Category Archives: Breaking

A Beautiful Noise

Hours before this column was filed, I attended the opening night of A Beautiful Noise – a Broadway-bound musical about (and featuring the music of) Neil Diamond.  It stars the fantastic Will Swenson as Neil, which makes as much sense as Hugh Jackman playing Peter Allen.  Each of those legends would give their left testicle for the chance to look like their matinee idol equivalents.  But in this case, it works – largely due to Swenson’s eerie approximation of Diamond’s somewhat whining vocal quality (would that he’d trust his voice enough let it open up and bloom to its full potential).  Whether Neil was a cross between Elvis, Johnny Cash and Liberace is an argument I’ll leave to others.  I’ll simply say that the show has a long way to go before it’s ready for Broadway.  It’s short on exposition and jumps right into the singer’s story – which gives the audience hope that there’s an eventful life ahead.  Alas, the show (and perhaps Neil’s life) has no second act.  The musical cannily approximates a Vegas-style concert to kick off the second half.  Had that continued, it might have appealed to diehard fans.  Instead, it meanders down a road that goes nowhere (the scene contrived to set up “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” is perhaps one of the most painful things I’ve ever seen).  One cannot say enough about Swenson – I just wish he had material that equaled his talent.  The rest of the cast is commendable – except for one person who must be recast immediately.  Let me single out the dynamic Tatiana Lofton, who steals virtually ever scene she appears in (she stood next to Swenson for the curtain call), and Makai Hernandez, whose ass should get special billing in those tight checked pants!  It is at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston until August 7th.  As of now, the show begins previews on Broadway November 2nd.  You can get more details at ABeautifulNoiseTheMusical.com.

Ptown Wrap Up

I survived July 4th in Provincetown.  But a handful of people I know went home with a little someone we call the Coronavirus.  I have always been lucky when it comes to picking things up, but somehow I avoided that little critter.  While those around me had mild symptoms, we don’t know the lasting effect of this disease.  So be careful out there.  And, whatever you do, stay away from the monkeys!

I managed to see a number of shows.  The incomparable Judy Gold is at the Ptown Art House and in rare form.  Randy Roberts knocks ‘em dead at the Post Office CaféRyan Landry’s Showgirls is outrageous fun at the Crown and AnchorVarla Jean Merman defies gravity and at least three laws of physics in Ready To Blow also at the Crown.  And, at the same venue, Thirsty Burlington turns back time and is Cher perfection (circa 1975).

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Perhaps you are more of a Fire Island boy.  While Joel Kim Booster (star of Fire Island) is currently coupled, he has some advice for those of you who might be a bit more gregarious.  “It was a lot more fun being the guest star in a threesome than it was logistically planning it as a couple.  It’s a logistical nightmare.  Before it was just sort of, you come in and you get the spotlight and then you leave.”  Let me add my two cents – keep an eye on your socks.  I can’t tell you how many parties I’ve come home from sockless.

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Could it be that I was basking on the beach while Armie Hammer was hopping to bells in the Caymans?  A Twitter post showed the disgraced actor working as a concierge at Morritt’s Resort in Grand Cayman.  While he is, in fact, living at the resort, he is not on the payroll.  He’s friends with some of the staff, one of whom doctored up the photo which circulated as a flyer!  With friends like that…

 

A Wizard Waves His Wand

Our Ask Billy question comes from Kevin in South Carolina: “I heard that one of the boys from The Wizards of Waverly Place has joined OnlyFans.  Could you find out which one and if it’s worth paying for?”

I am happy to oblige and reveal that Dan Benson has joined OnlyFans.  He played Zeke on the aforementioned Disney Channel show.  While we have no first-hand knowledge of his sexuality, we can confirm that the strapping 34-year-old has eschewed partners in his new venture.  In each instance thus far, Dan simply takes matters into his own hands.  At least I think it was his hands.  And you can see what he was holding on BillyMasters.com.

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When a wizard is playing with his wand, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  BTW, Dan promoted his new venture by Tweeting, “Never underestimate the power of gay Twitter”.  At least he knows his audience – which has a sizeable overlap with www.BillyMasters.com – the site that is no slave to size.  For a bit more of my personal touch, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Gavin’s next book is about Menudo!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Ricky, Men and Menudo

I binge shows on planes.  Therefore, I’m looking forward to my next trip so that I can see the four-part docuseries Menudo: Forever Young.  However, I don’t expect to be shocked by any of the allegations of bad behavior towards singing boys who were replaced at the sight of their first pubic hair!  One cannot be too surprised that impresario Edgardo Diaz (the Lou Pearlman of Latin America) does not appear or comment on the charges.  However, I am intrigued that Ricky Martin also refused to talk and only appears in archival footage.

The timing is curious, because one of Ricky Martin’s former managers just hit him with a $3 million lawsuit for unpaid commissions.  In the fine print of the suit, something caught my eye: “Martin has now threatened Rebecca [the manager] and is attempting to force her to sign an agreement with a nondisclosure clause to silence Rebecca about the abhorrent behavior by Martin that she has both witnessed and endured.”  There aren’t many specifics, but there is mention of “a particularly ugly incident in Dubai involving Martin and his representative Jose Vega”.  There are also allegations of “Martin’s nonpayment of taxes, and his substance abuse.”  Oh, this is gonna get good.

Billy and Billings – Pt 2

Kim Cattrall is currently appearing in the Peacock reimagining of Queer as Folk (Is anyone watching?  Hands?).  She’s also in How I Met Your Father on Hulu (I won’t even ask).  She’ll be having a gay ole time in her latest gig – she’s joined the cast of Netflix’s Glamorous, which is described as a queer drama set in the cosmetics industry.  The show stars popular YouTuber Miss Benny, Zane Phillips, and a bunch of other people I’ve never heard of.  It was initially developed by CBS for The CW, where Cattrall’s role was played by Brooke Shields!  Enough said.

Amazon’s Freevee service is developing a Who’s the Boss? sequel.  In this one, Tony Danza turns up to help his daughter, Alyssa Milano, who is a single mother.  The show will be produced by Norman Lear.  No word yet if Judith Light or Danny Pintauro will be involved in any way.  If I were to make a prediction, I’d guess that Light’s character has died and Pintauro’s will appear once or twice – but don’t hold me to it.

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We ended Pride Month with a special Billy Masters LIVE.  My guest was transgender actress and activist Alexandra Billings – who by the by shared some fascinating stories about Judith Light.  Billings was a great guest, and we spoke at length about her life, her career, and her views on a number of hot topics.  Definitely check out Billy Masters LIVE on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV, or on BillyMasters.com/TV.

Butterfly Loves Bros

Mariah Carey co-hosted a private screening of Billy Eichner’s upcoming rom-com in a bedazzled Bros T-shirt – tailored, cinched, stretched and contorted to fit her unique silhouette.  Posing with Carey, Eichner turned the other cheek to show off his backside encased in form-fitting pink pants.  In posting about the event, Billy said “I WILL NEVER RECOVER”, and added that he had his first kiss in junior high while listening to Carey’s Emotions CD.

