At age 31, singer Holly Cole has already been touring professionally for 12 years. As a result, says the Cape Breton-born singer, best-known for her unusual jazz styling, travel has lost its glamor. “We get to go great places, but then I get to come home, which I always look forward to,” she says. Despite those reservations, Cole is cur-
rently on tour in Japan, where she is one of that country’s most popular performers. Her record sales there have topped a phenomenal 200,000 copies, and her tunes are among the five most requested songs on radio. This summer, she will tour Canada to promote her fifth and latest CD, Temptation, an interpretive collection of Tom Waits’s ballads, including Jersey Girl and 1 Don’t Wanna Grow Up. Cole says that she decided not to discuss her interpretation of Waits’s music with him. “I wanted to do his songs in my way,” she says, adding that now, however, “I wouldn’t mind hearing what his opinion is.”
A SWEET WIN
He is the only Canadian ever to bring home the two top Tony Awards—Broadway’s highest honor. And for entertainment mogul Garth Drabinsky, having his production of Show Boat, about life on the Mississippi River in the Old South, win the award for best musical revival in New York City last week must have been especially sweet. Throughout the show’s run in Toronto, where it opened in 1993, several antiracism groups attacked it for its portrayal of blacks. Drabinsky, who also won a Tony Award for best musical in 1993 for Kiss of the Spider Woman, has always defended Show Boat, calling the 1927 musical a historical artifact. Last week, Drabinsky said he felt that the Broadway production’s 10 nominations and five wins at the Tonys vindicated the show. “Now that Show Boat has swept through these awards and is attracting capacity audiences,” Drabinsky told Maclean’s, “all of the trouble we had is forgotten.”
SHAKING UP THE SET
In the action-packed closing scenes of the movie Congo, which opened last week across North America, the Virunga region near central Africa erupts into a raging volcano and a dramatic earthquake. In fact, most of Mother Nature’s violent display was filmed on a Hollywood studio lot and in miniature. But when scouting locations for the movie, director Frank Marshall experienced the real thing: a quake of 6.2 on the Richter scale hit Uganda, the country’s biggest since 1964. “You’re not supposed to step outside during an earthquake, but I did,” Marshall says. “I thought I was dreaming.” Even though Marshall and his crew survived the quake, logistical problems in Uganda prompted them to continue scouting locations. For background shots, they found a suitable volcano in Costa Rica. Still, Marshall, who directed Alive, z about a group of South American rugby players who crashe land in the Andes, says that getting shaken up has not dei terred him from continuing to shoot on location. He explains: | “I just like to get out of the office.” s
GETTING IN CHARACTER
Actor Callum Keith Rennie says that even before he auditioned for the part of a drifter in the made-for-TV movie Paris or Somewhere, he felt closely connected to the character. ‘The audition was about a half-hour walk from where I was staying,” says Rennie. “I had received the script late, had to
borrow a western shirt to wear and was walking along the side of the road when I realized that the unsettled way I was feeling had a lot to do with the fact that I understood this guy.” Producers of the movie, to be broadcast this week on Global TV, clearly recognized his affinity for the part: they cast Rennie, 34, on the spot. In the movie—adapted from the 1907 stage play The Playboy of the Western World—he plays Christy Mahon, a charismatic outsider, who sets off a chain of events when he shows up in a small Saskatchewan town. The Vancouver-based Rennie adds that he often finds himself playing working-class types. “They just seem to fit me,” Rennie says. “They’re not typically what you would consider the leading man.” And, he adds with a laugh, “they hardly ever get the girl.”
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