Tag Archives: Chicago

Atwood brings her Flood show to Church street, Mercer meets Bono, and it’s Liza with a D(VD)!

APRES MOI, THE FLOOD: Tub-thumping novelist Margaret Atwood is keeping her fans abreast of her current Year Of The Flood promotional tour via

ATWOOD: on tour

ATWOOD: on tour

Twitter, although getting on line is sometimes a challenge. In Cardiff, Wales she stopped at an Internet Café and found it distressingly difficult to connect. “If the Internet is a highway,” she noted, “there is much roadwork going on.” Atwood, who calls her Twitter followers her “T-pals,” will join David Ferry, Susan Coyne and Michelle Monteith on stage – on altar?? – this Thursday when she brings her performance-art show (with some Tell) to St. James Cathedral. Meanwhile,

COYNE: altar girl

COYNE: altar girl

fellow novelist Jeanette Winterson reviewed Atwood’s new Giller Prize nominee for the cover story in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. “Atwood,” she writes, “knows how to show us ourselves, but the mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect — it’s like one of those mirrors made with mercury that gives us both a deepening and a distorting effect, allowing both the depths of human nature and its potential mutations.” To see more of her review, just click here.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Choreography queen Twyla Tharp, who created a major Broadway hit by staging Billy Joel’s songs for dancers in Moving Out, is about to go for gold again. Her new show, Come Fly With Me, is

MINNELLI: new PBS special

MINNELLI: new PBS special

set to music associated with Frank Sinatra, and opens tomorrow night at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Fingers crossed … still wishing you’d been able to catch Liza Minnelli at the Palace last year, or even at Roy Thomson Hall this spring? PBS is planning to tape her Sept. 30-Oct. 1 performances at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Those brilliant Chicago producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who also worked on Showtime’s digitally restored version of Liza with a Z, will produce the special, which will air on PBS in December and go on sale in January 2010. Now there’s a New Year’s Eve gift! … and leave it to Oprah to out-do all previous flashmob events. Did you see where she got 21,00 of her closest fans to dance in the streets of Chicago? Amazing. If you missed it first time ‘round (I did,) you can still see it. Just click here.

THE LIFE OF RICK: Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on Rick Mercer’s wall? Or maybe a button on his lapel? Two Fridays ago he was one of a select few invited

MERCER: high life

MERCER: high life

to Sarah McLachlan’s lush Vancouver garden, where guests sat on plush divans under Moroccan tents lit by Indian Lanterns and were serenaded by Sarah, Sheryl Crow and dynamic Blue Rodeo duo Jim Cuddy & Greg Keillor at an intimate gathering to celebrate Sarah’s music outreach program for inner-city Vancouver youth. Then this past Friday he joined his Spread The Net partner-in-crime Belinda Stronach at her reception for another fund-raising pal, Bono. Mercer pal Seamus O’Regan was hobnobbing at that one too, as were T-D deputy chair Frank McKenna and War Child founders Dr. Samantha Nutt and Dr. Eric Hoskins. But don’t look for Mercer on the glamour party circuit this Friday — he’ll be in his CBC studio with a few hundred of his devoted fans, taping the first show of the seventh season of his top-rated Rick Mercer Report.

SHEEEEEE”S BACK: Attention  Erin Karpluk fans (and you seem to be growing in numbers every day) — your favourite TV heroine returns to your living rooms tonight when she and Michael Riley kick off the much-anticipated second season Being Erica at 9 pm on CBC. Enjoy!

TOMORROW:

What are Tom Arnold, George Stroumboulopoulos

and Red Green doing in Vancouver??

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A drama for Amanda, a film feast for Chris, a new musical for Catherine and a Toronto visit for Meryl!

