Tag Archives: Spread The Net

Luba returns to her roots, Rick goes back to school(s), and flashbacks to tasty times at Truffles

END OF AN ERA: Sooner or later we’re all history. Bistro 990 is gone — witness Bill Marshall’s splendid salute in the National Post — and the Four Seasons closed last week, and I enjoyed some wonderful times in both places. In its heyday the Four Seasons restaurant Truffles was even better than Le

MACLAINE: dining at Truffles

Cirque, and many New Yorkers shared that opinion.  At Truffles one night I shared a saffron palate cleanser with Shirley MacLaine, who put one spoonful in her mouth and grimaced. “Don’t eat it!” she warned. “It takes like tin!” When I explained it was saffron, she stared back at me blankly. “Saffron,” I persisted. “Like the colour of a monk’s robes.” Her eyes widened. “Oh, saffron!” she purred, and gobbled up the rest of it. At Truffles I introduced 75-year-old theatre legend Helen Hayes to Gordon’s Gin Tomato Soup, and she liked it so much she ordered it again the next day. “I should go out to dinner with you more often!” she teased. But everything must change, and now Sutton Place is set to close its hotel doors June 15 to begin the process of reconverting the property

HAYES: Gordon's Gin soup

into an upscale condominium. (So where do the hotel’s current apartment dwellers go from here? Just askin’ … ) However, I’m not nearly as nostalgic about that hotel anymore. It was glorious in the Hans Gerhardt era, when that superb hotelier would import Wolfgang Puck and the namesake nephew of Italian legend Alfredo De Leio  (as in Fettucine Alfredo) to cook up a storm in his elegant Sanssouci dining room. In those days you could barely make it through the lobby without bumping into two or three mega-stars – but that was once upon a time, many years ago. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for hotel space downtown in the next two months, I’m told Sutton Place is offering some of its rooms and suites at deep discounts. So enjoy it while you can.

HELLO WE MUST BE GOING: Two more season finales tonight. First, Rick Mercer wraps up his ninth (!!!) season by going back to school, attending celebrations at the winning schools in the annual Mercer Report Spread the

MERCER & FRIENDS: back to school

Net Student Challenge. Watching Mercer interact with elementary school kids is definitely something to see. Following his 8 pm Rick Mercer Report on CBC is the season finale of 22 Minutes, with Shaun Majumder at the Junos, Mark Critch at the Trudeau-Brazau fight and, if we’re lucky, HRM

SHORT: comedy special tonight

Cathy Jones making another Diamond Jubilee visit. Immediate following the 22 Minutes show is Martin Short’s off-the-wall comedy special, I, Martin Short, Goes Home, a 60-minute tour de force by Short and sidekicks Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, Robin Duke, Fred Willard and your boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos, who’ll be watching from B.C,  Strombo starts three nights of taping today at CBC Vancouver with guests Sandra Oh, Daryl Hannah, ‘Dragon’ Jim Treliving, Brent Butt, Kim Campbell; Ian Hanomansing, Jane Goodall and too many more to list here.

LUBA: back on the boards

PEOPLE: Special bulletin to Air Farce fans (and I know you are legion:)  Your favourite funny lady Luba Goy is coming home to a stage near you. She’s set to open May 7 at the Berkeley Street Theatre in Luba, Simply Luba, an autobiographical one-woman show penned by Diane Flacks …  John Peller, whose family makes those tempting Peller Estate wines in Niagara, and Wayne Gretzky, who needs absolutely no introduction, have joined forces and vineyards to make new vintages together. “Our families share the same commitment to quality,” Keller recently told his subscribers, “and we both feel passionate about making award-winning wines that we can share with you.” Okay, but will they sell for $99? Never mind, just kidding … devoted jazz buff Tim

TOWNSEND: lucky XIII

Tamashiro took over the reins of Tonic on CBC Radio this week from legendary music maven Katie Malloch, retiring from the airwaves after a 40-year career …  Juno Nominee George Olliver performs at the Old Newcastle House in – where else? – Newcastle, ON this Saturday night …  Stuart Townsend is back in T.O. to headline season two of the one-hour conspiracy thriller XIII.2 which will film in and around Our Town from now through to mid-July. Townsend plays XIII, a lethal former secret agent whose memory has been erased. The 13-episode original series will air on Showcase this fall …  The Voice judge and Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine is in talks to make his acting debut with Jessica Lange on American Horror Story … and how did Aaron Sorkin keep his new HBO series The Newsroom under the radar so brilliantly for so long? And will Ken Finkleman want his title back? Stay tuned.

