Angela Bassett joins Tyler Perry’s “‘Madea’
Tyler Perry is a strong black woman when he’s cross-dressing as his popular Madea character, that is, in movies like “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”
In fact, so successful is he at playing the mouthy matriarch that he may now be the country’s most successful drag queen. Madea may have met her match, however, with the news that the consummately fierce Angela Bassett has been cast in Perry’s next comedy, “Meet the Browns.”
Plot-wise, it’s another in Perry’s assembly line of plain-folks-who-triumph stories, with Bassett as a single mom who travels from Chicago to Georgia for the funeral of her estranged father. She gets introduced to the wacky titular clan and even finds romance along the way.
Perry will co-star as both Madea and Uncle Joe, in addition to writing and directing. Audiences will “Meet the Browns” in early 2008.
Rosie Perez Puts on “‘The Ritz’ for revival of classic comedy
Rita Moreno created one of her signature roles as ditzy cabaret singer Googie Gomez in the original 1970s production of gay playwright Terrence McNally’s hilarious comedy “The Ritz,” about a straight man hiding out from mobsters in a gay bathhouse.
Now it looks like another Latina legend will be sinking her teeth into the part Puerto Rican dynamo Rosie Perez is slated to play Googie in a revival of the show, which will co-star Tony nominee Kevin Chamberlin (“Seussical,” “Heroes”).
Previews begin at Studio 54 on Sept. 14, under the guidance of gay director Joe Mantello.
And with any luck, the hoopla surrounding this revival will lead to a long-awaited DVD release of the 1976 film version, also starring Moreno.
“‘Chorus Line’ revival in new documentary
The 1970s Broadway smash “A Chorus Line” returned to the stage last year for a 21st-century revival, and cameras were there to capture every step of the difficult audition process, which featured some 1,700 dancers vying for a handful of roles.
That footage is being turned into a new documentary set to arrive in theaters in May 2008, when the national tour of the Broadway revival will begin. Producers of the film are excited about the story they have to tell.
Avoiding the reality-TV humiliation approach to auditions, the documentary reportedly captures the journey of professional dancers, and the highs and lows that come with looking for work in the competitive field of Broadway. (Not for nothing is the show’s opening number called “I Hope I Get It.”)
Yes, it’s yet another “‘Another Gay Movie’
If there were three “American Pie” movies (not counting the made-for-DVD installments), why shouldn’t the even more sexually outrageous “Another Gay Movie” get another go-round?
“Another Gay Movie 2: Gays Gone Wild!” goes before the cameras in September.
“Gay” (and gay) writer-director Todd Stephens (“Edge of Seventeen,” “Gypsy 83”) returns for another bawdy turn, which sends his queer quartet of heroes to Florida for spring break, where they’ll enter the “Gays Gone Wild” contest to see who can snag the most booty.
Complications arise in the form of evil gay frat boys, as well as large and ferocious, er, “panty crickets.” (These movies are hilarious, but they aren’t known for their subtlety or good taste.)
Look for the sequel to be finished in time for 2008’s queer film-festival circuit.
Rosie takes herself out of the running for “‘The Price is Right’
Rosie O’Donnell says she’s out of the running to replace Bob Barker as host of “The Price Is Right.”
O’Donnell, a superfan of the CBS game show, said on her blog Friday, June 22, that she had a “nice lunch” with the show’s producers.
Barker, 83, retired earlier this month after 35 years with the show, which is filmed in Los Angeles.
Although O’Donnell has said she would love to fill Barker’s shoes, the 45-year-old comedian has changed her mind.
“Well, here’s the thing: I don’t really need a job,” O’Donnell says in a video posted Sunday, June 24, on her Web site. “I’m in a weird position. I don’t need the money.”
“So to get my entire family uprooted from their lives and move them across the country so that I can have a fantasy childhood indulgence, you know, job … it just doesn’t seem fair.”
O’Donnell lives in Nyack, N.Y., near New York City, with her partner, Kelli, and their four children.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 29, 2007.