June is bustin' out all over – with queer pride. Here's your day-by-day list of all things theatre, comedy, drag and/or cabaret-related in the GTA. If you don't see your event here, email me at SoSumiContact@gmail.com and I'll update the post.
Thursday, June 1
THE BIG GAY IMPROV BASH A cast of all-queer improvisers kicks off Pride right, with a headlining set by Tom Hearn. 8 pm. $13-$18. Comedy Bar Danforth (2800 Danforth). See tickets here.
DEBAUCHERY AT THE DAKOTA (Opera Revue) This mix of burlesque and songs about love and lust features award-winning queer burlesque dancers and classical opera. 7 pm (doors at 6 pm). $25.57-$37.61. The Dakota (249 Ossingt0n). See tickets here.
Friday, June 2
MESH: A SKETCH SHOW Award-winning sketch comics Ajahnis Charley and Tom Hearn serve up hot musical comedy, iconic characters and solo werq, featuring special opening acts Ben Sosa Wright (on June 2) and Uber & Klonk (on June 3). 9 pm both nights. Comedy Bar Danforth (2800 Danforth). $18-$23. See tickets here.
POMEGRANATE by Kye Marshall and Amanda Hale (Canadian Opera Company/Vancouver Opera). Jennifer Tarver directs the world premiere of this groundbreaking lesbian opera, which imagines two women's enduring love across the ages. 7:30 pm. Also June 3 and 4. $75, $35 (Opera Under 30), $15 (under 15). Canadian Opera Company Theatre (227 Front East). See info here.
INTO THE WOODS by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine (Dead Name Theatre). A theatre company dedicated to uplifting and centring the voices, experiences and talents of trans, non-binary and queer creatives in Toronto presents a concert version of the classic musical about fairy tales and wishes. 7:30 pm. Runs to June 11 at Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson). Pay-what-you-can-afford ($15-$60). See tickets here.
Saturday, June 3
ANESTI DANELIS: ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT (Buddies in Bad Times). Comic and viral TikTok star Danelis performs his songs about bisexual revenge, catfishing, robots, hookups, and more. 6:30 and 8 pm. $25, stu/srs/artsworker $18. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
HILLARY YAAS: PART-TIME EVERYTHING In her third solo show, drag queen Yaas plays the ukelele, the trombone and chronicles all her life as a drag comedy super woman in the first ever rental show at Second City's John Candy Box Theatre (1 York). 9 pm. $25. See tickets here.
RAINBOW ROAST PRIDE SPECTACULAR (Rainbow Roast). Queer comics Rebecca Reeds, Ada Nicolle, Sam Sferrazza, Laura Leibow, Kenley Ku, Kelsey Ryan, Dan James, Harprett Sehmbi, Viza Decline, Laura Mclean and Brendan D'Souza face off in a classic roast. 7 pm. $20-$25. Comedy Bar Danforth (2800 Danforth). Tickets here.
Sunday, June 4
WE LIKE TO PARTY – WITH PRIDE! (In-Kloo-Siv Voices). This inaugural pride concert features gospel, R'n'B, pop hits and celebrates joy, harmony, diversity and the 2SLGBTQIA! community, with Juno winner James Baley. 2 and 7 pm. At Toronto Creative Events (213 Sterling). $27.96-$33.28. See tickets here.
PRIDE DRAG BINGO-STRAVAGANZA! (Messy Productions). Toronto's delusional diva Messy Margaret and Hillary Yaas of OutTV's Camp Wannakiki host a night of drag bingo. 6 to 9 pm. $25. The Rec Room (255 Bremner). See tickets here.
Tuesday, June 6
2-SPIRIT CABARET (Buddies in Bad Times/Native Earth Performing Arts). Zachariah Highgate, Tygr Willy, Pansy Chisk, IndigiBabes Burlesque and others perform in this celebration of the strength, beauty and talent of queer and 2-spirit Indigenous people. 7:30 pm. Buddies in Bad Times Chamber (12 Alexander). $10-$70. See tickets here.
TEACHER'S PET DRAG TRIVIA NIGHT (Messy Productions). Toronto's delusional diva Messy Margaret hosts three rounds of trivia, plus some fun drag performances. From 7 pm. $17.31. Super Bargain (441 Parliament). See tickets here.
Wednesday, June 7
THE BRUISED YEARS CHOIR (Buddies in Bad Times) Founder Jim LeFrancois and director Sistah Lois Jacob lead a choir with lived experience in new tunes and a sneak peek at their new digital revue, Heartbreak Cabaret. 8 pm. Pay-what-you-can to $25. Buddies in Bad Times Chamber (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
Thursday, June 8
LADY5 COMMUNITY DRAG PAGEANT & PARTY (Buddies in Bad Times). Lady5 celebrates queerness in a show that combines amateur drag competition and dance party. Ticket sales support Rainbow Railroad. 8 pm. $25. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Chamber (12 Alexander). See info here.
