This week’s best parties include a Guinness World Record underwear party at the Mod Club, the second annual 10x10 photo exhibit, and a properly extravagant Lady Gaga tribute night.
Thursday: 10×10 Photography Project exhibition launch
With various photographers. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West. Runs until July 15. Doors at 7 p.m.
If you’re not up to speed, 10×10, a photography project aimed at celebrating queers in the arts, is unequivocally cementing itself as the (un)official cultural kick-off of Pride weekend. In short, the project features 10 queer photographers photographing 10 subjects from the LGBTQ community through distinct forms of portraiture. (That’s a total of 100 dazzling works to browse through, by the way.) For the launch of its second annual exhibition, curator James Fowler realized his ambitions for the show and exported it to a more permanent home at the Gladstone Hotel. Fowler has added a curator’s tour as well as a photographer brunch, where the public can ask questions and discuss the issues surrounding queers in the arts directly with the contributors. There’s also an accompanying show book for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting a grant program for The People Project, an arts initiative for queer and trans youth. Find out more here.
Bonus: Peep the third annual That’s So Gay show, happening concurrently at the Gladstone. Runs until July 29.
Thursday: The Monstrous Ball, an evening of the art + music + fashion that (is) created (by) Lady Gaga.
Various performers. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street. $10. Doors at 10:30 p.m.
I’d guess that Lady Gaga’s current “popularity”—that is, how many times people fucking tweet/care about her—is somewhere around where Madonna was between Bedtime Stories and Ray of Light. (I mean, Gaga not touring North America until 2013? BYE.) But the Lady—and her homages—remain omnipresent. The Monstrous Ball is a production from Ecce Homo Theatre, a Toronto-based troupe that produces “stylized theatrical works with strong socio-political content which synthesize text, music, dance, and design.” Tonight will be: “an extravagant full facility dance party that promises to be unlike any other club night the city has to offer.” Translation: performance art, club kid fashion, and drag. Look for a recreation of Yoko Ono’s seminal performance work “Cut Piece,” a Gaga live band, and more. Plus—and my personal favourite—million-dollar gal Nina Arsenault will re- perform Marina Abramović’s “The Artist is Present” throughout the night. Dope.
Friday: YES PLEASE!
With DJs Joe Blow and Denise Benson. Bambi’s, 1265 Dundas Street West. $5. Doors at 10 p.m.
In a magnificent new pairing, two favourites are teaming up for a (hopefully recurring) night of music and mayhem. DJs Joe Blow, who we met last when he was repping for red heads, and Denise Benson (uh huh, you know her) bring you YES PLEASE!, a place to celebrate Queer Pride with friends and allies. And it’s at Bambi’s, the subterranean disco den that has become decidedly less shy since the last time we stopped by. (Hi Mikey!) It’s about time we got another one of these nights on the calendar for Dundas West—Hen House was starting to get lonely. There’s nothing more to this jam than this: dance, dance, dance. Get there early, kids. (Protip: Joe Blow’s TRASH! Happens the next night down the street.)
Saturday: A Club Called Rhonda with Horsemeat Disco
With various performers. Drake Underground, 1150 Queen Street West. $10. Doors at 10 p.m.
Have you met Rhonda? She’s LA’s polysexual high priestess—the Queen Bitch, if you will—and she’s throwing down at a 416 basement near you this weekend. Here’s your briefing: “Rhonda is a woman, Rhonda is a party, Rhonda is a label. Rhonda is an ideal, a feeling, a trait. She’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue, on the top of every list, inside the places you wanna be, she’s the face you always hope you’ll see. Nobody knows where she came from or why she came, all we know is that she just won’t stop.” I can’t sell this party hard enough (except to say that it’s about partying hard), and yet, I don’t really need to—over the last fistful of years, A Club Called Rhonda has amassed followers all up and through this hemisphere. I would have preferred a decrepit warehouse on Sterling for this culturefuck of fun, but the Drake Underground means you’ll still have a good time—just follow the pair of legs with heels. Rhonda has friends in high places; she’s bringing along London’s Horse Meat Disco (pile on da sleaze), and Toronto acts like Membersonly will try not to fuck up the fun. Find out more here. Prepare for sexy consequences.
ALTERNATE: You could also check out a fancy “bear party” like Pitbull or The Beef Ball.
Sunday: Guinness World Records Underwear Party
Featuring DJ Tigerblood. Mod Club Theatre, 722 College Street. Doors at 10 p.m.
Well, well, well. Amid all this Pride talk, you’d almost forget it was a long weekend too. That means: Sunday jams. The big day parade is one thing, and what follows will see Church Street become a (friendly) riot set to dubstep and nudity. After all that, you’ve got the option to migrate west and go dance in your underwear somewhere else. While the venue choice may raise an eyebrow, the cause is once-in-a-weekend: who wants to be a Guinness World Record holder? UK Underground, The Mob Club’s weekly Brit-infused happening, is hosting an underwear party that must attract at least 290 people to beat the current world record. There will be a clothing check at the door, and it’s all optional, but just STFU and do it. (I would never.) And—oh!—4 a.m. last call, along with, like, every other venue in town.
Party safe, party hard, drink water, use condoms, have fun.