Performances

Defending uncritical art has consequences.

published: September, 14, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Art, African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, Performances, Revolving Door, Guest Authors, Media, Opinion Pieces

Guest author Rahim Thawer: "... some people indiscriminately defend artistic expression without any room for considering how power and privilege operate in our world."

Defending uncritical art has consequences.

Club 120, Toronto, 2012. Photo courtesy of the author. Marvellous Grounds is the first publisher of this essay. Rahim Thawer (2017). Defending Uncritical Art has Consequences. In Special Issue #2 – Bodies as Archives: QTBIPOC Art and Performance in Toronto, Marvellous Grounds.  I grew up in Etobicoke and went to a racialized-majority middle school and then a white-majority high school. My undergraduate education spanned a few institutions, and in each one, I found enclaves of people o

Zoe Saldana's stunning performance in Sia's HIV video will have you in tears

published: June, 09, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Women, Photography, International , Music, Media, Rob Olver - Editor

Sia's new video, "Free Me" is an achingly beautiful tour de force.

Zoe Saldana's stunning performance in Sia's HIV video will have you in tears

Sia’s gorgeous new song, “Free Me”, and the even more gorgeous video that goes with it both aim to spread awareness for the #endHIV campaign and benefit the Abzyme Research Foundation (all proceeds of the song will be used to advance a new potential HIV/AIDS cure).  The video, starring Zoe Saldana and narrated by Julianne Moore, details the story of an expectant mother who has just learned that she is HIV-positive and that without treatment the virus will enter her child. Zoe Saldana

Should gays defend Milo? No.

published: February, 22, 2017 Written by // Michael Bouldin Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Arts and Entertainment, Gay Men, Performances, Women, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Michael Bouldin

Michael Bouldin on Milo: "... sexist, transphobic, racist, pick what you wish from the long catalogue of human cruelties, he will likely embrace it this very instant, already has, or will at some future time of greater convenience."

Should gays defend Milo? No.

The question arises – I suppose – whether Milo should be able to rely on the good offices of Gay, Inc℠ or of the broader velvet mafia in media and culture. We do tend to defend our own, even if only for the reason that they are indeed our own. Do we, more specifically gay white men, do so for conservatives as reliably as for liberals? I propose that this is the wrong question to ask. My guess would be that Milo won’t be afforded the warm embrace of Ellen or Anderson Cooper, let al

Blind Date at Buddies: it’s love at first sight

published: September, 30, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Dating, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Lifestyle, Theatre, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Blind Date at Buddies: it’s love at first sight. Bob Leahy reviews Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s latest exploration of queer romance, a very clever and funny improv that draws the audience in quite literally

Blind Date at Buddies: it’s love at first sight

Photo Image by Tanja-Tiziana Blind Date is the first Buddies' show to feature alternating male and female leads. The gay dating version opened last night and the audience couldn’t have been more engaged in a 90-minute show that just flies by. It’s clever, funny as hell and leaves you wondering at the skill of it all. This is a show that you will talk about for a long time. Here’s the premise. The show opens with a clown, Mathieu, played winningly in the gay version by the handsome Davi

Art Posi+ive: Significant Others

published: August, 03, 2016 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // Social Media, Activism, CATIE, Arts and Entertainment, Features and Interviews, Performances, Living with HIV

From CATIE, award-winning dancer Benoît Lachambre transforms the dynamic between performer and spectator.

Art Posi+ive: Significant Others

This article by David Pelletier previously appeared on CATIE's Positive Side here. Une version française est disponible ici.  For Benoît Lachambre - dancer, choreographer, founder of the Montreal-based Par B.L.eux dance company and seasoned teacher of contemporary dance—artistic expression is all about sharing and communion. This aspect of his work is so fundamental that since the mid-1990s he’s been breaking down “the fourth wall,” the invisible barrier that separates the

The Body Politic – a rich slice of Toronto’s queer history now on stage

published: May, 28, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Arts and Entertainment, Gay Men, Performances, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy reviews The Body Politic at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, a play about the newspaper - and the collective -that was so central to the birth of LGBT rights in the 70s and 80s

The Body Politic – a rich slice of Toronto’s queer history now on stage

Aldrin Bundoc & Geordie Johnson (photo by Jeremy Mimnagh) “Gay Liberation.” How quaint that term sounds today. But it was certainly uppermost in the hearts and minds of the handful of people, some still living, who founded Canada’s first gay liberation newspaper in October 1971. Called The Body Politic, its turbulent life span ran out after 135 issues in 1987. Overtaken by Xtra, also from Pink Triangle Press,  which took a more populist approach to LGBT news and views, The Body Pol

The nearly naked AIDS advocate

published: May, 24, 2016 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Fundraisers, Events, Performances, Upcoming Events, Features and Interviews, Living with HIV, Mark S. King

Mark S. King interviews HIV science reporter and stripper Benjamin "Ben" Ryan.

