Category Archives: Breaking

Bette’s Part of the Fab Four

Our Ask Billy question comes from Jason in Miami: “Whatever happened to that movie that Bette Midler was making with Susan Sarandon and Megan Mullally?  You wrote about it a long time ago.  Is it still happening?”

Not only is it still happening, it’s in the can and coming out on August 1stThe Fabulous Four stars Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally and Sheryl Lee Ralph.  It actually only began filming last September.  It probably seems like a long time ago because it was announced in May of 2022.  Back then, Sissy Spacek was part of the cast.  At some point, she dropped out – opening the door for Miss Ralph.  The story is about three friends who travel to Key West to be bridesmaids at a friend’s wedding.  The bride being Midler, and the other three are her old college friends – which is odd because there’s over a decade between Mullally and Midler.  Maybe Megan was like a Sheldon Cooper/Doogie Howser situation.  Anyway, fingers crossed for a successful opening.

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When we can go from the Fab Five to the Fabulous Four, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  I’d be remiss not to mention that this past weekend was also Boston Pride, and next weekend will be Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors.  While it looks like I’m missing all the fun, you can keep up with everything by checking out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that’s proud 365 days a year.  If you have a question you need answered, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before we find out what else Jonathan Groff is full of.  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Sisters and Queers Reunite

Last week, The View celebrated the 30th anniversary of Sister Act 2.  Most of the cast reunited with Whoopi Goldberg for great stories and great music.  Some cast members – like Jenifer Lewis and Jennifer Love Hewitt – were unable to be there in person, so they sent in video messages.  But one notable person was conspicuously absent – and virtually unmentioned.  On the show’s podcast, Brian Teta (executive producer of The View) said, “Lauryn Hill…we made every effort to get her here, but unfortunately it just didn’t work out.  We would have loved to have had her, she’s very important to the movie, but it didn’t work out.”  Maybe she was just late…again.

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Inching closer to Boston, another reunion is taking place – and this one should be complete.  Queer Eye is a global phenomenon, but it all started over 20 years ago.  In July 2003, Bravo broadcast the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and it ran for five seasons.  The boys are reuniting for a special evening at the Foxwoods Casino on June 22nd.  Cleverly titled An Evening with the Original Fab Five: 20 Years Later, Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley and Jai Rodriguez all plan to attend.  They did another reunion a few months ago, and it was so successful they are adding dates.  The show will include behind-the-scenes stories, design tips, Q&A, and a live makeover – God help us.  You can grab your tix at Foxwoods.com.

Oprah and Adele are Allies

Before we leave California, Oprah Winfrey posted a Pride Month message.  “It was 35 years ago that my younger brother, Jeffrey Lee, died from AIDS.  He was 29 years old.  The year was 1989 and the world was an extremely cruel place – not just for people suffering from AIDS, but also for LGBTQ people in general.  I often think if he’d lived, he’d be so amazed at how much the world has changed.  That there actually is gay marriage and a Pride month.  How different his life might have been had he lived in a world that saw and appreciated him for who he was rather than attempting to shame him for his sexuality.  I believe that every single person has the right to love who they want to love and be the person they most want to be.  My hope for you is that you are living a life that feels authentic to you and that you have the support around you to do so, no matter your sexuality.  Whether or not you’re celebrating Pride this month…or always, I wish for you the continued freedom to rise to your truest, highest expression of yourself as a human being.”

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Working our way east, let’s take a pit stop in Las Vegas, where the successful Weekends with Adele residency continues at Caesars Palace.  Last week, a guy yelled out, “Pride sucks!”  Well, that stopped our diva in her tracks.  Perched on the piano bench, she retorted, “Did you come to my fucking show to say ‘Pride sucks’?  Are you fucking stupid?  Don’t be so fucking ridiculous.  If you have nothing nice to say, shut up, alright?”  As it happens, the incident was caught on video, which you can see on BillyMasters.com.

Kylie and Ricky are Proud

“I’m single.  I’m feeling full of pride.  And PrEP.”  
Jonathan Groff welcomes the audience to the Pride of Broadway event. 
You know what they say – better safe than pregnant.

Welcome to another Pride Month.  And what better way to show our solidarity than competing Pride events?  Oh, those wacky folks in Los Angeles.  When I hosted LA Pride (for seven consecutive years, but who’s counting?), we were united – because there’s enough of Billy to go around.  Then West Hollywood booted LA Pride and now has OUTLOUD Music Festival, where the word “Pride” is eschewed.  What can I say?  It was a kinder, gentler, and certainly cheaper time.  Oh, yes – OUTLOUD tickets were several hundred dollars.  When I’m hosting, I have one rule of thumb: you give me all-access, I’ll give you all-access.  Of course, I wasn’t hosting a concert by Kylie Minogue – and compared to her Vegas prices, people in WeHo actually got a bargain.  They also got, from all accounts, a fantastic show.  There were others who performed throughout the weekend.  People like Janelle Monáe and Keke Palmer.  For those who didn’t want to break the bank, the festival kicked off with a free Friday night concert headlined by Adam Lambert and Kesha – who apparently no longer sports a dollar sign in her name. 

Not to be outdone, LA Pride in the Park held a concert a week later, and they had some star power of their own – Ricky Martin!  Also appearing was JoJo Siwa – well, the Lord giveth…  Tickets started at a far more reasonable price, but VIP access was available for those who had a few hundred to spend.  Ricky kept the capacity crowd entertained with a high-energy set which featured his hips on overdrive (and they didn’t seem to be lying).  He even showed a good amount of skin, the color of mocha.  Once everyone dried off, pride went from the park to the street for the annual LA Pride March down Hollywood Boulevard with Grand Marshal George Takei.

Dreyfuss Goes Off

In a somewhat Boston-related Ask Billy question, Kyle in Philadelphia asked, “Is Richard Dreyfuss insane?  What happened at that screening of Jaws when he went off on women, trans people, and Barbra?”

This is what happens when I leave Boston – chaos ensues.  Although, to be fair, the incident in question happened in Beverly, Massachusetts at the Cabot Theatre.  The event was called An Evening with Richard Dreyfuss and Jaws Screening.  For reasons unknown, he made his entrance in a dress – which was quickly taken off with the help of two female stagehands.  Onstage with a moderator, Dreyfuss showed some clips from his career, and audience members asked a number of questions.  When the subject turned to the film Nuts, he called Barbra Streisand a genius and a great talent, but also said she is stubborn and she should know her place.  Curiously, he added “women are so passive…that’s why the movie sucked.”  When asked about the #MeToo movement, he said many of those people make him want to vomit.  Somehow he dovetailed to trans youths, saying how “you shouldn’t be listening to some 10-year-old who says they want to be a boy instead of a girl”.  He added, “It’s not OK because when the kid’s 15, she’s going to say, ‘I’m an octopus’.”  At that point, a flurry of people walked out.  He also talked about how many of the problems in this country came about when the schools stopped teaching civics – which I find hard to disagree with.  After the fact, the actor’s son Ben spoke up saying, “Well, now you know why I refused to give him the password to his own twitter account for a decade.”  You can see clips from the evening on BillyMasters.com.

Audra IS Mama Rose

Something I predicted a few years ago has finally come to fruition.  Audra McDonald is going for her seventh Tony Award (but who’s counting) by leading Gypsy.  It is often said that not enough time passes between Broadway revivals of Gypsy, so I thought why not look at the history.  The original with Merman opened on May 21, 1959.  The first revival hit Broadway on Sept 23, 1974 with Angela Lansbury.  For those of you without an abacus handy, that’s about 15 years.  Another 15 years passed before Tyne Daly got her turn – on Oct 27, 1989.  She was replaced by Linda Lavin, who finished the run.  Again, close to 15 year later, Bernadette Peters landed in a production originally offered to Patti LuPone.  That opened on March 31, 2003, and featured the current Mrs. Neil Patrick Harris.  When LuPone finally got her turn, it was only 5 years later – March 27, 2008.  And now, on December 19, 2024, Audra McDonald begins previews – after another 15-year gap.  She’s not the first Mama Rose of Color – in 2014, Leslie Uggams played Rose in an Equity production at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre

That Audra will be splendid is not in doubt.  The production will be directed by George C. Wolfe, so she’s in more than capable hands.  As for casting, I hate to be so on the nose, but couldn’t Norm Lewis join her as Herbie?  For the strippers, I’d love to see Jenifer Lewis, Loretta Devine and Sheryl Lee Ralph – but, whatever you do, don’t call it a reunion.  As for Louise, that’s always a tough call.  I guess Zendaya is probably too big.  And Keke Palmer is probably too old.  Age may not be an issue since I hear discussions are ongoing for Denée Benton to take the role – which makes sense since she already plays Audra’s daughter on The Gilded Age.  Of course, this goes on the assumption that it will be an all-Black cast.  It could be one of those colorblind productions that folks love so much.

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Plays in the UK

My first day in London was marred by a lack of sleep.  I decided to keep going and attend the matinee of Remembrance Monday.  All I knew about the play was that it was less than 90 minutes, and featured two hot guys in their underwear.  If that couldn’t keep me awake, nothing would.  Michael Batten’s play about a gay couple is a provocative one that addresses issues many of us can identify with.  He gets there by way of one clichéd plot twist that I could well have done without.  As to the lads – Nick Hayes and Matthew Stathers are both not only talented, but worth seeing in their scanties.  And there was one member of my audience who put them both to shame – and he knows who he is.  The production at the Seven Dials Theatre has closed, but the memory lingers on.

