By Romeo San Vicente
Cher and Christina Aguilera get their ‘Burlesque’ on
Not since Bette Davis and Joan Crawford buried the hatchet of their longtime feud and decided to co-star in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” has there been a pairing so pointedly designed to appeal to gay male diva worshippers: Christina Aguilera is making her film debut opposite Cher in the upcoming “Burlesque.” C. Ag plays a small-town girl who learns to explore her hoochie-ability when she goes to work at a strip club owned by a former showgirl (played by the Dark Lady herself). Brought to the screen by gay director Steve Antin – brother of “Blow Out”‘s Jonathan and the Pussycat Dolls’ Robin, Antin previously wrote “Inside Monkey Zetterland” and created the cult-fave series “Young Americans” – “Burlesque” should slide down poles everywhere sometime in 2010. Buy your ticket with a stack of wrinkled dollar bills.
‘Melrose Place’ back on the map
Dig out your Hyper-Color shirt and your Stu-Stu-Studio styling mousse, it’s the early ’90s all over again: A new and rebooted “Melrose Place” will follow “90210” on Fox beginning this fall. And while the original one made baby steps toward queer visibility with the milquetoast Matt character (played by “Desperate Housewives”‘ Doug Savant), this new version will hopefully kick things up a notch with the character of Ella (Katie Cassidy of “Harper’s Island”), a fashion-obsessed and voraciously bisexual publicist. Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro from “Melrose” 1.0 will be reprising their roles – Heather Locklear says she won’t be returning, at least (Romeo assumes) until the paycheck gets a little nicer – and the cast will also include noted thespian and musician Ashlee Simpson-Wentz. If “90210” is any template, though, don’t be surprised to see other old-school “Place”-rs – Daphne Zuniga! That Other Vanessa Williams! – popping by for a visit.
‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’: The musical of the film of the book
It’s getting to where anything that’s ever been put on film is being talked up as the next big Broadway musical, and now it’s Miss Bridget Jones’ turn. Her adventures as a ciggie-addicted singleton have been captured in two best-selling novels and two movies, but now she’s ready to have her moment in the literal spotlight. The creatively commercial minds that musicalized “Billy Elliot” are now setting theirs sights upon the Helen Fielding heroine and her “Pride and Prejudice”-inspired search for true love. (Fielding, incidentally, will be writing the show’s book and also contributing lyrics; actress Renee Zellweger, who starred in both “Bridget Jones” movies, will not be participating in the stage version. But who knows, maybe there’s an older sister role available.) “Bridget Jones’ Diary” is set to open on the West End in 2011, with a New York expansion planned should it be successful.
Tim Gunn makes it work, superhero-style
He’s got an impeccable taste for fashion, so it’s no surprise that when style guru and “Project Runway” mentor Tim Gunn made his way into Marvel Comics, he’d wind up wearing one of the genre’s great suits – Iron Man’s armor. Gunn will borrow Ol’ Shellhead’s duds in the new Marvel series “Models Inc.,” which features clothes-horse characters like Mary Jane Watson (from “Spider-Man”) and Patsy Walker (“Meet Millie,” “The Avengers,” “Patsy Walker: Hellcat”) solving a murder during New York’s Fashion Week. Gunn is one of many pop culture notables popping up in the Marvel Universe of late – rapper Eminem recently crossed paths with The Punisher, while President Barack Obama helped Spidey nab a bad guy. Can’t wait to see what the grandly gay Gunn can do with some repulsor rays when “Models Inc.” hits the stands on August 26.