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Deep Inside Hollywood

Romeo San Vicente | October 17, 2005

Rachel Griffiths Rachel Griffiths Is on a Music High

There are few Generation X queers who haven�t been touched by Fame, the wildly popular and mildly gay-inclusive '80s-era movie and TV series. Now it's the next generation's turn to dance on the school cafeteria tables. Currently known as Untitled Music High Project, the teen drama set in a performing-arts high school – though not a remake of Fame – is shooting in Baltimore with Six Feet Under alum Rachel Griffiths as the principal, and R&B; star Mario as one of the students. The main story is strictly boy-meets-girl, concerning a young thug, played by up-and-coming teen heartthrob Channing Tatum (Coach Carter), saddled with community service at the school. But with queer producer Adam Shankman in the wings, there's sure to be at least a few visible gay characters in this graduating class.

Christopher Guest Awards for Christopher Guest

Christopher Guest has won his share of honors for his always hilarious films (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind), but that won't stop his latest feature, For Your Consideration, from taking aim at awards shows. An easy target, to be sure, but count on Guest's returning gang of sharp-witted improvising regulars – lesbian actress Jane Lynch, queer audience favorites Jennifer Coolidge and Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Michael McKean, and Fred Willard – to eviscerate the phoniness of it all in a fresh way. The plot revolves around three actors who learn that their performances in a movie called Home for Purim has earned them award-nomination buzz. Meanwhile, Golden Globe winner Ricky Gervais (The Office, Extras) has joined Guest's team for this outing, so more real-life awards may be in Guest's future.

Katastrophe Queer Hip-Hop on the Mic

The words "queer" and "hip-hop" may not seem like they belong in the same sentence, given the sadly antigay vibe that has poisoned the genre almost since its inception (hence the importance of Kanye West's recent pro-gay statements). Yet queer hip-hop does exist, and the fringe music's time in the shadows may soon end thanks to the documentary feature Pick Up the Mic. Recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, the film by first-time director Alex Hinton follows the underground careers of gay rappers like Deadlee, Johnny Dangerous, Bay Area lesbian rhymer God-des, and female-to-male transgendered hip-hop artist Katastrophe. The long-shot odds at mainstream careers don't dampen the spirits of these pioneers, who shine in the doc's performance moments. Look – and listen – for it soon at a queer film festival near you.

Elton John Oprah and Elton Are Broadway-Bound

Advance word on the long-planned Color Purple Broadway musical hasn't been glowing, but the show's luck has turned. Oprah Winfrey, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the film version, has signed on as a producer of the Broadway-bound, lesbian-themed Purple, which opens in December, and the show's advance ticket sales have spiked as a result. That's one spike that Elton John's Lestat might welcome, as that long-awaited musical has also finally set a date to rise from the dead. The show opens out of town in San Francisco on Dec. 17 before sinking its teeth into the Great White Way on April 17. Romeo's already got his front row seats reserved.

  • Romeo San Vicente is also angling for tickets to Oprah's "Favorite Things" episode.

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