Tag Archives: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mamma Mia! There they go again! My, my, how can we resist them?

FLICKERS: Ridiculously rich Mamma Mia film producer Judy Craymer is hoping to persuade Benny Andersson and his musical sidekick Bjorn

SEYFRIED & STREEP: bella Donnas?

Ulvaeus to lend their irresistible ABBA tunes to a prequel, with a brand new young cast. Will Amanda Seyfried get to play the young Meryl Streep, who played her mother Donna in MM? Stay tuned … Deidre Kelly’s new book, Paris Times Eight, already sounds like a movie. Kelly first arrived in Paris, the city of her dreams, “as a starry-eyed ingénue.” In some of her subsequent visits she returns as a budding writer who interviews Rudolf Nureyev and crashes an

KELLY: Paris, je t'aime (photo: Bryan L. Davies)

exclusive fashion show, and as an emotional daughter who takes her mother to Paris to meet her “other mother;” until finally she returns to Paris as a mother herself. Sounds like a least three great roles for women, n’est-ce pas? … and yes, it’s true, shooting is already underway in Shanghai for the Chinese version of Disney‘s megahit High School Musical. How did Disney get the green light from China? Well, for one thing, the Chinese version is set at a university, “since Chinese high school students are so focused on academics that they would not have time to devote to singing and dancing.” Okay, got it.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’ve no interest in playing oldies anymore. No, no, no. Far more fitting for the next stage in my career to play a slut.”

DENCH: Nothing like a Dame.

The speaker? Dame Judi Dench, now 74 but never at a loss for words. Currently starring in the about-to-be blockbuster movie musical Nine, Dame Judi’s next gig will bring her back to the boards, as Titania, the queen of the fairies in a new Midsummer Night’s Dream in Kingston, England. She first performed the role of Titania as a schoolgirl some 56 years ago, and is thrilled to be able to take another crack at it. “Of course,” she adds, “one is lucky to be acting at all. I’m happy when I have a job – any job. One is always afraid of having no work.”

Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein said it best. There really is nothing like a Dame.

21 AGAIN: It came and went 10 days ago, November 21 2009 was not just another Saturday night for Veronica Tennant. The prima ballerina who reinvented herself as a prima television producer was in three different cities that

TENNANT: November is the Coolest month

night. She was in Toronto attending the National Ballet of Canada’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty — the ballet she premiered more than 35 (!!!) years ago with Rudolf Nureyev as her prince — in tribute to Canada’s National Ballet School’s 50th Anniversary Assemble Internationale. But she was also in Edmonton, on film, as Honourary Chair of the Shumka Ballet, welcoming guests to Shumka’s Red Boots, Ballet and Bubbly Gala. And she was also in Cuba, where her much-lauded dance film, Vida y Danza, Cuba, was being screened at the 18th Anniversary celebration of Lizt Alfonso’s Dance Cuba.

JACKSON: new role

“November 21 has always been a significant day for me,” admits Tennant with a shy smile. I’ll say! Her Gala farewell performance with the National Ballet of Canada, A Passion for Dance: Celebrating the Tennant Magic, took place on November 21, 1989. And ten years later, to the day, she won her first International Emmy award as a television producer, for Karen Kain; Dancing in the Moment, on November 21, 1999.

Safety in numbers, you say? Sounds more like magic to me.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Slaight Communications chief Gary Slaight will be lauded for his longstanding commitment to charitable initiatives

GABEREAU: hosting for Mercer

as the recipient of the Humanitarian Spirit Award. at the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards on March 11 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, during Canadian Music Week … rising marquee bait Joshua Jackson has won the lead in a feature adaptation of British TV series UFO … Robin Mirsky, executive director of Rogers Group of Funds, has succeeded CFTPA prez Norm Bolen as co-chair of Hot Docs board of directors with Michael McMahon. New board members include marketing maven Robert Pattillo, Cobalt Pharmaceuticals chairman Neil Tabatznik and filmmakers Lalita Krishna, Julia Ivanova and Danijel Margetic … and Vicki Gabereau will host when Rick Mercer entertains the multitudes in Vancouver at a gala fund-raising evening June 10 for the Kay Meek Centre.

