Tag Archives: ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER

Three years ago you had never heard of Susan Boyle. And then the dream she dreamed came true.

BOYLE: three new albums in three years

Three years ago, to this very day, Susan Boyle boldly strode on stage in Glasgow to audition for Britain’s Got Talent. (If you’ve forgotten just how powerful that moment was, treat yourself by clicking on the word ‘audition’  — as long as you have Kleenex handy.) All told, she was only on stage and on camera for seven short minutes — but those seven minutes changed her life.

Well, okay, YouTube changed her life. Some 100 million ‘hits’ later, Boyle even has that famous audition footage on her own website, including her statement that she hoped to be as successful as her musical idol, legendary British diva

BOYLE: the historic audition

Elaine Paige. It was Paige, an OBE currently regarded as the First Lady of Musical Theatre, who introduced the world to such Andrew Lloyd Webber classics as Memory and Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. At the time Boyle’s remark drew audible snickers from the audience, but then she started to sing, and they stopped snickering and jumped to their feet cheering.

Since then, of course, Boyle has been making up for lost time, releasing three, no kidding, three albums – I Dreamed A Dream, The Gift and Someone To Watch Over Me – an autobiography, The Woman I Was Born To Be, and a website that sells not only her CDs but also Susan Boyle merchandise. A new crowd-pleaser musical based on her life story, I Dreamed A Dream: The Susan Boyle Musical is currently touring the provinces (Liverpool next week, then Cardiff, Birmingham, etc. until opening in Glasgow in October.)  So Susan Boyle, the unemployed Scottish villager, is pretty much her own industry now.

What somehow escaped me along the way was the fact that, after all those headlines and YouTube hits, Piers Morgan arranged for Boyle to not only meet her idol Elaine Paige but to actually duet with her on television, to one of Paige’s hit songs from Chess. And yes, YouTube has that one too. To see and hear the incomparable Paige and the transformed Ms. Boyle, just click here – and enjoy.

ELAINE PAIGE duets with uber-fan SUSAN BOYLE

OUR TOWN: Hey, who’s superstitious? Official opening night for this year’s 15th annual TIFF Kids film festival (it used to be called Sprockets)  is this

WILLIAMS: year 11

Friday the 13th, and Chimpanzee, a brand-new True-Life Adventure from Disney, is the official opening film. And there’s even a GapKids red carpet for young fest-goers to stroll. For more info on the TiFF Kids filmfest, click here … Cadence, Countermeasure, New York Voices, The Nylons and The Swingle Singers are among the glory-voiced performers set to light up the stage this weekend when the Toronto Vocal Arts Festival Sing! opens at Harbourfront, with Micah Barnes, Dylan Bell and Heather Bambrick among those leading vocal workshops. One of Barnes’ workshops

HAYSBERT: ReelWorld star

sounds like it has the makings of a reality show. He calls it the “quick Speed Dating version” of his Singers Playground Performance Workshop, where he works one on one with each A Capella singer for the benefit of both themselves and the class … and has it really been 11 years? Tonya Lee Williams’ 11th annual ReelWorld Film Festival opens tonight with Luv, with Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Michael Rainey Jr. and hip-hop hero Common, at the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas. To check out this year’s impressive list of films, click here.

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Strombo gets YGL status, the Giller gets a new home, and Jesus steps up to the plate on Broadway

OUR TOWN: No wonder the upcoming April 10-22 TIFF Kids International Film Festival is already causing such a buzz. Guests set to participate in the new Roundtable Sessions designed to help delegates connect with each other include

DUNSMORE: directing at Factory

Patricia Ellingson (Creative Head of Children’s Programming, TVO); Alan Gregg (Director of Original Content, Teletoon); Jocelyn Hamilton (VP, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy & Drama Corus Entertainment); Kim Wilson (Creative Head of Children’s and Youth Programming, CBC); Daniel Bryan Franklin & Charles Johnston (Creators, Detentionaire); Simon Racioppa (Creator, Spliced!); Brad Ferguson (Director, Almost Naked Animals); Kevin Micallef (Director, Detentionaire); and many more …. when she’s not on stage herself, she’s in the

