Daybreak Alberta: May 5/6, 2012
The superhero action film The Avengers is in movie theatres and comic book fans also celebrated Free Comic Book Day on May 5. The Avengers, along with creations like Spider-man, Iron Man and The Hulk, are part of the creative legacy of one man. Stan Lee wrote his first comic book story in 1941 when he was just 16 and today at 92, he is venerated as a folk hero both for his prolific output and for re-shaping how super-hero stories were told. His characters were not invincible. They struggled to pay rent, couldn't control their drinking, had domestic quarrels, and in one case, coped with being blind. Stan Lee joined Russell from his home in California to discuss his career and reminisce about an appearance Stan made on 90 Minutes Live in 1978.
The Alberta Readers Choice Award is back for 2012 as once again five books will compete in a public vote to be the best Alberta book of the past year. The voting began on May 1 and continues May 31 with one of the five books winning a $10,000 prize to be announced on June 9. All five writers in the running are being featured on Daybreak and this week, Judy Schultz, the author of Freddy's War is Russell's guest. This fiction book follows after 10 other books on the subjects of travel and food. Her novel follows a young WWII soldier who becomes a prisoner of war and on returning to his home life, five years later, he struggles to catch up to a world leaving him behind. Judy started with a reading from Freddy's War.
In 2009, author Kirstie McLellan Day brought the complicated and heart-wrenching story of hockey player, Theoren Fleury, to readers in the book, Playing With Fire. While Fleury won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames, an Olympic Gold Medal with Team Canada, and established a memorable career, he also dealt with a private turmoil. As a youth, Fleury endured sexual abuse at the hands of former coach, Graham James. As the book recounts, it made Fleury a complex figure, but a compelling one as well. McLellan Day's book has been adapted as a stageplay and has debuted at Alberta Theatre Projects. Actor Shaun Smyth plays Theoren Fleury and he spoke with Russell about the physical and acting challenges in playing the hockey legend.
It is a love story and musical that has enchanted audiences since its Broadway debut in 1959. The Sound of Music was inspired by the true story of the Von Trapp family, who escaped Austria rather than submit to Nazi rule. The play was turned into a film in 1965 starring Julie Andrews as the plucky Maria and Christopher Plummer as the stern captain. Now audiences in Edmonton are being treated to the songs and music of Rodgers and Hammerstein at the Citadel Theatre. Daybreak's Nola Keeler saw the production and met with the actors who play the Captain and Maria, Rejean Cournoyer and Josee Boudreau.
CBC Radio has been airing a special series, Finding the Words, on the struggle to preserve aboriginal languages in southern Alberta. One of the journalists who worked on the series is Jessica DeMello and she spoke with Russell about her experiences in doing the series.
The Great Lake Swimmers have returned after a break from touring and recording to present an acclaimed new CD, New Wild Everywhere. It's the follow-up to the Polaris Music Prize shortlisted and Juno nominated 2009 album Lost Channels. This is GSL's fifth album in just under a decade, lead by lead singer and songwriter Tony Dekker. New Wild Everywhere is described as having "an elemental energy that moves from physical to spiritual ... all represented by Dekker's ability to weave insightful lyrics into deceptively simple, hook-laden tunes." Great Lake Swimmers brought their tour to Alberta and Tony Dekker played tracks from the new CD and spoke with Russell Bowers.
On Daybreak, we've been having a 5-part discussion around the subjects of Religion and Science and Pastor John Van Sloten of Calgary's New Hope Church has been joining Russell for those conversations. He's the author of The Day Metallica Came to Chrurch: Searching for the God in Everything. So far, kidney function, epigenetics and geoscience has been the subjects and for Part 4, Russell and John talk about the moral lessons found in the flow of a river.
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