Celebrity Watch

Posted on 21 Oct 2007 at 5:30pm

Seeing Sandra in “‘September’



The cult following of lesbian entertainer Sandra Bernhard is a rare commodity.

Buoyed by her take-no-prisoners, one-woman cabaret and Broadway shows, Bernhard enjoys a fan base that will follow her just about anywhere (unless the project is called “Hudson Hawk”).

And those fans will be happy to hear that the actor/singer/author will soon be seen in the romantic comedy “See You in September.”

The debut feature of “Law and Order: SVU” regular Tamara Tunie will star “Weeds” fixture Justin Kirk, Estella Warren and David Eigenberg.

The film about a group of neurotic Manhattanites who’ve been abandoned by their own therapists will also feature gay “Spamalot” star Christopher Sieber and should be making theatrical appointments sometime in 2008.

The Bear stays in the picture

Rising comedy star Zach Galifianakis is known on the stand-up circuit for playing the piano while delivering his odd, non-sequitur-based material and also for the huge beard he refuses to shave.

This has given the hetero comic a growing fan base in the gay “bear” subculture, of which Galifianakis is well aware.

(A hilarious segment in the feature documentary “The Comedians of Comedy” sees the comic confronted with and shocked and delighted by a variety of nude-photo-filled e-mails from a similarly hirsute fan.)

And his next move? To play a character named “Dave the Bear” in the upcoming comedy “What Happens in Vegas…,” starring Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher and Queen Latifah.

As for the character’s sexual orientation? Does it matter? The bears are already online trying to buy tickets.

Vachon has “‘Dreams of a Dying Heart’

Does Christine Vachon take breaks? Ever?

Since helping jumpstart the “New Queer Cinema” in the early 1990s with Todd Haynes’ debut feature “Poison,” the lesbian producer has tirelessly brought groundbreaking film after groundbreaking film to art-house theaters and beyond, breaking into mall multiplexes with the kind of success track record most big studio execs would envy if they thought more about quality than opening-weekend grosses.

Now, following her latest critically acclaimed project, Haynes’ “I’m Not There,” comes “Dreams of a Dying Heart.”

From first-time screenwriter Martin Lawrence Otto, the story concerns a female helicopter pilot shot down in Iraq.

It’s a risky proposition, considering the lackluster box-office of this fall’s batch of war-themed movies. But if anyone can pick a project to break that losing streak, it’s Vachon and her unerring good taste.

“‘Ugly Betty’ sings

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Scrubs,” “Chicago Hope” and other TV shows have gone down the unlikely path of creating entire music-filled episodes, in the process drawing record ratings and rabid fan followings.

Even newcomer shows like “Pushing Daisies” have been incorporating impromptu song-and-dance sequences into their storylines.

So it was only a matter of time before one of the most popular (and most queer-inclusive) shows on the air followed suit.

“Ugly Betty” has retained the services of the Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated songwriting team of Marc Shaiman and his partner and lyricist Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”) to make the fictional fashion magazine sing.

And why not? The show already boasts at least one proven musical talent in Vanessa Williams. So expect the songs to be outrageous, witty, hummable and writer’s strike resolution-willing coming soon to a flat-screen near you.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 23, 2007

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