BEHOLD, A MAN by Oliver Pitschner (Space Space Revolution). This one act dramedy based on Pitschner's experiences with grief and transhood is about a transgender skeptic who visits a psychic and makes contact with his dead brother. 7 pm. $15. Attic Studio (1402 Queen East). See tickets here.
Friday, June 9
PRIDE-A-PALOOZA (Gay AF/Buddies in Bad Times). Robert Watson hosts a cornucopia of Canadian queer comedy talent, featuring headliner Deanne Smith, special guest Vong Show, plus Brendan D'Souza, Hillary Yaas, Selena Vyle, Daphney Joseph, Clif Knight and Heather Mariko. 8 pm. $21-$31. Buddies in Bad Times Chamber (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
WERQ THE MIC: PRIDE EXTRAVAGANZA This Pride-themed mix of stand-up, improv, sketch and a little bit of lip-syncing stars Chansa Showers, Hunni Krueller, Selena Vyle and Viza DeCline. 9 pm. $20-$25. Comedy Bar Danforth (2800 Danforth). See tickets here.
Saturday, June 10
MIND BLOWN DRAG TRIVIA NIGHT & DRAG SHOW (Messy Productions). Messy Margaret hosts three rounds of trivia along with some drag performances. 7 pm. $15. C.C.'S Bar and Grill (1564 Danforth). See info here.
Wednesday, June 14
RUBY by Chase Lo (Mirror Me Productions/Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Lo's thriller, a work-in-development about a family of trans/nonbinary Asian and migrant sex workers looking for their missing sister, gets a staged reading, followed by a talkback. Half of ticket proceeds go to Butterfly: Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network. 7 pm. Pay-what-you-wish (at door) to $16. Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret (12 Alexander). Ticket info here.
SEX AND THE GOLDEN GIRLS (Yaas & Vyle). Drag comics Hillary Yaas and Selena Vyle, along with improvisers Tricia Black, Chelsea Larkin and Allana Reoch, perform a live reading of a classic Golden Girls episode, followed by an improvised version of that same episode in the world of Sex and the City. 8 pm. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor West). Ticket info here.
CRAP ASS: A COMEDY TRIVIA FIASCO (Comedy Bar). The monthly trivia show for comedians features an all-LGBTQ+ ensemble cast, with questions highlighting important moments in queer history. 9:30 pm. $15-$20. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor West). Ticket info here.
Thursday, June 15
KEVIN MORRIS: BAD GAY (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Cabaret star Morris tells stories and sings songs by Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and others, in front of a live band. 8 pm. $25. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Cabaret (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
MUSLIM PRIDE TORONTO (ScrapARTS/Unity Mosque/QTBIPOC Sauga/Buddies in Bad Times). Drag artists Mango Lassi, Queer of Sheba and Aljazi join burlesque artist Ola Minou, singers, spoken word artists and DJs in this international celebration. 6 pm. $21-$25. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Chamber (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
PEARLE HARBOUR'S AGIT-POP! (Stratford Festival). Drag comedienne Pearle Harbour brings her acclaimed doomsday cabaret to the repertory festival. 8 pm. Also June 16 and 17. $29-$39. Lazaridis Hall at the Tom Patterson Theatre, Stratford. See info here.
Friday, June 16
QUEERCAB (Buddies in Bad Times). Expect the unexpected in this night of first impulses and uninhibited thoughts exploring the theme WWE – Queer Rumble. 7 pm. Pay-what-you-can ($10 to $70). Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Cabaret (12 Alexander). See info here.
ACCESS ME by Andrew Gurza, Frank Hull and Ken Harrower (Boys in Chairs Collective). Gurza, Hull and Harrower deliver a personal exploration and public celebration of queer sexuality and disability. 8 pm. Runs to June 24, various times. $35, stu/srs/artsworkers $20, disability community/wheelchair users $5. Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas East). See info here.
LES FEMMES FATALES: SHOWGIRLS! GLITTER AND GRIME (Buddies in Bad Times). This celebration of Black and POC burlesque features Kimora Kol, Soft Serve, Irmita La Dulce, Ivory, Zyra Lee Vanity, Suki Tsunami, Sze-Yang, Gala Joon, music by El Toro and host/producer/curator Dainty Smith. 9 pm. $30. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Chamber (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
Saturday, June 17
EMERGING CREATORS UNIT SHOWCASE (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). C4LDEIR4, James Knott and Marium Masood share newly developed work and insights into their creative processes in this annual showcase, facilitated this year by Erum Khan. 6:30 pm. Pay-what-you-can ($10 to $70). Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Chamber (12 Alexander). See info here.
