Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.

All Out with Kevin and Alex Newman

The Ottawa Citizens Matthew Pearson

All Out with Kevin and Alex Newman

The Ottawa Citizens Matthew Pearson
Christ Church Cathedral
414 Sparks St.
Alex Newman
Kevin Newman - Photo by Jesse Senko - Lisa Bonnici Artists Agent.

Can a man with a demanding job really be a good father? All Out is a bracingly honest answer from Emmy and Gemini Award-winning anchorman Kevin Newman and his grown son, Alex. Confessional and provocative, their memoir is also a touching meditation on ambition, absence and family that will resonate with every parent and child who’ve ever struggled to connect with and understand each other.
Kevin Newman wanted to be a family man in an era when fathers are expected to be more engaged than ever before; he also wanted to reach the top of a profession that demands 24/7 commitment. The higher he climbed, the more irreconcilable those aspirations seemed. Meanwhile, his artistic, solitary son, Alex, was wrestling with his own competing ambitions: to be the sporty, popular son his dad wanted, and to be true to himself. Paradoxically, their attempts to live up to expectations—their own, and each other’s—were driving them apart.

Two parallel identity crises finally forced a reckoning. Kevin reached the summit of American network television, becoming co-host of Good Morning America—where he was instructed to develop a “quarterback” persona and change his accent, mannerisms, personality, hairstyle and everything else that made him Kevin. At the same time, Alex was realizing he was gay, but frantically trying to mask and change that fact. Both felt like failures and hungered for one another’s approval, but didn’t know how to bridge their differences.

Today, a decade later, they retrace their steps (and missteps) to reinventing their relationship and becoming one another’s role models for what it means to be a man in our culture.

Join us for a moving exploration of all the ways that fathers and sons misunderstand and disappoint one another—and a powerful reminder that they can become closer not despite their differences, but because of them.

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