Tag Archives: Four Seasons hotel

Strombo gets YGL status, the Giller gets a new home, and Jesus steps up to the plate on Broadway

OUR TOWN: No wonder the upcoming April 10-22 TIFF Kids International Film Festival is already causing such a buzz. Guests set to participate in the new Roundtable Sessions designed to help delegates connect with each other include

DUNSMORE: directing at Factory

Patricia Ellingson (Creative Head of Children’s Programming, TVO); Alan Gregg (Director of Original Content, Teletoon); Jocelyn Hamilton (VP, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy & Drama Corus Entertainment); Kim Wilson (Creative Head of Children’s and Youth Programming, CBC); Daniel Bryan Franklin & Charles Johnston (Creators, Detentionaire); Simon Racioppa (Creator, Spliced!); Brad Ferguson (Director, Almost Naked Animals); Kevin Micallef (Director, Detentionaire); and many more …. when she’s not on stage herself, she’s in the

PORTER: jury duty

wings. Yes. that would be the Rosemary Dunsmore directing the Anosh Irani comedy My Granny The Goldfish, opening tonight at Factory Theatre …  and it’s official – the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner will be named on Tuesday October 30 at a gala black-tie dinner, not at the Giller’s traditional home at the Four Seasons hotel but at the still-newish Ritz-Carlton on Wellington Street. This year’s jury members are Dublin-based Roddy Doyle, Toronto-based Anna Porter and New York-based Gary Shteyngart.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Irrepressible barfly Buddy Cole (aka irrepressible Kid In The Hall Scott Thompson) sashays back to Maggie

FILLION: Castle builder

Cassella’s Flying Beaver Pubaret this evening for a three-night stand … Gifted Man co-star Rhys Coiro has joined the CBS mystery pilot Applebaum …  Bridesmaids alum Wendi McLendon-Covey is set to co-star in ABC‘s comedy pilot Only Fools and Horses …  Castle star Nathan Fillion is set to play Hermes in the Percy Jackson sequel … ER alumnus Anthony Edwards has signed on as the lead in ABC’s drama pilot Zero Hour, not to be confused with Jim Brochu‘s one-man show about Zero Mostel. In this Zero Hour Edwards plays a character who stumbles into an enormous conspiracy when his wife is kidnapped … and just call him YGL.

STROMBO: B.C.-bound

Yes, your boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, joining a select group of outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments and commitment to society. Meanwhile, Strombo is off to the west coast next month to tape a series of episodes at CBC Vancouver from Tuesday, April 3 to Thursday, April 5, and yes, some tickets are still available. For more information on how to score ’em, click here.

ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY: He’s opening on Broadway tonight in the title role, but Paul Nolan (aka Jesus Christ Superstar) confesses he still has baseball on his mind. After his show opens, he wants to play in the Broadway

NOLAN: new Broadway baby

league. “It will not be a successful year unless I’m doing that,” he told Broadway.com. Nolan says Jesus Christ Superstar at Stratford “was one of the first times in my career that I didn’t have to audition, so that was great.” Director Des McAnuff hand-picked him to play the lead, and after he saw Nolan in the show, Superstar composer Andrew Lloyd Webber gave him a hug — “but he looked kind of shocked. I didn’t know whether that was good or bad. But obviously it was good!” Obviously. Here’s hoping he hits it out of the park tonight. Meanwhile, Superstar lyricist and triple Tony Award owner Tim Rice will receive a well-earned Special Award at the upcoming 2012 Olivier Awards in London as a “celebration of his outstanding contribution to musical theatre.”

ECONOMICS 101, or, What I Learned On The Internet Today:  It’s a slow day in the small town of Pumphandle and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.  A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night.  As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the $100  bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. (Stay with this. And pay attention)  The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op.  The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit.  The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel Owner.  (Almost done. Keep reading) The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveller will not suspect anything.  At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves.

No one produced anything.  No one earned anything.  However, the whole town now thinks that they are out of debt and there is a false atmosphere of optimism and glee. And that, dear reader, is how a “stimulus package” works!

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Curious about Eppie? Just ask Ann Landers. And, the Who’s Who who cheered Barbra in the village

Ms LONELYHEARTS: After a memorable guest spot as a dying nurse on the first season of Edie Falco’s hit series Nurse Jackie, veteran stage and screen charmer Judith Ivey opens tonight at Manhattan’s Cherry Lane Theater in a one-woman play about legendary lovelorn advice columnist Ann Landers called The Lady With All the Answers.

IVEY: as Ann Landers

IVEY: as Ann Landers

The last time I remember seeing Chicago’s queen of hearts, as Eppie Lederer (her real name) was called, was at Chaz & Roger Ebert’s wedding. Eppie and Brian Linehan were hot-footing it on the dance floor when it started to get a tad too hot for Eppie. “Tame it down, tame it down!” she protested, and Linehan graciously acquiesced.

