June 17, 2013
With all the gay pride festivities around the country, I can't possibly hit them all. Although I'm known for breaking the rules (or at the very least, bending them), not even I can break the rules of physics and be in two places at the same time. Last weekend, I was in Boston on Saturday and Los Angeles on Sunday. After stating that Boston Pride played a part in his coming out, Jason Collins marched alongside his one-time Stanford roommate, Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy. Earlier in the week, the openly gay former Boston Celtic was wearing the jersey of a different team. Collins was invited to throw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game on Pride Night.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, there was scandal a-brewing. Ciara was booked as Saturday night's headliner for LA Pride. However, local hot spot The Factory planned a special pre-Pride party on Friday and advertised there would be a "special performer". Although I didn't see it, allegedly Factory had some flyers touting Ciara's appearance. Once the Pride committee got wind of this, they made it clear that her engagement with them superseded any other appearances (especially the night before at a club two blocks away). Factory threatened to sue Ciara for $10K. Her people said that there wasn't a signed contract (which I somehow doubt). Come Saturday night, Ciara's in the middle of her performance and shaking hands with people by the stage when all of a sudden someone handed her something. She took one look at it and dropped it - she had been served! The wise process server made sure to have a video of Ciara taking it, which you can see on BillyMasters.com. The tragedy of this event is that I wasn't hosting. I suspect I would have gone out on stage, picked up the summons, and called back to Ciara, "Honey, I think you forgot something." Perhaps I would have done a dramatic reading of the summons aloud, adding: "I'm only trying to help. That Ciara's not much of a reader!" On second thought, maybe it's best I wasn't there.
There were two things that made me excited about LA Pride. First, our Grand Marshal was my former Medford, MA neighbor, Maria Menounos. We txted each other, noting the implausibility of two Meffa kids making good in Hollywood! The second was another Boston connection - the Sunday night headliners were the fabulous Pointer Sisters. Ruth lives in Newton, MA and is the wife of a doctor. She may be the eldest, but Ruthie be SANGING! In spite of her rough year health-wise, Anita looked and sounded terrific. Rounding out the trio was Ruth's granddaughter, Sadako. Yes, I said granddaughter!
In the midst of all these gay pride celebrations, we heard a great story about Prince Harry. Admittedly, we're far more partial to nude photos of Prince Harry than stories, but you take what you can get. Whilst doing maneuvers, Lance Corporal James Wharton was being harassed by a group of soldiers. In the midst of this, Prince Harry arrived in a tank (some Princes turn up on a white horse...sigh, only in fairy tales). Harry saw that Wharton was upset and asked what was wrong. "I think I'm about to be murdered by the infantry" - even the gays in the military are very melodramatic. Harry said, "I'm going to sort this shit out once and for all". Wharton stayed hidden in the tank as Harry got out and talked to the soldiers. He returned several minutes later, saying, "I knew one of his officers and we cleared everything up. I also told those other lads to back the fuck off, too." Can we get him to be a Grand Marshal next year? Possibly in a tank - the vehicle and the article of clothing.
If you didn't have a local gay pride event going on, you were probably watching the Tony Awards. As usual, Neil Patrick Harris was a brilliant host. Not too much, not too little, just right. I believe I was the first person to tell Andrea Martin she'd not only get nominated for a Tony but would also win it, and she did. My darling Jerry Mitchell and Kinky Boots took the lion's share of awards. I shouldn't take pleasure in someone losing, but it's nice to see that Tom Hanks doesn't win every award he's nominated for. Kudos to dear Judith Light for winning two years in a row, and giving the best speech (including thanking her manager and our pal, Herb Hamsher).
Of course, there were some lighter moments. Barrett Foa was adorable representing Royal Caribbean. I think the Simba from The Lion King may need a bra - or perhaps a manzire. I found it intriguing that Patti LuPone got to give out Best Revival of a Musical, followed immediately by Bernadette Peters who gave out Best New Musical. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that discussion! And here's a tip for Cyndi Lauper - after doing it for a couple decades, singing "Time After Time" with a zither is no longer a "special performance". If I'm not mistaken, Cicely Tyson wasn't wearing a dress - she was wearing the stuff that was packed around her dress. But leave it to the elder stateswoman of theatre to read the prompter saying "Wrap it up" and work it into her speech - "That's exactly what you did with me. You wrapped me up in your arms after 30 years and now I can go home with a Tony!"
