Category Archives: Breaking

Brady Renovation

I dunno how many of you are watching A Very Brady Renovation, but it’s been really extraordinary what the folks at HGTV have done with the beloved Brady Bunch homestead.  In case you don’t know, while a real house in Studio City was used for the iconic exteriors, the interior bore no resemblance to the sprawling set that the sitcom shot on.  But it does now – with no small bit of assistance from all six Brady kids.  Now that the renovations are completed, what will happen to the house?  Will there be tours?  Or will it be rented out for special events?  Since it’s in a residential area, those are unlikely prospects.  But Lance Bass, who tried to buy the house prior to HGTV swooping in, got a special VIP tour.  You can check out his visit on BillyMasters.com.

The primary renovators on the Brady project were the Property BrothersDrew and Jonathan Scott.  During a recent appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, they hinted at what they may tackle next.  “We’re thinking next, The Golden Girls house” (the iconic exterior is actually located in Bel Air).  Clarkson was overjoyed and said someone should do a reboot of The Golden Girls or Designing Women.  Without missing a beat, Drew said, “I will play Blanche”.  Asked and answered.

Bandaged Bachelor

And now, onto the important stuff – BACHELOR DOWN!  Pilot Peter Weber (the one who did it with Hannah in a windmill…twice) was in the midst of filming The Bachelor in Costa Rica when he tripped carrying some glasses, hit the ground, and smashed his face on the shards.  OUCH!  We hear he required 21 stitches.  Chris Harrison took to social media to allay our fears: “He’s 100% OK and production is already back underway.  He’s still the dashing, handsome pilot we’ve all dreamed of.”  Hey, Chris, are you trying to tell us something?  I mean, if you’re dreaming of Peter, just take him to one of those Fantasy Suites.  Or a windmill.

In one of the most tragic endeavors I’ve ever heard of, get ready for The Bachelor: Live on Stage.  The franchise is hitting the road in an attempt to bring the magic of romance, exotic locales, and sexually transmitted diseases to civilians in the hinterlands.  Hosted by perpetually single contestant Ben Higgins, this live show promises to disclose backstage dish about the franchise and feature cameos by former contestants (schedules permitting).  For the coup de grâce, one hometown Bachelor will be paraded about in hopes of snagging one lucky lady – and possibly give her a present that will last a lifetime.  I suggest taking Valtrex a week before the show, just in case.

Ellen Loves Bush

This leads perfectly into the Ellen DeGeneres debacle.  Many people were horrified after she was seen sitting next to George W. Bush in the Dallas Cowboys VIP suite.  Their seating was happenstance – Ellen and Portia were invited by Charlotte Jones, the daughter of the Cowboys owner.  The more militant members of our community feel she should have protested, walked out, or done something other than spend time with a man who tried to block gay marriage, went into needless wars, and did other horrific things.  Instead, Ellen stayed and socialized.  She said, “I’m friends with George Bush.  In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have.  We’re all different.  And I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different.”

I was reminded of when Barbra Streisand received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2008 during the presidency of George W. Bush.  She could have turned it down.  She didn’t.  The honor is selected by an independent committee.  So, like Ellen, Barbra was invited to something that thrust her into contact with the President.  Although, unlike Ellen, Babs was careful not to be photographed anywhere near Bush.  Streisand later wrote about the experience: “I have never met George W. Bush, but for the past eight years I have been blogging about him and his administration on my website.  I have relayed my frustration at the direction he has taken our country in no uncertain terms.  So it was just as surprising to me as it apparently was to the press that upon meeting President Bush and extending my hand to him, he said to me, ‘Aw, c’mon, gimme a hug and kiss.’ And then he proceeded to embrace me.  I must say, I found him very warm and completely disarming…even though I think perhaps he was kissing me hello as I was kissing him goodbye…I guess in some small way, he and I proved that we could agree to disagree, and, for that weekend, art transcended politics.”

Here’s what I think – people are never one thing.  If I stopped talking to friends with views or actions or traits that I disagree with, I’d have no friends.  Interacting with different-minded people leads not only to many spirited debates and conversations, but also to broader understanding of another point of view.  As gay people, how many times have we asked, “Why does one part of my life that you don’t understand or agree with define me and scare you?”  We look for acceptance, so it’s hard to argue not accepting others.  I don’t expect to sit down with Bush anytime soon, but I’m sure I’d find him charming.  I may end up liking him more than Ellen, who I find….well, you know.

Equality Town Hall

“There is no right or wrong way to be gay, to be queer, to be trans,
and I hope that our community, even as we struggle to define what our identity means,
defines it in a way that lets everybody know that they belong among us.” 
 
– 
Pete Buttigieg at the recent Equality Town Hall responding to
cries of “trans lives matter” and “trans people are dying”.

Have I gone insane?  Or has the world?  It’s really a toss-up.  Perhaps we’ll figure it out by the end of this column – which you can read in its entirety on BillyMasters.com.  First, let’s look at CNN’s Equality Town Hall.  There weren’t many surprises.  Thank God for good ol’ reliable Joe.  First, Biden almost made a startling revelation by saying “When I came out…”.  He quickly realized how that sounded, laughed, and put his arm around Anderson Cooper saying, “I’ve got something to tell you.”  Cooper responded, “I kinda figured it out a while ago.”  Then, Biden rattled on and on: “Back 15, 20 years ago in San Francisco was all about gay…gay bath houses.  It’s all about around-the-clock sex.  It’s all…come on, man.  Gay couples are more likely to stay together longer than heterosexual couples.”  And if you think that’s bad, you should have seen him in the swimsuit competition!

Alright, I admit it.  I’ve had my share of around-the-clock sex orgies in San Francisco 15, 20 years ago.  I’ve also had them 15, 20 days ago.  But, I’m a bad example – I’ve had around-the-clock sex orgies at the Vatican.  I hate to point this out to Joe, but bathhouses in San Francisco closed in 1984.  You’d have thought the LGBTQ topic would be right up Pete Buttigieg’s alley, so to speak.  But based on performance alone, all hail Queen Warren.  Her quip, while not phrased in a particularly presidential way, certainly seemed the right response during the Trump era.  Still, I really missed Bernie.  He could have told us about gay bars during Prohibition.

Politician Twins

Our Ask Billy question comes from Rafael in San Diego: “Who are those hot twins on The Politician?”