Look Who’s Grande

This leads to our Ask Billy question from Tom in Maine: “I just saw Good Luck to You, Leo Grande and loved it.  What do you know about Daryl McCormack?  He’s got it all – and you get to see all!”

The sexy 29-year-old actor hails from Ireland.  He has an Irish mother and an African-American father (from the exotic locale of Baltimore).  Daryl is the product of a California tryst.  As to Daryl himself, he’s cagey about his romantic life – only saying he is not in a relationship.  In the flick, Daryl plays a hooker Emma hires to experience her first orgasm – and experience it she does…repeatedly!  And here’s a fun fact – rather than hire an intimacy coach for their love scenes, Daryl and Emma Thompson choreographed the sex themselves.  Clearly they were comfortable around each other – comfortable enough for Daryl to show everything he’s got, which is significant.  If you’re into that sort of thing, head over to BillyMasters.com – or watch the flick on Hulu.

 

Ptown Nights 2022

With Fourth of July weekend imminent, Billy will be heading to Provincetown for a bacchanal of boys and booze.  And let’s throw a bit of Broadway into the mix, since some fantastic performers are heading to our little patch of paradise precipitously perched on the crest of Cape Cod.  Here’s a glimpse at the months ahead.

The veritable Crown & Anchor has gone through a transition.  The largest venue in town recently changed hands.  Happily, the entertainment lineup remains as fantastic as ever – and perhaps slightly better.  For years, Ryan Landry’s legendary Showgirls was a staple for The Crown.  A squabble with management meant Landry has been nomadic for a handful of years.  Happily, he has returned to the fold and the show returns to its Monday night perch.  This past week, both Parker Posey and Jesse Tyler Ferguson showed up to enjoy such Ptown staples as Thirsty Burlington and Randy Roberts.  Photos and videos can be found on BillyMasters.com.

Thirsty’s tribute to Cher will be at The Crown all summer.  So will Varla Jean Merman’s new show, Ready to Blow.  There’s so much going on at The Crown, you should check out their website, OnlyAtTheCrown.com.

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The Ptown Art House under the aegis of Mark Cortale is back with an extraordinarily diverse roster of stars.  From Broadway babies, to devilish drag queens and everything in between, the Art House has something for everyone.  You can never go wrong with resident comedian, the outrageous Judy Gold.  Sprinkled throughout the summer are Faith Prince and Jason Graae (forever proving that they are not the same person), Ginger Minj (ditto), Melissa Errico, Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway, Nicolas King, and Steven Brinberg as Simply Barbra!  And, what would a summer be without the beloved Marilyn Maye, who returns for her 12th season at the end of August.

The Art House also hosts Seth Rudetsky’s wildly popular evenings.  This summer, he hosts such greats as Audra McDonald, Rachel Bay Jones, Lillias White, Stephanie J. Block, Victoria Clark, Donna McKechnie, and even Chita Rivera.  Some of those evenings are too big for the confines of the Art House and will be held at Town Hall.  Others at that larger venue include Bianca Del Rio and even The Indigo Girls!  Check out PtownArtHouse.com.

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The Pilgrim House has quite a lineup, led by the rambunctious Miss Richfield 1981.  In hot pursuit are Miss Conception, Latrice Royale, Ada Vox, and the legendary Sharon McNight.  Speaking of legendary, Coco Peru will be there at the end of August for her (alleged) final Ptown performances.  Grab your tix at PilgrimHousePtown.com.

Some of my favorite people are playing the Post Office Café and Cabaret.  You can enjoy the antics of the Anita Cocktail Variety Show all season long.  My darling Randy Roberts returns after taking a year off.  Also on the schedule are Edie, Paige Turner, Seth Sikes, and the fantastic Debby Holiday, who returns with her tribute to Tina Turner.  Dates and deets can be found at PostOfficeCafe.net.

Billy and Billings

Combining Pride Month and Broadway, we have a special Billy Masters LIVE.  I’ve been a fan of transgender actress and activist Alexandra Billings since her early days in Chicago.  Of course, the Windy City wasn’t big enough for Billings, who made her way to Broadway, Hollywood, and everyplace in between.  She recounts tales of her extraordinary life and career in the memoir This Time for Me – which is as engaging and titillating as the lady herself.  Billy and Billings will sit down for a tête-à-tête Thursday, June 30th at 3PM Eastern / Noon Pacific.  As usual, you can watch Billy Masters LIVE on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV, or on BillyMasters.com/TV.  While you’re there, subscribe.  After all, it’s free!

UK Celebrates Pride

Here’s a Pride Month story I somehow missed.  The UK had a special 50 pence coin minted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride (the first UK Pride march took place in London in 1972).  Not only do they have a coin, they have a special collection of Pride stamps issued by the Royal Mail, which depicts members of the leather community, drag queens, and same-sex couples.  If people only still wrote letters…

Sexy singer Darren Hayes (formerly of Savage Garden) posted a Pride photo on Instagram which was banned.  The photo in question featured Hayes fully dressed, lounging on his bed, with a naked man laying face down on his crotch.  You know what they say – location, location, location.  While somewhat risqué, it should be noted no private parts were shown nor actions implied.  And yet, Instagram felt he was “soliciting sex”.

 

Tom Brady Puts Out

In an Ask Billy question remarkably on point, Harry from Florida says, “I heard that Tom Brady sent a male fan his used underwear.  Is it true?  And how do I get some?”

First, some historical context.  Way back in 2015, Tom Brady appeared in the flick Ted 2 – a film I skipped since I never saw Ted 1.  The following year, Brady auctioned off the T-shirt and boxers he wore in the flick.  Fast forward to the present.  Tom was on Twitter promoting his Brady Brand undies, posted a photo of him in a pair of hip briefs, and said, “40k likes and I’ll recreate these photos.”  A fan named Greg responded, “Tom if this reply gets 40,000 likes will you fly me out and hand deliver me a pair of game worn underwear?”  In a word – ballsy.  Once the post hit 80K likes, Brady responded: “What’s wrong with you people?  Check your DMs and pick a color Greg.”  Yes, Tom slipped into Greg’s DMs.  No word on the flight or the hand delivery, but the photos can be found on BillyMasters.com.

Spacey Does It Doggie Style

I recalled when Kevin Spacey hosted the 2017 Tony Awards and came out (literally) as Norma Desmond.  As it turned out, this is what led to his – wait for it – house of cards crashing down around him.  While Broadway was celebrating live theatre, Spacey was dancing as fast as he could in a British court.   In Westminster, London, Spacey was formally charged with four different sex crimes – three happening in London and one in Gloucestershire.  Oh, the humanity!  The case will move forward at Southwark Crown Court on July 14th.  But it wasn’t all bleak news for Spacey.  He was granted unconditional bail, meaning he didn’t have to surrender his travel documents.  One of the more poignant arguments was that Spacey needed to go back to the United States to visit his 9-year-old dog!

