GOING GREEN THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY: Where do talk show hosts go on hiatus? Where the money is. Which is howcum you can now buy tickets to see Larry King this month. Larry is sharing the stage with certifiably gorgeous wife #7, country music warbler Shawn King, on March 26 & 27, at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls. Top ticket price, before scalpers, is $90 a pop. Not so crazy about Larry? You can see Craig Ferguson (top price, before scalpers: $69.50) at Massey Hall on April 23 and/or the much-anticipated return of Conan O’Brien on his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny
On Television tour
at Massey Hall on May 22 (top ticket, before scalpers: $89.50.) Meanwhile, ticket prices for Jon Stewart, who is set to return to Fallsview on June 17 & 18, start at $90. (Good luck with those!)
FLICKERS: Oscar bridesmaid George Clooney is set to star in The Descendants, a new film directed by Alexander Payne [Sideways] … Clooney’s young Up In The Air co-star Anna Kendrick, fresh from her Oscar nod, has signed on to star opposite James
EASTWOOD & DAMON: together again?
McAvoy (so good in The Last Station) in a comedy drama about a young man’s cancer diagnosis (!?!) Sounds like a lotta laffs so far … Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner, who charms as a Valentine’s Day lothario, will play Stretch Armstrong in the new movie based on the Hasbro toy … Universal has snapped up the rights to the graphic novel Fire for Zac Efron … Robert Pattinson, Sean Penn and Reese Witherspoon are reportedly the front runners for the leading roles in the screen version of Water For Elephants … and Matt Damon and Clint Eastwood got along so well when they shot Invictus that they’re teaming up again on a new thriller, Hereafter.
BARUCHEL as The Trotsky
TROTSKY DEFEATS LENNON: Montreal-born screen charmer Jay Baruchel couldn’t be hotter if you set him on fire. His new comedy She’s Out of My League opened to good reviews and solid box office last weekend. Later this month moviegoers will hear him as the lead voice in the much-anticipated 3D film How To Train Your Dragon, and in July he’ll be back on view playing apprentice to Nicolas Cage in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Before that, however, we’ll get to see his celebrated work in the sleeper hit of last fall’s Toronto International Film Festival, The Trotsky, an off-the-wall comedy from young \writer-director Jacob Tierney that is quietly becoming legend before it even opens. First it won the audience awards at both the Tokyo Film Festival and the Atlantic Film Festival. Then it made the annual TIFF list of Top 10 Canadian Films. Then it made the Canadian Press list of the Top 10 Films Of 2009,
HAMPSHIRE: leading lady for Baruchel
keeping company with Avatar and The Hurt Locker and displacing such supposedly sure bets as Inglourious Basterds and A Single Man. Then Tierney was nominated for Best Screenplay by the Writers Guild of Canada. But wait, it gets better, Last week Tierney won the Russian Guild of Film Critics’ prize at Spirit Of Fire, the 8th International Festival of Cinematic Debuts, and last weekend The Trotsky was named the winner of this year’s Audience Award at the Sofia International Film Festival which ended Saturday in the Bulgarian capital. A jubilant Tierney attended all four Sofia screenings, including one by popular demand. (His closest competitor? Nowhere Boy, the British-made saga about the young John Lennon.) Prior to opening here in May The Trotsky, which also features stellar performances by screen lioness Genevieve Bujold, Colm Feore, Emily Hampshire and Michael Murphy, will make its US debut in April at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
MERCER: going to Extremes
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Indefatigable producer Pat Ferns is set to host Hot Docs’ International Co-Production Day on May 3 with delegations from around the world expected to participate … perennial crowd-pleaser Don Rickles returns to Fallsview Casino on April 8 … Rick Mercer salutes hard-hustling student fundraisers at universities in Ottawa and B.C. tonight at 8 pm on his Rick Mercer Report — and wait ’til you see the nail-biter Extreme Biking sequence! … and expect more than a few chuckles at this year’s Banff World Television Festival. William Shatner is set to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Ricky Gervais will be picking up this year’s Peter Ustinov comedy trophy.
From diamonds-in-the-rough to diamonds:
meet the Dragons in their grand-slam finale.