I cannot really comment about the show because I haven’t seen it.  I like to binge-watch my Netflix series, so The Politician episodes are just sitting there waiting to be watched.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen the Eason twins – who play the Hobart twins (older brothers of Ben Platt – almost a cruel joke).  Trey and Trevor Eason are pretty damn hot, but we already knew Ryan Murphy enjoys hot twins (see Glee and Scream Queens).  They may be new to acting, but not to modeling, and you can see some of their hotter pics on BillyMasters.com.

Reboots and Reunions

Last week, Mark-Paul Gosselaar joined Mario Lopez on Access Hollywood to talk about his new show, Mixed-ish.  The female co-host asked Gosselaar if he would be doing the Saved by the Bell reboot.  Mark-Paul passed the question onto Lopez, who is the producer on the reboot.  “I dunno if we can afford you,” Mario laughed.  But, seriously, since Mixed-ish is on ABC and Saved by the Bell is on NBC, there are logistics that would need to be ironed out.  In the meantime, you can see the interview on our website.

I keep hearing about this Punky Brewster reboot.  I can’t get excited about it – never saw it.  Ditto for Battlestar Galactica.

Now that BH90210 is over, can I just say I feel very unfulfilled?  The biggest problem was the writing, which ironically enough was the same problem they were having in the show-within-the-show.  I kept watching, hoping it would get better.  It didn’t.  I found it interesting that the two hottest members of the cast – Brian Austin Green and Jennie Garth – were also the two best actors.  And, look, I have nothing against a hint of incest.  But Brandon and Brenda?  I don’t think so.  Speaking of my pal Shannen Doherty, why was she constantly eating in every scene?

This week, Grey’s Anatomy features a Charmed reunion.  Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs star as sisters who have to decide whether to take their third sister off life support.  Here’s my question – who is playing the third sister?  Is it the crazy one, or is climate change real and hell has frozen over?

Warren is Semper Fidelis

Some Republican operatives who have previously tried to smear Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris have turned their sights on Elizabeth Warren.  They are alleging that a few months ago, Warren began a long-term sexual relationship with a 24-year-old Marine.  And just like that, Lizzie’s poll numbers skyrocketed!  I think they missed the boat since the Marine in question is male!  I mean, if they really want to smear, go the obvious route.

RIP Diahann

I typically don’t start by remembering someone who has passed away, but Diahann Carroll was anything but typical.  Just the spelling of her name let you know that she was different (a wise and powerful friend always pronounces it with three syllables – Di-ah-hann).  Out of the many memories I have with her, I’d like to share one special anecdote.  I wasn’t yet living in LA, but I was visiting and decided to go to the movies alone.  There were only a few people in front of me to buy a ticket in Century City, but then I spied Diahann quietly go to the end of this long line.  I had just spent time with her in Boston a few weeks earlier, so I caught her attention and surreptitiously slipped her in line ahead of me.  She thanked me, adding that the manager of the cinema said she could always ask for him and not wait in line.  But, she added, “I don’t do things like that”.

I asked what she was there to see.  “My daughter is in school in New York and she said I had to see The Joy Luck Club because it’s about mothers and daughters.  So, I brought my mother to see it,” and pointed to the lovely Mrs. Johnson, who was sitting nearby on a bench.  We got up to the window and Diahann bought her ticket.  Then she turned to me – “I never asked – what are you seeing?”  Well, I was planned on seeing The Real McCoy – don’t feel bad if you don’t remember this Kim Basinger/Val Kilmer stinker.  I certainly couldn’t admit to Diahann that I was going to see this piece of trash.  Plus, I smelled an opportunity.  I, too, got a ticket for The Joy Luck Club.  Diahann was delighted.  “How great we ran into each other – now we can all see it together.”  And that, dear readers, is how I shared a beautiful mother/daughter moment with Diahann Carroll…and her mother.  Rest in peace.

Inside Watkins and Rannells

Our Ask Billy question comes from Karl in Chicago: “I just heard that Tuc Watkins and Andrew Rannells are a couple.  Is it true?  Really?”

As people online are saying, they are an “Instagram couple” – whatever that means.  Cheyenne Jackson chimed in, commenting, “You’re Insta-ficial now” – and he knows a thing or two about online love affairs.  Tuc and Andrew co-starred as combative lovers in the Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band, and they’re currently shooting a film version for Netflix with the same cast.  So, needless to say, they’re “close”.  Perhaps that’s why they’ve both posted several steamy pix together on their social media accounts.  While I’m happy to see two hot shirtless guys, I’m troubled that all of these photos feature Rannells embracing Watkins from behind.  Oh, the humanity.

Making Broadway History

Someone I saw at Little Shop was an ebullient Alexandra Billings.  The trans actress has reason to celebrate.  She’ll be joining the Broadway cast of Wicked as Madame Morrible.  The press release announcement states, “Alexandra is the first openly trans actress to play the role.”  Her first night will be January 20th.

On the flip side, Erika Jayne is going into Chicago.  This, too, could be seen in a historic context, because I believe Jayne is the first openly discussed possible transgender performer to play the role of Roxie.  And if you think I’m going to get into the “is s/he or isn’t s/he”, no dice.  That’s between her and her gynecologist and/or proctologist.  What I got a kick out of is that her press release goes to great pains to state that this will be Erica Jayne’s first appearance on Broadway.  Really?  You mean she never did The Cherry Orchard, or Elektra?

Making real history, playwright Charles Busch will lead an all-star Broadway benefit performance of his play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and he’ll take over the titular role, originally played by Linda Lavin.  But Lavin will still be performing – filling in for the late Shirl Bernheim, who was the original Frieda.  The rest of the original cast will also appear – Michele LeeTony Roberts, and Anil Kumar.  This is an Actors Fund benefit and will take place on November 18th at the Friedman Theatre.  Grab your tix at ActorsFund.org.  See you there (God willing).

Little Shop of Posers

Fresh off his historic Emmy win, Billy Porter went to the Pasadena Playhouse for the opening night of Little Shop of Horrors to support his Pose co-star, Mj Rodriguez.  She made theatrical history as the first transgender actress to play Audrey.  So, for those of you who wondered if trans people could only play trans characters: the answer is no – they can play whatever roles they are suited for (and, obviously, the converse is true).  Aside from some key changes and awkward harmonies, it worked just fine.  BTW, Billy Porter’s voice was used for the opening narration.  And here’s a bit of trivia – Porter was the voice of the plant, Audrey II, in a 2003 touring production of Little Shop which closed just prior to opening on Broadway.

