Page 1

TRAVEL weekend in Wales

Gay & Lesbian Cit y Living


INSIGHT Deadly Senate games

APRIL 2011


Molly Johnson’s glamorous tomboy style Local label Worth


talk exchange

ELTON JOHN’S advice to parents


romance & Pieczonka

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Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS

David Bateman, Nicola Betts, Mary Dickie, Dino Dilio, Derek Dotto, Wingo Du, Marty Galin, Peter Knegt, Keith Loukes, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Pam Shime, Richard Silver, Michael Thorner, Chris Tyrell, Jenna Marie Wakani, Doug Wallace ON the cover

Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani. Model Daniel Mazzucco. Blazer, shirt & accessories by Worth (David C Wigley). Makeup by Karleigh Johnstone. Hair by Rudy Pignataro


issue 11

views | living & health | insight | listings | Art & design | sex




Worth showcase at FAT Alt fashion from David C Wigley by Derek Dotto


Anti-diva Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka by Gordon Bowness


Trouble in the Camera Club Don Pyle recalls 1970s punk scene by Mary Dickie




8 In their own words Elton John 9 Sound Off safe injection sites

Discover Canada by train. Great deals all year round at

12 Open House the Crawford/Tingley home by Gordon Bowness 16

Weekend in Wales by Doug Wallace

20 Neighbourhood in Focus Riverdale by Richard Silver

21 Relationship Advice with Adam Segal 22 Savour the City with Marty Galin 23 The Grooming Game with Dino Dilio 28 Stylin’ with Chris Tyrell & Molly Johnson 29 Home Turf downtown with Marshall Pynkoski 30 Generic AIDS drugs to Africa? by Krishna Rau 36 Amaya Indian Room review by Pam Shime 37 Uncle Otis shopping by Derek Dotto 38 Gregg Araki’s Kaboom by Peter Knegt 41 Billy Elliot review by David Bateman 47 Sex and Health with Dr Keith 50 Caught in the Act photos by Michael Pihach & Wingo Du TM

Trademark owned by VIA Rail Canada Inc.

toronto talk exchange VIEW FINDER → Born This Way Los Angeles DJ Paul V launched earlier this year to celebrate diverse childhood experiences of LGBT people. Readers are asked to submit a photo of themselves as a kid and include a story about their first inklings that they were gay. (The title was inspired by Carl Bean’s 1977 disco hit, not Lady Gaga’s release.) The blog was Paul V’s response to a spate of teen suicides in the US as a result of homophobic bullying. The blog has taken off, with hundreds of submissions from around the world, including many Canadians; a coffee table book version is planned. (Pictured, clockwise from upper left, are Anne, Andrea, Chuck, Eamonn, Jackie Beat, Mark, Patti and Alberto.)

In their own words Elton John

→ “You

get one chance in life, and if you don’t follow your dreams, later in life you’re going to regret it.”

→ Singer Elton John left a lasting impression on theatre-goers at the Toronto premiere of Billy Elliot The Musical on March 1. The Rocket Man, who composed the show, walked the red carpet at the Canon Theatre alongside husband and executive producer David Furnish, who grew up in Toronto. “Let your kids chase their dreams. Don’t suppress them. Let them try and follow what they want to do,” said John. He and Furnish became parents themselves in December last year. “When Billy’s father finally turns the corner and lets him go to the ballet school for an audition it changes [the father’s] life, too.”

Wingo Du

MORE See page 30 for our review of Billy Elliot. Go to to watch our video interview with John and Furnish.


April 2011

toronto talk exchange Sound off safe injection sites

letters Singh for your supper → Great article (Eye of the Storm,, Feb 1, 2011). Mark Singh, your dedication and commitment to Pride Toronto continue to amaze me. You were never appreciated for the wisdom and direction that you envisioned for this organization — pearls to swine. Breathe free and enjoy the time with your husband. Rennie Ali, Toronto

3. Studies show that North America’s only safe injection site, Insite in Vancouver, BC, not only increases the number of drug addicts entering detox programs, it helps lower new HIV infection rates. At the federal government’s urging, the Supreme Court next month may close Insite’s doors for good. Three stakeholders discuss the value of safe injection sites. →

People think [safe injection sites] encourage drug use when the fact is that people who go to sites are already using drugs. We had 15 overdose deaths last year from people who came to our harm reduction program [in Toronto]. They’ve had no fatalities [at Insite] in Vancouver. Safeinjection sites reduce the risk of people sharing items. People can access clean injection equipment. It works as a place to educate people. Sometimes you get new injectors who don’t understand what risks they are taking. People think it’s a shooting gallery when, really, it’s place where people can connect with people.

Zoe Dodd, peer educator and training coordinator, East Toronto Hepatitis C Program

“There’s somehow this idea that Insite created extreme poverty in lower east Vancouver [but] Insite arrived far after the fact. It cleaned up the streets, lowered the level of street crime and drug litter. We know addiction isn’t one of those things that can be cleared up by waking up Monday morning and splashing water on your face. We know from medical literature it takes a lifetime of interventions and support for someone to deal with an addition. Insite is able to access [drugs users] who are most marginalized.”

Adam Busch, gay youth and gay men’s harm reduction coordinator, AIDS Committee of Toronto

“If people buy drugs illegally and are in possession of illegal drugs, and then the authorities provide them with a facility to use those drugs, that means society is actively promoting the illicit drug market. If that’s not enough, it develops a double standard for the police because they are supposed to look the other way. In short, we are spending pubic money to facilitate drug use and I think that’s wrong.”

Julian Fantino, former police chief and one of three federal cabinet ministers from the Toronto area (from his 2007 autobiography Duty: The Life of a Cop; Fantino’s office did not respond to our requests for comment)

→ What a lot of gobbledygook. This was my first reaction to reading the interview with Mark Singh. In all such cases of alleged financial mismanagement, whether it be with Pride Toronto or the recent Toronto Community Housing Corporation, my first reaction as a concerned and knowledgeable citizen is to say, “What was the board doing to allow such things to happen?” As a former senior executive director and board member of a number of small and large charitable and notfor-profit social housing organizations, I would not sign any questionable contracts or expenses, nor allow anything to go to the board or be passed by the board that was not Continued on page 11











011 CH 2














0 PM





toronto talk exchange How Tweet It Is Mix it up with the NFB

letters Continued from page 9

by Michael Thorner


he National Film Board of Canada’s ongoing digital transformation is aston-

ishing. The home of iconic Oscarwinning films from Canada’s past — like Neighbours and Churchill’s for years, and now has a huge library from seven decades of existence to view for free online. All the classic NFB films familiar to Canadians are online: Buster Keaton Rides Again, The Railrodder, Paddle to the Sea, If You Love This Planet, The Big Snit, Project Grizzly, Don Owen’s Nobody Waved Good-


bye, and those brilliant animated shorts by Norman McLaren. They’re all there, indexed by title, director, keywords, genre, language and year. For the uninitiated, or for those who don’t even know where

→ ESSENCE OF LIFE With interactive sites to complement documentaries like Waterlife, the NFB takes its 70-year tradition of telling people’s stories to a new level.

to begin, there are “playlists” cre-

John Minh Tran © Primitive Entertainment/NFB

Island — has been digitizing its assets

the remarkable Waterlife, a collection of stories by people living around the last great supply of fresh drinking water on Earth (the Great Lakes).

ated by invited experts and media

exists, based on the ruminations of

These innovative works — some



Richard Cloutier, a former resident.

stories look forward, others look

ing the content easier. Films are

Out My Window, by Katerina Cizek,

back — are part film, part soundtrack,

even grouped by specific interest

part of the larger Highrise project, is

part photo album, part essay; but


dubbed a 360-degree documentary,

the sum of their parts is something

Just as fascinating is the NFB’s

one that audio-visually explores

else entirely, something new and

new online initiative: a series of

how different cultures live and


engaging interactive sites with lush

interact with each other in highrise

web environments produced using

apartment building complexes.



In Crash Course: Creative Lessons

part of our cinematic heritage. Its

opment software. The interactive

on Surviving an Economic Tsunami,

international reputation and reach

elements include moving and static

filmmaker, musician and media

in film circles and in educational

imagery (both illustrated and pho-

personality Nobu Adilman tries

institutions is inarguably secure.

tographic), layered text and video,

to make sense of the global reces-

Now though — more than ever —

with various sound and visual

sion — and his own — by visiting

a wider audience all over the planet


Buenos Aires, to see how Argentines

can easily comb through the pleth-

managed economic hardships over

ora of works from the comfort of

These sites tell stories unique

the years. Part audio-visual travel-

their own homes. There they can

to the Canadian experience in a

ogue and part cultural history les-

witness for themselves why the

new way. Welcome to Pine Point

son, Adilman enters into a dialogue

NFB is so highly regarded.

by the Goggles (Paul Shoebridge

with locals on how they creatively

and Michael Simons) is a nostalgic

manage their lives, in both art and

look at a northern Canadian indus-




trial mining town that no longer

Other fascinating works include

Collecting kudos → Congrats my dear friend (Welcome to the Doll House, In Toronto, Mar 2011). I was deeply influenced by your passion for the arts and dedication to the community. Bruce Jones, you taught me a lot without teaching. I am glad now we have a magazine that focuses outside the box. Asad Rahman, Toronto

We’ve been fortunate in Canada to have the NFB as an important

Flash and other cutting-edge devel-


“squeaky clean” if it involved donated or public monies. I too have a partner who has his own business, and would never allow him or myself to get into a possible perceived conflict of interest situation, however innocent or justified it might be, with any organization where I was a staff or board member. If such things happened on my watch of if I was part or the decision-making process that I did not agree with, then I would have no alternative but to take full responsibility and resign. Colin J Rainsbury, Toronto

Get in touch → Send your letter to the editor to: In Toronto magazine, 348 A Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A2 or email us at You can also comment online at Drop us a line. We value your feedback.

