Tag Archives: Sharp Magazine for Men

These ‘Alumni’ put the Class back in comedy

I DREAMED A DREAM TEAM:  Just when you had started to suspect, sadly, that you had seen it all, comes an all-star comedy troupe to save the day. Put next Monday, June 8, on your Don’t Miss list, because if you’re not in Manhattan

VAN DER GRAF & MARTIN:  dream teamers

VAN DER GRAF & MARTIN: dream teamers

attending the Joanne Woodward-Robert Redford-Julia Roberts fundraiser for Paul Newman’s kids camps, you’ll want to be at Bread & Circus (on Augusta, as if you didn’t know) to see the reunion show of the Alumni Cafe, the improv show that used to rock the Tim Sims playhouse, with – are you ready? – Bob Martin, Paul O’Sullivan, Linda Kash, Lisa Merchant, Janet van der Graf and Teresa Pavlinek.  And as my old Latin teacher would say, Nota Bene: The star-studded Alumni are doing two, count ‘em, two shows ONLY. So don’t say I didn’t warn ya. And before you ask, the number to call is 416.336.3399.

MERCER: back to school

MERCER: back to school

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Next Tuesday morning Brock University will present honorary degrees to Belinda (The Honourable) Stronach and Rick (The Irreverent) Mercer for their combined efforts toward humanitarian outreach in the area of global health. “Their combined advocacy to combat malaria affecting some of the world’s most disadvantaged people has captured the imagination of the world in the form of the Spread the Net campaign, which they both co-founded.” To which we say, bravo, B&R! … crowd-pleaser Holland Taylor (Two And A Half Men) will join Buck Henry on stage July 8 – August 1 in Mother in the East Village. She’s also prepping a one-woman show based on the high-spirited life of Texas governor Ann Richards Barbra Streisand has

 

GARNER: funnygirl

GARNER: funnygirl

written a book called A Passion for Design, which focuses on her taste, inspirations and collections. Including, we hope, interior photographs of some of her spectacular homes. But don’t start bugging Chapters yet. Viking won’t publish it ‘til next year … and Jennifer Garner nixes questions about her home life with Ben Affleck and their two young daughters. “I think the rule about marriage is that the less you talk about it, the better, as far as I can tell,” she told Sharp magazine interviewer Cliff Ford. Garner’s next big-screen outing after the box  office success of her Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy Ghost Of Girlfriends Past is, surprise surprise, another comedy, The Invention Of Lying, directed by Ricky Gervais.

 

MANSBRIDGE: public speak

MANSBRIDGE: public speak

WHAT’S UP? DOCS: The CBC documentary cable channel doc offers a Free Preview for digital cable and satellite subscribers this month. And some of the stuff on tap this month is pretty remarkable. Raised to Be Heroes, this Saturday, introduces viewers to Israel’s Refuseniks, a group of soldiers who condemn their country’s military operations against the Palestinians; Cranky, next Tuesday, tells the story of three teams preparing for an endurance race in open ocean, set against the beautiful backdrop of Fogo and Change Islands off Newfoundland and Labrador; Junior, next Wednesday, gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at junior hockey players, teenagers as young as

AIR FARCEURS: on Doc

AIR FARCEURS: on Doc

16, who are already dealing with trainers, shareholders, agents, scouts and parents. the 2009 Sundance Festival hit Nollywood Babylon, a celebration of Nigerian cinema and the world’s third-largest (!?!) film industry, airs June 20;  Just Say It!, which premieres June 21, explores the bizarre and hilarious nature of people’s number one fear: public speaking, with candid interviews with Peter Mansbridge, George Chuvalo and the cast of the Royal Canadian Air Farce; and Jump! The World’s Greatest Streakers, on July 4, is about eccentric outsider Jaume Marquet who strives to become famous by streaking in front of the cameras at major televised sporting events under his alter ego “Jimmy Jump”. The doc follows him from Barcelona to Madrid where he attempts to streak at the largest football match in Spain live in front of 100 million people watching worldwide. For more info on the documentary channel Free Preview contact your digital cable or satellite provider. Or click here.