In this production, Amber Riley played the plant.  The innocent little sprout in Act 1 remained throughout – except during feeding when puppeteers swung giant tentacles (I initially wrote giant testicles…. Freudian slip).  George Salazar was a solid Seymour, while Matt Wilkas’ portrayal of Orin’s death scene took on operatic proportions – not that there’s anything wrong with that.  While it was a good, solid, stripped-down and basic production with admirable performances, I didn’t think it was special – aside from the non-traditional casting.  It runs through October 20th, and you can get tix at PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

Murder in West Hollywood

If you saw the film Pacific Heights, you know it’s pretty hard to evict someone in California.  Here in West Hollywood, a prominent political activist and donor wasn’t evicted when a random person died in his apartment.  He also wasn’t evicted after a second suspicious death in that same apartment.  Everything changed when a third person nearly died in the apartment.  If you don’t know the story of Ed Buck, it’s a doozy.  In 2017, someone died of an overdose in his apartment during a sexual tryst.  But this is West Hollywood, so most people didn’t bat an eye.  When an eerily similar incident occurred 18 months later, many saw a pattern.  Both victims were black men who overdosed on methamphetamine.  But the police said insufficient evidence.  When a third African-American man survived a similar scenario a month ago, Buck was arrested and charged with three counts of battery and allegedly injecting the third victim with methamphetamine.  He also was charged with operating a “drug den” in his apartment, which is probably against the rules of his lease.  The eviction paperwork was filed last week.

I did a bit more digging.  The third victim says he went to Buck’s apartment on September 4th and was given a large dose of methamphetamine.  When he thought he might be overdosing, he left to seek medical attention.  But a week later, he returned and was given TWO doses of methamphetamine.  I don’t want to be one of those people who blame the victim, but come on!  I don’t care if you’re a junkie, I don’t care if you’re with the hottest guy in the world, and I even don’t care if you’re getting paid.  If you think you are being overdosed and leave, don’t go back.

LA’s LGBT Center Turns 50

“Hello.  I’m Frankie Grande, and I’m a proud, sloppy, pig bottom.”  
– 
Ariana’s brother comes out of the closet at the LA LGBT Center’s 50th Anniversary
Hearts of Gold concert.  Anyone surprised?  Hands?  Put those down – I did not say fists!

I left my first event somewhat perfunctorily in order to get to my next event.  Alas, the legendary Greek Theatre is roughly 20 miles from UCLA – and on a Saturday night, that could take a good two hours.  But to celebrate the LA LGBT Center’s 50th Anniversary, it was worth the effort.  This gala was broken up into 10-year chunks.  I got there at the tail end of the ‘70s, so I missed Sia.  But I arrived in time to see Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda share their long history with our community whilst having enormous difficulty reading the TelePrompTer.  Turns out, the problem was a lighting issue which continued throughout the evening.  But nothing could dampen the comedy stylings of Kathy Griffin, who not only recounted her many appearances at The Center’s Renberg Theatre, but also bid adieu to some less than politically correct terms (one of which was “sloppy pig bottom” – see the opening quote).  Highlights from the show were a mesmerizing performance by Melissa Etheridge, a touching Ty Herndon, a terrific Thelma Houston, and of course, my Play MamaJenifer Lewis, closing the show as only she could.  You can get more information about the work being done at The Center at LALGBTCenter.org.

Concert for America

All Emmys Eve was a particularly busy day for Billy Masters.  First stop was Royce Hall at UCLA for Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley’s Concert for America.  Interspersed between the musical performances, we were given information about the recipient of this benefit – the National Immigration Law Center.  The work they do is truly inspiring, and the far-reaching effect of the dangerous policies of the current administration will hopefully lead to change in the coming elections.  Taken as a whole, the concerts that Seth and James produce prove how one person (or, in this case, two people) can make a difference.  In terms of individual performances, my highlights were the always luminous Liz Callaway and the magnificent Melissa Manchester.  Check out clips from the concert on ConcertsForAmerica.com and, should you feel moved to make a donation, follow the information on that page.

RuPaul’s World Domination

The unofficial start of the entertainment season is traditionally the Emmy Awards.  This event which honors excellence in television (or, more accurately, any entertainment not in a cinema) is split between two weekends.  First, we have the Creative Arts Emmys, or what Kathy Griffin lovingly calls the Schmemmys.  These are where the bulk of the technical, reality, and “other media” awards are given out.  For the fourth year in a row, RuPaul was the winner for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program – which meant s/he is now tied for most wins in that category with Jeff Probst.  There is a connection between the two, which will be explained in detail next year in my autobiography.

The news for RuPaul keeps getting better.  Drag Race continues its world domination with UK, Thai, and Chilean versions bowing in the near future.  But that’s not all – Drag Race will soon be hitting the Vegas Strip.  Yes, RuPaul’s Drag Race Live! will take residency at the Flamingo Hotel from January through August 2020.  The drag divas will be swapping off dates with Paula Abdul in the venue which has been home to Donny and Marie for over a decade.  I have an amusing anecdote tying this all together, but once again, I’m saving that for the book.

All is not rosy in Ru-ville.  Two Drag Race alums got some bad news last week.  We had previously reported that Jinkx Monsoon and Ginger Minj would be headlining a national tour of the musical Xanadu.  The entire tour was scuttled literally two weeks before opening night in Baltimore.  We hear that the high-profile project was not selling well in most cities and, while the producers believed in the venture, they would lose less money by simply calling it off.  Putting on a brave face, the tour is officially “on hold” – but don’t expect it to ever happen.

In anticipation of the UK version of Drag Race, RuPaul was asked whether “cisgender women” would be allowed to compete.  In the live interview, we’re told usually unflappable Ru was…well, flapped, and a producer had to jump in and say that “the show is inclusive because it’s on the BBC”.  After the fact, an e-mail was sent to the interviewer saying that RuPaul has learned “never to say never”.

What I’ve learned is to always share hot photos of scantily clad men on BillyMasters.com.  In this case, they are the Pit Crew from the UK edition of Drag Race.  They are truly delectable.

Emmys Make Queer History

The next day, it was time for the Emmys themselves.  In a word…YAWN!  If this is what the new television season is going to look like, I may sit this one out.  And, while I enjoy Thomas Lennon, I absolutely loathed his banal commentary.  In fact, halfway through the ceremony, I was rooting for him to fall out of his balcony perch and plummet to his death.  And if that sounds harsh, clearly you were amongst the multitude not watching.

Congrats to Billy Porter for his historic win – the first time an openly gay black man ever won a leading actor Emmy.  And it came the day after his 50th birthday.  Happy birthday, from one Billy to another.

