Tag Archives: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Marg Delahunty returns to T.O., Meryl & Julia move to Osage County and Jim makes more Mostel magic

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ:  Savvy scene-stealer Mary Walsh returns to Toronto next month in her new one-woman play, Dancing With Rage. The show, set to run March 6-31 at Theatre Passe Muraille,  incorporates both new

WALSH: Marg Delahunty returns to T.O.

and  familiar faces, most notably 22 Minutes alumni Dakey Dunn, Connie Bloor and the legendary Marg Delahunty. Walsh’s last stage stint here was almost two years ago, at the Panasonic with Andrea Martin and Louise Pitre in Love, Loss and What I Wore, directed by Karen Carpenter. Carpenter is also directing Dancing With Rage and she and Walsh still have to decide if they’ll tour the show after it closes here … Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are set to co-star in the film version of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County. John Wells will direct …  the cast of Ghost will perform a sneak peek of the

STREEP & ROBERTS: Osage County gals

show on Jimmy Fallon’s late show tonight before the West End musical hit even begins its Broadway previews … and  remember Slings  & Arrows, the brilliant take-off on Stratford and its oh-so-theatrical inhabitants?  Paul GrossMartha Burns and Stephen Ouimette were sensational, and newcomers Rachel McAdams and Luke Kirby weren’t too shabby either. New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger recently suggested that NBC’s much-ballyhooed Smash should avoid dumbing down its storylines and aim higher. “The writers,” he said, “would also benefit from watching a few seasons of Slings & Arrows, a terrific backstage television series that was smart and proud of it,” he advised. Challenging viewers “to keep up, as Slings and Arrows did, is ultimately more rewarding.”

UP UP AND AWAY: On a clear you can see --- whaaa??

IF YOU GET CAUGHT BETWEEN THE SUN AND NEW YORK CITY:  It was just a publicity stunt for the new sci-fi movie Chronicle, written and directed by director John Landis’ chip-off-the-old block Max. But it sure got people talking. To see how they did it, cick here.

A BRIDGE TOO FAR: Unless you're flying over it, of course ...

NOW IS THE HOUR:  Finally caught up with Jim Brochu‘s much acclaimed performance in Zero Hour, and although I didn’t see how his one-man show could live up to its advance publicity, it easily surpassed it. In addition to being an

BROCHU as MOSTEL: brilliant

extraordinarily disciplined and gifted actor, Brochu is also a brilliant writer and storyteller who is never less than engaging, so you don’t have to be a rabid fan of Zero Mostel to be captivated by his reconstituted presence on stage. I know several long-term admirers of Mostel who have been wowed by Brochu’s tour de force, and after seeing him in action, I can certainly understand why. His personal revelations, including Mostel’s bitter estrangement from his family, are tough and touching. His backstage stories, from his account of Lucille Ball testifying to the House Committee on Un-American Activities to his palpable loathing for

HANGING OUT: Merman & Brochu at Sardi's

Broadway blabbers Elia Kazan and Jerome Robbins, are unforgettable. The Zero Mostel we prefer to remember is the lovable clown from The Producers, the madcap jester from A Funny Thing Happened Our The Way To The Forum, the Jewish patriarch who wished he was A Rich Man in Fiddler On The Roof. But Brochu is a true creature of the theatre — his caricature hangs next to Ethel Merman’s at Sardi’s — and accordingly the artist Brochu reincarnates for us has to fight to be in the spotlight. Zero only gets to star in Forum because first choice Milton Berle and second choice Phil Silvers both turn it down. And although his portrayal of Tevye is burned into the heart of Broadway memory, he was third choice for that one too. (First name on the Fiddler producers’ wish list was Danny Kaye.)

JIM BROCHU as ZERO MOSTEL in ZERO HOUR at Bathurst Street Theatre

When the curtain finally comes down — all too soon for some of us — the fact that we feel like we’ve just spent the evening with Zero Mostel, and not a carbon copy, is further testament to Brochu’s great skill as an actor. On stage here at the Bathurst Street Theatre through March 11, Zero Hour is a fascinating and formidably funny showcase for both of them. Don’t miss it.