PORTER: jury duty

wings. Yes. that would be the Rosemary Dunsmore directing the Anosh Irani comedy My Granny The Goldfish, opening tonight at Factory Theatre …  and it’s official – the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner will be named on Tuesday October 30 at a gala black-tie dinner, not at the Giller’s traditional home at the Four Seasons hotel but at the still-newish Ritz-Carlton on Wellington Street. This year’s jury members are Dublin-based Roddy Doyle, Toronto-based Anna Porter and New York-based Gary Shteyngart.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Irrepressible barfly Buddy Cole (aka irrepressible Kid In The Hall Scott Thompson) sashays back to Maggie

FILLION: Castle builder

Cassella’s Flying Beaver Pubaret this evening for a three-night stand … Gifted Man co-star Rhys Coiro has joined the CBS mystery pilot Applebaum …  Bridesmaids alum Wendi McLendon-Covey is set to co-star in ABC‘s comedy pilot Only Fools and Horses …  Castle star Nathan Fillion is set to play Hermes in the Percy Jackson sequel … ER alumnus Anthony Edwards has signed on as the lead in ABC’s drama pilot Zero Hour, not to be confused with Jim Brochu‘s one-man show about Zero Mostel. In this Zero Hour Edwards plays a character who stumbles into an enormous conspiracy when his wife is kidnapped … and just call him YGL.

STROMBO: B.C.-bound

Yes, your boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, joining a select group of outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments and commitment to society. Meanwhile, Strombo is off to the west coast next month to tape a series of episodes at CBC Vancouver from Tuesday, April 3 to Thursday, April 5, and yes, some tickets are still available. For more information on how to score ’em, click here.

ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY: He’s opening on Broadway tonight in the title role, but Paul Nolan (aka Jesus Christ Superstar) confesses he still has baseball on his mind. After his show opens, he wants to play in the Broadway

NOLAN: new Broadway baby

league. “It will not be a successful year unless I’m doing that,” he told Broadway.com. Nolan says Jesus Christ Superstar at Stratford “was one of the first times in my career that I didn’t have to audition, so that was great.” Director Des McAnuff hand-picked him to play the lead, and after he saw Nolan in the show, Superstar composer Andrew Lloyd Webber gave him a hug — “but he looked kind of shocked. I didn’t know whether that was good or bad. But obviously it was good!” Obviously. Here’s hoping he hits it out of the park tonight. Meanwhile, Superstar lyricist and triple Tony Award owner Tim Rice will receive a well-earned Special Award at the upcoming 2012 Olivier Awards in London as a “celebration of his outstanding contribution to musical theatre.”

ECONOMICS 101, or, What I Learned On The Internet Today:  It’s a slow day in the small town of Pumphandle and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.  A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night.  As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the $100  bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. (Stay with this. And pay attention)  The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op.  The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit.  The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel Owner.  (Almost done. Keep reading) The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveller will not suspect anything.  At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves.

No one produced anything.  No one earned anything.  However, the whole town now thinks that they are out of debt and there is a false atmosphere of optimism and glee. And that, dear reader, is how a “stimulus package” works!

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Yo, listen up, next week it’s Moore vs. Barrie as CFRB challenges CBC Radio’s morning monopoly

MOORE: morning glory-seeker

MOORE: morning glory-seeker

GOOD MORNING, TORONTO: That’s what popular CFRB drive-home lion John Moore will be saying next week when he goes up against CFRB alumnus and current CBC icon Andy Barrie, who continues to rock morning radio ratings on CBC. Moore will reportedly start his on-air ‘RB shift at 5:30 a.m., 15 minutes before Barrie kicks off his daily Metro Morning broadcast. He’ll also get a little help from his friends, e.g., sportscaster Rick Hodge and Breakfast Television grad Liza Fromer, both of whom are old hands at getting up really really early every morning.