MICHAEL THORNER Tweets at michaelthorner




rent to own Actor Gavin Crawford and writer Kyle Tingley, of This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame, made their two-and-a-half storey brick house near High Park, previously divided into apartments, a comfortable, airy space conducive to creativity, leisure, family and laughs. →

Story Gordon Bowness | Photography Nicola Betts


April 2011


How long have you lived in this house? KT: I don’t remember. GC: This isn’t going to go well. He has no memory and I don’t pay attention. You were renters, first. KT: We had the top two floors. GC: There was a lesbian couple on the main floor and a guy in the basement who grew his own pot. Why did you buy? GC: The landlord said he was selling, so we could either buy it or move. And I hate moving. KT: And we love this street, even though when we first moved out here we thought it was the middle of nowhere. I don’t think we’d ever been past Ossington. What was the first renovation? KT: The front of the house, because that’s the most important thing in a home, that it look better than the neighbours’. GC: We gayed out so bad. It took months to decide on the colours. We still have 40 cans of paint, all different colours, in the garage. KT: Our neighbours probably thought we were crazy. “Oh look, there’s the gay guys standing in the middle of the street staring at their house again.”

Did you have a contractor at that point? KT: Our first contractor was terrible. I should have been suspicious. I picked him because he was the only one who let me do whatever I wanted. GC: Now we have a great contractor — he cares about what he’s doing, and actually lifts a hammer himself. Did you do any of the work yourself? KT: I did some of the design. We both did some demolition. And Gavin built a bookshelf out of our old doors. Was there major work? KT: The previous owner had already done much of the structural work, the foundation and opening up some of the rooms. We took out one load-bearing wall in the kitchen and added a two-storey deck in the back. Having lived here so long, I had lots of opportunity to figure out what we could do. We basically went floor by floor. It took us years. How would you describe the feel? GC: Modern country, cottagey. Since we worked in Halifax on 22 Minutes for five to six months of the year, I almost saw this place as a vacation home. We were only here in the summer. So I really did think of it as a cottage. I wanted lots of places to lie and read. Continued on page 15

→ city meets country Second-floor living room (opposite page) with barn board floors from Revival Flooring and distressed coffee table from Forever Interiors. Stairwell (this page, top left) showing Kirsten Johnson’s Homeland Security Colour-Coded Advisory System with Sockpuppets, Enrique Ferreol’s Paisaje con Manzana and custom ceramic chandelier from AM Studio. Gavin Crawford made the bookshelf (middle left) from doors reclaimed from the house. Kyle Tingley had the marionette (top right) made as a gift to Crawford; it’s one of his characters, Verna, the librarian. The mainfloor kitchen (bottom left) features a pebble bowl that Tingley bought at MOMA. “The whole house is designed around it,” says Crawford.


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Continued from page 13

little screened-in reading room out

KT: Writing TV is way harder than

KT: Country loft, eclectic. I also

back, off the second floor.

renovating a house.

wanted to keep as much of the Arts

GC: You can always sell a house.

and Crafts details as we could, like

What’s the most outrageous reno?

KT: Our best writing comes from

the moulding.

KT: The gym in the basement. It’s

combining our tastes. I think it’s

so insane to have that.

the same with the house.

You put reclaimed barn board

GC: The disco shower.

flooring throughout.

KT: Nobody needs a flashing colour-

What’s coming up?

GC: It really makes the cottagey

ed light in their shower head.

GC: Well I’m not planning on

feel. It’s the foundation of the

GC: I spent too many years in awful



rentals showering in a tiny stall


KT: I love it. And it’s midrange

where the door would always fall

KT: But we have a new multi-char-

price-wise for hardwood.

in on me. I promised myself if I ever

acter series for Gavin in develop-

was going to put money down on a

ment with the CBC.

home, I’d have a great shower.

GC: And I’m in Sky Gilbert’s play

What’s your favourite reno? KT: The stairwell. We removed a





The Situationists at Buddies this

second-floor closet and it really

How does being writing partners

month and in Kevin Tierney’s new

opens up the whole house.

compare to negotiating renos

film French Immersion out this

GC: Mine is the “tree house,” the


summer. •

→ his & his The “tree house” (above left) off the living room overlooks the back garden. The “disco shower” and the Catalano Zero 100 sink (above right) are from Tiles Plus. The master bedroom (bottom) features a lightning photo by Crawford mounted on canvas at Marco R Media and digital collages by John Webster. The contractor — the good one — is Ben Scott, Streetspace Environmental Design. The cat (middle left) is Jeffrey.

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Weekend in Wales →Sure,

London is cool, but on your next UK trip, hop on a train to Cardiff for full-on fun Story Doug Wallace


little campfire song played in my head on the train to Wales: “Were you ever in Cardiff Bay/ Where the folks all shout, ‘Hurray!’?/Here comes John with three month’s pay/ Riding on a donkey.” We looked for donkeys but only saw a lot of sheep. You may think the Welsh countryside is a bit sleepy, and you’d be right. But it’s just so beautiful and, well, old (the oldest castles in the UK are in Wales). To balance things out, Cardiff is bustling and you won’t be the only gay in this village. (For the record, the tiny hamlet of Llanddewi Brefi, is cap-


April 2011

ital-O Over its Little Britain fame.) Our time in Wales was brief, but what a time. Cardiff has everything, most of it within easy reach of the city centre: historical significance, castles, real beer, a rich gay culture, great farm-fresh food, a revived waterfront, soccer, music, acres of pedestrian-only shopping streets and bushels of gorgeous men and women. Crawl the Pubs The drunker you get, the harder the boys’ names are to pronounce: Geraint, Hywel, Gareth (okay, that one’s not so bad), Dai, Ioan. The

Welsh love their weekends, and the plethora of gay bars won’t disappoint. My boyfriend and I didn’t know where we were going, we just started following people from place to place — and it worked. Unfortunately, main gay pub the Kings Cross (25 Caroline St) is likely to close very soon, though there is a campaign to save it from turning into a café. The more traditional Golden Cross Pub (283 Hayes Bridge Rd) is an alternate early starting point for the evening. The crowd then moves on to Charles St to work the strip, dodging loud, wobbly-heeled women

at every step. Stops include stylish Bar Icon (60 Charles St, and Wow Bar (4A Churchill Way,, a rather wild pub/café upstairs and dance spot downstairs. Warning: The website says in big letters, “Jagermeister is our house wine!” This is the Woody’s of Cardiff. If you still have the energy, head to Exit Club (48 Charles St, around midnight, Cardiff’s oldest gay nightclub. Club X (35 Charles St) is for the hardcore clubbers (shirts off) and Pulse (3 Churchill Way,


is popular with the younger set. Scheduling your trip to line up

water closet.” Not bad for 1870. St



links the old stores with the new.


And nearby Howell’s Department

→ ancient & modern Cardiff Castle (opposite page) and Cardiff Bay (above) with the Pierhead Building and Wales Millennium Centre visible at right.

with Mardi Gras the first week in

History Museum (museumwales.-

Store will let you stock up on

September is not a bad idea. The is a sprawling


UK’s largest free gay and lesbian

heritage attraction attached to the


festival sees thousands of peo-

grounds of St Fagans Castle, a late

ple partying in the Cardiff Castle

16th-century manor house. The

More Than Just

trip is in order. Be sure to squeeze

grounds and outwards. Check out

gardens alone are worth the cab

Welsh Cakes

in a trip to Llanerch Cookery


Storm the Castles

Hit the arcades




to the wrong side of the car, a day

Cockles and mussels take on

School ( newly

a whole new meaning in Wales.

created by the heroine of Welsh



cuisine, chef Angela Gray. Opening


In a region with more castles per

Cardiff is now the sixth biggest

cakes? Delicious. An early propo-

this spring at what will be a newly

capita than anywhere else, you

shopping destination in the UK

nent of the locavore movement,

renovated Llanerch Vineyard in the

would be remiss not to visit one.

so make sure the credit cards are

Wales has gorgeous, gorgeous food

Vale of Glamorgan, the school has

Luckily, there’s one in the middle

sharpened. Find 1.4 million square

at every turn. Farm-fresh ingredi-

an aggressive year-round sched-

of town. Cardiff Castle is a must-

feet of shopping in the middle of

ents at the Laguna Kitchen and

ule with “taster courses” for every

tour, small enough to not be over-

Cardiff at St David’s shopping



level of home chef. Gray is exciting

whelming, historical enough to be

centre, anchored by John Lewis.

in the Park Plaza will have you

and fun, and loves a good “dish,”

actually interesting. Older than

The Queen’s Arcade is parallel to

weeping. I had an almost religious

having worked for European aris-

dirt, the castle became one of the

shopping stalwart Queen St, link-

experience with butter like you’ve

tocrats and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

biggest home reno stories of the

ing that main drag to St Davids’.

never tasted, so fresh and perfect.

1860s, rebuilt into a Neo-Gothic

The ornate and extremely old

Mill Lane and the Brewery Quarter

dream palace by the third Lord

Victorian and Edwardian arcades

are the two best spots in town to

Here I was finally in sight of

Bute and architect William Burges.

(Central, Castle, Duke Street and

find fabulous meals at a variety of

Cardiff Bay, and still no donkeys. An

Our tour included a trip to the

High Street) are a step back in

price-points. Visit the Cardiff sec-

absolute ton of cash has completely

bathroom, but one that was defi-

time, housing smaller designer

tion at

revived Cardiff’s waterfront, once

nitely off limits: a marble and wal-

shops and gourmet food shops.

nut confection of every gay man’s

The Hayes pedestrian shopping

dreams, complete with mermaid-

thoroughfare, featuring the likes

If you can handle driving on the

inset basins and an actual “flush

of Molton Brown and Hugo Boss,

wrong side of the road, in addition

Cover the Waterfront

the world’s busiest coal-exportGet Out of Dodge

ing port. Anchored by the stunning Continued on page 18



→ fun & romance The Big Sleep Hotel (above) and The St David’s Hotel and Spa (right).

Éloïse Brodeur

Three Musketeers, 42" x 72"

Continued from page 17


Wales Millennium Centre ( featuring ballet, opera and live music, the area is also home to

Oil on canvas | 30 x 40 in

public art exhibitions and events, The Red Dragon Centre (thereddrag(Wales’ only IMAX screen), bowling


alleys, and the shops and restaurants of Mermaid Quay ( Wander down for a whole afternoon; the throng is Also near the station on Bute

to eat.

Terrace and near all the shopping,

Get Your Beauty Rest is fun and bright and

The Big Sleep Hotel (thebigsleThe party has to come to a

modern and sexy.

screeching halt sometime, and

Get away from it all at The St

when it does, Cardiff hotels are

David’s Hotel and Spa (thestda-

plentiful and offer the type of on the water at

value you will never again see in

Cardiff Bay. Romantic setting, with


private balcony views of the bay.