After dispensing sage advice to thousands of grateful readers, by the end of her career Eppie was most famous for failing to save her own marriage. Also, much to her chagrin, her daughter Margo Howard, who eventually took over her column, would marry four times. But then, when has a daughter ever really listened to her mother?

I was much better acquainted with Eppie’s twin sister Pauline, who was equally famous as the Abigail Van Buren of Dear Abby. In the days when newspapers ruled, the sisters’ columns competed with each other in rival journals. Ann Landers was in the Toronto Star, so Dear Abby ran in The Toronto Telegram (and later the Toronto Sun.)

ABBY & ANN in their heyday (AP)

ABBY & ANN in their heyday (AP)

Eppie was a permanent fixture in Chicago. ‘Abby’ lived in California and enjoyed it. Like her sister, she was bright, vivacious and always good company. One day I walked into Norman Jewison’s beach house in Malibu and Norman, ‘Abby’ and Washington columnist Art Buchwald were all sitting in the living room, busy debating a burning issue of the day. As I approached them Abby looked up at me and beamed.

“We met in Toronto two weeks ago!” she proclaimed, struggling to remember my name. “I know you!”

“I don’t!” said Buchwald with a shrug, and returned to debating with Jewison.

CHANNING: "Absolutely not!"

CHANNING: "Absolutely not!"

Identical twins born 17 minutes apart, the sisters also got a kick out of teasing people when they were mistaken for each other. One night I bumped into Eppie in the bar at the Four Season in Hollywood and started talking about mutual friends in Chicago until I saw the twinkle in her eye.

“Yep,” she said, grinning – “I’m the other one!”

Manhattan gossip girl Liz Smith says that years ago Eppie’s good friend Carol Channing wanted her Hello, Dolly! composer Jerry Herman to make a musical for her to star as Eppie. “To which Eppie said, ‘Absolutely not!’ But now there is a two-time Tony winner channeling Ann Landers,” adds Liz – “and everybody just hopes Eppie approves.”

VILLAGE PEOPLE: Yes, Barbra Streisand really did return to the tiny Village Vanguard club in Manhattan to perform songs from her new album, Love

STREISAND: stage fright?

STREISAND: stage fright?

Is The Answer, with only a jazz quartet behind her. (Chalk it up to the influence of her album producer Diana Krall. Not that there would have been room for an orchestra, let alone a band. “It’s hard to have stage fright,” Streisand remarked, “when, like, there’s no stage!”) Her audience, comprised mainly of contest winners from around the world, were thrilled to find themselves squeezed against such devoted Barbra boosters as Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Donna Karan, Barry Diller, David Geffen and composers Marilyn & Alan Bergman. Streisand was reportedly in glorious voice, and in addition to tunes from her new CD, she also reprised a few of her classics, including Evergreen (which she dedicated to a misty-eyed Bill Clinton) and The Way We Were.

Apparently you had to be there to believe it. And don’t you wish you had been?

TOMORROW:

What Julie Stewart and Dan Aykroyd are up to in Toronto.

Eric gets Gordoned, Justin gets Facebooked, Ottawa gets Chaperoned & Broadway gets Carrie

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: New Emmy-owner Justin Timberlake has joined the cast of The Social Network, director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin’s take on the invention of Facebook …

TIMBERLAKE: Facebook friend

TIMBERLAKE: Facebook friend

Heather Locklear, one of the stars of the original Melrose Place, will reprise her role on the current re-invented series … stage and screen favourite Eric Peterson, already slated to pick up an Earle Grey Award later this month at the Geminis, will receive the 2009 Gordon Pinsent Award Of Excellence this week when The Company Theatre fetes him Thursday night at the Windsor Arms. Seamus O’Regan and Allan Hawco will co-host the gala evening … and speaking of excellence, award namesake Pinsent plays the Archbishop in The Pillars of the Earth, the epic drama based on Ken Follett’s bestseller, currently shooting in Hungary and Austria. Also appearing

PETERSON: getting Gordon & Earle

PETERSON: getting Gordon & Earle

in key roles are Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland.

FOOTLIGHTS: Mimi, or A Poisoner’s Comedy, the controversial new Allen Cole-Melody A. Johnson-Rick Roberts musical, continues its ribald run at the Tarragon Theatre … Bob Martin’s Tony-winning hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone tap-dances into Ottawa next week for a two-week run at the National Arts Centre … Carrie Fisher opened her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, at Studio 54 last night. Sez Fisher: “Basically, I talk about myself behind my back.”
 Her Broadway stint will run ‘til January … and Monty Python alumni Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and John Cleese are set to appear in a rare reunion at the Ziegfeld Theater next week. Did you know that the Pythons have

FISHER: on stage

FISHER: on stage

their own YouTube channel? Seriously! … and tickets are now on sale for the new National Ballet Of Canada season, which kicks off next month with the perennially lavish Sleeping Beauty. To check out the new NBOC season, just click here.

