Since we last “talked”, Mr. Toronto has been very busy mingling with the stars (well, “mingling” may be a bit of an exaggeration…but I have come very close!). This kind of thing frequently happens in Toronto, a favourite stomping ground for athletes, musicians and actors – and I had encounters with all three over the past couple of weeks!
Got a chance to hear one of the world’s top female athletes the other day. Tennis superstar Venus Williams gave a talk at the Convention Centre as part of an ongoing “Women of Influence” speaker series. Much to my surprise (and every one else in the audience), she was soft-spoken and humble – nothing like she is on the courts. She is also quite the overachiever – not only has she won more Grand Slams than I have games of checkers, but she also has a degree in fashion (with a clothing line to boot), and is now going for a degree in interior design. Got a chance to say hi after her talk. For a listing of upcoming speakers, visit http://www.womenofinfluenceluncheon.ca/toronto.html
On the music front, got to go to a very cool private concert by one of Canada’s treasures, Ron Sexsmith. This was in honour of the Juno awards coming up next week in Toronto (which I wrote about in my last blog). Ron is unfortunately a bit of a “hidden” treasure – he’s been at it for years, has won numerous Junos, and is the favourite artist of the likes of Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney and Elton John (not too shabby!), but he still has not had widespread success. Go get his new album – Long Player Late Bloomer – it’s stellar. So was his 45-minute performance at First Canadian Place. FCP actually has amazing events all year long – worth checking out their website! www.fcpevents.com.
As for “actors”, although the third celeb I met is indeed one- having starred in plays like “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat”- he is really better known as a musician as well. Donny Osmond (!!!) was in town, to announce that he will be coming to Toronto this summer for two weeks (July 5-17) with his sister, bringing DONNY & MARIE LIVE from Las Vegas. He is still quite the charming young man, and doesn’t look much older than he did on my Osmond Brothers thermos in 3rd grade…
And speaking of Donny and Marie (coming to the Four Seasons Centre on Queen St.West), the show is being brought in Dancap productions, who also announced that Green Day’s American Idiot – a huge hit on Broadway – will be coming to the Toronto Centre for the Arts at the end of December. And if you think you have the chops to actually be IN the show, they are hosting open-call auditions here in Toronto on March 26! One final word – if and when you do go to the show, consider Dancap’s pre-theatre pre-fixe dinner which they serve in a beautiful little room right at the Theatre – just tried it the other night – 3 yummy courses for around 40 bucks a person, all in. Find out more at www.dancaptickets.com