The new guy on the block, opening May 2011, is The Maldron (mal-

First, go to London. Then, visit

chain. This 12-storey, 200-plus

your friends, shop, eat and drink

room hotel is on St Mary’s St very

a lot. Then, take a black cab to

near the stadium, St David’s shop-

Paddington Station and hop on

ping centre and the train station.

a train (there’s one almost every

Just down the street a ways, the

hour). In about two hours and 20

boutique-style Cardiff Park Plaza

minutes you’re there. Buy tickets in



advance at

geous fun with a smartly designed

and print them at the self-serve

lobby and the must-do Laguna

kiosks. •

Restaurant. Really nice spa, too. 18

How to Get to Cardiff, part of an Irish


April 2011

MON - SAT 10AM - 6PM SUN 11AM - 5PM

“One of the most with its cinemas

never too crowded and there’s lots

FREE PARKING contact Galler y to reser ve park ing spot.



delightful dance


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world. – The New York Times

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t s e b e h t , e s a c it u s Losing your that can happen to you thing


Barcelona The Catalan city of Barcelona is situated on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, a destination easily accessible with non-stop flights from Toronto aboard Air Canada and Air Transat. This is a vibrant city that has become a mecca for gay travellers, especially during the Barcelona Circuit Festival which takes place August 4th through the 14th. Canadians flock to L’Eixample, the gay village that hosts non-stop events. A “must see” during your visit is the work of Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudí on display at the Casa-Museu Gaudí including his masterpiece, the Basílica de la Sagrada Família . After a day at the Barcelonetta Gay Beach followed by dinner in the bustling pedestrian area of Las Ramblas, make sure to stop by the “hetero-friendly” (as they call it) charming boutique Axel Hotel for a martini on their rooftop patio. Say si to Barcelona.

- Armando Mendonça GLBT Travel Expert, VoX International Inc.






e Pap

in focus


— Riverdale by Richard Silver

Riverdale: It’s all about the food and shopping.

→ colour Small but cheery houses in Riverdale

Thirty years ago, I began my realtor career at an office on the

the best assortment of tastes from

Danforth. In those days it was the

around the world? The big problem

newest up-and-coming area, and

is figuring out where to go first.

my first few years were spent cut-

Riverdale is also home to the

ting my teeth in prime Riverdale


and Leslieville, although we called

August, Taste of the Danforth, one

it Cabbagetown Two at the time —

of the country’s largest street fairs

a tribute to the number of Victorian

that celebrates, you guessed it, the

houses found south of Gerrard.

food and shopping.




The housing closer to the Danforth

The Danforth offers wonderful

tends to be mostly Edwardian in

shopping sprees where you can find

design but the homes are larger and

anything for the urban professional.

on larger lots, with some parking.

Then take a break at Allen’s (143

I have watched the renovation

Danforth Ave) with its comforting

bug flourish both north and south

wood interior and lovely back patio

of the Danforth driven by ameni-

or Mezes (456 Danforth Ave) known

ties for families like great public

for great Greek food and service. But

schools like Jackman and Withrow.

if what you want to eat is not on the

A property that sold then was orig-

Danforth? A short drive gets you

inally $200,000 and is now more

Indian at Siddhartha (1450 Gerrard

than $1,000,000 — so we have up

St E), Chinese dim sum at Pearl

and come!

Court (633 Gerrard St E), Vietnamese

But what would Riverdale be without





at Mi Mi (688 Gerrard St E), or French at Batifole (744 Gerrard St E).

nationalities and the confirmed

Whether you live-to-eat or eat-to-

foodies who live in the area? Where

live, it is hard to beat Riverdale and

else can you find wonderful fruits

the great Danforth!

and vegetables, Alex Farm cheeses (377 Danforth Ave), Sweet Tooth desserts (508 Danforth Ave), and

RICHARD SILVER is a salesperson with Bosley Real Estate and blogs at


Meet Your Perfect match

relationship advice

— with Adam Segal My partner and I have been together for four years and he recently took a one-year contract in another city that he just couldn’t pass up. We agreed to give the longdistance thing a go since it’s got a finite end in sight. Our relationship is pretty solid and we communicate quite well. I find myself missing him but when we speak by phone or Skype, I feel irritated that it’s not the real thing. We get to see each other every couple of months but then our hopes are so high that the time can feel a little strained and pressured. How do we cope? Ali →

Even if you are sitting non-ver-

other men during this time apart? If

bal across from your partner over

so, is it a “don’t ask don’t tell” thing

breakfast, both of you messy-haired

or do you want each other to dis-

and crusty-eyed, there is a sense of

cuss any extra-curricular activities?

camaraderie that is hard to repli-

Shying away from the topic guaran-

cate when you’re not physically in

tees someone will get hurt.

the same space.

A friend of mine in a long-dis-

Here’s some ideas to help hold

tance relationship would see the

you both over until you’re reunited.

same film on the same night as her

Be clear with your communication

sweetie so that they could call each

needs so neither is feeling crushed

other and discuss it afterward —

by not enough contact or smothered

find creative ways to feel like you’re

by too many calls. Keep communi-

sharing the same world as your guy.

cation current: Tell your sweetie

Get away from your respective cit-

about your office-mate’s meltdown

ies and travel together some place

at work or the neighbourhood gos-

where your relationship can escape

sip. Focus on quality over quantity

reminders that you live apart.

— make calls when you are actually in a mindset to fully engage.

While technology has made staying in touch so much easier through

Living apart can make the time

Skype and text messaging, go old-

you do have, either during visits

school and send your guy tangible

or on the phone, feel loaded with

things — a lusty letter, a mix CD.

expectation. Even saying hello and

There’s nothing like getting a pack-

goodbye so frequently can feel

age in the mail that you can really

draining. And those condensed vis-

wrap your hands around.

its won’t be 100 percent bliss each

No matter how much effort you

and every second. Give up try-

put into this, there will still be

ing to be a Stepford Husband and

moments of longing and loneli-

allow yourselves leeway to spat

ness. Make sure your life here is

over dumb things once in a while —

full. Don’t live in a cave until your

you’re still in a relationship after all!

honey returns — you’ll only resent

Similarly, some phone chats will

him and make yourself miserable.

be a little lacklustre and, ultimately, that has to be okay. Expecting occasional lulls might help you feel less wigged out when it happens. Make sure to discuss boundaries. Are you allowed to hook up with

Adam Segal is a writer and therapist who works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at relationship@


Savour the city The Global LGBT Summit April 25 – May 1, 2011, Philadelphia

— with Marty Galin

Love is like a flower in bloom. It can happen at any time and any place. Kensington Market is the backdrop for one great love story. Hiyam owned a small clothing store. Across the street was Akram. He worked roasting nuts. Today they are married and own Akram’s Shoppe, home to some of the city’s most fascinating, authentic, homemade Middle Eastern foods. →

Hiyam cooks everything herself at the cafeteria and grocery. The soups, like lentil or okra and beans, are a taste of comfort and discovery. The $4.99 luncheon special is causing lineups. You have a choice of 10 hot food items, everything from their famous meatballs and chicken stew to shish kebob. The lunches include rice and salad, with hearty portions. Vegan is a word used often here. Falafel are made with a twist, from soya, fava beans, mong bean and 11 secret spices. Salads are made each day and are spectacular.

→ love story Akram and Hiyam serve great food made with love.

With choices of tabbouli and spinach to baba ghannuge, Hiyam only

One ingredient she adds to every-

makes small amounts. Once they

thing is her love.

are gone, she makes more fresh. House specialties are the vegan sandwiches and the different meat shawarma. Ask about the grilled

Shish kebobs Akram’s shish kebobs are a family treasure. Enjoy this coveted recipe.

cheese sandwich made with hal-

Cut meat (can be any type) into

loumi cheese. Spreads are a major

chunks. Add herbs: oregano, thyme,

part of most peoples’ requests. The

parsley and dried onions. Coat in

hommos and baked eggplant are

olive oil. Marinade for 12 hours in

my favourites with many tantaliz-

the fridge.

ing others available. The desserts are magical. You can’t stop at one. They offer 20 choices of baklava. Her shortbreads

Cook skewers on grill, always turning and keep heat at moderate Baste with sauce while cooking. Sauce:




are lip-smacking and they ravish,

minced garlic, mint and olive oil.

once on the plate. Turkish delights

Cook mixture for about 20 minutes

are the real thing here.


At the end of my meal the last time I was at Akram’s, Hiyam looked at me and said, “Everyone that comes into my place, it’s like they are entering into my home.”

AKRAM’S SHOPPE 11:30am-11pm. Monday to Saturday. 1pm-11 pm. Sunday. 191 Baldwin St. (647) 351-3116.


Y ou’ll run out of places before we run out of selection

the grooming game

— with Dino Dilio → Debonair detailing: Colour cosmetics for men are something cosmetic companies have not tapped into beyond skin care products.

Look online and you will be inun-

some sun. The texture should be

dated by potions, lotions, powders,

matte and the tone no more than

paints and power tools marketed at

two to three shades deeper than

the “new” modern man interested

your complexion. Apply across

in using makeup in their groom-

forehead, brow bone, over cheek

ing game plan. As fascinated as I

bones and ears, along jawline and

am by these sites and newfangled

down throat with a large fluffy face

products, the practical side of me

powder brush. Wipe brush out with

knows that a careful selection of

a paper towel for final blending.

traditional cosmetics can provide the same if not better results that will have you looking your best.

Detailing Tools cara wand that you can pick up at

1549 Avenue Rd. (N. of Lawrence) 416•782•1129

A spooley brush is a clean masany cosmetic counter. Use it wet

Sun: 12-5pm; Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat: 9:30-6 pm; Thurs: 9:30-9 pm

Concealer can be specifically used

to remove powder from brows,

for under eye concerns or strategi-

lashes and facial hair. Wash it out

cally placed to even out skin tone.

between uses.


straight lashes into an alluring lia-







The right foundation evens out and

bility. Look for the ones with the

enhances the face’s colouring while

paddle handles as most looped

smoothing the texture. Powder foun-

handles are too small for gents.

