LGBTQ Projects Honored As 78th Golden Globe Nominations Announced

The Golden Globe nominations were announced today
The Golden Globe nominations were announced today
(image via The Golden Globe Awards)

The nominations were announced Wednesday morning for the 78th Annual Golden Globes with a lot of trophy love for LGBTQ-themed entertainment.

Following its sweep at the Emmy Awards, Schitt’s Creek was nominated for Best Musical/Comedy Series. The comedy’s four stars – including out actor/producer Dan Levy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Annie Murphy – were also honored with nominations.

Ryan Murphy’s The Prom scored a nod for Best Picture – Musical/Comedy. The Prom scored only one nomination in the acting categories – James Corden for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. Corden received some backlash as a straight actor serving up an over-the-top performance as a gay man in the movie musical. I wasn’t a fan of the performance.

Netflix’s Ratched was nominated for Best TV Series – Drama with queer leads Sarah Paulson and Cynthia Nixon garnering nominations as well, for the lead role as Mildred Ratchet for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama, the supporting role of Gwendolyn Briggs in Best Supporting Actress – Television, respectively.

HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, which has two major gay characters (one played by out actor T.R. Knight), was nominated for Best Musical/Comedy series.

In the Best Supporting Actor – Television category, Jim Parsons was recognized for his work in Hollywood.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama will see two heavy-hitting LGBTQ-centric performances competing against each other. Viola Davis for her star-turn as Ma Rainey in Netflix’s adaptation of playwright August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Andra Day’s richly-layered Billie Holiday in Hulu’s The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Both are worthy of the trophy.

Onward, which featured Lena Waithe voicing a small queer role, was nominated for Best Picture – Animated.

The Life Ahead and Two Of Us, both LGBTQ-themed movies, were nominated for Best Picture – Foreign Language. The Life Ahead, from Italy, features transgender actress Abril Zamora in a trans leading role. The French film Two of Us follows a love story between two older women.

While not queer news, I applaud the history made in the Best Director — Motion Picture category.  For the first time, three women have been nominated – Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Chloé Zhao  Nomadland) and Regina King (for One Night in Miami). #Applause

Additionally, Norman Lear will be honored with the Carol Burnett Award, and Jane Fonda will be awarded this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards airing live on Sunday, Feb. 28 from 8-11 p.m. ET/5-8 p.m. PT on NBC.

You can find the full list of nominations at GoldenGlobes.com.

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.

News Round-Up: August 31, 2020

Cher (photo: Machado Cicala via Karpel Group)

Some news items you might have missed:

Washington Blade: The one and only Cher (above) headlined an LGBTQ fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Monday evening which raised over $2 million in half an hour. Paraphrasing her hit song “Believe,” the icon asked the viewing audience, “So ask yourself, do you believe in life after Trump?”

Insider: A straight-identifying man in his 20s says he’s only ever slept with women, but lately sex has been slowed up, so he’s been chatting with dudes on Grindr and he’s not sure why, so he’s seeking advice. “I’ve been going on Grindr and talking to other men with no intention of ever meeting them. I just like flirting with the people on there.”

Dad of the Day: Channing Tatum shared the pic below surrounded by unicorns with the news that he’s penned his first children’s book, “The One and Only Sparkella,” dedicated to his 6-year-old daughter, Everly.

“Guys, I don’t know about you but things got a little weird for me in quarantine. I ended up accidentally locking myself in my 7-year-old daughter’s room. And I ended up finding my inner child. So this is what I created for my little girl. From what is, I guess, the little girl in me. Thanks for reading.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A federal judge on Monday extended the deadline for absentee ballots to be returned in Georgia, ruling that they must be counted if postmarked by Election Day and delivered up to three days afterward. The ruling invalidates Georgia’s requirement that ballots had to be received at county election offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

The Gaily Grind: Actress/comedian Niecy Nash dumped her husband in December, and announced her marriage to musician Jessica Betts on Instagram on Monday, coming out in the process.