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In praise of older stage & screen sirens

Oscar winner Marsha Mason remembers future Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine telling her, “In order to keep working, it’s important to move into character work early because they don’t know what to do with you.”

JOLIE, KILMER, FARRELL: Alexander

JOLIE, KILMER, FARRELL: just one big happy family (not)

It’s a key point in Forget the Ingénues; Cue the Grown-Ups, Patricia Cohen’s excellent piece in last weekend’s New York Times. “Unless a script calls for a bitter woman to be dumped by her husband,” she notes, “filmgoers have come to expect the kind of nature-defying casting decisions that had a then 28-year-old Angelina Jolie playing the mother of Colin Farrell, then 27, in the 2004 film Alexander. (Val Kilmer, then 45, was the father.) Such couplings are familiar: At 36, Anne Bancroft played the predatory Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967) [to Dustin Hoffman] although she was a mere six years older than Mr. Hoffman; in The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Angela Lansbury, just three years older than Laurence Harvey, played his mother.”

ADAMS: "Sooo thrilling!"

ADAMS: "Sooo thrilling!"

On Broadway, however, “women can still be rock stars. Among the big-name talents from film and television who have appeared behind Broadway marquees this season are Joan Allen, Jane Fonda, Allison Janney, Susan Sarandon and Kristin Scott Thomas.” For more of Ms. Cohen’s story on women who rule the Great White Way, click here.

Meanwhile, let me give the last word to the hottest young actress in Hollywood, Amy Adams, who co-starred with Meryl Streep in Doubt and does it again in the upcoming Julia & Julia.

“Sooo thrilling,” says Amy, with just a hint of sarcasm, “that every now and then, the world rediscovers that there’s a female audience. Oh, my God! Women go to the movies!”

And do they ever.

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GOING WHERE HE’S NEVER GONE BEFORE: Big-screen favourite Bruce Greenwood’s role of Captain Pike in the new Star Trek prequel was originally played in the pilot episodes of the original series by

GREENWOOD: Beresford-bound

GREENWOOD: Beresford-bound

Jeffrey Hunter. ) After screening the vintage episodes, Greenwood says he realized pretty quickly that the dilemma that Jeffrey Hunter’s Pike faced is very different from what his Pike faces. Hunter’s Pike, he explains, is conflicted over whether or not he will remain with Starfleet. “And, the Pike that I play has no such dilemma. My Pike’s dilemma is more about whether or not to trust the young Kirk.” In a Sharp magazine interview with writer Cliff Ford, Greenwood confirms he’s signed for director Bruce Beresford’s next opus, Mao’s Last Dancer. Based on dancer Li Cunxin’s autobiography, the film shows how a poor, 11-year-old Li was taken from his tiny Chinese village to Beijing to study ballet. Years later, during a visit to Texas, Li falls for an American woman, defects and becomes a principal dancer for the Houston and Australian Ballet. Greenwood portrays Ben Stevenson, the Houston Ballet’s artistic director, who was instrumental in Li’s successful career. And you can read more of the Sharp interview with Canuck crowd-pleaser Greenwood right here.

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THE MOTHER OF THEM ALL?: She killed her own children in a jealous rage as Medea. She played mom to Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs in a hostile white neighborhood in the much-lauded revival of A Raisin In the Sun.

RASHAD: maternal?

RASHAD: maternal?

She juggled a law practice, five children and Bill Cosby on the megahit Cosby Show. Tonight on Broadway, following in the footsteps of Deanna Dunagan and her successor followed by Estelle Parsons, Phylicia Rashad takes over the role of Violet Weston, the brittle, uncensored drug-abusing matriarch of an Oklahoma family in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage Country. In a remarkable display of “nontraditional” casting, Ms. Rashad’s stage persona must attempt to cope with a white stage family of three daughters, a husband, a sister and other relatives. Should be a fabulous night.