Where your dreams are our vision

dation (MAC Studio Fix) is way easier to use and less forgiving than a


fussy liquid or cream foundation

Brow tints are essentially a safe,

which requires a second step of pow-

tinted hair gel for around the eyes

der to set it. The colour must match

that is used on fair or silver eye-

your overall skin tone and be matte


in texture. Test the colour on your

lashes and facial hair for subtle

nose. If the shade disappears then

definition and distinction. It has

you have the right shade. Confirm in

much better control than mascara.

natural daylight to be certain. Apply

Choose a tint that matches your

with a compact kabuki brush in a

overall hair colour. Apply with a

buffing motion over face, ears, neck

light touch. Blend and unify with a

and tops of hands.

clean spooley brush.



Oil-absorbing matte powder is



It can also be used on




an invisible pressed powder (MAC

Moisturizer because it works at

Blot Powder) that smoothes the

keeping your lips soft, smooth and

skin’s surface while ridding shine.

not shiny or greasy. Use daily to

Excellent for oily complexions and

keep your kisser ready for any task.

Exclusive offer to Designer Professionals.

photographs. Bronzing powder is a pressed tantone powder that can tint your face giving the illusion of having had

61 Alex Ave, Woodbridge ON Phone: 905-850-2681 Cell: 647-926-8220

Dino Dilio The freelance make-up artist and writer is resident beauty expert on CityLine.


The Avant Guardians → Fashion Art Toronto, or FAT, blurs the boundaries of art and fashion while showcasing Canadian labels like Worth from designer David C Wigley Story Derek Dotto


“I want to make something that people feel good about wearing.”


mong the scores of design-

studies program. “I like the theatri-

Wigley had been designing his

Everything is new and original.

ers keen to showcase their

cal aspect of fashion,” Wigley says.

own creations in his spare time,

It’s really different and a breath

creations at this year’s

“It was around the time Moulin

getting some attention from styl-

of fresh air. I think it’s bringing

FAT, Toronto’s alternative arts and

Rouge came out, and I loved the

ists and advertisers. In 2009, he

Canadian fashion back,” he says.

fashion week, is 29-year-old David

costumes in that. I wanted to be

debuted his first full collection. He

Launched in 2005, FAT show-

C Wigley, who returns to the event

able to do that.”

called it Worth. “I found this quote

cases designers, artists and musi-

with his label Worth, a women’s

Another stroke of luck landed

that said, ‘Are you worth loving?’

cians from across Canada and

and menswear line that puts the-

Wigley his first gig as a costume

I thought it was really inspira-

around the world. Executive direc-

atre-worthy garb on the street in

designer for The Yorkminstrels

tional, so I decided to use that as

tor Vanja Vasic says Canadian tal-

an eco-conscious way.

theatre group. “My friend, who

my mantra for my line.” Wigley

ent shouldn’t have to leave the

was working as a waitress, over-

strives to create clothing that lives

Continued on page 27



up to the name. “Everything is pro-

run-in with fashion wasn’t a pleas-

about how they lost their costume

duced locally and I use as much

ant one. A growth spurt, that put

designer and really needed one.


him at six feet seven inches tall,

She told them to give me a call,”

I want to make something that

cut short his plans for a modelling

he says. Wigley was brought on to

people feel good about wearing.”

career. “My agency dropped me

design costumes for 42nd Street,

when I was 17. I walked in the door

The Wizard of Oz, West Side Story

atre resurfaces in his Fall/Winter

and they said, ‘We no longer rep-

and Oliver, putting his own avant-

2011 collection launching at FAT

resent you.’” Wigley was forced to

garde twist on classic costumes.

this month, which was inspired

reassess his career plans. “I didn’t

But, Wigley says, it wasn’t the right

by Black Swan. “It’s very dark,

really focus on my studies because

fit. “I really hated working in the-

twisted, and macabre,” he says. A

I was modelling,” he says.

atre. I hated the actors. I hated not

laser print of an X-rayed skull is

being able to do what I wanted to

used throughout, with leather, fur


and feather accents adding to the

The excitement of a new show notwithstanding,



A chance meeting with a drag queen started Wigley down a path










to fashion design. “I did a painting

He says a nightmare situation

of her for a gay bar in Oshawa and

with one actress was the final

she said, ‘I love it, give me some

straw. “She hated her costume so

more stuff,” Wigley recalls. The

she cut it in half and threw it in

experience prompted him to enroll

the garbage the night before we

in George Brown College’s fashion

opened. My crew had to stay over

ing off their latest work at FAT.

techniques and design program;

night and build her a new one. It

Wigley says it’s the perfect vehi-

later he became one of the first

was one of three times I’ve lost my

cle for his line. “The energy is

graduates of the school’s costume


fantastic. Everyone is so creative.

dramatic silhouettes of draped T-shirts, gowns and tunics.





will join Wigley in show-

→ showtime Torontonian David C Wigley (above) and his label Worth are ready for the spotlight; (opposite page) sheer cotton shirt with hand-dyed silk accents by Worth. Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani, model Daniel Mazzucco, makeup by Karleigh Johnstone, hair by Rudy Pignataro.


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→ red letter The Fall/Winter 2010 offering from Worth was characterized by dramatic silhouettes and clean tailoring. Designer David C Wigley brought a stark palette of black, white and grey to life with vibrant scarlet accents. Wigley will bring his signature sense of drama back to the runway at FAT this month when he unveils a Black Swan-inspired collection for Fall/Winter 2011. Photography by Mckenzie James.

Continued from page 25

fashion event, LG Fashion Week,

are screenings of international

country to be recognized. “You

which closes earlier in April.

fashion films. “At the end of the

have great designers that are con-

Vasic says she started an alterna-

day, it is a show. It’s about peo-

stantly leaving Canada to go to

tive fashion week to be just that,


New York and London. I wanted

an alternative. “I thought LGFW

designing and what you’re doing.

to create more of a buzz around

wasn’t very inclusive. It was very


fashion and innovation and keep

flat in a way, it wasn’t very inter-

mediums, a collection can really

people here.”

active. With FAT you get to expe-

stand out.”

rience fashion, not just look at it

“The energy [at fat] is fantastic. Everyone is so creative. Everything is new and original.”

from a distance.”






Wigley hopes increased exposure at FAT will help him turn

Designer and Project Runway

his part-time venture into a full-

Canada season one winner Evan

time gig. “As long as I keep doing

Biddell has shown at both fashion

it and keep putting myself out

weeks in the past. He says the two

there eventually it will just hap-

events don’t have to compete, but

pen. The right person will see it

can complement one another.

at the right time and it will come

“There really is no comparison.


The event also features live per-

They’re two completely different

formances, music, photography,

animals.” He adds, “One is for fun

video screenings and art instal-

and the other is for serious.”

lations. “FAT is all about pushing

FAT organizers are hoping to

the boundaries of what fashion

increase its visibility by switch-

can mean,” says Vasic. “It acts as

ing locations from a film studio

a playground for people to exper-

in Liberty Village to 99 Sudbury,

iment with fashion and think

an event space just off Queen

about it in new ways.”

West. “It’s a little more polished

Naturally, FAT draws compar-

and more of a grown-up venue,”

isons to Toronto’s other major

Vasic says. Also new this year

FAT Runs Tue, Apr 26 to 29. 99 Sudbury St. WORTH David C Wigley’s show is at 7:15pm on Wed, Apr 27. Worth designs are available from



stylin' with chris tyrell Known primarily as a jazz singer with a sultry voice and wonderfully unique phrasing, Molly Johnson actually started as a child performer in Mirvish musicals. Lauded as one of Canada’s top singers (can you say Juno Awards and sold-out shows in France?) she received the Order of Canada for her tireless fundraising efforts on behalf of Canadian and international charities, especially those around HIV/AIDS. Molly admits to being a tomboy and detests shopping but, as this pic shows, she sure glams up good. →


What are you wearing?

Giambattista Valli from Nicholas Mellamphy at The Room, The Bay. The jewellery is from my mom. Hair by Justin and Christopher at Shagg. Makeup by Jody Daye.

What item of clothing can you not live without?

Your first fashion memory?

Definitely my Mountain Equipment fleece. This is also one of the few places that I feel good about shopping at.

Pinafores over a polka-dot dress for the opening of South Pacific at the Royal Alex in 1966. My brother Clark and I performed in it.

Who had the most influence on your sense of style?

If money was no object what would be your fashion purchase?

George Whiteside

My dad was a real clotheshorse. He’d go to Italy every year and have suits made. He was friends with Lou Myles and Harry Rosen in the early days of their careers. He had a full-length fur coat made in Switzerland. He drove my mom crazy spending a lot of cash on clothing.

An Armani suit. It’s sort of like getting your driver’s license.

Describe your style. I’m a tomboy until my dress fairies get a hold of me. I love casual clothing, except when I’m performing. I have a hard time with the politics of clothing so I don’t shop

just anywhere. I read labels and I look at where things are made. I worry when things are really cheap and from Asia and I wonder if kids are involved and if people are being paid a living wage. As much as I love a bargain I’d rather pay more and know that the politics are correct and not exploitative. I look for made in Canada labels.

Fashion pet peeve? I don’t like written things on people’s bums. Can we pull it up a notch, ladies? MOLLY JOHNSON Hosts CBC’s Radio 2 Morning from 6am to 9am, Saturdays and Sundays.

It’s got everything but a stop on the way. Non-stop to Palm Springs.



Toronto to Palm Springs



Luxurious golf courses. Unforgettable shopping that fits any budget. Indulge in infused cuisine. Rest and relax.

Travel on select days until April 30, 2011.* Book today at or call your travel agent. *Travel on Wednesdays for travel until April 30, 2011 Fares on other days may be higher. Taxes, fees and surcharges are extra where applicable. Fuel surcharge still applies to Air Miles™ redemption bookings. Seats at these fares are limited and may not be available on all flights. New bookings only. 100% non-refundable. Flights may not operate on certain days. Offer combinable with other fares. All fares shown are one-way. See for details.

