Tag Archives: HUGH JACKMAN

Attention, Swiss music lovers — Dr House is in the house, and he’s gonna tickle the ivories in Montreux

MUSIC IN THE AIR: For a grande dame of 46, the Montreux Jazz Festival is looking pretty hot this year. In addition to the previously  announced Noel Gallagher, headliners now confirmed for the two-week summer music

LAURIE: piano man

extravaganza in what may be Switzerland’s most beautiful city  include Jethro Tull’s  Ian Anderson, Erykah Badu, Tony Bennett with daughter Antonia, Jane Birkin, SNL semi-sensation Lana Del Rey, Bob Dylan,  Juliette Greco, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, piano man Hugh Laurie (does he play House music?), Bobby McFerrin & Chick Corea, Pat Matheny, Sergio Mendes, Alanis Morissette, Sinead O’Connor [maybe,] Van Morrison and Rufus Wainwright, Yeah, that ought hold ’em for a couple of weeks …  musical performance artist Peaches, buoyed by the

MORISSETTE: jazz baby

2010 success of her one-woman version of Jesus Christ Superstar (yes, she performed all the characters herself) has a new eyebrow-raiser in the works. Om May 1 in Berlin, in a new showcase funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, she’ll play the lead male role of Orpheus in L’Orfeo, a full-blown opera composed by Monteverdi at the beginning of the 17th century. The opera tells the story of the singer Orpheus who triumphed over the underworld and enchanted people, gods and wild animals with his warbling. Sounds like a good fit so far …  Tony Award owner Betty Buckley has

BUCKLEY: funny that way

a new touring show, Ah, Men! The Boys Of Broadway, in which she gets to sing the great men’s songs from Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Pippin, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. Accompanied by her pianist Christian Jacob, she opened the show this month in her town – Fort Worth, Texas – and is already set to dazzle ‘em at The Rrazz Room in San Francisco October 30-November 4.  But first she’ll dazzle us with a concert evening May 10, a glamorous kick-off to the 15th and final We’re Funny That Way comedy festival. Seeing and hearing Buckley in concert is a rare and exceptional delight. For ticket information, click here.

HATHAWAY & JACKMAN: Can they hear the people sing?

FLICKERS: Director Francis Lawrence (Water For Elephants, I Am Legend,) is set to direct the next installment in the Hunger Games franchise with Jennifer Lawrence (no relation) … Taylor Swift, who surprise everyone with her solid acting chops in Garry Marshall’s hit romantic comedy Valentine’s Day, will play Joni Mitchell in the screen version of

CROWE: on camera in Les Miz

Sheila Weller’s book Girls Like Us. Looks like Alison Pill, so good as Zelda Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, will play Carole King.  No word yet as to who will play Carly Simon …  the two writers who created the screenplay for Gus Van Sant’s new feature Promised Land are none other than Matt Damon and John Krasinski … and shooting of Les Miz continues with Republic Of Doyle alumnus Russell Crowe playing Inspector Javert, the nemesis of Hugh Jackman’s Jean Valjean. Anne Hathaway gets to dream a dream as Fantine, Amanda Seyfried plays her daughter Cosette, Samantha Banks stays on her own as Eponine and Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen play the mercenary Mme and M’sieu Thenardier. Sounds pretty fabulous so far. All fingers crossed!

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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?

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Brigitte gets some Oscar buzz, Meryl gets Teased, Buddies get Ann-Margret, Broadway gets 007 & Wolverine, and Jodie gets Mel (maybe)

BUDDY BUDDY: Best Buddies, the non-profit organization that has helped thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities become more inclusive in everyday life, has put smiles on thousands of faces — but this week it’s Best

ANN-MARGRET:  Buddies system

ANN-MARGRET: Buddies system

Buddies Canada co-founder Danny Greenglass who’s all smiles. Why? Because bonafide screen legend Ann-Margret is coming to town. One of Hollywood’s last great triple-threat performers, she made her movie debut almost five, count ’em, five decades ago and has never stopped working. Ask her about her favourite leading men and she’ll tell you about every male movie idol from Steve McQueen to Jack Nicholson to John Wayne to Elvis. And when she isn’t tackling the gritty roles that won her all those Oscar and Emmy nominbations — she already owns five Golden Globes  —  she’s still kicking up her heels (and those still fabled gams) in her SRO stage shows. Following in Shirley MacLaiue’s footsteps last year, Ann-Margret will jet here next week with her producer husband Roger Smith to celebrate Best Buddies 15th anniversary at a gala evening at the Four Seasons in her honour. And that’s truly something to smile about.

