Tag Archives: Brad Fraser

Patrick hits the ice in France, those wacky Women hit Vegas, and COC closes its season with Semele

OUR TOWN: Indefatigable charmer Dinah Christie hosts Chartwell’s 2011 Senior Star National Finale tonight at 9 pm on Zoomer TV (aka Vision.) “Wait ‘til you see the amazing talent of our Top 10 National Finalists,” says Dinah

CHRISTIE: hosting tonight

– “not to mention the incredible performance of our 2011 Senior Star winner, Toni Pinto.” So maybe Canada’s Seniors Got Talent too? … spotted shopping at Pusateri’s in Yorkville: Covert Affairs heartthrob Christopher Gorham, sans collapsible white cane … spotted huddling over coffee at the By The Way café: Producer Allan Novak and playwright Brad Fraser … spotted savouring the brisket at Caplansky’s: Toronto Star arts columnist Martin Knelman and better half Bernadette … and it’s official — the season closer for the Canadian Opera Company is the COC premiere of Handel’s Semele with Canadian coloratura soprano Jane Archibald in the

GORHAM: Yorkville steak-out

title role. The production will be directed by famed Chinese visual and performance artist Zhang Huan, with Italian Baroque opera specialist Rinaldo Alessandrini set to lead the COC Orchestra and Chorus. The COC’s presentation of Semele is the first opportunity for audiences to experience Zhang’s production outside Brussels, Belgium, where it premiered in 2009, and Beijing in 2010, where it was China’s first major staging of a Baroque opera.  Semele will run for only eight, count ’em, eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre starting May 9 … and yes, today’s the day when Why Men Lie, the new novel by Giller Prize-winner Linden MacIntyre (The Bishops Man,)  officially becomes available at a major bookstore near you.

MERCER: Shhh, it's a secret

APRIL IS THE COOLEST MONTH:  Okay, T.S. Eliot might not agree — but then he never met Women Fully Clothed. Fabulous foursome Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Kathryn Greenwood and Teresa Pavlinek will kick off next month with their first gig in Las Vegas – at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, no less — followed by half a dozen shows in California (Thousand Oaks, Napa, Saratoga, etc.) before returning to Home Sweet Ontario for their May bookings here.

P.S.: Shhhh, it’s a secret, but Greenwood and Pavlinek both appear in the same sketch with WFC fan Rick Mercer, who incidentally made a splashy visit to Montreal yesterday,  tonight on the Rick Mercer Report. 

AND NOW, FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE: The 2012 World Figure Skating Championships start today in Nice, with Scott Russell hosting CBC broadcasts with Brenda Irving and Canadian figure skating legends

CHAN: He's the Man

Tracy Wilson and Kurt Browning. This year’s big story is to see what reigning World Champion Patrick Chan will do to keep his crown, and to watch as Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir attempt to reclaim the World Ice Dancing Champions title. Our Canadian contingent also includes rising star Amélie Lacoste, pairs teams Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford and Jessica Dubé & Sebastian Wolfe, men’s single skater Kevin Reynolds and ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and Kharis Ralph & Asher Hill. It all starts today at 3 pm on CBC Television, bold and CBCSports.ca., so rev up your PVRs and get ready to root for your favourites!

*     *     *

Advertisements

Patti & Mandy team up again, Factory opens a Flu drama and Sue & Mr Schu get Glee-full off-B’way

BROADWAY BABIES: After they co-starred in Evita, she went on to recreate stellar stage roles at home and abroad in Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes,

MANDY & PATTI: together in T.O.

Sweeney Todd and Gypsy and on screen in the hit TV series Life Goes On. He graduated to Sunday In The Park With George, made his mark on the big screen in The Princess Bride and Yentl, then scored a hit in three top-notch TV series, Chicago Hope, Dead Like Me, and Criminal Minds. But they always were, and still are, traffic-stopping singers who remain dream-come-true interpreters of Broadway’s greatest composers. The good news is, they’re together again at last, on a rare reunion concert tour. The better news is, they’re coming to Toronto. An Evening With Patti Lupone & Mandy Patinkin will rule the Royal Alex for one short week only, Feb. 9-14, and tickets are already on sale. So don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Because this will truly be a night to remember.

