CRYSTAL: Welcome home, Billy!
JUST A SIMPLE BOY WITH A DREAM: Yes, I watched last night’s Oscarcast. Just me and another billion people. And yes, it went on too long. It always does. But it was a splendid reminder of why we’ve missed Billy Crystal. Let’s hope Academy chief Tom Sherak can coax him to return next year.
BENJAMIN: filmfest honouree
ANCHORS AWEIGH: The one-and-only (as far as we know) Floating Film Festival sails from Fort Lauderdale today on a week-long movie cruise of Caribbean islands. Launched by Toronto filmfest co-founder Dusty Cohl, and kept afloat after his death by filmmaker Barry Avrich, festival programmer Hannah Fisher and travel magician Rosemary Durham, this 12th (!!!) edition will visit San Juan, St. Barth’s, Antigua and the Virgin Islands while unspooling 15 new and classic films. Among this year’s gems is the hit 1969 drama Goodbye, Columbus, with stellar performances by Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw. Highlight of the voyage is expected to be an evening tribute to Benjamin, who will be accompanied on the cruise by his wife
REED: all at sea
Paula Prentiss. (More on the Benjamins as it happens.) Also on hand to kibbitz and chide FFF 12 filmgoers are the film critics for the Chicago Tribune and New York Observer — respectively, Michael Phillips and Rex Reed (yes, that Rex Reed.) Tonight’s opening film is Dori Bernstein’s stunning biography of Broadway legend Carol Channing. (More on that tomorrow.)
LINEHAN ON LINE: Legendary interviewer Brian Linehan was one of the original Floating Film Festival crew members, interviewing stars on stage and usually making the voyage more exciting for all concerned. Good news is that, at
LINEHAN: on line at last
long last, dozens of Linehan’s television interviews are now on line for the whole world to see. Go to www.brianlinehan.ca and you’ll find hours of memorable moments with Daniel Day-Lewis, Mark Harmon, Bette Midler, Leah Pinsent, Christopher Plummer, Isabella Rossellini, Elaine Stritch, Kiefer Sutherland, James Spader, Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg and many more. The three major organizations behind the website — the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, the National Screen Institute (NSI) and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) – have done a remarkable job of putting it together. Says TIFF CEO Piers Handling: “Brian was the celebrity journalist everyone wanted to talk with, and we’re proud to be able to preserve and digitize some of those incredible interviews to be enjoyed by the public via the new website.” We couldn’t agree more.
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Posted in Actors, Authors, BOOKS, Comedy, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged Academy Awards, Ali MacGraw, Barbra Streisand, Barry Avrich, Bette Midler, Billy Crystal, Brian Linehan, Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, BROADWAY, Carol Channing, Chicago Tribune, CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, DANIEL DAY LEWIS, Dori Bernstein, Dusty Cohl, Elaine Stritch, Floating Film Festival, Goodbye Columbus, Hannah Fisher, ISABELLA ROSSELLINI, James Spader, KIEFER SUTHERLAND, LEAH PINSENT, Mark Harmon, Michael Phillips, New York Observer, Oscars, Paula Prentiss, Piers Handling, Rex Reed, Richard Benjamin, Rosemary Durham, STEVEN SPIELBERG, the National Screen Institute, Tom Sherak, Toronto International Film Festival
NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Get out your calendars. Toronto’s mini-Just For Laughs festival will run July 6 – 11, opening one day before the annual bilingual comedyfest launches
in Montreal … Smokey Robinson plays Fallsview Casino June 11 & 12 … Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Buffy Ste. Marie, a digital pioneer in her own right, gives a Unique Lives & Experiences session next week at Roy Thomson Hall, with confessed shopaholic Cloris Leachman set to follow in her footsteps on April 19 … and four of the funniest femmes in the business, Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Kathryn Greenwood and Teresa Pavlinek, return with a brand new show when their smash comedy troupe Women Fully Clothed plays Massey Hall on May 7. But they’re there for one night only, so don’t dawdle. To order tickets, click here.
