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Photography: Glenn Mackay Makeup: Karleigh Johnstone Location: Toronto Fashion Incubator


CONTENTS

ISSUE 08

VIEWS | LIVING & HEALTH | INSIGHT | LISTINGS | ART & DESIGN | SEX

12

16

23

12

AT HOME WITH CANADIAN DESIGNERS Made design store co-owner Shaun Moore by Gordon Bowness

16

SETTING UP HOUSE Brothers Glenn and David Dixon launch Dixon House by Paul Gallant

40

UNLUCKY 13

40

by Scott Ferguson & Jason St-Laurent 10

HOW TWEET IT IS by Michael Thorner

14

COME UP TO MY ROOM by Gordon Bowness

20

STYLIN’ with Chris Tyrell

22

WINTER GIFT IDEAS by Chris Jai Centeno

23

SAN DIEGO COOL by Alice Lawlor

29

RELATIONSHIP ADVICE with Adam Segal

30

THE GROOMING GAME with Dino Dilio

31

AIKIDO DOJO by Michael Pihach

32

JEWISH CHRISTMAS by Pam Shime

39

STEPHEN SONDHEIM by David Bateman

42

PRISCILLA REVIEW by David Bateman

42

MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE by Michael Thorner

43

APPRECIATING BILLY STRAYHORN by Michael Thorner

45

STEVEN REINEKE & THE TSO

46

DISPLAY CASE by Jamie Alexander

49

SEX & HEALTH with Dr Keith

50

CAUGHT IN THE ACT photos by Michael Pihach

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TORONTO TALK EXCHANGE

VIEW FINDER →

Westward Ho The Gladstone Hotel makes the old hotelier adage ring true — it’s a real home away from home. It’s also an tre and a unique cultural hub that nurtures and inspires the local scene and beyond. Gladstone president Christina Zeidler’s bold dream for the 1889 property came to fruition in 2006… so the folks at the hotel are

Florian Shuck

party that will take over all the event spaces at 1214 Queen St W with live performances by musicians, tours of the artist-designed rooms, karaoke, a retrospective art exhibition and a big dance. The festivities are schedule for Fri, Jan 21. For other current and forthcoming events at the Gladstone (seen here duded up for Bruno Billio’s 2010 Nuit Blanche installation, Gladstone Bangs) see pages 14 and 34 or go to gladstonehotel.com.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS LIZ MARSHALL

→ “Water

is life. It’s not like a debate about running shoes or oil. It’s a debate about life. We all need water to survive.” “The general public believes we have this tremendous abundance of water that will never run

James Heaslip

Marshall, speaking of her latest mentary about Canada’s relationship to its water resources. Shot in locations from the Alberta Tar

8

December 2010 / January 2011

tackles the question of whether water is a commercial good, like Coca-Cola or a human right, like air, while following activist and “water warrior” Maude Barlow in her pursuit to protect water from corporate privatization. “The only

direction I gave her was to not look at the camera,” says Marshall, notThough alarming, the documentary is not all doom and gloom. “We didn’t focus on drought and pollution,” says Marshall. “It’s about water as a life force.” Water On the Table won Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2010 Planet In nated for a Gemini.

WATER ON THE TABLE is available on DVD at wateronthetable.com/shop


TORONTO TALK EXCHANGE SOUND OFF THE HOLIDAYS

LETTERS BULLY

→ From

editing a movie and drunk cooking to helping at a homeless shelter, three community members share how they celebrate the holidays “As a Jew married to a Mennonite (t’was a Mennonewish wedding), I get to celebrate both Chanukah and Xmas, so we’ve got lots to cover over the holidays. We’ll be decorating a tree, lighting our menorah, walking in High Park with our dog Walter, and with our common commitment to social justice, editing our maze of segregated roads being constructed in the West Bank.”

ELLE FLANDERS, FILMMAKER/ACTIVIST

“Since almost everything I do is about being around a lot of people, my girlfriend and I stay home and go traditional. Maybe one or two friends come over for dinner. We start off with shots, pickle backs (bourbon and then a shot of pickle juice) or Bison Grass vodka or Jim Beam Red Stag. Then all hands on deck for dinner. Everyone is doing something. We are all in the kitchen chopping, preparing and drinking, everything from wine, Jack Daniels, scotch and more shots... then dinner.”

PATRICIA WILSON, BUDDIES BARTENDER/ROCK STAR

“My partner, Renee, and I will be spending Christmas with family, then volunteering to serve dinner at a homeless shelter. Last year we served meals at Sisterings, which is a women’s shelter and drop-in centre. This year will be the Good Neighbours Club, a homeless shelter for men. Renee is from Newfoundland and Christmas is a very big production with her family. With her being so far from home, we’ll try to recreate a meal that brings her “home.” Now that my sisters have children the holidays have an even greater importance. Although I am a Buddhist, I have always valued Christmas as the most special time of the year. When the skies turn grey, the leaves are all gone from the trees and the snow begins to fall. This is when of world peace and children’s justice.”

KRISTYN WONG-TAM, TORONTO CITY COUNCILLOR, WARD 27

→ I want to applaud In Toronto for producing great articles of a timely and important nature. Michael Pilhach’s “Will It Get Better?” (In Toronto, Nov 2010) touched lenges with trying to conquer homophobic bullying in and out of our schools. As a teacher with the TDSB who works directly with atrisk youth the article highlighted many challenges educators face along with the situations youth encounter. Recent national and international media attention has given a spotlight to an issue that’s been ongoing for decades, but it is important to continue working with organizations such as Egale and SOY to support the work they do to make LGBTTQ2S youth feel safe as they step out of the closet into our schools, community and city. Steven J Bates, CALC Secondary, Toronto

WHOSE EDUCATION? →

unnerving that UofT’s Mark S Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity at my alma mater has awarded Sue Johanson its Citizenship Award (“In Their Own Words,” In Toronto, Oct 2010). I heard Johanson speak at the Mississauga campus on Sep 22, 2009. For someone who bashes the school system for their lack of sex education on gay, lesbian and trans sexuality she was not very queer-positive herself and spoke from a very hetero-normative stance. My friends and I purposefully stuffed the question box for Continued on page 10

intorontomag.com

9


TORONTO TALK EXCHANGE LETTERS

HOW TWEET IT IS SHARE THE ARTS & CULTURE EXPERIENCE

Continued from page 9

the Q & A period with questions related to sex between queer persons. When she got to a question about lesbian sex

WOOF → What a great article (“Petting Zoo,” In Toronto, Nov 2010). Dr John Reeve-Newson has looked after all of my animals for 30 years. He’s compassionate and wonderful. Anita Kunz, Toronto

GET IN TOUCH → Send us your letter to: Letters to the editor, In Toronto magazine, 348 A Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A2; email us at editorial@intorontomag.com or online at intorontomag.com. We value your feedback.

10

December 2010 / January 2011

City of Toronto

started with a spiel about how she didn’t have time to speak at length about homosexual relationships, so in our minds replace the appropriate pronouns (him for gays and her for lesbians) and we would glean what we needed to know. She made no mention of positions like scissoring. When she came to a question about safe sex between men she skipped it out of interest of time and said to head over to her website. I did so only to be grossly disappointed. The section entitled “Homosexuality” was pathetic; she talked about typical myths about sexuality. She also made no mention of trans people in her lecture that day or on her website. For someone who is lauded as the premier sex educator of our day, Sue Johanson seems to be very out of touch with the wide diversity of people who have sex.

BY MICHAEL THORNER

T

orontonians are fortunate to be able to enjoy more arts and culture events than any other city in Canada, with staples like Luminato, Nuit Blanche, the International Festival of Authors, Word on the Street, and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, plus newer innovation events such as TEDxToronto, vals than can be counted in the space allotted here (okay, a sampling: TIFF, Hot Docs, Imaginative, Inside Out, Planet In Focus, The Fringe, Next Stage… you get the picture). There is so much diversity and choice. They all deserve to be supported. If the recession has taught us anything, however, it’s that we need to be responsible with our hard-earned dollars. Personal budgeting is the new black. Technology gives us the ability to taste all the events in Toronto from the comfort of one’s home, or from anywhere really, just by accessing shared content that others have posted online using social and information networks

such as Facebook and Twitter, and utilizing photo and video sharing tools like Twitpic, YFrog, Flickr, Plixi, YouTube, Vimeo, UStream and so on. Using these sites and

In this smart-phone-savvy, application-addicted world, it is now almost expected for forward-thinking cultural events such as Scotiabank Nuit Blanche or social innovation events such as TEDxToronto to include functional event applications for mobile phones. These free downloadable apps can accompany and enhance the event experience, allowing the community to share what they are seeing and engage with each other. It’s great marketing, good promotion, truthful communication via dialogue, and cost-effective — for a brand and for the content — while measurably gauging overall public opinion. While the power of an audience collectively sharing an experience in person can not be undervalued or underestimated, sharing

→ IS I T LIVE? Many people experience events like Nuit Blanche from the comfort of their own home. Pictured is Agnés Winter’s Monument to Smile.

some of the experience online (or allowing the public to freely share what they are experiencing online) broadens the audience dramatically, as well as the potential future audience — globally in many cases. Organizations and ventures that understand this changing market know that some art and culture must remain free and/or freely accessible. It’s fast becoming a balancing act. Smart organizations that don’t want to look feeble, insular or greedy get what’s happening. They are investing in resources and infrastructure, to stay ahead of the curve, or to at least acknowledge the social sharing phenomenon that is occurring, because if they don’t, the public will push ahead anyway.

MICHAEL THORNER tweets at twitter.com/ michaelthorner


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LI V I N G & HEA LTH

O PE N H O U S E

WELCOMING DESIGN →

Furniture designer Shaun Moore, co-owner of Made design store, lives with his boyfriend the edge of Cabbagetown that displays a mix of creative savvy and easy-going charm Writer Gordon Bowness | Photography Paula Wilson

12

December 2010 / January 2011


L I V I N G & H E A LT H

You bought this home nine and a half years ago. How did you end up downtown, on Bleeker St? We were on the hunt for a year and looked at 80 to 100 houses, mostly in the west end. It was terrifying. We had a really low budget so most everything we saw was a disaster and tiny. Here, we were able to get much more house for the dollar. Even though the back was a ruin, there were good bones and details we could work with. And we have amazing neighbours. How did you find architect Tamira Sawatzky who designed the modernist extension in the back? She was amazing. We are close friends with Tamira so we knew how she worked and her thought processes. And she’s a great listener. So the whole thing went really fast. We loved her ideas about layout and composition. Like the bulkheads in the kitchen and bathroom, how they force our attention — the views — downward into the garden instead of letting our eyes wander up in the sky or to the neighbours’ homes. You run a design store but your home isn’t pretentious or twee. I can’t stand fussy interiors. Anything that’s too pure, pristine and perfect is destroyed by the inevitable bumps and scrapes. Your store Made features amazing Canadian designs. Can you generalize about them? No. Canada was built by immigrants, many of them poor. Design is not part of our heritage. Historically, the traditions they did bring were European-based. That means, now, inspiration comes from everywhere. Even the current vogue for Canadiana has international precedence. Other cultures claim many of the same traditions. Log bowls existed everywhere. What about your personal tastes? I respond to design that has individual personality, it has to stand out in some way without being pretentious. I like wit but not a big, goofy one-line joke. It has to have depth, quality and serve its function.

→ Clockwise, from top right: OUT BACK Shaun Moore, Boris, Todd Caldwell; GUES T BEDROOM by Moore; BATHROOM facing the backyard; LIVING ROOM Caldwell’s great grandmother’s chair, recovered in hand-printed fabric by Andresa Sisson-Drayton, side table by Moore, stack of felt disks by Kathryn Walters, framed foil works by Sandy Plotnikoff, Accident sconce sculpture by Jeremy Hatch; GUES T BEDROOM photos by Zoe Jaramus, blanket by Philip Sparks, cushions by Bev Hisey; SHELF DE TAIL doll by Drue Langlois, numbers by Dennis Lin; LIVING ROOM (opposite page) painting by Gillian Iles, softseating by molo, Cholera carpet by Hisey, cushions by Kerry Croghan, shelf is a student piece by Moore, with Katherine Morely’s Arctic Bookends.