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When a brief in hand is worth two in Brady’s bush, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  OK, Greg may not get a hand job, but he will get the briefs.  Personally, I’d spray them with Luminal just to see exactly where they’ve been.  For more dirty deeds, check out www.BillyMasters.com – the site that always delivers.  If you have a question, send it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before we find out Spacey’s beloved 9-year-old isn’t a dog!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Funny How It Ain’t So Funny

In the midst of Billy Masters LIVE, panelist Anastasia Barzee announced that Lea Michele would replace Beanie Feldstein in Funny Girl.  Talk about breaking news!  When I asked her source, she said, “I just read it on Facebook”.  Insert eye-roll.  But, could it happen?  Everyone knows that Michele has been champing at the bit to play the role.  But there is also the question of Beanie’s understudy, Julie Benko, who is reportedly fantastic.  Will the producers create a star out of an unknown, or go with Lea?  I predict they will go with a “name” – whether that name is Lea Michele remains to be seen.  There is also a chance that Rosie O’Donnell will finally get to play Mama Brice.  But wouldn’t it be nice if they considered Lainie Kazan, who played Fanny in Barbra’s stead on Broadway?

Billy Take On The Tonys

As we went to press last week, the big news was the 75th Tony Awards.  It turned into big news for Billy Masters LIVE.  We didn’t plan on having a show last week.  We didn’t announce it in the column.  But after a few days, I felt there were things worth discussing.  Not only the awards themselves, but about Broadway coming back.  How does theatre move forward?  How does the world move forward?  I assembled a dream panel – Bruce Vilanch, who has written his share of awards shows (to say nothing of his other numerous gifts); Richard Jay-Alexander, who has directed, produced and acted in shows; Michael Musto, who has critiqued shows; and Anastasia Barzee, who has graced shows on Broadway and beyond.  I represented you – the audience.  I am first and foremost a fan.  I love this business we call show.  What transpired was a raucous chat that has become our fastest viewed episode all season.  Check it out on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV, or on BillyMasters.com/TV.  While there, why not subscribe to our channel?  You never know when I’ll pop up with all-new content.

In light of rumors that some of the numbers performed at the Tonys were not technically “live”, I asked whether lip synching was common at this event.  Apparently it is.  I understand the reasons not to perform live on television with millions of people (hopefully) watching.  But when it occurs during a celebration of live theatre, it just seems…I dunno…icky.  If you can’t hack it on the live stage, stick to television and film.

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Another step in the wrong direction, in my humble opinion, is the altering of material by a master.  Yes, many shows have questionable moments.  It’s hard in these woke days to get away with performing Show Boat, for example.  So, don’t do it.  You certainly don’t re-write it.  These things were written by geniuses.  And they are reflections of their time, and of our history.  And yet, there was the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (or, as Len Cariou called them, the New York Gay City Men’s Chorus) performing the title song to Mame with lyrics that would make Jerry Herman turn over in his grave.  I understand not wanting to wax rhapsodically about them ole plantation days.  But, for the love of God, did someone actually think that “grits” and “kick” rhyme?

Everyone online was weighing in on Hugh Jackman’s physical appearance.  Then he ended up testing positive for Covid.  The Tony Awards – a celebration of Broadway, or a super spreader event?  Let us look on the bright side – because even this has a silver lining.  Sure, hundreds of people who paid ridiculous amounts for tickets will ask for a refund because they won’t get to see Jackman in the flesh.  But, this gives Hugh’s Music Man standby a chance to go on.  And that standby is Max Clayton.  While his name might not be known to most, he is the boyfriend to Matt Doyle, who just won the Tony for “Featured Actor in a Musical” for Company.

Suits, Suits, Suits

 

You know you’re a success when you get sued.  I fondly remember Colin Farrell threatening to sue me after I released his sex tape.  In my defense, how could I ignore footage of a nude Farrell asking his partner to “show me your pussy” only to have the camera focus on a cat?  Needless to say, the suit was dropped and we later shared a laugh and a pint.  Paramount Pictures is being sued for copyright infringement regarding the sequel to Top Gun.  Apparently the very first Top Gun was inspired by a piece in California magazine way back in 1983.  The story was optioned, meaning the authors were paid and received screen credit.  Now, I’m no legal expert, but seems to me that if a story inspired the first film, then the sequel would also be inspired by that story.  And the authors agree with me, calling Top Gun: Maverick “derivative” – which I reckon you could call any Tom Cruise flick!  The rights to the article – which inspired the original and, hence, the sequel – reverted to the original authors in January of 2020.  Stay tuned.

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Sometimes a suit is simply a nuisance (see Colin Farrell and his pussy).  Mariah Carey has been sued for copyright infringement over “All I Want for Christmas Is You”.  Let’s briefly forget that Mimi’s version came out in 1994, which begs the question, where were these prospective original composers for the past 28 years?  It is true that Andy Stone wrote his “All I Want for Christmas Is You” which was released in 1989.  And it did indeed get what is termed as “extensive airplay” during the 1993 holiday season.  In fact, it reached 55 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles – which is nothing to sneeze at.  Stone is suing for “copyright infringement and unjust enrichment”.  However, experts state that the only similarity between the two songs is the title – which is not copyrightable.  I listened to Stone’s version, and find not a single melodic similarity.  Mind you, the song is not without merit.  In 2021, Kelly Clarkson covered it on her holiday effort, When Christmas Comes Around…  Frankly, I think Andy should be grateful he got to deal with Clarkson and didn’t have to bother with any of that Butterfly bullshit.

Take Me…to the Showers

The revival of Take Me Out brought in record numbers for its final week on Broadway.  According to whoever tallies these things, it had the second highest capacity of 98.67%, just behind The Music Man at 99.93% (and woe be to that 0.07% of a person who missed out).  That popularity was borne out by the double Tony nods for “Best Revival of a Play” and “Featured Actor” for Ferguson.  Here’s a fun fact – didya know that he is one of only two people in the play who was NOT nude?  Sure, everyone talks about Jesse Williams’ nude scene, but what about the others?  After all, they took showers too.  What if I told you that a new video has fallen into my lap?  And here you not only see Williams from a different (and vivid) vantage point, but the rest of the cast – and in various degrees of fluffedness.  Celebrate your love of the theatre by checking out these exclusive clips on our website.

And the Tony Goes To…

Perhaps it’s simply happenstance that the Tony Awards typically take place during Pride month.  It’s as if someone realized that the gays enjoy theatre!  Kudos to Ariana DeBose, who was a dynamic (if slightly frenetic) host.  The primetime Tony presentation kicked off with the “Featured Actor in a Play” going to Jesse Tyler Ferguson for Take Me Out – which also won “Best Revival”.  The iconic Patti LuPone won her third Tony for Company.  And speaking of Company, Matt Doyle’s win was surely a memorable moment.  This all led to the show winning “Best Revival of a Musical” and Marianne Elliott being named “Best Director of a Musical”.  Lastly, how thrilling for A Strange Loop to be named “Best Musical” – I can’t wait to see it.  Congrats to all!!

