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Not playing the game

Posted August 14th, 2008 by debritz

Far be it for me to be a defender of the "rough" ejection of an actor from one of Hugh Hefner's infamous parties, but I do ask this: Who the heck is Jason Statham and why would he go the Playboy Mansion wearing only a bathrobe and then refuse to have his photo taken with partially clothed women? More here.
PS: It's good to see than Jon Lovitz got into the spirit of things and had his photo taken near the girls' bottoms. I wonder if there's a Mrs Lovitz...

Farewell, Christie Allen

Posted August 14th, 2008 by debritz

A little bit of my childhood was lost when I heard that Christie Allen had died. Her hit Goosebumps (written if memory serves me correctly by the very quirky B.A. Robertson) will now be rining in my head for days. It's been a sad week, with the death of comic actor Bernie Mac and soul man Isaac Hayes, who presumably has gone to wherever it is good Scientologists go in the afterlife (something to do with spaceships I suspect). There's more here.

Back to the future

Posted November 19th, 2007 by debritz

The old sitcom Happy Days is being screened on Foxtel at the moment, and I happened to catch part of an episode featuring Suzi Quatro as Leather Tuscadero. She was singing the 1970s hit Devil Gate Drive. All very well, except Happy Days is set in the 1950s, when even the young audience wasn't quite ready for Suzi Q's style. Anyway, that show was never big on continuity. Remember Ritchie and Joanie's older brother Chuck, who disappeared completely after the first season?

Drifting away

Posted July 6th, 2007 by debritz

It's difficult to keep up with who's who in the bands that carry the names of the great vocal groups of the 1950s and 60s. One thing's for sure, though, Bill Pinkney was the last of the original members of The Drifters, and he died as he prepared to go onstage at the age of 81. There's more at my Celebrity Deaths Archive.

Hold this thought

Posted June 9th, 2007 by debritz

According to my E! True Hollywood Story desk calendar, today is the sixth anniversary of the day Sharon Stone's then-husband Phil Bronstein was bitten by a komodo dragon at the Los Angeles zoo. It notes that he "suffered severed tendons in his big toe".
PS: The komodo dragon is an endangered species.

The best seats in the house

Posted May 26th, 2007 by debritz

I've received some more feedback regarding my spot on 612ABC yesterday about buying theatre tickets. My correspondent complains that one online system she uses doesn't actually find the best seats when she asks for them. It will, for example, offer only end-of-row seats right up the front of the theatre when she really wants centre seats a few rows back. I don't know why these sites can't be like online check-in for airlines, where you can select exactly the seats you want from a seating plan.

Sex still sells

Posted May 19th, 2007 by debritz

I was on licensed premises last night and glanced up to the TV to see a Casey Donovan video clip. It made me wonder what had happened to the former Australian Idol winner. Today, I stumbled across this CNN story. The heading says it all: " If you're a female singer, you'd better be sexy".

Farewell, Sue Becker

Posted May 10th, 2007 by debritz

Pioneering TV fitness expert Sue Becker has died at age 79. She was a hit on early Australian television and hosted a show called Boomph with Becker on British TV. She was also a talkback show host. There's more at my Celebrity Deaths Archive.

Star-studded Shakespeare

Posted April 21st, 2007 by debritz

A small but significant contingent of Brisbane media stars went to the opening of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) last night. Among them was a group from 973FM, including breakfast funnyman Terry Hansen, 612ABC's Spencer Howson and piano-playing former TV host Simon Gallaher. The show's being promoted around former Lano and Woodley funnyman Frank Woodley, but his costars Keith Adams and Damien Callinan are just as good in this very funny romp. Producer Tim Woods, who owns the Australian rights to the hilarious send-up created by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, deserves to do very well from this production.

Id's other wizard dies

Posted April 20th, 2007 by debritz

Just a week after the death of cartoonist Johnny Hart, his collaborator on The Wizard of Id newspaper comic strip, Brant Parker, has also died. There's more at my Celebrity Deaths Archive.

Grumpy see, grumpy do

Posted April 19th, 2007 by debritz

Here's a picture of two self-confessed Grumpy Old Women (Dilli Keane and Jenny Eclair from the stage show of the TV program) and one person resisting being called a grumpy old man (on the basis of age, not temperament):

Scotty's final frontier

Posted March 31st, 2007 by debritz

The remains of James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty in Star Trek, will soon be "beamed up" into space. It's a fitting finale for the much-loved actor, who died two years ago at 85.
PS: As this story notes, the phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" was never actually used on the show. It ranks with "Play it again, Sam" as one of the most quoted non-quotes in popular entertainment.

The corny truth

Posted March 30th, 2007 by debritz

Thanks to listeners of Spencer Howson's program this morning for alerting me to the fact that a male swan is called a cob. Which, of course, means that Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, in which the swans are danced by men, could be called Cob Lake.
PS: I have since discovered that female swans are called pens.

French treat

Posted March 23rd, 2007 by debritz

The French Film Festival opened in Brisbane last night with a screening of The Singer (Quand j'étais chanteur) starring Gérard Depardieu and Cécile De France. It's a slow-moving but beautifully touching film about the relationship between an ageing singer and a young real estate agent. On Sunday, I'll be participating in a panel discussion about another film, Coeurs, which is based on the play Private Fears in Public Places. The discussion will be in English. I hope.

Sinbad's still sailing

Posted March 17th, 2007 by debritz

Rumours regarding the death of entertainer Sinbad were greatly exaggerated - to the point where Wikipedia printed them as fact. The background to the error and the correction is here, but the whole thing reminded me of The Onion's hilarious spoof "Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence", which you can read here.