Posted in Actors, Authors, BOOKS, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged A Single Man, Alexander Payne, Anna Kendrick, Atlantic Film Festival, Avatar, Banff World Television Festival, Bell Centre, Canadian Press, Clint Eastwood, COLM FEORE, CONAN O'BRIEN, Craig Ferguson, Don Rickles, Emily Hampshire, Fallsview Casino, Fire, Genevieve Bujold, GEORGE CLOONEY, Glee, Hasbro, Hereafter, Hot Docs, How To Tame Your Dragon, Inglourious Basterds, International Festival Of Cinematic Debuts, Invictus, Jacob Tierney, James McAvoy, Jay Baruchel, JOHN LENNON, Jon Stewart, LARRY KING, Massey Hall, MATT DAMON, Michael Murphy, NICOLAS CAGE, Nowhere Boy, Pat Ferns, Peter Ustinov, RICK MERCER, RICKY GERVAIS, Robert Pattinson, Russian Guild Of Film Critics, Sean Penn. Reese Witherspoon, Shawn King, She's Out Of My League, Sideways, Simon Fraser University, Sofia International Film Festival, Spirit Of Fire, Streych Armstrong, Taylor Lautner, The Descendants, The Hurt Locker, The Last Station, The Rick Mercer Report, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Trotsky, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, TIFF, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Twilight, University of Ottawa, Valentine's Day, Water For Elephants, Wicked, William Shatner, Writers Guild of Canada, ZAC EFRON
NO BIZ LIKE SHOW BIZ: India has halted location filming of the Cate Blanchett– Hugh Grant drama Indian Summer because the government
CATE: Lady Mountbatten
reportedly fears the movie will portray the rumored love affair between Lady Edwina Mountbatten and national icon Prime Minister Nehru … despite a stellar performance by Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin, this year’s TIFF opener, Creation, hasn’t found an American distributor because the theory of evolution is considered “too controversial” for the United States. Ah yes – as the French say, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose … despite its catchy title, the sci-fi series Defying Gravity couldn’t. ABC has already dropped it, and CTV is shuttling it to its satellite Space station … on the other hand. David
CRONENBERG: defying all odds
Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of the 1958 classic The Fly not only inspired an opera but has also inspired 20th Century Fox to ask him to do it again. Yes, a Hollywood studio wants a David Cronenberg remake of a David Cronenberg remake. Talk about defying gravity!
IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN! AND HE FLOATS!: Don’t know how you spent your weekend, but Rick Mercer went sailing — sort of. He teamed up with Pembroke, Ont. kayaker and Olympian Sarah Boudens to compete in the
fourth annual Giant Pumpkin Boat Races in the Laurentian Valley Townships and, according to Pembroke Daily Observer reporter Stephen Uhler, “seemed to take particular delight in ramming the pumpkin craft piloted by MP Cheryl Gallant.” Nearing the finish line, Uhler reports, Mercer “was seen to use his paddle to try and shove the MP’s watercraft under, although to be fair, for much of the race the waterline of her vessel was barely above the surface.” Guess we’ll have to wait to find out who won. Meanwhile, brace yourself for a white-knuckle
ride tonight when two men-in-motion, Mercer and Rick Hansen, take a death-defying plunge (literally!) on the season premiere of The Rick Mercer Report on CBC.
QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’ve created an old-fashioned full-service throwback. We offer radio listeners an alternative to the automated, cookie-cutter radio stations. We still originate live music and present the ever more rare pop classics from the 30s/40s/50s and 60s. We celebrate the music of an age when the tempo was slower, you could still make out the words, and people still believed in love.”
The speaker? New AM 740 proprietor Moses Znaimer, who is giving his Zoomer Radio station a first-birthday boost with digital stereo sound, a new website and new interactive content. Znaimer’s new maverick station reaches his ‘45-Plus’ target audiences throughout Southern Ontario from Windsor to Kingston, north to Parry Sound, and south into 28 U.S. States.
NO BIZ LIKE SNOW BIZ: Full of admiration for our Canadian athletes as they show their stuff on those eye-catching promos narrated by Donald Sutherland for the CTV Olympics? Me too. But those snowy hills and mountains we keep seeing aren’t in Whistler. They’re in Chile, because that’s where our athletes are training for the 2010 competition, so that’s where CTV goes to shoot those great spots. And what does South America have that we don’t? You guessed it: Snow.
Ain’t snowbiz grand?
Who is Slimey?
And who would willingly choose that name???
