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Opinion

Black Lives Matter Is The Best Thing To Happen to Pride Toronto Since The Orlando Shootings

When I heard that 49 of my Orlando brothers and sisters died as a result of the one man’s hate fuelled rampage I felt sick because I know it’s caused by a culture that rewards homophobia, sexism and oppression. Sometimes I wonder if we are no longer in the modern era but have gone back in a time machine to […]

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Advertising & Design

Pulp Lounge

A pop-up piano bar in front of The 519 on Church Street Community Centre. Produced by Raymond Helkio. Featured event during Nuit Rose, WorldPride 2014. ?? STIKY VINY  

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Advertising & Design

RAID: Operation Soap

Written and directed by Raymond Helkio with David Bateman, music by Stewart Borden starring Keith Cole and Johnny Salib, featuring Paul Bellini, Brock Hessel and Amy J. Lester. An unconventional love story about two of the men that were arrested and how their horrific experience changed the course of LGBT history, marking the birth of […]

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Advertising & Design

Hamlet In A Hot Tub (The Movie)

A gender-bending farce of never-ending happy endings. Hamlet In A Hot Tub follows Gertrude and Polonius as they secretly conspire to marry their children, Hamlet and Ophelia. But Ophelia soon discovers that Hamlet and Polonius have been keeping a secret of their own. FULL MOVIE: OFFICIAL TRAILER: Starring Paul Bellini, Brock Hessel, David Bateman, Amy […]

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Review

A Nice Day In The Park by Sky Gilbert

Fans of Sky’s work will quickly recognize the witty writing, the exploration of a developing relationship between two people, and the sometimes intermixing of classical music.

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Review

Second City: solid, funny sketch comedy

Second City has consistently been putting on great shows in Toronto for 47 years, and it is now 60 years since a motley crew of comedians started in Chicago, mocking the ‘second city’ status of Chicago to New York. Their current show, The Second City Totally Likes You is directed by Kirsten Rasmussen who also directed […]

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Review

Aprés le Dèluge: The Buddy Cole Monologues

Taking playful swipes at everything from wokeness to circumcision Scott was in full command of his craft and the audience. We can all attest that he worked up a sweat playing directly to many of the attendees (lookout if you’re sitting in the front row), but also worked the whole room stepping away from his stool to mingle, and of course, walk back to the bar for a drink.

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Review

Bungalow

Playwright Sky Gilbert’s most recent work Bungalow showing at the Hamilton Fringe Festival is set in Steel Town but it could easily apply to most cities whose rapid growth leads to gentrification which ultimately pits those who have, against those who do not. We are introduced to two different sides of a semi-detached bungalow. Neighbours […]

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Review

Diamonds on Plastic

Playwright Philip Cairns recent mounting of Diamonds on Plastic at the Hamilton Fringe Festival is a smart, witty and tightly written romp through the mind of Doris Nightshade, an older woman whose kept relationship one day forces her into the arms of her long-time female friend and confidant.

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Advertising & Design

Mouth Congress

They recorded over six hundred songs and never released any of them. Is the world ready for Mouth Congress now? Mouth Congress is the story of Kids in the Hall’s Scott Thompson and Paul Bellini, who started a punk band in the late 80s. Now, three decades later, they have decided to finish what they started with a film as crazy as their band.

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Review

Hamilton Fringe Festival: Sky Gilbert + Philip Cairns

Toronto queer playwrights Sky Gilbert and Philip Cairnes are just two of the reasons Hamilton Fringe Festival should be on your summer bucket list. On until July 28, the festival provides incredible value by giving theatre lovers access to a massive spectrum of works designed to enlighten, entertain and provoke. Bungalow and Diamonds on Plastic are two such works whose subject matter […]

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Review

Extravaganza Eleganza: Funnier Than (Gay) Hell!

Perhaps one of the smartest queer (or otherwise) comedy shows I’ve seen in a decade because instead of being dotted by funny moments, it’s a seamless laugh-fest from begging to end… if Saturday Night Live had sex with Kids In The Hall during a musical, Extravaganza Eleganza would be the offspring.

