Tag Archives: Star Trek

Ms Smith goes on a tear, Ms Bisset goes Italian, & Ragtime returns to Broadway — without Garth

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: British-born screen siren Jacqueline Bisset, who mastered an American accent to become a Hollywood star,

BISSET: Italian accent

BISSET: Italian accent

apparently employs a killer Italian accent to play an over-the-hill actress in director Linda Yellen’s reportedly wicked satire The Last Film Festival. The beauteous Ms Bisset plays one of a group of misbegotten, narcissistic actors attending a third-rate movie festival in middle America. Also along for the free booze and tacky gift bags: Dennis Hopper, JoBeth Williams, Chris Kattan and LeeLee Sobieski … and Chris Pine, so good as the young Captain Kirk in this year’s Star Trek prequel,

PINE: from Art to Jack?

PINE: from Art to Jack?

will go from co-starring with Denzel Washington in Ridley Scott’s Unstoppable to playing notorious counterfeiter Art Williams in The Art of Making Money. And while he’s shooting that one, Paramount Pictures will be negotiating with him to follow in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck and play CIA analyst Jack Ryan in a new series of thrillers based on Tom Clancy novels. Don’t know ‘bout you, but I’d say he’s definitely doing something right.

IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE, SIT BY ME: My Manhattan hero, gossip girl Liz Smith, constantly rises to the defense of such loose cannons as Whitney Houston and Lindsay

LOHAN: parent trap?

LOHAN: parent trap?

Lohan in her on-line column at wowOwow.com. Given a chance, Liz will always take the high road; she’d far rather praise showbiz Caesars than bury them. But after the Jon & Kate Gosselin debacle escalated last week, she could no longer contain herself. “In the years that the show Jon & Kate Plus 8 has been inflicted on America,” she writes, “Kate has revealed herself as a steely-eyed control freak with high ambitions for a life outside of her home – she wants to be a star, a talk-show hostess. Jon, her hubby, is an overweight, dim, resentful sad sack with a spine of jelly. He’s the type who could turn any woman into a shrew. He has ambitions too. He wants to party with ladies who haven’t given birth to eight children and who don’t correct him every five minutes.” Who’s to blame? Liz lays some of that guilt on “the once-respectable Learning Channel (who) put these deadbeats on the air.”

SMITH: no deadbeats, please

SMITH: no deadbeats, please

Who’s worse? In Liz’s view, the Gosselins come a close second to Lindsay Lohan’s parents, Dina & Michael Lohan. “What a pair!” she sighs. “Daddy Michael was in trouble with the law for a long time – stock fraud, for which he was jailed four years, probation violation (more jail), violating a court order to stay away from his children (and still more jail time!). He is afflicted with terminal verbal diarrhea, and can’t-stay-away-from-the-camera-itis. Almost always he is talking about his famous daughter.” Lindsay’s mother Dina, she says, “is a ferociously taut, blonde Mama Rose, who saw a moneymaking ‘Gypsy’ in the talented Lindsay. She has lived and partied vicariously through – and sometimes

RAGTIME: back on Broadway

RAGTIME: back on Broadway

with – her daughter, existing in a heightened state of denial.” Says Liz: “How cruelly ironic that Lindsay came to fame in a movie titled The Parent Trap.” And then tops herself by adding what she calls a “Totally Predictable P.S.– Michael Lohan and Jon Gosselin are new best friends.”

BACK ON BROADWAY: It was one of the greatest opening nights of the ’90s — first in Toronto, and then in New York  Thirteen tumultuous years later, previews of the retooled revival of Ragtime, a new production that won cheers when it premiered at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, start tonight at the Neil Simon Theatre. The opulent period piece, set to open on Broadway Nov. 15, is already causing mucho buzz in the theatre district. For one thing, it’s been quite a while since recession-struck New Yorkers saw a dramatic musical with a cast of 40 backed by a 28-piece orchestra. For another, the man who started it all, Garth Drabinsky, the driving force behind its creation, won’t be there to herald its return. It was seven years ago yesterday when Drabinsky was arrested and charged with fraud, and the real-life drama in which he’s currently starring makes it impossible for him to go to New York without risking arrest and imprisonment. But the show must go on. And it will — without Garth.

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

Q: What do you call 30 millionaires around a TV watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
A. The Toronto Maple Leafs.

Have a great weekend!

