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Today’s Holiday Tune: Michael Buble sings “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and more holiday faves!

Sorry Frank Sinatra. Nice knowing you Harry Connick Jr. You had a good run Tony Bennett.

My new go to man when it comes to holiday CDs is Michael Buble.

I think he’s right up there with Bing Crosby and those other guys when it comes holiday music. Last Christmas Eve, I played his CD and my mom said: “Who is that? He’s wonderful!”

Indeed he is.

Enjoy some of his holiday tunes.

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Monday Morning Man: Keith Carlos!

To look at him, it would seem that modeling would be the first career choice for the stunningly handsome Keith Carlos who earlier this month was named the winner of America’s Top Model.

He is the first male winner of the show.

But Carlos, 26, is a football player who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 then two years later signed by the New York Giants.

But injury ended his stint with the Giants before the 2013 even officially began.

Nice to have those chiseled good looks to fall back on!

Before going to the pros, Carlos was a star running back at Purdue University where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration.


FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

Sunday Holiday Tune: The heartwarming classic “Merry Christmas Darling” by The Carpenters

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_GRdgxlF70gk/R2p50-EMtbI/AAAAAAAAAbY/qPTDCPeB470/s400/christmas_portrait.jpgI attended the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles’ holiday show yesterday at the Saban Theatre and one of the soloists performed a lovely version of one of my favorite songs: Merry Christmas Darling.

I Never get tired of listening to this song during the holidays.

Merry Christmas Darling was released by The Carpenters in 1970 and quickly went to number one of the Billboard Christmas Singles Chart.

The song was written by Richard Carpenter and Frank Pooler. But it is Karen Carpenter’s vocals that make this a classic.

Enjoy it all over again.

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Morning Man Classic: John Travolta!

He had me at The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

Today we celebrate 1970s John Travolta, that impossibly gorgeous guy who was the breakout star of TV’s Welcome Back Kotter, the classic sitcom on which he played Sweathog Vinnie Barbarino.

He had started out the decade with guest spots on such shows as Medical Center, Emergency!, The Rookies and Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law.

Then, after three years on Kotter and small roles in the films Carrie and The Devil’s Rain, Travolta’s career reached the stratosphere with his starring roles in the classics Saturday Night Fever and Grease.

The red hot streak was briefly halted with the release of Travolta’s third starring role opposite Lily Tomlin in Moment By Moment.

But by 1980, he was back on top with Urban Cowboy.

It would set a pattern in the coming decades of dizzying heights (Pulp Fiction, Hairspray, Get Shorty) and box office bombs (Two of a Kind, Battlefield Earth, Lucky Numbers).

At 60, he’s still working steadily through the bombs, the rumors and scandals with three movies set for release in 2015.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

“Wicked” is back at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre – Greg In Hollywood highly recommends!

The last time Wicked was at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood was back in 2009 and I covered closing night for the LA Daily News.

So it was terrific to be back at the Pantages nearly six years later for opening night of the latest national tour of this fabulous show.

I am, of course, most excited about Nick Adams in the role of Fiyero. He’s so talented, so charming, so gorgeous. The fact that I did not know he was in the show until I saw him in stage just added to the wonderfulness of the evening.

Chandra Lee Schwartz is a sensational Glinda – very, very funny and her vocals are spot on. The role of Elphaba was played by Emmy Raver-Lampman who is the standby for cover Emma Hunton.

Standby? This woman is amazing! If Hunton is as good or better than this production is in very good shape. Raver-Lampman’s vocals and her acting are first rate.

And what fun it is to have four-time Emmy winner Kim Zimmer in the delicious role of Madame Morrible.

The opening night was a red carpet event and while I wasn’t doing interviews, I did snap a few photos of some of the most attractive men there starting with Days of Our Lives star Eric Martsolf (two photos of Eric below). Also there was Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett who was recently on Dancing With the Stars.

Wicked is at the Pantages through March 15. Plenty of nights are already sold out so get your tickets now and enjoy!


