Tag Archives: JOAN RIVERS

Majumder raises the roof, Atwood tells tales of Twitter, Alice fever sizzles & Rivers takes another bite of Reality

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Howcum funnyman Shaun Majumder keeps shining in dramas? First it was 24, then his recent stint on Republic Of Doyle, and now the ABC series 187 Detroit. (187 is police code for homicide.) Can Shaun do a spot-on impression

MAJUMDER: raising the roof

of series star Michael Imperioli (a.k.a. Christopher on The Sopranos)? Ask him yourself when he jets in from L.A. to headline his favourite comedy fund-raiser Raising the Roof, April 16 & 17 at The Rivoli … it’s not her fault, okay? Margaret Atwood sez her Twitter pals egged her on. Which is why she’s finally telling all – okay, almost all – about her adventures in TwitterLand in the New York Review of Books, right here …  …. Jake Doyle’s prodigal brother Christian returns to the Rock, much to his younger brother’s dismay, on Allan Hawco’s hit series Republic Of Doyle tonight at 9 pm on CBC-TV … and Joan Rivers and her producer daughter Melissa are reportedly set to do a new reality show about Joan moving in with Melissa, grandson Cooper and Melissa’s current squeeze Jason in L.A.. Says blogger Paula Froelich: “This will rock harder than Poison at Spring Break.” Froelich joined Rivers & Co. for their Passover seder at Melissa’s house in Pacific Palisades. To read her Daily Beast report, click here.

ALICE: Disney classic

BALLET HIGH: Highlight of the National Ballet’s summer season next year should be British Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s new full-length, two-act interpretation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a co-production between the National Ballet and The Royal Ballet (UK). with a commissioned score by British composer Joby Talbot. Neither Tim Burton nor Johnny Depp have anything to do with this one as far as we know — but isn’t it odd how Lewis Carroll’s peculiar heroine has returned to the collective consciousness? Now Disney, whose magicians created the original Un-Birthday song, is celebrating the Un-Anniversary of its 1951 animated classic by

KAIN: a once-and-future Alice

reissuing it on DVD before Burton’s wacky new 3-D Alice hits the stores.  The new ballet version, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, will debut first in London in February 2011 and then here in Toronto, June 4 – 12, 2011 …  meanwhile, NBOC chief Karen Kain sent the company’s notable outreach mini-show Dance About to Ontario’s Near North District School Board yesterday for two performances, at Maple Ridge Public School in Powassan and Sundridge Centennial Public School in Sundridge … and happy anniversary to the American Ballet Theatre, set to celebrate its 70th (!!) season May 17-July 10 at the Met. And speaking of Twitter, and aren’t we always, at both the ABT and the New Yotk City Ballet there are no policies on dancers’ increasing participation on Twitter. Says New York Times writer Gia Kourlas: “At the moment the relationship between tech-savvy dancers and company administrators seems to be akin to a child showing a parent how to use e-mail.”  To read her amusing account of young ballet stars who “now tweeter as well as flutter,” click here.

PETERSON: in memory

THE LEGACY LIVES ON: One aspiring musician entering a music program at York University this fall will be the lucky recipient of the first $40,000 Oscar Peterson scholarship, allowing them to pursue their dreams. The new Peterson program will also offer up to four $10,000 annual scholarships for current undergraduate music students. Meanwhile, Peterson acolytes Peter Herrndorf, Brian Robertson, Bob Rae, Bill Davis and Tommy Banks are among the boosters soliciting donations for a life-size bronze sculpture of the jazz great to sit outside the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The statue of Peterson at a grand piano — created by Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy, the artist responsible for the stunning bronze of Glenn Gould outside the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto — will be unveiled on June 30 as part of Canada Day celebrations.

TOMORROW:

Is Justin Bieber just too hot?

And, celebrating ‘Tony’s’ first lady.

