By Romeo San Vicente
Bill Condon has a ‘Dream’
His films “Kinsey” and “Gods and Monsters” have invigorated the biopic genre, stirred up controversy, and won awards and critical acclaim. But after writing the screenplay for “Chicago,” what Bill Condon really wanted to do was make a musical. Enter “Dreamgirls,” stage left. The long-awaited screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical – loosely based on the story of Diana Ross and The Supremes – is finally going before the cameras, with the Academy Award winner at the helm. Condon has already completed an initial draft of the script, a tentative start date of late summer is in place, and casting has begun. And while there are plenty of established African-American female singers out there who’d be perfect for the film, Romeo would thrill to see unjustly booted “American Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson get another shot at proving to the world she’s got the pipes.
Chad Allen Five-O
“Starsky & Hutch” may have been unintentionally and entertainingly homoerotic, but there’s never been a genuinely queer detective who’s also the lead character on a crime drama. Until now, that is. Openly gay actor Chad Allen (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”) has just signed on to star in the Here TV original series “Third Man Out.” Based on a popular series of books by Richard Stevenson, the show will be directed by Ron Oliver (“Queer as Folk”) and written by Mark Saltzman. Allen will play tough-guy detective Donald Strachey, a man who moves through the hard-boiled crime world with ease, taking care of himself, rooting out corruption, busting the bad guys, and, oh yes, making out with guys at the same time – well, at least between arrests. The show starts shooting this month in Vancouver and will begin airing on Here later this summer.
Striking while it’s hot
What if every homosexual person in the United States went on strike until we got the right to legally marry? What if we simply didn’t go to work? In Romeo’s case, this deeply essential entertainment news column would cease indefinitely, surely causing panic in the streets. And then there’d be all those gays who do less essential things – doctors and firefighters and the like. Well, gay producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, along with “Liar Liar” screenwriter Stephen Mazur, think it’s an idea whose time has come, and they have set up the TV movie “Gays On Strike” at cable channel A&E. It’s a comedy about a young gay couple who accidentally start a strike over the issue of marriage – a walkout eventually joined by every queer in America – that brings the issue to a head. Sounds fun. And if the current title doesn’t work out, they can always call it “Norma Gay.”
Make room for the kids in leg warmers. Simon Fuller, creator of “American Idol,” and “American Bandstand” originator Dick Clark are putting their creative minds together for a new show for Fox tentatively titled “Dance Nation.” The concept is still in the early stages of development, so confirmed details are few, but the basic idea of the primetime reality competition is to find America’s best dancers. It’s expected that amateur individual and/or partnered dancers would compete in a live weekly broadcast. The style of dance would change each week, forcing contestants to learn new routines in a short period of time, and the viewing audience would vote their favorites through to the next round. And why does Romeo care? True, there’s nothing specifically gay about a dance contest. But what straight boy wants to risk being goofed on by his buddies for entering one?