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A new starring role in L.A. for Kim Campbell

When Kim Campbell set her sights on Ottawa, she was a tart-tongued, unapologetically determined, razor-sharp intellectual. She confounded politicians and voters alike and her career was accordingly thrilling, awkward, at times thorny and ultimately very brief. CBC Archives examines Campbell's meteoric rise through the political ranks from her role as an outspoken backbencher to Canada's first woman prime minister.

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From politician to playwright, Kim Campbell has found a new a calling. Campbell, currently Canada's consul general in Los Angeles, has written the lyrics for a new show called Noah's Ark with her artistic partner Hershey Felder of Montreal. The ambitious musical is an adaptation of the bible story Noah's Ark and draws parallels with the Holocaust. In this CBC Radio interview, Campbell describes her role as junior creative composer. 
. On Aug. 8, 1996, Prime Minister Chr├ętien appointed her Canada's consul general in Los Angeles.

. Felder came to the Canadian Embassy in Los Angeles to acquire a visa for overseas work in Poland. The former Montrealer was conducting interview with survivors of the Holocaust for Stephen Spielberg's Shoah project. Campbell and Felder struck up an immediate friendship. She would later call him her "partner in life and in arts."

. Campbell said that Noah's Ark sought to provoke important questions about moral responsibility.

. Campbell and Felder hoped to one day bring their musical to Broadway but as of 2006, Noah's Ark hadn't made it to the Great White Way.

. "Kim and I, from the outside, don't look like we belong together," Felder said in an interview with the Toronto Star. "But on the inside, everything works, and that's what makes it magic for us."

. Felder starred in the one-man show George Gershwin Alone on Broadway before meeting Campbell.

. Noah's Ark wasn't Campbell's first foray into theatre. In law school, she penned and starred in the musical Best Little Courthouse in Canada. She and her first husband, Nathan Divinsky, also formed a Gilbert and Sullivan group; Campbell sang every mezzo role in their productions with the exceptions of The Grand Duke and Utopia Unlimited.

. Campbell's job as consul general involved representing Canadian interests in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Guam over a four-year term.
Medium: Radio
Program: As It Happens
Broadcast Date: July 10, 1997
Guest(s): Kim Campbell
Host: Lorna Jackson, Ann Medina
Duration: 6:31

Last updated: May 1, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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