By Romen San Vicente
Hugh Jackman can’t help loving musical theater
If you want to get technical about it, Hugh Jackman has already made one movie musical: “Happy Feet.” Granted, you didn’t see him in the film, but that was his singing voice coming out of one of those dancing penguins. So it kinda-sorta counts. And yes, the Aussie action star has been all over Broadway and the Tony Awards and done his song-and-dance thing at the Oscars. But now he might get his first movie musical role in the long-awaited film version of “Les Miserables.” He’s in talks right now to come aboard and play… well, who exactly, nobody knows. But safe bet it’s a big role like Jean Valjean and that the musical’s rabid, devoted, huge following will make it a hit when it finally lands in theaters sometime before… well, when exactly, nobody knows, either. Paul Bettany is also rumored to be among the actors in talks but, again, for what role is anyone’s guess. And they’re going to find a spot for Susan Boyle, right? Because they should.
‘Days of Our Lives’ finally gets its first gay
No, it’s not exactly groundbreaking at this point for a daytime drama to begin a gay storyline. It’s not even groundbreaking when the show allows the gay character to be involved in a torrid same-sex kidnapping-and-blindness-and-paranormal-activities-centered relationship. But it’s still news, and as each show (of the few left standing in this time of waning ratings and soap opera audience attrition) brings a gay or lesbian character on board, it’s nice to pay attention to how it all turns out. And so, on “Days of Our Lives,” the first gay person is going to visit Salem and it’s happening this very week. Actor Freddie Smith (“90210”) plays the twentysomething Sonny, a gay man returning to the fictional town to find his family. But which family? Still a secret. Boyfriend soon? Also a secret. Can this storyline top the Noah/Luke saga on the now-cancelled “As The World Turns”? Be sure to tune in tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after…
Lance Bass plans to keep it real
Maybe it was dating Reichen and hanging out with Kathy Griffin that did it to him, but Lance Bass is now looking to get his own reality series. Granted, it won’t be a “this is my life on a list, be it A or D” kind of show, but still, Lance Bass is climbing aboard that wagon with VH1. And it has to be acknowledged that his best idea of the several he’s recently sold – an as-yet-untitled music competition series – is sort of genius. In Bass’s own words: “I got a member from Backstreet Boys, A.J. McLean. A member from *NSYNC, Joey Fatone. A member from New Kids on the Block, Joe McIntyre. And a member from New Edition, Bobby Brown. They’re all going to form a boy band, each, from the most talented guys in America that I’ve scouted, and then they’ll go head-to-head in a competition to see who the best band is, so it’s bragging rights for the guy in the group, for sure.” Of course, technically, Bobby Brown hasn’t signed on yet. But there’s little chance he won’t. The Whitney Houston bus dropped him off a while back. The man has a living to make. Now, next question: Why is no former member of O-Town involved?
Waiting patiently for more ‘Downton Abbey’? It’s shooting now.
If good things really do come to those who wait, then American fans of the U.K. period drama series “Downton Abbey” are in for a serious treat early in 2012. The thinking person’s luxury soap, set at the start of World War I, starring Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville, has been renewed for a second season and a Christmas special that’s in production right now in England and is due to air there this autumn (the Christmas special in December). Now, for reasons unknown, audiences on this side of the Atlantic who aren’t up on how to locate illegal streams of their favorite TV shows online will have to be patient a little longer for PBS Masterpiece to get its broadcast rights. But sometime early next year all the class warfare drama – including the storyline with handsome Rob James-Collier as that evil, treacherous and gay “first footman” – will unfold. Naturally, this will all take place tastefully and will be served with some very expensive teas and cakes.