Tag Archives: CARRIE FISHER

Looking for movie stars? Book that flight to New York, ’cause they’re all on the Great White Way

ARE THE STARS OUT TONIGHT?: Yes, and most of ‘em are working on and off Broadway. Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson are currently in

JOHANSSON: room for A View

rehearsals for the revival of A View From The Bridge, still regarded in some circles as Arthur Miller‘s most passionate drama. They start previews right after Christmas, then open at the Cort Theatre on Jan. 24 … Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury are the hot-ticket duo in the revival of Stephen Sondheim‘s A Little Night Music down the street at the Walter Kerr Theater. Previews start tomorrow night, less than three weeks before their Dec. 13 opening … Emmy Award winners James Spader and Richard Thomas are already in previews for David Mamet’s

ZETA-JONES: opening tomorrow night

new sizzler, Race, directed by Mamet himself, for a Dec. 6 opening … veteran New York broadcaster Pat Collins calls her the funniest woman on Broadway, and audiences must agree, because Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, originally slated to close Jan. 3, has been held over another two weeks, to Jan. 17… Victor Garber will celebrate New Year’s Eve, then go right into previews for the revival of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, set to premiere Jan. 21 at the American Airlines Theatre … 2001: A Space Odyssey alumnus Keir Dullea, who actually worked with Noel Coward, will return to Broadway this spring in a revival of Robert Anderson’s

SPADER: Race card

I Never Sang for My Father. Years ago Dullea and Coward co-starred in a London-made thriller called Bunny Lake Is Missing. After shooting a difficult scene together for director Otto Preminger, Coward turned to the young actor and chirped, “Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow!” Happily his ad-lib was not prophetic … and Tony Award owner Matthew Broderick has taken his act off-Broadway. He opens tonight at the Acorn Theatre in Kenneth Lonergan’s The Starry Messenger, about an astronomy teacher’s affair with a younger woman.  Academy Award nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace) plays the younger woman to Broderick’s married academic.

SMITH: backing B'way newbie

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER ADOPT-A-SHOW: It took volunteer executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry to put Precious on the map — and did they ever. Now Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith have become first-time Broadway producers, putting their considerable showbiz weight behind the new Broadway musical Fela! which opens tonight at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre after a month of previews. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, Fela! portrays the extravagant world of controversial music pioneer and Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in a hybrid of concert, dance and musical theater. Will audiences buy in? Stay tuned … and Tony winner Susan

BRODERICK: opening tonight

Stroman will direct the first-ever production of The Scottsboro Boys, an unproduced Kander & Ebb musical, off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre. The show will begin previews on February 12 and open on March 10. The Scottsboro Boys explores the infamous Scottsboro case of the 1930s, in which a group of African-American teenagers were unjustly accused of attacking two white women, and the boys’ attempts to prove their innocence.

And yes, it’s a musical.

TOMORROW:

Fangs for the Memories.

Advertisements

Meryl stops by before re-teaming with Kevin, and Debbie’s daughter is a Broadway baby now

FOOTLIGHTS: Dynamic screen duo Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, who made history 25 years ago in Sophie’s Choice, will perform an evening of Shakespeare as a benefit for The Acting Company, the Juilliard offshoot that

KLINE: Meryl's choice

KLINE: Meryl's choice

gave Kline his start. Conceived and directed by Kline, The Lover and the Poet: An Evening of Shakespeare will be held at the 400-seat Florence Gould Hall on November 2. Before that, however, they’ll team up with Daniel Craig, Maggie Gyllenhaal,Mike Nichols and Austin Pendleton in a one-night benefit performance of Courage in Concert at the Public Theatre on October 19. In the meantime some chosen few lucky ticket-buyers will get to see Ms Streep in person tonight at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, where she’ll participate in a Q&A with Globe & Mail film analyst Johanna Schneller.

ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, YES, BUT SUCH A PRETTY ONE: As a presenter she’s handed out hardware to her Star Wars mentor George Lucas and co-star Harrison Ford, but Carrie Fisher says she gave up on hoping for Acting awards a long time ago.

FISHER: wishful winning

FISHER: wishful winning

She admits she still hoped that she might win “just a little one” for her writing – plaudits for Postcards From The Edge? prizes for The Best Awful or Surrender The Pink? — but alas, no awards have materialized so far.

“I now get awards all the time for being mentally ill,” the bi-polar Fisher notes. “I am apparently very good at it, and I get honoured for it regularly.”