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Beanie Feldstein has Covid.  I share the news because many of you wanted to see Funny Girl, but didn’t want to see Beanie.  And that’s a problem since she is the aforementioned girl (although, if reports are to be believed, more amusing than funny).  “I just found out that I tested positive for Covid, so unfortunately I’m gonna be out of the show for a little while to keep everybody safe.  I’m vaxxed and I am boosted, and I am very grateful to not be feeling too bad.  I’m just really bummed to miss seeing you all at the theatre and I can’t wait to get back onstage very soon.”  If you’re fleet of foot, you could get to see her understudy, the reportedly terrific Julie Benko.

Since it is Pride Month, I feel it’s worth mentioning that Beanie recently came out as a lesbian.  So at least she has company while she’s recuperating.

 

Cher Celebrates Pride

“I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince,
but maybe what I really needed was a Disney Princess!
 
Rebel Wilson discusses how she came to the realization that she might be gay. 
Sigh…they’re always the last to know.

How do you spell Pride?  Many of my readers spell it “C-H-E-R”.  Throw in a bit of Versace, and it’s a match made in gay heaven!  Cher says she was thrilled to work with her “dear friend Donatella” for “Chersace” – which, I swear to you, looks better on a T-shirt than it does in print.  The limited edition mini-collection supports Gender Spectrum, raising funds for LGBTQ youth.  “Donatella and I have been dear friends for a lifetime.  It just felt right for our very first collaboration to be one about LGBTQ Pride and celebrating a community that means so incredibly much to both of us.”  Happy Pride.

Harry Styles’ Peen

Could it be that Harry Styles’ penis has its own agent?  If not, it should.  With two movies coming out featuring love scenes with both men and women, Styles didn’t want to make a wrong move.  So what did he do?  He had a penis clause written into his contract.  “I wasn’t naked in Don’t Worry Darling.  I was naked in My Policeman.  There’s no peen in the final cut.  There’s bum bum.”  When pressed about the “peen”, Harry added, “I don’t think the peen was intended to be involved.  The peen, it was pre-negotiated that that would remain my own.”

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When we’re discussing the ownership of Styles’ penis, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  I don’t know – was ownership ever an issue?  Couldn’t we simply rent the peen?  Or perhaps sublet it?  Maybe that would lead to a squatter situation.  Which begs the question – would it be possible to squat on Harry Styles’ peen?  While I look into that, you can check out a lovely assortment of other peens on www.BillyMasters.com – the site that will have you looking in more than One Direction.  Should you wish to contact me for any peen or non-peen reason, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before SNL hires Queen Elizabeth II as one of their Not Ready for Primetime Players!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

 

Real Housewives At War

Since I’m not a Real Housewives devotee, bear with me while I try to untangle this mess of a story.  Allegedly, Lisa Rinna sent someone a text message trashing Kathy Hilton which said the following: “I can’t even look at her it’s so hideous and here’s the thing if you’re gonna be on a reality show honey and you’re a homophobic racist, you probably should’ve stayed home.  One thing I can tell you they got it from their mama.”  Then Kathy posted lots of shade about Rinna on social media.  Then Lisa posted a screenshot of a text she got from an unnamed person (including his phone number): “Lisa, you need to stop with your rumors and lies about me.  There’s plenty I can expose about you…”  Rinna responded, “Hey expose away can’t wait to see what you’ve got.” 

Then someone came forward claiming that the text was from him and said Lisa better take it down or he’d post her phone number – which he did shortly thereafter.  Later, he added, “and btw I never said her husband was gay.  A little rainbow emoji never hurt anyone but I mean if the shoe fits.  You need to go worry about YOUR husband and YOUR finances and who he’s spending his time with because his wife is too busy running her overfilled mouth.  Beverly Hills talks…and we all know.”  We do?  Then this person (who I will not name) told someone else that he was hired by a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member to send the initial text to Rinna and start this feud to take the focus off what Lisa posted in the first place.  No wonder I don’t watch what happens live…or ever!

 

Melba and Masters

We had a questionable moment on last week’s episode of Billy Masters LIVE with Melba Moore.  It was a pretty dishy show, and Melba was game for almost everything.  She talked about being nude in Hair, accepting a Tony Award after Jack Cassidy screwed up her name, making history as the first black Fantine in Les Misérables, being broke and homeless during her divorce, and numerous other highs and lows.  And then she abruptly ended our chat.  I was about to ask her about a sensitive subject (during Melba’s stay in prison, her daughter stayed with a friend’s parents – Bill and Camille Cosby).  While I don’t know for sure, I suspect she had to go to another interview scheduled.  After all, she’s promoting her new release, “Imagine”.  Check it out and decide for yourself.  You can see all of our shows on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV, or on BillyMasters.com/TV.

 

Queens Celebrate

Queen Elizabeth has done lots of things in her seven decades on the throne.  She can now add sketch comedienne to her accomplishments.  To kick off the Party at the Palace, she did a little skit with Paddington Bear.  The two were having tea, and Paddington says, “Perhaps you’d like a marmalade sandwich.  I always keep one for emergencies.”  With that, he produced a sandy from underneath his hat.  Lizzie, not to be outdone, said, “So do I.  I keep mine in here…for later,” and pulled one out of her purse!  Now we know – even Queens get peckish!

I was disappointed that QEII opted out of most public appearances, but it did look like that walk onto the balcony tuckered her out.  And since many of you have asked, the man escorting her was her first cousin, Edward, the Duke of Kent.  He may be a decade younger than Lizzie, but he looked as if they’d already started the cremation process!  Picture it – the Queen of England with Death on one arm and a sickle in the other.  Why, it’s almost Nostradamean!

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Did you notice that the Queen looks slimmer – even in the hump?  If anyone’s wondering where her pounds went, they need only look at Adam Lambert.  Like me, the first 10 pounds go right to his cheeks.  There’s only so much that contouring can do.  He should have stopped by Miss Ross’ trailer first.  What Diane can do with some concealer and blush should win her the Nobel Prize.  But once the waist is hiked up just below the boobs, you know you’re in trouble.  I’d consider bringing back beheading for whoever picked out that frock!

People were disappointed that Harry and Meghan didn’t show up for the concert.  The official reason is that they wanted to celebrate daughter Lilibet’s first birthday privately.  But, of course, nobody believes that – those plans would have been made earlier than a half hour prior to showtime.  My royal insiders tell me that the terrible twosome skipped the concert once they were told where they would be seated.  I hear that they felt it would be “embarrassing”…so at least we know they are capable of being embarrassed.

 

Spacey’s Comeback

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about Kevin Spacey, and I suspect he’d love it if we didn’t have anything to talk about.  After all, he’s trying to salvage the remains of his tattered career with not one but TWO films.  Since there’s a yin to every yang, Spacey also has four new sexual assault charges.  Let’s start with the two new films.  The first is a thriller that was shopped around Cannes.  Peter Five Eight is already completed and finds Spacey starring alongside Rebecca De Mornay – and, may we ask in all sincerity, what rock did she climb out from under?  Spacey also plans to film 1242 – Gateway to the West in Hungary and Mongolia in October.

