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No Mad Mel

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, director George Miller said in no uncertain terms that Mel Gibson will not be doing a cameo in the Mad Max reboot Mad Max: Fury Road starring Tom Hardy in the role originated by Gibson back in 1979. "It would have been nice somehow, but no, it's not true," Miller was quoted. Since Gibson's current notoriety began when he was pulled over on the Pacific Coast Highway by an L.A. County deputy back in 2006, one probably shouldn't be surprised about his unwillingness to return to the road-rage milieu.


Will the hills be alive with the sound of a remake?

It's one of the most beloved movie musicals of all time, a cinematic classic made memorable mostly by the angelic voice of its female star. So why, one might ask, would anyone think it's a good idea to do a remake of The Sound of Music? It's a fair question, and one that will be given extra emphasis this week when NBC airs The Sound of Music Live! (Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. on NBC and Citytv), with country star Carrie Underwood facing the unenviable task of matching -- in a live TV broadcast -- the charm and lyrical perfection of original star Julie Andrews' 1965 performance. It goes without saying that there are many who think re-creating Maria poses a problem too big for Underwood to solve.


Toews has new novel in 2014


CanLit star and former Winnipegger Miriam Toews tackles her family demons again in a new novel, All My Puny Sorrow, slated for release on April 15, 2014, under the Knopf Canada imprint. According to an advance description, the novel follows two Mennonite sisters in their 40s, one of whom is successful and suicidal, while the other is divorced and broke and "wants to keep her sister alive." The Steinbach-born author, who moved to Toronto in 2009, produced her last novel, Irma Voth, in 2011.


The Perms return

Winnipeg pop-rock veterans The Perms are celebrating the release of their sixth studio outing, The Aberdeen EP, with a hometown show on Sunday, Dec. 8 at the Park Theatre. Instead of releasing a full-length album, the trio whittled down 15 songs to an all-killer, no-filler four-song slice of power pop. "That was new for us," says bassist Shane Smith. "Usually we'll write 11 songs and put out those 11 songs. We've had to rethink the way we do things." The Perms are fresh off another successful run of shows in Europe, a market they've been doing very well in. "We sold out our Berlin show and a show in Holland. We don't sell out shows in Canada." You have a chance to change that, Winnipeg: tickets to Sunday's gig are just $10.


Chekhov, please

With the first serious snowstorm of the winter blanketing Winnipeg can the Master Playwright Festival be far away? Tickets and programs are now available for ChekhovFest (Jan. 22-Feb. 9), which celebrates the Russian writer who ranks not far behind Shakespeare when comes to global popularity. The largest lineup ever includes his famous works The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya but more companies riff off the dramatist in their own, more comical works like F#@koff Check-off, The Quick Change Room and Neil Simon's Chekhov parody The Good Doctor.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 5, 2013 C2

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