Luke Evans is Cut

Our Ask Billy question this week comes from Warren in San Francisco: “Did you see Ma?  Nobody has mentioned it, but I’m sure I saw Luke Evans’ penis when Octavia Spencer cut it off.  Was it really his dick?”

At the time the film was released, Luke posted the following on social media: “So…who has seen @MAmovie?  And is wondering about that scene…you know the one…”  I didn’t see it – the movie or the penis.  So I went and looked for it – the movie and the penis.  And I saw it – both.  What pokes out from under the sheets is a rather substantial flaccid phallus.  And it sure looked real to me.  Decide for yourself on BillyMasters.com.

How Big is Bloom?

Someone else who has been caught in flagrante delicto is the lovely Orlando Bloom.  Earlier this month, he was on Howard Stern – well, he was on Howard’s show.  During the lengthy interview, the subject of those nude photos of him with Katy Perry came up (up being the operative word, as you’ll see on BillyMasters.com).  Orlando took a bit of bloom off the photos by saying, “It is really not that big.  Things are expanded on camera with a big optical lens.  It is an optical illusion.”  Well, I guess images could appear bigger in photos, but I’d really need to see it for myself.

Schocking Confrontation

Speaking of legal briefs, Aaron Schock dodged a bullet when the prosecutor dropped all criminal charges against him.  Since I’m sure you’re far more acquainted with his nude photos and videos (all of which are mandatory viewing on BillyMasters.com), let me remind you that he was accused of misusing taxpayer dollars for his office redecoration and travel for himself and “companions”.

However, all is not dory for the hunky Schock.  Last week, Aaron showed up at Revolver in West Hollywood.  It happened to be karaoke night, hosted by local drag performer Jonnie Reinhart.  So, let’s break this down – a hot-but-closeted politician goes into a gay bar where a drag queen has a microphone.  What could possibly go wrong?  Reinhart decided to sing a song, which she introduced thusly: “This song is dedicated to someone who’s in the audience and it goes out to anybody who votes against gay rights”.  Her choice was Lily Allen’s “F You”.  Reinhart later said, “I figured he would get the message and I actually thought that he would just leave…but he didn’t.”

Jonnie allegedly went up to Schock privately.  “I explained to him why I was upset that he was there, why other people were upset that he was there, and I basically told him that he wasn’t going to be welcomed in gay spaces until he began the process of apologizing and healing the harm that his actions have caused.”  Reinhart says, “Then he shared his experience of being publicly outed and he spoke about his family’s reaction to him being gay.”  Details, please.  “He’s actually no longer a public official, so it feels a bit slimy for me to say everything that he told me.  Basically he told me his family’s reaction was not positive – it was very bad.  And he insisted that he wasn’t looking for sympathy, and he said that he was working on putting out a statement.”

Operation Varsity Blues

I wasn’t the only one who made out with the law (literally).  Felicity Huffman had some luck during the sentencing for her part in the Operation Varsity Blues case.  You’ll recall that Felicity paid $15K to the Key Worldwide Foundation for someone to take the SATs for her daughter.  How stupid.  Never leave a paper trail; always use cash!  You’d think someone who had been on Desperate Housewives would know better.  Huffman admitted guilt, appeared remorseful, and threw herself on the mercy of the court.  The result?  She was sentenced to 14 days in jail, $30K in fines, and 250 hours of community service.  I know I’m in the minority here, but why jail time?  And I’m not singling Huffman out – why jail time for anyone?  Skip jail (which costs taxpayers) and just increase the fine.

Someone who I’m sure is watching this case very closely is Lori Loughlin, who paid $500K to get her bratty daughter, Olivia Jade, into college (where she probably attended classes for less than 14 days).  Given that Loughlin is not admitting guilt, is not repentant, and is fighting the charges, her inevitable sentencing should be harsher.  On a purely mathematical level, since Huffman got two weeks for $15K, Loughlin would be lucky to get 66 weeks in the pokey!  Some are claiming that Lori is a secret genius – which is the only kinda genius she could be.  Between her various motions and demands, heaven knows when her trial will begin.  On the other hand, rumor has it that the pending litigation is taking a toll on her marriage.  Or, as I like to call it, a win/win.

Van Der Beek’s DWTS Past

This week’s Ask Billy question is one many of you had.  Karl in Chicago writes, “You said James Van Der Beek will be on Dancing with the Stars.  But hasn’t he already done that show?  You ran photos of him dancing.”

Yes and no.  While playing a fictionalized version of himself on Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23, his character competed on DWTS.  Alas, his competition included Dean Cain – back when you wanted to see him in Spandex.  To calm down, Beek drank something he shouldn’t.  You can see how it turned out on BillyMasters.com.

When Dawson’s going up the creek without a samba, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  Before closing, I must acknowledge the passing of Project Runway alum Chris March.  He was one of those people who lit up a room.  He was a formidable presence and a big personality to match.  Very quick, very catty, and beyond talented – my kinda guy.  It’s being reported that he had a massive heart attack at 56.  Although I’m heading down to Florida this week, I am always updating www.BillyMasters.com – the site that happens to be very popular with conversion therapy professionals.  If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before the NFL sends rookies to Ben Crosswhite for training (yes, that’s what we’re calling it now).  Until next time, remember one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Murphy’s Netflix Plans

Details of Ryan Murphy’s marriage with Netflix are starting to take shape.  There’s a new show called The Politician which debuts later this month and stars Ben PlattJessica Lange and Gwyneth Paltrow.  Speaking of Miss Lange, she will star in a series about the legendary Marlene Dietrich.  Ryan also plans lots of Broadway-centric shows, including the just-filmed The Boys in the Band starring the entire cast from last year’s Broadway hit, a film version of the Broadway musical The Prom starring Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, and a miniseries about A Chorus Line.  There will be a limited series about designer Halston starring Ewan McGregor, and a docuseries about Andy Warhol.  Most tantalizing for me are two projects.  One is a series called Ratched starring Sarah Paulson in the origin story of the nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  Paulson’s real-life love, Holland Taylor, will join Patti LuPone for Hollywood, which explores Tinseltown’s relationship with the sex industry.  That series will also star Darren Criss, who is an executive producer, and is due to debut next May.

