Tag Archives: HEATHER OGDEN

Midnight In Paris may not win another Oscar for Woody — but that poster is definitely a keeper

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: All will be revealed this weekend on Sunday night’s  Academy Awards telecast — but if they gave out Oscars for movie posters, the Van Gogh version of Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris would get my vote hands down. It really is a beauty, and so evocative of the spirit of the film.

I mean, how cool is this? Really. I’m sure Woody will survive without winning more gold statuettes; he already has plenty. And the fact that Midnight In Paris is his biggest hit in years has gotta be the best consolation prize of all. By the way, not all Woody fans get to enjoy the same poster we do. Different countries market films in, well, different ways. As you can see. Oddly enough I have no desire to frame this one. But hey — different brush strokes for different folks.

YET ANOTHER REASON WHY WE LOVE LIZ SMITH: Has Manhattan gossip queen Liz Smith had her final say about Whitney Houston’s demise? We hope not. “No matter what Whitney might have abused in the past,” she wrote last week, “reports indicate that there were no illegal drugs found in her hotel room. Or in her body — believe me, TMZ would have headlined that. Whitney apparently died of an accident that has probably claimed a thousand American lives since Saturday. Too much drinking the night before, anxiety and a hangover the next day. Pop a Xanax (or anything to relax and relieve stress.) You don’t mean to, but you’ve just killed yourself.

SMITH: how Whitney died

“The legalization of marijuana or cocaine or meth have nothing to do with the circumstances of Whitney Houston’s death,” says Liz. “She didn’t die with a needle in her arm, or a crack pipe nearby. When TMZ obtained photos of the bathroom where she died, what terrible thing was revealed? There was a gravy boat, filled with an oil Whitney was using to soften her skin as she bathed. (The terrible thing is that they received these heartbreaking photos and ran them.) Police also said that Whitney possessed less prescribed medication at the time of her death than most ‘regular’ people.” Point taken. Let he who possesses an empty medicine cabinet throw the first over-the-counter pill.

YESTERDAY WHEN WE WERE YOUNG:  Try as I might, I can’t quite get my head around the fact that it was 40 years ago – four decades, folks – when Veronica Tennant danced that mind-boggling Rose Adagio choreographed by

NUREYEV & TENNANT

NUREYEV & KAIN

Rudolf Nureyev for the National Ballet’s headline-making premiere of The Sleeping Beauty. Then-aspiring prima ballerina Karen Kain danced it too, and next month Heather Ogden will follow in their bruised and tortured footsteps when she costars in Sleeping Beauty with her husband, high-flyer Guillaume Côte, who by the way will receive the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec tomorrow at the Parliament Building in Québec. Kain, now artistic director for the NBOC, acknowledges that the Rose Adagio her pal Nureyev created for the company “is one of the most athletically difficult versions in the world. This version is extremely challenging, for both Princess Aurora and the Prince.” But she’s very excited about seeing ballerina Ogden dance the role, she says, “because in addition to everything else, Heather has a powerful physicality. I think Rudolf would have loved her.” Ms. Ogden has her own thoughts on her new role, which she is still rehearsing as you read this. For a sneak peek at rehearsals, click here.

THEY GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FRIENDS: Even when I was a film critic — come to think of it, especially when I was a film critic — I was always confused about the Academy Awards. Especially whenever I disagreed with the choice of nominees and/or winners. That is, until Ingrid Bergman straightened me out. Said the iconic Ms. Bergman, a three-time Oscar winner herself:  “We don’t care what you think.”

DAVIS: Oscar nominee

Pardon? “We don’t care what you think,” said Ms. B, flashing her legendary enigmatic smile. “You play the critic every day of the year. This is our one night to play critic. This is our one chance, once a year, to vote for who we think did the best job. So we don’t care what you think. This is one night when your vote doesn’t count.”  A few years later I was on the phone talking to song-and-dance queen Ann Miller, “I have to go now,” she said – “I’ve got to finish filling out my Oscar ballot.”  “Really!” I said. “Do you know who you’re voting for?”   “What a question!” she laughed. “My friends, of course!”

Who’s gonna win this Sunday? If they vote for their friends, it will probably be George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Nick Nolte and Octavia Spencer. If they vote for performances, it will probably be Jean Dujardin, Viola Davis, Christopher Plummer and Jessica Chastain. But either way it will probably be quite a show. Enjoy!