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30 Days Without Plastic

30 days without plastic, how hard could that be?

What I’m learning the hard way is that to eliminate plastic I have to give up shopping in supermarket chains. On the second day of our no-plastic diet, I needed to get paper towels and laundry detergent.

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Review

Hand To God

Nice Never Got Me Anything I wasn’t sure what to think when a puppet stuck his head through the curtain and starts giving us a foul invective on the history of humanity. I wasn’t sure what to think as two teens are having a perfectly normal conversation while their puppets are having very graphic sex. […]

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Review

Shove It Down My Throat – A Theme and Variations

Shove a couple of bus tokens into your pocket and go down to Buddies to see this show. Shove It Down My Throat is Johnnie Walker’s latest play, which centres around the real-life Luke O’Donovan’s case. Luke was at a party, got queer-bashed/stabbed, stood up for himself by knifing 5 of his assailants back, and […]

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Review

Vivek Shraya: I’m Afraid Of Men

Sharp, thoughtful and to the point writing that paints a vivid portrait of Vivek’s Shraya’s search for safety in our masculine-dominate culture. The personal stories that makeup I’m Afraid of Men are compelling and framed from the perspective of a person whose gender expression ever-shifts against, and with, conventional norms, serving to challenge the status quo as well as each of our roles within it. 

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Review

REVIEW: Irshad Manji, Don’t Label Me

“We rally for diversity of appearance but flake on diversity of viewpoint.” -Irshad Manji, Don’t Label Me Pulling from her own experiences as well as that of Bruce Lee, Ben Franklin and Audre Lorde, Irshad Manji dismantles how the labels we use to define others, ultimately define and limit ourselves. Don’t Label Me deconstructs our […]

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Review

Irshad Manji, Don’t Label Me

“We rally for diversity of appearance but flake on diversity of viewpoint.” -Irshad Manji, Don’t Label Me Pulling from her own experiences as well as that of Bruce Lee, Ben Franklin and Audre Lorde, Irshad Manji dismantles how the labels we use to define others, ultimately define and limit ourselves. Don’t Label Me deconstructs our […]

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Review

A Trouble of Queers: The Bricks and Glitter Cabaret

Questions answered by Brock Hessel, Vince Rozario, Kumari Giles, and Mikiki There’s always lots of great finds at the Rhubarb Festival including an instalment of The Bricks and Glitter Cabaret. The Reading Salon asked the organizers about this years event and why should book your ticket now! What is the “A Trouble of Queers: The […]

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Review

THE FATHER

“I can manage very well on my own”. This early line from Coal Mine Theatre’s latest offering sums up the sentiment of so many aging parents but also sends shudders through their trying-to-be-accommodating adult children. It also provides the basis for the 90 minute journey down the rabbit hole of Alzheimers that is The Father. […]

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Advertising & Design

The Benefits of Using ‘Read More’ Tags

Linking longer eNews articles to your website with a “Read More” tag gives your team valuable statistics about which types of articles generate the most interest. As you notice patterns in what your constituents care about, and what they don’t, try and let go of expectations you have for articles going viral, instead focus on slow, incremental […]

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Review

GA TING

GA TING An immigrant Chinese couple invite their son’s caucasian boyfriend to visit, in order to come to terms with their son’s suicide. The son had never come out to his parents and they had never met the “roommate” so this was going to make for an interesting ride. And it delivers. The visit starts […]

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Art Canada LGBT The Toolbox Killer

The Toolbox Killer (podcast)

A mystery-comedy podcast written and directed by Raymond Helkio. Season One featuring Paul Bellini, Hélène Ducharme, David Bateman, Rolyn Chambers, Amy J. Lester and Nate Power. Musical score by Stewart Borden + ‘Wild And Beautiful In Ontario’ (Ep. 1, 2) and ‘The Long Dark Twenties’ (Ep. 3) by Paul Bellini from the album ‘The Northland’s Own’. […]

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Advertising & Design

Male Call Canada

So many men, so little time. Led by the University of Toronto, Male Call Canada conducted a cross-sectional national toll-free telephone survey of MSM to gather information on a broad spectrum of attitudes, behaviours and related social issues and determinants. The study recruited gay and bisexual men as well as other MSM who don’t identify as […]

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Advertising & Design Branding

Hair of the Dog

Website and various print collateral. Shown here: storefront banners.