Stay tuned.

BERGMAN: her Turn, 1959

BERGMAN: her Turn, 1959

ONE MORE TURN OF THE SCREW: It was Ingrid Bergman who first tackled Henry James’ scary psychosexual thriller The Turn Of The Screw on television. Then Deborah Kerr played the governess in the movie version called The Innocents. Now DVxT Theatre Company is set to present a new stage version in Toronto, but not on stage. Instead both cast and audience will inhabit the elegant Campbell House Museum. Built in 1822, its candle-lit rooms “will come to life as the audience weaves through all three levels of the house, following the characters through the labyrinth that is this psychological thriller.” Directed by Vikki Anderson, this new production

KERR: her Turn, 1961

KERR: her Turn, 1961

opens Oct 16 and stars Christine Horne as the governess “and Clinton Walker in all (!?!) the other roles. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

FOOTLIGHTS: Dancap Productions, the folks behind such hit Toronto productions as The Drowsy Chaperone and the long-running spellbinder Jersey Boys, is now set to present a summer season of theatrical productions at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, starting next year. Which shows will Dancap be staging or importing next summer? Stay tuned … Andrew Lloyd Webber still wants to restage The Wizard of Oz for Broadway with new songs to

TUNE: living landmark

TUNE: living landmark

go with the Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg classics … Yo-Yo Ma serenades tomorrow night in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre … and nine-time Tony-winning tap dancer-singer-choreographer Tommy Tune will be made a Living Landmark on November 4 at Cipriani on 42nd Street.

Wow! — a Manhattan monument that still has all the right moves!

HOW SICK IS THAT: Remember when Sick meant Ill? When he was making Sicko. his documentary on U.S. health care woes, Michael Moore gathered a group of Sept. 11 heroes — rescue workers suffering from debilitating illnesses who have been denied medical attention in the United

MOORE: Canadian premiere

MOORE: Canadian premiere

States – and took them to Cuba so they could finally receive some care. Outrageous moves like that one helped win him an Oscar for Bowling At Columbine, and some fans believe his recent TIFF entry, Capitalism: A Love Story, is his best film treatise yet. Meanwhile, if you missed Sicko first time ‘round, CBC Newsworld hosts its Canadian television premiere this Sunday night at 9:30 pm on The Passionate Eye.

Happy Nuit Blanche!

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Who wouldn’t talk about Hef, who got shortchanged in my TIFF tally, and who took home the hardware

GOOD MORNING, TORONTO: Welcome to another razzle-dazzle week of entertainment in Our Town.  Among the notable treats in store: The Boys In The Photograph, the new Andrew Lloyd Weber–Ben Elton musical about

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

young men and women involved with a neighbourhood soccer team in Belfast in 1969, opens tomorrow night at the Royal Alex … DanceWorks opens its new show, Namesake: three, on Wednesday at Harbourfront’s Enwave Theatre … also opening Wednesday: The new Allen Cole-Melody Johnson-Rick Roberts collaboration, Mimi (or A Poisoner’s Comedy) at the Tarragon  … Darren Anthony’s new concert show, Secrets Of A Black Boy, produced by his sister Trey (Da Kink In My Hair) Anthony, opens at the Music Hall on Friday, the same night conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Anton Kuerti, Richard Margison and more launch a reportedly spectacular new

RIVERS: Saturday night

RIVERS: Saturday night

Royal Conservatory music venue, Koerner Hall, in the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning on Bloor Street West … Chick Corea and Sophie Milman christen the hall with jazz the following night … Celebrity Apprentice champ and TSC favourite Joan Rivers plays Casino Rama that same Saturday night … and Kevin Hearn, Raine Maida, Steven Page and Sarah Slean are among the celebrated warblers who will lend their voices when Andrew Burashko’s Art Of Time Ensemble salutes the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road with a re-imagined, re-invented concert version running two nights only, this Saturday and Sunday, also at the Enwave.

