Celebrity Watch

Posted on 10 Aug 2006 at 6:30pm

Fierstein heats up “‘Santa Claus’



Harvey Fierstein

Say you’re remaking a beloved stop-motion animated Christmas special as a live-action TV movie, and you need someone to play a campy, over-the-top singing fire spirit with flaming orange hair – who ya gonna call? The producers of NBC’s upcoming “The Year Without a Santa Claus” went to legendary queer actor-playwright Harvey Fierstein to play the Heat Miser in this holiday adventure, which co-stars John Goodman as Saint Nick, alongside Delta Burke, Chris Kattan, and Carol Kane. The Heat Miser’s arch-nemesis, the Cold Miser, will be played by Michael McKean; Broadway fans will recall that McKean stepped into Fierstein’s houseshoes after the Tony-winner left the cast of “Hairspray,” so this Christmas will be all about dueling Edna Turnblads. And keep a look out for “Queer Eye” guy Carson Kressley, who’ll make an appearance as a certain dentistry-minded elf.

Hugh Jackman takes a spin on “‘Carousel’

Wolverine may be one of the hottest characters in movies today, but Hugh Jackman, the actor who plays him, just can’t keep away from those show tunes. Having won a Tony for portraying flamboyantly gay singer-songwriter Peter Allen in Broadway’s “The Boy from Oz,” Jackman will bring his song-and-dance stylings to a new big-screen revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel.” The remake of the 1956 movie will feature Jackman as Billy Bigelow, a hot-headed carnival barker who dies, then gets to leave Purgatory for one day and return to Earth to clean up the mess he left behind – most notably, his troubled teenage child. And if that’s not enough singing Jackman for you, there’s also talk of him joining the “Moulin Rouge” team of Nicole Kidman and queer-adjacent writer-director Baz Luhrmann for an as-yet-untitled movie musical.

Karina Lombard returns to “‘L Word’

The fans have spoken let it be so. Karina Lombard, the sultry-eyed actress who played coffeehouse-owner and drama-stirrer Marina on the first season of Showtime’s “The L Word,” wasn’t asked back for seasons two and three even after kick-starting one of the first season’s major plotlines by seducing altar-bound straight girl Jenny (Mia Kirshner). Marina somewhat abruptly disappeared from the show, but devoted fans never stopped complaining about it. So rejoice, “L Word” fanatics, the producers are bringing back Lombard for at least two episodes of the lesbian drama’s upcoming fourth season, which will also include, as Romeo reported earlier, guest stars Marlee Matlin and Cybill Shepherd. Lombard, who went on to appear on “Dr. Vegas” and “The 4400,” will turn up in L Word’s season premiere to create who knows what kind of havoc.

Trantasia’: A different kind of pageant

Even if you always tune into the Junior Miss and Miss Hawaiian Tropic spectaculars, you’ve probably never seen a pageant like the one in the acclaimed new documentary “Trantasia.” Shot at the “World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual” pageant in Las Vegas, the film captures the glamour of the event while also taking viewers into the world of the six contestants, telling their private and very moving stories. Director Jeremy Stanford talks to the ladies in their dressing rooms, but also travels to their hometowns to meet their supportive friends and family members. But really – Vegas? A beauty pageant? What more could you want? “Trantasia” is currently wowing them on the film festival circuit, but look for it to turn up in theaters or on DVD sometime next year.

Smooches for Ewan

Ewan McGregor says this time he’ll shave more closely. He’s talking about kissing. Specifically kissing another guy. Ewan is set to star in the new British drama “Scenes Of A Sexual Nature” where he locks lips with actor Douglas Hodge.

McGregor (“Star Wars”, “Moulin Rouge”) and Hodge play lovers. He says they’ve been practicing the kissing scene and he’s got it down pat. The last time he played gay he had a lip locking scene with Jonathan Rhys Meyers but Meyers later complained McGregor had given him “a terrible stubble rash.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, August 11, 2006.

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