Want a sneak peek of the actual boy who inspired the Heaven is For Real movie, which is doing a big casting for paid extras in Selkirk on Saturday afternoon?
This Sony Pictures feature-length film, directed by Randall Wallace of Secretariat fame (also the writer of Braveheart), is the real-life story of an American boy named Colton Burpo, who says he saw heaven. Colton had a near-death experience at age four and "came back" to describe in detail his brief visit and conversations with Jesus and relatives who had died before. Colton tells his story himself at age 12 on video, and you can view it at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xynl4colton-burpo-glimpses-of-heaven_webcam#.UZ4WtLWTzTo. He finishes with this line: "I learned that heaven is for real, and you're going to like it."
The book of the same name was written by his dad, a man of the cloth, who yelled at God when his child was on the operating table: "After all I've done for you, you're going to take my kid?"
Casting is at Selkirk's Memorial Hall, 376 Jemima St., from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The casting folks are looking for "people of all ages and ethnicity to portray various townfolk, restaurants patrons, church congregation and more." No acting experience is required. For information, see www.extrascastingproductions.com. So how much do you actually get paid? It's $11.50 per hour, meals and snacks provided. Could be your shot at Hollywood, people, or at least a chance at more gigs in Manitoba, known as Hollywood of the North.
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SWEET TREATS! At the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation fundraiser called Soir©e Chocolat©e, international singing star Daniel Lavoie burst from the back of the Provencher Ballroom at the Fort Garry Hotel as they announced his name. He took his place behind the grand piano Wednesday night and totally charmed the crowd. Lavoie, who hails from Dunrea, Man., now resides in Montreal and is very popular in Europe. He spoke a few words in English and then did the rest of his show in French. Copies of his latest CD, J'Ecoute La Radio, were part of the silent auction items.
Chocolate-themed desserts arrived from fine restaurants and bakeries all over town -- an all-you-can-eat buffet. Chocoholics said they were having a ball. But, at this dessert fundraiser for $125, people were complaining the tall-table setup, in which about half of the tables were at a level for standing patrons, meant most had nowhere to sit. In fact, the crowd was thinning as Lavoie took the stage around 8:30 p.m.
Spotted: Men in suits and many belles in colourful flapper costumes dressed in the theme of the night. Highlights? Kate Sveinson of Pullan, Kammerloch, Frohlinger legal firm, teacher Bonnie Smith of Dakota Collegiate, and Shawna Forester-Smith of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority stole the show by the grand piano. Psychologist Dr. Andrea Piotrowski and Ellen Frovich, an analyst with the city, kicked up their heels across the room. And Karen Banfield Thorvaldson, co-owner of Thorvaldson Center, and Joanna Richards, co-owner of Flea Whiskey's, dazzled the folks by the bar.
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BS COMEDY SHOW -- WATCH OUT!: Blind city councillor Ross Eadie, who adores the annual political satire show put on by the BS Comedy troupe, is getting a double trouncing from his showtime double Corey Quintaine May 30-31 at Prairie Theatre Exchange. Psst! Quintaine found out Eadie is known for singing at his office desk. "I've got a pair of black glasses with his name on them in my dressing room!" hoots Eadie's nemesis, tuning up his vocal chords. The 25- to 30-member music and theatre troupe has been practising for six weeks at the Marlborough Hotel, and Garry Brenner's band is busy rehearsing numbers with all of them every night as they near showtime. Mayor Sam Katz and the councillors, Premier Greg Selinger and the gang, national players, local media types, musicians, local professionals and business moguls -- none are safe at this show!
Mitch Krohn, who has played an amazing Lindor Reynolds in hockey gear in the past, and is the artistic director of this year's show called The Buffet, is directing a skit of his own, as are Tim Webster, Brett Buckingham, Stan Michalak and Krista Birkholz. Yours truly has recently heard a rumour that Miss Lonelyhearts will be taking on Justin Trudeau in the boxing ring. Will she crush that handsome man? Oh, one can certainly hope so! Actors bravely come out after the show to meet the people they have skewered and shake hands with the rest of the audience. For tickets, check out the website at www.bscomedy.com or call 204-339-6317.
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HOLLOW REED HOLISTIC: This just in. The tiny store is moving and expanding from Wolseley into a big space at 875 Corydon Ave., with an additional snackery, tea house and elixir bar called Starlight. They're opening June 1 and the race is on. They've just finished renovating and are hammmering up shelving as we speak. Owner Nancy Hall will have an essential-oils centre there and co-owner/hubby Chad Cornell will be doing his holistic consultations.
Kalee Mund is offering aruvedic consultations, massage and Indian-style doula services. Plus she's doing "shirodhara," a technique used in India where warm oil is poured on your third eye (your forehead) and it helps to calm the mind and bring you into a meditative state for balancing hormones and improving the immune and nervous systems. "I studied at Kerala Aruvedic Academy in the U.S." (204-786-0820 for inquiries). They're situated right beside Radiance -- a new metaphysical cluster on Corydon.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204-474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@Winnipegfreepress.com or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6.