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Queerty: ‘Cabaret’ & ‘Dreamgirls’ casting tea! And a new NYC gay bar!

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Eddie Redmayne and the cast of 'Cabaret.'Eddie Redmayne and the cast of the West End production of ‘Cabaret.’ Photo by Marc Brenner

Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne is coming back to Broadway next year in the sensationally received London production of Cabaret, in which he played the slithering Emcee. But this time, decadence-loving chanteuse Sally Bowles won’t be played by Jessie Buckley, who must be busy. My sources swear that the creative powers that be have narrowed this production’s Sally down to three tantalizing choices:

*Cristin Milioti (of TV, movies, and Broadway’s Once)

*Adrienne Warren (Tony winner for her fiery Tina Turner in Tina, she was going to star in a Broadway adaptation of Room until the money fell out.)

*Micaela Diamond (the 23-year-old who was the young Cher (“Babe”) in The Cher Show and copped a Tony nomination for the current Parade revival.

Those are three very different talents, but my educated guess is that the part will go to Diamond, who could bring a youthful yet haunted aura to the role. But “Willkommen” to whoever lands it.


Ben Platt’s shattering performance in ‘Parade’ spotlights America’s complicated past

Ben Platt leads a stellar company in a revival of “Parade,” a musical about Leo Frank, unjustly convicted of murder in Georgia circa 1913.

More than one night only?

Alex Newell in the Broadway musical ShuckedAlex Newell in ‘Shucked.’ Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

In other Broadway casting news, I told Tony winner Alex Newell (Shucked) that they should play the deeply wounded Effie in Dreamgirls and they responded, “I’ve been manifesting that for years!” Well, a source confided to me about this particular casting coup, “It’s going to happen.” Interestingly, another Glee alum, Amber Riley, scored in the same role in London in 2016. Either she or Alex would no doubt be righteously riveting in the part on Broadway, but I’m hearing it will be Alex. And I’m telling you, I AM going.

Another ‘Pose’ for Billy?

Tony winner Billy Porter was an investor in the Q, the troubled and now shuttered queer club in Hell’s Kitchen, which promoter Frankie Sharp had a contentious relationship with. Well, there’s an Act Two. Sharp tells me Billy is now his investor in Frankie’s Pub, a cozily atmospheric hangout in the same nabe (in the space that was formerly Thirst). Frankie tells me that Frankie’s Pub won’t specialize in drag entertainment, focusing more on Broadway and jazz talent. In fact, Billy Porter might do a show there now and again. Ten-ten-ten!

Gimme more

Two musical artists with Broadway credits — Sir Elton John and Britney Spears — got together last year for that duet “Hold Me Closer.” Well, apparently, they didn’t hold each other all that closely while recording the song. In fact, I hear that when a fellow star recently asked Sir Elton what Britney was like to work with, he replied, “I never met her.” (He meant this time, of course; they met in 2013.) That might be one reason the song was so meh.


Once is enough for Broadway’s Britney Spears musical, ‘Once Upon a One More Time’

The pop singer’s catalog inspires a retelling of some of our favorite princess fairy tales with plenty of hip hop.

Holly go lightly

Holly Woodlawn in her Greenwich Village apartment, 1970.Holly Woodlawn photographed in her Greenwich Village apartment in 1970. Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

A star of theater, cabaret, and Andy Warhol films, Holly Woodlawn was a complex figure whom screenwriter Jeff Copeland got to know, writing her 1991 memoir A Low Life in High Heels with her in hopes of filming it. And now, he’s working on his own book called Love You Madly, Holly Woodlawn, about their colorful, up-and-down experiences together. Memorably, Copeland talks about how Holly (whom he says was trans) usually paid the rent via sex work, advertising as “Kim” on the back pages of an L.A. publication.

How did she avoid contracting HIV? “I never had sex with gay men,” Holly explained to Copeland. “I’m a woman! They wanted nothing to do with me. And I always used condoms. Just because I was a hooker didn’t mean I was an idiot. Back then, I didn’t know anything about AIDS, but I sure as hell didn’t want to get herpes!”

As one of the people Holly “borrowed” money from (without asking), I happen to know that her sex work and acting career weren’t enough to pay the bills, but I eventually forgave her sticky fingers because she happened to be a comic genius.

And finally…

I ran into the ebullient Frankie Grande, who, until recently, was in the hit off-Broadway musical romp Titanique, featuring the music of Celine Dion. I asked him if the show has been hurt by Celine’s unfortunate diagnosis (stiff person syndrome) or by the recent Titan submersible disaster, and he replied, “Not at all.” “It’s a homage!” I said, and he heartily agreed. “I’ll go with the show wherever it ends up going,” Frankie related. His art will go on.

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