BUDDY BUDDY: Best Buddies, the non-profit organization that has helped thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities become more inclusive in everyday life, has put smiles on thousands of faces — but this week it’s Best
Buddies Canada co-founder Danny Greenglass who’s all smiles. Why? Because bonafide screen legend Ann-Margret is coming to town. One of Hollywood’s last great triple-threat performers, she made her movie debut almost five, count ’em, five decades ago and has never stopped working. Ask her about her favourite leading men and she’ll tell you about every male movie idol from Steve McQueen to Jack Nicholson to John Wayne to Elvis. And when she isn’t tackling the gritty roles that won her all those Oscar and Emmy nominbations — she already owns five Golden Globes — she’s still kicking up her heels (and those still fabled gams) in her SRO stage shows. Following in Shirley MacLaiue’s footsteps last year, Ann-Margret will jet here next week with her producer husband Roger Smith to celebrate Best Buddies 15th anniversary at a gala evening at the Four Seasons in her honour. And that’s truly something to smile about.
STREEP TEASE: Yes, the American Council on Science and Health is mad at her for saying that Julia Child‘s cuisine was not exactly cholesterol-free. But Meryl Streep is so popular again — and you know how these things come and go
— that an irreverent group of guys are giving her a stand-up comedy salute this weekend in Hollywood. Called Streep Tease, the event is the brainchild of actor-comedian Roy Cruz, who is producing and performing in the show with fellow thesps Taylor Negron, Sam Pancake, Steve Hasley, Eddie Sanchez, Mike Rose, Trent Walker and David Dean Bottrell (Boston Legal.) All of them will try to find their inner Streep in a live stage tribute re-creating her greatest screen monologues, including memorable speeches from such Streep mega-hits as The Devil Wears Prada and The Bridges of Madison County. Bottrell chose a monologue from Out of Africa because he loves the Danish accent. Pancake chose Postcards From the Edge, and Negron is doing Sophie’s Choice. And no, I’m not making this up. The curtain lifts on this theatrical show at bang.studio in Los Angeles on Saturday, but if you’re on the east coast you can watch it from the theater’s webcam at 11 p.m. Just don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Screen lions Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman will show up together on Broadway this fall in Keith Huff’s new
stage play A Heavy Rain. A deal to adapt the play as a feature, to star the same duo, is now in the works … Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway are teaming up for Love and Other Drugs … Camilla Belle will play Kevin Spacey‘s daughter in his upcoming flick Father Of Invention … and Jodie Foster will direct and co-star in The Beaver, about a man who has an unusual relationship with a beaver handpuppet. (And no, I’m not making this up.) Not only that, Jodie’s Maverick troubled but gifted co-star, Mel Gibson, is in negotiations to play the lead. So there!
PLAYBOY OF THE EASTERN FILMFEST: Only a few people have actually seen it so far, but Oscar buzz has already started for Brigitte Berman’s eye-
popping new screen biography of Hugh Hefner, which premieres at TIFF next week and reveals his next-to-forgotten life as a champion of women and a supporter of gay rights at a time when the concept was nearly unheard of in mainstream America.
Berman, of course, already owns one Academy Award, which she won for her stunning profile of American music legend Artie Shaw. And she admits she had some trepidation when she finally showed her film to Hefner and some of his friends in mid-July. Much to her surprise, and delight, and relief, Hefner was moved to tears at the end of the screening. “It was,” she confides, “an extraordinary moment.” No wonder Hefner, now 83, is hoping to jet here for the Saturday Sept. 12 premiere.
Broadway’s most honoured hoofer hits the road again,
Lindsay Lohan gets a gig, Oprah packs for Toronto, and more.