Mamma Mia! There they go again! My, my, how can we resist them?

FLICKERS: Ridiculously rich Mamma Mia film producer Judy Craymer is hoping to persuade Benny Andersson and his musical sidekick Bjorn

SEYFRIED & STREEP: bella Donnas?

Ulvaeus to lend their irresistible ABBA tunes to a prequel, with a brand new young cast. Will Amanda Seyfried get to play the young Meryl Streep, who played her mother Donna in MM? Stay tuned … Deidre Kelly’s new book, Paris Times Eight, already sounds like a movie. Kelly first arrived in Paris, the city of her dreams, “as a starry-eyed ingénue.” In some of her subsequent visits she returns as a budding writer who interviews Rudolf Nureyev and crashes an

KELLY: Paris, je t'aime (photo: Bryan L. Davies)

exclusive fashion show, and as an emotional daughter who takes her mother to Paris to meet her “other mother;” until finally she returns to Paris as a mother herself. Sounds like a least three great roles for women, n’est-ce pas? … and yes, it’s true, shooting is already underway in Shanghai for the Chinese version of Disney‘s megahit High School Musical. How did Disney get the green light from China? Well, for one thing, the Chinese version is set at a university, “since Chinese high school students are so focused on academics that they would not have time to devote to singing and dancing.” Okay, got it.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’ve no interest in playing oldies anymore. No, no, no. Far more fitting for the next stage in my career to play a slut.”

DENCH: Nothing like a Dame.

The speaker? Dame Judi Dench, now 74 but never at a loss for words. Currently starring in the about-to-be blockbuster movie musical Nine, Dame Judi’s next gig will bring her back to the boards, as Titania, the queen of the fairies in a new Midsummer Night’s Dream in Kingston, England. She first performed the role of Titania as a schoolgirl some 56 years ago, and is thrilled to be able to take another crack at it. “Of course,” she adds, “one is lucky to be acting at all. I’m happy when I have a job – any job. One is always afraid of having no work.”

Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein said it best. There really is nothing like a Dame.

21 AGAIN: It came and went 10 days ago, November 21 2009 was not just another Saturday night for Veronica Tennant. The prima ballerina who reinvented herself as a prima television producer was in three different cities that

TENNANT: November is the Coolest month

night. She was in Toronto attending the National Ballet of Canada’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty — the ballet she premiered more than 35 (!!!) years ago with Rudolf Nureyev as her prince — in tribute to Canada’s National Ballet School’s 50th Anniversary Assemble Internationale. But she was also in Edmonton, on film, as Honourary Chair of the Shumka Ballet, welcoming guests to Shumka’s Red Boots, Ballet and Bubbly Gala. And she was also in Cuba, where her much-lauded dance film, Vida y Danza, Cuba, was being screened at the 18th Anniversary celebration of Lizt Alfonso’s Dance Cuba.

JACKSON: new role

“November 21 has always been a significant day for me,” admits Tennant with a shy smile. I’ll say! Her Gala farewell performance with the National Ballet of Canada, A Passion for Dance: Celebrating the Tennant Magic, took place on November 21, 1989. And ten years later, to the day, she won her first International Emmy award as a television producer, for Karen Kain; Dancing in the Moment, on November 21, 1999.

Safety in numbers, you say? Sounds more like magic to me.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Slaight Communications chief Gary Slaight will be lauded for his longstanding commitment to charitable initiatives

GABEREAU: hosting for Mercer

as the recipient of the Humanitarian Spirit Award. at the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards on March 11 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, during Canadian Music Week … rising marquee bait Joshua Jackson has won the lead in a feature adaptation of British TV series UFO … Robin Mirsky, executive director of Rogers Group of Funds, has succeeded CFTPA prez Norm Bolen as co-chair of Hot Docs board of directors with Michael McMahon. New board members include marketing maven Robert Pattillo, Cobalt Pharmaceuticals chairman Neil Tabatznik and filmmakers Lalita Krishna, Julia Ivanova and Danijel Margetic … and Vicki Gabereau will host when Rick Mercer entertains the multitudes in Vancouver at a gala fund-raising evening June 10 for the Kay Meek Centre.

