Tag Archives: Hart House

Nurse Jackie gets a pick-up, Michel plays Irving, and T.O. theatre-goers get three decades of Doras

FALCO: she's the right Rx

FALCO: she's the right Rx

BEDSIDE MANNERS: American  television has clearly has taken a turn for the nurse. Fans of Sopranos scene-stealer Edie Falco, and they are legion, will be delighted to learn that her new almost three-week-old series Nurse Jackie has already been picked up for a second season …  and Jada Pinkett Smith is following in her mother’s footsteps, playing nurse Christina Hawthorne in HawthoRNe. (No, that’s not a typo. And yes, it really is a bit too cute. But then, here we are talking about it.) Ms. Pinkett Smith’s mom worked as a head nurse at a Baltimore women’s clinic, but in her new series, created by John Masius (St. Elsewhere) and produced by her hubbyWill Smith, Jada says her character is basically a woman with a God complex that’s really going to have to, like, get real. She’s going to have to learn to take care of herself as intensely as the patients.”

Sounds like a prescription for another hit show.

We’ll see.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: He conquered Stratford, won our hearts on TV as Tommy Douglas, wowed us on stage in The Producers and even survived the musical version of Lord Of The Rings. Now Michel Therriault is

THERRIAULT: Call him Irving

THERRIAULT: Call him Irving

about to play U.S. legend Irving Berlin off-Broadway in a new what-if musical called The Tin Pan Alley Rag. Described as a ‘musical play,’ it’s the story of an imagined meeting of two of America’s greatest musicians, composer Scott Joplin (Michael Boatman) and songwriter Berlin and the stories of fame, love and loss beneath their syncopated, frequently hypnotic rhythms … speaking of Stratford, award-laden director Norman Jewison says Stratford’s current production of West Side Story is the best he’s seen since the show first opened on Broadway more than (gulp!) half a century ago … sad news for you if you meant to but didn’t get around to ordering tickets: Every performance of the Tarragon Theatre remount of one-woman whirlwind Judith Thompson’s Body & Soul has been sold out since the curtain went up last week … Ray Jessel returns to our town to cabaret at the Old Mill next Saturday June 27 during The Toronto Jazz Festival … and Rick Mercer Report producer Gerald Lunz got an extra show on Broadway this week when he caught all three

DeVITO: too bloody funny?

DeVITO: too bloody funny?

installments of the revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquests, performed in the round at the Circle in the Square. Danny DeVito, who was sitting across the stage from him, literally doubled over with laughter, bounced his face off the seat in front of him, and split his lip. Now that’s comedy!

FOOTLIGHTS: Risking The Void, a comprehensive retrospective of stage designer Cameron Porteous’ remarkable contribution to theatre in Canada, opens Saturday July 4 at The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre at Niagara-on-the-Lake. The ambitious exhibit is a collaboration by Theatre Museum Canada, the University of Guelph’s L.W. Conolly Theatre Archives and the Shaw Festival … WatersEdge Productions, a new independent theatre

JEWISON: Stratford aficionado

JEWISON: Stratford aficionado

company, will debut in T.O, with the Canadian premiere of bare, a new rock musical that garnered a worldwide fan base since its award-winning run in L.A. and its sold-out five-week run off-Broadway. The show, in which an exuberant young cast of 19 actors tackles themes of teen sexuality, religious angst and unrelenting social and family pressure – yup, it’s a musical, I kid you not – opens July 17 at Hart House … shhhhh, it’s a secret, but my spies tell me the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts is polishing up a special award for superProducer Marlene Smith. To which we can only add, bravo!  … doesn’t seem possible that this is the 30th anniversary of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Imagine three decades of Doras! …  and soon you won’t have to. Theatre-goers attending the June 29 awards will receive an elegant bonus — a special book, The Doras: 30 Years of Theatre, Dance and Opera in Toronto. Edited by Angela Rebeiro, the new book will be distributed free of charge to all guests at the Award Show ceremony. It will go on sale at TheatreBooks after the show … and speaking of the Doras, have you cast your vote for the Audience Choice Award? If you haven’t, you’ve only got a few days left – polls close June 25. So just take a deep breath and click here.

A TOMLIN NEVER FORGETS: American treasure Lily Tomlin wants me to let you know that tomorrow is not just another Saturday.