She’s awfully good at writing, too. Which is one of the reasons writers ranging from playwright Terence McNally to novelist Salman Rushdie joined movie stars ranging from Jane Fonda to Harvey Keitel for the opening of Carrie’s one-woman tour-de-force Wishful Drinking last Sunday on Broadway. Fisher made her Broadway debut in 1973 (yessssss, 1973) as part of the chorus backing up her mother Debbie Reynolds in the revival of Irene, but had toured with her even earlier than that, in her mom’s glitzy road show. Those of you with

DEBBIE: still in harness

DEBBIE: still in harness

reeeeally long memories may recall Carrie, still a teenager, standing on stage at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto in 1970, singing her mom’s hit ballad Tammy while Debbie was backstage making a quick costume change. By the time she played in Irene, Carrie was a seasoned ‘road warrior’ who had seen her MGM-bred mother dump legendary British director Sir John Gielgud (who was still struggling with the musical when it played the Royal Alex for four weeks on its way to New York) for her old studio pal Gower Champion. Champion, a choreographer who lived up to his name, who had already staged a hit musical called Hello, Dolly and pulled Irene into such dazzling shape that it ran for more than 600 performances. (When Debbie grew weary of it, her MGM gal pal Jane Powell took over the rest of the run for her.) Ah yes, them were the days.

STREEP: in Toronto tonight

STREEP: in Toronto tonight

Debbie, of course, is still alive and high-kicking at 77. This month she and her personal musicians will take her show, An Evening With Debbie Reynolds, to the Julie Rogers Theatre in Beaumont, Texas for a breast cancer fund-raiser. 
Meanwhile, there’s good news for those of us who hunger for more of Carrie’s wickedly witty prose. She’s working on a new book – a collection of stories from movie sets of “films I pretended to act in.” Hope she includes Shampoo.

And speaking of those writing honours that keep eluding her – considering those rave reviews, wouldn’t it be funny if she gets Tony-nominated as both the author of Wishful Drinking and as lead actress in a play?

Stranger things have happened.

-/-

Eric gets Gordoned, Justin gets Facebooked, Ottawa gets Chaperoned & Broadway gets Carrie

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: New Emmy-owner Justin Timberlake has joined the cast of The Social Network, director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin’s take on the invention of Facebook …

TIMBERLAKE: Facebook friend

TIMBERLAKE: Facebook friend

Heather Locklear, one of the stars of the original Melrose Place, will reprise her role on the current re-invented series … stage and screen favourite Eric Peterson, already slated to pick up an Earle Grey Award later this month at the Geminis, will receive the 2009 Gordon Pinsent Award Of Excellence this week when The Company Theatre fetes him Thursday night at the Windsor Arms. Seamus O’Regan and Allan Hawco will co-host the gala evening … and speaking of excellence, award namesake Pinsent plays the Archbishop in The Pillars of the Earth, the epic drama based on Ken Follett’s bestseller, currently shooting in Hungary and Austria. Also appearing

PETERSON: getting Gordon & Earle

PETERSON: getting Gordon & Earle

in key roles are Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland.

FOOTLIGHTS: Mimi, or A Poisoner’s Comedy, the controversial new Allen Cole-Melody A. Johnson-Rick Roberts musical, continues its ribald run at the Tarragon Theatre … Bob Martin’s Tony-winning hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone tap-dances into Ottawa next week for a two-week run at the National Arts Centre … Carrie Fisher opened her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, at Studio 54 last night. Sez Fisher: “Basically, I talk about myself behind my back.”
 Her Broadway stint will run ‘til January … and Monty Python alumni Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and John Cleese are set to appear in a rare reunion at the Ziegfeld Theater next week. Did you know that the Pythons have

FISHER: on stage

FISHER: on stage

their own YouTube channel? Seriously! … and tickets are now on sale for the new National Ballet Of Canada season, which kicks off next month with the perennially lavish Sleeping Beauty. To check out the new NBOC season, just click here.

OUR TOWN: The 14th edition of Eat to the Beat, benefitting Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, takes over Roy Thomson Hall tomorrow night with culinary creations from more than 60 chefs,  including the Food Network chef Anna Olson, Fiona Lim of George and Dufflet Rosenberg of Dufflet Pastries. And you can still buy a ticket! For more info, click here … also tomorrow night: Royson James moderates a Toronto Star panel discussion on what it takes to create a workable city, with Susan Eng, Kevin Stolarick, Sudz Sutherland and Rahul Bhardwaj, at the new Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library … Jack Rabinovitch and jurors Russell Banks, Victoria Glendinning and Alistair MacLeod will announce this year’s Giller Prize finalists tomorrow morning at the Four Seasons … and yes, those still-sensational Jersey Boys are still winning standing O’s every night at the Toronto Centre For The Arts.

