Billy Masters 06.13.24

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Photo by Greg Hernandez from California, via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo by Greg Hernandez from California, via Wikimedia Commons.

"I'm single. I'm feeling full of pride. And PrEP."

—Jonathan Groff welcomes the audience to the Pride of Broadway event. You know what they say—better safe than pregnant.

Welcome to another Pride Month. And what better way to show our solidarity than competing Pride events? Oh, those wacky folks in Los Angeles. When I hosted LA Pride (for seven consecutive years, but who's counting?), we were united—because there's enough of Billy to go around. Then West Hollywood booted LA Pride and now has OUTLOUD Music Festival, where the word "Pride" is eschewed. What can I say? It was a kinder, gentler, and certainly cheaper time. Oh, yes—OUTLOUD tickets were several hundred dollars. When I'm hosting, I have one rule of thumb: you give me all-access, I'll give you all-access. Of course, I wasn't hosting a concert by Kylie Minogue—and compared to her Vegas prices, people in WeHo actually got a bargain. They also got, from all accounts, a fantastic show. There were others who performed throughout the weekend. People like Janelle Monáe and Keke Palmer. For those who didn't want to break the bank, the festival kicked off with a free Friday night concert headlined by Adam Lambert and Kesha—who apparently no longer sports a dollar sign in her name.

Not to be outdone, LA Pride in the Park held a concert a week later, and they had some star power of their own—Ricky Martin! Also appearing was JoJo Siwa—well, the Lord giveth... Tickets started at a far more reasonable price, but VIP access was available for those who had a few hundred to spend. Ricky kept the capacity crowd entertained with a high-energy set which featured his hips on overdrive (and they didn't seem to be lying). He even showed a good amount of skin, the color of mocha. Once everyone dried off, pride went from the park to the street for the annual LA Pride March down Hollywood Boulevard with Grand Marshal George Takei.

Back in 2016, the City of West Hollywood bought the Coast Playhouse—in a prime location on Santa Monica Boulevard—for $2.5 million. A minor renovation was planned to make it available for community presentations and small shows. Then in 2022, there was a plan to completely replace the building with a small theatre called The West Hollywood City Playhouse, which would include rehearsal space and a green area. Nothing came of these ideas. Enter legendary actress Barbara Bain. She attended a recent City Council meeting to advocate for the plan. "It is happening nowhere else in the country. They're ripping theaters down left and right and putting in cleaners, gas stations, and Lord knows what else. So, we have an opportunity here that I don't want to miss. Everything about building a theater—I don't know, I'm sure you're aware of the statistic—it generates funds. When there's an arts institution in the community, there's a lot of money made suddenly." Talk about a "Mission: Impossible".

Meanwhile, the adjacent (and iconic) Marix Tex Mex restaurant remains shuttered. Nobody has a clue what is happening there—least of all the patrons who have thousands of dollars of useless gift certificates. E-mails and calls to the owners are not returned, although they (Mary Sweeney and Vickie Shemaria) are still in the area. The eatery shuttered temporarily during Covid. According to their website, they planned to reopen on Cinco de Mayo in 2020. That was delayed due to some damage to the kitchen. "We count the days until we see your lovely faces and serve all your favorite Tex Mex food with our famous margaritas". I don't think I can count that high!

Before we left California, Oprah Winfrey posted a Pride Month message. "It was 35 years ago that my younger brother, Jeffrey Lee, died from AIDS. He was 29 years old. The year was 1989 and the world was an extremely cruel place—not just for people suffering from AIDS, but also for LGBTQ people in general. I often think if he'd lived, he'd be so amazed at how much the world has changed. That there actually is gay marriage and a Pride month. How different his life might have been had he lived in a world that saw and appreciated him for who he was rather than attempting to shame him for his sexuality. I believe that every single person has the right to love who they want to love and be the person they most want to be. My hope for you is that you are living a life that feels authentic to you and that you have the support around you to do so, no matter your sexuality. Whether or not you're celebrating Pride this month...or always, I wish for you the continued freedom to rise to your truest, highest expression of yourself as a human being."

Working our way east, let's take a pit stop in Las Vegas, where the successful "Weekends with Adele" residency continues at Caesars Palace. Last week, a guy yelled out, "Pride sucks!" Well, that stopped our diva in her tracks. Perched on the piano bench, she retorted, "Did you come to my fucking show to say 'Pride sucks'? Are you fucking stupid? Don't be so fucking ridiculous. If you have nothing nice to say, shut up, alright?" As it happens, the incident was caught on video, which you can see on

Last week, "The View" celebrated the 30th anniversary of "Sister Act 2". Most of the cast reunited with Whoopi Goldberg for great stories and great music. Some cast members—like Jenifer Lewis and Jennifer Love Hewitt—were unable to be there in person, so they sent in video messages. But one notable person was conspicuously absent—and virtually unmentioned. On the show's podcast, Brian Teta (executive producer of "The View") said, "Lauryn Hill...we made every effort to get her here, but unfortunately it just didn't work out. We would have loved to have had her, she's very important to the movie, but it didn't work out." Maybe she was just late...again.

Inching closer to Boston, another reunion is taking place—and this one should be complete. "Queer Eye" is a global phenomenon, but it all started over 20 years ago. In July 2003, Bravo broadcast the original "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", and it ran for five seasons. The boys are reuniting for a special evening at the Foxwoods Casino on June 22nd. Cleverly titled "An Evening with the Original Fab Five: 20 Years Later", Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley and Jai Rodriguez all plan to attend. They did another reunion a few months ago, and it was so successful they are adding dates. The show will include behind-the-scenes stories, design tips, Q&A, and a live makeover—God help us. You can grab your tix at

Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Jason in Miami: "Whatever happened to that movie that Bette Midler was making with Susan Sarandon and Megan Mullally? You wrote about it a long time ago. Is it still happening?"

Not only is it still happening, it's in the can and coming out on August 1st. "The Fabulous Four" stars Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally and Sheryl Lee Ralph. It actually only began filming last September. It probably seems like a long time ago because it was announced in May of 2022. Back then, Sissy Spacek was part of the cast. At some point, she dropped out—opening the door for Miss Ralph. The story is about three friends who travel to Key West to be bridesmaids at a friend's wedding. The bride being Midler, and the other three are her old college friends—which is odd because there's over a decade between Mullally and Midler. Maybe Megan was like a Sheldon Cooper/Doogie Howser situation. Anyway, fingers crossed for a successful opening.

When we can go from the Fab Five to the Fabulous Four, we've definitely come to the end of yet another column. I'd be remiss not to mention that this past weekend was also Boston Pride, and next weekend will be Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors. While it looks like I'm missing all the fun, you can keep up with everything by checking out—the site that's proud 365 days a year. If you have a question you need answered, drop a note to [email protected] and I promise to get back to you before we find out what else Jonathan Groff is full of. So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.