Tag Archives: Chita Rivera

Carol has her night on screen, Jian takes his show on the road, and Evan proves he’s a Prince of dance

HELLO, CAROL:  Broadway devotee Dori Bernstein’s new documentary Carol Channing: Larger Than Life opened the 12th Floating Film Festival last night, and Channing is such an irresistible presence on screen that we couldn’t help wishing the 90-year-old musical comedy legend was with us on board the Seabourn Sojourn as we sail into Caribbean waters. Bernstein, with Channing’s blessing, gently reveals the forces and conflicts and inner turmoils that drove Channing to succeed in show business in a way few others before her have achieved. The star studded cast of characters who share Channing anecdotes includes Lily Tomlin, Tyne Daly, Bruce Vilanch, Barbara Walters, Loni Anderson, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, JoAnne Worley, Rich Little and Tippi Hedren. And Carol’s first roommate Betty Garrett (whose last interview appears in the film) points out that their first screen kisses were with Frank Sinatra and Clint Eastwood. The film is a delight, full of insight and

THE NEWLYWEDS: Harry & Carol

inspiration. At times almost hypnotically fascinating, it also captures a bonafide love story when Channing, who has no illusions about her failings as a wife and mother, is reunited with her fist love, old school beau Harry Kullijian, after 70 years. In her late ‘80s, Channing marries for the fourth time, and together they launch the Channing-Kullijian Foundation to support arts education in schools. What the film doesn’t share with us is the touching real-life epilogue to their December-December romance. On Boxing Day they were at their desert home in Rancho Mirage when Harry, by now 92, suffered an aneuryism and died.       Small comfort, perhaps, but at least Kullijan had the pleasure of seeing Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, not to mention marrying the original, before his untimely exit. For which Carol, I’m sure, is genuinely grateful.

GHOMESHI: Montreal-bound

GOES TO QUEBEC: Host with the Most Jian Ghomeshi is admittedly “stoked” by plans to broadecast his top-rated CBC Radio show Q from Montreal on March 1. His live sold-out gig at the historic Le National theatre features some of Quebec’s leading cultural figures from the worlds of music, dance, comedy and film, including electronic music maestro DJ Champion and his band the G-Strings, who will perform live throughout the show;

LECAVALIER: high Q

comedian Sugar Sammy, dance great Louise Lacavalier, singer-songwriter Ariane Moffatt, and web TV star Simon Olivier Fecteau. Ghomeshi, who has previously taken to enthusiastic audiences in New York, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Chicago and Salt Lake City, says he’s super-excited about going back to Montreal with the show – and we believe him.

DIAMOND: sparking OCAD

MARCH BREAKS: Select nominees for the 32nd annual Genie Awards will be grilled on stage at TIFF Bell Lightbox on March 7, the night before the awards telecast on CBC. The special  In Conversation event will take place from 6:30-8pm. Seating is limited, so contact the TIFF Box Office sooner than later for tickets …  OCAD University prez Sara Diamond will host renowned digital culture theorist, data visualization artist and educator Lev Manovich on Friday, March 23. Manovich will give a free practical workshop and lecture exploring the dynamic field of information and scientific visualization. Both events are open to everyone … Goodmans’ good guy David Zitzerman is once again co-chairing the 12th Annual International Film & TV Finance 

McKIE: home town high

Summit sponsored by Bloomberg BNA/CITE on March 22-23rd  at the Luxe Hotel in L.A. … National Ballet guest artist Evan McKie has danced the role of the Prince in Sleeping Beauty before, but never on his own turf.  The Toronto-born Stuttgart Ballet star will dance the role here on March 11, his first performance in his hometown since training at the National Ballet School.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  .. Next big film for Viola Davis is Won’t Back Down, a new drama about laws in California and a handful of other states that allow parents to dump bad teachers and overrule administrators in bottom-ranked schools. Davis plays a teacher who risks career and friendships to join the revolt. Maggie Gyllenhaalplays the single mother who sells cars, tends bar and rouses parents to take charge of their grade school. And Holly Hunter plays the union rep who fights the takeover.  Sounds like a natural for next September’s TIFF …  Rick Mercer goes skate to skate with the Winnipeg Jets tonight on The Rick Mercer Report at 8 pm on CBC … nominees for the 2012 Rose d’Or

MERCER & WINNIPEG CHUMS: When you're a Jet / You're a Jet all the way ...

Awards will be announced at a gala tonight in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — the first time in its 50-year history that the Rose d’Or has held an event in Asia … and author Lawrence Hill will be presented with the Writers’ Union 2012 Freedom to Read Award tonight at the Book and Periodical Council‘s Freedom to Read event at the Gladstone Hotel. Union chair Greg Hollingshead said the Union chose Hill for “his reasoned and eloquent response to the threat to burn his novel The Book of Negroes.” Roy Groenburgof The Netherlands, taking offense to the use of the word “Negro” in the title of Hill’s novel, burned the cover and publicly threatened to burn the book. Hill responded that burning books “is designed to intimidate people. It underestimates the intelligence of readers, stifles dialogue and insults those who cherish the freedom to read and write. The leaders of the Spanish Inquisition burned books, Nazis burned books.” Too true.


*     *     *

Soup gets a sell-out September, Rick goes to war, Kathy makes it Official & Suzanne’s still a Knockout

THE DEVIL SELLS TICKETS: Advance tickets for Hot Doc’s Oct 21 Canadian premiere screenings of The September Issue, the doc which reportedlly delivers

WINTOUR: in the Soup

WINTOUR: in the Soup

an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the annual September issue of Vogue magazine — and an unprecedented gaze into the life of fashion icon Anna Wintour, the inspiration for Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada – are already sold out, making it the hottest ticket in Doc Soup history …Chita Rivera celebrates the release of her new CD And Now I Swing tonight at famed Manhattan music room Birdland … Daniel Lanois, set to return to The Troubadour in L.A. this Thursday, has a new stream-lined website … and Rick Mercer, who never saw a loaded gun he didn’t want to play with, tries his luck with 19th century weapons tonight when he participates in a re-enactment of the War of 1812 on the Rick Mercer Report at 8 pm on CBC-TV.

