Tag Archives: GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS

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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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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From Daniel to Norah, from Ricky to Rick, we’re back on track with more stars in our eyes (SEND)

Now, where was I?

Oh yeah, now I remember. I was about to tell you that I was going on hiatus for two weeks, and then I did That Thing We All Do But Swear We Won’t Ever Do Again,

I forgot to press SEND.

(sigh)

Actually, more often than not, The Thing I Do That I Wish I Didn’t Do is press SEND too soon, before I’ve finished typing whatever breathtaking prose I’m trying on at the time.

So — unless I press SEND too soon, or forget to press it at all — I’m back.

Did’ja miss me?

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OUR TOWN: Filmmakers Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher are set to attend tonight’s Doc Soup screenings of their family saga October Country

JONES: here next month

tonight at the Bloor Cinema … the Toronto premiere of Displacement, the multi-media dance art piece created by choreographer Robert Glumbek, visual artist Vessna Perunovich and composer Christos Hatzis, opens tonight at Fleck Dance Theatre as part of Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps Dance Series. The show, performed by seven dancers, also features the Penderecki String Quartet … Whodunit 2009, this year much-anticipated annual Ontario College Of Art & Design fund-raiser, previews today, tomorrow and Friday before the Mystery Art by the famous and soon-to-be-famous goes on

RADCLIFFE: Greenwich Village

sale Saturday. For more info, collectors, just click here …. p.s. to Radio City Music Hall aficionados: this is the last night to see the justifiably legendary Rockettes kick up their heels at the Air Canada Centre … and the CHUM Christmas Wish, this year in partnership with CP24, yesterday launched its 43rd Christmas season for raising money and collecting toys for families in need across the Greater Toronto Area.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Did you know that Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) was personally tutored by the Coutts Bank when he turned 18 and learned how to best invest his earnings, currently estimated at $15-20 million? Me neither. But that could explain how the young Mr. R. acquired his new $6 million Greenwich Village townhouse, which will be his home base when

APATOW: on line today

he returns to Broadway to fill the Robert Morse/Matthew Broderick song-and-dance shoes in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying … riding high on the love-letter reviews for her new album The Fall, Norah Jones is set to guest on The Colbert Report tonight. Expect to hear and see her next month with Jian on Q and Strombo on The Hour … artist Natalka Husar opens her new show, Burden Of Innocence, tomorrow in Hamilton. Advance word on Husar’s new exhibition hints at taking her lifelong obsession with painting and with the Ukraine, her ancestral home, into new territory. For more details, click here … and new comedy zillionaire Judd Apatow is taking questions today at the Funny Or Die writers’ room at 12:30 pm pst (3:30 pm our time.) To quiz him, or to just submit your question, click here.

HOSTS WITH THE MOST:  It’s official — Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are Oscar’s newest Odd Couple. They are now set to co-host next year’s Academy

KARPLUK & MERCER: Gemini twins (photo: CP)

Awards telecast on Sunday March 7 … meanwhile, Office creator Ricky Gervais has been tagged to host the Golden Globes on Sunday Jan. 17 … and yes, I agree, Ron James did a dandy job of hosting last Saturday night’s Gemini Awards. Among the happiest winners: Rick Mercer, not just because his weekly Rick Mercer Report won Best Comedy Series, but also because he got to hang out with people he watches on TV, like Erin (Being Erica) Karpluk and Cory (Glee) Monteith — who, according to my spies, were even more excited to be hanging out with him.

Ain’t show biz grand?

TOMORROW:

Star-crossed reunion: Patti Lupone & Mandy Patinkin.


Emails, we get emails, we get lots & lots of emails

Dear B.G.:

Has Glenda Jackson returned to the screen? The last I heard she had retired to work full time as the Labour Member of Parliament  for the constituency of  Hampstead and Highgate in the London. But I recently caught a glimpse of her, or at least I think it was her, in a movie trailer with Daniel Day Lewis. What is the movie? And why haven’t I read about her comeback? – Curious in Kelowna

Dear C.I.K.:

Ms Jackson is still lobbying for her British constituents and as far as I know has no immediate plans to return to the screen. The actress with the striking Touch

judi crop

NINE: It's Judi, not Glenda

 

Of Class bob in that movie trailer is the inimitable Dame Judi Dench, who may be channeling Glenda, for all we know. And you’re right, it is Daniel Day Lewis. The movie is directort Rob (Chicago) Marshall’s screen version of the Broadway musical Nine, which of course was the stage version of Federico Fellini’s . So Day Lewis is playing a role originated on screen by Marcello Mastroianni and on stage by Raul Julia (and most recently Antonio Banderas.) And in the movie the key women in his life are played by Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudson and Ms. Dench. Anticipated as a spectacular gift to fans of movie musicals, Nine is scheduled to open here on Christmas Day.

