Tag Archives: NATALIE PORTMAN

Ms Vanasse gets Scruples, Ms Koslo gets Sheba, Ms Janney gets a Dinner and Ms Lucci gets a maid

VANASSE: new pilot

TUBE TALK: Award-winning Quebec actress Karine Vanasse, who charmed American audiences with her work in the too-short-lived Pan Am, is shooting a pilot for a new series for a new first-time producer. The pilot? Scruples, based on the Judith Krantz novel about a socialite who attempts to open a fashion-forward boutique in the heart of Beverly Hills. The new producer? Natalie Portman, who is exec producing with Tony Krantz and Annette Savitch  … three TV favourite are tossing their hats in the ring again. Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) is shooting Americana,a

JANNEY: dinner date

pilot for a new drama about a legendary fashion designer and his family business; Tony Shaloub (Monk) and Allison Janney (West Wing) are starring in Friday Night Dinner, a pilot spin-off of the British series that revolves around a traditional Jewish family as they observe Shabbat dinners; and Susan Lucci is the top-billed marquee bait in Devious Maids, a pilot based on the Mexican telenova about four maids who work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. And the beat goes on.

MAZZARA: bound for Banff

PEOPLE: Add Glen Mazzara, Executive Producer of the Emmy Award-winning series The Walking Dead, to the Master Class series at the upcoming Banff World Media Festival … Women Fully Clothed will follow up their April dates in California with four May stops in beautiful B.C., performing their new show in Nanaimo, Victoria, Courtenay and North Van … Corrine Koslo inherits the juicy role originated on stage and screen by Shirley Booth when Come Back, Little Sheba opens this summer at the Shaw Festival. More on Shaw tomorrow …  Gerald Finley, Oliver Jones, Quartetto Gelato and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale are among the mighty music-makers set to spark this summer’s Westben Arts Festival Theatre offerings in

BUCKNER: Den mother

Campbellford, Ontario. July showcase presentations culminate in an August 5 fund-raiser finale, featuring pianist Brian Finley and the Brian Barlow Big Band and aptly named The Big Band Theory. Sounds like a winner … and the indefatigable Pat Ferns, in Cannes to moderate the “By Invitation Only” Drama CoProXchange at MIP TV, is heading back to his old stomping ground, li’l ol’ T.O., at the end of the month to host International Co-Production Day at Hot Docs on April 30.

IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO THEM NOW: On tonight’s Dragons’ Den finale, all five Dragons reminisce about the very best – and worst – moments over the past six seasons. Den host Diane Buckner reportedly gets Dragons Jim

HAWCO: cliffhanger?

Treliving, Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Bruce Croxon and exiting fire-breather Robert Herjavec to tell what they really think about each other,  and highlights from the last six seasons of the show include the stand-out pitches AND the in-fighting, counting down to the three most memorable moments in the series’ history. After you leave the Den,  Allan Hawco rallies his troops on Republic Of Doyle’s season closer  to prove his father’s innocence when he’s accused of murder. Will Season 3 end with another cliffhanger?  I’d put money on it, b’y … … and speaking of cliff-hangers, Martin Gero’s steamy L.A. Complex series, about young hopefuls sharing the same space in Hollywood, will premiere on The CW in the U.S. this month. New episodes are set to start unspooling here in July on MuchMusic.

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Rick’s grand finale, k.d.’s recollections, Zach’s funny ferns & the unsinkable Debbie (she ain’t down yet!)

ALL-SINGING, ALL-DANCING DEBBIE: She may be 77, but like her Oscar-nominated Unsinkable Molly Brown, Debbie Reynolds runs on her own energizing batteries. La

REYNOLDS: over there

Reynolds is about to embark on a 15-city concert tour of England which will climax with ten dates in London, her first performances there in 35 years. “We start in Norwich and we’ll do a show, get on the bus, go to the next theatre, do another show and so on. It’ll be like the old days bus and truck.” She’s been prepping with a daily regimen of swimming in her indoor pool, lifting weights and hanging upside down for 15 minutes. And practicing her notorious impersonations. Her U.K. concerts will include her impressions of Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Jimmy Stewart. “I grew up with these people.” What’s her new show called? “Debbie Reynolds: Alive And Fabulous.” Sounds right to me.

MERCER MADNESS: Canadian TV icon Rick Mercer wraps his seventh season tonight with a mirthful visit with the Canadian competitors who sparked last week’s Paralympic

MERCER & FRIENDS: on tonight's finale

Games in B.C. Mercer, who has consistently showcased these amazing athletes on his weekly show, was one of their chosen torchbearers in Ottawa and tonight provokes huge laughs (his specialty) with some new death-defying feats of daring (also his specialty) with some of our gold medalists including superSkier bro’s Brian & Robin McKeever. Good news is, Mercer has just had his most successful season ever. Better news is, he and his top-rated Rick Mercer Report will be back this fall. And you can catch his season finale tonight at 8 pm on CBC.