AbFab redux, Mercer crosses the bar, Current TV, and an author’s angst inspires a Holt Renfrew haiku

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ:  It’s official — National Ballet chief Karen Kain confirmed yesterday that ballerina Bridgett Zehr, who danced both a tragic Giselle and a sizzling Carmen this season, has been promoted from First Soloist

MERCER: fearless

MERCER: fearless

to Principal Dancer … Tracey Erin Smith returns as your favourite stripper evangelist — “saving souls one lap dance at a time!” — in her Fringe hit The Burning Bush this week for 10 nights only at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts … The Marcus Trio play a rare hometown gig this Thursday at The Smiling Buddha … the 2009 CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival opens tonight at the Bloor Cinema with a program of Award Winners From Around The World,  followed by a glam after-party at C-Lounge … and I guess Rick Mercer didn’t receive that Stars Never Get Their Hands Dirty memo. Last Friday night the fearless TV icon, who will brave the most daunting conditions for a laugh, was the Guest Of Honor at the North Battleford, Saskatchewan Kinsmen Club fund-raiser and drew a sizeable crowd — so sizeable that the Kinsmen’s volunteer bartenders couldn’t keep up with the demand for liquid refreshments. According to a report from one of the Kinsmen, Mercer sized up the situation, leaped over the bar and helped the besieged bartending team keep the beverages flowing. “This,” they report, “was a memorable night.” You said it.

TUBE TALK: The first version with Roseanne Barr and Carrie Fisher didn’t work, and the new and retooled American version of Absolutely Fabulous, this time with Kirsten Johnson (Third Rock From The Sun) and Kathryn

SAUNDERS: she's still Fab. but ...

SAUNDERS: she's still Fab. but ...

Hahn (Crossing Jordan) didn’t make the cut either, despite what was reportedly a splendid pilot exec produced by the original series star and creator Jennifer Saunders. Maybe because it’s hard to get all excited about what got us all excited more than a decade ago? And wasn’t it Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley who we were really excited about? … coming soon to a living room near you: Current TV, a joint venture between Al Gore’s Current TV channel and the CBC. The network is a hybrid television channel and web site that airs both content submitted by users and professionally produced content. CBC will request approval from the Treasury Board in order to proceed with launching the channel … FashionTelevision has picked up the Ashton Kutcher-produced behind-the-scenes modeling soaper The Beautiful Life with Mischa Barton (The O.C.) … and just in case you still can’t get enough Hollywood gossip, Star! Is adding Extra! to its two-hour programming block with E-Talk, TMZ and Access Hollywood.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  It’s official — National Ballet chief Karen Kain confirmed yesterday that ballerina Bridgett Zehr, who danced both a tragic Giselle and a sultry Carmen this season, has been promoted from First Soloist to Principal Dancer … Tracey Erin Smith returns as a stripper evangelist — “saving souls one lap dance at a time!” — in her Fringe hit The Burning Bush this week for 10 nights only at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts … the Marcus Trio play a rare hometown gig this Thursday at The Smiling Buddha … and I guess Rick Mercer didn’t receive that Stars Never Get Their Hands Dirty memo. Last Friday night he was the Guest Of Honor at the North Battleford, Saskatchewan Kinsmen Club and drew a sizeable crowd — so sizeable that the Kinsmen’s volunteer bartenders couldn’t keep up with the demand for liquid refreshments. According to a report from one of the Kinsmen, Mercer sized up the situation, leaped over the bar and helped the besieged bartending team keep the beverages flowing. “This,” they report, “was a memorable night.” You said it.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “A sobering thought: what if, at this very moment, I am living up to my full potential?”

The speaker? Lily Tomlin’s brilliant partner in comedy crime, writer Jane Wagner, who also notes: “Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself.”

Gotta love her. I know I do.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Holt Renfrew haiku: Eight sales staff doing nothing. Yet I don’t exist.”

COUPLAND: Holt's shopper

COUPLAND: Holt's shopper

The author? Author Doug Coupland, sharing his thoughts with his Tweeple. And judging from some of his other comments, Holt’s may not be the ideal place for him to shop. “No matter what I do to my body I never look modern. I look like an Antarctic explorer from the 1940s … I still look old-fashioned no matter what I do. Like I should be on a postage stamp. When I try looking modern it just looks wrong.”

