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Thursday Morning Man: Mike Doyle!


Mike Doyle

Mike Doyle

He didn’t have a big part on Law & Order: SVU but for six seasons, we saw just enough of Mike Doyle as forensic tech Ryan O’Halloran to miss him when his character was murdered in the season 10 finale of the long-running hit.

The very handsome Mr. Doyle has a role in the upcoming feature film Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart and has been busy doing episodic television and working on the stage since leaving SVU in 2009.

Mike, who had previously had a recurring role on HBO’s Oz, has recently done guest spots on CSI: Miami, In Plain Sight, Criminal Minds and In Treatment. He also gained notice for his willingness to be nude on the Broadway stage letting it all hang out in the Lincoln Center production of Paul Rudnick’s The New Century.

Mike played Lt. Cmdr. Tom Palatonio in the 2005 action film Phantom Below which is notable for having been released in multiple versions under multiple names which included or excluded gay content depending on the edit (the gay-themed edit was released under the title Tides of War). Also in 2005, he played a gay coffee barista named Andy in 29th and Gay.

I’m glad to see that Mike isn’t afraid to play gay roles. The video below is him making out with Adrien Paul in Tides of War.



Mike Doyle
FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Videos: See Ricky Martin’s appearance on “Oprah”

Not sure if The Oprah Winfrey Show will allow this to stay on YouTube for long but as long as it IS up there, I want you to be able to see it!

Here is Oprah’s interview with Ricky Martin which aired yesterday, the same day his memoir Me was released.

It’s such a contrast to that Barbara Walters interview of a decade ago when she asked Ricky if he was gay and he did not answer. Walters has since expressed her regret over asking the question but Ricky is a different man today as you can see in these videos.

He tels Oprah of Walters: “She knocked me out… I had my little monologue prepared – what I was used to answering: ‘No, I don’t think it’s something that I want to talk about; this is something private… I show everything when I’m onstage…’. But she kept on going and going and going. I just wasn’t ready… It was not my moment.”

“People were mocking my sexuality and I was, like, ‘I don’t wanna be that. Is that me…?’ I think I hate myself…” he added.

But he holds no grudge against the veteran newswoman even though he was initially angry: “I felt invaded, I felt violated in many ways… but it was not the first time I was asked this question in an interview, but it was a massive TV show… That gave the right for every journalist to ask.”

Ricky also talks about recent string of young gay suicides and says they make it evident that gays must be allowed to come out only when they are ready: “Right now we are dealing with people that are being bullied because they are gay and now we’re dealing with people who are committing suicide because they’re forced to come out and that is horrible… You have to go through a very spiritual process in order for you to accept yourself and then it feels amazing.”

Well said Ricky and good for you!


California election summary from LGBT perspective


Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California

Gavin Newsom // "The 10 Sexiest Men Over 40" // Photo: © 2008 John M. HellerAre you as sleep-deprived today as I am? Stayed up late to watch election coverage (flipped back-and-forth between ABC and CNN) then woke up early to watch more coverage including President Barack Obama’s press conference.

Obama acknowledged the “shellacking” he and the Democratic Party took at the polls losing control of the House of Representatives, seats in the Senate, and several key governorships.

But the Republican sweep did not extend to California where Jerry Brown, governor from 1974-82, was elected for a third time and Barbara Boxer retained her Senate seat. Also happy to see San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom elected Lieutenant Governor.

Equality California was kind enough to send over the following election summary with some information on key races in California from a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights perspective:

-Jerry Brown has vowed not to defend Prop. 8 in federal court. He won the governor’s race.

-Kamala Harris, who has also vowed not to defend Prop. 8, is currently 0.2 percent ahead of anti-equality Steve Cooley. 100% of precincts have reported, but provisional and absentee ballots are still being counted.

-Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco who let same-sex couples marry in 2004, was elected Lieutenant Governor. In addition, Tom Torlakson was elected Superintendent of Public Instruction and is committed to addressing bullying of LGBT youth in schools, andDave Jones was elected Insurance Commissioner and will work with our community to expand health insurance protections for transgender people.

