POSSIBLE MAYOR DOING COMEDY! -- Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who has been strongly hinting she's running for mayor, is getting on-stage comedy experience at Pantages Playhouse Theatre this weekend. We all know being the mayor of this icy berg requires a well-developed sense of humour. This Saturday night, the tiny, outspoken politician also known as 'Judy Alphabets' is playing in a comedy sketch in front of a live audience as an episode of the Week Thus Far TV show (WTF) is taped. The evening is a fundraiser called Stand Up to Stigma Comedy Night, in aid of the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba.
She joins Shaw TV's irreverent comedy news gang, including Chad Anderson, Andy Noble, Rory Fallis, Tim Gray, Dana Smith, Mike Bloomquist, John Wilson and director Craig Ward. Special guest on the hot-seat sofa with host Dan Huen (my oldest DNA recipient) is veteran comic Al Rae, co-founder of the Winnipeg Comedy Fest, at venues all over Winnipeg from April 7-13 with a free show on April 2. Rae will be talking about this year's hottest acts and both he and Ryan Ash of Rumor's comedy club fame reveal their own struggles with mood disorders. Tickets are $20 and available at www.eventbrite.ca or at the door.
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TAKE IT OFF... AND PAINT IT ON -- Winnipegger Kim Brennan of Hasina Mehndi, known for having henna art parties for Indian weddings, will be wowing crowds with far sexier art pieces this weekend. She's doing head-to-toe body art at the Taboo Naughty But Nice sex show at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. With speed and artistry, she decorates large 'bodyscapes' -- such as entire backs or chests, legs and upper torsos for both sexes. We're talking tropical forests, wild animals, flowers, vines, snakes, animals, insignias, "almost" anything you want. "I've spent a lot of time in places like Las Vegas, and conventions in Florida and California recently teaching body art, but I will be here at the Taboo show all weekend," she says. Brennan's set up the Ace Angels body painting booth. "I'll be doing some awesome body art."
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JUNO SIDESHOWS -- Peter Ginakes, owner of the Pony Corral Downtown, is offering free parking and shuttles to and from Juno pre-party bar action. At the post-Juno party, Mike and the Eastwood Gang are playing. To showcase Winnipeg talent for any scouts or agents in town, there will be extra equipment set up for musicians who have played the Pony over the years. Extra microphones will also be set up with Eagle & Hawk who take the stage Thursday and All the Kings' Men on Friday and Saturday preceding the Junos night.
On the evening of Wednesday, March 26, the doors will be closed to the public at the downtown Pony Corral, although drivers on St. Mary Avenue may catch Chantal Kreviazuk and her husband, Raine Maida, on the elevated stage performing for a private fundraiser for the University of Winnipeg. Kreviazuk and Maida will be in town for the Junos, as she and her husband are being honoured with the 2014 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award.
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JUNO SUPPORT STARS -- Lesia Anna Bordynuik's art store and studio in Johnston Terminal wanted to get in on the Juno buzz. "I want to celebrate some of the other artists. Winnipeg is known as a place where many people make it. There are so many successes here." But the lead singer is not the whole story, she says. To that end, the CD-cover artist is hosting a free party on Thursday, March 27 from 5-9 p.m. Her unofficial Juno party is celebrating Winnipeg's musical industry support workers, including album-design artists, backup singers and musicians.
"We are featuring Flo Oramasionwu, jazz singer Lisa Saunders, promoting new album Ashes & Dreams and Phoebe Man, a Japanese drummer." This is a meet-and-greet, not a performance -- and a chance to speak to the artists. Bordynuik points out it's not just the performer who creates the product. "I recently did the cover for a CD album for up-and-coming Murphy P. Scotland, a guy who does traditional Scottish music from Kenora."
Bordynuik attracts a lot of stars to her art shop/studio at The Forks, including comedian/TV star Ron James, who knows her work from her 12 years in Toronto. And now Bordynuik say she's in line for a TV show. "Recently, I've had two film crews filming me for a TV pilot." Stay tuned.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204-474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@Winnipegfreepress.com, or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6