Tag Archives: Roy Thomson Hall

Buffy & Cloris share their Unique lives, and Robin, Jayne, Kathy & Teresa get ready to put on their clothes again

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Get out your calendars. Toronto’s mini-Just For Laughs festival will run July 6 – 11, opening one day before the annual bilingual comedyfest launches

LEACHMAN: Toronto-bound

in Montreal … Smokey Robinson plays Fallsview Casino June 11 & 12 … Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Buffy Ste. Marie, a digital pioneer in her own right, gives a Unique Lives & Experiences session next week at Roy Thomson Hall, with confessed shopaholic Cloris Leachman set to follow in her footsteps on April 19 … and four of the funniest femmes in the business, Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Kathryn Greenwood and Teresa Pavlinek, return with a brand new show when their smash comedy troupe Women Fully Clothed plays Massey Hall on May 7. But they’re there for one night only, so don’t dawdle. To order tickets, click here.

BRAVE NEW CYBER WORLD: The April 12 Genie Awards will be broadcast live on the Independent Film Channel,  livestreamed on CBC.ca. and rebroadcast on The Movie Network and Movie Central at a later

KUTCHER: tweeting for Haiti

date. The live webcast on CBC.ca is a first for the Genies and could give the awards show its largest audience reach ever … after concluding a 40-city theatrical tour, PBS’s American Experience will premiere its new Earth Days documentary on April 11 on Facebook. eight days ahead of the film’s television broadcast on April 19. This will reportedly be the first time a major broadcaster has introduced a full-length documentary on the site … Twitter-pated Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and Will Ferrell are among the stars of 140 Tweets For Haiti. You can check out the trailer here … and Margaret Atwood tweets greetings from the Cologne Literary Festival where she reports that “twittern” is now a German verb.

SMALL SCREEN, BIG STAGE: Never underestimate the power of television. The Broadway run of David Mamet’s new play Race has now been extended to June 13, thanks

HAYES: Broadway-bound

to the marquee allure of Boston Legal charmer James Spader … stage veteran Doris Roberts, who finally became a household name playing Ray Romano‘s mother on television, is set to return to off-Broadway next month in Love, Loss And What I Wore, which is quietly becoming a notable successor to Love Letters and The Vagina Monologues … and Emmy award-winning Will & Grace scene-stealer Sean Hayes is deep in song and dance rehearsals for his Broadway bow in the upcoming revival of Promises, Promises, the Neil Simon-Burt Bacharach-Hal David musical based on the Academy Award-winning Billy Wilder comedy The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, Hayes is playing the role originated by Jerry Orbach, another legit leading man who later became far more famous for his TV work on Law & Order. And Hayes’ leading lady is Wicked star Kristin Chenowith — best known to American audiences for, you guessed it, her Emmy-winning TV role on Pushing Daisies and her guest stint last season on Glee.

ENRIGHT: Giller juror

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Enigmatic music legend Don Francks is set to make one of his rare appearances at Lula’s Lounge on April 15 … renowned Russian bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin makes his Canadian debut here April 24 in the popular Canadian Opera Company production of The Flying Dutchman. Johannes Debus, the COC’s newly-appointed Music Director, will lead the COC Orchestra and Chorus … it’s official: CBC Radio stalwart Michael Enright and novelists Claire Messud and Ali Smith have been elected by Jack Rabinovitch to choose the next Giller Prize winner … Ken Lindsay fans, take note: Your favourite piano man returns to the village  April 1 (no foolin’) to the Fuzion Resto-Lounge on Church Street.  Mark Cassius, formerly of The Nylons, will be on hand to help out with the high notes. Reservations are advised. For more info, click here … and screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) will pen the script for the screen biography of Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi. ESPN Films, an offshoot of the sports cable network, hopes to premiere the film before the 2012 Super Bowl. Robert DeNiro will play Lombardi — but will his Raging Bull guru Martin Scorsese direct? Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend!

-/-

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Eric gets Gordoned, Justin gets Facebooked, Ottawa gets Chaperoned & Broadway gets Carrie

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: New Emmy-owner Justin Timberlake has joined the cast of The Social Network, director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin’s take on the invention of Facebook …

TIMBERLAKE: Facebook friend

TIMBERLAKE: Facebook friend

Heather Locklear, one of the stars of the original Melrose Place, will reprise her role on the current re-invented series … stage and screen favourite Eric Peterson, already slated to pick up an Earle Grey Award later this month at the Geminis, will receive the 2009 Gordon Pinsent Award Of Excellence this week when The Company Theatre fetes him Thursday night at the Windsor Arms. Seamus O’Regan and Allan Hawco will co-host the gala evening … and speaking of excellence, award namesake Pinsent plays the Archbishop in The Pillars of the Earth, the epic drama based on Ken Follett’s bestseller, currently shooting in Hungary and Austria. Also appearing

PETERSON: getting Gordon & Earle

PETERSON: getting Gordon & Earle

in key roles are Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland.