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3/14/11 4:56:22 PM


Home Turf Downtown with Marshall Pynkoski → Opera Atelier artistic director Marshall Pynkoski says he and his wife, co-artistic director Jeannette Lajeunesse

My day starts at the Central Y (20 Grosvenor St). It’s on the way to work so if I don’t go, I die of guilt. My personal trainer is Ion Radulescu, this fantastic Romanian brick of a guy. Jeannette calls him a pocket-sized Adonis. He’s such a showman, standing in the middle of the weight room shouting at everyone. To me he says things like, “I’m like you, an artist. I just make beauty out of bodies.” I just adore him. Coffee means Second Cup (163 King St E). But this Second Cup is run by Dörte Windmüller. She’s German with a lovely singsong lilt to her voice. She’s spent her own money on paintings for the café. You’d never believe it’s a chain. She once took me backstage at Roy Thomson to meet Helmuth Rilling when he was conducting the TSO. Her customers adore her but I doubt if they have any idea how

cultured and intelligent she is. Our offices and studios are on the fourth floor of St Lawrence Hall (157 King St E), where the National Ballet used to have its costume shop. So Nureyev had his costume fittings for Sleeping Beauty right here. I love that sense of history. And when you walk into this amazing old building you enter through big doors made during the 1967 restoration. And can you believe it? They were carved by the grandfather of our set designer Gerard Gauci. When I’m losing it and need a five minute break I walk over to Nicholas Hoare Books (45 Front St E). I love how you can just take a book off the shelf, sit on a couch and read. Everyone has worked there for years; they all love books. And they know their clients’ tastes, so someone is always recommending a book to me.

Michael Pihach

Eric Morse

Bruce Zinger

Zingg, live at work, so he gave us a sneak peek into his routine near the OA offices at King and Jarvis

I also like wandering through Wilkins Auctions (299 Queen St E). It’s the less expensive alternative to Waddington’s. They have beautiful, beautiful stuff. Some crazy stuff, too. I find that Toronto is full of places like this, where they are perfectly happy if you are interested in what they do even if they aren’t making money off of you. When we take people out we love to go to Biagio (155 King St E). It’s just downstairs and the food is outrageously delicious. And Mr Biagio is a wonderful man. He and his staff open their doors every Christmas to street people to give them a Christmas meal. He donates food and space to us. He’s so Italian: He loves us because we’re artists. Our productions are at the Elgin (189 Yonge St). I still can’t believe that such a gorgeous old theatre is our home. I never get over the thrill of walking in the stagedoor

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in the back, not the front, because that means the theatre owns you. We rehearse for five weeks, the longest period for any opera company in Canada, probably in North America. So it really becomes a home for us. A few years ago we had so many singers either pregnant or with babies, the green room was turned into a nursery. At one point, Laura Pudwell’s baby was crying during rehearsal, so she said there was only one thing to do: She sang right through Marcellina’s aria from the Marriage of Figaro while breastfeeding her baby. Just a magical moment.

OPERA ATELIER La Clemenza di Tito opens at the Elgin on Fri, Apr 22. See page 36 for details.



a n a ly s i s

life in the balance →Canadian-made generic drugs could dramatically alter the landscape in AIDS-ravaged Africa. New legislation finally making them available passed the House of Commons — prior to the election call. Now it’s up to the Senate. Will it put profits before people? Story Krishna Rau | Illustration Ian Phillips


April 2011



egislation that could save

obtain a blanket license allowing

of 15 living with AIDS worldwide,



them to make unlimited sales of

with 90 percent of those in Africa.



“[Bill C-393] could mean a major contribution by Canada to saving tens of thousands, maybe millions, of lives.”

maybe millions, of people

generic versions for two years to

Elliott says the law, if passed,

with HIV or AIDS in the developing

countries on a pre-approved list

would be ground-breaking inter-

world died in the Senate when the

at a cost far less than that of the

nationally. “It would be the sim-

government fell on Mar 25.

name-brand drugs. The original

plest, most straight-forward sys-

manufacturers will be paid a set

tem in the world. We could be one


percentage of the sales fee for the

of the first to have a simple, work-

nies in Canada to easily manu-

licensing of their drugs. (A previ-

able system in place.”

facture name-brand AIDS drugs

ous version of the legislation only

Elliott says the Canadian system

for sale to the developing world,

allowed generic companies to sell

could be especially significant if

leading physicians, major news-

passed the House of Commons on

a set amount of drugs to any devel-

it’s emulated by India, the world’s

papers all support it. Given the

Mar 9. But the bill still needs to be

oping country; they had to make

largest manufacturer of generic

support, it’s entirely, feasible and

passed by the Senate and receive

the sale of a specified amount


reasonable that senators would

royal assent — steps that have

first to a particular country, then

But while the bill passed in the

support it. Clearly, Harper didn’t

been delayed indefinitely now that

obtain a licence good only for that

Commons with relative ease, the

feel strongly enough to impose a

an election has been called.

specific sale — the process proved

fall of the government means Bill

whip on their entire caucus.”


C-393 faces an uncertain future.

And Elliott says that CHALN and

Bill C-393, which would allow generic


The bill was passed in the House of Commons by a vote of 172 to

“It means finally, at long last,

Unlike other bills that die on the

other groups like the Stephen

111. Twenty-six Conservative MPs

we will have a much more user-

order paper when an election is

Lewis Foundation will do their

voted in favour of the bill, even

friendly system in place,” says

called, C-393, because it’s a pri-

best to make the bill an issue in

though it was opposed by the



vate member’s bill, sponsored by

the election.

Stephen Harper government. Two

director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS

the NDP’s Paul Dewar, will be rein-

Elliott admits, though, that sup-

Liberals voted against the bill.

Legal Network (CHALN), a long-

troduced in the new session of

porters of the bill wouldn’t be the



The Senate, however, which had

time advocate for the changes. “It

Parliament at the same stage it

only ones bringing it up in an elec-

a chance to pass the bill in the week

could put millions of people on

reached before the election call, on

tion, or its aftermath. He says he

before the election call, failed to do

AIDS medications. It could mean

the Senate agenda. However, the

expects the brand-name pharma-

so when the Conservative major-

a major contribution by Canada to

fact that the Conservative majority

ceutical companies to renew their

ity in the upper chamber repeat-

saving tens of thousands, maybe

in the Senate delayed passage of

active opposition to the bill.

edly adjourned debate on the

millions, of lives.”

the bill has raised questions. The

bill. Media reports have also indi-

Elliott says the first drug pro-

cated that Conservative Industry

duced under the new law would

Minister Tony Clement has been

likely be a 3-in-1 version of a pedi-

Elliott says he’s confident the

lobbying his party’s senators to

atric drug aimed at HIV-positive

Senate will choose to pass the bill

oppose the bill.

children, a version of which is pro-

if given the chance to actually vote, despite the Conservative majority.

makeup of the Senate will remain unchanged after the election.

Bill C-393 was also vigorously

duced by only one other company

opposed by Canadian pharma-

anywhere in the world. The United

“It’s just been shown that there’s

ceutical companies that make the

Nations and various AIDS chari-

such broad support for this. Eighty

name-brand drugs. Under C-393,

ties estimate that there are close

percent of Canadians, some polls

generic companies will be able to

to 2 million children under the age

show, support this. Faith leaders,

“Oh, they will. There’s no reason to think they won’t.” But Elliott says the bill and its supporters are not going away. “In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, we’ll be back.”

For more on Bill C-393, visit the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network at Or go to to send a message to senators about the bill.


inspired by


FIRST Anniversary Party THURSDAY May 5th

ROOSEVELT ROOM 328 Adelaide Street West 10:30pm - 2am $20 donation towards the aids committee of toronto Costumes encouraged

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A I D S f u ndraisin g

Dazzle in ViennA Life Ball is one of Europe’s biggest HIV/AIDS fundraising galas


ince its beginnings in 1993, the Life Ball in Vienna has made a loud and sounding statement in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Incorporating the elements of music, art, fashion and glamour, Life Ball is one of the biggest HIV/AIDS fundraising galas in Europe, arguably the world. It has raised more than $15 million for organizations helping people who are HIV-positive or have AIDS — last year’s event raised $1.5 million in a single night! Each year, the gala receives international attention, largely due to its celebrity-soaked guest

list, which has boasted names like Elton John, Liza Minnelli, Sharon Stone, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Hurley, Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell, Cyndi Lauper and Katy Perry. This year’s event, entitled Spread the Wings of Tolerance, will open in the city square in front of the picturesque Vienna City Hall, launching with a dazzling performance by a line-up of internationally-recognized artists. The centerpiece of the evening is the annual Life Ball fashion show, which has received support from the fashion industry’s top designers, from Jean-Paul Gaultier,

Vivienne Westwood and Versace to Moschino, The Blonds, Calvin Klein and many more. This year, on May 21, Canada’s own Dean and Dan Caten, of the fashion line DSquared2, will host the exuberant affair, which is limited to just 3,780 tickets. In Toronto magazine is proud to attend and support this important event that helps improve the lives of so many who are living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Keep reading the magazine and watch us online for our exclusive Life Ball coverage. Also don’t forget to attend In Toronto’s first anniversary party on

→ you could be there The square in front of Vienna City Hall, home to Life Ball. Win tickets at In Toronto magazine’s first-anniversary party.

Thu, May 5 at the Roosevelt Room (328 Adelaide St W). Join us as we celebrate one whole year of In Toronto, the city’s premiere LGBT magazine. Inspired by Vienna’s Life Ball, our costume party is a fundraiser for the AIDS Committee of Toronto. Guests have a chance to win a fantastic trip to Vienna, including airfare, hotel and two tickets to Life Ball. See you there!




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l isti n gs & e v e n ts

Continued from page 35

in spot Amaya Indian Room Review Pam Shime

during his transition. And yes, Cher is interviewed. 9:15pm, Apr 29. Bloor Cinema. 506 Bloor St W. 4pm, May 1. 6:45pm, May 8. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. May offerings include The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, a feature doc on UK punk musician and gender outlaw Genesis P’Orridge. We Were Here is a new feature doc from David Weissman (who directed the wonderful The Cockettes). The new film returns to San Francisco 10 years later as the AIDS epidemic takes its terrible toll. Instead of focusing on death, however, Wiessman looks at five survivors. It’s a tearjerker that won raves recently in Sundance. $14. (416) 637-5150.


