They are unmistakably homosexual, and it’s easy to tell who wears the panties,” says Ryan Anning, who plays Ben in the musical 21 Days
. Anning previously played a lead role in Love Is a Poverty You Can Sell
, which won Best of Fringe 2010. The unmistakably gay characters are Dan and Dal (played by Brendan Doherty and Peter Perri, also gay). With Dan and Dal’s encouragement, Ben asks out the reserved bakery girl, Julie. To bolster Ben’s courage, Dan and Dal sing “Try, Try Agai
n,” “about how Dan pursued Dal, they fell in love and stayed together.” Julie has a strange medical condition: the more happy days she has, the closer she is to death, with a maximum of 21. She tries to live a dull life so she can make it to old age. “Ben tries to convince her that life is not worth living unless you live it to the fullest, even if it means you only have 21 days,” Anning says.
Thurs, July 5–Sun, July 15 at the Robert Gill Theatre, third floor, 214 College St. 21daysthemusical.com
The Judy Monologues
“The Judy Monologues
is a glimpse into the private thoughts of a Hollywood legend,” says its creator and director, Darren Stewart-Jones. Just prior to her death in 1969, Judy Garland made a series of recordings that were meant to inform an autobiography. Garland never wrote her autobiography, but Stewart-Jones developed these recordings into three monologues. “You learn a lot about how she felt about the media, her children, ex-husbands — it’s almost like therapy,” Stewart-Jones says. The monologues will be performed by three gay actors, including Stewart-Jones himself, Philip Cairns and Michae
l Hughes. Hughes is the creator of another Garland-themed show, Mickey & Judy
, which travels to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. “We’re almost like three aspects of her personality,” Stewart-Jones says. The monologues are interspersed with film clips from Garland in her Hollywood heyday and silent vignettes featuring acclaimed Garland impersonator Kimberly Roberts.
Fri, July 6–Sun, July 15 at The Annex Theatre, 736 Bathurst St. thejudymonologues.blogspot.ca
The Little Mermaid
Sarah Skinner stars in a belly-dance adaptation of the gruesome original version of The Little Mermaid
. In it, the mermaid kills herself, turning first into sea foam and then into a spirit doomed to wander the Earth for 300 years. “Everybody knows the Disney version, so they’re going to be surprised that she doesn’t get the guy, and kills herself,” says Skinner, who is committed to telling stories via belly dance. “It’s a fairly new concept, and I want to bring it to Toronto.” The prince is
played by Tim Spronk. “He can do lifts — who doesn’t want to be tossed around?” Skinner asks. Spronk is well versed in belly dance, ballroom dancing and capoeira. The show features him tumbling around the stage in his sailing blouse, a fine tribute to the story’s bisexual author, Hans Christian Andersen.
Fri, July 6–Sun, July 15 at The Helen Gardiner Phelan Theatre, 79 St George St. shakemyday.com/SOS
“I’m a gorge-gantic queen devouring convention,” snarls DJ Edwards, who performs in the SoulOTheatre production Soulo
consists of three one-man shows, with each person writing, directing and performing his own section. Edwards, Terrence Bryant and Marco Bernardi tell tales of love, loss and how crossdressing saves lives. “The show is a glimpse into three queer lives,” says Edwards, more commonly known as Vicki Lix, one of the identities
he explores in his segment. “There are three different identities in my piece: a drag queen, a super slut and me.” With all the self-reflection and glitter, it’s easy to consider this a kind of soul circus, with Mckenzi Scott as ringleader. “And you might see some balls; Vicki always has a couple ball slips.”
Fri, July 6–Sat, July 14 at the Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College St, St George St entrance. soulo.ca
Jeremy Willard often lets his ball slip while at the
2012 Toronto Fringe Festival runs Wed, July 4–Sun, July 15, various venues. fringetoronto.com