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Roger Federer wins on court and off

Roger Federer

Whether or not Roger Federer wins his fourth title at Indian Wells, he’s already a big winner at the second biggest tennis tournament outside the four grand slams.

The Swiss superstar this week accepted three awards from the ATP for his brilliant 2009 season, including the Player of the Year, the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and the ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite Player of the Year.

Roger said to the crowd: “I’d like to thank the fans for voting for me. You guys are amazing. Thank you. As you know, you guys make this even more worthwhile traveling around the globe from January to November. I love coming back here, so it’s very nice to get presented the awards here.”

At the post-match press conference, the world number one said “receiving those awards is always a nice thing.Those are things that got voted for by other people, especially fellow players or fans, it’s something that’s very touching. Then on top of the that, the video was nice, sitting there, sharing the moment with the fans, watching it, as well at the same time. It’s emotional.”

FILE UNDER: Tennis

Anderson Cooper on the “Outside”

http://i.usatoday.net/communitymanager/_photos/lifeline-live/2010/03/15/AndersonCooperx-large.jpgMy favorite silver fox, Anderson Cooper, is on the cover of the April issue of Outside magazine on sale today.

Here are some excerpts from the interview with the CNN anchor:

On fear: “I don’t believe you should be ruled by fear in anything in life. I don’t like anything that scares me, I prefer to face it head-on and get over it. Anyone who says they’re not scared is a fool or a liar or both. I just don’t want that fear in my stomach to be a part of my life, so I work to eliminate it.”

On the risks taken by adrenaline junkies:“I have no interest in jumping out of an airplane, or any of the things people do for thrills to push the limit and all that. To me, that seems foolish. There’s no point. If people are suffering in a place, to me, it’s not a question of whether I’m going to go or not. It’s a question of how fast can I get there.”

On his role as a journalist in Haiti:“You suddenly find yourself in a situation where, you say … what do you do? There are some journalism purists who say that you do nothing, that you just watch and report, and I certainly understand that. But in the case of a little boy who got hit in the head with a cement block, no one was helping him. He couldn’t get up. … Blood was pouring from his head. It was a split second decision to take him out of the situation.”

FILE UNDER: Newsmakers

Lunch Break Video: It’s here! Today is the debut of “Knots Landing” Tuesdays!

http://www.timvp.com/knotslanding0.jpgSometimes I wonder if all those Thursday nights watching Knots Landing in the 80s were time well spent. Should I have spent those hundreds of hours reading great literature or learning a foreign language?

Nah!

To kick off a new weekly video feature, here are some video compilations of some of the show’s most memorable moments. They make me realize why I was so addicted: Knots Landing is the best prime time soap – ever!

Not only was there all kinds of life and death drama, we really cared about the core characters of Gary and Val (Ted Shackleford and Joan Van Ark), Karen and Mack (Michelle Lee and Kevin Dobson) and, of course, Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Sumner (Donna Mills).

They were the core characters on a show that also featured the great Julie Harris, William Devane, Constance McCashin, Michelle Phillips and for a time Alec Baldwin, Nicolette Sheridan, Lisa Hartman, Halle Berry, Marcia Cross, Bruce Greenwood, and Brian Austin Green, among others.

Enjoy some of the memories and come back next week for more!


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FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video

Tuesday Morning Man: Travis Stork!

http://www.look4photographers.com/PhotographerImages/64b0fdd6-5c2e-46d2-a4c2-3059f98c6345_600_0_0.jpgOkay, so I watched a little bit of a cheesy two-hour The Bachelor special last night. It was a “Where are they now” show and was interesting because there were entire seasons that I had never seen including the one featuring Travis Stork.

I only knew him as the host of the syndicated show The Doctors – had no idea he did a Bachelor stint! He had chosen a schoolteacher named Sarah Stone but they didn’t last very long after the final show was taped.