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Jann goes Disney, Shia beefs up, Roger starts his own club, and Ron and Ms. Atwood make a documentary

SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY: SuperWarbler Jann Arden has been amusing her 12,000 Twitter followers this week with daily dispatches from Disney World, where she seems to have developed a major crush on daffy comedy duo Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders. (Go

LEBEOUF: working out?

figure!) … my hero Liz Smith suspects that Wall Street II star Shia LeBeouf is currently boeufing-up for a remake of American Gigolo, with original Gigolo Richard Gere cast as the male madam who books LeBoeuf’s sexual assignations. (Now that’s comedy!!) editor Trena White wraps up a six-year stint at McClelland & Stewart tomorrow. White is moving back to Vancouver, where she grew up, to join Douglas & McIntyre as an acquiring editor … meanwhile, it’s official: Ken Finkleman’s new novel, Noah’s Turn, is now set to launch in August … and Roger Ebert has launched his own cyber club, with membership benefits, to help offset the cost of his ambitious and prolific web production. He also explains why in one of his tirelessly engaging Journal entries, I Wonder If This Will Work. To learn more about The Ebert Club, click here. To enjoy his Journal entry, click here — and enjoy!

THE YEAR OF THE ATWOOD: Entrepreneurial novelist Margaret Atwood is working with documentary master Ron Mann (“the guy with the hair that matches mine!”) on a

MANN & ATWOOD: it's their Year

screen version of her tour promoting her current bestseller Year Of The Flood. “It’s called In the Wake of the Flood. The film is due to launch on August 5 in Toronto to coincide with the paperback publication of the book. Then it will go around the world to film festivals, literary festivals, environmental festivals, and fundraising events. We did the Year of the Flood tour as an awareness-raiser and fundraiser, primarily for birds, and In the Wake of the Flood both documents the experience and continues the effort.”

SHOOTING STARS: Sometimes funny-man Will Ferrell is set to star in Everything Must Go, a new film by writer-director Dan Rush. Ferrell will reportedly play a relapsed alcoholic

RIVERS: new season

who loses his job and his wife and decides to live on his front lawn while selling all of his belongings … William Hurt and Isabella Rossellini will star in French director Julie GavrasLate Bloomers, about an aging couple who react to their senior status in different ways. (Shouldn’t that be Late Zoomers? Oh well) The stellar cast also features Simon Callow and legendary Ab Fab scene-stealer Joanna Lumley (or Dame Joanna and Sir Simon, if they care to pull rank)  … and Joan Rivers is shooting her second season of How’d You Get So Rich for a May 5 re-launch on TV Land. How rich are her new finds? “One guy is sooooo rich,” she reports, “that when his computer breaks, Bill Gates comes to fix it!”

P.S.: The doc that rocked Sundance this year, Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work, is set for Hot Docs screenings on May 2 & May 3. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

OK GO: ingenious

SEE/HEAR: The L.A.-based OK Go, a rock band originally from Chicago, keeps creating amazing videos – considerably more amazing, in fact, than their appealing ear-candy music. They’ve become an integral part of new millennium YouTube culture and won a 2007 Grammy for their stellar treadmill dance video, Here It Goes Again, which still evokes happy memories of the kind of ingenuity Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly espoused in their heydays at MGM. Their current monster video hit,This Too Shall Pass, has been viewed by more than 10 million internet users so far. Or maybe it’s only two million users who can’t resist watching it five times. Wondering what all the fuss is about? Just click on the song titles above and that mystery will be solved. Enjoy!

TOMORROW:

More hats ‘n’ horns for birthday boy Stephen Sondheim.

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Julia plays charades, Dragons get an iTunes sound and The Frantics get ready to turn 30 (who knew?)