TOMLIN: on a mission

TOMLIN: on a mission

“On Saturday, June 20, compassionate people around the world will unite to educate the public about the suffering of elephants in zoos, as part of the first-ever International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos,” says Lily. “Events are taking place in more than 30 cities in seven countries. I strongly urge you to attend an event, if there’s one in your area. Visit HelpElephants.com to see a list of locations.”

Lily’s using her wowOwow. com website to get her message out to as many people as possible.

“From some of the comments I’ve read in response to the issue of elephants in zoos, I’ve come to realize that people are just so used to seeing elephants in tiny displays that they accept that as being OK,” she says. “But it isn’t. While a zoo exhibit may appear big to us, to an elephant it’s miniscule. And don’t forget that elephants are forced to live their entire lives in that same spot, deprived of all that is natural to them: space, freedom, family and choice.”

For more on Lily’s plea for your help, click here.

And have a great weekend!

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Will U.S. nets buy Intelligence? Will lightning strike twice for Jennifer? … and other burning questions

OUR TOWN: Theatre Museum Canada opened a new exhibit Monday night at Hart House. REVIVAL: Remembering Theatre in Canada, curated by University of Toronto Museum Studies Masters student Alison Littleuses artifacts from

BAICHWAL: lightning bug?

BAICHWAL: lightning bug?

the Museum’s permanent collection to highlight performances, productions and personal memories. The exhibit is on view at Hart House at the Macdonald Heaslip Walkway of Theatre History, which is now designated as a year-round display space for Theatre Museum treasures … The Alliance of Children & Television, which celebrates its 35th (!!!) anniversary this year, will hand out 13 Awards Of Excellence to different Canadian production companies at its anniversary gala in Toronto on June 2 … and award-magnet Manufactured Landscapes director Jennifer Baichwal’s new doc Act Of God, about being struck by lightning, premieres tonight as the 2009 Hot Docs festival opener tonight before opening wide tomorrow.

JANNEY: playing Lily's part

JANNEY: playing Lily's part

FOOTLIGHTS:: Two major Broadway shows open tonight:  John Goodman and Nathan Lane start in Waiting for Godot at Studio 54 Theater; and Dolly Parton‘s musical version of her  movie hit 9 to 5, opens at the Marriott Marquis with Stephanie J. Block (The Boy From Oz,) Megan Hilty (Wicked) and West Wing alumnus Allison Janney in the roles originally played on screen by Jane Fonda, Dolly and Lily Tomlin   … also coming soon to the Great White Way: In two contrasted readings for the stage, playwright David Hare visits a place where a famous wall has come down (Berlin,) then another where a wall is going up (Israel.) Direct from an extended hit run in London, Berlin/Wall, written and performed by Hare and directed by Stephen Daldry, will have its U.S. premiere May 14-17 with a five performances at the Public Theatre … and off the-barre performances by Tokyo dance artist Ko Murobushi, Seoul’s Post Ego Dance Company and Vancouver father and daughter team Mira Hunter and Raqib Brian Burke are among the treats promised by the 2009 CanAsian International Dance Festival at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre May 6-9.

INTELLIGENCE: going south?

INTELLIGENCE: going south?

PEOPLE:  Writer-producer Chris Haddock (DaVinci’s Inquest) is refashioning his acclaimed CBC series Intelligence for American audiences. His retooled version is set in San Francisco, and U.S. producer John Wells (ER, Southland), is shopping it to U.S. cable networks. “I never give up,” Haddock told the New York Times. “I believe that everything can be understood through the lens of a dope deal” … and Slow Food pioneer, Italian author and recipient of the Planet in Focus International Eco Hero Award last fall, Carlo Petrini is in Toronto for a number of events including a public talk co-presented by Planet in Focus and the Italian Cultural Institute. An Evening of Conversation with Carlo Petrini, moderated by Harriet Friedmann of the Munk Centre on International Affairs, is set for this Saturday at 7pm at the Al Green Theatre. 

Nia’s life in ruins! New movies for Jason and Julia! Joan & Melissa make headlines for the Trumpster!

CELEBRITY ASSASSINS: Okay,  we’ve seen sizzling reality TV before, but for a junk TV food addict, Sunday night’s episode of Celebrity Apprentice was an epicurean feast. And it’s still making headlines.