The 38-year-old is an attending physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. On The Doctors, Travis heads a panel of three other physicians from different fields (pediatrics, plastic surgery and obstetrics) as they discuss health issues and answer audience questions.

As far as I know, he’s still single!

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Wilson Cruz is honored for his groundbreaking career at Outfest Fusion gala in Hollywood

Outfest Fusion 2010 by you. When a retrospective of Wilson Cruz’s career in films and on television was shown Saturday night at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, I felt so proud to know a man who has been able to carve out such an impressive body of work for himself as an openly gay actor from the very beginning of his career. Wilson was the recipient of the Outfest Fusion Achievement Award for his groundbreaking career.

Most gay actors – and I’ve talked to many of them about this – stay in the closet professionally because they simply want to work. Some feel they can only come out once they reach a certain level of success while others – most – never go public. http://www.bestweekever.tv/bwe/images/2007/02/WILSON2.JPG http://www.deborah-gibson.com/images/coffeedate.jpg http://13.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kwgh09yfHs1qaca1po1_400.jpgWilson is an exception and has been out publicly since his breakthrough role as gay high school student Ricky in the 1994-95 ABC series My So-Called Life.

Whatever roles he lost along the way, he’s had enough talent to appear in many films and television shows including recurring roles on series Party of Five, Noah’s Arc and Raising the Bar and in the films  johns, All Over Me, Party Monster, Coffee Date, The Ode, Bam Bam and Celeste, He’s Just Not That Into You and the new romantic comedy The People I’ve Slept With.

Wilson also is one of the lead voices in the animated series Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in the World.

And if Hollywood wasn’t coming up with the jobs, Wilson has had the singing and talent chops to take to the stage. He played Angel early in the run of the original Broadway production of Rent as well as in the Los Angeles production of that show and has many other theater credit including Tick Tick Boom.

Wilson has also been outspoken about being a gay man each step of the way and his activism has become just as much of his public persona as he speaks out for LGBT equality.

Darryl Stephens, a close friend of Wilson’s from when they starred together in the second season of Noah’s Arc, presented the award and said: “Wilson has been an out and proud actor since the beginning of his career, before the term openly gay actor event existed. … This long overdue award not only acknowledged the contributions Wilson has made as a fantastic actor but also the impact he’s made within the LGBTQ community by being a role model of courage strength honesty and commitment. … From the first moment we saw him on screen he’s brought understanding, intelligence, humor and bravery to every character he’s portrayed.”

Wilson received a standing ovation and gave a moving speech and expressed his thanks to those behind the largest LGBT film festival in the country who has “encourage me to press on – especially during times that were especially difficult.” “Outfest has been one of my greatest champions and sources of support,” he said. “I have literally grown up on Outfest screens.”

Here is much of Wilson’s moving and insightful speech from Saturday night: “I think about the countless people I’ve met, been inspired by and hired by at this festival. My experiences here have been invalauble to me as an artist and as an audience member hungry to see our stories told on that screen. that’s what Outfest provides us. It’s an opportunity to reflect on who we are, who we were and who we want to be. It’s an opportunity to feel a sense of community with people who are fighting the same fight we fight every single day -the fight to be seen, to be heard, and to be understood through the magic of storytelling.” http://www.ichatgay.com/img_blog/wilson_cruz.jpg“Make no mistake, the stories we see on Outfest screens have the power to change hearts and minds and to literally save lives. That is even more ture here at Fusion – we celebrate, nurture and lift out GLBTQ arrists of color. here are Fusion we urge storytellers to speak their own truths and in doing so illuminate the experiences of those who cannot speak for themselves. People who because of the mainstream media and its myopic view of us, ignore our experience or find it uninteresting. But here is where we begin to change that. … We dig deeper here for meaning and we celebrate the fact that we have the strength to do it – strength to endure all of the disappointments, the rejections, the budget shortfalls, the stretches of unemplohyments. All the “no’s” we hear and the various reasons why and still, we get it done – we represent.”