-/-

Andrea carries a Torch, Angie conducts (unarmed) and Rick, Ron & Don are three CBC guys we trust

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Gorgeous Jessica Biel can’t figure out why people can’t figure out how she and her steady fella Justin Timberlake keep such a low public  profile. “We’re never in the tabloids because we just don’t

BIEL: can't imagine what Justin sees in her

BIEL: can't imagine what Justin sees in her

do anything that interesting,” she says with a shrug. “We don’t do anything. We just hang out at home!” … still-gorgeous Angie Dickinson is set to play conductor for the Boston Pops By The Sea on Aug. 2 but doesn’t know what to do to make it special. “Somebody told me that when Julia Child did it, she conducted with a spoon. I thought at first in homage to Police Woman I’d conduct with a gun, but then, of course, no – soooo politically incorrect!” Her fans will get to see her even sooner, as a rural woman facing blindness in the new Hallmark TV movie Mending Fences on July 18 … and by now you probably know that the June edition of Reader’s Digest lists the Top 50 people Canadians trust the most. David Suzuki placed first, followed by The Queen, Gen. Rick

MERCER: trustworthy

MERCER: trustworthy

Hillier, Stephen Lewis and Michael J. Fox.  Rounding out the top 10 were Lloyd Robertson, Peter Mansbridge, Stephen Harper, auditor general Sheila Fraser and Rick Mercer. Among the top-20 most trusted were four hockey personalities — Wayne Gretzky, Don Cherry, Ron MacLean and Jean Béliveau. And make of this what you will, but of the eight television personalities in the Top 20, seven — Suzuki, Mansbridge, Mercer, George Stroumboulopoulos, Rex Murphy, Cherry and MacLean — are proud CBC stars. And the eighth, CTV broadcaster Lloyd Robertson, is also a CBC alumnus.

LADY SINGS THE NEWS: My favourite New York gossip girl Liz Smith scooped yesterday that Michael Jackson’s newly-discovered will stipulates that if his mother, Katherine Jackson is “unable or unwilling” to fulfill her role as guardian to Michael’s children – page Miss Diana Ross!

“Before you start giggling,” Liz warned in her  wowOwow.com post, “please remember that Diana has raised five – count ‘em – five beautiful children who have never been in a spit of trouble. Diva she may be to coworkers, but she has been an exemplary mother. This is an intelligent choice, actually.”

FOOTLIGHTS: Marquee magnets Andrea Martin, Richard Thomas and Lea Thompson are spending their summer vacation at the Williamstown
MARTIN: at Williamstown

MARTIN: at Williamstown

Theatre Festival. Ms. Martin will appear in George Kelly’s little-known farce The Torch-Bearers (July 29-August 9), with Edward Herrmann, Marian Seldes and John Rubinstein.  Ms. Thompson will appear in Melinda Lopez’s Caroline in Jersey (August 5-16), and Thomas will appear one night only, playing Tennessee Williams in his new one-man show Blanche and Beyond on Sunday, August 2 …  he won great reviews as the young Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movie, and now Chris Pine is winning more plaudits, this time on stage in Los Angeles. Pine plays a press secretary working for a Democratic candidate in Farragut North, a new play by Beau Willimon at the Geffen Playhouse. Pine, who has a stage background, reportedly delivers “a multilayered and riveting performance” …  Pam Hyatt is set to team up with renowned organist Christopher Dawes for

PINE: stage trek

PINE: stage trek

a special evening at the Stratford Summer Music Festival on Aug. 2 … and superProducer Marlene Smith, honoured earlier this week at the 2009 Dora Awards, is the new Chair of Theatre Museum Canada.  Past chair Kate Barris will continue to lend her support as a member of  the museum’s Board of Directors.