FOOTLIGHTS: Mimi, or A Poisoner’s Comedy, the controversial new Allen Cole-Melody A. Johnson-Rick Roberts musical, continues its ribald run at the Tarragon Theatre … Bob Martin’s Tony-winning hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone tap-dances into Ottawa next week for a two-week run at the National Arts Centre … Carrie Fisher opened her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, at Studio 54 last night. Sez Fisher: “Basically, I talk about myself behind my back.”
 Her Broadway stint will run ‘til January … and Monty Python alumni Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and John Cleese are set to appear in a rare reunion at the Ziegfeld Theater next week. Did you know that the Pythons have

FISHER: on stage

FISHER: on stage

their own YouTube channel? Seriously! … and tickets are now on sale for the new National Ballet Of Canada season, which kicks off next month with the perennially lavish Sleeping Beauty. To check out the new NBOC season, just click here.

OUR TOWN: The 14th edition of Eat to the Beat, benefitting Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, takes over Roy Thomson Hall tomorrow night with culinary creations from more than 60 chefs,  including the Food Network chef Anna Olson, Fiona Lim of George and Dufflet Rosenberg of Dufflet Pastries. And you can still buy a ticket! For more info, click here … also tomorrow night: Royson James moderates a Toronto Star panel discussion on what it takes to create a workable city, with Susan Eng, Kevin Stolarick, Sudz Sutherland and Rahul Bhardwaj, at the new Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library … Jack Rabinovitch and jurors Russell Banks, Victoria Glendinning and Alistair MacLeod will announce this year’s Giller Prize finalists tomorrow morning at the Four Seasons … and yes, those still-sensational Jersey Boys are still winning standing O’s every night at the Toronto Centre For The Arts.

Atwood brings her Flood show to Church street, Mercer meets Bono, and it’s Liza with a D(VD)!

APRES MOI, THE FLOOD: Tub-thumping novelist Margaret Atwood is keeping her fans abreast of her current Year Of The Flood promotional tour via

ATWOOD: on tour

ATWOOD: on tour

Twitter, although getting on line is sometimes a challenge. In Cardiff, Wales she stopped at an Internet Café and found it distressingly difficult to connect. “If the Internet is a highway,” she noted, “there is much roadwork going on.” Atwood, who calls her Twitter followers her “T-pals,” will join David Ferry, Susan Coyne and Michelle Monteith on stage – on altar?? – this Thursday when she brings her performance-art show (with some Tell) to St. James Cathedral. Meanwhile,

COYNE: altar girl

COYNE: altar girl

fellow novelist Jeanette Winterson reviewed Atwood’s new Giller Prize nominee for the cover story in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. “Atwood,” she writes, “knows how to show us ourselves, but the mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect — it’s like one of those mirrors made with mercury that gives us both a deepening and a distorting effect, allowing both the depths of human nature and its potential mutations.” To see more of her review, just click here.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Choreography queen Twyla Tharp, who created a major Broadway hit by staging Billy Joel’s songs for dancers in Moving Out, is about to go for gold again. Her new show, Come Fly With Me, is

MINNELLI: new PBS special

MINNELLI: new PBS special

set to music associated with Frank Sinatra, and opens tomorrow night at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Fingers crossed … still wishing you’d been able to catch Liza Minnelli at the Palace last year, or even at Roy Thomson Hall this spring? PBS is planning to tape her Sept. 30-Oct. 1 performances at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Those brilliant Chicago producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who also worked on Showtime’s digitally restored version of Liza with a Z, will produce the special, which will air on PBS in December and go on sale in January 2010. Now there’s a New Year’s Eve gift! … and leave it to Oprah to out-do all previous flashmob events. Did you see where she got 21,00 of her closest fans to dance in the streets of Chicago? Amazing. If you missed it first time ‘round (I did,) you can still see it. Just click here.