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Review

We Are Not Alone

Whether you believe in UFO’s or not, this show makes a compelling case for life in outer space, but that’s not why you should see it. From the start, Damien dismantles any notion of a fourth wall, speaking directly to the audience, maintaining eye contact throughout the ninety-minute show, shifting the experience, and it was an experience, from voyeuristic to participatory.

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Review

The Waverly Gallery

Waverly Place is a little street that humbly leads from Greenwich Village, across 6th Avenue to arrive at the grand northern border of Washington Square. Waverly Gallery is a small gallery at the humble end of the street. The story centres around gallery proprietor Gladys (played incredibly by the great Elaine May). The play opens […]

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Review

REVIEW: The Tricky Part

Main photo by Joan Marcus. The Tricky Part written and performed by Martin Moran had its debut Off-Off-Broadway in 2003, and since then has toured through the United States, Canada, South Africa and India. Moran’s memoir of the same title has won numerous honours, including a Barnes and Noble Discover Prize and a Lambda Literary […]

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Review

The Tricky Part

Main photo by Joan Marcus. The Tricky Part written and performed by Martin Moran had its debut Off-Off-Broadway in 2003, and since then has toured through the United States, Canada, South Africa and India. Moran’s memoir of the same title has won numerous honours, including a Barnes and Noble Discover Prize and a Lambda Literary […]

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Review

The New One

At one point, Michael Birbiglia is telling the story of being caught by a friend while he is frantically rummaging through various types of pretzel bags for his wife’s latest hunger craving. He turns to his friend and shouts “Yes, I’ve got a lot of secrets!”. This should be the catchphrase of his latest solo […]

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Review

Consumption

It’s a chilly night in Brooklyn so I’m walking with a quick step down the tree-lined streets until I arrived at the setting for tonight’s show, a hundred-year-old Victorian mansion. Known as the Beverly Social Club, this mansion was originally built for a doctor but in the 1920s it was home to the Brooklyn Democratic […]

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Review

The Play That Goes Wrong

Imagine Faulty Towers at its craziest. Then mix in broken props, collapsing scenery, forgotten lines, inept stagehands, all while an Agatha Christie mystery breaks out, and you have The Play That Goes Wrong. Not one for slapstick, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it that much, but I have to admit I was won over. The […]

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Review

Love Song To Lavender Menace

  On the surface, Love Song To Lavender Menace is about the struggle for acceptance which is explored through the relationship between Lewis, Glen and their beloved LGBT bookshop, Lavender Menace is underscored by the blooming gay rights movement. While the play is set in Edinburgh, the struggle to take up space in a homophobic […]

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Advertising & Design Canada Chairity Social Media

Environmental Defence

Social media campaign including cover photos, ad carousal, memes and infographic poster.

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Review

LURED

Sometimes theatre is tough. As I sat watching the first, and then second ‘luring’ scenes, I got increasingly uncomfortable. But I realized that a) I’m supposed to be reacting this way, and b) I was thinking of how much the actual gay Russian victims suffered, having been lured to a room on the promise of […]

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Review

REVIEW: Sherry Vine, Joey Arias

You really shouldn’t visit New York without trying to catch a Sherry Vine show. More than a drag show, Sherry musical talent and writing put her at the top of the entertainment food chain. Sadly, it’s going to get tougher to see her perform with her upcoming stint in Los Angeles so when we saw […]

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Review

Sherry Vine, Joey Arias

You really shouldn’t visit New York without trying to catch a Sherry Vine show. More than a drag show, Sherry musical talent and writing put her at the top of the entertainment food chain. Sadly, it’s going to get tougher to see her perform with her upcoming stint in Los Angeles so when we saw […]

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Review

REVIEW: Love Labour’s Lost

This is not dinner theatre, it’s way better, it’s theatre dinner. When I hear the words “dinner theatre”, I immediately think of mediocre food along with a cabaret or some okay’ish performance. Shake & Bake has decidedly tried to not brand itself that way, and for good reason. It isn’t that at all. It’s so […]

