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15 August 2022

Steven Spielberg recently remade West Side Story and bent over
backwards to respect ethnicities and ended up pleasing nobody. 
And it’s too bad, because the original musical was written by
Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and Leonard Bernstein
three gay Jews.  And if you can’t trust gay Jews to write about hot-blooded
Puerto Rican teenagers, who can you trust?
 
Bill Maher.

We’ve all seen those movies – those trashy slasher flicks when the killer is carried out on a gurney, covered by a sheet, and then pops up and kills the EMT.  Well, there was a real-life equivalent of this very situation (minus the murder, naturally).  Anne Heche – who was in the remake of Psycho – was driving erratically through Mar Vista, California, shortly after buying a red wig.  She was caught on camera almost mowing down a pedestrian, and then refusing to stop after nicking a garage.  That’s when she turned someone’s house into a McDonald’s drive-thru.  For some inexplicable reason, she pulled into a driveway, plowed through the living room of one Lynne Mishele, and continued about three-quarters of the way through the house – which is impressive when you consider she was driving a Mini Cooper!  Eventually the car stopped and everything was ablaze, while Heche was still in her car – perhaps singing along to a Crosby, Stills and Nash CD.

Police, fire, and rescue officers were called to the scene, while one chopper caught everything on live TV – without anyone realizing the driver was marginally famous.  In a moment of blatant sexism, the reporter wondered aloud if “he” (the driver) was OK – as if a woman couldn’t have possibly caused such a commotion.  After close to an hour, a body was extricated from the passenger side of the car, placed on a gurney, and covered in a sheet.  The reporter described the grim scene when, all of a sudden, up popped Anne Heche, as if to say, “I’m OK!”  It was an unbelievable sight!  Despite this last surge of strength, the brain injuries were too extensive, and she passed away a week later.  Who would have thought her last filmed appearance would be the most compelling of her life?

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Prior to Anne’s death, her most notable ex was ambushed by a “journalist”.  Ellen was asked what she thought of Heche’s condition.  “We’re not in touch with each other, so I wouldn’t know.”  DeGeneres added, “I don’t want anyone to be hurt.”  While she has been criticized for being cool, Ellen was far more sympathetic than a few of my exes would have been (although, for the record, my response would be warmer – ‘cause, you know, I’m a giver).

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Over the years, I was fortunate to spend lots of time with Olivia Newton-John both onstage and off, most memorably when I hosted her only concert of 2008 – at LA Pride.  As many have said, the best way to describe her personality was “sunny”.  Fast forward to 2020, when I hosted a special Billy Masters LIVE to celebrate 50 years of LA Pride.  I thought Olivia would be a great guest, so I reached out to her publicist and bestie, my bon ami Michael Caprio.  ONJ was game, but technologically couldn’t do it due to unreliable Internet at her ranch.  Unexpectedly, a couple of hours before our live show, I got an e-mail from Caprio.  “Olivia was sorry she couldn’t join you live, but thought you might be able to use this.”  Attached was a video she shot, wishing us a happy Pride, saying how sorry she was she couldn’t join us live, and saluting our efforts.  She had nothing to gain from it – she just wanted us all to know she was there.  Thanks, Livvy.

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This past weekend, the extraordinary Lillias White joined Seth Rudetsky for a pair of sold-out shows at the Provincetown Art House.  And she’s about to make a bit of Broadway history.  The powerhouse vocalist will be blazing yet another new trail when she joins the cast of Hadestown as Hermes – originally played by André De Shields!  For the national tour, the producers thought outside the box and cast our pal Levi Kreis in the role.  Now comes Lillias – the first woman to assume the part.  She takes over on September 13th.  She’s also got a ton of concerts on her agenda, so check out her schedule at LilliasWhite.com.

The band Weezer has cancelled their residency on Broadway – which begs the question, “Huh?”  I don’t mean any disrespect, but whose bright idea was it for Weezer to play Broadway??  In a statement, front man Rivers Cuomo (no relation) says the shows were cancelled due to “low ticket sales and unbelievably high expenses.”  In the words of somebody wiser than moi, no shit.

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KJ Apa of Riverdale fame (to say nothing of numerous crossword puzzles) got gay tongues wagging worldwide by posting a photo with Eric Dane with the caption “New couple alert”.  While some hoped this meant Apa would be joining the cast of Euphoria, the twosome is actually shooting a movie.  One Fast Move finds Eric playing KJ’s daddy – and, alas, I mean his biological father.  A boy can dream…

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Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Lives, which NBC is dumping.  The show isn’t dead per se.  Starting on September 12th, it will move to Peacock.  This might be a smart move since NBC is hoping to lure daytime devotees to their streaming service.  Rumor has it, a good chunk of the soap’s 14,000-episode library could follow, making this a valuable commodity indeed.  NBC will replace the sudser with NBC News Daily – which I predict will bomb like nobody’s business.  This leaves only three soaps on daytime – two for CBS (The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful) and one on ABC (General Hospital).  And one of those is already on life support.

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Every once in a while, I wonder whatever became of Frank Ocean – as opposed to Billy Ocean, who still does occasional concerts.  The out singer-songwriter (Frank) has been away from the spotlight for several years.  Turns out, he’s been working as a photographer and a designer.  And he’s starting a jewelry line.  Most notably, he’s peddling a golden cock ring with a price tag of $25K.  The trinket is described as “hand made of 18 karat yellow gold with an array of channel set princess-cut diamonds and layers that express a pixilated bone or an H-motif, finished with a high polish.”  Look, if I want high polish in my nether regions, I’ll use something significantly cheaper!  Still one must give Frank credit for releasing a photo where he is said to be wearing the uncomfortable-looking bauble.  You can see the partially pixilated pic on BillyMasters.com.

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Someone who always shows all is rocker Tommy Lee, which leads us into our Ask Billy question.  Randy in San Diego writes, “I heard Tommy Lee posted a nude photo on social media.  But I can’t find it.  Was it a mistake?  And do you have it?”

Tommy Lee is crazy…like a fox.  He knew exactly what he was doing with this full-frontal faux pas.  It popped up on Instagram and, within 10 minutes, disappeared.  Tommy replaced it with a meme of a naked man standing in front of an elephant asking him, “How do you breathe through that little thing?”  Oh, that Tommy is a card!  And he’s in as enviable shape as ever, as you’ll see on BillyMasters.com.

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When Tommy only needs one additional stick to play the drums, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  If that whets your appetite, no need to get behind the wheel.  Just cruise on over to www.BillyMasters.com – the site that always has something to munch on.  If you have a question for me, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before anyone calls me crazy!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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