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Hot Sheet: Sundancing Divas

Hot Sheet: Sundancing Divas


Our top 10 entertainment and events highlights this week include Madonna, Whitney, Oscar nominee Julianne Moore in Still Alice, and James Franco and Zachary Quinto making out at the Sundance Film Festival.

Hs20150116-1010. TV: Whitney
The life story of one of the most beloved and troubled divas in pop history comes to the small screen with Whitney, the Lifetime movie airing Saturday at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central. Directed by Angela Bassett, the TV movie stars Yaya DaCosta as Whitney Houston with additional vocals by Deborah Cox, and Yolanda Ross as Houston's BFF and often-rumored girlfriend Robyn Crawford. "It's handled with care, definitely, because it is a touchy subject and everyone's around, like the family," Ross told Out magazine about the film's depiction of the relationship between the two women. "It was nothing that was ever confirmed, so it does end up being kind of like a love triangle between me and Bobby going for the affection of Whitney. When you're so close with somebody, it changes when somebody else is interesting to them." -- Jase Peeples

Watch the trailer below.

Hs20150116-099. MUSIC: "Living For Love" Remixes,Madonna
Say what you will about the anointed Queen of Pop, but Madonna keeps forging ahead with new music and artistic exploration as a performer despite anyone's particular praise or criticism. And in the wake of demos that were leaked months before the official release of her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, Madge went on the offense and made available six completed songs from the album, including a juicy remix package for the epic dance track "Living for Love." Longtime Madonna fans have compared the gospel feel of the backup vocals to her controversial 1989 hit "Like a Prayer." Listen to the Djemba Djemba Club Mix of "Living for Love" below. -- Scott Ragan

Hs20150116-088. BLU-RAY: Love Is Strange
Writer-director Ira Sachs's touching tale of gay couple Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina), whose marriage results in job loss, Love Is Strange, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. To celebrate the movie's release and its message of love overcoming hate, Lithgow, Molina, and Sachs have teamed up with Jesse Tyler Ferguson's marriage equality organization Tie the Knot as guest designers, creating three limited edition bow ties inspired by the film. Proceeds from the sale of the bow ties will go to various organizations fighting for LGBT civil rights. Available exclusively at the Tie Bar. - Jase Peeples

Hs20150116-077. FILM: Appropriate Behavior
In Appropriate Behavior bisexual Brooklynite Shirin (Girls's Desiree Akhavan) finds herself thrown into the dating scene after a blistering breakup with her girlfriend Maxine. But the rules of courtship are not always clear or easy, and Shirin flounders throughout a series of failed dates with both men and women. The experience shines a light on her own issues that she must resolve, including coming to terms with her Iranian parents about her sexuality. Written by Akhavan, this film is a hilarious and thoughtful portrait of a woman torn between society, self, and family in determining what exactly constitutes "appropriate behavior." Appropriate Behavior comes out in theaters this weekend. Watch the trailer below. -- Daniel Reynolds

Hs20150116-066. THEATER: Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical
After a successful run in New York City last fall, Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical returns to the Big Apple for one more performance Sunday at the Gramercy Theater, then travels across the nation for a San Francisco engagement, February 11-March 1 at the Brava Theater Center. Anthony Wayne, a member of the Out 100 for 2014, wrote the show and stars as the out and proud queen of disco, also directing in collaboration with Kendall Bowman. "Part cabaret style concert, part musical spectacle, and full of sass and talent, Mighty Real is what the biographical jukebox musical should be," wrote Broadway World critic David Clarke. Order tickets for both cities here, and if you're not in New York or San Francisco, don't despair; the producers promise to announce engagements in other cities soon. -- Trudy Ring

Hs20150116-055. EVENT: HRC Greater New York Gala
It's going to be quite the star-studded night -- and all for a good cause -- when the Human Rights Campaign's Greater New York chapter (encompassing New York State, Connecticut, and New Jersey) holds its annual gala January 31 at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria. Mary Lambert will sing; comic Dana Goldberg will host the live auction, at which you can bid on a week at a Cancun resort; and the filmmakers and cast of The Imitation Game will be honored. GE will also honored, with HRC's Corporate Equality Award, and HRC president Chad Griffin is scheduled to be a special guest presenter. At the after-party, American Idol finalist David Hernandez will perform. Get all the info and order tickets here. -- Trudy Ring

Hs20150116-044. BOOK: Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics, Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski
Writers and activists Whitlock and Bronski explore what, exactly, motivates brutality, especially in the U.S. But instead of just blaming the same old culprits, the authors of Considering Hate bring readers along on a journey to challenge the so-called conventional wisdom around discrimination, harassment, government surveillance, the criminal justice system, and violence. If the words, "Steubenville," "Stand Your Ground," "Ferguson," "Eric Garner," or "NYPD" ping some real feelings in you, this book is worth a read. Available here. -- Michelle Garcia

Hs20150116-033. MUSIC: Title,Meghan Trainor
One of 2014's biggest success stories in music has finally released her first full studio album, simply called Title, offering much of the same enthusiastic retro-infused pop and doo-wop that made her an overnight sensation with the massive hit "All About That Bass." Her second single, "Lips Are Movin," features Trainor's signature formula of rapping to throwback beats with bright soulful singing about self-improvement and empowerment. Watch the video for "Lips Are Movin" below and download Title on iTunes. -- Scott Ragan

Hs20150116-022. FILM: Still Alice
Still Alice has received a slew of critical praise, particularly for its star, Julianne Moore, who recently received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Moore portrays Dr. Alice Howland, a brilliant professor at Columbia University who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. As her mental powers decline, she goes on a journey with her family (Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish) and develops a special bond with her daughter Lydia (Kristen Stewart). Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (partners in work and life), the film is based on the acclaimed novel by Lisa Genova. Still Alice is out in theaters this weekend. Watch the trailer below. -- Daniel Reynolds

Hs20150116-011. EVENT: Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival is one of the top events of the year for the both industry types and fans, and its lineup is always LGBT-inclusive. Among the LGBT-oriented offerings of this year's festival, which happens January 22-February 1 in Park City, Utah: James Franco and Zachary Quinto star in I Am Michael, based on gay journalist Benoit Denizet-Lewis's article about his "ex-gay" friend Michael Glatze; Grandma, starring Lily Tomlin as a misanthrope with a troubled granddaughter, and also featuring Laverne Cox; the documentary Larry Kramer: In Love and Anger; Tig, a documentary about out comedian Tig Notaro; The Amina Profile, in which a love story involving Canadian and Syrian-American women becomes a tale of international sociopolitical intrigue; out filmmaker Jenni Olson's "cinematic essay" The Royal Road, dealing with the Spanish colonization of California, butch identity, and the nature of memory, with support from playwright Tony Kushner; and Followers, in which a recent widow takes comfort in the apparition of Jesus on the trunks worn by a young gay man in her swim class (honest). Get all the festival details at -- Trudy Ring

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