Instagram: Director/producer Ryan Murphy, who is heading up Netflix’s upcoming film adaptation of the Broadway musical The Prom, shared a cast photo teasing in the caption, “Christmas is right around the corner…”

The pic is our first look at several of the stars in costume: Meryl Streep as Dee Dee Allen, Nicole Kidman as Angie Dickinson, James Corden as Barry Glickman, Andrew Rannells as Trent Oliver, Ariana DeBose as Alyssa Greene, Keegan-Michael Key as Mr. Hawkins, Kerry Washington as Mrs. Greene, Kevin Chamberlin as Sheldon Saperstein, and newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman as Emma Nolan.

News Round-Up: June 27, 2019

Nick Jonas (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Nick Jonas is giving you seriously ‘daddy’ grown-up goodness in this promo pic introducing his character “Bruno Gaido” from his upcoming movie, Midway, due out November 8. #Dang

• A gay couple were the target of homophobic insults before being spat on, clawed and physically attacked in an unprovoked attack in Essex in southeast England.

• Senate Democrats have introduced a resolution recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, the first time Congress has formally acknowledged the event that led to the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

• Alphonso David has been named the next president of the Human Rights Campaign. He is the first civil rights lawyer and the first person of color to lead the LGBTQ advocacy organization.

• Prince William says it would be “absolutely fine” if one of his children came out as gay.

Deadline reports that Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, along with James Corden, Andrew Rannells, and Keegan-Michael Key, have all been tapped by Ryan Murphy for the Netflix adaptation of the LGBTQ-themed Broadway musical, The Prom.

• As WorldPride gets underway in New York City today, just a reminder of how a leader CAN relate to his LGBTQ constituents. Folks, I give you Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Toronto’s Pride event this past weekend.

News Round-Up: June 20, 2019

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunks Rick and the Griffopotamus (above) trying to a-peel to folks’ animal nature. #ItsWorking

• Despite 7 Tony nominations, the LGBTQ-themed Broadway musical The Prom will close August 11, but will live on in a small screen version for Netflix produced by Ryan Murphy.

• New York state lawmakers have banned defendants from citing a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity (known as ‘gay panic’ or ‘trans panic’ defenses) to justify their crime. New York becomes the 7th state in the country to prohibit the legal defense.

• Two students have been indefinitely suspended from the Kearns High School football team for a social media post showing a Pride flag being burned and threatening LGBTQ people saying, “All gays die.”

• Alabama’s former state Supreme Court Justice, the virulently anti-LGBTQ Roy Moore, has announced he will make another run for U.S. Senate in 2020. (and Republicans are NOT happy about it).

RuPaul’s Drag Race champs, Bob the Drag Queen and Trixie Mattel, are featured in JetBlue’s new Pride month ad serving up sassy fun as they deliver pre-flight instructions.

It’s worth noting that not only did JetBlue engage the drag stars for the video, but the airline scored a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

The 73rd Annual Tony Awards Tonight On CBS

I was a member of the theater community years before I realized I was also part of the LGBTQ community.

As a young kid, I found the theater to be a safe space. Wondering, pretending, working hard to acquire skills I would eventually take pride in – these were all things that helped me become the man I am today. 

Hey hey – check that word ‘pride’
And it was in that community that I discovered an extended family that became even closer to me than my birth family.

I was fortunate to spend decades working professionally in the theater, and specifically on ‘the Broad Way.’

I think it’s awesome that the Tony Awards, theater’s biggest night, falls during Pride Month. My two worlds celebrating at the same time, and both with a sense of pride and community.

I’m looking forward to watching the telecast on CBS tonight for several reasons.

Having appeared in Broadway productions (Chicago the Musical, Follies, Hello, Dolly!) I can tell you when you’re working on a show that’s nominated – and especially when your show wins – there is a sense of pride in the work you’ve accomplished that always gave me a lump in my throat and my heart beat a bit faster.

Tonight, as theater hands out its highest honor, I’ll be cheering as so many of my friends and extended family are recognized for the incredible work they bring to the Great White Way.