THE LIFE OF RICK: Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on Rick Mercer’s wall? Or maybe a button on his lapel? Two Fridays ago he was one of a select few invited

MERCER: high life

MERCER: high life

to Sarah McLachlan’s lush Vancouver garden, where guests sat on plush divans under Moroccan tents lit by Indian Lanterns and were serenaded by Sarah, Sheryl Crow and dynamic Blue Rodeo duo Jim Cuddy & Greg Keillor at an intimate gathering to celebrate Sarah’s music outreach program for inner-city Vancouver youth. Then this past Friday he joined his Spread The Net partner-in-crime Belinda Stronach at her reception for another fund-raising pal, Bono. Mercer pal Seamus O’Regan was hobnobbing at that one too, as were T-D deputy chair Frank McKenna and War Child founders Dr. Samantha Nutt and Dr. Eric Hoskins. But don’t look for Mercer on the glamour party circuit this Friday — he’ll be in his CBC studio with a few hundred of his devoted fans, taping the first show of the seventh season of his top-rated Rick Mercer Report.

SHEEEEEE”S BACK: Attention  Erin Karpluk fans (and you seem to be growing in numbers every day) — your favourite TV heroine returns to your living rooms tonight when she and Michael Riley kick off the much-anticipated second season Being Erica at 9 pm on CBC. Enjoy!

TOMORROW:

What are Tom Arnold, George Stroumboulopoulos

and Red Green doing in Vancouver??

New songs by Norah, new tour for Danny, tweet talk from Rick and a stellar red carpet stroll for Lisa Ray

OUR TOWN: One of tonight’s Toronto filmfest Galas comes with an emotional punch no one could have anticipated when the film was chosen a few months ago. Lisa Ray, who co-stars with TIFF favourite Don McKellar in Dilip Mehta’s

RAY: blogging beauty

RAY: blogging beauty

new romantic comedy Cooking With Stella, will walk the red carpet tonight after going public last week with the news that she’s battling an incurable bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma. The Toronto-based film star, even more famous in India than she is here, used her blog to reveal her illness to her fans last week. Mehta’s sister and collaborator Deepa Mehta, who directed Ray in Bollywood/Hollywood and Water, says the beautiful actress is “the epitome of grace under pressure. She will do the red carpet proud.” She certainly acquitted herself with grace and style Monday morning with Seamus O’Regan on Canada A.M. – if you missed it, just click here — and I have no doubt her fans will turn out in droves tonight Cooking With Stella premieres at Roy Thomson Hall.

MERCER: Twitter hints

MERCER: Twitter hints

TUBE TALK: Danny DeVito and the cast of the FX comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are touring with a live theater adaptation of the sitcom’s musical finale last season, The Nightman Cometh. Performances started last night in Boston and continue throughout the month in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and, of course, Philadelphia, where a second show has already been added  … fans of Rick Mercer, currently getting back in harness for the seventh season of his Rick Mercer Report on CBC, are following him on Twitter to get hints of what stunts he’s plotting for his new

WILLIAMS: Rama-bound

WILLIAMS: Rama-bound

season. Last week he tweeted about riding on a Death Train (!!) and this week he confided that he was off to Whistler to meet with legendary Man In Motion Rick Hansen. Hmmmmm … and the 10th annual Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival is set for Saint John, New Brunswick next month. Highlights include The Last Laugh Gala, hosted by Jessica Holmes on Saturday Oct 3, with veteran mirth-makers Jeremy Hotz, Tim Steeves, Debra DiGiovanni and Roger Abbott & Don Ferguson.

NOVEMBER IS THE COOLEST MONTH: November music-makers set to rock Casino Rama include Roger Daltrey (Nov 5,) Supertramp alumnus Roger Hodgson (Nov 6 & 7) and still-ticking Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton (Nov 13 & 14) … some 55 million albums and at least one Guinness Book of Records

NORAH JONES by Autumn de Wilde

NORAH JONES by Autumn de Wilde

entry later (having sold 1.6 million tickets on one day for his 2006 tour,) Robbie Williams’ new album, Reality Killed The Video Star, is set to go on sale here Nov. 10 … and Norah Jones’ upcoming album, The Fall, will be released on November 17 with eye-grabbing cover artwork by photographer Autumn de Wilde. Meanwhile, music-makers set to rock Casino Rama next month include Kelly Clarkson (Oct 15,) Vanessa Williams (Oct 29,) and Julio Iglesias (Oct 30 & 31.)

TOMORROW:

Who has the most movies at TIFF?

plus,  Chita’s new album & Julianne’s new role.


Gimme a break!

Oh wait, I just had one.

I know, I know, I promised you (and me) a daily column, uhhh, blog, Monday thru Friday and then some.

Never did figure out when spring break was supposed to end.

Okay. My bad.

I sorta promise to never do it again.

