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In a world...

...where movie trailers aren't too long... The U.S.-based National Association of Theatre Owners definitely want to live there. NATO has requested movie distributors keep their trailers to two minutes, down from the 150-second industry standard. They've also asked not to have to screen trailers more than 150 days prior to a given movie's release date. That's all very well. Now if they could just prevent trailers from containing plot spoilers -- yes, we're looking at you Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit marketing department.


The end is Crystal clear for Leno and The Tonight Show

After 22 years (minus a six-month absence during Conan O'Brien's brief hosting stint in 2009-10) in TV's most storied talk-show job, Jay Leno is finally -- yes, this time it's for sure -- saying goodbye to The Tonight Show. His star-studded final week in NBC's coveted late-night slot -- including visits from Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Betty White, Lyle Lovett and new Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon -- comes to a close on Thursday, Feb. 6 (10:35 p.m. on NBC) with a final chat with Billy Crystal, who was Leno's first-ever guest when he began hosting The Tonight Show in 1992. Also on the farewell show is country singer Garth Brooks.


Star journalist first to finish Rob Ford book

Toronto Star city hall reporter Robyn Doolittle -- one of three journalists to see the infamous video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack -- is first out of the gate with a book-length exploration of the troubled city leader. Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story hit bookshelves Feb. 3 with explosive new details about Ford, his brother Doug, his family and more -- no small feat, given the Fords' continuing residence in the daily news cycle. Doolittle also makes a compelling case for Ford winning the 2014 municipal election.


The master list

ChekhovFest is not over yet but already there is much speculation as to who will get the nod as the 15th master playwright to be feted next January. Will 19th-century Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, the father of realism, be honoured, or will it be an Englishman, such as the prolific Alan Ayckbourn or the stylish No´l Coward? Tennessee Williams has long been on the festival to-do list, as has been fellow American Neil Simon, who has received more Oscar and Tony award nominations than any other writer. Expect the announcement Monday, Feb. 10.


New blood

Kevin Roy, one of the up-and-coming local songwriters handpicked by Romi Mayes for her recent third annual Songwriters Extravaganza, is officially releasing his beautiful debut album, Taller Than the Trees, at the West End Cultural Centre on Friday, Feb. 7. Produced by local vet Lloyd Peterson, Taller Than the Trees is an intimate collection of bluegrass-flavoured folk songs written in the tradition of Neil Young and Gram Parsons. The former teacher made the right call abandoning his day job for music; Roy is a real one to watch in the Winnipeg music scene. Show is at 8 p.m., tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance at the WECC and Music Trader.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 6, 2014 C2

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