FLICKERS: Latest victim of the New Hollywood:  20th Century Props, which offers a vast inventory of items used in film and television productions, now plans to go out of business next month and auction the inventory. Awwww … The Toronto Film Society returns

BANDERAS: Goodbye, Dali

BANDERAS: Goodbye, Dali

with its Season 62 (!!!) summer series — 14 crime suspense thrillers showcased in seven double features. The new series, Hitchcock And Friends, starts next Monday July 6. For more details, click here ... now that she’s teamed with Gerard Butler in the romantic comedy The Ugly Truth, Katherine Heigl is switching gears again. Her next big-screen opus is a drama, Life As We Know It, for Warner Bros. … and Liz Smith says we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for those two Salvador Dali film biographies announced earlier this year. Antonio Banderas was set to play the eccentric artist in one version, and Al Pacino was reportedly committed to playing him in the second film. But both of these screenplays were apparently deemed far too racy by the Foundation which safeguards the artist’s name and legend. And that, too, is show business.

district9-9SEE/HEAR:  You see them in the subway and on the street — posters urging you to report non-Humans if you catch ‘em misbehaving. It’s all a tease for a new thriller, District 9, slated to open here in August. Expected to be one of this summer’s most subversive sci-fi treats, it’s a low-radar collaboration between director Neill Blomkamp, best known for his animation and special visual effects,  and Oscar-winning producer-director Peter Jackson (Lord Of The Rings.)

Good news is, District 9 also has one great website. And you can check it out here. Enjoy!

TOMORROW:

Wonder Woman sings,

Citytv goes cross-border shopping,

and Dame Judi does it again!

-/-

Jim gets Jack, Tony gets Chris, Nova Scotia gets a Zannslide & Stratford gets Hockey Day In Canada

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Looks like Jack Nicholson has signed on to another James L. Brooks joint. Brooks, who directed Jack in Terms Of Endearment and As Good As It Gets, wants him for a new romantic comedy with

VANELLI: Dutch treat

VANELLI: Dutch treat

Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd …  Serena Ryder’s critically acclaimed CD is it O.K., already certified Gold here, will debut in the U.S. this September … Gino Vanelli is happily hunkering down in his country getaway in Holland, just 20 kilometers south of Amsterdam. “Why do logic and simplicity strike only later in life?” he ponders. “Having a home here allows me so much more latitude and access to Western and Eastern European concert halls. Even a gig in Moscow is only 3½ hours away.” Besides his current dates overseas he’s considering a Greatest Hits concert this coming September at the Hilton in Las Vegas. Stay tuned …  young filmmaker Jonathan Chiovitti premieres his new Batman fan film, Reign Of Fate, on Sunday at 5 pm at the Royal Theatre …   irreverent laugh-makers Gavin Crawford & Elvira Kurt are Together Again For The First Time tonight at Buddies In Bad Times … and director Tony Scott has signed new Star Trek captain Chris Pine to co-star with Denzel Washington in Unstoppable. Which sounds like it probably is.

THICKE: NHL fan

THICKE: NHL fan

REMEMBER WHEN IT WAS ‘THE CANADIAN GAME’?  My oh my, how times have changed. Armani and Gucci will replace shoulder pads and skates when the NHL’s brightest stars spruce up and head to Las Vegas for next week’s 2009 NHL Awards at the Palms Hotel. The 90-minute show will include performances by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Chaka Khan and multi-platinum recording artist Robin Thicke, son of hockey fanatic Alan Thicke. (Look for another ice nut, crooner Michael Bublé, among the famous faces in the crowd. The NHL Awards house band will be led by Saturday Night Live band leader Katreese Barnes, and CBC Television will telecast the whole shebang in Hi-Def next Thursday  at 8:30 p.m.

OUT, OUT, DAMN PUCK:  It’s official – Coronation Street returns to its regular nightly 7 pm timeslot this coming Monday on CBC Television.

IN, IN, DAMN PUCK: Mr. Shakespeare’s second favourite town, Stratford Ontario, has been chosen to host the 10th annual Hockey Day In Canada celebrations January 30, 2010 on CBC Television, with Tim Horton’s picking up the tab for the ice time. Way to go, guys!

BERGEN: ex-fashionista

BERGEN: ex-fashionista

FASHION FILE: “Haute couture is over,” says wowOwow.com contributor Candice Bergen. “Toast. And whoever said that celebrities were the only ones left to wear these gowns failed to note that celebrities don’t pay a centime for them. Bupkus. Borrowed or given. So that leaves who … Russian girlfriends and Arab wives? Not to belittle or be dismissive but …

“I borrowed a Christian Lacroix once for a ball at a chateau outside Paris. I had a fitting. It was a spectacular dress and they had to let it out in the waist and take in the bust. My daughter was two or three at the time and she was playing underneath the gown, like in a teepee, and we had a small BMW and we had to bat the dress down so we could see out to drive!”

