Tag Archives: CLIFF FORD

These ‘Alumni’ put the Class back in comedy

I DREAMED A DREAM TEAM:  Just when you had started to suspect, sadly, that you had seen it all, comes an all-star comedy troupe to save the day. Put next Monday, June 8, on your Don’t Miss list, because if you’re not in Manhattan

VAN DER GRAF & MARTIN:  dream teamers

VAN DER GRAF & MARTIN: dream teamers

attending the Joanne Woodward-Robert Redford-Julia Roberts fundraiser for Paul Newman’s kids camps, you’ll want to be at Bread & Circus (on Augusta, as if you didn’t know) to see the reunion show of the Alumni Cafe, the improv show that used to rock the Tim Sims playhouse, with – are you ready? – Bob Martin, Paul O’Sullivan, Linda Kash, Lisa Merchant, Janet van der Graf and Teresa Pavlinek.  And as my old Latin teacher would say, Nota Bene: The star-studded Alumni are doing two, count ‘em, two shows ONLY. So don’t say I didn’t warn ya. And before you ask, the number to call is 416.336.3399.

MERCER: back to school

MERCER: back to school

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Next Tuesday morning Brock University will present honorary degrees to Belinda (The Honourable) Stronach and Rick (The Irreverent) Mercer for their combined efforts toward humanitarian outreach in the area of global health. “Their combined advocacy to combat malaria affecting some of the world’s most disadvantaged people has captured the imagination of the world in the form of the Spread the Net campaign, which they both co-founded.” To which we say, bravo, B&R! … crowd-pleaser Holland Taylor (Two And A Half Men) will join Buck Henry on stage July 8 – August 1 in Mother in the East Village. She’s also prepping a one-woman show based on the high-spirited life of Texas governor Ann Richards Barbra Streisand has

 

GARNER: funnygirl

GARNER: funnygirl

written a book called A Passion for Design, which focuses on her taste, inspirations and collections. Including, we hope, interior photographs of some of her spectacular homes. But don’t start bugging Chapters yet. Viking won’t publish it ‘til next year … and Jennifer Garner nixes questions about her home life with Ben Affleck and their two young daughters. “I think the rule about marriage is that the less you talk about it, the better, as far as I can tell,” she told Sharp magazine interviewer Cliff Ford. Garner’s next big-screen outing after the box  office success of her Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy Ghost Of Girlfriends Past is, surprise surprise, another comedy, The Invention Of Lying, directed by Ricky Gervais.

 

MANSBRIDGE: public speak

MANSBRIDGE: public speak

WHAT’S UP? DOCS: The CBC documentary cable channel doc offers a Free Preview for digital cable and satellite subscribers this month. And some of the stuff on tap this month is pretty remarkable. Raised to Be Heroes, this Saturday, introduces viewers to Israel’s Refuseniks, a group of soldiers who condemn their country’s military operations against the Palestinians; Cranky, next Tuesday, tells the story of three teams preparing for an endurance race in open ocean, set against the beautiful backdrop of Fogo and Change Islands off Newfoundland and Labrador; Junior, next Wednesday, gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at junior hockey players, teenagers as young as

AIR FARCEURS: on Doc

AIR FARCEURS: on Doc

16, who are already dealing with trainers, shareholders, agents, scouts and parents. the 2009 Sundance Festival hit Nollywood Babylon, a celebration of Nigerian cinema and the world’s third-largest (!?!) film industry, airs June 20;  Just Say It!, which premieres June 21, explores the bizarre and hilarious nature of people’s number one fear: public speaking, with candid interviews with Peter Mansbridge, George Chuvalo and the cast of the Royal Canadian Air Farce; and Jump! The World’s Greatest Streakers, on July 4, is about eccentric outsider Jaume Marquet who strives to become famous by streaking in front of the cameras at major televised sporting events under his alter ego “Jimmy Jump”. The doc follows him from Barcelona to Madrid where he attempts to streak at the largest football match in Spain live in front of 100 million people watching worldwide. For more info on the documentary channel Free Preview contact your digital cable or satellite provider. Or click here.