“It’s what I live for. It is and will continue to be my life’s work, it’s what drives me when I’m at my lowest points. The opportunities to say, ‘Here I am. See me. Feel what I’m feeling. Not because I need the attention but because I can’t live in a world where 11 yewar old boys of color hang themselves because they are teased for being effeminate – as if that’s the worst thing you can possibly be. I can’t life in a world where HIV rates among people of color continue to rise. I can’t live in a world where we stand by and let governments and churches who in one breath speak the name of Christ and in the next, speak their desire to kill us for expressing for what he taught us we are all here to feel.”

“We are soldiers armed with the undeniable force that can only be found in art, in truth and love.”

Outfest Fusion 2010 by you.

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FILE UNDER: Awards, Outfest

TV Guide chats with Eric Sheffer Stevens about the possibilities for Reid and Luke on “ATWT”

Getting to Know <i>As the World Turns</i>' Dr. OliverWe’ve all been so delighted with the arrival of Dr. Reid Oliver who has really breathed new life into As the World Turns. TV Guide has a terrific interview with the actor who plays the sexy doc who is played by Eric Sheffer Stevens.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Doesn’t the revelation—or, for some viewers, confirmation—that Reid is gay make us go back and re-think everything about him through that prism? Especially all the mind games he’s been playing with Luke?
You probably will reassess a lot about his relationship with Luke, and also his attraction to Katie [Terri Colombino]. There have been a few red herrings with Reid, so I’m not really sure where this is headed. It’s very strange not to know what’s coming up, but I’m kinda loving that. For Reid, emotions are very messy and silly, but there’s definitely been sexual tension between him and Luke.

How would you feel if they did have an affair?
Great! That would be juicy and I hope the show will really do something with it, you know? There aren’t that many gay relationships in soaps. I’m open to whatever makes my character more complicated.

There’s a scene coming up where Reid’s past comes back to hit him in the face—literally.
A man whose daughter died under Reid’s care comes out of nowhere in the Lakeview lobby and punches him—and keeps punching. It’s a way to get Reid to open up about his past so Luke can get to know him better.

Conveniently, just as Luke and Noah have officially called it quits.
It forces the [Luke-Reid] relationship to develop. Luke wants to know what this incident is all about and, of course, it takes Reid a while to talk about it. But he does reveal himself a bit, and you see he does care and is very upset when something goes wrong with a patient. For all Reid’s talk and self-promotion—and he apparently is as good a doctor as he says he is—he doesn’t have a 100 percent success rate. And that takes a toll on him. He just doesn’t know how to express it. He doesn’t have the facility to comfort the father or to say, “Listen, I’m really broken up about this,” which is what the father really wants to hear. Reid just allows the dad to beat him up. He allows him to have his grief.

So, then, Reid does have a heart! Two sizes too small, but a heart nonetheless.
And he keeps it sewn up pretty tight.

FILE UNDER: Daytime TV

It was another very gay episode of “Housewives”

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - "The Chase" - When Celia comes down with the chicken pox, Gaby must keep her distance, on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Having never had the chicken pox herself, Gaby stays with Tuc and Bob and is reminded of what it's like to be single again; Lynette and Tom forget Penny's birthday; Bree hires a promising new employee; Susan cheats on Mrs. McKluskey; Katherine makes a surprising discovery; and Angie grows concerned over Danny's disappearance. (ABC/RON TOM)JULIE BENZ

If you’ve ever been someone’s first time in a same-sex affair, then you recognized Katherine’s (Dana Delaney) face on last night’s Desperate Housewives when she woke up next to Robin (Julie Benz).

She freaks out and it all gets worse when Susan (Teri Hatcher) rings the doorbell and as Katherine is talking to her, Robin pops her head in the doorway and kisses Katherine on the lips as they are both still in their robes.

