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SHOWBIZ Pet Shop Boys, Oprah, 'Chicago' suicide, Idris Elba
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2018-07-10

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Pet Shop Boys ( PSB ) will release the final set of albums in their CATALOGUE: 1985-2012 series of reissues of all their Parlophone studio albums, a press release noted. This fourth batch of releases will see the PSB albums Behaviour ( 1990 ), Very ( 1993 ) and Bilingual ( 1996 ) reissued Aug. 31. The albums have been remastered and repackaged, and will be accompanied by "further listening" albums of master quality bonus tracks, including demos, extended mixes and remixes of tracks from the albums and others created in the same period as each record. The reissue series began last year with the release of Nightlife, Release and Fundamental, followed by re-issues of Yes and Elysium and, later, Please, Actually and Introspective.

Talking with British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, Oprah Winfrey discussed a variety of topics, including her advice to younger people, The Daily Mail noted. In part, she said, "'My biggest frustration is not just with young women—my biggest frustration is also with young men, young people, who think that ... they think that success is supposed to happen like that [snaps fingers]." Also, Winfrey admitted her top comfort food is pasta, and revealed that Jesus would be her dream dinner companion.

Broadway musical Chicago is the subject of an investigation after friends of a cast member claimed he killed himself because he was "bullied" by the show's directors, Page Six revealed. Friends of Jeff Loeffelholz—who had been a member of the cast for 22 years—started a campaign called "Justice for Jeff" after Loeffelholz committed suicide, claiming production director Walter Bobbie and musical director Leslie Stifelman wanted Loeffelholz out of the long-running production but that his contract wouldn't allow them to fire him.

Idris Elba—who's been buzzed about as a future James Bond and moonlights as a DJ—has launched a new record label, according to Page Six. The star recently unveiled 7Wallace Music and signed his first artist, James BKS. The Paris-based recording artist/producer has worked with Diddy and Talib Kweli, and has composed music for Yves Saint Laurent, Prada and Armani ads.

Speaking of Elba, he is in final negotiations to play the main villain in Hobbs and Shaw, the Fast and Furious spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, Variety noted. Deadpool 2 director David Leitch is on board to helm, with Johnson and Statham reprising their roles as special agent Luke Hobbs and criminal mastermind Deckard Shaw, respectively.

After being a champion for the LGBTQ community for years, Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie is opening up about his own sexuality, according to Page Six. "I'm married to a woman [Sarah Orzechowski] and I'm very much in love with her but I'm not opposed to a man because, to me, I like a person," Urie, 31, said in an interview with Paper magazine. "Yeah, I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don't care. If a person is great, then a person is great." Urie also addressed the #MeToo movement, saying that men need to take action.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical will end its Broadway run Sept. 16 at the Palace Theatre, Playbill noted. The new musical featuring a score by a roster of pop and rock hit-makers—including Aerosmith, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Panic! At the Disco and David Bowie—opened Dec. 4. The Tony-nominated production will embark on a North American national tour beginning fall 2019.

Scarlett Johansson will play a transgender man in an upcoming Rupert Sanders film—and her response to criticism has been described as dismissive, LGBTQ Nation noted. The film Rub & Tug will be a biopic about Dante Gill, who ran massage parlors in Pittsburgh that were thinly veiled fronts for illegal sex work in the 1970s and '80s. Johansson, for her part, decided to make matters worse by posting, "Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment." These actors have all played trans individuals.

Robin Wright said she never saw any red flags surrounding her costar Kevin Spacey, whose accused predation on their series House of Cards contributed to many men coming forward with similar accounts against the actor, TheWrap noted. Wright told Today's Savannah Guthrie, "Kevin and I knew each other between action and cut, and in between setups where we would giggle. I didn't really—I didn't know the man. I knew the incredible craftsman that he is." After Spacey's firing, production began on the show's fifth and final season this spring, placing Wright and her fan-favorite character, President Claire Underwood, front and center.

On another Spacey-related note, Guy Pearce ( who co-starred with Spacey in the movie L.A. Confidential ) has said he "regrets" publicly calling Kevin Spacey "handsy," after implying that the disgraced star groped him, PinkNews noted. Pearce had spoken out about working with Spacey on Australian talk show Interview earlier this month. However, Pearce has now released a statement following his interview on Interview, appearing to take back making his comments on Spacey public.

Out Scottish-American actor John Barrowman ( Torchwood; Arrow ) marked the Fourth of July in Palm Springs, California, in red strappy heels and a starry red, white and blue cape, Gay Star News noted. Barrowman is an outspoken advocate of political issues on both sides of the Atlantic—making it no surprise that his patriotic party was full of both colorful outfits as well as themes of diversity and progress.

It turned out that Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor, 38, had a fatal mix of drugs in his system, according to a toxicology report by the Institute of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico, People.com noted, citing The Blast. The report stated that MDMA ( also known as ecstasy ), along with Zolpidem ( a version of Ambien ), ketamine ( an anesthetic ) and MDA ( a psychedelic amphetamine ) were found in Taylor's system at the time of his death. On Jan. 23, Taylor was found dead on a cruise ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Stage and screen favorite Jeremy Jordan ( who has most recently been on TV's Supergirl ) will return to Broadway in the upcoming fall engagement of Christopher Demos-Brown's American Son, appearing alongside the previously announced Kerry Washington and Steven Pasquale, Playbill revealed. The Tony nominee will play Officer Paul Larkin, marking his first role in a non-musical play on Broadway. Jordan last appeared on Broadway in Newsies, for which he earned a Tony nomination.