I also saw John Cleese’s stage version of Fawlty Towers.  I remember the television show with some fondness, but was never a fanatic.  Therefore, I think I’m the perfect audience member.  I found it a total delight.  Using classic plot points to structure an interweaving play was a perfect way into the characters and the material.  If it left one wanting more, I suppose all’s the better.  The cast was evocative of the originals, but with their own personalization.  I must single out Adam Jackson-Smith, who bears the most fleeting of resemblances to Cleese, and yet mines the role for nuances and ticks that all felt genuinely fresh and effortless.

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My last day in London was spent with Sir Ian McKellen.  He’s appearing in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 by Robert Icke.  This puts Sir Ian’s portrayal of Sir John Falstaff front and center in Player Kings.  Shockingly, his Falstaff has more vigour than pathos – quite a feat for the 85-year-old actor, who has had a busy few years (including again playing Hamlet, himself).  Falstaff is a challenging character who rarely leaves the stage during this four-hour presentation.  Special kudos to Toheeb Jimoh, whose Prince Hal makes his entrance as a butt-baring go-go dancer!  Not only is he a fine actor, his arse gets two thumbs up from me.  That Richard Coyle is old enough to play Henry IV makes me feel ancient.  But he’s as splendid as ever – as is the entire cast.

Happy Pride Month

“Happiest bday my baby…daddy loves you to the moon and back. 
I’ve always asked people to love me unconditionally, thank you for
teaching me what that really means.  Be you!  Your best you! 
You’re the gift and I’m wrapping paper…love love love you for life. 
Excuse my ignorance, chalk it up to growth.  Love you so much,
thank you for making me a man.  So proud.”
 
Marlon Wayans’ post to his trans son Kai.  He told People magazine, “It took me all of a week,
and in that week I grew the most I ever did in my life.  You understand the purpose of kids
and the beauty of unconditional love.  At the end of the day, in my heart,
the only thing that matters to me is that my child is happy.”  Happy Pride!

Billy is back from his latest European jaunt.  For reasons unknown, these trips never go smoothly.  But here’s a new one.  After we taxied out to the runway, our pilot got word from a plane behind us – we had a flat tire!!  Come on – really??  A swarthy, hairy Eastern European rushed out to our plane lickety-split, jacked us up, changed the tire, and waved us on our way.  Thanks, Olga.  Yes, that bleached-blonde, buff-bod babe is on the Bulgarian Olympic Team.  She excels in the shot put.  I’m not exactly sure where she puts her shot – don’t ask, don’t tell, I always say.  When you’re built like Olga, you probably put it anywhere you’d like!

Colton’s Expecting

Colton Underwood and hubby Jordan C. Brown have announced that they are expecting their first child.  I guess I should have figured this out when Colton started a podcast called Daddyhood.  Sure, he’d put on a few pounds, but I didn’t think he was actually showing!  Turns out the road to fatherhood has not been smooth.  “Right away, my husband gets his results back for his sperm count and he had incredible, great numbers.  And I got mine back and all my sperm was dead.”  Hold on a minute – is Colton saying that he is filled head to toe with dead, useless sperm?  Rather than be tasteless (so to speak), I’ll simply send my congratulations and move on.

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NBCUniversal is still dealing with the lawsuit from former Real Housewife of New York Leah McSweeney.  They have asked the suit to be tossed out of court for being “threadbare”.  “While Plaintiff attempts to overwhelm with a 654-page complaint, even a cursory review of her allegations reveals that many concern matters entirely irrelevant to her claims and most are devoid of any factual or legal support, speculative, misleading, and/or demonstrably false.”  Their conclusions are based on an internal investigation (done by a third party) in which neither McSweeney nor any of the other individuals cited in the complaint were interviewed.  Just due to that reason, McSweeney’s attorneys say they deserve their day in court.  Watch what happens…live.

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Our Ask Billy question really gave me an education.  Robbie in Saint Louis writes, “I read that Nick Fuentes was streaming gay porn on his phone.  Is he gay?”

First I had to figure out who Nick Fuentes is.  Apparently he’s a famous Holocaust denier – a group of people I admittedly don’t keep up with.  Last week, visitors to his Twitter/X account found he was streaming gay porn!  Very quickly, Fuentes claimed it was the work of a pro-Israeli group.  “My proprietary livestreaming site was hacked after my stream went offline by someone claiming to be IDF Unit 8200.  The hacker took credit by [watermarking] the porn and leaving messages on the back end.”  Well, if you’re gonna leave a message on gay porn, the back end is a good place to start.  IDF Unit 8200 is a known intelligence unit that specializes in cyber warfare – although they usually claim responsibility for their attacks, and thus far have remained mum on the Fuentes situation.  Someone who hasn’t been silent is disgraced former congressman George Santos.  “For the love of god!  GAYPERS JUST ACCEPT THAT YOUR ZADDY FUENTS IS A HOMO!”

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When we’re quoting George Santos twice, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  Looking back to Honest Abe, I must confess I’ve always had an affinity for our beloved 16th president, but not for any of his positions – legal or otherwise.  It’s because his birthday is February 12th – the day before mine (to say nothing of a few years earlier).  This statue clearly demonstrates we have much more in common than I thought, as you’ll see on www.BillyMasters.com, the site you can read for less than a penny.  While I continue to frolic the continent, I am always available to answer your questions.  Just drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Sebastian Stan plays me in a biopic!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Young Mr. Lincoln

A statue called The Young Lincoln can be seen in the rotunda of the Los Angeles Spring Street Courthouse, and it’s getting quite a bit of renewed attention.  It’s an odd resurgence for a statue unveiled in 1941 and paid for by the Federal Works Agency.  It is eight feet tall and made of Indiana limestone.  The sculptor, James Lee Hansen, won the commission and was paid about $7K (roughly $125K by today’s standards).  It depicts a young Lincoln barefoot and shirtless with a well-defined physique, wearing jeans and with a thumb in one of the belt loops.  I’ve always thought this was the strapping young lawyer during those four years he lived with Joshua Speed, with whom he also shared a double bed.  While I cannot confirm that as the inspiration, the artist has left us some insight.  When asked why he had Lincoln half-naked, he said, “From a sculpturing standpoint, it’s better to show the body without any clothes.  That’s why I left ‘em off.”  At the time of the unveiling, some claimed the torso bore a striking resemblance to Hansen himself.  Modern critics have called it everything from pornographic to the embodiment of Gavin Newsom.  But only Kimberly Guilfoyle knows for sure.

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Speaking of politicians (and this is an awkward transition, no matter how you slice it), I’ve successfully avoided writing about disgraced former representative George Santos.  I didn’t even tell you when he started doing Cameo videos as his drag persona Kitara.  But I can now reveal that he’s married to Matheus “Matt” Gerard.  The most surprising part of this story is not that they met on Grindr (which he admits is “pretty sad”) – it’s that they got married way back in 2021!  Funny how nobody unearthed that piece of dish when they were investigating him.

When Franny Met Norah

Pope Francis recently sat down with 60 Minutes.  Let that sink in – the pope is doing primetime.  Not only that, but he spoke to a female journalist.  This ain’t your parents’ pope, that’s for sure.  During his chat with Norah O’Donnell, she reminded him that he previously said, “Homosexuality is not a crime.”  He agreed, adding, “No, it is a human condition.”  He also reiterated that while he was in favor of priests blessing people in same-sex marriages, he does not endorse priests blessing same-sex marriages – it’s a fine line makes much more sense in Latin!  He clarified his stance by saying, “To bless a homosexual-type union, however, goes against the given right, against the law of the church.  But to bless each person?  Why not?  The blessing is for all.”  That pope – he’s being awfully careful with his words.  And that’s because he doesn’t want to be referred to as The Late Pope!

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On May 29th, Still Working 9 to 5 will have a long-delayed Hollywood premiere at the Renberg Theatre at The LGBT Center and be presented under the aegis of the ERA Coalition Forward.  This documentary shines a spotlight on the plight of women in the workplace at the time of the film 9 to 5, as well as where things stand today with the long-gestating Equal Rights Amendment.  The film was directed and produced by Camille Hardman and Gary Lane (who, with his brother Larry Lane, are the official twins of BillyMasters.com).  At the premiere, the ERA Coalition Trailblazer Award will be presented to stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in person – Dolly Parton will accept via video.  Also expected to attend are Rosie O’Donnell, Kathy Griffin, Alyssa Milano, Donna Mills, Maxine Waters and, oh yes, CHER!  Get tix and details at ERACoalition.org.

 

Stan in Cannes

“If it’s not gratuitous nudity, I’m down for it.  If it makes sense,
and it’s authentic, and true to the character
and the scene given circumstances, then I’m 100% in.”
 
Taylor Zakhar Perez shares his thoughts on film nudity.  Perhaps we’ll see more than just his ass in the
Red, White & Royal Blue sequel.  Sure, he’s nude in a group shower scene in HBO’s Minx, but that
mass of pubic hair clearly indicates that it’s a prosthetic.  But it’s still worth seeing on BillyMasters.com.

I can neither confirm nor deny my presence at the Cannes Film Festival.  I can confirm that I am in a city dripping in wealth where the English language is regularly butchered.  But that could mean I’m in Las Vegas.  I can confirm that I am overseas – in Europe, actually.  And I have been embroiled in a number of international affairs.  But enough about my sex life.

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One of the hits of Cannes has been The Apprentice – a film about the early days of Donald Trump and his mentor, Roy Cohn.  One would think sexy Sebastian Stan – who recently played rocker Tommy Lee – was miscast.  And yet, Stan eerily embodies the young Trump who, it should be acknowledged, was somewhat of a looker in his youth.  The audience gave the flick an eleven-minute standing ovation – although I can tell you from personal experience that most people at Cannes get up quickly to beat the crowds out.  The former El Presidente is trying to get the film banned in the US – and the producers have been sent a cease and desist letter and threatened with legal action…because Trump has been so lucky in court.  The producers claim it is “fair and balanced” – although one wonders how to confirm The Donald getting liposuction (the alleged rape of wife Ivana was documented in her 1990 divorce deposition).  This may all be a moot point because no distributor has gobbled up the flick, despite producers hoping for a pre-election US release.  Rumor has it the film may turn up on a streaming service.