Falwell’s Boy Toys

Then there’s Jerry Falwell Jr. and Ben Crosswhite, his “personal trainer” (so that’s what we’re calling it now).  It’s been reported that in 2016, Falwell signed documents transferring ownership of an 18-acre fitness facility owned by Liberty University (his very Christian college) to Crosswhite, a recent Liberty graduate.  While the purchase price was $1.2 million, the university reduced that by $650K in order to lease the tennis courts back from him through 2025.  On top of that, Liberty financed the balance at 3-percent interest.  Such favorable terms leave me with one question – exactly what is Crosswhite training?  Publicly, Falwell credits Ben for helping him lose 75 pounds.  Whatever they were doing, I suspect the word “pound” was employed.  It bears mentioning that only a few weeks ago, we revealed that Falwell lent a young pool attendant in Miami almost $2 million to start a youth hostel.

Gays in the NFL

Last week, Ryan O’Callaghan, an openly gay former member of the New England Patriots, released his memoir, My Life on the Line.  One passage has drawn quite a bit of interest: “I can promise you there’s plenty of closeted NFL players.  I think it’s safe to say there’s at least one on every team who is either gay or bisexual.”

A week before that book was released, NFL free agent Ryan Russell published an essay on ESPN.com.  Here’s the salient passage: “Today, I have two goals: returning to the NFL, and living my life openly.  I want to live my dream of playing the game I’ve worked my whole life to play, and being open about the person I’ve always been.”  Apparently that person isn’t gay – he’s bisexual.  Let’s check back in a few months and see how that’s going.

Maye and Masters in Ptown

The next day, I zipped down to Provincetown to hang out with some more contemporary queens and pay homage to the incredible Marilyn Maye – 91 and still going strong.  She’s in outstanding voice and has more energy than ever.  The crowd loves her, I love her, and she loves us all.  She really is our Queen Mum.  This lovefest took place at the Ptown Art House, where she has held court for the past nine years, so it’s truly one big happy family.  As usual, the show was expertly led by the spectacular Billy Stritch, who never disappoints.

Six Hits the ART

I kept hearing about the musical Six, which has been taking England by storm.  It’s now invaded the States and is currently at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge following a sold-out eight-week run in Chicago.  A hot new musical?  About the wives of Henry VIII?  Done in a single 80-minute act?  I’m in!  The show is staged as a concert featuring Henry’s six wives as members of a female empowering girl group.  These ladies are competing to determine which wife got the short end of the stick (and, according to one of the wives, Henry possessed a mighty short stick).  They also want to rehabilitate how history has portrayed them and come out of the shadows of a misogynistic male.  The songs are of the Beyoncé/Adele/Kelly Clarkson ilk, and the lyrics – while taking some liberties with history – are clever and educational.  It’s kinda like a #MeToo version of Schoolhouse Rock.  The queens are each splendid, and the kick-ass band (Ladies in Waiting) provides ample oomph.  The atmosphere is electric from start till the inevitable encore.  If you wanna see the next big thing on Broadway, get thee to the ART.  It closes on September 29th and what few tickets remaining can be found at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org.

Travolta Latest Faux Pas

John Travolta should never, ever be a presenter on a live award show.  At the MTV Video Music Awards last week, Travolta and Queen Latifah were presenting “Video of the Year”.  Sidebar – am I the only person who found the coupling of Travolta and Latifah, well, “curious”?  Travolta, knowing his penchant for malaprops, handed the envelope to Latifah quipping, “I shouldn’t do this because I’ll just mispronounce shit and fuck it up.”  Latifah announced Taylor Swift – an easy name to say.  Travolta assumed the role of Miss Golden Globes and presented Swift with the statue.  But, wait…that wasn’t Taylor Swift.  He actually handed the award to Jade Jolie – a drag queen who appears in Swift’s video “You Need to Calm Down”, which is a pro-LGBTQ anthem.  Sidebar again – am I the only one who notes the irony of having Queen Latifah and John Travolta give an award to a video which encourages people to come out?  Anyhoo, Todrick Hall (who produced the video) says that he spoke with Taylor backstage and they laughed, and laughed, and laughed.  In a related story, Gigi Hadid (someone who I still really don’t have a clue) also once confused Jade Jolie with Taylor Swift.  It’s an epidemic!!!

Trans vs. TSA

You know the summer is over when hurricanes start hitting Florida.  As we go to press, we’re bracing to see what Dorian will do to the East Coast.  When flying out of Fort Lauderdale Airport days earlier, I read the account of a transgender woman who had gone through the same airport two years ago.  According to the 36-year-old, she required a pat-down because TSA’s full-body scanner detected an issue around her groinal area.  A female officer took her to a private room, gave her the pat-down, and seemed surprised at what she found.  “If the issue is what you are feeling, let me tell you what this is – it is my penis,” said the woman.  This apparently caused quite a stir and required two more officers and a supervisor.  They determined the trans woman would need a second pat-down by a male officer – which I would have thought made sense since a penis was detected.  But I’m wrong.  Apparently policy dictates pat-downs must be done by an officer of the same gender as that which is presented by the traveler.  So, penis or no penis, since this person presented as female, the pat-down by a female officer was correct.  When the traveler in question refused to be patted-down by a male officer, TSA refused to let her through security.  “Can I just show you?” she asked.  Although this too is against policy, nobody objected.  The penis was presented, and the lady made her flight.  While I find this story informative, I also find it insulting.  With all the flying I do, not once has anyone patted me down – and I’ve never been shy about whipping out my dick in public!

Zakars Pray the Gay Away

Since I’m in Fort Lauderdale this week, I was able to see the world premiere of Pray the Gay Away, starring the Zakar Twins (based on their best-selling book).  The boys previously made it into this column last August, when they accused a photographer of sexual assault.  Alas, that storyline didn’t make it into this show, which is billed as “A true life coming out comedy”.  You know how Jerry Seinfeld surrounded himself with a talented cast of actors on “Seinfeld”?  The Zakars have done the same thing – and for the same reason.  Vince Kelley all but steals the show as their mother, knocking the fourth wall down with aplomb and reacting on the spot to mishaps (like singing during his entrance, saying, “That was supposed to be my sound cue”).  Close behind Vince in the scene-stealing category was Jeffrey James Fox, who plays numerous roles – most of which require nudity.  It is rare to find someone you’d want to see naked who not only can act but also is funny.  Fox is one such person.  Cory Shorter made it clear he was the star of every scene he was in, while Zachary James Morgan held up the rear…literally. 

As to the Zakar Twins, one must admire them.  They’ve taken virtually nothing and developed a following based on…well, virtually nothing.  If you want to see them nude, save your money – that doesn’t happen here.  If you expect some mildly incestuous twin action, you’ll also be disappointed (for that, check out BillyMasters.com).  If anything, the boys come off decidedly asexual.  They’ve got spunk, but I hate spunk.  They have perseverance, but they don’t have presence.  They’ve created a brand, but they can’t even convincingly play themselves.  In spite of them, the show is entertaining.  So, even with all these caveats, I recommend going.  And you may get the chance to see it since the show is touring.  This world premiere was billed as a National Off-Broadway Tour.  Well, it doesn’t get more off-Broadway than Fort Lauderdale.  Keep up with the boys and their travails at ZakarTwins.com.

