Entertainment Notes

Entertainment Notes

Brian D. Johnson June 5 2000
Entertainment Notes

Entertainment Notes

Brian D. Johnson June 5 2000

Entertainment Notes

Liz and Hugh say cheerio

British glam couple Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley

have decided to call it quits. Grant, an actor, and Hurley, a leggy model-actor, have been together for 13 stormy years, low-lighted by Grants 1995 arrest for soliciting sex from a Los Angeles prostitute. The current split, friends say, stems from a difference of opinion over whether to start a family. Last year, =

Hurley—who became a household name after she wore a barely-there dress

kept together with safety pins to the première of Grants 1994 film, Four Weddings and a Funeral—was said to have consulted with an adoption agency. But it seems that Grant, who has made a career of playing commitment-phobic characters, is less than thrilled with the idea of real fatherhood. Life imitates art again.

Theatre

The Age of Aquarius is back, baby. From July 11 to 29, HairY2K, an updated version of the 1968 play that celebrated hippies and flower children, will have its world première-atTheatre Cambrian in Sudbury, Ont. How did an amateur community theatre in Northern Ontario get the opportunity to perform the play first? “I faxed one of the original writers,” says a matter-of-fact Mark Mannisto, 23, president of the theatre group. The company had already decided to perform Hair (fully clothed), but wanted

permission to replace some of the old songs with current tunes. So Mannisto contacted play co-writer James Rado, who said they couldn't change the music. “But then we ended up talking about Cambrian and Sudbury,” says Mannisto, and Rado suddenly offered the troupe the chance to perform his just-finished update of Hair, which will make its Broadway debut in 2001. “He said we sounded like ‘good guys,’ ” says Mannisto, smiling. And how is the cast taking the news? “They are ecstatic,” he says. “For most of them this is their first time acting.” Break a leg.

Art

The 500 people attending Sotheby’s Canadian art auction in Toronto broke into applause when Lawren Harris’s landscape, Lake, North Labrador, was sold to an unidentified phone bidder for $585,950. The price for the 1930 Group of Seven painting was well over the previous estimate of $325,000 to $400,000.

Cruise’s wild ride

M:l-2

Directed by John Woo

So what if Tom Cruise’s mane flows through the chase scenes as if he’s auditioning for a shampoo commercial. Or that he feels compelled to do a triple Lutz every time he wants to hit somebody. Or that the knife slash across his cheek looks like it was designed by Versace. Sly, Arnie, Mel— step aside. Cruise, the macho hero with the strangely hairless chest, is the new Action Man. And M:I-2 rocks.

This is one case where the sequel improves on the original. After Brian De Palma’s cold, machine-like Mission Impossible, which could have been called Mission Incomprehensible, Hong Kong-raised director John Woo (Face/OJf ) has designed M:I-2 as a good-humoured spectacle with state-of-the-art stunt work. Robert Towne, the Riddler of screenwriters, is back, but this time he goes out of his way to explain what is going on.

The plot, for what it’s worth, revolves around a suave

villain (Dougray Scott) who plans to unleash a deadly virus on the world and make a fortune by owning the antidote. As operative Ethan Hunt, Cruise chases bad guys while seducing, and recruiting, a jewel thief played by Thandie Newton—who soon melts from femme fatale to damsel in distress.

But in M:I-2 action speaks louder than script. And despite the usual overkill, in a genre ruled by cliché, Woo displays electrifying originality —note the jousting duel on motorbikes. The director choreographs mayhem as ballistic ballet, and in Cruise he has an acrobatic star. From the opening scene of him hanging off a cliff to the kung-fu finale, the actor does many of his own stunts. And as M:Js missionary man, he could have a franchise as durable as James Bond—or Austin Powers.

Brian D. Johnson

Gentleman biker

In 1932, a wealthy young American decided to return home from London to New York City—by the scenic route. Robert Edison Fulton Jr., 23, the son of the head of the Mack Truck Co., got on a Douglas Motorcycle and headed east. The Long Journey Home (August Press) is a collection of photos Fulton took during his 65,000km trip through 33 countries to the Pacific. (From Japan he sailed to San Francisco before continuing by motorcycle to New York, arriving on Christmas Eve, 1933.) After the wellbred Fulton ditched his formal evening clothes in Athens, he travelled with little more than a toothbrush, his camera—and an eye for striking images from Turkey to China. Now 91, Fulton remains active as a photographer, mounting his first solo show in April.