Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Patti & Mandy team up again, Factory opens a Flu drama and Sue & Mr Schu get Glee-full off-B’way

BROADWAY BABIES: After they co-starred in Evita, she went on to recreate stellar stage roles at home and abroad in Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes,

MANDY & PATTI: together in T.O.

Sweeney Todd and Gypsy and on screen in the hit TV series Life Goes On. He graduated to Sunday In The Park With George, made his mark on the big screen in The Princess Bride and Yentl, then scored a hit in three top-notch TV series, Chicago Hope, Dead Like Me, and Criminal Minds. But they always were, and still are, traffic-stopping singers who remain dream-come-true interpreters of Broadway’s greatest composers. The good news is, they’re together again at last, on a rare reunion concert tour. The better news is, they’re coming to Toronto. An Evening With Patti Lupone & Mandy Patinkin will rule the Royal Alex for one short week only, Feb. 9-14, and tickets are already on sale. So don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Because this will truly be a night to remember.

NO, NOT THAT MADONNA: After kicking off its 40th (!!!) anniversary season with Brad Fraser’s high-octane crowd-pleaser True Love Lies, Factory Theatre reportedly has another big winner in The Madonna Painter. After a

HUDSON: that's Mrs. Mandela to you

week of buzz-provoklng previews the world premiere of Michel Marc Bouchard’s theatrical parable, directed by Eda Holmes, opens tonight with a stellar cast including Bartholemew Fair scene-stealer Juan Chioran, who’s already set to headline the Stratford revivals of Kiss Me Kate and Evita next season. In Bouchard’s play, set in rural Quebec at the end of World War I, a village priest commissions a fresco dedicated to the Virgin Mary to protect his parishioners from a flu epidemic, and assistant director Cory O’Brien hints that the synergy between the premise of the play and our current H1N1 headlines was downright eerie. “Coughing rattles throughout the rehearsal hall,” he blogged two weeks ago. “Either our actors are overly ‘method’ or we’ve encountered a very strange coincidence. In a play filled with the ominous threat of the Spanish flu our cast has fallen sick. Stay home? Or come to rehearsal? Ginseng. Hand sanitizer. Cold formula tea. To get the flu shot or not to get the flu shot. That is the question.”

Should be fascinating to see who makes it to the stage tonight.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Glee club guru Will Schuester (aka Matthew Morrison) and rabid cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (aka Jane

MORRISON & LYNCH: Glee-full

Lynch) got together last week when Morrison stopped by the off-Broadway’s theatre to catch Lynch and Tyne Daly in the current Nora & Delia Ephron hit Love, Loss and What I WoreLisa Ray, currently being treated for multiple myeloma, is preparing for a stem cell transplant to treat her rare cancer. Next week the gorgeous star of Water and Bollywood/Hollywood starts a two-week procedure that involves releasing her own stem cells back into her blood to “reboot” her system before any further treatment … Jennifer Hudson will go to South Africa next spring to star in a screen biography of Winnie Mandela, the controversial ex-wife of Nelson … and L.A. audiences got an unexpected bonus last week when Dick Van Dyke joined the national touring cast of Mary Poppins for their curtain call at the Ahmanson Theatre.

TOMORROW:

Lily in Las Vegas

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What you may not know about the two ‘overnight sensations’ who are making GLEE your favourite new show of the 2009-2010 television season

MORRISON:  as 'Mr Shuster'

MORRISON: as 'Mr Schuester'

LYNCH: as not-so-sweet Sue

LYNCH: as not-so-sweet Sue

It seemed like they came out of nowhere, this tall, lanky high school teacher and the razor-tongued athletic coach determined to be his nemesis. If they’d been major players (or even minor ones) on earlier TV shows, I’d obviously missed those series. And even after Glee made its auspicious and, yes, spectacular debut as a test pilot, no one ever said, “Oh you know him, he’s the guy from Law & Criminals: Baltimore.” Or anything even remotely like that. We saw him in action. Then we saw her in action. And then we went wow! — who are these people?