BRAVE NEW CYBER WORLD: The April 12 Genie Awards will be broadcast live on the Independent Film Channel, livestreamed on CBC.ca. and rebroadcast on The Movie Network and Movie Central at a later
KUTCHER: tweeting for Haiti
date. The live webcast on CBC.ca is a first for the Genies and could give the awards show its largest audience reach ever … after concluding a 40-city theatrical tour, PBS’s American Experience will premiere its new Earth Days documentary on April 11 on Facebook. eight days ahead of the film’s television broadcast on April 19. This will reportedly be the first time a major broadcaster has introduced a full-length documentary on the site … Twitter-pated Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and Will Ferrell are among the stars of 140 Tweets For Haiti. You can check out the trailer here … and Margaret Atwood tweets greetings from the Cologne Literary Festival where she reports that “twittern” is now a German verb.
SMALL SCREEN, BIG STAGE: Never underestimate the power of television. The Broadway run of David Mamet’s new play Race has now been extended to June 13, thanks
to the marquee allure of Boston Legal charmer James Spader … stage veteran Doris Roberts, who finally became a household name playing Ray Romano‘s mother on television, is set to return to off-Broadway next month in Love, Loss And What I Wore, which is quietly becoming a notable successor to Love Letters and The Vagina Monologues … and Emmy award-winning Will & Grace scene-stealer Sean Hayes is deep in song and dance rehearsals for his Broadway bow in the upcoming revival of Promises, Promises, the Neil Simon-Burt Bacharach-Hal David musical based on the Academy Award-winning Billy Wilder comedy The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, Hayes is playing the role originated by Jerry Orbach, another legit leading man who later became far more famous for his TV work on Law & Order. And Hayes’ leading lady is Wicked star Kristin Chenowith — best known to American audiences for, you guessed it, her Emmy-winning TV role on Pushing Daisies and her guest stint last season on Glee.
ENRIGHT: Giller juror
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Enigmatic music legend Don Francks is set to make one of his rare appearances at Lula’s Lounge on April 15 … renowned Russian bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin makes his Canadian debut here April 24 in the popular Canadian Opera Company production of The Flying Dutchman. Johannes Debus, the COC’s newly-appointed Music Director, will lead the COC Orchestra and Chorus … it’s official: CBC Radio stalwart Michael Enright and novelists Claire Messud and Ali Smith have been elected by Jack Rabinovitch to choose the next Giller Prize winner … Ken Lindsay fans, take note: Your favourite piano man returns to the village April 1 (no foolin’) to the Fuzion Resto-Lounge on Church Street. Mark Cassius, formerly of The Nylons, will be on hand to help out with the high notes. Reservations are advised. For more info, click here … and screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) will pen the script for the screen biography of Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi. ESPN Films, an offshoot of the sports cable network, hopes to premiere the film before the 2012 Super Bowl. Robert DeNiro will play Lombardi — but will his Raging Bull guru Martin Scorsese direct? Stay tuned.
Have a great weekend!
