A Great Big Yes to James Paxton’s No-No in Toronto
Ladner B.C.’s James Paxton is the first Canadian to throw a no-hitter on home turf, but the man they call Big Maple refuses to chuck his Canuck identity.
By Rod Mickleburgh
When James Paxton came out for the bottom of the ninth against the hometown Toronto Blue Jays, he was pumped. Three outs away from an historic no-hitter, the steely hurler from Ladner, BC was not going to lose it by nibbling around the edges of the plate with sliders and curve balls. He came right at the Blue Jay hitters with fast balls. Despite having already thrown 92 pitches and never having pitched a complete game in his six-year, injury-plagued career, they were his fastest of the night. One broke the 100 mph barrier (160 kilometres per hour in Ladner). All seven were strikes. Anthony Alford fouled out on the first pitch. Hot-hitting Teoscar Hernandez went down swinging on three blazing fastballs. And dangerous Josh Donaldson lashed the ball hard, but straight at the Seattle Mariners’ ...
Lauren Lee Smith Finds Power in Female Dick
Interview with Lauren Lee Smith
Frankie Drake is a female crime-solver working in 1920s Toronto, but for Vancouver actor Lauren Lee Smith, the new CBC heroine played a pivotal role as personal emancipator
By Katherine Monk
She never thought she’d be a dick. Little girls aren’t conditioned to be assertive, let alone take control — which is exactly why Lauren Lee Smith had to say yes to Frankie Drake. A female detective working in 1920s Toronto, Frankie Drake makes her debut on the national broadcaster tonight, but Smith says the journey to bring the character of Frankie to televised fruition is a feminist odyssey.
“The whole idea of a female detective working in 1921 is pretty rad,” says Smith over the phone from Toronto. “But she’s part of a larger history. She worked as a messenger during the First World War, was recruited to be a part of British Intelligence, but when someone blew her cover, she went back to Canada… and opened the first female detective ...
What The Knuckler? Pitching for Dummies… and Brian Doyle
When everything about baseball is new, having a knowledgeable buddy to help you get a grip on balls, strikes and four-seam fastballs can be more fun than shagging a can of corn
(The following is part of a continuing correspondence between Charley Gordon, journalist and veteran baseball fan, and Brian Doyle, author of Young Adult fiction and newly minted follower of the boys of summer.)
May 3, 2016
Dear Dr. Gordon:
I have a friend who has been a baseball fan for 70 years.
I am, as you know, a neophyte baseball watcher.
My friend (let's call him "Mike") has a superior attitude and is sneeringly patronizing when it comes to baseball comments.
I fear, when I come out of the closet, he is going to dismiss and even scoff at any observation I might make about the game.
I want to say something about knuckle ball pitchers in general and R.A. Dickey in particular. I want my comment to sound sensible and mature and reasonable and I want it to ...
William Oldroyd Finds Lady Macbeth’s Spot
Movies: Interview with Lady Macbeth director William Oldroyd
Lady Macbeth is riding a wave of feminist revisionism that emerged with Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad and crests with the forthcoming Ophelia, but director William Oldroyd says more women's stories should be told. Not just because they're full of drama. But female actors are available. They're better. They're also cheaper.
By Katherine Monk
In 1865, an author by the name of Nikolai Leskov picked up on something his contemporaries were doing. He revised Shakespearean drama for a Russian audience, playing with context but keeping the core of the character intact. Ivan Turgenev offered up Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District in 1859, and Leskov published Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District — a bodice-ripping, bed-post gripping romance featuring a young woman in a loveless marriage.
A century and a half later, we can see a similar trend emerging as filmmakers once more revamp Shakespeare, as well as other classics, ...
David Bezmozgis dives into Russian diaspora
Interview: David Bezmozgis on Natasha
The Toronto-based writer-director grew up in a community of Russian Jews who left the Soviet Union, but decades later he says the "Russian immigrant experience" has become more difficult to define -- yet far more interesting to explore through drama
By Katherine Monk
The “immigrant experience” is a phrase that’s been getting a lot of media mileage in the wake of Syria’s collapse and continuing mass displacement due to climate change, but as a phrase, it’s generic.
It assumes all immigrants share a similar reality: a sense of exile and limited expression until assimilation takes hold. Toronto author and filmmaker David Bezmozgis thinks the North American “immigrant community” deserves better than a broad label between quotation marks, so he wrote a short story called Natasha, originally published in Harper’s before appearing in a bound collection in 2004.
A Lolita-like yarn about a sexy young Russian girl who moves ...
PROFILE: Garth Drabinsky
Born 1948, Toronto
Few Canadians have simultaneously inspired as much awe, admiration, skepticism, sycophancy and disgust as Garth Drabinsky -- the high-flying entrepreneur behind the joystick of such dazzling, daredevil crashes as Cineplex and Livent. Love him or hate him, you have to hand it to the man for not only building an empire from the ground up, but doing it twice -- if not more (surely, the man will make another return to the limelight he loves so much) -- and flying the Maple Leaf in the face of star-spangled suits at every turn.
On paper, Drabinsky created the two the largest entertainment companies this country has ever seen, only to lose them both to American interests. Determined to play the same game of self-creation cemented into American consciousness via Hollywood’s marketing of the “American Dream” -- to the point where he even took it upon himself to produce the American classic, E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, on Broadway-- Drabinsky ...
Toronto: Why It Sucks
The Economist recently rated Canada's biggest city the best place on Earth to live, but it's not all that… even if it does have the CN Tower, whose mere presence subconsciously makes this page look more official just by stretching its long concrete column high into the sky. At The Ex-Press, we may be in awe of Toronto's smoggy swagger, but we came up with a few reasons to take a forensic look at The Economist's reckoning. We've titled the liabilities on our balance sheet...
TEN REASONS WHY TORONTO SUCKS
1. It's not a goal until Toronto looks at the replay.
2. That big tower thing seems to be overcompensating for something.
3. People dress off the mannequin.
4. It's all about money. (No doubt accounting for The Economist's ranking.)
5. They think they represent the rest of English Canada…. and we have no say, because they own us all.
6. It smells bad.
7. You have to drink in a private club to be considered cool.
8. They can't laugh at themselve...