Look, Anderson Cooper is still my favorite TV news hottie but I’m finding there is room in my heart for someone else: ABC’s Matt Gutman!
Matt has been doing an excellent job in the Gulf Coast covering the oil spill and has been vocal about how BP is taking pains to keep workers away from the press.
“Everywhere you go, you find police barricades, people telling you, you can’t do this, you can’t do that, or you can’t talk to these people,” he told ABC’s Dan Harris in a video chat this week. “We’re not exactly sure why that is.”
Matt has filed plenty of stories from Afghanistan but it is his reporting on the oil spill in recent weeks has gotten him far more exposure on television than he usually gets as a Miami-based national correspondent for ABC News Radio.
It’s very sad that the amazing career of Helen Thomas came to an end this week following controversial remarks the 89-year-old Washington D.C. journalism icon made regarding Jewish people in Israel.
After a YouTube video of Helen saying Israeli’s should “get the hell out of Palestine” and suggested they go to Germany or Poland, she issued an apology saying she “deeply regretted” her comments and said: They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”
But it was too late to save her job.
Rosie O’Donnell has been one of the few people to speak out in defense of Helen who had covered every president dating back to the later years of the Eisenhower administration.
“Now, I think, in the year 2010, what she was saying was not, ‘Go back to the ovens,’ Rosie said this week on her radio show. “What she was saying was, the homeland was originally Palestinians’ and it’s now occupied by Israel, and Palestinians should be afforded human and civil rights.”
It’s unfortunate that Helen didn’t come up with a more diplomatic way to express her strong opinion. As a columnist for Hearst News Service, she of course has been far more opinionated publicly than she was as the longtime White House correspondent for UPI where she would expected to keep such things to herself.
I don’t agree with what Helen said or how she said it. But I still have so much respect for what this amazing woman, who turns 90 in August, has accomplished and have read two of her books: Front Row at the White House : My Life and Times Thanks for the Memories, and Mr. President : Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House.
She is a true pioneer and helped break down the gender walls among the Washington press corps. She also asked questions of our presidents that we wanted answered. I want to remember her career for that kind of persistence and remarkable drive.
Gareth Thomas is the first pro rugby superstar to come out publicly and he has gone from being tormented about his sexuality to comfortable and confident. So much so that he and straight but very gay-friendly superstar Nick Youngquest (he’s done some really hot photo shoots for gay mags) have engaged in some fun flirting via Twitter this week. Then today, one of them posted this photo of the two of them, shirtless, in the locker room!
Sorry, I’m a few days late with this news but here it is in case you hadn’t yet read it elsewhere: Ricky Martin will be starring in a 2012 Broadway revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita.
Ricky, who made his Broadway debut in . Les Miserables, will play the role of Che while Elena Roger will play the title role. The part of Juan Peron has not yet been cast.
“Ricky was at the top of our wish list and we sort of went after him,” producer Hal Luftig told the LA Times this week. “Ricky is the perfect showman. He knows how to win over an audience. And fortunately for us, he has always loved theater.”
Luftig said he hopes to begin rehearsals in January 2012 with an opening some time the following April.
That’s a long time for us to have to wait! But Ricky is busy preparing for a concert tour this fall, his first since coming out publicly as a gay man earlier this year.
My weekend is pretty packed with LA Gay Pride events otherwise I’d be in a movie theater taking in Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.
Can’t wait to see this new documentary which follows Joan Rivers, who turned 77 a few days ago, all around during her 75th year.
She’s a busy woman and a real force of nature so it should be very interesting and entertaining.
Brent Hartinger talked to Joan for AfterElton.com and writes that Miss River is “a jumble of contradictions: insecure, yet unflappable; heartless, yet compassionate; funny in her act, but completely serious about her profession. She leads a ridiculously lavish lifestyle, but still regularly hones her act in dingy, small New York nightclubs, delivering some of the funniest, frankest material of her career.”
Brent asks Joan why it is that she has connected with gay men from the very early days of her career in Greenwich Village: “I just think that gay men and I love the same things, and how lucky for me,” she says. “And all my friends, I look around my table … I’m having 12 people to dinner and there’ll probably be two straight couples, and me, and seven gay men.”