As to the four new sexual assault charges, they come from three men in the UK – which means one of them had a bonus round.  The announcement came from the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime Division – which is too cumbersome a title to name a TV show after.  There are four offences “of sexual assault, contrary to section 3(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003”.  The other charge is an offence “of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent, contrary to Sections 4(1) and (4) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003” – which I think is somewhat self-explanatory.  To add insult to injury, Spacey’s brother Randy Fowler made a statement: “It’s not surprising to me that eventually they would’ve gathered enough evidence to pursue the four charges against him – I think the reckoning is going to happen.”

 

Pam on Broadway on Video

Which leads to news of seismic proportions.  Last week, some footage fell in my hands that gives readers the rare chance to see limited portions of these performances from the comfort of their own home.  Not only are scenes from Who’s Afraid of Ally McBeal? available for your viewing pleasure, but also some exclusive footage of Pamela Anderson in Chicago.  Check them out on BillyMasters.com.

Calista in Virginia Woolf

Last week, I told you all about the shows I saw on Broadway.  While I was watching Patti LuPone in Company, I thought what an interesting Martha she would be in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.  Instead, I saw Calista Flockhart attempt the role at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.  From her first entrance, I was distracted by her striking resemblance to the late Lee Remick.  No longer is Calista the clothes hangar we remember.  She is now a multi-layered, multi-dimensional, fuller figured (or padded) woman.  That she isn’t an ideal Martha is unsurprising.  But she is eminently competent – high praise given my expectations.  I would even venture to say that her first two acts were good…in their own way.  She’s more bossy than blousy; more coquettish than cantankerous; more mischievous than malevolent.  All valid choices.  That it fell apart in the last act was not unexpected, but jarring nonetheless.  She simply could not sustain her intention.  Her partner, Zachary Quinto, was so low-key (even for him) that the first two acts dragged.  His last act had some juice.  He was coming up, Calista was coming down, and they never intersected long enough to save the show.  One is almost grateful that these actors are somewhat young for their roles (although not chronologically) and they each have a good 10-20 years left to try them again.

Mulaney & Chappelle

Ricky Gervais’ special, SuperNature, was just released on Netflix and includes several jokes about the trans community.  There are also pointed barbs about fat people, thin people, rich people, poor people, straight people, gay people, and every other imaginable group of people.  Gervais says of the trans community, “They just want to be treated equally.  I agree – that’s why I include them.”  Some of his jokes certainly made me cringe.  But I wondered – was I cringing about what Gervais said, or what it triggered in me?  Humor should hold up a mirror to society.  When a comedian makes you think about your own failings, they have done their job.  Of course, not every comic is for every person.  I suspect many people who are criticizing Gervais’ special have not even seen it.

I felt the same way about people criticizing Dave Chappelle.  So I was not surprised when many fans expressed outrage when John Mulaney surprised them with Chappelle as his opening act in Columbus, Ohio (where Dave lives).  I don’t know Mulaney, but he’s had a helluva year.  He left his wife and went public about his addictions, and connected with Olivia Munn – someone I’ve met numerous times yet can never quite place.  But any comedian who has the chance (and the balls) to follow Chappelle onstage is fearless.  I totally understand that some members of the audience felt ambushed having to sit through Chappelle.  Trust me, I felt the same way when Wild Orchid opened for Cher!  But just do what I did – put on your earplugs, go to the concession stand, and get drunk.

 

Music Man Makes News

I did not see The Music Man, but the show made news by initiating standing room tickets for $76.  Yes, that sounds expensive.  Why, in my day, $76 would get you dinner, a show, and a blow job from the understudy.  Times have changed.  Now you’ll have to sneak in some M&M’s, stand, and maybe get a handy from your neighbor!

We hear that The Music Man producers are scrambling to find someone to take over for Hugh Jackman when he inevitably leaves the show.  I was told that Neil Patrick Harris was lobbying hard for the role.  But rumor has it that the powers that be are casting their sights slightly higher – they’d like Justin Timberlake to make his Broadway debut in the role!  It sounds far-fetched to me, and Timberlake’s people are denying the rumors.

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Meanwhile at Dear Evan Hansen, the latest recast is making history.  Zachary Noah Piser just took over the titular role and will be the first Asian American to play it full-time (he’s been the alternate Evan since March).  It’s also historic because he may be the first person to play the role who hasn’t slept with Ben Platt!

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When anyone is interested in sleeping with Ben Platt, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  Yes, this was very theatre-heavy – but I promise you’ll find a whole lot more to look at on www.BillyMasters.com – the site that is a feast for the eyes…and other organs.  If you have a question, dash it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Chicago adds a midnight topless show!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Take Me Out Scores

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Jesse Williams is not only making his Broadway debut, but his live stage debut in Take Me Out.  And he is spectacular.  If you read this column with any regularity – and I suspect most of my readers are regular – you know I do not use that word lightly.  He has that “star quality” that is impossible to explain, but immediately evident.  He is so natural that his acting is almost completely indiscernible.  And he is surrounded by a cast equally outstanding.  Make no mistake – Jesse is first among equals…but first nonetheless.  Despite how good Williams is, the person who holds this show together is Patrick J. Adams.  With a lesser actor, his narration would simply be the bridge between the scenes.  But he is so fully integrated, so invested, and, again, so “real” that he amplifies every scene.  Naturally, Jesse Tyler Ferguson is as wonderful as you’d expect.  He’s touching and endearing and lovely.  It was the best production of this play I’ve ever seen.

Pam in Chicago

The most basic acting job on TV is soap operas – and, heaven knows, there are precious few of those left.  Time was, actors could get their start, their training, and, in some cases, a lifetime job on a soap.  The stage equivalent of that is Chicago.  The musical is celebrating 25 years on Broadway in a still-effective, stripped-down version.  But the age shows.  There is something to be said for occasionally firing everyone and starting from scratch because the performance I saw last week was a shadow of even 10 years ago.  The wild card was Pamela Anderson – who, it must be noted, in her fifth week did not fill the theatre.  To say that Pam was making her Broadway debut should be a given.  What will surprise is that she is completely and (forgive me for the pun) utterly adequate. 

I love Pam and was rooting for her.  And, truly, there is nothing wrong with Anderson’s performance – except that it’s not really a performance.  Patti LuPone once explained the difference between a choreographer and a director.  A choreographer will tell a performer to walk across the stage; a director will help the actor discover why and how to walk across the stage.  Pam has been choreographed.  She strikes striking poses, and walks with panache.  But not a single movement or gesture comes out of any authentic place.  It would appear that every word and inflection has been dutifully drilled into her head.  The result is that her Roxie lacks heart.  On the positive side, she looks splendid and dances cleanly – if self-consciously.  She starts speaking while the audience is laughing or applauding – which ultimately doesn’t matter because she cannot be heard.  Her singing is in tune and has some musicality, but she doesn’t project.  If someone told her to use her diaphragm, she’d likely go back to her dressing room to get it!  The only genuine moment of emotion crossed her face when she finished the last number – as if to say, “Phew!”

