Dat girl sho is on a roll
Trey anthony 's had a terrific year. Not only did her play 'Da Kink In My Hair get an extended run at the Princess of Wales - the first Canadian play ever performed there - but it's being mounted in California this fall. She's holding a VIP funder June 9 at the Opal Lounge (472 Queen West) for the LaLaLand production. The busy, multitalented anthony's also cohosting Dat Girl 'Sho Is Funny , the annual Urban Womyn's Comedy Fest. Get your tix early for this year's women-of-colour blowout, which includes Sabrina Jalees , Jamillah Ross , Anita Majumdar , the Raging Asians and co-host Rachael Lea Rickards , cuz the show always sells out. June 11 at the St. Lawrence Centre (27 Front East). 416-366-7723.
Stars for SARS
They say that comedy is tragedy plus time. Hence SARSical , a new satiric production with the year's best tag line: "The musical about a real showstopper." The cast ain't shabby either, featuring Second City Mainstage alumni Sandy Jobin-Bevans , Doug Morency , Naomi Snieckus and Paul Bates as Mayor Mel Lastman. The show's written by Fringe vets the Rumoli Bros. , and it plays this year's Fringe - chock full of other comedy folks - from July 6 to 16. Audience members shouldn't bother muffling their coughs - it'll just add to the vérité vibe. Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick). 416-966-1062.
Come to the Cabaret
Anyone can take a mic and a chair and put on a cabaret these days, but no one beats Cabaret Vulgare 's tireless Troy Yorke . Since last fall, he's mounted a monthly outrageous, theme-specific night of sketch, improv, music and dance. His Pride-themed show, dubbed Rainbow Dementia , draws "best-of" moments from the past year and includes some of the city's sharpest comedic talents, like Renee Percy , Jen Radomsky , Jillian Thomas , Bruce Horak and Rebecca Northan . Also on the bill, the curiously named O'tea Tane , an all-male Tahitian dance troupe. June 19 at Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander). 416-975-8555.
Debbie does... Just For Laughs
I've been following Debra DiGiovanni 's career ever since she first braved stony-faced crowds at the city's toughest open mics. She gets bolder each year, and now (it's about fuckin' time!) she's heading off to Montreal's Just For Laughs fest in July. Locals can catch her sassy act before she hits the big time when she headlines the Laugh Resort (370 King West) June 16 to 18. 416-364-5233.
Monkey see, Monkey Drake
The Tim Sims Playhouse may be no longer, but that doesn't mean all the comedy that happened there has gone to that big open mic in the sky. One of the venue's best monthly bets was Monkey Toast , David Shore 's improvised show that riffs on real people's lives. Shore and Monkey Toast have found a new home - and format - at the hipster-approved Drake Hotel (1150 Queen West). A celebrity interview segment in the first half (with host/producer Shore) is followed by improvised scenes based on that interview. MT marks its second anniversary on June 5, tapes a CBC Radio pilot on June 21 and then kicks off a biweekly Sunday-night slot on July 17. Regular improvisers include Lisa Merchant , Janet Van De Graaff , Doug Morency , Jennifer Goodhue , Carolyn Taylor and Kerry Griffin . www.thedrakehotel.ca.
You've heard of summer exchange programs, right? It's happening in the comedy scene, too. The Sketch Comedy Exchange is a cross-border tag-team assault from Toronto's own rising sketch upstarts the Boiled Wieners and Chicago's Competitive Awesome . Two emerging, fuck-the-rules troupes, one great show. The first exchange happens June 24 and 25 at the Alchemy Theatre (133 Tecumseth) in preparation for an all-out 13-troupe fest in the fall. www.torontosketchfest.com.