Tag Archives: Liona Boyd

Ryan’s buried brilliance, Rick’s return to the stage and CBC corners Don & Ron for a new mini-series

CHERRY, KEESO, WATTON, MACLEAN: They shoot! They score!

THE WRATH OF GRAPES:  The sequel to the hit mini-series Keep Your Head Up, Kid premieres this Sunday on CBC with Jared Keeso reprising his Gemini-winning performance as Don Cherry. The mini-series charts Don’s journey from the NHL to Coach’s Corner, with Jonathan Watton as Ron MacLean. And if this sequel is only half as good as the original, it can’t help but

ROBERTS: on stage at Tarragon

be a hit … the three-day Toronto International Film & Video Awards festival kicks off today at 5 pm at Victoria College … attention foodies: Insight Productions chief John Brunton is bringing Food Network Canada’s top-rated Top Chef Canada series back for a second season on March 12 … the Shakespeare in Action production of The Diary of Anne Frank opens March 15 at the Al Green Theatre in the Miles Nadal JCC. Sascha Cole returns in the central role of Anne as do Chris Karczmar and Alexis Koetting as Mr. and Mrs. Frank … and Rick Roberts, so good as Stephen Leacock’s errant father in Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town, is back on the boards again, this time in the English-language premiere of The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs. The Carole Fréchette play, translated by John Murrell, is helmed by Kim’s Convenience director Weyni Mengesha. Now in previews, it opens March 7 at the Tarragon.

MEANWHILE: Veteran rocker George Olliver postponed his gig at the Courtyard Restaurant in Pickering last week due to fearsome media weather forecasts predicting the storm of the century.  Which, as I recall, translated to some rain. He’s now set to play the Courtyard tonight instead … pop/jazz vocalist Joel Hartt makes his debut performance at the Green Door Cabaret tomorrow night with piano man Mark Kieswetter … DanceWorks presents Sylvain Émard Danse in the Toronto premiere of Fragments – Volume I,  for one night only, tomorrow at the Enwave Theatre at Harbourfront …Liona Boyd is Alberta-bound for nine concerts with Michael Savona. You can find her tour dates on her new renovated website at www.LionaBoyd.com… and  Discovery Networks have snagged versatile screenwriter and producer Edwina Follows (Traders, Relic Hunter, Beast Master, Emily of New Moon) as its new  Director of Commissioning and Production. Follows is now responsible for the commissioning  independent programming for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery World HD, Investigation Discovery and Discovery Science.  Smart move, Discovery.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE HIGH SEAS:  Yesterday our Floating Film Festival on the Seabourn Sojourn made its first stop, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I like San Juan, but whenever I come here all I always think of Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics to America from West Side Story:

Puerto Rico / My heart’s devotion / let it sink into the ocean /

After our stop in San Juan we screened two more movies. First up was an intriguing documentary called Jealous Of The Birds. Did you know that more than 15,000 Holocaust survivors chose to remain in Germany after World War II? Me neither. How could they stay? Jealous Of The Birds is a first-time documentary by young filmmaker Jordan Bahat that attempts to answer that question. Bahat’s quest is clearly personal; he longs to understand the choices made by his own grandparents – he even persuades his grandmother to revisit Auschwitz – and how they managed to rebuild their lives  Bahat’s film is a study of survivors, their children and other Germans who choose to live among perpetrators. and includes interviews children whose legacy includes the crimes of their parents. Fascinating stuff, and a fine start for a first-time filmmaker.

GOSLING & DUNST: brilliant performances, buried treasure

Last night’s bedtime story, screened after dinner, was All Good Things, a 2010 psychological thriller with an outstanding case. Both love story and murder mystery, it was inspired by one of the most notorious missing person’s case in New York history, in which Robert Durst, scion of the wealthy Durst family, was suspected of, but never tried for,  killing his wife, who disappeared in 1982 and was never seen again. Ryan Gosling plays Robert Marks, Kirsten Dunst plays his doomed young wife Katie, and Frank Langella plays the powerful family patriarch. The film is already regarded as a buried treasure, mysteriously abandoned by its distributors when it could easily have been an Oscar contender. Dunst and especially Gosling offer brilliant, breathtakingly believable performances as the young couple destined for tragedy. We watch horrified as Dunst’s slow corruption plays directly into Gosling’s sophisticated spiraling psychotic, with just enough information gleaned en route to show us how he got that way.  Easily the most talked-about film so far at this year’s Floating Film Festival, this is bone-chilling drama at its best. Catch up with it if you can.

