Saturday, February 22, 2003

From The Auckland Herald:

17.02.2003 By FIONA RAE
Way back in my callow youth, when I would ride around Christchurch on a
motorbike and had dyed orange hair, I used to hang out with a bunch of
people who lived in a grungy flat above a fruit shop.

Some of them were in a band called Say Yes to Apes and, as far as I can
remember, all of us seemed to spend a good deal of time drinking beer and
talking rubbish. As you do.

One of them was Kevin Smith, flabby teen, already betrothed to Sue and not
really knowing what he wanted to do with himself. At one stage, he talked
about joining the police. Something to do with helping kids.

This is not to say I knew Kevin Smith but more to say that I was just one of
an extraordinary number of people that did. Consequently, a tribute to Kev,
who died a year ago, was always going to be a big ask.

So it was good to see Saturday's Remembering Kev: A Tribute to Kevin Smith
included aspects of his life other than his performing career because, as
Auckland Theatre Sports creative director Claire Kelso commented, it was
Kev's complete knowledge that he brought to the stage.

With his background of music and acting, he was also well grounded with the
family, he was interested in current events, he was hugely interested in
sports, and he brought this complete knowledge, with a great sense of
humour, with great stage presence and he combined it all.

It's true, he had everything and could just about do everything. He was
always looking for the truth and humour in a situation and I wonder what fun
Kev might have gained from having his life and career compiled into a
commercial hour.

Kelso also believed that his improv work was his best, although the role for
which he will be remembered by the largest number of people is Ares in
Hercules and Xena. It was a role that fitted Kev nicely. All those winter
afternoons in Timaru and Christchurch watching trash telly had paid off, as
had all those mornings at the gym.

It's hard for us down here to estimate the impact of that role in the United
States. New Zealanders have never really taken to that fantasy thing in a
big way. US fans were, and are, legion and it led to the role he was about
to take up in the US, starring with Bruce Willis in the movie Tears of the
Sun. As Robert Bruce explained, Kev was to play the role of Willis' buddy.
That's a Hollywood break by anyone's standards although typically, as
Michael Hurst commented, he wanted the role, the job, not stardom.

The consistent testimony of his friends in the documentary spoke about his
remarkable ability to connect in a real way. No one who met Kev was
unimpressed, from the fruit-shop owner with whom he talked rugby to, no
doubt, Bruce Willis' casting agent.

It's a bloody shame, frankly. As his friend Michael Woodnorth (Woody) says,
the world's not quite as funny as it was when Kev was here.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

'Xena,' 'Hercules' Swing DVD Distribution
Thu Feb 20, 3:19 AM ET
By Michael Speier

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - DVD distribution shingle Anchor Bay Entertainment has bought the home video rights to syndicated TV sensations "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys."

The company also has inked a deal with Davis-Panzer Prods. for subsequent seasons of "Highlander." Last year, Anchor Bay released the first season of "Highlander" as a boxed set along with a special edition of the 1986 feature film.

"Hercules" bowed in 1994 as a made-for-TV movie and went on to six seasons across 100 episodes. "Xena," a spinoff that debuted as a series in 1995, aired 130 episodes, also through six seasons.

The "Highlander" feature has spawned three sequels and 140 TV episodes. Dimension is planning a fifth feature film in 2004, and an animated series is also in the works.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Renee and Danielle, and Claire ... OH MY


We have super-hot news for fans in Great Britain (and throughout Europe!) The sensational Danielle Cormack and Claire Stansfield will be on-hand at our Strong Women of Sci-Fi Convention coming to London's Hilton Metropole on August 29-31, 2003.

You know Renee O'Connor is also on hand!!!! Plus more to come: this is gonna be a wonderful weekend: come on aboard and support this convention so we can make it a regular annual visit!

Grab the very best gold weekend seatings (which include lots of extras) by visiting us at:
Might they have Renee's Valley Forge appearance???
This in from Creation Entertainmet ... Due to popular request, and thanks to Xena's two amazing superstars, we are able to finally release archival videotape of the earliest convention appearances of Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor!

This exclusive videotape is almost two hours in length and we know that fans around the globe will treasure this video as a major part of their collections!

You'll see Lucy and Renee amazed at the enthusiasm of sold-out crowds that turned up for their early appearances: and you'll capture these wonderful moments in time: perfect if you were there and even better if this will be your first introduction to this historically warm, funny and moving footage!

This product will be shipping in March, so please place your orders with us now to insure delivery to your homes!

LUCY AND RENEE: THE EARLY CONVENTION YEARS: you'll love this! Visit us at: to grab your copy today. PAL video available for our overseas friends too!

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Rumor or fact?
"Xena: The Movie: ITV reports that the film will go ahead with not only "a stunning soundtrack provided by the series' original composer - Joseph Lo Duca" but a special Xena and Gabriel relationship them called "When I Look at You" by Mariah Carey.

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