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER SHOW: Sadly, most of the publicity surrounding the making of Chloe, the new Atom Egoyan drama set to premiere

SEYFRIED: at TIFF as Chloe

SEYFRIED: at TIFF as Chloe

Sunday night at TIFF, focused on leading man Liam Neeson when his actress wife Natasha Richardson died tragically during the shooting of the film. What no one seems to have noticed is that the title character in Egoyan’s film is played by Amanda Seyfried, so outstanding as Meryl Streep’s daughter in Mamma Mia.  In Chloe she plays a sultry young seductress hired by Julianne Moore to test her husband’s faithfulness. (Expect to hear a lot of tongue-wagging after this one!) … and tonight’s TIFF Galas should offer some genuine surprises. Already winning rave reviews, The Men Who Stare At Goats showcases a stellar 1ddcd8b24bd2e054_colin_firthcast led by George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges in a stranger-than-fiction true story. (Want a sample? Just click here.) And the new version of Dorian Gray, with Colin Firth and terminally handsome Ben Barnes directed by Oscar Wilde aficionado Oliver Parker, reportedly takes that famous portrait mythology to new heights (and depths.) This one sure doesn’t look like any of the Dorian Grays we’ve seen before. For a sneak preview, click here.

OUR TOWN: Hollywood columnist George Christy, Norman Jewison and Gina & Paul Godfrey were among the boldface who turned up for the Best Buddies tribute to Ann-Margaret this week at the Four Seasons. Glamourous

STREEP: Toronto-bound

STREEP: Toronto-bound

in a glittering cocktail dress, the award-winning actress beamed when someone asked her if she minds being called Ann-Margrock, her character name on The Flintstones. “No, I love it!” she exclaimed. “That’s why I voiced the part in the first place!”… delighted by its successful run at Niagara-On-The-Lake, Theatre Museum Canada has finally brought its much-lauded retrospective of stage designer Cameron Porteous to T.O. After a week of previews, Risking The Void: The Scenography of Cameron Porteous, opens tonight at the Design Exchange and runs through October 20 … and talk about a hot ticket: current box office queen Meryl Streep is set for a public sit-down session with Johanna Schneller at the ROM on Oct. 7. Bon appetit, ladies!

McKELLAR: Tiff Talent booster

McKELLAR: Tiff Talent booster

TIFF TALK: The aspiring filmmakers who made the final cut to attend TIFF’s annual Talent Lab are in good and remarkably famous hands this year. Governors overseeing the program are Danny Boyle, John Collee, Miranda July and Cooking With Stella star Don McKellar. Film folk who have agreed to be drop-in mentors include Tilda Swinton, Atom Egoyan, Gaspar Noe, Jane Campion, Bruce Beresford and Suzana Amaral … is anyone having a better year on film that Christopher Plummer? He’s a major voice in Up, one of the summer biggest box office hits, and one of the top-billed stars of the new animated film 9, which opened here this week; he’s nominated for a Gemini Award for his performance in the screen version of his Stratford hit

PLUMMER: as Dr. Parnassus

PLUMMER: as Dr. Parnassus

Caesar & Cleopatra; he plays the title role in Terry Gilliam’s much-anticipated Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, premiering here at TIFF next week; and he and Helen Mirren play Leo Tolstoy and his missus in the new German-Russian-U.K. co-production The Last Station. Can’t wait to see that one … and the best and most significant comment I’ve seen on the current tiff over TIFF’s choice of Tel Aviv for its City To City program comes from Toronto film critic Peter Howell. Says Howell: “Film festivals are supposed to be about opening minds, not closing them.” To which we say, bravo. To read his thoughtful column in yesterday’s Toronto Star, click here.

DOUGLAS: playing Solitary

DOUGLAS: playing Solitary

STARS IN OUR EYES: New Manhattan-dwellers Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones won’t have a lot of time to unpack their California bags. He’s already started shooting Oliver Stone’s sequel to Wall Street, reprising his role as imprisoned corporate crook Gordon Gekko opposite TIFF scene-stealer Carey Mulligan (An Education.) Meanwhile Solitary Man, Douglas’ meaty new drama with Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker and his longtime pal Danny DeVito premieres at TIFF next week. Meanwhile the ravishing Zeta-Jones, who won her

ZETA-JONES: back on the boards

ZETA-JONES: back on the boards

Oscar for her song-and-dance tour de force in Chicago, is starting rehearsals for her return to the musical stage in A Little Night Music, tackling the role played by Glynis Johns on Broadway, Judi Dench in London, Jean Simmons in Toronto and Elizabeth Taylor on screen. And speaking of Dame Elizabeth, who not so coincidentally happens to be the Founding International Chairman of AMFAR – will she jet here to attend our first-ever Cinema Against AIDS Toronto Gala on Tuesday at the Carlu? And will Global Fundraising champion Sharon Stone come with her? Kevin Sullivan & Trudy Grant are presenting sponsors of the lavish evening, which features a special dinner designed by Jamie Kennedy with Sarah McLachlan and Deborah Cox served up for dessert. For ticket information, click here.

