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By Romeo San Vicente
Maupin tells more ‘Tales’
Get ready for another trip down Barbary Lane – plans are underway for the next filmed installment in Armistead Maupin’s critically acclaimed “Tales of the City” series. Maupin is reteaming with “Six Feet Under” executive producer Alan Poul to bring “Babycakes,” the fourth book in the series, to TV. Launched in 1994 on PBS, the first “Tales” shocked and titillated gay and straight audiences alike with its sweet take on life in ’70s San Francisco; two more miniseries followed on Showtime. This time around, Poul says they’ll go with a two-hour TV movie instead of a miniseries. “The plot and storylines lend themselves to condensation,” he told me, adding that those divine “Tales” alumnae Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis have already signed on. “We’re trying to get all the books done before the actors get too old.” Although there’s no word on a network yet, production starts this fall.
Christina from the (cell) block
Quirky “Opposite of Sex” cutie Christina Ricci has signed to play a Florida convict in “Monster,” an upcoming feature film based on the true story of lesbian serial killer Aileen Wuornos (played by Charlize Theron), who was executed in 2002. Ricci will portray Selby Wall, a lesbian incarcerated in the Sunshine State who becomes Wuornos’ jailhouse lover. Look for Ricci to show some skin while behind bars – the actress recently told the press that she’ll be completely nude in the scene in which Wuornos and Wall become lovers. There will be more than the usual amount of Theron to see – the former model packed on some 30 pounds for her role as Wuornos.
Urine the money
Gay-friendly production company Killer Films is set to bring the Tony Award-winning musical “Urinetown” to the big screen. Openly queer Killer principal Christine Vachon will co-produce the darkly comic spoof, alongside the show’s Broadway producers. “Urinetown” is set in a post-apocalyptic future, exploring class struggles and the triumph of spirit as a New York-like city weathers a drought so bad the population is forced to pay to pee. Although not exactly geared to the Wednesday matinee crowd, “Urinetown” scored 10 Tony nominations in 2001 and won for best book, score, and musical direction, thanks to its comic send up of traditional Broadway conventions. If Killer’s track record is any indication, “Urinetown” should be an art house must-see – the company also produced “Velvet Goldmine” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
‘Dance Fever’ redux
Queers who wanna shake their groove thangs should dust off their boogie shoes, ’cause oldie-but-goody Merv Griffin is bringing his ’80s TV dance competition, “Dance Fever,” back to life. The cheesy, disco-centric series made a (sort of) household name out of curly-haired host Denny Terrio, who gained even greater fame when he sued Merv for sexual harassment; Terrio was subsequently replaced by “Grease 2” star Adrian Zmed. Now the show will be retooled in an hour-long format and feature dance styles as diverse as hip-hop and salsa. The show will also focus on the personal stories of the contestants, thus helping viewers choose their faves to vote for. Expected to culminate in a dance championship in either Las Vegas or Los Angeles, the series could begin airing as soon as June on ABC.