Almodovar gets Banderas, Carrell gets a slice of Bacon, Hot Docs gets Ghomeshi and Louise gets un-stuck

OUR TOWN: Host-with-the-most Jian Ghomeshi returns to helm tomorrow night’s Hot Docs Festival awards at the Isabel Bader … after flying across the pond to premiere the new

PITRE: back to T.O.

Benny Andersson-Bjorn Ulvaeus musical Kristina at Royal Albert Hall, show-stopping stage diva Louise Pitre got ‘stuck’ in London for an extra three days due to that pesky cloud of volcanic ash. “London’s not a bad place to be stuck in!” she adds, especially since her hubby Joe Matheson had taken a week’s holiday from his on-stage gig with still-thriving Jersey Boys to join her. Mamma Mia alumnus Pitre’s now home again, safe and sound and  shooting Season 2 of Star Portraits for Bravo!popular public relations pro Shelagh O’Donnell is the ROM’s new Head Of Communications … George F. Walker’s hit comedy Featuring Loretta makes its second debut  to the Factory Theatre tonight, officially kicking off the Factory’s 40th (!!!) Anniversary celebrations. Longtime Walker cheerleader Ken Gass directs Monica Dottor, Lesley Faulker, Kevin Hanchard and Brandon McGibbon in this brand new production … and the bad news is, Yorkville haunt Michelle’s Brasserie, the café  in

FARMIGA: going outlaw

Renaissance Square just off Cumberland, has closed. Good news is, Crème, a new French bistro devised by Ricardo Sousa (Cibo, Lolo) and chef Ricardo Roque (Magna Golf Club, Bistro 990,) is now underway and is tentatively set to open June 1.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Young Lily Collins, so good as Sandra Bullock‘s daughter in The Blind Side, is set to co-star with Taylor Lautner in Abduction, a new thriller … Kevin Bacon has signed on to guest star in Steve Carrell’s next project … Pedro Almodovar alumnus Antonio Banderas is set to star in the director’s next opus, La piel que habito … Up In The Air seductress Vera Farmiga

AGRON: new sci-fi role?

is set to portray a wild west outlaw in A Thousand Guns … watch for an announcement linking about-to-depart Global TV anchor Kevin Newman with a major new digital platform initiativeand don’t bother inviting Phil Collins to your Canada Day BBQ this year. He’s already booked to open the 44th annual Monteux Jazz Festival with a special July 1 concert.

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Glee star Dianna Agron has signed on for  a leading role in the sci-fi film I Am Number Four … living room favourites Peter Mansbridge, Brian Stewart and Adrienne Arsenault are in London today, continuing to deliver CBC’s in-depth play-by-play of today’s General Elections in the U.K. …  Shia Labeouf is set to play Charlie in the dark comedy The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman Mireille

JEAN-BAPTISTE: in Central Park

Enos (Big Love) is reportedly signed to star in AMC’s new series The Killing …  bright young things Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore are set to co-star in a new indie feature, Homework … Nurse Jackie scene-stealer Anna Deavere Smith is taking her New York solo show Let Me Down Easy on the road. Hope she brings it here …  what becomes a legend most? Hard work. Which is howcum Ann Rhomer is still a household favourite after more than three decades on local TV. We’ll miss her after she exits CP24‘s morning show next month … and although you know her best from her role as an FBI agent in Without A Trace, did you know that Anthony LaPaglia sidekick  Marianne Jean-Baptiste was the first British black actress nominated for an Oscar, for Mike Leigh‘s 1996 drama Secrets & Lies?  Ah yes, how quickly we forget. The gifted Mme Jean-Baptiste is spending her summer vacation in rep with Al Pacino, performing Merchant Of Venice and The Winter’s Tale in Central Park..


All about Liona Boyd, Zero Mostel,

Piper Laurie (yes, Piper Laurie!) 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.

* * *

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.)

* * *

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.