FILE UNDER: Stage

Today’s Holiday Tune: Let’s enjoy Eartha Kitt ‘s Santa Baby (over the years)

http://www.morethings.com/images/eartha_kitt/eartha-kitt-260.jpgWe can never forget the dazzling Eartha Kitt and her signature song.

The sexiest Catwoman of them all performed Santa Baby throughout her long career and before one of her performances she once cracked: “I used to have a lot of fun with this song … then MADONNA sang it!”

It’s true, there has been many versions of this song over the years – good ones too – but let’s face it, she sings it better than anyone ever will.

She absolutely owns it!

Eartha may be most famous for playing Catwoman on the Batman TV series but she had a singing and acting career than spanned 60 years on Broadway, television, films and nightclubs.

She died in 2008 but her work lives on – especially this, her sexy signature song.

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Michael C. Hall on his queer roles: “I gravitate toward characters who are defined by some sense of conflict”

Before he played his most famous role of a serial killer on TV’s Dexter, Michael C. Hall spent several years playing a gay funeral director on the series Six Feet Under.

The actor, currently starring on Broadway as a transgender punk rock singer in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, admits that he has been drawn to queer characters.

‘I think I gravitate toward characters who are defined by some sense of conflict or secret keeping,’ Hall tells Huffington Post.

‘I think in the case of David Fisher [on Six Feet Under], it was about the character’s inherent conflict — something that made him inherently dramatic. In case of Hedwig, it was the chance to front a rock band and sing awesome rock-and-roll music.

‘There is something about people, for one reason or the other, who are marginalized by their circumstance that is compelling to me. That has manifested itself into me playing a few, or more than a few, characters who are gay.’

Hall took over the role of Hedwig in October from Andrew Rannells who had replaced Neil Patrick Harris.

He will be with the show until January when he will be replaced by the role’s originator John Cameron Mitchell.

He has come to enjoy the physical transformation required before a performance.

‘I wake up in the morning and see myself in the mirror and go, "Oh, God, look at that tired, old face." Then I come here, lie down in the makeup chair, sit up and say, "There I am!" I’m definitely on board with that experience.’

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“Melissa Rivers on her mom Joan: “My mother never knew how much she was loved”

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Robbie Rogers and Greg Berlanti split

Robbie Rogers has confirmed that he and TV producer Greg Berlanti are no longer a couple.

‘We dated for a year and half. And we split up. Stuff happens,’ Rogers tells SiriusXM Progress. ‘We’re still friends. And we’re very supportive of each other.’

Berlanti is currently producer of the hit shows Arrow and The Flash on The CW.

One of the last high-profile events the former couple was seen together at was a splashy party last month in West Hollywood celebrating the release the release of Rogers’ autobiography Coming Out to Play.

Several of Rogers’ teammates from the LA Galaxy, who won the MLS Cup last Sunday, were in attendance as were Stephen Amell and Robbie Amell who star in two of Berlanti’s shows.

Although Berlanti was at Rogers’ side at the party and addressed the crowd, it’s not clear if they were already broken up by then.

‘I didn’t talk about it publicly,’ Rogers says. ‘It’s a small town and people figure out things.’

The split has been made public as Rogers’ promotional tour for his book kicks into high gear. He was recently profiled on NBC’s The Today Show and appeared on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live.

‘I don’t think a lot of people do care,’ Rogers insists. ‘I understand that my personal life is going to be more and more in the spotlight. And it’s not going to stop me from dating people or being public about it. I just want to live a normal life.’

FILE UNDER: Sports

Today’s Holiday Tune: Enjoy this fun version of “Santa Baby” by Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles


I’m so looking forward to tomorrow afternoon when I’ll be at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills taking in the latest holiday concert by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.

Today’s holiday tune is a number from a previous show: baritone soloist Tod Macofsky gets naughty with those nice guys in the chorus in this special arrangement of “Santa Baby,” staged by Mark Chung.

