Gertrude & Alice

The remount of Gertrude & Alice kicked off Buddies In Bad Times Theatre’s 40th season and it was like walking through a Picasso painting, amazing. The smart set is made up of seemingly decorative items that later serve as functioning props for the characters. The set design is genius in that it’s all powered by […]

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Cluster Fucked

What started out as a low-tech whimsical romp through a marketer’s backroom quickly turned into a thought-provoking dark comedy. Cluster Fucked is an unpretentious Masterclass on data and how it’s used to track, influence and alter how we operate as individuals and collectively as a culture. Devised as a theatre piece, the play is a […]

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LULU v.7: aspects of a femme fatale

LULU V.7 invites audiences into an absurdly beautiful and wildly twisted world of love, sex, art and death. Surreal scenography, sublime movement choreography and imaginative costuming combine to create a world that was as vibrant as it was dark and foreboding.

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A Five Star ‘Category E’ Hits Toronto!

Edmonton continues to birth artistic masterpieces and Category E is no exception. On until the end of the month, this horror-comedy is produced by Maggie Tree Collective and has garnered many awards including five Sterling Awards for New Play and Independent Production. Written by  Edmonton-based playwright Belinda Cornish, the madness that is Category E is as […]

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Dancing Alone Together

Originally published on theBUZZ Alone Together is a double bill consisting of There she was and Taking Breath which use dance in an examination of human connection. Constructed as a reality that is both chaotic and calming, Alone Together merges two performances that are similar in structure yet different in every other way. Taking A Breath is a […]

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Sky Gilbert Does Toller Cranston (Again)

“The love that dare not speak it’s name has become the love that won’t shut up.”–from TOLLER – Sky Gilbert Sky Gilbert is a queer writer, actor, director, filmmaker, academic, and drag performer. Born in Norwich, Connecticut, he studied theatre at York University and at the University of Toronto, before co-founding of Buddies in Bad […]

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Eulogy for a Videofag

How do queers mourn the death of someone they love? With brunch of course! If you haven’t heard already, Toronto’s beloved Videofag is closing up shop and so they’ve been holding funeral services (yes, that’s plural) to help our community mourn. I went to the brunch service to deliver the following eulogy in honour of […]

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David Bateman: Performance Poet & Butter Tart Police

David Bateman is an internationally recognized performance poet, and last year he co-wrote the music and starred in thirteen public presentations of Brock Hessel’s hit Hamlet In A Hot Tub starring Paul Bellini, Amy J. Lester, plus a host of cameo appearances by notable queer Canadian starlets. David is currently working on his seventh book […]

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Keith Cole: Butter Tarts, KFC and Queering Up the AGO

Keith Cole is a queer Canadian performance artist and political activist. An alumnus of York University’s Fine Arts program, Cole has worked in film and video, dance and theatre performance, both as himself and in character as drag queen Pepper Highway. Theatrical works include: the shows Mine, Alma, The Needle Exchange and Dodged Bullets/Missed Opportunities. […]

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NO GIRLS ALLOWED: Bio Queens, Boy Drag & Belonging

RuPaul is no stranger to controversy, and her latest comments have exploded all over social media. When asked about allowing biological females on RuPaul’s Drag Race she responded with “That show already exists. It’s called #MissUniverse” and while her comment is humorous, it’s also insensitive to those who are seeking acceptance. We are witnessing an […]

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Serving Our LGBT Youth: From New York to Toronto

Organizations such as Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York has been providing youth services to at-risk LGBT youth since 1979 and they have had extraordinary successes including attracting such notable ambassadors as Andy Bell, Judy Gold, and Carole Pope to name just a few. Targeting services to at-risk LGBT youth is not about providing separate services, […]

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Shirley U. Jest: Lost & Found

Originally from Ohio, Shirley U. Jest left her job teaching to move to New York to pursue her true love, performing. I met Shirley at G Lounge where she was doing some numbers at Marti Gould Commings’ Drag Suicide – which incidentally is rumoured to be a trial sport at the upcoming Gay Games. Drag […]

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Sherry Vine: BiPolar and in Therapy

For the past 25 years Sherry Vine has dominated the scene as an internationally renowned drag artist. In the 90’s Sherry cofounded Theatre Couture which allowed her and her friends to mount off-the-wall camp productions like their notorious remake of the horror classic Carrie. She has lived in Barcelona and Berlin and she has recently […]

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IRISH QUEERS: Green With Pride

