Tag Archives: Nurse Jackie

Almodovar gets Banderas, Carrell gets a slice of Bacon, Hot Docs gets Ghomeshi and Louise gets un-stuck

OUR TOWN: Host-with-the-most Jian Ghomeshi returns to helm tomorrow night’s Hot Docs Festival awards at the Isabel Bader … after flying across the pond to premiere the new

PITRE: back to T.O.

Benny Andersson-Bjorn Ulvaeus musical Kristina at Royal Albert Hall, show-stopping stage diva Louise Pitre got ‘stuck’ in London for an extra three days due to that pesky cloud of volcanic ash. “London’s not a bad place to be stuck in!” she adds, especially since her hubby Joe Matheson had taken a week’s holiday from his on-stage gig with still-thriving Jersey Boys to join her. Mamma Mia alumnus Pitre’s now home again, safe and sound and  shooting Season 2 of Star Portraits for Bravo!popular public relations pro Shelagh O’Donnell is the ROM’s new Head Of Communications … George F. Walker’s hit comedy Featuring Loretta makes its second debut  to the Factory Theatre tonight, officially kicking off the Factory’s 40th (!!!) Anniversary celebrations. Longtime Walker cheerleader Ken Gass directs Monica Dottor, Lesley Faulker, Kevin Hanchard and Brandon McGibbon in this brand new production … and the bad news is, Yorkville haunt Michelle’s Brasserie, the café  in

FARMIGA: going outlaw

Renaissance Square just off Cumberland, has closed. Good news is, Crème, a new French bistro devised by Ricardo Sousa (Cibo, Lolo) and chef Ricardo Roque (Magna Golf Club, Bistro 990,) is now underway and is tentatively set to open June 1.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Young Lily Collins, so good as Sandra Bullock‘s daughter in The Blind Side, is set to co-star with Taylor Lautner in Abduction, a new thriller … Kevin Bacon has signed on to guest star in Steve Carrell’s next project … Pedro Almodovar alumnus Antonio Banderas is set to star in the director’s next opus, La piel que habito … Up In The Air seductress Vera Farmiga

AGRON: new sci-fi role?

is set to portray a wild west outlaw in A Thousand Guns … watch for an announcement linking about-to-depart Global TV anchor Kevin Newman with a major new digital platform initiativeand don’t bother inviting Phil Collins to your Canada Day BBQ this year. He’s already booked to open the 44th annual Monteux Jazz Festival with a special July 1 concert.

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Glee star Dianna Agron has signed on for  a leading role in the sci-fi film I Am Number Four … living room favourites Peter Mansbridge, Brian Stewart and Adrienne Arsenault are in London today, continuing to deliver CBC’s in-depth play-by-play of today’s General Elections in the U.K. …  Shia Labeouf is set to play Charlie in the dark comedy The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman Mireille

JEAN-BAPTISTE: in Central Park

Enos (Big Love) is reportedly signed to star in AMC’s new series The Killing …  bright young things Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore are set to co-star in a new indie feature, Homework … Nurse Jackie scene-stealer Anna Deavere Smith is taking her New York solo show Let Me Down Easy on the road. Hope she brings it here …  what becomes a legend most? Hard work. Which is howcum Ann Rhomer is still a household favourite after more than three decades on local TV. We’ll miss her after she exits CP24‘s morning show next month … and although you know her best from her role as an FBI agent in Without A Trace, did you know that Anthony LaPaglia sidekick  Marianne Jean-Baptiste was the first British black actress nominated for an Oscar, for Mike Leigh‘s 1996 drama Secrets & Lies?  Ah yes, how quickly we forget. The gifted Mme Jean-Baptiste is spending her summer vacation in rep with Al Pacino, performing Merchant Of Venice and The Winter’s Tale in Central Park..

TOMORROW:

All about Liona Boyd, Zero Mostel,

Piper Laurie (yes, Piper Laurie!) and more.


Curious about Eppie? Just ask Ann Landers. And, the Who’s Who who cheered Barbra in the village

Ms LONELYHEARTS: After a memorable guest spot as a dying nurse on the first season of Edie Falco’s hit series Nurse Jackie, veteran stage and screen charmer Judith Ivey opens tonight at Manhattan’s Cherry Lane Theater in a one-woman play about legendary lovelorn advice columnist Ann Landers called The Lady With All the Answers.

IVEY: as Ann Landers

IVEY: as Ann Landers

The last time I remember seeing Chicago’s queen of hearts, as Eppie Lederer (her real name) was called, was at Chaz & Roger Ebert’s wedding. Eppie and Brian Linehan were hot-footing it on the dance floor when it started to get a tad too hot for Eppie. “Tame it down, tame it down!” she protested, and Linehan graciously acquiesced.

After dispensing sage advice to thousands of grateful readers, by the end of her career Eppie was most famous for failing to save her own marriage. Also, much to her chagrin, her daughter Margo Howard, who eventually took over her column, would marry four times. But then, when has a daughter ever really listened to her mother?

I was much better acquainted with Eppie’s twin sister Pauline, who was equally famous as the Abigail Van Buren of Dear Abby. In the days when newspapers ruled, the sisters’ columns competed with each other in rival journals. Ann Landers was in the Toronto Star, so Dear Abby ran in The Toronto Telegram (and later the Toronto Sun.)

ABBY & ANN in their heyday (AP)

ABBY & ANN in their heyday (AP)

Eppie was a permanent fixture in Chicago. ‘Abby’ lived in California and enjoyed it. Like her sister, she was bright, vivacious and always good company. One day I walked into Norman Jewison’s beach house in Malibu and Norman, ‘Abby’ and Washington columnist Art Buchwald were all sitting in the living room, busy debating a burning issue of the day. As I approached them Abby looked up at me and beamed.

