Monday, September 29, 2014

Which NFL Team Sells the Most Jerseys in Your State?

Click to enlarge

This is, according to the folks at Dick's Sporting Goods, the official ranking of the best-selling players jerseys nationwide at this point in the current NFL season.

Apparently, Alaskans really like the St. Louis Rams and Hawaiians are big on the Carolina Panthers.

My home state of Nevada would be bullish ("coltish?") on the Indianapolis Colts, but truth be told I've never heard anyone here say "Go Colts."

(Although I do think the Colts' current quarterback Andrew Luck is pretty talented).

(via CBS Sports)

BREAKING: Hell Has Frozen Over As FOX News Correspondent Admits "Not Everything" is Obama's Fault

You can imagine the heads snapping up to the monitors over at Fox News when Chief White House Correspondent, Ed Henry, chose to point out that EVERYTHING isn't President Obama's fault.

In this case, Henry was reporting on the current ISIS violence.

Bill O'Reilly wasn't having it. Finally after a minute or two back and forth, O'Reilly gives in begrudgingly to say "not the whole thing" is the President's fault.


O’Reilly: Turkey doesn’t fear the United States. Egypt doesn’t fear the United States. Pakistan certainly doesn’t fear us. Who fears us? Kuwait? Anyone?

Henry: We can add Putin to the list. I don’t think Putin fears us right now either. Where I would say you’re not giving the President credit though, is that there’s been about 200 air strikes in Iraq. Prevented a genocide in Northern Iraq, right? There were 10s of 1000s of…

O’Reilly: But he had to do that.

Henry: Okay, well he did it. Whether he had to do it or not, you just acknowledge he acted.

O’Reilly: Let me decimate your argument there.

Henry: Alright.

O’Reilly: If he had listened to me six months ago, ISIS never would have expanded into Iraq. We were calling for him to knock ISIS out six months ago when they weren’t nearly as strong. So you can say that the mountain and the humanitarian disaster is partly Mr. Obama’s fault because he didn’t listen to the CIA and he didn’t listen to guys like Panetta, who are now killing him. You know Panetta’s now killing him, right?

Henry: Sure and he said we should have left some troops behind in Iraq.

O’Reilly: Well, you can say well yeah, he prevented it, but it’s his fault he was even there to begin with. You can make that argument.

Henry: I’m not sure you can pin the whole thing on him.

O’Reilly: Not the whole thing.

Henry: Okay, right but if you listen to your talking points a moment ago, it’s basically like, “this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong, why isn’t Obama done more. I don’t think we can make that case. Not everything is his fault.

What happens at the Fox News HQ when this happens? Are there lashings scheduled? Does Ed Henry see his bathroom privileges revoked?

Watch below:


Anti-gay Mat Staver is Mad He's Been Labeled "Anti-Gay"

Mat Staver, speaking at the Values Voter Summit this weekend, expressed his deep hurt he feels that he has somehow been labeled an "anti-gay extremist."

Just because he campaigns against equal rights for LGBT people. Just for that, he's called a "hater."

It's exactly the hate that he does propagate that resulted in civil rights groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and People For The American Way writing a joint letter to the Republican National Committee asking the GOP members to not take part in the weekend's hate summit.

Isn't that awful? (Sarcasm intended).

From Right Wing Watch:

Staver's organization, Liberty Counsel, is among those very sponsors and he is not very happy about being labeled an anti-gay extremist, despite this long and documented record of being one. Staver fumed that he is being attacked merely for believing "in God's natural created order of male and and female and marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

"For me believing in something that is that obvious," he complained, "I am considered by some groups to be a hater. But I hate no one. I hate no one, but I believe in God's truth and I will not be silent in the face of intimidation."

In an effort to prove that he is not an extremist, Staver then went on to liken himself to Jesus when he turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple before declaring that marriage equality teaches that children do not need mothers or fathers.

New Music: Aretha Franklin Covers "Rolling In The Deep"

Aretha Franklin will release an album Oct. 21 covering classic songs from other female singers.

The first single from Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics is a fantastic version of Adele's hit "Rolling In the Deep," which also throws in a little mashup surprise chorus from another famous diva.

The single hits all major digital download outlets tonight. And make sure to catch the Queen of Soul singing the track on David Letterman tonight.

The rest of the collection looks like:

• Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train to Georgia"
• Barbra Streisand's "People"
• Whitney Houston's "I'm Every Woman"
• The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
• Alicia Keys' "No One"
• Dinah Washington's "Teach Me Tonight"
• Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" (with a touch of Destiny's Child's "Survivor")
• Etta James' "At Last"
• Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Take a listen to "Rolling In The Deep" below and check out the pre-order on Amazon here.

Belgrade Hosts First Gay Pride Celebration in Four Years

Yesterday in Belgrade, over 1,000 people took part in the first gay pride event in four years.