STREEP TEASE: Yes, the American Council on Science and Health is mad at her for saying that Julia Child‘s cuisine was not exactly cholesterol-free. But Meryl Streep is so popular again — and you know how these things come and go

STREEP; comedy Tease

STREEP; comedy Tease

— that an irreverent group of guys are giving her a stand-up comedy salute this weekend in Hollywood.  Called Streep Tease, the event is the brainchild of actor-comedian Roy Cruz, who is producing and performing in the show with fellow thesps Taylor Negron, Sam Pancake, Steve Hasley,  Eddie Sanchez, Mike Rose, Trent Walker and David Dean Bottrell (Boston Legal.) All of them will try to find their inner Streep in a live stage tribute re-creating her greatest screen monologues, including memorable speeches from such Streep mega-hits as The Devil Wears Prada and The Bridges of Madison County. Bottrell chose a monologue from Out of Africa because he loves the Danish accent. Pancake chose Postcards From the Edge, and Negron is doing Sophie’s Choice. And no, I’m not making this up. The curtain lifts on this theatrical show at bang.studio in Los Angeles on Saturday, but if you’re on the east coast you can watch it from  the theater’s webcam at 11 p.m. Just don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Screen lions Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman will show up together on Broadway this fall in Keith Huff’s new

FOSTER: busy Beaver

FOSTER: busy Beaver

stage play A Heavy Rain. A deal to adapt the play as a feature, to star the same duo, is now in the works … Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway are teaming up for Love and Other DrugsCamilla Belle will play Kevin Spacey‘s daughter in his upcoming flick Father Of Invention …  and Jodie Foster will direct and co-star in The Beaver, about a man who has an unusual relationship with a beaver handpuppet. (And no, I’m not making this up.) Not only that, Jodie’s Maverick troubled but gifted co-star, Mel Gibson, is in negotiations to play the lead. So there!

PLAYBOY OF THE EASTERN FILMFEST: Only a few people have actually seen it so far, but Oscar buzz has already started for Brigitte Berman’s eye-

BERMAN: Oscar buzz

BERMAN: Oscar buzz

popping new screen biography of Hugh Hefner, which premieres at TIFF next week and reveals his next-to-forgotten life as a champion  of women and a supporter of gay rights at a time when the concept was nearly unheard of in mainstream America.

Berman, of course, already owns one Academy Award, which she won for her stunning profile of American music legend Artie Shaw.  And she admits she had some trepidation when she finally showed her film to Hefner and some of his friends in mid-July. Much to her surprise, and delight, and relief, Hefner was moved to tears at the end of the screening.  “It was,” she confides, “an extraordinary moment.” No wonder Hefner, now 83, is hoping to jet here for the Saturday Sept. 12 premiere.

TOMORROW:

Broadway’s most honoured hoofer hits the road again,

Lindsay Lohan gets a gig, Oprah packs for Toronto, and more.

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About Kylie & Barbara & Barbra & Stompin’ Tom

   NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  Fresh from her acclaimed Manhattan run at Feinstein’s cabaret, late-blooming Broadway legend Barbara Cook re-

CONNORS: still stompin'

CONNORS: still stompin'

unites with the New York Philharmonic for one night only on Saturday May 30 … following in the footsteps of Rick Mercer, John Cleese, Bob Newhart, Steve Smith and Tracy Ullman, grown-up Kid In  The Hall Mark McKinney will receive the CTV-sponsored Peter Ustinov Award at the Banff International Television Festival next month … pack up your pick-up trucks. The indefatigable Stompin’ Tom Connors is set to serenade high-rollers at Casino Rama on August 22 … pop superstar Kylie Minogue will finally make her North American debut with a six-city tour which includes the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. (October 4) and the ACC in Toronto (October 9) … young Canuck filmmaker Stephen Dunn reports that this week’s Cannes screening of his award-winning short film The Hall went extremely well. “The audience was packed and extremely lively. It had the exact same reaction in Cannes as it did in Toronto, so obviously the humour translated overseas. We are all very proud of the success of the film!” …   and why Will Ferrell keeps remaking TV series into movies is beyond me, not to mention anyone else who suffered through Bewitched – but he’ll try it again on June 5, the official opening date for his comedy (fingers crossed) remake of Land Of The Lost. To catch a sneak preview, click here.

So glad you got it.

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BETTER THAN BEING THERE: Okay, the jury’s in — Roger Ebert‘s daily journals from Cannes are the best that ever were, sometimes breath-takingly brilliant, almost always riotously entertaining. Add his ability to add his own Shaky Cam coverage — wait ’til you see Mike Myers tell Maclean’s film maven Brian D. Johnson he’s very “honoured with a U ” to be in Quentin Tarantino’s new film with Brad Pitt — and the result is Don’t-Miss daily reading. And as Computerworld magazine noted not so long ago, “The comments from readers are about the best you will see on a blog.” I’ll say. To put him on your Must list right now, just click here.