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Review

REVIEW: Trainspotting Live

First, there was the book, then the play, then the movie, and now tweaking at its highest level yet…the incredible Trainspotting Live – an immersive experience. The trip begins well before the show. You climb 4 sets of grungy stairs, then after a stop at the bar, you wait in a long dark smoky graffiti-covered […]

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Review

REVIEW: Daniel’s Husband

Do we marry for love or is it something else? It’s this very question that’s at the core of Daniel’s Husband. This insightful analysis of gay marriage gives compelling reasons why we may, and may not, want any part of it. The story follows Daniel and Mitchell’s seemingly perfect life, except for one thing. Daniel wants […]

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Review

Small Craft Warnings

Tennessee Williams wrote many notable plays but it’s his earlier works like The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that are produced, so it’s a treat when some of his more brazen characters get a chance to take the stage. Small Craft Warnings, directed by Barnaby Edwards and Marcus […]

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Advertising & Design

Queer Arts Summit

GRAPHIC DESIGN by Raymond Helkio. A one-day ‘think tank’ summit bringing together leading organizations and individuals involved in the presentation of queer arts, culture and heritage in Canada.  The summit includes a series of discussions on the funding, distribution and preservation of queer culture. The day will focus on interactive discussions with a goal to […]

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Review

Gertrude & Alice

The remount of Gertrude & Alice kicked off Buddies In Bad Times Theatre’s 40th season and it was like walking through a Picasso painting, amazing. The smart set is made up of seemingly decorative items that later serve as functioning props for the characters. The set design is genius in that it’s all powered by […]

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Review

Cluster Fucked

What started out as a low-tech whimsical romp through a marketer’s backroom quickly turned into a thought-provoking dark comedy. Cluster Fucked is an unpretentious Masterclass on data and how it’s used to track, influence and alter how we operate as individuals and collectively as a culture. Devised as a theatre piece, the play is a […]

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Review

CHERI: Theresa Tova Seduces!

From her off-stage opening line to her brilliant closing line at the piano, Theresa Tova is mesmerizing and seducing. Tova is playing Lea, an aging ex-courtesan, who takes the audience on an elaborate journey through life, love, sex, growing old, age-appropriate dressing, and scarves. Her dialogue is brilliantly written (by Sky Gilbert) and is putty in […]

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Review

The Two of Us

From acclaimed Croatian playwright Tena Štivicic and directed by the award-winning Svjetlana Jaklenec, The Two of Us had its North American premiere at this year’s Fringe Festival in Toronto. The story follows two women as they navigate family, friendship and love in a post-war Croatia. On the surface, The Two of Us is an examination of […]

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Review

LULU v.7: aspects of a femme fatale

LULU V.7 invites audiences into an absurdly beautiful and wildly twisted world of love, sex, art and death. Surreal scenography, sublime movement choreography and imaginative costuming combine to create a world that was as vibrant as it was dark and foreboding.

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Review

REVIEW: Love and Information

Let me give you an information tidbit: love and information is a crazy ride…. a fun journey through a myriad of characters, scenes, and subjects. A hundred personalities are portrayed by 8 talented actors playing everything from a child who can’t feel pain, a couple experimenting on chicken brains, to a man who no longer […]

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Review

A Five Star ‘Category E’ Hits Toronto!

Edmonton continues to birth artistic masterpieces and Category E is no exception. On until the end of the month, this horror-comedy is produced by Maggie Tree Collective and has garnered many awards including five Sterling Awards for New Play and Independent Production. Written by  Edmonton-based playwright Belinda Cornish, the madness that is Category E is as […]

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Review

Dancing Alone Together

Originally published on theBUZZ Alone Together is a double bill consisting of There she was and Taking Breath which use dance in an examination of human connection. Constructed as a reality that is both chaotic and calming, Alone Together merges two performances that are similar in structure yet different in every other way. Taking A Breath is a […]

