Tag Archives: SEAN CULLEN

Ms Mirren gets to put the bogus bite on Mr. Crystal, but will Mr. Doyle get to play another Endgame?

WHEN BILLY MET HELEN: Great news – Rob Reiner and Billy Crystal have teamed up again to make the long-awaited much-anticipated sequel to When Harry Met Sally, and in addition to casting great supporting players like Maya Rudolph they’ve snagged Helen Mirren for a key romantic role. In keeping with the times, director Reiner promises that When Harry Met Sally 2 will be a comedy with a substantial bite to it.  To see the already-controversial sneak preview, click here – and enjoy!

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Canuck comedy sensation Russell Peters hosts his own Just For Laughs special tomorrow night on CBC with his

COHEN: Gould Prize winner

own handpicked supporting cast of merry men, namely Jeremy Hotz, Jimmy Carr, Sebastian Maniscalco and Nick Thune … jury members who voted the selection of Leonard Cohen as the winner of the ninth Glenn Gould Prize included Atom Egoyan, Stephen Fry, Elaine Overholt and jury chair Paul Hoffert. And I know I said this last week, but details of the gala evening to honour Cohen’s win should be revealed tomorrow … Jaymz Bee is celebrating his birthday this Wednesday by rocking The Old Mill.  For more details click here … and Jian Ghomeshi chats up Slash tomorrow on Q before leaving for Moncton and CBC Radio coverage of the 2012 East Coast Music Awards.

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: This year’s Winnipeg Comedy Festival will include live tapings of Steve Patterson’s hit CBC Radio show The Debaters 

DOY:LE as John A.

this weekend. Sean Cullen and Scott Thompson will go head-to-head about pure bred vs. mongrel dogs. And just to make it even more interesting, Thompson will debate as The Queen, while Cullen portrays Adele. And yes, you read that right … why do I think the late Brian Linehan‘s name should be on our Walk Of Fame? Because of his dedication to celebrating, promoting and building Canadian stars on television (Linehan, City Lights) and radio (CFRB) throughout his career. If you agree, please vote for him here, under ‘Other’
… and Global Television has picked up a hard-won Rockie nomination for its homegrown cop series Rookie Blue. Ironically,

DOYLE as Arkady Balagan

the financially beleaguered CBC  won Rockie nods for no less than seven (7) shows, including Heartland, Michael Tuesday & Thursdays, The Debaters, John A.: Birth Of A Country, and The 2012 Gemini Awards. Is that a new network record? Just askin’ … and good news for Shawn Doyle fans. His excellent Endgame series, in which he played crime-solving world chess champion Arkady Balagan,  played for only one season on Showcase, but yesterday the New York Times reported that the series has been picked up by Hulu, the online streaming service, which is considering the production of a second season.   Let’s keep all fingers  crossed.

BALLET HIGH: Love Lies Bleeding tonight on CBC

LORDS OF THE DANCE: The hit National Ballet of Canada production of The Seagull opens Thursday night in Ottawa. Headliners at the National Arts Centre premiere are Greta Hodgkinson as Arkadina, Guillaume Côté in the role of Kostya, Aleksandar Antonijevic as Trigorin and Sonia Rodriguez as Nina. Which means the entire company can get to see Antonijevec’s exhibit of his ballet photography, Feet and Mirrors, on view at the NAC until April 28 … DanceWorks presents Ottawa urban dance sensation Bboyizm in its Toronto debut with two shows: IZM this Friday April 13 and Saturday April 14 at 8pm, and a matinee performance of the family-friendly show, Evolution Of B-Boying, on Saturday at 1pm, at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre. Word is that choreographer/dancer and Bboyizm founder Yvon Soglo (aka b-boy Crazy Smooth) takes a daring, imaginative approach to street dance tradition without losing its authenticity. Sounds intriguing … and tonight’s Don’t-Miss TV eye-candy is Love Lies Bleeding, the Alberta Ballet’s wildly popular, rave-winning exploration of Elton John’s music, directed by the masterful Moze Mossanen of Nureyev fame. For an intriguing behind-the-scenes look, click here.