NO, NOT THAT MADONNA: After kicking off its 40th (!!!) anniversary season with Brad Fraser’s high-octane crowd-pleaser True Love Lies, Factory Theatre reportedly has another big winner in The Madonna Painter. After a

HUDSON: that's Mrs. Mandela to you

week of buzz-provoklng previews the world premiere of Michel Marc Bouchard’s theatrical parable, directed by Eda Holmes, opens tonight with a stellar cast including Bartholemew Fair scene-stealer Juan Chioran, who’s already set to headline the Stratford revivals of Kiss Me Kate and Evita next season. In Bouchard’s play, set in rural Quebec at the end of World War I, a village priest commissions a fresco dedicated to the Virgin Mary to protect his parishioners from a flu epidemic, and assistant director Cory O’Brien hints that the synergy between the premise of the play and our current H1N1 headlines was downright eerie. “Coughing rattles throughout the rehearsal hall,” he blogged two weeks ago. “Either our actors are overly ‘method’ or we’ve encountered a very strange coincidence. In a play filled with the ominous threat of the Spanish flu our cast has fallen sick. Stay home? Or come to rehearsal? Ginseng. Hand sanitizer. Cold formula tea. To get the flu shot or not to get the flu shot. That is the question.”

Should be fascinating to see who makes it to the stage tonight.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Glee club guru Will Schuester (aka Matthew Morrison) and rabid cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (aka Jane

MORRISON & LYNCH: Glee-full

Lynch) got together last week when Morrison stopped by the off-Broadway’s theatre to catch Lynch and Tyne Daly in the current Nora & Delia Ephron hit Love, Loss and What I WoreLisa Ray, currently being treated for multiple myeloma, is preparing for a stem cell transplant to treat her rare cancer. Next week the gorgeous star of Water and Bollywood/Hollywood starts a two-week procedure that involves releasing her own stem cells back into her blood to “reboot” her system before any further treatment … Jennifer Hudson will go to South Africa next spring to star in a screen biography of Winnie Mandela, the controversial ex-wife of Nelson … and L.A. audiences got an unexpected bonus last week when Dick Van Dyke joined the national touring cast of Mary Poppins for their curtain call at the Ahmanson Theatre.

TOMORROW:

Lily in Las Vegas

-/-

De Niro goes to the Middle East, Mercer goes indoor skydiving (!?!) and Martha goes to war

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: It took filmmaker Brigitte Berman to get the ball rolling, but after the Toronto International Film Festival premiere

DOWNEY JR: Playboy material?

DOWNEY JR: Playboy material?

of her documentary on Hugh Hefner, a major Hollywood biopic is finally going ahead. Producer Brian Grazer (24) recently met with Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody about the project, and Brett Ratner (X-Men) is apparently lined up to direct, with Robert Downey Jr. favoured to play Hef … shhhh, it’s a secret, but my spies tell me irresistible funny girl Monica Parker is currently fine-tuning a new one-woman show cunningly called The Weight Is Over.  Can’t weight, uhhh, wait … and Rick Mercer and Rush rock legend Alex

LIFESON & MERCER: indoor skydiving

LIFESON & MERCER: indoor skydiving

Lifeson go skydiving tonight — the hard way — by attempting to float atop 225 km/h winds generated by a jet engine (!!!) at the Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving challenge. And believe me, ‘freefall’ is the word for it. Catch them tonight at 8 pm on the Rick Mercer Report on CBC.

UP IN ARMS: On Thursday night Toronto theatergoers will see the Canadian premiere of Strange News, a 30-minute multimedia work about the plight of

SWANK: as Amelia Earhart

SWANK: as Amelia Earhart

child soldiers. The work, composed by Norwegian Rolf Wallin with text by Belgian actor/director/writer Josse de Pauw, is narrated by the young Ugandan actor Arthur Kisenyi, and comes to us after breaking theatrical ground in Oslo, Birmingham, Porto, Chicago, and Copenhagen. Filling out the bill is a performance of Igor Stravinsky¹s classic A Soldier¹s Tale, narrated by the legendary Martha Henry and directed by Peter Moss. For tickets call the St. Lawrence Centre box office at 416-366-7723 or just click here.

