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27 March 2017

“So excited for you @NancyAKerrigan!  Can’t wait to see you
grace that ballroom floor, break a leg”
– 
Kristi Yamaguchi probably didn’t think twice before mentioning broken limbs to Nancy Kerrigan.
But am I the only one who thinks Dancing with the Stars ratings would have gone through the
roof if they also invited Tonya Harding to compete?

Who says you can’t go home again?  Actor Trevor Donovan recreated his iconic nude photo shoot from 2004.  How does the 38-year-old stack up against his 25-year-old self?  Well, his ass looks better.  So does his hair.  As to the rest of him, I’ll post the pics on BillyMasters.com and you can decide for yourself.

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You all know about Russia’s plan to ban Disney‘s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast because it shows LeFou (played by Josh Gad) dancing with another male character.  Well, Russia backed down.  Instead, the film was slapped with an “adults-only” rating – like it was Last Tango in Paris!  I never thought I’d see the day when an NC-17 rating was given to any Disney film – other than Song of the South!

Hong Kong and Singapore had similar concerns.  But it was the Malaysian censors who demanded the scene be cut because in Malaysia, it’s illegal to engage in any homosexual activity – including dancing, apparently.  “The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia,” said Disney.  The Mouse prevailed and the film will debut on March 30th – with a PG-13 rating.  Since the announcement, various non-government organizations have filed complaints with the Malaysian government.  The first came from Abdul Rani Kulup Abdullah, the president of the Pertubuhan Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah.  I’m not exactly sure what he said – I’m not exactly sure I typed his (or the group’s) name right!  But, as I always say, you’re not a success until someone is protesting you.

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The first woman Cynthia Nixon ever kissed was her wife!  “I had never dated a woman before or even kissed a woman or anything, and so when we started seeing each other, Christine kept waiting for the other shoe to drop – for me to panic about what this would mean to my career or to myself, as if somehow I just hadn’t noticed that she was a woman.”  There may be a good reason she didn’t notice.  Nixon once said Christine was “like a short man with boobs”.  I know some men who fit that description!

Several outlets reported that a new Sex and the City film was happening.  False.  I recently spoke with someone very close to the project, and found out that nothing is definite.  The only thing everyone agrees on is the plot.  All four ladies like the outline.  A script was ordered.  Sarah Jessica allegedly did not like the first draft, feeling it departed from the tone of the original too much.  And that’s where it stands.  Once SJP sees a script she likes, the other girls have to approve it.  Then all the logistics of scheduling need to be worked out.  So, it’ll be a while.

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Remember the days when the release of a new Disney feature was a big deal?  There was such excitement when The Little Mermaid came out in 1989, ushering in a new era of animation.  Then we had to wait two years until Beauty and the Beast.  Sure, we had those lesser films like Oliver & Company and The Rescuers – far be it from me to disparage the work of Eva Gabor.  But anticipation was key.  So why is the company hell-bent on flooding the market with live-action versions of every successful animated feature?  OK, I enjoyed seeing Angelina as Maleficent, but did we need The Jungle Book?  Or Alice in Wonderland?  Now there’s this Beauty and the Beast which neither I nor Angela Lansbury thinks was necessary.  And there’s more in the works.  Call me crazy, but I don’t want to see anyone shooting a live deer for Bambi.  If I want to watch little people dancing and singing, I’ll turn on TLC instead of a new Snow White.  There’s a song-free Mulan in the works, and a casting call for “Middle Eastern types” went out for a new Aladdin (to be directed by Guy Ritchie).  There’s a new Lion King which will, inexplicably, star James Earl Jones again as Mufasa.  Frankly, I think Disney crossed a line with the upcoming live-action Dumbo.  Sure, Colin Farrell isn’t the picture of physical fitness – but he’s no elephant!

Lindsay Lohan is angling to star as the live-action Little Mermaid, and composer Alan Menken has his eye on an ideal villainess.  “I’ve wanted Harvey Fierstein to play Ursula.  I would kill for that!”  He’s not alone.  Fans have deluged Harvey with artist’s renderings of Fierstein in fish regalia.  “Oh, Menken, what have you started?  Ha!!!!”