In a video released by nonprofit planner Global Citizen, Chris Martin of Coldplay announced "Mandela:100," a benefit concert that will be held Dec. 2 in Johannesburg, The Daily Beast noted. Beyonce and Jay-Z will be among the performers at the event, which commemorates the continued legacy of Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 later this month. The Carters will join Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, D'banj, Femi Kuti, Sho Madjozi, Tiwa Savage and Wizkid at the benefit; Oprah Winfrey will be the keynote speaker.

Ricky Martin was heavily criticized on social media for his performance at the 42nd annual Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC, The Daily Mail noted. In his segment—filmed last month at Las Vegas's MGM Park Theater—the musician was flanked by more than a dozen dancers and musicians as he performed his signature single, "La Vida Loca," with some criticizing his lower-than-usual pitch in singing the song. Martin said he was dedicating this specific Independence Day to his "fellow Puerto Ricans, who are, unfortunately after the hurricane, we are still struggling," in reference to the ongoing aftermath of last fall's Hurricane Maria. Other entertainers involved in the holiday special included Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban.

A maker of independent, female-oriented queer movies for two decades, award-winning writer/director Wendy Jo Carlton is shooting her next feature in Seattle, entitled Good Kisser, The Seattle Lesbian noted. Often working with very small budgets, Carlton previously directed the lesbian drama Hannah Free ( starring Emmy-winner Sharon Gless, of Queer As Folk and Cagney & Lacey fame ); the first lesbian musical romance, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together; and two seasons of the award-winning lesbian dramedy series Easy Abby.

George Clooney was rushed to a hospital in Italy y after his motorcycle was struck by a car, TheWrap noted. The John Paul II hospital in Olbia, Italy, told the AP that the Oscar-winning star was released on Tuesday after treatment for undisclosed injuries. Clooney has been in Italy shooting a Hulu miniseries adaptation of Joseph Heller's satirical WWII novel Catch-22.

Hugh Jackman gave diners at Tao LA an impromptu show July 4, Page Six noted. The star was dining with Keala Settle—from his musical film The Greatest Showman—as well as Aussie TV personality Gus Worland when, "two songs from the film about PT Barnum came on," a source said. Jackman and his table "sang along with the tunes 'This Is Me' and 'From Now On.'" Their film raked in $432 million worldwide.

After his February album, Man of the Woods, flopped, Justin Timberlake is hitting the reset button with a new surprise track, "SoulMate," Page Six noted. The single is not from Man of the Woods, an Americana album that received mixed reaction. Instead, The release "SoulMate" finds the singer returning to his "dance, dance, dance" sweet spot—more like "Can't Stop the Feeling!," "Suit & Tie" and "Rock Your Body."

Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson revealed in a New York Times op-ed that she began cutting herself in her late teens after falling into a toxic relationship, Page Six reported. At the time, Manson, now 51, was also drinking "copiously" and abusing drugs, including ecstasy, and said she only was attracted to men who didn't pay attention to her. Manson, who previously revealed she'd been sexually assaulted when she was just 13, said she felt more in-control and soothed in that moment than she had for years. Ultimately, ifame ( and the touring demands that came with it ) prevented Manson from returning to cutting.

Gretchen Carlson defended the actions of the Miss America board of directors amid criticism that she forced the organization into dropping the swimsuit competition from the annual beauty pageant, Variety noted. Carlson has come under fire in recent days from some board members who have resigned in what they say is a protest to decisions made by Carlson and other Miss America leaders. Carlson said on Good Morning America that the Miss America board had a "spirited discussion" about the proposed changes and ultimately voted unanimously to drop the swimsuit segment for the first time since the pageant's start in 1921.

Big Brother season 20 contestant JC Mounduix is in some hot water for inappropriately touching his housemates Kaycee Clark, Tyler Crispen and Kaitlyn Herman, Instinct Magazine noted. He's even gone as far as using an ice-cream scooper on their nether regions, US Magazine noted. According to TVLine.com, CBS has said, in part, "Those involved have been warned about their inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, as well as future consequences. These events will not be part of any future Big Brother broadcast on CBS."

Tina Turner's son Craig Raymond Turner has died by suicide at age 59, Page Six revealed. The singer's son fatally shot himself at his Studio City, California, residence. According to his Facebook page, Craig was a realtor in Beverly Hills.

Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mikita have bought a 1,402-square-foot pad at the d'Orsay condos at 211 W. 14th St. in New York City, Page Six revealed. It's an upgrade from the couple's 900-square-foot Gramercy Park co-op at 200 E. 16th St., which they listed for $1.49 million in April. Building amenities include a full-time doorman and concierge, a roof-level garden with city views, a gym, a spa and bike storage.

Quentin Tarantino is blocking the sale of the Weinstein Co., according to a Page Six item that cites the Blast. The beleaguered studio is trying to finalize a deal with Lantern Entertainment, but the site reports that the director has filed papers demanding that the sale be halted until he receives more than $4 million in unpaid royalties ( for films like Inglourious Basterds and Hateful Eight ) from the Weinstein Co.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos and husband Ian Gomez have called it quits after 25 years of marriage, Page Six noted. She listed their separation date as June 29, 2017, and cited irreconcilable differences as the cause for divorce. Gomez is also an actor with a lengthy resume; he's starred in Cougar Town and The Drew Carey Show.

Police at LAX Airport detained actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers after he allegedly got into a verbal altercation with his wife onboard an American Airlines flight, Page Six noted. Meyers and his wife's verbal altercation didn't have any physical component, so it was determined that no crime had been committed.

Singer Chris Brown reportedly was arrested moments after a concert in Florida for an outstanding warrant, Page Six noted. Brown had just wrapped up a show at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach when he jumped into a police cruiser, TMZ stated. Brown was wanted on a felony battery warrant from the Hilllsborough County Sheriff's Office; he was released after paying a $2,000 bond.


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