Tag Archives: NIA VARDALOS

Ms Taylor comes out to play, Ms Mirren comes to town (almost!) and Mr Mochrie goes to the dogs

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Wheelchair-bound but mobile again, Elizabeth Taylor made her first public appearance in months at Andrea Bocelli’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl. “My mind, my soul were transported

LAW: pajama Dane

LAW: pajama Dane

by his beauty, his voice, his inner being,” she reports. “God has kissed this man and I thank God for it.” Yeah, she likes him … funnyman John Wing says he was the sixth most famous person on the plane to Los Angeles Monday. Howcum? “The Tragically Hip were on the same flight!” … add director Guy Maddin to the growing list of fans hopelessly smitten by Roger Ebert’s Journals. (And yes, Ebert really does elicit the warmest, brightest, smartest, most literate responses from his devoted readers, including Winnipeg wunderkind Guy … Jude Law is breathing easier these days now that his Hamlet was well received by U.K. critics. Law himself acknowledged that playing the melancholy Dane is “a bit like a great song that’s been covered by a load of different singers.” But at least he’s comfortable on stage. In the London production he’s clad in pajama-like costumes for most of the play … and shhhh, it’s a secret, but Patricia Clarkson wants to play now-92 year-old Phyllis Diller in the still-being-scripted biopic of the legendary comedienne.

DILLER: before ...

DILLER: before ...

CLARKSON: ... and after

CLARKSON: ... and after??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A TAIL OF TWO CITIES: In Montreal they close Ste Catherine street for the jazz festival and shut down Rue St Denis for the comedy festival. In Toronto we

MOCHRIE: going to the dogs

MOCHRIE: going to the dogs

close Front Street from Jarvis to Yonge for Woofstock, the annual doggie love-in set for the St. Lawrence Market Neighborhood this weekend. New features this year include a Saturday night Yappy Hour at which Wooftinis will be served. Seriously. (Oh c’mon, even I couldn’t make that up!) Headliners participating in Main Stage contests include Mark Breslin, Geri Hall, Colin Mochrie and Nikki Payne, and don’t be surprised to find a lot of four-legged friends on the TTC on Saturday and Sunday. Last year more than 150,000 dog lovers and their canine companions showed up from all over North America.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I don’t just sit around and wait for the phone to ring because, you know, I had to write my own script in the first place because I don’t look like Nicole Kidman. And the fact is I still don’t. So I don’t get offered fun, interesting roles. So I’m not going to whine about it; I just sit in my office and I write them.”

The speaker?  Comedy confection Nia Vardalos, currently winning new fans in her romantic comedy romp My Life In Ruins.

 OUR TOWN:  Yearning to be in London’s West End to see Jude Law‘s Hamlet and Helen Mirren‘s Phaedre? Lucky moviegoers will see Mirren ‘live’ on stage at The National Theatre, when Cineplex telecasts the play at key theatres across

MIRREN: On screen from stage

MIRREN: On screen from stage

 the country on June 25 … Driftwood Theatre launches its 15th season in Toronto at Todmorden Mills on July 11 & 12. The theatre company is taking two of Shakespeare’s plays on the road — King Lear and The Comedy of Errors — and will roll through 27 locations in Ontario with its Bard’s Bus Tour through to August 23. Stops include outdoor locations in Bloomfield, Cobourg, Dundas, Durham, Kingston, Marmora, Mississauga, Peterborough and more, and all shows are pay-what-you-can … add Sonia Rodriguez to the star power already

RODRIGUEZ: White heat

RODRIGUEZ: White heat

assembled for Karen Kain’s sizzling White Hot Gala, the National Ballet of Canada’s fourth annual fundraising event next week at the Four Seasons Centre. Sultry high-stepper Rodriguez will partner with Piotr Stanczyk in a Garbo-esque pas de deux from the company premiere of Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias … … and Art On The Move will launch June 22 in the Distillery District. Mayor David Miller will personally welcome the first three art-wrapped vehicles of the project onto city streets. Art On The Move is a three-year community arts initiative that will ultimately turn 15 selected vehicles into moving canvasses of art.

NET WORTH: Two major Canadian newsmakers, Rick Mercer and former MP Belinda Stronach, received honorary degrees from Brock University

MERCER: he's Dr. Rick now

DR. MERCER: class of 2009

yesterday.  Mercer and Stronach were honoured as the co-founders of the Spread the Net fundraising campaign. “I must — from the bottom of my heart — thank the students here at Brock for contributing over 5,500 bed nets for Spread the Net,” Stronach told the crowd. “It’s a great legacy for you to leave behind.” Mercer described a life-changing visit to Africa he and Stronach took to learn about the malaria problem. “I told Belinda, ‘I’m not going to come back from Africa as one of those guys on TV who won’t shut up about Africa.’ Now every time I turn around, I’m on TV telling people to Spread the Net.”