Is the Hybrid furniture that you and your Made partner Julie Nicholson designed from repurposed milk crates about recycling? Not really. We wanted to create something playful based on patterns and blocks. We wanted to take that college DIY-approach and lift it to another level through proper scale and proportion. We right leg for each piece and just the right coloured surface. Instead of Radiant Dark, you’ve instituted a new design showcase called Made at Home, where you will furnish an entire apartment (located above the store) with new pieces by Canadian designers. There will be simultaneous design events all along Dundas St W. Design with an identity is still so new in Canada. We are trying to familiarize Canadians with the work of local designers. Even though they make functional objects, it’s more than design. There is such depth and personal passion in the work.

MADE AT HOME. Showcase of 33 designers including Bev Hisey, Katherine Morley, Brothers Dressler, Grant Heaps, John Webster, Melanie Zanker, Angie To and Elsworthy Wang. Thu, Jan 27-Feb 6. Above Made. 867 Dundas St W. (416) 607-6384. madedesign.ca. intorontomag.com

13


LI V I N G & HEA LT H

DESIGN

ARTEFACTS & FANTASY →Inspiring

designers to think big

Writer Gordon Bowness

Adam Harris

→ DREAMWEAVER Design consultant Jeremy Vandermeij co-curates Come Up to My Room and co-founded the community-engaged design group Public Displays of Affection.

C

ome Up to My Room

DIY-crafts spreading over walls

(CUTMR) is a design event

like an infection.

how to dream and how to learn.” CUTMR

was

started

“As a curator, the tension is quite

eight

great and by great, I mean it forces

like no other. Furniture,

“We are pushing the bound-

years ago by Christina Zeidler

you to let go of your ego and your

lighting and industrial designers

aries of what design is,” says

and Pamila Matharu. Its found-

expectations.”

walk right up to installation art

the Gladstone’s creative direc-

ing philosophy is very hands off.

tor

who

Designers are picked on the basis

curates the January show along

of their past work. While they

hope is that we have raised the

and numerous public spaces in

with Deborah Wang. “I think of it

have some idea of what’s going to

bar on what the founding cura-

the Gladstone Hotel. The result is

as more immersive, that you are

happen in the public spaces, orga-

tors Christina and Pamila started.

an anarchic yet affectionate shot-

stepping inside a designer’s head.

nizers don’t know what will hap-

I think it’s the biggest year yet.”

gun marriage between design and

“Designers are a particular kind

pen in the rooms. “It’s great and

CUTMR 2011 will spread through-

art. Wandering through the hotel,

of person. Here they are freed up;

terrifying,” says Vandermeij. “I

out the hotel with installations

visitors are confronted with every-

they get to be artists. For them, it’s

don’t know what to expect until it

in the Melody Bar and Ballroom;

thing from fantastical chairs to

a time to play. It reminds them

happens.

there will also be a best-of retro-

14

December 2010 / January 2011

Jeremy

Vandermeij,

for Vandermeij as curator. “My

and take liberties. Designers get to do what they want in 11 rooms


LIVI NG & HEALTH

spective featuring photos of past works paired with artefacts.

sonal thing. Working with such a diverse group of people really

It’s a crazy time for Vandermeij, which is probably how he likes it.

challenges your notions of taste and good design.”

He’s co-founder of Public Displays

With more projects lined up,

of Affection (PDA), a community-

Vandermeij is excited to see how

engaged design group that part-

the designs will be used. “We have

ners designers with communi-

no idea what’s going to happen.

“There’s more interactive work

“Rob Southcott returns this year,”

ties in need. The group promotes

But now we’ll follow up and col-

this year at Come Up to My

says Vandermeij. “His United We

lect data.”

Room,” says co-curator Jeremy

Stand chair [shown in 2007] is now

Vandermeij.

Svilans

iconic. It appeared in every design

illustrating that everyone can be a

Open-process

projects

like

“Patrick

-

CUTMR and PDA suit the design

makes these hand-operated small

magazine. This year he’s making

ect came to fruition in November,

consultant and self-styled “cre-

machines that are all attention to

ceramic coat hangers in the shape

detail and giddiness.”

of airplanes.”

“WE ARE PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF WHAT DESIGN IS. THIS IS NOT A TRADE SHOW; IT’S NOT ABOUT SHOWING A BUNCH OF PRODUCTS.”

was attending Ryerson, I dreamed

helping to furnish Edmond Place,

my values better.

like we do at PDA. Then I got work in the real world. In university they push you hard to dream very big and conceptual. So you are hoping to help the world through design. And then you end up designing bathrooms for people who already have everything.

a supportive housing develop-

“Come Up to My Room changed

ment in Parkdale run by Parkdale

my life. The energy here is so spe-

Activity Recreation Centre (PARC).

cial, everything is made with a lot

The custom designs were created

of love, and everyone is interested

over an extensive workshop pro-

in challenging assumptions and

cess by volunteer designers in

creative collaborations. If I hadn’t

partnership with PARC members.

been a part of something so big

“The furniture in these places is

usually

used

or

and magical, I would never have

industrial.

It’s often shoddy or cold,” says

on so big a scale.” “Furniture

maker

Clayton

to

“Mark McLean is a real estate

refur-

agent who has never shown before.

McMaster was amazing during the

bish pieces, to see the useful-

But he’s been producing and think-

Public Displays of Affection work-

ing about this work for years,” says

shop process. He volunteered for

Vandermeij. inspire

“We

participants

wanted to

ness of good design. At the same time, designers get to see how people want to use their objects and furniture. Good design does not necessarily mean good aesthetics. Aesthetics is such a per-

COME UP TO MY ROOM $10. Noon-8pm. Fri, Jan 28. Noon-10pm (7pm opening reception; 10pm Love Design party). Jan 29. Noon-5pm. Jan 30. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W. comeuptomyroom.com. PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION publicdisplaysofaffection.ca.

Vandermeij. “It’s all based on dol-

two or three months making this chair with a participant from PARC.”

like 30,000 toy soldiers worked into

McMaster is also part of the Come

a peace sign.”

Up to My Room retrospective. •

intorontomag.com

15


FA S H I O N & I N T E R I O RS

SETTING UP HOUSE →Maximalism

meets minimalism in the creative synergy of brothers Glenn and David Dixon Writer Paul Gallant | Photography Glenn Mackay

16

December 2010 / January 2011


L I V I N G & H E A LT H

I

n

a

a

squat

bright

showroom

industrial

in

way show — Japanese-Irish, say,

build-

Catholic family. They tell me their

together again as collaborators.

ages are “28” and “18” but they

“I would gear toward making

which Glenn then brings to life.

both remember watching 1980s

sure Barbie had a beautiful home,”

District, David Dixon is helping

Sometimes at great cost, $8 mil-

TV show Dynasty... in a bar. Their

says Glenn.

pair dresses with accessories for a

lion in insurance, in the case of the

mother, a stylish woman, didn’t

fashion show.

“You made a house with hard-

mind having a son who loved to

“You don’t like this one? Or

couple of moments when I thought

give advice while she was clothes

wrong colour?” says the accesso-

we were going to have to stop, drop

shopping. Their dad didn’t mind

ries lady, holding one necklace

and roll the models,” Glenn says,

Glenn helping his mother redeco-

always look the best, though I’m

after another up to a sequined

laughing. In Glenn’s world, David

rate the house on a regular basis.

an A-type personality, so I would

white gown. “You want something

is the cautious pragmatist, help-

Their sole sister was, inconve-

try to outdo him.”

bolder?”

ing his brother think through the

niently, a tomboy. They had to rely

manufacture of, say, a throw pil-

on their nanny to take them to buy

The soft-spoken designer, comthe

low or making suggestions about

their Barbies. The doll brought out

expression on his face as by what

deportment at a social function:

the competitive streak in the boys

he says, passes on several options.

“You don’t always have to be the

and, much later, brought them

“We’re going for subtle,” he says.

life of the party, you know.”

municating

as

much

by

“Do you think this is too much?”

After decades of being the wind

the woman asks him, holding up

beneath each other’s wings, the

something rhinestone encrusted.

two are about to share the same

Glenn Dixon, David’s elder brother

spotlight.

by four years, leans in. “Yes,”

Design Show, the Dixons will not

Glenn interjects. “How about this

only design a space together for

At

January’s

says David. “And

David’s

Barbie

would

“One morning, I was like, ‘Where is her hair?’” “I put it in the dryer!” Continued on page 18

Interior

one?” As Glenn points to a less

the Sibling Revelry showcase, they

glitzy choice, he shoots a look at

will launch their new enterprise,

David, who gives an eager head

Dixon House. The venture brings

nod. The decision is made. The

their fashion and interior design

brothers Dixon have spoken.

visions together under a single

Fifteen years after the launch of

brand umbrella at department

his women’s fashion line, David

stores and, if all goes well, their

Dixon has become one of Canada’s

own Dixon House retail locations.

most celebrated designers. Not only do his elegant creations attract attention on runways, they draw as many as 200,000 viewers on The Shopping Channel, where haute meets faux in four easy payments. Though David is the brand’s face and creative talent, Glenn hardly lives in his brother’s shadow. After a stint in the corporate world — cora career as an interior designer and

TO A CLUB ONCE.... I ENDED UP ACTING LIKE HIS PIMP. HERE I WAS, THIS TEENAGER, GIVING ADVICE TO GUYS WHO WANTED TO GET CLOSE TO HIM.”

has become a TV personality, givThe risks of Dixon House are not seasons of W Network’s Take This House and Sell It. In David’s fashion world, Glenn

name on understatement, Glenn on exuberance. The new line prom-

is the enabler, the one who makes

ises

the impossible possible. David

where between the two. The centre

“affordable

luxury”

some-

will come up with ideas for a run-

of their Venn diagram could give them broad mainstream appeal — or something more bipolar.

G

Brandon Barre

→ FROM COMPE T I T IVE T O SUPPORT IVE As gay brothers working in design Glenn and David Dixon’s personal and professional lives are intimately enmeshed. At right, Glenn’s designs for Take This House and Sell It.

lenn and David Dixon grew up near High Park, the two

youngest of six children in an Irish intorontomag.com

17


LI V I N G & HEA LTH

George Pimentel

of the family,” says David. “We

Continued from page 17

were like, ‘Who’s going to make As they got older, they held weekly competitions to determine who could draw the best model,

Despite sonal

their

lives,

enmeshed

both

are

per-

career-

-

driven. Though Barbie has rarely

ings grew dramatically better. “I

been seen as a catalyst for busi-

TREND SPOTTING FOR 2011

knew fashion wasn’t my shtick

ness mergers, it was the ageless

FASHION BY DAVID DIXON

when I wasn’t winning anymore,”

spinster who brought their cre-

says Glenn. Their interests more

ative paths back together again.

1. White — anything and all over 2. Urban safari — African deserts meets city streets 3. Pops of neon — citron, tangerine and hot pink used as accents with grey or stone 4. Luxury resort — preppy meets the south of France 5. Colour blocking — YSL and Mondrian 6. Stripes — all scales and widths and mixed together 7. Nautical 8. Denim — not just for jeans 9. Chinoiserie 10. Nude — from blush to sand

clearly separated, the brothers

To celebrate the doll’s 50th anni-

became less competitive, more

versary, toy-making giant Mattel

supportive.

asked David and Glenn to design

Although David realized he was

a line of Barbie products in their

gay — in the “different” sense, if

respective disciplines. The whole

not the sexual one — when he was

thing might have felt like a pub-

eight, Glenn dated girls into his

licity stunt — Barbie! gay brothers!

late teens. When he did come out

pink! — except for the clothes and

at 17 or 18, he burst onto the scene

furnishings the two came up with.

with his more self-aware sibling “Glenn

was

Charming.