FLICKERS: Why does news of a Tribeca Film Festival in the Persian Gulf remind me of a New Yorker cartoon? Nonetheless, the 31-film festival opens this

DeNIRO: in Doha

DE NIRO: in Doha

week in Doha, Qatar’s capital, with Robert De Niro, Tribeca’s co-founder, expected to be on hand for the opening film, the Hillary Swank-Richard Gere opus Amelia. Unlike red-carpet filmfests in Dubau and Abu Dhabi, Doha is looking to showcase independent films (Steven Soderbergh’s Informant, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story) — but hey, it’s still the middle east. Both Doha and Abu Dhabi programmed Bahman Ghobadi’s No One Knows About Persian Cats, a film shot covertly in Iran, but none of the Gulf festivals have programmed a film from Israel, and if your passport is Israeli, you can’t get there from here. Intrigued? Yeah, me too. To catch up with Larry Rohter’s report in last week’s New York Times, just click here.

GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE HOT, HOT, HOT: Finally got a chance to see Brad (Love & Human Remains) Fraser’s new comedy about family secrets at

KEELEY & STEWART: hit show

KEELEY & STEWART: hit show

Factory Theatre at a packed Sunday matinee, and now I know what all the fuss is about. Everything about this witty, provocative production is absolutely top-notch, from Bretta Gerecke’s cleverly engaging set to playwright Fraser’s fast-paced cinematic staging and direction. Ashley Wright and Julie Stewart are spectacularly good as the parents, Andrew Craig and Susanna Fournier are outstanding as their confused offspring, and David W. Keeley’s subtle but sly portrayal of the returning restauranteur who unhinges all of them makes this laugh-out-loud dramedy work brilliantly. Don’t miss it. But you will if you don’t act now, because counting tonight there are only six (6) performances left. To snap up your last-chance tickets just click here. And enjoy!

TOMORROW:

Come to the Cabaret.

Jane kicks up her heels again, Mike gets his own tribute and Ms Atwood goes back to Year One

BROADWAY BABIES: 30 Rock scene-stealer Jane Krakowski, who made her name in the Broadway musical Grand Hotel and won a Tony for dazzling

KRAKOWSKI: song & dance

KRAKOWSKI: song & dance

Antonio Banderas in Nine, is finally getting back to full-time singing and dancing, if only temporarily. Due to her shooting schedule her cheeky tongue-in cheek cabaret act at Feinstein’s, Jane Krakowski Has Sold Out…Tickets Available, must close tomorrow night at Loew’s Regency … Laurie Metcalf, who picked up three Emmys playing Roseanne‘s sister on Roseanne, is back on Broadway starring as the mother in the first full-scale revival of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs. She’ll continue to reprise her role in Broadway Bound, the second play in Simon’s autobiographical comedy, when both shows play in rep at the Nederlander. Brighton Beach Memoirs opens Oct. 25; Broadway Bound begins previews Nov. 18 and opens Dec. 10 … and Academy

METCALF: Broadway bound

METCALF: Broadway bound

and Tony Award winner Mike Nichols will be honored with the American Film Institute’s 38th annual Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. “I’m surprised and pleased,” dead-panned the impish director of such films as Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf and Angels In America. “I was watching The Graduate on my Blackberry last week and it really holds up!”

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Why do we watch movies on planes that we wouldn’t watch anywhere else? Margaret Atwood tweets that she disgraced herself by watching Year One, the sophomoric comedy spoof with Jack Black and Michael Cera, on her way to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Guess she consoled herself with news that her Year Of The Flood was

McGOWAN: Julie's ex on The Border

McGOWAN: Julie's ex on The Border

#8 on the New York Times bestseller list by the time she landed in Germany … Doug Coupland thinks Ed O’Neill’s new show Modern Family “is just pure genius. It’s sooooo well written.” A technology geek, Coupland finds delightful and absurdly obscure video clips and posts them on Twitter – for example, this gem with Mr. T, Loni Anderson, George Hamilton and Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton in the same Lipton commercial. Coupland, whose new book Generation A is due in book stores, reports he lost his cell phone a few weeks ago, but instead of hyperventilating he’s discovered that he simply doesn’t think about it any more. “Didn’t expect that to happen!” Me neither … and Darryl’s Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival returns to Toronto tomorrow night for one night only at

O'NEILL: new series

O'NEILL: new series

the Bloor Cinema with its 10th annual show featuring funny short films about sex from Canada and around the globe.

EXES & OOOHS: Yesterday I told you that Julie Stewart, currently on stage at the Factory Theatre in Brad Fraser’srave-winning new comedy True Love Lies, also plays Graham Abbey’s ex onThe Border.

Wrong! Julie plays James McGowan’s ex on The Border. And yes, I really can tell those two guys apart. (sigh)

Oh well. Happens in the best of families.