In this episode of Closet Case we chat with Gabrielle Cryan from Irish Queers NYC who will be joining hundreds of other NYC queers marching in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the first year ever in an official capacity. Emmaia Gelman, also from Irish Queers NYC wrote – This Thursday, Irish […]

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Marti Gould Cummings: The Queen of Drag Suicide

“The love child of Liza Minnelli and Johnny Weir.”–Michael Musto New York based Marti Gould Cummings is a singer and host of some of the cities most notorious drag spectaculars. His career includes off Broadway theatre, national tours, red carpet interviews, a hit single Real Girl and Show Me Your Dick. Marti has been nominated […]

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Elle Emenopé: Turning Drag On Its Ear

“It’s what I’m trying to do with drag; look at it, learn it and then turn it on it’s ear.” -Elle Emenopé, Closet Case Born in Shorewood, Wisconsin Elle Emenopé (boy name: Elliott Reiland) came to New York and to study at NYU Tisch while he co-founded the “Negative 30 Dance Company”. He’s performed at such venues as […]

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Crimson Kitty: Celebrating A Decade Of LadyQueen at Stonewall Inn

LadyQueen is New York City’s only all-female drag revue and the brainchild of Crimson Kitty who is celebrating her ten-year drag-a-versary. We join Crimson and her drag cohorts Sarah Palegic, Miss Malice and Elle McQueen as they take over the historic Stonewall Inn for a night of drama, debauchery and over-the-top theatrics. Crimson, a drag mother to many of the ladies, recently created The Haus Of Kitty and LadyQueen University which […]

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I Cook, He Does The Dishes

Originally published through The BUZZ, April 3, 2018 Written and directed by Sky Gilbert, I Cook, He Does The Dishes is as much about the value of relationship as it is a questioning of how we relate to being in, out of, or enmeshed in it. The play is a modern take on the real-life love […]

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You Love That I’m Not Your Wife

“Black box theater in New York is an amazing experience but very so often productions are not fully committed to their best results for many different reasons, scarce profits, small audiences etc etc. There was never a second in this production in which I doubted or even worse forgot the importance of the job that […]

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The House on Poe Street

When twin sisters inherit the house where Poe composed The Raven, their lives take twisted turns that affect the future of mankind. The House on Poe Street by Fengar Gael, directed by Katie McHugh is a sharp, witty escapade through an incredibly wide range of topics including chemistry, poetry, the occult, privilege, and gender bending. […]

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Molly’s World


Andrea Alton is magnificent as her alter ego “Molly ‘Equity’ Dykeman” in Molly’s World, a rainbow romp through the mind of a pill-popping lesbian security guard and part-time poet. If Ellen Degeneres, Rosanne Barr and the Trailer Park Boys had offspring, they might look something like Molly, an in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is type of gal with a […]

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Where There’s Smoke: #FreeCannabisCulture

This is not a fight over legalities. This is an issue of how we deal with our citizens, especially crusaders who are trying to change the laws for all of our benefit. In Toronto, Sunday shopping was illegal until Paul Magder kept his business open in an act of defiance. Variety stores had to close every night by 10pm until Honest Ed Mirvish came along…

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Black Boys

  As provocative as it is entertaining, Black Boys is a camp adventure into queer male blackness. Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Tawiah Ben M’Carthy, and Thomas Olajide make up the three member performance team Saga Colectif which mix together personal stories, beautiful choreography, smart dialogue and potent stage presence into a metatheatrical experience that’ll reinvigorate your love for live theatre. The performances […]

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Yes Sir I Have Arrived (Chapter 14)

On the Finch bus going west I sit with Elaine and thank her for what seems to be the tenth time for coming along with me to support me on my first night at Charlie T’s as Hilary is nowhere to be found.  Elaine’s never been inside a strip club, and after me telling her the stories about me and […]

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Hosanna

  Hosanna’s Higher Self If Requiem For A Dream, Moulin Rouge and Carrie had a rendezvous their offspring would be a lot like Hosanna. Damien Atkins was riveting in his portrayal of Hosanna, an aging drag queen who models herself after the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. Hosanna’s outrageously sharp tongue lands her in a fight with […]

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Blind Date: The Nose Knows

Blind Date is a raw, intimate and honest portrayal of what it means to put yourself out there. Rebecca Northan creates an experience that moves beyond the traditional notion of theatre. The performance takes the entire audience along with them on a voyeuristic journey into someone else’s life and the date is both familiar and not. […]

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Kitchen Tidbits, New Book by The Reading Salon

