Tag Archives: Rudolf Nureyev

Midnight In Paris may not win another Oscar for Woody — but that poster is definitely a keeper

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: All will be revealed this weekend on Sunday night’s  Academy Awards telecast — but if they gave out Oscars for movie posters, the Van Gogh version of Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris would get my vote hands down. It really is a beauty, and so evocative of the spirit of the film.

I mean, how cool is this? Really. I’m sure Woody will survive without winning more gold statuettes; he already has plenty. And the fact that Midnight In Paris is his biggest hit in years has gotta be the best consolation prize of all. By the way, not all Woody fans get to enjoy the same poster we do. Different countries market films in, well, different ways. As you can see. Oddly enough I have no desire to frame this one. But hey — different brush strokes for different folks.

YET ANOTHER REASON WHY WE LOVE LIZ SMITH: Has Manhattan gossip queen Liz Smith had her final say about Whitney Houston’s demise? We hope not. “No matter what Whitney might have abused in the past,” she wrote last week, “reports indicate that there were no illegal drugs found in her hotel room. Or in her body — believe me, TMZ would have headlined that. Whitney apparently died of an accident that has probably claimed a thousand American lives since Saturday. Too much drinking the night before, anxiety and a hangover the next day. Pop a Xanax (or anything to relax and relieve stress.) You don’t mean to, but you’ve just killed yourself.

SMITH: how Whitney died

“The legalization of marijuana or cocaine or meth have nothing to do with the circumstances of Whitney Houston’s death,” says Liz. “She didn’t die with a needle in her arm, or a crack pipe nearby. When TMZ obtained photos of the bathroom where she died, what terrible thing was revealed? There was a gravy boat, filled with an oil Whitney was using to soften her skin as she bathed. (The terrible thing is that they received these heartbreaking photos and ran them.) Police also said that Whitney possessed less prescribed medication at the time of her death than most ‘regular’ people.” Point taken. Let he who possesses an empty medicine cabinet throw the first over-the-counter pill.

YESTERDAY WHEN WE WERE YOUNG:  Try as I might, I can’t quite get my head around the fact that it was 40 years ago – four decades, folks – when Veronica Tennant danced that mind-boggling Rose Adagio choreographed by

NUREYEV & TENNANT

NUREYEV & KAIN

Rudolf Nureyev for the National Ballet’s headline-making premiere of The Sleeping Beauty. Then-aspiring prima ballerina Karen Kain danced it too, and next month Heather Ogden will follow in their bruised and tortured footsteps when she costars in Sleeping Beauty with her husband, high-flyer Guillaume Côte, who by the way will receive the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec tomorrow at the Parliament Building in Québec. Kain, now artistic director for the NBOC, acknowledges that the Rose Adagio her pal Nureyev created for the company “is one of the most athletically difficult versions in the world. This version is extremely challenging, for both Princess Aurora and the Prince.” But she’s very excited about seeing ballerina Ogden dance the role, she says, “because in addition to everything else, Heather has a powerful physicality. I think Rudolf would have loved her.” Ms. Ogden has her own thoughts on her new role, which she is still rehearsing as you read this. For a sneak peek at rehearsals, click here.

THEY GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FRIENDS: Even when I was a film critic — come to think of it, especially when I was a film critic — I was always confused about the Academy Awards. Especially whenever I disagreed with the choice of nominees and/or winners. That is, until Ingrid Bergman straightened me out. Said the iconic Ms. Bergman, a three-time Oscar winner herself:  “We don’t care what you think.”

DAVIS: Oscar nominee

Pardon? “We don’t care what you think,” said Ms. B, flashing her legendary enigmatic smile. “You play the critic every day of the year. This is our one night to play critic. This is our one chance, once a year, to vote for who we think did the best job. So we don’t care what you think. This is one night when your vote doesn’t count.”  A few years later I was on the phone talking to song-and-dance queen Ann Miller, “I have to go now,” she said – “I’ve got to finish filling out my Oscar ballot.”  “Really!” I said. “Do you know who you’re voting for?”   “What a question!” she laughed. “My friends, of course!”

