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10 Things I Learned Watching the 2013 VMAs

1. Lady Gaga has stopped copying Madonna and moved on to co-opting herself, The Flying Nun, SNL, Grey Gardens and Barbarella. Now if only she’d forget all the wigs and theatrics and take her own advice … Just Dance!

2. The MTV Pre-Show only featured artists born after the second Clinton administration. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

3. Miley Cyrus’ performance was brought to you by Beacher’s Madhouse, Amanda Bynes … and every trailer park east of San Bernardino. RIP Twerking.

4. Kanye West is now taking music advice from Kim K … because I haven’t heard anything that badly Auto-Tuned since her song “Jam (Turn It Up).”

5. Serena Williams’ Radio Shack commercial beats Annabelle in The Conjuring for scariest character this summer. Yikes!

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Must-See: Kristin Chenoweth Sings Duet with Audience Member


Please take a quick mental health break and enjoy this video. Kristen Chenoweth  was performing with the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl when she went into the crowd to find someone who knew the words to “For Good” from Wicked. Audience member and music teacher Sarah Horn said she did and soon found herself on one of the most famous stages in the world.

Sarah Horn’s story and her incredible, surprising duet with the amazing Kristen Chemoweth—who was equally amazed by Sarah—is heart-warming and inspiring and a few minutes of pure elation. Here’s an excerpt of how Sarah describes what happened—remember, no rehearsal: 

As the time for Elphaba's verse came, I lifted my microphone to my mouth, looked her straight in the eye and sang the first of my lines. She leaned back and dropped her jaw. She knew I was a voice teacher but didn't know if I did well in the execution or not. As far as she knew, I could have been tone-deaf.

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A Look at Cory Monteith's Last 2 Film Projects

Canadian fans of the late native Corey Monteith will see his final film McCanick when it's unveiled at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 9. The art-imitating-life drama places Monteith as a drug-addicted street hood who knows secrets about a corrupt cop who is pursuing him. The movie is co-produced by actor David Morse, who plays the title character. Joining him are Continuum's Rachel Nichols, Game of Thrones' Ciaran Hinds, Under the Dome's Mike Vogel and Disturbia's Aaron Yoo.

All The Wrong Reasons is another film Monteith completed before his tragic death. The comedy drama will also debut at the Toronto Film Festival. The plot has a group of friends who work at a large bulk purchase department store coping with life's challenges. Some might call it Clerks with lots of free food samples and 36-roll packs of toilet paper. The buds consist of an ambitious manager and his manic-depressive wife, a single mom cashier with Peter Pan syndrome and a new employee who disrupts their world of familiarity. No word on when the two projects will be released here in the States, but hopefully the latter film will arrive last so that people remember Monteith in a lighter role.
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An All-Female Version of 'The Expendables'? Yes, Please!

Longmire cast member Katee Sackhoff will join Gina Caron, who is better known as Crush on American Gladiators, in a what is being called an all-female take on The Expendables. Untitled at the moment, the rumor mills are saying that Terminator star Linda Hamilton and The L Word's Pam Grier will also join the action film. You can also catch the former Battlestar Galactica Cylon playing opposite Vin Diesel in the new Riddick film opening Sept. 6.

Though Michael C. Hall has already filmed the series final episode of Dexter, he hasn't left the world of retribution. He's about to start the film version of Joe R. Lansdale's novel Cold in January about two feuding Texan fathers in the 1980s who must unify to uncover a horrible truth. Stake Land director Jim Mickle co-wrote the script with Nick Damici, who also costars. Hall is also attached to The Slow and Complete Decomposition of Jim Manos, written and directed by Dexter creator James Manos Jr. The plot has been described as following a series of odd coincidences that befall a man over the course of a bizarre week.
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San Diego's New Gay Mayor Plans to 'Clean Up' City Hall

It will be one week before San Diego Mayor Bob Filner officially resigns, but incoming Interim Mayor Todd Gloria is already charting the course of his impending administration, and it is clear he intends to be far more than a mere placeholder until the city charter-mandated special election to be held several months hence.

In a press conference on Friday, Gloria outlined his goals for his time as mayor and said that when Filner steps down next week, he will immediately order a “clean up” in San Diego City Hall—including a “top-down review” of San Diego’s city departments to ensure they are in compliance with city rules—and will tackle a backlog of public records requests that have languished as Filner’s administration became increasingly focused on the tsunami of sexual harassment accusations it has been forced to deal with over the last several months.

The openly gay Gloria—who represents San Diego’s Downtown, Hillcrest and North Park neighborhoods—recently won a second term on the council. He was a major supporter of Filner’s during his candidacy for mayor, but became one of the loudest voices calling for his resignation as accusations of sexual misconduct mounted and city business ground to a halt.

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March on Washington 2013 Includes Voting Rights, LGBT Equality

Tens of thousands of people commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington at Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. The rally, march and series of events leading up to the main event on Aug. 28 featuring President Obama was organized by the very pro-LGBT and equality-minded Rev. Al Sharpton with Rev. Martin Luther King III of the King Foundation.

Perhaps one of the most stunning themes throughout the rally was how speaker after speaker elevated 1963 March organizer Bayard Rustin to a place of premier prominence among the civil rights icons, rectifying the shame of how those same leaders, his friends and allies, shunted him aside for the good of the movement because he was openly gay.

Sharpton and King also ensured that there were gay people—including American Federation of Teachers head Randi Weingartenspeaking from the podium to the throng gathered around the pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. And there were LGBT people and rainbow flags alongside other participants. (MSNBC had blanket coverage.)

LGBT people were speakers at local rallies around the country, including in Los Angeles, where openly gay L.A. City Controller Ron Galerpin participated in a re-enactment of the 1963 March and speakers included Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and L.A. County Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman. 

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OC Busts Out the Fancy Hats to Support Shanti

Shanti Orange County is once again going the fancy party route for one of its major fundraisers of the year—and we’re talking top hats and tiaras.

On Sept. 7, Shanti supporters Andy and Pol Sandro-Yepes are opening up the backyard of their Mission Viejo home for the Top Hats and Tiaras event, which last year raised more than $20,000. This year, with the help of some corporate sponsorships, the event is expected to raise more than $30,000.

“It's so much fun. People really do wear top hats and tiaras,” says Shanti Executive Director Sarah Kasman. “It’s a backyard party that is all about two guys really giving of themselves and their circle of people to an agency that supports their community. Every year they have expanded it a little more. We are really excited to be working with them as the recipient of such generosity.”

This is the fourth year the Sandro-Yepes couple has hosted the fundraiser, and the second year with the top hats and tiaras theme.

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Fontana Police Seeking Suspect in Murder of Trans Actress

 

Fontana police are looking for 18-year-old Dantjier Powell of San Bernardino, who they say is a suspect in the beating death of transgender web reality series star Domonique Newburn, 32, last week. They describe Powell as a a black male, 5'8" tall, 155 pounds with an average build and dark complexion. Police think Powell and a companion—Jamie Nicole Cotton, 25, 5'8" tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes—may be trying to leave California by bus.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of either Powell or Cotton is asked to call the Fontana Police Department at (909) 356-TIPS.
Meanwhile, Powell’s father is asking for his son to surrender peacefully.

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