Tag Archives: JANE FONDA

Ms Vardalos gets her Greek god, Ms Murray teaches us a lesson, and Ms Fonda twitters at the Tonys

MEET MR. GORGEOUS: We don’t know him over here, but Nia Vardalos’ leading man in My Life In Ruins, Alexis Georgoulis, is apparently the George Clooney of Greece. After audience reaction to him at the first sneak previews,

VARDALOS & GEORGOULIS: Mr. Gorgeous?

VARDALOS & GEORGOULIS: Mr. Gorgeous?

 the U.S. press has started calling him Alex Gorgeous. “Which I think is apropos,” Vardalos told wowOwow web writer Kristin Fritz. “One reviewer said, because apparently I have an every-woman look, and I have this gorgeous, Greek god as my male lead, the reviewer basically said, ‘Who do you think you are?’ And I’m like, umm, hi. No one. I’m just an every-woman. And in the same way that Seth Rogen gets Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up, and Paul Giamatti gets Virginia Madsen in Sideways, yes, my character gets the Greek god in this one.”

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “At a very young age I learned from my parents to have respect for all people no matter what race, religion or station in life. Respect takes on many forms. Respect is being on time: your time is no more important than others. Respect is being prepared: people are relying on you. Respect is treating everyone with dignity. The janitor, the gardener, the CEO should all be acknowledged and appreciated for the jobs they do. My father taught me to always stand up when being introduced to someone. When you shake his hand, look him in the eye. Take time; remember his name; make him feel special.”

MURRAY: wise wotds

MURRAY: wise words

The speaker? Supersongstress Anne Murray, to graduating students at the  University of Prince Edward Island. Murray, whose hit Music Of My Life special encored last weekend on CBC Television, is currently putting the final touches on her memoirs for October publication. But she’ll still be spending most of the summer in Nova Scotia and looks forward to greeting her legions of fans on July 25 for 20th anniversary celebrations of the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill.

EVERY LITTLE MOVEMENT:  New showbiz sport is trying to spot Twitterbugs at major theatrical openings. Did you notice that Jane Fonda was all a-Twitter at the Tony Awards two nights ago? Fonda has just returned from a trip

FONDA: Tony Twitterer

FONDA: Tony Twitterer

to the Galapagos with a group that included Angela Lansbury’s nephew David Lansbury. When David’s aunt won her fifth Tony, as Best Featured Actress for Blithe Spirit, Fonda noted, “as usual, she was graciousness incarnate.”  But she admitted she was as surprised as we were when Next To Normal “won best new score, beating Elton and Dolly. I haven’t seen it — yet.” Fonda and her fellow nominees were also enlisted as impromptu extras: “We’ve just all been handed throw-away lighters, I guess to light up during an upcoming Rock of Ages number,” she reported.  When the cast of Hair danced into the orchestra seats, she said, one of them landed in the lap of her pal and fellow nominee Janet McTeer. “This number from Hair really makes me wanna see it,” she added. After she lost the best actress prize to Marcia Gay Harden, Fonda was still sanguine. “For me it felt like a prize just getting to this. Janet McTeer and I will now go have some vodkas with impunity.” And after Hair won Best Musical Revival, Fonda footnoted, “I swear, half the audience is up there to accept the Tony!”

 

SPACEY: Tony talk

SPACEY: Tony talk

Yeah, there did seem to be a lot of that going on. Meanwhile, unless you were in a musical, you could hardly get arrested on this year’s unfortunate televised event. Mind you, Poison rocker Bret Michael came pretty close when he got bonked by the descending backdrop and ended up with a broken nose. Quipped Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody: “I’m concerned about Bret Michaels’ fractured nose. An acute sense of smell is essential to his dating process.” Meanwhile, stage & screen lion Kevin Spacey told New York Post scribe Michael Riedel he thinks the Tonys should be taken over by PBS, directed by Broadway veteran Mike Nichols and given the formality and inclusiveness that the theater deserves.