And that’s just for starters, folks.

MY BAD: It’s easy to get cross-eyed when so many stars come to town at the same time. At least, that’s my lame excuse for telling you that Colin Farrell and

BETTANY: double-header

BETTANY: double-header

Julianne Moore ruled the TIFF roost this year with three, count them, three films each, while celebrated runners-up George Clooney, Colin Firth and Amands Seyfried each appeared in two TIFF entries. All of which is true, except for two guys I forgot to mention. Don’t know how I missed him, but Willem Dafoe also deserved to be in that top spot with Colin and Julianne, as he appeared in no less than three TIFF titles this year: Antichrist, Daybreakers and Farewell. Sorry about that, Willem. And yes, Paul Bettany, who played Charles Darwin in the opening night film Creation and Lord Melbourne in the closing night film Young Victoria, should have been listed with Clooney, Firth and the young Ms Seyfried in second place. And yes, I’m just hoping I didn’t miss anyone else.

PLAYBOY OF THE EASTERN FILM FESTIVAL: After three capacity crowds jammed the TIFF cinemas where her much-discussed documentary on Hugh Hefner premiered last week, director Brigitte Berman admitted that

BENNETT: talking about Hef

BENNETT: talking about Hef

by the time she finished shooting she had an embarrassment of riches, and had to delete scenes she loved from the original version to bring the film to a more manageable size. Deletions included interviews with the magazine magnate’s two sons, and the stories they tell about how they were treated in high school as Hugh Hefner’s offspring are apparently so fascinating that Berman intends to include that footage as a separate feature when the film is released on DVD. At a Q&A after the film she informed us that Playboy is the second best-known brand in the world — “Coca-Cola is number one,” she added — and that the toughest interview subject to secure, surprisingly, was Tony Bennett. “His agent is very protective of him, as he should be. But as soon as Tony was told of the request, he was all for it, and just a pleasure to work with.”

Did any key players from Hef’s past actually turn her down? “Yes,” replied the ever-candid Oscar-winning director — “Gloria Steinem, Jules Pfeiffer and Bill Cosby.”

WHO WON WHAT: As T.O. filmfest chief Piers Handling noted on Saturday night, TIFF delivered not only 335 films but also 10 days of consecutive sunshine – “the summer we did not have.” But thanks to superb programming, meticulous planning and the more than 2,000 volunteers (!!) who help make it happen, it was truly a festival to remember.

CLARKSON: winning film

CLARKSON: winning film

Finally, just in case you missed it, here’s who took home the hardware from the 34th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

– Best Canadian Short Film: Pedro Pires, Danse Macabre. Honourable mention: Jamie Travis,The Armoire.

– Best Canadian First Feature Film: Alexandre Franchi, The Wild Hunt.

– Best Canadian Feature Film: Ruba Nadda, Cairo Time, with Patricia Clarkson, Tom McCamus and Alexander Siddig. Special Jury Citation: Bernard Émond, La Donation (The Legacy).

– FIPRESCI Prize (Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics for Discovery:) Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, The Man Beyond the Bridge (India).

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

– FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations: Bruno Dumont, Hadewijch (France).

– People’s Choice Award: Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. First runner-up:  Bruce Beresford, Mao’s Last Dancer. Second runner-up: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Micmacs (Micmacs à tirelarigot).

– People’s Choice Award – Documentary: Leanne Pooley, The Topp Twins. Runner-up: Michael Moore, Capitalism: A Love Story.

– People’s Choice Award – Midnight Madness: Sean Byrne, The Loved Ones. Runner-up: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, Daybreakers.

TOMORROW:

Margaret Atwood, Twyla Tharp, Rick Mercer, and more.

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.

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