Speaking of rumors, Cate Blanchett is also at Cannes with a film called Rumours, about seven world leaders facing untold challenges whilst getting lost in the woods.  When asked about the project, Cate said, “It’s not trying to be an important film with a message.”  How refreshing.  She added, “I think if you try to make sense of this movie, you’ll feel like you’re losing your mind.”  I have a pill for that!

Cher Gets Inducted

This week’s Ask Billy question comes from Freddie in Las Vegas: Cher has said she wouldn’t go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after being snubbed for so many years.  Now she’s being inducted – what will happen?”

She’ll do what countless artists before her have done.  She’ll swallow her pride, come off as a hypocrite, and show up.  But you are correct – she told Kelly Clarkson, “I wouldn’t be in it now if they gave me a million dollars…I’m never going to change my mind.  They can go you-know-what themselves.”  Note that she said she wouldn’t be in it – she never said she wouldn’t go.  Maybe she’s gonna go, pull a Littlefeather and turn it down.  Maybe she’ll do that while wearing the Half Breed outfit!  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?  But, I suspect she’ll simply go, make a caustic comment about it, and say she’s only there for Sonny.  And for the fans.  And perhaps she is.

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When Cher really wishes she could turn back time, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  I was recently in Fort Lauderdale for the annual Fleet Week – when thousands of sailors flood our seaside city.  You know what was missing?  The Fleet!  And me, sitting on a crate of Fleet!  At least I was sitting on something!  For the first time since 1990, South Florida’s Fleet Week was moved to Miami due to the Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro – who must be a straight guy.  “As a Cuban-American, I feel very much at home in Miami,” said Del Toro.  You know where I feel very much at home?  Asleep under a pile of sailors!  At least there’s loads of seamen on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that will never leave you in dry dock.  I’m out of the country for the next few weeks, but I’m always just a mouse-click away.  Drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before that film of the Sunset Boulevard musical finally gets made…with Faye playing Norma!  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Judy & Sharon Speak Out

I’m on the record as being Team Sharon when it comes to the hit job done to Mrs. O on The Talk.  Although I continue to believe she was ambushed by “good friend” Sheryl Underwood on the soon-to-be-shuttered talker, Osbourne revealed to Sage Steele that she reached out to her former colleague shortly after the incident.  “I apologized to her.  I didn’t want to because I felt I didn’t do anything wrong.  But my kid said to me, ‘Just apologize to her.  Maybe you’re wrong and she read you wrong or something.  Just in case, apologize.’  And I did.  I apologized to her.  I called her.  She wouldn’t pick up my calls.  And then she lied and said I never apologized.  I have it all documented on my phone.  You can never say that anymore because your ass is busted.”

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You’d have to be a fool to fuck with Judge Judy.  She’s filed a lawsuit against the owner of the National Enquirer and In Touch for defamation.  “When you fabricate stories about me in order to make money for yourselves with no regard for the truth or the reputation I’ve spent a lifetime cultivating, it’s going to cost you.  When you’ve done it multiple times, it’s unconscionable and will be expensive.  It has to be expensive so that you will stop.”  The suit stems from a story in the April 10th edition of In Touch about Lyle and Erik Menendez seeking a new trial for the 1989 murder of their parents.  The story cites a juror named Judi Zamos.  However, the rag inexplicably identified her as Judith Sheindlin!  “Judge Sheindlin has never gone by the name Judi Zamos, nor was she an alternate juror in the Menendez trial.”  I ask you, in what world would Judge Judy be selected as a juror for the Menendez trial?  And we’re just hearing about it now?  I’d be more inclined to believe that a juror was an alien!  Judy contacted the publication and got them to remove her from the article.  However, it still shows up in internet searches and was part of a front-page story in the April 22nd edition of the National Enquirer, hence the suit.  Stay tuned.

Faye’s Return

Spacey aside, this week’s column is devoted to divas.  Well, I suppose Kevin qualifies…in his own way.  Much of the entertainment business’ collective eyes were on the Cannes Film Festival.  Front and center were two of our favorite divas – one alive, and one deceased.  You may not believe this, but Faye Dunaway is the living one.  As the subject of her own documentary, FAYE, she came off as credible and sympathetic.  I know – there’s a lot of that going around!  Laurent Bouzereau has made films about Roman Polanski and William Friedkin – so Faye must have been a walk in the park!  Still, she has the ability to surprise people.  Like she pulled a bipolar diagnosis out of her ass.  Not a surprising diagnosis, to be sure, but certainly the revelation was designed to elicit sympathy.  “I don’t mean to make an excuse about it, I am still responsible for my actions,” says a contrite Dunaway.  Her strapping son Liam adds, “If she wasn’t in so much pain, would she have been that good?  You have to take the good with the bad.”  You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and then you have the facts of life.

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Then there’s Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away 14 years ago and still feels as relevant as ever – more so than Miss Dunaway.  Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes is based on 40 hours of in-depth audiotaped interviews Liz did in 1964 with Richard Meryman – the same person who did the last interview with Marilyn Monroe.  These tapes were used for an autobiography Meryman worked on with Taylor.  They provide the backbone of a detailed look at Taylor’s life – at least up until 1964.  The flick is well-assembled by director Nanette Burstein (who worked with the Widow Meryman, who found the tapes), who previously worked on the docs about Hillary Clinton and Robert Evans.  Like the Faye and Spacey films, this will turn up on HBO Max.

Spacey and Friends

Sometimes good things happen to bad people.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  And then there’s Kevin Spacey – who, by all accounts, is not a particularly good person.  And, if one believes in karma, Channel 4 in the UK doing an exposé about his misdeeds (none of which appear to be illegal, according to lawyers) was a bad thing for a bad person.  But karma’s a funny thing, and this bad thing has turned into a good thing for Mr. Spacey.  As previously stated, I came away from Spacey Unmasked feeling almost sympathetic for the thespian.  Apparently I wasn’t alone.  A number of his colleagues came away with the same impression once the doc aired on HBO MaxSharon Stone said, “I can’t wait to see Kevin back at work.  He is a genius.”  Liam Neeson chimed in saying, “Personally speaking, our industry needs him and misses him greatly.”  F. Murray Abraham came out and called the men featured in the doc “vultures”.  Stephen Fry summed it up best.  “To continue to harass and hound him, to devote a whole documentary to accusations that simply do not add up to crimes…how can that be considered proportionate and justified?  Unless I’m missing something, I think he has paid the price.”

 

Sequel to Royal Blue

This week’s Ask Billy question comes from Mark in San Francisco: “I just saw Red, White & Royal Blue and really liked it.  Both guys were so hot, so I was wondering what you know about them.”

So many questions about an old topic.  But, I’m game.  Nicholas Galitzine, who played the Prince of England, can currently be seen on the big screen in The Idea of You romancing Anne Hathaway, and on the small screen in Mary & George (on Starz) romancing the King of England!  He’s straight, and he feels guilty about playing so many gay roles.  “I felt a sense of uncertainty sometimes about whether I’m taking up someone’s space, and perhaps guilt.”  To that, I say balderdash – not that I’m sure what that even means.  Then there is Taylor Zakhar Perez, who played the son of the President of the United States (an inexplicably cast Uma Thurman).  He doesn’t like to talk about his sex life, which is typically code for being gay.  He’s rumored to be married to techie Garrett Gerson – but you didn’t hear it from me.  By the by, Red, White & Royal Blue was so popular, Amazon Prime has ordered a sequel.  I’m told most of the people from both in front of and behind the camera will return – including Matthew López (of The Inheritance fame), who directed and penned the script based on the book by Casey McQuiston.  Some photos of the lads can be found on BillyMasters.com.

Fayewatch 2024

Meanwhile, the famed Cannes Film Festival is about to start.  One of the more interesting films is a documentary about Faye Dunaway called (not surprisingly), Faye.  It is also produced (not surprisingly) by Faye Dunaway – which I suspect means you won’t learn much about Miss Dunaway.  You’ll recall the last time someone attempted to do a televised biography about her, he was the recipient of numerous lengthy phone messages – all of which you can hear on BillyMasters.com.  I’m sure this project (which will air on HBO Max later this year) will have lots about her two films with Johnny Depp and the wonderful Marlon Brando.  And being in Cannes is always a good career move.  Shortly after she landed, it was announced she was cast in Jonathan Baker’s supernatural love story called Fate, which will costar Andrew McCarthy and Harvey Keitel.  And she was even very slyly spoofed on SNL this week, as you can also see on our website.

Elsewhere in Cannes, a deal was made for a film about an older gay couple.  Out Late is about a romance between a blue-collar widower and a retired dancer, played by Ron Perlman and Rupert Everett, respectively.  The producer says, “Romcoms are back in force.  What a gift to have Rupert Everett returning to that genre after the classic My Best Friend’s Wedding.”  To me, it sounds more like Grumpy Old Queens.

Eurovision Goes Gay

The Eurovision Song Contest just crowned Switzerland the 2024 winner.  The competition never took off here in the States the way it does in…well, Europe!  It’s kinda like a cross between American Idol and The Gong Show.  Each country submits a song and singer, which often includes some sort of costume, nationalistic dance, and a healthy helping of kitsch.  You won’t be surprised to hear that it also attracts a very gay audience.  How gay?  During the live semifinals from Sweden, co-host Petra Mede was explaining how easy it is to use the official app.  While she was holding one “random” audience member’s phone, we heard what may have been an unfamiliar sound to Petra – but what we all recognized as the notification from Grindr.  And then another.  And then another!  As the notifications kept coming, Petra said, “OK, I’ll just give you the phone back.  It seems like you’re having a wonderful week here in Malmö!”  I don’t know if the Eurovision app is easy, but the owner of that phone sure is!  It all seemed a bit staged to moi…or however you say it in Swedish.  You can watch the clip on BillyMasters.com.