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Patrick hits the ice in France, those wacky Women hit Vegas, and COC closes its season with Semele

OUR TOWN: Indefatigable charmer Dinah Christie hosts Chartwell’s 2011 Senior Star National Finale tonight at 9 pm on Zoomer TV (aka Vision.) “Wait ‘til you see the amazing talent of our Top 10 National Finalists,” says Dinah

CHRISTIE: hosting tonight

– “not to mention the incredible performance of our 2011 Senior Star winner, Toni Pinto.” So maybe Canada’s Seniors Got Talent too? … spotted shopping at Pusateri’s in Yorkville: Covert Affairs heartthrob Christopher Gorham, sans collapsible white cane … spotted huddling over coffee at the By The Way café: Producer Allan Novak and playwright Brad Fraser … spotted savouring the brisket at Caplansky’s: Toronto Star arts columnist Martin Knelman and better half Bernadette … and it’s official — the season closer for the Canadian Opera Company is the COC premiere of Handel’s Semele with Canadian coloratura soprano Jane Archibald in the

GORHAM: Yorkville steak-out

title role. The production will be directed by famed Chinese visual and performance artist Zhang Huan, with Italian Baroque opera specialist Rinaldo Alessandrini set to lead the COC Orchestra and Chorus. The COC’s presentation of Semele is the first opportunity for audiences to experience Zhang’s production outside Brussels, Belgium, where it premiered in 2009, and Beijing in 2010, where it was China’s first major staging of a Baroque opera.  Semele will run for only eight, count ‘em, eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre starting May 9 … and yes, today’s the day when Why Men Lie, the new novel by Giller Prize-winner Linden MacIntyre (The Bishops Man,)  officially becomes available at a major bookstore near you.

MERCER: Shhh, it's a secret

APRIL IS THE COOLEST MONTH:  Okay, T.S. Eliot might not agree — but then he never met Women Fully Clothed. Fabulous foursome Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Kathryn Greenwood and Teresa Pavlinek will kick off next month with their first gig in Las Vegas – at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, no less — followed by half a dozen shows in California (Thousand Oaks, Napa, Saratoga, etc.) before returning to Home Sweet Ontario for their May bookings here.

P.S.: Shhhh, it’s a secret, but Greenwood and Pavlinek both appear in the same sketch with WFC fan Rick Mercer, who incidentally made a splashy visit to Montreal yesterday,  tonight on the Rick Mercer Report. 

AND NOW, FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE: The 2012 World Figure Skating Championships start today in Nice, with Scott Russell hosting CBC broadcasts with Brenda Irving and Canadian figure skating legends

CHAN: He's the Man

Tracy Wilson and Kurt Browning. This year’s big story is to see what reigning World Champion Patrick Chan will do to keep his crown, and to watch as Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir attempt to reclaim the World Ice Dancing Champions title. Our Canadian contingent also includes rising star Amélie Lacoste, pairs teams Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford and Jessica Dubé & Sebastian Wolfe, men’s single skater Kevin Reynolds and ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and Kharis Ralph & Asher Hill. It all starts today at 3 pm on CBC Television, bold and CBCSports.ca., so rev up your PVRs and get ready to root for your favourites!

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Strombo gets Fox, Mosque gets manipulated, Montreal gets Whoopi & Rick gets stung

TONIGHT, TONIGHT: Your boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos kicks off his sixth season of The Hour tonight with an intimate hour-long interview

GEORGE: Sixth Season

GEORGE: Sixth Season

with Michael J. Fox. Other sparklies about to get Georged: Andre Agassi, Michael Buble, Drew Barrymore, Michael Douglas, John Irving, Michael Moore, Anne Murray, Edward Norton, Clive Owen, and Snoop Dogg earlier in the evening Little Mosque On The Prairie returns with a new edge when Brandon Firla (Billable Hours) plays a manipulative minister from the big city who is less than thrilled to find a bunch of Muslims as tenants in his church. Zaib Shaikh, Sitara Hewitt, Sheila McCarthy, Carlo Rota, Debra McGrath and Arlene Duncan continue to keep the pot boilingalso returning tonight: Just For Laughs, with a premiere

GOLDBERG: just for laughs?

