Lately, Eugene Levy has been pulling a lot of dad duty—onscreen and off. The SCTV alumnus, who lives in Toronto, has been shooting the sequel to the 1999 hit comedy American Pie, in which he plays the nerdy but concerned father of a sexually awkward teen. And on television, Levy provides the voice of an ineffectual dad in the new animated sitcom Committed. Levy, 54—who has two teenagers—says the show reminds him of his early days of par-
enting. “My wife would be upstairs doing most of the baby stuff and I found myself in front of the tube,” he recalls. “It didn’t occur to me that there might be something I could be helping with.”
Levy, whose wife, Deborah, is a stay-at-home mom, now sees what a thankless job motherhood really is. “In my business, you either read reviews or do interviews—you are constantly getting feedback,” says Levy. “My wife would kill for feedback. ‘How about this,’ she says: ‘Fabulous blueberry pie tonight, mom,’ or ‘How did you scallop those potatoes?’ ” By comparison, comedy may just be the easier profession.
More fun with a fiddle
When Anthony Moore and his four Calgary-based partners set out in 1996 to create Barrage—a high-energy violin/fiddle troupe—they were actively seeking attitude. “During auditions, we looked closely for the edge and energy needed for the music,” says Moore. “It’s a fun, young ensemble.”
The 14-member group—all but one are from Canada—is now on a North American tour. The show, A Violin Sings, a Fiddle Dances, is a two-hour, highoctane performance that showcases the difference between violin and fiddle music. “We don’t play in a conventional way,” says 22-year-old fiddler Lynae Oliver of the troupe’s style, which is often compared to such acts as Riverdance and Stomp.
Barrage, whose self-titled album currently sits in fifth position on the Billboard world music chart, incorporates such wide-ranging musical influences as calypso, swing, country, jazz, classical and pop into their music. “Our goal is to reinvent the violin,” Oliver says, “and make the fiddle cool again.”
Fighting for her life
reat God, this is an awful place.” vJ During 11 months at the South Pole, Dr. Jerri Nielsen often thought of Robert Scott’s famous 1912 diary entry, made when he reached the Pole. “But it’s not terrible,” Nielsen says. “It’s beautiful, and my time there was the happiest of my life.” It’s quite a tribute from the emergency room physician who left her failed 23-year marriage in Cleveland for a stint as staff doctor at the Pole’s American research station—only to find an ominous lump in her right breast after the Antarctic winter shut down all flights in or out.
Nielsen performed a biopsy on herself with the help of the close friends she made there—from
welders to astronomers. She also trained them to conduct a chemotherapy program. When the tumour failed to respond to treatment, a volunteer flight team from New York pulled her out in a dangerous rescue. With her cancer now in remission after a mastectomy, Nielsen, 49—whose three children live with her ex-husband—spends time in her beachfront home near Cape Fear, N.C., or on the road promoting Ice Bound, her account of her experiences. Her only regret about her stay at the South Pole is that she is too much of a health risk to repeat it. “The irony of my life,” she says, “is that I find the best place in the world, people who accept me—and I cant go back.”
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