Tag Archives: TONY BENNETT

Who wouldn’t talk about Hef, who got shortchanged in my TIFF tally, and who took home the hardware

GOOD MORNING, TORONTO: Welcome to another razzle-dazzle week of entertainment in Our Town.  Among the notable treats in store: The Boys In The Photograph, the new Andrew Lloyd Weber–Ben Elton musical about

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

young men and women involved with a neighbourhood soccer team in Belfast in 1969, opens tomorrow night at the Royal Alex … DanceWorks opens its new show, Namesake: three, on Wednesday at Harbourfront’s Enwave Theatre … also opening Wednesday: The new Allen Cole-Melody Johnson-Rick Roberts collaboration, Mimi (or A Poisoner’s Comedy) at the Tarragon  … Darren Anthony’s new concert show, Secrets Of A Black Boy, produced by his sister Trey (Da Kink In My Hair) Anthony, opens at the Music Hall on Friday, the same night conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Anton Kuerti, Richard Margison and more launch a reportedly spectacular new

RIVERS: Saturday night

RIVERS: Saturday night

Royal Conservatory music venue, Koerner Hall, in the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning on Bloor Street West … Chick Corea and Sophie Milman christen the hall with jazz the following night … Celebrity Apprentice champ and TSC favourite Joan Rivers plays Casino Rama that same Saturday night … and Kevin Hearn, Raine Maida, Steven Page and Sarah Slean are among the celebrated warblers who will lend their voices when Andrew Burashko’s Art Of Time Ensemble salutes the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road with a re-imagined, re-invented concert version running two nights only, this Saturday and Sunday, also at the Enwave.

And that’s just for starters, folks.

MY BAD: It’s easy to get cross-eyed when so many stars come to town at the same time. At least, that’s my lame excuse for telling you that Colin Farrell and

BETTANY: double-header

BETTANY: double-header

Julianne Moore ruled the TIFF roost this year with three, count them, three films each, while celebrated runners-up George Clooney, Colin Firth and Amands Seyfried each appeared in two TIFF entries. All of which is true, except for two guys I forgot to mention. Don’t know how I missed him, but Willem Dafoe also deserved to be in that top spot with Colin and Julianne, as he appeared in no less than three TIFF titles this year: Antichrist, Daybreakers and Farewell. Sorry about that, Willem. And yes, Paul Bettany, who played Charles Darwin in the opening night film Creation and Lord Melbourne in the closing night film Young Victoria, should have been listed with Clooney, Firth and the young Ms Seyfried in second place. And yes, I’m just hoping I didn’t miss anyone else.

PLAYBOY OF THE EASTERN FILM FESTIVAL: After three capacity crowds jammed the TIFF cinemas where her much-discussed documentary on Hugh Hefner premiered last week, director Brigitte Berman admitted that

BENNETT: talking about Hef

BENNETT: talking about Hef

by the time she finished shooting she had an embarrassment of riches, and had to delete scenes she loved from the original version to bring the film to a more manageable size. Deletions included interviews with the magazine magnate’s two sons, and the stories they tell about how they were treated in high school as Hugh Hefner’s offspring are apparently so fascinating that Berman intends to include that footage as a separate feature when the film is released on DVD. At a Q&A after the film she informed us that Playboy is the second best-known brand in the world — “Coca-Cola is number one,” she added — and that the toughest interview subject to secure, surprisingly, was Tony Bennett. “His agent is very protective of him, as he should be. But as soon as Tony was told of the request, he was all for it, and just a pleasure to work with.”

Did any key players from Hef’s past actually turn her down? “Yes,” replied the ever-candid Oscar-winning director — “Gloria Steinem, Jules Pfeiffer and Bill Cosby.”

WHO WON WHAT: As T.O. filmfest chief Piers Handling noted on Saturday night, TIFF delivered not only 335 films but also 10 days of consecutive sunshine – “the summer we did not have.” But thanks to superb programming, meticulous planning and the more than 2,000 volunteers (!!) who help make it happen, it was truly a festival to remember.

CLARKSON: winning film

CLARKSON: winning film

Finally, just in case you missed it, here’s who took home the hardware from the 34th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

– Best Canadian Short Film: Pedro Pires, Danse Macabre. Honourable mention: Jamie Travis,The Armoire.

– Best Canadian First Feature Film: Alexandre Franchi, The Wild Hunt.

– Best Canadian Feature Film: Ruba Nadda, Cairo Time, with Patricia Clarkson, Tom McCamus and Alexander Siddig. Special Jury Citation: Bernard Émond, La Donation (The Legacy).

