3 min

Halifax Pride packed with theatre, sex and music

Check out our event picks for the big week

BARBIE GIRL IN A BARBIE WORLD. Nina Arsenault brings her solo show I Was Barbie to Queer Acts, Halifax Pride's first queer theatre festival. Catch her on Jul 20, 21 and 23. See for showtimes and ticket info. Credit: Michael Pihach photo

It’s that time again: Halifax Pride, a time to celebrate sexuality, diversity and creativity. has picked a few must-see events, or check out for a full list.

The inaugural Queer Acts theatre festival rolls into town Jul 20, with three locally produced shows and two gems from Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Local legend Mary Ellen MacLean writes and performs her one-woman comedy/drama Frankie. Take a dip down memory lane to the class of 1982’s high school reunion where the story’s protagonist relives growing up gay in rural Nova Scotia. Frankie runs from Jul 21-23 at the Bus Stop Theatre.

Glam rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, staring Ian Mullan and Krista Lane, plays a one-night stand at the Paragon Theatre Jul 24. Nina Arsenault brings her show I Was Barbie, a play about the opening night party of Toronto Fashion Week and Barbie’s 50th anniversary birthday party. Find out what happens when a transsexual celebrity (Arsenault) is hired to bring the doll that’s been accused of creating body image issues for millions to life. I Was Barbie plays Jul 20, 21 and 23 at Bus Stop Theatre.

is a retrospective bildungsroman relaying the story of a young boy and her coming of age learning to navigate sexuality, race and gender. Obaberima runs as a double-bill with Very Secret Ceremony, a story about how a baseball champ, prom queen and drag queen reunite at their high school. Catch Obaberima and Very Secret Ceremony from Jul 20-22 at the Bus Stop Theatre. See‘s event calendar for showtimes and ticket prices for all Queer Acts shows.

Other weekday events include Angels and Heroes Theatre, a tribute show to Freddie Mercury and Queen at the Music Room on Jul 20 at 8pm (tickets are $20, or $15 for students). Performers include: Rich Aucoin, Ryan MacGrath, Christina Martin, Ian Sherwood, Coco Love Alcorn and more. Venus Envy offers a workshop on toys for queer girls at 7pm, too.

Tuesday night join Rae Spoon for the Transformers Sleepover at the Youth Project. For trans and gender-queer folks under 25. Contact to register.

“I love Pride celebrations in general,” says Spoon, whose latest album Superioryouareinferior recently got long-listed for the Polaris Prize. “It is such a great thing to see all of the queer people out celebrating diversity. It’s also a good way to accidentally run into people that you know.”

Not up for a slumber party? Head on over to the Company House for Pride Movie Night, including screenings of But I’m a Cheerleader, Better than Chocolate and Desert Hearts. Jul 21, 8pm, free.

Toronto’s Nolan Natasha releases his CD Beginners Luck at Venus Envy on Jul 22. After Natasha’s set head on over to SheDogs Bathhouse’s Pussy Playhouse (8pm to 1am, 2199 Gottingen Street; $15 advance at Venus Envy, $20 at the door) for women and trans folks for a night of pleasure and fun, in whatever way feels right.

Thursday get your lit on at the annual Reading Out Loud, an evening of open books and open minds. Join Haliqueers Stewart Legere, Ryan McGrath and Randal Perry for an evening of titillating queer literature. Halifax North Library (2285 Gottingen St), 7pm, free.

Afterwards Pomo Homos at the CoHo is a strap’em on, strap’em down fundraiser for TransAction society of Nova Scotia featuring Rae Spoon, Nolan Natasha and Pink Velvet Burlesque Jul 23. 9pm at the Company House, $9 admission.

Catch up with old friends at Under the Big Top songwriter’s circle Friday, featuring: Rae Spoon, Rich Aucoin, Kim Wempe, Christina Martin, Melanie Stone and Heavy Blinker’s Jason MacIsaac Jul 24. Garrison Grounds under the Beer Tent, 7pm, $5.

Saturday is parade day, as the 21st annual Halifax Pride Parade begins at the Cornwallis and Upper Water Street at noon. Follow the parade to the Garrison Grounds for an explosive day-long concert, featuring Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees, The Cliks and The Hidden Cameras. Be sure to check out the community fair as well, will be there.

Later that evening find your WetSpot at Niche Lounge, as Girl-ish Productions present the 5th annual hottest Pride featuring Rae Spoon, Nolan Natasha and Mary Ellen MacLean, DJ Motlette, DJ Ro and more. Menz Bar’s Black and Blue Party features DJ Sonny. Reflections Pride Night with DJ Headphones caps off the night at Halifax’s best dance bar Jul 25.

Sunday wraps up with a Pride family picnic at the Dartmouth Commons and Sportsplex. The all-ages picnic is free admission and grub. Dartmouth Commons and Sportsplex (110 Wyse Rd, Dartmouth), noon.