THE LUST OF US (Nerd Girl Burlesque). This tribute to The Last of Us video game and TV series features burlesque, drag and live music and features a lineup of local performers including ArraKiss, CoCo LaCreme, Dante Legend, Delicia Pastiche, Dottie Champagne and more. 7 pm (doors 6:30 pm) and 9 pm (doors 8:40 pm). $35-$45. Red Sandcastle Theatre (922 Queen East). See tickets here.
FAGNIFICENT (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) The always entertaining David Benjamin Tomlinson (Star Trek: Discovery, The Writers' Block) presents autobiographical stories about entering queer middle age. 7:30 pm. $18-$25. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Cabaret (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
THE HETEROSEXUALS by Johnnie McNamara Walker (Walker). Walker presents a one-night-only performance of his solo show about the differences between straights and queers, also featuring a stand-up comedy set by Sam Sferrazza. 8 pm. $25, artsworkers/snrs $10. Factory Studio (125 Bathurst). factorytheatre.ca
LIPSYNCED Some of Toronto's sassiest improvisors do scenes based on songs, and every scene ends with them lip-syncing for their lives, with the help of drag assassins. Comics include Ajahnis Charley, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Brenda D'Souza, Kirsten Rasmussen, Tricia Black, Patrick Murray and Monica Garrido, with Viza Decline, Evan, drag assassin Aurora Matrix and host Hunni Krüller. 9 pm. $25. Comedy Bar Danforth (2800 Danforth). See tickets here.
GAY AF COMEDY PRIDE-STRAVAGANZA (Gay AF Comedy). Canadian Comedy Award winner Robert Watson hosts an afternoon of hilarious outdoor queer comedy, featuring headliner Martha Chaves, with Rush Kazi, Ben Sosa-Wright, Sashka DC, Dylan Mahaney and Messy Margaret. 3 pm. $25. Campbell House Museum (160 Queen West). See tickets here.
Tuesday, June 20
BARGAIN BIN DRAG BINGO (Messy Productions). Toronto's delusional diva Messy Margaret hosts a drag bingo game in Cabbagetown. From 7 pm. $17.31. Super Bargain (441 Parliament). See tickets here.
Wednesday, June 21
CRIPCAB (The Disability Collective/Buddies in Bad Times). This variety show celebrating queer and disabled performers features Theodore Walker Robinson, Margaret Rose, El Experimento, Rose Goodwin, Ivory, Sadie Cahill, Joe Peach, Chiron Barron, Craven Blood, Hope Heartbreaker and host Dainty Smith. 8 pm. Pay-what-you-can ($5 to $50). Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Chamber (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
Thursday, June 22
GIGGLES PRIDE COMEDY SHOW (Girl Play Toronto). This night of comedy for and by 2SLGBTQIA+ women, trans and non-binary folks includes Adrienne Fish, Al Val, Sashka, Robbie Hoffman and Courtney Gilmour, with a special drag king performance by Justin Beaver. 7:30 and 9 pm. $25. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor West). See tickets here.
STEERS & QUEERS – NIGHT OF 1000 DOLLYS (Buddies in Bad Times). Fluffy Souffle hosts the cult queer honky tonk celebration of our lord and saviour Dolly Parton, featuring music by Shania Twink, burlesque by Belle Jumelles and featuring DJs Joe BLow and Sigourney Beaver. 10:30 pm (doors at 9 pm). $25. Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander). See info here.
Friday, June 23
HOMO NIGHT IN CANADA (Buddies in Bad Times). The B-Girlz host the infamous Pride weekend event featuring some of North America's funniest comics, this year including Kyle Brownrigg, Martha Chaves, Paul Hutcheson, Elvira Kurt, Ted Morris, Vong Show and Hillary Yates. 7:30 pm. $30. Buddies in Bad Times Chamber (12 Alexander). See tickets here.
QUEER YOUTH CABARET: GENERATION Q(UEER) (Soulpepper). Twelve emerging queer artists present a series of self-written, cabaret-style pieces that respond to the theme of Generation Q(ueer). June 23 at 7:30 pm, also June 24 at 1:30 and 7:30 pm. $15.55-$32.50. Tank House of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane). See tickets here.
Saturday, June 24
CHAOTICA Celebrate Pride weekend with an eclectic and diverse group of performance art hosted by Bombae, featuring Ocean Giovanni, Cyril Cinder, Gay Jesus, Van Goth, Nicolette Brown, Feather Talia, Anne Allen and Fantasia Royale Gaga. 7:30 pm (doors at 7 pm). $20. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Chamber (12 Alexander). See tickets and info here.
GAYSIAN COMEDY ALL-STARS: GAYSIAN PRIDE! (Rushzilla Productions/Asian Comedy All-Stars). The all-queer, all-Asian comedy showcase features Vong Sho, Anna Luo, Brendan D'Souza, Bobbi Summers, the sketch troupe Crunchy Tigers and host Rush Kazi. 9:30 pm. $17.31. The Rivoli (334 Queen West). See tickets here.