Bravo!

Bravo! honours Black History Month with a collection of programs celebrating the rich  history and culture relevant to Black history in Canada and around the globe. In THE INCOMPARABLE JACKIE RICHARDSON (Feb 1 at 8 p.m. ET), Richardson performs live with musicians Doug Riley, Kim Richardson, Ben Riley Dave Young, and Ted Quinlan. SOUNDS LIKE MOTOWN (Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. ET) follows Victoria, B.C. high school kids performing with Motown great Martha Reeves. A SONG FOR AFRICA (Feb. 8 at 9:30 p.m. ET) sees artists such as Ian D’sa (Billy Talent), Damhnait Doyle, Luke McMaster, and Simon Wilcox who travel to Kenya to capture the everyday stories that are often untold. WHEN MOSES WOKE (Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. ET) is a Gemini award-winning performance inspired by the combined experiences of Harriet Tubman and numerous Freedom Seekers who traveled through the Underground Railroad.

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA: THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS EVE – (Monday, December 7 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT)

CHRISTMAS AT THE CONCERT HALL – (Monday, December 7 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT)

THE RANKIN SISTERS – HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – (Sunday, December 13 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT)

THE FAMILY MAN – (Sunday, December 13 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT)

CHRISTMAS TOGETHER WITH THE BARRA MACNEIL’S – (Monday, December 14 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT)

THE JOHNNY CASH CHRISTMAS SPECIALS (1976-1979) – (Monday, December 14 and Tuesday, December 15 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT and 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT)

BARENAKED FOR THE HOLIDAYS – (Friday, December 18 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT)

THE MAN WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS – (Saturday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT)

YO-YO MA: THE MAKING OF SONGS OF JOY AND PEACE – (Monday, December 21 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT)

Bravo! remembers the late Patrick Swayze through his work on-screen with the airing of the comedic classic TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING! JULIE NEWMAR on Sunday, September 20 at 11 a.m. ET on Bravo!.

A huge contribution to queer cinema… Golden Globe®-nominated actor Patrick Swayze stars as “Vida Boheme” from the 1995 Hollywood drag queen fantasy flick, alongside Wesley Snipes (“Noxeema Jackson”) and John Leguizamo (“Chi-Chi”). Directed by Beeban Kidron (Bridget Jones), the film follows three drag queens as they travel cross-country until their car breaks down, leaving them stranded in a small town.

Synopsis:
Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes), Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) and Chi Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo) are going to show America a thing or two about being fabulous. With their Dynel tresses tossing in the breeze behind them, these three stars of New York’s drag-queen beauty pageant circuit have hit the open road in a 1967 Cadillac convertible. Destination: Hollywood. But after their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they rely on their wits and endless supply of garish costumes to transform a small town from drab to fab!

If you are writing any stories or announcing any updates on Patrick Swayze – it would be great if you could include tune-in info of the above for readers/listeners and fans alike.

It’s an international success story. On Saturday, CTV’s Bravo!FACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) funded short film I MET THE WALRUS won a Daytime Emmy Award® (New Approaches – Daytime Entertainment) and tonight, ETALK has the exclusive back-stage television interview with producer Jerry Levitan.

“Look, look at this thing – it’s pretty wild eh?” Levitan said of his Daytime Emmy Award. Levitan spoke with ETALK at an exclusive backstage gift lounge on Sunday.  “I didn’t really believe that I was going to get it. When they called my name I was just stunned.”

This is not the first time that I MET THE WALRUS has received international attention; in 2008 it was an Oscar® contender for Best Animated Short Film. The Canadian accolades have also been rolling in for this short film. I Met The Walrus premiered at TIFF in 2007 where it was one of the Top Ten Canadian Short Films; it also won two Banff World Television Awards (Animation Programs and Grand Prize for Best Kids and Animation) in June 2009.

“This Emmy win proves that anyone with an idea and passion can have their voice heard; you don’t need a multi-million dollar production,” said Josh Raskin, director, I Met The Walrus.

Awarded a $20,000 Bravo!FACT grant, I MET THE WALRUS had its world television premiere on CTV immediately following the Oscars broadcast and attracted an outstanding 1.5 million viewers, making it one of the most-watched original Canadian productions on television last year.