I

always

“The Barbie collection was a runaway success,” says Derick Chetty,

following closely on his heels. Prince

a fashion writer at The Toronto

to

Star. “It was Barbie, but it didn’t

approach,” says David. “He took

look pink or junior. A lot of it was

me to a club once. I might have

business clothing, which allowed

was

easier

been 15 and desperately wanted

grown women to buy into the

him to take me. I ended up act-

Barbie mystique.”

ing like his pimp. Here I was, this

The Barbie experience showed

teenager, giving advice to guys

the brothers there was a place

who wanted to get close to him.

between minimalism and “more

‘Give him a diamond ring but

is more” that they could inhabit

make sure you call it a friendship

together. With a plan for a rollout

ring.’” Neither remained single for

over the next two years, they’re

long. David is in a 17-year rela-

hoping Dixon House gets them to

tionship; Glenn just came out of

“just right” in the marketplace. •

an 18-year one. “His ex is still part 18

Thanksgiving dinner?’”

→ I T ’ S A BARBIE WORLD Working together on the 50th-anniversary Barbie Collection (left) inspired the brothers to create Dixon House, which will cover both fashion and interiors. David Dixon’s Fall 2010 Signature Collection (right).

December 2010 / January 2011

INTERIORS BY GLENN DIXON

1. Cold grey — mixed with ash grey and accented with citrus yellow and mandarin orange 2. Natural materials and colours — wood, leather, felt and earthy, olive hues 3. Family and preserving the past — personalized homes showcasing roots and identity 4. Knitted and woven materials 5. Rhubarb red coupled with creamy white and corn yellow 6. Reusing and repurposing furniture to protect the planet continues to be popular 7. Comfort and flexibility — furniture that has modular ability 8. Leather sofa making comeback 9. Heavy cold materials mixed with flowing ones 10. “Hand-made with love” furniture and highly techncal pieces with intricate detailing and meaningful design.


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LI V I N G & HEA LTH

STYLIN' WITH CHRIS TYRELL →

and personal style. Most of the time I’m never sure exactly what Adrian is wearing but he always looks to have fun, be creative and present themselves to the world, no holds barred

1

Q&A

3

WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?

OUTFIT 1

OUTFIT 2

OUTFIT 3

A dress, cardigan and scarf by me, Adrian Wu, and jeggings (black jean leggings). I had my Ray Ban glasses on with an oversized hat, a Motif leather tassle bag, and 8-inch Giuseppe Zanotti booties.

A knitted Zara dress, a wool coat from a thrift store, brown Aldo booties and vintage Escada bag.

A Marciano puffy shirt with a Forever 21 vest with a belt. Riding pants with black wedged booties from Aldo. A Club M black leather bag and a hat from my spring collection.

WHAT ITEM OR ITEMS OF CLOTHING CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? At this point in my life, wedged booties. They are the greatest fashion innovation since the little black dress. ’Cause it’s genderless, slims your leg out, fashionable, gives you height, and you can always dress it up or dress it down. Genius.

WHO OR WHAT HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE ON YOUR SENSE OF STYLE? That’s hard, ’cause to be honest I don’t know any other men who wear wedged heels everyday. But ences my style. I love looking nei-

20

2

December 2010 / January 2011

ther male or female, it’s my way of messing with people’s heads.

YOUR FIRST FASHION MEMORY? The day I realized that a baby blue collared shirt in my closet that was given to me when I was 10 was Dior. I still wear it today.

IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT WHAT WOULD BE YOUR FASHION PURCHASE?

scious of the trends within the seasons of fashion. Having style is an expression of yourself through clothing any time of the year. Fashion is others, style is you.

WHAT SHOULD EVERY GUY/ GIRL BUY THIS SEASON? A chunky sweater. It’s oversized, comfy, fashionable, warm and you can use it as a pillow.

A 40-centimetre, grey-dyed crocodile Hermes birkin.

WHY IS FASHION IMPORTANT TO YOU?

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STYLE AND FASHION?

Fashion is important to me because of the meaning and history behind it. I do it for the goal of maybe one day being a part of history. People don’t

Being fashionable is being con-

know that Thomas Burberry invented waterproof fabric, or Roger Vivier who worked for Christian Dior invented the stiletto heel. Most people see fashion as a brand or label, I see it as a history class full of meaning. This is why it is important to me, because fashion has the pos-

DO YOU HAVE A FASHION FANTASY? It’s my fantasy to live in a world where there is no gender. Gender is what has limited fashion.

ADRIAN WU’s designs are at adrianwu.com.


LI V I N G & HEA LTH

S H O PPI N G

CHECKING IT TWICE →A

hit list of great gift ideas for the fashion-forward man Writer Chris Jai Centeno

1

Are you like me, and millions of Canadians, during the holiday season? Already close to panic mode when hearing Santa and Rudolph jingles at stores and on the radio, and too fraught to look at that daunting three-page Christmas shopping list burning a hole in your pocket. encounter for loved ones — include yourself on that list. Ending the year on a high note is a blessing. So too is starting the year off right. While procrastination is universal, choosing unique gift ideas isn’t. Here is a selection of products that fashion-forward men everywhere would swoon over.

1

2

PHILIP SPARKS WINTER BOOTS

Toronto winters the past few years have been nothing short of snow. Why not put your feet and their sneakers out of their miseries and adopt my newly-realized motto: function over fashion. My warm feet can thank Toronto designer Philip Sparks for his line of boots that I can wear throughout the winter with pride. Philip Sparks boots are available at Town Shoes. 2 NORTHBOUND LEATHER BOLERO HOODED VEST

hooded. Although this bolero-inspired leather good might not be your typical cotton blend hoodie, its distinguished style is a show-stopper many will be drooling over. At northbound.com.

3

3

4

ÉGOÏSTE, CHANEL FOR MEN

The iconic double “C” Chanel logo is usually spotted on women; Chanel is not known for men’s products. Over the years, Chanel has built an empire ranging from tailored suits to perfume, toiletries and cosmetics. Since many of us can’t afford designer-inchief Karl Lagerfeld’s pristine creations, the brand’s byproducts, like the shower gel from this fragrance, are subtle luxuries we all can indulge in.

4

MICHAEL KORS IPAD JET SET CASE

If you know anyone who is a sucker for Apple products, this iPad case from the gay style arbiter himself, Michael Kors, might be a winner. It’s leather, classic and sleek. What’s not to love? MK and Apple seem like the perfect gay nerd fashion marriage. iPad not included. store.apple.com.

22

December 2010 / January 2011


San Diego CVB

L I V I N G & H E A LT H

T R AV E L

DO ASK, DO TELL →San

Diego offers Cali cool without the attitude Writer Alice Lawlor

F

or

les-

plenty of boys to show them around

bian travellers, a trip to

most

town. Being close to the Mexican

California

gay

and

means

hitting

San Francisco or LA. But there’s

the large military bases supply a

more to The Golden State than its rock star cities. San Diego has all

for a night on the town.

bourhood of San Diego that’s fun the vibe is laidback and inclusive.

The burgeoning food scene is

in the gay part of town,” says Rich

another feather in San Diego’s

Sweeney,

chef

cultural cap. From gourmet com-

of Hillcrest’s R Gang and a former

owner/executive

fort food at R Gang (s’mores casserole anyone?) to caviar and black

the trappings of Cali cool with-

“Just don’t ask and don’t tell!”

Top Chef contestant. “It just feels

out the see-and-be-seen attitude.

After eight years of selling to

like I’m in this really cool neigh-

You can hang out on the beach all

other stores, the Rufskin label -

sneakers and head to Hillcrest, the

mer. Fans of their low-rise jeans

city’s vibrant gay village. No bling

and sexy sportswear have been

(nor fake tan) required.

known to drive from as far as LA

“San Diego is a beach city and

to visit the chic store. It’s located

that’s what people love so much

in North Park, a hip ’hood that bor-

about it,” says Jason Wimberly,

ders Hillcrest. Both areas are home

global sales director for local fash-

to gay-owned stores, bars and res-

ion brand Rufskin. “There’s tons

taurants. Hillcrest is party central

here for the gay traveller to see, and

— University Ave is where you’ll

and different.”

“It doesn’t feel like, ‘Oh, okay, I’m

Addison, there’s something for

“THE LARGE MILITARY BASES SUPPLY A HUGE BOYS READY FOR A NIGHT ON THE TOWN. JUST DON’T ASK AND DON’T TELL!”

every palate and wallet. “It’s hard for outside people to see us as a food city because they see how casual we are,” says Sweeney. “But we’ve got a lot of awesome food in recent years, and a lot of chefs are getting national recognition for what they’re doing here.” Continued on page 25

intorontomag.com

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Continued from page 23

There’s no shortage of food for the soul, either. The city’s vibrant arts scene is a big draw for Cali’s thinking gays. The Museum of Contemporary Art gets the kind of edgy exhibits you’d expect to see in London or New York. The Old Globe is a world-class theatre where big shows are tested out before opening on Broadway. And there’s one of the oldest gay and lesbian playhouses in the US, the Diversionary Theatre — a favourite with local lesbians. “There’s not that many bars for women so a lot of activities surround the arts and culture community,” says Toni Robin, owner of neighbourhoods like Kensington and North Park that have been infused with artists and galleries,

WHERE TO GET YOUR DRINK ON Hillcrest hotspots: Start at lesbian inspot The Gossip Grill (thegossipgrill.com) for some cheap happy-hour “foreplay” (appetizers) and a Muff Diver martini or two. Then head to Urban Mo’s (urbanmos.com) and join the casual, mixed crowd for a show-tunes sing-along (Tuesdays), a spot of country dancing (Saturdays) or the popular all-you-can-eatand-drink Champagne Sunday Brunch. Next, head to Pecs (pecsbar.com) — a speakeasy-style cruise bar — for beer, pool and a great patio. Finally, get yourself in the lineup for Rich’s (richssandiego.com), San Diego’s oldest and most popular dance club.

they tend to be very gay-friendly.” The outdoor lifestyle attracts les-

Despite being a Republican-run

bians to San Diego, too. “This is a really active community so the

to the village. This is a surprisingly gay-friendly city and you’ll

on gay swim teams and running

see couples holding hands all over

clubs, and there’s a lot of lesbians

town. San Diego’s mayor, Jerry

who surf,” says Robin. It’s easy for

Sanders, has a lesbian daughter

visitors to get a piece of the out-

-

doors action. “You can go ride your

riage issue in 2007 it made national

bike and hike up Torrey Pines, but then you can also stay in a gay hotel and go to a gay happy hour

to the city at large. “I personally

and have it all.”

have never had an issue,” says Jason Wimberly, with a cheeky grin. “And I go everywhere from Del Mar to downtown, always carrying my YSL Muse bag and smacking my lip gloss.” •

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals

→ SURF ’ S UP From dining, San Diego has it all. While Hillcrest (below) is the main gay and lesbian neighbourhood, the laidback, inclusive vibe is everywhere in town.

intorontomag.com

25


LI V I N G & HEA LTH

H O M E T U RF

HIGH PARK STEPPIN’ →Rex

Harrington, artist-in-residence at the National Ballet of Canada, along with his partner Robert Hope and their two dogs, has lived in the High Park neighbourhood for six years. Here are a few fave locales and amenities that help make High Park Rex’s home

BLUE PLATE same location. Great food and relaxed atmosphere. 392 Roncesvalles Ave (416) 538-7500. blueplatetoronto.com.

MAX’S MARKET

for all your pet’s needs. 2100 Bloor St W. (416) 604-9272. globalpetfoods.ca.

HIGH PARK Just steps from my front door. It’s a great

specialty sauces and the best homemade guacamole in the city. 2299 Bloor St W. (416) 766-6362.

WHELAN’S GATE IRISH PUB

REX HARRINGTON is currently rehearsing the National in the Nutcracker, opening Sat, Dec 11 at the Four Seasons Centre. See page 37.

26

December 2010 / January 2011

105 Roncesvalles Ave. (416) 532-3738. rowefarms.ca. (416) 531-1311. whelansgate.com.


L I V I N G & H E A LT H

san Plea MT.

