NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: It’s prequel/sequel time again. AnnaSophia Robb will play the young Carrie Bradshaw in the new Sex And The City spin-off The Carrie Diaries. Ah, but will Sarah Jessica Parker narrate? Just askin.’
NIXON: at Wit's end
Speaking of SATC, Cynthia Nixon will start growing her hair again this weekend. The revival she shaved her head for, Wit, closes Saturday at the Manhattan Theatre Club, which seems to be having an unusually strong season. John Lithgow opens there next month in The Columnist, a new play about once-powerful Washington journalist Joseph Alsop from Proof playwright David Auburn and director Daniel Sullivan … Nick Jonas, currently knocking ‘em dead on Broadway in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, is set to guest with Debra Messing& Co. on the season finale of NBC’s
COURTNEY: son of Die Hard
Smash … Aussie actor Jai Courtney, who attracted Hollywood’s attention in the TV version of Spartacus, plays the son of John McClane (aka Bruce Willis) in the upcoming fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise … … and new screen Spider-man Andrew Garfield makes his Broadway debut tomorrow night in Mike Nichols’ much-anticipated revival of Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman. Garfield is playing son Biff to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Willy Loman.
DEFYING GRAVITY: Wondering why Wicked Tony Award winner Idina Menzel’s show-stopping special looked so familiar when it aired on PBS last week? It was shot right here last November at Koerner Hall, with Marvin
MENZEL: at Koerner Hall
Hamlisch conducting the 52-pierce Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. In addition to her rave-winning special, Idina Menzel: Live Barefoot At The Symphony is now a hot-ticket CD, DVD and digital download, and includes a duet with her hubby (and former Rent co-star) Taye Diggs. Ironically, it’s TV that has made Menzel and Diggs household names, on Glee and Private Practice respectively, but their big Broadway voices continue to soar … Gordon Pinsent is back from Mexico after completing his scenes for the 3D Imax feature Flight Of The Butterflies, which just wrapped after a year of shooting. Will the big-screen docudrama premiere at TIFF in September? Just askin’ … Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of
Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston are in T.O. today to highlight innovation and education through the arts. First stop on their schedule is a meet-and-greet with young entrepreneurs at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (aka “the Zone”) … and new Oscar owner Jean Dujardin of The Artist has been embraced by America, and he’s clearly returning the hug. He’s now filmed a bogus pro-Smoking commercial for Funny Or Die exalting the virtues of “Dujardin Cigarettes,” sendng up his super-cool French-from-France persona. Clever, funny stuff. To see it, just click here.
NEWS ITEM: “Google
is developing a home entertainment device in a move that would bring it more broadly into consumer electronics.The device is the company’s most significant venture into hardware. While the initial
TOMLIN: She's worried too
purpose of the device will be for streaming music, the eventual use could be much wider. Amazon, which began as a retailer, now makes reading devices. Apple, which originally produced only hardware, now sells content.” Uh-huh. All of which reminds me of Lily Tomlin’s great line in her classic one-woman show The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe: “I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else.” Me too, Lily. Me too.
Posted in Actors, Comedy, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged Amazon, AnnaSophia Robb, Apple, Arthur Miller, BRUCE WILLIS, Carrie Bradshaw, CYNTHIA NIXON, Daniel Sullivan, David Auburn, Death Of A Salesman, Debra Messing, Die Harrd, Digital Media Zone, Flight Of The Butterfiles, Funny Or Die, Glee, Google, GORDON PINSENT, Governor-General David Johnston, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Idina Menzel, Idina Menzel: Live Barefoot At The Symphony, Imax, Jai Courtney, Jean Dujardin, John Lithgow, Joseph Alsop, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Koerner Hall, LILY TOMLIN, Manhattan Theatre Club, Marvin Hamlisch, NBC, Nick Jonas, PBS, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Private Practice, Proof, Rent, Ryerson University, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex And The City, Sharon Johnston, Smash, Spartacus, Spider-Man, Taye Diggs, The Artist, The Carrie Diaries, The Columnist, TIFF, Wicked, Willie Loman, Wit
HELLO, CAROL: Broadway devotee Dori Bernstein’s new documentary Carol Channing: Larger Than Life opened the 12th Floating Film Festival last night, and Channing is such an irresistible presence on screen that we couldn’t help wishing the 90-year-old musical comedy legend was with us on board the Seabourn Sojourn as we sail into Caribbean waters. Bernstein, with Channing’s blessing, gently reveals the forces and conflicts and inner turmoils that drove Channing to succeed in show business in a way few others before her have achieved. The star studded cast of characters who share Channing anecdotes includes Lily Tomlin, Tyne Daly, Bruce Vilanch, Barbara Walters, Loni Anderson, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, JoAnne Worley, Rich Little and Tippi Hedren. And Carol’s first roommate Betty Garrett (whose last interview appears in the film) points out that their first screen kisses were with Frank Sinatra and Clint Eastwood. The film is a delight, full of insight and
THE NEWLYWEDS: Harry & Carol
inspiration. At times almost hypnotically fascinating, it also captures a bonafide love story when Channing, who has no illusions about her failings as a wife and mother, is reunited with her fist love, old school beau Harry Kullijian, after 70 years. In her late ‘80s, Channing marries for the fourth time, and together they launch the Channing-Kullijian Foundation to support arts education in schools. What the film doesn’t share with us is the touching real-life epilogue to their December-December romance. On Boxing Day they were at their desert home in Rancho Mirage when Harry, by now 92, suffered an aneuryism and died. Small comfort, perhaps, but at least Kullijan had the pleasure of seeing Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, not to mention marrying the original, before his untimely exit. For which Carol, I’m sure, is genuinely grateful.