Posted in Actors, Authors, BOOKS, Gossip, Movies, Music, Opera, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged 140 Tweets, Academy Award, Ali Smith, American Experience, ASHTON KUTCHER, Billy Wilder, Buffy Ste. Marie, Burt Bacharach, Canadian Opera Company, CBC Radio, cbc.ca, Claire Messud, CLORIS LEACHMAN, COC, Cologne Literary Festival, David Mamet, DEMI MOORE, Don Francks, Doris Roberts, Earth Days, Eric Roth, ESPN, Evgeny Nikitin, Facebook, Fallsview Casino, Fuzion Resto-Lounge, Genie Awards, Giller Prize, Green Bay Packers, Hal David, Independent Film Channel, Jack Lemmon, Jack Rabinovitch, James Spader, JAYNE EASTWOOD, Johannes Debus, Just For Laughs, Kathryn Greenwood, Ken Linday, KRISTIN CHENOWITH, Lula Lounge, MARGARET ATWOOD, Mark Cassius, MARTIN SCORSESE, Massey Hall, Michael Enright, Movie Central, NEIL SIMON, PBS, Promises Promises, Race, Raging Bull, Ray Romano, ROBERT DENIRO, Robin Duke, Roy Thomson Hall, Sean Hayes, SHIRLEY MACLAINE, Smokey Robinson, TERESA PAVLINEK, The Apartment, The Flyimg Dutchman, The Movie Network, The Nylons, TMN, TWITTER, Vince Lombardi, WILL FERRELL, Women Fully Clothed
ARE THE STARS OUT TONIGHT?: Yes, and most of ‘em are working on and off Broadway. Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson are currently in
JOHANSSON: room for A View
rehearsals for the revival of A View From The Bridge, still regarded in some circles as Arthur Miller‘s most passionate drama. They start previews right after Christmas, then open at the Cort Theatre on Jan. 24 … Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury are the hot-ticket duo in the revival of Stephen Sondheim‘s A Little Night Music down the street at the Walter Kerr Theater. Previews start tomorrow night, less than three weeks before their Dec. 13 opening … Emmy Award winners James Spader and Richard Thomas are already in previews for David Mamet’s
ZETA-JONES: opening tomorrow night
new sizzler, Race, directed by Mamet himself, for a Dec. 6 opening … veteran New York broadcaster Pat Collins calls her the funniest woman on Broadway, and audiences must agree, because Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, originally slated to close Jan. 3, has been held over another two weeks, to Jan. 17… Victor Garber will celebrate New Year’s Eve, then go right into previews for the revival of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, set to premiere Jan. 21 at the American Airlines Theatre … 2001: A Space Odyssey alumnus Keir Dullea, who actually worked with Noel Coward, will return to Broadway this spring in a revival of Robert Anderson’s
SPADER: Race card
I Never Sang for My Father. Years ago Dullea and Coward co-starred in a London-made thriller called Bunny Lake Is Missing. After shooting a difficult scene together for director Otto Preminger, Coward turned to the young actor and chirped, “Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow!” Happily his ad-lib was not prophetic … and Tony Award owner Matthew Broderick has taken his act off-Broadway. He opens tonight at the Acorn Theatre in Kenneth Lonergan’s The Starry Messenger, about an astronomy teacher’s affair with a younger woman. Academy Award nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace) plays the younger woman to Broderick’s married academic.
SMITH: backing B'way newbie
ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER ADOPT-A-SHOW: It took volunteer executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry to put Precious on the map — and did they ever. Now Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith have become first-time Broadway producers, putting their considerable showbiz weight behind the new Broadway musical Fela! which opens tonight at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre after a month of previews. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, Fela! portrays the extravagant world of controversial music pioneer and Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in a hybrid of concert, dance and musical theater. Will audiences buy in? Stay tuned … and Tony winner Susan
BRODERICK: opening tonight
Stroman will direct the first-ever production of The Scottsboro Boys, an unproduced Kander & Ebb musical, off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre. The show will begin previews on February 12 and open on March 10. The Scottsboro Boys explores the infamous Scottsboro case of the 1930s, in which a group of African-American teenagers were unjustly accused of attacking two white women, and the boys’ attempts to prove their innocence.
And yes, it’s a musical.
Fangs for the Memories.
Posted in Actors, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Little Night Music, A View From The Bridge, American Airlines Theatre, ANGELA LANSBURY, Arthur Miller, Bill T. Jones, BROADWAY, Bunny Lake Is Missing, CARRIE FISHER, Catalina Sandino Moreno, CATHERINE ZETA-JONES, Cort Theatre, David Mamet, Eugene O'Neil Theatre, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Fela!, Fred Ebb, I Never Sang For My Father, JADA PINKETT SMITH, James Spader, John Kander, Keir Dullea, Kenneth Lonergan, Liev Schreiber, Maria Full of Grace, Matthew Broderick, NOEL COWARD, off-Broadway, OPRAH WINFREY, OTTO PREMINGER, Pat Collins, Present Laughter, Race, RICHARD THOMAS, Robert Anderson, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, STEPHEN SONDHEIM, Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys, The Starry Messenger, Tyler Perry, VICTOR GARBER., Walter Kerr Theatre, WILL SMITH, Wishful Drinking