Tag Archives: GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS

Andrea carries a Torch, Angie conducts (unarmed) and Rick, Ron & Don are three CBC guys we trust

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Gorgeous Jessica Biel can’t figure out why people can’t figure out how she and her steady fella Justin Timberlake keep such a low public  profile. “We’re never in the tabloids because we just don’t

BIEL: can't imagine what Justin sees in her

BIEL: can't imagine what Justin sees in her

do anything that interesting,” she says with a shrug. “We don’t do anything. We just hang out at home!” … still-gorgeous Angie Dickinson is set to play conductor for the Boston Pops By The Sea on Aug. 2 but doesn’t know what to do to make it special. “Somebody told me that when Julia Child did it, she conducted with a spoon. I thought at first in homage to Police Woman I’d conduct with a gun, but then, of course, no – soooo politically incorrect!” Her fans will get to see her even sooner, as a rural woman facing blindness in the new Hallmark TV movie Mending Fences on July 18 … and by now you probably know that the June edition of Reader’s Digest lists the Top 50 people Canadians trust the most. David Suzuki placed first, followed by The Queen, Gen. Rick

MERCER: trustworthy

MERCER: trustworthy

Hillier, Stephen Lewis and Michael J. Fox.  Rounding out the top 10 were Lloyd Robertson, Peter Mansbridge, Stephen Harper, auditor general Sheila Fraser and Rick Mercer. Among the top-20 most trusted were four hockey personalities — Wayne Gretzky, Don Cherry, Ron MacLean and Jean Béliveau. And make of this what you will, but of the eight television personalities in the Top 20, seven — Suzuki, Mansbridge, Mercer, George Stroumboulopoulos, Rex Murphy, Cherry and MacLean — are proud CBC stars. And the eighth, CTV broadcaster Lloyd Robertson, is also a CBC alumnus.

LADY SINGS THE NEWS: My favourite New York gossip girl Liz Smith scooped yesterday that Michael Jackson’s newly-discovered will stipulates that if his mother, Katherine Jackson is “unable or unwilling” to fulfill her role as guardian to Michael’s children – page Miss Diana Ross!

“Before you start giggling,” Liz warned in her  wowOwow.com post, “please remember that Diana has raised five – count ‘em – five beautiful children who have never been in a spit of trouble. Diva she may be to coworkers, but she has been an exemplary mother. This is an intelligent choice, actually.”

FOOTLIGHTS: Marquee magnets Andrea Martin, Richard Thomas and Lea Thompson are spending their summer vacation at the Williamstown
MARTIN: at Williamstown

MARTIN: at Williamstown

Theatre Festival. Ms. Martin will appear in George Kelly’s little-known farce The Torch-Bearers (July 29-August 9), with Edward Herrmann, Marian Seldes and John Rubinstein.  Ms. Thompson will appear in Melinda Lopez’s Caroline in Jersey (August 5-16), and Thomas will appear one night only, playing Tennessee Williams in his new one-man show Blanche and Beyond on Sunday, August 2 …  he won great reviews as the young Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movie, and now Chris Pine is winning more plaudits, this time on stage in Los Angeles. Pine plays a press secretary working for a Democratic candidate in Farragut North, a new play by Beau Willimon at the Geffen Playhouse. Pine, who has a stage background, reportedly delivers “a multilayered and riveting performance” …  Pam Hyatt is set to team up with renowned organist Christopher Dawes for

PINE: stage trek

PINE: stage trek

a special evening at the Stratford Summer Music Festival on Aug. 2 … and superProducer Marlene Smith, honoured earlier this week at the 2009 Dora Awards, is the new Chair of Theatre Museum Canada.  Past chair Kate Barris will continue to lend her support as a member of  the museum’s Board of Directors.

