Toronto
3 min

Ciao 2001. Say ‘Hi’ to 2002

Hairspray on stage, New Years Parties, Matt Damon sings a different tune and J Lo and another woman.

PSSST, PASS IT ON. J Lo and another woman. Credit: Xtra files

Last year’s Miss Baileys, Justine Touch, finally went to court on a drug charge this month after the crowning of the new Miss Baileys Nicolette Brown took place earlier this month at Woody’s. For her final show, Justine did a performance piece where the cops took her away while she drank Kahlua. Considering all the drama, Baileys decided last year not to run the ad campaign with Justine but they did pay her, none-the-less.



Woody’s manager Dean Odorico tells me that the non-smoking Sailors section of his bar is a hit with patrons and business is way up. For years Odorico has always given me the scoop on who he thinks will be the next hot drag performer. In years past his psychic drag predictions included Sassy Sensation, who now runs Boostboys.com and Sofonda Cox who just won the Miss Canada Continental pageant this month. His newest prediction, Christian Jeffries, who also just happened to win the Miss Canada Continental Plus pageant (for plus sized models) is destined to be a star. “She’s a real talent, an amazing live singer who will go really far,” says Odorico.



More than 500 actors attended an open audition in Baltimore for the forthcoming Broadway musical Hairspray, based on the movie written and directed by out filmmaker John Waters. Hairspray tells the story of chubby Tracy Turnblad, whose dancing skills make her the toast of 1960s Baltimore television. The only role cast so far is that of Tracy’s mother: Played by Divine in the film, the part goes to the legendary Harvey Fierstein, of Torch Song Trilogy.



DJ Brett Henrichsen who started his own label called MasterBeat, has just released another terrific circuit compilation with some of the biggest hits of the year including Peter Rauhofer mixes of Pet Shop Boys’ latest smash “Break 4 Love” and Frankie’s “Relax,” also Calderone’s brilliant mixes of Mandalay’s “Beautiful” and Information Society’s “Running.” It’s available at www.masterbeat.com.



Days after wowing hundreds in Toronto at the Xtra’s Gay Life And Style Show, New York voice impressionist Jimmy James was hired by Denise Rich to perform at a wedding shower for Natalie Cole in Rich’s gorgeous Fifth Ave apartment. James says that Star Jones from The View was there and after his performance yelled out that he should try to do Natalie Cole’s voice. James has never sang Cole before so he jokingly asked if Miss Cole would sing into his ear so he could hear her voice at its purest, so he could perfect an imitation.



“You won’t believe this but she came over to my ear and started singing the first notes of ‘Unforgettable,'” says James, “and then that silky voice of hers climbed the scale with more of the song, and I lost it. I threw my hands up and said ‘Forget it, that’s too beautiful.’



“I can retire now. It doesn’t get better than that. What a great memory for me.”



Hunk-o-rama Matt Damon will appear in an upcoming episode of Will And Grace as a man vying with Jack (Sean Hayes) for the last spot in a gay chorus. Damon previously played gay in 1999’s The Talented Mr Ripley.… Writer-director Douglas McGrath (Emma, Company Man) is working on a film about legendary gay author Truman Capote that would focus on the making of Capote’s classic “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood…. After an almost 10 years absence, the alt-rock band The Breeders have a new CD and tour coming this February….



The script for the next film from Jennifer Lopez, Gigli, contains a hot love scene between J Lo and another woman. Gigli costars Ben Affleck….



Sundays at Ciao Edie (489 College St, no cover) has DJ DivaNation, aka SheiLa, and Nikki Red taking over from DJ Switch who is on hiatus. Hump Wednesdays (56 Kensington, no cover, 9pm-2:30am) continue to do well with underground girls (leather, punk, beathead and arty dykes or “West end girls”) with hard edge groove-core, chick punk rock, trance, industrial and everything in between. DivaNation will also appear at New Years at Buddies with DJ K-Tel.



The queer night, Sin Sundays, upstairs at the Dance Cave continue with DJ Shannon. The music is getting harder, less retro, more like Shannon’s Bovine Sex Club sets. The crowd is a real 50/50 mix of dykes and fags.



DJ Carol and Bruce present All Groove Thursdays at Pope Joan (547 Parliament St, no cover). It’s house music for all queers.



The only major gay New Year’s event worth noting will be at It nightclub with DJs Cesar, Black Cat, Cory Activate and Stephan Grondin of Montreal. Grondin is one of Canada’s top circuit DJs spinning outside of the country and is a producer/remixer for such labels as HiBias and Tommy Boy. Black Cat is very excited about making his first appearance at It and has just started a new weekly with It co-promoter, Adam Pardy called Bring It at the Manhattan Club (19 Balmuto, $5 cover). Black Cat, who is currently a rotating DJ at Manhattan’s popular gay hip hop night on Saturdays says that Bring It will also feature some hip hop as well as house but will mostly focus on R&B. He is currently the resident at Zipperz every Friday night where he packs them in every week.



Have a Happy New Year! Call me at 925-4515 ext 426.