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Whoopi! coming to Sydney

Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg

SYDNEY, N.S. - The local promoter behind Whoopi Goldberg’s upcoming appearance in Cape Breton says he got the idea to book the Academy Award winning actress from an unexpected source.

Alex Martin, owner of Martin Entertainment, says that while he’s constantly keeping tabs on potential acts, bringing the “Ghost” star and present co-host of “The View” television show to Sydney was the brainchild of his mother.

“I do countless research on different acts, but in this case I have to give the credit to my mother — she said ‘did you ever think of Whoopi Goldberg?’ so I did some did some research, reached out to her agent and here we are,” said Martin, who was the promoter behind Aerosmith’s 2014 concert in Sydney that attracted more than 15,000 to Open Hearth Park.

The 61-year-old Goldberg is scheduled to perform her standup comedy act at Centre 200 on Sept. 30.

According to Martin, the show will also include an interactive question and answer period with the iconic and outspoken entertainer who grew up in a New York City housing project.

Goldberg, whose given name is Caryn Elaine Johnson, achieved instant celebrity after starring in the 1985 movie “The Color Purple,” a period film chronicling the struggles of an Africa-American woman through the first four decades of the 20th century.

For her portrayal of Celie Harris-Johnson, Whoopi was nominated that year for the Academy Award for best actress that was won by Geraldine Page for her role in “The Trip to Bountiful.” However, she did claim an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role opposite Patrick Swayze in “Ghost.”

As a local promoter, Martin says he’s identified the entertainment genres that appear to be the most appealing to Cape Breton audiences.

“The markets here are classic rock acts, for sure, country music is still big and comedy is just something unique — kids’ shows are also big and I’m trying to put together some stuff for the younger audience,” he said.

Meanwhile, news of the Goldberg show has drawn mixed reactions on social media. Various Facebook pages, including that of the local radio station (New Country 1035 Cape Breton) that announced the show, have seen positive and negative reactions to the show.

The positive posts included: “I love her,” “Wow, I love her!” and “That is awesome.” The more negative responses included: “Sorry have no interest — just think she is very rude and a bit of a know-it-all” and “I wouldn’t cross the street to see her”.

Tickets for the Whoopi Goldberg show go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday.

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