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Hollywood rules the Tonys, Piper sums up Zero, Bono & Bob play newsmen, and Liona goes back to highschool

OUR TOWN:  Mother’s Day never looked so funny. First Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Kathryn Greenwood and Teresa Pavlinek return to T.O. tonight as out very favourite Women Fully Clothed, Older and Hotter, kicking off a three-night stand  at Massey

MARSHAK: playwrights' delight

Hall. Then Betty White hosts SNL tomorrow night … also tomorrow night: Funnyman Mike Wilmot wraps his current four-night stint at Yuk Yuks, and George Olliver & Gangbuster rock The Edge in Ajax … what do Bono and Bob Geldof have in common?  Everything, apparently. Which is why the two celebrity activists will edit the Globe & Mail’s special May 10 section devoted to the future of Africa — their way of drawing attention to the issue of extreme poverty in Africa ahead of the G8 and G20 meetings scheduled to be held here next month. Kenyan activist and blogger Ory Okolloh will also be part of Monday’s editorial team … and Linda Kash, Theresa Tova and Judy Marshak are among the featured artists set to interpret new works by playwrights Michael Ross Albert, Ron Fromstein, Bekky O’Neil and Darrah Teitel at In The Beginning on Monday night  at the Miles Nadal JCC. For tickets, click here.

FOOTLIGHTS: Yes, it’s official — Broadway has finally gone Hollywood. Tony nominees this year include Jude LawHamlet; Alfred MolinaRedLiev Schreiber, A View from the

LAW: Tony nominee

Bridge; Christopher WalkenA Behanding in SpokaneDenzel Washington, Fences; Valerie HarperLoopedLinda LavinCollected StoriesLaura Linney, Time Stands Still; Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night MusicKelsey GrammerLa Cage aux Folles; Sean HayesPromises, Promises; Scarlett JohanssonA View from the Bridge; and Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music. And Broadway regular David Hyde Pierce, who shot to fame with Tony nominee Kelsey Grammer in Frasier, will receive the Isabelle Stevenson humanitarian honour. Should be interesting to see if the mix of big and small screen names will kickstart higher Nielsen ratings when the awards show is telecast from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday June 13.

NEWTON-JOHN: mind & body

HEAD OF THE CLASS: Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida is one of the favourite new showbiz hideaways, attracting marquee names from all over the globe. Sparklies who have already stopped by for a tune-up this season include Anthony Hopkins, Tommy Tune, Glee guest star Olivia Newton-John and Liona Boyd, who confirms she is moving back to L.A. this summer. After six years of trying the East Coast on for size, she says she found Miami too hot, “mosquitoey” and “hurricaney”, New York “too tough and unromantic,” and Connecticut winters “too damn cold!” She’s also returning to the concert stage – Toronto fans can see her May 25 at the March of Dimes fundraising Gala at the Royal York – and In the meantime, don’t be surprised if you see her in T.O. this weekend. She’s planning to be here tomorrow for her high school reunion!

FOOTLIGHTS: Ageless legit theatre legend Viola Léger returns as Antonine Maillet’s irresistible Acadian cleaning lady in a revival of La Sagouine. Directed by John Van

LINNEY: Tony contender

Burek, Léger performs her legendary one-woman show in English May 14-29, followed by a run en français May 31-June 5, at the Berkeley St. Theatre Downstairs … Perry Perlmutar promises to “try to be extra funny for you” when he opens at Absolute Comedy next week … and among the major entries set for the Harold Green Theatre next  season: Zero Hour, with Jim Brochu as comedy icon Zero Mostel, directed by indomitable screen siren Piper Laurie. Meanwhile, the amusing and engagingly tuneful Soul Of Gershwin, a lightherarted exploration of George & Ira’s roots in klezmer music, closes tomorrow night at the Winter Garden. To snag last-minute tickets, just click here. And have a happy weekend!

-/-

Emilio shows his dad The Way, Carsen tells some lavish Tales and Jason & Carly indulge in hot text

FLICKERS: Get set for “the greatest opera film ever, filmed in 3D and HD video, featuring 1000 extras, 150 musicians and chorus members from the Paris

SHEEN: walking The Walk

Opera, 50 dancers and 20 of the world’s greatest singers.” No kidding. It’s the all-new Tales Of Hoffman, an extravagant film debut for director Robert Carsen. Is Michael Levine designing the sets? Of course. The 150-minute spectacle will be shot in Paris, Milan, Prague and Venice, locations include the Paris Opera and La Scala, and Renee Fleming and Rolando Villazon are set to topline a cast which includes Scott Hendricks, Anne Sophie Von Otter and Bryn Terfel. Stay tuned … Martin Sheen is in Spain, shooting The Way with Deborah Kara Unger for his actor-writer-director son Emilio Estevez. It’s a story about El Camino de

McCORMACK: texting?