Coupland, who is currently finishing the second draft of his book on Marshall McLuhan, is basically an urban explorer. “Met Paul Potts at a radio station,” he notes. “Asked him what advice he had for Susan Boyle.” He also shares his current social observations. “Q: How do you know you’ve had young people over for dinner? A: You don’t get a thank-you email, phone call or note.” But his description of ‘Holt Renfrew haiku” is far more typical of his everyday existence. “The cell phone in my left pocket rang and demagnetized my hotel room card swipe,” he reports.  Sometimes he sounds like he’s reliving Woody Allen’s sophomore years. “Universe looking very large. Me feeling very small,” he confesses on an earlier posting. And on another he fearlessly sums up his past 24 hours: “One great big total sack of shit of a day.”

Hmmm – wonder if he knows that song, Sucks To Be Me …

-/-

How good was this Oscar legend? Well, try as he might, even Roger Ebert couldn’t catch him acting

“All the real motion picture people have always made family pictures. But the downbeats and the so-called intelligentsia got in when the government stupidly split up the production companies and the theaters. The old giants — Mayer,

WAYNE: with his Oscar presenter Barbra Streisand

WAYNE: with his Oscar presenter Barbra Streisand

Thalberg, even Harry Cohn, despite the fact that personally I couldn’t stand him — were good for this industry. Now the goddamned stock manipulators have taken over. They don’t know a goddamned thing about making movies. They make something dirty, and it makes money, and they say, ‘Jesus, let’s make one a little dirtier, maybe it’ll make more money.’ And now even the bankers are getting their noses into it.”

The speaker? John Wayne, vintage ’76, in Roger Ebert’s wonderful appreciation of the American screen legend commemorating the 30th (!!!) anniversary of his death last week.

“He wasn’t a drunk,” Ebert writes, “but he didn’t shy clear of the stuff.”

“Tequila,” Wayne told Ebert, “makes your head hurt. Not from your hangover. From falling over and hitting your head.”

EBERT: appreciation

EBERT: appreciation

“What people didn’t understand,” Ebert notes, “is that he could be very funny.”

But then, perhaps Ebert’s powers of perception have never been so acute and, accordingly, so astute, as they are now.

“Why did he become, and remain, not only a star but an icon?” he muses. “He was uncommonly attractive in face and presence. He was utterly without affectation. He was at home. He could talk to anyone. You couldn’t catch him acting. He was lucky to start early, in the mid-1920s, and become at ease on camera even before his first speaking role. He sounded how he looked. He was a small-town Iowa boy, a college football player. He worked with great directors. He listened to them. He wasn’t a sex symbol. He didn’t perform, he embodied.”

For more of Ebert’s remarkable tribute to Duke Wayne, as well as the responses of his unusually well-versed reader-contributors, click here.

SMITH & FRIEND: Has she seen his new website?

SMITH & FRIEND: renovated website

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “If you want to hire a great salesman, look for an ugly guy with a beautiful wife.”

The speaker? Enignmatic lady-killer Red Green (a.k.a. brilliant comic actor and saga-spinner Steve Smith,) celebrating his debut as a tweeter on Twitter.

P.S.: Did you know that construction has been completed on the redgreen.com website?”Check it out,” says Steve — “but you might want to keep your hardhat on and watch out for damp areas.”

FELICITATIONS, L’OREAL! Bilingual beauty Jane Fonda was in Paris last week filming commercials for L’Oreal Paris in French and English. L’Oreal is celebrating its 100th birthday – hey, they must be doing something right — “and this is my 5th year as brand ambassador for women over 65,” she says proudly.

FONDA: L'Oreal  birthday girl

FONDA: L'Oreal birthday girl

La Fonda admits that although she’s addicted to L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Pro-Calcium creams, she was actually filming commercials for a new line of skin cream that will be launched in 2010. “I understand that the company doesn’t like to brag about itself.” she adds, “but I want people to know that #1 they don’t do animal testing, #2 they are investing in the development of reconstituted (synthetic) skin for use in testing, and #3 they just won an environmental award for their corporate ethics (reduced water use and waste dumping and reduced use of plastics).”

FISHER: bumper sticker

FISHER: bumper sticker

At times she imagines her old acting teacher, Lee Strasberg, looking down and saying, “So Jane, it’s come to this!” But, she says, there’s a certain discipline to acting in a commercial. “You must leave behind all questions of motivation and just do what they ask. Little minute details take on huge importance–how I hold the match to light the candle; the way I set the pot of cream down on the table.

“I wish right now I had Carrie Fisher’s gift for le bon mot. She’d have such a hilarious way of describing commercial-style acting. She just wrote me and said she’d written a bumper sticker: ‘Celebrity is just obscurity biding its time.’