The nearly naked AIDS advocate

Josh Green and cast, from Broadway Bares 2015 (credit: Benjamin Ryan)  When Benjamin “Ben” Ryan began taking dance classes ten years ago, the personal venture was a complete whim. After all, he was in his late twenties at the time – ancient for a beginning dancer – and by his own admission, was “just awful” for the first few years of classes. And nothing about his vocation as a writer specializing in the science of HIV suggested that Gene Kelly was trapped inside. Cue the vict

Trans comedy – Bob Leahy Reviews No Strings (Attached)

published: March, 19, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Sex and Sexuality , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Writer and actor Sunny Drake brings his one-(trans) man show to Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Trans comedy – Bob Leahy Reviews No Strings (Attached)

It’s an engaging premise. The audience are at a meeting of Romance-aholics Anonymous. Latecomer Jimmy, played by the talented Sunny Drake, pops out of the audience ludicrously dressed and carrying flowers, his turn to share his story, having been lured there by a Craig’s List ad. And does Sunny share! And share!  Jimmy is an athletic, hyper-active sexually obsessed nerd, thankfully a likeable one, who takes us into his confidence with a succession of wacky tales illustrating his mostly h

A gay cultural treat

published: January, 11, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Community Events, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Editor Bob Leahy reviews The Gay History Project, an important and enjoyable romp through all things gay, playing at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto until January 31

A gay cultural treat

If the title of the play now running for a second time at Toronto's Buddies in Bad Times Theatre this month prior to its national tour, sounds dull or scholarly, don’t be deterred - because the show is anything but dull. True, it has elements of a tutorial on our cultural heritage but presented in a way that is fresh, entertaining and often downright hilarious. If only history lessons were always this fun.  Three likeable young actors – Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn and Andrew Kushnir  - tak

Reality check

published: November, 03, 2015 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Theatre, Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker on drag sensation Roy Haylock, better known as his stage persona, Bianca Del Rio.

Reality check

“If Phyllis Diller and Don Rickles had a love child it more than likely would have been Roy Haylock” .  Try as you might, it is difficult to name more than a dozen that have participated in a talent based reality TV show that have managed to attain staying power and international acclaim in the last ten years. Granted, there are many that have capitalized on their exposure and taken a huge giant step forward in their given field but stardom in the true sense of the word has eluded most

Portrait of Tim Bartsch, Toronto HIV-positive musician

published: August, 22, 2015 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Events, Performances, Revolving Door, Music, Guest Authors, Living with HIV

Guest writer Shazia Islam on Tim Bartsch who will be performing songs from his rock opera Southern Time at the Musideum in Toronto on Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. accompanying himself on cello and piano, with excerpts from his story

Portrait of Tim Bartsch, Toronto HIV-positive musician

photo credit www.butterstudios.ca. Tim Bartsch has joined the ranks of other survivors and thrivers living with HIV in Toronto, Canada after driving across the country in spring 2015 from Vancouver. Toronto is not new to Bartsch, who has made the same move two previous times within a span of eight years.  Bartsch said, after his close call with death due to AIDS-related opportunistic infections that started during his second stay in T.O. back in 2009, he felt he had a new lease on life and

Buddies has a winner with Tom at the Farm

published: April, 18, 2015 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy on Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times latest show “Tom at the Farm”, a highly gripping tale of love, grief, malice, homo-eroticism and lies that runs until May 10

Buddies has a winner with Tom at the Farm

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we stray form the truth. And tangled indeed are the relationships in the exciting psycho-sexual thriller “Tom at the Farm  by the extraordinary Canadian writer Michel Marc Bouchard which opened Thursday at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.  It’s taut, it’s tense, it’s terrifying – and it’s terriffic. Gripping from the get-go, the tension never lets up. In its simple form, it’s a tale of a young man, Tom, who visits the home of his r

The 57th Grammy Awards....Hit Or Miss?

published: February, 11, 2015 Categories // DJ Relentless, Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Television, Music, Opinion Pieces

Alphonso King Jr.aka DJ Relentless reviews last Sunday’s music awards

The 57th Grammy Awards....Hit Or Miss?

The music industry is all abuzz because of last Sunday's Grammys ceremony. From performances that reminded us why we love Annie Lennox to history repeating itself with Kanye West storming the stage to disagree with an outcome at the awards…..people are definitely talking. There were a few surprises. Katy Perry really impressed me with her song "By The Grace Of God" and Rihanna was in great voice for her performance of her new single "FourFiveSeconds" with Kanye and Paul McCarthy. And of cou

Storytelling: the act of subversion

published: January, 15, 2015 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Events, Performances, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Brian Finch

Brian Finch says “micro” interventions like personal story telling to small audiences are what are going to advance us more than articles in newspapers and glossy social media campaigns.

Storytelling: the act of subversion

What is old is new again.  In Toronto only a few years ago there was only a handful of storytelling shows in the city, including the one I started with a friend. Today there are so many I am no longer able to keep track.  What is great about storytelling and its community is that it is very humanizing. The stage is a great equalizer when we are each taking turns being vulnerable. The act of sharing our stories breaks down barriers and brings people together. I love the storytelling com

Transform

published: December, 03, 2014 Categories // Activism, Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

From Philip J H Dawson, a poem he's written for people living with HIV with 'inspiration' from GIPA/MIPA and The Ontario Accord. Aim? To transform all who live with, work in, and are affected by HIV in Ontario.

Transform

             TRANSFORM              The story is well-known.  The history, Is in our memories. And The AIDS Quilt has long been sewn. Now, Today, Is what we CHOOSE to do with who we have become. Not to sit, and fester, and rot, and say, "I cannot do this!" "I cannot move forward from my misery!" "I am the same as the Monster that is My HIV status!" I tell you - you can!          You, Like me Like others, Will choose to become light - and not dark! So,

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