Tag Archives: Tony Awards

Majumder raises the roof, Atwood tells tales of Twitter, Alice fever sizzles & Rivers takes another bite of Reality

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Howcum funnyman Shaun Majumder keeps shining in dramas? First it was 24, then his recent stint on Republic Of Doyle, and now the ABC series 187 Detroit. (187 is police code for homicide.) Can Shaun do a spot-on impression

MAJUMDER: raising the roof

of series star Michael Imperioli (a.k.a. Christopher on The Sopranos)? Ask him yourself when he jets in from L.A. to headline his favourite comedy fund-raiser Raising the Roof, April 16 & 17 at The Rivoli … it’s not her fault, okay? Margaret Atwood sez her Twitter pals egged her on. Which is why she’s finally telling all – okay, almost all – about her adventures in TwitterLand in the New York Review of Books, right here …  …. Jake Doyle’s prodigal brother Christian returns to the Rock, much to his younger brother’s dismay, on Allan Hawco’s hit series Republic Of Doyle tonight at 9 pm on CBC-TV … and Joan Rivers and her producer daughter Melissa are reportedly set to do a new reality show about Joan moving in with Melissa, grandson Cooper and Melissa’s current squeeze Jason in L.A.. Says blogger Paula Froelich: “This will rock harder than Poison at Spring Break.” Froelich joined Rivers & Co. for their Passover seder at Melissa’s house in Pacific Palisades. To read her Daily Beast report, click here.

ALICE: Disney classic

BALLET HIGH: Highlight of the National Ballet’s summer season next year should be British Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s new full-length, two-act interpretation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a co-production between the National Ballet and The Royal Ballet (UK). with a commissioned score by British composer Joby Talbot. Neither Tim Burton nor Johnny Depp have anything to do with this one as far as we know — but isn’t it odd how Lewis Carroll’s peculiar heroine has returned to the collective consciousness? Now Disney, whose magicians created the original Un-Birthday song, is celebrating the Un-Anniversary of its 1951 animated classic by

KAIN: a once-and-future Alice

reissuing it on DVD before Burton’s wacky new 3-D Alice hits the stores.  The new ballet version, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, will debut first in London in February 2011 and then here in Toronto, June 4 – 12, 2011 …  meanwhile, NBOC chief Karen Kain sent the company’s notable outreach mini-show Dance About to Ontario’s Near North District School Board yesterday for two performances, at Maple Ridge Public School in Powassan and Sundridge Centennial Public School in Sundridge … and happy anniversary to the American Ballet Theatre, set to celebrate its 70th (!!) season May 17-July 10 at the Met. And speaking of Twitter, and aren’t we always, at both the ABT and the New Yotk City Ballet there are no policies on dancers’ increasing participation on Twitter. Says New York Times writer Gia Kourlas: “At the moment the relationship between tech-savvy dancers and company administrators seems to be akin to a child showing a parent how to use e-mail.”  To read her amusing account of young ballet stars who “now tweeter as well as flutter,” click here.

PETERSON: in memory

THE LEGACY LIVES ON: One aspiring musician entering a music program at York University this fall will be the lucky recipient of the first $40,000 Oscar Peterson scholarship, allowing them to pursue their dreams. The new Peterson program will also offer up to four $10,000 annual scholarships for current undergraduate music students. Meanwhile, Peterson acolytes Peter Herrndorf, Brian Robertson, Bob Rae, Bill Davis and Tommy Banks are among the boosters soliciting donations for a life-size bronze sculpture of the jazz great to sit outside the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The statue of Peterson at a grand piano — created by Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy, the artist responsible for the stunning bronze of Glenn Gould outside the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto — will be unveiled on June 30 as part of Canada Day celebrations.

TOMORROW:

Is Justin Bieber just too hot?

And, celebrating ‘Tony’s’ first lady.

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Lily learns a lesson, Pat takes the Bard to Venice and Vanessa & Kristin set their sights on Broadway

FOOTLIGHTS: Last week Vanessa Williams started her fourth season as Ugly Betty’s ever-scheming yet oddly lovable magazine editor Wilhelmina Slater,

WILLIAMS: Sondheim serenader

WILLIAMS: Sondheim serenader

a roie which has won her three consecutive Emmy Award nominations to date. This week the former Miss America is plotting her return to Broadway with powerhouse Barbara Cook in a new nightly tribute to Stephen Sondheim. Williams starred as the Witch in the 2003 revival of Sondheim’s Into The Woods. “Ugly Betty is my priority,” she says candidly, “and we shoot in the spring — so there are going to be some days that I may not be able to do the Sondheim show. But we’re going to do as much as we can so I can do an eight-show week.” The new musical, Sondheim On

CHENOWITH: Bacharach baby?

