This Pride, come inside for a digital queer cabaret unlike anything else
This Wednesday, CBC Arts and Buddies In Bad Times are teaming up for Queer Pride Inside live on CBC Gem
How do we celebrate Pride in 2020? It's a deeply complicated question as a global pandemic roars on and streets all around the world are filled with protests against anti-Black racism in policing and countless other institutions. We're living through a moment in history unlike anything we've ever seen before, and that means being thoughtful about the ways we celebrate.
For the past several months, I've been working with an incredible team to figure out how best to spotlight some of this country's greatest queer talents in a manner that both reflects and respects the state of our existence right now. The result is CBC Arts Presents Queer Pride Inside: A Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret, streaming live on CBC Gem this Wednesday at 9pm ET. An evening of boundary-pushing, wild expression with some of Canada's top queer performers in drag, burlesque, storytelling, and music, I can assure you it will be unlike anything ever seen on a CBC platform.
Hosted live by the legend that is Elvira Kurt, the program marks the first official collaboration between CBC Arts and Toronto's Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the longest running queer theatre in the world. We are very excited for you all to see what we've put together on Wednesday. But first, meet the truly exceptional artists involved and let them speak to their segments in their own words:
"My piece is called Feather Armour. It is a piece that addresses being misgendered all the time. It was written for all of the queer and trans youth who are currently in homes where they are not safe or seen."
"My video deals with anxieties and fears of going outside and what is outside during this quarantine time. The monsters looking in from the windows and creeping around the house stand as metaphors for the fears of uncertainty that loom around the corner. It's about being in the dark, and I relate this to the idea of keeping a light on because you're scared of what could be hiding in the shadows of your room."
Les Femmes Fatales
"This performance piece by Les Femmes Fatales is about Black and Indigenous bodies living and moving through this brutal world. It is a heartfelt creative piece about learning how to love ourselves, trust our magic, celebrate our beauty and celebrating our resilience and our surviving and thriving." (Curated by Dainty Smith, this performance will feature Ravyn Wngz, Ivory, Sweet Delilah, Violet Vixen and Dolly Berlin.)
"I will be singing one of my songs called 'Courage' (French pronunciation) written in both French and English."
"Through draglesque, Gay Jesus utilizes intimacy and illusion to engage audiences in political conversation. 'All of the Above' is a video exploration of the fatal consequences when an audience is willing to desire Latinx bodies, but not save them."
"Performing on cello and electronics a newish piece called 'New Heya' in my living room."
Poetry/spoken word. Luna DuBois is a Nigerian-Canadian fashion diva known for her jaw-dropping looks, snatched mug, modelling skills, and captivating soulful and dance performances.
"'Love Me, I'm a Liberal (2020)' — in a loving homage to Phil Ochs, Pearle shares a timeless lesson in safe logic, allyship, and performance."
"A young man from Ghana tells his story on the eve of his release from a Canadian prison. Although there is great risk in sharing this tale, he must tell it to be truly free. Obaaberima is a performance play that chronicles a young African-Canadian's journey across continents, genders, races and sexualities."
"Excerpt from The Queen in Me, international soprano Teiya Kasahara takes inspiration from their career in opera, alongside their lived experience as a queer, biracial, non-binary artist, to re-imagine the Queen of the Night, one of opera's most infamous fallen women."
"The song is called 'Wrong Machine.' It's a 4.5 minute song with visuals shot on a green-screen background."
"This video is a remix/excerpt of OUFF, a 75-minute interdisciplinary performance piece that addressed the elephant in the room: white supremacy. OUFF was produced by Et, tu Machine, O'Hara's collaboration with Atom Cianfarani." (Camera help for this video by Dominique Pétrin.)
Elvira Kurt (host)
Elvira Kurt, a comedy legend, gay icon and national treasure in a teacup butch package, has won all the accolades: Canadian Screen Award, Canadian Comedy Award, Cannes Film Festival Award — to name a few. She slays locally: Toronto Fringe Festival Patron's Pick / NOW Magazine Top 5, and globally: World Film Fest Gold for 'Big Girl Now'. A stand-up comedy heavyweight, sold-out solo show knockout (Viva Elvira!, Funny AF, Fearless, Homosexual Panic, Fired Up) and Second City veteran, Elvira's credits as star, host, guest, writer and or talent director are simply far too many to mention...except for these: Baroness Von Sketch Show, Canada's Drag Race, The Tonight Show, CBC's The Debaters, Wall of Chefs, The Great Canadian Baking Show, SpinOff, MasterChef Canada, Junior Chef Showdown, Iron Chef Canada, NickMom Night Out NYC, Degrassi, YTV's The Game, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Cook'd, Popcultured with Elvira Kurt, Four Weddings Canada, The Gayest Show Ever, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Ellen DeGeneres' Born Again HBO special, live and taped TV specials at the Just For Laughs, Winnipeg, Halifax, Sydney and Melbourne Comedy Festivals and, of course, her unforgettable stint on both of CBC Radio's hit shows, Q and q.
Trey Anthony (special guest)
Trey Anthony is an award-winning writer, motivational speaker, and relationship/life coach. She is the first Black woman in Canada to have a television series on a prime time network. Her work includes the plays da Kink in My Hair and How Black Mothers Say I Love You. Trey's life purpose is to empower women to live their best damn lives! Her new book, Black Girl in Love (with herself), published by Hay House, will be available January 2021. She divides her time between Atlanta and Toronto. She is an adoption advocate and the proud momma bear to her son Kai. In her spare time, she enjoys laughing at herself and all her antics and eating cupcakes. Follow Trey on Instagram @blackgirlinlove and visit treyanthony.com to learn more about her.
Ryan G. Hinds (special guest)
Ryan is a Toronto-based theatre artist. His performances include Lilies; Or, The Revival of a Romantic Drama at Buddies in Bad Times; It's A Wonderful Life for Theatre New Brunswick; Queen's We Will Rock You for Magnus Theatre; Douglas Coupland's Museum of the Rapture for Nuit Blanche; Ragtime opposite his hero Mark Cassius, and was the first black actor to play Hedwig in Hedwig & the Angry Inch. Ryan's solo show #KanderAndEbb has toured internationally to sold-out audiences and critical acclaim. He is an Associate Artist at lemonTree Creations, where he appeared in the world premiere of Private Eyes and the premiere/national tour of dance-theatre hybrid MSM [men seeking men]. He has worked alongside artists such as Will Munro, Liza Minnelli, Todrick Hall, Debbie Reynolds and more. He has collaborated with companies including the National Arts Centre, Pride Toronto, Fallsview Casino, Jamii Esplanade, and more. Learn more about him at RyanGHinds.com.
Tune in to CBC Arts Presents Queer Pride Inside: A Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret this Wednesday, June 24th at 9pm ET live on CBC Gem!