We’re excited about Chef Stewart Borden’s new book Kitchen Tidbits. Stewart is the musical genius behind The Reading Salon and if you ever seen one of our movies, shows, plays or performances then you’ve already been dazzled by his talent. It’s available for sale through Amazon (Canada) or Amazon (USA) and Kindle with all proceeds donated to the Nikibasika […]

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TO’s War On Cyclists

UPDATE (November 8, 2016): The other day I got my Notice of Trial in the mail, it was notarized by the city clerk on my birthday. It could be a coincidence or maybe it’s just the city’s way of saying happy birthday, we love that you live here! The ticket was for $325 which is what […]

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The Remington’s Steal

It’s no secret that strippers who hustle stand to make a lot of money. The same goes for the waitstaff, bartenders and anyone else who relies on tips to make a living. The trouble only surfaces when the balance of hustle to customer gets out of whack which has become the case for poor old […]

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Official Selections + Special Mention From The Jury Of The Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival (India)

The Reading Salon had two films screening at the Kolkata Short Film Festival in India and “…When The Bullying Ends” got a Jury’s Special Mention Award! The documentary (film trailer below) looks at the life of Enza Anderson who continues to make international headlines for her work as an anti-bullying and queer rights activist. Yet behind the headlines is […]

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#BlackLivesMatter Is The Best Thing To Happen to Pride Toronto Since The Orlando Shootings (An Open Letter To Mathieu Chantelois, Pride Toronto)

When I heard that 49 of my Orlando brothers and sisters died as a result of the one man’s hate fuelled rampage I felt sick because I know it’s caused by a culture that rewards homophobia, sexism and oppression. Sometimes I wonder if we are no longer in the modern era but have gone back in a time machine to […]

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Lady Bunny in Trans-Jester!

Trans-Jester is a fitly, potty-mouthed, politically incorrect, mean spirited show and the most fun I’ve had in years. Behind the succession of cheap-shots and endless poo jokes is a deeper, philosophical commentary about a culture of inclusive political correctness that has started to suck the uniqueness right out of the human race. But who really cares about deeper meanings when you’ve got comedy of this […]

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Line

Israel Horovitz’s Line is an authentic New York theatre experience in part because at 45 years it’s the longest running show and also because it’s a fine-tuned drama at it’s most absurd. Line takes us into the lives of five people who struggle to be first in line for a completely unknown event. It’s the story of their […]

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I Will Look Forward To This Later

I Will Look Forward To This Later is the story of author Wyatt Holloway who passes away leaving his family to deal with the aftermath of a tumultuous life fuelled by Bourbon, art and infidelity. James Himelsbach plays Wyatt, the eccentric playboy who is a seamless combination of Ricardo Montalban from Fantasy Island and Henry […]

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Fuerza Bruta

Seriously, WTF was that?! The Fuerza Bruta experience was like watching the MOMA have sex with The Roxy – for our Canadian friends that’s like the AGO copulating with The Guvernment Nightclub… I’m definitely going back. Fuerza Bruta Daryl Roth Theatre 101 East 15th Street TICKETS

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House Rules

A clever play about forgiveness, House Rules is a smartly layered story about two Filipino families trying to make sense of the impending deaths of each others ailing parents. Mia Katigbak is hilarious as Vera, the sharp-witted mother of duelling sisters Twee and Momo whose stage presence is rivalled only by JoJo Gonzalez’s deeply moving performance as Ernie, the miserable bed-ridden […]

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Golden Boy by The Instigators

Golden Boy by Clifford Odets is about Joe Bonaparte whose gives up on his dream of becoming a violinist when he gets seduced into the world of prize fighting. Joe Bonaparte is played by an entertaining Fergus Scully who could rival Billy Elliot for genuine tenderness. His on again off again relationship with Lorna Moon, played by Alexandra Allwine was […]

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The Snail

A native of Italy, Fabio Zito has a history of work that has continually been supported and produced by his home theatre but the topic matter of his latest work proved to be too much and for the first time his script was rejected. Not being discouraged, Fabio went of the hunt for a replacement company […]

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Boy

“THE BLINDING POWER OF LOVE, THE ENIGMA OF GENDER, AND THE COMPLICATED MYSTERY OF HOW WE BECOME WHO WE ARE.” INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY. In the 1960s, a well-intentioned doctor convinces the parents of a male infant to raise their son as a girl after a terrible accident. Two decades later, the repercussions of that […]

