Toronto Raptors fans aren't the only ones straining their necks for a better squint at comedian and movie star Chris Rock. Between courtside appearances at games against his beloved New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks at the Air Canada Centre, he hit the stage before Ronnie Edwards' headline slot last week at Yuk Yuk's Superclub and showed up for surprise sets two Saturdays in a row at the Laugh Resort.
He's in town shooting the second remake of Heaven Can Wait (playing the Warren Beatty role, with Eugene Levy in Buck Henry's) penned by Resort regular, stand-up Louis C.K., last weekend's featured act. Host Harry Doupe reports that Rock is spewing all new stuff - so new that some folks found it decidedly unfunny - and is apparently convinced that life ends at 35. For Rock-watchers, Sunday's (February 27) All Black Comedy Sunday at Yuk Yuk's Superclub is a good place to stake out.
Canadian Stage lives by its name for its 2000-2001 season. The Canadian content begins with Brad Fraser and Joey Miller's musical adaptation of the Craig Russell film Outrageous. Look for a public workshop next month before the September premiere.
Later in the season comes another musical adaptation, of Carol Shields's Larry's Party, written by Richard Ouzounian and Marek Norman, featuring Brent Carver and directed by Robin Phillips. There's also an unnamed piece by puppeteer extraordinaire Ronnie Burkett - likely Happy, which he unveils at World Stage - and a revival of Ann-Marie MacDonald's marvellous tweaking of Shakespeare, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), directed by Alisa Palmer. For the first time, the playwright herself steps into the leading role.
Every time mega-bucks Hollywood darling Jim Carrey has a little emotional breakdown, his long-time best pal and veteran Yuk Yuk's stand-up soldier Wayne Flemming wings it out to la-la land to lend him a shoulder to cry on.
Well, now that Flemming is recovering from a brain aneurysm he suffered over the holidays and is unable to work, it's only fitting that Carrey get off his ass - he is on a year's hiatus from the flicks, after all - and return the favour by coming home to grace the stage of the Kenny Robinson-produced benefit spectacular Friends Of Flemm, set for March 14 at Yuk's Superclub. It's high time to give something back, Jimbo.
Rex Harrington may rule, but there's a new queen at the National Ballet of Canada. Or at least a princess. That's what dance enthusiasts were discussing at Onegin's opening night.
Second soloist Xiao Nan Yu made a stunning debut as Tatiana to Harrington's solid Onegin. Beautiful line, dramatic depth, a little cautious, but glowing with charisma.
Apparently, the National hasn't pushed a second soloist into the opening spotlight since Karen Kain's day. Big pointe shoes to fill, but Yu might just do it.