Katherine goes to Bob and Lee’s house for advice and wonders if it’s possible that she could be gay. First, they have to get over their shock as Lee (Kevin Rahm) says:”Holy Chaz Bono!”

Then he adds: “You can’t just change your main entree from meat to fish!”

Later, Katherine tries to give Robin the break-up talk: “I was drunk, I didn’t even know what I was doing until I was doing it. The other night was a mistake and I’m sorry. I am not attracted to women and whatever it was didn’t count.”

Rita replies with a kiss and says; “You may deny it now, but we connected and it counted.”

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - "The Chase" - When Celia comes down with the chicken pox, Gaby must keep her distance, on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Having never had the chicken pox herself, Gaby stays with Tuc and Bob and is reminded of what it's like to be single again; Lynette and Tom forget Penny's birthday; Bree hires a promising new employee; Susan cheats on Mrs. McKluskey; Katherine makes a surprising discovery; and Angie grows concerned over Danny's disappearance. (ABC/RON TOM) DANA DELANY
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - "The Chase" - When Celia comes down with the chicken pox, Gaby must keep her distance, on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Having never had the chicken pox herself, Gaby stays with Tuc and Bob and is reminded of what it's like to be single again; Lynette and Tom forget Penny's birthday; Bree hires a promising new employee; Susan cheats on Mrs. McKluskey; Katherine makes a surprising discovery; and Angie grows concerned over Danny's disappearance. (ABC/RON TOM)KEVIN RAHM, TUC WATKINS
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - "A Spark. To Pierce the Dark." - Andrew Van de Kamp.
I’m so glad to see that the return of Andrew Van de Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom) was not just a one episode shot. He is set up for a rivalry with Sam who we later find out is his half-brother! Sam gets under Andrew’s skin anyway because Bree wants to promote him to VP of her company. Andrew gets drunk and pushes Sam to the ground in front of staff and then says to Bree: “See, told you he was a slacker.”
Love seeing little evil Andrew back!
Bree (Marcia Cross) goes to Sam’s place to drop off some get well soon muffins. He’s not home but the door is unlocked. She snoops around and see a framed photo of Sam with Bree’s late husband Rex.

Sam later explains: “My mother and father met at a bar, both single, they had one night together.”

She called Rex when she got pregnant but he had met Bree by then so Sam’s mom turned down his offer for help. He used to ride by the Van de Kamp house all the time: “I wanted to understand why my father would choose all of you over me. And I did. You were all so perfect. My mom died six months ago and that’s when I decided I had to meet you.”

In next week’s previews, we see Andrew finding out that Sam is his brother and they appear ready for a very interesting sibling rivalry. I’m almost as excited about that as I am about John Barrowman’s arrival to Wisteria Lane soon.

Earlier post: Katherine switches team, Andrew’s back and Bob and Lee party in the gayest episode of ‘Desperate Housewives’ ever.

FILE UNDER: Television

Exclusive: Real-life couple Matthew Montgomery and Steve Callahan to star together in “Role/Play”

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Guest House Films has just shared with me that it is teaming up out actors Matthew Montgomery and Steve Callahan for the film Role/Play which is scheduled to begin production in May.

The actors are a couple off-screen and but this marks their first major film roles opposite each other although both actors appear in the upcoming film, Pornography: A Thriller, and in the touring company of the Terrence McNally play Corpus Christi.

Steve, who has starred in gay faves East Side Story and Nine Lives, will star as Graham Windsor, a soap opera star recently outed in the press.

Matthew’s many film credits include Long-Term Relationship, Back Soon, Socket and Redwoods. He will play Trey Reed, a gay marriage activist dealing with the media backlash following his own divorce.  The two characters cross paths at a secluded Palm Springs resort, where they find common ground as they discuss their individual quests for fame and the fickle nature of what it means to be a gay celebrity.

The drama will be written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Rob Williams whose most recent hit was Make the Yuletide Gay. A sequel to Yuletide will go into production next year.