“For me it becomes possible,” she says, “because I really believe in the product.”

SUTHERLAND: epic thriller

SUTHERLAND: epic thriller

COMING NEXT YEAR TO A TV MOVIE NETWORK NEAR YOU: Lots of good stuff, I’m happy to report. Highlights for me include Bloodletting, an eight-part drama series based on Vincent Lam’s best-seller Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, which starts production at the end if the month in Toronto and Hamilton; The Pillars of the Earth, an eight-part limited drama series based on Ken Follett’s bestselling epic novel, with a stellar international cast headed by Donald Sutherland and Ian (Deadwood) McShaneLiving In Your Car, a new half-hour comedy series from This Is Wonderland creators George F. Walker, Dani Romain and Joseph Kay, set to begin filming in September with director David Steinberg at the helm; and Fakers, a TV movie about three apparently ordinary teenagers from one of Canada’s most elite schools who created a major counterfeiting operation under the noses of their teachers and parents.

Also intriguing: A four-hour mini-series “re-imagining” of the intriguing comic strip hero Phantom with an equally intriguing cast which includes the always intriguing Isabella Rossellini.

Sounds promising.

-/-

All about Jian & Joan & Liz & Elizabeth & Mel & The Missus

 NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  Man-about-media Jian Ghomeshi is set to host the 30th (!!!) anniversary of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 8pm at the Winter Garden Theatre. Ghomeshi, as if you didn’t know, hosts CBC Radio’s flagship show, Q … and speaking of Q, Liz Smith profiles Joan Collins in the layest issue of Q (aka Quest magazine) and tells an interesting story on herself.

 “In 2000,” she recalls,  “Joan appeared in the TV movie These Old Broads with Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine and (in what was little more than a cameo) Elizabeth Taylor. I’d heard, from what I considered a good source, that Joan had made unkind remarks about Elizabeth, who was in declining health, and that Elizabeth had countered back with her own wisecracks. Imagine my surprise on the day the item appeared — Joan herself called my office, weeping, sobbing, ‘Liz, I would never say such things about Elizabeth! etc.” More stunning was a call from Elizabeth! She said, darkly, ‘Liz, Joan and I are old friends.  I know she’d never say those things, and I know for sure I’d never respond, even if she did.’ Needless to say, I retracted. (This was a gentle chiding from La Liz, but still enough to freeze my blood!) ”

 

THEY COME TO PRAISE CAESAR, NOT TO BURY HIM:  Tomorrow’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival Live webcast at 6:30 pm salutes the fest’s upcoming production of Julius Caesar –  “the ultimate political thriller,” says Stratford chief Antoni Cimolino. On tomorow’s 6:30 pm webcast Director of Literary Services David Prosser interviews actors Ben Carlson (Brutus) and Jonathan Goad (Mark Antony). If you have questions you can ask them during the live webcast or send them in advance to askantoni@stratfordshakespearefestival.com.

 

HAIL TO THE QUIPSTERS: Ever since Ronald Reagan traded in his General Electric spokesman gig to run for president, movie stars are asked if they would consider running for president.

Well-heeled Republican stalwart Bob Hope admitted he’d given it some thought, but that his wife had nixed the idea.

“Dolores liked the idea of being First Lady,” he added, “but she doesn’t want to move to a smaller house.”

When Dolly Parton was asked if she would ever consider running for president, she just shook her head.

“Oh honey,” she said, “we’ve had already enough boobs in the White House!”

 

A COLONEL OF TRUTH:  He’s made more than his share of unfortunate headlines over the last few years, so I was sorry to hear that Mel Gibson‘s marriage is on the rocks. I was even sorrier to hear of  his remark that his long-suffering Anglican wife  Robyn, the mother of his daughter and six, count ’em, six sons, won’t be able to join him in paradise because she’s not a Catholic, although he admits that she is “a much better person than I am.”  Now BetOnline.com is posting odds, known as the “over/under,” on the amount of his divorce after 28 years of marriage, as Mel and Robyn divide their houses in Malibu, Fiji, Costa Rica and a South Pacific Island, plus his personal fortune, estimated at $350 million plus.

It’s always sad to see a winner play a losing streak, but regardless of what Mel may have lost, his sense of humour appears to be intact. A while ago he ‘guest-starred’ in a short film that had its late-night premiere on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. In it he played one of the most famous southern gentlemen in American history – and yes, I am indeed referring to Col. Saunders.
To watch Mel go plantation, click here.