A surprising number of women share a strong affinity for apes, says author Emily Hahn, 83, who became fascinated with them 59 years ago. In her new collection of essays, Eve and the Apes, Hahn, who used to own chimpanzees, tells the stories of nine women who share her amateur's interest in the primates. The American author writes about such fellow ape-owners as American Penny Patterson, who trained her gorilla Koko to communicate with sign language. Says Hahn of the ape-owning women: "None is the silly kind who can't bear snakes and spiders."
A music star of the 1960s is now on a Toronto stage preaching about the sins of fame and fortune. Denny Doherty, 48, once lead singer of the popular group The Mamas and the Papas, plays a preacher in the musical Fire—based loosely on the lives of rock singer Jerry' Lee Lewis and his cousin, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. The Halifax native says that he does not miss owning a Hollywood mansion or hosting “wild three-day parties.” But he adds that he sympathizes with the young singer in the play, who is unable to cope with success. “A crazy world suddenly opens up to you—after all, you can't go to the circus and not eat any candy,”
Doherty says. For his part, the performer—who lives with his second wife and their two children in a modest suburban home near Toronto—says that he has stopped playing the concert circuit. Added Doherty: “I realized that touring was taking over my entire life, and I just didn’t want that to happen.”
Internationally acclaimed violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, 24, plays mostly 19th-century classical music on her 1710 Stradivarius violin, but when she puts down her bow, she turns into a modern jet-setter. Born in the West German city of Rheinfelden near the Swiss border, she keeps a luxury apartment in Monte Carlo and drives a white Porsche 911. Onstage she favors fashionable low-cut, off-the-shoulder designer gowns instead of the black dresses traditionally worn by female concert soloists. This week, Canadians will be able to view the unconventional violinist for the first time when she will visit Quebec City for a recital, followed by performances in Montreal and Toronto. Next April, she will return to perform with orchestras in Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa, part of her schedule of about 120 dates each year. With that many appearances, Mutter says that she needs a wide variety of outfits: “Never in my life would I go onstage in a dress which is not beautiful.”
THE IMPACT OF IMAGE
Although she is often cast as an erotic rock 'n' roller, Scottish pop singer Sheena Easton says that she has to work at playing the part of a sex symbol. But the impact is undeniable. When the 28-year-old two-time Grammy award winner appeared on TV's Miami Vice as a rock singer-bride last year, the show got the season's highest ratings. Easton says that her sensuous look on the screen—most recently exhibited in her new rock video, The Lover in Me—is more the work of makeup artists than nature. Added Easton: "Unfortunately, I don't look so great when I wake up in the morning."
Learning lessons out of school
Famous People Players director Diane Dupuy says that her education started long after she dropped out of high school. In her autobiography, Dare to Dream, the Hamilton, Ont., native says that when she and a group of the mentally handicapped formed the now-famous puppet theatre company in 1974, they were “labelled as people who can't make it.'' But, adds Dupuy, 40, “The players teach a lesson we'd all do well to learn. "
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