Here’s the info for this weekend’s concerts:

Sat. Dec. 13, 2014 at 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sun. Dec. 14, 2014 at 3:00pm
Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills. Details at www.gmcla.org

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Days of Our Lives: Will’s back …

Sonny reaches out to Paul but just as they plan a meeting … Will and the baby show up in Salem.

Groan.

I wasn’t ready for Will to be back and the developments in these scenes don’t make me any more fond of the character right now.

Anyway, the triangle is beginning to form as Will is going to be assigned to do a magazine profile on Paul.

Stay tuned!

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

My interview with Cheyenne Jackson about his new film “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks”

Cheyenne Jackson did not have a lot of time to prepare for his leading role in the film Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks which opens in New York and Los Angeles today.

Four days to be exact.

Sean Hayes had to drop out of the film just before production was set to begin in Hungary. Filmmakers contacted the busy Jackson who also appeared in the films Love is Strange and The One I Wrote For You this year.

‘I got a call that said, “Your agent’s on the phone with your other agent and your manager.” You know as an actor if you get a call and there’s three people on the line it’s always a good call,’ Cheyenne told me last week during a press junket promoting the film.

‘They said, “Would you like to star in a film opposite Gena Rowlands – it shoots in Hungary in four days.” I wanted to have this experience working with her.’

In Six Dance Lessons, Cheyenne plays a 30-year-old gay dance teacher who is assigned to give private dance lessons to widow in Miami Beach played by Miss Rowlands, a four-time Emmy winner and two-time Oscar nominee.

He says of working with the 84-year-old Rowlands: ‘I’ve got to meet a lot of my idols – I’ve had the good fortune of working with great, great actors. But Gena was at a different level and she is for a lot of my peers. she’s just held in a certain regard and rightfully so.’

‘I was scared and excited,’ Cheyenne added. ‘I was anxious because I had to not only hold my own but also call her horrible names. In my very first scene I call her a stupid old cow. I thought, “How am I going to do this really until I get over my worship of her.” She let me get that out for about four minutes then we got to work.’

In accepting the role, he not only dealt with the prospect of working with Rowlands but he also had to quickly learn the various dances he has to teach her in the film such as the Tango, the Swing, Waltz, Cha-Cha and the Foxtrot.

While the two characters begin as strangers and have a adversarial relationship in the beginning, over time they bond.

Cheyenne, who is openly gay, came to see the film as a love story between ‘these two people from seemingly such different worlds in every way – socioeconomic, gay-straight, older-younger. How much they needed each other and how much they fulfilled that part of each other that they didn’t know they missed. Almost like a mother-son, best friend, life partner. They became that for each other. I was surprised and kind of delighted by that.’

The multi-talented 39 year old is a well-established Broadway star whose credits include Xanadu, All Shook Up, Finian’s Rainbow, Aida and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

On television, he has had recurring roles on 30 Rock and Glee and had a supporting role in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra. He also has several feature film credits including United 93, The Green, and Lola Versus.

Two of his 2014 releases, Six Dance Lessons and The One I Wrote For You, provided Jackson with a rare film lead.

Does he think these films will lead to more substantial film roles for him moving forward?

‘I try not to think too far ahead,’ he told me. ‘But of course maybe it will be seen by someone who hasn’t thought of me in a certain way and see something that they haven’t seen before.

‘I just want to work. I just want to work for a long time. I got started late, I started acting professionally when I was 27 so it’s all been lessons and slowly building stuff.’

Since he has worked extensively on stage, in film and in television, Cheyenne has grown comfortable in all three mediums.

‘I love Broadway, love that feeling of whatever happens in the theater that night the it’s over. Then there’s television and the pace of it. There’s so much material and you have to make a quick choice and then move on. And I love film and how you can take your time.’

FILE UNDER: Interviews

Friday Morning Man: Nick Adams!

Attended opening night of Wicked at the Pantages Theatre last night and was so thrilled to see that Nick Adams was playing the role of Fiyero in this current national tour.

I had not looked at the program so it wasn’t until I saw Nick on stage that I realized he was in the show and it was that killer body that tipped me off.

Nick has  been such a favorite of mine that he was one of my first Morning Men way back on March 17, 2009.