 

GLAAD Honors Company

Last week, I made my first trip back to New York City since well before the pandemic.  Consequently, this was my first time back in a Broadway theatre in over two years.  I was delighted to kick off my trip with the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.  Everything that could be said about this gender-bending revival has already been said.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; sometimes it illuminates a point, sometimes it distracts from it.  In one instance (the Joanne/Larry/Bobbie scene in act two), it improved on the original – although many critics disagree with me.  Chacun à son goût.  That said, this is the first production I’ve seen of Company where the scenes (the acting) were even stronger than the songs (the singing).  Once one gets past the drawn-out opening, you get to Harry and Sarah – played with gusto by Christopher Sieber and Jennifer Simard.  You are not likely to ever see this done better…ever.  Simard is a scene stealer, in the best sense of the word, and Sieber’s rendition of “Sorry-Grateful” actually showed both sides of his argument – and got both reactions from the audience.  Another stand-out performance is Matt Doyle, as a delicious Jamie (aka Amy) – and not bad to look at!

While I know I should talk about Katrina Lenk’s Bobbie, I don’t have much to say.  I think she was fine.  She didn’t enhance the role or the show in any way for me – nor did she get in the way of it.  I’m not convinced she can effortlessly sing the score, nor did I buy her apotheosis.  But, you know…whatever.  As to Patti LuPone, she is as droll and laconic as ever, and vocally she’s in fine form.  I suspect I would have enjoyed her Joanne more had I seen it across the pond where it might have been fresher.  She is never less than authentic and mesmerizing.

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It was happenstance that I ran into Wilson Cruz outside of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre where Company is playing.  He was there to present the cast with the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Broadway Production (which they shared with Thoughts of a Colored Man).  The presentation took place during the curtain calls with a speech not only about Sondheim and the LGBTQ representation in this specific production, but also praising the openly gay cast members – including Matt Doyle and Christopher Sieber.  After the audience left, everyone returned to the stage for some photos…and the fact that I was alone in the empty theatre and inadvertently photobombed the event was another one of those happy coincidences.

Broadway Bares is BACK

I’m curious if Jackman will make an appearance at Broadway Bares.  The long-running fundraiser takes place during Pride Month and brings cast members from all of the Broadway shows together for a fantastic burlesque show to raise oodles of dollars for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  The brainchild of my dear Jerry Mitchell, it began in 1992 and has raised a total of over $21 million to date.  During the pandemic, the show continued as a virtual event and the past two years brought in about $1 million – and we are proud to say Billy Masters LIVE was one of their partners.  “We’ve been waiting to celebrate our 30th anniversary in person for two years, and we’re going all out.  Whether it’s been three years or 10 years since you last saw Bares, our 30th edition will be a show for the ages,” says Jerry.  This year’s show is subtitled XXX and will take place on Sunday, June 26th at the Hammerstein Ballroom at 9:30PM and midnight (which is always the more risqué show).  You can get tix at BroadwayCares.org.

Take Me Out..and Off

The Tony nominations came out.  People claim there were lots of surprises, but I don’t see any based on the reports I got.  One must congratulate the revival of Take Me Out, which snagged three Actor in a Featured Role nominations for Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Michael Oberholtzer and Jesse Williams (more on him later).

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I know what you’re waiting for.  So, without further ado, our Ask Billy question comes from Aaron in Dallas: “Do you have the video of Jesse Williams’ nude scene in Take Me Out?  It’s been taken down from the Twitter links, but I’m sure you have it.”

Aaron was one of dozens of fans who wrote in within moments of the footage being leaked.  Why, it’s almost reminiscent of the kerfuffle I caused with Steven Weber’s nude Hair footage – except Weber was fully hard, while Williams is simply a semi.  It seems to me the filmer was sitting in the first row, aimed his camera or phone upward, and hoped for the best.  And, boy, he got it.  While there are arguments about disseminating such footage openly, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be available to members of BillyMasters.com.

Music Man Makes History

Meanwhile at The Music Man, Hugh Jackman, Sutton Foster and Jayne Houdyshell are enjoying their Tony noms.  And the show has won another plaudit – they brought in $2,071,806 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS during the traditional six-week spring red bucket fundraiser (when cast members accept donations from the exiting audience).  This is the largest amount raised by a single show EVER!  Jackman was responsible for the bulk of those funds by promising to do a variety of things to deep-pocketed patrons.

By the by, Jackman’s wife, Deborra once again addressed rumors that their marriage is a sham and that Hugh is really gay.  “I mean, hello guys…if he was gay, he could be gay!  And he’d be dating Brad Pitt or whatever.  Not that Brad’s gay, but you know what I’m saying.”  I’m actually not sure, but I think she just told us Hugh’s type!

The Bundys Return

Everyone thinks reboots are new.  But when I was a kid, there was a strange phenomenon – cancelled live-action shows would come back as cartoons!  We had Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Kids, The Partridge Family and even Laverne & Shirley.  Many of them featured the original stars doing the voices, with a notable exception being Tina Louise, which led to Dawn Wells voicing both Mary Ann and Ginger!  I bring up this little bit of nostalgia because another series is doing the same thing.  Married…with Children left the airwaves in 1997 (and was FOX’s first real bona fide hit).  But it’s coming back as an animated series…with the four original leads!  They aren’t alone – Norman Lear is planning an animated version of Good Times.

 

Cawthorn Twerks

While I typically hate reruns, Madison Cawthorn is the gift that keeps on giving – and, really, who knew that his gifts were even operable?  That’s the topic of this week’s Ask Billy question, which comes from Mark in Boston: “I hear there is a video of Rep. Madison Cawthorn naked in bed thrusting his pelvis in some guy’s face, but I can’t find it anywhere.  Can you?”

Of course!  And it’s a curious bit of celluloid.  Madison quite energetically thrusts himself on another guy, while the person filming (or perhaps a spectator) yells, “Stick it in his face.”  Throw in an ocean breeze and some poppers, and it could be Provincetown!  Madison says, “Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny.  We were acting foolish, and joking.  That’s it.”  If that’s it, I’m sure he won’t mind you taking a gander on BillyMasters.com.

 

Kim on the Carpet

One of the topics Jimmy James and I discussed was Kim Kardashian wearing the legendary Marilyn Monroe “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” gown to the Met Gala.  Jimmy ultimately felt that Kardashian evoking Monroe was a good thing – it keeps her iconic status current for a new generation.  Personally, I couldn’t help but wonder where were all those people who constantly complain about cultural appropriation.  Who is more of an American cultural icon than Marilyn Monroe?  Someone asked me why Kim didn’t complete the look with the same hairdo.  Turns out, Kim’s intention was a top-to-bottom replica.  Alas, after all the bleaching, let’s just say there was more hair on the carpet than on the drapes!  Since she felt it would be inauthentic to wear a wig, she ended up Marilyn from the neck down and Brigitte Nielsen from the neck up.