“We met in Toronto two weeks ago!” she proclaimed, struggling to remember my name. “I know you!”

“I don’t!” said Buchwald with a shrug, and returned to debating with Jewison.

CHANNING: "Absolutely not!"

CHANNING: "Absolutely not!"

Identical twins born 17 minutes apart, the sisters also got a kick out of teasing people when they were mistaken for each other. One night I bumped into Eppie in the bar at the Four Season in Hollywood and started talking about mutual friends in Chicago until I saw the twinkle in her eye.

“Yep,” she said, grinning – “I’m the other one!”

Manhattan gossip girl Liz Smith says that years ago Eppie’s good friend Carol Channing wanted her Hello, Dolly! composer Jerry Herman to make a musical for her to star as Eppie. “To which Eppie said, ‘Absolutely not!’ But now there is a two-time Tony winner channeling Ann Landers,” adds Liz – “and everybody just hopes Eppie approves.”

VILLAGE PEOPLE: Yes, Barbra Streisand really did return to the tiny Village Vanguard club in Manhattan to perform songs from her new album, Love

STREISAND: stage fright?

STREISAND: stage fright?

Is The Answer, with only a jazz quartet behind her. (Chalk it up to the influence of her album producer Diana Krall. Not that there would have been room for an orchestra, let alone a band. “It’s hard to have stage fright,” Streisand remarked, “when, like, there’s no stage!”) Her audience, comprised mainly of contest winners from around the world, were thrilled to find themselves squeezed against such devoted Barbra boosters as Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Donna Karan, Barry Diller, David Geffen and composers Marilyn & Alan Bergman. Streisand was reportedly in glorious voice, and in addition to tunes from her new CD, she also reprised a few of her classics, including Evergreen (which she dedicated to a misty-eyed Bill Clinton) and The Way We Were.

Apparently you had to be there to believe it. And don’t you wish you had been?

TOMORROW:

What Julie Stewart and Dan Aykroyd are up to in Toronto.

Carmela moves to the E.R., Pacino plays doctor, Courtney in Short order, Harrison & Calista blue-sky it, and why Denzel won’t play Obama

Okay, she’s a nurse with a drug habit. We’ve seen that before. And her boyfriend, a pharmacist, is also her dealer. Which is sort of a twist. What makes this story so interesting? Jackie – or Nurse Jackie, as per the new dramatic series about her – is played by award-laden Sopranos star Edie Falco, and her pharmacist

FALCO: addicted

FALCO: addicted

boyfriend is played by Paul Schulze, who played Father Intintola, the neighborhood priest with whom Edie/Carmela was totally infatuated. And making the drama behind this drama even more, well, dramatic, is the fact that both the star and the series writers Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem are card-carrying members of AA. Falco, who has sober for almost two decades, says she was determined not to take a holier-than-thou approach to Jackie. ““It was sort of endlessly fascinating and deeply saddening when I was struggling myself,” she told New York Times writer Kathryn Shattuck. “I know what it’s like to be lost in addiction.” For more of Ms. Shattuck’s excellent Rx on Nurse Jackie, click here.

AND SPEAKING OF ANGELS OF MERCY:  It’s official. Al Pacino will play suicide specialist Dr. Jack Kevorkian in the upcoming HBO biopic.

MACNEIL: wedding belle

MACNEIL: wedding belle

COMMON GROUND: What do John Travolta and Harrison Ford have in common? For one thing, they’re both licensed pilots. Which is how Ford celebrated the Memorial Day weekend by flyng his bride Calista Flockhart, her son Liam and his grandson Ethan to the Monterey Aquarium, which opened early so the family could watch some sleepy penguins wake up … what do Laura Dern, Eric Stolz, and Courtney Cox have in common? They’re among the celebrated on-screen players in the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, set for June 16-21 at a theatre near you … what do CBC EVP Richard Stursberg and comely CBC news anchor Carole MacNeil have in common? Wedding bells. According to Carole’s CBC News: Sunday co-host Evan Solomon, they’re planning to tie the knot later this month.

BOYLE: " ...next?"

BOYLE: " ...next?"

ON THE BOYLE: A sometime-collaborator of Steve Martin‘s, actor Ricky Jay is also a sleight-of-hand artist and author. Earlier this week he contributed an op-ed piece to the New York Times about the apparent worldwide obsession with Britain’s Got Talent ‘loser’ Susan Boyle.

 “Should we have expected anything more, or less?” he asks. “Our first look at Ms. Boyle generated not only expectation but surprise. But as she became overexposed, our surprise diminished. The extraordinary became commonplace.”

Because of her presence on youtube, he notes,  “A performing cycle that once could have taken years is herein reduced to days. She’s unknown, we’re surprised. She’s embraced, we’re disenchanted. She’s the runner-up … next?”

To see Jay’s column, cleverly and appropriately headlined Desperately Seeking Susan, click here.

WASHINGTON: remake
WASHINGTON: remake

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “When Barack Obama’s story is ready to be told, I’ll be too old to do it. And if it were made right now, he has too much to do to have me hanging around asking for tips on how to play him.”

The speaker? John Travolta’s co-star in The Taking Of Pelham 123, Denzel Washington, in an interview with Reader’s Digest.

For a sneak preview of this remake – believe it or not, it was villainous Robert Shaw versus lawman Walter Matthau (yes, Walter Matthau) in the 1973 original – just click here.