-The LGBT Caucus of the California Legislature has more than doubled. Joining the four current members (Speaker John Perez, Christine Kehoe, Mark Leno, Tom Ammiano) will be three new Assemblymembers: Rich Gordon, Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins. This makes California’s Legislature the one in the nation with the greatest percentage of openly LGBT members.

-Victoria Kolakowski is leading in the race for Alameda County Superior Court Judge. If she wins, she will be the first elected transgender judge. Absentee and provisional ballots are still being counted, but all precincts have reported.

-Richard Pan beat Prop. 8 author and Yes on 8 attorney Andy Pugno for Assembly District 5 (Sacramento area). Pan is a pediatrician who has advocated for LGBT rights within the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He’s a great ally and won a hard race against one of our most vicious opponents.

-At the federal level, Barbara Boxer held onto her seat over anti-equality Carly Fiorina. Some other EQCA-endorsed candidates that won their seats in the U.S. House of Representatives include Nancy Pelosi, Lynn Woolsey, John Garamendi, Jackie Speier (co-author of a DADT repeal bill and the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act), Pete Stark, Mike Honda (co-sponsor and huge advocate of the Uniting American Families Act) and Loretta Sanchez (co-sponsor of a DADT repeal bill and vocal opponent of DADT on the House Armed Services Committee).

All of these candidates were endorsed by Equality California. In order to be endorsed, candidates must fill out a lengthy questionnaire and be 100% committed to full LGBT equality; this includes support for marriage equality and for insurance coverage for transition-related care for transgender people. They ran a massive get-out-the-vote effort, reaching over 90,000 voters over the phone and in person, another 400,000 through the mail, more than 600,000 online and millions more through the media.

For more information on these candidates, check out

FILE UNDER: Politics

I’m glad to see that “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon really knows how to treat a Broadway legend!


As you all know, I read Patti LuPone’s new memoir from cover to cover.

My feeling was that despite such great career highs as Gypsy, Evita, Anything Goes, Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables and Master Class, this legendary stage star has had to work damned hard for everything she got.

And the disappointments along the way like Sunset Boulevard and The Baker’s Wife still hurt.

But as I watched Patti on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (it repeated last night), she was SO fabulous. She belted out Everything’s Coming Up Roses then sat down with Jimmy and just seemed so happy, so confident.

Jimmy was the consumate host just gushing over the great star who just opened in another Broadway musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. It made me so happy to see a straight guy fawning over this great star and to really get what she has meant to the world of theater.

Here is video of Patti’s appearance on Fallon and I’ve also included her recent appearance on The View as a bonus. It looks like Miss LuPone is having the time of her life and she deserves to!

FILE UNDER: Icons, Stage

Former co-stars Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White to reunite for an episode of “Hot In Cleveland”

Mary Tyler Moore Actress Betty White (C) and Mary Tyler Moore (R) present the Outstanding Comedy Series award onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

Meant to post this yesterday but better late than never – especially when it’s news about television icons Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White.

TV Land has announced that Miss Moore will guest star on the second season premiere of Hot In Cleveland which will air on Jan. 19, 2011. It will mark the first time she an Miss White, who appeared together on The Mary Tyler Moore Show for three seasons, will be acting together in 33 years.

Miss Moore, who last appeared in the recurring role of Brooke Shields’ mother on NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, will be part of a plot involving White’s character of Elka who was arrested in the season one cliffhanger.

Mary was, for decades, the queen of television with her five seasons and two Emmys playing Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show which remains one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. Then she moved on to another one of the greatest sitcoms of all time: The Mary Tyler Moore Show which ran for seven seasons and won Miss Moore four more Emmys.

It was during season four of The MTM Show that Miss White joined the cast as the Happy Homemaker Sue Ann Nivens and the rest is television history.

