Tag Archives: SUSAN BOYLE

Three years ago you had never heard of Susan Boyle. And then the dream she dreamed came true.

BOYLE: three new albums in three years

Three years ago, to this very day, Susan Boyle boldly strode on stage in Glasgow to audition for Britain’s Got Talent. (If you’ve forgotten just how powerful that moment was, treat yourself by clicking on the word ‘audition’  — as long as you have Kleenex handy.) All told, she was only on stage and on camera for seven short minutes — but those seven minutes changed her life.

Well, okay, YouTube changed her life. Some 100 million ‘hits’ later, Boyle even has that famous audition footage on her own website, including her statement that she hoped to be as successful as her musical idol, legendary British diva

BOYLE: the historic audition

Elaine Paige. It was Paige, an OBE currently regarded as the First Lady of Musical Theatre, who introduced the world to such Andrew Lloyd Webber classics as Memory and Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. At the time Boyle’s remark drew audible snickers from the audience, but then she started to sing, and they stopped snickering and jumped to their feet cheering.

Since then, of course, Boyle has been making up for lost time, releasing three, no kidding, three albums – I Dreamed A Dream, The Gift and Someone To Watch Over Me – an autobiography, The Woman I Was Born To Be, and a website that sells not only her CDs but also Susan Boyle merchandise. A new crowd-pleaser musical based on her life story, I Dreamed A Dream: The Susan Boyle Musical is currently touring the provinces (Liverpool next week, then Cardiff, Birmingham, etc. until opening in Glasgow in October.)  So Susan Boyle, the unemployed Scottish villager, is pretty much her own industry now.

What somehow escaped me along the way was the fact that, after all those headlines and YouTube hits, Piers Morgan arranged for Boyle to not only meet her idol Elaine Paige but to actually duet with her on television, to one of Paige’s hit songs from Chess. And yes, YouTube has that one too. To see and hear the incomparable Paige and the transformed Ms. Boyle, just click here – and enjoy.

ELAINE PAIGE duets with uber-fan SUSAN BOYLE

OUR TOWN: Hey, who’s superstitious? Official opening night for this year’s 15th annual TIFF Kids film festival (it used to be called Sprockets)  is this

WILLIAMS: year 11

Friday the 13th, and Chimpanzee, a brand-new True-Life Adventure from Disney, is the official opening film. And there’s even a GapKids red carpet for young fest-goers to stroll. For more info on the TiFF Kids filmfest, click here … Cadence, Countermeasure, New York Voices, The Nylons and The Swingle Singers are among the glory-voiced performers set to light up the stage this weekend when the Toronto Vocal Arts Festival Sing! opens at Harbourfront, with Micah Barnes, Dylan Bell and Heather Bambrick among those leading vocal workshops. One of Barnes’ workshops

HAYSBERT: ReelWorld star

sounds like it has the makings of a reality show. He calls it the “quick Speed Dating version” of his Singers Playground Performance Workshop, where he works one on one with each A Capella singer for the benefit of both themselves and the class … and has it really been 11 years? Tonya Lee Williams’ 11th annual ReelWorld Film Festival opens tonight with Luv, with Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Michael Rainey Jr. and hip-hop hero Common, at the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas. To check out this year’s impressive list of films, click here.

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Are the stars out tonight? Yes, for the Dora Awards. But not all today’s showbiz news is happy …

GOOD MORNING, TORONTO: And welcome to another week of razzle-dazzle in Our Town.  Sparklies set to join host Jian Ghomeshi on stage tonight at the 2009 Dora Mavor Moore Awards at the Winter Garden include Anne

GHOMESHI: hosting tonight

GHOMESHI: hosting tonight

Anglin, Cynthia Dale, playwright John Gray, Graham Greene, C. David Johnson, Tom McCamus, Colin Mochrie, National Ballet of Canada soloist Rebekah Rimsay, Ontario Culture minister Aileen Carroll and Mayor David Miller. Director Vinetta Strombergs and writer Briane Nasimok will be talent-wrangling from the wings … what’s NOT happening today? TheNational Post, which is attempting some creative cost-cutting by NOT publishing a Monday newspaper – a new policy that will continue through the Labor Day weekend …  and, of course, Monday garbage pick-up is NOT happening either — unless you’re listening to the right radio station. CFRB wise guys Bill Carroll and Jim Richards are taking trash talk to a new level by sending 1-888-I AM JUNK to pick up trash every week during the strike for six listeners who send the best emails telling why the station should pick up their garbage. The contest ends this Friday, and the winners can invite neighbours to drop off their trash for weekly pick-up as well!

