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President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama attend the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center on December 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Pool photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa Press/Abaca Press/MCT)

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President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama attend the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center on December 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Pool photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa Press/Abaca Press/MCT)

BRAD OSWALD / TV

The way he was... was brilliant

By the time musician/composer Marvin Hamlisch was 31 years old, his show-business legacy was assured -- he had already won four Grammys, three Oscars, an Emmy, a Tony and a Pulitzer prize, making him one of only two people (the other being composer Richard Rodgers) to claim the elusive PEGOT prize combo. But as the new PBS/American Masters documentary Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love (which airs Friday, Dec. 27) demonstrates, there was more to the man than his musical brilliance. Commentary from the likes of Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, Woody Allen and Carly Simon fills out the profile of an extraordinary human being.

RANDALL KING / MOVIES

High on acting

Since Methaqualone, a.k.a. Quaaludes, are increasingly rare on the drug market, Leonardo DiCaprio had to take extraordinary measures to portray title character Jordan Belfort in the depths of 'lude intoxication for a key scene in The Wolf of Wall Street. DiCapro says he filmed Belfort describing what Quaaludes were like. "I had him rolling around on the floor for me and he was very helpful with that." Even more helpful was a YouTube video titled "The Drunkest Guy in the World" which DiCaprio says he watched on a loop. "That was a huge inspiration for me."

MORLEY WALKER / BOOKS

Local poet turns his hand to prose

A veteran Winnipeg high school teacher has released a short novel that aims to put the Italian-Canadian experience into historical and personal perspective. Sebastiano's Vine, by Carmelo Militano, right, billed as "both a gritty urban story and a fresh retelling of the immigrant experience," is published by B.C.-based Ekstasis Editions. Militano is best-known for his poetry collections (if not his years teaching English at Sisler), and a glance at his novella indicates that his poetic instincts remain intact.

KEVIN PROKOSH / THEATRE

No quit in nonagenarian

Winnipeg's oldest working actor, Doreen Brownstone, right, will be the first person to appear on a city stage in 2014 when she performs in Judith Thompson's 2010 play Such Creatures Jan. 2-5 at PTE's Colin Jackson Studio. The 91-year-old Brownstone plays an elderly cancer victim who returns to Auschwitz to regain her fighting spirit, while her 20-year-old co-star Gislina Patterson plays a teenager wanting retribution from a girl gang.

ALAN SMALL / TV

Just no We Didn't Start the Fire, please

The telecast of the Kennedy Center Honors (Sunday, Dec. 29, CBS) is always one of the specials to look forward too between Christmas and New Year's. Dancers, actors and divas mingle with comedians and rockers -- not to mention U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. This year, actress Shirley MacLaine, jazz great Herbie Hancock and opera singer Martina Arroyo are celebrated, along with guitar legend Carlos Santana and piano man Billy Joel.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 26, 2013 D2

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