CHENOWITH: Bacharach baby?

Sondheim, will be directed by her Into The Woods champion James Lapine and is scheduled to open early next year … remember Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon in the 1960 Billy Wilder film classic The Apartment? Remember Jerry Orbach and Jill O’Hara in the 1968 Broadway musical version, Promises, Promises? Remember all those hummable Burt Bacharach-Hal David tunes like I’ll Never Fall In Love Again? Word on the Great White Way is that Wicked scene-stealer Kristin Chenowith will return

LAHTI: Carnage

LAHTI: Carnage

to the New York stage to play opposite Will & Grace funnyman Sean Hayes in a modernized 2010 revival of the hit musical. Stay tuned … and here’s one for the Change Partners & Dance Dept.: A new cast for Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning black comedy God of Carnage will begin performances on November 17 on Broadway. Christine Lahti will replace Marcia Gay Harden; Annie Potts has signed on to replace Hope Davis; Jimmy Smits will replace Jeff Daniels; and original West End cast member Ken Stott will recreate his performance as Michael, replacing James

SMITS: replacing Jeff Daniels

SMITS: replacing Jeff Daniels

Gandolfini.

FLICKERS: The 10th annual Planet in Focus film festival, which opened here yesterday, features over 85 films on environmental issues from 25 countries, with pre- and post-screening discussions and panels and special programs for children and schools. A special section of the festival, Land & Conflict screenings, include Canadian premieres of Voices from El Sayed. The 2008 film set in the Bedouin village that is home to the largest community of deaf people in the world; and Jerusalem Moments 2009, a showcase of short films by seven young Palestinian and Israeli directors. To get all the W5, click here … and following a successful pitch at RomaFictionFest, veteran producer Pat Ferns is teaming up with Britain’s Scenario Films to

TOMLIN: class consciousness

TOMLIN: class consciousness

develop Shakespeare in Venice, a dramatic series in the tradition of Shakespeare in Love. Based on exhaustive research by Alessandro Bettero, the screenplays will be co-written with award-winning British screenwriter Gareth Jones … and David Cronenberg is set to appear at tonight’s TIFF Cinemateque screening of Videodrome, his prescient 1983 thriller with James Woods, Deborah Harry and Sonja Smits, tonight at 9 pm at the AGO.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I lived in a racially diverse and financially diverse neighborhood and I knew who was favored and who wasn’t and who had “nicer” material circumstances and who didn’t. It was the practice at our grade school in those days to stand and tell the class what you’d received for Christmas that year and it was gruesome because it was clear when a kid was lying or exaggerating out of shame, and I can remember being one of them. You might say you’d gotten a sweater and boots and a new coat and all kinds of things that you never showed up in. I can’t imagine what teacher would support such a practice today unless it was used anonymously to raise political and social consciousness and make it an illuminating exercise.”

The speaker? Lily Tomlin, on becoming class conscious at the age of 7.

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

Q: What do the Toronto Maple Leafs and possums have in common?
A. Both play dead at home and get killed on the road.

TOMORROW:

Liz Smith goes on a tear, Jacqueline Bisset goes Italian,

and Ragtime returns to Broadway — without Garth.

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Need a hand raising funds for a good cause? First, pick up the phone. Then, thank (y)our lucky Stars!

OUR TOWN: Is there any other business whose highest-profile members donate their talents so often and so freely? And no, this isn’t a quiz. The answer is

MacDONALD: Laughing Like Crazy

MacDONALD: Laughing Like Crazy

No. And when our stars go into support mode, they give it all they’ve got. Which is why you should know that seasoned smile-maker Mike MacDonald, a guy who always puts the ‘fun’ back in fund-raiser, returns to T.O. this weekend to headline Laughing Like Crazy, a benefit for the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario. Another amusing fellow, Second City alumnus Patrick McKenna hosts the Saturday night event at the Panasonic Theatre. For tickets, click here … and yes, it’s a much smaller venue than the stadiums he usually plays, but Russell Peters will return to host the annual Gilda’s Club benefit, It’s Always Something, on Nov. 23

CARVER: Songs to celebrate

CARVER: Songs to celebrate

at the Princess Of Wales. To order tickets, click here … and what do Brent Carver, Michael Burgess, Bruce Dow, Ted Dykstra, Melanie Doane, Theresa Tova, Adam Brazier, Sharron Matthews, Avery Saltzman, Aaron Walpole, Elicia MacKenzie (Maria in The Sound Of Music) and cast members from Jersey Boys all have in common? They’re all performing in Songs & Celebration, a November fundraiser for the Harold Green Jewish Theatre company hosted by Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath. For more information, and to order tickets, just click here.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Dancap chief Aubrey Dan is honourary chair of the third annual Bright Lights Of Broadway scholarship

PARSONS: coming to T.O.