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About Kylie & Barbara & Barbra & Stompin’ Tom

   NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  Fresh from her acclaimed Manhattan run at Feinstein’s cabaret, late-blooming Broadway legend Barbara Cook re-

CONNORS: still stompin'

CONNORS: still stompin'

unites with the New York Philharmonic for one night only on Saturday May 30 … following in the footsteps of Rick Mercer, John Cleese, Bob Newhart, Steve Smith and Tracy Ullman, grown-up Kid In  The Hall Mark McKinney will receive the CTV-sponsored Peter Ustinov Award at the Banff International Television Festival next month … pack up your pick-up trucks. The indefatigable Stompin’ Tom Connors is set to serenade high-rollers at Casino Rama on August 22 … pop superstar Kylie Minogue will finally make her North American debut with a six-city tour which includes the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. (October 4) and the ACC in Toronto (October 9) … young Canuck filmmaker Stephen Dunn reports that this week’s Cannes screening of his award-winning short film The Hall went extremely well. “The audience was packed and extremely lively. It had the exact same reaction in Cannes as it did in Toronto, so obviously the humour translated overseas. We are all very proud of the success of the film!” …   and why Will Ferrell keeps remaking TV series into movies is beyond me, not to mention anyone else who suffered through Bewitched – but he’ll try it again on June 5, the official opening date for his comedy (fingers crossed) remake of Land Of The Lost. To catch a sneak preview, click here.

So glad you got it.

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BETTER THAN BEING THERE: Okay, the jury’s in — Roger Ebert‘s daily journals from Cannes are the best that ever were, sometimes breath-takingly brilliant, almost always riotously entertaining. Add his ability to add his own Shaky Cam coverage — wait ’til you see Mike Myers tell Maclean’s film maven Brian D. Johnson he’s very “honoured with a U ” to be in Quentin Tarantino’s new film with Brad Pitt — and the result is Don’t-Miss daily reading. And as Computerworld magazine noted not so long ago, “The comments from readers are about the best you will see on a blog.” I’ll say. To put him on your Must list right now, just click here.

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EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSE: New audiences are discovering her as cub-lawyer Ellen Parsons on Damages with Glenn Close, but do they know she’s part of the current Australian invasion taking over Hollywood?

BYRNE: Australian

BYRNE: Australian

Yup, Rose Byrne is an Aussie, the youngest daughter of a statistician and a grammar school administrator. So how come she and Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are so darn fluent in American?

“There’s really no great secret to it,” Byrne tells Sharp magazine’s Dylan Young. “It’s just that we have a distinct advantage over Americans actors—we grow up watching their films and television shows. Let’s face it, for every thousand hours of American content that we watch, Americans probably watch one or two that come from Australia or Britain. We’re bound to find it a bit easier.”

Byrne, who also co-starred with Nicolas Cage in Knowing, appreciates the value of making a great entrance. “Damages basically began with my character running down the street half-naked and covered in her fiancé’s blood. And that’s not the worst thing she ends up having to deal with.”

For more of the Sharp interview with Ms Byrne, click here.

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DAISY, DAISY, GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER, DO: (But gimme the correct one this time.) Yesterday I reminisced about H.A.L., the too-human computer in  Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and mentioned that H.A.L. had been voiced by Douglas Campbell.

Wrong. The voice of H.A.L. was, of course, the golden-throated Douglas Rain.

My bad. Sorry. But it’s great to have such diligent readers. Thanks!

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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Reality shows? My thrill is Dancing With the Stars. I love it. But if I had to compete in an event, it would probably be eating. I could pretty much whup anyone’s ass there.”

BERGEN: bullied

BERGEN: bullied

The speaker? Candice Bergen, who also says she was bullied — and not by Charlie McCarthy, her notorious ‘sibling,’ but by all sorts of bullues, all her life.

“Oy, have I been bullied. I must have a sign tattooed on my forehead: ‘This one’s a pushover.’ Bullied by men. Women. But in the distant past. And yet, how well I remember … the distinct “I’m shrinking!” feeling. Turning to sludge. It seems to be something most people grow out of but I am a devout shirker of confrontation. No spine.

