Toronto Diary
8 min

TIFF parties, impromptu musicals, and hey, I’m a celebrity now?

Being a gay columnist for a Toronto newspaper has its perks. In my case, I get called out on Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s new blog for, um, doing my job. It’s actually kind of cool to see Buddies using social media to reach out to people, and the new blog promises ticket giveaways and special promotions coming up, too.

Or, if you’re gay Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy, you get to be the token queer and one of multiple crazies in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. She’s running for by-election on a platform of crazy in the Toronto riding of St. Paul’s, but in this Xtra article, she seems hard-pressed to name an item that falls under provincial jurisdiction that she’s concerned about. Levy suffers from a common affliction among Toronto conservatives, which is Miller-related apoplectic blindness.

I shouldn’t criticise too heavily, though. Not when former members of the Common Sense Revolution are vigourously defending their records as champions in the fight against homophobia. From now on, Tony Clement is my favourite gay icon.

Meanwhile, a pair of queer parties related to the ongoing Film Festival duked it out for the queer dollar Sunday night, and Toronto Life has the bemused reports from each: the Inside Out Gay Flambe party and the annual TIFF party at Remington’s. It’s so cute when straight writers are “befuddl[ed]” by the existence of gay people in the real world and their habit of enjoying parties where people, you know, do gay things openly.

And some people are buzzing about this YouTube video of a “spontaneous” performance of “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent in Yorkville. Nice try, “bellhopmedia” but I’m with the commenters who complain that this is obviously staged. “Spontaneous” events don’t usually have boom mics waiting for them. And the sound is clearly not recorded on those booms, since there’s no ambient noise. They’re just there for the benefit of whoever’s filming. I’m assuming this is meant to promote something or other since the poster sounds like a production company. My guess is something AIDS-related. Like a charity event. Or something Rent-related. But probably an AIDS-related charity event. For future reference, the trick to selling an event like this is to not hide the artifice — see U2’s great video for “Where The Streets Have No Name” for a good example.