Hemant Bhagwani and Derek Valleau kicked off their mission to take Indian food to a new level in Canada in 2007 when the former sommeliers opened the upscale Amaya Indian Room, on Bayview south of Eglinton. Since then, they’ve rolled out Amaya Bread Bar and a litter of take-out and delivery joints called Amaya Express, in addition to creating Amaya jarred sauces for sale in groceries. Has all this expansion diluted the original? We wanted to find out. Amaya Indian Room is warm and well-appointed, low-lit with a rainbow of candles and large black mesh globe fixtures reminiscent of silly string. Indian patterned wallpaper hung with photos of the homeland offsets dark wood floors and white tablecloths. The service is excellent. Just as we were getting settled, our waiter ensured that the elephant statuette beside us was facing out, based on an Indian belief that an elephant facing the door brings luck. And luck we had. We began with a chef’s signature, the perfectly cooked Amaya prawns in green mango curry. Seafood is of particular note — the Malai halibut is moist and delicious in a creamy lemon-scented coconut broth. 36

April 2011

→ GREAT SEAFOOD Amaya prawns in green mango curry.

The selection of wine and alcohol is limited but impressive, as befits a pair of sommeliers. There was praise around the table for the gin martini, the McLaren Vale shiraz, and the deftly poured Kingfisher, a UK-brewed Indian-style lager. Amaya is known for their sauces. Enter Parsi ribs, falling-off-thebone tender beef short ribs in a red wine, garlic, ginger and black cumin curry. Pair these with the dal makhani, 12-hour cooked lentils in a tomato and butter sauce, hearty with an intense but subtle mix of flavours. Another must is the Lamb Lollipops, lamb chops served in an irresistible mint, fenugreek and white wine reduction. Finish your meal with the drenched-in-sweetness gulab jamun, India’s answer to Timbits. Served with Greg’s vanilla ice cream, the dessert was voted by members of my party “most likely to give you a heart attack” and “a dish every child would love.” Thank the elephant.

AMAYA INDIAN ROOM 1701 Bayview Ave. (416) 322-3270.

Rupert/Boivin Lucy Rupert of Toronto’s Blue Ceiling Dance and Montreal’s Marc Boivin share an evening of dance, presented by Danceworks. Opening night features Danceworks’ silent auction. $33.50. 8pm. Thu, Apr 7-9. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000. The First LP Alias Dance Project debuts its first full-length evening of dance. Six pieces, three of them premieres, combine urban hip hop with contemporary dance. Featuring choreography by JoDee Allen and Helen Simard (Solid State Breakdance), Valerie Calam, Meghan Cafferky, Geordan Coupland, Heidi Strauss, Apolonia Velasquez and Troy Feldman. $18 adv; $20 door. 8pm. Tue-Sun. 2pm. Sun. Wed, Apr 13-17. Lower Ossington Theatre. 100A Ossington St. (416) 204-1082. Fou Glorieux Known for her work with La La La Human Steps, this is the first time Louise Lecavalier has performed in Toronto since she founded her own company in 2006. With Keir Knight and Patrick Lamothe, Lecavalier performs Nigel Charnock’s Children and three duets by Édouard Lock. Presented by World Stage. $15-$45. 8pm. Wed,

Apr 13-16. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000. 20/20 Vision Kaeja d’Dance celebrates its 20th anniversary with four recent works, two of which are world premieres. With choreography by Allen and Karen Kaeja danced by Karen Kaeja, Courtnae Bowman, Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairéad Filgate, Stéphanie Tremblay Abubo and Ut i Scenekunsten. $22 ($100 opening night gala). 8pm. Apr 12-16. 1pm. Apr 14 & 15. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000.

THEATRE Paper Series Cahoots Theatre Company presents the world premiere of David Yee’s set of interlocking stories, from an orphan, a waiter or cab driver, connected by imaginative uses for paper. Starring Marjorie Chan and Nicco Lorenzo; directed by Nina Lee Aquino. $10-$30. 8pm. Mon-Sat. 2pm. Sun. Until Sat, Apr 9. Young Centre. 55 Mill St. (416) 866-8666. Songs for a New World

Angelwalk Theatre (Altar Boyz, Title of Show) presents Jason Robert Brown’s off-Broadway hit from the 1990s, an abstract musical with thematically connected songs that run the gamut from gospel-driven ballads to funky R&B. Starring Erica Peck, Denise Oucharek, Stewart Adam McKensey and Justin Bott; Andrew Lamb directs. $25-$45. 8pm. Wed-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Fri, Apr 1-23. Toronto Centre for the Arts (Studio Theatre). 5040 Yonge St. (416) 872-1111. The Situationists Sky Gilbert’s latest play finds a professor, a student and a young radical moving a debate about radicalism into action. Starring Gavin Crawford (see page 12), Haley McGee and Gil Garratt; Gilbert directs. Presented by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. $16$27. 8pm. Wed-Sat. PWYC. 2:30pm Sun. Thu, Apr 14-24. Buddies mainspace. 12 Alexander St.

→ EAS T ER Kelly Clipperton’s Top 30 photo exhibit opens at Pentimento Gallery on Thu, Apr 28.

(416) 975-8885. His Imposing Visage A famous photographer disappears into his own confused mind as he succumbs to AIDS-related dementia. Rodney Roy’s multimedia play features music by Micah Barnes and stars Jennifer Carroll, Brent Ehman, Nick May and Raffaele Ciampaglia. An Organic Theatre Collective production. $20. 7pm. Tue-Sat. 1pm. Sat & Sun (except Apr 16 & 17). Fri, Apr 15-30. Tallulah’s Cabaret. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8885. La Clemenza di Tito

Mozart’s exploration of clemency and redemption. Opera Atelier’s new production — North America’s first period production — reunites OA’s stellar cast from Idomeneo: Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, US male soprano Michael Maniaci and Croatian tenor Krešimir Špicer; Marshall Pynkoski directs (see page 29). David Fallis

listings & events Apr 10. George Weston Recital Hall. 5040 Yonge St. Leonard Slatkin conducts Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No 3 in C Minor, The Organ Symphony, with Patricia Krueger on organ. Yefim Bronfman plays Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 2 in A Major. $32-$141. 8pm. Wed, Apr 27 & 28. Roy Thomson Hall. (416) 593-4828. A Sa Lyre The Musicians in Ordinary present soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist John Edwards in an evening of French Renaissance poetry set to music. $25. 8pm. Sat, Apr 16. Haliconian Hall. 35 Hazelton Ave. (416) 535-9956.

in spot Uncle Otis Story Derek Dotto


conducts the Tafelmusik Orchestra. $33-$166 7:30pm. Fri, Apr 22, 23, 26, 27 & 30 3pm. May 1. Elgin Theatre. 189 Yonge St. (416) 872-5555. La Cenerentola

Rossini’s sparkling fairy tale gets a colourful storybook production created by the Spanish artist collective Els Comediants led by director Joan Font. Starring US mezzo Elizabeth DeShong in the title role and US tenor Lawrence Brownlee in his COC debut as the Prince. Conducted by Leonardo Vordoni. $62-$281 (ask about standing room, rush seats and youth prices). Sat, Apr 23, 28, May 1, 7, 10, 13, 19, 22 & 25. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. ariadne auf naxos

COC production opens Sat, Apr 30. See page 39.

POP & ROCK ricky martin Musica Almo Sexo World Tour. $70-$85. 8pm. Wed, Apr 13. Casino Rama. Orillia. Kelly and the Kelly Girls The swaggering

cabaret rockers release MMX, the new live album

and DVD from last year’s Luminato appearance at Yonge-Dundas Square. Includes previously released material like remastered music videos and the doc Kelly Doesn’t Play Well with Others. Of course the band will play live. $8. 8pm. Thu, Apr 14. The Garrison. 1197 Dundas St W. (416) 519-9439.

CLASSICAL & JAZZ Bugs Bunny at the Symphony Classic

Warner Bros cartoons like What’s Opera, Doc? and The Rabbit of Seville are projected on the big screen as George Daugherty conducts the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony performing Carl Stalling’s original scores. $38-$68. 2pm & 7pm. Sat, Apr 9. Sony Centre. 1 Front St E. (416) 872-2262. Toronto Symphony Orchestra James

Conlon conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No 3 in E-flat Major, The Eroica. Piano soloist Orion Weiss makes his début in a piano concerto by Erwin Schulhoff. Plus Dvorák’s Carnival Overture. $40-$148. 8pm. Sat, Apr 9. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. 3pm.

Versailles Gala To crown its silver anniversary season, Opera Atelier is sure to pull out all the stops at its annual gala where guests are treated to special performances from singers Measha Brueggergosman, Michael Maniaci and Krešimir Špicer and by artists of Atelier Ballet and the young dancers from the School of Atelier Ballet. Jeanne Beker hosts. $400. 6:30pm10:30pm. Wed, Apr 6. Carlu. 444 Yonge St, 7th floor. (416) 703-3767. coc fine wine auction

Bid on exquisite, hardto-find bottles while tasting wines and sampling great food. $85. 6pm. Thu, Apr 7. Crush Wine Bar. 455 King St W. (416) 306-2392. Mozart Unlaced The seventh annual gala fundraiser for The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School and Young Artists Performance Academy features students using all the performance spaces in the conservatory, including Koerner Hall and Ihnatowycz Hall, as audiences members sample sweet and savoury goodies. $250. 8pm-11pm. Wed, Apr 27. Telus Centre. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-2824 ext 311. •





jack chic for the 21st-century. The locally owned shop infuses

→ CASUAL COOL Uncle Otis’s small, focused selection of masculine clothes makes shopping a breeze

Canadiana with modern fashion

eral Canadian lines. “You’re seeing

and relaxed silhouettes. But don’t

a lot more respect and pride taken

use the “F” word around owner

by Canadian designers to be more

Donnell Enns. “We don’t like to use

Canadiana, not just lumberjack.

the word fashion because fashion

There’s a lot of good things com-

is very trendy. We’re about classic

ing out of Canada.” Some of those

pieces,” he says.

lines include Wings and Horns,

Catering to men’s fashion needs

Naked and Famous, 18 Waits,

for the past 20 years, Uncle Otis

and Toronto’s own Kin, which is

has transitioned from stream-


lined street wear to refined rustic.

using high-quality Japanese fabrics.