Role/Play has already been booked at multiple gay film festivals across the country; screenings will be announced soon.

In my mind, there were no actors more perfectly suited to play these roles than Matthew and Steve,” says Williams, co-founder of Guest House Films.  “Not only do they each have a track record of putting out quality performances time and time again, but their off-screen chemistry will certainly translate into on-screen fireworks.”

With this new production, Guest House Films also is giving its fans a special opportunity to be part of the film.  On the Guest House Films web site (www.GuestHouseFilms.com), fans can pre-order the DVD of Role/Play and have their names featured in the “Special Thanks” portion of the film’s closing credits in addition to receiving an exclusive email newsletter on the film’s progress.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

“Mary Tyler Moore Show” Monday: Rhoda and Mary have their biggest fight – ever

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_iJSPkFxaogI/SkGi6n26atI/AAAAAAAACag/wxd1C-UdVs0/s400/mary-and-rhoda15.jpgThe friendship between Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern is right up there with Lucy and Ethel. The two cannot live without each other. But unlike the famous redhead and her landlady, Mary (Mary Tyler Moore) and Rhoda (Valerie Harper) never had fights – except for this episode from season four – and it is a doozy!

I posted the entire episode “The Best of Enemies” because it shows how these two felt about each other and how important they were in each other’s lives. Mary is so lost without Rhoda that Mr. Grant (Ed Asner) tries telling her some jokes including this one about my hero Billie Jean King:

Q. What would happen if Billie Jean King got married to Bobby Riggs?

A. Her husband would be upset.

(Of course we now know Billie Jean left that husband 25 years ago and has since been in a committed relationship with a woman!)



FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video

Monday Morning Man: Chris Balish!

On the Red Carpet live stream

A few weeks ago at a PaleyFest event, I met Chris Balish while we worked the arrivals line for ABC’s Cougar Town and he told me about his new show, On the Red Carpet which premiered just last night on ABC 7.

Chris is an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, reporter, anchor, host and author. He has more than a decade of experience as an entertainment news host and correspondent working on the primetime magazine show CW NOW, Hollywood 411 on the TV Guide Network, EXTRA, American Movie Classics All-Star Summer and AMC News.

Chris has also anchored and reported for WKRC-TV Cincinnati and KSDK-TV St. Louis. Chris is also a best-selling author of two books. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he was an Academic All-American and varsity letterman on the Dartmouth football team.

He’s an awfully handsome addition to ABC 7!


FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Breaking News: Director Todd Holland and husband Scotch Ellis Loring are expecting triplets!

Outfest Fusion 2010 by you.
Last night, I met Todd Holland and Scotch Ellis Loring in the popcorn line at the Egyptian Theatre.

We were there for Outfest Fusion where Wilson Cruz was honored (look for photos and story shortly) and his film The People I’ve Slept With had its Los Angeles premiere.

The couple, introduced by Cruz after the Outfest premiere of Billy’s Hollywood Screen Test a decade ago, shared some news with me: they are about to become the parents of triplets!

Scotch is an actor who starred in the films Hard Pill and Wigged and is a member of the Outfest board of directors. Todd is an Emmy winning director whose credits include Malcolm in the Middle, The Larry Sanders Show, and 30 Rock.

“They are due Apri 7 and we’re expecting two girls and a boy,” Scotch said. “Almost five years of trying and finally success.”

“It’s amazing,’ Todd said. “It’s a little overwhelming but amazing. We’re in the getting ready phase. The kids haven’t arrived yet, it’s all about the nursery.”

Todd also just gave birth to a new television show: Sons of Tuscon. He directed the pilot episode of the series which premiered Sunday night on Fox and he is set to do more.

Congratulations to the soon-to-be parents!

