Madonna adopts Malawi with helping hand

Madonna adopts all of Malawi … as a cause, that is. She didn’t simply swoop in take all the children back to her English estate (although there’s probably enough room there).

Undaunted by media criticism of her involvement in the impoverished region — and when was Madonna ever daunted by anything anyway? — the singer has produced a documentary titled "I Am Because We Are," about the plight of the millions of AIDS orphans in the African country.

Directed by Nathan Rissman and narrated by Madonna herself, the title comes from a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and concerns the interconnectedness of all life.

The movie will benefit Madonna’s charitable foundation, "Raising Malawi," and recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Future screenings, via a theatrical release or TV premiere, are still in the works.

Cynthia Nixon is ‘Distracted’
The Internet may be buzzing with concerned fan reaction to the "leaked" information that a tragedy (possibly even a death) will befall one of the main characters in the soon-to-be-released "Sex and the City" movie.

But life goes on for its stars.

Cynthia Nixon, everyone’s favorite real-life lesbian cast member, has more stage work in her future.

She’ll take the lead role in the off-Broadway comedy "Distracted," from playwright Lisa Loomer, at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company, where she’ll play a concerned mother trying to find the cause and cure for her son’s apparent Attention Deficit Disorder.

So far, Nixon is the only known cast member, but more information will be announced soon.

Meanwhile, patient fans have a while to wait, as performances don’t begin until February 2009.

Ang Lee’s gay Woodstock
In decades’ worth of media examination of hippies and the Woodstock generation, there have been numerous documentaries but few narrative features about the legendary concert.

Meanwhile, gay participants are often relegated to the sidelines as microculture curiosities within the larger counterculture — that is, if they’re recognized as having existed at all.

But film audiences may find themselves surprised to discover that it was a gay man, Elliot Tiber, who was instrumental in issuing the very permit required for the mud-soaked music-fest that defined the late 1960s.

And now "Brokeback Mountain" director Ang Lee will adapt Tiber’s memoir, "Taking Woodstock," for Focus Features. "Wedding Banquet" and "Brokeback" collaborator (as well as Focus CEO) James Schamus will work with Lee on this film, as well.

Only just now announced, audiences can expect to wait until at least 2010 to sing along to that infamous Hendrix "National Anthem."

Borat finds another blonde to chase
Sacha Baron Cohen’s "Borat" saw the comedian’s alter ego obsessed with "Baywatch" beauty Pam Anderson, who gamely showed up for the filming, reportedly in on the joke the entire time.

And now, for Cohen’s next hidden-camera hijacking of reality, featuring his gay fashionista character "Bruno," a new blonde is along for the ride — the ubiquitous (to fans of reality television, anyway) Trishelle Cannatella.

Already known for showing up for any camera pointed in her direction (a "partial" credit list: "Real World: Las Vegas," "Playboy: Girls of Reality TV," "The Surreal Life," "Fear Factor," "William Hung: Hangin’ with Hung" and "The Lingerie Bowl"), the fame-hungry vixen will play herself in the marquee-space-challenging "Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt."

And you thought the wrestling scene from "Borat" was gay!

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 2, 2008.

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