Posted in Actors, Gossip, Movies, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television
Tagged 20th Century Fox, ABC, AM 740, CATE BLANCHETT, CBC, Charles Darwin, Creation, CTV, CTV Olympics, DAVID CRONENBERG, Defying Gravity, DONALD SUTHERLAND, Giant Pumpkin Boat Races, HUGH GRANT, Indian Summer, Lady Edwina Mountbatten, Laurentian Valley Townships, Moses Znaimer, MP Cheryl Gallant, Nehru, PAUL BETTANY, Pembroke, Pembroke Daily Observer, Rick Hansen, RICK MERCER, Sarah Boudens, Stephen Uhler, The Fly, The Rick Mercer Report
APRES MOI, THE FLOOD: Tub-thumping novelist Margaret Atwood is keeping her fans abreast of her current Year Of The Flood promotional tour via
ATWOOD: on tour
Twitter, although getting on line is sometimes a challenge. In Cardiff, Wales she stopped at an Internet Café and found it distressingly difficult to connect. “If the Internet is a highway,” she noted, “there is much roadwork going on.” Atwood, who calls her Twitter followers her “T-pals,” will join David Ferry, Susan Coyne and Michelle Monteith on stage – on altar?? – this Thursday when she brings her performance-art show (with some Tell) to St. James Cathedral. Meanwhile,
COYNE: altar girl
fellow novelist Jeanette Winterson reviewed Atwood’s new Giller Prize nominee for the cover story in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. “Atwood,” she writes, “knows how to show us ourselves, but the mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect — it’s like one of those mirrors made with mercury that gives us both a deepening and a distorting effect, allowing both the depths of human nature and its potential mutations.” To see more of her review, just click here.
NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Choreography queen Twyla Tharp, who created a major Broadway hit by staging Billy Joel’s songs for dancers in Moving Out, is about to go for gold again. Her new show, Come Fly With Me, is
MINNELLI: new PBS special
set to music associated with Frank Sinatra, and opens tomorrow night at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Fingers crossed … still wishing you’d been able to catch Liza Minnelli at the Palace last year, or even at Roy Thomson Hall this spring? PBS is planning to tape her Sept. 30-Oct. 1 performances at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Those brilliant Chicago producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who also worked on Showtime’s digitally restored version of Liza with a Z, will produce the special, which will air on PBS in December and go on sale in January 2010. Now there’s a New Year’s Eve gift! … and leave it to Oprah to out-do all previous flashmob events. Did you see where she got 21,00 of her closest fans to dance in the streets of Chicago? Amazing. If you missed it first time ‘round (I did,) you can still see it. Just click here.
THE LIFE OF RICK: Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on Rick Mercer’s wall? Or maybe a button on his lapel? Two Fridays ago he was one of a select few invited
MERCER: high life
to Sarah McLachlan’s lush Vancouver garden, where guests sat on plush divans under Moroccan tents lit by Indian Lanterns and were serenaded by Sarah, Sheryl Crow and dynamic Blue Rodeo duo Jim Cuddy & Greg Keillor at an intimate gathering to celebrate Sarah’s music outreach program for inner-city Vancouver youth. Then this past Friday he joined his Spread The Net partner-in-crime Belinda Stronach at her reception for another fund-raising pal, Bono. Mercer pal Seamus O’Regan was hobnobbing at that one too, as were T-D deputy chair Frank McKenna and War Child founders Dr. Samantha Nutt and Dr. Eric Hoskins. But don’t look for Mercer on the glamour party circuit this Friday — he’ll be in his CBC studio with a few hundred of his devoted fans, taping the first show of the seventh season of his top-rated Rick Mercer Report.
SHEEEEEE”S BACK: Attention Erin Karpluk fans (and you seem to be growing in numbers every day) — your favourite TV heroine returns to your living rooms tonight when she and Michael Riley kick off the much-anticipated second season Being Erica at 9 pm on CBC. Enjoy!
What are Tom Arnold, George Stroumboulopoulos
and Red Green doing in Vancouver??
Posted in Actors, Authors, BOOKS, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged Alliance Theater, Atlanta, Being Erica, BELINDA STRONACH, Billy Joel, BLUE RODEO, Bono, Chicago, Craig Zadan, DAVID FERRY, Eric Hoskins, ERIN KARPLUK, flashmob, Frank McKenna, Frank Sinatra, Greg Keillor, Jeanette Winterson, Jim Cuddy, Liza Minnelli, Liza with a Z, MARGARET ATWOOD, MICHAEL RILEY, Michelle Monteith, Movin' Out. Come Fly With Me, Neil Meron, New York Times, OPRAH WINFREY, PBS, RICK MERCER, Roy Thomson Hall, Samantha Nutt, Sarah McLachlan, SEAMUS O'REGAN, SHERYL CROW, St. James Cathedral, Sunday Book Review, Susan Coyne, the Palace Theater, The Rick Mercer Report, TWITTER, Twyla Tharp
OUR TOWN: One of tonight’s Toronto filmfest Galas comes with an emotional punch no one could have anticipated when the film was chosen a few months ago. Lisa Ray, who co-stars with TIFF favourite Don McKellar in Dilip Mehta’s
RAY: blogging beauty
new romantic comedy Cooking With Stella, will walk the red carpet tonight after going public last week with the news that she’s battling an incurable bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma. The Toronto-based film star, even more famous in India than she is here, used her blog to reveal her illness to her fans last week. Mehta’s sister and collaborator Deepa Mehta, who directed Ray in Bollywood/Hollywood and Water, says the beautiful actress is “the epitome of grace under pressure. She will do the red carpet proud.” She certainly acquitted herself with grace and style Monday morning with Seamus O’Regan on Canada A.M. – if you missed it, just click here — and I have no doubt her fans will turn out in droves tonight Cooking With Stella premieres at Roy Thomson Hall.