FLICKERS: Latest victim of the New Hollywood:  20th Century Props, which offers a vast inventory of items used in film and television productions, now plans to go out of business next month and auction the inventory. Awwww … The Toronto Film Society returns

BANDERAS: Goodbye, Dali

BANDERAS: Goodbye, Dali

with its Season 62 (!!!) summer series — 14 crime suspense thrillers showcased in seven double features. The new series, Hitchcock And Friends, starts next Monday July 6. For more details, click here ... now that she’s teamed with Gerard Butler in the romantic comedy The Ugly Truth, Katherine Heigl is switching gears again. Her next big-screen opus is a drama, Life As We Know It, for Warner Bros. … and Liz Smith says we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for those two Salvador Dali film biographies announced earlier this year. Antonio Banderas was set to play the eccentric artist in one version, and Al Pacino was reportedly committed to playing him in the second film. But both of these screenplays were apparently deemed far too racy by the Foundation which safeguards the artist’s name and legend. And that, too, is show business.

district9-9SEE/HEAR:  You see them in the subway and on the street — posters urging you to report non-Humans if you catch ‘em misbehaving. It’s all a tease for a new thriller, District 9, slated to open here in August. Expected to be one of this summer’s most subversive sci-fi treats, it’s a low-radar collaboration between director Neill Blomkamp, best known for his animation and special visual effects,  and Oscar-winning producer-director Peter Jackson (Lord Of The Rings.)

Good news is, District 9 also has one great website. And you can check it out here. Enjoy!

TOMORROW:

Wonder Woman sings,

Citytv goes cross-border shopping,

and Dame Judi does it again!

-/-

Ms Hathaway & Mr Dow get raves, Ms Alley gets ornery, and Ms Kirshner tells us where to go

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: She was mentored by Margaret Atwood, and talent clearly runs in her family. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that it was standing room only last week at the Gladstone when

HATHAWAY: on Broadway

HATHAWAY: on Broadway

Lauren Kirshner launched her first novel, Where We Have To Go. Her big sister, actress Mia Kirshner, was on hand to lead the cheers…  your CBC boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos spent Sunday chilling with Angelo Tsarouchas at the Greek Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in L.A., then followed up with a Mexican-Indian fusion feast  at Cowboys & Turbans (seriously!) with Russell Peters … count Kirstie Alley as a major non-fan of headline-grabbing cyber-gossip Perez Hilton. “HEY PEREZ,” she tweets, “I hear you filed a $25,000 lawsuit against the guy who bopped you. I’ll pay you 30 grand if you let me pop you in the other eye! “ … latest conquest for skyrocketing screen siren Anne Hathaway: Broadway. She’s currently on stage winning raves with four-time Tony winner Audra McDonald and gifted matinee idol Raul Esparza in Daniel Sullivan’s new production of

CARD: renaissance man

CARD: renaissance man

Twelfth Night and add Rick Mercer to Bruce Dow’s burgeoning list of fans. Mercer caught Dow lighting up the stage at Stratford last week in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and laughed myself sick. He is one funny guy. Brilliant!”

WILD CARD: Actor-writer Liam Card is currently experiencing a one-man renaissance and enjoying every minute of it. He’s currently working with his literary agent Chris Bucci on his first novel, Paradise, Mich., a wonderfully quirky premise that I won’t give away here. But he’s even more excited about his first screenplay, Textuality, which is tentatively scheduled to shoot this fall under the Strident Films production banner he co-founded with producer Marc Rigaux. In Card’s screen scenario Jason Lewis, better known to millions of women as

LEWIS: textually challenged?

LEWIS: textually challenged?

Kim Cattrall’s boy toy Smith in Sex And The City, will co-star with Carly Pope (so good in Young People Fucking) as a guy who gets romantically detoured by his own text messages. Card has also written a nice supporting part for himself, as Lewis’ best friend. Set to direct is another Card player, Warren Sonoda, who made a splash last September at TIFF with Cooper’s Camera and who also directed Card in Puck Hogs, a new comedy scheduled to open later this year.

Stay tuned. There’s bound to be more to come.