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Good morning, T.O. June is bustin’ out all over!

Nah, don’t worry. It’s June, at last, but I’m not gonna go R&H on you. Although I must admit, the word-of-mouth on the Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s new production of Sound Of Music continues to be nothing short of spectacular. And

MITCHUM: sinister

MITCHUM: sinister

 with that in mind, welcome to another week of razzle dazzle in Our Town.  Tasty items on this week’s showbiz menu include tonight’s TIFF Cinemateque screening of Otto Preminger’s sinister Jean Simmons-Robert Mitchum thriller, Angel Face, at the AGO, and  the announcement of the nominees for the 30th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, not to mention the 2009 recipients for the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award, the George Luscbombe Award and the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award, on Wednesday. Hip-hop soul man a.k.a. Subliminal launches his debut album TRAINATHOUGHT with an industry showcase Thursday night at

VARDALOS: in ruins

VARDALOS: in ruins

the Harlem Restaurant & Lounge; My Big Fat Greek Wedding creator Nia Vardalos’ much-anticipated new big-screen comedy My Life In Ruins opens here Friday (for a sneak preview, click here);and Saturday treats include tenor Guy Flechter, who will sing Johannes Brahms’ song cycle Die Schöne Magelone, accompanied by pianist Clark Bryan, at the Church of the Holy Trinity; the opening of the National Ballet’s smoldering production of Carmen, with Heather Ogden, Noah Long, Robert Stephen, Sonia Rodriguez and Jonathan Renna burning up the dance floor of the Four Seasons Centre;  and the Cinemateque unspooling of the historic Otto Preminger comedy The Moon Is Blue, with the late, great American screen icon Bill Holden, at the AGO. And why was it so historic, you ask? Well, you had to b e there. But since most of you weren’t, you can read Bosley Crowther‘s review in the New York Times, originally published on July 9, 1953 — yes, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore — right here.

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THE NEW ‘VR’:  Starting in July, Vatican Radio will carry advertisements for the first time in its history — provided they are morally and ideologically sound.

STEWART: leaving

STEWART: leaving

Potential advertisers will be screened for “ethical content.” The first advertisements will be for the Italian energy company Enel, and will be broadcast in five languages: Italian, English, Spanish, French and German.

Father Federico Lombardi, who is both the Pope’s spokesman and head of Vatican Radio, said Vatican radio costs over twenty million Euros to run but generates no income. “This programming, with an increasingly stable public, is naturally a place where publicity can more logically be inserted,” Father Lombardi said.

Vatican Radio broadcasts in 40 languages, is available 24/7 on FM stations in Italy, on short, medium and long waves and via the Internet, and employs around 200 journalists to broadcast news of the Pope and the Catholic Church to the world.

DONLON: consulting?

DONLON: consulting?

THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR:  Soon to be MIA on CBC radio and CBC Television: Brian Stewart, Don Newman, Steve Finkelman, John McGrath, Jeff Collins, Claire Nantes, Jim Nunn, Mark Bulgutch and more folks you listen to, all of whom are leaving the public broadcaster. CBC News: Sunday’s morning edition aired its last program yesterday after eight seasons; the Sunday night edition will be replaced by The National, which will be telecast seven nights a week beginning this fall. And CBC Radio chief Denise Donlon is rumoured to be consulting with Father Federico Lombardi of Vatican Radio.  (Okay, I made up that last part.)

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SPECIAL P.S. TO THEATRE-GOERS: A new block of  $29 tickets for Stratford shows were released today for any performance of Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac or A Midsummer Night’s Dream for any dates from July through August. For details go to www.shakespearetixx.com.

 -/-


 

Cooking up a storm with ‘Doubters’ Meryl & Amy

BEAUTY CALL: Still-breathtaking silver screen siren Jacqueline Bisset, who reportedly walks away with Linda Yellen’s new opus, The Last Film Festival, has finally agreed to do a TV pilot. CBS has signed her for the lead role

BISSET: coup for CBS

BISSET: coup for CBS

 in The Eastmans, about a wealthy family who have made their fortune in medicine …  Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, so good together in Doubt,  team up again for Julia & Julia, the Julia Child saga now slated to open in August. The film marks Streep’s third outing with Nora Ephron, who co-wrote Silkwood and penned her own bestseller, Heartburn, which became a first teaming for Streep and Jack Nicholson … and one-man music machine Michael Feinstein recently coaxed 80-year-old MGM girls Jane Powell and Arlene Dahl  to team up with Jane Russell (yes, THE Jane Russell, now a sassy 88 years old) in a concert salute to Hollywood musicals.  Feinstein cast Hollywood Reporter alumnus Robert Osborne, more famous today as on-camera anchor of Turner Classic Movies, as the host, and audiences reportedly loved it.  Will the unstoppable Feinstein bring it to Broadway? Stay tuned.