– FIPRESCI Prize (Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics for Discovery:) Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, The Man Beyond the Bridge (India).

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

– FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations: Bruno Dumont, Hadewijch (France).

– People’s Choice Award: Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. First runner-up:  Bruce Beresford, Mao’s Last Dancer. Second runner-up: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Micmacs (Micmacs à tirelarigot).

– People’s Choice Award – Documentary: Leanne Pooley, The Topp Twins. Runner-up: Michael Moore, Capitalism: A Love Story.

– People’s Choice Award – Midnight Madness: Sean Byrne, The Loved Ones. Runner-up: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, Daybreakers.

TOMORROW:

Margaret Atwood, Twyla Tharp, Rick Mercer, and more.

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Jian gets Matt, Rama gets Tony, Much gets David, TIFF gets Sarah (AND Julie!) & Anne walks the Walk

OUR TOWN: Still the biggest draw in the history of CBC Radio, Jian Ghomeshi and Q return for a new season this morning with special guest

DAMON: on 'Q' this morning

DAMON: on 'Q' this morning

Matt Damon. Damon, in town for the TIFF screening of his new flick The Informant, has now been named the recipient of the American Cinemateque Award next March, following in the footsteps of previous honourees Julia Roberts and Samuel A. Jackson … French DJ David Guetta, who rocked the Guvernment on Sunday night, is scheduled to greet fans at MuchMusic today. His new CD One Love debuted here at #2 … don’t look for Tony Bennett at the opening of TIFF on Thursday. He’ll be serenading fans at Casino Rama …  sidewalk star owner Anne Murray returns to King Street this weekend to host Blue Rodeo, Kim Cattrall, Tom Cochrane, Howie Mandel and Robert Munsch, among

BENNETT: Barrie-bound

BENNETT: Barrie-bound

others, at the 12th annual Canada’s Walk of Fame Tribute … speaking of veteran music-makers, Loggins & Messina are set to play Fallsview Casino this coming Friday and Saturday nights. Slightly closer to home, The Smothers Brothers play Casino Rama on Friday followed by Black Crowes on Saturday … terminally gorgeous Cheryl Tiegs brightened Breakfast Television this morning in City TV’s new digs at Yonge-Dundas Square … keep wishing you could go on one of those sensational tours of Ontario wine country? Me too. Especially when I learned that more than 90 (!!) Ontario wines will be available for sampling next week at Taste Ontario, a one-night-only event at the Art Gallery Of Ontario: “Tour the best of wine country for only $45!” Hey, I’d love to! … but alas, it’s all sold out.

MS. SOMEBODY: We loved her work as a writer and director on Away From Her, but we must admit we’re really looking forward to seeing her on

POLLEY: on screen again in Mr Nobody

POLLEY: on screen again in Mr Nobody

screen again. Sarah Polley, who seems to get better and better each time we see her, co-stars with Jared Leto, Diane Kruger and Linh-Dan Pham in Mr. Nobody, a new TIFF entry by much-admired Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael. Insiders whisper you should add it to your Must List right now … meanwhile Polley’s Oscar-nominated Away From Her leading lady, iconic British beauty Julie Christie, also co-stars in a new Special Presentation film: Glorious 39, from director Stephen Poliakoff … and TIFF-bound filmmaker Joe Dante, currently on jury duty at the Venice Film Festival, will wing his way

CHRISTIE: Polley protegee (AP)

CHRISTIE: Polley protegee (AP)

here in time to introduce his new film The Hole as well as a special TIFF screening of the W.C. Fields classic It’s A Gift.

WILL ‘CATCH ME’ CATCH ON?: In the Good Ol’ Bad Ol’ Days, gentle reader, Hollywood took big Broadway musicals and turned them into lavish movie musicals. Now Broadway takes movies like Hairspray and Billy Elliott and turns them into lavish stage musicals. Latest casualty is Dolly Parton’s tuneful 9 to 5, which closed Saturday night. Newest pretender about to open on the Great White Way? The musical version of Catch Me If You Can, the hit Steven Spielberg drama with Leonardo DiCaprio as a compulsive but irresistible

DICAPRIO: with foxy flight attendants in Catch Me If You Can

DICAPRIO: with foxy flight attendants in Catch Me If You Can

impostor. Leo is not, I repeat, not repeating his role on Broadway. But with a book by Terrence McNally (The Full Monty) and music and lyrics by Hairspray duo Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman, the show is already creating some boxoffice sizzle.

Still to come in the new year: Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in The Addams Family, and the $40 million musical extravaganza Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, directed by Julie Taymor.

TOMORROW:

new films for Leo,  Zach and Charlize — and 13 Essential directors

-/-

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!