Jane O’Hara January 8 1979


Jane O’Hara January 8 1979


As world premieres go, Edmonton's Citadel Theatre is a critical dis-

tance from Broadway or London’s West End, but that didn’t stop American composer Charles Strouse (Golden Boy, Applause) from opening his latest musical there entitled Flowers For Algernon. Starring Paul Rudd and Christine Ebersolde, Flowers found its way to Edmonton on the strength of Strouse’s longtime association with the Citadel’s artistic director, Peter Coe. “I landed the play when I was down in New York earlier this year looking for properties,” explained British-born Coe. “Charles called me and asked me if I wanted to direct it in New York. I told him I’d do it in Edmonton and he said fine.” Coe will direct the show when it opens in New York early this year, but he’s hoping to have more luck with it than with the last Strouse piece he directed. Entitled Six, the musical never made it to Broadway.

he cape was pure camp, but when Count Dracula showed up at the mayor’s blood-donor clinic at Toronto City Hall last week, Red Cross volunteers quivered at the thought of competition. They needn’t have worried. Dra-

cula wasn’t making a pit stop. In the person of Jean LeClerc, a 32-year-old Montreal actor playing the title role in Dracula at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, the legendary Transylvanian vampire was merely doing a publicity stunt, hoping to suck out a little ink for the show he’ll take to Broadway in April. Although he declined to part with a pint of his own “very good, very rare 500year-old blood,” 471 donors did roll up their sleeves while cautiously jesting with the count. Said LeClerc of Dracula: “He’s really a very charming person whom you’d like to invite to your home for Sunday brunch. He’s a gentleman with spirit, grace and manners who just happens to be a vampire.”

ith a song in his heart and a pucker in his lips, Winnipeg Q.C. Harvey Pollock, the 1977 world whistling champion, has a whistle for any occasion. Naturally, he whistles while he works or whenever he feels afraid, but last October when the College of Cardinals elected Polish Pope John Paul II, Pollock celebrated the occasion by whistling Chopin’s Heroic Polonaise on CBC radio. Now Pollock has put out his first album, called The Whistler, an ambitious recording with backing by members of the Winnipeg Symphony. Included on the LP are such tunes as a theme from Swan Lake, the second movement from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik— and Mairzy Doats. Pollock’s New Year’s resolution: “That I achieve a perfect pucker and an abundance of wind and that I continue to satisfy the courts and all my clients without having to whistle for my fees.”

t was enough to give anyone an advanced case of claustrophobia, but the only ill effects of 17-year-old Mike Lee’s world record-setting stunt was that he was constantly hearing bells. No wonder. Lee, a Burnaby, B.C., Grade 12 student, recently spent 600 hours (Dec. 2 to Dec. 27) in a suburban Vancouver telephone booth in an attempt to make it into the Guinness Book of World

Records. Answering up to 200 calls a day, Lee slept in a down-filled sleeping bag, ate hamburgers supplied by a local store and used the allotted five-minuteper-hour rest period to go to the bathroom. After raising $4,300 for the B.C. Lions Society for Crippled Children, Lee admitted he was happy to be out of hibernation. “After 25 days in a phone booth,” he said, “what do you expect?”

iven her basic training in Montreal’s experimental theatre, it’s not surprising that French-Canadian actress Carole Laure is experimenting with an alternate career. The 28-yearold Laure, who’s currently in Montreal filming Bye, See You Monday with French co-stars Claude Brasseur and Miou Miou, has just released her first album, Alibies, written by Montreal composer Lewis Furey. Stealing time between scenes to mark time at the piano and keep her voice well-scaled, Laure is also preparing a stage show of Furey’s music for Paris’ renowned Bobino Theatre next year. “It’s like a whole new career,” said Laure {Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, La Menace). “When I met Furey I knew I wanted to sing his music. Already it’s very clear in my mind that someday I’ll bring his music to the screen.”

hen actors Ted Follows and Dawn VAJ Greenhalgh were married, during a day off from the Stratford Festival, friends said it wouldn’t last a year. It didn’t. This year, while playing the parts of another loving couple, Héloïse

and Abélard at Stratford, Follows and Greenhalgh celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Although they’ve acted alongside one another throughout their marriage and are currently previewing Toronto Arts Productions’ The Mav Who Came to Dinner (which opens Jan. 3 at the St. Lawrence Centre), perhaps the true test of their skills will come in April when they play the parts of lovers in Theatre London’s Same Time,Next Year. “The play’s about two people who get together once a year for an affair,” said Greenhalgh. “Since Ted and I share so much—we fall asleep talking about the kids or plays—it’ll be a real challenge. Actually, it would be rather nice if we only saw one another once a year.”

H ven though he’s still living in a UniLS versity of Washington dormitory and his name gets misspelled in the National Basketball Association box

scores, for Lars Hansen of Coquitlam, B.C., life is definitely looking up. Last week, Hansen, the 24-year-old, six-foot 10-inch centre for Canada’s 1976 Olympic team, moved a step closer to becoming the first Canadian in the NBA since Carl Ridd’s brief stay with the Minneapolis Lakers shortly after World War II, when he signed his second successive 10-day contract with the Seattle Supersonics. Since NBA teams can only give a player two such contracts, on Jan. 4 Hansen will either return to university to complete his economics degree or take his place as a team regular. Averaging eight points and six rebounds in the first five games he’s played (all of which the first-place Sonics lost), Hansen believes he has reason to be optimistic. “This is a dog-eat-dog business,” he said, “but the way the coach has been treating me I think I’ve really got a chance. All the same, I’m not moving out of this dorm ’til I put my John Henry on a contract.”

Edited by Jane O’Hara