Saturday, June 26, 2010

News and Pop Culture Round-Up

Elton John production, Love Lies Bleeding by Alberta Ballet, going on tour with his blessing

Sir Elton John is giving Alberta Ballet’s Love Lies Bleeding two thumbs way up — which means his official blessing to take the show on the road. The critically acclaimed and very popular $1.2 million production, choreographed by Alberta Ballet artistic director Jean Grand-Maitre and based on 14 Elton John songs, premiered only last month in Calgary. “It’s very good news,” says an elated Grand-Maitre, adding that the OK from the famous singer-songwriter to show the loosely autobiographical Love Lies Bleeding to the rest of the world means that the company might be in a position to tour the work as early as September 2011. READ MORE

The Middle East; it's gayer than you think

When 22-year-old Matt, from Wilmington, Delaware, arrived in Jordan last fall, getting involved in a gay scene was “not part of the plan.” Then he discovered that the Middle East is a lot gayer than he thought. It started in the steam room of the hotel where he worked out: twice he was propositioned by Arab guys who made hand gestures. Then Matt started going to expat parties, where he met gay staff from local embassies and UN offices. Finally, he got on the internet. “The gym is the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “The internet is the whole iceberg.” According to Matt, cyberspace is the only true safe space for gays to cruise in Jordan. But he says there are gay-friendly spots in Jordan’s capital, Amman, where he and his friends like to hang out. Read more at

Michael Jackson Remembered (1958 - 2009)

From his first hit with the Jackson 5 to his shocking death today, the King of Pop defined a musical era with a classic catalog of hits -- yet his art in later years would often be overshadowed by controversy and eccentric public behavior. Read Michael Jackson Remembered.

Openly gay lacrosse captain, Andrew McIntosh to speak at Fresno church

Andrew McIntosh, the openly gay lacrosse captain at Oneonta University, will be the featured guest at a joint event of two Fresno-based gay groups: Community Link and Bulldog Pride. The event is free and takes place at the First Congregational Church (2131 N. Van Ness, California). More details at Outsports.

Interview: General Hospital's Julie Berman
We Love Soaps recently had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Emmy-winning actress Julie Berman, who has played the character Lulu Spencer since 2007. What does she think of Lulu's success, and what ultimately brings her happiness? Read the interview here.

Archbishop Carl Bean's "I was Born This Way: A Gay Preacher's Journey"

During the heyday of disco, it's doubtful that every majestically coiffed, leisure-suited, tightly slacked gentleman dancing to Carl Bean's 1977 hit "I Was Born This Way" recognized the song as an early homo-positive nightclub anthem. Still, three decades later, the oft-remixed track still has the power to get people's feet moving, if not ensure the legality of same-sex civil unions. "The song became an anthem of liberation for everyone," Bean writes in his entertaining, if thin, autobiography. "It was Holy Ghost power, prompting me, pushing me on." READ MORE

'Heroes' star escapes jail in DUI case

"Heroes" star Adrian Pasdar just pled no contest to one misdemeanor charge of DUI -- stemming from a January arrest where cops say he was speeding and swerving all over an L.A. Freeway. According to the L.A. City Attorney, Pasdar -- who's also married to Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines -- was sentenced to 36 months probation, ordered to pay a $395 fine plus penalties, and must complete one alcohol education program and ten AA meetings. As part of the deal, prosecutors dropped a 2nd charge against Pasdar -- for refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test. (TMZ)

Ethics probe: Sarah Palin legal defense fund was illegal

A legal defense fund set up for Sarah Palin when she was Alaska governor was illegal, an investigator for the state Personnel Board said Thursday. Investigator Timothy Petumenos said the Alaska Fund Trust inappropriately used the word "official" on its website to describe it, wrongly implying Palin's endorsement as governor. Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said she will return the money from the fund, which brought in almost $390,000. Petumenos, however, found that Palin — the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee — acted in good faith and relied on a team of attorneys to make sure the fund was lawful. READ MORE

'The Bachelor' star Jake Pavelka: 'He's not gay'

While rumors fly as to why Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi broke up, a friend of the former "Bachelor" star is squashing one rumor that is apparently not true -- he's not gay. Shortly after their split, Girardi told Star Magazine that she and Pavelka "haven't been intimate in months," a claim that has fueled rumors about the Texas pilot's sexuality. And, according to the source, Pavelka is the type of guy who wants to have a special bond before he becomes intimate with a woman. "Sex to him means and has always meant something," said the source. "He's most certainly not gay," added the source. The assurances come hot on the heels of an earlier interview with one of Girardi's pals, who previously told the site, "Vienna told me, 'I don't think Jake is into girls.'" READ MORE

The Haunting of Bret Easton Ellis The author of Less Than Zero returns to the scenes of his crimes, 25 years later.

In 2004, nearing the end of the Empire era, Ellis’s longtime boyfriend, Michael Wade Kaplan, died of a drug-related heart attack, at 30. Ellis has always been squirrelly regarding what he calls “the gay thing,” and professes to me a certain sympathy for the pragmatic Hollywood closet. Or as he wrote in the semibiographical part of Lunar Park, “I was a mystery, an enigma, and that was what mattered—that’s what sold books.” In that novel, “Ellis” has a wife and kids; his characters are primarily straight, though decadently bisexual. READ MORE

'Out of Annapolis' puts a face on military policy against gays and lesbians

Director Steve Clark Hall makes the most compelling case to date for the end of "don't ask, don't tell" in his riveting new documentary, "Out of Annapolis," which profiles 11 former sailors and Marines -- including Hall -- who attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in the '70s, '80s and '90s. That a film can make you simultaneously feel so proud and so ashamed to be an American is something I don't recall ever feeling before. Read more in the 212.

Times Square Showdown: Naked Cowboy Vs. Naked Cowgirl

The Times Square tourist attraction known as the Naked Cowboy – real name: Robert Burck, 39 – wants to rope in some potential competition, the New York Post reports. The Cowboy's target: bikini-clad Sandy Kane, who calls herself "The Naked Cowgirl" and who also appears in Times Square. Only unlike the Cowboy, who wears only boots, a hat and tighty whities, the Cowgirl often sports a stars-and-stripes cowboy hat and matching swimsuit. "Your use of Naked Cowgirl is essentially identical to the Naked Cowboy and is clearly in violation [of the Naked Cowboy trademark]," reads a cease-and-desist letter Burck sent the Cowgirl, says the Post. He also told the paper, "If she's going to sell stuff and make money off of it, then, yeah, she's going to have to pay." Burck is reportedly seeking as much as $150,000, though his manager, Todd Rubenstein, says their side is willing to negotiate a deal. (People)

Country music superstar, Tim McGraw, 43, is a toned 178 lbs. (trimmer than he's been in years), he's got the swagger of a guy who knows himself (he's not afraid of facials!) and manages to balance self-depreciation with sex appeal (his sleepwear of choice? All natural). For those reasons and more, McGraw is hands down PEOPLE Country's hottest guy. (People)

LGBT ally and pop icon Cyndi Lauper appeared on the Joy Behar Show and she spoke about her new CD Memphis Blues, Lady Gaga & more! Enjoy the video!