When Enns took over in 2000, his

Uncle Otis is not a snobbish

small-town upbringing influenced

Yorkville shop. Most of the store’s



customers are between 25 and 40,

axes and hatchets serve as win-

but Enns says he outfits men well

dow dressing along with wood

into their 60s. This is due, in part,

blocks and street bikes. “The axes

to the revival of old-school brands

are just another dude accessory.

like Dockers and Redwing. Uncle

They have an element of danger to

Otis stocks contemporary styles

them, of ruggedness and mascu-

from the familiar favourites.



linity,” says Enns.

Enns recommends a back-to-

Those dude accessories set the

basics approach this spring. “Just

scene for masculine pieces that

a casual look with chinos, a but-

strike a balance between the sarto-

ton-up shirt, a blazer, and a pair

rial look synonymous with Yorkville

of deck shoes. It’s that casual, cool

and the hipster style more identi-

dude.” Casual, cool indeed.

fied with Queen West. Uncle Otis carries a small and focused assortment of brands which includes sev-

UNCLE OTIS 26 Bellair St. (416) 920-2281.


A RT & D E S I G N


Bewildered people in the night →Gregg

Araki celebrates the invaluable mistakes of youth Story Peter Knegt | Photography Marianne Williams


IFF Bell Lightbox presents a retrospective of cult filmmaker Gregg Araki, kicking off with his latest work, Kaboom, and continuing through his entire oeuvre, from his rarely screened 1987 debut Three Bewildered People in the Night to 2004’s critically acclaimed teenage hustler drama Mysterious Skin. Araki himself will show up for an onstage conversation on Sat, Apr 9, thrilling news to fans who have followed the filmmaker through his intrepid 24-year career. Kaboom is a fitting entry point. Following a group of insanely attractive and sexually adventurous college kids in the midst of what may or may not be the end of the world, the film sort of plays like “Gregg Araki’s Greatest Hits.” Geared at a young, pansexual audience reminiscent of his mid-1990s teenage apocalypse trilogy (Totally Fucked Up, The Doom Generation and Nowhere), but also featuring the comic warmth of his 2007 stoner comedy Smiley Face and the stylistic moodiness of Mysterious Skin, the film feels like a culmination of sorts. “Every movie I make is sort of a reflection of where my head is at,” says Araki. “I didn’t want to make Doom Generation 2. I can’t make that film now because I’m not that person anymore. But I did want to make a film that was sort of for that audience. And I wanted something that was outside genre and outside people’s expectations, basically a movie that comes from a really artistically naïve and innocent place. I just wanted to let my


April 2011

imagination go wild and not edit or censor in any way.” Araki hopes his latest film will inspire a new group of kids. “I’ll run into these people at film festivals or wherever,” Araki says, “and they’ll have these Nowhere or Doom Generation CDs or VHS tapes. A lot of them grew up in this really shitty part of the country — like North Dakota or whatever. Those movies were really kind of a life preserver for them. It was something that was really out there, and spoke to them in a unique and powerful way…. So as a filmmaker, that’s the highest compliment anybody could ever pay you, that something you’ve created is so meaningful to them. So I really wanted to do a film like that for the next generation.” As is often the case in his films, Araki says he situated the film’s characters in what he calls “that

age of complete uncertainty.” “When your whole life’s a question mark, that was to me the milieu I wanted to put it in,” he says. “That time of your life is really not about the classes you take and the exams, or what you think it’s about. It’s really about the experience. As an adult looking back on those years, it was really about those adventures: The people you sleep with, the relationships that don’t work out, that really bad night you had, or that person you shouldn’t have hooked up with. It’s that kind of stuff that really makes you the person you are today. Those are the important things. They are the growing experiences that really shape you.” Araki’s work has consistently expressed a sex positivity all too rare in mainstream filmmaking; with Kaboom, it’s presented more maturely. “I think when I made those mov-

→ LIVE FOR T HE MOMEN T Thomas Dekker stars in Gregg Araki’s sexy sci-fi thriller Kaboom.

ies back in the 1990s, I was much more like those characters,” Araki says. “I was in a much less stable place in my life. Today, I mean, I’ve sort of reached a point in my life where everything started to make sense. Which is just part of getting older and, hopefully, wiser. I can see that change in my movies. Once you find your place in the world, you just have a different perspective on things. I think that’s the key difference in the youth culture portrayed in the 1990s movies versus Kaboom. It’s coming from a place of me looking back at being young.” Kaboom: The Films of Gregg Araki Fri, Apr 8-20. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599-TIFF.


Clive Barda

o pera

Fools of the heart →Scale

the heights of romance with local superstar Adrianne Pieczonka and Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos Story Gordon Bowness


drianne Pieczonka is a plain-spoken, down-toearth gal from Burlington, Ontario. She is also a huge star in the rarefied world of opera, her voice a silver clarion. Those two sides of existence come together wonderfully in Richard Strauss’s opera Ariadne auf Naxos; the Canadian Opera Company production, opening at the end of April, stars Pieczonka in the title role. It’s one of her signature pieces, performed to raves

from Berlin, Munich and Vienna to Bilbao. “I love, love, love the music,” says Pieczonka. “I hope Toronto audiences embrace it. Granted Strauss is not Barber of Seville or La Bohème but I certainly hope audiences will give it a chance. It’s funny… terribly romantic… has show-stopping arias and,” she says, breaking into a smile, “it’s short.” Ariadne auf Naxos is an opera within an opera. It opens backstage where an opera company

and a vaudeville troupe are preparing to entertain a rich man and his guests at dinner. The Composer is mortified to discover that his serious opera and the low comedy are to be performed at the same time. The free-spirited Zerbinetta, star of the vaudeville troupe, faces off against the pompous Prima Donna, star of the opera company. Zerbinetta has little patience for the opera’s morbid heroine and her “passionate longings.” Zerbinetta knows

a new lover is the cure for what ails any woman. In the second half, the Prima Donna plays Greek heroine Ariadne, left stranded on the island of Naxos by her lover Theseus. Desolate and confused, she gives herself over to the god Bacchus, whom she mistakes as the messenger of death. Love soars again; Zerbinetta is vindicated. The COC has lined up some megawatt talent. Richard Margison sings the Tenor/Bacchus, Jane Continued on page 40


A RT & D E S I G N

love story. “I enjoy being made fun

The mysteries of the heart…

of,” says Pieczonka. “My charac-


ter can be so over-the-top. But I do

Burlington to the stars. Whether

enjoy putting it on because it isn’t

a free spirit, a cynic, a clown, an

me. Robert Carsen [who directed

artist, a heroine, or even a god,

the Munich Opera Festival pro-

we are all powerless in the face of

duction in 2008] had me in huge,

beautiful, yearning music. With

Jackie O sunglasses, carrying a

Pieczonka as Ariadne, prepare to

bottle of water, a small dog and


“This is a milestone. It’s a real dream team.”

ple prose go to her head. She

Hello magazines… walking in and

leagues are like that… I won’t

just flouncing through. It was so

name names. But I think 20 or 30

not me, but it was fun to play.”

years ago, there were only a few





Andreas Kingberg

Pieczonka doesn’t let such pur-

Continued from page 39

Archibald sings Zerbinetta and Peter Barrett sings Harlequin — all

→ AN T I-DIVA Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka stars in the COC’s Ariadne auf Naxos (the production is from the Welsh National Opera, pictured on previous page).

Canadians. The Composer is sung by English mezzo Alice Coote. “She’s wonderful,” says Pieczonka.

“So this is a milestone. It’s a real dream team.”

feels that Ariadne’s brand of egotistical diva is a thing of the past — mostly. “Some of my col-

Its mix of profane and profound,

superstars. You just had a Jessye

the jostling of buffoonery and

Norman or a Kiri Te Kanawa. Now

Greek tragedy, makes Ariadne auf

there are stars, but there are lots

Naxos such a lovely summation

of good singers… a whole bevy of

of opera. The Composer closes act

them, plenty to go around.” And

one answering the question: What

if the presence of talented col-

is music? “Music is a sacred art,”


he sings, “which brings together

hood certainly keeps Pieczonka’s

all men of courage, like cherubim

feet on the ground. In many ways,

around a shining throne.”

Pieczonka would much rather be




“He describes music as the ulti-

at home, singing show tunes with

mate, the highest art form,” says

her wife Laura Tucker, an accom-

“I’ve sung this role with the crème

The COC production, designed

Pieczonka, “and it’s just… I’m get-

plished mezzo, and their five-

de la crème and she’s first class.”

by Dale Ferguson and directed by

ting goosebumps just thinking

year-old daughter Grace. “Now

Sir Andrew Davis, music director

Neil Armfield, made its debut with

about it. Good old Strauss just laid

that’s fun,” says Pieczonka.

of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and

the Welsh National Opera back in

that out for us.”

former conductor of the Toronto

2004 to critical acclaim; the WNO

Symphony Orchestra, makes his

remounted it just last year.

The Composer’s musings are inspired by a passing moment

COC debut. “He’s a great Strauss

For Pieczonka, playing the Prima

conductor,” says Pieczonka. “He’s

Donna/Ariadne is casting against


[currently] conducting Capriccio

type. Zerbinetta finds Pieczonka’s

character than he had assumed.

at the Met which shows he’s on a

character pretentious and gently

“A moment is nothing,” he sings.

high level of Strauss.

mocks the opera’s high-falutin’

“A glance is much.”

of clarity when he realizes that is




ARIADNE AUF NAXOS $62-$281. Sat, Apr 30-May 29. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. ADRIANNE PIECZONKA


T h eatre

billy’s singular sensation →A

feel-good musical about overcoming oppression through dance Review David Bateman | Photography Joan Marcus


n the smash hit musical Billy Elliot, composer Elton John and lyricist Lee Hall address socialist politics and gender ambiguity in a highly crowd-pleasing manner that successfully mixes teenaged dreams of a better life with the dashed hopes of working-class miners labouring under Margaret Thatcher’s union-busting regime. Brilliant choreography by Peter Darling seamlessly mixes regimen-

→ LOVE’S LABOUR Billy is played with agility by Myles Erlick (one of four Billys), while his dance teacher, played by Kate Hennig, steals the show.