NEIGHBOURHOOD

t Rd

IN FOCUS —Rosedale

tE

or S

Blo

By Richard Silver

R

osedale…

what’s

in

a

name?

THE BAD NEWS The houses are bigger (so too are

A few years ago we

the prices) and therefore the main-

bought a house on a great street

tenance and repairs can be daunt-

south of Bloor that I refer to as

ing. Nothing is a small expense.

Cabbagetown North. But some call

And if you want any free time, a

it Rosedale. There, I said it! It took

gardener and a friendly carpenter

me a long time to say Rosedale

are a must. The big old trees can

because it comes with a lot of pre-

cause havoc with your drains and

conceived baggage, when in reality

emergency plumbers should be on

P1397 RL In Toronto:RL

Y

4/23/10

12:56 PM

Page 1

ou will r u n ou t of places befor e we r u n ou t of S E L E CT I ON

it is just a place where some people have bigger mortgages and a lot of house maintenance.

THE GOOD NEWS

I do miss my Carlton/Church

Those same big old trees are

condo but I wanted a back yard

incredible umbrellas on the curv-

and a dog. Who knew that friends

ing streets and you are close to the

would raise their eyebrows and

crossroads of Toronto, Bloor and

knowingly nod their heads when

Yonge. We walk to Cabbagetown

we moved to Rosedale? There

and the Danforth, are close to the

seems to be common cross-coun-

subway lines and have access to

try knowledge of what Rosedale

the DVP.

Shop our beautiful showroom now to find the perfect light for any room in your house, condo or cottage.

means: Lots of rich old ladies who lunch, men who golf and kids in private school being picked up by nannies.

MY FAVOURITES The Summerhill Market at the top of Glen Rd is a great shopping

That was the old days. Today’s reality, from what I see in my neighbours, is working par-

anything… and never have to cook again.

ents dedicated to spending as much of their free time with their kids and families as possible. Not much different from other neighbourhoods throughout Toronto.

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

1549 Aven u e R d. ( N or th of L awr en ce) 416. 782.1 129 | www.r oy allig h tin g .com


LI V I NG & HEA LT H

THE DISH

Spinach salad with honey-balsamic vinaigrette Recipe by Bruce Woods

“I wanted to choose a recipe that was light and healthy

of spinach are numerous due to the vitamins and calcium, combined with its overall nutritional value. Pomegranates are an excellent source of antioxidants and strengthen the digestive tract. The feta cheese is a high protein food. One cup can provide nearly threequarters of a person’s daily calcium requirement.”

INGREDIENTS 1 pound/450 g spinach, cleaned and dried 1/2 cup/110 g feta cheese, crumbled 1 pomegranate split and seeded 2 cups/475 ml pomegranate juice (reduced to a syrup)

PREPARATION Combine

dressing

ingredients

and whisk in a stainless steel bowl. Add spinach to a large stainless steel bowl. Dress the spinach with the vinaigrette, coating the leaves. Place the salad in four ceramic

DRESSING

salad bowls. Crumble the feta

1/4 cup/50 ml balsamic vinegar

over the salad. Dress each serving

1/4 cup/50 ml honey

with 1/4 teaspoon of pomegranate

1/8 cup/30 ml extra virgin olive oil

seeds. Drizzle the salad with the

1 tsp/5 ml low-sodium soy sauce

pomegranate syrup.

1 tsp/5 ml rice vinegar

Serves four.

1 tbsp/15 ml mustard

BRUCE WOODS is executive chef at Brassaii. 61 King St W. brassaii.com.

www.naborspaint.com


L I V I N G & H E A LT H

RELATIONSHIP ADVICE

—with Adam Segal → “My partner and I have been together for about 10 months and living together for the past two. The

beginning to grate. He makes quite a bit more than me and has a lot of savings. I make a decent living but have had to be frugal in ways that he is not used to. I’ve noticed my debt increase as our relationship progresses: I try, in vain, to keep up with his lifestyle (expensive dinners out, the latest technology, clothes…). Now with the annual gift-buying frenzy upon us, I’m really feeling can two people live happily together when one is making so much more than the other?” Ben Money is only really matched by

or outings which don’t involve

sex as a great relationship pitfall.

spending. And accumulating mate-

You’re wise to try and intercept this

rial things shouldn’t be anyone’s

before you become resentful (or

main source of enjoyment or con-

broke) in your attempts to keep up

nection with their partner.

with your Daddy Warbucks. It sounds like your increased

your partner who is used to spend-

spending, and lifestyle mirroring,

ing as he pleases. Essentially, he

has been an attempt at masking this

will need to compromise a little if

very big, and perhaps scary, issue.

he wants a healthy relationship

-

with someone who isn’t raking it

cerns with your guy. Money issues,

in the way he is. Keep in mind that

like sex issues, just get worse when

money is usually both very per-

they are ignored. Remind your man

sonal and has a strong history in

that you’re still Benny from the

our lives — so try not to judge one

Block and that this kind of spend-

another for each other’s spending

ing has left you feeling irresponsible and out of control. Simply nam-

Despite everything I’ve just said,

ing that this difference exists takes you both out of shopping la-la land

from each other’s unique assets. For example, if he can spring for

debt-loving capitalist world.

an occasional nice dinner out and

Having a wealthier partner can sometimes feel like a blow to the

you to carry more weight around

ego. So make sure that you aren’t

the house... that is not a bad thing!

perpetually comparing yourself to

You’ll have to work together to

him and his friends and instead

ensure that the omnipresent hol-

assert boundaries that respect your

iday muzak doesn’t put you in

need to stay out of debt.

a spending trance you’ll regret

Finding common ground may

come 2011.

require some changes in how you spend time and money together. Examine whether you can have quality time as a couple without splurging. Get creative — plan dates

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@ intorontomag.com.

Meet Your Perfect match


LI V I NG & HEA LT H

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them… and don’t. The skin care

dose of eye drama. This usually

industry bombards us with quick

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harp

on

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reply is always, “What works down guises circles (more on makeup

Remember:

Most

people

see

next time) and only surgery works

problems where they don’t exist.

on bags (let’s not go there… yet).

Often it’s because of the light they

The

real

culprits

are

lifestyle

choices.

are viewing themselves in. Side lighting is best, not overhead light-

Stress, anxiety, allergies, hor-

ing that causes shadows. So don’t

monal changes, ill health, lack of

obsess… and smile! Scowling only

sleep, travelling, excess salt, alco-

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hol, coffee and tea are all villains. So too is the improper use of skin

EYE CARE HELP

care products; not removing eye

Here’s some advice that won’t cost

makeup thoroughly can result in

you anything.

bloodshot redness, shadows and

1. Never rub your eyes vigorously.

swelling. The skin around your

Sweep any debris away with

eyes, nose and lips is thin and

clean, kind hands

fragile and must always be treated with tenderloving care.

swimming or drying off

Natural factors include having deep-set eyes or a buildup of dry, damaged skin cells; it may simply be that you were born with more

balms around the eye lightly and gently 4. Sleep with your head propped up

pigment under the eye. Low fat content makes skin transparent

pooling under the eye overnight

revealing a mélange of blood ves-

5. When you have to look your best: Wake up earlier than usual, take

sels and capillaries. Skin bleaching treatments and

an antihistamine and apply cool

hydroqui-

cloth compress while lying down.

none, vitamin C and/or Retin A

Cucumber slices, tea bags and cold

products

that

use

can lighten serious darkness by

spoons are other popular options

-

6. Always wear sunglasses to pro-

ers and underlying pigment cells.

tect eyes from sun damage.

This procedure must be done by a reputable dermatologist or

Bottom line, outside of surgery or bleaching, eye issues can be

and follow the after-treatment

best handled through the art of

religiously for the best results.

makeup: Next time.

water retention or allergies may

connective tissues weaken causing

DINO DILIO is a freelance makeup artist, writer and resident beauty expert on CityLine. dinodilio.com.


L I V I N G & H E A LT H FITNESS

BE IN THE MOMENT → Writer Michael Pihach

W

hen Greg Angus drinks his coffee, he thinks about his coffee. Not about what he’s going to have for buy groceries. He’s not thinking about powering up his cell phone and listening to his voicemail. The 49-year-old is taking a moment to

enjoy the moment. He’s thinking about how his coffee tastes. Such is the philosophy behind aikido, a modern form of Japanese martial arts designed to improve your sense of awareness and breaking an arm. Angus teaches aikido at his Liberty Village dojo,

Naka Ima, which translates to “inside now.” “The idea [of aikido] is to resolve anybody getting hurt,” says Angus, who started practicing martial arts when he was 13 as a way of standing up to a childhood bully. He moved to Japan in 1986 to study karate for 10 years. He discovered aikido, met a man, fell in love and eventually decided to return to Canada and open his own practice. Karate is about kicking and punching, whereas aikido is about holds and rolls. An offshoot of jujitsu, the activity is practiced with a partner and typically ends with a pin or throw. “You aim to blend with your partner and redirect energy,” says Angus. A class at Angus’s dojo usually draws 15 to 20 people, comprised mostly of young gay and straight professionanimation,” says Angus). While aikido involves vigorous stretching, can improve sleep and help with weight loss, the main objective is to become fully pres→ INSIDE NOW Students practice aikido holds and rolls at Greg Angus’s dojo.

ent in the moment when in consomeone, you think about how you can calm them down quickly,” says Angus. Feeling present may also be the ticket to feeling happier. According to a recent study published by psychologists at Harvard University, people who spend too much time daydreaming tend to be unhappy. “A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert wrote in the November issue of the journal Science. The principles of aikido can also be applied to resolving realin

the

workplace

or

relation-

with your partner, think about the right amount of energy to apply to energy,” says Angus. “I urge students not to dwell or dream of the past,” says Angus. “It’s about appreciating what you’ve got.”

GREG ANGUS’s aikido dojo is online at nakaima.ca.

intorontomag.com

31


I NSI G H T

TRADITION

DIVERSITY, DEFIANT & DELICIOUS → Writer Pam Shime | Illustration Corey Pierce

A

s Christmas carols take

probably a Hindu, Muslim and

to the cinema — no lines, lots of

over the airwaves, I start

Buddhist cohort to boot, all wield-

room to spread out, and plenty of

But there’s something else, some-

thinking

holiday

ing their chopsticks and pouring

popcorn for that hungry-20-min-

thing of great consequence, going

meals. Where will our family eat

more tea amidst a sea of dark hair.

utes-after-eating-Chinese-food

on around those round tables cov-

together this year? What tradi-

Well-rested from weeks of buying

phenomenon.

ered in soy and mustard sauce by

tional dishes will pass from hand

no presents, (or just eight small

Jewish-Muslim-Hindu-Buddhist

ones for the Jews who celebrate

Christmas at a Chinese restau-

about

update our rituals?

the end of the evening. Something

every day of Chanukah), families

rant and the cinema is fun. It’s

occasion to contemplate as we reel

It just wouldn’t be Christmas

banter and debate lemon chicken

stress-free and feels a bit like play-

from reading of yet another loss of

without the hum of Cantonese and

or crispy beef while catching up on

ing hooky when everyone else is

one of our little brothers or sisters

Mandarin as servers move from

Bubi’s week and putting toddlers

in school — despite the Christmas

every week or so this fall. Losses

table to table. Find me a Chinese

in high seats.

and Christmas tree envy that plays

we know we have incurred for

Jewish

a role at some point in almost

years, when the newspapers didn’t

Christmas also includes a trip

every non-Christian child’s life in

cover our news or the impact of

restaurant on Christmas and I’ll

32

a Christmas-focussed society.

month 2010 December 2010 / January 2011

Every

respectable


INSIG HT

homophobia and heterosexism on

larger ones. It turned out to be eas-

our communities.

small acts of invisibility and exclu-

Chinese restaurant and the cin-

sion, going somewhere I can enjoy

ema once a year. A place where we

As a little girl growing up in a

had a practice of call and response

food and communion with oth-

gather with our little ones. Not a

neighbourhood where every lawn

on the smaller ones. I refused to

ers in a similar position, being sur-

bar or a march, but a meal and a

sported a Christmas tree except

sing Christmas carols in junior

rounded by my people, not needing

movie that we share without hav-

ours, the Steins down the road,

high school, for which I was sent

to speak our experience of small

ing to say a word, so that next year

and larger acts, and then being

all our young folk are back at the

and the Millers on the next street, I didn’t have to wait until I came out

year I made a point of requesting

as a dyke to know what it meant

together in the dark at the movies

table, another year older, know-

provides me with succour, a sense

ing it does get better and this night

to be an outsider. My three siblings

when I was handed Christmas

of family and community, and the

together is part of how that hap-

and I all experienced anti-Semitic

stamps without a question — or an

strength to go back to another year

pens sooner rather than later. A

slurs before we were 10 — mine

option. Just so someone had to say,

of class with Ted Sanka (or what-

touchstone, an evening when we

courtesy of Ted Sanka, a skinny

and think about it, “We don’t have

ever the adult corollary might be).

can together just indulge in and

nine-year-old classmate with a

Chanukah stamps.” Small, but big

Maybe, in addition to the pre-

marvel at life’s small pleasures

shock of white blond hair who,

when it came to knowing who

dictably critiqued but life-saving

and then head off to the movies

without warning one sunny day in

I was and refusing to be erased.