Dear B.G.:

Is it true that Michael Ondaatje’s latest novel Divisadero is being made into a movie? And if so when will it open? — Ondaatje disciple Benjamin K.

Dear B.K.:

I won’t be surprised if Divisadero eventually reaches the big screen.  In the meantime, the Necessary Angel theatre company, director Daniel Brooks and

LIANE crop

BALABAN: next weekend

the author himself are rethinking his novel as a play, with a view to a 2010/2011 opening with subsequent touring. Title of the stage production is When My Name Was Anna, and you don’t have to wait to 2010 to sample it. Next weekend Liane Balaban, Maggie Huculak, Tom McCamus and Amy Rutherford are set to appear in three work-in-progress presentations of When My Name Was Anna, directed by Brooks, at Theatre Passe Muraille’s Mainspace. For more information, click here.

Dear B.G.:

I saw a Broadway musical a few years ago called 10 Million Miles. It didn’t last very long, and we didn’t keep the Playbill, but I’m sure

Morrison miles

10 MILLION MILES: guess who?

 

the male lead was Justin Timberlake. My wife saw your blog about Glee and says the male lead was the guy who plays the teacher, Matthew Morrison. Can you settle this domestic dispute? –– Hoping I’m Right

Dear H.I.R.,

Sorry, you lose. 10 Million Miles is one of several Broadway shows, including Hairspray and South Pacific, in which Matthew Morrison appeared. But he did have a Timberlake look about him in that show, so don’t beat yourself up too badly. Morrison, who is also a rapper and a beat box hoofer, loves performing on stage for a live audience. But he’s equally passionate about Glee, and with good reason. “More people saw the pilot of Glee,” he notes, “than saw me in the entire ten years I was on Broadway.”

Dear B.G.:

Did I miss the Gemini Awards? I read somewhere that Geminis were handed out in Toronto this month, but I was sure that this year’s show was supposed to be in Calgary. What happened? — proud Canadian TV addict

Dear P.C.T.A.:

Yeah, it does get confusing at times. Fear not, you haven’t missed the boat – or the show, for that matter.  The 24th Annual Gemini Awards Broadcast Gala is just two weeks away, and will be broadcast live on Global and Showcase at 9pm

CORY crop

MONTEITH: Calgary-bound

ET/PT Saturday November 14 from the BMO Centre in Calgary. Presenters flying in to Alberta for the show include Hugh Dillon (Flashpoint,) Erin Karpluk (Being Erica,) Jessica Lucas (Melrose Place,) Amber Marshall & Graham Wardle (Heartland,) Mark McKinney (Less Than Kind,) Cory Monteith (Glee,) George Stroumboulopoulos and Rick Mercer. Host for the evening is Ron James, who BTW has two Gemini alumnus on his show tonight: Eric Peterson (Corner Gas) and Deb McGrath (Little House On The Prairie.) So don’t forget to set your PVR.

Have a great weekend!

-/-

Strombo gets Fox, Mosque gets manipulated, Montreal gets Whoopi & Rick gets stung

TONIGHT, TONIGHT: Your boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos kicks off his sixth season of The Hour tonight with an intimate hour-long interview

GEORGE: Sixth Season

GEORGE: Sixth Season

with Michael J. Fox. Other sparklies about to get Georged: Andre Agassi, Michael Buble, Drew Barrymore, Michael Douglas, John Irving, Michael Moore, Anne Murray, Edward Norton, Clive Owen, and Snoop Dogg earlier in the evening Little Mosque On The Prairie returns with a new edge when Brandon Firla (Billable Hours) plays a manipulative minister from the big city who is less than thrilled to find a bunch of Muslims as tenants in his church. Zaib Shaikh, Sitara Hewitt, Sheila McCarthy, Carlo Rota, Debra McGrath and Arlene Duncan continue to keep the pot boilingalso returning tonight: Just For Laughs, with a premiere

GOLDBERG: just for laughs?

GOLDBERG: just for laughs?

episode from Montreal featuring Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Gaffigan, Louis C.K., Pete Zedlacher and Adam Hills. In addition to Zedlacher, Canuck showstoppers set to perform on the weekly series include Mike MacDonald, Deb DiGiovanni, Angelo Tsarouchas, Shaun Majumder, Martin Short, Jon Dore and Gerry Dee. So what’s not to like? … and Hot Docs is the co-presenter of tonight’s showing of Larry Towell’s Canada-Palestine co-production Indecisive Moments at the 2009 Toronto Palestine Film Festival, which continues through Friday. A personal video diary of Towell’s experiences in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, which he refers to as “the world’s largest open-air prison,” the film screens tonight at 7:00 pm at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall, with filmmaker Towell in attendance. For more information and/or to purchase tickets, just click here.