And there are several LGBTQ-themed productions and out actors in the mix to take home Tonys tonight.

The Prom, a ground-breaking musical comedy about a midwestern high school student who is told she can’t bring her lesbian girlfriend to the prom received 7 nominations including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Director as well as Best Leading Actor/Musical for Brooks Ashmanskas and two Best Leading Actress/Musical noms for Beth Leavel and Caitlin Kinnunen.

The production already won the Drama Desk Award for “Best Musical” so you can bet it’s in the hunt for the top trophy.

Choir Boy, a coming-of-age story that follows a gay choir leader at a boarding school for black men by Moonlight’s Tarell Alvin McCraney, received 5 nominations including Best Play and Best Leading Actor/Play (Jeremy Pope).

Two acclaimed LGBTQ-themed revivals of plays – The Boys in the Band and Torch Song – were nominated for Best Revival of a Play. Even though Boys had an all-star cast, only Robin De Jesús scored a nomination for his performance.

The Cher Show, which chronicles the life and music of the one and only Cher, was shut out of the Best Musical category but received 3 nominations (Best Actress/Musical, Best Costumes/Musical and Best Lighting Design/Musical). Stephanie J. Block scored the Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Actress in a Musical.”

Additionally, Judith Light will be honored with the Isabelle Stevenson Award, which is given “to an individual from the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations, regardless of whether such organizations relate to the theatre.”

Two-time Tony Award winner Judith Light

Already a two-time Tony Award winner for Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties, Light will receive the honorary award for her decades of work on behalf of the LGBTQ community and HIV/AIDS advocacy.

“The HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ communities are inspirations and demonstrations of how to be and live in the world; courageous, honorable, and uplifting,” said Light in a statement.

“They inspire me and it is my privilege to be of service to them,” she added. “I am humbled by this recognition from my theater family, whom I so respect, honor, and love.”

I stopped making predictions long ago, but it does seem the artsy Hadestown has found many fans in the race for “Best Musical,” although the show was not nominated in that category at the Drama Desk Awards.

And ok, I lied – I’ll make one prediction for Stephanie J. Block to take home a Tony for her impressive turn as ‘Star’ Cher in The Cher Show. (Three actresses play the Oscar winner at different stages of her life/career).

Block has a huge body of work the already includes two Tony nominations, her performance was easily one of the best on Broadway this season, and she’s very well liked by the theater community.

Note – The New York Times reports this interesting factoid about tonight’s proceedings:

“This year, for the first time, voters are receiving personalized electronic ballots based on their self-reported attendance, meaning that they cannot vote in categories in which they have not confirmed seeing all the nominees. As a result, the number of ballots cast, particularly in play categories, is likely to be smaller than in past years.”

So, keep that in mind when you enjoy the telecast.

The 73rd Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS beginning at 8pm EST hosted by The Late Late Show’s James Corden.

Ryan Murphy Will Turn Broadway’s THE PROM Into A Netflix Movie Event

Hollywood super-producer/director Ryan Murphy (Pose, American Horror Story, GLEE) has announced he’s bringing another queer story to the small screen.  Murphy announced on his Instagram Wednesday that he will turn the new Broadway musical, The Prom, into a Netflix “movie event.”
Ryan Murphy will bring Broadway musical The Prom to Netflix

Hollywood super-producer/director Ryan Murphy (Pose, American Horror Story, GLEE) has announced he’s bringing another queer story to the small screen.

Murphy announced on his Instagram Wednesday that he will turn the new Broadway musical, The Prom, into a Netflix “movie event.”

“THE PROM is one of the most uplifting, heartfelt and special musicals I have ever seen on Broadway,” wrote Murphy. “It’s truly an original that celebrates the underdog and says in a loving spectacular way that LGBTQ rights are human rights.”

Citing a “special connection” to the piece due to the location of the musical, Indiana, which happens to be where Murphy hails from, he told his followers, “I’m thrilled to announce I’m turning it into a MOVIE EVENT for Netflix.”

