Weekend Radar: Cyndi Lauper at Pride, Goin' Steady's 5 Year Anniversary, Pride Community Fair, the Greatest Show on Earth, Rock n' Roll Tune Up, the Making Of, Pride Parade, Vazaleen Will Munro Tribute
Saturday July 3:
MUSIC | Cyndi Lauper at Pride
Cyndi Lauper, still reeling from her recent dismissal from Celebrity Apprentice, continues her love affair with the gay community tonight with a free concert that tops the bill at this year's Pride festival. The 57 year-old singer behind such liberation anthems as Girls Just Want to Have Fun and She Bop has been a favourite of queer music fans since she dyed her hair red, put on a frilly skirt and sang about the joys of masturbation in the 80s, and will be getting support tonight from a who's who of local fem bands including Dragonette, the Cliks, and Hunter Valentine. Don't linger too long in Queen's Park after the show, by the way. We have ways of making you leave.
Queen's Park, Free, 9 pm
PARTY | Goin' Steady 5 Year Anniversary
The city's party circuit belongs to Pride this weekend, but if old school grooves and macking the opposite sex is your thing, the 5th anniversary of Goin' Steady is your best bet tonight. For a half decade now the Goin' Steady DJs have brought Toronto clubbers hand-picked singles from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, introducing jump blues, surf music, girl groups, and swing tunes to a whole new audience. Getting its start at the Boat in Kensington Market, the party's also been held at the Gladstone Hotel and even took over Montreal's Il Motore for a few nights, but tonight the gloomy confines of Lee's Palace's will be transformed into rock 'n roll dancefloor courtesy of the Exploding Motor Car art collective. There's a always an upbeat vibe at this bash but tonight's celebration will get you and your dance partner in such a good mood, they're handing out Goin' Steady condoms for the occasion.
Lee's Palace, 529 Bloor Street West, $10, 9 pm
PRIDE | Pride Community Fair
Stretching from the Gay Village all the way to Queen's Park, the Pride Street Festival is a marketplace full of beer gardens, local retailers, food vendors and community organizations. One of the largest events of its kind anywhere in the world, the festival is expected to attract close to one million people this year. Five stages have been set up across the Village to host music and drag performances, and if things get a little too festive and all you can see are the rainbows in your eyes visit the Free Zone, a drug and alochol-free environment for partiers in need of a rest.
Church Street between Wellesley and Alexander, Queen's Park, 12 pm - 12 am
GALLERY | The Greatest Show on Earth
Who doesn't like the circus? With its entertaining mix of fantasy, astounding physical feats, showmanship, and animal cruelty, the big top is a place to indulge your inner child. This new exhibition at XPACE examines the rebellious undertones of circuses and fairs, and how these events provide breaks from society's day-to-day constraints. Brett Despotovich, Pierre Durette, Alexis Mitchell, Amanda Nedham, Aldo Parise, Margaret Saliba, and Carolyn Tripp use the iconic images of carnivals or envision their own bizarre scenarios to recreate that liberating feeling of playing hooky to join the parade. Runs til July 23.
XPACE Cultural Centre, 58 Ossington Avenue, Tuesday to Wednesday and Saturday 12 pm - 6 pm, Thursday to Friday 12 pm - 8 pm
PARTY | Rock 'n Roll Tune Up
Everyone's writing about Parts and Labour these days, and I'm not one to go against the herd. With a swanky restaurant upstairs and a dingy punk venue in the basement, the garage-themed club is making a run for being the city's coolest new night spot. Though the cornish hen entree at the restaurant will cost you a pretty penny, to rock out to lo-fi garage rock, punk, and psychedelic music downstairs will only set you back 2 bucks tonight at the Rock 'n Roll Tune Up Party. Rachet up the intensity and get ready to bust a nut.
The Shop at Parts and Labour, 1566 Queen Street West, $2, 10 pm
THEATRE | The Making Of
This Fringe offering from Modern Underground premiered yesterday and uses a mix of video and live action to transpose the mockumentary format onto the stage. The action follows a group of inept filmmakers as they attempt to make a movie about homelessness in Toronto, and the production includes footage shot at city hall as well as real interviews with local politicians actually involved in homeless issues. The play's trailer features a Daily Show-inspired clip of Adam Giambrone explaining that while he doesn't have any homeless friends at the moment he does know some people who have couch surfed, and Olivia Chow can only grasp for words when asked if she's "pro-homeless." If the live action is as good as the footage, this could be one play to emerge from Fringe with a longer run in a couple of months. Runs til July 11.