Special P.S. to Rick Mercer Report aficionados: Mercer’s final 2009 outing airs tonight at 8 pm on CBC-TV.


Roger gets ready for Toronto, and

Liz gives some advice to some dazzling Glamour girls.


Funny thing, but these guys are pretty funny!


BUBLE: Juno funnyman

BUBLE: Juno funnyman

GROBAN: Emmy charmer

GROBAN: Emmy charme


FUNNY FELLAS:  Two of the world’s best crooners are becoming almost as celebrated for their irreverent sense of humour as they are for their spectacular vocal abilities.

Josh Groban, who first won hearts when he romanced Calista Flockhart on Ally McBeal, did such a great scene-stealing solo at the Emmy Awards that his number on that show is now a YouTube favourite. To see and hear Josh joshing, in perfect pitch, click here.

Then again, maybe it’s something about being on awards shows. Michael Bublé enjoyed his comic turn with Russell Peters on last month’s Junos awards so much that he put a link to it on his website. Which links you to the CTV website. Which lets you see Michael and Russell clowning around backstage. Or, you can just click here.

* * *

HAIL CAE$AR:  Have you ever raised your glass to toast what is actually in your glass? Sounds weird, but no, you read that right.

MERCER: Comic Caesar

MERCER: Comic Caesar

The Bloody Caesar, that uniquely Canadian concoction, turns 40 this year, and isn’t even remotely shy about it. What else was happening in 1969? Says Mark Teo in SHARP Magazine for Men:

These Eyes by the Guess Who … dominated the radio waves. The Montreal Expos debuted as Canada’s first major league baseball team. Canada’s now-distinct multi-coloured currency was introduced. Canada’s sharpest political satirist was born in the form of Rick Mercer. And a Northern cocktail revolution was germinating in the mind of Walter Chell at the Calgary Inn.” For more of Teo’s engaging birthday history of the savoury Caesar – including some variations that most purists will not approve of – just add ice and click here.

* * *

FUNNY GIRL:  When she’s not on camera on Little Mosque On The Prairie you can usually find Deb McGrath fervently engaged in her favourite sport: Shopping. In last Saturday’s Globe & Mail, aided and abetted by G&M staffer Deirdre Kelly, McGrath was the guest writer for the My Last Stupid Purchase column.

McGRATH: Holt's habitué

McGRATH: Holt's habitué

Her purchase? ‘A cool and pricey boho chic Zac Posen skirt,” snagged for a song at Holt Renfrew’s. But it wasn’t nearly as appealing when she tried it on again at home.

“Never buy anything tight when you are having a flat-stomach day,” warns the now poorer but possibly wiser Ms McGrath. “Flat stomach days are like leap years and blue moons.”

Mind you, she knew that one day her flat stomach would appear again – and it did, after a week of stomach flu. “But by then,” she notes, “my skirt was out of season!”

* * *

JEWISON: tribute tonight

JEWISON: tribute tonight


HAIL TO THE CHEF: Canadian Film Centre chief Slawko Klymkiw is in L.A. today to celebrate film director Norman Jewison, a man who has cooked up some mighty tasty film treats over the years, from Jesus Christ Superstar to Fiddler On The Roof, from The Thomas Crown Affair to Moonstruck, from A Soldier’s Story to In The Heat Of The Night, from The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming to Agnes Of God.  And as if that wasn’t enough, Jewison also founded the Canadian Film Centre a mere 20 yearts ago, raising the bar to create a new standard of excellence for young Canadian filmmakers. Tonight’s tribute at the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art will be hosted by veteran film critic Leonard Maltin, and you can be sure some of Norman’s chums will show up to cheer him on. Happily, I’ll be there too, to tell you all about it on Monday. (Promise.)

Have a great weekend!