Minnelli in 1989 at the “Grammy Living Legends” Awards.

The song she performs here, “Losing My Mind,” from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, was another reinvention for the EGOT winner.

I remember watching the show live, and was knocked out by the completely captivating movement and “new look” for Minnelli.

The track is from Minnelli’s 1989 masterpiece Results, produced by the Pet Shop Boys, and will be reissued as a 3CD+DVD deluxe set this August in the UK.

Super Deluxe Edition reports the edition will have 21 remixes, and a DVD featuring music videos and television appearances.