KUTCHER: start 'er up

KUTCHER: start 'er up

YA GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK: Thanks to Ashton Kutcher for sending me (and maybe a million others) news of that new iPhone app that lets you start your car from your phone. I would start saving up for it but I’m saving up for a new TV set instead. No, not HD – 3D. Yup, Panasonic unveiled its prototype 50-inch Viera plasma 3-D set in Tokyo this week. Apparently it’s a wow. The technology works by rapidly alternating between left and right frames of the video. Viewers wear glasses that sync with the television over an infrared signal. The right frame is seen only with the right eye and the left frame with the left eye, creating the illusion of depth.

So all they have to do now is persuade producers to make reality TV shows in 3-D, and we’ll have even more reasons to go back to the movies.

Have a great weekend!

-/-

Julie’s on stage, Dan’s discussing Ghosts and Meryl’s off to Rome for yet another film feast

OUR TOWN: Currently on screen as Graham Abbey’s ex in the crackerjack CBC thriller The Border, Julie Stewart has made some interesting choices since

STEWART: on stage

STEWART: on stage tonight

her CTV Cold Squad series was detoured by CBS. She’s currently on stage here at the Factory Theatre starring in Brad Fraser’s rave-winning new comedy True Love Lies. Be warned: Fraser’s new eyebrow-raiser closes in two weeks, so order those tickets now … writer-actor-vintner Dan Aykroyd and his pop Peter Aykroyd, a father-and-son duo to celebrate, sit down with Indigo chief Heather Reissman tonight at 7 pm at the Manulife store to discuss Aykroyd Sr.’s new book, A History Of Ghosts. Sounds like a sensational gift for Hallo’een … and director Ruba Nadda told audiences at the opening of Cairo Time here

AYKROYD: at Indigo tonight

AYKROYD: at Indigo tonight

last weekend that shooting the romantic drama in Egypt was a logistical nightmare, made even more excruciating by the extreme heat. “Much of the time when we were shooting,” she recalled with a grimace, “it was 50C.”  However, she added, while the rest of the cast sweltered under a relentless sun, the film’s star Patricia Clarkson continued to remain calm, collected and, well, almost cool. “Patricia is a southerner, born in New Orleans,” Ms Nadda explained admiringly. “The woman doesn’t perspire!”

PRIVACY POLICY: During her visit to T.O. last week Meryl Streep said she has always strived to keep her private life private. “I just have never been

CLARKSON: no sweat

CLARKSON: no sweat

comfortable using my children as little props to make me interesting or darling or whatever I’m supposed to be,” she told interviewer Johanna Schneller. Streep, who is married to sculptor Don Gummer, said she’s unhappy when journalists ask her to talk about him. “Don doesn’t want me to talk about him in a ladies magazine, you know. He’s a serious artist who has a life that doesn’t deserve to be reduced to a caption.”

La Streep is en route to Rome where she will be awarded the Marcus Aurelius award for lifetime achievement at the fourth annual Rome Film Festival. She’ll

STREEP: off to Rome

STREEP: off to Rome

participate in an onstage conversation about her career spanning back to her very first film, 1977’s JuliaJane Fonda was already cast as Lillian Hellman when legendary director Fred Zinneman flew Streep to London to test for the title role. When he gave it to Vanessa Redgrave instead, he asked Streep if she would be willing to play one of the smaller roles. “And of course I would have been willing to do their laundry!” And the rest, as they say, is history.  Previous recipients of the Marcus Aurelius award include Al Pacino and Sean Connery, and Czech director Milos Forman is president of the six-member jury. The festival, also known as the Rome Film Feast, opens tonight.

IT’S NOT ALL THAT FUNNY TO HIM: Monty Python alumnus-cum-laude John Cleese, back on the boards in a blatantly autobiographical one-man show,

CLEESE: on tour

CLEESE: on tour

calls his new theatrical venture his “How to Finance Your Divorce Tour.” He says he needs money because of the expensive divorce settlement with Alyce Eichelberger – but is he bitter? Well, okay, maybe a little. “I’m paying $20 million to a woman I believe is the love child of Bernie Madoff and Heather Mills!” snorts the 70-year-old funnyman. “Imagine how much I would have had to pay if Alyce had contributed anything to the relationship – such as children or a conversation!”

Ouch!

TOMORROW:

Roseanne’s TV sibling returns to the Great White Way.

-/-