“One Life to Live” star Brett Claywell’s bittersweet tweets from GLAAD Media Awards


  1. On the way to the GLAAD awards. Cars picking Scott up now too. In spite of recent news, gonna be nice to celebrate what we did, together … 2:19 PM Mar 13th via txt
  2. I’m proud of what we did and all we accomplished. Thanks for all of the love and support. Forever grateful. 2:21 PM Mar 13th via txt
  3. Done with the red carpet. Next stop, bar. 3:31 PM Mar 13th via txt
  4. About to present Outstanding Drama Series with Scott and Ron!! about 23 hours ago via txt
  5. Was a fun night. Would have thought they would have acknowledged our work at least, but not so. Oh well! We still won…I think… about 20 hours ago via txt
FILE UNDER: Daytime TV

A gallery of out stars at GLAAD Media Awards

It always makes me feel good to see so many out and proud stars gathered in one place.

Last night the following were among those attending the 21st GLAAD Media Awards at the Marriott Marquis in New York City: Gavin Creel, Alan Cumming, Dustin Lance Black, Bryan Batt, Reichen Lehmkuhl, Michael Urie, Sarah Paulson.

Here is are some of the awards presented last night: Outstanding Drama Series: Brothers & Sisters (ABC), Outstanding Film-Limited Release: Little Ashes (Regent Releasing), Outstanding Individual Episode: “Pawnee Zoo” Parks and Recreation (NBC), Outstanding Daily Drama: One Life to Live (ABC), Outstanding Talk Show Episode: “Ellen DeGeneres and Her Wife, Portia de Rossi” The Oprah Winfrey Show (syndicated), Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine: “Uganda Be Kidding Me” (series) and The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC).

Additional awards will be presented in Los Angeles on April 17 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, and in San Francisco on June 5 at the Westin St. Francis.

FILE UNDER: Awards, GLAAD

GLAAD Media Awards: Cynthia Nixon and Joy Behar presented with special honors at NYC ceremony

Any award Cynthia Nixon gets for her activism is well-deserved because she not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. She is so informed, so articulate, and so filled with purpose.
That’s why I’m so happy to see that this gifted actress (2 Emmys, 1 Tony, 1 Grammy – so far!) was honored last night at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. She received the Vito Russo Award which is named a founding member of GLAAD and is presented to a gay media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the gay community.
In her speech, Miss Nixon said: “Coming out wasn’t hard in 2004. But if it had been 1994? What would I have done? I’ll never know. Only 10 years difference and a whole different universe. Coming out wasn’t difficult for me because of the work of many people in this room and because of the vision, tenacity and sacrifice of people like Vito Russo, who are no longer with us, but because of whom there is a room – a room that has all of us in it.”
1_GLAAD_Media_Awards.sff.jpgAnother fabulous redhead, Joy Behar, was a star honoree last night.
Her former The View cohort Meredith Vieira presented the Excellence in Media Award to Joy who has shown a strong commitment to educating the public about the lives of gay and transgender people on her HLN talk show, The Joy Behar Show, and as co-host of The View.
The Excellence in Media Award is presented to individuals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media.

Joy said in her acceptance speech: “I was not sure of myself in any way, totally freaked out by the whole thing but I had to do it because I had no money and…I was raising a kid, so I needed to keep moving ahead and the gay community was so great and warm to me and just got everything. They understood and got all the jokes and I will forever be grateful to you for that.”

FILE UNDER: Awards, GLAAD

GLAAD Media Awards: Scott Evans reacts to the end of his Kish storyline on “One Life to Live”

One Life to Live deservedly won the GLAAD Media Award last night for outstanding daily drama.

Actors Scott Evans and Brett Claywell, aka Oliver Fish and Kyle Lewis, were both on hand to accept the prize which comes just days after it was learned that their groundbreaking gay love story is coming to an end.

It’s outrageous that the network or sponsors or whoever is behind this decision is allowing its only gay characters to take a fall for a dip in ratings.