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Closet Case

Eulogy for a Videofag

How do queers mourn the death of someone they love? With brunch of course! If you haven’t heard already, Toronto’s beloved Videofag is closing up shop and so they’ve been holding funeral services (yes, that’s plural) to help our community mourn. I went to the brunch service to deliver the following eulogy in honour of […]

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Closet Case

David Bateman: Performance Poet & Butter Tart Police

David Bateman is an internationally recognized performance poet, and last year he co-wrote the music and starred in thirteen public presentations of Brock Hessel’s hit Hamlet In A Hot Tub starring Paul Bellini, Amy J. Lester, plus a host of cameo appearances by notable queer Canadian starlets. David is currently working on his seventh book […]

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Closet Case

Keith Cole: Butter Tarts, KFC and Queering Up the AGO

Keith Cole is a queer Canadian performance artist and political activist. An alumnus of York University’s Fine Arts program, Cole has worked in film and video, dance and theatre performance, both as himself and in character as drag queen Pepper Highway. Theatrical works include: the shows Mine, Alma, The Needle Exchange and Dodged Bullets/Missed Opportunities. […]

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Closet Case

NO GIRLS ALLOWED: Bio Queens, Boy Drag & Belonging

RuPaul is no stranger to controversy, and her latest comments have exploded all over social media. When asked about allowing biological females on RuPaul’s Drag Race she responded with “That show already exists. It’s called #MissUniverse” and while her comment is humorous, it’s also insensitive to those who are seeking acceptance. We are witnessing an […]

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Closet Case

Serving Our LGBT Youth: From New York to Toronto

Organizations such as Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York has been providing youth services to at-risk LGBT youth since 1979 and they have had extraordinary successes including attracting such notable ambassadors as Andy Bell, Judy Gold, and Carole Pope to name just a few. Targeting services to at-risk LGBT youth is not about providing separate services, […]

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Closet Case

Shirley U. Jest: Lost & Found

Originally from Ohio, Shirley U. Jest left her job teaching to move to New York to pursue her true love, performing. I met Shirley at G Lounge where she was doing some numbers at Marti Gould Commings’ Drag Suicide – which incidentally is rumoured to be a trial sport at the upcoming Gay Games. Drag […]

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Closet Case

Sherry Vine: BiPolar and in Therapy

For the past 25 years Sherry Vine has dominated the scene as an internationally renowned drag artist. In the 90’s Sherry cofounded Theatre Couture which allowed her and her friends to mount off-the-wall camp productions like their notorious remake of the horror classic Carrie. She has lived in Barcelona and Berlin and she has recently […]

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Closet Case

IRISH QUEERS: Green With Pride

In this episode of Closet Case we chat with Gabrielle Cryan from Irish Queers NYC who will be joining hundreds of other NYC queers marching in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the first year ever in an official capacity. Emmaia Gelman, also from Irish Queers NYC wrote – This Thursday, Irish […]

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Closet Case

Marti Gould Cummings: Dara Roulette

“The love child of Liza Minnelli and Johnny Weir.”–Michael Musto New York based Marti Gould Cummings is a singer and host of some of the cities most notorious drag spectaculars. His career includes off Broadway theatre, national tours, red carpet interviews, a hit single Real Girl and Show Me Your Dick. Marti has been nominated […]

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Closet Case

Elle Emenopé: Turning Drag On Its Ear

“It’s what I’m trying to do with drag; look at it, learn it and then turn it on it’s ear.” -Elle Emenopé, Closet Case Born in Shorewood, Wisconsin Elle Emenopé (boy name: Elliott Reiland) came to New York and to study at NYU Tisch while he co-founded the “Negative 30 Dance Company”. He’s performed at such venues as […]

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Closet Case

Crimson Kitty: Celebrating A Decade Of LadyQueen at Stonewall Inn

LadyQueen is New York City’s only all-female drag revue and the brainchild of Crimson Kitty who is celebrating her ten-year drag-a-versary. We join Crimson and her drag cohorts Sarah Palegic, Miss Malice and Elle McQueen as they take over the historic Stonewall Inn for a night of drama, debauchery and over-the-top theatrics. Crimson, a drag mother to many of the ladies, recently created The Haus Of Kitty and LadyQueen University which […]

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Closet Case

Terri Stevens: Catching Up With A Great Imposter

We catch up with the legendary Canadian drag performer Mr. Terri Stevens as he gets ready for this Sunday’s Valentines kick-off to the Palm Springs White Party. Terri has been doing drag across Canada for more than twenty five years and was in the cast of The Great Imposters, an infamous drag troupe from Toronto. He currently is head queen at Twisted Element in Calgary, Alberta.