BRIDGES: new John Wayne?

BRIDGES: new John Wayne?

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Newcomer Christoph Waltz, the breakout star of Inglorious Basterds, is set to play the villain opposite Seth Rogen in The Green HornetJeff Bridges is in talks to star in a Coen Brothers remake of the classic John Wayne western True GritMeryl Streep’s daughter, actress Mamie Gummer, has been cast in director John Carpenter‘s new thriller, The Ward … and watch and listen for songbird Dawn Langstroth on a channel near you. She’s set to stop by AM 740 today at 2 pm to perform selected songs from her new CD Highwire in the radio station lobby. And tomorrow morning she’ll serenade early-risers on Breakfast Television (BT Toronto, that is.) So stay tuned!

LORD OF THE FLIES: When Canadian comedy icon Rick Mercer flew to B.C. to kick off the new Spread The Net campaign at Simon Fraser University, SFU biologist Carl Lowenberger, challenged him to stick his arm in a cage filled with mosquitoes — and you know how Mercer responds to challenges.  You can see the results on tomorrow night’s premiere of The Rick Mercer Report. (And I won’t even mention the bit where Lowenberger dares him to stick his entire head in the cage.)

MERCER & LOWENBERGER: SFU research team?

MERCER & LOWENBERGER: SFU research team?

Meanwhile, Mercer’s spoof of that weird Michael Ignatieff commercial, which will be revealed to television viewers on RMR tomorrow night, has already ricocheted around the word as a viral video. And yes, it’s funny. Funny enough for Ignatieff to instantly install it on his Facebook page (not to mention his Twittering about it.)

Still haven’t seen it?

Really?

So what was it like in the monastery?

Never mind. If you’re really sure that you really can’t wait ‘til tomorrow night, just click here.

TOMORROW:

More fun ‘n’ games. (Who knew?)

Josh plays Brahms, Doug plays on Twitter and Red Green & Strombo play Vancouver’s Comedy Fest

MAKE ‘EM LAUGH, MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: She was in the theatre when it happened. Funny lady Joy Behar of The View reports that a cell phone went off

CRAIG: It's for you

CRAIG: It's for you

during a performance of the new Broadway play A Steady Rain with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. What happened? “Craig stopped talking and said, ‘wanna get that?’” But despite the detour she said she loved the play. “The play was great. Two hotties with acting chops!” … Tom Arnold (a.k.a. Rosanne’s ex) and Red Green (a.k.a Steve Smith) host the Best Of The Fest galas coming up this weekend at the Vancouver Comedy Fest. Arnold hosts the first gala this Friday night with Andy Dick, John Dore, Tim Rykert and more, and Possum Lodge proprietor Green hosts the second gala Saturday night with Derek Edwards, Glen Foster, Peter Kelamis, Mike MacDonald and more.

GREEN: in B.C.

GREEN: in B.C.

Meanwhile, George Stroumboulopoulos hosts the Saturday Edge Of The Fest gala with Picnicface, Garfunkle & Oates, and more. (They sure do get interesting acts out west!) … and remember when Jeremy Piven abruptly left the Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow because of mercury poisoning from eating too much sushi? While lawsuits flew back and forth, playwright Mamet was asked why Piven had jumped ship. “I believe he left to pursue a new career,” said Mamet, “as a thermometer.”

Now that’s funny.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR: Novelist and man-about-art Doug Coupland tore back a fingernail at Heathrow recently and asked security if they had nail clippers he could borrow. “They had a bucket filled with 5,000

COUPLAND: Twitterbug

COUPLAND: Twitterbug

clippers,” he reports. (So that’s where they go.) Meanwhile, after trying a Klondike ice-cream bar for breakfast one morning, he now finds he can’t do without them. “I really have become addicted to Klondike bars for breakfast… they’re like square frozen bowls of cereal — they’re practically vitamins.” Coupland also posts the most intriguing videos on Twitter. Have you seen the time-lapse video of the new Dubai Metro where the ‘train’ ends up going 800 mph? And no, I’m not making this up. For further proof, just click here.