Santiago, the famous pilgrimage route that has existed for more than 1000 years. Shirley MacLaine walked the 500 miles from the French village of Saint Jean de Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela in 1994 — she was 60 at the time — and got a bestseller out of it. Can’t wait to see what Emilio does with it … and Jason Lewis, Eric McCormack and Carly Pope are shooting Liam Card’s Textuality, a comedy about a guy and a girl on the brink of romance who must first end the multiple relationships they were managing through their Blackberries before they met. Also on hand to bring actor-writer Card’s first feature film screenplay to life are director Warren P. Sonoda, producer Marc Rigaux and executive producer Michael Baker. Sounds like fun.

NOW THAT’S GOING GREEN: Looking for enviro-friendly Xmas gifts? Street pole banners featuring those striking images from the National Ballet are being combined with recycled seatbelts and inner tubes (!!) to create National Ballet tote bags and messenger bags. They’re all made with 100% recycled material and you can buy ’em at the Ballet Boutique at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

BOYD: Peter, Paul & Liona?

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’m looking to form a Peter, Paul & Mary style trio (so sad that poor Mary recently died) and wondered if any of you happen to know someone who might fit the bill. He has to be able to play folky acoustic guitar (or even classical, but not essential), and have a good singing voice (preferably a tenor,) plus live in North America. If he happens to be single, nice looking, slim, somewhat enlightened and intelligent and between the age of 50 and 65 so much the better :-)”

The seeker? Guitar virtuoso Liona Boyd, e-talking a musical APB to her friends and fans in her recent newsletter.

UP UP & AWAY: Air Canada is testing whether travelers want to pay to surf the Web, send email or work via the Internet while flying. Internet service on select Toronto-Los Angeles and Montreal-Los Angeles routes will run until January 29. Passengers will pay $9.95 per flight to use a laptop computer and $7.95 to use a personal electronic device, such as a smartphone. Air Canada also began charging extra fees last week to book Preferred seats with additional leg room, starting at $14. Preferred seats refer to the bulkhead and exit row seats in Economy Class that offer added legroom. “These coveted seats are now available to all Air Canada and Jazz® customers for a fee that varies by fare option and destination.”

Hmmmmm. And the fee for using the washroom is …??

 

TOMORROW:

The Bible tells me so.

Brad gives up his metal rug, Liona makes more headlines and Harland goes ape for gorillas

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Bad news was, Ben Heppner had to cancel his appearance at the Canadian Opera Company’s 60th anniversary

HEPPNER: concert-to-come

concert earlier this month due to the viral infection he caught in October while singing at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Good news is, Heppner will perform a special solo recital with piano, on stage of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, at a date to be announced soon. And, his songfest will be free for all ticket purchasers of the Nov. 7 COC Diamond Anniversary concert … the Stratford festival memorial celebration of stage lion Douglas Campbell is set for this Monday at 3 pm on the Festival Stage and is open to the public … National Ballet chief Karen Kain has wooed and won dancer Jirí Jelinek, who will join her merry NBOC band as a Principal Dancer in January. Previously a Principal Dancer for both the National Theatre in Prague and the Stuttgart Ballet, Jelinek has blazed a trail dancing through Europe, and was most recently invited by the

WILLIAMS: going ape?

Hamburg Ballet to dance the role of Stanley Kowalski in John Neumeier’s version of Tennessee WilliamsA Streetcar Named Desire … and guess who went on an African Gorilla safari, following in the footsteps of Dian Fossey? Would it surprise you to learn that I’m talking about Canuck ex-pat Harland Williams? Oh sure, it can get a bit dicey on The Jay Leno Show, but go to Rwanda, man — it’s a jungle out there. To see Harland and the Gorillas he almost Mist, uuuh, missed, click here.

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: As indicated in that extravagant recent photo spread in Hello magazine, Liona Boyd continues to live a fascinating life. From  her eight-

BOYD: it's her year

year romance with Pierre Trudeau — “Pierre asked me to come and live with him and have a child by him” — to her ongoing relationship with HRH Prince Philip (“He’s still my best pen pal”) to her hush-hush performance for the sequestered jurors in the O.J. Simpson trial, the world’s first female guitar virtuoso has blazed her own unique trail in show business. This fall she has two, count ’em, two new albums — Liona Boyd Sings Songs of Love, a collection of duets with Croatian singer-guitarist Srdjan Givoje, and Seven Journeys , a CD of new-age, atmospheric music. And as if that wasn’t enough, her back catalogue is also

JOLIE: no sharp edges

being reissued by Universal on iTunes. Which by my reckoning has gotta make 2009 the Year Of The Lion(a.)

OH, STOP GRIPING: Wonder why my hero, Manhattan gossip girl Liz Smith, can always make me laugh? Here’s an item from one of her recent, eminently readable columns on the frankly fabulous femme website, wowOwow.com.