Have a great TIFF weekend.

See you at the movies!

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More laffs for T.O.! Rick Mercer tweets! Don’s new porn gig! 40th anniversary of John & Yoko Bed-In! All this and more!

THE LAUGHS JUST KEEP COMING: Talk about the little engine that could. Montreal producer Gilbert Rozon’s phenomenal Just For Laughs/Juste Pour Rire comedy festival keeps growing, growing, growing. This year the Quebec-based

DEGENERES: just for laffs

DEGENERES: just for laffs

mirth-machine will stage its Toronto festival at the same time as its annual summer comedy extravaganza in Montreal. The Toronto Just For Laughs festival opens on July 15 and runs five days. The Montreal Just For Laughs festival opens on July 16 and runs 10 days. Meanwhile, the first collaboration between cable network TBS and Just For Laughs is set for June 17-21 in Chicago and will feature performances from Ellen DeGeneres, George Lopez, Lisa Lampanelli, Russell Peters, Mike Epps, Jimmy Fallon, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Bill Engvall, David Alan Grier, Louis CK, John Pinette, Martin Short and more.

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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’ve learned one thing: obstacles are your friends. And after you’ve been around as long as I have, you’ve made a lot of friends.”

The speaker?

Actor/director/designer/choreographer/producer and Quebec’s favourite enfant terrible, Robert Lepage, in an intriguing profile by Richard Ouzounian in Saturday’s Toronto Star. Lepage’s new nine-hour theatre-and-music epic, Lip Synch, premieres in T.O. on June 6 at Luminato.

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 NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Small-screen icon Don Johnson has been cast as a porn director in the Adam Sandler-produced film Born to Be a

 

JOHNSON: porn part

JOHNSON: porn part

 

StarLizzy Caplan and Crispin Glover have joined the cast of the feature comedy Hot Tub Time Machine … Alex O’Loughlin is in negotiations to star opposite Jennifer Lopez in The Back-Up Plan Rosemary DeWitt is set to join Chris Cooper, Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones in The Company Men … Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables  now include non-expendables Brittany Murphy, David Zayas, Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke  … and the Glenn Gould Foundation is plotting a spectacular week in October with the renown 250-member Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, to honour the creator of the Venezuelan youth orchestra system (El Sistema,) Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu. Dr. Abreu, this year’s winner of The Glenn Gould Prize, has also been named co-winner of Sweden’s Polar Music Prize along with Peter Gabriel.

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TALKING TO TWEETERS: Canuck TV lion Rick Mercer sez he still can’t figure out current social SuperNetwork twitter. “I’m socially twitarded,” he confessed recently on the site. Methinks he doth protest too much. This is the same guy who twitter-warned us (‘twarned’ us??) in 140 characters or less.  that “if the swine flu becomes a pandemic Canadians may have no choice but to find out who Canada’s Health Minister is.”

Call me crazy, but I’d say he’s got the hang of it.

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GIVE PEACE A CHANCE: Forty years later, Peaceworks Now curator Joan Athey has published a new book, Give Peace A Chance, of never-before seen

 

YOKO & JOHN: 40th anniversary

YOKO & JOHN: 40th anniversary

 

photos of the John Lennon/Yoko Ono Bed-in For Peace which took place May 26 to June 1, 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. At the same time as a limited exhibition of the photos opens in LIverpool, Torontonians can see a full exhibition of the photographs May 26 to June 1 at the Bulger Gallery at Queen St. W.  The public opening is tomorrow from 5-8 pm as part of the current at Contact Festival of Photography. Meanwhile, Jerry Levitan will be the Indigo Eaton Centre tonight at 7 pm to sign copies of his new Collins Harper book, I Met The Walrus, the literary version of his Oscar-nominated doc about infiltrating the infamous Montreal Bed-in.

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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I do not believe in an afterlife. One does not know. But even though I say I don’t believe in an afterlife, I have made funeral arrangements so that my daughter in Maine doesn’t have to worry. And I decided not to be cremated, so a little part of me must think that my body perhaps goes on. I don’t want to be dust.”

The speaker? Barbara Walters, in a candid moment with her longtime Manhattan chum Liz Smith, in Avenue magazine.

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