While Betty went on to do The Golden Girls, Boston Legal and scores of other fun stuff like star in a Snickers commercial and hosting SNL, Mary has been somewhat overshadowed.

She was unsuccessful in all of her attempts to return to series television headlining a variety show that bombed and two failed half-hour comedies but did score an Oscar nod for Ordinary People and won her seventh Emmy for the TV drama Stolen Babies.

While Betty has always been funny and gracious, I’ve found that Mary seems a little bit imperious in television interviews and I think that has made her far less beloved as the years have gone by than fellow TV icons Betty.

Still, it will be great to see these two old pros together again on screen!


“X-Factor” winner Shayne Ward, not minding the male attention, poses in wet T-shirt for UK’s Gay Times


If Shayne Ward thinks that posing on the cover of a gay magazine in a wet T-shirt is going to in him some new fans, he’s absolutely correct.

The X Factor winner and British pop star was not on my radar until I started seeing the cover of te new issue of  UK’s Gay Times. I mean, how could you not notice that?

In the article inside, the straight and married Shayne talks about being mistaken for gay: ”I do get people who say ‘Yeah Shayne Ward’s gay’ but I don’t take offense. I’ve never had a problem with it. I have a lot of gay friends. I think it’s great. People look at me and say it because I look after myself. Even the missus as I was ironing my shirt this morning. She goes ‘You’re so gay!’ and I said ‘Wouldn’t you rather I was like this than be a slob?!’”

The singer third album, Obsession, is set for release.

Here’s video of the photo shoot:


FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

OUT begins to reveal its annual Out 100 – Chris Colfer, T.R. Knight, Lisa Cholodenko, Christine Quinn, and the Scissor Sisters make list


It’s always fun when OUT magazine does its annual Out 100 issue. Several years ago, they featured Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster on the cover which caused some controversy. Even if two people this famous are known to be gay, if they don’t talk about it publicly are they out?

Subsequent years have not had anything like that, thankfully, and who meeds it? As was reinforced when I did my Coming Out Day photo gallery of 100 out celebrities, there are more than enough truly out gay people to celebrate.

Here’s what OUT has to say about this year’s issue: The theme of the 2010 Out 100 portfolio is “celebration.” In a year marked by battles won and lost, high hopes and bitter letdowns, we thought it important to focus on events that might not have been celebrations when they happened, but were pivotal in the evolution of the LGBT cause. So, we asked our honorees to recreate three such moments in recent history — Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball shot by legendary photographer Larry Fink, the Stonewall riots shot by Out 100 veteran Roger Erickson, and Studio 54 shot by Jason Schmidt.

In the coming days, we will reveal select Out 100 honorees shot by each of the photographers and situated in each of the three celebrations. All 100 honorees, including our five amazing cover stars, will be revealed on November 11.

Here are the portraits of Chris Colfer (above), T.R. Knight, The Scissor Sisters and film director Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right). to see other portraits, go to





Ricky Martin tells Oprah that after coming out to the world: “I just started crying like a little baby. I started crying.”


Ricky Martin’s appearance on Oprah this week reminded me of when a newly out Greg Louganis appeared on the show back in the mid-90s (he also had a book coming out). Both men never looked happier and had never been more embraced.

Ricky, who tweeted his coming out earlier this year, has a new memoir out this week called Me.

“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man,” Ricky told Oprah during their interview.

He said when he first came out, he felt “numb” and then he felt “relieved.” Then it really hit him: ”When I realized, okay, I just pressed send, whoo … I was alone. I was in my studio alone for a minute. My assistant walked in and I just started crying like a little baby. I started crying.”

Ricky Martin

Ricky is a single father to 2-year-old twin sons named Valentino and Matteo who were born via surrogate. He said his kids were the reason he wanted to be open about his sexuality: ”I couldn’t take it anymore. It was too painful. But I guess the most important thing is my children … When I was holding them in my arms I was like, ‘What, am I gonna teach them how to lie?’ Whoa, that is my blessing right there. Then, when I was holding my children I said, ‘Okay, it’s time to tell the world.’ “


Wednesday Morning Man: Kyle Riabko!