GOLDBERG: just for laughs?

episode from Montreal featuring Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Gaffigan, Louis C.K., Pete Zedlacher and Adam Hills. In addition to Zedlacher, Canuck showstoppers set to perform on the weekly series include Mike MacDonald, Deb DiGiovanni, Angelo Tsarouchas, Shaun Majumder, Martin Short, Jon Dore and Gerry Dee. So what’s not to like? … and Hot Docs is the co-presenter of tonight’s showing of Larry Towell’s Canada-Palestine co-production Indecisive Moments at the 2009 Toronto Palestine Film Festival, which continues through Friday. A personal video diary of Towell’s experiences in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, which he refers to as “the world’s largest open-air prison,” the film screens tonight at 7:00 pm at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall, with filmmaker Towell in attendance. For more information and/or to purchase tickets, just click here.

BRIDGES: new John Wayne?

BRIDGES: new John Wayne?

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Newcomer Christoph Waltz, the breakout star of Inglorious Basterds, is set to play the villain opposite Seth Rogen in The Green HornetJeff Bridges is in talks to star in a Coen Brothers remake of the classic John Wayne western True GritMeryl Streep’s daughter, actress Mamie Gummer, has been cast in director John Carpenter‘s new thriller, The Ward … and watch and listen for songbird Dawn Langstroth on a channel near you. She’s set to stop by AM 740 today at 2 pm to perform selected songs from her new CD Highwire in the radio station lobby. And tomorrow morning she’ll serenade early-risers on Breakfast Television (BT Toronto, that is.) So stay tuned!

LORD OF THE FLIES: When Canadian comedy icon Rick Mercer flew to B.C. to kick off the new Spread The Net campaign at Simon Fraser University, SFU biologist Carl Lowenberger, challenged him to stick his arm in a cage filled with mosquitoes — and you know how Mercer responds to challenges.  You can see the results on tomorrow night’s premiere of The Rick Mercer Report. (And I won’t even mention the bit where Lowenberger dares him to stick his entire head in the cage.)

MERCER & LOWENBERGER: SFU research team?

MERCER & LOWENBERGER: SFU research team?

Meanwhile, Mercer’s spoof of that weird Michael Ignatieff commercial, which will be revealed to television viewers on RMR tomorrow night, has already ricocheted around the word as a viral video. And yes, it’s funny. Funny enough for Ignatieff to instantly install it on his Facebook page (not to mention his Twittering about it.)

Still haven’t seen it?

Really?

So what was it like in the monastery?

Never mind. If you’re really sure that you really can’t wait ‘til tomorrow night, just click here.

TOMORROW:

More fun ‘n’ games. (Who knew?)

Ms Taylor comes out to play, Ms Mirren comes to town (almost!) and Mr Mochrie goes to the dogs

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Wheelchair-bound but mobile again, Elizabeth Taylor made her first public appearance in months at Andrea Bocelli’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl. “My mind, my soul were transported

LAW: pajama Dane

LAW: pajama Dane

by his beauty, his voice, his inner being,” she reports. “God has kissed this man and I thank God for it.” Yeah, she likes him … funnyman John Wing says he was the sixth most famous person on the plane to Los Angeles Monday. Howcum? “The Tragically Hip were on the same flight!” … add director Guy Maddin to the growing list of fans hopelessly smitten by Roger Ebert’s Journals. (And yes, Ebert really does elicit the warmest, brightest, smartest, most literate responses from his devoted readers, including Winnipeg wunderkind Guy … Jude Law is breathing easier these days now that his Hamlet was well received by U.K. critics. Law himself acknowledged that playing the melancholy Dane is “a bit like a great song that’s been covered by a load of different singers.” But at least he’s comfortable on stage. In the London production he’s clad in pajama-like costumes for most of the play … and shhhh, it’s a secret, but Patricia Clarkson wants to play now-92 year-old Phyllis Diller in the still-being-scripted biopic of the legendary comedienne.

DILLER: before ...

DILLER: before ...

