Mitchel Raphael on the Frum family and an MP’s rapper-actor son

Frum gets a conservative welcome, and Joyce Murray’s son is up for a Drama Desk Award
Mitchel Raphael on the Frum family and an MP’s rapper-actor son
Photograph by Mitchel Raphael

Frum gets a conservative welcome

Sen. Linda Frum held a special reception on the Hill for her brother David Frum, a journalist, writer and former speechwriter for George W. Bush. The occasion was the launch of his first novel, Patriots, the story of an aide who works for a distinguished U.S. senator. The book is dedicated to his sister. One PMO staffer noted that the man shown on the cover looks a lot like Anthony Weiner, the former congressman who tweeted body pictures that reflected his last name. Conservative Sen. Nicole Eaton told Frum his book had been recommended to her by several people “who couldn’t put it down.” When Frum introduced her brother she joked it was “nice for my brother to be in a town where he is still a conservative.” David Frum’s criticisms of the Republican party have made for a “difficult time,” she said. “There have been some tensions.” One of his most honest critics has been his wife, Danielle Crittenden. She adores this book but Frum told of how harsh she’s been on others, especially the first draft of The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush. Crittenden said of the draft: “Is it too late to give the advance money back?” At the launch of this book, Crittenden spoke of the sex scenes in Patriots. She said one friend described reading the sex scenes, because he knew the author well, as “like watching your father dance.” Among the many senators and staffers in attendance was Stephen Harper’s principal secretary Ray Novak, a man rarely spotted on the Ottawa social circuit. Frum signed several books while standing and at one point needed to put down his glass down. Instead Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella was happy to bear his cup. “You learn to not grow attached to any of this stuff,” said Kinsella of his important position.

MP guarantees best lullabies

Ontario Conservative MP Terence Young is expecting his first grandchild on June 6. Neighbours have already loaned Young a crib and playpen so the baby can stay at their place. Young’s daughter, Madeline Hubbard, is having a girl, so the excited grandfather has already purchased many articles of pink clothing. Young says his granddaughter will get the best lullabies. Hubbard is the artistic director of the Opera Jeunesse Music & Theatre Academy. Young says his whole family is musical. The MP, along with his four brothers, all sang in their father’s church choir. His father, George Young, was a rector at St. Anne’s Anglican Church in Toronto, which is famous for murals painted by three members of the Group of Seven: J.E.H. MacDonald, F.H. Varley and Frank Carmichael. Young’s brother Scot Denton was in several rock bands and currently teaches acting at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont. Surprisingly, Young says he has not been tapped to lead O Canada when it is sung in the House each Wednesday. Often parties try to find more musically inclined members like the NDP’s Charlie Angus, a two-time Juno Award nominee, to start the national anthem.

MP’s rapping son

Liberal MP Joyce Murray will be in New York on June 3 for a special theatre awards ceremony. Her son, rap artist Baba Brinkman, is up for a Drama Desk Award in the category of outstanding solo performance for his one-man off-Broadway production The Rap Guide to Evolution. The Drama Desk Awards pit Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off Broadway plays against each other and votes are cast by members of the media. They are like the Golden Globes before the Oscars. Aside from performing the show in New York, Brinkman has also done it for medical conferences as well as at a military base. The production’s website notes his “project owes its origins to the geneticist Dr. Mark Pallen, who specially requested ‘a rap version of the Origin of Species’ for Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday in 2009.”