My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2


by Paul Bellini

My mailbox is flooding with press releases about Panamania, a 35-day festival of the arts timed to coincide with the Pam Am Games. Like all the free live performances at the Distillery District, including such acts as Eva Avila (Fri, July 17), Jane Bunnett and Maqueque (Thurs, July 23), Lady Son (Fri, July 24), and The Hot Sardines (Sat, July 25).

Additionally, The Young Centre for the Performing Arts offers up various interesting new shows, with tickets starting at only $20.15. Of particular interest is the world premiere of Sandra Shamas’ new show, The Big ‘What Now?’

There is also NIÁGARA ~ A Pan-American Story directed by Veronica Tennant and starring René Millán, Paula Riveraand (the voice of) Brent Carver, which promises to be a really big show. It is inspired by the =true story of a twenty-year old poet-revolutionary, who spoke out against slavery and was exiled in 1824 from his native Cuba.

Finally, there is Kaz Ehara’s series of nine short documentary videos entitled Everyday Ambassadors. All nine shorts will be screened in many locations across the GTA as part of Panamania, with the first confirmed date of Saturday, July 11 at Nathan Phillips Square. 

Thank God for all this. I was worried the Pan Am Games would just be lots of boring sports stuff, but it looks like July will be a month of great performances for residents of Toronto.