The past three years saw pride events cancelled due to threats and protests. Only small outbreaks of violence occurred thanks in great part to the protection by thousands of riot police.

From Gay Star News:

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic warned yesterday that 'whoever tries to provoke incidents will be very, very severely punished.'

Belgrade Mayor Sinisa Mali and Michael Davenport, the head of the European Union's delegation to Serbia, were among the politicians and dignitaries in attendance.

'Belgrade is an open city, which means it is open to all and that everyone here is equal,' Mali said, as reported by Radio Free Europe.

The country, which is pursuing EU membership, has reportedly come under pressure from the Union, which says the event is a test of Serbia's commitment to the fundamental freedoms promoted by the bloc.

Homophobia is widespread in Serbia, often supported by right-wing parties and church leaders.

New Music: Kazaky feat. The Hardkiss "Strange Moves"

Ukrainian "boy band in heels" Kazaky offers this collaboration with The Hardkiss to start your week, "Strange Moves."

Marriage News Watch: September 29, 2014

From the American Foundation for Equal Rights: This is the week when the Supreme Court meets to decide whether to take a marriage case.

After meeting in conference on Monday, the Justices will announce their decision next week, on October 6th.

Currently, cases from Virginia, Indiana, Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma are ready for consideration. The court could take one case, or several, or none at all.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Quote of the Day: President Obama

"When trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don't call Beijing, they don't call Moscow. They call us. That's the deal.

"That's always the case. That's always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation," he said. "We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world."

- President Barack Obama speaking on CBS' 60 Minutes regarding why the US leads the world in times of trouble


Brooklyn: Three Arrested in Connection to Anti-Gay Shooting

NYC Police have arrested three in connection to what is being called an anti-gay shooting in Brooklyn that took place Saturday morning.

From NBC New York:

According to police, the victim was dressed as a woman and walking down the street with two other men in Bushwick Saturday morning, when the three suspects approached them and began making anti-gay comments.

A dispute ensued and one of the men shot the victim in the buttocks.

Tavon Johnson, 17, and Cody Sigue, 22 were charged with third degree menacing as a hate crime. Matthew Smith, 21, was charged with first degree assault and was also charged in a separate shooting Friday night.

Ali Forney Center's Annual Benefit Dinner - October 24, 2014

This year's Annual Benefit Dinner for The Ali Forney Center will be held on October 24, 2014, at Capitale in New York City.

The evening includes a cocktail reception, an extensive silent auction, live auction, performances by Lea DeLaria and Daniel J. Watts and more.

The mission of the Ali Forney Center is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.

However, this work cannot be done alone. The Center needs your help and support to make NYC a safer place for homeless LGBT youth.

This is one of the Center's biggest fund-raising events of the year. If in NYC, please consider attending; or if not able to attend, perhaps make a donation or donate something for the silent auction.

For ticket info, click here.

Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Supports Marriage Equality

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, the largest group of businesses in Broward County,  has approved a resolution in support of same-sex marriage.

“Marriage equality makes great business sense for our state and our community,” Dan Lindblade, president and CEO of the Chamber, said in a statement. He termed it “reform.”

With a membership of over 1,400, the pro-business group had good reason to support the freedom to marry.

From Lindblade: “Simplification of benefits administration, a competitive edge on hiring top talent, growing an already diverse and strong tourism marketplace, and protecting the strong economic engine related to gay and gay-friendly businesses are just a few reasons.”


Broadway: CHICAGO the Musical Welcomes Back Four Original Stars

On Sunday evening, November 23, a Broadway show near and dear to my heart will reach a huge milestone.

On that date, the current company of Broadway's record-breaking hit musical CHICAGO will welcome back its four original stars -- Tony Award winners Ann Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton and Joel Grey.

That evening, CHICAGO will surpass the run of iconic Broadway blockbuster "Cats" with a record-breaking 7,486 performances, making it the second longest-running show in Broadway history.

Only one show -- "The Phantom of the Opera" -- will have run longer than CHICAGO.

Reinking, Neuwirth, Naughton and Grey -- who originated the acclaimed roles of Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly, Billy Flynn and Amos Hart, respectively -- will each make cameo appearances at various points in the milestone performance.

As regular readers of The Randy Report know, I was fortunate to be one of the earliest replacements in the Broadway revival of CHICAGO back in 1998. I performed in the Broadway company at the Shubert Theatre, and toured with the show in the US and internationally with five other companies.

My run with the show - off and on - stretched from August 1998 to July 2013, when I was asked to come back and be a part of the show at the Hollywood Bowl. In addition, I've been able to explore the brilliant material as a choreographer, staging the show four times. CHICAGO has been a gift that keeps giving.

