Celebrity Watch

Posted on 03 Aug 2006 at 4:52pm

Will Nicolas Cage tickle the ivories as Liberace?



Nicholas Cage

Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage has never been afraid to play flamboyant characters on the big screen. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the star has announced that he’ll play bejeweled gay pianist Liberace in an upcoming film.

Cage says he also wants to direct the film, which will explore Liberace’s public fame and private closet full of secrets the musician was beloved by housewives across America in the 1950s and ’60s, but none of them ever suspected that the candelabra-mad piano-pounder had a series of male lovers.

If the project from “Date Movie” writers Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg gets the green light, don’t be surprised if Cage who was once “Leaving Las Vegas” winds up returning to Sin City wearing a million sequins.

O’Donnell, Deneuve to appear on “‘Nip/Tuck’

Appearances by Brooke Shields, Larry Hagman and Kathleen Turner on the new season of FX’s plastic surgery drama, “Nip/Tuck,” have already been reported on.

But more major queer faves have now stepped up to the operating table.

The legendary Catherine Deneuve, who’s had sapphic moments in “The Hunger” and “8 Women,” will play a woman who wants her dead husband’s ashes placed inside her breast implants.

Lesbian icon Rosie O’Donnell who gave Star Jones Reynolds a very public grilling about the former “View” star’s alleged gastric bypass surgery will turn up as well.

Openly gay actor Richard Chamberlain as well as Jacqueline Bisset and Peter Dinklage are also set to appear on the show, which has apparently become the new “Will & Grace” or maybe the new “Love Boat” when it comes to attracting big names.

Zadan and Meron soar with “‘Peter Pan’

It’s been 50 years since Mary Martin charmed the then-young medium of television with her performance as Peter Pan. But the musical about the flying boy who never grows up will get a new look in 2007.

Gay producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron whose musical credentials include TV’s “Cinderella,” the Oscar-winning “Chicago” and the upcoming “Hairspray” movie are preparing a new “Peter Pan” for ABC, featuring a new script to go with the classic Jules Styne score.

The producers have had an eye on the material since 1993, when they worked with Styne on a TV version of “Gypsy.”

No word yet on casting, so there’s plenty of time for pixie-sized actresses who can sing to decide if they look good in green.

Lance Bass and Joey Fatone: A gay-straight “‘Odd Couple’?

Buried a few paragraphs down in the recent not-so-earth-shattering news that former “‘N Sync member Lance Bass is a “Friend of Dorothy” was the revelation that Bass and one-time bandmate Joey Fatone are pitching a TV sitcom in which the two of them would play “Odd Couple”-esque roommates.

Bass, in keeping with his new outness, would play gay on the show. It’s true that Bass and Fatone played comical roommates in the flop romantic comedy “On the Line” a few years ago, but it appears unlikely that the series would be based on that flick.

Don’t be surprised if the show features a cameo role for “Amazing Race” winner Reichen Lehmkuhl aka Bass’ main squeeze.

Biel signs on for Sandler’s queer comedy Jessica Biel has signed on to star opposite Adam Sandler and Kevin James in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.”

The Universal Pictures comedy revolves around two heterosexual firefighters who pose as a gay married couple in order to qualify for their department’s domestic-partner benefits. Biel will play the duo’s attorney who becomes the object of Sandler’s affection.

Shooting starts Aug. 31.

Michael confronting the stalkers

George Michael is reportedly preparing to sue the photographers who allegedly stalked him through one of London’s cruisiest parks. Last week the tabloid News of the World published pictures of Michael it claimed were taken as he emerged from a quickie in the bushes.

The paper followed up with an interview with the man it says was getting it on with the singer. Michael claims never to have seen the man before.

The tabloids have been unmerciful in their tracking every move Michael makes part of what, to some, seem like an orchestrated campaign of attacking gays in general.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, August 4, 2006.

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