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BALLET HIGH:  Attention, Ottawa dance fans — the National Ballet’s three-day run of Romeo & Juliet at the National Arts Centre this week is virtually sold

COTE: Romeo in Ottawa

COTE: Romeo in Ottawa

out. And on opening night Karen Kain will give a free talk about the dazzling NBOC production before Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté dance the title roles. So if anyone at the NAC owes you a favour, now’s the time to call it in … p.s. to Toronto balletomanes: The National’s White Hot Gala is now set for June 18. The company’s 4th annual fundraiser will include a one-hour performance by stars of the ballet, followed by a reception featuring a live DJ and Grey Goose signature cocktails, followed by an extraordinary three-course dinner by Mark McEwen, followed by a White Hot night of dancing on stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with the company’s biggest stars, including the legendary Ms. Kain. For more info click here.  

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PARTON: smart stuff

PARTON: smart stuff

HELLO, DOLLY: She’s a superb songwriter, a sexy singer, and an All-American fantasy. And so smart, too.

“Dumb Blonde jokes don’t bother me a bit!” says Dolly Parton. “Because I don’t think I’m dumb. And I know I’m not blonde!”

She’s a columnist’s dream.

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SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Big-voiced vocal coach Elaine Overholt, currently shooting her Big Voice television series for ‘W’, is currently weighing offers from

OVERHOLT: big voice

OVERHOLT: big voice

two rival U.S. networks who want her to create the same magic for them … don’t know what you did last weekend, but comeback kid Leonard Cohen spent Good Friday with 7,000 fans, on stage in his adopted home-away-from-home, Los Angeles … highlights of the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival, set for July 3-18 in Freddie Mercury’s favourite town, will include a world premiere performance by Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang and the reunion of Status Quo and John Fogerty

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PENN: boycotting Bill?

PENN: boycotting Bill?

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Sean Penn is a great actor, and if you hire him, you’ll get a good performance. I’m just not going to give a guy who gives aid and comfort to people like (Iran president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Saddam Hussein, when he was alive, my 10 bucks. That’s my right as an American.”

The speaker? Brass-tongued Fox TV maverick Bill O’Reilly, who boycotts Sean Penn movies.

When asked to comment, Sean Penn said, “Bill who?”

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FLICKERS:  One of the most welcome features of Tonya Lee Williams’ 9th annual ReelWorld Film Festival, opening tomorrow night, is a free Family screening this weekend. Set for Saturday at 11 am at the Cineplex Odeon

WILLIAMS: family flicks

WILLIAMS: family flicks

 

Carlton Cinemas, the screening will include four (4) short films and a 20-minute interactive show, with Canwest graciously picking up the tab, For more info on ReelWorld screenings and seminars, click here … adult film aficionados were saddened by news that Marilyn Chambers (Behind The Green Door) died over the weekend at her home in Los Angeles. Chambers, who counted David Cronenberg‘s Rabid among her few legitimate films, was 56 … and does any other city have as many film festivals as Toronto? And yes, we’re bragging, not complaining. Next up: The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, an annual celebration on themes of Jewish culture and identity, showcasing feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world – 90 films from 23 countries. This year’s TJFF opens Saturday and runs for 10 days. For tickets call 416-967-1528 or cick here

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RIVERS: all for All

RIVERS: all for All

 

SEE/HEAR: Two episodes ago, Celebrity Apprentice survivors (so far) Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa were asked to create a viral video commercial for All detergent.  After Donald Trump gave their respective team videos a definitive thumbs down, Joan and Melissa decided to shoot their own videos, on their own time and their own dime, with highly amusing results. Check ’em out here, and enjoy!


 TOMORROW:  Natalie Wood’s daughter in New Brunswick.