The revival of CHICAGO first began in May 1996 with a weekend presentation as part of City Center's acclaimed Encores! series.

At the time, that brief four-performance engagement of CHICAGO -- helmed by director Walter Bobbie and choreographer Ann Reinking -- was the top-grossing production in the history of Encores!.

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler, CHICAGO opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 14, 1996. It transferred to the Shubert Theatre in February 1997, and subsequently transferred to the Ambassador Theatre in January of 2003.

CHICAGO received six 1997 Tony Awards for Best Musical Revival, Best Direction of a Musical (Walter Bobbie), Best Choreography (Ann Reinking), Best Lighting Design (Ken Billington), Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Bebe Neuwirth) and Best Leading Actor in a Musical (James Naughton).

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.

Congratulations CHICAGO!

With Ann Reinking celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of CHICAGO revival on Broadway
With the National company of CHICAGO in Las Vegas 1999

Back in CHICAGO blacks one more time - Hollywood Bowl 2013.
I had just turned 50 years old. Giving a little CHICAGO 'attitude.'

(via press release)

Philadelphia Gay-Bashing: Affidavit of Probable Cause Released

Gay bashing suspects Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott and Philip Williams arrested on violent assault charges after allegedly calling gay couple "faggots" and punching them
(L to R) Kevin Harrigan; Kathryn Knott; Philip Williams

According to recently released court documents regarding the violent gay bashing in Center City two weeks ago, the victims were punched and repeatedly called "faggots" by the three charges suspects.

It should be noted that nowhere in the report is there any mention that the three acted in "self-defense."


Now that Kathryn Knott, Kevin Harrigan and Philip Williams have been charged with the crime, an affidavit of probable cause describing the incident has been made available by the court.

According to that document, the incident began when "words were exchanged" between the two groups of people, with suspect Kevin Harrigan allegedly calling the victims "faggots" several times before a "heated argument developed." The affidavit also alleges that Knott screamed "faggots" at them and hit one of them in the face.

See the affidavit below. Here is a transcript of the affidavit:

On September 11, 2014, at approximately 10:45PM, Conplainant #s 1 and 2 were walking east on the 1600 block of Chancellor Street when they encountered a large group of males and females who were walking north on 16th Street. Words were exchanged between the two groups and one male in the second group, later identified as Kevin Harrigan, called the complainants "faggots" several times. A heated argument developed and, during the resulting altercation, another member of the second group, later identified as Philip Williams, punched Complainant #1 in the face an undetermined number of times, causing Complainant #1 to fall to the ground. Complainant #2 approached Williams and Williams punched Complainant #2 in the face, also causing him to fall. The second group then left the area north on 16th Street.

Complainant #1 was transported to Hahnemann Hospital with extensive injuries to his face, including a broken orbital bone, a broken jaw and a deep laceration that required twenty-four stitches to close. Complainant #2 suffered injuries to his face that did not require hospital treatment.

Video was recovered from the surrounding area that showed the second group in its entirety. That video was aired on local news programs and on social media. As a result, the whole group was identified. Photo arrays containing individual photos of that group were shown to the complainants and several witnesses. Kevin Harrigan was identified by both complainants as initiating the incident and calling the complainants "faggots". Complainant #2 also identifies Harrigan as striking him during the physical altercation.

Both complainants positively identified Philip Williams through photo arrays. Williams was identified by Complainant #2 as punching him. Williams was identified by Complainant #1 as being part of the group and being one of the "main aggressors".

Another member of the group, Kathryn Knott, was positively identified by Complainant #1, after viewing a photo array, as calling them "faggots". Complainant #2 identified Kathryn Knott from the video as screaming "faggots" at both complainants and striking Complainant #2 in the face. A witness at the scene who was interviewed by detectives further positively identified Knott from a photo array as striking Complainant #2.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Trailer: "Pride"

Winner of the Queer Palm at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Pride tells the true story of a group of gay and lesbian activists who rallied together to raise money for struggling families affected by the U.K. miners strike' in 1984.

The film was directed by Matthew Warchus, who also directed the first Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, which was my last Broadway appearance :)

Via press release:

PRIDE is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It’s the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers’ families.

Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all.

Released this week in select theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco this weekend.

Watch the trailer below, and check out the official website here.

Chris Pratt Explains the Story Behind His First Hollywood Headshot to Jimmy Fallon

A slightly chagrined Chris Pratt explains his first headshot

Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt explains the story behind his first "Hollywood headshot" (where Pratt refers to himself as "Douchemaster McChest") to Jimmy Fallon.

Interesting story - halfway through you think it's gonna go a little sideways; could have been some "friendly-photographer" shenanigans, but life works out for Mr. Pratt.

Watch below:

Chris Pratt explains the pose his first photographer suggested

"Douchemaster McChest"

"This headshot got me "Everwood" on the WB!"
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