And meanwhile, back on the ranch:

 

OUR TOWN: What a way to start the New Year! Theatre Passe Muraille will host the world premiere of Judith Thompson’s new play, Such Creatures, in

POLLEY: presenting

POLLEY: presenting

January 2010 … presenters set to assist 22 Minutes scene-stealer Geri Hall when she hosts the 2009 WGC Screenwriting Awards next week include Yannick Bisson (Murdoch Mysteries), Sarah Polley (Away from Her,) Tara Spencer-Nairn (Corner Gas), and Jennifer Podemski (Moccasin Flats.) Host Hall and 22 Minutes scribe Kyle Tingley will script the annual Writers Guild of Canada awards giveaway … and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Tickets are already selling briskly for the Toronto filmfest’s phenomenally popular annual children’s filmfest, Sprockets, which opens this Saturday April 18.

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PEOPLE: Veteran camera-huggers Kathleen Turner and Peter Gallagher are set to join the cast of David Duchovnys hit Showtime series, CalifornicationWill Arnett has signed on to star  in a comic book -inspired Wild West saga, Jonah Hex, with Hollywood heartthrob-du-jour Josh Brolin 

JACK & MARGARET: odd couple

JACK & MARGARET: odd couple

… director Kari Scogland was reportedly delighted by the reception for her film Fifty Dead Men Walking in Belfast last week. The controversial drama, which premiered here last September at the Toronto film festival, has just opened across the UK … ’70s gay porn icon and cabaret producer Jack Wrangler died last week of emphysema. Wrangler, 62, is survived by his 84-year-old wife, esteemed pop music legend Margaret Whiting, in what was one of Hollywood’s most fascinating romances … and Giancarlo Esposito will jet in this week for the Wednesday night premiere of his directorial debut, Gospel Hill, at Tonya Lee Williams’ 9th Annual ReelWorld Film Festival at the Scotiabank Theatre. Esposito’s film, the fest’s opening night Gala, stars Danny Glover, Angela Bassett, Julia Stiles, Samuel L. Jackson and Taylor Kitsch.

 * * *

BILLY BOB BLUES: By now most of the free world has viewed Jian Ghomeshis quixotic interview with reluctant movie star Billy Bob Thornton on CBC Radio’s Q.  Can’t say I feel sorry for Jian, because he stick-handled Billy Bob brilliantly. Can’t say I feel sorry for Billy Bob, because his arrogance clearly

THORNTON: Transplanted Texan?

THORNTON: Transplanted Texan?

exceeds his talent. But I do feel sorry for his Boxmaster band-mates. Talk about being hung out to dry! … and although Thornton is in no imminent danger of receiving honourary Canadian citizenship, Texas-born Manhattan gossip girl Liz Smith used to joke that if you even visited Texas, that was good enough for the Texas Film Hall of Fame to adopt you. Which is how Arkansas native Billy Bob became an official Texan recently, receiving the Tom Mix Honorary Texan Award from the Film Society. When Dennis Quaid introduced him a native “of Northeast Texas – that is, Hot Springs, Arkansas,” Billy Bob quickly reminded him that he once lived in Austin, Texas.  Which apparently was good enough for the Film Society. (Other ‘Texans’ honoured this year along with Billy Bob were Larry Hagman, born in Fort Worth, Texas, and Powers Boothe, a Texas State University graduate and native of Snyder, Texas.)

 * * *

LITERATI:  Giller Prize winner Wayson Choy is out promoting his new heart-stopping (literally!) bestseller, Not Yet … ditto Mark Breslin and his

LEACHMAN: telling tales

LEACHMAN: telling tales

Confessions of a Porn Addict, not to mention his new audio book on Canadian stand-up comedy….  gee, she’s going to Parliament after all! Green Party leader Elizabeth May launches her new book, perhaps too aptly titled Losing Confidence, on April 26 in Ottawa at, wait for it, the Parliament Pub … also out there telling tales: Fabled Oscar, Emmy & Golden Globe legend Cloris Leachman, who collaborated with her favourite ex-husband, producer George Englund (she married and divorced him twice) on Cloris: My Autobiography … and Deepak Chopra is set to wing into our town this month to promote his new tome Why Is God Laughing? on April 27 at Roy Thomson Hall. (Gee, I dunno, Deepak – maybe He’s a fan of Billy Bob Thornton??)

 * * * 

SEE/HEAR:  His episode with mayor Hazel McCallion was a big hit with Canadians this season, but Rick Mercer’s Mississauga mischief is now a bonafide viral sensation in the U.S., with almost a million hits (at last count) on YouTube alone. To see what all the fuss is about, or just to finish reading this column with a smile, just click here.

See you tomorrow.