In May 1969, Levitan was a 14-year-old Beatles fan who invited himself into Lennon’s hotel room and convinced him to do an interview. Forty years later, he parlayed this experience into a short film and then a book. Levitan took the audio from that interview and teamed up with Toronto director/animator Josh Raskin. The result is I Met the Walrus, an intricate, animated visual narrative that accompanies John Lennon’s timeless message, featuring the pen sketches of James Braithwaite and the digital illustrations of Alex Kurina.

I Met The Walrus can be viewed online at www.bravofact.com.

This summer buckle-up and hold on as Bravo! delivers Summer Thrillers every week as part of BRAVO!’S SUNDAY CINEMA timeslot (Sundays at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT). The thrills begin June 7 with THE BOURNE IDENTITY followed by THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (June 14), THE BONE COLLECTOR (June 21) and Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award®-nominated MUNICH (June 28).

Spend the summer with Hollywood sweethearts and diehards including Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Keira Knightley, Catherine Zeta-Jones; and Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, Robert Redford, and masters of suspense Anthony Hopkins and Sean Connery.

BRAVO!’S SUNDAY CINEMA SUMMER THRILLERS (Sundays at 9 p.m. ET):

June 7 – The Bourne Identity
June 14 – The Bourne Supremacy
June 21 – The Bone Collector
June 28 – Munich
July 5 – Red Dragon
July 12 – Out of Sight
July 19 – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
July 26 – Twisted
August 2 – Spy Game
August 9 – Ladder 49
August 16 – King Arthur
August 23 – The Italian Job
August 30 – The Legend of Zorro

Production is set to begin today on the Bravo! docudrama NUREYEV, which explores the life of one of the century’s most renowned and enigmatic arts figures, Rudolph Nureyev. As auditions continue in Toronto today for SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA, Bravo! is pleased to announce that NUREYEV stars Season 1 winner Nico Archambault. NUREYEV is directed by award-winning filmmaker Moze Mossanen (ROXANA, THE RINGS OF SATURN), and uses mostly dance and choreography to portray the tumultuous life of the famed dance great. Auditions for SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA come to a close in Montréal next week on Tuesday, May 26 at Théâtre St-Denis.

Nureyev entered into popular consciousness when he defected from Russia in a Paris airport in 1961. Leaving a political firestorm in his wake, he went on to change the face of ballet in the West, presenting a masculine and sexually charged persona never before seen. Enigmatic, controversial and extraordinarily gifted, he has left a legacy seldom surpassed. He died in 1993 of an AIDS related illness in Paris at the age of 54.

Nico Archambault, who won audiences hearts and votes to become the first winner of CTV’s SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA, knew at the age of 14 that there was nothing that he would rather do than dance. Archambault has been training in dance since high school and is proficient in a mix of styles including contemporary, hip hop, jazz and tap. He attended the renowned Louise Lapierre School for eight years and then the Academy of Modern Dance of Montréal during college. Archambault has performed all over Canada, the USA, Cuba, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and under Egypt’s Sphinx and Pyramids.

NUREYEV co-stars Greta Hodgkinson, prima ballerina with the National Ballet of Canada, in the role of Margot Fonteyn. Hodgkinson recently starred in Moze Mossanen’s critically acclaimed, Gemini Award-Winning film, ROXANA.

NUREYEV is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Moze Mossanen (THE RINGS OF SATURN, FROM TIME TO TIME) and is co-produced by Peter Gentile (MOB STORIES, VILLENEUVE: A LEGEND, A CHAMPION) with choreography by award-winner Matjash Mrozewski (THE YEAR OF THE LION). NUREYEV is produced by Mossanen Productions Inc in association with Bravo!

Bravo!’s film version of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s hit play CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA screened to sold-out audiences at Cineplex Entertainment theatres across Canada earlier this year. Now television viewers can witness the acclaimed performance of legendary Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, and experience the drama, intrigue and comedy of George Bernard Shaw’s celebrated play when Bravo! presents CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA. The 90-minute live-to-tape production airs Saturday, April 4 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA is a witty and seductive comedy about the relationship between a veteran Roman political strategist and an enchanting Egyptian teenage queen. Stratford’s production was hailed by The New York Times as “the climactic event in the company’s impressive current season.”  The Toronto Star praised the Bravo! presentation, saying, “What was already a first-rate production when it opened… has gotten even better in its cinematic transfer….”   The play stars Plummer along with Nikki M. James and is directed by Stratford’s Artistic Director and Tony Award® -winner Des McAnuff.