Q GOES TO QUEBEC: Host with the Most Jian Ghomeshi is admittedly “stoked” by plans to broadecast his top-rated CBC Radio show Q from Montreal on March 1. His live sold-out gig at the historic Le National theatre features some of Quebec’s leading cultural figures from the worlds of music, dance, comedy and film, including electronic music maestro DJ Champion and his band the G-Strings, who will perform live throughout the show;
LECAVALIER: high Q
comedian Sugar Sammy, dance great Louise Lacavalier, singer-songwriter Ariane Moffatt, and web TV star Simon Olivier Fecteau. Ghomeshi, who has previously taken Q to enthusiastic audiences in New York, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Chicago and Salt Lake City, says he’s super-excited about going back to Montreal with the show – and we believe him.
DIAMOND: sparking OCAD
MARCH BREAKS: Select nominees for the 32nd annual Genie Awards will be grilled on stage at TIFF Bell Lightbox on March 7, the night before the awards telecast on CBC. The special In Conversation event will take place from 6:30-8pm. Seating is limited, so contact the TIFF Box Office sooner than later for tickets … OCAD University prez Sara Diamond will host renowned digital culture theorist, data visualization artist and educator Lev Manovich on Friday, March 23. Manovich will give a free practical workshop and lecture exploring the dynamic field of information and scientific visualization. Both events are open to everyone … Goodmans’ good guy David Zitzerman is once again co-chairing the 12th Annual International Film & TV Finance
McKIE: home town high
Summit sponsored by Bloomberg BNA/CITE on March 22-23rd at the Luxe Hotel in L.A. … National Ballet guest artist Evan McKie has danced the role of the Prince in Sleeping Beauty before, but never on his own turf. The Toronto-born Stuttgart Ballet star will dance the role here on March 11, his first performance in his hometown since training at the National Ballet School.
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: .. Next big film for Viola Davis is Won’t Back Down, a new drama about laws in California and a handful of other states that allow parents to dump bad teachers and overrule administrators in bottom-ranked schools. Davis plays a teacher who risks career and friendships to join the revolt. Maggie Gyllenhaalplays the single mother who sells cars, tends bar and rouses parents to take charge of their grade school. And Holly Hunter plays the union rep who fights the takeover. Sounds like a natural for next September’s TIFF … Rick Mercer goes skate to skate with the Winnipeg Jets tonight on The Rick Mercer Report at 8 pm on CBC … nominees for the 2012 Rose d’Or
MERCER & WINNIPEG CHUMS: When you're a Jet / You're a Jet all the way ...
Awards will be announced at a gala tonight in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — the first time in its 50-year history that the Rose d’Or has held an event in Asia … and author Lawrence Hill will be presented with the Writers’ Union 2012 Freedom to Read Award tonight at the Book and Periodical Council‘s Freedom to Read event at the Gladstone Hotel. Union chair Greg Hollingshead said the Union chose Hill for “his reasoned and eloquent response to the threat to burn his novel The Book of Negroes.” Roy Groenburgof The Netherlands, taking offense to the use of the word “Negro” in the title of Hill’s novel, burned the cover and publicly threatened to burn the book. Hill responded that burning books “is designed to intimidate people. It underestimates the intelligence of readers, stifles dialogue and insults those who cherish the freedom to read and write. The leaders of the Spanish Inquisition burned books, Nazis burned books.” Too true.
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Tagged 12th Annual International Film & TV Finance Summit, Amazon, Apple, Ariane Moffatt, Betty Garrett, Bloomberg BNA/CITE, Bruce Vilanch, Carol Channing, Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, CBC, CBC Radio, Channing-Kullijian Foundation, Chita Rivera, Clint Eastwood, David Zitzerman, DJ Champion, Dori Bernstein, Evan McKie, Floating Film Festival, Frank Sinatra, Genie Awards, Goodmans', Google, Harry Kullijan, In Conversation, JIAN GHOMESHI, JoAnne Worley, Le National, Lev Manovich, LILY TOMLIN, Loni Anderson, Louise Lecavalier, Luxe Hotel, Montreal, National Ballet Of Canada, National Ballet School, OCAD, Q, Rancho Mirage, Rich Little, Sara Diamond, Seabourn Sojourn, Simon Oliver Fecteau, Stuttgart Ballet, Sugar Sammy, the G-Strings, The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Tippi Hedren, TOMMY TUNE, Tyne Daly