HELLO, CAROL: Broadway devotee Dori Bernstein’s new documentary Carol Channing: Larger Than Life opened the 12th Floating Film Festival last night, and Channing is such an irresistible presence on screen that we couldn’t help wishing the 90-year-old musical comedy legend was with us on board the Seabourn Sojourn as we sail into Caribbean waters. Bernstein, with Channing’s blessing, gently reveals the forces and conflicts and inner turmoils that drove Channing to succeed in show business in a way few others before her have achieved. The star studded cast of characters who share Channing anecdotes includes Lily Tomlin, Tyne Daly, Bruce Vilanch, Barbara Walters, Loni Anderson, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, JoAnne Worley, Rich Little and Tippi Hedren. And Carol’s first roommate Betty Garrett (whose last interview appears in the film) points out that their first screen kisses were with Frank Sinatra and Clint Eastwood. The film is a delight, full of insight and
THE NEWLYWEDS: Harry & Carol
inspiration. At times almost hypnotically fascinating, it also captures a bonafide love story when Channing, who has no illusions about her failings as a wife and mother, is reunited with her fist love, old school beau Harry Kullijian, after 70 years. In her late ‘80s, Channing marries for the fourth time, and together they launch the Channing-Kullijian Foundation to support arts education in schools. What the film doesn’t share with us is the touching real-life epilogue to their December-December romance. On Boxing Day they were at their desert home in Rancho Mirage when Harry, by now 92, suffered an aneuryism and died. Small comfort, perhaps, but at least Kullijan had the pleasure of seeing Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, not to mention marrying the original, before his untimely exit. For which Carol, I’m sure, is genuinely grateful.
Q GOES TO QUEBEC: Host with the Most Jian Ghomeshi is admittedly “stoked” by plans to broadecast his top-rated CBC Radio show Q from Montreal on March 1. His live sold-out gig at the historic Le National theatre features some of Quebec’s leading cultural figures from the worlds of music, dance, comedy and film, including electronic music maestro DJ Champion and his band the G-Strings, who will perform live throughout the show;
LECAVALIER: high Q
comedian Sugar Sammy, dance great Louise Lacavalier, singer-songwriter Ariane Moffatt, and web TV star Simon Olivier Fecteau. Ghomeshi, who has previously taken Q to enthusiastic audiences in New York, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Chicago and Salt Lake City, says he’s super-excited about going back to Montreal with the show – and we believe him.
DIAMOND: sparking OCAD
MARCH BREAKS: Select nominees for the 32nd annual Genie Awards will be grilled on stage at TIFF Bell Lightbox on March 7, the night before the awards telecast on CBC. The special In Conversation event will take place from 6:30-8pm. Seating is limited, so contact the TIFF Box Office sooner than later for tickets … OCAD University prez Sara Diamond will host renowned digital culture theorist, data visualization artist and educator Lev Manovich on Friday, March 23. Manovich will give a free practical workshop and lecture exploring the dynamic field of information and scientific visualization. Both events are open to everyone … Goodmans’ good guy David Zitzerman is once again co-chairing the 12th Annual International Film & TV Finance
McKIE: home town high
Summit sponsored by Bloomberg BNA/CITE on March 22-23rd at the Luxe Hotel in L.A. … National Ballet guest artist Evan McKie has danced the role of the Prince in Sleeping Beauty before, but never on his own turf. The Toronto-born Stuttgart Ballet star will dance the role here on March 11, his first performance in his hometown since training at the National Ballet School.
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: .. Next big film for Viola Davis is Won’t Back Down, a new drama about laws in California and a handful of other states that allow parents to dump bad teachers and overrule administrators in bottom-ranked schools. Davis plays a teacher who risks career and friendships to join the revolt. Maggie Gyllenhaalplays the single mother who sells cars, tends bar and rouses parents to take charge of their grade school. And Holly Hunter plays the union rep who fights the takeover. Sounds like a natural for next September’s TIFF … Rick Mercer goes skate to skate with the Winnipeg Jets tonight on The Rick Mercer Report at 8 pm on CBC … nominees for the 2012 Rose d’Or
MERCER & WINNIPEG CHUMS: When you're a Jet / You're a Jet all the way ...
Awards will be announced at a gala tonight in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — the first time in its 50-year history that the Rose d’Or has held an event in Asia … and author Lawrence Hill will be presented with the Writers’ Union 2012 Freedom to Read Award tonight at the Book and Periodical Council‘s Freedom to Read event at the Gladstone Hotel. Union chair Greg Hollingshead said the Union chose Hill for “his reasoned and eloquent response to the threat to burn his novel The Book of Negroes.” Roy Groenburgof The Netherlands, taking offense to the use of the word “Negro” in the title of Hill’s novel, burned the cover and publicly threatened to burn the book. Hill responded that burning books “is designed to intimidate people. It underestimates the intelligence of readers, stifles dialogue and insults those who cherish the freedom to read and write. The leaders of the Spanish Inquisition burned books, Nazis burned books.” Too true.
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Tagged 12th Annual International Film & TV Finance Summit, Amazon, Apple, Ariane Moffatt, Betty Garrett, Bloomberg BNA/CITE, Bruce Vilanch, Carol Channing, Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, CBC, CBC Radio, Channing-Kullijian Foundation, Chita Rivera, Clint Eastwood, David Zitzerman, DJ Champion, Dori Bernstein, Evan McKie, Floating Film Festival, Frank Sinatra, Genie Awards, Goodmans', Google, Harry Kullijan, In Conversation, JIAN GHOMESHI, JoAnne Worley, Le National, Lev Manovich, LILY TOMLIN, Loni Anderson, Louise Lecavalier, Luxe Hotel, Montreal, National Ballet Of Canada, National Ballet School, OCAD, Q, Rancho Mirage, Rich Little, Sara Diamond, Seabourn Sojourn, Simon Oliver Fecteau, Stuttgart Ballet, Sugar Sammy, the G-Strings, The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Tippi Hedren, TOMMY TUNE, Tyne Daly
OUR TOWN: Host-with-the-most Jian Ghomeshi returns to helm tomorrow night’s Hot Docs Festival awards at the Isabel Bader … after flying across the pond to premiere the new
PITRE: back to T.O.
