Tag Archives: Shaw Festival

Ms Vanasse gets Scruples, Ms Koslo gets Sheba, Ms Janney gets a Dinner and Ms Lucci gets a maid

VANASSE: new pilot

TUBE TALK: Award-winning Quebec actress Karine Vanasse, who charmed American audiences with her work in the too-short-lived Pan Am, is shooting a pilot for a new series for a new first-time producer. The pilot? Scruples, based on the Judith Krantz novel about a socialite who attempts to open a fashion-forward boutique in the heart of Beverly Hills. The new producer? Natalie Portman, who is exec producing with Tony Krantz and Annette Savitch  … three TV favourite are tossing their hats in the ring again. Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) is shooting Americana,a

JANNEY: dinner date

pilot for a new drama about a legendary fashion designer and his family business; Tony Shaloub (Monk) and Allison Janney (West Wing) are starring in Friday Night Dinner, a pilot spin-off of the British series that revolves around a traditional Jewish family as they observe Shabbat dinners; and Susan Lucci is the top-billed marquee bait in Devious Maids, a pilot based on the Mexican telenova about four maids who work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. And the beat goes on.

MAZZARA: bound for Banff

PEOPLE: Add Glen Mazzara, Executive Producer of the Emmy Award-winning series The Walking Dead, to the Master Class series at the upcoming Banff World Media Festival … Women Fully Clothed will follow up their April dates in California with four May stops in beautiful B.C., performing their new show in Nanaimo, Victoria, Courtenay and North Van … Corrine Koslo inherits the juicy role originated on stage and screen by Shirley Booth when Come Back, Little Sheba opens this summer at the Shaw Festival. More on Shaw tomorrow …  Gerald Finley, Oliver Jones, Quartetto Gelato and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale are among the mighty music-makers set to spark this summer’s Westben Arts Festival Theatre offerings in

BUCKNER: Den mother

Campbellford, Ontario. July showcase presentations culminate in an August 5 fund-raiser finale, featuring pianist Brian Finley and the Brian Barlow Big Band and aptly named The Big Band Theory. Sounds like a winner … and the indefatigable Pat Ferns, in Cannes to moderate the “By Invitation Only” Drama CoProXchange at MIP TV, is heading back to his old stomping ground, li’l ol’ T.O., at the end of the month to host International Co-Production Day at Hot Docs on April 30.

IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO THEM NOW: On tonight’s Dragons’ Den finale, all five Dragons reminisce about the very best – and worst – moments over the past six seasons. Den host Diane Buckner reportedly gets Dragons Jim

HAWCO: cliffhanger?

Treliving, Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Bruce Croxon and exiting fire-breather Robert Herjavec to tell what they really think about each other,  and highlights from the last six seasons of the show include the stand-out pitches AND the in-fighting, counting down to the three most memorable moments in the series’ history. After you leave the Den,  Allan Hawco rallies his troops on Republic Of Doyle’s season closer  to prove his father’s innocence when he’s accused of murder. Will Season 3 end with another cliffhanger?  I’d put money on it, b’y … … and speaking of cliff-hangers, Martin Gero’s steamy L.A. Complex series, about young hopefuls sharing the same space in Hollywood, will premiere on The CW in the U.S. this month. New episodes are set to start unspooling here in July on MuchMusic.

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Nurse Jackie gets a pick-up, Michel plays Irving, and T.O. theatre-goers get three decades of Doras

FALCO: she's the right Rx

FALCO: she's the right Rx

BEDSIDE MANNERS: American  television has clearly has taken a turn for the nurse. Fans of Sopranos scene-stealer Edie Falco, and they are legion, will be delighted to learn that her new almost three-week-old series Nurse Jackie has already been picked up for a second season …  and Jada Pinkett Smith is following in her mother’s footsteps, playing nurse Christina Hawthorne in HawthoRNe. (No, that’s not a typo. And yes, it really is a bit too cute. But then, here we are talking about it.) Ms. Pinkett Smith’s mom worked as a head nurse at a Baltimore women’s clinic, but in her new series, created by John Masius (St. Elsewhere) and produced by her hubbyWill Smith, Jada says her character is basically a woman with a God complex that’s really going to have to, like, get real. She’s going to have to learn to take care of herself as intensely as the patients.”

Sounds like a prescription for another hit show.

