Toronto
3 min

Queen on the scene

SUGAR PLUMS. Get yer stocking stuffed with Tanya Cheex on Sat, Dec 12.

Is David Copperfield running amok on Church St?

It’s been quite the disappearing act of late, seeing Crews/Tango, Zelda’s and now even Statlers evaporate into thin air. My crystal balls say we may soon have to resort to partying in the aisles of the Super Fresh Mart, next to the tuna cans and jarred pickles. I already got my New Year’s Eve tickets for the hot dog stand on the corner of Church and Wellesley. But till then be sure to check out these buns instead.

Zelda’s new location (692 Yonge St) is a slammin’ groovy space, shiny and new, yet warmly familiar. It’s nice to see the usual hags are still littered throughout, and the infamous Cheap Show is back with the Best Ass Contest hosted by Lena Over with special guests every Saturday from  9pm to 11pm. Weekly events also feature staples such as Drag Idol host Miss Conception, who just wrapped up the first-year anniversary of her popular Stage to Screen Broadway show Sundays from 6pm to 9pm at Woody’s (467 Church St). Though Zelda’s Drag Idol competition is still a while away, Woody’s will set the stage for glam and shazam with the annual Smirnoff Czarina pageant (Sun, Dec 13 at 9pm; no cover), where contestants will once again compete for the coveted crown, more  than $3,000 dollars in cash prizes and a free haircut from Melika Cox.

Is watching drag queens pretend they’re pleased not to place in the finals and trip on the lining of their evening gowns any fun? Oh, hell yes!

Dragging your ass up and down the street another block or two can’t hurt, but you don’t have to go far if you’re looking for intoxicating fun and excitement. There’s even prime-time drama. Queentender’s-Church Industry Night at The Barn (418 Church St) with DJ Alex (Tuesdays from 11pm to 2:30am; no cover) finds Honey Brown, Sylvia and Heaven Lee Hytes doing double duty as performers and bartenders for the night. It’s the only night in the history of any drag show in Toronto where a queen is guaranteed a tip.

How about a styling tip? The gossip this month is of the absurdity involving two scene queens recently at the Barn — it was full-on Jerry Springer. Melika Cox, member of the Haus of Cox, allegedly picked up a pair of scissors and lopped off Dance Camp-regular Cassandra’s ponytail, which was her actual hair, the consequence for Cassandra making out with Melika’s dad in the venue. Yikes. How crazy is this? Fresh from her win as Peroni’s Queen of Halloween, it’s nice to see Melika utilizing her title of terror. She will cut you.

From super cuts to super struts, swing your ponytail and mount your sugar daddy in peace as F2D presents DJ Cee-erra’s Swagger debut at the Gladstone’s Melody Bar (1214 Queen St W, Wednesdays, 10pm to 2am; no cover), the weekly party for two-spirited, trans/queer, indigenous peeps of colour and everyone in between. Cee-erra is taking requests, though poor Cassandra may want to think twice before asking for The Scissor Sisters. Find out if your choice makes the cut in the very near future.

Future Disco at The Garrison (1197 Dundas St W at Ossington) is the brainchild of Grapefruit’s Shane Percy and gives music lovers a helping of beloved underground Euro hits and the ground-breaking sounds of some seriously amazing tracks built and polished to perfection. These sweet confections will make you work. It’s the kind of evening a nut bar like Lady Gaga would spearhead. New ideas, new images and new sounds — and maybe even a new gown from this queen, who’s performing — to make for a refreshing dancefloor retreat. The next one is Fri, Dec 4 (10pm to 3am; $10 cover).

Fresh off the immensely successful run of the hit show The Silicone Diaries at Buddies, I spy with my little eye Nina Arsenault slinking down the strip with that trademark swooped bang of hers in a designer cocktail dress and couture stalkings, looking great. I was warned on a recent visit to Buddies to keep an eye on my makeup bag as it is rumoured Keith Cole drunkenly swiped poor Nina’s before her show.

It still went off with a bang.

Cole in your stalking? It must be Christmas!

Skin Tight Outta Sight Rebel Burlesque presents Merry Stripmas (slaps knee) and it’s sure to get the balls, er, bells jingling at the Great Hall (1087 Queen St W; it recently moved to  the  larger venue) on Sat, Dec 12 (9pm; $20 at the door, $15 in advance). It also happens to be troupe-founder Tanya Cheex’s birthday, so get her drunk. The night is hosted by Sexy Mark Brown, who I saw do a crazy surfing number that featured him wrestling an imaginary shark that eventually tore his clothes off, leaving him in a shredded G-string.

I wonder if the shark flosses as well?

Get your chapped ass out to next year’s Mr Leatherman Toronto Competition. This year’s four-day smack-my-ass-a-thon hosted by Shaun Proulx was absolute unabashed sex-citement. Past winners Paul Ciantar and Steve Martin (no, not that one) have publicly made me drool and my MLT Weekend VIP pass once again found me in the company of big, mean, cigar-chomping daddies. Unfortunately they’re all bottoms and my makeup bag eventually went missing that night as well.

Whether you have one eye or two, a shitty haircut or are busy working your can down the aisles, you can clearly see this city still has deep sleeves.  Also… it’s magic.