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Jennifer plays Winnie, Sheila plays Halifax, Rick plays Rideau Hall — and stars coax us into the cold

STARS IN OUR EYES: Grammy showstopper Jennifer Hudson continues to prove herself as an actress as well as a singer. She and Terence Howard shine as Winnie & Nelson Mandela in the fascinating biopic Winnie, one of

HUDSON & HOWARD: As Winnie and Nelson Mandela in new biopic "Winnie"

the celluloid treats selected for the 12th annual Floating Film Festival. The FFF, launched by TIFF co-founder Dusty Cohl two decades ago and now captained by filmmaker Barry Avrich, embarks on a 10-day Caribbean odyssey on Monday Feb. 27 – the day after the Oscars – on the Seabourn Sojourn. More on FFF 12 as it happens …  Rachel McAdams and her main squeeze Michael Sheen are having a lovely Valentine’s Day, thanks for asking. McAdams’ film with Channing Tatum, The Vow, is number one at the box office, and Sheen is now set to star in the Showtime pilot Masters of Sex …  triumphant trio Russell Braun, Krisztina Szabo and Erin Wall, the three great voices who spark the current,

McADAMS: Happy February

theatrically dazzling Canadian Opera Company production of Love From Afar, won’t be sitting around after the controversial extravaganza closes on Feb. 22. Ms. Szabo is already set to perform with conductor Alex Pauk at the Esprit Orchestra event Gripped By Passion at Koerner Hall on Feb. 26 .And  her co-stars Braun and Wall are set to team up again in Ottawa in a new production of Carmina Burana March 8-9 at the National Arts Centre … and dynamic duo Jay Leno & Madonna teamed up to promote his Tonight Show with a delightfully snappy SuperBowl commercial I finally caught up with yesterday. Did you miss it too? Here it is. Enjoy!

PRESENT LAUGHTER: Montreal’s phenomenal Just For Laughs comedy festival celebrates its 30th anniversary (!!!) this year July 12-29, after warming up with a six-night stand in Chicago June 12-17 … a new cartoon-for-the-mind

JOHNSTON & MERCER: Rideau Hall playdate

podcast from those wacky Illustrated Men is set in the mythical town of Monogami, Ontario.  In the first episode Sam and Ella Toad move to Monogami to make a new start; some kids out camping spot a UFO; and alien bounty hunters land. Will Sam’s car get towed by zombies? You’ll have to tune in to find out …  stand-up guy Harry Doupe hosts Everyone’s A Winner, the March 9 all-star comedy fundraiser at Second City in support of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League with smile-makers  Sean Cullen, Tim Steeves, Laurie Elliott, Pete Zedlacher and many more … Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are set to play two middle-aged guys starting over as interns at an internet company in the Shawn Levy comedy Interns … and Rick Mercer finally gets a taste of the high life he’s been missing when he hobnobs with new Governor-General David Johnston at Rideau Hall tonight on CBC’s Rick Mercer Report.

McCARTHY & NICHOLSON: on stage in Halifax

FOOTLIGHTS: Stage and screen lioness Sheila McCarthy is back on the boards at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, garnering glowing notices in Norm Foster’s new comedy Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out with J. D. Nicholson. McCarthy is also set to co-star in  Lost In Yonkers with Linda Kash, David Eisner and Happy Days legend Marion Ross when the Neil Simon classic opens here in May   … Graham Abbey of The Border TV fame

BALABAN: Back at Theatre Passe Muraille

is also collecting kudos for his stage turn with Barry Flatman in the Canadian premiere of Enron, directed by Antoni Cimolino at Theatre Calgary … Divisadero: a performance, adapted by Michael Ondaatje from his Governor General Award-winning novel and directed by Daniel Brooks, is back at Theatre Passe Muraille for a limited run through Sunday Feb. 26. The production reunites the original cast of Liane Balaban, Maggie Huculak, Tom McCamus, Amy Rutherford and Justin Rutledge, who created music specifically for the piece …  and Allan Hawco and Philip Riccio’s ambitious Company Theatre has announced its next production. Speaking In Tongues, by Andrew Bovell, will be directed by Riccio and play the Berkeley Street Theatre Oct. 29-Nov. 24. Will Riccio load the dice with lotsa star power? Stay tuned.

TENNANT: On a MIssion

DEEP FREEZE: Some of our faviourite stars are urging us to come into the cold. And their message is definitely on point. “Come freeze your butt off on February 25, 2012 with Yonge Street Mission on the coldest night of the year! It is a 5k and 10k non-competitive walk in the frigid cold for the hurting, homeless and hungry. Sign up as an individual or a team today. If you can’t join us that night, consider donating!” Sparklies askng us to participate via a very engaging vimeo include Maria Del Mar, Peter Keleghan, Debra McGrath, Patrick McKenna, Mark McKinney, Colin Mochrie, Leah Pinsent, Veronica Tennant and, still wearing his Stephen Leacock moustache, Gordon Pinsent. To see it, just click here.