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It’s been a while since we heard any news about Bradley Cooper‘s remake of A Star Is Born.  So we made a few calls, greased a few…well, grease was involved.  And here’s what I discovered.  Pre-production is done, and filming will begin in about three weeks.  The script is closer in tone to the Judy Garland version than the Barbra Streisand vehicle.  Lady Gaga is still the star.  Bradley will play her long-suffering hubby.  Sam Elliott will play Gaga’s manager.  And, believe it or not, Andrew Dice Clay will play Gaga’s father!  I don’t think he gets a song.

Coincidentally, there are plans for the first stage adaptation of A Star Is BornWarner Bros. is developing the property, which will be based on their 1954 version of the story (the Garland/Mason version).  A workshop of the show took place starring Idina Menzel and Norm Lewis.  Warners wanted to develop this project eons ago, but the rights were held by – get this – Andrew Lloyd Webber!  Sir Andy hoped to follow up Sunset Boulevard with another musical version of a classic film.  Dodged another bullet.

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Previews for Hello, Dolly! began on Broadway, and everyone is saying that Bette Midler is beyond divine.  So it’s with great sadness I share the following news.  Despite promises, original Dolly Carol Channing will not be able to attend the opening.  I’m told the 96-year-old is simply not up to the cross-country trip.  To compound Bette’s disappointment, composer Jerry Herman will also miss the festivities for a similar reason.

Last year was my first time attending Michael ChildersOne Night Only concert in Palm Springs.  This annual event is a benefit for Jewish Family Service of the Desert.  Last year’s Sondheim tribute was one of those magical evenings that lingered long after it ended.  This year, Hello, Jerry features the work of Jerry Herman and takes place on April 20th at the McCallum Theatre.  Some of the stars taking part will be David Burnham, Carole Cook, Faith Prince, Davis Gaines, Lee Roy Reams, Jo Anne Worley, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Brent Barrett, and Ruta Lee.  Grab your tickets at McCallumTheatre.com.

One Broadway luminary who won’t be there is our very own Jay Armstrong Johnson.  Between concerts, Broadway shows, and recurring on Quantico, he’s kinda busy.  But not so busy that he didn’t notice a suspicious charge on his credit card bill.  After a bit of investigation, he discovered that $450 was billed by OKCupid - a site JAJ has never visited.  “I’ve been in a relationship for almost 5 years.  I’ve never done a dating site.”

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Hot off his engagement to Beverly Hills florist Jeff Leatham, Colton Haynes has changed his online bio: “Uncle.  Soon to be father.  Traveler.  Actor.  Goof.”  Soon to be father?  How soon?  In an Instagram photo of him swimming, he wrote, “Covering that layer of pregnancy while I can.”

Soccer star Robbie Rogers says he’ll soon marry television producer Greg Berlanti.  The two had a child via surrogate a year ago, and got engaged last New Year’s Eve.  Specifics are sketchy.  “Sometime in December.  We’re not quite sure yet.  We don’t have a venue yet.”  But do they have a florist?

RuPaul recently announced that he married his longtime companion Georges LeBar in January.  It was the 23rd anniversary of when they met – on the dance floor at Limelight in New York in 1994 (ah, Limelight).  Why did they finally tie the knot?  “We were looking into it really for tax breaks and financial reasons.”  How romantic!  If you didn’t know Ru had a partner, you’re not alone.  “He doesn’t care about show business – he couldn’t care less.  Most of the time, he’s on the ranch in Wyoming.  But he doesn’t want me to come there.  God bless you, Wyoming, but it’s very boring, and it’s the most isolated place on Earth.”  With the RuPaul renaissance, there’s another project in the works.  J.J. Abrams is producing a half-hour dramedy based on Ru’s early years in NYC.  The show will focus on the tyke’s rise from club kid to global icon.

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When RuPaul could become the next Disney princess, it’s time to end yet another column.  I must say happy birthday to the great Bob Mackie.  I ran into the legendary designer (and my occasional vacation friend) while he was celebrating in a little cafe in our Beverly Hills neighborhood.  It’s as if he’s turned back time – he looks AMAZING!  See who else looks great on www.BillyMasters.com - the site that can’t be censored.  If you’ve got a question, send it to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I’m banned in Malaysia!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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Revised: Mar 27, 2017 @ 9:39 pm