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Today’s Holiday Tune: Helen Reddy’s lovely verson of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

You know how much I love Helen Reddy so, of course, I had to include her here in the Holiday Tune series.

She actually has an entire Christmas CD and it is terrific!

Here is Miss Reddy’s version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

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Days of Our Lives: Sonny finds out why Will returned to Salem – and Will meets Paul at his hotel

There’s no getting around the fact that Will handled his entire LA experience very stupidly.

We have to remember that he’s young but I found his failure to keep in touch with his husband – they are newlyweds – annoying then he was infuriating when he didn’t tell Sonny the reason he returned home was because he’d been fired.

Sonny finds out today and he is steamed – and rightfully so.

These guys are so not on the same page right now and the blame falls squarely on Will at this point.

Meanwhile, more complications loom.

Will has begun his latest magazine assignment – on Paul – who he does not yet know is his hubby’s ex.

He goes to Paul’s hotel room and Paul answers half-dressed. He gives Will the once over and seems to approve and Will has shown up not wearing his wedding ring.

Stay tuned!

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

Thursday Morning Man: Spencer Neville!

Days of Our Lives’ gay storyline is already really heating up but there’s more to come!

Get ready to see more of model/actor/competitive bodybuilder Spencer Neville who so far has been seen in two short scenes as an employee of the Salem Inn.

He plays Derrick and so far has had a few flirty encounters with Paul.

SoapCentral confirms that Derrick will be in a story arc involving Will (Guy Wilson) and Sonny (Freddie Smith).

Spencer has appeared on the TV series Parenthood as well as in the film Helicopter Mom.

“He is an awesome, awesome guy,” Wilson says of Neville, adding that the character will amp up the troubles between Sonny and Will.

“Without letting forth too many upcoming plot points, he’s definitely someone to watch and someone to keep an eye on, because his character is very much a mover and a shaker. He’s definitely another ingredient in the stew that’s going to keep things really dynamic in Salem.”

In fact, says the actor, “Just as Will and Sonny are beginning to feel like they’ve got everything figured out or they understand where everything stands within their relationship and how it all relates to Paul, Derrick and what he has is going to turn everything upside down on its head. Obviously I can’t say more than that, but just when you think everything is going to be okay, Derrick has got some aces up his sleeve that nobody was expecting, some information that no one was expecting. So he’s very much an integral part of what’s going to be unfolding in Salem, going forward. I’m excited, because he’s a great actor, and I think he’s really going to keep people guessing.”

FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

Martina Navratilova talks about her new marriage

So happy for the marvelous Martina Navratilova who got married this week. The BBC caught up with her and her new wife shortly after the wedding.

Here is that interview.

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A sex tape and an earthquake rock the latest episode of “Old Dogs & New Tricks”

Remember that happy-ending massage Ross (David Pevsner) had in the season premiere of Old Dogs & New Tricks? Well, the masseur videotaped it and now it has gone viral. This is happening just as Ross is set for a big comeback in Lifetime TV movie.

Feel bad for Ross but glad for us because Nathan (Leon Acord) calls in a hottie “PR guru” named Dan Karmel (Jeffrey Scott Basham) to handle the crisis.

Not only is he a hottie but he’s got a British accent!

Ross doesn’t want to be ‘defined as a gay actor’ and Dan sets him straight: ‘I understand. Look how it ruined Zach Quinto. And poor Neil Patrick Harris, washed up. Alan Cumming barely works. Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, Chris Colfer.’

Other developments: an earthquake shakes West Hollywood and Muscles (Jeffrey Patrick Olson) is freaked out.


The steamy chemistry between Sonny and Paul on “Days of Our Lives” not lost on Guy Wilson

I’ll be posting scenes from today’s episode of Days of Our Lives where Will (Guy Wilson) meets Paul (Christopher Sean) for the first time – unaware he still carries a torch for Sonny (Freddie Smith).

Wilson’s character had been absent for several weeks and viewers were treated to several hot kisses between Sonny and Paul – most of them flashbacks.

The kisses were hotter than any Will and Sonny have shared, something not lost on Wilson.

“… When I see how well Christopher and Freddie work together, on the one hand, it’s like, ‘Wow, I love watching these guys act. These are amazing scenes,’” he tells SoapCentral. ‘But then I’m like, ‘Oh no, now I’ve got to step up my game!’ It’s fun, though, because it brings some friendly competition. It’s like [all of us] all of a sudden want to mine great chemistry amongst one another.”

Wilson sees the looming love triangle as an exciting development.

“I really enjoy how the writers and producers have crafted this backstory… that was really sort of unbeknownst to everyone,” Wilson says. “Having this extra component, it’s a new dimension for Will and Sonny, but now, clearly, Paul is a very real part of Sonny’s past, and there’s just no denying that now. It’s just going to raise the stakes for everyone, because there is that personal history between Paul and Sonny. There’s a lot more at stake emotionally.”

