Tag Archives: DIANE FLACKS

Luba returns to her roots, Rick goes back to school(s), and flashbacks to tasty times at Truffles

END OF AN ERA: Sooner or later we’re all history. Bistro 990 is gone — witness Bill Marshall’s splendid salute in the National Post — and the Four Seasons closed last week, and I enjoyed some wonderful times in both places. In its heyday the Four Seasons restaurant Truffles was even better than Le

MACLAINE: dining at Truffles

Cirque, and many New Yorkers shared that opinion.  At Truffles one night I shared a saffron palate cleanser with Shirley MacLaine, who put one spoonful in her mouth and grimaced. “Don’t eat it!” she warned. “It takes like tin!” When I explained it was saffron, she stared back at me blankly. “Saffron,” I persisted. “Like the colour of a monk’s robes.” Her eyes widened. “Oh, saffron!” she purred, and gobbled up the rest of it. At Truffles I introduced 75-year-old theatre legend Helen Hayes to Gordon’s Gin Tomato Soup, and she liked it so much she ordered it again the next day. “I should go out to dinner with you more often!” she teased. But everything must change, and now Sutton Place is set to close its hotel doors June 15 to begin the process of reconverting the property

HAYES: Gordon's Gin soup

into an upscale condominium. (So where do the hotel’s current apartment dwellers go from here? Just askin’ … ) However, I’m not nearly as nostalgic about that hotel anymore. It was glorious in the Hans Gerhardt era, when that superb hotelier would import Wolfgang Puck and the namesake nephew of Italian legend Alfredo De Leio  (as in Fettucine Alfredo) to cook up a storm in his elegant Sanssouci dining room. In those days you could barely make it through the lobby without bumping into two or three mega-stars – but that was once upon a time, many years ago. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for hotel space downtown in the next two months, I’m told Sutton Place is offering some of its rooms and suites at deep discounts. So enjoy it while you can.

HELLO WE MUST BE GOING: Two more season finales tonight. First, Rick Mercer wraps up his ninth (!!!) season by going back to school, attending celebrations at the winning schools in the annual Mercer Report Spread the

MERCER & FRIENDS: back to school

Net Student Challenge. Watching Mercer interact with elementary school kids is definitely something to see. Following his 8 pm Rick Mercer Report on CBC is the season finale of 22 Minutes, with Shaun Majumder at the Junos, Mark Critch at the Trudeau-Brazau fight and, if we’re lucky, HRM

SHORT: comedy special tonight

Cathy Jones making another Diamond Jubilee visit. Immediate following the 22 Minutes show is Martin Short’s off-the-wall comedy special, I, Martin Short, Goes Home, a 60-minute tour de force by Short and sidekicks Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, Robin Duke, Fred Willard and your boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos, who’ll be watching from B.C,  Strombo starts three nights of taping today at CBC Vancouver with guests Sandra Oh, Daryl Hannah, ‘Dragon’ Jim Treliving, Brent Butt, Kim Campbell; Ian Hanomansing, Jane Goodall and too many more to list here.

LUBA: back on the boards

PEOPLE: Special bulletin to Air Farce fans (and I know you are legion:)  Your favourite funny lady Luba Goy is coming home to a stage near you. She’s set to open May 7 at the Berkeley Street Theatre in Luba, Simply Luba, an autobiographical one-woman show penned by Diane Flacks …  John Peller, whose family makes those tempting Peller Estate wines in Niagara, and Wayne Gretzky, who needs absolutely no introduction, have joined forces and vineyards to make new vintages together. “Our families share the same commitment to quality,” Keller recently told his subscribers, “and we both feel passionate about making award-winning wines that we can share with you.” Okay, but will they sell for $99? Never mind, just kidding … devoted jazz buff Tim

TOWNSEND: lucky XIII

Tamashiro took over the reins of Tonic on CBC Radio this week from legendary music maven Katie Malloch, retiring from the airwaves after a 40-year career …  Juno Nominee George Olliver performs at the Old Newcastle House in – where else? – Newcastle, ON this Saturday night …  Stuart Townsend is back in T.O. to headline season two of the one-hour conspiracy thriller XIII.2 which will film in and around Our Town from now through to mid-July. Townsend plays XIII, a lethal former secret agent whose memory has been erased. The 13-episode original series will air on Showcase this fall …  The Voice judge and Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine is in talks to make his acting debut with Jessica Lange on American Horror Story … and how did Aaron Sorkin keep his new HBO series The Newsroom under the radar so brilliantly for so long? And will Ken Finkleman want his title back? Stay tuned.