More Spacey Unmasked

I just watched Spacey Unmasked, the documentary from UK Channel 4 (it hits HBO Max later this week).  I had a strange and unexpected reaction to the accusations – I was mostly sympathetic to Spacey.  The men featured fell into one of two categories.  There are some who were minding their own business and found themselves the recipient of some aggressive sexual act (i.e. Anthony Rapp).  But most of them were young actors asking Kevin for career help, or writers who wanted Kevin to produce their movie.  In those cases, Spacey simply offered tit for tat – well, more tat than tit.  While many of these men felt uncomfortable, they kept going back.  Why?  One guy came right out and said after his “encounter”, he was gonna use it as “leverage – you’re gonna help me make my career”.  I’m not blaming them.  It’s natural to think someone who is ahead might help you…especially if you give them head!  I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve slept with who I had little interest in.  But they paid for dinner, or bought me drinks, or just wore me down.  Nobody pulled out a gun or threatened me.  As Spacey points out, despite the numerous legal cases brought against him, he has always prevailed.  We’ll see how that works out since a new civil suit has been filed against Kevin in the UK.  That trial is not expected to take place until early 2025.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few other interesting details.  Ruari Cannon had a role opposite Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Old Vic.  I found his account particularly credible and painful.  Andy, who had an encounter with Kevin at the Public Theatre in 1981, finds it suspect that Spacey has not made any statement about the gay community or how it feels to live as an out gay man.  I can answer that one – Spacey is not a member of the gay community and does not live as an out gay man.  There are all different kinds of gay people, Andy.  Then there’s Greg, who went to high school with Kevin and claims to have been the recipient of some unwanted sexual aggression while driving in his car.  For someone who claims to be straight, he took an inordinate number of photos of a young Kevin Spacey, who at the time was still Kevin Fowler.  And speaking of Fowlers, there’s Kevin’s brother Randall Fowler, who claims to have been repeatedly raped by their father.  Not that this is germane to the story, but today Randy bears a striking resemblance to a latter-day Jeanne Cooper!

 

Mitcham Undressed

I’m rarely accused of being coy, but our Ask Billy question from Howie in Dallas accuses me of holding out on you.  “You wrote about all of those Olympic divers on OnlyFans, but never told us about all those nudes of Matthew Mitcham.  How come?”

The truth?  I had no idea.  Really, I never heard of this until I got your note, Howie.  But, since you pointed me in the right direction, OMG.  Talk about explicit.  I thought I might find some tame, artistic nudes.  Maybe a flaccid penis flopping about.  I didn’t expect to see him getting jerked off to completion, or having things shoved up his…well, you know.  And if you wanna see, check out BillyMasters.com.

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When I’m being coy, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  We’re uncovering Mitcham, Channel 4 is unmasking Spacey.  The only way to keep up with it all is to check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that never takes a vacation.  If you have a question, send it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I go on Ozempic!  To my fellow Albanians, Krishti u Ngjall.  To the Greeks, Christos Anesti.  And to everyone else, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Kevin Spacey…Unmasked

A whole load of people in the UK are suing Grindr.  They claim the hookup site has been sharing some sensitive information with people.  “Such as?” I hear you asking me in an almost telepathic way.  You know how people say it’s responsible to share things with potential partners like your HIV status and when you were last tested?  Grindr seemingly does the responsible thing and has users answer such questions on their profile.  But, according to this suit, that information is being shared with third parties.  Who are these third parties?  I’m not sure about that – I tend to avoid large groups of horny gay men…except during High Holy Days!  Perfect timing, n’est çe pas?

UK’s Channel 4 will air a documentary called Spacey Unmasked just after this column comes out.  When asked to comment on what possible revelations there could be, Kevin told openly gay journalist Dan Wootton, “I’ve got nothing left to hide.”  To prove his point, Spacey allowed himself to be asked about each and every incident in the doc – and his recollections make for fascinating viewing.  BTW, the first incident allegedly happened in 1976.  Talk about your Bicentennial Minutes!  We’ll link to the video on our website.  As to the doc itself, stay tuned…

Criss is gay…kinda

Some people speak without thinking.  Take Darren Criss.  At the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, he was asked how he felt about playing gay on Glee.  “Fucking awesome.  It was a narrative that I really cared deeply about.  I have been so culturally queer my whole life.  Not because I’m trying, you know, actually, I was gonna say, not because I’m trying to be cool.  But I’m gonna erase that because I am trying to be cool.  The things in my life that I have tried to emulate, learn from, and be inspired by are 100 percent queer as fuck.  It was in the queer communities that I’ve found people that I idolize, that I want to learn something from.  And I’d say that’s a gross generalization, that’s a lot of things and a lot of people.  But I grew up in San Francisco in the ‘90s.  I watched men die.  There was an awareness of the gay experience that was not a foreign concept to me.  So it was a narrative that I cared deeply about.”  I’m not sure what he’s rambling on about, but I still don’t think he’s ever sucked a dick.

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I don’t think Daniel Radcliffe has sucked a dick, either.  But he doesn’t seem to be a dick.  When asked to comment on JK Rowling’s somewhat anti-trans comments, he answered thoughtfully.  “It makes me really sad, ultimately, because I do look at the person that I met, the times that we met, and the books that she wrote, and the world that she created, and all of that is to me so deeply empathic.  I’d worked with The Trevor Project for 12 years and it would have seemed like, I don’t know, immense cowardice to me to not say something.  I wanted to try and help people that have been negatively affected by the comments.  And to say that if those are Jo’s views, then they are not the views of everybody associated with the Potter franchise.”

Barbra and Melissa

“I used to really want Henry Cavill.  I think he’s so hot. 
But I met him and he was so awkward.”
 
Tiffany Haddish explains why she wouldn’t sleep with Cavill.  That’s the beauty of
being a gay man – we don’t care about stuff like that!

Some people should stay away from technology.  Like Barbra Streisand.  She was at sitting home, eating some cake, probably with a judicious dollop of coffee ice cream on top.  She’s scrolling through Instagram on some tablet or perhaps her Jitterbug.  She comes upon a photo of Melissa McCarthy and Adam Shankman.  Her first thought might have been, “I should fix him up with my son!”  So she makes a public comment: “Give him my regards did you take Ozempic?”  I am absolutely certain Babs truly thought, “I wanna give that big girl a compliment because she looks good.”  Others think that maybe Streisand thought she was sending a private message.  Both scenarios could be true.  But many are outraged she’d make such a comment.  To those people, I ask a simple question: did you ever watch Golden Girls?  Women of a certain age often speak without a filter.  McCarthy took the high road and released a video showing her reading a Streisand fan magazine.  She puts it down and says, “The takeaway?  Barbra Streisand knows I exist.  She reached out to me, and she thought I looked good.  I win the day!”  Classy.

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Then there’s Roger Bart.  The talented thespian was recently got a Tony nomination for his role as Doc in the musical Back to the Future.  Someone named Michelle Tweeted, “No offense to him, but how in the world did Roger Bart get a Tony nomination for Back to the Future?”  Bart responded, “Hey Michelle.  No offense to you.  But that may be one of the single rudests texts I’ve ever read.  GFY.”  For those of you don’t know, GFY is a polite way of saying “go fuck yourself”.  Not every response has to be classy.  Sometimes catty works.

 

Comebacks & Cleocatra

Pauly Shore’s attempt at career resuscitation is still chugging along.  You may recall that he campaigned to play Richard Simmons in a big-screen biopic.  He even starred in a short film called The Court Jester as proof of concept.  The only thing it proved to me is Pauly should get his eyes done before he ever appears on film again.  Well, it also proved that not everyone is built for Dolphin shorts – but that’s another story.  Nonetheless, Pauly has convinced the folks at The Wolper Organization that he’s the guy for the job.  A script is being written by Jordan Allen-Dutton, who is best known for his writing of Robot Chicken.  Not sure I see the connection.  It should be noted that Simmons has not only refused to endorse either project, he’s actually spoken out against them.

I never thought I’d say this, but Angelyne is back!  The blonde bombshell of Hollywood billboard fame is once again hovering above Santa Monica Boulevard.  A new billboard just went up promoting her album Driven to Fantasy, which was first released in 1987.  This new issue will also come out on pink vinyl – which makes me think she found some crates in a storage unit somewhere near Cahuenga.  Should you be in the WeHo area, Angie will be signing copies on May 4th at the Pleasure Chest from 5-7PM.  I’d make a joke, but even I’m not that cheap.

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Speaking of singers, let’s fit in a quick Ask Billy question.  Ron from Detroit says, “I thought of you when I saw Jenifer Lewis on The Masked Singer.  Did you know it was her?  She looked and sounded great.”

Did I know?  Of course I knew.  I’m surprised everyone didn’t know – that voice is pretty distinctive.  This was taped months ago, and Jenifer had a great time doing it.  It was definitely fun to watch, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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When I’m proving that I can keep a secret, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  Here’s something that’s not a secret – I’m not happy when The View is in repeats.  I know those ladies need a break, but it throws off my whole day.  Happily, there’s always fresh dish on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that never takes a vacation.  If you have a question, send it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com and promise to get back to you before I get kicked out of showbiz for being too mean, old, and gay!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Beantown to Ptown

News about shows hitting Provincetown this summer continues to trickle in.  I was delighted to hear that my pal John McDaniel will be spending some time in Ptown this summer.  He’ll have his hands in a number of shows at both the Post Office Café and Cabaret and Town Hall.  People like Kate Baldwin, Max Clayton, Alice Ripley, Nicholas Rodriguez and Liz Callaway will join him at the Cabaret, while Betty Buckley and Darren Criss will play Town Hall.  Check out PostOfficeCafe.net for more details.