PARSONS: coming to T.O.

fundraiser at the Carlu on Oct. 28 …Cheyenne Jackson, currently providing the swoon quotient for the Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow, will be moonlighting this season in a guest stint on 30 Rock, playing the new cast member Alec Baldwin wants Tina Fey to hire … who’da thunk it? Tie Domi is surprisingly fast on his feet in CBC’s current Battle Of The Blades competition. Can’t wait to watch him trip the light fantastic tonight with Rick Mercer on the Rick Mercer Report … and Oscar winner Estelle Parsons (remember Bonnie & Clyde?) reprises her praise-winning Broadway turn as Violet, the matriarch from hell, when Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning drama August:

DOMI & MERCER: on ice tonight

DOMI & MERCER: on ice tonight

Osage County opens here next month  for a limited 10-night run.

WOT’S IN A NAME: A new reality show on BBC America features an imperious retail consultant Mary Portas — “What I don’t know about shops isn’t worth knowing” – who attempts to bring elegance to one tacky clothing store each episode. The name of the series? Mary Queen Of Shops … and the new Monty Python series that launched in the U.S. last weekend has a great title too: Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut.) Episode titles for the six-part IFC

PYTHON: Almost the truth

PYTHON: Almost the truth

series, appropriately sponsored by Beefeater gin, are equally engaging, e.g., The Not-So-Exciting Beginnings, The Much Funnier Second Episode and The Last Episode Ever … For Now. Don’t know why I’m surprised; who else would dub their electronic home base Monty Python’s Completely Useless Website? In any case, Python devotees are already waiting for the DVD to come out do they can add it to their collection, but the good news is that Bravo! will premiere the series in Canada, starting this Saturday at 9 pm. So don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

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

Q: What do the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Argonauts and the Toronto Blue Jays all have in common besides being based in Toronto ?
A.
None of them can play hockey.

TOMORROW: All about GLEE.

-/-

Jane kicks up her heels again, Mike gets his own tribute and Ms Atwood goes back to Year One

BROADWAY BABIES: 30 Rock scene-stealer Jane Krakowski, who made her name in the Broadway musical Grand Hotel and won a Tony for dazzling

KRAKOWSKI: song & dance

KRAKOWSKI: song & dance

Antonio Banderas in Nine, is finally getting back to full-time singing and dancing, if only temporarily. Due to her shooting schedule her cheeky tongue-in cheek cabaret act at Feinstein’s, Jane Krakowski Has Sold Out…Tickets Available, must close tomorrow night at Loew’s Regency … Laurie Metcalf, who picked up three Emmys playing Roseanne‘s sister on Roseanne, is back on Broadway starring as the mother in the first full-scale revival of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs. She’ll continue to reprise her role in Broadway Bound, the second play in Simon’s autobiographical comedy, when both shows play in rep at the Nederlander. Brighton Beach Memoirs opens Oct. 25; Broadway Bound begins previews Nov. 18 and opens Dec. 10 … and Academy

METCALF: Broadway bound

METCALF: Broadway bound

and Tony Award winner Mike Nichols will be honored with the American Film Institute’s 38th annual Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. “I’m surprised and pleased,” dead-panned the impish director of such films as Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf and Angels In America. “I was watching The Graduate on my Blackberry last week and it really holds up!”

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Why do we watch movies on planes that we wouldn’t watch anywhere else? Margaret Atwood tweets that she disgraced herself by watching Year One, the sophomoric comedy spoof with Jack Black and Michael Cera, on her way to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Guess she consoled herself with news that her Year Of The Flood was

McGOWAN: Julie's ex on The Border

McGOWAN: Julie's ex on The Border

#8 on the New York Times bestseller list by the time she landed in Germany … Doug Coupland thinks Ed O’Neill’s new show Modern Family “is just pure genius. It’s sooooo well written.” A technology geek, Coupland finds delightful and absurdly obscure video clips and posts them on Twitter – for example, this gem with Mr. T, Loni Anderson, George Hamilton and Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton in the same Lipton commercial. Coupland, whose new book Generation A is due in book stores, reports he lost his cell phone a few weeks ago, but instead of hyperventilating he’s discovered that he simply doesn’t think about it any more. “Didn’t expect that to happen!” Me neither … and Darryl’s Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival returns to Toronto tomorrow night for one night only at

O'NEILL: new series

O'NEILL: new series

the Bloor Cinema with its 10th annual show featuring funny short films about sex from Canada and around the globe.

