|Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo was founded in 1974 |
(Photo courtesy Ballets Trockadero)
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Sunday, 12 February 2017
|Chris Barillaro recording the Curtains Up theme with Roger Peace |
(Photo courtesy Curtains Up)
Following a lengthy battle with cancer, legendary Canadian theatre director Roger Peace died peacefully in the palliative care unit at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital on February 10.
Peace brought his love for live musical theatre to North America when he sailed from London to Montreal in 1957 aboard the ocean liner SS Columbia at the age of 21 and experienced the tail-end of Montreal’s famed and infamous golden Sin-City era.
The Montreal theatre scene wasn’t quite London’s West End, where Peace had landed a bit part in the musical Call Me Madam at the London Coliseum in 1952 at the age of 16. But he spent much of his professional life as a director and producer casting larger-than-life divas in his productions, notably his longtime muse, Montreal jazz legend Ranee Lee, and another of his favourites, soul singer Michelle Sweeney.
When another glorious diva, Juno Award-winning soul singer Kim Richardson, starred in his 2013 revival of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, theatre critic Pat Donnelly wrote in the Montreal Gazette that Peace “directed Montreal’s first Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Le Stage dinner theatre at La Diligence restaurant in 1986. That one ran for more than a year and did a Canadian tour. There were only four singers, Michelle Sweeney, Ranee Lee, Dorian Joe Clark and Anthony Sherwood, with musical director Ari Snyder alone on piano.”
“We couldn’t afford a fifth performer,” Peace said.
Tuesday, 3 January 2017
|Out pop superstar George Michael passed away on Christmas Day 2016|
This is an expanded version of my column that ran in the January 2016 issue of Fugues magazine.
Here is my 21st annual column of the past year’s heroes and zeros.
Hero United States VP Joe Biden, for officiating the Aug. 1 wedding of Brian Mosteller and Joe Mahshie, both longtime White House aides. Tweeted Biden, “Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house.”
Heroes Sydney’s Mardi Gras organizers, for uninviting Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, who refused to hold a vote in parliament to legalize same-sex marriage (Turnbull prefers to pass the buck via a divisive national referendum).
Heroes The Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation in Saskatchewan for hosting the first Two-Spirit and Pride Parade in Canada on June 9, and the Eskasoni First Nation, whose Nov. 5 Pride Day was the first celebrated by a First Nation community in Atlantic Canada.
|Pride Day at the Eskasoni First Nation|
Heroes AGUDA, the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, who – after Israeli LGBTQ activists unsuccessfully demanded Tel Aviv Pride be cancelled over government funding of LGBTQ tourism – seemed to say they will no longer be complicit in “pinkwashing.”
Hero British pop superstar George Michael, who should not only be remembered as one of the finest songwriters and most soulful singers of his generation, but also for his generosity and quiet philanthropy.
Wednesday, 28 December 2016
|House of Laureen onstage at Cafe Cleopatra (Photo by Kinga Michalska)|
Montreal is one of the great drag capitals of the world, alongside New York, London, Vegas and Sydney. But the city hasn’t been home to a bonafide “house” since the House of Pride dominated the annual World Ball For Unity produced by Divers/Cité, the now-defunct queer Pride and arts festival that put Montreal on the international gay map in the 1990s.
The House of Laureen – named for Laureen Harper, wife of former Canadian PM Stephen Harper – first wowed audiences with their 2015 Montreal Fringe Festival debut Laureen: Queen of the Tundra. The production was so popular, the troup regrouped for their 2016 Fringe sequel, House of Laureen: Backdoor Queens – starring Anaconda LaSabrosa, Connie Lingua, Dot Dot Dot, Uma Gahd and host Noah in a riveting backstage look at the reality of drag, performance and politics – a show they will reprise as part of the 20th annual Wildside Theatre Festival which runs from Jan. 5 to 15 at the venerable Centaur Theatre in Old Montreal.
|House of Laureen: Backdoor Queens|
(Photo by Kinga Michalska)
You can also see the House of Laureen headline Montreal’s iconic Café Cleopatra on January 14 at 10 pm (after their early evening performance at the Centaur).
In August 2016, House of Laureen established their monthly residency at Café Cleopatra, last remnant of Montreal’s fabled red-light district. There are plenty of ghosts in this great old building – the Queen of the Main – which has been a showbar since 1895, and where the House of Laureen follows in the footsteps of such Montreal drag legends as Vicki Lane, Lady Brenda, Vicki Richard, Twilight, Farrah, Black Emmanuel, Gerry Cyr, Michel Dorion and Cantelli.
On the eve of their Centaur Theatre debut, Three Dollar Bill sat down with the girls from the House of Laureen for a brief Q&A about drag (their answers have been edited for brevity and clarity).
Saturday, 24 December 2016
Thursday, 22 December 2016
Candis Cayne was the first transgender actress to play a recurring trans character on prime-time TV (Photo by Scott Everett White)
Bugs' interview with Candis Cayne orignally ran in the Montreal Gazette on August 6, 2015.
Sunday, 20 November 2016
|Tom Cavanagh plays a gay NHL player in the classic 2007 film |
Breakfast with Scot (photo courtesy Miracle Pictures)