Hedwig and the Angry Inch: escaping the dungeon of gender, Hart House and rock n roll
"Who thought this beautiful space would be in this old dungeon?" quips Hedwig as she comments on the admittedly Gothic environs of the Hart House Theatre. One-liners? This Hedwig has hundreds of them and James King which he fires off with the precision of a seasoned drag queen.
Drew Rowsome- MGT Stage - Sep 24
The Seat Next to the King: gay interracial sex is more powerful than fear
There are few things more gratifying than a specifically political play that is also wildly entertaining. Add two actors at the top of their game and The Seat Next to the King is a must see
Drew Rowsome- MGT Stage - Sep 23
BACK2SCHOOL: Gender, Sexuality and Support
Going back to school can be an exciting time for students, yet for others a source of anxiety. Youth who fall under the LGBTQ rainbow are prone to abuse and bullying at a far greater rate than their heterosexual counterparts.
Raymond Helkio - Rays Anatomy- Sep 24
Volta: the magic of the circus thrives With Volta, Cirque du Soleil continues their quest to push the frontiers...
MGT STAGE Drew Rowsome
How To Get An A . . . While Giving A Little A
Are you having a hard time this semester?
Deeper DIAH Rolyn Chambers
Nuit Blanche: Resistance, Revolution & Drag!
Ray's Anatomy Raymond Helkio
YOUTH: Here's How To Turn Your Straight and Cisgender Peers Into Allies
Ray's Anatomy Raymond Helkio
The AAA Girls: a drag dream team
BELLINI's 8 1/2 Paul Bellini
The ULCC model comes to Canada with Flair
and Canadian Jetlines
HOT TOCIS Drew Rowsome
Circus Awesomeus -- Not So Awesomean
effeminate gay man who sings with a foul-mouthed redneck gay puppet
TIDBITS Sky Gilbert
Antonio FaFrado: MGT's cover photographer
likes it natural and naked
SPOTLIGHT Drew Rowsome
Not So Good a Gay Man Frank M Robinson's Astounding journey from sci-fi to Playboy to Harvey Milk
We recommend Drew Rowsome
Dance as a Factory Michael Caldwell and Louis Laberge-Côté are partners in life, and in dance
Bellini's 8 1/2 Paul Bellini
Reset Fashion Event The demise of Toronto Fashion Week
DEEPER DISH Rolyn Chambers
Salvador Dali Gala at Hazelton Lanes I've always appreciated the works or Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali
The Lesbian Online Dating Scene in Toronto modern technology has allowed the lonely hearts overcome obstacle...
Werking Toronto's Halloween:
Detox, Kim Chi
and Alyssa MGT Exclusive
It's that I can not necessarily say that I disagree with body shaming. In fact, I think a little of it is a good thing...
BELLINI's 8 1/2
Recipes From Your Favourite Drag Queens Andre Gardens is a cooking show combining drag, food and conversation
Kitchen Tidbits: The Ten Minute Key Lime Pie The ultimate dessert: sweet, sour, soft, crunchy.
Fallible historical fallacies We are literally moving into a world that completely lacks context.
WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival see some brilliant films for cheap
Snowbird Advisor we want a place which is "gay-friendly
Hot Topic Jill Wykes
TIFFmania Films that look promising aren't, films that don't appeal are hits
HOT TOPIC Drew Rowsome
Atomic blonde...Oh Dear I wish I could be as terribly modern as everyone else and say that it's a step in the right direction
MOVING PICTURES Sky Gilbert
Hot Clowns VI: It, Ellen Degeneres, and combatting coulrophobia
HOT TOPIC Drew Rowsome
To sleep, perchance to... Ever been raped in your sleep?
"I'll get you, my pretty. And your little dog, too."
"Begone, before someone drops a house on you too."
"I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
All of the quotes above, from the classic film The Wizard of Oz, are undoubtedly familiar. Many of us, especially us friends of Dorothy, use some of those quotes on an almost daily basis, in fact Peter Filichia, author of Strippers, Showgirls and Sharks claims the population at large cannot go 48 hours without hearing a Wizard of Oz reference. They are inextricably part of the contemporary lexicon.
When a film, and the language it uses, become so much a part of our culture, it is inevitable that the characters, setting and themes will be used by other artists. In literature there are masterpieces like Geoff Ryman's Was and almost-masterpieces like Gregory Maguire's Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Wicked and The Wizard of Oz were used as the source material for the Broadway musical Wicked that spawned its own catchphrase, the song, "Defying Gravity."
Films have fared less well with 1985's Return to Oz being a complete flop and 2013's Oz: The Great and Powerful a critical disaster despite the presence of James Franco and a green Mila Kunis. The jury is still out on the upcoming animated Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, but it is notable that even children are assumed to be fluent in the plot of a film from 1939.
And now the rapidly expanding library of young adult fiction has a wonderful entry in the inspired-by-The Wizard of Oz genre. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige is a fast and fun read that is respectful to the source but feels free to move in unexpected, adult and action-packed directions. Because it is a young adult novel there is an overbearing theme of 'believe in yourself' and that one must learn that magic comes from within oneself. Fortunately the obligatory love triangle, featuring guys with omg-gorgeous eyes, is cuter than it is Twilight icky.
Paige has created an upside-down, bizarro-world version of the Oz we know and love. An Oz where Dorothy has returned but, due to magic addiction issues, has become an evil dictator. The heroine, the plain but spunky trailer park-dwelling Amy, has a mother with addiction problems and though the theme is not subtle, it is deftly done. A tornado scoops up Amy and her mother's pet rat (while the mother is at a bar drinking away her sorrows) and deposits them in Oz. And then the action begins. That the book itself is addictive is not, I think, a conceptual theme but rather a result of energetic plotting and zippy prose.
To disclose more of the plot would ruin the fun of discovery, but a Goth girl, flying monkeys, evil versions of characters we love, and a truly delightful group of counter-revolutionary witches come into play. Dorothy Gale makes a shockingly scary villain and I hope no-one ever gives a copy of this book to Liza, Judy's last vestige of innocent potential is completely trashed. For the first time I was concerned about being a card-carrying friend of Dorothy.
Amy is a thoroughly contemporary heroine and her dilemmas and adventures make for an entertaining read. Good and evil are debated and, like the moment in the film where black and white transform into Technicolor, Dorothy Must Die reveals the many different shades and hues that make up a great fantasy novel based on the vagaries of life.
Like a true fairy tale, Dorothy Must Die does not stint on the violence or consequences. The flying monkeys in particular suffer while the three companions (remember they are no corrupted and evil) are quite horrifying. The only downside to Dorothy Must Die is that it appears to be the first in a trilogy or more-ogy. Just as the novel reaches a breathtaking climax, the rug is pulled out from under the reader and we realize we have to wait for the next installment. Despite my fears of succumbing to the Hunger Games law of diminishing returns, I will read the novel that follows Dorothy Must Die: I have to find out what happens to the flying monkeys.
Dorothy Must Dieis available at Glad Book Bookshop, 598 Yonge St. gladdaybookshop.com
Wicked runs Wed, Sept 3 to Sun, Nov 2 at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St. mirvish.com