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Pop star Mya shall be dancing with J.Lo

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POP star Mya, last seen in cinemas singing He Had It Comin' in the movie musical Chicago, has been confirmed to appear in Shall We Dance, the film's publicist says.

Details on Mya's contribution to the film are as skimpy as her wardrobe in the music video for Lady Marmalade. The publicist could only say the part will be a small one.

Like the film's star Jennifer Lopez, Mya, 23, started out dancing -- she studied tap under Savion Glover at the Dance Theatre of Harlem -- before branching out into singing and acting. The Washington, D.C.-born pop star just released her latest CD, Moodring.

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Could 2030 CE come back?

The revival of that locally shot YTV sci-fi series may be one positive result of the troubles suffered by the Saskatchewan-based Minds Eye Productions. The company filed for court protection from its creditors Monday. Court documents list its total debt at more than $30 million.

As of last year, Minds Eye owned 49 per cent of 2030's production company, Buffalo Gal Pictures. In the wake of its financial crisis, Minds Eye will be "restructuring," according to CEO Kevin DeWalt. Buffalo Gal president Phyllis Laing confirmed her company will be moving to break away from Minds Eye.

"We're restructuring ourselves," she says, adding that Buffalo Gal is not in the same financial boat as Minds Eye. "We're not part of Minds Eye's creditor protection."

Laing says Minds Eye's troubles have created a setback for Buffalo Gal, but she is confident the company will come through.

"The good news for Buffalo Gal is we've been small before, we have good projects in development and good relationships with funding bodies. We're very optimistic," she says. "But it will be difficult in the beginning."

Laing indicated Minds Eye's financial trouble factored into ceasing production of 2030 CE earlier this year. But she says the show may eventually return to production, pending the outcome of negotiations with Minds Eye.

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Canadian actor Peter Outerbridge, who memorably played a would-be lesbian transsexual in the film Better Than Chocolate, will take the role of sleuth Inspector William Murdoch in The Murdoch Mysteries, two Bravo movies to be filmed back-to-back in Winnipeg from Sept. 2 to Oct. 17.

Like The Winning Season, which will also be filming here in September, both movies are period dramas, set in Toronto in 1898.

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Danny Aiello, 70, has been drinking plenty of water since his heat stroke scare last week, at the beginning of shooting the CTV movie Zaida and the Hitman.

"He's in fine spirits and fine health," says the film's producer, Paul Brown of Toronto-based Miracle Pictures.

This picture marks the first time Brown has shot in Winnipeg, and he's impressed. "Locations have been fantastic," he says.

On Wednesday, the film shot at Assiniboia Downs. Earlier in the week they were at Toad Hall Toys on Arthur Street. Whenever they have filmed in the Exchange District, Brown says, people generally assume they're shooting Shall We Dance.

"We refer to ourselves as the splinter crew of Shall We Dance," Brown joked.

Brown says Judd Hirsch, who plays the role of Zaida, has been exploring Winnipeg more than he did when he appeared here in January on 1997 in the Manitoba Theatre Centre production of Death of a Salesman.

The flick, co-produced by Winnipeg's Frantic Films, is being directed by Melanie Mayron and co-stars Gil Bellows. Oscar-winning actress Mercedes Ruehl is scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg in mid-August.

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Zaida's Toad Hall location just happens to be near Frantic Films' office on Arthur Street. Frantic's president Jamie Brown joked that some Frantic staffers looked out the window and said, "Hey, they're filming a movie down there!"

"Yeah," Brown responded. "It's ours."

Incidentally, Brown says Frantic's reality TV series Klondike: The Quest for Gold will be getting maximum exposure when the American cable network The History Channel will run the series, in marathon form, on Aug. 4. The network is shown in 90 million homes, Brown says. "This is a big opportunity for us and for the show."

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Answers to yesterday's J. Lo-Down Contest:

1. Selena

2. The record was J-Lo. The movie was The Wedding Planner

3. Krav Maga

4. a) Blood & Wine

b) U-Turn

c) Angel Eyes

d) The Wedding Planner

5. My Family/Mi Familia

6. Antz

7. Ja Rule

8. The Cell

9. Robin Williams' character Jack is a child in the body of an adult man, due to a unique aging disorder.

10. J. Lo referred to her Money Train co-star Wesley Snipes.

11. Anaconda

12. Jersey Girl

Winners received a cap and tank top courtesy of Columbia-TriStar. Thanks for entering.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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