FAVOURITE HEADLINE OF THE WEEK: From the Halifax Chronicle-Herald: Actress wins her seat by a Zannslide. Which, in fact, she did. Brand-new NDP candidate Lenore Zann won more than 4,000 votes in her Nova Scotia riding of Truro-Bible Hill this week, twice as many as her closest Conservative competitor, and celebrated by hosting her victory party in a local watering hole, the Ponderosa Tap and Grill, affectionate dubbed The Pond by its regulars. And another Tory stronghold bites the dust. Said stage screen charmer (and new MLA) Zann: “This shows people in this province were really ready for a change.” Sounds like they’re about to get one.

VARDALOS: poster girl

VARDALOS: poster girl

NIA’S NEXT: Her life may be in Ruins at the moment, but Nia Vardalos has already completed her next film. It’s called I Hate Valentine’s Day, her costar is John Corbett (who was also her costar in My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and she wrote and directed it. “It’s my directorial debut, and we shot it in 18 days.” To pull off the low-budget comedy she cast mostly personal friends, like SNL alumnus Rachel Dretch, who also joined her in her current rom-com hit, My Life In Ruins. And forget about those movie star salaries. They’re so yesterday. “Everybody worked for scale,” Vardalos reports – “including John and me.”

 

Have a great SUNNY weekend. See you Monday.

-/-

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.

* * *

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.

 * * *

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.

-/- 

A rose is a rose — especially when it’s golden

The show biz bible Variety notes that Switzerland’s four-day Rose d’Or festival  “is Europe’s top TV competition.”

So it’s fun to note that, after surviving an eyeball-challenging pre-selection gamut of 424 entries, Canada has ended up with no less than nine, count ‘em, nine nominations, in almost as many categories.

KARPLUK: with Strombo tonight

KARPLUK: with Strombo tonight

CBC’s new Wednesday night crowd-pleaser, Being Erica, is one of three Canadian drama nominees, along with the crime mini-series Guns and the drama Windfalls & Misfortunes from Montreal.

CBC also scored two big comedy nods, for The Rick Mercer Report and Little Mosque On the Prairie, and Bravo! won a nomination for its Bravo!Fact Art In Action special.

Other plaudits went to Maple Leaf entries from Xenophile Media, Productions Pixcom and producer Henry Less.
Would-be rivals include such diverse series as the U.S. reality series I Survived A Japanese Game Show and BBC’s Last Choir Standing, and winners will pick up their golden Roses at the May 5 awards ceremony in Lucerne.

And speaking of winners, Being Erica star Erin Karpluk, who also graced home screens in Godiva’s, guests tonight with Strombo on The Hour.

* * *

QUOTABLE QUOTES. “The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 to heterosexuals. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals, it’s just that they need more supervision.”

The speaker? U.S. comedienne Lynn Lavner, frequently billed as America’s Most Politically Incorrect Entertainer.

* * *

HE TOOK THE FIFTH: It’s official. Toronto Star-gazer  Rita Zekas broke the news last week that Bistro 990 alumnus Fernando Temudo has returned to T.O., this time to the theatre district, as the new GM of The Fifth Grill supperclub on Richmond Street …  meanwhile,

MOORE: Coulter kudos

MOORE: Coulter kudos

back at 990, Victor & Susan are still happily holding court with all their fans … and yes, Robert Downey Jr., Sam Rockwell and Samuel L. Jackson are all set to reprise their characters in the Iron Man sequel, but Downey’s new nemesis will be none other than Hollywood comeback kid Mickey Rourke. Mickey will play a bad guy called Whiplash (insert your own punchline here) … Colm Feore and director Des McAnuff guest with Antoni Cimolino on tonight’s Stratfortd Festival webcast at 6:30 pm …  National Ballet corps members Elena Lobsanova and Noah Long will dance Dénouement, a new work commissioned by their boss Karen Kain  from Canadian choreographer Matjash Mrozewski, when they compete for the Erik Bruhn prize tonight at the Four Seasons Centre … and no, he’s not just a pretty voice. John Moore, CFRB’s popular drive home show host, is still winning kudos for his analysis of Ann Coulter last week in the National Post. And by the way, you don’t have to live in Toronto to hear him — just tune in to http://www.cfrb.com.

* * *

SEE/HEAR:  The buzz on the Star Trek prequel has already begun, and if the movie is half as good as its trailers you should be in for one truly action-packed evening. To preview the Star Trek trailers, just click here.