*     *     *


Sergio goes to Memphis, Susan comes to T.O. and Mr. Ondaatje gets ready for Theatre Passe Muraille

OUR TOWN: Art director Pat Flood moderates a Theatre Museum Canada free-admission workshop on the state of artistic collaboration in contemporary

HYATT: at Statler's

HYATT: at Statler's

Canadian theatre tonight at 7 pm at the Design Exchange … filmmaker Omar Majeed is here this week for Q&As after Royal Cinema screenings of his new doc, TAQWACORE: The Birth of Muslim Punk Rock. Novelist and Muslim convert Michael Muhammad Knight, the guy who penned the book that gave birth to underground Muslim bands, will join him in a panel discussion on Saturday … Chicago-based singer and songwriter Susan Werner — she of ‘agnostic gospel music’ notoriety — is set to perform in her first Toronto concert in three years at Hugh’s Room this coming Sunday. To mark the occasion she’ll accompany herself on a

BEDFORD: as Lady Bracknell

BEDFORD: as Lady Bracknell

baby grand loaned to Hugh’s Room by Skydiggers member Michael Johnston … and my spies tell me Pam Hyatt has agreed to join piano man Ken Lindsay for another serenade of cocktail hour show tunes this Thursday at Statler’s.

STRATFORD ON SALE: They’ve had a phenomenal season with great ticket sales, but if you still haven’t been to the Stratford Festival this year, here’s a deal you definitely need to know about. Right now you can buy $29 tickets for plays or $39 tickets for musicals on any of the remaining performances until the Stratford season ends on November 8. See Colm Feore

CULLEN: at the Forum (photo: XXXXXX)

CULLEN: at the Forum (photo: David Hou)

as Macbeth and Cyrano de Bergerac, catch Brian Bedford’s Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest, follow Sean Cullen in A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum, choose from Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and West Side Story, or choose them all — but don’t delay, because this special offer ends tomorrow, October 20! So click here for the Stratford

ONDAATJE: Divisadero workshops

ONDAATJE: Divisadero workshops

season calendar and order your tickets now.

FOOTLIGHTS: Acclaimed theatre director Daniel Brooks is working with acclaimed novelist Michael Ondaatje to adapt the latter’s most recent novel, Divisadero, for the stage. Ondaatje fans can get to see three workshop productions of When My Name Was Anna, the theatrical adaptation, at Theatre Passe Muraille’s Mainspace November 6-8.  To order tickets, click here … Sampradaya Dance Creations hosts the world premiere of its newest work, Samvad, collectively

TRUJILLO: opening tonight

TRUJILLO: opening tonight

created and performed by dancers Meena Murugesan, Nadine Jackson and Shelly Ann McLeod, this weekend at the Enwave Theatre … and one fan who attended a preview performance of Memphis, a new musical about the birth of rock ‘n’ roll in the ’50s, says he was “FLOORED by the choreography! The lighting design was spectacular, and some of the vocal performances were brilliant!” Has choreographer Sergio Trujillo summoned up his Jersey Boys magic to light up New York again? Fingers crossed. Memphis, which also features a brand new score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan, opens on Broadway tonight at the Shubert Theatre.

MAPLE LEAF JOKES? WE’VE GOT A MILLION OF ‘EM:

Q: What do the Leafs and the Titanic have in common?
A: They both look good until they hit the ice.

TOMORROW:

The good that men do.

(And the women who do it with them.)

.