NOISES ON: Can’t believe it, but they swear it’s true. The Frantics, the certifiably insane, oooh, oops, sorry, the mentally extrvagant comedy troupe

THE FRANTICS: Noises-makers

comprised of Paul Chatto, Rick Green, Dan Redican & Peter Wildman, are about to turn 30. (I know, I know, they don’t look a day over 29 .) To celebrate they’re launching a new Greatest Hits CD, Frantic Noises, and working on anniversary release dates for (1) The Very Best of Frantic Times (“more than 1,000 bits compiled from our CBC Radio show,”) (2) The Frantics Walk Upright

STOJKO: Red Door booster

(“the lost tapes of our final performance together in 1998,”) (3) an all-music CD that they’re recording now, and (4) the DVD of their Frantics Reunion Show, which aired on the Comedy Network. Big news is, they’re set to perform live at The Royal on College street — for one performance only, to launch their new CD — on Monday Dec. 7 at 7 pm. All proceeds from tickets ($10 +tax in advance, $15 +tax at the door) will go to PAL (the Performing Arts Lodge.) To order your tickets now, go to their website at http://www.thefrantics.com, or just click here.

GOING, GOING, GONE: Today is your last chance to bid on a unique online jewelry auction where all of the proceeds raised benefit the Red Door family

PINSENT & PINSENT: all about Uniti (photo: Zoomer magazine)

shelter. Called the Uniti Collection, the pieces are created by 18Karat Goldsmiths and inspired by celebnties partnered with designers. Sparklies adding their lustre to this cause include Leah & Gordon Pinsent, Elvis Stojko and Breakfast Television charmers Dina Pugliese and Jennifer Valentyne. To review the collection and get your bid in, click here … surfers are finding more and more treasures at on-line auctions, which is why they’ve become so popular. BID 2 BEAT AIDS, LIFEbeat’s fifth annual 10-day eBay Celebrity Memorabilia Auction honouring World AIDS Day starts December 1 at 12 noon, with proceeds going to ongoing AIDS/HIV programs in the U.S. Up for grabs are personal items from Michael Feinstein, Debbie Harry, Cheyenne Jackson, Lady Gaga, Cyndi

PUGLIESE: Breakfast jewel

Lauper, Patti LuPone, Madonna, Ricky Martin, Tim McGraw, Liza Minnelli, Stevie Nicks, Cynthia Nixon, Bernadette Peters, Joan Rivers, Henry Rollins, John Waters, Vanessa Williams and the late Bea Arthur, among others. For more information, including a complete list of participating artists and images of many of the items, click here … and  Julia Roberts is among the glitterati reportedly ready to act up for the Labyrinth Theater Company’s seventh annual gala benefit called Celebrity Charades 2009: Jackpot. Beginning

ROBERTS: charity charades

December 7, celeb teams do battle in charades competition, so in addition to Julia look for Eric Bogosian, Bobby Cannavale, Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni and more. And feel free to  follow the action online — where else?!? — at  www.LABtheater.org.

SEE/HEAR: Ever heard of a rock group called 30 Seconds To Mars? Not to worry. You’re not alone.  But clearly we’ve been missing something, because this band delivers an uncommonly visual punch with their words and music, which have even been incorporated into video gaming. First, click here to check out the seductive ‘biker’ film created to illustrate their new single, Kings And Queens. Then, to sample This Is War, the song they created for the in-game soundtrack for the new epic RPG, Dragon Age: Origins, click here.

Like I said — not yer average rock band.

TOMORROW:

Why Liz Smith always makes me laugh.

Plus, Brangelina update, and more!

Who wouldn’t talk about Hef, who got shortchanged in my TIFF tally, and who took home the hardware

GOOD MORNING, TORONTO: Welcome to another razzle-dazzle week of entertainment in Our Town.  Among the notable treats in store: The Boys In The Photograph, the new Andrew Lloyd Weber–Ben Elton musical about

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

young men and women involved with a neighbourhood soccer team in Belfast in 1969, opens tomorrow night at the Royal Alex … DanceWorks opens its new show, Namesake: three, on Wednesday at Harbourfront’s Enwave Theatre … also opening Wednesday: The new Allen Cole-Melody Johnson-Rick Roberts collaboration, Mimi (or A Poisoner’s Comedy) at the Tarragon  … Darren Anthony’s new concert show, Secrets Of A Black Boy, produced by his sister Trey (Da Kink In My Hair) Anthony, opens at the Music Hall on Friday, the same night conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Anton Kuerti, Richard Margison and more launch a reportedly spectacular new