Dunno who would pick up the tab, but it sounds like a darn good idea to me.  

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In praise of older stage & screen sirens

Oscar winner Marsha Mason remembers future Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine telling her, “In order to keep working, it’s important to move into character work early because they don’t know what to do with you.”

JOLIE, KILMER, FARRELL: Alexander

JOLIE, KILMER, FARRELL: just one big happy family (not)

It’s a key point in Forget the Ingénues; Cue the Grown-Ups, Patricia Cohen’s excellent piece in last weekend’s New York Times. “Unless a script calls for a bitter woman to be dumped by her husband,” she notes, “filmgoers have come to expect the kind of nature-defying casting decisions that had a then 28-year-old Angelina Jolie playing the mother of Colin Farrell, then 27, in the 2004 film Alexander. (Val Kilmer, then 45, was the father.) Such couplings are familiar: At 36, Anne Bancroft played the predatory Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967) [to Dustin Hoffman] although she was a mere six years older than Mr. Hoffman; in The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Angela Lansbury, just three years older than Laurence Harvey, played his mother.”

ADAMS: "Sooo thrilling!"

ADAMS: "Sooo thrilling!"

On Broadway, however, “women can still be rock stars. Among the big-name talents from film and television who have appeared behind Broadway marquees this season are Joan Allen, Jane Fonda, Allison Janney, Susan Sarandon and Kristin Scott Thomas.” For more of Ms. Cohen’s story on women who rule the Great White Way, click here.

Meanwhile, let me give the last word to the hottest young actress in Hollywood, Amy Adams, who co-starred with Meryl Streep in Doubt and does it again in the upcoming Julia & Julia.

“Sooo thrilling,” says Amy, with just a hint of sarcasm, “that every now and then, the world rediscovers that there’s a female audience. Oh, my God! Women go to the movies!”

And do they ever.

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GOING WHERE HE’S NEVER GONE BEFORE: Big-screen favourite Bruce Greenwood’s role of Captain Pike in the new Star Trek prequel was originally played in the pilot episodes of the original series by

GREENWOOD: Beresford-bound

GREENWOOD: Beresford-bound

Jeffrey Hunter. ) After screening the vintage episodes, Greenwood says he realized pretty quickly that the dilemma that Jeffrey Hunter’s Pike faced is very different from what his Pike faces. Hunter’s Pike, he explains, is conflicted over whether or not he will remain with Starfleet. “And, the Pike that I play has no such dilemma. My Pike’s dilemma is more about whether or not to trust the young Kirk.” In a Sharp magazine interview with writer Cliff Ford, Greenwood confirms he’s signed for director Bruce Beresford’s next opus, Mao’s Last Dancer. Based on dancer Li Cunxin’s autobiography, the film shows how a poor, 11-year-old Li was taken from his tiny Chinese village to Beijing to study ballet. Years later, during a visit to Texas, Li falls for an American woman, defects and becomes a principal dancer for the Houston and Australian Ballet. Greenwood portrays Ben Stevenson, the Houston Ballet’s artistic director, who was instrumental in Li’s successful career. And you can read more of the Sharp interview with Canuck crowd-pleaser Greenwood right here.

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THE MOTHER OF THEM ALL?: She killed her own children in a jealous rage as Medea. She played mom to Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs in a hostile white neighborhood in the much-lauded revival of A Raisin In the Sun.

RASHAD: maternal?

RASHAD: maternal?

She juggled a law practice, five children and Bill Cosby on the megahit Cosby Show. Tonight on Broadway, following in the footsteps of Deanna Dunagan and her successor followed by Estelle Parsons, Phylicia Rashad takes over the role of Violet Weston, the brittle, uncensored drug-abusing matriarch of an Oklahoma family in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage Country. In a remarkable display of “nontraditional” casting, Ms. Rashad’s stage persona must attempt to cope with a white stage family of three daughters, a husband, a sister and other relatives. Should be a fabulous night.

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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.

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.