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EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSE: New audiences are discovering her as cub-lawyer Ellen Parsons on Damages with Glenn Close, but do they know she’s part of the current Australian invasion taking over Hollywood?

BYRNE: Australian

BYRNE: Australian

Yup, Rose Byrne is an Aussie, the youngest daughter of a statistician and a grammar school administrator. So how come she and Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are so darn fluent in American?

“There’s really no great secret to it,” Byrne tells Sharp magazine’s Dylan Young. “It’s just that we have a distinct advantage over Americans actors—we grow up watching their films and television shows. Let’s face it, for every thousand hours of American content that we watch, Americans probably watch one or two that come from Australia or Britain. We’re bound to find it a bit easier.”

Byrne, who also co-starred with Nicolas Cage in Knowing, appreciates the value of making a great entrance. “Damages basically began with my character running down the street half-naked and covered in her fiancé’s blood. And that’s not the worst thing she ends up having to deal with.”

For more of the Sharp interview with Ms Byrne, click here.

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DAISY, DAISY, GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER, DO: (But gimme the correct one this time.) Yesterday I reminisced about H.A.L., the too-human computer in  Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and mentioned that H.A.L. had been voiced by Douglas Campbell.

Wrong. The voice of H.A.L. was, of course, the golden-throated Douglas Rain.

My bad. Sorry. But it’s great to have such diligent readers. Thanks!

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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Reality shows? My thrill is Dancing With the Stars. I love it. But if I had to compete in an event, it would probably be eating. I could pretty much whup anyone’s ass there.”

BERGEN: bullied

BERGEN: bullied

The speaker? Candice Bergen, who also says she was bullied — and not by Charlie McCarthy, her notorious ‘sibling,’ but by all sorts of bullues, all her life.

“Oy, have I been bullied. I must have a sign tattooed on my forehead: ‘This one’s a pushover.’ Bullied by men. Women. But in the distant past. And yet, how well I remember … the distinct “I’m shrinking!” feeling. Turning to sludge. It seems to be something most people grow out of but I am a devout shirker of confrontation. No spine.

“That’s one of the reasons I loved playing Murphy Brown. She was fearless and it sort of wore off on me.”

I’ll say.

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WHICH TUNE HAS THE TONY? That would be singer-dancer-choreographer-director Tommy Tune, who owns nine (9) of em! … Oscar,

STREISAND: sales champ

STREISAND: sales champ

Emmy and Tony owner Barbra Streisand’s new DVD package, Streisand: The Concerts, has scored the No. 1 spot on both the UK and USA charts. In America, the set has had the highest sales for any music DVD so far this year … Jane Fonda’s caricature is finally part of Sardi’s famous theater restaurant and it’s taken only 46 years for her to get there. Before her current Tony nomination for 33 Variations, she made her Broadway debut in the ‘60s … and speaking of the Tonys, honorary Tony recipients this year, for their contributions to excellence in theatre, include composer Jerry Herman and writer/actress/producer Phyllis Newman.

Going, going, gonzo as celeb auctions take off, eh!

RYAN’S FANCY:  He plays  Sandra Bullock‘s lover in The Proposal, Hugh Jackman’s nemesis in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Scarlett Johannson‘s hubby in real life, but in his not-so-spare time Ryan Reynolds is a tireless

REYNOLDS: auctioneer

REYNOLDS: auctioneer

crusader for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Last year he ran in the New York City marathon and raised 100K to combat the disease, which both his father and his pal Michael struggle with every day. Now Reynolds is auctioning off tickets to his two new movies. Winner of the Wolverine tickets will attend the April 28 premiere in Hollywood. Winner of  the Proposal tickets will attend the June 1st premiere,with Ryan and Sandra Bullock … just biding your time? Stop biding and start bidding. The Toronto Jewish Film Festival has launched its first Charity eBay Auction with more than three items to choose from, fine dining fine to movie passes, theatre tickets to  wine storage. Just go to www.tjff.com and click on the eBay link. Or just click here … and not to be outdone, bidding has now begun on Toronto’s now-fabled HotDocs festival’s Opening Night Gala Auction. Bidders from across Canada and around the world will compete with opening night attendees to win trips to Italy and South Korea, weekend getaways, private film screenings, exclusive on-set experiences and more! To check it out go to http://www.auctionwire.com — or just click here.