CLARKSON: ... and after

CLARKSON: ... and after??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A TAIL OF TWO CITIES: In Montreal they close Ste Catherine street for the jazz festival and shut down Rue St Denis for the comedy festival. In Toronto we

MOCHRIE: going to the dogs

MOCHRIE: going to the dogs

close Front Street from Jarvis to Yonge for Woofstock, the annual doggie love-in set for the St. Lawrence Market Neighborhood this weekend. New features this year include a Saturday night Yappy Hour at which Wooftinis will be served. Seriously. (Oh c’mon, even I couldn’t make that up!) Headliners participating in Main Stage contests include Mark Breslin, Geri Hall, Colin Mochrie and Nikki Payne, and don’t be surprised to find a lot of four-legged friends on the TTC on Saturday and Sunday. Last year more than 150,000 dog lovers and their canine companions showed up from all over North America.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I don’t just sit around and wait for the phone to ring because, you know, I had to write my own script in the first place because I don’t look like Nicole Kidman. And the fact is I still don’t. So I don’t get offered fun, interesting roles. So I’m not going to whine about it; I just sit in my office and I write them.”

The speaker?  Comedy confection Nia Vardalos, currently winning new fans in her romantic comedy romp My Life In Ruins.

 OUR TOWN:  Yearning to be in London’s West End to see Jude Law‘s Hamlet and Helen Mirren‘s Phaedre? Lucky moviegoers will see Mirren ‘live’ on stage at The National Theatre, when Cineplex telecasts the play at key theatres across

MIRREN: On screen from stage

MIRREN: On screen from stage

 the country on June 25 … Driftwood Theatre launches its 15th season in Toronto at Todmorden Mills on July 11 & 12. The theatre company is taking two of Shakespeare’s plays on the road — King Lear and The Comedy of Errors — and will roll through 27 locations in Ontario with its Bard’s Bus Tour through to August 23. Stops include outdoor locations in Bloomfield, Cobourg, Dundas, Durham, Kingston, Marmora, Mississauga, Peterborough and more, and all shows are pay-what-you-can … add Sonia Rodriguez to the star power already

RODRIGUEZ: White heat

RODRIGUEZ: White heat

assembled for Karen Kain’s sizzling White Hot Gala, the National Ballet of Canada’s fourth annual fundraising event next week at the Four Seasons Centre. Sultry high-stepper Rodriguez will partner with Piotr Stanczyk in a Garbo-esque pas de deux from the company premiere of Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias … … and Art On The Move will launch June 22 in the Distillery District. Mayor David Miller will personally welcome the first three art-wrapped vehicles of the project onto city streets. Art On The Move is a three-year community arts initiative that will ultimately turn 15 selected vehicles into moving canvasses of art.

NET WORTH: Two major Canadian newsmakers, Rick Mercer and former MP Belinda Stronach, received honorary degrees from Brock University

MERCER: he's Dr. Rick now

DR. MERCER: class of 2009

yesterday.  Mercer and Stronach were honoured as the co-founders of the Spread the Net fundraising campaign. “I must — from the bottom of my heart — thank the students here at Brock for contributing over 5,500 bed nets for Spread the Net,” Stronach told the crowd. “It’s a great legacy for you to leave behind.” Mercer described a life-changing visit to Africa he and Stronach took to learn about the malaria problem. “I told Belinda, ‘I’m not going to come back from Africa as one of those guys on TV who won’t shut up about Africa.’ Now every time I turn around, I’m on TV telling people to Spread the Net.”

Mercer told reporters that he’s also the proud owner of an honorary high school diploma from a Nova Scotia school for students with learning disabilities — and now he has a doctorate of laws from Brock. “I don’t know if it comes with a prescription pad or not, but I’m going to frame it, hang it on the wall and offer legal advice to my friends.” 

And just before he and his Net partner Stronach left the stage, they imparted a few words of wisdom to the assembled graduating class.

Mercer said that in the meantime, he’s acquired an honorary high school diploma from a Nova Scotia school for students with learning disabilities.
“And from there, I’ve gone to a doctorate of laws,” he said.
“I don’t know if it comes with a prescription pad or not,” he added. “But I’m going to frame it, hang it on the wall and offer legal advice to my friends.” 

Said Mercer: “As you go through life, leave the world a better place for having been here.”

Dead-panned Stronach: “Never order food in a strip club.”

These two should definitely go on the road together.

-/-