Toronto Diary
2 min

The Fringe is Upon Us!

It’s the post-Pride/Canada Day news lull, but that doesn’t mean this city doesn’t have more queer things to do than you can shake a dick at.

Today saw the launch of the 21st annual Fringe of Toronto Theatre Festival,  which runs to July 12. The Fringe is an unjuried festival full of great new works, emerging artists, and even a few of the city’s best and brightest slumming it for a little artistic freedom. Regular readers will already know that I’m mounting my solo show, FUCKING STEPHEN HARPER: How I Sexually Assaulted the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada and Where It Got Me, which tells the story of my coverage of last year’s election, and how I went after the story of my career only to end up getting arrested for sexually assaulting the prime minister. It played to great houses in Montreal, and has already gotten a tonne of preview press in Toronto, including in this week’s Xtra, and the National Post blog, who call it a must-see show. Fucking Stephen Harper opens today at the Glen Morris Theatre (4 Glen Morris St) at 8pm and plays through the festival.

Through the festival, I’m going to be profiling some of the other hot queer shows and artists you’ll likely see wandering around the Annex, UofT, and Queen West, putting up posters and handing out flyers for their shows. First up is New York-based lesbian comic Susan Jeremy, who has been performing on the Fringe circuit for 10 years, as well as on gay cruises and queer comedy festivals. We last saw her at the Toronto Fringe with P.S. 69, about a lesbian substitue teacher in New York City. This year, she brings us Brazil Nuts, a one-woman show about a American/Brazilian lesbian couple who stage a sham marriage to a male gogo dancer so the Brazilian partner can stay in the country. I saw this one in Montreal, and it’s a fun and funny piece of theatre. I recently chatted with Susan Jeremy via e-mail: 

Rob Salerno: How does being queer influence your comedic/dramatic sensibilities?

Susan Jeremy: I live what I write about so it’s obscure like my life.

RS: What queer things are you going to be doing while you’re in Toronto?

SJ: I’m going to hardware stores to meet other lesbians, I went to the Bata Shoe Musuem to find drag queens, oh, and picking up other people’s garbage.

RS: What’s your show about and why are you doing it?

SJ: My show is about the impossible situation that gay couples in America find themselves in when one of them is not an American citizen. Since gay marriage is not federally recognized, immigration status cannot be changed when on marries an American. Therefore, queers are forced to do outlandish things like marry a gogo boy for a greencard, and honeymoon in Rio…

RS: Why should Toronto’s gays see your show? If possible, answer in ten words or less without using the letter “h”.

SJ: I’m funny, the show is funny, I do a nasty boy strip in a cowboy suit.

Brazil Nuts plays at the Glen Morris Theatre and opens Friday at 6:30pm. Tickets for all Fringe shows are available at the door, by phone (416-966-1062), or online here