TransTainment! Trans in the Performing Arts

| Mar 9, 2020
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Drummer Elijah Wood.

Shania Twain’s hit tune Man! I Feel Like a Woman! became an anthem of sorts for portions of the transgender community. Now TransTainment learns that her former tour drummer feels non-binary. Their name is Elijah Wood. That’s right, there’s a famous actor of that name but the two are not alike. The drummer Elijah was Twain’s tour drummer for her Now tour which started early in 2018 and ended that December. At every show Wood would kick things off playing the beat from Queen’s We Will Rock You on one kit but eventually ended up suspended above the stage with a full drum kit. Wood was born into a showbiz family. Their father was a founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. TransTainment became aware or them when they were the guest drummer with The 8G Band on Late Night With Seth Meyers. For more info on this major non-binary talent check out their About page.

The Tribecca Film Festival includes Cowboys, directed and written by Anna Kerrigan. Produced by Gigi Graff, Anna Kerrigan, Dylan Sellers, Chris Parker. It will be the World Premiere of what is described as a family drama. Troy and his young transgender son Joe are on the run from his conservative mother in the Montana wilderness, with a detective in hot pursuit. With Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell, Sasha Knight, and Ann Dowd. The festival will run from April 15-26. Click here for ticket info.

Laverne Cox

Also screening during the festival will be Disclosure, for its New York Premiere in the Feature Documentary category. It’s executive produced by Laverne Cox and looks at transgender representation in the media, “bringing together trans creatives and activists to deconstruct scenes from cinema through the ages in order to confront our evolving understanding of gender.” With Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Jen Richards, Mj Rodriguez, and Chaz Bono.

Mae Krell is a New York based non-binary singer/songwriter. They contacted TransTainment to announce the release of their new single, garden which will officially drop on March 20. Thanks to Mae we have it for you here right now.

Back in September Sam Smith was the featured performer “down under” for the Mardi Gras in Sydney. While Smith has come out as non binary the Mardi Gras performance was the first that they did at an LGBT inclusive event. Part of Smith’s show found him wearing a huge red dress embellished with the word “equality” in a black, handwritten font. Not since Grace Jones has such a long dress been seen on stage. (See photo below.)

“Executive transvestite” Eddie Izzard is an avid runner who has done things like running 43 marathons in just 51 days. Some would call that excessive but Izzard does it for charity and other worthy causes. His latest effort will be on behalf of his mission to “Make Humanity Great Again.” He will run 28 marathons in 28 European countries in just 28 days. Talk about beating your feet. This is the man who wears high heeled pumps when he’s not running. That’s probably harder on your feet than a marathon.

Regarding the Make Humanity Great Again marathons Izzard said, “At a time of divide, let’s make even stronger unity,” Izzard told The News from Lithuania. “We were 20,000 people 200,000 years ago, and we are now 7.7 billion. I think connections are the best way forward rather than separation and divide.” Get more info from a story in the New York Daily News.

Eve Lindley

The AMC show Dispatches From Elsewhere, which premiered last week, features a transgender character played by trans actor Eve Lindley. How has she been treated by the critics? How about these accolades from critics calling her “the breakout star of this series hands-down” (Den of Geek) and “absolutely incredible” (Philly Mag)? Brian Tallerico, writing for, wrote that Lindley “steals pretty much every scene she’s in.”

Dispatches From Elsewhere follows four lonely people who get drawn into a surreal adventure that runs them all over Philadelphia. It is notable that Philadelphia is portrayed by Philadelphia, not shot in some other town. The show is based on a true story that happened in San Francisco, but the show’s creator Jason Segel scouted the Philadelphia location and fell in love with the city. Learn more about Lindley and the new show from TIME.

Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) in association with award-winning actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph and her non-profit organization, The DIVA Foundation—announced that actress and transgender advocate Angelica Ross is among this year’s list of honorees for the sixth annual Truth Awards The Truth Awards will be held Saturday, March 7, at the Taglyan Cultural Complex, in Los Angeles.

Alex Newell

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a new show on NBC which features gender non-conforming actor Alex Newell. Newell first came to national attention as the character Unique Adams on Glee His character in that show was a transgender high school student. On the new series Newell plays the title character’s musically gifted neighbor Mo. It’s worth noting that the role was originally written for a cisgender woman. The casting director for Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist happened to be the same person who cast Glee. He immediately thought of Newell for the part. Newell said, “Every female that I know was going in for this role and I was like, ‘Why am I going in for this?’” Of course he got the part and that meant a rewrite of the character. Learn more about Alex Newell and the new show from the Advocate.

Lately it seems that this column, excuse me — entertainment blog — is filled with Billy Porter. Billy, Billy, Billy! Today we’ve learned that Porter stars alongside singer Camila Cabello is a remake of Cinderella. His role? The Fairy Godmother, of course. Porter’s version of the godmother is called Fab G, and the whole production is devoted to looking at the time honored tale from a different perspective. Look for a modern interpretation. The film also stars Idina Menzel, Pierce Brosnan, John Mulaney, and James Corden. Look for more stories about Porter through this year and into 2021.

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Category: Transgender Community News, Transgender Fun & Entertainment


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Assoc., Inc., former editor of its newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She was the Diva of Dish for TGF in the late 1990s and Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows.

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