Who’s gonna win this Sunday? If they vote for their friends, it will probably be George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Nick Nolte and Octavia Spencer. If they vote for performances, it will probably be Jean Dujardin, Viola Davis, Christopher Plummer and Jessica Chastain. But either way it will probably be quite a show. Enjoy!

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Mamma Mia! There they go again! My, my, how can we resist them?

FLICKERS: Ridiculously rich Mamma Mia film producer Judy Craymer is hoping to persuade Benny Andersson and his musical sidekick Bjorn

SEYFRIED & STREEP: bella Donnas?

Ulvaeus to lend their irresistible ABBA tunes to a prequel, with a brand new young cast. Will Amanda Seyfried get to play the young Meryl Streep, who played her mother Donna in MM? Stay tuned … Deidre Kelly’s new book, Paris Times Eight, already sounds like a movie. Kelly first arrived in Paris, the city of her dreams, “as a starry-eyed ingénue.” In some of her subsequent visits she returns as a budding writer who interviews Rudolf Nureyev and crashes an

KELLY: Paris, je t'aime (photo: Bryan L. Davies)

exclusive fashion show, and as an emotional daughter who takes her mother to Paris to meet her “other mother;” until finally she returns to Paris as a mother herself. Sounds like a least three great roles for women, n’est-ce pas? … and yes, it’s true, shooting is already underway in Shanghai for the Chinese version of Disney‘s megahit High School Musical. How did Disney get the green light from China? Well, for one thing, the Chinese version is set at a university, “since Chinese high school students are so focused on academics that they would not have time to devote to singing and dancing.” Okay, got it.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’ve no interest in playing oldies anymore. No, no, no. Far more fitting for the next stage in my career to play a slut.”

DENCH: Nothing like a Dame.

The speaker? Dame Judi Dench, now 74 but never at a loss for words. Currently starring in the about-to-be blockbuster movie musical Nine, Dame Judi’s next gig will bring her back to the boards, as Titania, the queen of the fairies in a new Midsummer Night’s Dream in Kingston, England. She first performed the role of Titania as a schoolgirl some 56 years ago, and is thrilled to be able to take another crack at it. “Of course,” she adds, “one is lucky to be acting at all. I’m happy when I have a job – any job. One is always afraid of having no work.”

Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein said it best. There really is nothing like a Dame.

21 AGAIN: It came and went 10 days ago, November 21 2009 was not just another Saturday night for Veronica Tennant. The prima ballerina who reinvented herself as a prima television producer was in three different cities that

TENNANT: November is the Coolest month

night. She was in Toronto attending the National Ballet of Canada’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty — the ballet she premiered more than 35 (!!!) years ago with Rudolf Nureyev as her prince — in tribute to Canada’s National Ballet School’s 50th Anniversary Assemble Internationale. But she was also in Edmonton, on film, as Honourary Chair of the Shumka Ballet, welcoming guests to Shumka’s Red Boots, Ballet and Bubbly Gala. And she was also in Cuba, where her much-lauded dance film, Vida y Danza, Cuba, was being screened at the 18th Anniversary celebration of Lizt Alfonso’s Dance Cuba.

JACKSON: new role

“November 21 has always been a significant day for me,” admits Tennant with a shy smile. I’ll say! Her Gala farewell performance with the National Ballet of Canada, A Passion for Dance: Celebrating the Tennant Magic, took place on November 21, 1989. And ten years later, to the day, she won her first International Emmy award as a television producer, for Karen Kain; Dancing in the Moment, on November 21, 1999.

Safety in numbers, you say? Sounds more like magic to me.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Slaight Communications chief Gary Slaight will be lauded for his longstanding commitment to charitable initiatives

GABEREAU: hosting for Mercer

as the recipient of the Humanitarian Spirit Award. at the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards on March 11 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, during Canadian Music Week … rising marquee bait Joshua Jackson has won the lead in a feature adaptation of British TV series UFO … Robin Mirsky, executive director of Rogers Group of Funds, has succeeded CFTPA prez Norm Bolen as co-chair of Hot Docs board of directors with Michael McMahon. New board members include marketing maven Robert Pattillo, Cobalt Pharmaceuticals chairman Neil Tabatznik and filmmakers Lalita Krishna, Julia Ivanova and Danijel Margetic … and Vicki Gabereau will host when Rick Mercer entertains the multitudes in Vancouver at a gala fund-raising evening June 10 for the Kay Meek Centre.

