Hollywood rules the Tonys, Piper sums up Zero, Bono & Bob play newsmen, and Liona goes back to highschool

OUR TOWN:  Mother’s Day never looked so funny. First Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Kathryn Greenwood and Teresa Pavlinek return to T.O. tonight as out very favourite Women Fully Clothed, Older and Hotter, kicking off a three-night stand  at Massey

MARSHAK: playwrights' delight

Hall. Then Betty White hosts SNL tomorrow night … also tomorrow night: Funnyman Mike Wilmot wraps his current four-night stint at Yuk Yuks, and George Olliver & Gangbuster rock The Edge in Ajax … what do Bono and Bob Geldof have in common?  Everything, apparently. Which is why the two celebrity activists will edit the Globe & Mail’s special May 10 section devoted to the future of Africa — their way of drawing attention to the issue of extreme poverty in Africa ahead of the G8 and G20 meetings scheduled to be held here next month. Kenyan activist and blogger Ory Okolloh will also be part of Monday’s editorial team … and Linda Kash, Theresa Tova and Judy Marshak are among the featured artists set to interpret new works by playwrights Michael Ross Albert, Ron Fromstein, Bekky O’Neil and Darrah Teitel at In The Beginning on Monday night  at the Miles Nadal JCC. For tickets, click here.

FOOTLIGHTS: Yes, it’s official — Broadway has finally gone Hollywood. Tony nominees this year include Jude LawHamlet; Alfred MolinaRedLiev Schreiber, A View from the

LAW: Tony nominee

Bridge; Christopher WalkenA Behanding in SpokaneDenzel Washington, Fences; Valerie HarperLoopedLinda LavinCollected StoriesLaura Linney, Time Stands Still; Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night MusicKelsey GrammerLa Cage aux Folles; Sean HayesPromises, Promises; Scarlett JohanssonA View from the Bridge; and Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music. And Broadway regular David Hyde Pierce, who shot to fame with Tony nominee Kelsey Grammer in Frasier, will receive the Isabelle Stevenson humanitarian honour. Should be interesting to see if the mix of big and small screen names will kickstart higher Nielsen ratings when the awards show is telecast from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday June 13.

NEWTON-JOHN: mind & body

HEAD OF THE CLASS: Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida is one of the favourite new showbiz hideaways, attracting marquee names from all over the globe. Sparklies who have already stopped by for a tune-up this season include Anthony Hopkins, Tommy Tune, Glee guest star Olivia Newton-John and Liona Boyd, who confirms she is moving back to L.A. this summer. After six years of trying the East Coast on for size, she says she found Miami too hot, “mosquitoey” and “hurricaney”, New York “too tough and unromantic,” and Connecticut winters “too damn cold!” She’s also returning to the concert stage – Toronto fans can see her May 25 at the March of Dimes fundraising Gala at the Royal York – and In the meantime, don’t be surprised if you see her in T.O. this weekend. She’s planning to be here tomorrow for her high school reunion!

FOOTLIGHTS: Ageless legit theatre legend Viola Léger returns as Antonine Maillet’s irresistible Acadian cleaning lady in a revival of La Sagouine. Directed by John Van

LINNEY: Tony contender

Burek, Léger performs her legendary one-woman show in English May 14-29, followed by a run en français May 31-June 5, at the Berkeley St. Theatre Downstairs … Perry Perlmutar promises to “try to be extra funny for you” when he opens at Absolute Comedy next week … and among the major entries set for the Harold Green Theatre next  season: Zero Hour, with Jim Brochu as comedy icon Zero Mostel, directed by indomitable screen siren Piper Laurie. Meanwhile, the amusing and engagingly tuneful Soul Of Gershwin, a lightherarted exploration of George & Ira’s roots in klezmer music, closes tomorrow night at the Winter Garden. To snag last-minute tickets, just click here. And have a happy weekend!



Looking for movie stars? Book that flight to New York, ’cause they’re all on the Great White Way

ARE THE STARS OUT TONIGHT?: Yes, and most of ‘em are working on and off Broadway. Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson are currently in

JOHANSSON: room for A View

rehearsals for the revival of A View From The Bridge, still regarded in some circles as Arthur Miller‘s most passionate drama. They start previews right after Christmas, then open at the Cort Theatre on Jan. 24 … Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury are the hot-ticket duo in the revival of Stephen Sondheim‘s A Little Night Music down the street at the Walter Kerr Theater. Previews start tomorrow night, less than three weeks before their Dec. 13 opening … Emmy Award winners James Spader and Richard Thomas are already in previews for David Mamet’s

ZETA-JONES: opening tomorrow night

new sizzler, Race, directed by Mamet himself, for a Dec. 6 opening … veteran New York broadcaster Pat Collins calls her the funniest woman on Broadway, and audiences must agree, because Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, originally slated to close Jan. 3, has been held over another two weeks, to Jan. 17… Victor Garber will celebrate New Year’s Eve, then go right into previews for the revival of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, set to premiere Jan. 21 at the American Airlines Theatre … 2001: A Space Odyssey alumnus Keir Dullea, who actually worked with Noel Coward, will return to Broadway this spring in a revival of Robert Anderson’s

