Arts & Entertainment
3 min

Halloween roundup

'Pride's frightening afterbirth'

Halloween is every gay’s favourite excuse to go gory and glam, and this year it’s giving it up for an entire weekend. Halloween is like Pride’s frightening afterbirth, with badly sequined Craigslist crossdressers taking the feather boas off of the internet and in to the dimly lit streets. Frank-N-Furter, eat your heart out.

If you’re gonna wig out, maybe you’d better work up to those heels the night before to avoid disastrous drag on the main strip. Consider stopping by The B-Girlz’ presentation of Gowntown on Fri, Oct 30 at Buddies (12 Alexander St) for some transtastic tips at this amateur drag contest featuring DJ Dwayne Minard. Starts at 10:30pm with a $5 cover.

The Girlz were kind enough to offer some advice in advance of the big day. “Remember when applying lipstick,” Barbie-Q advises, “go around the lips and across the teeth.”

“And when getting dressed always have a few glasses of personality,” adds Hard Kora. “I come with an eight-drink minimum.”

You can follow up your drag debut with Devil’s Night at Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave) featuring DJ Shane MacKinnon and Countess Christsmasher. Starting at 10pm, these two fang-bangers promise a “devilishly sexy and fangtastically horny good time” at their open format dance party. Sure to keep the ghouls-a-go-go. Cover is $5.

Also on the 30th, DJ Will Munro is raising his legendary Vazoween party from the dead. “Vazoween is a big queer rock party on one of the big gay holidays, and Halloween’s a pagan holiday,” says Munro. “Everyone gets dressed up and we have competitions and bobbing for butt plugs.”

The event features DJ Rory Them Finest, US goth-shoegazer band Salem, cash prize for best dressed and host Keith Cole who will naturally be leading the bobbing for butt plugs. Which begs the question, is Cole an expert butt plug bobber?

“Probably not necessarily butt plugs,” says Munro. “But sticking his nose in homeless people’s bums, that’s probably more his profession.”

Truly haunting stuff. Vazoween is $10 in a costume and starts at 11pm.

Leading up to the big night, Pride Toronto is throwing an all-day Halloween-themed party in Cawthra Square Park (behind 519 Church St). The tricks will be treated to a good time featuring live entertainment, music and vendors, running from noon until 11pm with local DJs Gangbangaz (I’m half the gang), TK and Triple-X. The costume contest is at 7pm with judges Mika Midolo of CP24, CTV’s Michelle Dube, drag queen Carlotta Carlisle and hostess Sofonda Cox.

In honour of the queen of all costume changes, Gangbangaz will be doing an extended Madonna set. She really knows how to transform herself. And right now she just looks kind of frightening so it seemed like an appropriate time to pay tribute.

Proceeds raised by the Pride Toronto Halloween Party will go toward funding Pride Toronto’s International Human Rights Program in 2010. Enter the costume contest at Pridetoronto.com.

During the evening there’s the annual Church St costume parade, which is a crowdpleaser that draws thousands to the strip in an all-night street party. Expect unwaxed Wonder Women shaking their golden lassos closer to the south end of Church which will be transformed into The Halloweek Block Party, a massive masquerade dance party at Church and Maitland. DJ Deko-ze will be spinning at this rager. In total, five five city blocks are closed to traffic from 6pm till 2:30am as part of Halloweek (Halloweek.ca).

If you like showing tricks your treats, DJ Blackcat’s Hall-o-Queen at the Crown and Tiger (414 College St) is for you. The winner of this first-timers drag competition will walk away with $150, the Hall-o-Queen trophy and prizes. Organizers request that aspiring drag queens know the words to their song, be there by midnight and bring it in a fierce red outfit. Showtime is at 12:30am sharp and the audience chooses the winner, so bring lots of friends. The soundtrack for this one is provided by JJ Rock and Unruly Twin who are holding it down in the hip-hop and house vein with host Ms Pussy Noir.

Phantoms at the Opera will be transforming the Opera House (735 Queen St E) into a fantastical costumed ball with DJ Neill Macleod and $1,000 in prizes including a trip to Vegas or Montreal, and fine linens by David’s — which you can use for next Halloween’s decadent ghost outfit à la Charlie Brown. Partial proceeds from ticket sales go to Casey House and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives ($35 adv; more at the door). This party also packs a celebrity punch, with CBC faves Steve Sabados and Chris Hyndman judging the competition alongside etalk correspondent Traci Melchor. Ms Melchor knows a good outfit when she sees it, so bring your A game.

For the grand finale, if you like your demonic dudes chiselled and twinky, consider stopping by Fly (8 Gloucester Ave) to see what creatures are doing bumps in the night. Kickoff time is 10pm and cover is $15 before 1am; $20 after. DJ Dwayne Minard promises “sexy men and dark beats” with DJs Jamal, Shawn Riker and Josh Karmin who will be spinning until 6am. So for all you vampires, be careful not to get burned by the early morning sun!