Arts & Entertainment
4 min

Pre-Pride shots

HEY, MARILYN. Isabelle Kirally stars in Cliff Jones' musical.

Every square inch of pavement is already taken over and jam-packed shoulder to shoulder, assless chap to assless chap, with tanned orange twinks wrestling out-of-towners in rainbow-coloured wigs for elbowroom. And it’s just the beginning of Pride’s fantasia of fierceness and fun. So I get out for one last shot before hot dogs are $10 and lineups for bathrooms, beers and bars reach Manitoba.

With my eyes peeled to the ground for loose change, I spot dancing shoes boogying their way into Sangria Thursdays at the Xyclo Lounge (459 Church St) where the martini specials are $6 all night long and there’s no cover. The window grabbed my attention with atmospheric club lights and a hot dancing Asian boy in a masquerade mask —  Church St’s windows usually only feature haggard drag-queen nuns drinking beer while calling bingo and fisting shadows from Vaseline Towers. DJ X-Taci is a real cutie and the fun dance music drowns out the gurgling sounds of pee night at the Black Eagle. The bartender with a sexy Caesar haircut is hot, too, and I wanna take a ride on his disco stick back to Greece first class with peanuts. I cross the street in my yellow T-shirt careful to avoid any spritzed piss only to step on a mound of gum that refuses to let go of my dancing shoes.

What lasts forever, has you blowing every minute and sets your jaw off for days? If you said crystal, you’re wrong. Cadbury, the people responsible for your love-handles, unwrap their sweets at Woody’s (465-467 Church St) Sun, Jun 21 at 11pm for the first-ever Stride Pride contest. Stride, the now famous “ridiculously long-lasting gum” will crown (hopefully not literally) a ridiculously fabulous and festive queen with a top prize of $1,000 cash and a chance to ride high above the crowd on an offiical Stride Pride Parade float. Contestants are asked to give their tastiest performance and to think pink. Who knew gum could be so much fun? After finally scraping the shit off my Prada shoe, I jaunt to my next haunt.

Like a Mac truck should, I almost run into performers Jenna Side and Sharon Mirrors who, done up in Mac makeup, were on their way somewhere after performing at Tallulah’s Cabaret (12 Alexander St), perhaps for some pizza or tweezers.

There’s just something about Sharon Mirrors’ name that makes me wanna do a line off her brassiere. And if her bedazzled brassiere isn’t always a showstopper, the nutsack sticking out back of her unitard is. You’d think that somebody named Mirrors would own one but this mirror is broken and it’s seven years of bad tuck.

Duties at times keep me from attending Andrew Harwood’s The Revue (next held Fri, Jul 10 at Tallulah’s (10:30pm doors; $7 cover) but when I do get to it I’m stunned by the fashion fiascos and rebel-wear. Haircuts with snotty little bangs like Thelma from Scooby Doo, vintage ’80s tees, retro bangles and Gartina’s schlong all bring back nightmares and invite new ones. As I gawk I realize I’m being stared at by a gaggle of girls with eyebrows like Jo from The Facts of Life. I shiver. You can tease the boys but if you’re gonna tease your hair make sure it’s big, moused and blonde — gentlemen prefer it.

The seventh year of bad luck turns to an itch with Hey Marilyn held at the St Lawrence Centre (27 Front St E) from Thu, Jun 18 to 26 ($30 to $40; $20 students and seniors), a tribute to screen legend Marilyn Monroe and official Pride event adapted for the stage by author and composer Cliff Jones. The often traaagic life of Marilyn is retold through music and dance and features a large cast of dancers and musicians who thrill and tug at the heart of those who cherish the legendary beauty. Screwing the Kennedy brothers and chugging pills, we all can relate. I hope to see that famous white dress blowing up into the air over a subway grate as it would be a thrill for fans. The last time my dress blew up, I was doing a Taliban number.

A hop, skip and summersault away, the “Blonde Ambition” editon of Battle Pop  (next edition Jul 10 at 10pm; no cover) was teased and moused at the Barn (418 Church St), where fake blondes have more fun. Promoter/DJ Craig Dominic knows there are a lot of really good blonde divas on the music scene and his picks shake the crowd like a British nanny as evidenced by the hairdos and flailing lanky wrists. I remember when the bathroom at the Barn looked like a place you would indeed actually store a live mule and I must say the fix-up really worked out. Those smelly, grimy cracks that used to be on the bathroom walls have cosmically become the grimy, smelly cracks of the sweaty twinks on the dancefloor. I smile nostalgically then jet like a quick squirt of Febreze to the batcave.

Superheros were great as a kid but when you live on Church St you find out The Flash is merely a dirty old man in a trench coat. I zip over to Fly (8 Gloucester St) where I learn the parallels between superheroes and gays are obvious, according to Steven Bereznai who recently launched his new book Queeros ($30 at Glad Day Bookshop at 598a Yonge St; Stevenbereznai.com). A cross between cult faves Heroes and Gossip Girl — only somehow even gayer — it’s the tale of queer mall rats who develop super powers and heightened senses after downing contaminated drinking water (I must be drinking Kryptonite). He’ll be part of the gay reading series Mon, Jun 22 at Indigo (2300 Yonge St). Don’t expect a reading like you get from a Spanish hooker when you hand her Interac. It’s also an out-of-this-world treat to see the Space Channel’s Teddy Wilson, resulting a string of Uranus jokes that orbit around the room like a probing satellite dish.

My spidey senses tell me to probe the city for festivities these next two weeks and to enjoy the super-powered outrageous fun of Pride. These next two weeks are sure to leave you with a lot of memories, so bring your dancing shoes.