THE LAUGHS JUST KEEP COMING: Talk about the little engine that could. Montreal producer Gilbert Rozon’s phenomenal Just For Laughs/Juste Pour Rire comedy festival keeps growing, growing, growing. This year the Quebec-based
mirth-machine will stage its Toronto festival at the same time as its annual summer comedy extravaganza in Montreal. The Toronto Just For Laughs festival opens on July 15 and runs five days. The Montreal Just For Laughs festival opens on July 16 and runs 10 days. Meanwhile, the first collaboration between cable network TBS and Just For Laughs is set for June 17-21 in Chicago and will feature performances from Ellen DeGeneres, George Lopez, Lisa Lampanelli, Russell Peters, Mike Epps, Jimmy Fallon, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Bill Engvall, David Alan Grier, Louis CK, John Pinette, Martin Short and more.
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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’ve learned one thing: obstacles are your friends. And after you’ve been around as long as I have, you’ve made a lot of friends.”
Actor/director/designer/choreographer/producer and Quebec’s favourite enfant terrible, Robert Lepage, in an intriguing profile by Richard Ouzounian in Saturday’s Toronto Star. Lepage’s new nine-hour theatre-and-music epic, Lip Synch, premieres in T.O. on June 6 at Luminato.
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NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Small-screen icon Don Johnson has been cast as a porn director in the Adam Sandler-produced film Born to Be a
Star … Lizzy Caplan and Crispin Glover have joined the cast of the feature comedy Hot Tub Time Machine … Alex O’Loughlin is in negotiations to star opposite Jennifer Lopez in The Back-Up Plan … Rosemary DeWitt is set to join Chris Cooper, Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones in The Company Men … Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables now include non-expendables Brittany Murphy, David Zayas, Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke … and the Glenn Gould Foundation is plotting a spectacular week in October with the renown 250-member Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, to honour the creator of the Venezuelan youth orchestra system (El Sistema,) Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu. Dr. Abreu, this year’s winner of The Glenn Gould Prize, has also been named co-winner of Sweden’s Polar Music Prize along with Peter Gabriel.
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TALKING TO TWEETERS: Canuck TV lion Rick Mercer sez he still can’t figure out current social SuperNetwork twitter. “I’m socially twitarded,” he confessed recently on the site. Methinks he doth protest too much. This is the same guy who twitter-warned us (‘twarned’ us??) in 140 characters or less. that “if the swine flu becomes a pandemic Canadians may have no choice but to find out who Canada’s Health Minister is.”
Call me crazy, but I’d say he’s got the hang of it.
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GIVE PEACE A CHANCE: Forty years later, Peaceworks Now curator Joan Athey has published a new book, Give Peace A Chance, of never-before seen
photos of the John Lennon/Yoko Ono Bed-in For Peace which took place May 26 to June 1, 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. At the same time as a limited exhibition of the photos opens in LIverpool, Torontonians can see a full exhibition of the photographs May 26 to June 1 at the Bulger Gallery at Queen St. W. The public opening is tomorrow from 5-8 pm as part of the current at Contact Festival of Photography. Meanwhile, Jerry Levitan will be the Indigo Eaton Centre tonight at 7 pm to sign copies of his new Collins Harper book, I Met The Walrus, the literary version of his Oscar-nominated doc about infiltrating the infamous Montreal Bed-in.
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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I do not believe in an afterlife. One does not know. But even though I say I don’t believe in an afterlife, I have made funeral arrangements so that my daughter in Maine doesn’t have to worry. And I decided not to be cremated, so a little part of me must think that my body perhaps goes on. I don’t want to be dust.”
The speaker? Barbara Walters, in a candid moment with her longtime Manhattan chum Liz Smith, in Avenue magazine.