GOODMAN: heavyweight

GOODMAN: heavyweight

 

DID THE STAGE MOVE FOR YOU TOO?:  Talk about Big Men on Broadway! Currently heavyweights treading the boards on the Great White Way include Brian D’Arcy James, who spends 90 minutes every day getting green for his title role in Shrek: The Musical, with Drowsy Chaperone showstopper Sutton Foster as Fiona; Brian Dennehy, who explodes in rage nightly in the revival of Eugene O’Neil‘s steamy Desire Under The Elms; and John Goodman, now a prepossessing 300 pounds, currently in previews for the revival of the Samuel Beckett classic Waiting For Godot with Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin and John Glover. 

KEATON: restoration

KEATON: restoration

 

A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME Dept.: Still-gorgeous Oscar winner Diane Keaton, in town this week to speak her piece at the Toronto Star-sponsored Unique Lives series, has in interesting hobby: She restores houses, particularly brilliant ones. A full-fledged member of America’s National Trust for Historic Preservation, she recently completed her finishing touches on a finished a Spanish Colonial home in Beverly Hills. I’m told the house, a mansion really, was originally designed in 1927 by architect Ralph Flewelling, and has been painstakingly restored. It features an inner courtyard with a fountain separating the kitchen and family room on one side from the media room, den and staircase. It has thruway arches in the living and dining rooms. The 7,145 square foot layout includes seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms — the master suite has dual bathrooms — and a separate guest suite. The home has a pool, and the yard has pathways lined with olive trees.

Keaton has listed the house at $11,995,000.

And no, I’m not making this up. 

WILL THE REAL BILLY BOB THORNTON PLEASE SHUT UP? Ooops, he did it again. Went on the Jimmy Kimmel Show this week. Said he was shocked by the reaction to his appearance with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio’s flagship interview show Q. 

GHOMESHI: eye-high Q

GHOMESHI: flagshipper

“The fact that that was news was astounding to me,” Thornton told Kimmel. “But it gave humpbacked geeks all over the world something to do for a couple of days.” 

Okay, Billy Bob, it’s come down to this.  We’re begging you, man. Just zip it. While you still have one or two fans left, before your band mates find a new lead singer who restricts what comes out of his mouth to lyrics, or before studio execs decided that yes, despite all rumours to the contrary, there really is such a thing as bad publicity. Resist the urge to go on any more talk shows, and just button it. For at least the next six m0nths.

And don’t you worry none about us. We gravy-free mashed potatoes are actually kinda famous for forgivin’ and forgettin’. Worry about the guy on ABC News who led off his report on your appearance on Q with this catchy phrase: “Wellll, it’s now official:  Billy Bob Thornton is a jerk.”

So when you start mendin’ fences, Billy Bob, you might wanna start at home.

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About last night …

Now that was fun.

And yes, I do mean last night’s 81st annual Oscar show.

After scanning the morning papers I must admit I was more than a little bit pleased to see that we weren’t the only ones who enjoyed it. Our sentiments were clearly shared by tag team Rita Zekas & Rob Salem (seems like old times) in the Toronto Star and Bill Harris in the Toronto Sun. 

JACKMAN:  Host with the Most

JACKMAN: Host with the Most

I thought Hugh Jackman hit it out of the park. He’s cut from the same cloth as the old-fashioned Movie Stars we used to know and love, those triple threat performers from Jimmy Cagney to Jane Wyman, who could sing and dance and act.  And it was exciting to see a new and refreshingly all-star method of saluting nominated actors, which should (and will, I predict) become a new staple of the annual telecast.

Am I the only one who thinks that without Melissa & Joan Rivers a little red carpet goes a long way? Maybe. On Friday bubbly Breakfast Television co-host Dina Pugliese said she couldn’t wait for Oscar night. “This is my SuperBowl!” she advised her male cohorts. Okay,  but the game is running awfully long these days.

And maybe I was washing my hair or otherwise engaged, but I wasn’t aware that this was Kate Winslet’s sisth Oscar nomination (!?!)  until Bob Thompson headlined it in the National Post.

In case you were washing your hair that night too, her previous Best Actress nominations were for Little Children, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Titanic, and she was nominated twice before as Best Supporting Actress, for Iris and Sense & Sensibility.

Who knew? Not me, obviously.

P.S. to Academy Awards Addicts (and yes, you know who you are:

SUN: Today's best Oscar buy

SUN: Today's best Oscar buy

 

Go out of your way to pick up a Toronto Sun today before they’re all sold out.  From front-page salute to Penelope Cruz to the 10, count ‘em, 10 pages of entertaining and clever coverage from Bruce Kirkland, Marie-Joelle Parent, Bill Harris and Liz Sardi, this is one edition worth keeping, and easily today’s top Oscar choice.

And yes, I am biased. But it’s still today’s best bet.

 TOMORROW: Jane Fonda.