Mercer told reporters that he’s also the proud owner of an honorary high school diploma from a Nova Scotia school for students with learning disabilities — and now he has a doctorate of laws from Brock. “I don’t know if it comes with a prescription pad or not, but I’m going to frame it, hang it on the wall and offer legal advice to my friends.” 

And just before he and his Net partner Stronach left the stage, they imparted a few words of wisdom to the assembled graduating class.

Mercer said that in the meantime, he’s acquired an honorary high school diploma from a Nova Scotia school for students with learning disabilities.
“And from there, I’ve gone to a doctorate of laws,” he said.
“I don’t know if it comes with a prescription pad or not,” he added. “But I’m going to frame it, hang it on the wall and offer legal advice to my friends.” 

Said Mercer: “As you go through life, leave the world a better place for having been here.”

Dead-panned Stronach: “Never order food in a strip club.”

These two should definitely go on the road together.

-/-

Advertisements

Ms Vardalos gets her Greek god, Ms Murray teaches us a lesson, and Ms Fonda twitters at the Tonys

MEET MR. GORGEOUS: We don’t know him over here, but Nia Vardalos’ leading man in My Life In Ruins, Alexis Georgoulis, is apparently the George Clooney of Greece. After audience reaction to him at the first sneak previews,

VARDALOS & GEORGOULIS: Mr. Gorgeous?

VARDALOS & GEORGOULIS: Mr. Gorgeous?

 the U.S. press has started calling him Alex Gorgeous. “Which I think is apropos,” Vardalos told wowOwow web writer Kristin Fritz. “One reviewer said, because apparently I have an every-woman look, and I have this gorgeous, Greek god as my male lead, the reviewer basically said, ‘Who do you think you are?’ And I’m like, umm, hi. No one. I’m just an every-woman. And in the same way that Seth Rogen gets Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up, and Paul Giamatti gets Virginia Madsen in Sideways, yes, my character gets the Greek god in this one.”

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “At a very young age I learned from my parents to have respect for all people no matter what race, religion or station in life. Respect takes on many forms. Respect is being on time: your time is no more important than others. Respect is being prepared: people are relying on you. Respect is treating everyone with dignity. The janitor, the gardener, the CEO should all be acknowledged and appreciated for the jobs they do. My father taught me to always stand up when being introduced to someone. When you shake his hand, look him in the eye. Take time; remember his name; make him feel special.”

MURRAY: wise wotds

MURRAY: wise words

The speaker? Supersongstress Anne Murray, to graduating students at the  University of Prince Edward Island. Murray, whose hit Music Of My Life special encored last weekend on CBC Television, is currently putting the final touches on her memoirs for October publication. But she’ll still be spending most of the summer in Nova Scotia and looks forward to greeting her legions of fans on July 25 for 20th anniversary celebrations of the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill.

EVERY LITTLE MOVEMENT:  New showbiz sport is trying to spot Twitterbugs at major theatrical openings. Did you notice that Jane Fonda was all a-Twitter at the Tony Awards two nights ago? Fonda has just returned from a trip

FONDA: Tony Twitterer

FONDA: Tony Twitterer

to the Galapagos with a group that included Angela Lansbury’s nephew David Lansbury. When David’s aunt won her fifth Tony, as Best Featured Actress for Blithe Spirit, Fonda noted, “as usual, she was graciousness incarnate.”  But she admitted she was as surprised as we were when Next To Normal “won best new score, beating Elton and Dolly. I haven’t seen it — yet.” Fonda and her fellow nominees were also enlisted as impromptu extras: “We’ve just all been handed throw-away lighters, I guess to light up during an upcoming Rock of Ages number,” she reported.  When the cast of Hair danced into the orchestra seats, she said, one of them landed in the lap of her pal and fellow nominee Janet McTeer. “This number from Hair really makes me wanna see it,” she added. After she lost the best actress prize to Marcia Gay Harden, Fonda was still sanguine. “For me it felt like a prize just getting to this. Janet McTeer and I will now go have some vodkas with impunity.” And after Hair won Best Musical Revival, Fonda footnoted, “I swear, half the audience is up there to accept the Tony!”