Afterglow Hits LA

Way back in 2017, the play Afterglow made quite a stir off-Broadway.  It became a sensation and kept getting extended, breaking all kinds of records.  The West Coast premiere at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Los Angeles will surely do just as well.  This is a provocative play, with exceptional dialogue, and a cast that could hardly be bettered.  It also sports a fantastic (and expensive-looking) set.  For those of you interested in male nudity – well, there is definitely something for everyone.  And you don’t have to wait long to see all.  By getting the nudity out of the way from the top (so to speak), writer and director S. Asher Gelman allows us to focus on his provocative story of a gay couple on the brink of parenthood who happen to be in an open relationship – what could possibly go wrong?  You get more details and tickets at AfterglowThePlay.com.

I was so taken with Afterglow, I invited the playwright/director Gelman to join me on Billy Masters LIVE along with his talented trio of LA stars – Noah Bridgestock, Nathan Mohebbi, and James Hayden Rodriguez.  We might even have some alums from the NYC production join us.  Tune in on Thursday, May 12th at 3PM Eastern/Noon Pacific on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV, or on BillyMasters.com/TV.

Cattrall’s Sexy Reunion

Last week, Kim Cattrall was honored at Variety magazine’s Power of Women dinner and turned up with some surprising friends on the red carpet – Sex and the City writer Candace Bushnell, costume designer Patricia Fields, and the series creator, Darren Star.  What did they have in common?  All three key people responsible for the success of SATC had nothing to do with And Just Like That….  In an interview with Ramin Setoodeh, Kim made some startling revelations.  “The series is basically the third movie.  That’s how creative it was.”  One of the reasons she turned it down was because Samantha’s subplot was that she received dick pics from Miranda’s 14-year-old son, Brady!  Cattrall has stayed busy with two series (How I Met Your Father, Queer As Folk) and a film (Sebastian Maniscalco’s About My Father).

Madison and his “Aid”

Remember the big story last week?  About Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn in a see-through blouse and black bra?  Well, that was just the beginning.  This week, he tried to get on a plane with a loaded gun – bringing up the old joke of if that’s a gun in your pocket…assuming he can feel what’s in his pocket!  The incident happened at Charlotte Airport – my least-favorite airport in the world, thank you very much.  Cawthorn was detained by TSA when they found the 9-millimeter in his carry-on bag – which apparently is a federal offense, carrying a maximum penalty of $13,900.  And this was his SECOND such offense.  The first was in February of 2021 at Asheville Regional Airport – an airport I have not had the pleasure to visit…yet.

Adding insult to potential injury, a video surfaced of Madison getting handsy with his senior staffer – who happens to be male!  Picture it – Cawthorn was driving his car (yes, picture it) and his “aide” Stephen Smith was in the passenger seat…filming the incident.  Madison says, “I feel the passion and desire and would like to see a naked body beneath my hands” – although it should be noted that he says this as if he were playing Maggie in community theatre production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”.  Smith, the perfect Brick, says, “Me too,” and places a hand in Cawthorn’s crotchal area.  Not only that, but it’s been revealed that the Congressman has given his Stevie thousands of dollars in “loans and gifts”.  There are even photos of the twosome sucking on some sizeable cigars.  You can see the smoking gun on BillyMasters.com.

 

Vegas Comings and Goings

Adele is in a pickle.  Caesars Palace has made it clear that her aborted residency must debut this summer or there will be dire financial consequences.  As you’ll recall, she pulled the plug on the production literally hours before it was supposed to debut.  The major problem was that she never jived with the concept of designer Esmeralda Devlin – which is fascinating since she designed Adele’s 2016 world tour.  But, no matter – the songstress has fired her entire creative team.  In their place, she has hired Kim Gavin and Stufish – I say as if I know what a Stufish is.  I know Starfish, but I suspect that’s a different thing.  Sorry, Charlie.

Elsewhere in Vegas, Dionne Warwick has cancelled her residency at The Stirling Club.  Let’s start with the fact that nobody in Vegas has ever heard of The Stirling Club – which, as it turns out, is a small supper club precipitously perched on the fringe of the famed Vegas Strip.  If you head to the south side of Las Vegas Boulevard, it is kinda across the street from the Circus Circus RV Lot.  You know what they say – location, location, location.  After six shows, Dionne herself put the kibosh on the residency – which was supposed to run until the end of the year.  Alas, The Stirling Club was renovated to Dionne’s standards, and now it sits there with no act.  Might I suggest Carrot Top?  Or Gallagher?  If nothing else, they’d make a bundle selling slickers to the people in the front rows.

 

Kinky at the Bowl

A big Broadway musical usually gets the special symphonic treatment at the Hollywood Bowl each summer.  This year, the spotlight will be on Kinky Boots, which runs July 8-10.  Two veterans of the Broadway production – Wayne Brady and Scissor SistersJake Shears – will star in the Bowl presentation.  The original director and choreographer, the incomparable Jerry Mitchell, will helm the proceedings with his usual slow hand and easy touch.

Funny How It Ain’t So Funny

I like Beanie Feldstein.  I really do.  In Hello, Dolly!, she was fantastic.  But a funny foil is a far cry from fronting a fractured fable like Funny Girl.  Before rehearsals even began, it was a foregone conclusion that the first Broadway revival of the show indelibly linked with Barbra Streisand was doomed – and scheduling opening night on Babs’ 80th birthday seemed almost cruel.  Reportedly, Feldstein pulls off the novelty numbers.  But most critics feel the vocal demands of the score are beyond her.  Blaming Beanie (who, by the by, identifies as queer) seems wrong.  Obviously she’s been let down by the producers.  Surely someone heard her sing “People” before hiring her.  Now what?  The big guessing game on the Rialto is who will replace Beanie…should the show last long enough for a replacement.  Idina Menzel was in the mix before Beanie was announced; Lea Michele before that; and Lauren Ambrose even earlier.  I wouldn’t want any of them cast in a role that requires powerhouse vocals plus a unique and quirky personality.  Frankly, none of them could convince me that they’re the greatest star.

Cawthorn and Friends

Our Ask Billy question came in as we were wrapping up this column.  Steven in DC asks, “What do you think about Madison Cawthorn and those naughty photos?  Do you think he’s gay?”

First, let’s talk briefly about Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn – who is undeniably hot.  Sure, he’s in a wheelchair – but that only means dating him entitles you to all the good parking spots!  And, sure, he’s a borderline psychopath – but that only means dating him entitles you to all the good drugs…legally!  Photos just emerged of him in a public place wearing a shear white ladies’ blouse and over it, a black bra – how Madonna circa 1983 of him!  And, wait – is he also wearing hoops?  We don’t know where the photos came from, but it reminded me of his recent comments regarding drug-fueled orgies.  As to his sexual proclivities, I have two words for you – Aaron Schock!  While you ponder those possibilities, you can peruse the pics on BillyMasters.com.

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When Cawthorn and Schock could be an item, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  With Orthodox Easter over, I’m hitting the road.  During my absence, check out www.BillyMasters.com – the site that can even get a rise out of the dead.  If you have a question, dash it off to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Madison asks someone to hold his hoops!  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.

