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Radar: Toronto Burlesque Festival, Cancer Can't Dance Like This, Hair, Red Ribbon Affair and a David Lynch Double Bill

FESTIVAL | Toronto Burlesque Festival
The Toronto Burlesque Festival begins today, kick-starting five days of sexy variety shows the likes of which this city has never seen. Organized by world class troupe Skin Tight Outta Sight, the festival brings together sensuous performers from all over the world and begins tonight with the latest installment of Naked Girls Reading featuring the series' creator Michelle L'Amour from Chicago and performers from around North America reading sci-fi in the buff. The lewd and literate ladies will be followed by the international premiere of Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque, a doc about the legendary Manhattan pioneering plus-sized dancer.
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, $25, 6:30 pm

THEATRE | Cancer Can't Dance Like This
If the formula for comedy is tragedy plus time, Guelph-born actor Daniel Stolfi is sitting on a goldmine. Just as his career was beginning to take off, Stolfi was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 25. The next two years saw him undergo a rigorous series of treatments that left him without appetite or sex drive, but worst of all robbed him of the ability to dance. His ordeal led him to create a one-man musical show that, while serious at times, looks at the lighter side of a very scary disease. Proceeds from the show go to benefit Sunnybrook's Cancer Centre, which at the time Stolfi was admitted to it was serving 10,000 patients at a facility meant for 2,000.
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East, $45, 8 pm

Seeing as the Toronto Youth Theatre is made up of actors between the ages of 13 and 20-years old, the company's production of Hair is lacking the public nudity that made the play a scandalous sensation when it was written in 1979. That doesn't mean it's not worth seeing (what are you, a pervert?), and in fact the TYT has had to find creative ways to keep the integrity of the groundbreaking script while remaining family-friendly. The play delves into the impure heart of draft-dodging hippie culture in the Vietnam era, and asks questions about a country at war that are increasingly relevant today. Runs til July 31.
Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Avenue, $28 general admission, $23 students, Wednesday to Saturday 7:30 pm, matinees Saturday 2 pm

FASHION | Red Ribbon Affair
With the announcement this week of a major breakthrough in HIV/AIDS research, a solution to the catastrophic disease seems closer than ever. The fashion industry has always been a major fundraiser for the cause, and tonight Canadian designers come together to support the AIDS Committee of Toronto. Featuring designs by Project Runway Canada finalist Jason Meyers, local girl Baby Steinberg, and juniour fashion line C'est Moi, tonight's event includes a silent auction and cocktail party in aid of a very worthy cause.
Andrew Richard Designs, 571 Adelaide Street West, $25, 7 pm

FILM | David Lynch Double Bill: Wild at Heart and Mulholland Drive
David Lynch is in a class all by himself. Since his very first film school feature Eraserhead, he marked himself as a fearless filmmaker undaunted by the prospect of breaking all the conventions of his craft. The Bloor Cinema screens two of his most famous works tonight in the 1990 Cannes Palm D'Or winner Wild at Heart, a crime drama starring Nicholas Cage and Laura Dern as a couple who go on the run from her domineering, mobbed up mother, and the classic nightmare vision of Hollywood Mulholland Drive.
Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor Street, $9 each, Wild at Heart 7 pm and Mulholland Drive 9:25 pm

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For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.

Photo: "Victory!" by FlickrGT, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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