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Russell Tovey doesn’t find his sex scenes with Jonathan Groff on “Looking” to be unpleasant

When asked about doing sex scenes for film or television, most actors will say how awkward it is.

Yeah, right.

Well Russell Tovey isn’t complaining – especially when it comes to the imtimate scenes between he and Jonathan Groff on HBO’s Looking which returns for a second season next month.

‘Doing these sex scenes just feels so cool,’ Tovey tells PrideSource. ‘We’re such good mates now and we laugh and we love doing our scenes together.

‘You can do anything; your hands go everywhere, and it’s fine. Neither of us at any point feels uncomfortable, and that’s why it’s so good. We just completely trust each other, and we go for it.

‘Neither of us hold back or feel any pang of responsibility for the other one when it comes to that. We just trust each other on a completely open level. Either of us could go to the other, “Hey, you should put your dick in there.”’

Being openly gay – as is Groff – Tovey finds doing sex scenes with women very different.

‘I’ve had sex scenes with girls and I feel very relaxed in sex scenes because I’m not worried about anything popping up – I’m just worried about her world and making sure she’s comfortable,’ he says.

Tovey has also done sex scenes with Joe Wilkinson on the BBC’s Him & Her and says: ‘When … we’re hugging and kissing and whatever, and he goes for it – I feel a slight responsibility to make sure that he doesn’t feel I’m taking advantage of the fact that this has been written. I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable, so I feel a responsibility to him in a different way than I do to girls.’

All of this nudity has caused Tovey to reflect a bit on his backside.

‘In the future, I imagine myself looking back and going, “God, I had a nice ass. Glad I got that out.” If it’s there now, I’m getting it out because it’s not always gonna look like that. I don’t want to hide it. And it’s nice that people like it.

‘I’ve been very lucky. I’ve grown it myself, and I also have my parents to thank for it being well-received.’

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Today’s Holiday Tune: Best of Darlene Love belting out “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on Letterman

For the 28th year in a row, the great Darlene Love will pay a visit to David Letterman to perform Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

It’s been a fabulous tradition and with Letterman retiring from the show, this year’s performance will be Darlene’s last. What a run it has been and this video captures the 2011 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in all her glory throughout the decades.

Love has said she will retire the song from television after Letterman retires. In the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, Love credits Letterman and this holiday tradition for helping to restart her singing career.

She told Billboard: “This would be my 28th year in a row. They never told me not to, but it was an unspoken thing. They couldn’t ask me not to sing ‘Christmas (Baby)’ on another show, but after 10 years, then 15 years, of doing this one song on this one show, I felt I had an obligation to be true to them.”

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Wednesday Morning Man: Patrick Heusinger!

Caught the latest episode of Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce last night and thought it was a hoot.

Patrick Heusinger plays the gay brother of series lead Lisa Edelstein and I think he’s pretty dreamy.

Patrick also played a gay man in the Broadway play Next Fall earlier this year and was so committed to the role that he tried to keep his own sexuality private. Pressed by a reporter, he ended up coming out in an interview – as straight.

A graduate of Juilliard, the actor played Sir Lancelot in the national tour of Spamalot and has an impressive list of television credits including recurring roles on Gossip Girl, Royal Pains and Revolution and guest spots on Bones, 30 Rock, The Good Wife, Castle and Law & Order: SVU.

Patrick’s film roles include Black Swan and The Nanny Diaries.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

A better, gayer version of “54″ to have its world premiere at Berlin Film Festival in February

I am utterly thrilled about this.

Seventeen years after the release of the film 54 in theaters, writer-director Mark Christopher has completed a director’s cut of movie and it will have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February.

When the 1998 film was originally released, Christopher could not have been happy with what was on the screen.

In the film he originally delivered chronicling the rise and fall of Studio 54 – the famed NYC hotspot of the 1970s – Ryan Phillippe’s character was bisexual and Breckin Meyer’s character also seemed ready to dabble in some man-on-man action.

Miramax, the studio that released the film, ordered 20-plus minutes of additional scenes to beef up a relationship between Phillippe’s character and a soap actress played by Neve Campbell.

This plot overhaul resulted in more than 30 minutes of the original version being cut out.

Film editor David Kittredge worked with Christopher on the director’s cut for Berlin and wrote in a Facebook post today that the studio-ordered 90 minute film was ‘very different’ from the original vision.

Kittredge said he and Christopher have worked ‘tirelessly’ for the past several months ‘trimming things and adding over 30 minutes of newly-digitized dailies that have not seen the light of day since 1997.’