McLACHLAN: celebrating Canada Day

McLACHLAN: celebrating Canada Day

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Singer Paul Potts, who was the Susan Boyle YouTube sensation of his day when he first triumphed on Britain’s Got Talent, serenades tomorrow night at Kitchener’s elegant Centre In The Square. Torontonians will have to wait a couple of weeks more, when he performs here at the Elgin on July 18 … superthrush Sarah McLachlan and Quebec charmer Marie-Jo Thério will headline the party at Parliament Hill on Wednesday night in Ottawa. CBC Television, Radio-Canada and bold will telecast highlights at 9 pm … Tim McGraw and Reba McEntire

DORE: Rivoli-bound

DORE: Rivoli-bound

are set to headline the first annual Cavendish Beach Music Festival on Prince Edward Island on July 10, 11 and 12 … Jon Dore is hosting two nights of comedy mayhem at the Rivoli July 15 & 16 with a very catchy title: The Jon Dore Television Show’s Writers and Jon Dore of the Jon Dore Television Show Stand-Up Comedy Show, Show! Expect an evening of stand-up comedy featuring Dore and his writers Mark Forward, Laurie Elliott and Steve Patterson. “It is important to understand,” adds Dore manager Lorne Perlmutar, “that none of the proceeds of this show will be going to a charitable organization. Jesus is cool.” Whew! That’s a relief … and did you know that Seinfeld alumnus Jason Alexander is an accomplished song-and-dance man? He’ll show off that next-to-secret skill set when he appears at Casino Rama July 25.

MANN:  more honours

MANN: more honours

FLICKERS: Chalk up another win for enduring filmmaker Ron Mann. Last week he received the 2009 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Mann, whose hit doc Know Your Mushrooms is now available on DVD, won the award for Individual Artist, and then selected Toronto actor and film-maker Charles Officer (Nurse. Fighter. Boy) as the Premier’s Emerging Artist prize winner … Canuck heartthrob Taylor Kitsch will team up with one of his Wolverine co-stars, Lynn Collins, in the Disney adventure John Carter of Mars. And talk about yer parent traps — Greg Kinnear and Kelly Preston will play Miley Cyrus’

PRESTON: Miley's mom?

PRESTON: Miley's mom?

parents (!!!) in The Last Song, also for Disney … our National Film Board and the Shorefast Foundation will establish Newfoundland’s first e-cinema installation, the NFB’s first English-language e-cinema partnership in Canada.

The new system will use new digital technology to give residents and visitors to Fogo Island access to great works of Canadian cinema from the NFB as well as independent filmmakers. Fogo Island, by the way, is the largest of the offshore islands of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the new project will be launched this November … and management of the merged British film studio Pinewood Shepperton, where The Dark Knight, The Bourne Ultimatum and most 007 epics are shot,  has signed a five-year deal

CRONKITE: failing health

CRONKITE: failing health

to take over the seven state-of-the-art sound stages of Toronto’s struggling Filmport, which will now become Pinewood Toronto Studios.

APRIL SHOWERS IN JUNE: Quite naturally, lots of other news was overshadowed last Thursday by Farrah Fawcett’s passing and the shock waves caused by Michael Jackson’s unexpected demise. The saddest of the lot, for me, was the confirmation that legendary CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite is seriously ill with cerebrovascular disease and is “not expected to recuperate.” And to add to that unhappy news — not that you were looking for more — neither Mike Wallace nor 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt are doing very well at the moment.

