“You should have seen everyone on the set. Every woman and every man was feeling my breasts and squeezing my ass. And I was ‘C’mon, feel me, touch me!’ I didn’t care. I was a slut, to be frank.” – A startling revelation by John Travolta, but it’s not what you think. He’s actually talking about how people responded to him in his “Hairspray” drag. Yeah, good cover…
I just returned from the opening of “Gypsy” in NYC and, let me tell you, this was one those nights that people will talk about for years to come – tonight, Patti LuPone BECAME “Mama Rose.” After tackling the show at last year’s Ravinia Festival in Chicago, there were rumors of a London run. Then producer Scott Rudin interceded. He was involved with this NYC run which Arthur Laurents was directing (he also wrote the book for “Gypsy” and previously vowed to never let LuPone do the show – for reasons you can read about in the BillyMasters.com archives). Rudin suggested Patti call Arthur personally, and LuPone has since said “it was the smartest thing I could have done.” The two talked for three hours, and Laurents realized he’d miss out on a special opportunity if they didn’t do the show together. It didn’t hurt that his lover’s dying wish was for this collaboration. If someone ever awards a prize for the gayest dying wish, this would win hands down!
Anyone who thinks Patti LuPone is undirectable should have gone to both of these runs of “Gypsy.” In Chicago, LuPone’s “Rose” was feminine, vulnerable and conniving. Under Laurents sure hand, Patti has made the character more determined, steely and ruthless – in line with the author’s feeling that “Rose” is “a monster.” There were still nuances and shades of softness to LuPone’s portrayal, but this was one tough cookie – who sang the shit out of the score (and doesn’t mind making an ugly sound to serve the script). The audience gave “Rose’s Turn” an extended standing ovation. At the final curtain, the response was more like a volcanic eruption. After numerous curtain calls, Patti went into the wings and first brought out the show’s lyricist, Stephen Sondheim to cheers. When Arthur Laurents emerged with tears in his eyes and embraced LuPone, you knew you were witnessing magic.
No videos have surfaced (yet), but an electrifying audio of “Rose’s Turn” from opening night is on BillyMasters.com – where you can also watch complete numbers from the Ravinia performance. Of course, if the scuttlebutt at the party is to be believed, a transfer to Broadway is NOT out of the question.
We’re inching closer to the day Barbara Walters names two new co-hosts for “The View”. Right now, she’s not in a great mood since she was banned from best friend Beverly Sills’ funeral, but that’s a story for another time. Let’s clear something up – Ivanka Trump is on NOBODY’S list. Got it? Good. The same candidates keep being mentioned – Gayle King, Whoopi Goldberg, Paula Zahn (possibly about to be ousted from CNN) or Soledad O’Brien as moderator. Kathy Griffin, Sherri Shepherd, or Whoopi are up for the Star Jones seat. Or maybe it will be Joy’s idea of everyone taking turns being moderator. Yeah, when pigs fly…
Kathy Griffin may be on the list, but she’s not sitting at home waiting for a call. Truth be told, it’s doubtful Walters wants a daily dose of Griffin – and that’s just fine by Kathy. This year, she played bigger venues, like Carnegie Hall. Where do you go from there? Madison Square Garden. January 2008. Put it in your date books.
File these stories under “Slap Happy.” In a cover article in “New York” magazine, Katie Couric admits that she once attacked her news editor! “I sort of slapped him around,” she said (adding that they have since made up). Not to be outdone, Clay Aiken is accused of slapping a passenger in what is being termed an “airplane tussle” (FYI – I don’t believe the term “tussle” is ever used when talking about a heterosexual male). On a Continental flight to Tulsa, Clay was sleeping and his extra-large foot somehow made its way through the crack between the seats in front of him and jostled a woman’s arm. She leaned over her seat, yelled at him and shoved him. He awoke with a start and slapped her (again, not the first thing a hetero male would do). Some butch stewardess separated the hissing cats and the pilot radioed ahead to have FBI agents waiting (if you can imagine). After investigators talked to the passengers, the incident was dismissed without any charges being filed. Clay, being the “happy” gent that he is, joked about it onstage that evening saying that he had been “beaten up by a girl.” And, he slapped like one, too.
A heartthrob from days gone by is hitting the stage and playing gay. The still-lovely Maxwell Caulfield is heading to tres gay Ogunquit, Maine to play “Georges” in a production of the hit musical “La Cage aux Folles.” The show runs July 17 through Aug. 4. You can get more information at www.OgunquitPlayhouse.org. You can see his nude backside in its prime on www.BillyMasters.com.
Speaking of nude asses, let’s talk about poor Jesse Metcalfe (although unemployed, one of my colleagues indicates that he’s still “working it”). He recently got a big-ass tattoo on his left shoulder – ’cause, you know, he’s down with the bitches. He’s also singing a different tune – literally. “I’m trying to do music, actually. I’ve just started writing and trying to develop my sound a little bit, but it will be as a solo artist. I sing and play guitar,” says the hunk, who has lots of experience playing with himself.
Not only am I a fan of Ben Patrick Johnson, I’m also a friend. We’re not SO close that he’s lounging around the house naked when I’m there. But he did that recently for the cameras of MalePerfection.net, and they’re exhibiting the results on their website. In a not-completely-accurate description, the site says, “This is the first time that Ben Patrick Johnson has appeared nude in film or video.” Uh, no. He did that famous shoot for “Blue” magazine in Australia, and we’ll happily show you every fluffed-up inch of him at BillyMasters.com.
Lance Bass has a new boyfriend – or so says “People.” The rag claims that Bass is dating model Pedro Andrade, and bases this scoop on the fact that the two were seen at a party on the Fourth of July. Sigh, I spent Memorial Day with Jenifer Lewis, but I sure as hell ain’t fucking her! I’ll still post photos of the couple and some of Andrade’s “glamour shots” because, well, he’s cute.
This week’s “Ask Billy” question comes from Roman in Austin: “I hope you can find those photos of Shemar Moore cavorting at a gay nude beach. Please, please…with sugar on it.”
I just wrote about his non-DUI arrest, and now Shemar is back in the news – or, should I say, the nudes. The paparazzi allegedly snagged some pics of him at a gay nude beach. Yes, my darlings, I said GAY and NUDE in an item about Shemar Moore! I’m not willing to say Shemar is gay. I’m also not going to say that he’s straight. What I will say is that I hear it was NOT a gay beach – it was a nude beach (possibly in Hawaii) and the gossip-mongers said “gay beach” just to make the item more titillating. Anyway, yes, I’ve got the photos. Others are running them with scribbles or logos defacing Shemar’s fantastic physique, but not us. Go to www.BillyMasters.com for your uncensored look at the young, restless and hung star.
When Clay’s shoving something extra large through a crack, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. We ran long this week…kinda like Shemar (and Ben, for that matter). Loyal fans will recall that there was an item four years ago which corresponds to this week’s question – and we had photos then, too. But I’ll let you do the digging on www.BillyMasters.com. Feel free to write me at Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Clay bitch-slaps me! So, until next time, remember: one man’s filth is another man’s bible.