RANDALL KING / MOVIES
Will Mars show life?
After much kerfuffle surrounding the crowd-funded efforts to take Kristen Bell's Veronica Mars TV character into the multiplex, the actual release is proving to be small potatoes, with a berth at just one movie theatre in town (Polo Park, with one show nightly, two on weekends). Simultaneously, the movie will be available on video on demand and for purchase on iTunes. So, really, it didn't quite make the break from TV after all.
BRAD OSWALD / TV
Benjamin Arthur: Not just another dumb brother
For four seasons, British Columbia-born actor Benjamin Arthur played dim-witted sibling Josh Blecher in the shot-in-Winnipeg HBO comedy Less Than Kind. This month, he returns to prime time in the new Global TV comedy Working the Engels, in which he plays a less-than-brilliant brother helping out in a struggling family law practice. "They're not the same," he says of his new character, Jimmy Engel. "Jimmy comes from a place of love, while Josh was a very selfish boy. He ran completely on bravado, and I don't think Jimmy has much of that. He's a sweet man with a big heart who only wants to do well for his family. He's not the sharpest nut in the turd, but he's a sweet, sweet man."
KEVIN PROKOSH / THEATRE
God's favourite musical
Already there is speculation about whether Winnipeg actor Nyk Bielak will be part of the cast of The Book of Mormon when the musical blockbuster arrives at the Centennial Concert Hall March 17-22, 2015. The University of Winnipeg graduate has been the standby for the lead character Elder Cunningham, and made his Broadway debut last July. In January he joined Mormon's second national tour, currently in Los Angles until May 11 with a long schedule of stops in the American West.
ANTHONY AUGUSTINE / WEB
Lena Dunham on Grantland
Girls writer/creator Lena Dunham recently silenced some of her critics with a skilful and funny performance on Saturday Night Live. Before she stopped into the NBC institution, she sat down with Grantland's Bill Simmons for an in-depth on camera interview about the progress of the third season of the HBO show, how she was brought into Judd Apatow's world and what it's like to be fired. Dunham was charming, funny and generally seemed to be enjoying her talk with Simmons. Watch it here.
BEN MACPHEE-SIGURDSON / BOOKS
Fiorentino's 'Stripmalling' optioned
Winnipeg-based Farpoint Films has optioned the screenplay for city expat Jon Paul Fiorentino's 2009 debut novel Stripmalling. Fiorentino grew up in Transcona and now lives in Montreal, where he teaches at Concordia University and edits Matrix magazine. A prolific poet, much of Fiorentino's output touches on his life growing up in Winnipeg. Stripmalling follows Jonny, a Transcona gas attendant, as he yearns to become a graphic novelist. Fiorentino is developing the screenplay with Katrina Best. "A Stripmalling movie is a natural fit to this entertaining story about Winnipeg, and Katrina and Jon have made the transition seamless from novel to screenplay," Farpoint writer Chris Charney said on the company's website.