Q with Tom Power
Q with Tom Power
About Q with Tom Power
Legendary writer and producer James L. Brooks transformed the types of stories you see on television, from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to “The Simpsons.” He then applied his same winning formula — character-driven stories with heart — to the world of film. James L. Brooks tells Tom about writing and creating some of the most successful comedies on TV, the secret behind “The Simpsons” success, and his latest project, “Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.”
Back in 2005, the artist Michael McMillan created his critically acclaimed installation “The Front Room.” It was a life-size imagining of the front room of a house belonging to Caribbean migrants to Britain in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Since then, Michael has recreated front rooms in places like The Netherlands, South Africa, Curacao, and France. Now, it’s Canada’s turn. Michael joins Tom to talk about his latest front room creation “The Front Room: Inna Toronto/6ix.” and what material things in the home can tell us about the migrant experience.
Stephen Sanchez’s hit song “Until I Found You” is approaching two billion streams, has been certified platinum five times, and made Elton John a fan —all before the release of his debut album. Stephen speaks with Tom about following up a once in a lifetime hit, his 1960s crooner sound, and tackling imposter syndrome.
“Nanalan,” a Canadian children’s show from the 1990s has had a resurgence recently thanks to its growing popularity on TikTok. Clips from the show are getting millions of views, and the puppeteers have even revived the character for online skits. The creators of “Nanalan,” Jason Hopley and Jamie Shannon, drop by Q to talk about the viral success almost 25 years later and what that says about the show. Plus, they bring the puppets that started it all.
Lily Gladstone had a tough task with her first major Hollywood film: she had to hold her own against Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro —and hold her own she did. Her character, Mollie Burkhart, is being praised as the star-making turn of Martin Scorcese’s latest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Lily drops by Q to talk about the role of a lifetime, and the challenges in telling stories about murder and colonialism.
When Tony and Grammy Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. takes on a project, he puts everything he’s got into it. Admittedly a bit of a perfectionist, he’s tried to embrace imperfection on his new album of original songs, “When a Crooner Dies.” He chats with Tom about the album and reveals what it’s like to return to Broadway for the first time since his starring role in “Hamilton.”
Comedian Matt Rogers is one-half of the hugely popular podcast “Las Culturistas.” He talks to Tom about finding his confidence in comedy through podcasting, and competing for a job on “Saturday Night Live” against his friend. He also chats about his debut album “Have you Heard of Christmas?” and his ongoing quest to be crowned the “Prince of Christmas” by the queen, Mariah Carey.
Back in 2007, a video featuring 1,500 inmates in a Filipino prison dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was uploaded to YouTube, quickly becoming one of the internet’s first viral videos. The footage inspired a new Filipino-Canadian musical called “Prison Dancer,” created by Romeo Candido and Carmen De Jesus. Guest host Talia Schlanger speaks to Romeo about the production, and travelling to the Philippines to meet the real dancing inmates.
Jani Lauzon is a Métis multidisciplinary artist who says she can’t stop creating. Over the years, she’s eked out a living as a rock and roll singer, an actor on stage and screen, and a puppeteer for Jim Henson, among other things. She talks to Tom about turning to art as a way to cope with a turbulent childhood, and how all her talents collide in the new play “Prophecy Fog.”
When a wildfire ripped through Lytton, British Columbia, in June of 2021, the town burnt almost entirely to the ground. Meghan Fandrich lost her small business — the Klowa Art Café — to the fire, and turned to writing poetry for the first time in her life to help her cope with the loss. The result is her first collection of poetry, “Burning Sage: Poems from the Lytton Fire.”
What's it like working on a show with near universal acclaim? Danis Goulet is a Cree-Métis film and television maker who has first-hand experience with that after working on the beloved series “Reservation Dogs.” She talks about the show’s place in her career, watching it end on its own terms, and the wider legacy it leaves behind.
Most know Jann Arden as one of Canada's most successful singer-songwriters, who captured the hearts of fans with her smooth voice and landmark record “Living Under June.” But for more than a decade, she's been following another dream – writing a novel. That dream has finally been realised in her first book of fiction, “The Bittlemores.”
After building an empire as one of the most successful country artists of all time, Dolly Parton has released her first-ever album of rock songs. She talks to Tom about the inspiration behind her new album “Rockstar,” earning a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and why she’s never scared to try something new. Plus, Alam Khan talks about following in the footsteps of his father — the great sarod player Ali Akbar Khan — and blending Indian ragas with Western classical traditions on his new record, “The Resonance Between.”
Drag superstars Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme are in the middle of a tour for their internationally acclaimed “The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show.” Ahead of their stop in Toronto, Jinkx and DeLa join Tom in studio to talk about the holiday specials that inspired them, how they build a sense of safety and community at their shows, and what keeps them coming back to collaborate with one another every year.
Hilario Durán, the Juno-winning and National Jazz Award-winning pianist and bandleader, is back with his first big band record in 17 years. Hilario joins Tom in the Q studio to talk about the new album, titled “Cry Me a River”. He also tells Tom about his musical journey from growing up in Havana to playing with some of the most influential figures in Cuban music, and what brought him to Canada in the late 1990s.
On the 30th anniversary of Blue Rodeo’s best selling album “Five Days in July,” bandmates Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor join Tom to recall how they found refuge in Greg’s Ontario farmhouse to create a Canadian masterpiece. Plus, k-os celebrates the 17th anniversary of his hit album “Atlantis: Hymns for Disco” by releasing a brand new song to add to his catalogue. The Canadian rapper, singer-songwriter and producer joins Tom to premiere the song, titled “Invulnerable.”
Linton Kwesi Johnson is one of the greatest poets of the modern era. His uncompromising political verse infused with reggae has influenced many people, and helped chronicle the lived experience of Black Britain for decades. This year, Linton has published a selection of his prose from the 1970s to 2021, titled “Time Come.” He joins Tom to talk about his life in words, poetry and music.
Jerry cans, bottles of soy sauce, and canned meats — these are just some of the everyday objects portrayed in Tarralik Duffy’s latest exhibit, “Gasoline Rainbows.” The multidisciplinary Inuk artist tells guest host Saroja Coelho about finding beauty in everyday objects, the unexpected ways we remember “home,” and how her art connects her to her ancestors.
New Zealand’s Taika Waititi is prolific if nothing else. As an actor, he’s played roles from an endearing vampire in “What We Do in the Shadows,” to Adolf Hitler in his film “Jojo Rabbit.” Taika’s new film, “Next Goal Wins,” takes you to American Samoa and the attempt to turn the worst team in soccer around. Tom talks to Taika about what drew him to this “underdog” story, why he finds humour in the mundane, and why he thinks New Zealand humour translates across the world. Plus, the Nova Scotia rapper Kayo tells the story behind a new song off his EP “Trip.”
Tim Meadows (Mean Girls, The Ladies Man, The Goldbergs) is an actor, comedian and writer who was on "Saturday Night Live" from 1991-2000, making him one of the show's longest-running cast members. Tim tells Tom about his latest project, “Dream Scenario,” co-starring alongside Nicolas Cage, and some of his favourite memories of working on “SNL.” Plus, he recalls memories of his late friends Chris Farley and Norm Macdonald.