tal dance sequences with the fleetfooted prowess of many tiny ballerinas and a lone Billy. As a skillful chorus of very young women weaves its way through lines of dancing coal miners, a mixture

of masculine and feminine movement represents the core of a book and a musical score that tries to liberate characters from oppression through dance. Kate Hennig as Mrs Wilkinson the dance teacher continually steals the show with her layered and gritty portrayal, while Cynthia Darlow as Grandma sings “We’d Go Dancing” with a fine mixture of ballad-like sincerity and brash feminist politics. The ensemble work is breakneck and impressive from start to finish (though there were moments of low energy the Thursday night I saw the show). On any given night audiences are treated to one of four remarkable Billys. I saw Myles Erlick, who handles complex dance sequences with great agility. He falls short, however, at pivotal moments that could use more pointed expression and distinctive gestures. Perhaps the most moving dance sequence occurs when a fully grown male dancer is shadowed by the tiny Billy until they finally come together and Billy takes flight from the arms of his adult counterpart. Billy’s cross-dressing friend Michael, portrayed by the very campy and talented Jack Broderick

(who alternates with Dillon Stevens), becomes a miniature fop of sorts, providing the perfect substitute for any in-depth look at Billy’s emerging sexuality. Although extremely engaging, Michael’s comic song “Express Yourself” is a thoroughly non-specific way of saying that it’s okay to be gay. At one point, Billy exclaims to his crossdressing friend, “Just because I like ballet doesn’t mean I’m a poof.” Well, time will tell. Although effective and powerful in parts, large sections of the score feel derivative, recalling A Chorus Line, already part post-modern pastiche, part original score when it hit the boards in the 1970s. But Billy Elliot is all done extremely well. And you gotta love a show that takes a swipe at the ever un-loveable Mrs Thatcher in a very campy puppet show of outrageous mockMaggie proportions. There’s even a heart-warming kiss or two between boys that hints subtly at the heart of this mildly queer look at aspiring young dancers and beleaguered coal miners. BILLY ELLIOT Continues at the Canon Theatre (244 Victoria Ave) for an indefinite run. (416) 872-1212.

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B o o ks

rebel heat →

Musician and photographer Don Pyle recalls coming of age in Toronto’s vibrant, dangerous punk scene of the 1970s Story Mary Dickie | Photography Don Pyle


April 2011


→ The Ugly Mike Nightmare, The

Turning Point, 1977 (opposite page). “There was no shortage of shirtless beautiful men but I captured them as heroes in heroic poses, I thought, stars performing at being stars every second they were on or off stage,” says Don Pyle. “I was mostly oblivious to their (hetero) sexual energy at the time. But looking at my pictures, that’s far from the truth. Whether I could partake of it or not, sex was a big part of the personas of people like Mike Nightmare. He worked it.”


n 1976, when the punk scene

cian himself — in Crash Kills

Steven Leckie and an essay by Pyle

in Toronto was just start-

5, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy

about his experiences as a young

ing to take off, Don Pyle was

Planet, King Cobb Steelie, Greek

gay man coming of age in an excit-


Buck and now Black Heel Marks

ing, complicated scene that incor-

dent with a music obsession and

— as well as a producer and sound

porated gay imagery, theatrical-

a camera. He began photograph-

designer. It wasn’t until he bought

ity and art-rock but also came to

ing shows at local venues — from

a scanner in 2007 that he realized

extol aggression and mindless self-

David Bowie and The Ramones to

the gold he had in those binders:

destruction via drugs and violence.

The Viletones, The Curse and The

an authentic, personal portrait of

“At the beginning, things felt

Diodes — printing a precious few

a time and a place that has rarely

wide open, and you had bands

in the school darkroom and storing

been documented.

like The Dishes and The Viletones




the rest of the negatives in binders

Now, more than 300 of his

existing in the same scene,” says

because he couldn’t afford to print

remarkable photos are being pub-

Pyle. “They made different kinds

them and never imagined anyone

lished, along with vintage flyers,

of music, but they were both

would be interested anyway.

in Trouble in the Camera Club: A

informed by Roxy Music, Bowie

The Toronto punk scene soon

Photographic Narrative of Toronto’s

and Hollywood glamour, as well

fizzled and morphed into other

Punk History. The book includes an

as General Idea and Rough Trade

things, and Pyle became a musi-

introduction by Viletones singer

Continued on page 45

→ The Viletones Steve Leckie and Freddie Pompeii, Horseshoe Tavern, 1978 (left). “Freddie seems so calm, and when you look at his skin you can see how young and beautiful everybody was. But there are signs of things to come, like the syringe on a chain around his neck. The things that were people’s undoing are on display already.” → The Dishes Hart House, 1977 (above). “A lot more gay people were in the arty new-wave side, like The Dishes.” → The Runaways Joan Jett, El Mocambo, 1977 (lower right). “Joan really had that prototype lesbian look, with her shag haircut and black leather jacket, around this time she produced the Germs album. Darby Crash, the singer, was rumoured to be a closet case, and I wonder if she was kind of connecting to this other gay person in a similar situation, getting attention but in a scene where it would not be cool or safe to be out.”


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Continued from page 43

and seeing Rocky Horror at the Roxy. There was a feeling of everyone being in this together, because we were all misfits and had shared musical or fashion tastes, and being gay or straight was less of an issue. “But when the music reached a wider audience, people became attracted to the anger and violence of punk, and that’s when things got problematic. It was really when Sid Vicious joined The Sex Pistols that the divide happened and things became defined as ‘punk’ or ‘new wave.’ A lot more gay people were in the arty new-wave side, like The Dishes and Drastic Measures, rather than the heavier side, like The Viletones and The Ugly. There was homophobia in that scene, but the punk venue David’s [on St Nicholas St] was a gay club, and everyone hung out at the gay bar Quest [on Yonge St]. There were lots of dualities, and I think it was natural to have those dualities — it was part of being young. And I was young and fearful of letting people know I was gay, so I had my own homophobia to deal with.”

→ The Reds Horseshoe Tavern, 1978 (above). “The only guy in the book with a mustache… and he’s gay. When I first saw them, I felt like I instantly knew that. I love seeing the old Horseshoe with the quart bottles and the PA. Look at the power supply, it’s exposed to the audience! They’ve moved that, because people would sometimes shut it off.” → Blondie Deborah Harry, El Mocambo, 1978 (right). “With their second album Plastic Letters just out… Blondie had now begun the transformation to Top 40 juggernaut.”

For Pyle, there was always a connection between being gay and tak-

top the list. “There was always an

ing pictures. “Photography is about

element of danger and power,” he

observing, interpreting and eval-

says, “and no denying that Steven

uating the situation, as you had to

Leckie was the most captivating

do as a gay person all the time to

character in all those bands. There

feel safe,” he says. “Your analytical

were so many amazing perform-

and observational skills are super-

ers, like [Teenage Head’s] Frankie

attuned, and you look for clues to

Venom and [The Poles’] Michaele

connect you to something.” Later,

Jordana and The Diodes, but Leckie

as he retouched the negatives, he

was someone you were compelled

realized he had not just captured

to watch.”

the thrill of the moment, but also

The Viletones also top the list of

many clues to the performers’ sex-

bands that should have been big-

uality or future drug problems.

ger than they were. “They had great

Pyle’s photography output slowed

players, powerful songs and the wild-

down in 1978, when his cam-

card unpredictability of the singer, so

era began to feel like a burden in

there was always a good chance of a

the crush at the front of the stage.

spectacle happening, even with 15

“Of course I wish I’d kept shoot-

people in the audience.”

ing, but you can never anticipate what’s going to be meaningful to you 30 years later,” he says. “The book is my view of the most exciting bands.” For him, The Viletones

Trouble in the Camera Club From ECW Press. $29.95. Launches Wed, May 4 at the Garrison (1197 Dundas St W) with a slide show, interview and live performance by The Ugly.



s ex sponsored by spa excess

sex & health — with Dr Keith

→ “My friend says he got hepatitis from kissing someone. Is kissing no longer safe?”

Kissing is still very safe. However,

it. Strep throat, a bacterial infection

there is a small chance you could

treated with antibiotics, causes the

pick something up by kissing some-

same symptoms and can also be

one with an infection. So there are

spread by saliva. Don’t kiss some-

common sense rules you should fol-

one with these symptoms; they

low — easy guidelines you are most

usually are not hard to spot because

likely already adhering to anyway.

they feel — and look — like hell.

Let’s start with the first part of this

Cold sores (the herpes virus) are

question — catching hepatitis from

very common recurrent infections

kissing. Hepatitis is a grab-bag term

transmitted through contact with

meaning inflammation of the liver.

lesions that break out on the face

It can be caused by many things

and lips. If someone is developing or



getting over a cold sore, don’t touch.


(A significant percentage of the pop-

Hepatitis A virus usually enters

ulation suffers from cold sores.

through the mouth and exits in your

Contrary to some people’s opinion

feces. Like HIV, hepatitis B, C, and D

you cannot catch more of the virus

are transmitted only through blood

— you either have it or you don’t.)


medications, gallstones


and infected body fluids (not spit),

Incidentally, canker sores (“chan-

so they are not an issue with kissing

cres”) are lesions most people get in

unless the person is bleeding from

their mouths that are very painful

the face or mouth.

but actually not infectious.

You may get hepatitis from a per-

So now that you are probably

son infected with hepatitis A if he

never going to kiss anyone again

doesn’t wash his hands after mak-

out of fear of catching these infec-

ing doody (or you are kissing his

tions, let me reassure you again that

bum and not his face). Get the vac-

kissing is very safe. Most people out

cine (two shots six months apart)

there are not carrying active infec-

like all gay men should and forget

tions and that alone makes it safe.

about it altogether.

To add an extra level of reassur-

Much more common infections

ance, get vaccinated against the

you can catch from kissing are ones

flu and hepatitis A, and never kiss

you see everywhere already — influ-

someone who has facial/lip lesions,

enza and the common cold. These

is bleeding, or is sick with fever

viruses are transmitted through

or cold. As I said in the beginning,

coughing, sneezing and nasal secre-

these are things you are most likely

tions (aka snot). I don’t need to tell

doing anyway. So suck face to your

you not to kiss someone who is sick

heart’s content!

with a cold or flu. Mononucleosis




viral infection transmitted through saliva causing fever, sore throat and fatigue. It has been labelled “the kissing disease” for this very reason and is often ascribed to teenagers, but anyone at any age can catch

Dr Keith Loukes works in emergency in a Toronto hospital. Send him your sexual health question at This column should not be viewed as medical advice; always consult your physician.



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