Tag Archives: JOHN WELLS

Marg Delahunty returns to T.O., Meryl & Julia move to Osage County and Jim makes more Mostel magic

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ:  Savvy scene-stealer Mary Walsh returns to Toronto next month in her new one-woman play, Dancing With Rage. The show, set to run March 6-31 at Theatre Passe Muraille,  incorporates both new

WALSH: Marg Delahunty returns to T.O.

and  familiar faces, most notably 22 Minutes alumni Dakey Dunn, Connie Bloor and the legendary Marg Delahunty. Walsh’s last stage stint here was almost two years ago, at the Panasonic with Andrea Martin and Louise Pitre in Love, Loss and What I Wore, directed by Karen Carpenter. Carpenter is also directing Dancing With Rage and she and Walsh still have to decide if they’ll tour the show after it closes here … Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are set to co-star in the film version of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County. John Wells will direct …  the cast of Ghost will perform a sneak peek of the

STREEP & ROBERTS: Osage County gals

show on Jimmy Fallon’s late show tonight before the West End musical hit even begins its Broadway previews … and  remember Slings  & Arrows, the brilliant take-off on Stratford and its oh-so-theatrical inhabitants?  Paul GrossMartha Burns and Stephen Ouimette were sensational, and newcomers Rachel McAdams and Luke Kirby weren’t too shabby either. New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger recently suggested that NBC’s much-ballyhooed Smash should avoid dumbing down its storylines and aim higher. “The writers,” he said, “would also benefit from watching a few seasons of Slings & Arrows, a terrific backstage television series that was smart and proud of it,” he advised. Challenging viewers “to keep up, as Slings and Arrows did, is ultimately more rewarding.”

UP UP AND AWAY: On a clear you can see --- whaaa??

IF YOU GET CAUGHT BETWEEN THE SUN AND NEW YORK CITY:  It was just a publicity stunt for the new sci-fi movie Chronicle, written and directed by director John Landis’ chip-off-the-old block Max. But it sure got people talking. To see how they did it, cick here.

A BRIDGE TOO FAR: Unless you're flying over it, of course ...

NOW IS THE HOUR:  Finally caught up with Jim Brochu‘s much acclaimed performance in Zero Hour, and although I didn’t see how his one-man show could live up to its advance publicity, it easily surpassed it. In addition to being an

BROCHU as MOSTEL: brilliant

extraordinarily disciplined and gifted actor, Brochu is also a brilliant writer and storyteller who is never less than engaging, so you don’t have to be a rabid fan of Zero Mostel to be captivated by his reconstituted presence on stage. I know several long-term admirers of Mostel who have been wowed by Brochu’s tour de force, and after seeing him in action, I can certainly understand why. His personal revelations, including Mostel’s bitter estrangement from his family, are tough and touching. His backstage stories, from his account of Lucille Ball testifying to the House Committee on Un-American Activities to his palpable loathing for

HANGING OUT: Merman & Brochu at Sardi's

Broadway blabbers Elia Kazan and Jerome Robbins, are unforgettable. The Zero Mostel we prefer to remember is the lovable clown from The Producers, the madcap jester from A Funny Thing Happened Our The Way To The Forum, the Jewish patriarch who wished he was A Rich Man in Fiddler On The Roof. But Brochu is a true creature of the theatre — his caricature hangs next to Ethel Merman’s at Sardi’s — and accordingly the artist Brochu reincarnates for us has to fight to be in the spotlight. Zero only gets to star in Forum because first choice Milton Berle and second choice Phil Silvers both turn it down. And although his portrayal of Tevye is burned into the heart of Broadway memory, he was third choice for that one too. (First name on the Fiddler producers’ wish list was Danny Kaye.)

JIM BROCHU as ZERO MOSTEL in ZERO HOUR at Bathurst Street Theatre

When the curtain finally comes down — all too soon for some of us — the fact that we feel like we’ve just spent the evening with Zero Mostel, and not a carbon copy, is further testament to Brochu’s great skill as an actor. On stage here at the Bathurst Street Theatre through March 11, Zero Hour is a fascinating and formidably funny showcase for both of them. Don’t miss it.

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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.