EXES & OOOHS: Yesterday I told you that Julie Stewart, currently on stage at the Factory Theatre in Brad Fraser’srave-winning new comedy True Love Lies, also plays Graham Abbey’s ex onThe Border.

Wrong! Julie plays James McGowan’s ex on The Border. And yes, I really can tell those two guys apart. (sigh)

Oh well. Happens in the best of families.

KUTCHER: start 'er up

KUTCHER: start 'er up

YA GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK: Thanks to Ashton Kutcher for sending me (and maybe a million others) news of that new iPhone app that lets you start your car from your phone. I would start saving up for it but I’m saving up for a new TV set instead. No, not HD – 3D. Yup, Panasonic unveiled its prototype 50-inch Viera plasma 3-D set in Tokyo this week. Apparently it’s a wow. The technology works by rapidly alternating between left and right frames of the video. Viewers wear glasses that sync with the television over an infrared signal. The right frame is seen only with the right eye and the left frame with the left eye, creating the illusion of depth.

So all they have to do now is persuade producers to make reality TV shows in 3-D, and we’ll have even more reasons to go back to the movies.

Have a great weekend!

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Meryl stops by before re-teaming with Kevin, and Debbie’s daughter is a Broadway baby now

FOOTLIGHTS: Dynamic screen duo Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, who made history 25 years ago in Sophie’s Choice, will perform an evening of Shakespeare as a benefit for The Acting Company, the Juilliard offshoot that

KLINE: Meryl's choice

KLINE: Meryl's choice

gave Kline his start. Conceived and directed by Kline, The Lover and the Poet: An Evening of Shakespeare will be held at the 400-seat Florence Gould Hall on November 2. Before that, however, they’ll team up with Daniel Craig, Maggie Gyllenhaal,Mike Nichols and Austin Pendleton in a one-night benefit performance of Courage in Concert at the Public Theatre on October 19. In the meantime some chosen few lucky ticket-buyers will get to see Ms Streep in person tonight at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, where she’ll participate in a Q&A with Globe & Mail film analyst Johanna Schneller.

ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, YES, BUT SUCH A PRETTY ONE: As a presenter she’s handed out hardware to her Star Wars mentor George Lucas and co-star Harrison Ford, but Carrie Fisher says she gave up on hoping for Acting awards a long time ago.

FISHER: wishful winning

FISHER: wishful winning

She admits she still hoped that she might win “just a little one” for her writing – plaudits for Postcards From The Edge? prizes for The Best Awful or Surrender The Pink? — but alas, no awards have materialized so far.

“I now get awards all the time for being mentally ill,” the bi-polar Fisher notes. “I am apparently very good at it, and I get honoured for it regularly.”

She’s awfully good at writing, too. Which is one of the reasons writers ranging from playwright Terence McNally to novelist Salman Rushdie joined movie stars ranging from Jane Fonda to Harvey Keitel for the opening of Carrie’s one-woman tour-de-force Wishful Drinking last Sunday on Broadway. Fisher made her Broadway debut in 1973 (yessssss, 1973) as part of the chorus backing up her mother Debbie Reynolds in the revival of Irene, but had toured with her even earlier than that, in her mom’s glitzy road show. Those of you with

DEBBIE: still in harness

DEBBIE: still in harness

reeeeally long memories may recall Carrie, still a teenager, standing on stage at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto in 1970, singing her mom’s hit ballad Tammy while Debbie was backstage making a quick costume change. By the time she played in Irene, Carrie was a seasoned ‘road warrior’ who had seen her MGM-bred mother dump legendary British director Sir John Gielgud (who was still struggling with the musical when it played the Royal Alex for four weeks on its way to New York) for her old studio pal Gower Champion. Champion, a choreographer who lived up to his name, who had already staged a hit musical called Hello, Dolly and pulled Irene into such dazzling shape that it ran for more than 600 performances. (When Debbie grew weary of it, her MGM gal pal Jane Powell took over the rest of the run for her.) Ah yes, them were the days.

STREEP: in Toronto tonight

STREEP: in Toronto tonight

Debbie, of course, is still alive and high-kicking at 77. This month she and her personal musicians will take her show, An Evening With Debbie Reynolds, to the Julie Rogers Theatre in Beaumont, Texas for a breast cancer fund-raiser. 
Meanwhile, there’s good news for those of us who hunger for more of Carrie’s wickedly witty prose. She’s working on a new book – a collection of stories from movie sets of “films I pretended to act in.” Hope she includes Shampoo.