MERCER: circa 1812

MERCER: circa 1812

LITERATI: Writer Ian Brown reads from his riveting, rave-winning Boy In The Moon tonight at McNall-Robinson at the new (and vastly improved) Don Mills Centre …Rex Murphy (Canada And Other Matters Of Opinion) headlines next Sunday’s Ben McNally/Globe & Mail brunch series at the King Eddie … Linden MacIntyre serves up pages from his Giller-nominated Bishop’s Man on Oct 21 at the Bonnie Stern Book Club ($135 includes dinner and recipes) … former PM Paul Martin wades through Hell Or High Water on Oct 27 at the Edward Johnson Building (behind the Planetarium) … glamourous survivor and voice-in-the-wilderness Suzanne Somers launches Knockout, her book of interviews with doctors who are curing cancer – “And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place” – on Oct 29 at the John Bassett Theatre … most intriguing novel on the immediate horizon: Doug Coupland’s Generation A … and my favourite book title so far this fall?

GRIFFIN: It's official

GRIFFIN: It's official

Official Book Club Selection, a predictably irreverent autobiography by funny girl Kathy Griffin.

CALENDAR JOTTINGS: Industry nights for the upcoming 2009 Gemini Awards are next Monday Oct.19 & Tuesday Oct. 20 … that thumb-happy RIM team (yes, the Canadians who gave us the Crackberry) will be feted at a Design Exchange gala in their honour on Oct. 24 … the seventh annual fund-raising dinner for Pierre Berton’s Writers Retreat is set for Nov. 17 at the Berkeley Church on Queen Street East … Tutored Tastings, the new Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, is set for Nov. 19-22 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre … and outrageous Brit comic Graham Norton is confirmed as host of the 2009 International Emmy Awards honouring Sir David Frost on Nov 23 at the New York Hilton.

TOMORROW:

Ann Landers comes to Broadway.

-/-

Who has the most flicks at TIFF? And who wrote that Lightbox song we’re all humming? Stay tuned!

I WILL LIGHT YOU UP / I WILL LIGHT YOU UP: More and more people are leaving Toronto International Film Festival screenings humming the

PILOT SPEED: filmfest rockers

PILOT SPEED: filmfest rockers

theme music from the on-screen Bell Lightbox promo that precedes every TIFF showing. Can we name that tune? Yes we can. The song, Light You Up, is performed by Toronto rockers Pilot Speed and is from their album Wooden Bones. Do they have pages on Facebook and My Space? Of course. Where and when can you see them in person? Tomorrow night at 9 pm in a free TIFF concert at Yonge-Dundas Square.

And yes, they’ll probably perform Light You Up.

And no, I can’t stop humming it either.

FARRELL: TIFF's top star?

FARRELL: TIFF's top star?

FARRELL & MOORE TOP TIFF LIST: Still trying to figure out who has the most movies at TIFF this year? Me too. By my count By my count TIFF veteran Colin Farrell (Triage, Ondine, The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus) is tied with filmfest alumnus Julianne Moore (Chloe, A Single Man. The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee) and both of them have a one-flick lead over fellow filmfest faves George Clooney (The Men Who Stare At Goats, Up In The Air) and Colin Firth (Dorian Gray, A Single Man,) who are tied with hot TIFF newcomer Amanda Seyfried (Chloe, Jennifer’s Body.)

MOORE: TIFF hat trick

MOORE: TIFF hat trick

Ms. Moore, of course, makes a lot of intriguing film choices – she was here last year for Blindness — but still can’t have it all. Which is why she had to bow out of playing Hillary Clinton in the ‘90s-era HBO drama The Special Relationship. Which turned out to be a lucky break for Hope Davis, on summer hiatus from her hit Broadway show God Of Carnage, because she got to play Hillary. But don’t feel too badly for Julianne. She now gets to play with Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Beloved Broadway baby Chita Rivera will perform at Birdland next month to launch her new solo studio album And Now I Swing, which features

RIVERA: still Swingin' (photo: Joan Marcus)

RIVERA: still Swingin' (photo: Joan Marcus)

such crowd-pleasers as Nowadays from Chicago and Where Am I Going from Sweet Charity. Also on the CD are songs from the John Kander-Fred Ebb musical version of The Visit, in which Rivera co-starred with George Hearn. The show never made it to Broadway but now, happily, some of the songs will … Kathleen Turner joins David Duchovny in the new season of his hit Showtime series Californication, premiering Sept. 28 on TMN … and Janet Jackson is set to chair amFAR’s Fashion Week AIDS fund-raiser in Milan the same night.

The TWO RICKS: At CBC’s Fall Launch yesterday Rick Mercer confirmed that he had indeed flown to B.C. last week to tape a segment for Season 7 of the

MERCER: taking the plunge

MERCER: taking the plunge

Rick Mercer Report with legendary Man In Motion Rick Hansen at Whistler.

Sooo … summer skiing? Wheelchair racing?

Exactly what were the two Ricks actually doing at Whistler?

“Bungee jumping,” Mercer confessed. “It was terrifying, but we had a lot of fun.”

This we gotta see. And we will, when Mercer kicks off his new season on Tuesday Sept. 29.

TOMORROW:

the hot titles emerging from this year’s TIFF,

and some of the stars who slipped in to see them.

-/-