Special P.S. to Rick Mercer Report aficionados: Mercer’s final 2009 outing airs tonight at 8 pm on CBC-TV.


Roger gets ready for Toronto, and

Liz gives some advice to some dazzling Glamour girls.


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.


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


The good that men do.

(And the women who do it with them.)


Good morning, T.O. June is bustin’ out all over!

Nah, don’t worry. It’s June, at last, but I’m not gonna go R&H on you. Although I must admit, the word-of-mouth on the Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s new production of Sound Of Music continues to be nothing short of spectacular. And

MITCHUM: sinister

MITCHUM: sinister

 with that in mind, welcome to another week of razzle dazzle in Our Town.  Tasty items on this week’s showbiz menu include tonight’s TIFF Cinemateque screening of Otto Preminger’s sinister Jean Simmons-Robert Mitchum thriller, Angel Face, at the AGO, and  the announcement of the nominees for the 30th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, not to mention the 2009 recipients for the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award, the George Luscbombe Award and the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award, on Wednesday. Hip-hop soul man a.k.a. Subliminal launches his debut album TRAINATHOUGHT with an industry showcase Thursday night at

VARDALOS: in ruins

VARDALOS: in ruins

the Harlem Restaurant & Lounge; My Big Fat Greek Wedding creator Nia Vardalos’ much-anticipated new big-screen comedy My Life In Ruins opens here Friday (for a sneak preview, click here);and Saturday treats include tenor Guy Flechter, who will sing Johannes Brahms’ song cycle Die Schöne Magelone, accompanied by pianist Clark Bryan, at the Church of the Holy Trinity; the opening of the National Ballet’s smoldering production of Carmen, with Heather Ogden, Noah Long, Robert Stephen, Sonia Rodriguez and Jonathan Renna burning up the dance floor of the Four Seasons Centre;  and the Cinemateque unspooling of the historic Otto Preminger comedy The Moon Is Blue, with the late, great American screen icon Bill Holden, at the AGO. And why was it so historic, you ask? Well, you had to b e there. But since most of you weren’t, you can read Bosley Crowther‘s review in the New York Times, originally published on July 9, 1953 — yes, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore — right here.

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THE NEW ‘VR’:  Starting in July, Vatican Radio will carry advertisements for the first time in its history — provided they are morally and ideologically sound.

STEWART: leaving

STEWART: leaving

Potential advertisers will be screened for “ethical content.” The first advertisements will be for the Italian energy company Enel, and will be broadcast in five languages: Italian, English, Spanish, French and German.

Father Federico Lombardi, who is both the Pope’s spokesman and head of Vatican Radio, said Vatican radio costs over twenty million Euros to run but generates no income. “This programming, with an increasingly stable public, is naturally a place where publicity can more logically be inserted,” Father Lombardi said.

Vatican Radio broadcasts in 40 languages, is available 24/7 on FM stations in Italy, on short, medium and long waves and via the Internet, and employs around 200 journalists to broadcast news of the Pope and the Catholic Church to the world.

DONLON: consulting?

DONLON: consulting?

THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR:  Soon to be MIA on CBC radio and CBC Television: Brian Stewart, Don Newman, Steve Finkelman, John McGrath, Jeff Collins, Claire Nantes, Jim Nunn, Mark Bulgutch and more folks you listen to, all of whom are leaving the public broadcaster. CBC News: Sunday’s morning edition aired its last program yesterday after eight seasons; the Sunday night edition will be replaced by The National, which will be telecast seven nights a week beginning this fall. And CBC Radio chief Denise Donlon is rumoured to be consulting with Father Federico Lombardi of Vatican Radio.  (Okay, I made up that last part.)

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SPECIAL P.S. TO THEATRE-GOERS: A new block of  $29 tickets for Stratford shows were released today for any performance of Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac or A Midsummer Night’s Dream for any dates from July through August. For details go to www.shakespearetixx.com.