It Gets Better viral explosion, we

with our young people in tow, very

fourth grade, opened his mouth,

At the end of a season of being

all need an LGBT Jewish-Muslim-

much alive. •

looked right at me and let slip,

worn down by the accumulation of

Hindu-Buddhist Christmas at a

“Dirty Jew.” The cascading loss of innocence in the next few sec-

AMBASSADOR OF FLAVOUR

onds served me well as I became a or sexuality mold of the hetero-

I spent most of my childhood

after weeks of Christmas build-up

sexual world I tried to puzzle out

Christmases dining with the tribe

— the sweet and sour vinaigrette

while making my way through the

on Spadina Ave, but these days

is delicious and breaking bread

shoals of high school.

it’s Richmond Hill or bust. This

with and among others who share

Christmas, beat a path to the door

your experience of the Christmas

pride felt better than shame as a

of Ambassador Chinese Cuisine,

season is just the (Chinese?) medi-

response to exclusion and invisi-

just off Highway 7, east of Bayview.

cine the doctor ordered.

bility. Acts of exclusion are often

They serve their famous dim sum

And, as with so many of the

small, though their impact is sig-

from 11am to 4pm every day,

dishes on the chef’s special menu

which leaves time for a double bill

at the Ambassador, you just won’t

unfortunately aware. As the “dirty

at the movies.

-

I CAN’T THINK OF A BETTER CHINESE CHRISTMAS DISH FOR JEWS IN THE NEW WORLD THAN BRAISED PORK KNUCKLE, EGG AND GINGER IN CHINESE VINAIGRETTE.

Jew” in those classrooms of chil-

I can’t think of a better Chinese

eral, be adventurous here. It pays

dren singing “Let There Be Peace

Christmas dish for Jews in the New

off. Solicitous waitstaff will warn

perfect for the celebratory mood of

on Earth,” I learned to step up and

World than braised pork knuckle,

you away from the chef’s specials

a Jewish-Hindu-Muslim-Buddhist

speak out in response to the small

egg and ginger in Chinese vinai-

if you are not Chinese — ignore

Christmas. Crisp white tablecloths,

grette. Despite multiple attempts,

these cautions. An example: You

wood panelling, nifty ’70s deco

it’s in vain that I’ve cajoled the

won’t want to go back to French

lighting by the east windows and

chefs to share their secret recipe.

fries

a carpet alight with orange, yellow

The sweet and sour delicacy is tra-

tic bitter melon coated with salty

ditionally served to new mothers

duck egg yolk — trust me on this.

I DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL I CAME OUT AS A DYKE TO KNOW WHAT IT MEANT TO BE AN OUTSIDER.

after

tasting

the

fantas-

for this ritual of the season.

Leave room for the Ambassador’s they give birth, to replenish their

yummy desserts. Recommended:

energy and rebuild their bodies. I

the deep-fried red bean patties.

recommend it for replenishment

The Ambassador is upscale —

AMBASSADOR CHINESE CUISINE 280 West Beaver Creek Rd. Richmond Hill. (905) 731-5570. ambassadorcc.com. intorontomag.com

33


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LI S TI NG S & E V EN TS Continued from page 35

IN SPOT BLONDIE’S BAR & RESTAURANT Writer Anna Von Frances

The eastern strip of Parkdale, just past the bridge at Dufferin, is one of the most up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto. I swear something new and exciting opens there every week. Blondies is right in the middle of the expansion, and is fast becoming the new Social. Or at least, an alternative to what is basically an alternative-club district on West Queen West. Very fitting, since two out of the three owners at Blondie’s, Julian Reyes and Francesca Zeilinski, are expats of the Social themselves. By day, Blondie’s is a boutique-style coffee shop, serving espresso and gourmet teas as well as nibbles like muffins and croissants. The café is open from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Thursday, and the bar opens up for cocktails and dancing, 8pm to 3am, Thursday to Saturday. The space is small for a club but large for a coffee shop. The intimate vibe is definitely one of the selling points for the late-night crowd. 36

December 2010 / January 2011

→ BIWEEKLY Blondie’s is a daytime café during the week and a nighttime drinking spot weekends.

Much like the artists and aging hipsters that frequent the Social, Blondie’s has grabbed a lot of the original West Queen Westers who are all moving further west as Ossington overflows and King St closes in. What to expect at Blondie’s? House music. Leather jackets. Mixed gender, race and sexual orientation. A lot of regulars who know the bartenders by name. Beers on tap. A disco ball and a stripper pole in the back. Lots of room for dancing, even though it’s a small spot. But the long bar also provides plenty of room for posting up, chatting and checking out hotties.

BLONDIE’S. 1378 Queen St W. (416) 352.7410. blondiesbar.ca.

Art & Photography ADAMS/DEMAND/FARMER

The National Gallery of Canada inaugurates a new partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art with a sculpture-based show by Toronto’s Kim Adams, Berlin’s Thomas Demand and Vancouver’s Geoffrey Farmer. Until Fri, Dec 31. MOCCA. 952 Queen St W. (416) 395-7598. mocca.ca. JACOB YEREX Influence, monotypes of appropriated images. Until Sun, Jan 9. Edward Day Gallery. 952 Queen St W, #200. edwarddaygallery.com. HARD TWIST Chroma, textile works by Amy Bagshaw, Kerry Croghan, Farha Dharshi, Renata Meirelles, Kat O’Shaughnessy, Marcy Sperry and more. Noon-5pm. Until Sun, Jan 30. Gladstone Hotel (third and fourth floor). 1214 Queen St W. gladstonehotel.com. BRUCE THOMAS Canadian Pulse Project II: The East. Toronto artist Bruce Thomas presents installations, paintings, drawings and audio exploring Eastern Canadian identity ( a follow up to his 2009 project set in Western Canada). Opening. 6pm-9pm. Thu, Dec 2. Gallery 1313. 1313 Queen St W. (416) 536-6778. g1313.org. RON GIII Thought Court, new drawings. Opening. 7pm-10pm. Fri, Jan 21. Until Feb 19. Paul Petro Contemporary. 980 Queen St W. (416) 979-7874. paulpetro.com.

Design INTERIOR DESIGN SHOW

The largest contemporary design event in Canada features more than 300 exhibitors. Plus talks by Jean Marie Massaud, Thom Mayne, Michael Young, Douglas Coupland and more. Sibling Revelry showcase with Theo and Sarah Richardson, David and Glenn Dixon (see page 16) Jason and Lars Dressler and Thien and My Ta Trung (of Montreal’s Periphere). Public days: $19adv; $22 door. 10am-7pm. Jan 29. 10am-6pm. Jan 30. Metro Toronto Convention

Centre. 255 Front St W. The opening party, Dinner by Design, is a fundraiser for AIDS hospice Casey House (caseyhouse.com). Twenty designers have each refurbished an iconic Vitra Panton chair to be auctioned off. Participants include II By IV Design, 3rd Uncle Design, Bruce Mau Studio, Castor Design, Cecconi Simone, Greta Constantine, Karim Rashid, l’Atelier and more. $55 adv; $60 door. 7pm-11pm. Thu, Jan 27. (416) 599-3222. interiordesignshow.com. MADE AT HOME New Canadian designs presented in an apartment located above cool Canadian design outlet Made. Featuring a who’s who of local designers: Kerry Croghan, Heidi Earnshaw, Brothers Dressler, Bev Hisey, Katherine Morley of Joe and Josephine, Grant Heaps, Christine Lieu, Yvonne Ip, Orest Tataryn, AHDI, Jason Wheeler, Angela Iarocci, Shana Anderson, Connie Chisholm Studio, Kathryn Walter, Shaun Moore (see page 12) and others. 11am-7pm. Tue-Sat. Noon-6pm. Sun. Thu, Jan 27-Feb 6. 867 Dundas St W. (416) 647-6384 madedesign.ca. CAPACITY A showcase of industrial, graphic, textile and product design by women featuring works by Maiwenn Castellan, Joy Charbonneau, Michelle Ivankovic, Ayla Newhouse, Erin McCutcheon, Katherine Morley and more. Thu, Jan 27-Feb 6. Bookhou. 798 Dundas St W. (416) 732-6069. bookhou.com. COME UP TO MY ROOM

Fri, Jan 28-30. Gladstone Hotel. See page 14.

Film & Video MEN WHO SWIM Doc Soup screens Dylan Williams’ feature documentary on middle-aged underachievers who come together to form Sweden’s only all-male synchronized swimming team. $12. 6:30pm & 9:15pm. Wed, Dec 1. Bloor Cinema. 506 Bloor St W. hotdocs.ca. WILL MUNRO’S FAVOUR ITES Jean Genet’s Un

→ LUS T ER Seductive lights by Zac Ridgely at IDS.

Chant d’Amour, Jerry Tartaglia’s Ecce Homo, Barbara Hammer’s Dyketactics and more. A fundrasider for the Will Munro Fund for Queer and Trans People with Cancer. $5-$10 suggested. 7:30pm. Thu, Dec 16. Gladstone Art Bar. 1214 Queen St W. earlymonthlysegments.com.

Leisure & Pleasure DJ SKATE NIGHTS The Natrel Rink at Harbourfront is open daily from 1am to 9pm. Open later on Saturdays with DJs spinning. Denise Benson and Cozmic Cat.


LI STI NG S & EV ENT S and his new book Finishing the Hat (see page 39). $22-$69. 8pm. Mon, Dec 6. Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King St W. (416) 872-1212. mirvish.com.

Rock & Pop RUFUS WAINWRIGHT

Performing his brooding masterpiece All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu with visuals by Douglas Gordon in the first half. Other hits in the second. With guest Teddy Thompson. $49-$79 Sat, Dec 4. Massey Hall. 178 Victoria St. (416) 872-4255. masseyhall.com.

Classical & Jazz FOUR STRONG WINDS: SONGS FOR A CANADIAN WINTER Forte: The

Toronto Men’s Chorus presents a holiday program with works by Stan Rogers, Ian Tyson, R Murray Schafer, Joni Mitchell, Loreena McKennitt and more. $20 adv; $25 door. 7:30pm. Sat, Dec 11. Metropolitan United Church. 56 Queen St E. (647) 218-4322. forte-chorus.com. TAFELMUSIK BAROQUE ORCHESTRA Handel’s

8pm-11pm. Sat, Dec 4. 235 Queen’s Quay W. harbourfrontcentre.com.

