Tag Archives: HARRISON FORD

Ms Smith goes on a tear, Ms Bisset goes Italian, & Ragtime returns to Broadway — without Garth

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: British-born screen siren Jacqueline Bisset, who mastered an American accent to become a Hollywood star,

BISSET: Italian accent

BISSET: Italian accent

apparently employs a killer Italian accent to play an over-the-hill actress in director Linda Yellen’s reportedly wicked satire The Last Film Festival. The beauteous Ms Bisset plays one of a group of misbegotten, narcissistic actors attending a third-rate movie festival in middle America. Also along for the free booze and tacky gift bags: Dennis Hopper, JoBeth Williams, Chris Kattan and LeeLee Sobieski … and Chris Pine, so good as the young Captain Kirk in this year’s Star Trek prequel,

PINE: from Art to Jack?

PINE: from Art to Jack?

will go from co-starring with Denzel Washington in Ridley Scott’s Unstoppable to playing notorious counterfeiter Art Williams in The Art of Making Money. And while he’s shooting that one, Paramount Pictures will be negotiating with him to follow in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck and play CIA analyst Jack Ryan in a new series of thrillers based on Tom Clancy novels. Don’t know ‘bout you, but I’d say he’s definitely doing something right.

IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE, SIT BY ME: My Manhattan hero, gossip girl Liz Smith, constantly rises to the defense of such loose cannons as Whitney Houston and Lindsay

LOHAN: parent trap?

LOHAN: parent trap?

Lohan in her on-line column at wowOwow.com. Given a chance, Liz will always take the high road; she’d far rather praise showbiz Caesars than bury them. But after the Jon & Kate Gosselin debacle escalated last week, she could no longer contain herself. “In the years that the show Jon & Kate Plus 8 has been inflicted on America,” she writes, “Kate has revealed herself as a steely-eyed control freak with high ambitions for a life outside of her home – she wants to be a star, a talk-show hostess. Jon, her hubby, is an overweight, dim, resentful sad sack with a spine of jelly. He’s the type who could turn any woman into a shrew. He has ambitions too. He wants to party with ladies who haven’t given birth to eight children and who don’t correct him every five minutes.” Who’s to blame? Liz lays some of that guilt on “the once-respectable Learning Channel (who) put these deadbeats on the air.”

SMITH: no deadbeats, please

SMITH: no deadbeats, please

Who’s worse? In Liz’s view, the Gosselins come a close second to Lindsay Lohan’s parents, Dina & Michael Lohan. “What a pair!” she sighs. “Daddy Michael was in trouble with the law for a long time – stock fraud, for which he was jailed four years, probation violation (more jail), violating a court order to stay away from his children (and still more jail time!). He is afflicted with terminal verbal diarrhea, and can’t-stay-away-from-the-camera-itis. Almost always he is talking about his famous daughter.” Lindsay’s mother Dina, she says, “is a ferociously taut, blonde Mama Rose, who saw a moneymaking ‘Gypsy’ in the talented Lindsay. She has lived and partied vicariously through – and sometimes

RAGTIME: back on Broadway

RAGTIME: back on Broadway

with – her daughter, existing in a heightened state of denial.” Says Liz: “How cruelly ironic that Lindsay came to fame in a movie titled The Parent Trap.” And then tops herself by adding what she calls a “Totally Predictable P.S.– Michael Lohan and Jon Gosselin are new best friends.”

BACK ON BROADWAY: It was one of the greatest opening nights of the ’90s — first in Toronto, and then in New York  Thirteen tumultuous years later, previews of the retooled revival of Ragtime, a new production that won cheers when it premiered at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, start tonight at the Neil Simon Theatre. The opulent period piece, set to open on Broadway Nov. 15, is already causing mucho buzz in the theatre district. For one thing, it’s been quite a while since recession-struck New Yorkers saw a dramatic musical with a cast of 40 backed by a 28-piece orchestra. For another, the man who started it all, Garth Drabinsky, the driving force behind its creation, won’t be there to herald its return. It was seven years ago yesterday when Drabinsky was arrested and charged with fraud, and the real-life drama in which he’s currently starring makes it impossible for him to go to New York without risking arrest and imprisonment. But the show must go on. And it will — without Garth.

MAPLE LEAF JOKES? WE’VE GOT A MILLION OF ‘EM!:

Q: What do you call 30 millionaires around a TV watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
A. The Toronto Maple Leafs.

Have a great weekend!

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Meryl stops by before re-teaming with Kevin, and Debbie’s daughter is a Broadway baby now

FOOTLIGHTS: Dynamic screen duo Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, who made history 25 years ago in Sophie’s Choice, will perform an evening of Shakespeare as a benefit for The Acting Company, the Juilliard offshoot that

KLINE: Meryl's choice

KLINE: Meryl's choice

gave Kline his start. Conceived and directed by Kline, The Lover and the Poet: An Evening of Shakespeare will be held at the 400-seat Florence Gould Hall on November 2. Before that, however, they’ll team up with Daniel Craig, Maggie Gyllenhaal,Mike Nichols and Austin Pendleton in a one-night benefit performance of Courage in Concert at the Public Theatre on October 19. In the meantime some chosen few lucky ticket-buyers will get to see Ms Streep in person tonight at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, where she’ll participate in a Q&A with Globe & Mail film analyst Johanna Schneller.

ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, YES, BUT SUCH A PRETTY ONE: As a presenter she’s handed out hardware to her Star Wars mentor George Lucas and co-star Harrison Ford, but Carrie Fisher says she gave up on hoping for Acting awards a long time ago.