SPADER: Race card

I Never Sang for My Father. Years ago Dullea and Coward co-starred in a London-made thriller called Bunny Lake Is Missing. After shooting a difficult scene together for director Otto Preminger, Coward turned to the young actor and chirped, “Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow!” Happily his ad-lib was not prophetic … and Tony Award owner Matthew Broderick has taken his act off-Broadway. He opens tonight at the Acorn Theatre in Kenneth Lonergan’s The Starry Messenger, about an astronomy teacher’s affair with a younger woman.  Academy Award nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace) plays the younger woman to Broderick’s married academic.

SMITH: backing B'way newbie

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER ADOPT-A-SHOW: It took volunteer executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry to put Precious on the map — and did they ever. Now Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith have become first-time Broadway producers, putting their considerable showbiz weight behind the new Broadway musical Fela! which opens tonight at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre after a month of previews. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, Fela! portrays the extravagant world of controversial music pioneer and Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in a hybrid of concert, dance and musical theater. Will audiences buy in? Stay tuned … and Tony winner Susan

BRODERICK: opening tonight

Stroman will direct the first-ever production of The Scottsboro Boys, an unproduced Kander & Ebb musical, off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre. The show will begin previews on February 12 and open on March 10. The Scottsboro Boys explores the infamous Scottsboro case of the 1930s, in which a group of African-American teenagers were unjustly accused of attacking two white women, and the boys’ attempts to prove their innocence.

And yes, it’s a musical.


Fangs for the Memories.

Hollywood’s new Iron maiden

Woody Allen favourite Scarlett Johansson has joined the cast of the Iron Mansequel to play a deadly Russian superspy called Black Widow.  And she won’t be lonely because, as previously noted,




Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke are already on board …  after she leaves Broadway – her run in 33 Variationsends May 21 — Jane Fonda will collaborate on a new film project with Vagina Monologues creator Eve Ensler …  Margaret Atwoodguests with George Stroumboulopoulos tonight on The Hour … and Hot Docs will open April 30 at the Winter Garden with the world premiere of Act Of God, produced and directed by award-laden Manufactured Landscapescreator Jennifer Baichwal.

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QUOTABLE QUOTES:  “When we talk to God, we’re praying. When God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic.”
The speaker? Lily Tomlin’s brilliant partner-in-crime (and
comedy,) writer Jane Wagner.

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SPAMALOT:  Can’t wait to order my U.S. Government Grant Money CD so I can figure out how much of a bailout I need. Because I’m assured that this CD from the Grant Resource Center will help me take care of the rest.

Mind you, applications are limited and there is no guarantee that this introductory offer will last.

CARLIN: The One & Only

CARLIN: The One & Only


No, I’m not doing a George Carlin routine. My Junk Mail file (and yours too, I’ll bet) is chock full of special offers to help me survive the recession.

Luckily for me, my New Cash Advance Has Been Approved by the American Payday Corporation (“Bad Credit OK, receive payday within an hour!”) – or at least it was until I told them where to send the money.

“Sorry,” the American Payday Corporation replied, “we cannot service your country.”


Never mind. Jennifer Baxter (she’s been keeping a low profle, working at home, raking in millions) has offered to put me on her Easy Road To Success (my very favourite road! The woman must be psychic!) – so I can Say Goodbye To Worry. Which I plan to do as soon as I send away for Shawn Casey’s free in-depth Internet markering course – I only pay shipping and handling costs – so I can learn the secrets the pros know, just as long as I grab it quick, before Shawn changes his mind.

Ah yes. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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WILLIAMS: the Reel thing

WILLIAMS: the Reel thing


BECOMING ATTRACTIONS: DanceWorks world-premieres William Yong’s Frames tonight at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre … the Suitcase Theatre production of the family musical The House That Jack Built continues its run at 3pm daily through March 21 at the Church of the Redeemer at Bloor and Avenue Road … indefatigable Tonya Lee Williams launches her 9th (!!!) Annual ReelWorld Film Festival next month. Names of the films set for unspooling April 15-19 will be announced shortly. …  What Has Architecture Done For You Lately?,  a new exhibit at the Design Exchange, premieres the same night … and the Canadian Opera Company’s 10th Annual Fine Wine Auction is set for the following night, Thursday April 16, at Crush.

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SEE/HEAR:  She’s currently causing quite a stir on YouTube, and it’s not hard to see why.  Self-proclaimed culture bandit Vanessa Hidary, a shining light on the Def Poetry firmament, calls herself “The Hebrew Mamita.” She’s provocative, clever, thoughtful and, best of all, funny. See what all the fuss is about by clicking here.