2009_0626_gq_sacha_baron_cohen_brunoBORAT WAS SO 20006: Yes, that’s the tagline on ads for Bruno, the new ‘reality comedy’ created and relentlessly promoted by Sacha Baron Cohen. Publicity generated by his outlandish premieres in London, Paris and Madrid and the stunningly stunned bogus ‘photo shoot’ candids has been truly eye-catching and, strategically speaking, among the best we’ve ever witnessed. The new comedy should have a huge July 10 opening weekend, but it will be interesting to see how it fares after that. Especially when many of us thought we’d already seen Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson do this act in Zoolander. (Hey, I’m just sayin’…) Meanwhile, opening the film in Europe first has provided a big box office cushion Bruno.2for Bruno, just in case the make-believe gay supermodel ends up needing one. And yes, you’re right, I shouldn’t take liberties with the film by abbreviating its title. The film’s full name — in Europe, at least – is Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt. To see the Approved trailer, click here. To see the Restricted trailer – yes, there really is a Restricted trailer for Mature Audiences Only – click here. But be warned: If you thought Borat was outrageous, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

COLOR ME PLAID:  Remember when Toronto audiences fell in love with Forever Plaid? Prepare to swoon again, and soon. The critically acclaimed off-Broadway musical will return for one night only at select Cineplex cinemas on Thursday July 9, and Cineplex is making a night of it with a LIVE red carpet appearance, an introduction by the original cast with special celebrity guests, and a pre-taped 20th Anniversary performance of the musical, starring members of the original Off-Broadway cast. The event will conclude with a LIVE performance by The Plaids who will perform numbers never before sung in the show, a mix of swinging standards and more contemporary songs. Can you imagine How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? juxtaposed with Who Let the Dogs Out? Me neither. And there’s even a bouncing ball sing-a-long in the works.

Should be quite a night!

TOMORROW:

Andrea carries a Torch,

Angie conducts (unarmed,)

and  three CBC guys we trust,

-/-


Hollywood’s new Iron maiden

Woody Allen favourite Scarlett Johansson has joined the cast of the Iron Mansequel to play a deadly Russian superspy called Black Widow.  And she won’t be lonely because, as previously noted,

JOHANSSON: Iron Widow

JOHANSSON: Iron Widow

 

Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke are already on board …  after she leaves Broadway – her run in 33 Variationsends May 21 — Jane Fonda will collaborate on a new film project with Vagina Monologues creator Eve Ensler …  Margaret Atwoodguests with George Stroumboulopoulos tonight on The Hour … and Hot Docs will open April 30 at the Winter Garden with the world premiere of Act Of God, produced and directed by award-laden Manufactured Landscapescreator Jennifer Baichwal.

* * *

QUOTABLE QUOTES:  “When we talk to God, we’re praying. When God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic.”
The speaker? Lily Tomlin’s brilliant partner-in-crime (and
comedy,) writer Jane Wagner.

* * *

SPAMALOT:  Can’t wait to order my U.S. Government Grant Money CD so I can figure out how much of a bailout I need. Because I’m assured that this CD from the Grant Resource Center will help me take care of the rest.

Mind you, applications are limited and there is no guarantee that this introductory offer will last.

CARLIN: The One & Only

CARLIN: The One & Only

 

No, I’m not doing a George Carlin routine. My Junk Mail file (and yours too, I’ll bet) is chock full of special offers to help me survive the recession.

Luckily for me, my New Cash Advance Has Been Approved by the American Payday Corporation (“Bad Credit OK, receive payday within an hour!”) – or at least it was until I told them where to send the money.

“Sorry,” the American Payday Corporation replied, “we cannot service your country.”

Awwwwwww!