T.S. Eliot claimed that April was the cruelest month.

Maybe. But this year, June is no picnic either.

TOMORROW:

Remembering Michael & Farrah

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Carmela moves to the E.R., Pacino plays doctor, Courtney in Short order, Harrison & Calista blue-sky it, and why Denzel won’t play Obama

Okay, she’s a nurse with a drug habit. We’ve seen that before. And her boyfriend, a pharmacist, is also her dealer. Which is sort of a twist. What makes this story so interesting? Jackie – or Nurse Jackie, as per the new dramatic series about her – is played by award-laden Sopranos star Edie Falco, and her pharmacist

FALCO: addicted

FALCO: addicted

boyfriend is played by Paul Schulze, who played Father Intintola, the neighborhood priest with whom Edie/Carmela was totally infatuated. And making the drama behind this drama even more, well, dramatic, is the fact that both the star and the series writers Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem are card-carrying members of AA. Falco, who has sober for almost two decades, says she was determined not to take a holier-than-thou approach to Jackie. ““It was sort of endlessly fascinating and deeply saddening when I was struggling myself,” she told New York Times writer Kathryn Shattuck. “I know what it’s like to be lost in addiction.” For more of Ms. Shattuck’s excellent Rx on Nurse Jackie, click here.

AND SPEAKING OF ANGELS OF MERCY:  It’s official. Al Pacino will play suicide specialist Dr. Jack Kevorkian in the upcoming HBO biopic.

MACNEIL: wedding belle

MACNEIL: wedding belle

COMMON GROUND: What do John Travolta and Harrison Ford have in common? For one thing, they’re both licensed pilots. Which is how Ford celebrated the Memorial Day weekend by flyng his bride Calista Flockhart, her son Liam and his grandson Ethan to the Monterey Aquarium, which opened early so the family could watch some sleepy penguins wake up … what do Laura Dern, Eric Stolz, and Courtney Cox have in common? They’re among the celebrated on-screen players in the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, set for June 16-21 at a theatre near you … what do CBC EVP Richard Stursberg and comely CBC news anchor Carole MacNeil have in common? Wedding bells. According to Carole’s CBC News: Sunday co-host Evan Solomon, they’re planning to tie the knot later this month.

BOYLE: " ...next?"

BOYLE: " ...next?"

ON THE BOYLE: A sometime-collaborator of Steve Martin‘s, actor Ricky Jay is also a sleight-of-hand artist and author. Earlier this week he contributed an op-ed piece to the New York Times about the apparent worldwide obsession with Britain’s Got Talent ‘loser’ Susan Boyle.

 “Should we have expected anything more, or less?” he asks. “Our first look at Ms. Boyle generated not only expectation but surprise. But as she became overexposed, our surprise diminished. The extraordinary became commonplace.”

Because of her presence on youtube, he notes,  “A performing cycle that once could have taken years is herein reduced to days. She’s unknown, we’re surprised. She’s embraced, we’re disenchanted. She’s the runner-up … next?”

To see Jay’s column, cleverly and appropriately headlined Desperately Seeking Susan, click here.

WASHINGTON: remake
WASHINGTON: remake

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “When Barack Obama’s story is ready to be told, I’ll be too old to do it. And if it were made right now, he has too much to do to have me hanging around asking for tips on how to play him.”

The speaker? John Travolta’s co-star in The Taking Of Pelham 123, Denzel Washington, in an interview with Reader’s Digest.

For a sneak preview of this remake – believe it or not, it was villainous Robert Shaw versus lawman Walter Matthau (yes, Walter Matthau) in the 1973 original – just click here.