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In praise of older stage & screen sirens

Oscar winner Marsha Mason remembers future Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine telling her, “In order to keep working, it’s important to move into character work early because they don’t know what to do with you.”

JOLIE, KILMER, FARRELL: Alexander

JOLIE, KILMER, FARRELL: just one big happy family (not)

It’s a key point in Forget the Ingénues; Cue the Grown-Ups, Patricia Cohen’s excellent piece in last weekend’s New York Times. “Unless a script calls for a bitter woman to be dumped by her husband,” she notes, “filmgoers have come to expect the kind of nature-defying casting decisions that had a then 28-year-old Angelina Jolie playing the mother of Colin Farrell, then 27, in the 2004 film Alexander. (Val Kilmer, then 45, was the father.) Such couplings are familiar: At 36, Anne Bancroft played the predatory Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967) [to Dustin Hoffman] although she was a mere six years older than Mr. Hoffman; in The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Angela Lansbury, just three years older than Laurence Harvey, played his mother.”

ADAMS: "Sooo thrilling!"

ADAMS: "Sooo thrilling!"

On Broadway, however, “women can still be rock stars. Among the big-name talents from film and television who have appeared behind Broadway marquees this season are Joan Allen, Jane Fonda, Allison Janney, Susan Sarandon and Kristin Scott Thomas.” For more of Ms. Cohen’s story on women who rule the Great White Way, click here.

Meanwhile, let me give the last word to the hottest young actress in Hollywood, Amy Adams, who co-starred with Meryl Streep in Doubt and does it again in the upcoming Julia & Julia.

“Sooo thrilling,” says Amy, with just a hint of sarcasm, “that every now and then, the world rediscovers that there’s a female audience. Oh, my God! Women go to the movies!”

And do they ever.

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GOING WHERE HE’S NEVER GONE BEFORE: Big-screen favourite Bruce Greenwood’s role of Captain Pike in the new Star Trek prequel was originally played in the pilot episodes of the original series by

GREENWOOD: Beresford-bound

GREENWOOD: Beresford-bound

Jeffrey Hunter. ) After screening the vintage episodes, Greenwood says he realized pretty quickly that the dilemma that Jeffrey Hunter’s Pike faced is very different from what his Pike faces. Hunter’s Pike, he explains, is conflicted over whether or not he will remain with Starfleet. “And, the Pike that I play has no such dilemma. My Pike’s dilemma is more about whether or not to trust the young Kirk.” In a Sharp magazine interview with writer Cliff Ford, Greenwood confirms he’s signed for director Bruce Beresford’s next opus, Mao’s Last Dancer. Based on dancer Li Cunxin’s autobiography, the film shows how a poor, 11-year-old Li was taken from his tiny Chinese village to Beijing to study ballet. Years later, during a visit to Texas, Li falls for an American woman, defects and becomes a principal dancer for the Houston and Australian Ballet. Greenwood portrays Ben Stevenson, the Houston Ballet’s artistic director, who was instrumental in Li’s successful career. And you can read more of the Sharp interview with Canuck crowd-pleaser Greenwood right here.

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THE MOTHER OF THEM ALL?: She killed her own children in a jealous rage as Medea. She played mom to Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs in a hostile white neighborhood in the much-lauded revival of A Raisin In the Sun.

RASHAD: maternal?

RASHAD: maternal?

She juggled a law practice, five children and Bill Cosby on the megahit Cosby Show. Tonight on Broadway, following in the footsteps of Deanna Dunagan and her successor followed by Estelle Parsons, Phylicia Rashad takes over the role of Violet Weston, the brittle, uncensored drug-abusing matriarch of an Oklahoma family in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage Country. In a remarkable display of “nontraditional” casting, Ms. Rashad’s stage persona must attempt to cope with a white stage family of three daughters, a husband, a sister and other relatives. Should be a fabulous night.

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