Porter Puts Out

“My nerves are frayed, I’m gonna take a Valium and watch it.” 
– 
Billy Porter on his Pose sex scene.

While Billy Porter has had a great year, it hasn’t been without some ups and downs.  When he got the script for a recently aired episode of Pose, Porter was shocked to learn he’d be doing a love scene – with nudity!  He always knew it was a possibility.  “Listen, listen to me.  I got that contract and that contract said, ‘Nudity Clause’, and I literally sat and went, ‘Child, they don’t want to see my black ass.’  And I signed it, never thinking in a million years that anybody would call me on it.  These bitches wrote a script where I show my ass!”  Still, he took it not only in stride, but as a major stride forward.  “I have spent my entire career not being the object of anyone’s affection.  They cut our dicks off.  So to be turning 50 on September 21, and having a very loving, connected sex scene is sort of blowing my mind.”  You can check out the scene on BillyMasters.com.

Lesbians in Paradise

Elsewhere on ABC, we got the heavily promoted Bachelor lesbian relationship.  For those of you who don’t watch Bachelor in Paradise, alums from the franchise are thrown together on a secluded resort, ostensibly in hopes of finding romance.  If they are unsuccessful in making a connection, they’re booted off – after creating havoc.  This year, we have Demi – a cast-off from Colton’s season who claims to have recently experimented with lesbianism.  Although she made a connection with mega-hot Derek on the show, she also harbored feelings for her hometown lady-love.  She voiced these concerns to Chris Harrison.  In the past, anyone in such a conflict would simply leave Paradise.  But suddenly, as if a gift from the gods, Demi’s lesbian lover almost immediately materialized in Paradise – in a way that I’m sure was not intended to appear planned.  The two women reunited with the most non-sexual, awkward kisses ever, went public to the rest of the cast, and everyone applauded Demi for her bravery…with the exception of Derek, who awkwardly shook hands with his female replacement.  You probably expected the ladies would leave Paradise happily ever after.  But, surprise, Chris Harrison said they could stay and explore their relationship on-camera.  Presumably, more drama will ensue.

Dancing with Nobodies

Another year, another season of Dancing with the Stars.  As in recent years, the term “stars” is being used loosely.  I certainly consider James Van Der BeekChristie Brinkley and Mary Wilson stars.  And I suppose one or two of the others are notables in their fields.  But the bulk of the lineup is what I like to refer to as a “bunch of nobodies”.  One name is getting lots of attention – former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.  Political figures are nothing new to DWTS.  But this one has drawn the ire of an unlikely person – host Tom Bergeron.

It is unusual for Bergeron to voice an opinion about a contestant, and unheard of for him to criticize his own network.  But Tom did both.  In a lengthy statement, while acknowledging that he has no say in the show’s casting, he discussed a lunch meeting he had with the executive producer regarding the direction of the show.  He hoped that DWTS “would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY political affiliations.  I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement.  Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.’”  

While Bergeron didn’t name anyone specifically, it’s clear what he meant by “divisive bookings from ANY political affiliation.”  Spicer took the bait and responded via The Blast: “Tom has been a great host to this show for 28 seasons.  I actually think that this show is a great opportunity to be an example, how we can have better dialogue and respectfully learn from each other.  I would hope by the end of the show Tom looks at this as more of an opportunity to help reach the divide that exists right now.”  I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Katy’s Teenage Dream

Women are not exempt from committing sexual assault.  According to model Josh Kloss, while appearing in the music video for “Teenage Dream”, Katy Perry left him feeling “pathetic and embarrassed”.  He thought things were going well on the set.  “When other people were around she was cold as ice even called the act of kissing me ‘gross’ to the entire set while filming.”  Despite being embarrassed, he got through the shoot – with Katy once inviting him to go to a strip club (he declined).  Later, they ran into each other at a birthday party.  “And when I saw her, we hugged and she was still my crush. But as I turned to introduce my friend, she pulled my Adidas sweats and underwear out as far as she could to show a couple of her guy friends and the crowd around us, my penis.  Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed i felt?”  I can’t imagine – but that’s because I haven’t seen Kloss’ penis.

Faye’s Little Gays

This leads into yet another Fayewatch which, of course, is connected with Dunaway’s disastrous Boston run of the play Tea at Five.  This story isn’t about Faye being fired; it’s about Faye firing her assistant.  According to documents filed in Manhattan Supreme CourtMichael Rocha began working as Faye’s personal assistant on April 5th and was paid $1500/week.  He would do her shopping, remind her to take her meds, plan her schedule, and get her to places on time – so now we know who to blame.  He claims that Faye called him “a little homosexual boy” and referred to people around her as “little gay people”.  We don’t have to take his word for it – the little one recorded Faye making the offensive comments.  He went to the general manager and production’s lawyer.  In short order he was fired, being told that Faye “is not comfortable with you anymore”.  He is suing for unspecified damages.  Faye Dunaway – the gift that keeps on giving.

A Twist of Lemon

What’s not funny is sexual assault.  But in the current climate where career-ending accusations come fast and furious, where does due process fit in?  What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?  Case in point – Don Lemon.  According to reports, he was in Sag Harbor last July and had an encounter with bartender Dustin Hice, who is suing for unspecified damages stemming from emotional pain and loss of earnings.  Hice was working at a bar called Murf’s.  According to his statement, Hice “tried to get Mr. Lemon’s attention and offered to buy Mr. Lemon a drink.”  Don apparently declined.  Later, Hice claims that Lemon “put his hand down the front of his own shorts, and vigorously rubbed his genitalia, removed his hand and shoved his index and middle finger in Plaintiff’s moustache and under Plaintiff’s nose.”  He then asked Hice, “Do you like pussy or dick?”  The “attack” has left Mr. Hice with “feelings of shame, humiliation, anxiety, anger, and guilt” – in other words, the way I felt in Casablanca!

Reports indicate that Mr. Hice asked Lemon for $1.5 million not to file the suit.  Lemon (again) declined.  Hice then posted a photo standing in front of CNN headquarters with the caption, “touring the #CNN center today…or as #Trump would say, ‘the home of Fake News’ lol.”  As for the network, CNN is standing by Don Lemon, stating, “The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts.  This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.  Don categorically denies these claims and this matter does not merit any further comment at this time.”

