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Patricia Vanstone and Norm Foster in On a First Name Basis.

Canadian actor-playwright Norm Foster is co-starring this summer in the new play On a First Name Basis, about a cranky novelist and the maid who has served him for 28 years and yet is a bit of a mystery to him. Foster wrote the play, and it premieres June 17 as part of a new festival that bears his name – the Foster Festival, in St. Catharines, Ont. The Globe and Mail asked him what's been turning his crank lately.

What's he's watching: "I am a fan of the series Motive, a police procedural set in Vancouver. The two leads, Kristin Lehman and Louis Ferreira, have great chemistry, and the premise is original. Over on Netflix, I have been binge-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It's a funny, off-the-wall police sitcom with a very good comedic cast."

What's he's listening to: "I don't know if I am late to the party on this group or not, but I recently discovered Johnnyswim. It is an American folk-rock duo consisting of Amanda Sudano (Donna Summer's daughter) and Abner Ramirez. I love their energy and melodies."

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What he just saw: "The best movie I've seen at the theatre recently is Zootopia, an animated buddy-cop adventure. I wasn't expecting much and was very pleasantly surprised. I wish someone would make a live-action movie that was this charming and funny. Or even half as charming and funny."

The Foster Festival runs to Aug. 27. $25 to $42. FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines, 855-515-0722 or fosterfestival.com.

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