The Post Office will also host many of my pals for various shows throughout the season.  Judy Gold will have you laughing all summer long.  Branden & James will be there July 12 and 13, and John Hill peddles his wares August 16.  A full schedule and tickets can be found at PostOfficeCafe.net.

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Nicolas King and Billy Stritch will also be at the Post Office on August 9 and 10.  I was reminded of this when I spent time with Nicolas and Seth Sikes in Boston last week.  Collectively they’re known as The New Belters, and they brought their new MGM show to Boston’s Club Café – and it was terrific.  Clever arrangements of classic tunes and some rare gems sung by two consumate showmen.  As usual, this duo delivers great vocals, witty banter, and they ain’t so bad to look at!  They really do evoke a bygone era that I definitely enjoyed visiting for 90 minutes.  And, did I mention they ain’t bad to look at?  Check them out if they come to your locale – or in Ptown or Fire Island or, basically, any place gays congregate.

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During a recent trip to NYC, I asked my usual sources for tickets to the off-Broadway hit, Oh, Mary!Cole Escola’s play about that laugh riot, Mary Todd Lincoln.  Not only did all of the official avenues fail to secure a single ticket, even my unofficial sources came up dry…I hate when that happens!  So I was delighted to hear that this well-received queer venture will transfer to Broadway this summer.  But then I thought about how daunting it is for a small-ish off-Broadway show to successfully transfer from a 299-seat theatre to one seating 950.  Adding to my concern is the fact that the play is a slim 80 minutes.  Now, I like my theatre like I like my men – in and out and in the dark.  But at Broadway prices, one might feel short-changed…which is never good.

Coop Makes Kevin Sweat

Way back in 2019, Kevin Hart was announced as host of the Oscars.  He was dumped shortly thereafter when homophobic tweets from 2011 resurfaced.  He addressed that situation with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes last week.  He credits Wanda Sykes for helping him understand the situation.  She said, “There’s people that are being hurt today because of comments like the ones that you made then, and there’s people that were saying it’s okay to make those comments today based off of what you did then.”  Hart told Coop, “It was presented to me in a way where I couldn’t ignore that.  So in those moments of despair, great understanding and education can come out of it if you’re given the opportunity.”  I think that’s a roundabout way of saying he’d like the Academy to ask him again.

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A handful of gay performers are being honored at the Celebration of LGBTQ+ Cinema & Television presented by the Critics Choice Association.  The event will take place on Friday, June 7th and will stream later on HereTV – which I didn’t even know was still a thing.  The event will be hosted by Sherry Cola.  The Career Achievement Award will be given to Nathan Lane, and the Social Justice Award will go to George Takei.  A full list of honorees can be found at CriticsChoice.com.

Joan, Ellen and Rosie

In 1997, Joan Rivers told me she was writing a book.  “It’s gonna be about how I lost my entire fortune…TWICE!”  She called it, Bouncing Back: I’ve Survived Everything…and I Mean Everything…and You Can Too!  I told her a better title would have been, Don’t Let This Happen To You.  Lose a fortune once, shame on them.  Lose a fortune twice, shame on you.  I was reminded of this apropos of Ellen DeGeneres’ return to the standup stage.  Her first show took place last week at Largo in West Hollywood, which is housed inside the lovely Coronet Theatre – literally blocks away from my unpretentious Beverly Hills (adjacent) abode.  “For those of you keeping score, this is the second time I’ve been kicked out of show business,” said Ellen.  Here’s the punch line: “Eventually, they’re going to kick me out for a third time because I’m mean, old, and gay.”

Let me remind you how we got here.  I know people disagree with me regarding the sitcom, but it was not cancelled because she came out.  It was cancelled because people stopped watching.  And, in my humble opinion, people stopped watching because the show became unfunny.  Yes, some will argue that the network wasn’t behind her.  The bottom line is showbiz will overlook anything if you’re making money.  As for her talk show, it averaged over four million viewers a day at its peak.  After reports of a toxic workplace, it dropped to just over a million.  Again, money talks.  Trust me, nobody ever said Johnny Carson was warm and fuzzy.  People from Ellen’s staff had conflicting experiences with her.  It’s interesting to look at her DJs.  Her first, Scotty K, was dismissed without notice after a few months.  He rebounded by marrying Sean HayesTony Okungbowa stayed the longest – on and off for about eight years.  “While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment.”  That is contrasted by tWitch, who replaced him.  “Obviously there’s some things to address, but from my standpoint and from countless others, there’s been love.”  On the other hand, he killed himself.

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Before Ellen started telling people to be kind to one another, Rosie O’Donnell was the Queen of Nice.  While she has many critics, we never heard complaints from any of Rosie’s employees.  About a year ago, she tossed her hat into the podcast field with Onward.  I enjoyed it, but it was never an effortless fit.  Like so many comedians, Rosie is at her best with a live audience.  The long-form interview with a single guest was very hit-or-miss, so I wasn’t surprised when Rosie announced she was ending the show.  She said she’d like to find a way to incorporate live interaction with the audience.  Like they’ve been doing since…oh, I dunno, the advent of radio!  If Seth Rudetsky and Billy Masters can find a way to do live shows that also work as podcasts, it can’t be that hard.

 

Congratulations Cher

Hold the presses!  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just announced that they will be inducting Cher this year.  There’s just one problem – Cher has stated categorically she’s not interested.  “You know what?  I wouldn’t be in it now if they gave me a million dollars.  I’m never gonna change my mind.  I mean, they can just you-know-what themselves.”  Let’s see if Cher is a woman of her word…

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When we’re waiting to see if Cher accepts in person (I bet she does), we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  If you were in the Fort Lauderdale area last week, you may have seen Billy frolicking in the sun and surf.  But now, back to reality.  While I clean the sand out of my numerous crevices, you can check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that has nothing to hide.  If you have a question you’d like to ask, send it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I have an orgasm on the Priscilla bus and fall asleep…again!  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

 

Is Andy Cohen Finished?

Lots of you asked this week’s Ask Billy question.  The first e-mail we got on this topic was from Rodney in NYC: “Is there any truth to the rumors that Andy Cohen is going to be fired from Bravo?”

Last week, In Touch Weekly ran a story about issues between Cohen and several Bravo-lebrities.  Due to these concerns, the rag claimed the network was negotiating a severance package.  While there have indeed been issues, I don’t believe any of them are big enough to warrant Andy leaving his dream job – at least not voluntarily.  By Thursday, the whispers got loud enough for Bravo to issue a statement.  “There is absolutely no truth to this story in that tabloid, obviously made up by a source who is not credible.”  Of course, no source is credible – until what they say comes to pass.  One must give Cohen credit for building an entire network lineup almost solely dependent on him.  While nobody’s indispensable, I think his job is pretty secure.

 

Films Heading To Stage

Of course, Priscilla went on to become a very popular live stage musical – in some ways, more popular than the film.  But not all stage adaptations are as successful.  Many have had varying degrees of success on the road to Broadway.  I told you that a stage version of My Best Friend’s Wedding will bow at the Ogunquit Playhouse this fall.  But there are some other shows opening before that.  Chicago has been a popular city to try out new musicals.  The next one opening there is a toe-tapper based on Death Becomes Her.  It opens at the Cadillac Palace Theatre on April 30th and stars our bon ami Christopher Sieber alongside Jennifer Simard – who previously played his wife in Company.  They are joined by Megan Hilty and Michelle Williams.  No word yet if Meryl Streep’s showstopper “Me” from the film will find its way into this adaptation.  To not have it would be a crime of infinite proportions.  While we wait, you can get more details at DeathBecomesHer.com.

Atlanta will see the world premiere musical version of The Preacher’s Wife.   The Alliance Theatre has this one opening on May 11th.  Music and lyrics come courtesy of Tituss Burgess, the show is directed by Michael Arden, and Loretta Devine takes on the role of Julia’s mother – made famous in the film by the scene-stealing Jenifer Lewis.  That sounds pretty captivating to me.  Tix at AllianceTheatre.org.

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Obviously Fiddler on the Roof is not a new musical.  But it is getting a new production at the La Mirada Theatre…courtesy of producer Cathy Rigby and her husband.  And Jason Alexander takes on the iconic role of Tevye, the beleaguered milkman.  I have high hopes for this – unless there’s a new scene where Golde sings “I’m Flying!”  Performances begin November 8th.  You can grab tickets and details at LaMiradaTheatre.com.

 

Priscilla’s Anniversary

In all of the years of writing this column, very few stories have truly surprised me.  But here’s one I didn’t see coming.  A sequel to the film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is in pre-production!  Stephan Elliott directed the original flick 30 years ago.  Not only has he remastered the original for the anniversary, he says this sequel is a go.  “The original cast is on board, I’ve got a script that everybody likes, we’re still working out deals…It’s happening”.  In case you need reminding, that original cast includes Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving.  All three have said for years they’d do a sequel, but nobody could come up with a plausible scenario.  “I thought, what am I going to do?” says Elliott.  “Stick them on a cruise ship, stick them on a train?  You name it, over the years I’ve been pitched Priscilla 2 in spades.”  Forget about the ship or the train – fans want to see the bus.  Fear not, says Elliott.  “Don’t worry.  The bus will feature.”  PHEW!  Stay tuned.

