In this year’s otherwise forgettable season for the Toronto Blue Jays, fans could always count on pitcher Pat Hentgen. The right-hander won 20 games, was second in earned-run average in the American League, and came to his overworked bullpen’s assistance by pitching a league-leading 10 complete games. Yet Hentgen, a 28year-old Detroit native, was seen as the underdog for „ the Cy Young Award as the £ league’s top pitcher. Andy | Pettitte of the World Series| winning New York Yankees, § who won 21 games, was the favorite. But last week, Hentgen captured the award, after voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, to become the first Cy Young winner on a Canadian team. “To be honest, I definitely prepared myself
to come in second,” said Hentgen. But in pro sports there is a limit to selfeffacement. “I don’t feel I got lucky or anything like that,” he added. “My stats were there.”
Acting like a Canadian
For Irish actress Brenda Fricker, Canada has turned out to be a treasure trove of strong women’s roles. Fricker, 51, has received a Genie nomination for her role as a librarian in rural Ontario in Swann, based on the Carol Shields novel. After Swann, Fricker shot an action comedy called Smart Alec in Vancouver, in which she plays an ex-marine schoolteacher opposite Star Trek: The Next Generation's Patrick Stewart And she is now in Saskatchewan filming Prairie Doves, with Kelly McGillis, as the madam of an 1850s western brothel. “They must be so annoyed with me,” muses Fricker, “all the Canadian actresses saying, ‘What the hell is she doing? We can do it just as well if not better than her.’ And I don’t blame them.”
A concert for the Ogoni of Nigeria
Famous for their political and social songs lightened with humor, the Toronto-based Moxy Früvous was the ideal band to headline the Canadian segment last week of an international benefit concert to remember
government-executed Nigerian playwright and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. “We were pretty flattered to be part of this,” says Jian Ghomeshi, who along with Mike Ford, Murray Foster and Dave Matheson make up the band. The concert, which linked Canada, Ireland, Britain and the United States, commemorated Saro-Wiwa and eight other Nigerians whose executions a year
ago ignited international outrage. The concert also raised $4,537 to aid the Ogoni people, from the oil-rich region of Nigeria where Saro-Wiwa lived, and 19 Ogoni activists still facing execution. “If I was a member of the Ogoni 19 and I heard that a group of Canadian artists were singing for me,” said Moxy Früvous vocalist Foster, “it would give me hope.”
Facts' on SCTV
While eavesdropping about a year ago on an Internet chat group discussing SCTV, comedian Dave Thomas discovered that the participants were interested in the most arcane details about the innovative late-1970s TV comedy show. But as a former writer and performer on SCTV, Thomas, 48, knew that some participants had their facts wrong—and he joined in to tell them so. The St. Catharines, Ont.-born Thomas, now on the ABC hit sitcom Grace Under Fire, was immediately swarmed with dozens of e-mail messages from cynical Net surfers, demanding proof of ID. Still, the experience came in handy when he was writing SCTV: Behind the Scenes, his recently released, aptly titled book about the program. “It provided a very interesting tour of what fans might like in a book,” he says. The book includes, for instance, a trivia quiz that poses 840 questions on everything from Bobby Bittman’s real name to the color of Edith Prickley’s
earrings. “This is my revenge on those guys on the Internet,” Thomas adds. But even when he interviewed fellow cast members including Catherine O’Hara, Rick Moranis and Joe Flaherty, Thomas found little consensus on some facts. “We had conflicting memories of the same events,” he says. “Not only that, there are some things that I remember that others don’t.” He solved that problem by including several versions of some incidents. “I sent Joe a copy of the manuscript and he called back right away to say, ‘I forgot what an important part you played, I thought it was more me,’ ” says Thomas. “I thought that was a sweet thing for him to acknowledge.”
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