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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

HENNESSY & PINSENT: Mother & Son

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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Stratford gets Sean, Montreux gets a Weather forecast, PBS gets Ethan’s Time Machine and a Legend gets an Ella

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Visiting New Yorker Jake Ehrenreich winds down his love affair with Toronto this week as A Jew Grows In Brooklyn closes Sunday night at the

DAY: Legend

Panasonic … honorary co-chairs Elton John and Quincy Jones will present Natalie Cole with the 19th Ella award on June 1 at the Beverly Hilton. But I’ll bet Elton, Quincy and Natalie are all secretly dying to meet the normally reclusive songbird who’s taking home this year’s Legend award: The one and only Doris Day… Vibes legend Peter Appleyard will bring his magic to Campbellford, ON this summer with an Aug. 1 Westben concert at The Barn … showbiz wunderkind Ted Dykstra directs the Soulpepper revival of David French‘s backstage comedy Jitters, opening June 24 … Sean Cullen returns to Stratford this summer in King Of Thieves, esteemed playwright

CULLEN: thieving

George F. Walker’s take on The Beggar’s Opera … and ya gotta love the title of west coast artist Ron Terada‘s new show, opening this weekend at the Banff Centre. He calls it Who I Think I Am.

GLOBAL SWARMING: The oh-so-lively Dead Weather, the alternative-riffs band formed by Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs) and Alison Mosshart (The Kills) are now set to rock the Miles Davis Hall on July 3 at the 44th annual Montreux Jazz Festival. The band’s new album, Sea of Cowards, dropped earlier this month … can’t help wondering if any of those comely 20-somethings cheering Harry Connick Jr.’s version of And I Love Her on American Idol last week knew he was singing a Beatles song? … and speaking of The Beatles, their stereo boxed set, released last September, has been certified Diamond in Canada by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA).

BERMAN: at UCLA this week

The boxed set is the first CD release since October 2007 to be certified Diamond in Canada, which means The Beatles now have more certified Diamond albums in Canada than any other group or non-Canadian artist.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Oscar-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman is set to premiere her doc on Hugh Hefner, with Hef in attendance, in Hollywood this Thursday at the Billy Wilder Theatre at UCLA … Kylie Minogue’s new single All The Lovers will be released at the end of June, one week before her new studio album Aphrodite drops a week later on July 6 … 10-year-old piano virtuoso and showman Ethan Bortnick is set to razzle-dazzle ’em at the PBS National Convention in Austin, Texas next week, all to promote his sizzling upcoming Musical Time Machine special with Gloria Gaynor, Arturo Sandoval and the Canadian Tenors … and Dynamic Double Exposure duo Bob Robertson & Linda Cullen have launched a naughty new website which features, among other things, a somewhat flatulent beaver. To check out the latest 2X shenanigans, just click here.

TOMORROW:

Get out your calendars!

Sergio goes to Memphis, Susan comes to T.O. and Mr. Ondaatje gets ready for Theatre Passe Muraille

OUR TOWN: Art director Pat Flood moderates a Theatre Museum Canada free-admission workshop on the state of artistic collaboration in contemporary

HYATT: at Statler's

HYATT: at Statler's

Canadian theatre tonight at 7 pm at the Design Exchange … filmmaker Omar Majeed is here this week for Q&As after Royal Cinema screenings of his new doc, TAQWACORE: The Birth of Muslim Punk Rock. Novelist and Muslim convert Michael Muhammad Knight, the guy who penned the book that gave birth to underground Muslim bands, will join him in a panel discussion on Saturday … Chicago-based singer and songwriter Susan Werner — she of ‘agnostic gospel music’ notoriety — is set to perform in her first Toronto concert in three years at Hugh’s Room this coming Sunday. To mark the occasion she’ll accompany herself on a

BEDFORD: as Lady Bracknell

BEDFORD: as Lady Bracknell

baby grand loaned to Hugh’s Room by Skydiggers member Michael Johnston … and my spies tell me Pam Hyatt has agreed to join piano man Ken Lindsay for another serenade of cocktail hour show tunes this Thursday at Statler’s.

STRATFORD ON SALE: They’ve had a phenomenal season with great ticket sales, but if you still haven’t been to the Stratford Festival this year, here’s a deal you definitely need to know about. Right now you can buy $29 tickets for plays or $39 tickets for musicals on any of the remaining performances until the Stratford season ends on November 8. See Colm Feore

CULLEN: at the Forum (photo: XXXXXX)

CULLEN: at the Forum (photo: David Hou)

as Macbeth and Cyrano de Bergerac, catch Brian Bedford’s Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest, follow Sean Cullen in A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum, choose from Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and West Side Story, or choose them all — but don’t delay, because this special offer ends tomorrow, October 20! So click here for the Stratford

ONDAATJE: Divisadero workshops

ONDAATJE: Divisadero workshops

season calendar and order your tickets now.