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Good morning, Toronto

 

ARDEN

ARDEN

 

CRAWFORD

CRAWFORD

CARROLL

CARROLL

JAMES

JAMES

CULLEN

CULLEN

DEGENERES

DEGENERES

MOCHRIE

MOCHRIE -

Welcome to another week of razzle-dazzle in our town.

And yes, everything old is new again – including, apparently, me.

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FOOTLIGHTS: Leave-‘em-in-the-aisles funnyman Ron James makes his much-anticipated return to T.O. this Thursday when he opens a limited run of his Mental As Anything tour at the Winter Garden … Rick Roberts, so good in the riveting ZOS miniseries produced by Paul Gross, is set to co-star with Hal Linden in Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie, directed by Ted Dykstra and opening May 8 at the Winter Garden … and fearless 22 Minutes scene-stealer Gavin Crawford will star in Sky Gilbert’s new eyebrow-raiser, I Have AIDS!, with Ryan Kelly and David Yee, now set to open at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre on April 23

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THE SWEETEST SOUNDS: Showstopper Diahann Carroll lived up to her rep at the Four Seasons this weekend when she entertained high-rollers at Salah Bachir’s lavish fundraiser for The 519 community centre. Garth Drabinsky, who produced Carroll’s
spectacular run here in Sunset Boulevard, was among the sparklies cheering her, as were Maggie Cassella, Diane Flacks and Valerie Pringle, to name only a few. Served up with dinner were musical guest stars Billy Newton Davis, John Alcorn and Lorraine Segato – what a treat to see (AND hear) the enigmatic Ms. Segato, who rocked her way through a rhythm & bluesy ballad before gifting us with a stirring reprise of her Parachute Club anthem Rise Up.  Before the dynamic Diahann – still sweet-voiced at 73 – took her final bow, Gala host Bachir, who was clearly adored by most of the room, managed to raise more than $350,000 for the community centre, and was quick to thank all his friends for stepping up with their cheque books.  Four Bachir chums who particularly impressed: Ivan Fecan (CTV,) Rupert Duschene (Aeroplan,) Tony Gagliano (Toronto Life) and Mohamad El Zaibeck. All four bought $5,000 tables, then turned them over to Salah so community centre workers from The 519 could attend the glamorous Saturday night shindig.

Now that’s class.

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GLITTERATI: She’s had 17 top ten singles, eight albums and eight Juno Awards. Now soulful thrush Jann Arden has a new manager too, joining Bryan Adams, Michael Buble and Anne Murray as one of Bruce Allen’s blue chip Canadian clients … clever Humber College administrators have lured L.A.-savvy producer Pam Thomas to their top-flight Comedy teachers roster. Smart move, guys  … some

WINFREY

WINFREY

famously funny folk are set to deliver ‘The News’ this week on The Hour. Watch for Seán Cullen tonight, Colin Mochrie tomorrow night, Gilson Lubin (who he???) on Wednesday and Nikki Payne on Thursday … Oprah Winfrey always appears solo on the cover of her O magazine, but this month she made an exception for new U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama. Needless to say that just fueled the fire for Ellem Degeneres, whose running joke on her talk show is that one day she wants to be on the cover of O. So last week Oprah surprised Ellen by calling her, on air, to officially invite her to stand by her side for a forthcoming cover shoot. You can catch Oprah’s surprise call on Ellen’s show website at http://ellen.warnerbros.com — and yes,  it’s a lot of fun.

Ain’t showbiz grand?