Special P.S. to Rick Mercer Report aficionados: Mercer’s final 2009 outing airs tonight at 8 pm on CBC-TV.

TOMORROW:

Roger gets ready for Toronto, and

Liz gives some advice to some dazzling Glamour girls.

Gotta sing! Gotta dance! … got a baby bump, too!

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: National Ballet showstopper Greta Hodgkinson and husband Etienne Lavigne are infanticipating in January,

LANGSTROTH: on a Highwire

LANGSTROTH: on a Highwire

but La Hodgkinson will return to the company in time to dance next year’s production of Onegin, with an extravagant new design by Santo Loquasto. Meanwhile, she hasn’t exactly been idle. She’s been in front of the camera again, this time playing legendary ballerina Margot Fonteyn to Nico Archambault’s Rudolf Nureyev in award-collecting Moze Mossanen‘s bound-to-be dazzling new Nureyev Arts special for Bravo! … ivory-tickler Ken Lindsay is celebrating his

NICO as NUREYEV

NICO as NUREYEV

second anniversary at Statler’s. Village favourite Lindsay holds cocktail-hour court every Thursday and Friday nights …rising songbird Dawn Langstroth launches her new CD Highwire tomorrow before embarking on a year of touring to promote it. And yes, You Don’t Want Me, that  wonderful song she wrote with master musical storyteller Ron Sexsmith, is included

HODGKINSON: expecting

HODGKINSON: expecting

on the playlist …  young Aussie director Alexandra Schepisi, daughter of famed director Fred, recently completed a short film called One Night about a group of girls hanging out together. “It’s 23 minutes long and there’s only three lines of dialogue in it!” her proud poppa confides. Sounds intriguing … and when Robin Wright Penn took the stage at TIFF last week, was it just the guys in the theatre who noticed that her legs went on forever but her skirt didn’t? Just wonderin’ … BTW, the talented Ms Penn will co-star with James McAvoy in The Conspirator, based on the aftermath of Lincolns assassination and directed by Robert Redford.

LIGHTS OUT: After almost eight years in the making, Jian Ghomeshi protégée Lights released her first CD this week. Stay tuned … Harry

 

 

 

 

 

KARPLUK: music for Erica

KARPLUK: music for Erica

Connick’s new CD Your Songs features such golden oldies as Sinatra’s All The Way, The Carpenters’ Close To You and Nat King Cole’s Mona Lisa … look for Joss Stone to duet with Smokey Robinson on tonight’s Jay Leno Show … and EMI Canada released its Being Erica CD this week to coincide with the return of the time-bending Erin Karpluk-Michael Riley series and the release of the Season One DVD. Music from the show’s freshman year, which spans the same decades as the hit CBC series, features tunes by Melanie Doane, The Northern Pikes, Jesus Jones, Norah Jones, Marc Jordan, Fatboy Slim, MC Hammer and, of course,  Erica’s therne song, All I Ever Wanted To Be, by Lily Frost.

 

 

 

 

BUNNETT: among the first

BUNNETT: among the first

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: High-voltage music-makers set to headline the inaugural season of Toronto’s newest concert venue, Koerner Hall, located in the Telus Centre for Performance & Learning on Bloor Street west, include Jane Bunnett, James Ehnes, Louis Lortie, Midori, Nico Mulhy, Peter Oundjian, Steven Page, Jon Kimura Parker, Quartetto Gelato, Ravi Shankar, Frederica von Stade, Sarah Slean, the Esprit Orchestra, and Richard Reed Perry of Arcade Fire. To sample the upcoming season, and order tickets, just click here.

ABSENT FRIENDS: Yesterday, In my eagerness to share with you some of the stellar names performing this season with the TSO, I automatically included T.O. favourite Erich Kunzel, who was scheduled to conduct three nights of Broadway show tunes here next month.  Would that it were so. After being diagnosed with pancreatic, liver and colon cancer in April, Kunzel passed away three weeks ago. Add his name to the September roll call – Larry Gelbart, Mary Travers, Patrick Swayze, and more – of absent friends who are sorely missed today.

TOMORROW:

Why Kiefer came home.

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