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RANDALL KING Ñ ONLINE

It's (Not) My Party

What do Meryl Streep and Lesley Gore have in common? Both have posted videos to YouTube suggesting the current presidential race is crucial to women. Streep's video, Meryl Streep Draws the Line, encourages the signing of the Reproductive Bill of Rights to protect women's rights in response to Mitt Romney's plans to defund Planned Parenthood (among other things). Celebs (including Lena Dunham, Carrie Brownstein, Natasha Lyonne and Mae Whitman) and non-celebs alike lip-synch Gore's You Don't Own Me, but the best moment comes from Gore herself: "I'm Lesley Gore and I approve this message."

BRAD OSWALD Ñ TV

Britton even more brilliant?

After her captivating five-season run as coach's wife Tami Taylor on NBC's Friday Night Lights, it might be hard to imagine Connie Britton ever finding a role with as much dramatic intensity and down-home southern charm. Well, she has done just that, and more, in ABC's rookie hit Nashville (which airs Wednesdays) -- the two-time Emmy nominee (who really should have won) is brilliant, charming and musical in the role of Rayna James, a country-music diva struggling to maintain career momentum in an industry that has become obsessed with youth and packaging. Surely, this time, an Emmy awaits.

MORLEY WALKER / BOOKS

Doc knocks on heaven's door -- and gets in

Brain surgeon Eben Alexander is the latest American to insist that the afterlife is not just a figment of the religious imagination. His new book, Proof of Heaven, excerpted last week on the cover of Newsweek magazine, documents his visit to a Shangri-La in the sky in the wake a near-fatal coma. The atheist author and neuroscientist Sam Harris takes a scalpel to Alexander's preposterous claims on his blog, samharris.org

KEVIN PROKOSH / THEATRE

AttenSHUN

Local actor Jeff Strome stands tall among the stellar performances currently on display in A Few Good Men at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. With his shaved head and strict, all-business demeanour, the former University of Manitoba Bison slotback impressively embodies a marine fiercely committed to his military code. His character, Dawson, is co-accused of killing fellow marine William Santiago and delivers one of the best lines in the show. When asked what he did wrong, he replies: "We were supposed to fight for people who couldn't fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willie."

JILL WILSON / TV

So good it's scary

It's not that Bobby Cannavale hasn't played characters with a threatening edge before, but as Boardwalk Empire's ruthless gangster Gyp Rosetti, he is truly terrifying. Playing a bootlegger whose fuse is as short as his memory for an insult is long, the beetle-browed Cannavale fills the screen with menace, even when he's having a seemingly innocent conversation about spaghetti and meatballs.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 25, 2012 ??65534

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