Talks AN EVENING WITH STEPHEN SONDHEIM The

most important composer and lyricist of American musicals of the late 20th century; he’s won more Tonys than any other composer, an Oscar, a Pulitzer and countless other prizes. Sondheim sits down with journalist Robert Cushman to discuss his incredible oeuvre (West Side Story, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods…)

Messiah with soloists Christine Brandes, Daniel Taylor, Rufus Müller, Brett Polegato; conducted by Ivars Taurins. $25-$95. 7:30pm. Wed, Dec 15-18. Trinity-St Paul’s Centre. 427 Bloor St W. Sing-Along Messiah. $26-$41. 2pm. Dec 19. Massey Hall. 178 Victoria St. (416) 964-6337. tafelmusik.org. MESSIAH Handel’s ubiquitous holiday classic gets a classy big presentation with TSO conductor laureate Sir Andrew Davis leading his own re-orchestration. With soloists Andriana Chuchman, Jill Grove, Toby Spence, John Relyea and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir joining the TSO. $38$107. 8pm. Thu, Dec 16, 18, 20 & 21. 3pm Dec 19. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 593-4828. tso.ca. CHRISTMAS WITH THE TSO

Wed, Dec 22 & 23. See page 45. LEILA JOSEFOWICZ The virtuoso Canadian violinist plays a program of

Tüür, Brahms, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Schubert. $20-$55. 8pm Fri, Dec 10. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. rcmusic.ca. (416) 408-0208. ASPECTS OF OSCAR To celebrate the legacy of Oscar Peterson, legendary pianist McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane’s first chair pianist, plays a solo set. Joined by Canadian star Alfredo Rodríguez. $20$65. 8pm. Sat, Dec 11. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. rcmusic.ca. (416) 408-0208. BRAVISSIMO A gala opera concert with Isabel Bayrakdarian, Richard Margison, Alberto Bazale and Sara Maria Punga joining conductor Roberto Rizzi and the Opera Canada Symphony. $90$145. 7pm. Fri, Dec 31. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 872-4255. roythomson.com.

IN SPOT ATELIER 688 Writer Josh MacKinnon | Photography Alex Jowett

Theatre & Dance THE NUTCRACKER The National Ballet of Canada’s 1995 production remains incredibly popular due to James Kudelka’s compelling and complicated choreography, Santo Loquasto’s luscious sets and costumes and, of course, Tchaikovsky’s irresistible music. $21-$151 Sat, Dec 11-Jan 2. Four Seasons Centre 145 Queen St.W. (416) 345-9595. nationalballet.ca BESIDE EACH OTHER

Dancer and choreographer Andrea Nann presents the world premiere of this series of short duets performed by Nann and Brendan Wyatt and featuring the music and poetry of Gord Downie. Part of Dance at the Young Centre. $20$29. Thu, Dec 2-9. Young Centre. Young Centre. 55 Mill St, bldg 49. (416) 866-8666. youngcentre.ca. A CHRISTMAS CAROL “Oh, the goose, Martha. The goose.” Joseph Ziegler reprises his acclaimed performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in Soulpepper Theatre’s production of Charles Dickens’ classic (last mounted in 2008); directed by Michael Shamata. $29-$70; $22 for those aged 21 to 30. Mon, Dec 6-30. Young Continued on page 38

Slightly off the beaten path of Queen St W lives the eclectic and understated art and furnishings gallery Atelier 688. Alex Jowett, founder and owner, began his art career doing shows at various well-known galleries throughout Toronto, like Spin (when it existed) and the Spoke Club. About a year ago he decided to open a space of his own to showcase both his own work and that of several other young, local artists. Jowett says that he didn’t want Atelier 688 to be designed like a typical gallery. “The space is set up to mimic the feel of an old-style French salon. I want people to get a feel for the art and be able to picture it in their own space,” says Jowett. All of the pieces are originals, like Jowett’s Horizon series, inspired places like Hawaii, the Caribbean, Indonesia and the Middle East. In addition to more traditional art, like drawings by Jay Dart, photography by Dean West, and mixed-media pieces by Jowett himself (none of which are that traditional at all), there’s a fair

→ SALON Atelier 688 offers original art and funky designs.

amount of furniture, lighting and art made of reclaimed materials ing are adorned with bike seats and handlebars turned into a variety of animal heads, barbed wire turned chandelier, and spun metal turned coffee table and pendant lamp — all hand-crafted and individually successful. “I recently sold a chandelier that Paul Hardy made from a 12-foot vintage 1920s kayak,” says Jowett. With regular turnover and new pieces being introduced all the time, like the current Wanderers exhibition featuring collaborative work between Dart and West, there’s something for almost every Canadiana-art-loving person at Atelier 688, even if you’re not an avid collector.

ATELIER 688. Noon-6pm. Thu-Sat. Or by appointment. 688 Richmond St W, #201. (416) 671-2537. atelier688.com. intorontomag.com

37


Build Your D ream H ome Today elegance

quality

Sat, Jan 8-23. Theatre Centre. 1087 Queen St W. (416) 504-7529. artsboxoffice.ca.

comfort

DR SEUSS’S HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRIST MAS: THE MUSICAL The

Continued from page 37

Centre. 55 Mill St, bldg 49. (416) 866-8666. soulpepper.ca. SHAKESPEARE: IF MUSIC BE Art of Time Ensemble

presents music, dance and musings inspired by Shakespeare’s works. Featuring compositions by Rufus Wainwright, Korngold, John Cage and Prokofiev. Choreography by James Kudelka, Peggy Baker. Theatrical performances by Ted Dykstra and Lucy Peacock and more. $25-$59. 8pm. Thu, Dec 9-11. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000. artoftimeensemble.com.

Tel. 416.258.6642

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- 19 at 7 pm & 19 at 2 pm THEATRE BRAMPTON

plinary dance performances, spontaneous creations, interviews, and social dances. Experience up to five shows of your choice: Emoticonics directed by Weyni Mengesha; Barlight, choreographed by Susie Burpee; Exploded Music/ Expanded Dance created by David Buchbinder, Roberto Campanella and Robert Glumbek; Hot Seat, dancers, musicians, a spoken word artist and a choreographer create a 20-minute piece on the spot; and Virtuosic Toronto, by Waleed Abdulhamid, involves music and choreography created to film footage of everyday Torontonians doing their jobs. Also interviews with Evelyn Hart, Peggy Baker and others. Part of Dance at the Young Centre. $15. Fri, Dec 10-12. Young Centre. 55 Mill St, bldg 49. (416) 866-8666. youngcentre.ca.

→ INFLUENCE Jacob Yerex at Edward Day. FULL BLOOM The demands of manhood explored by choreographer and dancers Robert Glumbek, Kevin O’Day and Luches Huddleston Jr. Part of Dance at the Young Centre. $20-$29. Tue, Dec 14-18. Young Centre. 55 Mill St, bldg 49. (416) 866-8666. youngcentre.ca. A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM The

Stratford fest brings its uproariously campy production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1962 comedy to town. Starring Bruce Dow and Sean Cullen, alternating in the lead role. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Wed, Dec 15-Jan 16. Canon Theatre. 244 Victoria St. (416) 872-1212. ASSASSINS Birdland Theatre remounts its Dora-winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s dark satire of the American dream from 1990. Seven real-life presidential assassins, or would-be assassins, from different historical periods meet and inspire each other. It’s as if Sondheim (see page 39) anticipated the ultimate reality TV show and set it to thrilling music. Original cast members Paul McQuillan, Trish Lindstrom, Graham Abbey, Jay Davis, Martin Julien, Steve Ross, Christopher Stanton, Jonathan Tan, Alicia Toner and Geoffrey Tyler are joined by Alex Fiddes and Lisa Hormer. Adam Brazier again directs. $35. 8pm. WedMon. 2pm Sat & Sun.

North American touring production of Mason and Mel Marvin’s 2006 hit Broadway show sleds into town. Starring Stefán Karl. Sets by John Lee Beatty and costumes by Robert Morgan. $25-$74. Various times. Sun, Dec 19-Jan 2 (no shows Dec 24 & 25). Sony Centre. 1 Front St E. (416) 872-2262. sonycentre.ca. THE BIRD Kate, a marketing executive and Mia, her taxidermist spouse, host a cocktail party conceived by jealousy and mistrust. A contemporary lesbian drawing-room farce by Sonja Mills. Featuring Anna Chatterton, Lesley Dowey, Bruce Hunter, Veronika Hurnik, Caitlin Morris-Cornfield, Jimi Shlag and Astrid Van Wieren; Ruth Madoc-Jones directs. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents the Union Eight Theatre production. $19-$33; PYWC Sun. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Wed, Jan 12-30. Buddies. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. buddiesinbadtimes.com. RUINED Obsidian Theatre and Nightwood Theatre present the Toronto premiere of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-wining play by Lynn Nottage. As civil war ravages the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a young woman both protects and profits from other vulnerable women. Starring Yanna McIntosh and Sterling Jones; Philip Akin directs. $15-$35. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 12:30pm Wed. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Thu, Jan 20-Feb 12. Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs. 26 Berkeley St. (416) 368-3110.

Spirituality MCCT CHRISTMAS EVE A joyful, ecumenical service with traditional carol singing accompanied by the choir of MCC Toronto as well as special musical performance by Thom Allison. $25. 9:30pm doors. 10:30pm start. Fri, Dec 24. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 872-4255. •


ART & DESIG N

B O O K RE V I EW

VODKA STINGER →Master

lyricist /composer Stephen Sondheim gets a rise out of a musical theatre fan Writer David Bateman

Sir Noel’s stylistic brilliance.

along in our graves.

Bringing the late Coward into

Ultimately this can be the stuff

the larger picture of Sondheim’s

of good, bitchy fun, and Sondheim

text reveals a general dilemma. By

is careful to include the words

taking his own work so seriously

“grudges and whines” in his title.

Sondheim has produced a strange

My only major complaint is that

hybrid of academic text and slight

there isn’t enough bitching. For the

whimsy, sidestepping any insight

most part it’s a dry ride through a

into ways in which his life may

museum of lyric proliferation that

have affected his art. Considered

W

a private person who didn’t yank

course entitled Sondheim 101. But

open the closet door until he was

it’s not very gay, and when it is,

40, Sondheim, now 80, certainly

it seems Sondheim has a distaste

has a right to privacy. In analyz-

-

ing his own lyrics, and to a lesser

tion that some of his homosexual

extent his music, he sprinkles in

cohorts favoured.

the odd bitchy-licious anecdote

Are sung, frequently dirge-like

without including any juicy mor-

ballads à la Sondheim really all

sels about himself.

that different from campy, smoul-

Delightful hen musical queens collide it can be stren-

→ SIDE BY SIDE Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein circa 1957.

uous to decide whose

celebrity

moments

occur when he reminisces about

dering ditties? Or is it just a deceptive change of tone?