MORRISON: in South Pacific

MORRISON: in South Pacific

Apparently we were looking for answers in all the wrong places. We should have been looking to Broadway. Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester, the Spanish teacher who decides to try to resuscitate the high school glee club, is an accomplished song and dance man who co-starred in the sensational still-running Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific, nightly revisiting such Rodgers & Hammerstein classics as I Have Dreamed and Carefully Taught.
And when he isn’t playing the beleaguered high school teacher in the runaway hit of this TV season, he’s working with his South Pacific director Bartlett Sher on developing a musical version of Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

LYNCH: with Streep in Julie & Julia

LYNCH: with Streep in Julie & Julia

(Who knew???)
We sure knew he could sing and dance, however — and stay in character — after we saw him ‘teach’ his irresistible Glee club misfits how to sell a song. (Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Just click here.)

As for the outrageously funny Jane Lynch — frankly, and i mean candidly: Where Have I Been? She’s been a popular recurring multi-episode player on such long-running hit series as Boston Legal, Criminal Minds, The ‘L’ Word and Two And A Half Men. Comedy

GLEE: tonight at 9 pm

GLEE: tonight at 9 pm

aficonados will tell you in a heartbeat that she performed all her own singing and guitar playing in A Mighty Wind, and that she made them scream with laughter when she appeared with Steve Carrell in his breakthrough film The 40 Year Old Virgin. (Morrison also has on-screen history with Carrell. He played the cop that wouldn’t get off his case in Dan In Real Life.) What many of her fans don’t realize, however, is that Lynch is currently on screen with Meryl Streep, playing the small but key role of Julia Child‘s sister in Julie & Julia. And that she opens off-Broadway with Tyne Daly tonight — yes, tonight — as part of the rotating all-female cast of the new Nora & Delia Ephron opus, Love, Loss And What I Wore. So she continues in very good company, on stage and screens.

MORRISON: Broadway baby

MORRISON: Broadway baby

LYNCH: TV veteran

LYNCH: TV veteran

So does Glee. Two weeks ago, barely into the run of the series, Glee cast recordings accounted for 10 spots on the iTunes list of top 200 downloaded songs and four places on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week. The top-selling Glee cast recordings included two mash-ups created for the series — one of Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” and Usher’s “Confessions Part II,” and the other of Beyoncé’s “Halo” and “Walking on Sunshine,” by Katrina and the Waves. And more sales are in the offing. On Nov. 3 Columbia Records and 20th Century Fox Television will release Glee: The Music, Volume 1, the first in what is planned as a series of soundtrack albums. And last week the Fox series made more headlines when NBC reneged on its invitation to have the Glee cast perform during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which it broadcasts. So now the Glee cast will perform during the World Series, singing the national anthem in either Los Angeles or Philadelphia, depending on the outcome of the playoffs, during game three of the series, which is telecast by Fox.

Still wondering what all the fuss is about? To catch up with the pilot that started it all, just click here. To catch a new episode, tune in tonight at 9 pm to Fox or Global. And enjoy!

TOMORROW:

More star-studded news and views

from Vanessa Williams, Lily Tomlin and more.

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Andrea carries a Torch, Angie conducts (unarmed) and Rick, Ron & Don are three CBC guys we trust

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Gorgeous Jessica Biel can’t figure out why people can’t figure out how she and her steady fella Justin Timberlake keep such a low public  profile. “We’re never in the tabloids because we just don’t

BIEL: can't imagine what Justin sees in her

BIEL: can't imagine what Justin sees in her

do anything that interesting,” she says with a shrug. “We don’t do anything. We just hang out at home!” … still-gorgeous Angie Dickinson is set to play conductor for the Boston Pops By The Sea on Aug. 2 but doesn’t know what to do to make it special. “Somebody told me that when Julia Child did it, she conducted with a spoon. I thought at first in homage to Police Woman I’d conduct with a gun, but then, of course, no – soooo politically incorrect!” Her fans will get to see her even sooner, as a rural woman facing blindness in the new Hallmark TV movie Mending Fences on July 18 … and by now you probably know that the June edition of Reader’s Digest lists the Top 50 people Canadians trust the most. David Suzuki placed first, followed by The Queen, Gen. Rick

MERCER: trustworthy

MERCER: trustworthy

Hillier, Stephen Lewis and Michael J. Fox.  Rounding out the top 10 were Lloyd Robertson, Peter Mansbridge, Stephen Harper, auditor general Sheila Fraser and Rick Mercer. Among the top-20 most trusted were four hockey personalities — Wayne Gretzky, Don Cherry, Ron MacLean and Jean Béliveau. And make of this what you will, but of the eight television personalities in the Top 20, seven — Suzuki, Mansbridge, Mercer, George Stroumboulopoulos, Rex Murphy, Cherry and MacLean — are proud CBC stars. And the eighth, CTV broadcaster Lloyd Robertson, is also a CBC alumnus.

