Will Oscar-nominated actor perform in St. John’s this summer?
Actor Russell Crowe (second from right) walks to George Street next to Great Big Sea lead singer Alan Doyle in this 2005 file photo. Rumours are circulating Crowe will be back to perfrom in Newfoundland this summer. — File Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Russell Crowe’s Twitter feed has got organizers of the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival scratching their heads.
The “Gladiator” and “A Beautiful Mind” actor has been mentioning the festival online since last week, but no one’s quite sure what he’s talking about.
“One last hint, Newfoundland Folk Festival,” he wrote June 9, and, “I’ve said it before, the Newfoundland Folk Festival, think about it,” a day later.
Crowe also referenced the event when asked by a follower whether his wife, Australian singer-songwriter Danielle Spencer, had any upcoming gigs.
“NFLD Folk Festival,” Crowe responded to the fan directly.
Crowe’s a musician as well as an Oscar-winning actor, and performs with his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, which has covered Great Big Sea tunes. Since meeting Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle in Toronto about six years ago, the pair have become friends, writing songs together.
Doyle produced Crowe’s album, “My Hand, My Heart,” and last year played the role of minstrel Allan A’Dayle next to Crowe, who played Robin Hood in the Ridley Scott film of the same name.
Crowe has been to St. John’s before, performing unannounced onstage with Doyle at O’Reilly’s Irish pub on George Street in 2005. He’s also rumoured to be in talks to guest star on the upcoming season of CBC TV’s “Republic of Doyle.”
Although Great Big Sea’s Sean McCann is performing solo at this year’s folk festival, which takes place Aug. 5-7 in Bannerman Park, organizers say they’ve no knowledge of Crowe or Spencer joining him.
“We have been following Russell Crowe's Twitter and we are flattered that Mr. Crowe is referencing the NL Folk Festival on his feed. After consulting with our programming committee, the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival has had no direct contact with Russell Crowe, Danielle Spencer and/or any of their management representatives,” said Gord Delaney, the festival’s marketing and sponsorship co-ordinator.
Great Big Sea is performing at the George Street Festival July 28, but organizers there have had no contact with Crowe, Spencer or their crew, either.
“I, too, have been following on Twitter, but have had no requests to date,” said Seamus O’Keefe, executive director of the George Street Association.
Crowe did not respond to The Telegram’s tweet over the weekend, requesting an interview.
Doyle was non-committal when asked if Crowe or Spencer would perform with Great Big Sea.
“It would be great fun to have either or both of them,” he said. “Keep watching Twitter for any announcements.”
In addition to Great Big Sea, the lineup for the George Street Festival, which is set to happen July 28-Aug. 2, includes Dropkick Murphys, Hey Rosetta!, Plants and Animals, Trooper and The Heartbroken.
While some of the main-stage lineup for the folk festival has yet to be announced, confirmed acts include Sarah Harmer, the Barra MacNeils, Ron Hynes, Paul Brady, Ennis, and Matthew Hornell and the Diamond Minds.
Crowe fuelled an international debate with his Twitter feed last week, after a tweet he sent (which has since been deleted) saying, “Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that God requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect.”
He later tweeted an apology: “My personal beliefs aside, I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry.”