Escape From Casablanca

Should you ever have the opportunity to visit Casablanca – don’t.  Although the people were lovely (and God knows the local gays are hungry for tourists), nobody mentioned that I was arriving on Eid al-Adha.  I’m not exactly sure what this holiday is all about, but to celebrate they drag sheep and goats into the street, kill them, and cook them on bonfires while children play with the horns.  So it’s kinda like our Groundhog Day!  Between the thick black smoke and trying to avoid the torrents of blood pouring down the streets, I could barely make out the man pulling a cart to collect the bloodstained pelts.  It was all quite nauseating.  When I saw one lone sheep tied to a post on the outskirts of town, I considered setting it free.  Then I realized both of us would be caught and killed within minutes…and I ain’t giving up my pelt to anyone.  Sorry, sheep, but it’s survival of the fittest.

From Rocketman to Ikaris

Our Ask Billy question comes from Grant in Long Beach: “I just saw Rocketman and fell in love with Richard Madden.  I keep reading he’s gay in real life.  So, once and for all, is he or isn’t he?”

Let me answer this question with a seemingly unrelated story.  Months ago, I reported that Marvel planned to make a film about their gay superhero, Ikaris – who has complete control over his physical form and never ages.  Talk about a gay superpower!  It was rumored that the company would only consider casting an openly gay Asian actor.  Well, it was just announced that the role will be played by…Richard Madden, who has heretofore avoided any discussions about his personal life.  We’ll see how long that lasts.

When Ikaris isn’t being played by Scarlett Johansson, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  It’s also time to get out of Casablanca – I’m getting tired of being called Ilsa!  I’m also looking forward to returning to the United States.  Of course, I’m not returning to reality – I’m going directly to Provincetown.  Details of that trip will likely show up on www.BillyMasters.com – the site where nobody’s keeping score.  If you have any specific questions, send them along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Richard Madden reveals he’s part Asian!  Until next time, remember one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Cooper Does Bernstein

There have been several attempts to bring the story of Liberace to the stage.  While none of those projects have made it very far, a new one based on HBO’s Behind the Candelabra is being produced by David Permut.  He says his ideal Liberace would be Bradley Cooper.  ‘Cause when I think of Liberace, I naturally think of Bradley Cooper.

For the time being, Cooper is unavailable to play the piano prodigy because he’s slated to play another formidable musical giant – Leonard Bernstein.  Bradley Cooper will play the composer of West Side Story (among other things) and also direct the film for Paramount Pictures.  He’s also snagged Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese as co-producers.  You may recall there was a rival biopic about Bernstein in the works which would have starred Jake Gyllenhaal.  Alas, that project stalled when Cooper snagged the exclusive rights to Bernstein’s music from the composer’s family – a decision which was made after he volunteered to co-host a performance of Candide alongside Carey Mulligan, who happens to be the front runner to play Bernstein’s wife.  Clever boy.

Surprise Wedding at Prom

The Broadway musical The Prom – which is about a lesbian couple who want to attend the prom together – made history by hosting an actual lesbian wedding onstage.  Armelle Kay Harper, who is the script coordinator, married Jody Kay Smith.  According to reports, audience members were surprised when the real-life wedding happened after the show’s curtain calls.  Although it was completely legal, a larger, more traditional ceremony is happening in Smith’s hometown next month.

Statue Shades Spacey

During this trip, I spent quite a bit of time in Rome.  You know who else was there?  Kevin Spacey.  You’d think after getting off (not necessarily literally) in Nantucket, he’d be laying low.  But no, he tipped off the press that he’d be at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme museum near the bronze statue of Boxer at Rest.  Once there, Kevin launched into a dramatic recitation of Italian poet Gabriele Tinti’s The Boxer.  The poem discusses how people used the battered boxer for their amusement and then cast him aside after he outlived his usefulness.  The only thing that could have made this spectacle more ridiculous is if he read it in the original Italian.  Instead, he opted for what I consider a pretty stilted English translation, which you can see on BillyMasters.com.

Chace Crawford Goes Deep

Our Ask Billy question comes from Terrence in New York: “Is it true that Chace Crawford shows all in some new movie he’s in?”

It’s not a movie.  It’s a new series from Amazon Prime called The Boys, which is based on the comic book of the same name.  The main characters are superheroes, many of whom are disgruntled with the company they work for.  Crawford plays The Deep, who rules the oceans – which means he’s not wearing a helluva lot of clothing.  From what I can see, his most prominent feature is a tan line which, yes, I will show on BillyMasters.com.

I was struck by an interesting anecdote shared by the show’s creator, Eric Kripke.  “There was one scene that Amazon said ‘Fuck, no – you have to cut it.’  I couldn’t quite understand why considering everything else we have in the show, but: Homelander [played by Antony Starr], after being dressed down by Stilwell in episode 2, was standing on one of the Chrysler building eagles.  He pulled his pants down and started jerking off, mumbling, ‘I can do whatever I want’ over and over again until he climaxed all over New York City.”  I can’t imagine why Amazon had a problem with that!

Knot Done Yet

Joan Van ArkMichele Lee and Donna Mills recently got together at the Hollywood Bowl for a fundraiser promoting classic music, which was hosted by The Jose Iturbi Foundation.  The Knots Landing trio revealed that they still maintain a close friendship.  “The truth is that we are, in fact, sisters,” said Van Ark.  This December marks the 40th anniversary of the nighttime soap.  While the ladies hope for some sort of reunion special, they have another idea.  “A show that we were going to call We’re ‘Knot’ Done Yet,” says Van Ark.  “And we’re not.”

Burgess vs. Andy Cohen

Tituss Burgess has been flying high on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and is currently promoting his new CD, Saint Tituss.  But everyone is talking about his feud with Andy Cohen.  Tituss was on What Watch Happens Live and Cohen asked a viewer question about the film Burgess just made with Eddie Murphy.  Tituss was effusive in his praise for Murphy.  Then Andy asked, “Did you get to chat with him at all?”  Tituss said, “Of course I did.  Why wouldn’t I?”  Cohen added, “I just wondered if you got close at all because he was very problematic for the gays at one point when I was coming up.”  “Oh, I see.  He wasn’t problematic for Tituss….he was great and any troubles he may have had with gay people I guess are gone because he loved me.”  Fellow panelist Laverne Cox (wearing blue eye shadow) interjected, “It was a long time ago – people evolve.”  Meanwhile, Tituss batted his eyelashes while mouthing and gesturing something to the audience. “What was that?” Andy asked.  “Keep going, girl – do your show,” said Tituss.  We’re told that when the live telecast was over, Tituss quickly left the set and refused to sign the guest book, saying, “He knows I was here”.  Cohen was later asked if Tituss would be invited back.  “He’s been on four times.  He can do whatever he wants.  I just don’t want to offend him.”h

Mario Lopez vs. LGBTQ

“But at the same time, my God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a
certain way, or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be,
I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination then,
OK, well then you’re gonna be a boy or a girl, whatever the case may be.”  
  
