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Tomorrow (Friday, December 21) is the longest night of the year. Or, if you believe the glass is half full, it marks the start of the move toward summer. Kensington Carnival celebrates the winter solstice and related holidays with the 13th annual Festival Of Lights, a free event that winds through Kensington Market. Musicians, giant puppets, stiltwalkers and revellers make their way through the Market to see a nativity scene, hear a Hanukkah choir, watch enactments of First Nations and Italian stories and celebrate Kwanza. Producers Andy Moro and Gabriella Caruso collaborate with the Samba Squad, VideoCab, Debajehmujig Theatre, Shadowland and other groups. The parade leaves St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Church (365 College) at 5:45 pm. Lantern-bearers and mask- wearers encouraged. 416-596-7179.
what's up, doc?what's up, doc?
Most stand-ups work like dogs, dragging their asses to open mikes for a couple of laughs and a free beer. For the past year, though, six comics have had one other element to think about. A camera crew. It's for the Andrew Clark-conceived National Film Board documentary The Next Big Thing, a look at a year and a half in the life of six comics: Laurie Elliott, Kristeen von Hagen, Shaun Majumder, Dave Martin, Nikki Payne and Jason Rouse (see profile, page 65). All six showed up for a sparsely attended Clinton's Pirate Video Cabaret that lasted (sigh) until after midnight. Highlights included musical guests the Doo Wops, Martin's anger-filled bit on amateur comedy nights and Payne's holiday tribute -- flabby midriff exposed, tinsel boa -- to teen queen Jessica Simpson.