“That’s one of the reasons I loved playing Murphy Brown. She was fearless and it sort of wore off on me.”

I’ll say.

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WHICH TUNE HAS THE TONY? That would be singer-dancer-choreographer-director Tommy Tune, who owns nine (9) of em! … Oscar,

STREISAND: sales champ

STREISAND: sales champ

Emmy and Tony owner Barbra Streisand’s new DVD package, Streisand: The Concerts, has scored the No. 1 spot on both the UK and USA charts. In America, the set has had the highest sales for any music DVD so far this year … Jane Fonda’s caricature is finally part of Sardi’s famous theater restaurant and it’s taken only 46 years for her to get there. Before her current Tony nomination for 33 Variations, she made her Broadway debut in the ‘60s … and speaking of the Tonys, honorary Tony recipients this year, for their contributions to excellence in theatre, include composer Jerry Herman and writer/actress/producer Phyllis Newman.

Funny thing, but these guys are pretty funny!

 

BUBLE: Juno funnyman

BUBLE: Juno funnyman

GROBAN: Emmy charmer

GROBAN: Emmy charme

 

FUNNY FELLAS:  Two of the world’s best crooners are becoming almost as celebrated for their irreverent sense of humour as they are for their spectacular vocal abilities.

Josh Groban, who first won hearts when he romanced Calista Flockhart on Ally McBeal, did such a great scene-stealing solo at the Emmy Awards that his number on that show is now a YouTube favourite. To see and hear Josh joshing, in perfect pitch, click here.

Then again, maybe it’s something about being on awards shows. Michael Bublé enjoyed his comic turn with Russell Peters on last month’s Junos awards so much that he put a link to it on his website. Which links you to the CTV website. Which lets you see Michael and Russell clowning around backstage. Or, you can just click here.

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HAIL CAE$AR:  Have you ever raised your glass to toast what is actually in your glass? Sounds weird, but no, you read that right.

MERCER: Comic Caesar

MERCER: Comic Caesar

The Bloody Caesar, that uniquely Canadian concoction, turns 40 this year, and isn’t even remotely shy about it. What else was happening in 1969? Says Mark Teo in SHARP Magazine for Men:

These Eyes by the Guess Who … dominated the radio waves. The Montreal Expos debuted as Canada’s first major league baseball team. Canada’s now-distinct multi-coloured currency was introduced. Canada’s sharpest political satirist was born in the form of Rick Mercer. And a Northern cocktail revolution was germinating in the mind of Walter Chell at the Calgary Inn.” For more of Teo’s engaging birthday history of the savoury Caesar – including some variations that most purists will not approve of – just add ice and click here.

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FUNNY GIRL:  When she’s not on camera on Little Mosque On The Prairie you can usually find Deb McGrath fervently engaged in her favourite sport: Shopping. In last Saturday’s Globe & Mail, aided and abetted by G&M staffer Deirdre Kelly, McGrath was the guest writer for the My Last Stupid Purchase column.

McGRATH: Holt's habitué

McGRATH: Holt's habitué

Her purchase? ‘A cool and pricey boho chic Zac Posen skirt,” snagged for a song at Holt Renfrew’s. But it wasn’t nearly as appealing when she tried it on again at home.

“Never buy anything tight when you are having a flat-stomach day,” warns the now poorer but possibly wiser Ms McGrath. “Flat stomach days are like leap years and blue moons.”

Mind you, she knew that one day her flat stomach would appear again – and it did, after a week of stomach flu. “But by then,” she notes, “my skirt was out of season!”