At that time, Nick was best known as the co-star of Broadway’s A Chorus Line who was so buff that he had to cover up his guns to not outshine then-star Mario Lopez.

Since the, Nick has gone on to perform in a string of Broadway musicals including playing one of the “Cagelles” in the La Cage Aux Folles and appearing as one of the leading roles (Adam/Felicia) in the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

The openly gay Nick, 31, was also in the Broadway productions of Guys and Dolls, Chicago, and The Pirate Queen.

Best of luck to Nick for the rest of the run at the Pantages and beyond!

FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

Days of Our Lives: Paul assures Sonny he’s not in Salem to screw up Sonny’s life


Some good Sonny and Paul stuff in these scenes as the ex-boyfriends have a chat in the park. My question is this: How will ever be rooting for Will and Sonny again when it’s clear Sonny belongs with sexy Paul. Okay, so he’s in the closet. But their tender history and love for each other shines though.

I’m rooting for them!

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

Only one member of N Sync won’t be at Lance Bass’ Dec. 20 wedding to Michael Turchin


Justin Timberlake has had to send his regrets for the December 20 wedding his former N Sync bandmate Lance Bass to actor Michael Turchin.

But the rest of the band will be present and accounted for.

‘Of course the boys are going to be there, unfortunately Justin’s not going to be able to go because that’s his last date on tour,’ Bass tells E! News. ‘I had no idea he’d be touring right next to Christmas. He’ll be the only guy not able to make it that day.” He went on, “I couldn’t imagine getting married without those boys being right there!”

The wedding is being filmed for a 5 February TV special on E! called Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding.

The special will mark the first time a US television network is broadcasting a celebrity wedding between two men.

‘To know that people are excited to see something like this go down just shows you how much things have changed and we’re just honored to be a part of that change,’ Bass says.

FILE UNDER: Romance

Snapped! Greg In Hollywood and Gena Rowlands!

Attended the premiere of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks last night at The ArcLight in Hollywood and what a treat to see Gena Rowlands in such a meaty role.

The SAG Awards and the Golden Globes did not nominate her but I really think she gives an Oscar-worthy performance as a Florida widow who signs up for dance lessons with a young gay dance instructor played by Cheyenne Jackson.

They change each others’ lives over the course of the lessons and Miss Rowlands is funny and touching and very real in what is mainly a two-person film although the cast also includes Rita Moreno and Jacki Weaver, among others.

Anyway, the film opens in LA and New York City on Friday and tomorrow I will be posting a story from the roundtable interview I participated in last week with the two stars.

When Miss Rowlands, now 84, was introduced before the film last night, the entire audience immediately rose to its feet for a prolonged standing ovation.

We had not yet seen the film but that’s the kind of respect you get when you have starred in such films as A Woman Under the Influence, Opening Night and Gloria and along the way earned two Oscar nominations and won four Emmys.

I’ve been a fan of Miss Rowlands since I was a kid and saw her on a two-part episode of Marcus Welby MD. Then that love was cemented when I saw her opposite Bette Davis in the sublime TV movie Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter.

There have been so many other performances since then and she never disappoints. Some of my more recent favorites are Unhook the Stars, An Early Frost, The Face of a Stranger and Something to Talk About - in the latter film her kicking of Robert Duvall out of the house is a classic.

Anyway, I could think of none of that when i chatted with Miss Rowlands at the after-party last night at a Hollywood club called Warwick, a few blocks from the theater.

We just talked about Six Dance Lessons and she could not have been more gracious and charming.

A true legend.

Nick Jonas’ character on “Kingdom” is gay

I’m so glad I have Direct TV because I’ve been able to watch several episodes of the boxing drama Kingdom on which Nick Jonas plays a young boxer named Nate Kulina.

We found out in last night’s season one finale (show has been renewed) that Nate is gay.

Viewers find out about his sexuality after Nate is rejected from a gay bar and ends up hooking up with a guy who performs oral sex on him.

