Arts & Entertainment
4 min

Out in Toronto: June 15–21, 2017

Choice events in the city this week

Thursday, June 15

The Lavender Railroad 

Set in a world in which homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death, Lawrence Aronovitch’s Rideau Award–winning play explores themes of hope, redemption and impossible choices. Described by the CBC as “Bladerunner meets the Counter-Reformation,” the play is a sort of cautionary tale: it warns us to never take our rights for granted.

8pm. Runs until Sunday, June 18. The Box Toronto, 89 Niagara St.

Proud Voices: Naked Heart Redux 

As a preview to the upcoming Naked Heart festival (one of the world’s largest LGBT literary festivals), this Pride event includes a few readings and performances by such artists and authors as Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco, S Bear Bergman and Shaunga Tagore. The venue is mostly accessible (there are no buttons to open the front door or accessible washroom door).

8–9:30pm. Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church St. For more info, visit Facebook.

Strictly Ballroom: The Musical

Based on the much-loved Australian film by Baz Luhrmann, this musical adaptation follows ballroom dance champ Scott Hastings’s adventures on the dance floor and in love. Features classic songs from the film, including “Love is in the Air” and “Time After Time.” The venue is accessible (visit website for more information).

Runs until Sunday, June 25, various showtimes. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St W.

Strictly Ballroom: The Musical runs until June 25, 2017, at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Courtesy Alastair Muir

Friday, June 16

Butch Femme Salon: Summer Camp tales place at Buddies on June 16, 2017.
Courtesy Greg Wong

This dance party is camp in more ways than one. The recurring bash that celebrates people of all genders and orientations puts on a tents, backpacks and s’mores theme for Pride. Includes a performance by drag king Gay Jesus and music by DJ Johnny B Goode. Camp-style costumes encouraged. The venue is accessible (visit website for more information).

9pm–2am. Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander St. 

Beef Curtains: Fresh Blood Pride Edition

The fourth installment of performer Dottie Dangerfield’s vagina-themed (or at least, inspired) burlesque and drag event is back with another line-up of edgy performers. It includes performances by Electra Heart, Casper, Pretty Riikkii, Sly Maria, Spencer Munny and others. DJ Orange Pekoe provides the soundtrack for the evening.

10pm–2am. The Steady, 1051 Bloor St W. For more info, visit Facebook.

Dottie Dangerfield’s Beef Curtains: Fresh Blood Pride Edition, takes place June 16, 2017 at The Steady.
Courtesy Lorelei Photography

Lick It 

One of Toronto Pride’s few dance parties focused on queer women returns this year with another night of sexy ladies, dancing and great music. This edition features a performance by California-based rapper Lil Debbie, drumming by KLR and Rosie and DJ sets by Ticky Ty and Recklezz. This is one of several women-focused Pride parties put on this year by GirlPlay Toronto. Friends and allies welcome.

10pm–2am. The Phoenix, 410 Sherbourne St. For more info, visit Facebook.

Saturday, June 17

Cherry Bomb Turns 10: Pre-Pride Pep Rally 

The popular dance party for women and their friends returns to celebrate yet another Pride festival. DJs Cozmic Cat and Denise Benson (of course) are joined on the decks by DeeAfro (London, UK). This is also a celebration of the party’s 10th anniversary. Arrive early to relax and play some games (Uno, Dominoes, Jenga and more) before the party starts. This is the first of two Cherry Bomb parties taking place this month.

10pm–3am. Round, 152 Augusta Ave. For more info, visit Facebook.

Sunday, June 18

Sapphic Aquatica: Pride 2017 Edition

Things get wet and wild at a sex-positive, clothing-optional bathhouse party for women and trans folks only. Relax, flirt and fuck in a facility that includes private rooms, a hot tub and an outdoor pool. Entertainment includes drag by Pretty Riikkii and Spencer Munny, music by DJ Ace Dillinger, and rides on a Sybian ( a high-powered vibrator that you straddle).

8pm–3am. Oasis Aqualounge, 231 Mutual St. For more info, visit Facebook.

Sapphic Aquatica takes place on June 18, 2017 at Oasis Aqualounge.
Courtesy Edwin Locke

Monday, June 19

House of Filth Annual Family Showcase

The drag troupe House of Filth hosts its annual extravaganza of, according to billing, “hedonistic revelry” and “irreverent pop cultural molestation.” This peculiar night of edgy drag, burlesque and general amusing nonsense includes performances by not only members of the House of Filth but Maximum Capacity, Laura Desiree, Tanya Cheex, Dolly Berlin, Mango Sassi and many others. DJ Aeryn Pfaff provides the soundtrack.

10pm–3am. The Beaver, 1192 Queen St W. For more info, visit Facebook. 

Tuesday, June 20

Naked Boys Reading: In Her Words 

It’s pretty much how it sounds: Naked guys get up in front of an audience of, ahem, literature enthusiasts, and read passages from works written by women (both trans and cisgender). Drag performer Igby Lizard hosts (so, it would be wise to bring your thickest skin and maybe a rain slicker if you’re going to attend) The venue is mostly accessible (there are no buttons to open the front door or accessible washroom door).

9–10:30pm. Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church St. For more info, visit Facebook.

AIDS Vigil 

Community members gather to remember those taken from us by HIV/AIDS and honour those still affected. Hosted by Pride Toronto, this year’s vigil has the theme of “in the spirit of wellness and healing.”  According to billing, it will feature appearances by performers who reflect the diversity of our community. This outdoor event is accessible.

9pm. Barbara Hall Park, 519 Church St. For more info, visit Facebook.

Wednesday, June 21 

Just Mingling: A Queer Theatrical Salon

Three queer playwrights (Sarah Waisvisz, Lawrence Aronovitch and Margo MacDonald) mark Pride with three new short plays about historic queer artists. And there’s mingling in between and after, so you might want to get into the spirit and wear your finest vintage outfit. Dapper drag king Titus Androgynous hosts. The venue is accessible (visit website for more information).

7:30–11pm. Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander St.  For more info, visit Facebook.