Evans seems positive about his future in this red carpet interview as well he should. He’s become a big fan fave: “We told a fantastic story. Of course you feel there’s always more places it could go. … Now we’re done and moving on. I’m excited to see that’s next in store.”

FILE UNDER: Controversy, Daytime TV

Showtune Sunday: Compare “Sunset Boulevard” divas Glenn Close and Patti LuPone on “As if We Never Said Goodbye”

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_HyZCP_xiy0o/R13GwFA0yrI/AAAAAAAAAp0/pR8sAkHrmIQ/s400/glenn%2Bclose%2Barms.bmphttp://www.insidesocal.com/outinhollywood/aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapatti.jpgThere will always be two camps when it comes to the first stage productions of Sunset Boulevard: the Glenn Close camp and the Patti LuPone camp.

I think they were both sensational in the role of Norma Desmond and it’s such a shame that only Glenn got to play the role on Broadway – a performance that won her a third Tony Award.

Miss LuPone debuted the role in London and triumphed in the West End. The plan – and her contract – called for her to then take the show to Broadway.

But before that could happen, Miss Close starred in a Los Angeles production of the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and set all kinds of box office records. I saw her during this run and it was a wonderful show.

When the Broadway run drew close, Lloyd Webber made a shocking decision that people still buzz about 15 years later: he decided to have Miss Close be the lead on Broadway and paid LuPone at least $1 million for breaking her contract. She was famously furious and I cannot wait to read the chapter in her forthcoming autobiography about this whole episode.

I bought the soundtrack to that London production years ago and love it. I so wish I could have seen Miss LuPone on stage as Desmond. I found the grainy video on YouTube on As if We Never Said Goodbye – the quality is poor visually but the audio is terrific.

Miss Close’s performance is from the Tony Awards telecast.

Who would you have rather seen do the role on Broadway? Did Lloyd Webber make the right choice?


Glenn Close

FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video

Morning Man Classic: Elvis Presley!

http://www.mightywriters.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/elvis-presley1ac1.jpgElvis Presley died far too young – at the age of 42 – but he did leave us with so many wonderful recordings and films.

He hit the top of the record charts with songs like Jailhouse Rock, Love Me Tender, Heartbreak Hotel, Don’t Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Blue Suede Shoes, Suspicious Minds and on and on and on.

Then there were a series of hit movies in the 50s and 60s starting with Love Me Tender (the only film in which he dies), Blue Hawaii, It Happened at the World’s Fair, Viva Las Vegas, Kissin’ Cousins and my favorite: Change of Habit opposite Mary Tyler Moore as a nun who falls in love with a doctor played by Elvis!

Elvis was a singular talent who could sing, act and shake that pelvis. And, well, he was hot!

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http://www.bravo.co.uk/images/elvis-presley1.jpgelvis_presley.jpg ELVIS PRESLEY! image by Debmin_Shdoo

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Greg’s gallery of tennis stars Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and others practicing this week at Indian Wells

FEDERER FEVER: I’ve had the best time out in the desert this week at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, a tradition for me since 1994. It’s always a balance during the first week – when I usually attend – of watching matches inside the stadiums and hanging around the practice courts to watch your favorite stars working on their shots.

At practice they are relaxed and hit the most amazing shots and when they do drills, you get to see forehand after forehand and marvel at their precision. And, well,. sometime they take their shirts off in the desert sun and that’s always worth the price of admission!

These are some of the photos I took during the days I was there. A big thanks to my friend James for arranging for me to see matches from his company’s corporate box!

Roger Federer is trying to win a fourth title at Indian Wells. The world’s number one player – and the best male tennis star in history – has such an elegant way about him both on and off the court. He was mobbed leaving a practice court Thursday and spent at least 20 minutes signing autographs. I’m not into autographs but I did wish him good luck and he smiled and said, “Thank you.”

