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Bob to the future
Nov 11 2011 | Back in 1991, Bob Smith was the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show. He worked on MADtv and Roseanne’s sketch show and wrote three books: Openly Bob, Way to Go, Smith!, and Selfish and Perverse. In 2007, Bob was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS. “How
What happens to old bathhouses when they die?
Oct 31 2011 | On April 1, 2010, Club Toronto closed its doors with an unceremonious hand-scrawled sign that said, “Closed forever.” Many of us thought it was an April Fool’s joke. Rumours circulated that the cost of repairing the hot tub was more than the club made in revenue, so they just baile
Oct 13 2011 | It’s been a great year for theatre so far. In the past few months, I’ve enjoyed such Dancap Productions as 9 to 5: The Musical (starring Diana DeGarmo in the Dolly Parton part) and Next to Normal, in which Alice Ripley reprised her Tony Award–winning role. There was also the new Ci
Stranded with style
Sep 27 2011 | I am often asked: if I were stranded on a desert island, what book, CD and movie would I take with me?
Would it be Jeffery Straker’s new CD, Under the Soles of My Shoes? A consummate performer, Jeffery seems to embrace all challenges. He opened for Mel C at Pride a few years ago; he’s
Sep 12 2011 | Flor de Caña is a quality rum that is available in Canada but rarely front-racked by the LCBO for some reason, so most of us are unaware of it. And yet this smooth beverage is “huge in the Caymans,” says mixologist Jovanka Pantelic. We meet during National Rum Week at Hemingway’s,
Sep 09 2011 | "I don't have an oven, but I did have a dream," David Hawe tells me. Hawe was a first-season contestant on a TV show called Come Dine with Me Canada. “There was a heat wave at the time, so I served all cold things, like gazpacho and baby food on crackers. I also made a red velvet
To Sirs with love
Sep 01 2011 | Alex Canning is Mr Leatherman Toronto 2012, awarded the title in a ceremony held at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Aug 13. The charming father of four told the story of how his little daughter, fed up with other kids mocking her gay dad, stood up and defended him in class. It was the first time an M
Aug 24 2011 | It's been weeks since Pride, but I'm still glowing from all the fun. It helped this year that we had a common enemy in Mayor Blob Ford. But the best thing for me was the 519 Community Centre's Green Space on Church beer garden.
“We have the most beautiful place on Church St by f
John Waters: Filthy Vaudeville
Aug 22 2011 | It’s hard to believe that John Waters, the enfant terrible maker of such films as Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, is 65, but that hasn’t dimmed his awesome powers in the least. Waters is bringing his one-man show This Filthy World to Toronto to complement the Festival of Fear.
Aug 12 2011 | Cognac is a word so snobby even a Texan couldn’t anglicize it. Then there’s Remy Martin, another name that demands Gallic pronunciation. Recently, the house of Rémy Martin summoned a group of food and drink critics to the Fairmont Royal York for a cognac tasting, conducted by brand amba
Sharron Matthews Superstar
Jul 21 2011 | Is there a proper way to lunch with a diva? When Sharron Matthews comes to my place for a visit, I decide to serve cucumber sandwiches and lemonade on my tree-lined balcony. It seems appropriate somehow.
“I always wear a boob dress onstage,” she declares, sitting on a patio chair. ...
Telephasers on stun
Jul 08 2011 | Matty Charlton is a designer, a musician, a published poet, a fire-baton twirler and an all-round mad scientist. As creative director of the Telephasic Workshop Ltd, he hopes to revitalize the boring stretch of Yonge St north of Wellesley with this new venture.
Ably assisted by technical direc...
Bridezillas of Beverly Hills
Jun 24 2011 | Most people would agree that a woman looks her best on her wedding day. Not because she’s finally caught a man, but because all the attention is placed squarely on her. As gay men, we can’t help but be jealous. What could be better than being the bride?
The glories of bridehood wil...
Jun 15 2011 | Don Pyle and I were two of only five out gay men who worked on The Kids in the Hall TV show. (To which everyone always replies, “I thought you were all fags.”) Don was the drummer for Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, the instrumental surf combo that provided music for the show, includ...
Eighteen & legal
Jun 13 2011 | In the early ’90s, bar owner George Pratt opened Colby’s, at 5 St Joseph St. One of his partners was Mandy Goodhandy. Despite not having the necessary licence, Pratt decided that male strippers might be a good thing for business.
Pratt: Colby’s was empty and we had that long ...
Jun 01 2011 | Recently, a great many of the people I’ve interviewed for this column have passed away. In the past few months, we’ve lost Tura Satana, Farley Granger, Ken Kostick and Steve Roseland, all of whom joined the previously deceased Jack Wrangler and Beatrice Arthur. Good Lord — Belli...
May 17 2011 | When I was a kid, bingo was something that took place in stuffy church basements, in particular the Ukrainian Catholic church up the street. My best buddy Robert worked there, passing out cards for a nickel each. He also served piping-hot cabbage rolls, which is why I went. Decades have passed, a...
Life is a pubaret, old chum
May 04 2011 | The Flying Beaver is the name of an airplane, apparently. It’s also the name of a new hotspot at 488 Parliament St that hosts shows on Fridays and Saturdays, does a brunch and T-dance on Sundays and hosts karaoke on Thursdays. It covers all the gay bases and is not to be confused with The B...
Porn pioneer a cinematic genius
Apr 17 2011 | Wakefield Poole is a pioneer. “Everything but the covered wagons,” he jokes. Back in 1971, he made his first movie, Boys in the Sand, which more or less changed the cultural landscape. His second film, Bijou, is a knockout, as good as anything by Kenneth Anger or Mike Kuchar. So why i...
Music beyond the masses
Apr 14 2011 | Both the gay and the music communities lost a champion when Steve Roseland died unexpectedly on Tuesday, April 12. Roseland appeared regularly in fab's Gay Agenda and was a tireless promoter of all the events at George's Play. Paul Bellini interviewed Roseland for a column entitled "...