LADY SINGS THE NEWS: My favourite New York gossip girl Liz Smith scooped yesterday that Michael Jackson’s newly-discovered will stipulates that if his mother, Katherine Jackson is “unable or unwilling” to fulfill her role as guardian to Michael’s children – page Miss Diana Ross!

“Before you start giggling,” Liz warned in her  wowOwow.com post, “please remember that Diana has raised five – count ‘em – five beautiful children who have never been in a spit of trouble. Diva she may be to coworkers, but she has been an exemplary mother. This is an intelligent choice, actually.”

FOOTLIGHTS: Marquee magnets Andrea Martin, Richard Thomas and Lea Thompson are spending their summer vacation at the Williamstown
MARTIN: at Williamstown

MARTIN: at Williamstown

Theatre Festival. Ms. Martin will appear in George Kelly’s little-known farce The Torch-Bearers (July 29-August 9), with Edward Herrmann, Marian Seldes and John Rubinstein.  Ms. Thompson will appear in Melinda Lopez’s Caroline in Jersey (August 5-16), and Thomas will appear one night only, playing Tennessee Williams in his new one-man show Blanche and Beyond on Sunday, August 2 …  he won great reviews as the young Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movie, and now Chris Pine is winning more plaudits, this time on stage in Los Angeles. Pine plays a press secretary working for a Democratic candidate in Farragut North, a new play by Beau Willimon at the Geffen Playhouse. Pine, who has a stage background, reportedly delivers “a multilayered and riveting performance” …  Pam Hyatt is set to team up with renowned organist Christopher Dawes for

PINE: stage trek

PINE: stage trek

a special evening at the Stratford Summer Music Festival on Aug. 2 … and superProducer Marlene Smith, honoured earlier this week at the 2009 Dora Awards, is the new Chair of Theatre Museum Canada.  Past chair Kate Barris will continue to lend her support as a member of  the museum’s Board of Directors.

FLICKERS: Latest victim of the New Hollywood:  20th Century Props, which offers a vast inventory of items used in film and television productions, now plans to go out of business next month and auction the inventory. Awwww … The Toronto Film Society returns

BANDERAS: Goodbye, Dali

BANDERAS: Goodbye, Dali

with its Season 62 (!!!) summer series — 14 crime suspense thrillers showcased in seven double features. The new series, Hitchcock And Friends, starts next Monday July 6. For more details, click here ... now that she’s teamed with Gerard Butler in the romantic comedy The Ugly Truth, Katherine Heigl is switching gears again. Her next big-screen opus is a drama, Life As We Know It, for Warner Bros. … and Liz Smith says we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for those two Salvador Dali film biographies announced earlier this year. Antonio Banderas was set to play the eccentric artist in one version, and Al Pacino was reportedly committed to playing him in the second film. But both of these screenplays were apparently deemed far too racy by the Foundation which safeguards the artist’s name and legend. And that, too, is show business.

district9-9SEE/HEAR:  You see them in the subway and on the street — posters urging you to report non-Humans if you catch ‘em misbehaving. It’s all a tease for a new thriller, District 9, slated to open here in August. Expected to be one of this summer’s most subversive sci-fi treats, it’s a low-radar collaboration between director Neill Blomkamp, best known for his animation and special visual effects,  and Oscar-winning producer-director Peter Jackson (Lord Of The Rings.)

Good news is, District 9 also has one great website. And you can check it out here. Enjoy!

TOMORROW:

Wonder Woman sings,

Citytv goes cross-border shopping,

and Dame Judi does it again!