One of the major highlights of the show was when Andrew Rannells, Megan Hilty, and Laura Benanti sang an ode to the TV shows they were on which were cancelled (with music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa). Megan's gonna get another shot at fame on the small screen - she's just joined the cast of the upcoming Sean Hayes sitcom, Sean Saves The World. Let us hope this collaboration is more fruitful than their last.
We also got to see Jane Lynch singing "Little Girls" from Annie...LIVE. It's unfortunate that the joy of making her Broadway debut is marred by some personal troubles. Jane and her wife Dr. Lara Embry are getting a divorce. Making it worse, Lara has a daughter from a previous relationship. It's the Bachelorette all over again...
Do you know who else was offered the role of "Miss Hannigan" in Annie? Joan Rivers. Pause for laugh (insert "it's just...." for no apparent reason). She turned it down due to a scheduling conflict. Ironically, the person who heavily campaigned for the part was Rosie O'Donnell. Frankly, I'd be surprised if Auntie Joan is a better singer than Rosie, but I guess we'll never know. Joanie hasn't lost all theatrical ambitions. She's planning to revive her play about Lenny Bruce's mother, Sally Marr...and her Escorts, which earned her a Tony nomination in 1994.
If you're in the New York area, I urge you to check out Michael Urie's solo show Buyer & Cellar, the story of a struggling actor who works in some shops reproduced in the Malibu basement of Barbra Streisand. It was a hit at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and is moving to the Barrow Street Theatre on June 18th for a 10-week run. For more info, check out BarrowStreetTheatre.com.
Just so you don't think we've lost our taste for hot naked men, last week Ian Ziering made his debut with the world famous Chippendales in Las Vegas. He'll be appearing with the boys at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino through the end of June. After several weeks of intense workouts, the 50-year-old Ian turned flab to fab. He reportedly lost 25 pounds and the results are impressive - as you'll see on BillyMasters.com.
Far more predictable is Patrick Schwarzenegger, who Tweeted a shirtless photo of himself with the caption, "Early morning pump! Who is getting into shape for summer??!! Gonna gain 7 pounds this summer." Really? I just gained 7 pounds since I started writing this week's column. But I'll still post the pic (his, not mine).
One more hottie, Derek Theler from Baby Daddy posted a sweaty selfie after an intense work out. I don't know anything about him, but someone this gorgeous and showing so much skin deserves to be on BillyMasters.com.
Our Ask Billy question is from Jerry in Seattle: "I'm in love with the new Superman, Henry Cavill. Don't you think he gives off a gay vibe? Please tell me he is. A friend of mine said you knew someone very close to him."
This is a story which I can relate second- or, possibly, third-hand. Apparently, one of Henry's closest friends in LA is actor and writer Corey Spears (a former paramour of Dan Renzi, of Real World and daytime moviegoing fame). Even when Henry was making decent money as an actor, he'd stay on Corey's sofa whenever in LA. What makes this interesting is that, according to Renzi, Henry had a penchant for walking around the apartment naked. If you check out his scribblings at DanRenzi.com, you'll find some stories about Henry - where he's affectionately referred to as "The Hen" (personally, I'd go with "The Cock"). With so many gay people close to Cavill, you'd think that if there were any real gossip, I'd know about it. Apropos of your question, I don't think it's a gay vibe he gives off - it's a British vibe; they're often mistaken for each other. Regardless, he always delivers, like in that scene from the first season of The Tudors where he's endlessly plowing away with such zeal. I've never before been jealous of a scullery maid. There's even a tantalizing glimpse of the goods, as you'll see on BillyMasters.com.
When we're hoping Cavill is not faster than a speeding bullet, it's definitely time to end yet another column. I didn't even get to tell you that Curtis Stone and Lindsay Price got married, Graham Norton and his beau broke up, and Jennifer Love Hewitt is engaged to and carrying the child of her latest boyfriend/co-star/soon-to-be ex. WOW, I slipped those in when you weren't looking. Well, I'm good in a tight squeeze - much like Cavill. You can see him and so much more on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that is always gentle with you. For a bit of the rough stuff, you'll have to contact me directly. If you don't see me on an app in your locale, you can always write to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Ciara shows up on Judge Judy! Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.