Radar: An Evening of Queer Expressions, the Roots in Nathan Phillips Square, A Taste of Empire, Levon Helm at Massey Hall
PANEL | Bent - An Evening of Queer Expression
The Gladstone's monthly moderated discussion on queer issues returns tonight to tackle the idea of international gay politics. Landing in the midst of Pride Week, tonight's discussion is particularly timely in the wake of a storm of controversy over organizers' perceived attempt to suppress political expressions at this year's event. ARC International co-founder Kim Vance, PFLAG regional director Marilyn Byers, and Arsham Parsi, founder of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, will address the need to fight homophobia internationally, paying particular attention to the plight of queer people in Africa and the Middle East, regions where homosexuality is frequently considered a criminal offense. Moderated by Gay Guide Toronto's Andrew Vail.
Gladstone Hotel, 2nd Floor, 1214 Queen Street West, Free, 6 pm
MUSIC | The Roots at Nathan Phillips Square
Genre-bending Philadelphia crew the Roots take a break from backing Jimmy Fallon's Late Night to perform in front of City Hall tonight as part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The band's 23-year career began with Blackthought and ?uestlove literally performing on the streets of Philadelphia, and since then they've defied categorization at every turn with a unique blend of hip hop and rock n' roll that is entirely their own. After releasing ten acclaimed albums over two decades, the Roots have risen to such heights of cooldom that not even backing super-nerd Jimmy Fallon can tarnish their image.
Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West, $45 (all ages), 9 pm
THEATRE | A Taste of Empire
This new production by the diversity-conscious Cahoots Theatre Company looks at food as a way of understanding as history. Performed inside a fully functional kitchen, Jovanni Sy tells a story of colonialism and conquest through the creation and consumption of Rellenong Bangus, a traditional Filipino dish of stuffed milkfish (trust me, it tastes better than it sounds). If you don't like the play at least you'll get to eat the food at the end of the performance. Previews begin tonight with the show's official opening on July 6.
St. Lawrence Market's Market Kitchen, 93 Front Street East, Previews $20 advance/$30 at the door, Regular $30 advance/$40 at the door, 8 pm
FILM | Levon Helm and John Hiatt at Massey Hall
Life on the road has claimed the lives of many musicians over the years, but luckily Levon Helm came out the other side. Helm toured relentlessly during the 1960s as a drummer for the Band, the legendary rockers who famously decided to call it quits in 1976 when they grew wary of succumbing to the drug and drink lifestyle that's synonymous with touring. Helm's bandmates weren't so fortunate: Rick Danko died on the road of drug-related causes and Richard Manuel hanged himself after a show in 1986. Helm however is not only still kicking, but at 71 years old has made an incredible comeback by releasing two back-to-back Grammy Award-winning records in the past two years. Helm comes to town tonight to perform with his Ramble on the Road band and legendary songwriter John Hiatt.
Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street, $52.50 - $75.50, 8 pm
PARTY | ?uestlove at the Drake Underground
?uestlove, he of the quizzical name, big afro and even bigger beats will be high tailing it from his set with the Roots at Nathan Phillips Square earlier in the night to drop the knowledge on the crowd at the Drake Underground. The legendary drummer will be spinning a DJ set that spans his expansive understanding of musical history, and while the Drake lists the start time at 9 pm, that's also when he's set to hit the stage in front of City Hall. ?uestlove's powers are many, but the ability to be in two places at once isn't one of them, so no need to bust a lung rushing to crash the doors at this one.
The Drake Underground, 1150 Queen Street West, $20, 9 pm
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Photo: "Welcome" by Pink Apple Z in the blogTO Flickr Pool
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