Though he spent the bulk of his career behind the scenes in movies, theatres and extravagant, Broadway-style productions, the life of Garth Drabinsky is just as dramatic. Debuting at the festival, Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky, follows the rise and fall of one of Canada’s tallest poppies. The Cineplex and Livent founder pretty much changed the Canadian entertainment industry, helping to create the multiplex, producing scads of Cancon and even making forays into the New York theatre world before some creative bookkeeping landed him in jail. Making an appearance at the event was the documentary’s director, Barry Avrich, who is no stranger to controversy after making Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project. (Now that Avrich has focused on a brash Canadian businessman who fell from grace, we’re hoping he’s secretly working on a Conrad Black doc next.) Walking the red carpet at the event were many familiar Canucks, including Albert Schultz (who narrates the doc, and was a sometime Drabinsky protégé) and musical power couple Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida. Other famous faces who came out to show their support were James Earl Jones (who was the promotional voice for Drabinsky’s 1994 Showboat) and Elaine Stritch (a.k.a. Colleen Donaghy), who recently called Drabinsky “the greatest living producer” (and who totally deserves a mention in Advanced Style for looking so awesome at 87).
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