RIVERS: Saturday night

RIVERS: Saturday night

Royal Conservatory music venue, Koerner Hall, in the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning on Bloor Street West … Chick Corea and Sophie Milman christen the hall with jazz the following night … Celebrity Apprentice champ and TSC favourite Joan Rivers plays Casino Rama that same Saturday night … and Kevin Hearn, Raine Maida, Steven Page and Sarah Slean are among the celebrated warblers who will lend their voices when Andrew Burashko’s Art Of Time Ensemble salutes the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road with a re-imagined, re-invented concert version running two nights only, this Saturday and Sunday, also at the Enwave.

And that’s just for starters, folks.

MY BAD: It’s easy to get cross-eyed when so many stars come to town at the same time. At least, that’s my lame excuse for telling you that Colin Farrell and

BETTANY: double-header

BETTANY: double-header

Julianne Moore ruled the TIFF roost this year with three, count them, three films each, while celebrated runners-up George Clooney, Colin Firth and Amands Seyfried each appeared in two TIFF entries. All of which is true, except for two guys I forgot to mention. Don’t know how I missed him, but Willem Dafoe also deserved to be in that top spot with Colin and Julianne, as he appeared in no less than three TIFF titles this year: Antichrist, Daybreakers and Farewell. Sorry about that, Willem. And yes, Paul Bettany, who played Charles Darwin in the opening night film Creation and Lord Melbourne in the closing night film Young Victoria, should have been listed with Clooney, Firth and the young Ms Seyfried in second place. And yes, I’m just hoping I didn’t miss anyone else.

PLAYBOY OF THE EASTERN FILM FESTIVAL: After three capacity crowds jammed the TIFF cinemas where her much-discussed documentary on Hugh Hefner premiered last week, director Brigitte Berman admitted that

BENNETT: talking about Hef

BENNETT: talking about Hef

by the time she finished shooting she had an embarrassment of riches, and had to delete scenes she loved from the original version to bring the film to a more manageable size. Deletions included interviews with the magazine magnate’s two sons, and the stories they tell about how they were treated in high school as Hugh Hefner’s offspring are apparently so fascinating that Berman intends to include that footage as a separate feature when the film is released on DVD. At a Q&A after the film she informed us that Playboy is the second best-known brand in the world — “Coca-Cola is number one,” she added — and that the toughest interview subject to secure, surprisingly, was Tony Bennett. “His agent is very protective of him, as he should be. But as soon as Tony was told of the request, he was all for it, and just a pleasure to work with.”

Did any key players from Hef’s past actually turn her down? “Yes,” replied the ever-candid Oscar-winning director — “Gloria Steinem, Jules Pfeiffer and Bill Cosby.”

WHO WON WHAT: As T.O. filmfest chief Piers Handling noted on Saturday night, TIFF delivered not only 335 films but also 10 days of consecutive sunshine – “the summer we did not have.” But thanks to superb programming, meticulous planning and the more than 2,000 volunteers (!!) who help make it happen, it was truly a festival to remember.

CLARKSON: winning film

CLARKSON: winning film

Finally, just in case you missed it, here’s who took home the hardware from the 34th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

– Best Canadian Short Film: Pedro Pires, Danse Macabre. Honourable mention: Jamie Travis,The Armoire.

– Best Canadian First Feature Film: Alexandre Franchi, The Wild Hunt.

– Best Canadian Feature Film: Ruba Nadda, Cairo Time, with Patricia Clarkson, Tom McCamus and Alexander Siddig. Special Jury Citation: Bernard Émond, La Donation (The Legacy).

– FIPRESCI Prize (Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics for Discovery:) Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, The Man Beyond the Bridge (India).

