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8 July 2024

“I didn’t want to make Legally Blonde 2.”  
Joel Kim Booster‘s response to calls for a sequel to Fire Island
“People think they want a sequel, and then they’ll be confronted with
something that will sully the memory of the first one and at best be
forgotten about.”   Ultimately, he’s saying he’ll do it –
when and if he comes up for a good enough premise to do it.

For months, my proofreaders have chided me for not referring to HBO as Max – the network’s newly-christened brand name.  Well, first it was HBO Max, slowly segueing into simply Max.  I know most of my readers don’t know what the hell Max is – so I stuck with HBO.  Apparently the powers-that-be heard my complaints and now are dumping Max and returning to HBO – at least in the US.  They are still going to try to push this Max crap overseas.  If you ask me, this rebranding is the biggest business bungle since the rollout of New Coke!

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While I typically spend the whole July 4th week in Provincetown, upcoming international travel forced me to make a brief but notable cameo appearance.  Sure, I might have only been in town for a few hours, but that was enough to keep tongues wagging long after they wagged on me.  In between the cavalcade of sex, I managed to catch two shows.  First up with Edie at the Red Room.  Her show, Edie: Queen of the Desert, not only pays homage to her adopted home of Las Vegas, but also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the classic The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.  Edie is a true original, and her show is a good mix of well-written material, great interaction with the audience, and her fantastic dance moves – she truly is the hoofer with a heart of gold.  And she’s at the sumptuous Red Room all summer, so get more details and tickets at RedRoom.Club.

Then there’s the legend that is Varla Jean Merman.  Calling her show The Errors Tour is more than a Taylor Swift reference.  Varla truly pays tribute to those errors and mishaps that occur to all of us who work in this business called show.  As is typical, Varla delivers more laughs per minute than any other performer on the planet.  The dazzling costumes, witty lyrics and ridiculous sight gags live alongside an overall theme of self-love, kindness, and being able to laugh at our foibles.  Most touching was a tribute to the late Leslie Jordan, who starred alongside Varla in the off-Broadway musical Lucky Guy.  Even that was wrapped up in a message of endurance has kept Merman on top for 27 consecutive years in Provincetown.  You can catch her at The Crown & Anchor Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:30 – and plan early, since this show sells out regularly.  Get tix at OnlyAtTheCrown.com.

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George Clooney is poised to make his Broadway debut in a stage adaptation of his 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck.  Like the film, the play will center on Edward R. Murrow’s skirmishes with Senator Joseph McCarthy.  It is due to open sometime next spring.

It should be noted that a few other famous fellas will also be turning up on the Great White Way next season, including Denzel Washington, Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Gallagher and Kit Connor.  Then there’s Robert Downey Jr. – who appeared in the film version of Good Night, and Good Luck with Clooney.  He’ll beat George to Broadway when he stars in a new play called McNeal, about an acclaimed writer struggling with his next project – until he becomes fascinated with AI.  It starts previews on September 5th and opens on the 30th.

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I can thank my lucky stars that I saw Ian McKellen last month in Player Kings in London’s West End because it is entirely possible that could have been his last stage appearance.  After taking a tumble off stage, he bowed out of the show for the last two weeks of the run in London – David Semark took on Sir Ian’s role of Falstaff.  At the time, we heard that despite injuries to his wrist and neck, McKellen would still lead a tour with the show this summer.  Alas, that was wishful thinking.  “It is with the greatest reluctance that I have accepted the medical advice to protect my full recovery by not working in the meantime.”  He hastened to add, “Doctors have assured me that my recovery will be complete and speedy and I look forward to returning to work.”

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Yes, Pride Month is in our rear-view mirror, but there was one notable event that happened at the tail end.  On June 28th, the Stonewall National Monument and Visitor Center had a gala opening which was attended by a number of luminaries.  Spotted in the crowd were Elton John, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Collins, Michael Kors, Courtney Act, Katy Perry, and even President Biden.  During his remarks, Joe said, “This beloved bar became the site of a call to cry for freedom, dignity and equality and respect.  Rebellion that galvanized the LGBTQ+ community all across the nation and quite frankly, around the world…To this day, Stonewall remains a symbol of legacy and leader of the LGBTQ+ community, especially trans women of color who, for generations, have been at the forefront of helping realize the promise of America, for all Americans.”  He added, “We remain in a battle for the soul of America.  But I look around at the pride, hope and light that all of you bring, and I know it’s a battle we are going to win and continue to make progress.”  Try and picture that speech being made by President Trump!