OUR TOWN: The 14th edition of Eat to the Beat, benefitting Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, takes over Roy Thomson Hall tomorrow night with culinary creations from more than 60 chefs,  including the Food Network chef Anna Olson, Fiona Lim of George and Dufflet Rosenberg of Dufflet Pastries. And you can still buy a ticket! For more info, click here … also tomorrow night: Royson James moderates a Toronto Star panel discussion on what it takes to create a workable city, with Susan Eng, Kevin Stolarick, Sudz Sutherland and Rahul Bhardwaj, at the new Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library … Jack Rabinovitch and jurors Russell Banks, Victoria Glendinning and Alistair MacLeod will announce this year’s Giller Prize finalists tomorrow morning at the Four Seasons … and yes, those still-sensational Jersey Boys are still winning standing O’s every night at the Toronto Centre For The Arts.

A drama for Amanda, a film feast for Chris, a new musical for Catherine and a Toronto visit for Meryl!

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER SHOW: Sadly, most of the publicity surrounding the making of Chloe, the new Atom Egoyan drama set to premiere

SEYFRIED: at TIFF as Chloe

SEYFRIED: at TIFF as Chloe

Sunday night at TIFF, focused on leading man Liam Neeson when his actress wife Natasha Richardson died tragically during the shooting of the film. What no one seems to have noticed is that the title character in Egoyan’s film is played by Amanda Seyfried, so outstanding as Meryl Streep’s daughter in Mamma Mia.  In Chloe she plays a sultry young seductress hired by Julianne Moore to test her husband’s faithfulness. (Expect to hear a lot of tongue-wagging after this one!) … and tonight’s TIFF Galas should offer some genuine surprises. Already winning rave reviews, The Men Who Stare At Goats showcases a stellar 1ddcd8b24bd2e054_colin_firthcast led by George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges in a stranger-than-fiction true story. (Want a sample? Just click here.) And the new version of Dorian Gray, with Colin Firth and terminally handsome Ben Barnes directed by Oscar Wilde aficionado Oliver Parker, reportedly takes that famous portrait mythology to new heights (and depths.) This one sure doesn’t look like any of the Dorian Grays we’ve seen before. For a sneak preview, click here.

OUR TOWN: Hollywood columnist George Christy, Norman Jewison and Gina & Paul Godfrey were among the boldface who turned up for the Best Buddies tribute to Ann-Margaret this week at the Four Seasons. Glamourous

STREEP: Toronto-bound

STREEP: Toronto-bound

in a glittering cocktail dress, the award-winning actress beamed when someone asked her if she minds being called Ann-Margrock, her character name on The Flintstones. “No, I love it!” she exclaimed. “That’s why I voiced the part in the first place!”… delighted by its successful run at Niagara-On-The-Lake, Theatre Museum Canada has finally brought its much-lauded retrospective of stage designer Cameron Porteous to T.O. After a week of previews, Risking The Void: The Scenography of Cameron Porteous, opens tonight at the Design Exchange and runs through October 20 … and talk about a hot ticket: current box office queen Meryl Streep is set for a public sit-down session with Johanna Schneller at the ROM on Oct. 7. Bon appetit, ladies!

McKELLAR: Tiff Talent booster

McKELLAR: Tiff Talent booster

TIFF TALK: The aspiring filmmakers who made the final cut to attend TIFF’s annual Talent Lab are in good and remarkably famous hands this year. Governors overseeing the program are Danny Boyle, John Collee, Miranda July and Cooking With Stella star Don McKellar. Film folk who have agreed to be drop-in mentors include Tilda Swinton, Atom Egoyan, Gaspar Noe, Jane Campion, Bruce Beresford and Suzana Amaral … is anyone having a better year on film that Christopher Plummer? He’s a major voice in Up, one of the summer biggest box office hits, and one of the top-billed stars of the new animated film 9, which opened here this week; he’s nominated for a Gemini Award for his performance in the screen version of his Stratford hit

PLUMMER: as Dr. Parnassus

PLUMMER: as Dr. Parnassus

Caesar & Cleopatra; he plays the title role in Terry Gilliam’s much-anticipated Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, premiering here at TIFF next week; and he and Helen Mirren play Leo Tolstoy and his missus in the new German-Russian-U.K. co-production The Last Station. Can’t wait to see that one … and the best and most significant comment I’ve seen on the current tiff over TIFF’s choice of Tel Aviv for its City To City program comes from Toronto film critic Peter Howell. Says Howell: “Film festivals are supposed to be about opening minds, not closing them.” To which we say, bravo. To read his thoughtful column in yesterday’s Toronto Star, click here.