Ms Hathaway & Mr Dow get raves, Ms Alley gets ornery, and Ms Kirshner tells us where to go

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: She was mentored by Margaret Atwood, and talent clearly runs in her family. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that it was standing room only last week at the Gladstone when

HATHAWAY: on Broadway

HATHAWAY: on Broadway

Lauren Kirshner launched her first novel, Where We Have To Go. Her big sister, actress Mia Kirshner, was on hand to lead the cheers…  your CBC boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos spent Sunday chilling with Angelo Tsarouchas at the Greek Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in L.A., then followed up with a Mexican-Indian fusion feast  at Cowboys & Turbans (seriously!) with Russell Peters … count Kirstie Alley as a major non-fan of headline-grabbing cyber-gossip Perez Hilton. “HEY PEREZ,” she tweets, “I hear you filed a $25,000 lawsuit against the guy who bopped you. I’ll pay you 30 grand if you let me pop you in the other eye! “ … latest conquest for skyrocketing screen siren Anne Hathaway: Broadway. She’s currently on stage winning raves with four-time Tony winner Audra McDonald and gifted matinee idol Raul Esparza in Daniel Sullivan’s new production of

CARD: renaissance man

CARD: renaissance man

Twelfth Night and add Rick Mercer to Bruce Dow’s burgeoning list of fans. Mercer caught Dow lighting up the stage at Stratford last week in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and laughed myself sick. He is one funny guy. Brilliant!”

WILD CARD: Actor-writer Liam Card is currently experiencing a one-man renaissance and enjoying every minute of it. He’s currently working with his literary agent Chris Bucci on his first novel, Paradise, Mich., a wonderfully quirky premise that I won’t give away here. But he’s even more excited about his first screenplay, Textuality, which is tentatively scheduled to shoot this fall under the Strident Films production banner he co-founded with producer Marc Rigaux. In Card’s screen scenario Jason Lewis, better known to millions of women as

LEWIS: textually challenged?

LEWIS: textually challenged?

Kim Cattrall’s boy toy Smith in Sex And The City, will co-star with Carly Pope (so good in Young People Fucking) as a guy who gets romantically detoured by his own text messages. Card has also written a nice supporting part for himself, as Lewis’ best friend. Set to direct is another Card player, Warren Sonoda, who made a splash last September at TIFF with Cooper’s Camera and who also directed Card in Puck Hogs, a new comedy scheduled to open later this year.

Stay tuned. There’s bound to be more to come.

2009_0626_gq_sacha_baron_cohen_brunoBORAT WAS SO 20006: Yes, that’s the tagline on ads for Bruno, the new ‘reality comedy’ created and relentlessly promoted by Sacha Baron Cohen. Publicity generated by his outlandish premieres in London, Paris and Madrid and the stunningly stunned bogus ‘photo shoot’ candids has been truly eye-catching and, strategically speaking, among the best we’ve ever witnessed. The new comedy should have a huge July 10 opening weekend, but it will be interesting to see how it fares after that. Especially when many of us thought we’d already seen Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson do this act in Zoolander. (Hey, I’m just sayin’…) Meanwhile, opening the film in Europe first has provided a big box office cushion Bruno.2for Bruno, just in case the make-believe gay supermodel ends up needing one. And yes, you’re right, I shouldn’t take liberties with the film by abbreviating its title. The film’s full name — in Europe, at least – is Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt. To see the Approved trailer, click here. To see the Restricted trailer – yes, there really is a Restricted trailer for Mature Audiences Only – click here. But be warned: If you thought Borat was outrageous, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

COLOR ME PLAID:  Remember when Toronto audiences fell in love with Forever Plaid? Prepare to swoon again, and soon. The critically acclaimed off-Broadway musical will return for one night only at select Cineplex cinemas on Thursday July 9, and Cineplex is making a night of it with a LIVE red carpet appearance, an introduction by the original cast with special celebrity guests, and a pre-taped 20th Anniversary performance of the musical, starring members of the original Off-Broadway cast. The event will conclude with a LIVE performance by The Plaids who will perform numbers never before sung in the show, a mix of swinging standards and more contemporary songs. Can you imagine How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? juxtaposed with Who Let the Dogs Out? Me neither. And there’s even a bouncing ball sing-a-long in the works.

Should be quite a night!

TOMORROW:

Andrea carries a Torch,

Angie conducts (unarmed,)

and  three CBC guys we trust,

-/-