– 
Mario Lopez shares his thoughts on transgender children during a podcast with pro-Trump
conservative Candace Owens.  BTW, he later apologized, saying, “The comments I made were
ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were.”

Remember when summer used to be filled with reruns?  That’s how I’m feeling about this week’s column.  Not that the stories are old, but many of them relate to days gone by.  Take our opening quote from Mario Lopez, where he incoherently babbles about transgender children.  Of course, Lopez has been a longstanding ally of the LGBTQ community and has since apologized.  But his rambling reminded me of Miss South Carolina’s answer when Mario hosted the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant – a moment touted by most as epic in pageant history.  Back then, Mario tried to stifle a laugh.  Watch both clips on BillyMasters.com and see if you can do the same.

Charlie Barnett Bare

Our Ask Billy question comes from Russ in San Francisco: “I just watched Russian Doll and think Charlie Barnett is absolutely gorgeous.  Do you know anything about him?  Has he ever done nudity?”

I LOVED Russian Doll and have now watched it about five times, each time picking up something new.  As for Charlie Barnett, he’s having quite a year.  In addition to Russian Doll, he’s also in the new Tales of the City on Netflix.  He previously played gay on Chicago Fire, which was not a stretch since he’s openly gay.  Regarding nudity, parts of his anatomy seem to pop up in several productions, as you’ll see on BillyMasters.com.

Mendez Bisexual Drama

Shawn Mendes is getting some flack regarding a coming out story – no, not his own.  At an Oakland, California meet and greet, a female fan asked Shawn to appear in a short video telling her parents that she’s gay.  “I’m bisexual and I haven’t told anybody, but my parents are very strict and I don’t know how to tell them, so I was wondering if you could do a little video.”  Shawn said, “This is what I want to tell you.  Your parents are your parents.  They’re going to love you no matter what you say, no matter how you say it, no matter how you look when you say it, at any time of the day.  Nothing I say is going to mean anything that is even close to what you saying it means to them, OK?”  He added, “Don’t ask me to do that.  And I would if I thought that it was a better thing to do, but I know in my heart it’s not.  I know your parents are going to just love you even more for being honest with them.”  While I completely agree that it’s not Shawn’s place to get involved, I think he’s making a whole lot of assumptions about this girl’s parents.  And, since I live to play devil’s advocate, do we know if: a) this girl is really bisexual and 2) she even has parents?  I mean, those Shawn Mendes fans can be pretty sneaky.

Fadi Gets Evicted

When we last heard from George Michael’s ex, he had barricaded himself in the late pop singer’s house…despite the fact that he was completely left out of the will.  A neighbor took some photos of the property revealing numerous smashed windows and water damage – which Fadi Fawaz claimed was part of his “home improvements”.  The family tried to evict Fatty…I mean Fadi (although, from recent photos, it’s an honest mistake).  Finally, the police arrested him on suspicion of aggravated criminal damage.  While in custody, the family changed the locks and boarded up the broken windows.  Since his release, neighbors say Fawaz has been seen sleeping on the balcony.

Faye Gets Fired

Faye Dunaway playing a legendary film star – what could go wrong.”    
– 
Billy Masters on The Take way back in April.

If there’s one thing I enjoy more than starting a column by saying I was right, it’s starting a column by sharing a Fayewatch item.  Miss Dunaway will NOT be appearing as Katharine Hepburn on Broadway…or anywhere else, for that matter.  While I predicted this outcome months ago, I wasn’t completely right.  Sure, I knew she wouldn’t make it to Broadway, but I didn’t predict that Faye would be FIRED.  And this makes me sad.  Not because she was good in the role – it was an ill-advised pairing from the get-go.  But from the stories that are now circulating from the limited run in Boston, the hijinx that would have engulfed an actual Broadway production would have given me fodder for endless columns.  At least we can now tell you about her unhinged behavior in Boston.

It seems things were never good on the Tea at Five set.  At a photo session announcing the play, Dunaway reportedly threw her luncheon salad on the ground, proclaiming that since she was watching her weight, “the salad would be better on the floor than in her hand”.  Sources confirm that she never learned her lines (as I reported, an earpiece had to be used onstage), she frequently cancelled or was late to rehearsals, and would not allow people – including the playwright and director – to look at her.  When she did show up, she insisted that nobody around her wear white “because it distracts me”.  You know what might have helped with that?  Learning the lines!  And, while it seems implausible, sources claim that shortly before opening night, Faye had staffers get down on their hands and knees and scrub the floor of her dressing room.  I’m sure the words, “Now clean up this mess!” were uttered.  More believable, however, is that people working on the show would get “troubling, rambling, angry” voicemails in the middle of the night.  Hmmm – this sounds familiar.  And you can hear it on BillyMasters.com.

Dueling Supermen

What’s better than Superman?  Would you believe two Supermen?  In the past, both Brandon Routh and Tyler Hoechlin have played the Man of Steel (Routh on the big screen in Superman Returns and Hoechlin on the small screen in Supergirl).  Plans are afoot for both men to once again don Spandex and play Superman at different points of his life on The CW’s next Arrowverse crossover.

Elvis’ Pelvis

Ever since Baz Luhrmann announced his next project would be a big-screen biopic about Elvis Presley, people have been wondering who would be cast in the lead.  Well, wait no more – the role has been filled by Austin Butler.  He’s appeared on TV in The Shannara ChroniclesArrow, and The Carrie Diaries.  More legitimately, he’s held his own on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh alongside Denzel Washington.  I must admit, none of these credits helped me place him.  Because I live to serve, I discovered that Austin is one of those tight young blonds who are so appealing and yet so interchangeable.  Then I saw some photos of him alongside his girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens, and something caught my eye.  How do I say this politely?  Let’s just say something in that photo stuck out.  I can’t put my finger on it – but I’d like to.  It looks like I might need to use my whole hand.  I’ll use the other hand to post the pics to BillyMasters.com.

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