Ethel Merman and Elaine Stritch,

I adore Sondheim’s morbid fas-

two legendary Broadway divas.

cination with murderers (Sweeney

royal ally to become — Stephen

pages or so he takes another loving

Stritch is reported to have said to

Todd, Assassins), horny bache-

Sondheim, the revolutionary mas-

jab at the gay bard’s wordplay. At

a bartender, “just give me a bot-

lors (Company), and polyamorous

ter craftsman of darkly comic real-

one point he claims that Coward’s

ism in mid- to late-twentieth-

interpretation of “Mad Dogs and

Sondheim’s Merman quote reveals

Music). I just cannot for the life of

century musical theatre, or Noel

Englishmen” is delivered with such

more about his distaste for the voy-

me see why he considers them less

Coward, the campy aesthete of

“dispassionate, breakneck speed,

euristic gaze of drooling fans and

campy than the characters who

an earlier, bygone era when we

every word clipped as if it were

nothing about dear Ethel herself.

have inhabited some of the other

gay men of a more bitchy mien

topiary in order to give the impres-

He complains about an audience of

great musicals of the past century.

were given all kinds of musical air

sion of brilliance” that it becomes

“mostly middle-aged culture seek-

They are singing about their lives,

time onstage to disguise our heart-

“almost incomprehensible.” This

ers” less interested in “anapests

after all, and what could be camp-

and sprung rhythm and tonic-

ier, what could be gayer, than that?

soaked romances under the fabu-

upper-class divas (A Little Night

lous guise of mostly heterosexual

like me, constantly delighted by

subdominant progressions” than

couplings and word play.

the live in Las Vegas recording of

the pressing question, “What was

You may feel compelled to take

this particular lyric. I am always

Ethel Merman really like?” What

sides while reading Sondheim’s

impressed by the articulate enun-

Sondheim must know, but seems to forget in this instance, is that

account of his life within the pantheon of Broadway lyricist/com-

“patter” (as Sondheim calls the

the same audiences he eschews

posers. On page one of his intro-

lyric). Clever cultural critique and

have been his bread and butter

duction, Sondheim writes that he

breathlessly paced delivery are

for the past 50 years, and if we’re

“cordially but intensely dislikes”

perfectly matched with the quick

not dead yet some of Sondheim’s

Coward’s lyrics; every hundred

rhymes and repetition integral to

quips may have us rolling merrily

FINISHING THE HAT: Collected Lyrics (19541981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes. Stephen Sondheim. Knopf. $30. AN EVENING WITH STEPHEN SONDHEIM $22$69. 8pm. Mon, Dec 6. Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King St W. (416) 872-1212. mirvish.com. intorontomag.com

39


A RT & DE S I GN

DVDs

TYING THE QUEER CANON IN A KNOT → Films

so bad they’re good

Writers Scott Ferguson & Jason St-Laurent

→ GIF T GUIDE? You better know your friends well before giving them any of these titles.

F

ilms like The Killing of Sister George, Boys in the Band, Philadelphia, Boys Don’t Cry, Brokeback Mountain and Milk have brought our stories stream audiences. But for every TransAmerica, there is a Glen or guided that they have to be seen to be believed.

There is nothing more enjoyable than getting together with a gaggle of gays who revel in the guilty pleasure of over-the-top portrayals of swishy queens, lustful lesbians and desexualized gay men. then we don’t want to be right.

40

December 2010 / January 2011

SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER If you thought bad things hapwait until you see this Joseph L Mankiewicz classic from 1959. The cannibalistic scene is unforgettable, but so are Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Even today, the jury is out on this one; people either love it or hate it. The tagline for the ers and passions without precedent in motion pictures.” With Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams at the script-writing helm, could we have expected anything less? THAT TENDER TOUCH A trashy pulp novel come to life, from 1969 revolves around the twisted break-up of lesbian lovers

Marsha and Terri. Featuring plenty of breathy declarations of lust, heaving lingerie-clad bosoms and some wickedly groovy 1960s décor, ously — even when Terri is decked out in slinky animal costumes with little pointy ears. By turns hilarious, disturbing and perplexing, this melodramatic camp classic is best enjoyed sprawled out on a bearskin rug in a see-through negligee and a pitcher of martinis within reach. MYRA BRECKINRIDGE Based on Gore Vidal’s best-selling novel, this incomprehensible car crash of a movie is almost imposfocusses on a man who wants to become a woman in order to bring about “the total destruction of the

last vestigial traces of traditional manhood.” Well, nothing like setting modest goals. The 1970 movie asks audiences to believe that scrawny

change operation and emerge as the gorgeous sex goddess Raquel Welch. With a young and fresh-faced Farrah Fawcett and an embalmed-looking, 77-year-old Mae West. PINK FLAMINGOS John Waters exploded into international infamy and secured the crown of the King of Bad Taste with his third feature in 1972, a darkly comic, no-budget parade of the perverse starring his muse, the larger-than-life Divine. It may be But it is also one of the funniest.


A RT & DE S I GN

CRUISING

time, 1982, the New York Post

BASIC INSTINCT

community in New York mobi-

latest crime against humanity in

killers who show their crotches?

lized against the production of

general and homosexuals in par-

Paul Verhoeven’s 1992 thriller infu-

ticular is a dumb creepshow called

riated many, but titillated count-

from rooftops to ruin lighting for

Partners.” We’ll forgive John Hurt

less others, thus cementing Sharon

scenes, blasting whistles and air

because he’s played so many

Stone as an unlikely lesbian icon.

horns near locations, and playing

great queer roles, notably Quentin

loud music. Gay bars even refused

Crisp, the ultimate queen.

In the summer of 1979, the gay

Who doesn’t love lesbian serial

access. One of us (Jason) saw this as a 12-year-old (with his grandmother!?) and it totally fright-

PERSONAL BEST A lesbian version of Chariots

got a

design

IF LOVING THESE FILMS IS WRONG, THEN WE DON’T WANT TO BE RIGHT.

dilemma

ened him. Thankfully, his grand-

of

mother’s English was limited and

soundtrack. Two athletes, Chris

she interpreted the leather stuff as

(Mariel

Halloween. Is it any wonder why

(real-life track champion Patrice

It was a toss-up between this

the Black Eagle is his favourite bar

Donnelly) fall in love while com-

and To Wong Foo: Thanks for

Fire

without

the

Hemingway)

Vangelis and

Tory

THE BIRDCAGE

Julie

Newmar

as

in Toronto and that he’s always

peting for positions on the US

Everything,

watching his back in that place?

Olympic track team.

But rivalry

prime examples of mainstream

Or swooning at men with bulgy Al

on the track overwhelms their

Hollywood’s lack of original ideas

-

even when it comes to queer-

Pacino eyes? CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC

euristic, gratuitous and sometimes

themed

unintentionally hilarious.

absolutely pointless 1996 remake of

movies.

Mike

Nichols’ C

the classic French farce La Cage auxM

Bruce Jenner walking through Greenwich Village in a crop top

LIQUID SKY

Folles stars Robin Williams as a gayY

and Daisy Dukes? By 1980, the

Slava Tsukerman’s 1982 low-

disco inferno that raged through

budget but highly stylized cele-

Miami nightclub owner and NathanCM MY

bration of early ’80s club culture

try to play it straight to fool the con-

cée. With Calista Flockhart as the

years had been extinguished. But

-CY

Grease producer Allan Carr still

shines in the dual role of bisex-

thought a musical chronicling the

ual actress Margaret and her arro-

K

formation and rise of the Village

gant gay nemesis Jimmy. Tiny

even before Ally McBeal) and Gene

People was a good idea. It wasn’t.

aliens land in New York City look-

Hackman in full grandma drag, The

ing for victims to feed their addic-

Birdcage feels like it is home to a

PARTNERS

?

CMY

tion to a substance produced in

Are you a sucker for bad come-

the human brain during orgasm.

dies? This one is just terrible. Two

Since Margaret has a lot of sex, the

cops go undercover as a gay cou-

aliens camp out in her apartment

A feast of cheesy sight gags and

ple and “comedy” ensues. At the

and end up vaporizing most of her

over-ripe one-liners. Appropriating

lovers. By turns a fairly grim sex

the plot of classic teen sex com-

ANOTHER GAY MOVIE

edies, Todd Stephen’s 2006 comedy follows a foursome of gay high THE HUNGER

school friends who make a pact to

Not only is it great to see Susan Sarandon

softly

lose their virginity before heading

butched-up,

off to university in the fall. The script

’80s-style, but it’s the famous

includes gerbiling, BDSM web-cam

vampire love scene with Catherine

horror shows, enema gross-outs and

Deneuve, a fog machine, billowing

the sexual abuse of a quiche. Lewd,

curtains and spilled red wine that

crude and pretty damn funny, this

makes Tony Scott’s 1983 stylish

farce is just what the overly serious

melodrama irresistible. Deneuve delivers one of the best glam-

complimentary

Design Clinics sat & sun 12-4pm

about the sequel.

our-puss performances ever and Sarandon → SMILE FOR T HE CAMERA Sharon Stone in 1992’s Basic Instinct.

completely

abandons

herself for the camera, showing every perfect inch of her body.

Scott Ferguson is executive director and Jason St-Laurent is director of programming at the Inside Out film festival. insideout.ca.

416.214.1377 173 King Street East Toronto, ON M5A 1J4 info@designonking.com


A RT & DE S I GN

SPIRIT MADE FLESH →DVD

review: Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence Writer Michael Thorner

W

estern guilt faces off against eastern shame in the Nagisa Ôshima art-house classic from 1983, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, the long-unavailable war melodrama lovingly remastered on DVD by Criterion. Loosely based on Laurens van der Post’s memoir The Seed and the Sower, screenwriter Paul Mayersberg adapts and transforms the tale into a story about spiritual connection and undeniable homoerotic sexual attraction that, because of the time and environment in which it is set, only explodes through violence. Set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Indonesia in 1942, rock legend David Bowie plays Maj Jack “Strafer” Celliers, a well-to-do New Zealand POW and troop morale booster, squaring off against statuesque, porcelain-faced Ryûichi Sakamoto as Capt Yonoi, the stiff commander of the camp who, from the moment he sets eyes on Bowie, obsesses about him. Tom Conti, as Lawrence, is the western moral compass and bilingual bridge between the two cultures, mirrored by the Japanese soldier, Sgt Gengo Hara. Takeshi Kitano plays Hara, who also utters ond time being one of the more iconic moments of melodrama in Japanese cinematic history. was a lingering question by those involved over whether or not it was explicitly or implicitly a gay movie, at least as screenwriter Mayersberg recalls in the DVD extras. He acknowledges the gay subtext, even though the director Ôshima maintained at the time that it was more about the two soldiers’ fascination with each other’s 42

December 2010 / January 2011

WHEN DRAG FLIES →Theatre

review: Priscilla is jet-fueled airborne fun

Writer David Bateman | Photography Joan Marcus

spirits than anything else. That is not to say that Ôshima was denying the homoerotic undertones. He was by then the foremost Japanese not one to shy away from sexStory of Youth (1960) or In the Realm of the Senses (1976). In a 1983 interview included in the set, Bowie has a somewhat opaque, yet diplomatic opinion on the matter. Sakamoto was a rock star himself in his native Japan in the late 1970s with the Yellow Magic Orchestra. In the second extras disc, he discusses how he composed the hypnotic, deceptively win an Oscar for his work scoring half of The Last Emperor (1987). The transfer to DVD is marvelstays with you. If you’ve never heard the main theme music, once you do, you’ll have trouble getting it out of your mind for days afterward, with the masterfully coming your dreams. MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE Criterion. $42.

I

f Salvador Dali met RuPaul and Walt Disney on a stormy night in the Outback it would look a lot like Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical. Filled with 1980s pop music, this high-powered show is graced by gorgeous costumes that are simultaneously of this world and out of this world. Giant paintbrushes crafted into fabulous gowns sweep across the stage, sometimes

in stilettos, sometimes pursued by an emu-like creature with a black boa headdress. Even the roadkill is in drag in this tale of three diverse drag queens trying to make their way across arduous physical and emotional terrain. And there’s some poignant family drama thrown in, providing a brief and beautifully performed Elvis moment near the end. Costume design by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, and production design by Brian Thompson, steal the show as gigantic set pieces lift resplendent queens high above the audience. Jacqueline B Arnold, Anastacia McCleskey and Ashley Spencer as the Divas hover above the action as they match the power and the glory of the hydraulics, belting out fabulous renditions of “It’s Raining

Men,” “Hot Stuff” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” The three principal actors deliver solid performances as the hapless queenly trio: Tony Sheldon’s Bernadette is a lovely, nuanced tribute to an older style of drag (Sheldon is Helen Reddy’s nephew, by the way); Will Swenson’s Tick is a layered depiction of sexual ambiguity, drag performer and devoted father; and Nick Adam’s Felicia gives us perfect pecs, abfab abs and a voice that gives Madonna a run for her money in a grand, genderskewed version of “Material Girl.” A highlight of the evening occurs in the character of Shirley, as performer Keala Settle introduces the number “I Love the Nightlife” and steals the hearts of audiences who fall hopelessly in love with the mullet-bearing bravado of a truly memorable character. If you want to see drag big, bold then don’t miss this queenly tour de force.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, THE MUSICAL Extended to Sun, Jan 2. $20-$130. Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King St W. (416) 872-1212. mirvish.com.


