Tag Archives: Slings & Arrows

Marg Delahunty returns to T.O., Meryl & Julia move to Osage County and Jim makes more Mostel magic

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ:  Savvy scene-stealer Mary Walsh returns to Toronto next month in her new one-woman play, Dancing With Rage. The show, set to run March 6-31 at Theatre Passe Muraille,  incorporates both new

WALSH: Marg Delahunty returns to T.O.

and  familiar faces, most notably 22 Minutes alumni Dakey Dunn, Connie Bloor and the legendary Marg Delahunty. Walsh’s last stage stint here was almost two years ago, at the Panasonic with Andrea Martin and Louise Pitre in Love, Loss and What I Wore, directed by Karen Carpenter. Carpenter is also directing Dancing With Rage and she and Walsh still have to decide if they’ll tour the show after it closes here … Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are set to co-star in the film version of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County. John Wells will direct …  the cast of Ghost will perform a sneak peek of the

STREEP & ROBERTS: Osage County gals

show on Jimmy Fallon’s late show tonight before the West End musical hit even begins its Broadway previews … and  remember Slings  & Arrows, the brilliant take-off on Stratford and its oh-so-theatrical inhabitants?  Paul GrossMartha Burns and Stephen Ouimette were sensational, and newcomers Rachel McAdams and Luke Kirby weren’t too shabby either. New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger recently suggested that NBC’s much-ballyhooed Smash should avoid dumbing down its storylines and aim higher. “The writers,” he said, “would also benefit from watching a few seasons of Slings & Arrows, a terrific backstage television series that was smart and proud of it,” he advised. Challenging viewers “to keep up, as Slings and Arrows did, is ultimately more rewarding.”

UP UP AND AWAY: On a clear you can see --- whaaa??

IF YOU GET CAUGHT BETWEEN THE SUN AND NEW YORK CITY:  It was just a publicity stunt for the new sci-fi movie Chronicle, written and directed by director John Landis’ chip-off-the-old block Max. But it sure got people talking. To see how they did it, cick here.

A BRIDGE TOO FAR: Unless you're flying over it, of course ...

NOW IS THE HOUR:  Finally caught up with Jim Brochu‘s much acclaimed performance in Zero Hour, and although I didn’t see how his one-man show could live up to its advance publicity, it easily surpassed it. In addition to being an

BROCHU as MOSTEL: brilliant

extraordinarily disciplined and gifted actor, Brochu is also a brilliant writer and storyteller who is never less than engaging, so you don’t have to be a rabid fan of Zero Mostel to be captivated by his reconstituted presence on stage. I know several long-term admirers of Mostel who have been wowed by Brochu’s tour de force, and after seeing him in action, I can certainly understand why. His personal revelations, including Mostel’s bitter estrangement from his family, are tough and touching. His backstage stories, from his account of Lucille Ball testifying to the House Committee on Un-American Activities to his palpable loathing for

HANGING OUT: Merman & Brochu at Sardi's

Broadway blabbers Elia Kazan and Jerome Robbins, are unforgettable. The Zero Mostel we prefer to remember is the lovable clown from The Producers, the madcap jester from A Funny Thing Happened Our The Way To The Forum, the Jewish patriarch who wished he was A Rich Man in Fiddler On The Roof. But Brochu is a true creature of the theatre — his caricature hangs next to Ethel Merman’s at Sardi’s — and accordingly the artist Brochu reincarnates for us has to fight to be in the spotlight. Zero only gets to star in Forum because first choice Milton Berle and second choice Phil Silvers both turn it down. And although his portrayal of Tevye is burned into the heart of Broadway memory, he was third choice for that one too. (First name on the Fiddler producers’ wish list was Danny Kaye.)

JIM BROCHU as ZERO MOSTEL in ZERO HOUR at Bathurst Street Theatre

When the curtain finally comes down — all too soon for some of us — the fact that we feel like we’ve just spent the evening with Zero Mostel, and not a carbon copy, is further testament to Brochu’s great skill as an actor. On stage here at the Bathurst Street Theatre through March 11, Zero Hour is a fascinating and formidably funny showcase for both of them. Don’t miss it.

