By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
As for next season's first show, I think it's a musical. In fact, it's an intentionally funny version of the 1980 Olivia Neutron-bomb Xanadu, with a book by the aforementioned busy Beane. "Your head will explode," Beane assured me, having come from a rehearsal. "We just had the 62 mirror balls descend for the finale. And it's very precise. 'I want them to come down on the du, not the Xa or the na'."
The perception of the trashy source material, alas, has some people assuming the result will be doggy du. "You're in rehearsal," admitted Beane, "and you're in heaven. Then you're on the street and it's like you have cancer! People with dour faces say, 'How's Xanadu going?' " And why do they do that? "They're condescending divas," he explained. "An actress I ran into coldly said to me, 'Hmm, sounds like fun'then she went to a Little Mermaid rehearsal!" Suck it, Mermaid girl!
I didn't happen to win a Tony last week, but I did get a Tommy, and I want to thank God, my lighting designer, and CAA, but not in that order. See, a tall, handsome man approached me at Thursday night's Kino 41 dance party, smilingly suggesting I be nicer to him on TV. It turned out to be exCNN anchor THOMAS ROBERTS, who just happens to be the ideal man of everyone I've ever met. I guess he wasn't thrilled that I had smirkily called a certain swishy exchange on American Idol "the gayest TV since ANDERSON COOPER interviewed Thomas Roberts." Robertswho publicly came out in '06feels that his Cooper interview about his own experience having been molested as a youth was intentionally not about being gay. I didn't tell him I'd written a column at the time saying that for various reasons the gay issue should have been raised anyway and the distinction made. I simply chortled self-deprecatingly and assured Roberts that whatever I had said, I'm sure it was just silly shtick! And Roberts was so charming about it that I even laughed uncontrollably when he cracked that he would run up a bunch of drinks on my tab.
Even gayer than Idol is the fact that JOHN TRAVOLTA and QUEEN LATIFAH have been popping up on queer magazine covers about Hairspray! But some people are turning against Turnblad, as it were. FRANCES MILSTEADthe mother of Divine (a/k/a Glenn Milstead), who played Edna in the original movietold me last week that she saw the new clips on Oprah and wanted to stop the beat. "Glenn was ugly," she said, "but John is uglier! He looks terrible as a woman!" Any pluses? "He can dance," she said, laughing. I guess she means he's light in the loafers.