Kyle Riabko Heading Out to TV's 90210

It’s always great when Broadway stars make their way to television and that’s what’s happened with Kyle Riabko.

The star of Spring Awakening and Hair on stage can now be seen on 90210 as Ian, the cute high schooler who had a fling with the school’s tennis playing closet case Teddy (Trevor Donovan).

Kyle may be new to the cast but he’s already experienced more success than most of his 90210 castmates with his stage credits which also include the national tour of Spring Awakening. His jump to Broadway leading man in that show was documented in the Canadian TV special Kyle Riabko: The Lead.

In addition, the 21-year-old Kyle has released a full-length record on Columbia and opened with performers such as John Mayer, Maroon 5, BB King and others. His debut album, The Parkdale Sessions, is currently available.

Prior to Spring Awakening, Kyle starred as Milo in the Canadian hit Instant Star from the creators of Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Evolving Teddy

Kyle Riabko

Kyle riabko - the parkdale sessions (2008)

Kyle Riabko

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

k.d. Lang is 49 today! Let’s celebrate with music!

k.d. dishes her 'fine' taste

k.d. Lang sure knows how to sing one helluva number.

In honor of her 49th birthday, I present to you three of my favorite songs that she sings: her first and biggest hit Constant Craving, her haunting version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and her gorgeous version of Roy Orbison’s Crying.


FILE UNDER: Birthdays

George Takei slams Clint McCance saying anti-gay former school board member will one day be “caught with a rent boy”

We’re all glad Clint McCance, the school district member in Arkansas who came under fire for an anti-gay post, resigned from office this week.

He’s a guy who has no business on a school board after using the terms “queer” and “fag” repeatedly, promising to disown his own children if they are gay, and stating that he enjoys “the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die.”

He acknowledged that his comments were ‘ignorant” in an interview with Anderson Cooper last week but you do have to wonder why someone is so anti-gay. Are they suppressing something?

Well, actor George Takei seems to think so and in a new video he has made for The Trevor Project, he talks about the controversy predicts that McCance will resurface in the headlines again one day “This time caught with a rent boy from some South American country.”

He wants McCance to know that of that happens and he ends up being bullied, “It does get better.”

Here is Takei’s video:

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Suze Orman’s powerful “It Gets Better” message to bullied gay teens: “People want you to be who you are…I am proud that I am a lesbian.”

Suze Orman's five-step recession rescue plan

It’s great that so many famous folks – both gay and straight – are doing It Gets Better videos to encouraged bullied gay teens. But let’s face it, some of these videos pack a more powerful punch than others.

Suze Orman’s is one of the best.

Not only because of what she says, but because of who she is. Look at her, just the picture of happiness, self-confidence and success.

Whatever road it took her to get there, she did get there and tells teens: “I am proud of my accomplishments. But I am proud that I can stand in my truth and I am not afraid to tell anybody who I am.”

She knows the road it rough for some of these kids but says: “Just stick with us. People are listening to you. People are supporting you. People want you to be who you are…I am proud that I am a lesbian.”

Here is Suze’s inspiring video:

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

90210: Teddy struggles with his attraction to Ian

It would be a lot easier for closet case Teddy (Trevor Donovan) to keep his mind off his classmate Ian (Kyle Riabko) if Ian were not so friggin adorable.

Ian is the emcee of the “Undie” Awards for the school’s underachievers (you get a pair of underwear instead of a trophy) and as Teddy watches the charming and confident Ian on stage, he can’t help but enjoy him. Ian catches Teddy’s eye and smiles and Teddy freaks out.

While I wish Teddy got more screen time and this story would move along just a bit faster, it is all pretty accurate as far as how it’s being played out. I was the kid who emceed things in high school too but unlike Ian, I as not out and proud. It makes me a bit sad that I felt I couldn’t be out but hey, I’m making up for it now!

