While stage actress-dancer Anita Gillette went shopping for food at Toronto’s trendy St. Lawrence Market, her “greatest fan and toughest critic,” son Christopher, 17, was walking the streets look for a job. “I make my son work,” says the 100-lb. dynamo, in town for 11 weeks setting a fine example as Sonia Walsk in Neil Simon’s They're Playing Our Song. Gillette and co-star Ray Buktenica (TV’s Dr. Solomon in House Calls) portray the once-intimate relationship between songwriter Marvin Hamlisch, who penned the tunes for the show, and singer-lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, who has now flown Hamlisch’s coop with another songsmith, Burt Bacharach. Gillette says she regrets not being offered the role of Jenny in the poorly received film adaptation of Simon’s last effort, Chapter Two, after she originated the part to critical acclaim on Broadway. “Maybe it’s sour grapes,” says Gillette, “but I don’t think the play translated well on screen.”
At 35, prima ballerina Jennifer Penney, who has been dancing with Britain’s Royal Ballet for 17 years, is talking about retirement. The sylphlike Canadian, who just reached superstardom last year when she won the New Standard ballet award in London, may
hang up her toe shoes to raise a family at her house on Saltspring Island off Vancouver. “That house has been the light at the end of the tunnel for me for years,” says Penney, who has holidayed there nearly every summer since she left the country at 16. Canadian audiences have an opportunity to see her perform a modern work in which, she says, “you can express yourself more freely,” when the Royal Ballet performs Kenneth Macmillan’s Gloria at Toronto’s O’Keefe Centre this month.
The sing-along-clap-along melodies of Raffi and Sharon, Lois and Bram
may be fine for some of the Sesame Street generation, but The Boinks think it’s about time for rock ’n’ roll to ring out in the nurseries of the nation. The Toronto trio is currently recording an
album tentatively titled At the Other End of the Universe, featuring an outer space theme and songs such as Darth Orange (“He was such a bad fruit/He came here to conquer in his orange space suit”), The Slugs of Slime (“They’re fabulous/ Attractive/Alluring all the time/But you’ll never get a kiss from the Slugs of Slime”) and Robot Odor (“Robots get an odor in the motor/When they’ve had too much to think”). In classroom situations, poetlyricist Robert Priest, composer Bongo Herbert and illustrator-drummer Rudi McToots have found that the mere mention of bananas and the concept of sticky people sends prepubescent rock-
ers into paroxysms of delight. “What we do is a sort of Magical Mystery Tour for kids,” says Herbert. “The soft-andsimple school of song will just have to move over for Motown lullabies and new wave campfire tunes.”
Over the past 15 years, Toronto inventor Peter Lynch has run a dance club, chauffeured VIPs, sold cable-TV and held 24 civil service jobs because no one was interested in his invention. But persistence paid off: Lynch’s Zapmap, the pocket-sized wonder that eliminates mad fumbling, debuts this summer in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver with maps of 11 other Canadian cities and provinces to follow. The “greatest advancement in getting around” lists hotels, restaurants, historic sites, shopping areas and transit information in a
layered centre-spread format that is impossible to refold improperly. “You can find any street while you’re waiting for a traffic light to change,” says Lynch. Expecting thousands of previously befuddled travellers to pay a grateful $7 per map, Lynch is facing the prospect of becoming a millionaire philosophically: “I’ve survived every other delay and indignity. If prosperity is heading my way, I guess I’ll live through that, too.”
Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding dress cost a mere £5,000 ($12,000) but one Hong Kong manufacturer has offered 10 times that price—just to get an advance look at it. Within 24 hours of the gown’s debut, imitations are expected to be a multimillion-dollar business. To
foil premature peekers, Lady Di’s heretofore unknown designers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, have destroyed all their preliminary sketches of the work and have sworn their staff to secrecy, while the Royal Family posted a roundthe-clock guard on the creation. Such stiff security leaves Edmonton’s Theatre Network with no hope of authenticity when it hosts its nuptial ball on July 29, complete with the winners of its Lady Di and Prince Charles lookalike contest. Co-ordinator Ray Storey, who stipulates applicants may look like either of the royal couple but not both, describes the “para-theatrical” event as a BYOB party for non-formal invitation-holders.
In early June, when the Fredericton Daily Gleaner dropped Garry Trudeau’s popular comic strip, Doonesbury, because it “contained language which we felt to be offensive” (i.e., the words “knocked up”), the paper was hit by an angry barrage of protests by loyal Doonesburyites. One letter writer, Tim Andrew, the province’s deputy minister of fisheries, assessed the merits of other strips found on the Gleaner comic page. He pointed up “Spiderman’s violence and strangely superficial sexual relationships,” and declared that Mutt & Jeff exuded “a contempt for proper sogial values.” After three weeks, the
Gleaner declared that “the funny page should be funny,” and capitulated— Doonesbury is now running on its letters page.
Although shuttle king Henry Kissinger once had the American media eating out of his hand, he recently failed to impress the establishment at New York’s powerful Council on Foreign Relations. “Super-K” finished ninth in a race for eight places on the board. “This was just a fluke,” explained Winston Lord, a former Kissinger protégé at the state department who is now president of the council. Worse, a week later, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling in which Kissinger (along with Richard Nixon and John Mitchell) may be accountable for damages to another for-
mer aide, Morton Halperin, in an illegal phone wiretapping authorized during the Nixon administration. But no need to worry about Henry: New York magazine just named him one of the Big Apple’s intellectuals with the largest amount of that most-prized cosmopolitan quality—social stamina.
When Canada’s famed poet Irving Layton married one of his York University students, Harriet Bernstein, nearly three years ago, the bride’s par-
ents, Jack Bernstein, vice-president of Famous Players, and opera singer Mary Simmons, weren’t too thrilled about the age gap. Layton was then 66 and Harriet, 30. Bernstein, who is 10 years Layton’s junior, made it clear he never wanted to be called “dad.” Last week Bernstein had all fear of fatherly references removed when Layton left his wife just five months after the birth of their first child, Samantha. The couple’s Niagara-on-the-lake, Ont., home is up for sale and Harriet says she and Samantha are returning to Toronto. “As for Irving’s plans,” says Harriet “well, that’s for him to decide.”
All right,” said Jim Carrey as he tightened up his tie before walking onto the stage of Rodney Dangerfield’s club in New York City, “let’s go get famous.” The 19-year-old singerimpressionist from Jackson’s Point, Ont., had no trouble competing with the indulge-my-neurosis types and their barrage of New Jersey jokes in his return engagement last week. Parodying sexy balladeer Tom Jones, Carrey drew cries of “Take all your clothes off ” from the ladies in the crowd and a general round of approval from the house comedians. “You’re not Lenny but you’re money,” one oldster told him. Since starting out on amateur nights at Toronto’s Yuk-Yuk’s two years ago, Carrey has turned his pelvic but innocent image into a solid round of showcase club engagements in N.Y.C., a booking at next month’s Leacock Festival of Humor in Orillia, Ont., and a featured role in a CBC-TV drama due for taping this summer. The ultimate accolade came from Dangerfield’s co-owner, Tony Bevacqua: “He’s so handsome, he’s middle America.”
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