 

SPACEY: Tony talk

SPACEY: Tony talk

Yeah, there did seem to be a lot of that going on. Meanwhile, unless you were in a musical, you could hardly get arrested on this year’s unfortunate televised event. Mind you, Poison rocker Bret Michael came pretty close when he got bonked by the descending backdrop and ended up with a broken nose. Quipped Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody: “I’m concerned about Bret Michaels’ fractured nose. An acute sense of smell is essential to his dating process.” Meanwhile, stage & screen lion Kevin Spacey told New York Post scribe Michael Riedel he thinks the Tonys should be taken over by PBS, directed by Broadway veteran Mike Nichols and given the formality and inclusiveness that the theater deserves.

Dunno who would pick up the tab, but it sounds like a darn good idea to me.  

-/-

Good morning, T.O. June is bustin’ out all over!

Nah, don’t worry. It’s June, at last, but I’m not gonna go R&H on you. Although I must admit, the word-of-mouth on the Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s new production of Sound Of Music continues to be nothing short of spectacular. And

MITCHUM: sinister

MITCHUM: sinister

 with that in mind, welcome to another week of razzle dazzle in Our Town.  Tasty items on this week’s showbiz menu include tonight’s TIFF Cinemateque screening of Otto Preminger’s sinister Jean Simmons-Robert Mitchum thriller, Angel Face, at the AGO, and  the announcement of the nominees for the 30th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, not to mention the 2009 recipients for the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award, the George Luscbombe Award and the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award, on Wednesday. Hip-hop soul man a.k.a. Subliminal launches his debut album TRAINATHOUGHT with an industry showcase Thursday night at

VARDALOS: in ruins

VARDALOS: in ruins

the Harlem Restaurant & Lounge; My Big Fat Greek Wedding creator Nia Vardalos’ much-anticipated new big-screen comedy My Life In Ruins opens here Friday (for a sneak preview, click here);and Saturday treats include tenor Guy Flechter, who will sing Johannes Brahms’ song cycle Die Schöne Magelone, accompanied by pianist Clark Bryan, at the Church of the Holy Trinity; the opening of the National Ballet’s smoldering production of Carmen, with Heather Ogden, Noah Long, Robert Stephen, Sonia Rodriguez and Jonathan Renna burning up the dance floor of the Four Seasons Centre;  and the Cinemateque unspooling of the historic Otto Preminger comedy The Moon Is Blue, with the late, great American screen icon Bill Holden, at the AGO. And why was it so historic, you ask? Well, you had to b e there. But since most of you weren’t, you can read Bosley Crowther‘s review in the New York Times, originally published on July 9, 1953 — yes, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore — right here.

* * *

THE NEW ‘VR’:  Starting in July, Vatican Radio will carry advertisements for the first time in its history — provided they are morally and ideologically sound.

STEWART: leaving

STEWART: leaving

Potential advertisers will be screened for “ethical content.” The first advertisements will be for the Italian energy company Enel, and will be broadcast in five languages: Italian, English, Spanish, French and German.

Father Federico Lombardi, who is both the Pope’s spokesman and head of Vatican Radio, said Vatican radio costs over twenty million Euros to run but generates no income. “This programming, with an increasingly stable public, is naturally a place where publicity can more logically be inserted,” Father Lombardi said.

Vatican Radio broadcasts in 40 languages, is available 24/7 on FM stations in Italy, on short, medium and long waves and via the Internet, and employs around 200 journalists to broadcast news of the Pope and the Catholic Church to the world.

DONLON: consulting?

DONLON: consulting?

THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR:  Soon to be MIA on CBC radio and CBC Television: Brian Stewart, Don Newman, Steve Finkelman, John McGrath, Jeff Collins, Claire Nantes, Jim Nunn, Mark Bulgutch and more folks you listen to, all of whom are leaving the public broadcaster. CBC News: Sunday’s morning edition aired its last program yesterday after eight seasons; the Sunday night edition will be replaced by The National, which will be telecast seven nights a week beginning this fall. And CBC Radio chief Denise Donlon is rumoured to be consulting with Father Federico Lombardi of Vatican Radio.  (Okay, I made up that last part.)

* * *

SPECIAL P.S. TO THEATRE-GOERS: A new block of  $29 tickets for Stratford shows were released today for any performance of Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac or A Midsummer Night’s Dream for any dates from July through August. For details go to www.shakespearetixx.com.

 -/-


 

Nia’s life in ruins! New movies for Jason and Julia! Joan & Melissa make headlines for the Trumpster!