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 16 Ryerson Avenue, $10, check event listing for times
PRIDE | Fruit Loopz
Pride's annual celebration of queer and trans youth art returns today as Fruit Loopz lands at Buddies In Bad Times theatre and the neighbouring Alexander Parkette. An initiative of Supporting Our Youth, the one-day festival seeks to support the creative pursuits of queer youth under 30 and engage them in the wider community. This year's theme is "No Apologies", and all day the Fruit Loopz stage will host performances from young musicians, poets, actors, and drag artists in a family-friendly and alcohol-free environment. For a little preview of the talent they've got on tap this year check out the Fruit Loopz trailer.
Buddies In Bad Times Theatre and Alexander Parkette, 12 Alexander Street, 2 pm - 10 pm
Sunday, July 4:
PRIDE | The Pride Parade
It's hard to imagine a scene on Toronto streets more opposed to last weekend's violence than thousands of good-natured, scantily glad queer folk from all over the world playing free and loose with their right to public space. Today the 30th annual Pride Parade takes over downtown, and floatloads of sexy revelers will make their way down Yonge Street in a glitterific display of gay pride and sexual equality. This year's parade honours PFLAG, an organization that has been helping kids come out to their parents for nearly 40 years.
Starting point at Bloor and Church, route travels South down Yonge Street, 2 pm
PARTY | Vazaleen - A Benefit for the Will Munro Queers Living with Cancer Fund
This year's Pride edition of Vazaleen is going to be bittersweet. Will Munro, who founded Vazaleen nights 2000, ushered in a new era of queer parties in this city and touched many lives before he passed away in May from brain cancer. One of his many legacies is the Will Munro Queers Living with Cancer Fund, which will collect proceeds from tonight's event and carry on Munro's mission of helping queer people in need. Lesbians on Ecstasy will show us how to party through the pain, supported by DJs Jaime Sinn, Adrienne Kammerer and Kevin Hagicic.
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West, $10, 10 pm
THEATRE | Toronto Fringe Festival
The Toronto Fringe Festival is the only arts festival in this city that truly throws open its doors to all comers. Productions are chosen completely at random and organizers don't interfere with any artistic content. Not only does Fringe provide an audience for new works, 100% of the proceeds also go straight to the artists. Over the years the festival has been the starting point for such hits as Trey Anthony's Da Kink in My Hair and Charles Ross's One Man Lord of the Rings, and it's a safe bet there are some gems among the 150 performances happening at 27 venues across the city this year. Trying to pick a must-see show in an unjuried festival is a bit like trying to pick the winner of a three-legged horse race, but we've done our best. Check out blogTO's Fringe Festival Guide for all the best tips. Runs til July 11.
Various venues and times, tickets $11 for individual shows, passes $40 - $90
FESTIVAL | Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival
Haul your landlubbin' ass down to the lakefront today to visit the 15 historic sailboats visiting the harbour as part of the Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival. The fleet of tall ships is the largest to come to Toronto since 1994, and ours is the first port of call in a race that will see the ships speed to five different cities in the Great Lakes. Visitors to the festival will have the chance to tour the decks of the ships, as well as take in music, live entertainment, and fresh-cooked food on shore. The festival's educational component, called the Great Lakes United Green Village, will provide insight at the workings of the world's largest freshwater ecosystem, and on Sunday the ships leave Toronto in a ceremonial Parade of Sail. Runs til Sunday.
Lakefront at Yonge Street and Lower Spadina, Festival entry free, ship boarding begins tomorrow $12 - $27, Saturday 10 am - 11 pm, Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
FESTIVAL | Casa Loma Renaissance Festival
The Renfest at Casa Loma one-ups Medieval Times with four days of extravagant costumes, live sword duels, wandering minstrels, war horse displays, a Viking encampment, a real life falconer, and archery demonstrations. If you want the full authentic experience, don your bodkin and jerkin and join the Village performers as they play out the intrigue of the court of Henry VIII. Go ahead, get nerdy. Runs til Sunday.
Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, Adults $20.55, Youth 14 - 17 $14.64, Children 4 - 13 $11.32, 9:30 am - 5 pm daily
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