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Closet Case

D’yan Forest – NYC’s Oldest Bisexual (Ukulele Playing) Cabaret Star

From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village we take you on an uncensored journey into the closets and behind the alter egos of our communities most beloved queers. Welcome to Closet Case. This week we visit D’yan Forest, an 81 year old internationally recognized cabaret singer, actress and stand-up comedian. This ‘bisexual Betty […]

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Review

I Cook, He Does The Dishes

Originally published through The BUZZ, April 3, 2018 Written and directed by Sky Gilbert, I Cook, He Does The Dishes is as much about the value of relationship as it is a questioning of how we relate to being in, out of, or enmeshed in it. The play is a modern take on the real-life love […]

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Uncategorized

Hamlet In A Hot Tub (Live)

HAMLET IN A HOT TUB OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK This album is from the indie-hit play Hamlet In A Hot Tub which premiered at the 2015 Rhubarb Festival in Toronto. Curated by Raymond Helkio, music by Stewart Borden and featuring the outlandishly deviant vocals of Brock Hessel, David Bateman, Amy J. Lester and Paul Bellini. Enjoy! ?? PRESS FOR […]

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Uncategorized

Theatre

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Advertising & Design

AIDS Committee of Toronto

Social media memes part of a volunteer and donation campaign, 2020.

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Review

THE MONUMENT

If you’re looking for an Ed Mirvish happy fun musical theatre evening, The Monument is not for you. This is going to be a dark evening. A soldier who has raped and killed 25 girls/women in the bedlam of war is given a choice: face execution or become a slave to a woman for the […]

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Theatre People

Keith Cole: Valley of the Dolls Performance Club 2

If the Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up To My Room had an affair with Oprah’s Book of the Month Club their offspring might look a lot like Keith Cole’s latest offering, Performance Club 2…

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Chairity LGBT

Come Together: The LGBT+ Philanthropy Summit

Join the LGBT Giving Network along with their partners in the LGBTQ & ASO Non-Profit sector for the 5th LGBT+ Philanthropy Summit. The summit is a networking and education event aimed at exploring the role of non-profit leaders in building a culture of philanthropy within their organizations. The conference is geared towards Executive Directors, staff […]

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Advertising & Design Branding Canadian politics LGBT Toronto

My Gay Soap

The perfect Christmas gift is waiting for you at Orbital Arts in Kensington Market. When you by a copy of my children’s book The Great Meeting Room you’ll get a free bar of My Gay Soap by Heaven Scent. This organic soap is made from coconut oil and smells as good as it looks. Beautiful  […]

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Review

You Love That I’m Not Your Wife

“Black box theater in New York is an amazing experience but very so often productions are not fully committed to their best results for many different reasons, scarce profits, small audiences etc etc. There was never a second in this production in which I doubted or even worse forgot the importance of the job that […]

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Review

The House on Poe Street

When twin sisters inherit the house where Poe composed The Raven, their lives take twisted turns that affect the future of mankind. The House on Poe Street by Fengar Gael, directed by Katie McHugh is a sharp, witty escapade through an incredibly wide range of topics including chemistry, poetry, the occult, privilege, and gender bending. […]

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Review

The Box Show

The Box Show by Dominique Salerno and directed by Sash Bischoff is a clever, fast-paced one woman show that takes place inside of a box the size of a cupborad. Over the course of the performance, Salerno introduces the audience to 25 hysterical characters that range from over-the-top pop icons to borderline insane interpretations of […]

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Review

Molly’s World?