THE PROM is one of the most uplifting, heartfelt and special musicals I have ever seen on Broadway. It’s truly an original that celebrates the underdog and says in a loving spectacular way that LGBTQ rights are human rights. I feel a special connection to it because it’s set in Indiana, and that’s where I grew up, too. I’m thrilled to announce I’m turning it into a MOVIE EVENT for Netflix, and I’m bringing producers @billdamaschke and @dori.berinstein and the amazing creative team with me — Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, Tony Award winner Bob Martin, Tony award nominee @sklarbar73 and Tony Award nominee @Chadbeg. See it first at the Longacre Theatre. It has a musical score that will leave you singing for days, a hilarious and moving book and some of the most showstopping direction, choreography and performances I’ve ever seen on Broadway. @theprommusical
A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on Apr 9, 2019 at 5:32pm PDT

In adapting the material for TV, the 6-time Emmy Award winner shared that the Broadway creative team – including Tony Award winning director/choreographer Casey Nickolaw – will come along for the ride, as well as the stage producers.

The show, which follows the story of a high school student in a small Indiana town who is banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom, opened at the Longacre Theater on Broadway last fall to rave reviews.

“So full of happiness you think your heart is about to burst!” – Variety

“Comic gold!” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Broadway Comedy Razzle Dazzles Small Town Bigotry” – Deadline

You may recall the splash the show made when the cast performed the number “Build A Prom” on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in November.

Upbeat, lively and full of energy, the musical number closes with the two female leading characters kissing.

I’m pretty sure that was the first same-sex kiss to be televised on the long-running parade.

News Round-Up: April 10, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Dan Tai gets up close to a mama elephant. If that’s not enough elephant action for you, check this baby elephant pretending to be brave. #ElephantsRock

• Following an overall trend of increased hate crimes since Donald Trump took office, a Colorado transgender man was attacked on his own front porch for “acting gay.”

• It’s National Siblings Day, so here’s a shout out to my brother, Gary, who I fought with throughout my childhood. But, as adults, we found common ground – wonder what that was…? #MoreWine

Happy Siblings Day to my big bro, Gary

• A gay guy wrote an essay titled, “Why Pete Buttigieg Is Bad For Gays,” and he’s wrong.

• Hollywood powerhouse producer/director Ryan Murphy announced he will make the hit Broadway musical The Prom (about a high school girl asking another girl to the prom) into a Netflix movie.

• Testifying before Congress today, Education Secretary Betsy Devos admitted she knew rolling back Obama-era guidance that protected trans students would lead to lower attendance and depression for those students.

Sunday Showtune: "Barry Is Going To Prom" From THE PROM

Brooks Ashmanskas in ‘The Prom’

Check out the thoroughly charming Brooks Ashmanskas in this behind-the-scenes video from the recording sessions for the original cast recording of the Broadway hit musical’, The Prom.

You may recall last November, the production made news when their performance on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ended, as it does in the show, with two females leads kissing.

Ashmanskas plays an egotistical, self-involved Broadway actor, Barry Glickman, whose recent stage flop leads him to find a way to show the world he’s not ‘all about Barry.’

He and several Broadway colleagues head to Indiana to take up the cause of a high school student being bullied over taking her female crush to the prom.

And then, as they say, hilarity ensues.

In reviewing the show, The New York Times praised Ashmanskas, a Broadway veteran of over a dozen productions on the Great White Way (The Producers, Sunday in the Park with George, Promises, Promises), for threading the needle of playing an over-the-top gay character without offending.

Quite the contrary, The Times says his flamboyant character stylings “somehow wind up as poetry instead.”

This song comes as the young high school girl, nervous to head to the prom, asks if he would go with her. Barry, who never went to the prom himself because he was self-conscious as a young gay, is thrilled as he sings, “Barry Is Going To Prom.”

“Who cares if you’re a big old girl, just get into that gym and twirl!”

And he does 🙂

You can find more info about the musical here. Watch below and enjoy.