Never mind. Jennifer Baxter (she’s been keeping a low profle, working at home, raking in millions) has offered to put me on her Easy Road To Success (my very favourite road! The woman must be psychic!) – so I can Say Goodbye To Worry. Which I plan to do as soon as I send away for Shawn Casey’s free in-depth Internet markering course – I only pay shipping and handling costs – so I can learn the secrets the pros know, just as long as I grab it quick, before Shawn changes his mind.

Ah yes. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

* * *

WILLIAMS: the Reel thing

WILLIAMS: the Reel thing

 

BECOMING ATTRACTIONS: DanceWorks world-premieres William Yong’s Frames tonight at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre … the Suitcase Theatre production of the family musical The House That Jack Built continues its run at 3pm daily through March 21 at the Church of the Redeemer at Bloor and Avenue Road … indefatigable Tonya Lee Williams launches her 9th (!!!) Annual ReelWorld Film Festival next month. Names of the films set for unspooling April 15-19 will be announced shortly. …  What Has Architecture Done For You Lately?,  a new exhibit at the Design Exchange, premieres the same night … and the Canadian Opera Company’s 10th Annual Fine Wine Auction is set for the following night, Thursday April 16, at Crush.

* * *

SEE/HEAR:  She’s currently causing quite a stir on YouTube, and it’s not hard to see why.  Self-proclaimed culture bandit Vanessa Hidary, a shining light on the Def Poetry firmament, calls herself “The Hebrew Mamita.” She’s provocative, clever, thoughtful and, best of all, funny. See what all the fuss is about by clicking here.

A rose is a rose — especially when it’s golden

The show biz bible Variety notes that Switzerland’s four-day Rose d’Or festival  “is Europe’s top TV competition.”

So it’s fun to note that, after surviving an eyeball-challenging pre-selection gamut of 424 entries, Canada has ended up with no less than nine, count ‘em, nine nominations, in almost as many categories.

KARPLUK: with Strombo tonight

KARPLUK: with Strombo tonight

CBC’s new Wednesday night crowd-pleaser, Being Erica, is one of three Canadian drama nominees, along with the crime mini-series Guns and the drama Windfalls & Misfortunes from Montreal.

CBC also scored two big comedy nods, for The Rick Mercer Report and Little Mosque On the Prairie, and Bravo! won a nomination for its Bravo!Fact Art In Action special.

Other plaudits went to Maple Leaf entries from Xenophile Media, Productions Pixcom and producer Henry Less.
Would-be rivals include such diverse series as the U.S. reality series I Survived A Japanese Game Show and BBC’s Last Choir Standing, and winners will pick up their golden Roses at the May 5 awards ceremony in Lucerne.

And speaking of winners, Being Erica star Erin Karpluk, who also graced home screens in Godiva’s, guests tonight with Strombo on The Hour.

* * *

QUOTABLE QUOTES. “The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 to heterosexuals. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals, it’s just that they need more supervision.”

The speaker? U.S. comedienne Lynn Lavner, frequently billed as America’s Most Politically Incorrect Entertainer.

* * *

HE TOOK THE FIFTH: It’s official. Toronto Star-gazer  Rita Zekas broke the news last week that Bistro 990 alumnus Fernando Temudo has returned to T.O., this time to the theatre district, as the new GM of The Fifth Grill supperclub on Richmond Street …  meanwhile,

MOORE: Coulter kudos

MOORE: Coulter kudos

back at 990, Victor & Susan are still happily holding court with all their fans … and yes, Robert Downey Jr., Sam Rockwell and Samuel L. Jackson are all set to reprise their characters in the Iron Man sequel, but Downey’s new nemesis will be none other than Hollywood comeback kid Mickey Rourke. Mickey will play a bad guy called Whiplash (insert your own punchline here) … Colm Feore and director Des McAnuff guest with Antoni Cimolino on tonight’s Stratfortd Festival webcast at 6:30 pm …  National Ballet corps members Elena Lobsanova and Noah Long will dance Dénouement, a new work commissioned by their boss Karen Kain  from Canadian choreographer Matjash Mrozewski, when they compete for the Erik Bruhn prize tonight at the Four Seasons Centre … and no, he’s not just a pretty voice. John Moore, CFRB’s popular drive home show host, is still winning kudos for his analysis of Ann Coulter last week in the National Post. And by the way, you don’t have to live in Toronto to hear him — just tune in to http://www.cfrb.com.