Brad and Angie spent a recent weekend personally baby-proofing their French chateau. (Oh, stop griping. They have a chateau, that’s just the way life is. I’m sure you have something they don’t have.) Not only did the parents of six toddlers put plugs over the electrical outlets and all that, they even moved out some of Brad’s art pieces and furniture, objects too sharp, too hard, too high, too appealing to curious tykes. So, for the time being, interesting stuff like Brad’s metal woven rug are in the chateau’s garage. Which is probably a smaller chateau. Life isn’t fair, deal with it.”

Funny lady, our Liz. Truthful, too.

DOUBLE OR NOTHING: Vladimir Putin puttin’ out a rap song? Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton meeting for a cup of coffee at Starbucks? Michael Ignatieff introducing the new Liberal theme song? And Quebec’s favourite game show is “Le Whack Job”? Yes, Linda Cullen & Bob Robertson have gone AWOL again. For another crazy episode of Double Exposure Radio. click here — but do so at your own risk!

AND NOW, MY FAVOURITE POSTER-OF-THE-WEEK:

9th JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL: This poster makes me smile.

Happy weekend!

-/-

If it’s Monday it must be music, music, music!

TONIGHT, TONIGHT: Tonight marks the Canadian debut concert of the world-famous Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela led by

DUDAMELL: he's a rock star

DUDAMELL: he's a rock star

superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel, the new music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic — (60 Minutes called him “the hottest thing to hit classical music since Leonard Bernstein”) — at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Special highlight tonight will be the presentation of the Glenn Gould Prize to Dr. José Antonio Abreu, whose visionary music education and youth orchestra system, El Sistema, has transformed the lives of over a million at-risk children and youth in Venezuela. Tonight’s gala concert kicks off a week of performances, education and outreach activities to illuminate, stimulate and communicate the passion for music. For more info, just click here.

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Strumming queen Liona Boyd wants it known that despite the title of her new CD, Liona Boyd Sings Songs Of Love, she has not,

MULDAUR: here Wednesday

MULDAUR: here Wednesday

repeat, NOT given up guitar. “I might not quite be the virtuoso player I used to be,” the ageless entertainer confides to her fans, “but I can still perform beautiful melodies and incorporate many different guitar techniques, as you’ll clearly hear on my CD.” However, she’s more than partial to vocalizing as well. “I love singing and I practice my songs around the house at every opportunity … one of the great advantages of living alone!” … three dozen albums and one Midnight At The Oasis later, Maria Muldaur returns to her jug band roots with an intimate concert Wednesday night at Hugh’s Room … after almost four years and sales of four million copies of her debut album, Corinne Bailey Rae’s second

AZNAVOUR: jazz roots

AZNAVOUR: jazz roots

album, The Sea, is set for release in February …Geri Halliwell (a.k.a. Ginger Spice) is reportedly set to produce a new West End “pop extravaganza” which would tell the tale of the rise of The Spice Girls, the ‘90s English pop girl group who made a big-boxoffice reunion tour last year … attention Christmas shoppers: The much-anticipated, rumoured-to-be-breathtaking CD featuring Charles Aznavour performing some of his classics with the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra is due in local disc shops on Dec. 1 … A.M. on A.M.? You bet. You can hear AM740’s two-hour Anne Murray All of Me – the Radio Special at 1 pm today, on the radio or on the internet (in stereo) at www.am740.ca … the new Lighthouse CD/DVD

LIGHTHOUSE: new CD/DVD package

LIGHTHOUSE: new CD/DVD package

package, 40 Years Of Sunny Days, includes a new DVD of 16 recent Lighthouse videos in surround sound, commentary by band members,s a newly remastered CD of the most requested Lighthouse  classics and a 42 page booklet about the band … and call it a sign of the times, but Chris Colepaugh’s new album Burning —  a collection of live performances captured by his Cosmic Crew — is being released in digtal format only. To preview the new album, go to his website right here.

contains a new DVD of 16 recent Lighthouse videos in surround sound, commentary by band members,s a newly remastered CD of the most requested Lighthouse
classics and a 42 page booklet about the band

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’ve been through a lot of change in the 21 years I’ve been anchoring this program, and I can remember times we’ve switched the

MANSBRIDGE: let sleeping dogs lie?

MANSBRIDGE: let sleeping dogs lie?

theme music and our loyal viewers got really upset – some of them wrote to us explaining how their dogs used to fall asleep to the old theme music and now they’re barking like mad – so there’s no doubt there will be a few people who will initially be unsure of it.”

The speaker? Peter Mansbridge, in an interview with National Post reporter Vanessa Farquharson, commenting on the new-look changes we’ll see tonight on The National and CBC News.

TOMORROW:

Who gets to play Hef in the movie?