The re-cut version includes even more restored footage than what was shown at a well-received ‘secret screening’ of Christopher’s vision at the 2008 Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles. I was in the audience that night and can tell you the director’s vision is far superior.

‘Incredibly excited to have been the editor of what amounts to a massive cinematic restoration of a really great movie that would have blown people’s minds in the ’90s,’ Kittredge wrote.

‘I can’t wait to have people see this film the way it was intended.’

The film also stars Salma Hayek, Mike Myers, Sela Ward a then-unknown actor named Cameron Mathison who went on to become a soap star on TV’s All My Children.

Mathison was only seen briefly in the studio version and there is no indication that his character is gay. In the director’s cut, his character is in a relationship with one of the other male bartenders at Studio 54 and they even share a passionate kiss.

Can’t wait to see this re-cut!

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Why is Steve Grand smiling?

Steve Grand posted this photo of himself smiling and sexy tonight. He explains why he’s so damned happy: Exhausted but triumphant after I gave final approval on the album cover. I put my all my heart and energy into every creative decision. I want this to be a record you are all proud of. Now off to the printers! I can’t believe this thing is actually going to be done… After all this time. Release date announcement (and other exciting things) coming very soon! ‪#‎grandfam‬ ‪#‎AllAmericanBoy‬


Neil Patrick Harris opens up about “secretive” process he and David Burtka went through to become dads

Neil Patrick Harris admits that it felt a bit odd to be sharing in his autobiography the details of what he and hubby David Burtka went through to become dads.

‘I talk a lot about the details of having kids because I find it scientifically just fascinating that they’re our actual DNA and that you can figure out that process and like weird visuals of being in a sterile room masturbating into a cup with a bigger plan in mind,’ NPH said during a video Twitter chat this week.

Harris and Burtka became parents of Gideon and Harper in October 2010 when a surrogate gave birth to the fraternal twins. Each is the biological father of one of the twins.

‘All these things, while we were accomplishing them, were very much on the down low and very quiet and very secretive because we didn’t want anyone to know we were having kids – it didn’t just seem like public information.

‘We were very secretive with aliases and with arriving at different places at different times,’ he added. ‘It was weird and interesting to be writing about that publicly after we spent so much time trying to be private about it.’


MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts to host Miss Universe pageant again – this time from Miami

Thomas Roberts is set to co-host the Miss Universe again.

But this time the gig shouldn’t generate much controversy.

Thomas shared the news on social media earlier today: ‘Did you hear the news? I’m back!!!
Co-Hosting MISS UNIVERSE with Natalie Morales this year. LIVE from Miami in January (so much warmer than Moscow)’

A year ago, some critics pounced when Thomas took the gig in Moscow because the event was being held in a country with anti-gay laws.

In addition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-LGBT agenda, the pageant is run by American billionaire Donald Trump, who maintains his opposition to marriage equality.

Thomas told The Advocate last year that he was ‘dismayed’ by the criticisms and said: ‘I thought this was a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about me being openly gay, and marriage, and my husband being with me, and send a strong message.’

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Days of Our Lives: The plot thickens as Will gets assignment for article on Sonny’s closeted ex

This is getting good and I hope it keeps getting better.

Will gets an assignment to do a profile on Paul who he does not know is the ex-boyfriend of his husband, Sonny.

The connection between Paul and Sonny is still palpable and seems far more intense than the dwindling one between Sonny and Will.

Will makes plans to meet Paul and when it all comes together, it will be epic!

But, being a soap, it will probably take weeks.

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Today’s Holiday Tune: Bette Midler’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “From a Distance”

Bette Midler’s has been everywhere recently promoting her new girl group album.

But an other album that deserves attention this time of year is Bette’s Cool Yule which she put out in 2006 and I think is one of the better holiday albums out there.

The Divine Miss M stopped by The Today Show back in 2006 to perform a few tunes from it: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and a holiday version of one of her biggest hits From A Distance.


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Tuesday Morning Man: Vasek Pospisil!

You may not have heard of him unless you’re a rabid tennis fan and since I am, Canadian tennis player Vasek Pospisil has been on my radar for awhile now.

He is the reigning men’s doubles champion at Wimbledon and was ranked as high as #25 in singles this year.

Vaseck, 24, turned pro in 2007 and represented Canada at the 2012 Olympics in London.

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Fortune Feimster provides the laughs and Eli Lieb the music at annual GLAAD Tidings event

Had a terrific time at last night’s GLAAD Tidings 2014 event at The Beverly Hilton’s Stardust Penthouse.

The hilarious Fortune Feimster hosted the festivities and she was a riot. I gabbed with her a bit after her set and she’s hopeful that her sitcom pilot – produced by Tina Fey – will be ordered as a series.

She plays a lesbian woman in the South named Fortune. Yeah, it’s somewhat autobiographical.