Andrea Alton is magnificent as her alter ego “Molly ‘Equity’ Dykeman” in Molly’s World, a rainbow romp through the mind of a pill-popping lesbian security guard and part-time poet. If Ellen Degeneres, Rosanne Barr and the Trailer Park Boys had offspring, they might look something like Molly, an in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is type of gal with a […]

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Review

Molly’s World?

Andrea Alton is magnificent as her alter ego “Molly ‘Equity’ Dykeman” in Molly’s World, a rainbow romp through the mind of a pill-popping lesbian security guard and part-time poet. If Ellen Degeneres, Rosanne Barr and the Trailer Park Boys had offspring, they might look something like Molly, an in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is type of gal with a […]

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Review

Street Theatre at The Eagle

REVIEW: Doric Wilson’s Street Theatre delivers a 90 minute laugh-a-minute spectacle through one of the most historic moments in queer history. Read more.

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Art Canada Celebrity Interview LGBT Live Theatre Print Queer Politics Sexual Health Toronto Toronto Queer History

Salacious! Book Launch & Party!

Please join me and Rolyn Chambers this Thursday for a SALACIOUS double-fisted book launch. Rolyn is releasing his first book, The Boy Who Brought Down A Bathhouse, a collection of stories about the infamous St. Marc’s Spa. RAID: Operation Soap was the play I produced last year with co-conspirator David Bateman. Operation Soap was the police […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Chef Stu’s Apple, Rhubarb, Berry Pie

Nothing tastes like fall quite like a warm pie fruit pie. And don’t be afraid of making your own crust, as you’ll see it’s easy as pie!

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Advertising & Design Branding Canada Chairity Fundraising Development Healthcare LGBT Print Sexual Health Toronto

Fife House Foundation Annual Report (pocket sized)

Fife House Foundation Annual Report designed by Raymond Helkio

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Advertising & Design Branding Canada Fundraising Development Print Vancouver World Politics

Project Seahorse: 20th Anniversary annual report

Project Seahorse is small group of conservationists are having global impact on our waters. Working in over thirty countries they are celebrating over twenty years of marine conservation, including research, sustainable trade, education and outreach. Designed by Raymond Helkio this anniversary edition of their annual report combines a twenty year timeline, operations map in addition to the gorgeous one-of-kind pictures shot by their staff.

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Advertising & Design Branding Toronto

A Fresh Look for Heaven Scent

Simple, clean and looks sharp in any bathroom. All natural, handmade body products by Marguerite Arbour are available in select shops around the GTA and online. Design: Raymond Helkio

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NEWS & VIEWS

HANDY DANDY GUIDE TO PRIDE CONVERSATIONS

By police logic we should ban women’s only hours, the scouts and old folks homes. Making a space safe by prohibiting others from taking up too much of it how an unhealthy balance can be restored, even if only temporarily. It’s nice to have allies but since when did we imbue them with this much power over our parade?

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NEWS & VIEWS

Flying United?

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Advertising & Design Branding Canada Chairity Fundraiser Healthcare LGBT Toronto World Politics

New Design Streamlines TriAdventure and Nikibasika

WEB DESIGN NEWS: TriAdventure and Nikibasika merge designs and come out with a mobile friendly, single-site experience. Graphic design and infrastructure support provided courtesy of Raymond Helkio. This summer by training and fundraising for the annual TriAdventure; a 3 day event involving a 3km swim (or 15km run), 15km canoe, and 140km cycle. The money raised is the used for a home and long-term education for orphaned and vulnerable youth in Kasese, Uganda.

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NEWS & VIEWS

Where There’s Smoke: #FreeCannabisCulture

This is not a fight over legalities. This is an issue of how we deal with our citizens, especially crusaders who are trying to change the laws for all of our benefit. In Toronto, Sunday shopping was illegal until Paul Magder kept his business open in an act of defiance. Variety stores had to close every night by 10pm until Honest Ed Mirvish came along…

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Advertising & Design Canada Toronto

A Fresh Look for Author John Miller

Award-winning author John Miller gets a new website and blog in time for his third release! READ ON: http://johnmiller.ca/