And speaking of those writing honours that keep eluding her – considering those rave reviews, wouldn’t it be funny if she gets Tony-nominated as both the author of Wishful Drinking and as lead actress in a play?

Stranger things have happened.

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Now where was I? … ah yes, as I was saying …

Can’t say I wasn’t warned.

I believe the Latin term for it is bloggus interruptus.

It’s that peculiar brand of self-delusion that makes you believe you can still blog while you’re 30,000 feet up in the air, or on a train speeding through Switzerland, or, or …

GARBER: winner

GARBER: winner

You can’t. Well, at least, I can’t. And so I’ve finally learned. (I hope.) I didn’t run out of steam. I didn’t run out of things to blog about. I just ran out of time to blog ’em. Time-management is not my strong suit. Never has been, Never will be. I still make a daily To Do lists that Hercules himself would need a week to accomplish, and at the end of the day I am still mystified because, despite the dozens that may already be crossed off, so many items still remain To Do.

Rationally, of course, I fully expect to miss a blog deadline every now and then. But not for 10 days in a row!!

My bad.  And mine to correct.

Meanwhile:

RIVERS: roastee

RIVERS: roastee

 

TO THIS VICTOR GO THE SPOILS: Four-time Tony nominee and six-time Emmy nominee Victor Garber (Alias, Milk,) who received a big welcome home from Broadway when he moved back to New York from L.A., will miss the Tony Awards this year. On Sunday June 7 Garber will be in Alberta to receive the Cineflix Award of Excellence at the 30th edition of the Banff World Television Festival …  Robin Williams has rescheduled his cancelled March stint at Casino Rama and will now do two nights on Nov 11 & Nov 12 … triumphant 75-year-old Celebrity Apprentice Joan Rivers — “just think of me as Joan Of AARP!” she told Larry King earlier this week – will be alternately feted and fricasseed by her comedy contemporaries at her very own Comedy Central Roast on July 26, slated for telecast two weeks later on Aug. 9. She’s also picked up another Emmy nomination,this time for her voiceover work on the PBS animated series ARTHUR  … and what’s this? A new music group from Bollywood called Ruby Dhalla & The Nannies? No doubt about it, Double Exposure are back on the case. And you can check it out right here.

DOANE: glory-voiced

DOANE: glory-voiced

 

ALL THAT JAZZ:  Glory-voiced Melanie Doane is set to sing new arrangements of songs by Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Hank Snow and more, May 26 & 27 at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre …  still-vibrant song virtuoso Stevie Wonder is set to open the 30th annual Montreal Jazz Festival with a free outdoor concert on June 30. Wonder will give the inaugural concert at La Place des festivals, the Montreal festival site whose official opening is not scheduled until September. Also scheduled to celebrate the three-decade jamfest: Oliver Jones, Dave Brubeck and Tony Bennett  … and Ray Parker Jr., Kool & The Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire are set to shake up the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 15.

NIXON: closing

NIXON: closing

 

PEOPLE: Law & Order alumnus Chris Noth, aka Carrie Bradshaw’s Mr. Big in Sex & The City, hosts One Night Live, a once in a lifetime concert  with Sting, Sheryl Crow and the Canadian Tenors to benefit the Women & Babies Program at Sunnybrook Hospital,next Thursday at the Air Canada Centre … perennially popular ivory-tickler Ken Lindsay continues to win new fans Thursdays and Fridays at Statler’s on Church street … and Cynthia Nixon (aka Carrie’s Bradshaw confidante Miranda) closes on Broadway this Sunday  in Lisa Loomer’s disarmingly funny look at parenting in the age of the Internet and Ritalin, Distracted.

FOOTLIGHTS: The artistic Director  of Toronto’s newest South Asian theatre company, Anand Rajaram kicks off Dishoom!, a new South Asian performance

WONDER: Montreal-bound

WONDER: Montreal-bound

festival, anchored by a remount of his Summerworks hit Cowboys & Indians (with music maven Bob Wiseman) on May 23 at the Factory Theatre  …two diverse dance companies, Toronto’s COBA and Britain’s Tavaziva Dance, collaborate to present City of Tribes May 28-30 at Harbourfront’s Fleck Dance Theatre … it’s an ill wind that blows no good. The current recession is proving to be a bonanza for theatre lovers who seldom have the dough to purchase top-dollar ducats. Reduced prices abound from here to Broadway – e.g., buy one full-price ticket for Guys & Dolls and buy a second one for only $7.77, buy an adult ticket to Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas spectacular, ticket, get a free ticket for a child under 12 — and closer to home summer seat sales are sparking box office at both Stratford and Shaw.

* * * 

Have a great long weekend.

See you Tuesday!