SEPTEMBER SONGS: Toronto Symphony Orchestra kicks off its new season tomorrow night when conductor Peter Oundjian welcomes Joshua Bell for

FEORE: with TSO

FEORE: with TSO

an evening of Brahms. Marquee showstoppers set to appear with the TS this season include Peter Appleyard, Russell Braun, Measha Brueggergosman, the Canadian Brass, Sir Andrew Davis, James Ehnes, Barbara Hannigan, Evgeny Kissin, Anton Kuerti, Erich Kunzel, Lang Lang, Kent Nagano, Itzhak Perlman, Michael Schade, Pinchas Zukerman and stage and screen lions Colm Feore and Paul Gross. To sample the upcoming season, and order tickets, just click here.

TOMORROW:

What are doing Jesus and Norah Jones doing on the same CD?

-/-

Greenwood shines for Beresford, Google scoops up Bawden, and it’s a wrap! — almost — as TIFF gets set to hand out some heavyweight hardware

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Stratford scene-stealer Geraint Wyn-Davies, currently winning raves for his joyful performance as Bottom in

FOX: on The Hour

FOX: on The Hour

Midsummer Night’s Dream, will take his next play out of town before opening in Stratford next summer. He plans to test his one-man show Do Not Go Gentle, by Leon Pownall, about the life of Dylan Thomas, in New York, where he’ll open a limited run this winter … Google, who continue to be two steps ahead of all other search engines, have reportedly snapped up esteemed Toronto Star alumnus Jim Bawden to cover the Canadian television scene. Smart move, guys! But then, that’s what makes Google Google George Stroumboulopoulos kicks off his sixth

McLACHLAN: dragon lady

McLACHLAN: Dragon lady

season of The Hour with a 60-minute one-on-one with Michael J. Fox … and yes, that was Sarah McLachlan looking lovely at the CBC Fall Launch. She showed up to cheer on her current squeeze, Dragons’ Den panelist Brett Wilson.

FILMFEST FOLLIES: Now that we’re getting close to the finish line, hot titles emerging from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival include Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, Bruce Beresford’s Mao’s Last Dancer, Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother & Child, Lee Daniels’ Precious,

BONO: at TIFF

BONO: at TIFF

Ruba Nadda’s Cairo Time, Tom Ford’s A Single Man, Lone Sherfig’s An Education, Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air, Joel & Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man, and Brigitte Berman’s controversial celluloid portrait of Hugh Hefner. Should be interesting to see who finishes in the money when TIFF prize-winners are announced tomorrow afternoon stars continue to shine where and when you least expect them to. My spies tell me Jason Reitman devotee Aaron Eckhart slipped in to see Up In The Air last weekend.’Bono showed up for his pal Colin Farrell at the unveiling of Neil Jordan’s Ondine. Geoffrey Rush

CAINE: conversing

CAINE: conversing

came out to cheer for Michael Sheen in Tom Hooper’s The Damned United. And Sam Neill was among the eager onlookers who raised hands to ask questions when Harry Brown hero Michael Caine participated in a 90-minute on-stage Conversation with Seamus O’Regan … and at the initial screening of Lars Von Trier’s AntiChrist, which premiered the first night of the festival, my spies report that midway through the film “someone actually fainted and caused a bit of a scene when they toppled onto the row in front of them, totally alarming those people. Talk about a perfect way to start a film festival!!”

SMITH: great quotes

SMITH: great quotes

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “A lot of things have disappeared as I have grown older and a lot of wrinkles and flab have suddenly appeared. But whatever I’ve lost, I still have great legs. As the late actress Kitty Carlisle Hart used to say as she showed her gams at age 90, ‘The legs are the last to go.’ Kitty had a good life motto. She looked at herself every morning in the mirror and said, ‘Kitty, I forgive you!’”

The speaker? Liz Smith, who just keeps wowing us with her wit ‘n’ wisdom on wowOwow.com.

TOGETHER AGAIN (ALMOST): It’s been years since they co-starred at the then Pantages in Phantom Of The Opera, but Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca

GREENWOOD: "spectacularly good"

GREENWOOD: spectacular

Caine continue to brighten stage and screens. Wilkinson was here this week to promote The Tudors at CBC’s elegant mid-week Fall Launch. In the new season he plays an antagonist who Henry VIII summarily executes. “But they must have liked what I did, because they’ve asked me return as a ghost!” Meanwhile, the glory-voiced Ms Caine is set to headline her own concert show, Raising Caine, next Sunday Sept. 27 at the new Conservatory Theatre … and speaking of dynamic duos, Twin Peaks alumni Kyle MacLachlan and Joan Chen are only two of the reasons why TIFF showstopper Mao’s Last Dancer is such a riveting film. Credit director Bruce Beresford for hiring Bruce Greenwood to play the U.S. choreographer with his own agenda. Greenwood, who delivers a brilliantly nuanced performance,  is spectacularly good. But then, so is the movie. Don’t miss it.

-/-