FRENCH WITHOUT TEARS: Hard to believe, but Marcelle Lean’s once-struggling Cinefranco Film Festival is celebrating its 15thstanza this year. After running a successful weeklong school program of screenings last month, the
NICO & MYLENE: They've got Rhythme
festival opens to the general public this Friday at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Weekend highlights already generating a sizeable buzz include Nico Archambault’s splashy performance with Mylène Saint-Sauveur in On The Beat/Sur le rhythme, directed by Charles-Olivier Michaud; the new Isabelle Hupert entry, My Worst Nightmare/Mon pire cauchemar, directed by Anne Fontaine; director Emmanuel Mouret’s new comedy The Art Of Love / L’art d’aimer, with François Cluzet and Julie Depardieu; and Dominic Desjardins’ opening night film, La Sacrée. For the complete list of films and how to get to see them, click here – et bon cinema!
OUR TOWN: Lots of openings tonight. A revisioned version of The Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres, directed and performed by Dora nominee Dragana Varagic, is set to run tonight through Sunday at Theatre
RODRIGUEZ: opening night
Passe Muraille’s Backspace, with an additional performance March 31 at the Isabel Bader Theatre … Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie bring back Lemieux’s acclaimed 2003 choreographic work Varenka, Varenka! from tonight through March 31 at the company’s new dance centre in Regent Park, The Citadel. The work is inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s first novel Poor Folk, about an aging clerk and his love for a young woman in mid-nineteenth century Russia … and wow, what an opening night cast! — Guillaume Coté, Greta Hodgkinson, Aleksandar Antonijevic and Sonia Rodriguez. Still wondering if you will be able to keep all the different lovers distinct and separate when John Neumeier’s splashy ballet version of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull opens tonight at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts? Fear not – the National Ballet has produced a cheeky one-minute video guide to all the love affairs in the show. To see it, just click here — and enjoy!
ROBERTSON: Napkin Man
TV SHOP TALK: Corus Entertainment will launch its newest service, ABC Spark, next Monday with the day-and-date season premiere of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The primetime schedule will also include ABC Family original series Switched at Birth, Melissa & Joey, The Lying Game and Make It or Break It … BBC director general Mark Thompson will step down after the London Olympic games this summer … KIds’ CBC is currently developing a new show for small fry called The Adventures Of Napkin Man, hosted by Barenaked Ladies charmer Ed Robertson … Discovery Networks International has bought a 20% stake in French pay-TV company Televista, gambling that
SCHONEBERGER: Rose d'Or host
Televista will move into France’s free-to-air market … and only three Canadian entries made it to the finish line as Rose d’Or nominees this year. Storming Juno Interactive, produced by Secret Location for History Television, is a Multiplatform nominee; For One Night Only, produced by Les Productions Rivard for ARTV, is a Live Event Show nominee; and Property Brothers, produced by Cineflix Inc. for the W Network, is a Lifestyle finalist. Winners will be revealed on May 10 when German TV presenter, actress and singer Barbara Schöneberger hosts the Rose d’Or awards ceremonies in Lucerne.
WOMAN’S WORLD: It’s been a year or three since she lit up home screens as Felicity, but now Keri Russell is set to star in FX’s period drama pilot The Americans. Russell will play an undercover KGB spy who starts to fall in love
GUMMER: will First Cut be the kindest?
with her arranged husband (also a spy). Hmmm – wonder if Scott Speedman is available … Meryl Streep’s talented actress daughter Mamie Gummer, so good in her guest stints with Julianna Margulies on The Good Wife, is the lead in CW’s new medical drama pilot First Cut … three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver is set to star in her first primetime series, Greg Berlanti’s USA pilot Politcal Animals. She’ll play a former First Lady who is now Secretary of State. In the good old days the networks would have waited until Hillary Clinton left the job — but hey, these are the good new days. Or so they tell me.
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Posted in Actors, Authors, Ballet, BOOKS, Comedy, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged ABC Family, ABC Spartk, Aleksandar Antonijevic, ANNE FONTAINE, Anton Chekhov, ARTV, Barbara Schöneberger, Barenaked Ladies, BBC, Charles-Olivier Michaud, Cineflix, Cinefranco, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, Corus, CW, Discovery Networks International, Dominic Desjardins, Dragana Varagic, Ed Robertson, Emmanuel Mouret, Entertainment, Felicity, First Cut, For One Night Only, François Cluzet, FX, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Greg Berlanti, GRETA HODGINKSON, GUILLAUME COTE, Hillary Clinton, History Television, Isabelle Hupert, John Neumeier, Julianna Margulies, Julie Depardieu;, Keri Russell, Kids' CBC, La Sacrée, Les Productions Rivard, Lucerne, Luzern, Make It or Break It, Mamie Gummer, Marcelle Lean, Mark Thompson, Melissa & Joey, MERYL STREEP, My Worst Nightmare/Mon pire cauchemar, Mylène Saint-Sauveur, National Ballet Of Canada, NICO ARCHAMBAULT, On The Beat/Sur la rhythme, Political Animals, Poor Folk, Property Brothers, Rose d'Or, SCOTT SPEEDMAN, Secret Location, Sigourney Weaver, Sonia, Storming Juno Interactive, Switched at Birth, Televista, The Adventures Of Napkin Man, The Americans, The Art Of Love / L'art d'aimer, The Citadel, The Good Wife, The Lying Game, The Seagull, The Secret Life of the American Teenager., The Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres, THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE, TIFF Bell Lightbox, USA network, Varenka Varenka!, W, W Network
CASTING ABOUT: Brit sensation Tracie Bennett brings her Olivier award-winning talents to Broadway on March 19 when she opens at the Belasco with her controversial portrayal of Judy Garland in the West End musical
BENNETT: as Garland
hit End Of The Rainbow … popular German TV presenter Barbara Schöneberger will host the Rose d’Or Awards Ceremony on May 10 in Lucerne … Kristin Kreuk has been set as the lead in the CW pilot Beauty and the Beast, a remake of the CBS series from the late ‘8Os … and Harold and Kumar star and House alumnus Kal Penn is set to star in the ABC comedy pilot Prairie Dogs.
MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE ATLANTIC OCEAN: This year’s Floating Film Festival sailors started their day yesterday with a fluffy croissant of a movie — Darling Companion, from Big Chill filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan. Ostensibly about a lost dog, it’s really a gentle look at the different stages of male-female relationships and the emotional baggage we carry with us from childhood. And what a cast — Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline –– Rex Reed, who introduced the film, pointed out that this is Kevin Kline’s sixth outing with Kasdan — Dianne Weist and Richard Jenkins, Elizabeth Moss from Mad Men, screen enigma Sam Shepard and more.
KEATON & FRIEND: going to the dogs
Thanks to Rex, our afternoon screening was a bit of a mind-bender. Remember Dolores Hart, the actress who co-starred with Paula Prentiss, Yvette Mimieux and Connie Francis in Where The Boys Are? Some 47 years ago the fair Ms Hart left showbiz to take holy orders. She’s now Mother Dolores at a cloistered convent in Bethlehem, Connecticut, and is the subject of the Oscar-nominated short God Is The Bigger Elvis. Knowing that Mother D’s chum Paula Prentiss would be on board with husband Richard Benjamin, Rex brought a copy of the film for all of us to see. Fascinating to hear Mother Dolores — now the Prioress of the Regina Laudus Abbey — reflect on her Hollywood screen life with Anthony Quinn, Montgomery Clift and, yes, Elvis himself. Even more fascinating was meeting the beau she left behind — Edith Head had already designed her wedding dress — and seeing his relationship with her today.
HARRELSON: all too convincing
The 26-minute short film was a stark contrast to the Woody Harrelson shocker Rampart, a somewhat relentless saga of a corrupt cop that proved to be a tough slog for many of us. Harrelson is all too convincing as the flawed protagonist, and he gets great back-up by a dazzling cast of supporting players, including Ned Beatty, Steve Buscemi, Ice Cube, Anne Heche, Audra Macdonald, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver and Robin Wright, each of whom make the most of their material. Not exactly a good time at the movies, but undeniably strong filmiest fare.
ROSENTHAL: Raymomd by any other name
Rounding out our celluloid hat trick last night was a film about television by someone who definitely knows what he’s talking about. Exporting Raymond is a genuinely funny and unexpectedly revealing ‘In’-sight into the world of television. The documentary follows Phil Rosenthal, creator of the hit TV series Everybody Loves Raymond, as he attempts to translate Raymond into a Russian sitcom. In a classic “fish out of water” scenario, show-runner Rosenthal travels to a distant land to help people who don’t want his help. What soon becomes amusingly apparent is that it is show creator Rosenthal, not Ray Romano, who is the real-life Raymond, with eccentric parents who are almost as camera-friendly as Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle. Watching him try to interact with understandably suspicious Moscow TV types quickly becomes a guilty pleasure — which I suspect is exactly what Exporting Raymond star and producer Rosenthal had in mind. His sitcom was a monster hit and great fun, but his doc is not only entertaining, it’s also painlessly educational. Who’da thunkit?
Posted in Actors, Comedy, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged ABC, Anthony Quinn, Barbara Schöneberger, Beauty And The Beast, Belasco Theatre, BROADWAY, CBS, CW, Darling Companion, DIANE KEATON, Dianne Wiest, Dolores Hart, Doris Roberts, Edith Head, ELVIS PRESLEY, End Of The Rainbow, Everybody Loves Raymond, Exporting Raymond, God Is The Bigger Elvis, Harold and Kumar, House, Judy Garland, Kal Penn, Kevin Kline, Kristin Kreuk, Larry Kasdan, Montgomery Clift, Paula Prentiss, Phil Rosenthal, Prairie Dogs, Rampart, Ray Romano, Richard Benjamin, Rose d'Or, Sam Sheppard, Sigourney Weaver, Tracie Bennett, West End, Woody Harrelson