Here are this week’s scenes involving Teddy and Ian:

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

MTV issues apology for ‘Jersey Shore’ reunion special with offensive segment about a transgender woman


Just got a note from GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) that MTV has issued an apology for the Jersey Shore reunion special that first aired Oct. 28 and included a highly offensive segment about a transgender woman.

In the segment, the Jersey Shore cast refers to the transgender woman as a ‘tranny’ and the word ‘it’ while the studio audience laughs.

Here is the statement from MTV: “We appreciate GLAAD voicing concern about the “Jersey Shore” reunion special. The segment in question was certainly not meant to be insensitive, but in retrospect we realize that it was offensive to some viewers.   We sincerely apologize.”

The special will be edited – and the segment removed – after this current rotation cycle. Until then, the apology will be public. MTV also agreed to meet with GLAAD this month to discuss how to better portray transgender issues on the network.

Kudos to GLAAD for pointing these things out and educating people about what is offensive to the LGBT community.

More information about the incident can be found on the GLAAD blog.

Cher talks to Vanity Fair about Chaz: “If I woke up tomorrow in a guy’s body, I would just kick and scream and cry and f******g rob a bank”


God bless Cher.

I love when this icon for the ages has a new project to promote (the film Burlesque) and agrees to do a lot of press. This woman is one helluva interview and has a lot to say about her kids, her exes, her longevity and the world of politics.

The Oscar-Grammy-Emmy winner is on the December cover of Vanity Fair and here are some highlights from the story inside (The issue is on sale this Thursday in New York and LA and nationally on Nov. 9).

FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2009 file photo, Gay rights activist Chaz Bono speaks during the Transgender Law Center 7th anniversary event in San Francisco. Bono is asking a judge to formally change his name and gender. The 41-year-old writer, activist and reality-TV star, was born a girl to Sonny Bono and Cher. He filed a petition to change his name and gender last weekOn supporting Chaz: “If I woke up tomorrow in a guy’s body, I would just kick and scream and cry and fucking rob a bank, because I cannot see myself as anything but who I am–a girl. I would not take it as well as Chaz has. I couldn’t imagine it.”

On getting used to the transition: “She’s a very smart girl–boy! This is where I get into trouble. My pronouns are fucked. I still don’t remember to call her ‘him.’”

On whether her children are still angry at her: “I think Chaz is pretty much finished with it, and I think Elijah has a little longer to go, but they both really love me a lot. But it’s hard… One time, when Chaz was little, we were on a field trip, and she said, ‘I’m so pissed off, Mom. You can never not be Cher–we can never just do something.’” She concludes, “So your kids pay. I did the best I could do, and yet it was definitely lacking.”

Cher on Sarah Palin and Jan Brewer: “I got so obsessed with [C-SPAN] that it was kind of interfering with my life. Sarah Palin came on, and I thought, Oh, fuck, this is the end. Because a dumb woman is a dumb woman.” On the subject of Arizona governor Jan Brewer, Cher says, “She was worse than Sarah Palin, if that is possible. This woman was like a deer in headlights. She’s got a handle on the services of the state, and I would not let her handle the remote control.”

Cher on aging: “I think Meryl [Streep] is doing it great. The stupid bitch is doing it better than all of us! But I don’t like it. It’s getting in my way. I have a job to do, and it’s making my job harder. … I’ve been screaming at the top of my lungs at my family, ‘Work out! Work out! Old age is coming!’ At some point you will need the strength. Who would have ever thought you would get this old?”

Cher on staying in the spotlight for the past five decades: “I feel like a bumper car. If I hit a wall, I’m backing up and going in another direction. And I’ve hit plenty of fucking walls in my career. But I’m not stopping. I think maybe that’s my best quality: I just don’t stop.”