We’ll see.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: He conquered Stratford, won our hearts on TV as Tommy Douglas, wowed us on stage in The Producers and even survived the musical version of Lord Of The Rings. Now Michel Therriault is

THERRIAULT: Call him Irving

THERRIAULT: Call him Irving

about to play U.S. legend Irving Berlin off-Broadway in a new what-if musical called The Tin Pan Alley Rag. Described as a ‘musical play,’ it’s the story of an imagined meeting of two of America’s greatest musicians, composer Scott Joplin (Michael Boatman) and songwriter Berlin and the stories of fame, love and loss beneath their syncopated, frequently hypnotic rhythms … speaking of Stratford, award-laden director Norman Jewison says Stratford’s current production of West Side Story is the best he’s seen since the show first opened on Broadway more than (gulp!) half a century ago … sad news for you if you meant to but didn’t get around to ordering tickets: Every performance of the Tarragon Theatre remount of one-woman whirlwind Judith Thompson’s Body & Soul has been sold out since the curtain went up last week … Ray Jessel returns to our town to cabaret at the Old Mill next Saturday June 27 during The Toronto Jazz Festival … and Rick Mercer Report producer Gerald Lunz got an extra show on Broadway this week when he caught all three

DeVITO: too bloody funny?

DeVITO: too bloody funny?

installments of the revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquests, performed in the round at the Circle in the Square. Danny DeVito, who was sitting across the stage from him, literally doubled over with laughter, bounced his face off the seat in front of him, and split his lip. Now that’s comedy!

FOOTLIGHTS: Risking The Void, a comprehensive retrospective of stage designer Cameron Porteous’ remarkable contribution to theatre in Canada, opens Saturday July 4 at The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre at Niagara-on-the-Lake. The ambitious exhibit is a collaboration by Theatre Museum Canada, the University of Guelph’s L.W. Conolly Theatre Archives and the Shaw Festival … WatersEdge Productions, a new independent theatre

JEWISON: Stratford aficionado

JEWISON: Stratford aficionado

company, will debut in T.O, with the Canadian premiere of bare, a new rock musical that garnered a worldwide fan base since its award-winning run in L.A. and its sold-out five-week run off-Broadway. The show, in which an exuberant young cast of 19 actors tackles themes of teen sexuality, religious angst and unrelenting social and family pressure – yup, it’s a musical, I kid you not – opens July 17 at Hart House … shhhhh, it’s a secret, but my spies tell me the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts is polishing up a special award for superProducer Marlene Smith. To which we can only add, bravo!  … doesn’t seem possible that this is the 30th anniversary of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Imagine three decades of Doras! …  and soon you won’t have to. Theatre-goers attending the June 29 awards will receive an elegant bonus — a special book, The Doras: 30 Years of Theatre, Dance and Opera in Toronto. Edited by Angela Rebeiro, the new book will be distributed free of charge to all guests at the Award Show ceremony. It will go on sale at TheatreBooks after the show … and speaking of the Doras, have you cast your vote for the Audience Choice Award? If you haven’t, you’ve only got a few days left – polls close June 25. So just take a deep breath and click here.

A TOMLIN NEVER FORGETS: American treasure Lily Tomlin wants me to let you know that tomorrow is not just another Saturday.

TOMLIN: on a mission

TOMLIN: on a mission

“On Saturday, June 20, compassionate people around the world will unite to educate the public about the suffering of elephants in zoos, as part of the first-ever International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos,” says Lily. “Events are taking place in more than 30 cities in seven countries. I strongly urge you to attend an event, if there’s one in your area. Visit HelpElephants.com to see a list of locations.”

Lily’s using her wowOwow. com website to get her message out to as many people as possible.

“From some of the comments I’ve read in response to the issue of elephants in zoos, I’ve come to realize that people are just so used to seeing elephants in tiny displays that they accept that as being OK,” she says. “But it isn’t. While a zoo exhibit may appear big to us, to an elephant it’s miniscule. And don’t forget that elephants are forced to live their entire lives in that same spot, deprived of all that is natural to them: space, freedom, family and choice.”

For more on Lily’s plea for your help, click here.

And have a great weekend!

-/-


Now where was I? … ah yes, as I was saying …

Can’t say I wasn’t warned.

I believe the Latin term for it is bloggus interruptus.

