Wed, Oct 1 @ Woody’s
Diamonds may be a drag queen’s best friend, but tonight it’s all about precious metals at the Woody’s Silver Anniversary Blowout. Drag queens, old and new, as far as the eye can see. Some to perform, some to remember past times and some, out of drag, here just to soak up the festive atmosphere. Thank you to the many who show up, including Miss Conception, Sapphire Tithi-Reign, Tynomi Banks, Jada Hudson, Georgie Girl, Daytona Bitch, Farra N Hyte, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Chris Edwards, Morgan Holiday, Carlotta Carlisle, Cassandra Moore, Nicolette Brown, Lena Over, Sofonda Cox, Scarlett Fever, Michelle DuBarry and Michelle Ross, who brings down the house performing the Shirley Bassey classic “This Is My Life” like only she can. In between the pop-up drag shows that take place every few minutes, the crowd, including delicious dudes from several decades (and mayoral candidate Olivia Chow), partakes of sugary birthday cake and a complimentary buffet laid out on the pool table. Not surprisingly, the only thing left by 11pm are some bread rolls. Gays like sweets but are wary of carbs. Sadly, though, two legends I had hoped would grace us with their presence are missing: Jackaé Baker and Pepsi. But as an out-of-drag Stephanie Stephens tells me, “Many of the older queens have other priorities now. It was good back in the day, but times have changed.” Indeed they have. I’m almost a silver fox.
Art with Heart
Tues, Oct 7 @ The Carlu
Forget diamonds; invest in art. This seems to be the mantra of the high-bidding buddies in good times at The Carlu. But before bidding begins on almost 100 pieces at the 21st Art with Heart fundraiser for Casey House, it is necessary to fuel up, drink up and chat up (thanks, designer Glen Peloso, gallery owner Manny Neubacher and OCAD president Sara Diamond). In the auction room, it’s all bid business as auctioneers Stephen Ranger and Perry Tung wield their gavels and carts of wine and ring boxes filled with hors d’oeuvres are passed out. Last year the thick wallets and the generosity of others impressed me, but this year I’m in awe. Works are going for double, sometimes triple, their estimates. All of this is great news for Casey House, which is about to break ground on a stunning new hospice and out-patient centre in January 2015. But I’m having a hard time keeping track of who has and who hasn’t got a ring on their finger. Paddles are going up and down so fast, it’s giving me eyeball whiplash. One of my favourite pieces, Slumberland, by Kris Knight (who was recently shot by talented photographer McKenzie James), sells for $1,200 above estimate. Artist Bobby Mathieson’s oil-on-canvas portrait No Snakes sells for $5,500 to an audience paddler who wins out against a call-in bidder. But it is Keita Morimoto’s Girl in a Red Hood, a small oil-on-panel painting of a ruby-lipped young woman estimated at $700, which auctioneer Ranger cutely calls “better than an Instagram selfie” (duck-face and all), that tops out at almost 10 times its estimate, at $6,000, and has the room roaring. I’m almost TD-bank green with envy.