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

– FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations: Bruno Dumont, Hadewijch (France).

– People’s Choice Award: Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. First runner-up:  Bruce Beresford, Mao’s Last Dancer. Second runner-up: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Micmacs (Micmacs à tirelarigot).

– People’s Choice Award – Documentary: Leanne Pooley, The Topp Twins. Runner-up: Michael Moore, Capitalism: A Love Story.

– People’s Choice Award – Midnight Madness: Sean Byrne, The Loved Ones. Runner-up: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, Daybreakers.

TOMORROW:

Margaret Atwood, Twyla Tharp, Rick Mercer, and more.

Charlize gets Sam, Rivers gets roasted, Leo gets Brave, & TIFF film buffs get The Essential 100

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Okay, in the Golden Age of Hollywood they would have made him change his name. Zach Galifianakis, who has

STREEP: As new bestseller Julia Child

STREEP: As new bestseller Julia Child

his pick of projects since his boffo boxoffice Hangover, is set to do a new comedy called Dinner With Schmucks (a title they also would have changed) … rising Aussie hearrthrob Sam Worthington has just signed on to co-star with Charlize Theron in a new thriller called The TouristLeonardo DiCapiro and director Ridley Scott are developing a new version of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World …  the Walter Cronkite memorial this morning at Avery Fisher Hall is the hottest ticket in New York, and once President Obama arrives, they’ll seal the doors. So latecomers will not be an issue … Vanity Fair literary lion Dominick Dunne will be memorialized tomorrow afternoon at St. Vincent Ferrer Church … and there’s no doubt about it, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams (a.k.a. Julie & Julia) have made Julia Child ‘hot’ again. Good news is, Ms. Child’s famed cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking has been reprinted and is #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Bad news is, my spies tell me the publisher didn’t reprint enough copies and most of the new editions have already been, you should pardon the expression, gobbled up.

UNFORGETTABLE: Besides being brilliant filmmakers, what do Ingmar Bergman, Francis Ford Coppola, Federico Fellini, Victor Fleming,

SCORSESE: two for the show

SCORSESE: two for the show

Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Fritz Lang, Jean Renoir, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francois Truffaut and Wong Kar Wai have in common? Of 87, count ‘em, 87 international film directors, they’re the only ones who have more than one movie in The Essential 100, the TIFF film and gallery tribute of 100 films which will open Bell Lightbox next September.  The eye-popping four-month film tribute, which will run to the end of the year, is designed as a showcase for the most influential films of all time. Can’t wait.

ANN-MARGRET: honoured tonight

ANN-MARGRET: honoured tonight

AGE-CANNOT-WITHER DEPT.: She conquered television, movies and Broadway, in that order, and has never stopped working. Am I the only one who can’t believe that Lily Tomlin just celebrated her 70th birthday? … also defying

all the Old standards: Enduring Hollywood icon Ann-Margret, here to be honoured by Best Buddies tonight at the Four Seasons … another ageless screen charmer, Linda Sorensen, is currently in Montreal shooting Barney’s Version … and indefatigable Joan Rivers, a sensational 76, is back in Vegas playing the showroom at the Venetian Hotel.

RIVERS: roasted this weekend

RIVERS: roasted this weekend

“It’s been nearly a decade since I played this town,” she reports, “and boy have a lot of things changed! When I used to perform in Vegas, all of the shows starred married couples. You had Steve & Eydie, Sonny & Cher and my favorites, Siegfried & Roy. One thing, though, has stayed the same—Vegas is the only place where you can see Cher, Bette Midler, Celine Dion and me, all in one night and all played by the same man.”

La Rivers, who is set to play Casino Rama later this month, gets roasted by host Kathy Griffin and a clutch of comedians including Brad Garrett, Carl Reiner and Gilbert Gottfried this weekend on The Comedy Network.

TOMORROW:

Charles Darwin on the Origins Of TIFF, new stage turns for Louise Pitre and Edie Falco, and a celluloid Tree that keeps on growing.