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JEWISON: tribute tonight

JEWISON: tribute tonight

 

HAIL TO THE CHEF: Canadian Film Centre chief Slawko Klymkiw is in L.A. today to celebrate film director Norman Jewison, a man who has cooked up some mighty tasty film treats over the years, from Jesus Christ Superstar to Fiddler On The Roof, from The Thomas Crown Affair to Moonstruck, from A Soldier’s Story to In The Heat Of The Night, from The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming to Agnes Of God.  And as if that wasn’t enough, Jewison also founded the Canadian Film Centre a mere 20 yearts ago, raising the bar to create a new standard of excellence for young Canadian filmmakers. Tonight’s tribute at the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art will be hosted by veteran film critic Leonard Maltin, and you can be sure some of Norman’s chums will show up to cheer him on. Happily, I’ll be there too, to tell you all about it on Monday. (Promise.)

Have a great weekend!

The show must go on. And on. And on.

 

   KOSLO

KOSLO

   MERCER

MERCER

   BERGEN

BERGEN

   SEDARIS

SEDARIS

 

 

 

 

 

When did live theatre become a synonym for marathon?

First came Mr. Charles Dickens’ The Life & Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, an eight-hour stage play presented over two performances. Then came Alan Ayckbourn’s three-play Norman Conquests (“See one! See them all!”)

Coming soon to our town, for the very first time, is the entire City of Wine seven-play cycle about the ancient Greek city of Thebes by yet another Dickens — Kingston playwright Ned Dickens. Billed as “an unprecedented event in Canadian theatre history,” City of Wine features 105 of Canada’s newest talents from the graduating classes of theatre schools across the country, in seven, count ‘em, 7 productions mounted by the award-winning Nightswimming theatre company for Theatre Passe Muraille.

COWARD

COWARD

And just when I was thinking that seven could be heaven, I watched Rick Mercer and learned that Shaw Festival chief Jackie Maxwell is staging all 10, count ‘em, 10 of Noel Coward’s one-act plays this season, and that yes, there are three consecutive days in the schedule where you can actually get to see all 10 Noel Coward one-act stands.

“Do you get lunch?” asked Mercer.

“You get a Noel Coward lunch,” Shaw Festival headliner Corrine Koslo assured him – “a martini and a cigarette!”

You can catch Mercer’s festival apprenticeship — in a Sondheim musical, no less! – tomorrow night at 8 pm on CBC.

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MEAT & GREET: Still-gorgeous Candice Bergen, as magnetic on Boston Legal as she was on Murphy Brown, admits she has a strong feelings about eating any kind of four-legged animal.

“Also some two-legged,” she adds, “like duck. I will never eat duck. And I haven’t eaten pork or beef, especially veal, for 35 years. This started because I suddenly started to find people carving into these bloody haunches of meat so disturbing. And after walking through the former huge market square in Paris, with hundreds of carcasses hanging side by side, it just repulsed me and I decided to keep my own half-assed vegetarianism.”

She says she doesn’t mention it at dinner parties.

“I just eat around the meat. I’m not a pain in the ass, but I cannot eat meat now — even some that looks and smells delicious, like barbecued ribs or prosciuto — without feeling like I am betraying animals.”

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BEFORE THE GAY GUY SEES YOUR BOOBS: Funnybone tickler David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed In Flames) admitted to Sharp magazine interviewer Jeremy Freed that he’s a major fan of Sidney Lumet’s masterwork Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead.

“I don’t understand why they just didn’t give an Academy Award to everyone who was in that movie,” he told Freed.

TOMEI

TOMEI

He was also admitted that he was somewhat bedazzled by Lumet’s wide-screen exposure of Marisa Tomei’s breasts.

“I’m curious, too, because I’m not a good judge of these sorts of things, were those really Marisa Tomei’s breasts? Or do you think that she had something done? She must be, like, 45 or something,” Sedaris reckoned.

But why the fascination with Ms. Tomei’s ta-tas?

“Because I’m a homosexual and I don’t see many breasts, I always thought that breasts, like, just looked a certain way. I didn’t know there were so many styles of them. But Marisa Tomei’s breasts look like a mermaid’s breasts.

“If I were her,” he added, “I would never wear a shirt.”

Then again, if you were her, you wouldn’t be David Sedaris.