We haven’t heard much from T.R. Knight since he dropped out of the Broadway revival of Lend Me a Tenor late last year prior to the announcement of dates for the show.
He had completed a successful run in the musical Parade at the Mark Taper Forum in the fall but kept a low profile since.
Now we’ve found out what is next for the former Emmy-nominated star of Grey’s Anatomy: T.R. is set to return to the New York stage in the Broadway premiere of David Mamet’s play A Life in the Theatre.
T.R. will play the role of John and star opposite Patrick Stewart.
Although best known for his four seasons on Grey’s, T.R. is a stage veteran having previously appeared on Broadway in the 2001 revival of Noises Off! and the 2003 Roundabout Theatre revival of Tartuffe. Also in 2003, he received a Drama Desk nomination for his performance in the off-Broadway production of Scattergood.
Rehearsals for A Life in the Theatre, to be directed by Neil Pepe, will begin Aug. 23 with previews scheduled to start on Sept. 23 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
All Ethel Mertz wanted for her birthday was a toaster.
Hubby Fred asks Ethel’s BFF Lucy Ricardo what she thinks. Lucy says no woman would want something so dull. Fred let’s Lucy pick something out for Ethel who has historically hated just about every birthday present he has ever bought her.
When Ethel finds out that her present is fancy hostess pants that “you wear at smart dinner parties,” she thinks it’s another one of Fred’s bad gifts and exclaims: “I wanted a toaster!”
Ethel makes fun of the pants – unaware that Lucy had picked them out – and the two women end up having one of their worst fights ever. The insults are hilarious as Ethel insults Lucy’s taste and Lucy makes cracks about Ethel’s weight.
My friend Lorna saw Josh Strickland perform on Broadway in Disney’s Tarzan a few years back and somehow ended up with seats front-and-center at Richard Rodgers Theatre! She suggested I feature him as a Morning Man and I did so last December 8.
At that time, I didn’t know all that much about Josh except that prior to Tarzan, he as a competitor during the second season of American Idol and had also competed on Star Search. He also was part of the national touring company of Rent as the understudy for the roles of Mark and Roger.
Brandon Voss chats with Josh for The Advocate and we find out that not only is he the main male vocalist in Peepshow, Jerry Mitchell’s popular burlesque review at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas but he also appears in Peepshow co-star Holly Madison’s Girls Next Door spin-off, Holly’s World, which premieres June 13 on E!
We also find out that he is an out and proud gay man!
“I think the reason I never talked about it before is because I was playing Tarzan, one of the most masculine characters on Broadway,” he tells Brandon. “I never really hid it, but I was never asked about that in interviews because I guess most people just wanted to talk about me playing that iconic character. But recently, and especially now, I’m not going to hide any of that. I think it’s really important to be who I am and true to myself. … Now I’m happy to be open and out about it. If people are going to speculate anyway, why not wash all that speculation away? I am who I am.”
“I’d rather just put it to rest and be myself,” he adds. “Nowadays it really doesn’t even matter. You see people coming out all the time, and it makes them stronger and happier. I didn’t want to be one of those souls struggling every day to fight who I am. I’m 10 times better just by being out and open about it. It makes my life so much happier. I have no regrets about anything.”
This 32-year-old actor played spent seven years playing Gregor Mann on the German soap opera Forbidden Love (Verbotene Liebe) which has become popular with gay audiences in the United States and Europe because of its gay couple Christian Mann and Oliver Sabel played by Thore Schölermann and Jo Weil, respectively.
He is a graduate of the Bauhaus University in Weimar and the Université Lumière in Lyon and his favorite sports are basketball and running.
Andreas’s character is Christian’s brother and in a recent interview, Scholermann was asked how he thought his character would be affected by the absence of Gregor.
He said: “It affects him more than you see on the show because they didn’t want to talk about it that much. But he was the last part of my family. My father died on the show, my mother died on the show, my cousin left the show. He was the last part of my family. My best friend as well. I don’t have another best friend on the show. He was the last guy I could talk to about my problems. (Pause) I think it affected Christian a lot. And me as well. I loved working with him. I loved playing with him because we were like brothers. And so it’s a pity.”
This brilliant young man is such a gift to us all.
Dustin Lance Black, winner of the Academy Award for best original screenplay (Milk) last year, turns 36 today and seems to be making the most of his time here on Earth.
