Tag Archives: Soulpepper

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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Lenore hosts a Social in Truro, Betty hosts SNL for Mother’s Day & Krystin waits on stage for the Parade

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: New headline-making Nova Scotia MLA Lenore Zann is hosting a Spring-Is-In-The-Air Social & Dance this weekend in Truro, NS to raise

WHITE: she's Hot

money for an upcoming community production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. It’s all happening Saturday night at The Pond (that’s the Ponderosa Tavern to me and you) on Main Street in Bible Hill … Chi Cao, the Principal Dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet who stars in Bruce Beresford’s hypnotic drama Mao’s Last Dancer, will jet to T.O. to attend the special National Ballet’s SRO preview screening next Monday at the Isabel Bader Theatre … SNL alumnus Jimmy Fallon has come a long way from co-hosting Weekend Update. This summer he’ll host the Emmy Awards on Aug. 29 … and Betty White, still set to host this weekend’s Mother’s Day edition of Saturday Night Live in New York, has joined the cast of a new TV Land original series Hot in Cleveland.

FOOTLIGHTS: Once more intent on battling “Canada’s most dangerous enemy, cultural amnesia,” VideoCabaret presents Michael Hollingsworth’s The Great War, opens

PELLERIN: on stage

tomorrow night at The Cameron House … also opening Thursday: Bobby Del Rio’s new play The Market, not on a stage but in a corporate office space at Adelaide & Jarvis. The play, which features Kyle McDonald, Julian DeZotti, Aaron Forward and Ryan Moleiro as 20-something traders, runs through May 23 and Del Rio warns audiences that his new show contains violence, “excessive” language, “and guys acting like dicks!” … and Republic Of Doyle scene-stealer Krystin Pellerin, so good as the pistol-packing detective hopelessly smitten with Allan Hawco’s Jake, is currently on stage starring in the Soulpepper revival of John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade, now thru May 29 at the Young Centre in the Distillery District.

CAO: Toronto-bound

OUR TOWN: Three up-and-coming bands – Canteen Knockout, Bronx Cheerleader and Proof Of Ghosts – headline this Sunday night’s concert at Sneaky Dee’s to save Reg Hartt’s time-honoured Cineforum. For more info, click here Scott Feschuk, Jacob Richler and executive chef Rob Gentile team up for the 2010 edition of Taste Of Maclean’s on May 17 at Buca …and Random House is set to launch Globe & Mail scribbler John Doyle’s new book, The World Is A Ball: The Joy, Madness And Meaning Of Soccer, on May 20 with a book-signing bash at, you guessed it, The Football Factory on Bathurst Street.

TOMORROW:

GLEE girl goes sci-fi,

and other earth-shattering scoops.

-/-

TIFF kicks off Creation, Ms Falco goes back to the boards, and La Pitre reunites with Benny & Bjorn

MAD ABOUT MOVIES: Toronto’s 34th annual movie marathon officially opens tonight with at Roy Thomson Hall, but it really kicks off today at noon with

BETTANY: as Charles Darwin

BETTANY: as Charles Darwin

a screening of Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man at Yonge-Dundas Square. Other films unspooling before tonight’s opening Gala include director Lone Scherfig’s An Education, already provoking Oscar buzz for U.K. actress Carey Mulligan; the new documentary about legendary French film director Henri-Georges Clouzot, renowned for his suspense thrillers, and the film he was never able to finish; and Sook Yin Lee’s

FALCO: back on the boards

FALCO: back on the boards

Year Of The Carnivore, which is definitely not the opera. (Or Short Bus, for that matter. Tonight’s Gala opener is Creation, director Jon Amiel’s ambition exploration of the life and loves of Charles Darwin, with real-life couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as the renowned scientist and his missus, as he begins to write On the Origin of Species, destined to become the most widely read book of natural science and one which will irrevocably change the world. For a sneak preview, click here.

FOOTLIGHTS: Remember when L.A. was a cultural wasteland? Happily, things change. High-profile thesps set to star on L.A. Theatre Works stages this season include Ed Asner and Jonathan

ARKIN: on stage

ARKIN: on stage

Silverman in Once In A Lifetime; Kate Burton in The Constant Wife; Edie Falco in Side Man; Adam Arkin and JoBeth Williams in Dr. Cerberus; and Mark Ruffalo and Lauren Ambrose in Awake and Sing (even if Albert Schultz and Soulpepper beat them to it) … Nuala Fitzgerald is set to do one of her dazzling salon solos next month in Toronto to benefit the Actors’ Fund Of Canada. Her new show, Away With Words, is a pastiche of her favourite bon mots and brilliant passages from O’Casey, Yeats, Shaw, Joyce, John Lennon, Dorothy Parker, Ogden Nash and even Spike Milligan. For tickets write edgarcowan@hotmail.com … and the

PITRE: trick or treat?

PITRE: trick or treat?

much-anticipated return of musical comedy showstopper Louise Pitre in Toxic Avenger: The Musical is currently set to premiere on Halloween, Saturday Oct. 31, at the newly-renovated (what, again?) Music Hall on the Danforth. Meanwhile, La Pitre will re-team with her Mamma Mia composers Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaes to headline a Broadway concert vetsion of their new ABBA musical Kristina on Sept. 23-24 at the Stern Auditorium in Manhattan.

Sounds like an extremely hot ticket to me.

A TREE GROWS IN TORONTO: It’s been invited to more than 50 film festivals and received 12 international awards from cities as diverse as Chicago, Taipei, Cairo, Mexico and Iran. This fall it’s invited to the Tel Aviv International Children’s Film Festival, the 7th Istanbul International Children’s Film Festival, the National Archives in Ottawa and the Tribeca Cinemas Kids Series. And chances are you’ve never even heard of it. A short film produced, written and directed by Toronto-based filmmaker Mitra Sen, The Peace Tree tells the story of two little girls, one Muslim and one Christian, who dream of celebrating each other’s festivals, Christmas and Eid, but have to overcome resistance from their parents before they can realize their dream.  Filmmaker Sen is currently working on a new project, Under The Same Sun, but since its release in 2005 her film has triggered the creation of Peace Trees in schools and gardens around the world. For more about The Peace Tree and the remarkable seeds it planted, click here.

TOMORROW:

more TIFF premieres, Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones

and the one-man renaissance of Cheistopher Plummer

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?

-/-