ART & DESIG N

MUSIC

SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR →Get

the feel of life from jazz and cocktails — an appreciation of Billy Strayhorn Writer Michael Thorner

→ PEERLESS Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington’s collaborator for almost three decades, purposefully stayed out of the spotlight.

Pittsburgh. They were introduced in a dressing room by a mutual acquaintance between shows, on the pretense that Strayhorn would audition some original numbers at the piano. Instead, while Ellington rested on the couch, Strayhorn played

for

him

“Sophisticated

Lady,” Ellington’s own composition, playing it exactly in Ellington’s style. Then Strayhorn purportedly played the same song again, in a higher key, in a hipper, more “out there” arrangement. By the time he ing behind Strayhorn, eyes transplayed, yelling to his assistants to grab the rest of the band immediately. Ellington was struck there and then by Strayhorn’s talent and personality; the young man was hired on the spot. Even more impressively, Strayhorn composed “Take the ‘A’ Train”

E

Ellington Orchestra out of the subveryone

has

heard

the

Ellington’s massive contributions.

was born in Dayton, Ohio, and

name Duke Ellington, even

Many are familiar with Ellington

raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

to get to the Duke’s home in New

those uninitiated to the

staples “Lush Life,” “Something

He studied classical music as a

York City. Strayhorn had the com-

to

child, and actually wrote the song

position ready on arrival to the

“Lush Life” while still in his teens.

Big Apple, although the famous

world of jazz. Far fewer are famil-

Live

for,”

“Lotus

Blossom,”

iar with the name Billy Strayhorn,

way directions Ellington gave him

Duke Ellington’s right-hand man

Ellington signature piece, “Take

It is now recognized as one of the

arrangement

and collaborator for almost three

the ‘A’ Train” — all are Strayhorn

greatest, most sophisticated jazz

until 1941.

decades. There are those who

compositions.

was

not

debuted

songs ever written — one of the

Strayhorn thrived as an out,

Strayhorn’s

On Nov 29, Billy Strayhorn would

most recorded standards in the

proud, gay black American in an

compositions and arrangements

have been 95 years old. He died in

jazz canon. At 22 in 1938, Strayhorn

age of great oppression and racism

for the Duke Ellington Orchestra

1967.

met Ellington while the Ellington

— the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. His

would

argue

that

are every bit as important as

William Thomas “Billy” Strayhorn

Orchestra

was

touring

through

Continued on page 45

intorontomag.com

43


ART & DESIG N

Continued from page 43

brain waves in his head, and his in talent as a songwriter and orches-

mine.” There was a deep love and

tra arranger ensured he was not

affection for each other that res-

only tolerated but embraced and

onated in the music they created

beloved by the musicians who

together.

BRASS TACKS → Music:

Composer & conductor Steven Reineke Writer

worked with him and by the jazz intelligentsia that surrounded him. To his close friends and musician family, Strayhorn was affectionately dubbed Sweet Pea. Strayhorn was shy to many, and gregarious only to those in his inner circle. He was best buddies with Lena Horne, mentor-

“LUSH LIFE” IS NOW RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE GREATEST, MOST SOPHISTICATED JAZZ SONGS EVER WRITTEN.

ing her musically, and was a wellacquainted friend of and advocate

To date, there have been no seri-

for civil rights activist Rev Martin

ous attempts to bring the story of

Luther King Jr.

Billy Strayhorn to the big screen,

The Duke Ellington Orchestra was

although through the years, the

a huge, international success for

names Will Smith, Wesley Snipes,

almost half a century. During the

and Don Cheadle have been ban-

peak 28 years Strayhorn worked

died about for the role of Billy.

with Ellington, he chose not seek

As well, although there are liter-

the spotlight. The perception was

ally hundreds if not thousands

that his inarguable gayness would

of recordings of Strayhorn songs

not be acceptable to a universal

available by other artists, includ-

audience. Straight man Ellington

ing recordings made by the Duke

would take the public stage bows

Ellington

at

Strayhorn

unfortunately very few recordings

remained on the sidelines, off-

currently available domestically

stage, crafting songs, involved at

by the composer himself. Verve’s

recording sessions, arranging parts

1962

for the orchestra, and a host of

Soloist, with Billy Strayhorn and

other duties.

the Orchestra, is one recording

the

P

piano,

while

Orchestra,

release,

there

Johnny

are

Hodges,

still available where you can hear est work was his collabora-

Strayhorn

arrangements

from

Ellington

the

away

Orchestra,

tion with Ellington on 1957’s Such

although many of the players on

Sweet

instrumen-

this album — including Johnny

tal suite inspired by the works

Hodges himself — were Ellington

of

Shakespeare,

band mainstays.

by

Ontario’s

Thunder,

an

commissioned

Stratford

Theatre

It would be “something to live

Festival. It contains what may be

for” if a new cross-label compila-

Strayhorn’s

unabashedly

tion of Strayhorn’s work — sam-

romantic composition, “The Star-

most

pling his tremendously productive

Crossed Lovers.” It is an unequiv-

work as a composer, arranger, col-

ocal masterpiece of orchestral jazz

laborator and pianist — could be

music.

lovingly assembled, annotated and

A heavy smoker and drinker,

released domestically. He deserves

Strayhorn died of cancer of the

that kind of singular treatment,

esophagus at age 51. A few years

and jazz lovers deserve access to

after,

acknowledged

this important material, work that

Strayhorn’s importance in his auto-

changed the face of music forever.

Ellington

biography, stating, “Billy Strayhorn was my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my

INTORONTOMAG.COM hosts a longer version of this story.

T

he Toronto Symphony Orchestra is always a banquet for the ears, but the eyes get their own treat this month when hunky conductor Steven Reineke mounts the podium to spend Christmas with the TSO. Reineke has a long and happy association with the orchestra, most recently with October’s successful Broadway Divas series. When Reineke’s at the helm, it’s impossible not to be caught up in his excitement with both the material and his musicians. Plus he does this really cute dance during the big up-tempo numbers. “It’s very much my passion,” says Reineke, who likens a good concert to fantastic sex. “It’s all about foreplay, getting a really nice build to the songs until the audience starts to go crazy. Like a great orgasm.” of the TSO 13 years ago, when he was already an established conductor with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The last two years have found him serving as music director for the New York Pops. It’s a long way from Reineke’s ophone at age 10, before switching to trumpet. His horn sensibilities

→ CL ASSICAL POP Steven Reineke likens a good concert to fantastic sex.

leap forth from the violin section; you really notice the difference in both sound and energy. The Christmas show with tenor Mike Eldred, the Canadian Children’s Opera Company and the Etobicoke School of the Arts Chorus will feature traditional takes on holiday favourites as well Reineke’s own unique arrangements for classic tunes. “‘Silver Bells’ is the favourite of mine in this program,” he says. “It’s a song that I was never really fond of, but these often end up being my favourite arrangements.” Reineke confesses to some difance between the secular and spiritual aspects of the season when choosing concert material. “Christmas can be a touchy subject,” says Reineke. “But we keep some Christian aspects as well as Chanukah and Kwanzaa. It’s really quite an ecumenical, all-encompassing program. And yes, there’s some Santa, too.”

CHRISTMAS WITH THE TSO $26-$109. 8pm. Wed, Dec 22 & 23. 2pm. Dec 23. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 593-4828. tso.ca. intorontomag.com

45


A RT & DE SI GN

DISPLAY CASE

by Jamie Alexander

1

→When

choosing the right sofa, is there more to consider than just

them, but quality and personal comfort surpass all. Ironic but perhaps partners. Is it really what is on the inside that counts? Determined to King St E

First stop, Urban Essential (175 King St E). The Oliver sofa had all kinds of bells and whistles, good ones to say the least. This super functional petite chaise sofa had a bed tucked away. With its clean lines and very affordable price, people choose this piece for its looks and for what’s on the inside. In this case you could have a soft sofa and a comfy bed all in one. 2

1

DOUBLE THE FUN

SOPHISTICATION

Off to Studio B (334 King St E; studiobhome.com) where I found the Thomas Pheasant Paris Loveseat, stunning by design with deep, rich button-tufting and hammer-head tacking. This piece is a real eye-catcher. A look, perfect for an entertaining room, with a cocktail in hand and Sometimes the right seat for the right space is the perfect answer.

2

3

LUSCIOUS CURVES

Finally, I could not resist the downKing St E; montauksofa.com). There’s one in particular, Emmanuelle: New to the collection, she demands attention; with luscious curves

3

would best describe her. For those seeking distinguishing comfort and one-of-a-kind design, this sofa compares to no other.


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SEX s ponsored by spa exces s

SEX & HEALTH ENTER TO WIN!

—with Dr Keith

Go to intorontomag.com

to sign up for your free digital subscription today!

→ “I constantly gag when trying to give a blowjob. What can I do? It is embarrassing, and I am afraid I will throw up all over the guy.”

-

anesthetic in them, intended to

lem for many men. I agree: Unless

treat sore throats, can also be use-

you’re in a kinky situation that calls

ful. These work by numbing your

for it, or on a not untypical episode

throat, turning off the nerve end-

of Jerry Springer, vomiting on your activated. The down side is that

man’s penis is not cool. You gag when the sides and

you can’t feel or taste anything,

back of your throat are touched by

two of the perks of blowing some-

something other than food. It is the

one. Not to mention it makes your

body’s way of preventing you from

partner’s penis go numb too, which

choking unless you are eating; the

he may or may not appreciate.

nerve endings are triggered, the

There are some things which

brain recognizes that swallowing

HEA GYL LT H GE IN 10LENHA A T JAKE WEE L’S BO KS DY GA

Y & LE

S T YL

SB

IAN

E

CIT

Y L IV

ING

|

OC

TO

LOC FIG AL DE IN AHT AIDSSIGNERS FRIC A J

BE

R 2 0

T RA BEYOVEL S T ND T RAT F HE S ORD TAGE

10

particularly anxiety. If you are ner-

tary muscle response is produced

vous, all of your body’s nerve end-

causing rejection of the “foreign

ings are just begging for an excuse

invader” by reversing the process of digestion — food going back

back of your throat. Relaxing and

out instead of in. Thus the util-

remaining calm will go a long way, trust me.

EA ICONNNE BE OGRA KER PHY

GRE

FATSA CONSTANT FOR HIO INE WA N

HECK OUT R NEW OOK!

is not occurring, and an involun-

RD

your throat to vomit when you feel

If all else fails, try doing other

nauseous and you just want to get

things besides deep-throating, con-

it over with. And like everything

centrating on the part of the penis

else, some people are more sensi-

you can get into your mouth with

tive than others and have surpris-

no problem. This is the most sen-

-

sitive part of the penis anyway,

ers have very small ones. CAN ADA TE ’S UP CLUKE MHEART TLEVISION LOSE ACF HROB A & PE RLAN RSON E AL 27/09

/2010

10:46

:29

AM

FOLLOW US

especially the head. Kissing, suck-

Avoiding contact with the trigger

ing, nibbling, blowing, licking —

areas is one approach. Try repo-

all of these actions can be used to turn on your partner. Ask him

great success, have tried lying on

what he likes. Use your hands, too.

their backs with their head hang-

Following your hands up and down

ing over the edge of the bed, so that

when taking him in and out of your

the neck and head are tilted back-

mouth usually feels very nice and

wards (a position similar to that

is essentially the same as deep-

used by sword swallowers!). Other positions may work too. You’ll

some way to drive him crazy without having to swallow his whole

/intorontomag

ones are best for you. The impor-

erection.

tant thing is to keep your partner’s

@intorontomag /intorontomagtv

penis centred in your mouth to avoid touching the gag areas at the sides and very back of your throat. Lozenges and throat sprays with

DR KEITH LOUKES works in emergency in a Toronto hospital. Send him your sexual health question at sexhealth@intorontomag.com. This column should not be viewed as medical advice; always consult your physician. intorontomag.com

49


O N T HE T OWN

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by Michael Pihach

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December 2010 - January 2011 - In Toronto Magazine  

Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

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