THE SINGER, NOT THE SONG: Luscious-voiced k.d. lang has released her first-ever career retrospective. Recollection is on the small Nonesuch label – an offshoot of Warner

LANG: 25th anniversary

Records. This  set contains her greatest hits remastered, and a collection of rare tracks.Released 25 years after the release of her debut album. Recollection features 22 of k.d.’s most beloved recordings, including an all-new interpretation of the Leonard Cohen classic, Hallelujah. Plus — wait for it — Constant Craving, Helpless, Miss Chatelaine, I Dream Of Spring, Crying with Roy Orbison, Calling All Angels with Jane Siberry, and Moonglow with Tony Bennett. My hero Liz Smith says k.d.’s new collection is, quote unquote, “a masterpiece.” Hey, what’s not to like? … also gearing up for record sales: Sarah McLachlan, set to launch  her first album of new songs in seven years, The Laws of Illusion, on  June 15 … and chalk up another biggie for Luminato, because Rufus Wainwright‘s first opera, Prima Donna, will make its North American premiere here in June. Meanwhile, Wainwright’s sixth solo album, All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu, drops today. (And isn’t it funny how we’re all calling CDs ‘albums’ again?)

PORTMAN: she got Zach'd

SEE/HEAR: As a rule I can take Zach Galifianakis or leave him, but Between Two Ferns, his bogus Interview show on Funny Or Die.com (the only website with its own show on HBO) is so outrageously politically incorrect I’m becoming addicted to them. His new ‘session’ with Ben Stiller is a squirmy classic — no wonder so many stars want to play with him. His list of willing victim to date includes Michael Cera, Bradley Cooper, John Hamm, Jimmy Kimmel, Natalie Portman (!!) and Charlize Theron (yes. you read that right — Charlize Theron.) Not since  Martin Short created monster celebrity-swooner Jiminy Glick have we seen anything like this. To check it out, click here. And here. And here. And enjoy!

TOMORROW:

Marion Cotillard, Ryan Reynolds, and more!



Doyle and the Dragons rule the TV roost tonight en route to their revealing Road To Riches (and high ratings)

HOW TO TAME YOUR DRAGONS: I’m kidding, of course. It can’t be done. But then, who’d want to?  Tonight you’ll discover more about them than you’ve ever known before. The Road to Riches, the special season finale of Dragon’s Den, airs  at 8 p.m. on CBC Television

DICKINSON: Dragon lady

and retraces the Dragons’ personal progress, from humble beginnings to self-made success. Arlene Dickinson came here from South Africa; Robert Herjavec grew up in a farm house in rural Croatia. Kevin O’Leary was an east coast hippie. Jim Treliving was raised in small town Manitoba. And Brett Wilson still describes himself as “a proud Prairie boy.” Dragons they may be, but each of them has paid a price for their riches, leaving broken marriages and personal regrets behind them. And each of them appears to be driven to accomplish still more. In anticipation of tonight’s finale the Toronto Star is currently publishing some exceptionally well-written profiles on the five,  culminating in the story on  Wilson in today’s edition. And auditions for new would-be entrepreneurs with creative ideas and money-making savvy began March 1 across the country. (For audition information and scheduling details, just click here.) In the meantime, as they wrap up their most successful season ever, our favourite five fearless  financiers  demonstrate that Dragons are made, not born, tonight at 8 pm on CBC-TV.

ACCORDING TO DOYLE: Just when we’d started to forget about Thomas Magnum and Jim Rockford, along comes a brand new P.I. to capture our fancy: Brawl-addicted maverick

HAWCO: hit series

Jake Doyle, a.k.a. emerging screen lion Allan Hawco. Set in Newfoundland, Hawco’s Republic Of Doyle is enjoying a very auspicious first season, and no wonder — it’s a light-hearted whodunit that refuses to take itself seriously. It’s not light on talent, however; guest stars adding sparks to the first 10 shows have included such heavy-hitters as Nicholas Campbell, Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Robert Joy, Greg Malone, Shaun Majumder, Eric Peterson, Gordon Pinsent, Leah Pinsent, R. H. Thompson and Mary Walsh, and the first season isn’t over yet! Mix in with those three fabulous Doyle dames — Linda Boyd, Rachel Wilson and Krystin Pellerin, all three of whom seem to be revelling in their uncommonly strong roles — stir well with Sean McGinley’s solid portrayal of Doyle’s dad (and frequently unwilling partner,) and then add what may be the most gob-smackingly gorgeous views of St. John’s ever captured on film, and is it any wonder the series has already been picked up for a second season? If you’re not already addicted, you can sample it tonight at 9 pm, immediately following that splashy Dragons’ Den finale on CBC.