Benny Andersson-Bjorn Ulvaeus musical Kristina at Royal Albert Hall, show-stopping stage diva Louise Pitre got ‘stuck’ in London for an extra three days due to that pesky cloud of volcanic ash. “London’s not a bad place to be stuck in!” she adds, especially since her hubby Joe Matheson had taken a week’s holiday from his on-stage gig with still-thriving Jersey Boys to join her. Mamma Mia alumnus Pitre’s now home again, safe and sound and shooting Season 2 of Star Portraits for Bravo! … popular public relations pro Shelagh O’Donnell is the ROM’s new Head Of Communications … George F. Walker’s hit comedy Featuring Loretta makes its second debut to the Factory Theatre tonight, officially kicking off the Factory’s 40th (!!!) Anniversary celebrations. Longtime Walker cheerleader Ken Gass directs Monica Dottor, Lesley Faulker, Kevin Hanchard and Brandon McGibbon in this brand new production … and the bad news is, Yorkville haunt Michelle’s Brasserie, the café in
FARMIGA: going outlaw
Renaissance Square just off Cumberland, has closed. Good news is, Crème, a new French bistro devised by Ricardo Sousa (Cibo, Lolo) and chef Ricardo Roque (Magna Golf Club, Bistro 990,) is now underway and is tentatively set to open June 1.
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Young Lily Collins, so good as Sandra Bullock‘s daughter in The Blind Side, is set to co-star with Taylor Lautner in Abduction, a new thriller … Kevin Bacon has signed on to guest star in Steve Carrell’s next project … Pedro Almodovar alumnus Antonio Banderas is set to star in the director’s next opus, La piel que habito … Up In The Air seductress Vera Farmiga
AGRON: new sci-fi role?
is set to portray a wild west outlaw in A Thousand Guns … watch for an announcement linking about-to-depart Global TV anchor Kevin Newman with a major new digital platform initiative … and don’t bother inviting Phil Collins to your Canada Day BBQ this year. He’s already booked to open the 44th annual Monteux Jazz Festival with a special July 1 concert.
NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Glee star Dianna Agron has signed on for a leading role in the sci-fi film I Am Number Four … living room favourites Peter Mansbridge, Brian Stewart and Adrienne Arsenault are in London today, continuing to deliver CBC’s in-depth play-by-play of today’s General Elections in the U.K. … Shia Labeouf is set to play Charlie in the dark comedy The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman … Mireille
JEAN-BAPTISTE: in Central Park
Enos (Big Love) is reportedly signed to star in AMC’s new series The Killing … bright young things Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore are set to co-star in a new indie feature, Homework … Nurse Jackie scene-stealer Anna Deavere Smith is taking her New York solo show Let Me Down Easy on the road. Hope she brings it here … what becomes a legend most? Hard work. Which is howcum Ann Rhomer is still a household favourite after more than three decades on local TV. We’ll miss her after she exits CP24‘s morning show next month … and although you know her best from her role as an FBI agent in Without A Trace, did you know that Anthony LaPaglia sidekick Marianne Jean-Baptiste was the first British black actress nominated for an Oscar, for Mike Leigh‘s 1996 drama Secrets & Lies? Ah yes, how quickly we forget. The gifted Mme Jean-Baptiste is spending her summer vacation in rep with Al Pacino, performing Merchant Of Venice and The Winter’s Tale in Central Park..
All about Liona Boyd, Zero Mostel,
Piper Laurie (yes, Piper Laurie!) and more.
Posted in Actors, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged Abduction, Academy Award, Adrienne Arsenault, Al Pacino, ANN ROHMER, Anna Deavere Smith, Anthony LaPaglia, Antonio Banderas, Benny Andersson, Big Love, Bistro 990, Björn Ulvaeus, Brandon McGibbon, Bravo!, BRIAN STEWART, Canada Day, Central Park, Cibo, CP24, Crème, Dianna Agron, Emma Roberts, Factory Theatre, Featuring Loretta, Freddie Highmore, GEORGE F. WALKER, Glee, Global Television, Homework, Hot Docs, Isabel Bader Theatre, Jersey Boys, JIAN GHOMESHI, JOSEPH MATHESON, Ken Gass, KEVIN BACON, Kevin Hanchard, Kevin Newman, Kristina, La piel que habito, Lesley Faulker, Let Me Down Easy, LILY COLLINS, LOLO, LOUISE PITRE, Magna Golf Club, Mamma Mia, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Michelle's Brasserie, Mike Leigh, Mireille Enos, Monica Dottor, Montreux Jazz Festival, Nurse Jackie, Oscar, Pedro Almodovar, PETER MANSBRIDGE, Phil Collins, Ricardo Roque, Ricardo Sousa, ROM, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Ontario Museum, SANDRA BULLOCK, Secrets & Lies, Shakespeare In The Park, Shelagh O'Donnell, Shia LaBeouf, Star Portraits, Steve Carrell, Taylor Lautner, The Blind Side, The Merchant Of Venice, The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman, The Winter's Tale, Up In The Air, Vera Farmiga, Without A Trace