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Review

Damaged Goods

Virginia Baeta’s queer metaphorical twist on a murder mystery is a fun and whimsical journey into the gender-bending world of Thomas Sparks, a private dick who is bent on bedding the seductive Iris Carnegie played by the uber-talented Karen Stanion…

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Advertising & Design Branding Canada Toronto

Hair of the Dog’s website gets a make-over

Kick-ass food, serious cocktails, cheeky staff and now a website to match! Hair of the Dog’s mobile friendly upgrade is designed to…

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Culinary Arts Project

Perfect Clams

Today we combine our series revolving around the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto and our visit to Chef Pietro’s restaurant Monte’s in New York. You may remember his clam dish that was featured a few posts back. I got him to show me the dish again hands on his kitchen, and he shared a very […]

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Celebrity Interview LGBT

Josh Thomas

The End Of Please Like Me? Say It Isn’t So! Josh Thomas has worn many hats in the in the making of Please Like Me; producer, director, writer and star but what makes the show so good is how enduringly funny the characters are. Loosely based on his own life the show boldly tackles a number […]

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Celebrity Interview New York City

Susan Bennett

The Sassy Side of Siri She’s a singer, voice actor and public speaker, but you most likely know Susan Bennett as the original voice of Siri, the built-in “intelligent assistant” that made it’s first appearance in the iPhone 4S. Short for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface, Siri uses artificial intelligence to respond to questions in a way […]

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Review

Introducing Mr Wilde or Work is the Curse of the Drinking Class

Written and performed by Neil Titley, “Introducing Mr Wilde, or Work is the Curse of the Drinking Class” is a smart and often cheeky introduction to the life and death of Oscar Wilde. Introducing Mr. Wilde has literally toured the world including sold out performances for the last three years at the highly competitive Edinburgh […]

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Review

Street Children

  Street Children by Pia Scala-Zankel is pure unadulterated street realness. Unsettling at times, Street Children is set during the 1986 on the Hudson Piers in New York City and portrays the lives of the LGBT street youth in a real and honest light. This period in our history was one of the most exciting times for […]

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Review

Black Boys

  As provocative as it is entertaining, Black Boys is a camp adventure into queer male blackness. Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Tawiah Ben M’Carthy, and Thomas Olajide make up the three member performance team Saga Colectif which mix together personal stories, beautiful choreography, smart dialogue and potent stage presence into a metatheatrical experience that’ll reinvigorate your love for live theatre. The performances […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Yes Sir I Have Arrived (Chapter 14)

On the Finch bus going west I sit with Elaine and thank her for what seems to be the tenth time for coming along with me to support me on my first night at Charlie T’s as Hilary is nowhere to be found.  Elaine’s never been inside a strip club, and after me telling her the stories about me and […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Lavender Infused Baked Peaches

Today’s Tidbits Lavender is a unique taste – infuse honey with it and drizzle over baked peaches (see recipe below) Infuse cream with lavender, and add to profiteroles Infuse an icing (icing sugar + milk) with lavender, and drizzle on top of pastries Happy Thanksgiving (in Canada) everyone. Today is a quick baked peach recipe […]

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Review

Hosanna

  Hosanna’s Higher Self If Requiem For A Dream, Moulin Rouge and Carrie had a rendezvous their offspring would be a lot like Hosanna. Damien Atkins was riveting in his portrayal of Hosanna, an aging drag queen who models herself after the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. Hosanna’s outrageously sharp tongue lands her in a fight with […]

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Review

Blind Date: The Nose Knows

Blind Date is a raw, intimate and honest portrayal of what it means to put yourself out there. Rebecca Northan creates an experience that moves beyond the traditional notion of theatre. The performance takes the entire audience along with them on a voyeuristic journey into someone else’s life and the date is both familiar and not. […]

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NEWS & VIEWS

Kitchen Tidbits, New Book by The Reading Salon

We’re excited about Chef Stewart Borden’s new book Kitchen Tidbits. Stewart is the musical genius behind The Reading Salon and if you ever seen one of our movies, shows, plays or performances then you’ve already been dazzled by his talent. It’s available for sale through Amazon (Canada) or Amazon (USA) and Kindle with all proceeds donated to the Nikibasika […]