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Elsewhere in NYC, the current Elphaba in Wicked proclaimed herself a proud member of our community.  Mary Kate Morrissey made an appearance at NYC Pride and belted out “Defying Gravity” while wearing a tee that said “Here, Queer, & Wicked” (I personally wouldn’t have used that last comma, but it’s a stylistic choice).  Brava.

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Several spawn of celebrities used Pride Month to come out.  Louisa Jacobson, the daughter of Meryl Streep, proclaimed her proclivities.  Joining her is Melissa Etheridge’s daughter Bailey, who has announced her engagement to girlfriend Jocelyn Simone.  By the by, I had no idea that Bailey’s last name is a combination of both Melissa and Julie Cypher’s last names – Cypheridge!  And did you know Sophia Bush is gay?  After two failed marriages (Chad Michael Murray and Grant Hughes), she is now dating soccer player Ashlyn Harris.  After her last divorce, a friend said, “I don’t just think he was not the right person for you – I also don’t actually think you like men!”  Everyone should have a friend in their life as direct as that.  Now, if only someone could convince Chad Michael Murray that he should be with a man, I could sleep well…or, preferably, not.

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And that leads us to another story involving the lovely CMM.  Production has just begun on a sequel to Freaky Friday.  Last week, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan were photographed on the set of the new film, which will also reunite them with Chad Michael Murray, Mark Harmon, and others from the original.

Continuing the reunion theme, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are in talks for a second Practical Magic.  While I don’t know anyone who has been longing for this reteaming, good for them.

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Kevin Spacey is headed to Italy to receive the National Award for Lifetime Achievement in film.  Being Spacey, not even this could pass without controversy.  It was first announced that he was getting this award on July 21st in Taormina, Sicily.  Well, the annual Taormina Film Festival is going on around this time.  Just to avoid confusion, the film festival released a statement saying Kevin’s award has no connection with them.  This National Award is given in association with the Italian Senate and the Region of Sicily.  Still, it doesn’t help Kev pay the bills!

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Our Ask Billy question required a bit of research.  Justin in Detroit wrote, “What do you know about Harry Jowsey being offered $40K for sex?  Was it from a guy or a girl? I always get a gay vibe from him.”

Starting with the question on most of my readers’ minds – who the hell is Harry Jowsey?  He was the “reality star” who appeared on Dancing with the Stars and couldn’t count to four if his life depended on it.  He found his initial fame on Too Hot to Handle for Netflix.  He segued into OnlyFans, where he once claimed he made $100K in 24 hours (as a side note, I have not seen a single bit of proof that anybody makes that type of money on a regular basis – although I’m sure it happens occasionally).  More recently, Harry returned to Netflix for Perfect Match.  He’s awfully pretty to look at – and he’s the first to say so.  He told the story about being offered money for sex.  “Back in Australia, had this guy DM me on Instagram.”  So far, I’m intrigued.  “He said, ‘Hey, I want you to sleep with my girlfriend.  I’ll give you $40,000.’”  Well, you had me, then you lost me.  Harry says his response was, “Brother, $40,000 for 30 seconds is the greatest deal of all time.”  30 seconds?  Now we know why all of Harry’s relationships end so…prematurely.  Still, he’s pretty to look at, so check out his pics on BillyMasters.com.

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When Harry can be had at bargain prices, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  The bright side of that story is that Kevin Spacey claims to be broke.  PHEW – you dodged a bullet there, Jowsey!  As for me, I’m off to destinations unknown in Europe for the next month.  But fear not – as long as I can get online, I’ll continue to dish the dirt on www.BillyMasters.com – the site that knows no boundaries.  If you’ve got a question for me, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Taylor Swift asks Varla Jean Merman to be her opening act!  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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