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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!

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Nurse Jackie gets a pick-up, Michel plays Irving, and T.O. theatre-goers get three decades of Doras

FALCO: she's the right Rx

FALCO: she's the right Rx

BEDSIDE MANNERS: American  television has clearly has taken a turn for the nurse. Fans of Sopranos scene-stealer Edie Falco, and they are legion, will be delighted to learn that her new almost three-week-old series Nurse Jackie has already been picked up for a second season …  and Jada Pinkett Smith is following in her mother’s footsteps, playing nurse Christina Hawthorne in HawthoRNe. (No, that’s not a typo. And yes, it really is a bit too cute. But then, here we are talking about it.) Ms. Pinkett Smith’s mom worked as a head nurse at a Baltimore women’s clinic, but in her new series, created by John Masius (St. Elsewhere) and produced by her hubbyWill Smith, Jada says her character is basically a woman with a God complex that’s really going to have to, like, get real. She’s going to have to learn to take care of herself as intensely as the patients.”

Sounds like a prescription for another hit show.

We’ll see.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: He conquered Stratford, won our hearts on TV as Tommy Douglas, wowed us on stage in The Producers and even survived the musical version of Lord Of The Rings. Now Michel Therriault is

THERRIAULT: Call him Irving

THERRIAULT: Call him Irving

about to play U.S. legend Irving Berlin off-Broadway in a new what-if musical called The Tin Pan Alley Rag. Described as a ‘musical play,’ it’s the story of an imagined meeting of two of America’s greatest musicians, composer Scott Joplin (Michael Boatman) and songwriter Berlin and the stories of fame, love and loss beneath their syncopated, frequently hypnotic rhythms … speaking of Stratford, award-laden director Norman Jewison says Stratford’s current production of West Side Story is the best he’s seen since the show first opened on Broadway more than (gulp!) half a century ago … sad news for you if you meant to but didn’t get around to ordering tickets: Every performance of the Tarragon Theatre remount of one-woman whirlwind Judith Thompson’s Body & Soul has been sold out since the curtain went up last week … Ray Jessel returns to our town to cabaret at the Old Mill next Saturday June 27 during The Toronto Jazz Festival … and Rick Mercer Report producer Gerald Lunz got an extra show on Broadway this week when he caught all three

DeVITO: too bloody funny?

DeVITO: too bloody funny?

installments of the revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquests, performed in the round at the Circle in the Square. Danny DeVito, who was sitting across the stage from him, literally doubled over with laughter, bounced his face off the seat in front of him, and split his lip. Now that’s comedy!

FOOTLIGHTS: Risking The Void, a comprehensive retrospective of stage designer Cameron Porteous’ remarkable contribution to theatre in Canada, opens Saturday July 4 at The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre at Niagara-on-the-Lake. The ambitious exhibit is a collaboration by Theatre Museum Canada, the University of Guelph’s L.W. Conolly Theatre Archives and the Shaw Festival … WatersEdge Productions, a new independent theatre

JEWISON: Stratford aficionado

JEWISON: Stratford aficionado

company, will debut in T.O, with the Canadian premiere of bare, a new rock musical that garnered a worldwide fan base since its award-winning run in L.A. and its sold-out five-week run off-Broadway. The show, in which an exuberant young cast of 19 actors tackles themes of teen sexuality, religious angst and unrelenting social and family pressure – yup, it’s a musical, I kid you not – opens July 17 at Hart House … shhhhh, it’s a secret, but my spies tell me the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts is polishing up a special award for superProducer Marlene Smith. To which we can only add, bravo!  … doesn’t seem possible that this is the 30th anniversary of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Imagine three decades of Doras! …  and soon you won’t have to. Theatre-goers attending the June 29 awards will receive an elegant bonus — a special book, The Doras: 30 Years of Theatre, Dance and Opera in Toronto. Edited by Angela Rebeiro, the new book will be distributed free of charge to all guests at the Award Show ceremony. It will go on sale at TheatreBooks after the show … and speaking of the Doras, have you cast your vote for the Audience Choice Award? If you haven’t, you’ve only got a few days left – polls close June 25. So just take a deep breath and click here.

A TOMLIN NEVER FORGETS: American treasure Lily Tomlin wants me to let you know that tomorrow is not just another Saturday.

TOMLIN: on a mission

TOMLIN: on a mission

“On Saturday, June 20, compassionate people around the world will unite to educate the public about the suffering of elephants in zoos, as part of the first-ever International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos,” says Lily. “Events are taking place in more than 30 cities in seven countries. I strongly urge you to attend an event, if there’s one in your area. Visit HelpElephants.com to see a list of locations.”

Lily’s using her wowOwow. com website to get her message out to as many people as possible.

“From some of the comments I’ve read in response to the issue of elephants in zoos, I’ve come to realize that people are just so used to seeing elephants in tiny displays that they accept that as being OK,” she says. “But it isn’t. While a zoo exhibit may appear big to us, to an elephant it’s miniscule. And don’t forget that elephants are forced to live their entire lives in that same spot, deprived of all that is natural to them: space, freedom, family and choice.”

For more on Lily’s plea for your help, click here.

And have a great weekend!

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