 

Looking Ahead to Ptown

Showbiz is a cutthroat business.  Even in Provincetown – our quaint little enclave on the tip of forever.  You think everyone there gets along?  Think again.  After years of entertaining the masses with world-class performers, Mark Cortale announced that the Provincetown Art House would be no more.  The owner planned to turn the space into a microbrewery – ‘cause that’s what Ptown needs!  Last year was the final season of entertainment, and Cortale promised to continue producing large shows at Town Hall.  Now it’s time for the various venues to announce their shows for the upcoming season.  And what arrives in my inbox?  A press release from…the Provincetown Art House!  While we don’t know what machinations went on, I noted with interest that one of the producers is drag artiste Ginger Minj – someone who was introduced to Ptown fans under the aegis of…wait for it…Mark Cortale at the Ptown Art House!  I am not so naïve as to not understand business.  If you own the Ptown Art House and want to bring in a new promoter, just say something like, “We want to go in another direction.  Instead of Marilyn Maye, we want drag queens.”  Admittedly, not a huge leap.  But, the underhandedness seems to be uncalled for.

Cortale’s Town Hall series will include Audra McDonald, Seth Rudetsky, Jinkx Monsoon, Cheyenne Jackson, Denée Benton, Bianca Del Rio, Melissa Errico, Marilyn Maye, the Indigo Girls, and Claybourne Elder – who’s really hot and talented, but has a name right out of The Crucible.  You can get more info at PtownTownHall.com.

I’ll have more Provincetown dates as they trickle in, but I should mention that the Provincetown Theater will soon kick off their 30th anniversary season with Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches.  Remember when the millennium was something we thought was so far away?  And here we are, glancing at it in our rearview mirror!  This is a special project for artistic director, David Drake, who has oft wanted to direct it.  He’s got his wish…and a talented cast to boot.  The run begins on May 9th, and you can get more details at ProvincetownTheater.org.

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Could it be that someone who has been in the news recently is somewhat dismayed by his physical appearance?  When he was filmed under professional circumstances (including good lighting and a snappy outfit in a questionable color), guys and gals alike reached out and wanted to touch parts of him best left untouched.  In slightly more recent footage which he filmed on his own…well, let’s just say the response was underwhelming.

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When our blind item’s singing a different tune, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  Speaking of tunes, we survived the total eclipse of the sun.  I don’t know about elsewhere, but in Boston it got a bit overcast for half an hour.  Certainly nothing worth waking Bonnie Tyler up for – which begs the question, where is she?  While I look into that, you can check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that isn’t opposed to kissin’ cousins.  If you have a question, send it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before someone offers to pay Wynnona for sex!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

 

Grace Kelley Arrested

As we went to press, we heard a story about Wynnona Judd’s daughter, Grace Kelley.  And let’s just pause for a second to think about how ridiculous that is.  Back to our regularly scheduled program.  Grace Kelley was arrested for indecent exposure and also charged with prostitution.  She was arrested at a busy intersection where she reportedly “exposed her breasts and lower body”.  I’m no expert on female anatomy, but I believe she was basically giving away the whole kit and caboodle!  Proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the palomino, Kelley claims she can’t get in touch with Wy, who has allegedly changed her phone number.  “My mom won’t listen to me.  She won’t believe me.  She thinks I’m out here doing crazy shit,” says Grace Kelley in an interview with the New York Post from prison.  If that isn’t the very definition of “crazy shit”…

Hip Hop and Trans Rights

When Obama was running for president, talk radio legend Lynn Samuels (a devoted Hillary supporter) was asked if this was progress.  After all, he was a black man.  “Yeah, but he’s still a man!”  You know how we’ve all been praising Pope Francis for his progressive views?  Yeah, but he’s still a Pope.  And that came through loud and clear this week when the Vatican released Dignitas Infinita (or Infinite Dignity) – a 20-page document that was personally approved by Pope Francis.  In this doctrine, the Vatican denounces gender reassignment by saying, “It needs to be emphasized that biological sex and the sociocultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated” – whatever the hell that means.  On the flip side, Franny does maintain his support for homosexuality.  The report condemns “the fact that, in some places, not a few people are imprisoned, tortured, and even deprived of the good of life solely because of their sexual orientation”.  The Catholic Church also continues to oppose abortion, euthanasia, and even surrogacy.  And this got me thinking – if Jesus was the son of God, then wasn’t Mary kind of a surrogate?  Unless some hanky-panky went on and Joseph just bought that whole “immaculate conception” story.

You wouldn’t expect a related story from The Beastie Boys.  But they’ve revealed that Rat Cage Records was founded by Donna Lee Parsons – a trans woman who wanted to get surgery.  She signed the Beastie Boys for their first shows and recordings.  Knowing Donna wouldn’t accept charity, the band gave her money that they said was royalties from their EP.  She used the cash for gender reassignment surgery.  That she died of colon cancer a year later I’m sure cannot be linked back to the Beastie Boys – at least not in a court of law.

All Types of Marriages

“Did you know we can’t marry our siblings?  Why can’t we?  We love each other.”  
Sara Haines, The View co-host, relates a question her daughter asked. 
Trust me, kid, in time you won’t want to talk to your siblings, let alone marry them!

We kick off with a story from a Tennessee politician – so get ready for some learnin’.  Republican Representative Gino Bulso is advocating that first cousins should be allowed to marry if they receive genetic counseling.  Personally, I’d recommend some sort of sterilization procedure.  Bulso claims his argument is bolstered by the legality of same-sex marriages.  “Unless anyone in this body can articulate a compelling interest to deny a male first cousin from marrying a male first cousin, this bill demonstrably violates Obergefell and we should vote it down.”  Presumably, first cousins shouldn’t marry because if they procreate, it could lead to genetic issues.  Exhibit A – the British royal family.  Sometimes, you’ve got to let the chromosomes come up for air!  But Bulso has a dog in this fight – he revealed that one set of his grandparents were first cousins.  Well, call me Lassie because, guess what?  My parents are also cousins.  Close your mouths – not a single one of you is shocked by that.  I hasten to add that Big Momma and Big Daddy are not first cousins.  They are cousins through marriage.  I’m not really good on terminology, so I don’t know exactly what that makes them.  The term “hillbillies” springs to mind.

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I wonder what would have happened if Don Lemon and Tim Malone tried to get married in Tennessee?  Would Representative Bulso have officiated their tying the knot?  Or would he have tied a noose?  Either way, congrats to Lemon and Malone on their nuptials.  But I feel compelled to point out that Don Lemon is 58 while Malone is barely 40 – and I say “barely” because they wed on Tom’s 40th birthday.  Following the ceremony, the couple danced down Fifth Avenue from the Presbyterian Church to the Ralph Lauren Polo Bar.  That way, the religious folks were happy, the WASPs could shop, and everyone else drank.  Cheers!

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What would the Vatican think of The Golden Bachelor?  I’ve had roses last longer than this marriage – brief by even Kardashian standards.  And the breakup is because they can’t decide which house to live in?  I have three houses, and it’s never been a problem.  Then again, I gave up on the franchise once they jettisoned Chris Harrison.

 

Going Home with Tyler

Thank God we have an Ask Billy question.  Last week, Dorian in Miami asked, “What do you know about Tyler Cameron?  I hear he’s starting an OnlyFans page.  Will he be nude?  Is he gay?  Or bi?  You must know some T.”

Alas, I am T-free on Tyler.  I know that he has an incredible body and was quite appealing on The Bachelorette.  He obviously has designs on further fame given his participation on the reality competition Special Forces.  In fact, he’s signed a deal to have his own show.  Going Home with Tyler Cameron will debut on April 18th and can be seen on Prime Video.  And Tyler certainly knows what he’s doing.  The show’s tagline is “Going home with me is easier than you think.”  I’ll be the judge of that.  Given his model good looks, he’s done more than his share of racy shots – some of which show a bit more than others.  In fact, we’ve seen mostly everything, including his butt.  Dorian ain’t the only guy interested in Tyler.  Andy Cohen once asked if he’d ever do OnlyFans.  “No…I’m for the people.  It’s free.”  Apparently a bit of fame has led him to change his tune.  Tyler has just launched an OnlyFans page, and it’s most certainly not free.  But we’ve got some of his racier content on BillyMasters.com.

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When I’m considering downsizing and going home with Tyler Cameron, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  While I figure out the logistics of cohabitating, you can check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that’s cheaper than OnlyFans (and probably shows more, too).  If you have a question you want me to tackle, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I plan my estate sale.  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Jones/Collins Four-Way

Last week, my darling Shirley Jones celebrated her 90th birthday.  This reminded me of an amusing story she shared in her 2013 autobiography, Shirley Jones: A Memoir.  Apparently she and her then-hubby Jack Cassidy once dined with another couple – Joan Collins and Anthony Newley.  After dinner, Shirley claims that Tony proposed the foursome get naked and watch some porn.  “It was clear what Tony was leading up to – swinging,” says Mrs. Partridge.  Dame Joan was outraged and had her lawyers send out a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that the book be pulled from the shelves.  While that didn’t happen, Simon & Schuster did agree to have Joan’s name excised from future copies.  The third printing still contains the anecdote, but simply refers to Shirley’s dinner companion as “some dame”.  Collins claims, “We all make mistakes.  I’ve made a few myself, but not with Mrs. Jones.  I’m a serial monogamist.”  Shirley says retraction or not, that’s what happened.  Happy birthday, Shirley!

Puffy Cuba Connection

Someone I know absolutely nothing about is Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.  Although, believe it or not, we’ve had dinner together.  Years ago, we sat together at an event honoring Jenifer Lewis.  Much as I am good at chit-chat, I don’t think the topics of sex trafficking or predatory behavior ever came up.  I thought about this after I heard that two of Puffy’s houses were raided by Homeland Security.  And let me add this – when Homeland Security is involved, they ain’t playing.  Let me also channel Big Mama Masters by saying he’d probably be in less trouble if he only had ONE house.