CELEBRITY ASSASSINS: Okay,  we’ve seen sizzling reality TV before, but for a junk TV food addict, Sunday night’s episode of Celebrity Apprentice was an epicurean feast. And it’s still making headlines.

RIVERS: shut out

RIVERS: shut out

What happened? Donald Trump said his two trademark words, “You’re fired!” to Melissa Rivers. Rivers got canned after being virtually shut out by her ‘teammates,’ gorgeous Playboy ornament Brande Roderick and cunning poker champ Annie Duke, in what TV blogger Bill Brioux describes as the “electric, best ever episode of Celebrity Apprentice.”

Melissa’s mom (Joan Rivers, as if you didn’t know) went ballistic when her daughter got fired and stormed out of the Trump Tower — but not after (bleep) sharing her thoughts (bleep) with Brande and (bleep) Annie.

“Not since the hair-pulling heyday of Dynasty has there been such a catfight on TV,” said video veteran Brioux yesterday. “It was the ultimate, diva-in-flames exit, times two, the kind of thing (producer) Mark Burnett probably dreams about.”

Melissa said yesterday she had exploded because of exhaustion after a long shooting day.

She initially refused to do a post-firing interview, a standard feature of the series, but said she went back the next day.

“I really wanted to take a deep breath,” Rivers said. “It had been a very difficult few weeks of being attacked emotionally and personally. There’s only so much you can take.”

How sizzling was it? Go to Brioux’s website TV Feeds My Family and see for yourself. He even has video of the meltdown, “for as long as it stays up at YouTube:”  And you can check it out right here.

* * *

BYRNE: going Greek?

BYRNE: going Greek?

FLICKERS:  Director Jason Reitman (Juno) next opus is up in the air – but that’s okay. His new flick with George Clooney is called, you guessed it, Up In The Air  … Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins will join Oscar owner Julia Roberts for the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling Eat, Pray. Love …  Rose Byrne, so good as Glenn Close’s near-fatal foil in the hypnotic TV drama Damages, will co-star with Sean Combs in Get Him To The Greek … this year’s Genie Award winner for Best Documentary, the powerful film Up the Yangtze returns for an encore presentation on CBC-TV’s Passionate Eye this Sunday, May 3, at 10 p.m, … and My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos returns to her roots for her new film, My Life In Ruins, in which she plays a tour guide in Athens who has to deal with, among others, Harland Williams, Rachel Dretch and Richard Dreyfuss.  Can’t wait to see it? For a sneak preview, click here.

* * *

STREEP: box office darling?

STREEP: box office darling?

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: After touring Canada more than a dozen times with his band the Cosmic Crew, Chris Colepaugh will guest with Roch Voisine’s band when Voisine tours of France, Switzerland and Belgium next month. Colepaugh will play pedal steel, mandolin and more on the tour, which starts at the end of May, runs through June and then picks up again in November and December … Debbie Reynolds, still kicking up her heels at 77, is set to bring her cabaret act to NYC’s Café Carlyle June 2 – 27.  And you can do her bidding, so to speak, by bidding on two tickets to her show, now being auctioned on charitybuzz.com, benefiting SOS Children’s Villages International, housing orphans with AIDS. Debbie will meet the winners after her performance, pose for pix, and lift a glass to good deeds in a naughty world (and surviving MGM?) … and Meryl Streep, a boffo box-office draw for female audiences ever since The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia, says it’s “completely improbable” that she’s become the queen of counter-programming. “No one in Hollywood can understand it!” she told Entertainment Weekly.  “We’re so used to seeing movies about dysfunctional relationships. Here are these outsized, vivid, problematic women with great men of substance who love them in spite of all their prickliness.” She and her Doubt co-star (and fellow Oscar nominee) Amy Adams team up again in Julia & Julia, scheduled to preem in August. In this one Adams plays a somewhat unlikely acolyte to master chef Julia Child (Streep,) with Meryl’s Prada co-star Stanley Tucci joining in the fun.

* * *

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET: Tickets are going fast for Reporting in Afghanistan, the public forum hosted by CBC Toronto to mark World Press Freedom Day. To reserve your free ticket for this event, which is set for the Glenn Gould Studio tomorrow from 12:30 -2 pm, send an email to events@cbc.ca with your name, telephone local and the number of tickets you require … and nominations for The Comedy Network’s 2009 Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival in St. John, New Brunswick close this Thursday. You can enter online or by mail, but all mailed entries must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2009. So you only have two days left. To enter online just click here.

 

 -/-