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Bruce goes back to the future, Rachel struts her stuff, and Liz tells us why Bad is so good

KNIGHTLEY: Boulevardier

KNIGHTLEY: Boulevardier

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: Big-screen charmers Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell are set to co-star in London Boulevard, for which writer William Monahan (The Departed) will make his debut as a director. Farrell will play the ex-con, just released from prison, who tries to become a handyman; Knightley will play the reclusive actress who hires him … The Marcus Trio — a.k.a. drummer Richard Brown, bass impresario Ian De Souza and guitar maestro Marc Ganetakos — reunite tonight at The Smiling Buddha on College street, for one 11 pm 45-min. set only … also opening tonight, just in time for Gay Pride Week: Fagart, a new exhibiton at the Pentimento Fine Art Gallery on Queen Street East, showcasing artists David Hawe, Patrick Lightheart, Izik Levy, Oscar Wolfman, Bill Pustai, John Rankine, Paul Specht & Geoff Simpson … and it looks like comeback kid Bruce Willis may have another summer hit on his hands with his Matrix-y new thriller Surrogates, now set to open in August. To sneak preview the futuristic thriller, just click here.

ASNER: MTM alumnus

ASNER: MTM alumnus

THEY’RE SO ANIMATED: Three Mary Tyler Moore Show alumni are lending their voices to their other alma mater these days. Disney veterans Cloris Leachman and Betty White both voice roles in the English language version of the new Miyazaki animated feature, Ponyo, due Aug.14. And of course Ed Asner is the lead voice (a.k.a. grumpy old homeowner) in the Disney/Pixar monster hit UP. (Isn’t Asner also set for an on-camera stint with perennial showstopper Cynthia Dale in her upcoming CBC Christmas special? Just askin’ …) Meanwhile Betty is riding high on the rave reviews for her work with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal, which opens tomorrow, and will be prominently featured in a USA Today profile next week.

McADAMS: hot, hotter, hottest

McADAMS: hot, hotter, hottest

RACHEL, RACHEL:  Is anyone hotter than gorgeously gifted Rachel McAdams? She rocked us in Slings & Arrows, made us go through boxes of Kleenex with The Notebook, followed up with Wedding Crashers, Family Stone and last fall’s TIFF gala The Lucky Ones, and now has two, count ’em , two new blockbusters coming our way. In Sherlock Holmes, the lively new opus from Madonna ex Guy Ritchie, she gets to play games with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. And in the new screen version of the international best-seller The Time Traveler’s Wife, she gets to play wife to Eric Bana‘s enigmatic, ethereal, other-worldly husband. To sample Sherlock Holmes, click here; to preview Rachel’s work as the Time Traveler‘s missus, click here — and enjoy!

GIMME A BREAKING BAD: Legendary New York gossip girl Liz Smith is Annoyed As Hell and isn’t going to take it anymore.

SMITH: 'Bad' girl

SMITH: 'Bad' girl

What’s bugging her? The fact that every time she talks about her favourite show on television, nobody she mentions it to seems to know what she’s talking about.

Liz’s favourite show – which may be the best show we’re not watching – is Breaking Bad, which she rates even higher than her other two favourites, Mad Men and Big Love. “Because I have seldom seen such an engaging, shocking, surprising, violent and adult drama on television,” she says, “I keep touting Breaking Bad as if I am an evangelical TV watcher!”

She says the end of the second season featured happenings “so dramatic, unbelievable and yet unhappily believable that they defy TV expectations.”

Not that the show has gone completely unnoticed.

CRANSTON: 'Bad' guy

CRANSTON: 'Bad' guy

Breaking Bad,” she reports, “won an Emmy for Bryan Cranston as best actor in a drama back in 2007/2008. It won a Peabody during season one. It won an AFI award as one of the top ten shows in 2008. It won a Writer’s Guild Award for Vince Gilligan in 2008. It was a best-edited one-hour series for Lynne Willingham for 2008. And Bryan Cranston won best actor again from the Satellite Awards. And yet none of my high-brow – or even my low-brow – friends seemed to know about this great show!”

She also predicts that the show’s catalyst, young actor Aaron Paul, “will be whatever kind of big-deal acting star that real life and this series intends him to be. He is fabulous.” Paul is apparently stellar in Big Love as well. And were he in

PAUL: 'Breaking' talent

PAUL: 'Breaking' talent

a feature film, she says, “he’d already have been nominated for an Academy Award.”

Wow.

What should we do, Liz?

“I am hoping you’ll now go to your local store and buy the DVDs of the first season episodes. Or go to the trouble to download seasons one and two from iTunes. Maybe you don’t have to find seasons one and two and can just join the fray with season three, but, ye gods, you’ll be missing two seasons of the best TV I’ve ever seen. If it were a movie,” she adds, “I’d compare it to Chinatown. Only it is even better than that!”

Are you getting the feeling that Liz is very keen on this series?

Me too.  Can’t wait to sample it.

P.S. FYI: Episodes of Breaking Bad are now available on Rogers On Demand.

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