FOOTLIGHTS: Acclaimed theatre director Daniel Brooks is working with acclaimed novelist Michael Ondaatje to adapt the latter’s most recent novel, Divisadero, for the stage. Ondaatje fans can get to see three workshop productions of When My Name Was Anna, the theatrical adaptation, at Theatre Passe Muraille’s Mainspace November 6-8.  To order tickets, click here … Sampradaya Dance Creations hosts the world premiere of its newest work, Samvad, collectively

TRUJILLO: opening tonight

TRUJILLO: opening tonight

created and performed by dancers Meena Murugesan, Nadine Jackson and Shelly Ann McLeod, this weekend at the Enwave Theatre … and one fan who attended a preview performance of Memphis, a new musical about the birth of rock ‘n’ roll in the ’50s, says he was “FLOORED by the choreography! The lighting design was spectacular, and some of the vocal performances were brilliant!” Has choreographer Sergio Trujillo summoned up his Jersey Boys magic to light up New York again? Fingers crossed. Memphis, which also features a brand new score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan, opens on Broadway tonight at the Shubert Theatre.

MAPLE LEAF JOKES? WE’VE GOT A MILLION OF ‘EM:

Q: What do the Leafs and the Titanic have in common?
A: They both look good until they hit the ice.

TOMORROW:

The good that men do.

(And the women who do it with them.)

.

Good morning, mid-May. Spring is finally sprung.

PIANO MAN, UHHH, KID, UHHH, BOY, UHHHH, GENIUS:  Six-year old piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick returns to rub elbows with Jay Leno 

BORTNICK: remember wheb?

BORTNICK: remember when?

tonight on The Tonight Show. At the risk of being mistaken for my favourite Insight gurus Shirley MacLaine, do we really believe this charming moppet has learned the more than 220 tunes he tickles out of those ivories? No, we do not. We believe he is remembering and re-imagining a talent from at least one of his past lives. But he’s so engaging, and so much fun, and every inch a little old man hiding in a little boy’s body, that I can”t wait to see him again with Jay tonight. If you missed his first stint with Jay, click here and enjoy!

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CULLEN: human?

CULLEN: human?

 

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Hat trick charmers Stacie Mistysyn (Degrassi), Daniel Cook (This is Daniel Cook) and Rachel Marcus (Booky) will co-host a special 35th anniversary edition of the annual Alliance for Children and Television Awards of Excellence Gala in Toronto on June 3 at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio … Christina Jennings’ new series The Listener premieres June 4 on Space, CTV and NBC … and Sean Cullen brings his I Am A Human Man Tour to T.O.’s Panasonic Theatre on Sunday May 31. 

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FOOTLIGHTS:  Thirteen months after a sold-out 10-show run, playwright and director Judith Thompson remounts Body & Soul, the powerful and

SCHULTZ: Awake and ...?

SCHULTZ: Awake and ...?

provocative play that astonished and moved audiences in its original incarnation.  This groundbreaking production returns for a two-and-a-half weeks only, opening June 6 at Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space …  Soulpepper chief Albert Schultz opens Clifford Odets’ turbulent comedy-drama Awake And Sing! on June 16 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts … and award-winning theatre artist Tracey Erin Smith returns to T.O. with The Burning Bush, a new theatrical extravaganza that combines her two hit solo shows The Burning Bush! and Two in the Bush! Smith, who plays a ‘stripping rabbi’ who saves souls one lap dance at a time, will test-drive her new show in New York  (talk about yer out-of-town try-outs!) before opening June 18 at the above-mentioned Young Centre for the Performing Arts.

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CHOY: lunch delicacyt?

CHOY: lunch delicacy?

 

LITERATI: Bookseller Ben McNally is set to serve up Wayson Choy and his new bestseller Not Yet at the Globe & Mail Authors Brunch at the King Eddie on May 24 …  Jerry Levitan will launch the illustrated book version of his Oscar-nominated autobiographical saga I Met The Walrus at Indigo Eaton Centre on May 25 …  and BNN’s Amanda Lang has been tapped to referee the Walrus Magazine-hosted debate Do Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Measures Unduly Compromise Privacy And Freedom? Opposing debaters will be author Daniel Stoffman (Are We Safe Yet?) and Toronto Star national affairs columnist Thomas Walkom.  The intellectual bun-flight, one of The Walrus’ series of Lively Lunch Debates, is set for Thursday May 28 in the 68th floor York Room at First Canadian Place, and promises to be highly stimulating. So how come it sounds like an elective root canal? Or is that just me …

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NEW WORLD ORDER: Web savants Coldplay will be giving away an exclusive live CD, titled LeftRightLeftRightLeft, to all fans attending their  Viva La Vida summer tour and at every remaining live show in 2009.  The CD will also be

ALLEN: discounted?