Of the numerous stories that surfaced, one caught my eye.  Music producer Rodney Jones is suing Puffy and Cuba Gooding Jr. for sexual assault.  Rodney, known in the business as “Lil Rod” (an unfortunate moniker, no matter how you slice it), claims that Combs forced him to hire sex workers and engage in sexual acts.  He alleges that Diddy was “grooming him to pass him off to his friends”, including Cuba.  It all came to a head (so to speak) on Diddy’s yacht in the Virgin Islands last January.  The two were left alone and, according to Rodney’s complaint, “Cuba Gooding Jr. began touching, groping, and fondling Mr. Jones’ legs, his upper inner thigh near his groin, the small of his back near his buttocks and his shoulders.”  My Lord, I’ve gotten less action with people I’ve actually dated!  It only ended when Rodney “forcibly pushed him away” – presumably before he got too close to his “lil rod”.  Something tells me this is only the tip…’cause, as you know, most men can’t just stop at the tip!

Plethora of Podcasts

“Fantasize about me however you want to.  I really don’t mind.”  
Ricky Martin.

Excuse me if I’m a bit emotional.  I just listened to a particularly torturous episode of Shannen Doherty’s Let’s Be Clear podcast where she talked about selling her home in Tennessee and some of her things in storage.   Why?  She wants to make things easier on people after she dies.  Not that Shannen is dying anytime soon.  But, y’know – cancer schmancer.  And this got me thinking.  Like Shannen, I live in multiple dwellings.  Who in God’s name is going to end up with the Fort Lauderdale beach house?  Let’s not even think about what they’ll find when they go through my Beverly Hills (adjacent) abode.  Should I start selling things off?  Or at least hire someone to do a deep cleaning…if not an exorcism?  Oh, Shannen, you’ll be the death of me!

While I’m promoting podcasts, let me tell everyone to check out Steve Kmetko’s latest effort, the Still Here Hollywood podcast.  He’s been inching back to public life and has done a handful of shows with some celebrity guests.  Strangely enough, most of them were on the sitcom Wings – like Tim Daly, Steven Weber and Amy Yasbeck.  While Stevie’s opened up to Yasbeck about his fall from prominence on E!, fans of Billy Masters LIVE! already know some of these stories because he’s opened up to me – repeatedly.  You’re welcome.

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I couldn’t be more delighted to see my pal Wilson Cruz on The View last week promoting the final season of Star Trek: Discovery.  He was as feisty as ever, and found a kindred spirit in co-host Sunny Hostin.  On the podcast The View: Behind the Table, Wilson asked Sunny a question about her frequent support of trans rights.  Turns out, Sunny grew up around many transgender people.  Not only was a trans woman one of her mom’s best friends, she’s also Hostin’s godmother!!  Just one of the tidbits you’ll get on this great podcast that I listen to every day.

Winslet Goes Overboard

The opening quote for this week’s column was almost this: “I know how to use my femininity” – says Kristen StewartBilly Masters asks, “What femininity?”

Remember the movie Titanic?  Oh, if only I had those 72 hours back!  Remember the climatic scene?  When big, strapping Kate Winslet hoists herself onto a door, and holds the hand of little waifish Leonardo DiCaprio, crying, “I’ll never let go, Jack” – only to cast him off without a second thought?  Well, that very door just sold at an auction for over $700K!  Winslet has decided the time is right to defend Rose dumping poor Jack to his icy death: “So, you’ve heard it here for the first time.  Yes, he could have fit on that door, but it would not have stayed afloat.  It wouldn’t.”  I recall Rex Reed writing about their love scene when the film first came out by saying something like: “It was like watching a Chihuahua trying to mount a Golden Retriever.”

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When we don’t have time for an Ask Billy question, but we can fit in a questionable bestiality quip, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  And what a long column it was.  I barely have time to remind you to check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that’ll show you a lovely bunch of coconuts.  If you have a question you’re confident will fit in, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before we find out if Vicki Principal is in hiding with Shelly Miscavige.  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

J-Lo on Broadway

Last week, I posted my review of the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.  I am pleased to report that I contributed to the show recouping its $12 million capitalization.  Although I was at the Saturday matinee, a notable star attended the Sunday matinee – Jennifer LopezJ-Lo (and her crew) attended because her child Emme wanted to see the show.  I say “child” because I’m not exactly sure how to refer to Emme.  While Emme was born female and the headlines about going to Merrily say, “Jennifer Lopez and Her Daughter Emme Enjoy a Date on Broadway”, I seem to remember other articles saying that Emme is non-binary and eschews feminine pronouns.  Jennifer refers to her twins as “Coconuts”, but I don’t think I could use that term – particularly since Big Daddy Masters used to bathe me while singing, “I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”.  But that’s a story better left between me and my team of therapists.  It should be mentioned that accompanying the photo of Emme hugging Merrily star Jonathan Groff, People magazine used the term “they”.

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Here’s a story I hate to even bring up – because I know, and you know, and even Liza knows it was a typo.  But what a typo it is!  On April 13th, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles is mounting Michael Feinstein’s latest venture – Rainbow: The New Judy Garland Musical.  Not only has he put this show together, he’s in it!  I wouldn’t be surprised if Liza shows up – which makes this all the more juicy.  The press release issued by the Center Theatre Group (parent company of the Taper) said the following: “The show is executive produced by Michael Feinstein and Liza Minelli.”  Don’t they know?  It’s Liza with a “Z”, not Lisa with an “S”, ‘cause Lisa with an “S” goes Ssss not Zzzz.  It’s “Z” instead of “S”, “Ly” instead of “Lee”.  It’s simple as could be.  See, Liza.  It’s “M” “I” double “N”, then “E” double “L” “I”.  You double up the “N” that’s Nnnn not “Nu”.  Then “E”, double the “L”, end it with an “I”.  That’s the way you say “Minnelli”!

Rebel With a Cause

Rebel Wilson’s memoir is being released this week.  In Rebel Rising, the funny lady doesn’t hold back.  In an Instagram post, she teased the following: “When I first came to Hollywood, people were like, ‘Yeah, I have a no asshole policy, that means like, yeah, I don’t work with assholes.’  I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I mean that sounds sensible or logical. But then it really sunk in what they were meaning by that, older people in the industry.  Because I worked with a massive asshole, and, yeah, now I definitely have a no assholes policy.  Chapter on said asshole – it is chapter 23, that guy was a massive asshole.”  I might have hit my “asshole” quota for the entire year with this one paragraph.  Once word of this chapter got out, someone threatened to sue.  Rebel said, “I will not be bullied or silenced by high priced lawyers or PR crisis managers.  The asshole that I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is: Sacha Baron Cohen.”

Rebel played Sacha’s wife in the film The Brothers Grimsby.  Anyone?  Hands?  I haven’t seen the flick or, for that matter, read Rebel’s memoir.  But Wilson claims that Sacha “pressured” her to appear nude and “do other unsavory things”.  Cohen’s team claims that all intimate scenes “adhered to guidelines and contractual requirements” and “these alleged asks were recorded by the cameraman on a film set for a movie, and followed a script that had been approved by all the actors.”  All this fuss over a movie I never even heard of!

Dusk for Dawn

The cover story of last Friday’s Hollywood Reporter asked a seemingly simple question: “Would You Wait Six Hours for Priscilla Presley’s Autograph?”  I can give a seemingly simple response: “No!”  The article is about The Hollywood Show – a place where fans get to meet their favorite stars.  It used to take place at the Beverly Garland Hotel – back when Beverly Garland was relevant…and alive!  Now it’s at the Burbank Marriott.  The lineup of celebrities this year included several notables from Dallas (both incarnations).  Before you ask, nary a Principal in sight.  Why isn’t anyone worried about where she is?  She either looks really bad, or is in the Witness Protection Program.  Someone who did show up was Miss Presley (née Beaulieu), who had a long and winding line of fans that was compared to one of the more popular rides at Disney.  One of her assistants said, “She will stay until the very last person leaves.  She’s like that.  She won’t disappoint.”  Unless you’re a relative who comes between her and an inheritance, in which case I would advise you to sleep with one eye open.

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A week earlier, Priscilla showed up at the very last public performance by Tony Orlando.  This took place at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.  Priscilla wasn’t there out of love for Tony; she just happened to be doing her one-woman show in the same theatre the next night.  Tony was joined for part of the concert by his old singing partners, Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent, otherwise known as Dawn.  Fun fact – Telma and Joyce were not on the first recordings of the group.  Back then, anonymous studio singers were used.  Eventually, the ladies were cast as Dawn and stayed with Tony until 1977.  They’ve reunited occasionally over the years and Tony couldn’t say farewell to live performing without them.  I watched most of the video from this concert and realized the only songs of his I knew were the ones with Dawn – whoever they were at the time.

One of Tony Orlando and Dawn’s hits was “Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose”, a poignant song about a suburban mom who runs off to become a stripper, or a hooker, or a porn star – I was never quite sure.  But I thought of the song when I read that convicted murderer Gypsy Rose Blanchard has broken up with her post-prison hubby after three months of wedded bliss.  After a while, you can’t sleep with one eye open.  Ask Lisa Marie!

 

Play Mates and Play Dates

Could it be that one of the fellas in this column is looking for companionship outside of his high-profile coupling?  Not a big deal since that twosome has an “arrangement”.  Don’t ask, don’t tell.  They play separately – never together.  And this guy has a pattern.  I’ve heard of circuit training, but this is ridiculous.  Life really does imitate art.  Given his past, I knew his prey would be young.  But half his age?  Or is it a third?  I’m not great at math.