FISHER: wishful winning

FISHER: wishful winning

She admits she still hoped that she might win “just a little one” for her writing – plaudits for Postcards From The Edge? prizes for The Best Awful or Surrender The Pink? — but alas, no awards have materialized so far.

“I now get awards all the time for being mentally ill,” the bi-polar Fisher notes. “I am apparently very good at it, and I get honoured for it regularly.”

She’s awfully good at writing, too. Which is one of the reasons writers ranging from playwright Terence McNally to novelist Salman Rushdie joined movie stars ranging from Jane Fonda to Harvey Keitel for the opening of Carrie’s one-woman tour-de-force Wishful Drinking last Sunday on Broadway. Fisher made her Broadway debut in 1973 (yessssss, 1973) as part of the chorus backing up her mother Debbie Reynolds in the revival of Irene, but had toured with her even earlier than that, in her mom’s glitzy road show. Those of you with

DEBBIE: still in harness

DEBBIE: still in harness

reeeeally long memories may recall Carrie, still a teenager, standing on stage at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto in 1970, singing her mom’s hit ballad Tammy while Debbie was backstage making a quick costume change. By the time she played in Irene, Carrie was a seasoned ‘road warrior’ who had seen her MGM-bred mother dump legendary British director Sir John Gielgud (who was still struggling with the musical when it played the Royal Alex for four weeks on its way to New York) for her old studio pal Gower Champion. Champion, a choreographer who lived up to his name, who had already staged a hit musical called Hello, Dolly and pulled Irene into such dazzling shape that it ran for more than 600 performances. (When Debbie grew weary of it, her MGM gal pal Jane Powell took over the rest of the run for her.) Ah yes, them were the days.

STREEP: in Toronto tonight

STREEP: in Toronto tonight

Debbie, of course, is still alive and high-kicking at 77. This month she and her personal musicians will take her show, An Evening With Debbie Reynolds, to the Julie Rogers Theatre in Beaumont, Texas for a breast cancer fund-raiser. 
Meanwhile, there’s good news for those of us who hunger for more of Carrie’s wickedly witty prose. She’s working on a new book – a collection of stories from movie sets of “films I pretended to act in.” Hope she includes Shampoo.

And speaking of those writing honours that keep eluding her – considering those rave reviews, wouldn’t it be funny if she gets Tony-nominated as both the author of Wishful Drinking and as lead actress in a play?

Stranger things have happened.

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Carmela moves to the E.R., Pacino plays doctor, Courtney in Short order, Harrison & Calista blue-sky it, and why Denzel won’t play Obama

Okay, she’s a nurse with a drug habit. We’ve seen that before. And her boyfriend, a pharmacist, is also her dealer. Which is sort of a twist. What makes this story so interesting? Jackie – or Nurse Jackie, as per the new dramatic series about her – is played by award-laden Sopranos star Edie Falco, and her pharmacist

FALCO: addicted

FALCO: addicted

boyfriend is played by Paul Schulze, who played Father Intintola, the neighborhood priest with whom Edie/Carmela was totally infatuated. And making the drama behind this drama even more, well, dramatic, is the fact that both the star and the series writers Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem are card-carrying members of AA. Falco, who has sober for almost two decades, says she was determined not to take a holier-than-thou approach to Jackie. ““It was sort of endlessly fascinating and deeply saddening when I was struggling myself,” she told New York Times writer Kathryn Shattuck. “I know what it’s like to be lost in addiction.” For more of Ms. Shattuck’s excellent Rx on Nurse Jackie, click here.

AND SPEAKING OF ANGELS OF MERCY:  It’s official. Al Pacino will play suicide specialist Dr. Jack Kevorkian in the upcoming HBO biopic.

MACNEIL: wedding belle

MACNEIL: wedding belle

COMMON GROUND: What do John Travolta and Harrison Ford have in common? For one thing, they’re both licensed pilots. Which is how Ford celebrated the Memorial Day weekend by flyng his bride Calista Flockhart, her son Liam and his grandson Ethan to the Monterey Aquarium, which opened early so the family could watch some sleepy penguins wake up … what do Laura Dern, Eric Stolz, and Courtney Cox have in common? They’re among the celebrated on-screen players in the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, set for June 16-21 at a theatre near you … what do CBC EVP Richard Stursberg and comely CBC news anchor Carole MacNeil have in common? Wedding bells. According to Carole’s CBC News: Sunday co-host Evan Solomon, they’re planning to tie the knot later this month.

BOYLE: " ...next?"

BOYLE: " ...next?"

ON THE BOYLE: A sometime-collaborator of Steve Martin‘s, actor Ricky Jay is also a sleight-of-hand artist and author. Earlier this week he contributed an op-ed piece to the New York Times about the apparent worldwide obsession with Britain’s Got Talent ‘loser’ Susan Boyle.

 “Should we have expected anything more, or less?” he asks. “Our first look at Ms. Boyle generated not only expectation but surprise. But as she became overexposed, our surprise diminished. The extraordinary became commonplace.”

Because of her presence on youtube, he notes,  “A performing cycle that once could have taken years is herein reduced to days. She’s unknown, we’re surprised. She’s embraced, we’re disenchanted. She’s the runner-up … next?”

To see Jay’s column, cleverly and appropriately headlined Desperately Seeking Susan, click here.

WASHINGTON: remake
WASHINGTON: remake

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “When Barack Obama’s story is ready to be told, I’ll be too old to do it. And if it were made right now, he has too much to do to have me hanging around asking for tips on how to play him.”

The speaker? John Travolta’s co-star in The Taking Of Pelham 123, Denzel Washington, in an interview with Reader’s Digest.

For a sneak preview of this remake – believe it or not, it was villainous Robert Shaw versus lawman Walter Matthau (yes, Walter Matthau) in the 1973 original – just click here.