RIVERS: shut out

RIVERS: shut out

What happened? Donald Trump said his two trademark words, “You’re fired!” to Melissa Rivers. Rivers got canned after being virtually shut out by her ‘teammates,’ gorgeous Playboy ornament Brande Roderick and cunning poker champ Annie Duke, in what TV blogger Bill Brioux describes as the “electric, best ever episode of Celebrity Apprentice.”

Melissa’s mom (Joan Rivers, as if you didn’t know) went ballistic when her daughter got fired and stormed out of the Trump Tower — but not after (bleep) sharing her thoughts (bleep) with Brande and (bleep) Annie.

“Not since the hair-pulling heyday of Dynasty has there been such a catfight on TV,” said video veteran Brioux yesterday. “It was the ultimate, diva-in-flames exit, times two, the kind of thing (producer) Mark Burnett probably dreams about.”

Melissa said yesterday she had exploded because of exhaustion after a long shooting day.

She initially refused to do a post-firing interview, a standard feature of the series, but said she went back the next day.

“I really wanted to take a deep breath,” Rivers said. “It had been a very difficult few weeks of being attacked emotionally and personally. There’s only so much you can take.”

How sizzling was it? Go to Brioux’s website TV Feeds My Family and see for yourself. He even has video of the meltdown, “for as long as it stays up at YouTube:”  And you can check it out right here.

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BYRNE: going Greek?

BYRNE: going Greek?

FLICKERS:  Director Jason Reitman (Juno) next opus is up in the air – but that’s okay. His new flick with George Clooney is called, you guessed it, Up In The Air  … Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins will join Oscar owner Julia Roberts for the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling Eat, Pray. Love …  Rose Byrne, so good as Glenn Close’s near-fatal foil in the hypnotic TV drama Damages, will co-star with Sean Combs in Get Him To The Greek … this year’s Genie Award winner for Best Documentary, the powerful film Up the Yangtze returns for an encore presentation on CBC-TV’s Passionate Eye this Sunday, May 3, at 10 p.m, … and My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos returns to her roots for her new film, My Life In Ruins, in which she plays a tour guide in Athens who has to deal with, among others, Harland Williams, Rachel Dretch and Richard Dreyfuss.  Can’t wait to see it? For a sneak preview, click here.

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STREEP: box office darling?

STREEP: box office darling?

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: After touring Canada more than a dozen times with his band the Cosmic Crew, Chris Colepaugh will guest with Roch Voisine’s band when Voisine tours of France, Switzerland and Belgium next month. Colepaugh will play pedal steel, mandolin and more on the tour, which starts at the end of May, runs through June and then picks up again in November and December … Debbie Reynolds, still kicking up her heels at 77, is set to bring her cabaret act to NYC’s Café Carlyle June 2 – 27.  And you can do her bidding, so to speak, by bidding on two tickets to her show, now being auctioned on charitybuzz.com, benefiting SOS Children’s Villages International, housing orphans with AIDS. Debbie will meet the winners after her performance, pose for pix, and lift a glass to good deeds in a naughty world (and surviving MGM?) … and Meryl Streep, a boffo box-office draw for female audiences ever since The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia, says it’s “completely improbable” that she’s become the queen of counter-programming. “No one in Hollywood can understand it!” she told Entertainment Weekly.  “We’re so used to seeing movies about dysfunctional relationships. Here are these outsized, vivid, problematic women with great men of substance who love them in spite of all their prickliness.” She and her Doubt co-star (and fellow Oscar nominee) Amy Adams team up again in Julia & Julia, scheduled to preem in August. In this one Adams plays a somewhat unlikely acolyte to master chef Julia Child (Streep,) with Meryl’s Prada co-star Stanley Tucci joining in the fun.

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ON YOUR MARK, GET SET: Tickets are going fast for Reporting in Afghanistan, the public forum hosted by CBC Toronto to mark World Press Freedom Day. To reserve your free ticket for this event, which is set for the Glenn Gould Studio tomorrow from 12:30 -2 pm, send an email to events@cbc.ca with your name, telephone local and the number of tickets you require … and nominations for The Comedy Network’s 2009 Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival in St. John, New Brunswick close this Thursday. You can enter online or by mail, but all mailed entries must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2009. So you only have two days left. To enter online just click here.

 

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