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When some play dates need to be tucked in, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  I’ve obviously traded in the balmy Southern Florida coast for the frigid Northeast just in time for the first day of spring.  While I’m awaiting the arrival of my beloved daffodils, you can check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site where things are always popping up.  Should you have a question, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before the kiddies are old enough to read my reply.  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Merrily, Corruption & Ibsen

I spent last weekend in NYC and, shocking as it may seem, even Billy Masters sometimes has to pay for it.  It’s true, I’ve spent more money on Jonathan Groff than I have on most exes.  But that’s what you do to secure a ticket for the acclaimed Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.  The musical’s backward chronology has always been problematic.  You meet the characters at a point where they have achieved some success at great personal loss, and then you go back in time to see them as young idealistic kids filled with hopes and dreams.  Having a cast that embodies youthful exuberance and world-weary dissolution helps.  Groff is as lost here as he was in Spring Awakening.  But the boy has become a man – by, ironically, playing a boy.  While he’s gotten the lion’s share of praise by critics, one can’t underestimate the work of Daniel Radcliffe and his fearless enthusiasm and boundless talent (to say nothing of the twinkle in his eye).  If Lindsay Mendez doesn’t have a standout musical moment, her strong presence permeates the show.  A lesser actress could kill the alchemy of this trio.  This may be the best company assembled for a problematic show.  And that alone makes it a must-see – even at these prices.

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Meanwhile at Lincoln Center, the play Corruption dramatizes the British hacking scandal of 2011 that threatened to bring down the Rupert Murdoch empire (as if).  The play by J.T. Rogers is dense and a tad overly ambitious.  I wondered if people who didn’t follow the story when it happened would be able to follow the many twists and turns.  It is almost like a stage documentary – and that’s not a bad thing.  In a time when we are fed a steady diet of real crime dramas on television, this play serves to not only entertain but enlighten.  There is nary a weak link in the large cast, and the production is compelling (and, my God, the stagehands should be paid extra).  Halfway through the taut second act, a few chilling points are made.  First, the “bad guys” aren’t all bad and the “good guys” make some bad decisions.  And, despite protestations to the contrary, the public likes tabloid journalism.  Without it, hard-hitting journalism cannot survive.  A somewhat cynical viewpoint, but perhaps one not so far off the mark.

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The point of my trip was to see Charles Busch’s latest oeuvre at Primary StagesIbsen’s Ghost focuses on the days following the death of Henrik Ibsen (who is currently represented on Broadway in an acclaimed revival of An Enemy of the People).  Subtitled “an irresponsible biographical fantasy”, Busch stars as Suzannah, the Widow Ibsen, who is as fetching and salty as a piping hot plate of kippers.  Suzie is quite concerned about securing herself a place in history rather than just a footnote.  While a healthy knowledge of the Norwegian playwright is helpful, it is not a prerequisite.  This is a loving homage to Ibsen through Busch’s elevated and elegant lens.  Frequent collaborators populate the proceedings – including the scene-stealing Jen Cody, the always-effective Jennifer Van Dyck, the still-hunky Thomas Gibson, the versatile Christopher Borg, and the legendary Judy Kaye.  The stylish costumes and wigs, effective lighting, tasteful set design, and appropriate interstitial music are all under the effortless direction of Carl Andress.  But if it isn’t on the page, it isn’t on the stage.  As usual, Busch delivers.

To catch either of these off-Broadway plays, you must be fleet of foot.  They both close on April 14th.

Uncoupled Cancelled…Again

Speaking of TV duos, Neil Patrick Harris and Tuc Watkins just got a bit of bad news.  You’ll recall they starred as exes in the Netflix series Uncoupled back in 2022.  After a single tepid single season, the show was cancelled.  Then Showtime picked it up for a second season.  And then – the double whammy of the writers’ and actors’ strikes.  Now, two years later, Showtime feels what little momentum there was is gone.  And, poof, cancelled again.

There’s some good news for Tuc’s real-life partner.  After playing the role of Jim Bakker in the world premiere of the musical Tammy Faye in London last year, Andrew Rannells is poised to reprise the role when the musical opens on Broadway this fall.  He’ll be joined by his London co-star, Katie Brayben.

All About Drake & Josh

Everyone is talking about the docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.  For our purposes, you can skip to episode three, which focuses on Drake Bell.  I’m a bit too old to have seen Drake & Josh, but I do know it was a show on Nickelodeon.  Drake was 14 when he met dialogue coach Brian Peck on The Amanda Show.  The following year, Drake says that he woke up one morning on Peck’s living room couch and found Peck sexually assaulting him.  He doesn’t go into specifics, except to say he found himself in this and other compromising positions repeatedly for about a year.  Eventually, Drake told his mom what was happening, and they went to the police.  Drake then called Peck on a recorded line and got him to confess.  Brian Peck was charged with sodomy, forcible penetration, and using a foreign object.  There was one curious additional charge – “employment of a minor for pornography”.  Brian pled no contest to a lewd or lascivious act and oral copulation of a person under 16.  He spent 16 months in prison.  Drake was referred to as “John Doe”, and the case was sealed.

Now that the court documents have been made public, we learn that several people wrote letters on Brian Peck’s behalf.  While it’s unclear how much these people knew about the specific charges, there are letters from people like Taran Killam, Rider Strong, Alan Thicke, and even Joanna Kerns.  What troubled me most was one from James Marsden.  “I know Brian very well and I know how much he has suffered since August of 2003.  Brian is a good person with a very healthy fear and respect for the law, and I assure you, what Brian has been through in the last year is the suffering of a hundred men.  I don’t intend to victimize Brian, nor would he ever wish that, but I do feel compelled to shed light on the fact that he has learned his lesson.  I guarantee you, the earth would fall from the sky before Brian would ever think about doing something like this again.”  This begs the question – Huh?

Since Drake’s disclosure, people have gone out of their way to attack Josh Peck (no relation) – the Josh in Drake & Josh – for not supporting his former co-star.  Drake then issued a statement: “I just want you guys to know that he has reached out to me and it’s been very sensitive.  But he has reached out to talk with me and help me work through this.  And has been really, really great.  So just wanted to let you guys know that and to take it a little easy on him.”  Josh then said (in part), “I reached out to Drake privately, but want to give my support for the survivors who were brave enough to share their stories of emotional and physical abuse on Nickelodeon with the world.  Children should be protected.”  This is not a sentiment shared by everyone.  After his release from prison, Brian Peck was hired by the Disney Channel to work on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.  At least he has a type!

A sad codicil to this story is that Drake Bell has had numerous subsequent run-ins with the law.  In addition to DUIs and child endangerment charges, he pled guilty to sending inappropriate texts to a 15-year-old girl in 2017.  He feels this behavior stems from his abuse as a child.  He’s since been in various treatment and therapy facilities.

 

How Modest is John Cena?

Our Ask Billy question looks back to those long-ago OscarsRandy in Chicago says, “I loved the John Cena streaker bit at the Oscars.  Is there any behind-the-scenes footage?  Was he actually nude?  I figure you’d know.”

I do know.  Of course, even without knowing, I would have known.  I suspect most people who would be invited to appear on the Academy Awards wouldn’t be the type of people who would want to be nude on the Academy Awards.  Even John Cena – longing as he may be to have his name linked in any way with the Oscars – is not that person.  He is also not so acclaimed as an actor to not go for a laugh, particularly a laugh in which he gets to flaunt his almost-flawless physique alongside his somewhat less-developed comedic chops.  Cena was wearing what is known in the biz as a “modesty garment” (and not the type those nice Mormon boys wear).  This flesh-colored panel adheres directly to one’s skin to provide the illusion of nudity – to say nothing of the genitalia of Ken (of Barbie fame).  Although we’ve previously seen his ass in all its glory, we are happy to share some behind-the-scenes stills of Cena’s modesty on BillyMasters.com.

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When the only one with something to hide is John Cena, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  Happily, there’s enough dish to go around on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that has nothing to hide.  I’ll be in Fort Lauderdale this week, but I’m always here to answer your questions.  Write to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before any garment I don protects my modesty!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

RuPaul Peddles Hitler

Have you heard about AllstoraRuPaul’s new online bookstore?  In a video from March 4th, Ru said “Allstora is supporting authors, it is supporting you – all voices, everywhere.  This is a platform that I am in love with because the conversation needs to move forward, it really does, through books, through conversations, through community.”  A week later, it was discovered that Allstora was carrying several books by anti-LGBTQ authors.  Works by people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kirk Cameron, and other “luminaries” that I have somehow never heard of.  Well, except for Adolf Hitler, whose Mein Kampf was available for purchase in both English and German…for those of you who enjoy a foreign tongue.  CEO Eric Cervini took the blame.  “While a library should fulfill its civic duty of making all perspectives, however abhorrent, available to all, the environment I envisioned for Allstora was one that made its guests feel safe.  In building that space, I failed…While other online bookstores will continue selling hate-filled books, Allstora will not.”

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Which leads us to a story about someone taking lemons and attempting to make lemonade…literally.  When Don Lemon announced his new show would be on Twitter/X, everyone thought he was crazy.  Then he booked the craziest person he could find as his first guest.  And when Elon Musk bristled under the scrutiny of Lemon, they parted ways.  How anyone thought this venture would end differently is a matter for the theologians.  I saw this coming a mile away (so did Kara Swisher, as it turns out).  Lemon now reveals that his show was never under Musk’s purview – he made that revelation on The View.  It was a partnership.  Lemon claims to own the footage, which will still pop up everywhere – including on X – on March 18th.  Something tells me there is more to this story, even if it ends with Don Lemon being sued or collecting unemployment!

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