QUINTO: by George!

CASTING ABOUT: Heroes favourite Zachary Quinto is set to play George Gershwin in a new screen biography of the legendary US composer … Naomi Watts, who just gets better and better with every new role, is in T.O. with 007 alias Daniel Craig shooting a new thriller called Dream HouseLittle Mosque alumnus Derek McGrath is set to play a corrupt politico (“Isn’t that redundant?”) on She’s The Mayor, the new Vision/Zoomer series created by Jennifer Holness, Min Sook Lee and Sudz Sutherland. (Move over, Mayor Dan!) Natalie Portman will star in the screen version of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. And no, I’m not making that up … Blake Lively is set to play Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in The Green Lantern… and Dermot Mulroney is set to pick up where James Garner left off in the all-new Rockford Files. And yes, those rumors are true: The pilot for a new and updated Hawaii Fivc-O has already been shot. Will this one get picked up too? Stay tuned.

TOMORROW:

Funnyman Colin Mochrie, cuisine queen Sara Waxman and

platinum record collectors Sharon, Lois & Bram — at the same party?

Has Farrell one-upped Clooney? Will Atwood play the Cathedral? Hello again, and here we go again!

Is there a quiet competition going on between big-screen stars about who has the most movies in next week’s 34th Toronto International Film Festival? Just

CLOONEY: two for the show

CLOONEY: two for the show

wondering. By my count TIFF veteran Colin Farrell (Triage, Ondine, The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus) has a one-flick lead over fellow filmfest vet George Clooney (The Men Who Stare At Goats, Up In The Air)Jude Law brings his Hamlet to Broadway on October Oct 6, after almost five weeks of previews starting Sept. 12. But you can catch Jude at TIFF even sooner as one of Heath Ledger’s ‘seconds’ in the aforementioned Terry Gilliam epic The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus … and look for some sparks when West Wing alumnus Allison Janney, currently singing and dancing up a storm on Broadway in Dolly Parton’s musical version of 9 to 5, plays the estranged wife of a pedophile (Ciaran Hinds) in Life During Wartime. And no, this one is definitely not a musical.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR: She’s more force of nature than novelist, which is why Margaret Atwood is in England today opening this year’s Manchester

ATWOOD: "unprecedented"

ATWOOD: "unprecedented"

Literature Festival with a unique performance event inspired by her new novel The Year of the Flood. Atwood, script in hand, will be front and centre tonight  at Manchester Cathedral with two celebrated Samanthas – Samantha Giles (Bernice Thomas in Emmerdale) and Samantha Siddall (Mandy Maguire in Shameless) – and singers from a number of prestigious Manchester community choirs. Atwood’s lucky 13th novel, Year Of The Flood tells the story of God’s Gardeners, a religion devoted to the preservation of all species. 

The Gardeners have long predicted a waterless flood which arrives in the form of a global pandemic obliterating most of human life. Will the human race make it? And, more to the point, should it?

REYNOLDS: going Green

REYNOLDS: going Green

Atwood has also created a new interactive website for the book where you can do everything from buying Flood tee-shirts to ordering tickets to Flood performance events in cities across the world (she’s in London tomorrow and Thursday.) And McClelland & Stewart fiction guru Ellen Seligman says Atwood’s 70-minute dramatic reading with music, directed by stellar stage master Alisa Palmer, is “unprecedented” in the annals of publishing.

I’ll say! Her international tour includes six Canadian stops, including St. James’ Cathedral on Church St. on Sept. 24, two days after the novel officially goes on sale. Tickets are only $10 and proceeds go to Nature Canada. And you can get ‘em right now at the Harbourfront Box Office or order ‘em online just by clicking here.

FLICKERS: The 67th Venice Film Festival kicks off tomorrow with 23 films – yeah, it’s a few hundred films smaller than Toronto’s annual movie marathon  —

EFRON: new role

EFRON: new role

including such TIFF-bound titles as Michael Moore’s newest opus, Capitalism: A Love Story, Todd Solondz’ Life During Wartime, 
and Werner Herzog’s remake of The Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage. Ex-Rocky Balboa Sylvester Stallone will be the Guest Of Honour when jury chair Ang Lee announces the winner of this year’s Golden Lion on Saturday Sept. 12, by which time TIFF will be well underway … Amanda Crew will romance Zac Efron in his new project Charlie St. Cloud … Canadian heartthrob Ryan Reynolds will be a new screen superhero to reckon with when he stars in Green Lantern … and in the same comic book vein, Natalie Portman will play the love interest of Norse hero Thor (Chris Hemsworth) for director Kenneth Branagh (yeah, that could be the reason she’s doing it.)