MERCER: Twitter hints
TUBE TALK: Danny DeVito and the cast of the FX comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are touring with a live theater adaptation of the sitcom’s musical finale last season, The Nightman Cometh. Performances started last night in Boston and continue throughout the month in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and, of course, Philadelphia, where a second show has already been added … fans of Rick Mercer, currently getting back in harness for the seventh season of his Rick Mercer Report on CBC, are following him on Twitter to get hints of what stunts he’s plotting for his new
season. Last week he tweeted about riding on a Death Train (!!) and this week he confided that he was off to Whistler to meet with legendary Man In Motion Rick Hansen. Hmmmmm … and the 10th annual Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival is set for Saint John, New Brunswick next month. Highlights include The Last Laugh Gala, hosted by Jessica Holmes on Saturday Oct 3, with veteran mirth-makers Jeremy Hotz, Tim Steeves, Debra DiGiovanni and Roger Abbott & Don Ferguson.
NOVEMBER IS THE COOLEST MONTH: November music-makers set to rock Casino Rama include Roger Daltrey (Nov 5,) Supertramp alumnus Roger Hodgson (Nov 6 & 7) and still-ticking Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton (Nov 13 & 14) … some 55 million albums and at least one Guinness Book of Records
NORAH JONES by Autumn de Wilde
entry later (having sold 1.6 million tickets on one day for his 2006 tour,) Robbie Williams’ new album, Reality Killed The Video Star, is set to go on sale here Nov. 10 … and Norah Jones’ upcoming album, The Fall, will be released on November 17 with eye-grabbing cover artwork by photographer Autumn de Wilde. Meanwhile, music-makers set to rock Casino Rama next month include Kelly Clarkson (Oct 15,) Vanessa Williams (Oct 29,) and Julio Iglesias (Oct 30 & 31.)
Who has the most movies at TIFF?
plus, Chita’s new album & Julianne’s new role.
Posted in Actors, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television
Tagged Autumn de Wilde, Bollywood/Hollywood, Canada A.M., Canadian Comedy Awards, Casino Rama, CBC Television, Cooking With Stella, DANNY DEVITO, Debra DiGiovanni, DEEPA MEHTA, DILIP MEHTA, Don Ferguson., Don McKellar, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Jeremy Hotz, Jessica Holmes, Julio Iglesias, Kelly Claarkson, LISA RAY, Rick Hansen, RICK MERCER, Robbie Williams. Norah Jones, Roger Abbott, ROGER DALTREY, Roger Hodgson, Roy Thomson Hall, SEAMUS O'REGAN, Supertramp, The Nightman Cometh, The Rick Mercer Report, TIFF, Tim Steeves, TWITTER, Vanessa Williams, Water, Wayne Newton, Whistler
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
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
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.
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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.
Posted in Actors, Ballet, Gossip, Movies, SHOW BUSINESS, Stars, Television
Tagged ANN COULTER, ANTONI CIMOLINO, Art In Action, Being Erica, Bistro 990, CBC, CFRB, COLM FEORE, DES McANUFF, Distraction Formats, ERIK BRUHN, ERIN KARPLUK, FERNANDO TEMUDO, Four Seasons Centre For the Performing Arts, GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS, Godiva's, HENRY LESS, JOHN MOORE, KAREN KAIN, Little Mosque On The Prairie, Lucerne, LYNN LAVNER, MICKEY ROURKE, NATIONAL POST, RITAS ZEKAS, ROBERT DOWNEY JR., Rose d'Or Festival. Switzerland, SAM ROCKWELL, SAMUEL A. JACKSON, Star Trek, Stratford Festival, Strombo, The Fifth, The Hour, The Rick Mercer Report, Xenophile Media