Sultry pop duo, Sonny and CherCher on her marriage to the late Sonny Bono: She shares that Sonny “told me when we were together, ‘One day you are going to leave me. You are going to go on and do great things.’ … I wouldn’t have left him if he hadn’t had such a tight grip—such a tight grip.” Cher tells Smith that Sonny treated her “more like a golden goose than like his wife…. I forgive him, I think. He hurt me in so many ways, but there was something. He was so much more than a husband—a terrible husband, but a great mentor, a great teacher…. If he had agreed to just disband Cher Enterprises and start all over again, I would have never ever left. Just split it down the middle, 50-50.”

She cannot believe she and Sonny, whose hit the top of the charts with I Got You Babe, The Beat Goes On and other hits, have not been indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: “It just seems kind of rude. Sonny was a good writer, and we started something that no one else was doing. We were weird hippies before there was a name for it, when the Beatles were wearing sweet little haircuts and round-collared suits…. We influenced a generation, and it’s like: What more do you want?”


David Moretti of “The Lair” fame to join cast of Off-Broadway comedy “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” on Nov. 18


David Moretti, the openly gay actor best-known for the here! network series The Lair, is heading to the stage.

On Nov. 18, he joins the cast of the hit comedy My Big Gay Italian Wedding now playing at St. Luke’s Theatre. The show is about planning  wedding with two handsome grooms, one overbearing Italian mother, a jealous ex-boyfriend, the wedding planner from Hell, and an assortment of kooky family and friends all gather together for an evening with lots of laughs and lots of heart.

David steps into the role of Andrew which was previously played by David Robinson and Reichen Lehmkuhl.

David recently filmed Finding Mr. Wright opposite Matthew Montgomery and has also appeared in the films Murder Dot Com, and Playing With Fire.

“I am thrilled to join the company of My Big Gay Italian Wedding,” he tells Broadway World. “I love this show because audiences get to see how a gay man and his family can be just as loving, cantankerous and crazy as any other family out there. It’s hilarious and it has got such a positive message and with same-sex marriage, Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell and cyber bullying running throughout today’s headlines, that message could not be any more timely.”

Related Post: My interview with David Moretti, star of “The Lair”

FILE UNDER: Out Stars, Stage

Happy Birthday to Randy Harrison!

Former Queer as Folk star Randy Harrison gained fame playing young Justin Taylor on the HBO drama but he has grown up a lot since then.

Hard to believe, but he turns 33 today!

Since the show ended its five-year run in 2005, Randy has devoted himself to acting on the stage. Most recently, he appeared in the play Endgame at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Last year, he played the role of Andy Warhol in the Yale Repertory Theatre in the upcoming production of Pop!

His other theater credits include The Glass Menagerie, Equus, Amadeus, Waiting for Godot, Antony and Cleopatra, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Wicked and A Midsummer’s Nights Dream.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Tuesday Morning Man: Jason Priestley!

Jason PriestleySince Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete Series is out on DVD today, thought I’d choose for Morning Man one of my favorites from that 1990-2000 series: Jason Priestley!

He played Brandon Walsh for the almost the entire run of the series remaining long after his troubled twin Brenda (Shannon Doherty) was kicked off the show. The show made stars out of Jason, Luke Perry, Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green, and Jennie Garth.

It seemed like everyone was either in love with Dylan (Perry) or Brandon. I was all about Brandon.

Jason is now 41 and he has had a very busy post-90210 career not only as an actor, but also as a director and a race car enthusiast. He had regular or recurring roles in the series Tru Calling, Love Monkey and Side Order of Life and his film credits include Made in Brooklyn, Die Mommie Die! and Love and Death on Long Island.

He has gone way against type recently during a multi-episode arc on ABC’s Scoundrels and in the new series Call Me Fritz in which he stars as a hard-drinking, embezzling, egomaniacal womanizer named Richard Fitzpatrick.

Brandon Walsh’s parents would be so disappointed!