ALLEN: discounted?

available as a free download during the same time period through their website http://www.coldplay.com. Their Canadian tour starts June 15 in Winnipeg, hits the Rogers Centre in T.O. on July 30 and wraps Aug. 1 at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal … Search Engine, the popular online podcast and radio show that was a victim of CBC’s recent cost-cutting, is moving to TVO. Search Engine was canceled on radio last year, but it lived on a podcast, where it found a devoted audience … EMI Music has made a deal with the Fairmont hotel chain givng Fairmont guests exclusive access to discounts on digital music and other music related experiences from artists such as Coldplay, Moby, Lily Allen, Keith Urban, Katy Perry, The Beach Boys and more … and in a Canadian first, Corus is now offering direct iTunes accessibility on 11 of its radio station websites, allowing listeners to shop from playlists featured on the stations as well as top picks from on-air talent and celebrity guests.

Ain’t showbiz grand?

-/-

Good morning, Toronto

 

ARDEN

ARDEN

 

CRAWFORD

CRAWFORD

CARROLL

CARROLL

JAMES

JAMES

CULLEN

CULLEN

DEGENERES

DEGENERES

MOCHRIE

MOCHRIE -

Welcome to another week of razzle-dazzle in our town.

And yes, everything old is new again – including, apparently, me.

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FOOTLIGHTS: Leave-‘em-in-the-aisles funnyman Ron James makes his much-anticipated return to T.O. this Thursday when he opens a limited run of his Mental As Anything tour at the Winter Garden … Rick Roberts, so good in the riveting ZOS miniseries produced by Paul Gross, is set to co-star with Hal Linden in Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie, directed by Ted Dykstra and opening May 8 at the Winter Garden … and fearless 22 Minutes scene-stealer Gavin Crawford will star in Sky Gilbert’s new eyebrow-raiser, I Have AIDS!, with Ryan Kelly and David Yee, now set to open at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre on April 23

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THE SWEETEST SOUNDS: Showstopper Diahann Carroll lived up to her rep at the Four Seasons this weekend when she entertained high-rollers at Salah Bachir’s lavish fundraiser for The 519 community centre. Garth Drabinsky, who produced Carroll’s
spectacular run here in Sunset Boulevard, was among the sparklies cheering her, as were Maggie Cassella, Diane Flacks and Valerie Pringle, to name only a few. Served up with dinner were musical guest stars Billy Newton Davis, John Alcorn and Lorraine Segato – what a treat to see (AND hear) the enigmatic Ms. Segato, who rocked her way through a rhythm & bluesy ballad before gifting us with a stirring reprise of her Parachute Club anthem Rise Up.  Before the dynamic Diahann – still sweet-voiced at 73 – took her final bow, Gala host Bachir, who was clearly adored by most of the room, managed to raise more than $350,000 for the community centre, and was quick to thank all his friends for stepping up with their cheque books.  Four Bachir chums who particularly impressed: Ivan Fecan (CTV,) Rupert Duschene (Aeroplan,) Tony Gagliano (Toronto Life) and Mohamad El Zaibeck. All four bought $5,000 tables, then turned them over to Salah so community centre workers from The 519 could attend the glamorous Saturday night shindig.

Now that’s class.

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GLITTERATI: She’s had 17 top ten singles, eight albums and eight Juno Awards. Now soulful thrush Jann Arden has a new manager too, joining Bryan Adams, Michael Buble and Anne Murray as one of Bruce Allen’s blue chip Canadian clients … clever Humber College administrators have lured L.A.-savvy producer Pam Thomas to their top-flight Comedy teachers roster. Smart move, guys  … some

WINFREY

WINFREY

famously funny folk are set to deliver ‘The News’ this week on The Hour. Watch for Seán Cullen tonight, Colin Mochrie tomorrow night, Gilson Lubin (who he???) on Wednesday and Nikki Payne on Thursday … Oprah Winfrey always appears solo on the cover of her O magazine, but this month she made an exception for new U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama. Needless to say that just fueled the fire for Ellem Degeneres, whose running joke on her talk show is that one day she wants to be on the cover of O. So last week Oprah surprised Ellen by calling her, on air, to officially invite her to stand by her side for a forthcoming cover shoot. You can catch Oprah’s surprise call on Ellen’s show website at http://ellen.warnerbros.com — and yes,  it’s a lot of fun.

Ain’t showbiz grand?