SPANISH DISH: Like Federer, Rafael Nadal is one of the top stars in the game and the defending champion at Indian Wells this year. The four-time French Open winner is the only man to defeat Federer at Wimbledon since 2003 and also beat him at the Australian Open last year. But his one year reign at number one was cut short last year by injuries. Nadal is as gracious to fans as Federer, just a real gentleman. Watching him practice is fun because Nadal is intense – works very hard out there.

Spain’s Feliciano Lopez used to be top 10 but has dropped to the low-20s. He’s still tops in the sexy Spaniard department though. I learned watching him practice that there really is no such thing as taking too many photos of Feliciano Lopez – from any angle!

Britain’s Andy Murray is the world’s fourth ranked player right now but has been as high as number 2. He’s reached the finals of the US Open and Australian Open (losing both to Federer) and, I think, will win one of the game’s big titles this year. He is very focused at practice and you can see how hard to works to get where he is.

There is no male pro more fun-loving than second-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2008 champion at Indian Wells. I got to watch him play soccer with a group of other players one afternoon and he was as dominant on the soccer field as on the tennis court. What a great athlete! He is one of only two players since 2005 other than Federer or Nadal to have won one of tennis’s grand slam tournaments. Njokovic won the 2008 Australian Open and is looking for another big win.

FILE UNDER: Tennis

GLAAD fighting for dumped Kyle and Fish storyline to continue on “One Life to Live”

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http://www.advocate.com/uploadedImages/ADVOCATE/ARTS_AND_ENTERTAINMENT/TELEVISION/2009/wedding_kisx390.jpgI’m still stunned by ABC’s decision to kick its gay couple Oliver Fish and Kyle Lewis to the curb.

Running the gay people out of Llanview and blaming them for ratings woes. It’s outrageous.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has stepped up and in a statement Friday said: “GLAAD today advocated for continuation of the storyline of characters Kyle and Fish on One Life and spoke out on the importance of bringing fair and accurate media images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to Americans. Last summer, One Life brought a ground-breaking relationship into the homes of millions with Kyle and Fish’s story, one that built acceptance and understanding of gay people. While we understand that the close of storylines is a frequent occurrence on daytime dramas, cancelling this story just as it gains momentum is a step backward in ABC Daytime’s representation of the lives of gay Americans.”

GLAAD continues: “When news reports broke yesterday, GLAAD spoke to ABC Daytime to voice concerns over the cancellation and advocate that the storyline continue. We remain disappointed that ABC Daytime has chosen to stop sharing this powerful story with viewers of One Life. GLAAD will continue to advocate that in the near future, producers and writers at ABC Daytime incorporate gay and transgender characters in their programming.”

Here is ABC’s response to GLAAD: ”The groundbreaking Kyle-Fish relationship on One Life to Live was embraced by fans both as a great story and a fair and honest reflection of the LGBT community. We’re glad their story resonated with the audience, and understand the fans’ disappointment now that it has concluded. The show has a history of bringing LGBT stories to the screen — earning two GLAAD awards in the process — as well as returning popular characters when they serve the ongoing story. These great characters remain in Llanview, and while there are no immediate plans to advance their story, the door is always open for their return.”

No plans to advance a groundbreaking story so they can just tell the same stories over and over (how many times can Nora and Bo get back together?).

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FILE UNDER: Controversy, Daytime TV

“Sex and the City” Saturday: Carrie confesses her affair with Mr. Big to a heartbroken Aiden – he dumps her

http://images2.fanpop.com/image/quiz/332000/332651_1261324510815_400_300.jpgOf all the boneheaded things Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) did during the six-year run of Sex and the City, the biggest would have to be when she began an affair with ex-boyfriend Mr. Big (Chris Noth) while in a relationship with the wonderful Aiden (John Corbett).

Here is the scene where Carrie confesses. It’s just about when they are to leave to Charlotte’s wedding and she just spills the beans then asks Aiden if he was still going to the wedding.

Uh, no.

FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video