Tag Archives: DANIEL MACIVOR

Wild about WEIRDOS

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Bruce McDonald’s 2016 TIFF offering, Weirdos, is the kind of film that makes you glad you went to the movies.

The title is a flashback to ‘70s jargon, where ‘weirdo’ was a common expression used to describe anyone who wasn’t like everyone else.

Set in 1976 Cape Breton, the principle weirdos in this magical collaboration by McDonald and playwright Daniel MacIvor are two teenage misfits, Kit (Dylan Authors) and his girlfriend Alice (Julia Sarah Stone,) who are desperately seeking to bring some colour into their black-and-white lives. Together they hitchhike their way to the big city – in this case, Sidney, Nova Scotia – where Kit plans to live with his glamorous mother (Molly Parker.) And although at first glance Weirdos resembles a teenage road movie, Kit and Julia soon learn that sometimes the destination is the journey.

Regardless of the size of their roles, McDonald has a wonderful way of giving his actors their moments to shine. Molly Parker should be a shoo-in for a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her tempestuous portrayal of Kit’s unstable mother. Allan Hawco offers a stellar, close-to-the-bone performance as Kit’s struggling father. Cathy Jones is heartwarming as Kit’s stiff-upper-lip grandmother. Rhys Bevan-John intrigues and entices in a high-risk cameo role that happily pays off. And thanks to McDonald’s light touch and MacIvor’s justifiably celebrated way with words, young scene-stealers Dylan Authors and Julia Sarah Stone win and keep us rooting for them from start to finish.

Given the lavish natural beauty of Cape Breton, Becky Parson’s soft black-and-white cinematography keeps us focused on story, not scenery, McDonald’s ‘70s soundtrack is a lyrical blend of rhythm and nostalgia, and all of it makes for  outstanding viewing. Weirdos is anything but weird, but it sure is fun to watch.

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Mad Men beat the odds, Piers interrupts, and Griffiths, Healey & MacIvor spark T.O. theatre

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Oscar owners Cuba Gooding Jr. and Mira Sorvino and small-screen scene-stealers Bradley Whitford and Lucy Liu are among the stars currently shooting new TV pilots in L.A. …  filmmaker

ATWOOD: Payback at TIFF

Jennifer Baichwal and Margaret Atwood get the red carpet treatment at TIFF Bell Lightbox tonight for the Canadian premiere of Payback, the new Baichwal doc based on Atwood’s Payback: Debt And The Shadow Side Of Wealth. The Q&A  following the By Invitation Only screening will be hosted by Walrus senior editor Sasha Chapman …  Parks And Recreation laugh-getter Nick Offerman has been cast in Diablo Cody’s directorial debut …  and don’t say we didn’t warn ya: Both of Daniel Lanois’s March 23-24 concerts with Brian Blade at the Great Hall in Toronto are completely sold out. The concerts coincide with Lanois’ induction into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame during Canadian Music Week.

STAGE STRUCK: Three stage giants are set to share their remarkable talents with Toronto theatergoers in the next three weeks. First up is Linda Griffiths, who will reprise her bravura performance as Margaret Trudeau in a reading of

MACIVOR: world premiere

Maggie and Pierre this Saturday at Theatre Passe Muraille, staged by Paul Thompson. Thompson will  also play P.E.T to her Maggie. (Wow, what a way to spend St. Patrick’s Day!) Then, two nights later at TPM, on Monday March 19, Michael Healey will appear in his latest play, Proud, a script Tarragon Theatre reportedly declined to produce for fear of incurring the wrath of the PMO. And two weeks later Tarragon playwright-in-residence Daniel MacIvor, who recently dazzled us with a stunning revival of His Greatness, will premiere his new play Was Spring on April 4 at Tarragon with Clare Coulter, Caroline Gillis and Jessica Moss.  Talk about yer embarrassments of riches! If I were you I’d start dialing for ducats right now.

INTERVIEWUS INTERRUPTUS: He was a solid Celebrity Apprentice, and an appealing if impatient judge on America’s Got Talent but I suspect the romance is over between the public and Piers Morgan.  As the current

MORGAN: interrupter

occupant of Larry King‘s coveted nightly spot on CNN, he’s constantly attracting some of the biggest names in show business, sports and politics — and then constantly interrupting them, clearly bored by their responses.  At one point I thought he was getting over himself; turns out I was wrong. In my opinion Morgan  is absolutely capable of delivering the goods — but only when he pauses long enough to listen, which he does all too rarely. Says Manhattan gossip girl Liz Smith: “Piers Morgan will never warm the cockles of my heart, but I suppose some people enjoy his smirky style.“ Ouch!

IT’S A MAD, MAD WORLD: New Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award winner Matt Weiner, creator of US cable hit Mad Men, is getting ready to  launch season five later this month. He told C21 that he wrote the pilot for the series before he even started working on HBO’s The Sopranos — but no one would touch it. “HBO rejected the show about 80 times,” he says. “Going to AMC

MAD MEN: taking the fifth (season)

wasn’t a choice; it was the only company that was interested. People were telling me how they felt so bad for me because no one was going to see my show. When Christina Hendricks agreed to be a series regular, her manager fired her.

WEINER: getting Mad

People would say to me: ‘You were executive producer on the most exciting show on TV [The Sopranos] and this is what you turned it into.'” Mad Men was the first original show that AMC picked up, and the network tried to coax Lionsgate into partnering with them. But Lionsgate thought the period-piece pilot was too expensive so AMC shouldered the cost of shooting it. When they saw it Lionsgate execs thought the pilot was extraordinary — which it was — and signed on for the series. Which is how we got to see Mad Men.  And how Mad Men got to become the first cable series the win the Emmy for Best Drama, which it has won every year for its first four seasons. And you thought making television was easy!