Rooting for her!

Also rooting for the talented singer Eli Lieb who performed two songs at the benefit. Eli has a huge following on YouTube and I hope he becomes a huge star – then maybe all the people who talked throughout his performance will take notice of what they missed.

GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis reminded everyone about the busy year GLAAD has had including the launch of its Southern Stories initiative. Also speaking was GLAAD’s National Spokesperson Omar Sharif Jr.


Martina Navratilova gets married!

Martina Navratilova got married earlier today to her longtime partner Julia Lemigova.

‘I’m 58 years old – I got married for the first time,’ Martina told the BBC shortly after the cerenony. ‘It’s about time. Growing up as a gay woman you just don’t ever thing about that.’

Martina proposed to Julia during the US Open where she was doing commentary for Tennis Channel.

During a break, she turned to Lemigova, got on one knee, and popped the question.

Lemigova, her girlfriend since 2006, teared up and said ‘yes.’

The proposal was broadcast on the Arthur Ashe Stadium Jumbotron and also seen by television viewers.

Martina came out publicly in 1981 at a time when it was virtually unheard of for a professional athlete to do so – especially one at the height of her career.

Martina retired from singles in 1994 but played doubles on the pro tour until 2006 when she retired shortly before her 50th birthday.

She won a total of 59 grand slam titles in singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles – the second most of any player. She holds the record for the longest winning streak (74 matches) and is tied with Billie Jean King for most Wimbledon titles (20).

Navratilova is now making her first foray into coaching.

Last week it was announced that she would join the coaching team of former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska.

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Mary Wilson in town to perform her “Up Close” show of intimate jazz and standards at Herb Albert’s Vibrato

You all know I’m nuts about The Supremes and can boast that I have interviewed all three members of the 1967-70 version of the group: Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong.

While I’ve seen Miss Ross perform in concert many times, tomorrow night will be the first time I’ve seen Mary on stage and I’m really looking forward to it.

Mary, who turned 70 this year,will be doing two shows on Tuesday night at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz in Bel Air.

‘The show is my Up Close American Songbook of standards – not my rock and roll show with the Supreme songs and all that,’ Mary told me during our chat last Friday.

She had just arrived in Los Angeles from her home base in Las Vegas and was happy to be doing her show of ballads after six weeks in Europe doing the rock songs.

‘I like to reinvent myself and doing something totally different than what people know me by,’ she says. ‘Most entertainers feel the same way. As a performer, that’s what keeps it exciting.’

Among the songs Mary will be singing are Smile, Here’s to Life, What a Wonderful World, Body and Soul and Spring is Here, among others.

‘I tell the story of my life in song – every song is close and related to me.’

And what a life story it is.

She was still a girl when she formed a singing group with some girls in her Detroit neighborhood including two named Diane Ross and Florence Ballard.

Originally a quartet named The Primettes, the group later became a trio named The Supremes and are still the most successful girl group of all time. ruled the charts through much of the 1960s with such hits as Where Did Our Love Go, You Can’t Hurry Love, Reflections, Baby Love, I Hear a Symphony, Love Child and Someday We’ll Be Together, among many others.

Ross left the group in 1970 but Wilson and Birdsong – who replaced Ballard in 1967 – remained with a new lead singer named Jean Terrell. The 1970s Supremes enjoyed such hits as Stoned Love, Floy Joy and Up the Ladder to the Roof.

Several lead singers later, The Supremes finally disbanded in 1977 with Wilson the only member to have been a part of every incarnations.

She’s also authored two best sellers about her years with the group: Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme and Supreme Faith.

Since her days singing background with Ballard, Birdsong and others, Wilson’s confidence as a singer has grown and Wilson has never stopped working as a solo act.

‘When I was doing the shows in Europe, I was all over the stage – my energy was so good,’ Wilson says of her recent tour. ‘I love what I do and when I’m on that stage, it’s like being in heaven.’


Neil Patrick Harris doesn’t plan to tells jokes at people’s expense while hosting 2015 Academy Awards

It sounds like he plans to be the anti-Ricky Gervais.

Unlike Gervais’ celebrity-roasting three year reign of terror hosting the Golden Globe Awards, Neil Patrick Harris said during a Twitter Q&A today that he is planning to have a more celebratory tone when he hosts the Academy Awards next year.

‘I really want to have my own take on it and I’m not quite sure what that means yet but I don’t want to just come out and do the typical tell jokes at other people’s expense.

‘Like talk about this movie and get tepid applause and make fun of the stars of it.’

So he won’t be emulating Bob Hope either.

‘I love movies and I love sincerely that people from different walks of life, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, locations and head spaces can all go and see the same thing that’s been done and cared about for like a year and have a moving experience.

‘I think it’s great that the Oscars celebrate that.’