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Adults Only

  #CoreAdultsOnly | Directed by Alex Correia, Adults Only is comprised of seven one-act plays by Dean Imperial that illuminate the dark, ironic and awkward world of adulthood. Boosting a cast of thirty incredibly talented actors, Shane Allen’s delivery during The Heart Attack was dead-pan brilliant as was Katie Lawson’s was captivating performance in The Polish […]

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Tea in the Afternoon

When Elizabeth, portrayed by the illustrious Tayler Beth Anderson, discovers that her grandmother has died and left the estate to a ‘mystery’ aunt named ‘Bes’ she is hurt. She locates Bes who comes alive because of a spunky and heartwarming Alice Spvvak whose character attempts to make sense of their increasingly confusing situation. Tea In The Afternoon unfolds into a story about fantasy, money, misunderstanding, and […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin premieres this #HumpDay

Join MISS Butter at 8PM #HumpDay for the premiere of the absolutely insane real-life antics of Jewish Strippers On Heroin right here on The Reading Salon. Oy vey! MISS Butter & The Reading Salon present: Jewish Strippers On Heroin Wednesdays at 8PM January 13, 2016 Premiere episode: January 13, 2016

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MDLSX

The needed change is so profound that we call it impossible, so deep that we call it unthinkable. But the impossible will come and the unthinkable is inevitable. –Feminism Is Not Humanism, P.B. Preciado MDLSX is an 80-minute performance/monologue/ DJ set performed by the award-winning actress Silvia Calderoni and directed by Motus founders, Enrico Casagrande […]

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3 Life Lessons From Hamlet In A Hot Tub

Photo by Ben Powless: Hamlet In A Hot Tub at Nuit Rose Closing Ceremonies, Pride Toronto (2015). (1) You won’t learn a thing if you do it perfectly. There’s a difference between making a mistake in public and intentionally making a public mistake. We adapted the original production of Hamlet In A Hot Tub (HIAHT) so we could perform […]

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39 Steps: Union Square Theatre

REVIEW | The Reading Salon, Raymond Helkio | The two-time Tony Award-winning 39 Steps is a comedic spoof of the classic 1935 film. The brilliantly madcap story follows our dashing hero Richard Hannay as he races to solve the mystery of The 39 Steps, all the while trying to clear his name. Just 439 steps from our […]

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It Runs In The Family

Pictured above: Larry Gutman, Michael Hardart* and Leonardo Altafini, photo by Bella Muccari. Set in a London hospital, It Runs in the Family by Ray Cooney has esteemed Dr. Mortimore on the brink of delivering the Ponsonby Lecture to an international conference of neurologists; but first, he must fend off a paternity suit, an ex wife, a […]

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Gender: A Performance Project

Written by Cheryl King and Ashley Lauren Rogers, Gender is a show with an identity crisis of its own. Not sure what to call itself, Gender is billed as a ‘performance project’ which in this case means part play, part sketch comedy and part lecture.   The programme was printed backwards possibly on purpose but […]

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Good Boys and True

It’s 1988 and Brandon is embarking on his Senior year at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School for Boys.  He’s smart, charming and the captain of the football team – a typical St. Joe’s leader.  But when a video tape featuring graphic sex acts is found in one of the school’s VCRs his future is threatened.  Is […]

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Opening Night REVIEW: Adapted from the Directors Notes from Thomas R. Gorden If someone were to ask me “What is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern all about?” I would say “It’s not really about Hamlet or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern”. It could be called “Alfred, Polonius, Player King, Soldier and Horatio Are Alive” which are the characters played by David […]

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#KanderAndEbb

What do Liza Minnelli, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, Rosie O’Donnell, Kathy Griffin, and Ryan G Hinds have in common? They all love high camp, sequins, show tunes and they’ve each been guests to the historic Don’t Tell Mama, a cabaret piano bar in New York’s theatre district. And now Ryan (Hedwig & the Angry Inch; MacArthur Park Suite, A Disco Ballet, Starry Notions) […]

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All About Sex (Meat The Garcias)

A light and funny romp through a distorted family’s view on business, sex and sausage making. Proclaiming to be the new ‘Latino gay cisgender glam sex farce’, the Garcias are a wacky Cuban family (think Addams family meets the Kardashians) who operate a successful sausage business as a cover for their real business, an escort service. If you need a reason to see […]

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Love, Sex and Death in the Amazon

  I can’t think of a more gut-wrenching scene then watching a mother, lover or friend tend to a loved one who is in palliative care and for anyone that’s had been in the role of care giver, the opening scene was deeply heart breaking as Walter slowly and painfully changes the diapers of Marcos, his partner who is succumbing to the effects of leukaemia. […]

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