WATCH: Celebrating Patti LuPone’s 69th birthday with a collection of her greatest songs from her Broadway and London musicals
She’s a two-time Tony winner, a two-time Grammy winner, an Olivier Award winner and an absolute queen of the Broadway and London stages. She’s the great Patti LuPone and today is her 69th birthday.
She vowed not to do anymore big musicals after wrapping up a Tony Award-nominated run in War Paint last year but is back on the London stage right now in the musical Company where her number Ladies Who Lunch is the show-stopper.
Here are some of my favorite performances from Broadway’s Evita Peron, Mama Rose, Reno Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett and the original Fantine from Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard’s Norma Desmond.
Bette Midler is returning to Broadway’s Hello, Dolly! for the final six weeks of the hit Tony-winning show. Bernadette Peters, who took over the role after Midler’s departure, will end her run as previously scheduled on July 15, with Midler taking the stage July 17 through the show’s closing on August 25. Returning to their roles alongside Midler will be Tony winners David Hyde Pierce and Gavin Creel (who returns May 8). Leaving with Peters on July 15, as scheduled, will be Victor Garber.
Said Midler, “I am delighted to return to the scene of one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I know the brilliant Bernadette Peters enjoyed her turn as much as I did. Dolly Levi is one of the most joyful characters in Broadway history, and Bernadette and I were lucky to to be able to step into her glorious shoes.” Said Peters, “I am forever grateful to Bette for suggesting I step into the role of Dolly Levi. She was right. We both agree it is an amazing, joyful journey for us and the audience. And now I will hand the red dress back to my friend, the magnificent Bette Midler.”
The first national tour of Hello, Dolly! launches October 2 at the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio, starring Betty Buckley.
I’d not heard of Zander Hodgson but I’m sure mighty impressed with anyone who goes public about being gay. It’s not easy. On his YouTube page the actor-model says in part: ‘This is something that I thought was important to do for my own growth, for myself, to be unashamed, to connect to others, to connect to you more.
‘I wanted to tell everyone that I am gay. And although that doesn’t change anything for me, and hopefully not for you, I just thought it was a really important thing to share with everyone.
‘Although sexuality is a small part of someone, if you shut it off, then you don’t allow yourself to be fully known. If you shut off one thing of yourself, then you shut off so many other things.
‘Being able to get close to someone is hard when you don’t allow yourself to fully connect and be known as who you are. And it’s a really important part of me.
‘I wanted to do this video as well, because when I think about all the kids out there that are being bullied, or are really struggling with their sexuality, even teenage or adults, I just want you to know that you are not alone.’
Bill Gates wrote the essay in tribute to Roger Federer for the Time 100 issue: It’s no secret that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player ever. As David Foster Wallace wrote, he is “one of those rare, preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws.” He also seems exempt from the laws of aging. At 36, he’s still winning Grand Slams with a combination of grace and grit.
But not as many fans know about what Roger is doing off the court. Twice I’ve had the thrill of being his doubles partner to help raise money for his foundation, and we’ve become friends in the process. I’ve learned how sincerely Roger and his team are working to improve the life prospects for poor children—a mission that stems from his childhood visits to his mother’s home country of South Africa and seeing extreme poverty firsthand.
Roger knows that effective philanthropy, like great tennis, requires discipline and time. It will be a sad day for all of us fans when he hangs up his racket—but we can take comfort in knowing that he’s committed to making the world a more equitable place.
Happy birthday to the very talented and handsome actor Matthew Wilkas! Matt gets a lot of attention these days as the boyfriend of Olympian Gus Kenworthy and they are indeed a smashing couple. But I’ve been a fan of Matt’s dating back to when I saw his short film Gayby at Outfest years ago. It was expanded into a feature film and screened at the festival in 2012 to great acclaim. Matt starred in the series New York is Dead last year and is currently starring in the terrific web series Matt & Dan on YouTube.
Matt was one of the co-stars of the Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn off the Dark (he played Flash Thompson and was the understudy for the Spiderman/Peter Parker).
Matt is from Maine and went to Boston University and participated in the Williamstown Theatre Festival for three summers. He has had roles on TV’s Looking, Eastsiders, Undateable, Ugly Betty and Hope & Faith and appeared in the feature films You’re Killing Me, The New Twenty and The Bits In Between, among others.
I’m still not really warming up to Megyn Kelly but I absolutely love her guest on today’s show: the ageless Jaclyn Smith. Jaclyn, once the star of Charlie’s Angels and queen of TV miniseries, doesn’t do much acting these days. But she remains busy with her retail empire including a fashion line that is now 33 years old. She is wearing vegan leather pants in this segment and just looks like dynamite. She also shares stories from her days as an Angel and how co-star Kate Jackson was the boss on-screen and off!
Cher writes about Adam Rippon for Time 100: ‘He has humility, grace and an incredible sense of humor’
Adam Rippon is one of the Time 100 and the tribute to him was written by … Cher! Here it is in its entirety: All figure skaters are beautiful, but Adam Rippon is different. He isn’t just a beautiful skater. He has humility, grace and an incredible sense of humor.
You could see in the leather-harness suit he wore to the Academy Awards that he isn’t afraid to take chances. It wasn’t about the suit, really. It was about the fact that he dares to be different in a world where being different always comes with a cost. I thought it was fabulous, of course.
Adam is a skater who happens to be gay, and that represents something wonderful to young people. When I was young, I had no role models—everyone looked like Sandra Dee and Doris Day. There was nobody who made me think, Oh, I could be like them. They represent me. Adam shows people that if you put blood, sweat and tears into what you’re doing, you can achieve something that’s special. You can be special. And I think that’s very brave.
When I got the news that I was in @TIME 100 this year, I won’t lie, I cried. I promise to continue to help others who are struggling or feel unheard. Just being yourself can be so powerful. Thank you, @cher, for the beautiful introduction. #TIME100 https://t.co/sTsozEwwmK
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) April 19, 2018
Mystery solved: Glee star Kevin McHale’s boyfriend has been positively identified. He’s actor Austin McKenzie who has starred in the Deaf West Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening. Kevin played wheelchair-using singer Artie Abrams for all six seasons of Glee. Both had roles in When We Rise, a 2017 TV miniseries created by Dustin Lance Black that told the story of the struggle for LGBT equality in the US.
They say a liar needs a good memory and Donald Trump can’t seem to keep his story straight. CNN’s Anderson Cooper compares Trump’s past comments to his most recent tweets about former FBI Director James Comey.
Love the closeness that has developed between Will and Paul and that the powers that be have them in bed during much of this episode which aired on Tuesday. The muscular Paul is entirely shirtless which is quite the afternoon soap opera delight. But it’s not all physical with these two. They are fully interested in each other’s jobs with Paul working for Kate and Will resuming his journalism career with an assignment that hits close to home.
Lady Gaga was a guest on Watch What Happens Live and gabbed with host Andy Cohen about a variety of topics. Among them was the song she recorded with Cher for Cher’s last album. Cher liked it but Gaga did not and pulled the plug on it. She explains why. I heard a bootleg of the song and think it’s a pity because it was terrific.