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Ms Vardalos gets her Greek god, Ms Murray teaches us a lesson, and Ms Fonda twitters at the Tonys

MEET MR. GORGEOUS: We don’t know him over here, but Nia Vardalos’ leading man in My Life In Ruins, Alexis Georgoulis, is apparently the George Clooney of Greece. After audience reaction to him at the first sneak previews,

VARDALOS & GEORGOULIS: Mr. Gorgeous?

VARDALOS & GEORGOULIS: Mr. Gorgeous?

 the U.S. press has started calling him Alex Gorgeous. “Which I think is apropos,” Vardalos told wowOwow web writer Kristin Fritz. “One reviewer said, because apparently I have an every-woman look, and I have this gorgeous, Greek god as my male lead, the reviewer basically said, ‘Who do you think you are?’ And I’m like, umm, hi. No one. I’m just an every-woman. And in the same way that Seth Rogen gets Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up, and Paul Giamatti gets Virginia Madsen in Sideways, yes, my character gets the Greek god in this one.”

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “At a very young age I learned from my parents to have respect for all people no matter what race, religion or station in life. Respect takes on many forms. Respect is being on time: your time is no more important than others. Respect is being prepared: people are relying on you. Respect is treating everyone with dignity. The janitor, the gardener, the CEO should all be acknowledged and appreciated for the jobs they do. My father taught me to always stand up when being introduced to someone. When you shake his hand, look him in the eye. Take time; remember his name; make him feel special.”

MURRAY: wise wotds

MURRAY: wise words

The speaker? Supersongstress Anne Murray, to graduating students at the  University of Prince Edward Island. Murray, whose hit Music Of My Life special encored last weekend on CBC Television, is currently putting the final touches on her memoirs for October publication. But she’ll still be spending most of the summer in Nova Scotia and looks forward to greeting her legions of fans on July 25 for 20th anniversary celebrations of the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill.

EVERY LITTLE MOVEMENT:  New showbiz sport is trying to spot Twitterbugs at major theatrical openings. Did you notice that Jane Fonda was all a-Twitter at the Tony Awards two nights ago? Fonda has just returned from a trip

FONDA: Tony Twitterer

FONDA: Tony Twitterer

to the Galapagos with a group that included Angela Lansbury’s nephew David Lansbury. When David’s aunt won her fifth Tony, as Best Featured Actress for Blithe Spirit, Fonda noted, “as usual, she was graciousness incarnate.”  But she admitted she was as surprised as we were when Next To Normal “won best new score, beating Elton and Dolly. I haven’t seen it — yet.” Fonda and her fellow nominees were also enlisted as impromptu extras: “We’ve just all been handed throw-away lighters, I guess to light up during an upcoming Rock of Ages number,” she reported.  When the cast of Hair danced into the orchestra seats, she said, one of them landed in the lap of her pal and fellow nominee Janet McTeer. “This number from Hair really makes me wanna see it,” she added. After she lost the best actress prize to Marcia Gay Harden, Fonda was still sanguine. “For me it felt like a prize just getting to this. Janet McTeer and I will now go have some vodkas with impunity.” And after Hair won Best Musical Revival, Fonda footnoted, “I swear, half the audience is up there to accept the Tony!”

 

SPACEY: Tony talk

SPACEY: Tony talk

Yeah, there did seem to be a lot of that going on. Meanwhile, unless you were in a musical, you could hardly get arrested on this year’s unfortunate televised event. Mind you, Poison rocker Bret Michael came pretty close when he got bonked by the descending backdrop and ended up with a broken nose. Quipped Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody: “I’m concerned about Bret Michaels’ fractured nose. An acute sense of smell is essential to his dating process.” Meanwhile, stage & screen lion Kevin Spacey told New York Post scribe Michael Riedel he thinks the Tonys should be taken over by PBS, directed by Broadway veteran Mike Nichols and given the formality and inclusiveness that the theater deserves.

Dunno who would pick up the tab, but it sounds like a darn good idea to me.  

-/-

You win some, you lose some

Joan Rivers is on QVC today – the U.S. forerunner of our Shopping Channel, as if you didn’t know – selling  jewelry from her high-profile Boardroom Collection.

The power of television!” La Rivers marveled on Twitter this morning. “The jewelry I wore last night on Celebrity Apprentice is being worn by the models at QVC and is almost sold out!”

RIVERS: no Dice

RIVERS: no Dice

 

After last night’s two-hour opener  — which saw Joan’s team trounce Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker‘s all-male team – Rivers received lotsa pro & con reaction to some of her team members, including brainy Playboy playmate Brande Roderick and Alpha-female poker champion Annie Duke. When some of her friends called her to say how much they hate Annie, team leader Rivers remained uncharacteristically mum. “I could lie and tell them they’re wrong,” she twittered, “but then my nose would grow back.”

And who thought potty-mouth master Andrew Dice Clay would be the first celebrity apprentice to be fired? (Besides Andrew Dice Clay, I mean?)

I’m already looking forward to the second installment next Sunday.

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FALLING UP: After more than three decades of filing daily reports, much-loved New York showbiz columnist Liz Smith is nowhere to be seen in Manhattan newspapers this week. Now a celebratory 86, Liz got sacked last week by her current tabloid address, the New York Post.

SMITH: tabloid-free

SMITH: tabloid-free

 

Still a regular blogger and TV gossipist, Liz considered herself just another newsprint casualty until reporter James Barron put her on the front page of the New York Times.  And then the phone calls and emails started pouring in.

“Liz, I think you have fallen a step up in leaving the Post,” Carol Burnett told her. Canadian crooner Michael Bublé, who had serenaded Liz at her 80th birthday bash, took time to call her. So did Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg. “I also received a love note from the wonderful singer Josh Groban,” says Liz, “and loving support by e-mail from John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Sly Stallone.”

She also heard from Madonna, who asked, “What is New York without Liz Smith?”

Tom Brokaw called, and so did Warren Beatty. Liz also had “a riotous conversation” with Frost/Nixon star Frank Langella.  And her pal Candice Bergen sent her a cheery message “not appropriate for family reading.”

Ironically, you can catch up with Liz even more easily now, on www.wowOwow.com.

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As expected, Carrie Fisher’s comments on this year’s Oscar weekend were true to form. (“Oh my God, there’s Madonna! Is she with that Jesus guy? Were you invited to her party with Demi on the night of the telecast? Yeah, me neither.”) Good news is that Sean Penn’s Milk producer Bruce Cohen is also producing the adaptation of Carrie last book, The Best Awful, a 4-hour thing miniseries to star Meg Ryan. Meanwhile Carrie has turned out yet another bestseller almost as funny as she is. Addicted to wordplay – remember her novel Delusions Of Grandma? – this one is called Wishful Drinking, and it’s all about growing up with Debbie & Eddie in Hollywood. But more about that (lots) tomorrow.