Tag Archives: Robert LePage

The more the merrier as stars bring sunshine to Leacock sketches — and to Toronto stages too

Okay — where was I? Oh yes, I remember. Taking a break from blogging. Apparently that’s over now.

EVERYBODY’S TALKING:  And no wonder — the first glimpses of CBC’s big Sunday night movie, Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town, look sumptuous. And I admit it — I’m a sucker for an all-star cast. Not that the producers, Alliance


Atlantis alumni Michael MacMillan and Seaton McLean, had much trouble reeling them in. “One of the best screenplays I’ve ever read,” says leading lady Jill Hennessy. Ms Hennessy,  currently on screen wrangling Dustin Hoffman on HBO’s new series Luck, clearly loved every minute of the summer shoot, as did Gordon Pinsent, who plays her son. (Yes. Really. You’ll have to watch it to find out.) Pinsent, who starts shooting a new movie in Mexico next week, describes it as “one of those rare filming experiences when we couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning.” Then again, Hennessy and Pinsent were

KHANIJAN: on stage

keeping some very good company. Among the stellar marquee names bringing Stephen Leacock‘s classic comedy drama to life are Keshia Chante, Sean Cullen, Ron James, Peter Keleghan, Debra McGrath, Patrick McKenna, Colin Mochrie, Eric Peterson, Leah Pinsent, Caroline Rhea, Rick Roberts and Michel Therriault. Get those PVRs warmed up, folks — this one sounds like a keeper.

TALKING THE TALK: Ryerson Theatre Club devotees were among the hundreds of floodlights fans at Tuesday’s performance of Cruel And Tender  at the Bluma Appel. After their stunning 90 minute tour-de-force, stars Arsinée Khanijan and Daniel Kash joined their director Atom Egoyanin the theater lobby for a 15-minute Q&A with interested audience members. How interested were they? Theater Club reps had to call a halt after 40 minutes, but some folks still hung

BROCHU: return engagement

around just long enough to meet Egoyan and share their take on his production of Martin Crimp’s reimagined Greek tragedy. The hypnotic drama runs through next Saturday Feb. 18 … Jim Brochu has returned with his celebrated salute to Zero Mostel, Zero Hour, directed by Piper Laurie (yes, that Piper Laurie) … and no, his reviews this time ’round were not exactly love letters, but clearly Ronnie Burkett’s audiences disagree. Factory Theatre has added six more performances of the marionette master’s new show, Penny Plain, with tickets now available through March 4 … meanwhile, Robert LePage’s Blue Dragon continues to dazzle at the Royal Alex, In The Heights continues to rock North York at the Toronto Centre For The Arts, War Horse opens tonight at the Princess Of Wales and Potted Potter opens tomorrow night at the Panasonic. Talk about an embarrassment of theatrical riches!

COMEBACKS: Great news for those of us who missed them first time ‘round — two rave-winning theatrical events are set to return to our town. Kim’s Convenience, the runaway hit by Soulpepper Academy alumnus Ins Choi, wraps up its current run this weekend but will be back May 17-June 9. And yes,

DUNCAN: showstopper

it’s a good idea to order your tickets now. As you may recall, the play about a Regent Park Korean convenience store was the sleeper hit of the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival … and the National Ballet will launch its 2012-2013 season with the return of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Christopher Wheeldon on November 10–25. A co-production with England’s Royal Ballet, Alice was an SRO smash when it premiered here last year. And yes, it’s a good idea to order those tickets now too … meanwhile, stage and screen showstopper Arlene Duncan, so endearing as the unsinkable Fatima in Little Mosque On The Prairie, is winning standing Os nightly at the Berkeley Street Theatre. Ms Duncan is the crown jewel in Caroline, Or Change, the latest theatrical gem from the phenomenal Acting Up stage company. CanStage and Acting Up added one more show of the musical last night to accommodate public demand, but all 25 scheduled performances sold out so quickly that surely an encore should be considered? And soon, please?