Take Williams Out

Jesse Williams is current starring in the Broadway revival of Take Me Out (which I will not be reviewing, at the request of the production).  The Grey’s Anatomy star has asked that his child support payments be reduced.  While he was on a network show, he was paying roughly $40K a month!   However, Broadway pays a much lower salary – $1,668 a week, to be exact.  If he gets the reduction, it will likely be temporary.  We hear that Williams will return to Grey’s for the season finale.  And I hear he’ll be back next season.

Russian Doll Returns

When Russian Doll came out in 2019, I was mesmerized.  It was one of the most innovative, original, intelligent, provocative and hysterical things I’d ever seen.  That it co-starred my pal Elizabeth Ashley was the icing on the cake (and the reason I watched it in the first place).  I was troubled when a second season was announced – how could it match this piece of perfection?  Well, it doesn’t.  This second series is its own animal.  Yes, many of the characters are the same, but it’s really best seen as a separate entity.  Like the first series, it takes a few episodes to get cooking, but in a completely different way.  While I am not as enthusiastically praising it, Natasha Lyonne must be acknowledged as a brilliant – if not slightly psychotic – artist.  Well, aren’t we all?

BTW, if you watch this season of Russian Doll, you might recognize a familiar voice.  Much of the series takes place in the New York City subway system.  And the person making the announcements for upcoming stops is Rosie O’Donnell!  Rosie has long expressed her affection for Lyonne, so it’s not a surprise she took the role…although it surprised Natasha!  “We knew we wanted a real New York accent…And so I texted Rosie, and she just would start sending me these little voice memos.  It was very generous of her.”  Rosie will also be turning up in two other series: Showtime’s American Gigolo and Amazon Prime Video’s A League of Their Own.  All this work probably softens the blow of not getting Mama Brice in Funny GirlJane Lynch got that part.

 

Disney’s Dilemma

Here’s a riddle – how is Disney World like Vatican City?  And don’t guess the obvious – the inhabitants wearing colorful costumes, the propensity for pomp and circumstances, and a whole lotta gay sex.  You see, Vatican City is actually its own little country.  Not a country that you need a passport to enter, but a country nonetheless.  You’re walking down the street in Rome, minding your own business, and poof, you’re in another country.  Well, Disney World is like that – except you have to pay $120 to get in and hop on their rides.  It doesn’t cost anything to go into Vatican City.  And there isn’t anything to hop on and ride…except for a few Cardinals!

Disney World may be in Florida, but it’s also kinda not.  It’s a “special district” and somewhat autonomous.  Back in 1968, the company wanted to develop a swamp on the outskirts of Orlando.  The state made a deal – Disney could develop it, but they’d be responsible for all the costs – including the municipal services such as water, electricity, fire, police, etc.  That worked for everyone…until the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” controversy.  When Disney eventually spoke out against it, Governor DeSantis retaliated by abolishing many of those “special districts”.  While one imagines the headaches this causes Disney, many say it could be catastrophic for Florida.  It makes the state responsible for all those other expenses, including a $1 billion bond debt.  The Happiest Place on Earth, my ass!

 

Men of Minx

Our Ask Billy question comes from Tom in Michigan: “Have you been watching Minx?  So many hot guys.  The blond, Dane, is really amazing.  Is he gay?”

I haven’t really looked behind the scenes on Minx on HBO Max.  But based on your question, I checked out Dane in episode 5.  He is played by Nate Crnkovich, who reminds me of a young Ted McGinley…or Steve Kmetko.  I’ve made a few discreet inquiries and learned two bits of information.  1) He was the Mr. Supranational of 2019 (a Polish beauty pageant), and B) Every inch of his kielbasa is real.  That’s all I’ve got so far, except for what you can enjoy on BillyMasters.com.

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When a Minx is sporting a python, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  It’s like an episode of Wild Kingdom on www.BillyMasters.com – the site that would make Marlin Perkins blush.  If you have a question, drop a note to me at Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Nate Crnkovich buys a vowel!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Cocks on Screen

Channing might want to touch base with Tom Daley.  As you know, the famed diver is also a whiz with a knitting needle.  “It’s so therapeutic, and you can make some really crazy things,” says Tom.  “Honestly, the most requested thing for my friends’ birthdays and things like that are cock socks.  I’ve done so many willy warmers, it’s unreal”.  One wonders if hubby Dustin Lance Black sits in on the fittings.

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Speaking of cocks, Mark Wahlberg has revealed the location of his giant prosthetic penis from Boogie Nights.  “It’s in a safe, locked away.  It’s not something I can leave out.  All of a sudden, my kids are looking for the spare phone charger and pull that thing out…it wouldn’t be a good look!”

On the flip side, Simon Rex bemoans the fact that he could not hold onto his penis from Red Rocket.  “I don’t think that was an option, but it will be in a museum one day.”  When asked by People magazine if it could turn up in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, he said, “I like that idea.”  If it’s gonna end up in a museum, I suspect it would be a welcomed addition to the other exhibits in the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik!

Didya know Rex has a connection with Meghan Markle?  Way back in 2005, they both appeared in an episode of the sitcom Cuts on the now-defunct UPN.  After the pair was spotted having lunch, a tabloid offered Simon $70K for some juicy dish.  “I was broke as fuck!  I really needed the money.  But I’ll be on food stamps before I do that.”  Meghan heard about his gallant behaviour and sent him a note, saying, “It’s nice to know there are still good people.”  Simon added, “I framed the thank you letter she wrote me.  She has very nice penmanship btw.”

 

Magic Mike Recast

In an oddly related story, Thandiwe Newton has been jettisoned from the latest Magic Mike flick.  Apparently Thandiwe and Channing Tatum had been at odds throughout the first month of shooting in London.  Last week, the fighting escalated, and onlookers claim it had something to do with the January 6th insurrection.  While we don’t know the specifics, we do know that Thandiwe ran off the set and never returned.  She had an ally in director Steven Soderbergh.  Alas, Chan could not be swayed, and put out the call to recast.  Bing, bang, boom – Thandiwe’s out and Salma Hayek’s in.  Thandiwe’s reps say she left the project for “personal reasons”.

Styles and Shania

“I’d never done that before.  On camera at least…I don’t think. 
Harry Styles discusses shooting sex scenes for his upcoming flix My Policeman
(with both Emma Corrinand David Dawson) and Don’t Worry Darling
(with Florence Pugh and Gemma Chan).  It’s the “I don’t think” that has my curiosity piqued.

I don’t know if there’s a gayer story this week than Harry Styles donning a sequin jumpsuit alongside an equally bedazzled Shania Twain to belt out “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” at Coachella.  Never has Styles looked so feminine and yet so masculine.  Not only that, he looked positively giddy – like he was living out a secret fantasy.  During his introduction of Shania, he said “This lady taught me to sing.  She also told me that men are trash.”  Proving the point, Shania’s mike barely being audible.  You can catch the video on BillyMasters.com.

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