TOMORROW:

Reunions to watch for at TIFF —

and Ms Streisand meets Ms Krall.

-/-

Sandra & Ryan switch bait (and nationalities,) Kirstie gets a crush, Maggie hosts a Buddies bash, and Joan hits off-Broadway with a drag band

I’VE GOT A CRUSH ON YOU: Twitterbug Kirstie Alley admittedly gets crushes like crazy. Two weeks ago it was Jamie Foxx. Her new swoon? Violinist David Garrett. “Mr. Foxx is on the back burner today,” she confided last week

GARRETT: Kirstie crush

GARRETT: Kirstie crush

to her more than 40,000 Twitter followers. “Hottie violin player on front burner … boiling …” But she’s also an ardent admirer one of television’s true Golden Girls, Mary Tyler Moore alumnus Betty White. “I want to be Betty White when I grow up,” Kirstie insists. “I love her!” … which reminds me, Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds clearly had a lot of fun shooting their new romantic comedy The Proposal, and it shows. The plot involves a transplanted Canadian boss who forces an American underling into a marriage to avoid being deported from the U.S. The inside joke is, Hollywood screen queen Bullock plays the Canadian boss and Canadian heartthrob Reynolds plays her harassed American assistant. Funnier still is the ‘secret’ out-take they manufactured to promote the movie on Will Ferrell’s 

WHITE: friction causer?

WHITE: friction causer?

Funny Or Die website, in which they both royally send themselves up as spoiled movie stars. Why did Kirstie’s crush on Betty White remind me of Sandra & Ryan? Because Betty is the cause of the fictitious friction between the two stars on the set in their sly rehearsed romp for Ferrell fanatics. To see for yourself, just click here.

GUESS YOU HAD TO BE THERE:  Okay, last night was not the Tony’s finest hour. Granted all the stars gathered at Radio City Music Hall seemed to love that overblown  musical opener, but despite Elton, Dolly and Liza it was mostly a train wreck on television. Camera direction was disastrous most of the night, as were persistent audio problems. New musicals were well represented but new dramas were given alarmningly short shrift

What was good about it? The Tony win for David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish, who continue to make Billy Elliot, The Musical the ongoing talk of the town. And, as predicted here Friday, Tony host Neil Patrick Harris’ clever closing number was almost worth wading through the three (!!!) hours preceding it, which he so masterfully sent up.  And despite this flawed smorgasbord showcase,   I can’t wait to get back to Broadway to see some of these great shows. George & Ira Gershwin wrote, I like New York in June / how about you?  Over the years I’ve been there every month of the calendar year, and still can’t find a time or a season when I don’t love New York. So take a few days to lick your wounds, Tony TV producers, and then go back to the drawing board and fix it. And in just case you’ve forgotten: Yes You Can.

CASSELLA: Vent-ing

CASSELLA: Vent-ing

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Gorgeous Natalie Portman makes her directorial and writing debut behind the camera directing Lauren Bacall, Olivia Thirlby and Ben Gazzara in Eve, one of the ‘hot tickets’ for the Canadian Film Centre’s upcoming Worldwide Short Film Festival June 16-21. For more info on the WSSS line-up, click here …  Tragically Hip icon Gord Downie narrates Mongrel Media’s dazzling new doc, Waterlife, about the future of the Great Lakes, a gift enjoyed by 35 million North Americans that may not be able to continue giving if we don’t change our corporate ways. Want a sneak preview? Click hereMaggie Cassella’s much-anticipated new series The Vent premieres June 28 on Out TV and on the web at http://www.getoutthevent.com. La Cassella will host a Vent launch party – an

RIVERS: stand up

RIVERS: stand up

official Gay Pride event — on Sunday June 21 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and will preview the series’ first episode, Celebutantes, at the party. Sounds like fun … and speaking of Pride, Joan Rivers, who championed AIDS victims and fund-raised for research long before it became fashionable to do so, is set to do two shows on Thursday June 25 at off-Broadway’s Gramercy Theater, at East 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue, timed to coincide with New York City’s annual Gay Pride Week. The historic venue had been transformed into an intimate nightclub for Rivers’ show, with cabaret tables in the orchestra section, a full bar and waiter service. Her opening act? Rising indie drag band She-Dick. (And no, I’m not making that up.) Tickets are $25-$125 with net proceeds going to Rivers’ favorite charities: God’s Love We Deliver and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

TOMORROW:  Catching up with Anne Murray.