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Ms Hathaway & Mr Dow get raves, Ms Alley gets ornery, and Ms Kirshner tells us where to go

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: She was mentored by Margaret Atwood, and talent clearly runs in her family. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that it was standing room only last week at the Gladstone when

HATHAWAY: on Broadway

HATHAWAY: on Broadway

Lauren Kirshner launched her first novel, Where We Have To Go. Her big sister, actress Mia Kirshner, was on hand to lead the cheers…  your CBC boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos spent Sunday chilling with Angelo Tsarouchas at the Greek Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in L.A., then followed up with a Mexican-Indian fusion feast  at Cowboys & Turbans (seriously!) with Russell Peters … count Kirstie Alley as a major non-fan of headline-grabbing cyber-gossip Perez Hilton. “HEY PEREZ,” she tweets, “I hear you filed a $25,000 lawsuit against the guy who bopped you. I’ll pay you 30 grand if you let me pop you in the other eye! “ … latest conquest for skyrocketing screen siren Anne Hathaway: Broadway. She’s currently on stage winning raves with four-time Tony winner Audra McDonald and gifted matinee idol Raul Esparza in Daniel Sullivan’s new production of

CARD: renaissance man

CARD: renaissance man

Twelfth Night and add Rick Mercer to Bruce Dow’s burgeoning list of fans. Mercer caught Dow lighting up the stage at Stratford last week in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and laughed myself sick. He is one funny guy. Brilliant!”

WILD CARD: Actor-writer Liam Card is currently experiencing a one-man renaissance and enjoying every minute of it. He’s currently working with his literary agent Chris Bucci on his first novel, Paradise, Mich., a wonderfully quirky premise that I won’t give away here. But he’s even more excited about his first screenplay, Textuality, which is tentatively scheduled to shoot this fall under the Strident Films production banner he co-founded with producer Marc Rigaux. In Card’s screen scenario Jason Lewis, better known to millions of women as

LEWIS: textually challenged?

LEWIS: textually challenged?

Kim Cattrall’s boy toy Smith in Sex And The City, will co-star with Carly Pope (so good in Young People Fucking) as a guy who gets romantically detoured by his own text messages. Card has also written a nice supporting part for himself, as Lewis’ best friend. Set to direct is another Card player, Warren Sonoda, who made a splash last September at TIFF with Cooper’s Camera and who also directed Card in Puck Hogs, a new comedy scheduled to open later this year.

Stay tuned. There’s bound to be more to come.

2009_0626_gq_sacha_baron_cohen_brunoBORAT WAS SO 20006: Yes, that’s the tagline on ads for Bruno, the new ‘reality comedy’ created and relentlessly promoted by Sacha Baron Cohen. Publicity generated by his outlandish premieres in London, Paris and Madrid and the stunningly stunned bogus ‘photo shoot’ candids has been truly eye-catching and, strategically speaking, among the best we’ve ever witnessed. The new comedy should have a huge July 10 opening weekend, but it will be interesting to see how it fares after that. Especially when many of us thought we’d already seen Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson do this act in Zoolander. (Hey, I’m just sayin’…) Meanwhile, opening the film in Europe first has provided a big box office cushion Bruno.2for Bruno, just in case the make-believe gay supermodel ends up needing one. And yes, you’re right, I shouldn’t take liberties with the film by abbreviating its title. The film’s full name — in Europe, at least – is Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt. To see the Approved trailer, click here. To see the Restricted trailer – yes, there really is a Restricted trailer for Mature Audiences Only – click here. But be warned: If you thought Borat was outrageous, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

COLOR ME PLAID:  Remember when Toronto audiences fell in love with Forever Plaid? Prepare to swoon again, and soon. The critically acclaimed off-Broadway musical will return for one night only at select Cineplex cinemas on Thursday July 9, and Cineplex is making a night of it with a LIVE red carpet appearance, an introduction by the original cast with special celebrity guests, and a pre-taped 20th Anniversary performance of the musical, starring members of the original Off-Broadway cast. The event will conclude with a LIVE performance by The Plaids who will perform numbers never before sung in the show, a mix of swinging standards and more contemporary songs. Can you imagine How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? juxtaposed with Who Let the Dogs Out? Me neither. And there’s even a bouncing ball sing-a-long in the works.

Should be quite a night!

TOMORROW:

Andrea carries a Torch,

Angie conducts (unarmed,)

and  three CBC guys we trust,

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