 


Feist in the flicks! Zann on the hustings! David Sedaris at Carnegie Hall! (uhhhh, wait a minute …)

NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: What do Dark Knight scene-stealer Cillian Murphy, pop music queen Leslie Feist and Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall? They all appear on screen in the Canadian Film Centre’s upcoming

FEIST: on film

FEIST: on film

 Worldwide Short Film Festival, opening June 16 at special venues near you … Gallery 888’s 10th Anniversary Spring Fling & Ovarian Cancer Canada Fundraiser runs tomorrow, June 3, to  June 21, with works from over 40 artists … Ingrid Bergman’s pre-Rossellini daughter, New York broadcaster Pia Lindstrom, celebrated her new Sirius XM radio show with a dinner at Morton’s in Manhattan …  the buzz begins. YTV is all set to welcome a new comedy series this September, That’s So Weird. What’s really weird is that part of the team behind it cut their comedy teeth on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Corner Gas. As street cred goes, not too shabby. Stay tuned … and speaking of comedy, Double Exposure’s weekly podcast sends up Susan Boyle (of course!), Stephen Harper’s discovery of some shocking Michael Ignatieff tapes, and a new epicurean delight from Canada’s Governor General. To hear it, just click here.

ZANN: NDP runner

ZANN: NDP runner

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Gossip Girl heartthrob Chace Crawford has taken over the Kevin Bacon role abandoned by Zac Efron in Paramount’s forthcoming remake of Footloose … Lyndsy Fonseca has been added to the upcoming Hot Tub Time Machine (and yes, it’s a comedy) …  Zach Braff will write, direct and co-star withCameron Diaz in Swingles (can you guess what it’s about?) … Rosario Dawson will be Kevin James’ love interest in The Zookeeper (ditto) … and when Nova Scotians go to the polls one week from today, don’t be surprised if they elect stage & screen charmer Lenore Zann to represent them.  A staple of Canadian and U.S. TV movies and mini-series, and justifiably celebrated for her tour-de-force portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, the gifted actress from the Maritimes is the NDP’s candidate in Truro-Bible Hill, and the opposition is clearly concerned.

 

ZANN: as Marilyn

ZANN: as Marilyn

On the same day NDP Leader Darrell Dexter announced Zann’s candidacy in Truro, Liberals circulated a bare-breasted photo of Zann as she appeared in an episode of the cable TV series The L Word. Zann says her nude scenes have never been a secret and they have no bearing on her abilities as a candidate. As for Nova Scotia Liberals, she added, “I think it shows their desperation.” Me too.

SEDARIS: at Carnegie Hall

SEDARIS: at Carnegie Hall

LITERATI:  Toronto Star laugh-maker Linwood Barclay reads clues from his new mystery Too Close To Home tonight at the Toronto Reference Library … Joy Fielding reads from her new novel, Still Life, tomorrow night at North York Central Library … Tash Aw’s Map Of The Invisible World goes Luminato at the Al Green Theatre on Thursday June 11 … and Camille Paglia explains her three new Commandments, Break, Blow, Burn, in a three-part lecture series on June 16 at the ROM … who knew? I bought Judy At Carnegie Hall and purchased Rufus At Carnegie Hall but apparently I missed out on the really big one: David Sedaris At Carnegie Hall. And no, I am not making this up. You can buy it online at Indigo/Chapters for only $17.80 plus shipping. Sedaris, the best-selling author of such quirky gems as Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed In Flames, has become a raconteur to reckon with. And if his Carnegie Hall ‘concert’ is anything like his on-camera stint a while back with David Letterman, it should truly be a CD to remember.

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Marlo Thomas set to open in New Brunswick

Marlo Thomas, who blogs on wowOwow.com and decades later still looks like That Girl,  is about to premiere a controversial new play in New Brunswick.

WAGNER: New Brunswick-bound

WAGNER: Russian roots

Okay, calm down. 

Marlo opens Friday night in New Brunswick, but not our New Brunswick. She’s taking the stage in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The play, New Year’s Eve, is the newest work of legendary stage and screen scribe Arthur Laurents (Gypsy, West Side Story) and co-stars Keith Carradine and Natalie Wood’s beautiful daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner. (Her mother Natalie, who changed her Russian first name to please studio execs, revisited tradition with her daughter by writer-producer Richard Gregson. When Natalie & Robert Wagner remarried, RJ formally adopted Natasha as his own — hence her impressive three-name marquee allure.)