“Bravo! is thrilled to deliver the critically acclaimed production of CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA to audiences across Canada,” said Isme Bennie, Vice President and General Manager, Bravo! “The high quality production captures the true experience of witnessing Shaw’s celebrated play on the prestigious Stratford Festival stage.”

Plummer was born in Montreal and has become one of the most recognized actors in North America, with two Tony awards and two Emmy® awards topping his list of accomplishments.

Celebrating this great event, HarperCollinsCanada has published a special edition of the screenplay of Caesar and Cleopatra in hardcover, now available wherever books are sold.

Produced in association with Bravo!, through the Centre Stage Benefits, and Melbar Entertainment Group, the critically acclaimed special was filmed in 2008 before a live audience in Stratford, Ontario. Produced by Barry Avrich and executive produced by Christopher Plummer, Barry Avrich and Michael Levine, and directed for the screen by Shelagh O’Brien, the High Definition multi-camera production captures Plummer’s highly-praised portrayal of Julius Caesar and the captivating comedic drama of Shaw’s renowned play.

Support for this project was provided by CTV/Bravo!, Cineplex Entertainment, American Express, the Bluma Appel Community Trust, NBC Universal and Jim Doak.

Bravo! presents 14 all-new all-star INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO episodes airing Sundays at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, beginning Feb. 15. Host James Lipton offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the lives and careers of celebrated entertainers, providing a forum for actors to share craft secrets. Bravo!’s line-up features Canadian comedian Mike Myers, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, and Sex and the City maven Sarah Jessica Parker.

Also upcoming is INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO’s two-hour 200th episode celebration hosted by Dave Chappelle. James Lipton is in the hot seat as Chappelle grills him about past seasons of the iconic series. Montages ranging from celebrity guests’ favorite swear words to their best dance moves, and highlights from classic interviews with actors such as Tom Hanks, Sally Field, and Mike Myers, complete this nostalgic journey.

The new INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO episodes are: Sarah Jessica Parker (Feb. 15); Alec Baldwin (Feb. 22); John Cusack (Mar. 1); Christian Slater (Mar. 8); Goldie Hawn (Mar. 15); Daniel Radcliffe (Mar. 22); Josh Brolin (Mar. 29); Mike Myers (Apr. 5); Conan O’Brien (Apr.12); Ricky Gervais (Apr. 19); Dave Chappelle (Apr. 26); Brooke Shields (May 3); Laura Linney (May 10); and Anthony LaPaglia (May 17).

A one-time only sneak peak at INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO featuring Sarah Jessica Parker airs Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

Bravo! sexes up string instruments with BOWFIRE “LIVE IN CONCERT,” airing Saturday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT and Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. / 5 p.m. PT. Featuring an energetic ensemble of fiddlers centre stage, BOWFIRE “LIVE IN CONCERT” isn’t your grandmother’s orchestra. This sizzling concert fuses jazz, classical, bluegrass, celtic, and swing music to produce an epic rock concert. BOWFIRE “LIVE IN CONCERT” uses electric bows, multiple cameras, and a state-of-the-art lightshow to launch the fiddle into the 21st century.

Created by violinist and performer Lenny Solomon, the Bowfire company attracts the most innovative and gifted musicians in the country. BOWFIRE “LIVE IN CONCERT” stars these Canadian string virtuosos, and features step dancing, stunning Celtic vocals, and a Chinese erhu solo. This musical journey also includes fiery performances of “Fiddler in the Hood,” “Orange Blossom Special,” and a rousing cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” Executive produced by Barry Avrich, BOWFIRE “LIVE IN CONCERT” was recorded in May 2007 at Kitchener, Ontario’s Centre in the Square.

“When you put the best string players from around the world together on stage something magical happens,” says Solomon. “We are changing people’s perception of what a stringed instrument can do.”

Bravo!’s DOCFEST 2009 highlights some of the world’s finest feature-length documentaries during a 13-week festival celebrating the genre’s ability to entertain, educate, and excite. Airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT beginning Feb. 5, the controversial, inspiring, and titillating festival features a combination of world premieres, network debuts, and returning favourites, almost all of which were produced in association with Bravo! From ballet to heavy metal, DOCFEST 2009 appeals to every taste.