Farewell, Betty Hutton

Posted March 14th, 2007 by debritz

Betty Hutton, the actor and singer who starred in Annie Get Your Gun, has died - although we're not exactly sure when, because she insisted that her death only be revealed a specified time after the event. Fiesty to the very end, it seems. There's more here.

Actor in need of a grip

Posted March 12th, 2007 by debritz

"It ended up being great because it was a good adventure." So said actor Rob Morrow after Ski Patrol members had to rescue him along with Chad Lowe and Fisher Stevens when they got lost in fog and snow on an unfamiliar mountain. I wonder whether the members of the patrol who risked their own safety to find the errant actors felt it was a "good adventure" too?

Farewell, Captain America

Posted March 11th, 2007 by debritz

It happened to Superman a few years back, but he got better. Now another comic-book superhero, Captain America, also known as Steve Rogers, is dead - killed by a sniper's bullet. Details here. What's the bet somebody else will pick up the star-spangled shield and continue to fight the good fight?

RIP John Inman

Posted March 8th, 2007 by debritz

He was known and loved in the UK, Australia and many other countries as Mr Humphries, the camp shop assistant in Are You Being Served? Now John Inman is dead at age 71. There's more at ShowBritz.

Ironic songs

Posted March 8th, 2007 by debritz

1) You're So Vain, Carly Simon
2) Silence is Golden, Tremoloes
PS: Ironically, Ironic by Alanis Morisette is not really about irony. (And I know I'm not the first person to point this out.)

Cop stop?

Posted March 5th, 2007 by debritz

Will The Police visit Australia on their reunion tour. A glance at their itinerary (here) suggests windows of opportunity between early August and October, or after their November 8 gig in Toronto.

A matter of length

Posted March 2nd, 2007 by debritz

It's an issue I've touched on in relation to live theatre, now this story asks: how long is too long for a film? The film in question is David Fincher's Zodiac, which runs to 2 hours and 40 minutes. "I would have loved the movie to have been shorter," Fincher says. "I just couldn't find a way to dramatically do that." The risk he is taking, of course, is that people will squirm through it and the word-of-mouth will be that it's too long. Stephen Frears, who directed The Queen, says: "I do think that most films are too long. I've seen too many long films. I've learned to be sympathetic to the audience. If nothing else, keep it short." The real test, I suppose, is if a film (or a play) is engrossing enough for the audience not to notice how long it is.

Farewell, Thorpie

Posted February 28th, 2007 by debritz

Billy Thorpe is dead at age 60, of a heart attack. The wild man of Australian rock had a heart attack last night and died in a Sydney hospital this morning. You can visit his website here or read more here and here.

Britney: sad, not funny

Posted February 27th, 2007 by debritz

I got sent a spoof Britney Spears video yesterday and, for a nanosecond, I thought about posting the YouTube link here. But I quickly realised that the whole Britney thing isn't funny any more. She's a very troubled girl who has been in the limelight all her life and now needs us to leave her alone while she gets her act together. It's the least we can do. Besides, there are plenty of other celebrities for us to poke fun at.

Oscar's slow show

Posted February 27th, 2007 by debritz

Am I the only one wondering this morning that, for people who are in the entertainment business, Hollywood sure knows how to create a boring awards show? I thought it ironic that Ellen DeGeneres's opening monologue warning speakers not to be boring was, itself, longer than it should have been. There's more on this topic at ShowBritz.

Fame game

Posted February 20th, 2007 by debritz

"I came home from the whirlwind to a house where tumbleweed literally blows across the street, and I felt a sense of - almost - withdrawal. It passed, but the irony was not lost on me." So says Jake Halpern, the author of the book Fame Junkies who got to experience a little fame himself - because he'd written a book about people who get hooked on being famous. There's a lesson there for all of us.

Leave it out, Harry

Posted February 20th, 2007 by debritz

Harry Potter film star Daniel Radcliffe has made his stage debut in Equus. Here's what the Daily Mail's Baz Bimigboye had to say after seeing a preview: "The 17-year-old truly impressed with a bravura full-frontal display that earned him a standing ovation." But he goes on to say: "To be sure, there is much work to be done and the next ten preview performances before opening night on February 27 will further refine the drama."

Trying too hard

Posted February 19th, 2007 by debritz

The sub-editor of this ABC story about the sighting of a rare bird is obviously a Monty Python fan. The headline says: "Ex-parrot sighting in Qld sparks interest". Very amusing, but not terribly accurate - unless, of course, the bird was found nailed to its perch.
PS: On the subject of Monty Python, it seems the West End production of Spamalot (which is coming to Australia in November) got no votes at all in the Olivier Awards. Instead a revival of Stephen Sonheim's Sunday in the Park with George was the big winner.

That's Ralph with a silent L

Posted February 17th, 2007 by debritz

Memo to whoever I was listening to on ABC Radio National the other day regarding the reported sexual liaison between Qantas flight attendant Lisa Robertson and actor Ralph Fiennes. He prefers not to pronounce the L in his first name.

Humphrey be bare

Posted February 13th, 2007 by debritz

Over at ShowBritz, I'm running a campaign to help save children's television character Humphrey B. Bear from the axe. (Click here if you want to have your say.) One of the side issues that has arisen in the comments is that Humphrey doesn't wear pants. Isn't it odd that we comment on characters like Humphrey and Donald Duck who don't wear pants, but not on, for example, Bugs Bunny, who is naked?
PS: A friend noted that Donald Duck doesn't wear pants because ducks need to swim. I don't think I ever saw Donald swim - or fly, for that matter.

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