It’s one thing to be successful in his field, which Lance certainly is with such writing and/or directing credits as Big Love, Pedro, the documentary On the Bus and the upcoming feature What’s Wrong With Virginia.
But to have such a strong social conscience and to be willing to speak out and to lead is what makes him all the more special to the world and all the more important to the LGBT equal rights movement.
The dazzling Nick Adams, currently appearing in La Cage aux Folles on Broadway, turns 27 years old today!
It was such a pleasant surprise when watching the Stanford and Anthony wedding scenes on Sex and the City 2 a few weeks ago, I saw Nick’s handsome face on the screen. It was just for a second but it made me smile. Nick had more of a part in the recent indie flick An Englishman in New York but it was still so fun to see him in SATC2.
It is on Broadway where he has really shined in recent years. The muscular Nick appeared in Guys and Dolls last season and rose to prominence as a co-star of A Chorus Line in 2008 when the also muscular Mario Lopez joined the cast. Nick, who played his assistant, was put in a sweatshirt after the TV star’s arrival to not upstage the star.
Nick has always been a good sport about it and earlier this week, spoke out in support of Mario who raised eyebrows by gushing over the anti-gay Mike Hukabee during a TV appearance with the former governor.
Nick has many fans and friends and has been so overwhelmed with love today that he Tweeted:These birthday wishes are blowin my mind! Thanks everyone!
In a way, you can’t blame Sean Hayes for not wanting to talk about the Newsweek article in which a writer not only wrote that Sean not convincing as a love interest for Kristen Chenoweth in the current Broadway production of Promises, Promises, but that openly gay men in general are not able to portray straight romantic roles.
Sean, a first-time Tony nominee who is hosting Sunday’s Tony Awards, clearly wants to put the topic behind him which he made clear in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
According to the LA Times, Hayes called it “asinine” on “The View,” but said Wednesday that he had no plans to discuss it further, on TV or otherwise. … He stuck to that script during Wednesday’s phone call in which he said he’ll keep the Tonys moving along quickly so folks in the audience and at home will be entertained. He was short on specifics, though he did say he and Chenoweth will appear together during the CBS show. He was mum, though, on whether there would be any reference to the controversy.
This is as close as he came as he talked about his stage costar Kristin Chenoweth: “She’s an extraordinary talent and an amazing human being who’s been such a huge support system for me,” he said. “She makes it very easy to fall in love with her on stage every night.”
I’m very curious to see how Sean does Sunday night. Although he was an absolute scream as Jack McFarland for all those years, it’s not Jack who will be hosting the Tonys. Jack would absolutely kill.
I’m so glad I’ll have another chance to catch the absolutely brilliant stage show Streep Tease which had closed last month but now has a new lease on life. The show returned last Sunday to the Bang Comedy Theater on Fairfax and will run through July 31st!
Streep Tease is an evening of Meryl Streep monologues performed by an oh-so-talented all-male company that includes David Dean Bottrell, creator Roy Cruz, Drew Droege, Steve Hasley, Ron Morehouse, Taylor Negron, Mike Rose, and Trent Walker. It is directed by Ezra Weisz.
Really want to get the word out that Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives is now available on DVD. You must see this movie.
A restored version of this landmark documentary was screened at Outfest in LA in summer 2008 and was the most moving theatrical experience I had all year.
It features 26 people who opened up in front of the camera about their lives; their struggles, their quiet triumphs. What an eclectic group – wonderful group. All so different from each other.
Some of the stories were chilling: the man who was sent to an institution and given shock therapy after he confessed to his wife that he was gay; the woman who lost custody of her children because she was living with her lover; the woman who willingly spent four years as a teenager in a mental hospital in an effort to not be gay, and on and on.
These people break your heart at times then warm it with their resilience, their humor and their incredible perspective.
The movie was released in 1978 and has a positive feeling to it because the sense was that LGBT people had come quite a ways and it would only continue to get better. Then came AIDS.
It is impossible to watch Word Is Out and not reflect on your own journey. It may or may not have been as harrowing as some of the people in the film but I’m certain it was not an easy one. I’m excited for everyone to see this movie.