COTE: Lost In Motion

SEE/HEAR:  National Ballet star dancer Guillaume Côté is the latest hot ticket on YouTube with his  stunning short film Lost in Motion. Directed by Ben Shirinian and choreographed by Guillaume, the three-minute film really is something to see — even if it makes you want to join a gym before it ends. The high-flying M’sieu Côté will be performing with Kings of the Dance in Manhattan February 24–27  — d”ya suppose he made that video just to freak ’em out? — before returning to star in Sleeping Beauty, March 10–18, 2012, and The Seagull, March 21–25, 2012. Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen Lost In Motion yet, you don’t have to take my word for it — just click here. And enjoy!

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Anne kicks off a new tour, Robin gets ready for Rama, Robert gets ready to make a splash, the NFB gets animated & T.O. film buffs go on Cairo Time

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Jazz legend Joe Sealy, cabaret queens Nancy White and Judith Lander, and We Will Rock You alumni Yvan

LANDER: October concert

LANDER: October concert

Pedneault and Alana Bridgewater headline an afternoon musicale Oct. 25 at Rosedale United Church … Robin Williams plays Casino Rama Nov. 11 & 12 … Ron James is set to host the Nov. 14 Gemini Awards telecast from Calgary … good news for her Atlantic fans: Serena Ryder will play the first of six “intimate” east coast gigs November 26 in St. John’s … and Robert LePage’s nine-hour theatrical marathon, Lipsynch, is currently on view at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with intermissions and a dinner-break, through this Sunday. The brilliant Quebec dazzle-master, set to world-premiere his predictably controversial new opera The Nightingale and Other Short Fables



here next week at the Four Seasons Centre, plans to fill a partially raised orchestra pit with roughly 30 tonnes of water. His singers will wade in, waist-deep, to manipulate puppets while the orchestra plays onstage behind them. Now that’s show business!

FLICKERS: New season for the TIFF Cinemateque screenings at the AGO starts tonight, with Lisa Ray set to make an appearance tomorrow night for the screening of Deepa Mehta’s hit comedy Bollywood/Hollywood. For more info, just click here …  TIFF award-winner Cairo Time, with Patricia Clarkon and Alexander Siddig, opens in T.O. today. Film buffs, take note: Director Ruba Nadda will be attending tonight’s 7pm screening and tomorrow’s 2pm and 7pm

CLARKSON: in TIFF winner

CLARKSON: in TIFF winner

screenings at the Varsity Cinemas for post-screening Q&A’s … award-laden writer-director Paul Haggis’ current film project has an intriguing title: The Next Three Days … and in celebration of International Animation Day and the National Film Board of Canada’s 70th anniversary, the NFB is launching a special edition of Get Animated! – a series of free public screenings, from October 23–31, 2009, in 13 communities across this country. Accordingly, the NFB’s Get Animated! website is already offering exclusive animation programming to all its visitors.

LITERATI: Royalists continue to be fascinated by the Queen Mother’s recently revealed diaries and letters, despite the fact that her younger daughter,

MURRAY: on the road again

MURRAY: on the road again

the late HRH Princess Margaret, reportedly destroyed a lot of the Queen Mum’s correspondence in an effort to cover up the scandals created by Charles and Diana … look for new books this fall from both Peter Mansbridge and Rex Murphy … on your mark, set, buy: Top Five fiction finalists for this year’s Giller Prize are Kim Echlin, The Disappeared; Annabel Lyon, The Golden Mean; Linden MacIntyre (yes, the Linden MacIntyre,) The Bishop’s Man; Colin McAdam, Fall; and Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault … and Anne Murray is set to kick off her cross-Canada tour to promote her new autobiography, All Of Me, with a signing session at Indigo Books & Music on Oct. 29 at the Eaton Centre. To find out when she’s coming to your town, just click here.

And have a happy Thanksgiving.