* * *

SEE/HEAR:  The buzz on the Star Trek prequel has already begun, and if the movie is half as good as its trailers you should be in for one truly action-packed evening. To preview the Star Trek trailers, just click here.

 


Together again: Fonda & Redford — but only backstage

TWITTERBUG:  After almost half a century of film and TV work, Jane Fonda officially returns to Broadway tonight in Moisés Kaufman’s new play, 33 Variations

Fonda seems pretty sanguine about the fact that the critics are coming. “So what. Let them come,” says Jane. “We are so ready we’re about to burst like ripe fruit.”

REDFORD: Twitter target

REDFORD: Twitter target

 

Glenn Close and Arthur Laurents were among the well-wishers who stopped by during previews. “Thank God I didn’t know they were in the audience beforehand!”

And shhhh, it’s a secret – but guess who’s coming to see her this Wednesday?

Her favourite leading man, Robert Redford, who romance her in Barefoot In The Park and The Electric Horseman.

And how, you ask, did I manage to get such a scoop?

Two-time Oscar winner Ms. Fonda, now a mischievous 71, has become an avid Twitterbug. When she isn’t posting updates on her own excellent blog, she’s Twittering.

“Just heard that Redford will see the show next Wednesday,” she twittered last week, then added: “He’d hate that I twittered this.”

Probably.

At least, after he stops laughing.

* * *

DOANE: May days

DOANE: May days

 

PEOPLE:  Angel-voiced songstress Melanie Doane will perform an evening of songs by Irving Berlin, Leonard Cohen, Don Messer, Randy Newman, Stan Rogers, Tom Waits and Hank Snow when she headlines the final concert of Art of Time’s 2008-2009 season on May 26-27 at the Enwave Theatre at Harbourfront …  Marilyn Lightstone opens her new captured-by-camera exhibit, a homage to the Haida Gwai, at the Fairmont in Whistler on March 28. She’ll jet back to T.O. just in time to guest at the fifth annual Scrabble With The Stars on Monday April 6 … and despite rumours au contraire, D.L. Hughley has not, repeat, NOT been sacked by CNN. Yes, his weekly comedy show D.L. Hughley Breaks the News is ending, but CNN swears it’s because D.L. wants to work out of Los Angeles, where his family lives. So Hughley will soon be “a contributor for the network based in Los Angeles.” Meanwhile, his current show, which debuted last fall, will continue airing through March.

* * *

LITERATI:  Chapters Indigo chief Heather Reisman promoted all five books competing for the prize in this year’s Canada Reads sweepstakes on CBC Radio.  So naturally George

GHOMESHI: morning man

GHOMESHI: morning man

 

Stroumboulopoulos tried to corner her on camera on The Hour. Surely, he said, of the five books in the race — The Outlander by Gil Adamson, The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay, Fruit by Brian Francis, Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards and The Book Of Negroes by Lawrence Hill — she must have a personal favourite.

“Yes,” she confessed, “I do – The Book Of Negroes.”

Apparently Canada agreed with her.  Last week CBC Radio revealed that The Book Of Negroes, passionately aided, abetted and advocated by former CBC nowAl Jazeera journalist Avi Lewis,  “soared past its competitors” to win.

Maybe Ms. Reisman should consider a side career in handicapping?

Meanwhile, you can catch Avi and author Lawrence Hill with Jian Ghomeshi in the winner’ circle this morning on Q.

* * * 

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Watch this space for names of Canuck newsmakers when nominees for the 2009 Rose d’Or awards are announced tomorrow in London at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA.)

 

TOMORROW:  Rick Mercer bears all