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Kim conquers London, the Daniels tell us what happens & Raquel warns us not to judge a book by its Cover (Girl)

CATTRALL: on stage in Private Lives (photo: Nobby Clark)

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Guess who’s a smash hit in London’s West End? Kim Cattrall, who is blissfully collecting rave reviews for her performance in the revival of Noel Coward’s Private Lives with Pride & Prejudice scene-stealer Matthew Macfadyen, “I feel like I have everything I dreamed of,” Kim told the New York Times – “a hit show in the West End that could go to Broadway, great family and friends. This is really one of the happiest times of my life.” She’s also on view in Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer, will soon be seen in Sex & The City II (coming soon to shake up a box office near you,) and is reportedly considering another British stage gig, this time as the Queen of Egypt in Mr. Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra. And yes, the line for hot young actors eager to play her Antony forms to the right.

MACIVOR: what happens next?

OUR TOWN: ReelWorld Film Festival kicks off its 10th anniversary this week with the North American premiere of Off World, the much anticipated feature from writer, director and co-producer Mateo Guez, on Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Theatre … ReelWorld master programmer Bobby Del Rio confides that his new play The Market is set for a three-week test run in May … and previews start next week at Canadian Stage for the much-anticipated new Daniel BrooksDaniel MacIvor collaboration This Is What Happens Next, a scary fairytale with a happy ending. MacIvor describes it as “a journey deep into the heart of the Kingdom of Kevin with an astrologer, a lawyer, an absent father, the embodiment of our own Will and Me, which takes us through the dark forest of addiction, divorce, Arthur Schopenhauer, The Little Mermaid and the life of John Denver.” (!!!)

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “My father had been hoping for a firstborn son and got me instead. He didn’t have much regard for the female of the species, unless they were parading around in swimsuits. Do you get the picture?”

WELCH: new book

The speaker?  Still-sultry sex symbol Raquel Welch, in her new memoir, Beyond The Cleavage. Raquel came into public consciousness more than 40 years ago in a doe-skin bikini designed to bring out the caveman in every red-blooded male and the poster for One Million Years B.C. became a sensation all over the world.

“The irony of it all is that even though people thought of me as a sex symbol, in reality I was a single mother of two small children! … Can you picture the girl in the poster with the baby in one arm and pushing a stroller with the other? Kind of destroys the fantasy, doesn’t it?”

Now, as she approaches her 70th birthday, she feels duty-bound to do just that.

“My task of destroying the myth,” she insists, “is long overdue.” (Awwwww!)

Fact is, she made more millions with her Spotlight line of designer wigs — yes, wigs — than she ever earned from her screen roles.

Ain’t show biz grand?

COMIN’ AT YA SOONER THAN YOU THINK: Manufacturers of 3-D TV sets believe that new 3-D technology will usher in an era where “there will be less passive sitting back and watching television, and a more immersive, interactive experience.”  Uh-huh.  Panasonic is already out there. LG’s 3-D televisions will be in stores in May or June, and Sony’s new 3-D sets will be available in June.

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What up in T.O. tonight, tonight …

Attention, West Side Story fans : Tune in to Stratford at 6:30 pm tonight — that’s www.stratfordfestival.ca on your laptop —  for the first live webcast of the new season.

ANTONI CIMOLINO

CIMOLINO

On tonight ‘s show Festival chief Antoni Cimolino chats with his new Tony (Paul Nolan) and Maria (Chilina Kennedy.) (Am I the only one who’s really curious about this young lady’s first name? We’ll see,)

Cimolino, of course, played Tony in the original Shakespearean version of West Side Story at Stratford. In those days it was still called Romeo & Juliet, and his Juliet was current Soulpepper stage lioness Megan Follows. But that, as they say, is another story.

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BALLET HIGH: Karen Kain launches the National Ballet spring season tonight with Innovations, a showcase for eyebrow-raising Canadian choreographers Peter Quanz, Sabrina Matthews and Crystal Pite.  

HODGKINSON

HODGKINSON

Crowd-pleasers Greta Hodgkinson, Guillaume Côté and Sonia Rodriguez will be among the bright lights dancing up as storm in the three-ballet program … and Frédérique Vézina and David Pomeroy will headline Puccini’s  evergreen La Bohème when the new Canadian Opera Company production premieres next month.

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SHOW BUSINESS GUESSING GAME:  What do singer Sarah Harmer, actor/playwright Michael Healey, journalist Naomi Klein, auteur Daniel MacIvor and writer Paul Quarrington have in common?

HEALY

HEALY

They’re all senate nominees for the maverick arts watchdog group Department Of Culture, who are believed to have made a considerable impact on this country’s most recent election results.

Check ‘em out at www.departmentofculture.ca

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 LITERATI:  Okay, relax — Zoomer  is not, repeat, NOT going under.

ATWOOD:  cover girl

ATWOOD: cover girl

The current ad campaign urging us to get the magazine “while it lasts” is about its current issue, which is even better than the three that preceded it, and features some of the best photos ever seen of Can Lit lioness Margaret Atwood. Secret of the fabulous photo shoot is that Miss A.’s photographer was none other than rock icon Bryan Adams, whose eye is becoming almost as celebrated as his vocal chords … and even though the Canadian edition of Time magazine ceased publication on Dec. 29,  Time Canada is making an elegant exit by sending its subscribers refund cheques instead of bouncing their subscriptions to the U.S. edition. Now that’s class.