The version you will see is newly restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and its Outfest Legacy Project. One of the DVD bonuses is Word is Out, Then and Now: Thirty Years Later featuring the filmmakers and many of the film’s participants.
To be clear, I think reality shows are not the best place to meet the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with. In fact, the track record of ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette prove this. But that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes like to watch.
I’ve never followed a season of The Bachelorette until now and it is just a weekly two-hour feast for the eyes.
It is also blessed with the most appealing of any contestant ever: Ali Fedotowsky! I just love her. She’s adorable, smart, fun and seems a lot more authentic than all of the bachelor dudes from seasons past.
Ali is basically in a dream position of having 25 guys wanting to date her. All are attractive and some are downright HOT! Ali is no prude and is having the time of her life! She’s acting like some of my gay friends right there on national television!
Based on last Monday’s episode and some of what I read in People mag (I do my research!), I think two of the front-runners (and my personal faves) are sizzling hot<strong> Roberto</strong> (pictured in photo 2), a 26-year-old insurance agent from Florida and the sweet and sexy Kirk, a 27-year-old sales consultant from Wisconsin (pictured, shirtless, with Ali in photo 3).
One of my favorite events all year occurs of the Saturday evening of LA Pride weekend: Life Out Loud.
It’s always so well-attended and filled with fascinating people and benefits Lifeworks Mentoring, a group which offers one on one, peer and group mentoring opportunities for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth ages 14-24. It is now under the umbrella of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
Last year, Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black gave an inspiring speech that left a lot of us deeply moved. This year’s honorees are just as deserving: high school students Constance McMillen and Derrick Martin who fought to bring same-sex dates to their respective proms and paid quite a price.
Derrick (pictured below with boyfriend Richard Goodman) was kicked out of the house by his parents for taking his public stance. I will be anxious to see how he is doing and what his plans for the future are.
As for Constance, I got the chance to chat with this impressive Mississippi teen at the GLAAD Media Awards at a time when she seemed to be coping well with all the publicity surrounding the awfulness of her school canceling its prom rather than let her bring a girl. Then parents threw a private prom and did not include Constance.
“My hometown is horrible – the [lack of] support that they’ve shown is horrible,” she told me then. “But from across the world, it’s absolutely amazing how much support I’ve had. That’s really what keeps me going.”
This year’s Life Out Loud event takes place from 5-8 p.m. at Sunset Gower Studios. Click HERE for more information and to order tickets.
FOREVER STAR: Had she lived, the great star and gay icon would have been 88 years old today.
But Judy Garland, star of The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me In St. Louis, A Star is Born and scores of other movies during the golden age of Hollywood, died much too soon – she was just 47 when she passed away in 1969.
But it is her life we celebrate today.
She left behind not only the wonderful movies, but so many recordings, dozens of episodes of TV’s The Judy Garland Show, and three children: Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joe Luft.
It’s quite a legacy.
I chatted with Lorna and Joey in April at the Turner Movie Classics Film Festival where their mom’s movie A Star is Born was the opening night film and was given a splashy premiere attended by such Hollywood stars as Cher, Alec Baldwin, Tony Curtis, Eva Marie Saint, Tippi Hedren, Danny Huston, Martin Landau, Tab Hunter and many more.
“Every time that my mother is celebrated, it’s wonderful,” Lorna told me that night. “Every time that someone celebrates her, every time some mom and dad sits their little boy or little girl down in front of a television to watch The Wizard of Oz, how great is that? What an honor that is.”
Sean Faris is a talented young actor who really lit up the screen in the 2008 film Never Back Down and is helped ratchet up the hotness quotient on the TV series The Vampire Diaries with the recurring role of Ben McKittrick.
He’s also, thank God, done some modeling because some of his pics are quite hot!
Sean, who is 28, landed his first acting gig right out of high school: a small role in Pearl Harbor. He went on to co-star in the short-lived television series Life as we Know It and Reunion before landing a parts in the Dennis Quaid-Renee Russo comedy Yours, Mine and Ours and the teen film Sleepover.
He has since appeared in the films Forever Strong, Ghost Machine, The King of Fighters and Brooklyn to Manhattan. He is currently filming The Wolf.
I met Sean at a movie opening a few years back and he told me: “I don’t consider myself a movie star. I’m just an actor doing the best I can.”