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.”
The out star of TV’s Degrassi: The Next Generation and of last year’s feature film Make the Yuletide Gay turns 24 today!
While many actors of all ages who are gay struggle with whether or not to come out, Adamo Ruggiero says he has had no regrets.
Here’s what he told Frontiers IN LA in an interview last year: “When I made the conscious decision there was a huge Degrassi screening in New York and we went out to meet fans and my eyes made contact with a kid who just mouthed “thank you” to me and then he was lost in the crowd. I thought, “This was more than a coincidence to me. This is who I am. With these letters and the kids I’m meeting, this is something I have to do.” Most people around me were like “do it” and some people were asking how it would affect my career. But I just didn’t give a sh-t. I thought I might never have this voice again. I may not even be cast and be a successful actor so I can’t let this moment slide when it’s most important. Since then my career has been better than ever. I’ve made a movie, I got a kid’s show and I did my first play. I’ve had the best year since declaring my gayness.”
Roll out the red carpet because Nate Berkus has arrived!
The superstar interior designer, who launches his own syndicated daytime show this fall, has landed another gig: He will be co-hosting the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards Red Carpet Special on Aug. 29, a one-hour program preceding the Emmys telecast on NBC. Nate will join Access Hollywood’sBilly Bush and Maria Menounos, reports Deadline Hollywood.
Last month, Nate made his final appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show where he established himself as not only a gifted designer but as an appealing TV personality.
I have to say, after the crappy things that Newsweek writer said about Jonathan Groff, I was so proud to see the young out and proud star knock it out of the park on Glee last night as the lead singer in the Bohemian Rhapsody number.
He was thrillingly good.
Last night’s episode was wonderful in so many ways, so satisfying. Quinn has the baby as Puck and most of her fellow Glee club members are there for support. Will tells Emma he loves her and Sue shows her heart when she tells will – mostly through gritted teeth – that ” you’re a good teacher, Will. I don’t like you so much, but I admire you and the work you’re doing with your kids. I really do.”
The kids, thinking their glee program would be canceled because they didn’t win regionals, call Will into the auditorium to tell them how much glee club has changed them and they perform To Sir With Love for their tearful teacher.
In addition to Bohemian Rhapsody, my favorite number on a night with so many good ones – including a kickass Journey medley – was Will’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow. But not sad and weepy, it was the upbeat and hopeful arrangement by Israel Kamakawiwo Ole.
The impossibly handsome John Stamos has reportedly landed another TV role and this time, it’s on a show for which he seems ideally suited: Glee!
Entertainment Weekly reports that Stamos, who last year starred on Broadway in the revival of the musical Bye Bye Birdie, is close to signing on in the recurring role of a love interest for neurotic guidance counselor Emma (Jayma Mays) who told Will (Matthew Morrison) in last night’s finale that she had started dating her dentist.
“It’s true,” the show’s executive producer, Brad Falchuk, confirmed to E! Online. “Not sure how many episodes yet.”
Stamos, who played a gay man in the A&E film Wedding Wars a few years back, has had one of the most successful television careers of any actor starting with his star-making role as Blackie on General Hospital. He went on to star as Uncle Jesse on ABC’s Full House for eight seasons and was Dr. Tony Gates on the last four seasons of NBC’s ER.
He also spent two seasons starring on ABC’s Jake in Progress and the short-lived series Thieves opposite then-wife Rebecca Romijn.
In addition to Bye Bye Birdie, John’s Broadway credits include Cabaret, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Nine.
The financial guru was in Chicago for her birthday weekend (she turned 59 on Saturday) when she got quite a birthday surprise: the day after her big day, she underwent emergency appendectomy surgery!
“Suze went to Chicago to celebrate her birthday and didn’t expect to leave her appendix behind,” a CNBC spokesperson tells TVNewser. “Northwestern Hospital took great care of her. It was a great team of doctors and a successful surgery. She will be recuperating in Florida.”
She had to cancel some appearances this week but no doubt will be back soon to advise us on how to navigate these financially challenging times.
Olympic Gold Medialist Matthew Mitcham received perfect 10s across the board to win the 10-meter platform at the 2010 FINA Diving World Cup last weekend in Changzhou, China.
He has done a new interview with The Advocate’sBrandon Voss that I really like because it allows a lighter side of Matthew to shine. Here are some excerpts:
Q. There was a lot of talk about how NBC’s coverage didn’t highlight your sexuality in Bejing — a controversy that you told The Advocate didn’t faze you a bit. You also said, “I just want to be known as the Australian diver who did really well at the Olympics. It’s everybody else who thinks it’s special when homosexuality and elite sport go together.” So now that the media is focusing more and more on your sexuality, do you ever feel like your personal life threatens to overshadow your diving talent and the sport at hand?
A. The media has to report on whatever is new and interesting — it’s its raison d’être. I’m lucky that whenever I’m not out there winning everything possible, the media still finds me interesting enough to write about me. Besides, there are far worse things to be seen as than gay. In fact, I can’t think of many better!
Q. There’s been a lot of debate and discussion about whether or not your sexuality has cost you sponsorships and endorsement deals. Is this something that worries you as much as it seems to concern the gay media?
There were moments when I wondered if I had made a poor choice or jeopardized opportunities, but when A. I read messages from lovely men and women from all over, I feel ridiculous for ever doubting myself. And as long as I have enough money to pay my bills and focus on my diving job, I’m happy. I never expected to make money from the sport anyway, and that’s why I’m chipping away at a degree while I’m training. Then when I graduate, I can get a good job, work really hard for 10 years, and live the rest of my life as a man of leisure! Diving is not a high-profile sport, so hopefully the better I do, the more interest the general public will have, and the more sponsorship dollars it will attract.
Q. Hot photo shoots like the ones you’ve done for Funky Trunks and for The Advocate last year have helped make you an international sex symbol in addition to a star athlete. Are you secure with your sex symbol status?
A. Sometimes I feel as unsexy as the guy who does yoga on his balcony across the road, but I admire his self-esteem. Work with what you’ve got and flaunt, flaunt, flaunt it.
I love this first episode of season 2 because it shows just how co-dependent Will and Grace are and how they are so comically ignorant about it.
Grace moves out so they can be more independent of each other – but she has just moved across the hall and really nothing changes. Jack and Karen, pretty dysfunctional themselves, come over and start making fun of them.
Says Karen of the pair: “They’re like Saimese twins joined at their boring personalities.”
I love this group! This episode is also when Jack makes a move of his own: into Karen’s house in order to throw the IRS off the scent that this flamboyantly gay man has married a middle-aged Salvadorian maid for a reason other than love.
Outfest 2010, the 28th annual Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, does not begin until July 8 but I’m starting the onslaught of pre-festival publicity because it is very necessary to make your choices and plan your schedule for 11 days of movies, parties and events.
I’m so proud to be a media sponsor this year – for the first time – because this is an event that has given me so many rich memories as a film lover and as a gay man.
Last week’s kickoff party was a real blast and I was so happy to see friends like Steve Callahan and Matthew Montgomery (pictured with me) who co-star in the Outfest entry Role/Play.
Also at the party was the one and only JD Disalvatore (pictured, left) who produced two of this year’s films: A Marine Story and Elena Undone (photo at the top of this post is from the set of Elena Undone).
I’ll be writing about all of these three movies and a heck of a lot more in the coming weeks and have already conducted an interview with Matthew and Steve about their movie.
JD also put together a clip reel of some of this year’s movies for last week’s party where the schedule was unveiled.