Jason Priestley

Jason Priestley

Jason Priestley, 90210

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Rosie O’Donnell talks a little about her new talk show and a lot about Broadway in a terrific new interview

Rosie O Donnell Jennifer Hudson, Pictures: Rosie O'Donnell wrote on her blog: "The family tragedy of Jennifer Hudson -- no words will do -- a grief 2 hard 2 comprehend."There is a new interview with Rosie O’Donnell on that I just LOVED. It is such a fun read that I had to share it with you all. Here are just a handful of the questions so be sure to go to the site now or later if you want to read the entire thing.

Q: What are your fondest Broadway memories? You’ve spoken about PIPPIN, DREAMGIRLS and LES MIZ as being some of your favorites.

RO: LES MIZ was, I think, life-altering for me.

Q: Of course. What about as a teenager?

RO: THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG with Lucie Arnaz. I went to see that when I was like fifteen years old and I wrote her a fan letter. And she wrote me back!

Q: No way!

RO: Way! She wrote me back from the Imperial Theater on yellow stationary paper with the THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG logo. And I’ve kept every single letter, when she – or anyone – would write me back. I remember telling her, “I want to do what you do. I want to play this if there’s ever a revival when I’m old enough. I love this show!” And, you know, that show really changed me in the fact that she was so unbearably kind and reached back.

Q: Your TV show inspired an entire generation of interviewers.

RO: My TV show was created with Broadway as, definitely, one of the centerpieces. The new one on Oprah Winfrey’s Network that starts in September will be more of the same.

Q: Tell me what the theme and style of your new show on Oprah’s channel will be.

RO: It will be similar to her show, where it’s a single topic for one hour. But, some of those one-hour, single-topics will be revolving around Broadway and Broadway shows.

Q: Fantastic! For example?

RO: So, if a new show is opening, or there’s an amazing performance or if it’s “Chorus Boys You Need To Know”….(Laughs.)

Q: A little of everything!

RO: Broadway will play a featured, prominent role in the television show because it is the reason I became an entertainer. It is, to me, natural Prozac. If I could go see a Broadway show every week I would never need another anti-depressant.

Q: What a great memory! What else did you dig on Broadway as a kid?

RO: A CHORUS LINE. THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS. I was one of those kids who would take the train in and get a ten-dollar standing room ticket. Then, I’d wait by the stage door just to see the sweaty actors come out. For me, Hollywood was vague and mysterious and far away, but Broadway was a tangible place where I could go and see living, breathing people doing what I wanted to do.
Q: You have done so much for the Broadway community. More than any other person on the planet, really. You are Broadway’s best patron.

RO: Thank you very much. That’s very nice of you. Broadway has done so much for me in my life. It has made me feel a part of something and not alone. The words of musicals were the moral codes that I lived by. I found meaning and messages in musicals that I didn’t find in churches or school books and it really made me come alive in a way.

Q: What’s your favorite Broadway theater to see a show in?

RO: Every time I walk into the O’Neill it’s like, “Oh my God. Remember?” That was the first Broadway stage I got to stand on to do an audition [for GREASE]. There’s something about being a part of Broadway and going backstage. You know, like when I go to see a show now and going backstage and saying “Hi” to the cast. It’s so thrilling. It’s so beyond my wildest dreams from when I was a kid.

Q: A dream come true. Made real.

RO: It’s probably my favorite part of my whole showbiz experience, is Broadway. The community of Broadway. That feeling that happens every night. Being able to give that to my children – they have become, somewhat, theater experts – and they have their real strong opinions on what shows they like and don’t and why.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars, Stage, Talk Shows

“Glee” star Matthew Morrison as Richard Simmons!

Click to view full size imageClick to view full size image

Click to view full size image

While I am sure Richard Simmons has inspired many people to lose weight over the years with his enthusiasm and encouragement, he never looked as good as Matthew Morrison does here – as Richard!

The Emmy-nominated Glee star turned 32 years old on Saturday and some photos from his party – obviously a costumed-themed affair, have been posted on his website.

It looks like his new Glee castmate, Chord Overstreet, also attended the festivities.