BEAUTY CALL: Still-breathtaking silver screen siren Jacqueline Bisset, who reportedly walks away with Linda Yellen’s new opus, The Last Film Festival, has finally agreed to do a TV pilot. CBS has signed her for the lead role
in The Eastmans, about a wealthy family who have made their fortune in medicine … Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, so good together in Doubt, team up again for Julia & Julia, the Julia Child saga now slated to open in August. The film marks Streep’s third outing with Nora Ephron, who co-wrote Silkwood and penned her own bestseller, Heartburn, which became a first teaming for Streep and Jack Nicholson … and one-man music machine Michael Feinstein recently coaxed 80-year-old MGM girls Jane Powell and Arlene Dahl to team up with Jane Russell (yes, THE Jane Russell, now a sassy 88 years old) in a concert salute to Hollywood musicals. Feinstein cast Hollywood Reporter alumnus Robert Osborne, more famous today as on-camera anchor of Turner Classic Movies, as the host, and audiences reportedly loved it. Will the unstoppable Feinstein bring it to Broadway? Stay tuned.
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BALLET HIGH: Attention, Ottawa dance fans — the National Ballet’s three-day run of Romeo & Juliet at the National Arts Centre this week is virtually sold
out. And on opening night Karen Kain will give a free talk about the dazzling NBOC production before Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté dance the title roles. So if anyone at the NAC owes you a favour, now’s the time to call it in … p.s. to Toronto balletomanes: The National’s White Hot Gala is now set for June 18. The company’s 4th annual fundraiser will include a one-hour performance by stars of the ballet, followed by a reception featuring a live DJ and Grey Goose signature cocktails, followed by an extraordinary three-course dinner by Mark McEwen, followed by a White Hot night of dancing on stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with the company’s biggest stars, including the legendary Ms. Kain. For more info click here.
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HELLO, DOLLY: She’s a superb songwriter, a sexy singer, and an All-American fantasy. And so smart, too.
“Dumb Blonde jokes don’t bother me a bit!” says Dolly Parton. “Because I don’t think I’m dumb. And I know I’m not blonde!”
She’s a columnist’s dream.
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SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Big-voiced vocal coach Elaine Overholt, currently shooting her Big Voice television series for ‘W’, is currently weighing offers from
two rival U.S. networks who want her to create the same magic for them … don’t know what you did last weekend, but comeback kid Leonard Cohen spent Good Friday with 7,000 fans, on stage in his adopted home-away-from-home, Los Angeles … highlights of the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival, set for July 3-18 in Freddie Mercury’s favourite town, will include a world premiere performance by Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang and the reunion of Status Quo and John Fogerty.
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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Sean Penn is a great actor, and if you hire him, you’ll get a good performance. I’m just not going to give a guy who gives aid and comfort to people like (Iran president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Saddam Hussein, when he was alive, my 10 bucks. That’s my right as an American.”
The speaker? Brass-tongued Fox TV maverick Bill O’Reilly, who boycotts Sean Penn movies.
When asked to comment, Sean Penn said, “Bill who?”
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FLICKERS: One of the most welcome features of Tonya Lee Williams’ 9th annual ReelWorld Film Festival, opening tomorrow night, is a free Family screening this weekend. Set for Saturday at 11 am at the Cineplex Odeon
Carlton Cinemas, the screening will include four (4) short films and a 20-minute interactive show, with Canwest graciously picking up the tab, For more info on ReelWorld screenings and seminars, click here … adult film aficionados were saddened by news that Marilyn Chambers (Behind The Green Door) died over the weekend at her home in Los Angeles. Chambers, who counted David Cronenberg‘s Rabid among her few legitimate films, was 56 … and does any other city have as many film festivals as Toronto? And yes, we’re bragging, not complaining. Next up: The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, an annual celebration on themes of Jewish culture and identity, showcasing feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world – 90 films from 23 countries. This year’s TJFF opens Saturday and runs for 10 days. For tickets call 416-967-1528 or cick here.
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SEE/HEAR: Two episodes ago, Celebrity Apprentice survivors (so far) Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa were asked to create a viral video commercial for All detergent. After Donald Trump gave their respective team videos a definitive thumbs down, Joan and Melissa decided to shoot their own videos, on their own time and their own dime, with highly amusing results. Check ’em out here, and enjoy!
TOMORROW: Natalie Wood’s daughter in New Brunswick.