Bravo!’s DOCFEST 2009 includes:

Feb. 5 – FLICKER – WORLD PREMIERE
FLICKER profiles Brion Gysin, the artist who invented the Dream Machine, a drug-free way to achieve altered states of consciousness using dancing pulses of light. FLICKER features archival footage of Gysin and William S. Burroughs, and interviews with singer Marianne Faithfull, Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, and rocker Iggy Pop. Directed by Nik Sheehan, FLICKER was awarded a special jury prize for Canadian documentary when it premiered at Hot Docs in 2008. Produced in association with Bravo!

Feb. 12 – METAL: A HEADBANGER’S JOURNEY – BRAVO! PREMIERE
METAL: A HEADBANGER’S JOURNEY follows Canadian anthropologist and lifelong metal-head Sam Dunn as he examines the music, history, and sex of heavy metal. METAL uncovers the myths about heavy metal music, and features interviews with Rush, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Rage Against the Machine, and Twisted Sister. This Gemini Award-winning documentary is produced in association with Bravo!

Feb. 19 – GLENN GOULD HEREAFTER
GLENN GOULD HEREAFTER explores the remarkable life of the gifted Canadian pianist using archival footage and interviews with Gould’s fans. Paris-based concert violinist, writer, and filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon directs this illuminating tribute to the piano prodigy. Produced in association with Bravo!

Feb. 26 – THE LAST MOGUL: LEW WASSERMAN
Few in Hollywood have climbed as high as Lew Wasserman, the “undisputed king of Hollywood.” Director Barry Avrich exposes the man behind the legend in an in-depth documentary chronicling the Tinseltown titan’s six-decade career. Produced in association with Bravo

March 5 – ARTURO TOSCANINI: IN HIS OWN WORDS – WORLD PREMIERE
Based on tapes secretly recorded by Toscanini’s son, the world-famous conductor speaks his mind about the music, politics, and amorous exploits that made him one of the most fascinating and important artists of the 20th century. Produced in association with Bravo!
March 12 – SHOW BUSINESS: THE ROAD TO BROADWAY – BRAVO! PREMIERE
Filmmaker Dori Berinstein goes behind the curtain to capture the most controversial, passionate, and high-profile Broadway season in decades. A must-see for any arts lover, this documentary features the making of Avenue Q, Wicked, Taboo, and Caroline or Change. SHOW BUSINESS: THE ROAD TO BROADWAY looks at what it takes to make a massive hit or a spectacular flop.

March 19 – KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS – WORLD PREMIERE
The filmmaker behind GRASS takes on the world of fungi in this documentary. Ron Mann’s exploration takes him to the Telluride Mushroom Festival where he encounters a subculture that includes an unlikely assortment of hipsters, tripsters, foodies, and foragers all paying homage to the mighty mushroom. Produced in association with Bravo!

March 26 – MANUFACTURING DISSENT
Seeking to separate fact, fiction, and legend, this documentary follows Michael Moore on tour during the release of the explosive Fahrenheit 9/11. Directed by Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine, MANUFACTURING DISSENT chronicles the politically charged climate in America that fuelled Moore’s transition from filmmaker to icon. Produced in association with Bravo!

April 2 – BALLET HIGH – WORLD PREMIERE
BALLET HIGH follows students at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet during their final year of high school. The follow up to BALLET GIRLS, BALLET HIGH is rife with rivalries and tension as the dancers prepare to leap into their careers. Produced in association with Bravo!

April 9 – JEW LIKE ME – BRAVO! PREMIERE
Filmmaker Jamie Kastner hits the road and examines the definition of Jewishness as seen from different cultures around the globe. This controversial documentary was one of the most talked about during Hot Docs 2007. Produced in association with Bravo!

April 16 – LAST CALL AT THE GLADSTONE – BRAVO! PREMIERE
LAST CALL AT THE GLADSTONE captures the transformation of a crumbling downtown hotel to a hipster hotspot. This Gemini Award-winning documentary is a beautiful tribute to the historic Gladstone Hotel and the city of Toronto. Produced in association with Bravo!

April 23 – MCLUHAN’S WAKE
The medium is the message. This documentary blends animation, vintage footage, and computer effects to examine the life and philosophy of great Canadian scholar Marshall McLuhan. Produced in association with Bravo!

April 30 – TALES OF THE RAT FINK
Ron Mann’s inventive documentary profiles Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, the instrumental animator of the hot rod movement. Roth’s most famous character, Rat Fink, created as an assault on Mickey Mouse, became a symbol for the culture. The film features the voices of John Goodman, Jay Leno, and Matt Groening. Produced in association with Bravo!