DOUGLAS: playing Solitary

DOUGLAS: playing Solitary

STARS IN OUR EYES: New Manhattan-dwellers Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones won’t have a lot of time to unpack their California bags. He’s already started shooting Oliver Stone’s sequel to Wall Street, reprising his role as imprisoned corporate crook Gordon Gekko opposite TIFF scene-stealer Carey Mulligan (An Education.) Meanwhile Solitary Man, Douglas’ meaty new drama with Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker and his longtime pal Danny DeVito premieres at TIFF next week. Meanwhile the ravishing Zeta-Jones, who won her

ZETA-JONES: back on the boards

ZETA-JONES: back on the boards

Oscar for her song-and-dance tour de force in Chicago, is starting rehearsals for her return to the musical stage in A Little Night Music, tackling the role played by Glynis Johns on Broadway, Judi Dench in London, Jean Simmons in Toronto and Elizabeth Taylor on screen. And speaking of Dame Elizabeth, who not so coincidentally happens to be the Founding International Chairman of AMFAR – will she jet here to attend our first-ever Cinema Against AIDS Toronto Gala on Tuesday at the Carlu? And will Global Fundraising champion Sharon Stone come with her? Kevin Sullivan & Trudy Grant are presenting sponsors of the lavish evening, which features a special dinner designed by Jamie Kennedy with Sarah McLachlan and Deborah Cox served up for dessert. For ticket information, click here.

Have a great TIFF weekend.

See you at the movies!

-/-

Charlize gets Sam, Rivers gets roasted, Leo gets Brave, & TIFF film buffs get The Essential 100

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Okay, in the Golden Age of Hollywood they would have made him change his name. Zach Galifianakis, who has

STREEP: As new bestseller Julia Child

STREEP: As new bestseller Julia Child

his pick of projects since his boffo boxoffice Hangover, is set to do a new comedy called Dinner With Schmucks (a title they also would have changed) … rising Aussie hearrthrob Sam Worthington has just signed on to co-star with Charlize Theron in a new thriller called The TouristLeonardo DiCapiro and director Ridley Scott are developing a new version of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World …  the Walter Cronkite memorial this morning at Avery Fisher Hall is the hottest ticket in New York, and once President Obama arrives, they’ll seal the doors. So latecomers will not be an issue … Vanity Fair literary lion Dominick Dunne will be memorialized tomorrow afternoon at St. Vincent Ferrer Church … and there’s no doubt about it, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams (a.k.a. Julie & Julia) have made Julia Child ‘hot’ again. Good news is, Ms. Child’s famed cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking has been reprinted and is #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Bad news is, my spies tell me the publisher didn’t reprint enough copies and most of the new editions have already been, you should pardon the expression, gobbled up.

UNFORGETTABLE: Besides being brilliant filmmakers, what do Ingmar Bergman, Francis Ford Coppola, Federico Fellini, Victor Fleming,

SCORSESE: two for the show

SCORSESE: two for the show

Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Fritz Lang, Jean Renoir, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francois Truffaut and Wong Kar Wai have in common? Of 87, count ‘em, 87 international film directors, they’re the only ones who have more than one movie in The Essential 100, the TIFF film and gallery tribute of 100 films which will open Bell Lightbox next September.  The eye-popping four-month film tribute, which will run to the end of the year, is designed as a showcase for the most influential films of all time. Can’t wait.

ANN-MARGRET: honoured tonight

ANN-MARGRET: honoured tonight

AGE-CANNOT-WITHER DEPT.: She conquered television, movies and Broadway, in that order, and has never stopped working. Am I the only one who can’t believe that Lily Tomlin just celebrated her 70th birthday? … also defying

all the Old standards: Enduring Hollywood icon Ann-Margret, here to be honoured by Best Buddies tonight at the Four Seasons … another ageless screen charmer, Linda Sorensen, is currently in Montreal shooting Barney’s Version … and indefatigable Joan Rivers, a sensational 76, is back in Vegas playing the showroom at the Venetian Hotel.

RIVERS: roasted this weekend

RIVERS: roasted this weekend

“It’s been nearly a decade since I played this town,” she reports, “and boy have a lot of things changed! When I used to perform in Vegas, all of the shows starred married couples. You had Steve & Eydie, Sonny & Cher and my favorites, Siegfried & Roy. One thing, though, has stayed the same—Vegas is the only place where you can see Cher, Bette Midler, Celine Dion and me, all in one night and all played by the same man.”

La Rivers, who is set to play Casino Rama later this month, gets roasted by host Kathy Griffin and a clutch of comedians including Brad Garrett, Carl Reiner and Gilbert Gottfried this weekend on The Comedy Network.

TOMORROW:

Charles Darwin on the Origins Of TIFF, new stage turns for Louise Pitre and Edie Falco, and a celluloid Tree that keeps on growing.

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?