Jonas tells BuzzFeed that he was made aware of Nate’s sexuality from the very beginning.

‘Everyone at Kingdom was really transparent about the character and some of the things the character would go through,’ Jonas says. ‘And in my prep work, I wanted to be aware so I could properly tell this story.

‘For me, it was important to maintain the stakes for Nate. He lives in a world of fear — fear of disappointing his father, both in the cage and outside of the cage — and he carries that pressure with him in so many ways. I think it’s something a lot of people can relate to.’

According to series creator Byron Balasco, Nate will not be coming out of the closet anytime soon.

‘The bigger issue for Nate is not what everybody else will think but his perception of what everybody else is going to think,’ Balasco tells BuzzFeed.

FILE UNDER: Television

Today’s Holiday Tune: Lucille Ball’s version of “We Need A Little Christmas” from the film “Mame”

Lucille Ball - MameOkay, we all know that Angela Lansbury should have starred in the 1974 movie version of the musical Mame, a show for which she won a Tony Award on Broadway.

But the role went to our beloved Lucille Ball who by then was in her early 60s and never had much of a singing voice (although it was not as bad as Lucy Ricardo’s!).

The great pro Lucy gave it her best shot and had her moments in the film – especially in her scenes with Bea Arthur who reprised her role of Vera Charles from the Broadway show.

So here is Miss Ball singing one of the movie’s more touching musical numbers: We Need a Little Christmas.
Enjoy!

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Morning Man Encore: Anders Lindegaard!



Originally posted Nov 26, 2012 – not updated

Anders Lindegaard, the goalie for Manchester United, may be straight but he’s thoughtful and wise enough to know it would be good for his sport to have a gay player come out.

“Gay people need a hero,” he writes in a column in the UK newspaper The Sun.

“They need someone who dares to step forward and stand for their sexuality.”

The 27-year-old footballer added:

“Of course it is a problem for young gay guys who love football, and feel they must stop their sport. Any discrimination is totally unacceptable, regardless of whether it is to do with color, religion or sexuality. A gay player would fear the reception he gets from fans. My general impression is that other players would accept a gay player without any major problems.”

Straight allies like this are critical when it comes to gay players coming out some day – hopefully soon. By expressing his support prior to a gay player doing so, Lindegaard is doing a world of good.

It makes him as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside!


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Producer Scott Rudin blasts Angelina Jolie in leaked email: ‘She’s a camp event & a celebrity & that’s all”

Don’t expect to see producer Scott Rudin and movie queen Angelina Jolie working together anytime soon – or ever.

A scathing email Rudin sent to Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal about Jolie is part of the fallout from a cyber-attack on the studio and was leaked this week.

An ongoing email exchange between Rudin and Pascal over much of 2014 included Rudin’s fury over Jolie’s alleged objection over David Fincher directing a Steve Jobs biopic instead of her remake of Cleopatra.

‘I’m not remotely interested in presiding over a $180m ego bath that we both know will be the career-defining debacle for us both,’ reads one email from Rudin about Jolie and Cleopatra.

‘I’m not destroying my career over a minimally talented spoiled brat who thought nothing of shoving this off her plate for eighteen months so she could go direct a movie. I have no desire to be making a movie with her, or anybody, that she runs and that we don’t.

‘She’s a camp event and a celebrity and that’s all and the last thing anybody needs is to make a giant bomb with her that any fool could see coming. We will end up being the laughing stock of our industry and we will deserve it, which is so clearly where this is headed that I cannot believe we are still wasting our time with it.’

Rudin is first producer to have won an Oscar, Grammy, Tony and Emmy and had produced such films as Moneyball, The Social Network and Captain Phillips for Sony.

He had moved his production deal to Sony in 2010 but after his barrage of insults against Jolie, Pascal and others, the studio head instructed a colleague to ‘get rid of him,’ according to Variety.

The Rudin email is part of ongoing leaks orchestrated by a group that calls itself Guardians of Peace since November 24. In addition to confidential emails, such information as executive and star salaries and movie budgets have been made public.

FILE UNDER: Controversy