Johnny Depp will sing, slaughter for Tim Burton
Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical “Sweeney Todd” is enjoying a successful revival on Broadway, although the show about a barber who gets vengeance on his enemies by cutting their throats and selling the corpses for meat-pie filling has had a difficult road to the big screen. (Romeo feels like he’s been writing about a potential “Sweeney” movie since the invention of talkies.) The latest stab at it comes from director Tim Burton, who can certainly handle the more ghoulish aspects of the musical. Burton, perhaps not surprisingly, wants his frequent leading man Johnny Depp in the title role, while gay screenwriter John Logan (The Aviator) will adapt the show’s book. Here’s hoping that Depp’s voice does justice to Sondheim’s great songs and that he won’t wear those creepy Willy Wonka teeth again.
John Stamos sounds “‘The Wedding March’
He may have gone through a very public breakup with Rebecca Romain a pin-up girl for lipstick lesbians if there ever was one but John Stamos isn’t letting his romantically troubled past get in the way of work. He’s starring as a gay events coordinator in “The Wedding March”, a new TV movie that will air on A&E. Produced by openly gay moguls Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago), “‘March’ sees Stamos’ character inadvertently set off a nationwide strike by lesbian and gay couples angry that they can’t get married. Ironically, the movie is being made in Canada, where same-sex couples are legally welcome to tie the knot. Happy to take advantage of that fact was “The Wedding March”director, Jim Fall (Trick, The Lizzie McGuire Movie), who wed his boy-friend, Juan King, during the shoot.
Chastity Bono feels “‘Love’ for Here TV
She’s authored two memoirs and survived “Celebrity Fit Club” now Chastity Bono can add “screenwriter” to her multifaceted resume. Bono and Garth Belcon have written “In the Name of Love”, a romantic comedy that’s gone into development at queer cable network Here TV. The project promises to put a wild spin on the usual coming-out story in its focus on two female characters: One of them, an out lesbian actress, is surprised to find herself having very vivid, erotic dreams about her co-star – who happens to be a man while her best friend, a straight woman, is just about to lose her lesbian virginity. But hey, if you’re a lesbian who was raised by a Republican and by one of the world’s biggest gay icons, you’re prepared for any and all permutations of sexuality.
No, the “‘Other’ kind of Camp
Get ready to pitch a tent for the documentary that’s been a big hit on the gay and lesbian film-festival circuit. Kirk Marcolina and Larry Grimaldi’s “Camp Out” tells the story of the Naming Project Camp at Bay Lake in Minnesota, which was designed to address the needs of young gay Christians in the hopes of keeping them in the church and preventing teen suicides sparked by homophobia. The funny, moving film isn’t exactly “Meatballs,” but its portrayal of adolescents who are striving to balance their religious upbringing with their budding sexuality is delighting audiences everywhere. Don’t be surprised to see “Camp Out” in a theater near you, even if it doesn’t feature penguins, ballroom dancing, spelling bees, or global warming.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 30, 2006.