It’s that peculiar brand of self-delusion that makes you believe you can still blog while you’re 30,000 feet up in the air, or on a train speeding through Switzerland, or, or …

GARBER: winner

GARBER: winner

You can’t. Well, at least, I can’t. And so I’ve finally learned. (I hope.) I didn’t run out of steam. I didn’t run out of things to blog about. I just ran out of time to blog ’em. Time-management is not my strong suit. Never has been, Never will be. I still make a daily To Do lists that Hercules himself would need a week to accomplish, and at the end of the day I am still mystified because, despite the dozens that may already be crossed off, so many items still remain To Do.

Rationally, of course, I fully expect to miss a blog deadline every now and then. But not for 10 days in a row!!

My bad.  And mine to correct.

Meanwhile:

RIVERS: roastee

RIVERS: roastee

 

TO THIS VICTOR GO THE SPOILS: Four-time Tony nominee and six-time Emmy nominee Victor Garber (Alias, Milk,) who received a big welcome home from Broadway when he moved back to New York from L.A., will miss the Tony Awards this year. On Sunday June 7 Garber will be in Alberta to receive the Cineflix Award of Excellence at the 30th edition of the Banff World Television Festival …  Robin Williams has rescheduled his cancelled March stint at Casino Rama and will now do two nights on Nov 11 & Nov 12 … triumphant 75-year-old Celebrity Apprentice Joan Rivers — “just think of me as Joan Of AARP!” she told Larry King earlier this week – will be alternately feted and fricasseed by her comedy contemporaries at her very own Comedy Central Roast on July 26, slated for telecast two weeks later on Aug. 9. She’s also picked up another Emmy nomination,this time for her voiceover work on the PBS animated series ARTHUR  … and what’s this? A new music group from Bollywood called Ruby Dhalla & The Nannies? No doubt about it, Double Exposure are back on the case. And you can check it out right here.

DOANE: glory-voiced

DOANE: glory-voiced

 

ALL THAT JAZZ:  Glory-voiced Melanie Doane is set to sing new arrangements of songs by Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Hank Snow and more, May 26 & 27 at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre …  still-vibrant song virtuoso Stevie Wonder is set to open the 30th annual Montreal Jazz Festival with a free outdoor concert on June 30. Wonder will give the inaugural concert at La Place des festivals, the Montreal festival site whose official opening is not scheduled until September. Also scheduled to celebrate the three-decade jamfest: Oliver Jones, Dave Brubeck and Tony Bennett  … and Ray Parker Jr., Kool & The Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire are set to shake up the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 15.

NIXON: closing

NIXON: closing

 

PEOPLE: Law & Order alumnus Chris Noth, aka Carrie Bradshaw’s Mr. Big in Sex & The City, hosts One Night Live, a once in a lifetime concert  with Sting, Sheryl Crow and the Canadian Tenors to benefit the Women & Babies Program at Sunnybrook Hospital,next Thursday at the Air Canada Centre … perennially popular ivory-tickler Ken Lindsay continues to win new fans Thursdays and Fridays at Statler’s on Church street … and Cynthia Nixon (aka Carrie’s Bradshaw confidante Miranda) closes on Broadway this Sunday  in Lisa Loomer’s disarmingly funny look at parenting in the age of the Internet and Ritalin, Distracted.

FOOTLIGHTS: The artistic Director  of Toronto’s newest South Asian theatre company, Anand Rajaram kicks off Dishoom!, a new South Asian performance

WONDER: Montreal-bound

WONDER: Montreal-bound

festival, anchored by a remount of his Summerworks hit Cowboys & Indians (with music maven Bob Wiseman) on May 23 at the Factory Theatre  …two diverse dance companies, Toronto’s COBA and Britain’s Tavaziva Dance, collaborate to present City of Tribes May 28-30 at Harbourfront’s Fleck Dance Theatre … it’s an ill wind that blows no good. The current recession is proving to be a bonanza for theatre lovers who seldom have the dough to purchase top-dollar ducats. Reduced prices abound from here to Broadway – e.g., buy one full-price ticket for Guys & Dolls and buy a second one for only $7.77, buy an adult ticket to Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas spectacular, ticket, get a free ticket for a child under 12 — and closer to home summer seat sales are sparking box office at both Stratford and Shaw.

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Have a great long weekend.

See you Tuesday!

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.