Laurents, now an indefatigable 91, is letting his hand-picked cast take his new play for a test drive at the George Street Playhouse for three weeks so he can tinker with the engine when he’s not preoccupied with his current Broadway revival of West Side Story.

Ain’t showbiz grand?

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IBOMEKA: cast your vote

IBOMEKA: cast your vote

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Mamma Mia composers Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson have written a follow-up to their worldwide hit musical. Their new show, Kristina from Duvemala, reportedly opened in Sweden to ecstatic audience response   one of the ninth annual ReelWord Film Festival’s most popular attractions is slated for late-night screening this Friday at the Cineplex Odeon Carlton Cinemas on Carlton. Starting at 11 pm, the filmfest’s Music Video Program, supported by BravoFact and MuchMusic, will unspool some unusual, engaging and entertaining music videos by, to name only a few, Simple Plan, Friendly Fire, Alex Cuba, Bedouin Soundclash and The Sicilian Jazz

STREISAND: DVD x 3

STREISAND: DVD x 3

Project …  great news for Beatlemaniacs: The original Beatles catalogue has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on September 9. Two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released on the same date … Streisand: The Concerts will go on sale in Great Britain before we get to see it over here. The special three-disc DVD set showcases some of Ms Barbra’s most memorable concert performances over the decades, including 17 songs never before released on DVD … and soul man D.K. Ibomeka, supreme saxophonist Jane Bunnett and violin virtuoso Lenny Solomon are among the nominees for the 2009 National Jazz Awards – and you can vote for them! To cast your ballot, just click here.

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2009_0326_amazon_mary_tyler_mooreLITERATI:  Tis the season to Tell All, sort of. And everybody’s doing it, almost. Including Mary Tyler Moore, who subtitles her second autobiography Life, Loves, And Oh Yeah, Diabetes … the youngest Best Actress winner in history, Marlee Matlin was only 21 when she won the coveted statuette, In her new autobiog I’ll Scream Later she reveals that at the peak of her fame she was about to put herself into the Betty Ford Clinic to fight against her addiction to alcohol. Still an inspiration for millions of hearing impaired fans, she also discusses her sometimes stormy romances with William Hurt, Rob

MATLIN: youngest Best Actress

MATLIN: youngest Best Actress

Lowe, Richard Dean Anderson and West Wing creator David E. Kelley … Simon & Schuster reps are buzzing about Love Child, a new memoir by Allegra Huston, daughter of legendary director John Huston and Italian American dancer Ricki Soma. Her mother died in a car accident when Allegra was only four and Allegra grew up with her siblings Anjelica, Tony and Danny Huston. To make things even more interesting, she later discovered that her biological father was British writer John Julius Norwich … and Joan Rivers is riding high with two, count ‘em, two new books — a spoofy Agatha Christie-meets-Barbara Taylor Bradford mystery called Murder At The Academy Awards, and a highly informative How To (and What Not To) manual on the pleasures and perils of plastic surgery called Men Are Stupid (And They Like Big Boobs.) Rivers fan Larry King did a special web interview with her for his CNN website, and you can see it right here.

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SIMON: stunned silence

SIMON: stunned silence

GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS: If you still have any Kleenex left after seeing the socko finale of the first season of Being Erica on CBC television, wait ’til you watch 46-year-old British villager Susan Boyle try her luck with Simon Cowell & Co. on Britain’s Got Talent. Jane Fonda twittered it yesterday(“I find it so touching!”) and it made all the major national newscasts, and I can honestly say, without fear of contradiction, that Ms Boyle’s performance must truly be seen and heard to be believed. And yes, to see it just click here.

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TOMORROW:

SHOWBIZ GUESSING GAME: The refusal of two Hollywood screen sirens to wear the on-screen wardrobes chosen for them unexpectedly makes it possible for a reserved British leading lady and a bold young New York TV actress to start collecting Oscar nominations.

Guess who??