NEW WINNIPEG STAR, NOT AN ILLUSION! As part of the biggest talent contest in the world, competitors in Britain's Got Talent, like Winnipeg illusionist Darcy Oake, are kept on a tight leash. Justin Paquin, of Paquin Entertainment, who travelled to London to help Oake, his friend, has just returned from the hush-hush BGT world, and provides an update:
"Darcy is excited and humbled by the whole whirlwind," he said.
The English are mad about the handsome 26-year-old magician and son of Hockey Night in Canada announcer Scott Oake.
We asked if Oake is being mobbed by fans. "If the girls knew where his hotel was, he might be," said Paquin. "Darcy has been approached by many people of both genders. He especially has an appeal for the young women, which is helping his cause." (They scream their heads off whenever he performs.)
Plus, the paparazzi are crazy for him, too, Paquin added.
"Simon Cowell is top of the world in the entertainment industry and his comments towards Darcy have been nothing but positive; he has said Darcy has star power," he said.
Oake is already getting offers to perform all over the world and has had requests from India, China, Chile, Dubai and, of course, the United States and Britain.
"His response on social media is amazing," says Paquin. Facebook's official Darcy Oake page has close to 40,000 likes and he has almost 47,000 Twitter followers -- and those numbers are climbing rapidly.
Oake is a finalist on the show this Saturday. London is six hours ahead of us, so the show airs at 3 p.m. Winnipeg time.
LESBIAN LUBE WRESTLING: The Pride Winnipeg festival has come a long way from when 100 parade participants -- many wearing bags over their heads to hide their identities -- marched in fear and defiance.
On May 27, as a lead-up to Pride weekend 2014, Club 200 hosted a fundraiser for the Nine Circles community health centre called Lesbian Lube Wrestling, and packed the house. Although they had giant-screen TVs to televise the action, there were so many people in the bar the height-challenged had to watch the action on friends' cellphone cameras.
The eight competitors battled it out in a rectangular kids pool prepared with 15-litre jugs of the slippery stuff called Wet from Love Nest stores, and lit with strobe lights. "It was sticky, wet and icky, but we had a lot of fun!" contestant Misty Thighmaster said after the contest. Wrestlers included Ms. Thighmaster, Rocky, Kitty Kat, Thunder, Scissor Me Stacey, Catfish Betty, Britt the Claimer and DFT (Dangerous Feather Tickler).
The gang made a big wrestling-style entrance to songs like Thunderstruck and Gonna Fly Now, the theme from the film Rocky, and ran the gauntlet to the pool. They flexed their muscles, and after some fierce show-womanship, got right into the single-knockout bouts. The winner? Kitty Kat beat Dangerous Feather Tickler in the finals.
A packed house roared its approval while referees Anita Stallion and Breyanna Burlesque kept the competitors in line. "I keep saying I should bring my earplugs. It is very loud in there!" said event founder Barb Burkowski.
People fly in from all over Canada to see their families and attend Pride events, staff at Club 200 said. A large contingent of folks from North and South Dakota, who come up for pageants and other big events at the club, arrived throughout the week to take part in Pride Winnipeg with their Canadian friends.
SUMMER LOVE for $20: Big festivals too much for your wallet? The first ever Real Love Summer Music Festival is happening at Gimli Motorsport Park in Gimli, MB June 6 to 8 and costs just $20 for the entire three-day weekend pass.
The 30-act fest has been dubbed "your grandparents' folk festival," an obvious poke at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, which now brings in famous icons like Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez and charges up to $340 for a five-day weekend festival pass for adults, with camping.
At this little festival, they say, "Camping is free. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know," say organizers.
It may be a small and inexpensive show, but they still care about your fundamental needs. They held a fundraiser for porta-potties on May 29.
Make no mistake, this fest is not short on talent. It's designed to "grow new Winnipeg bands" in this tiny town an hour north of the city, nestled against the west side of Lake Winnipeg.
Listen to the music from Animal Teeth, Bear Clones, Black Cloud, Church, the Explorers Club, the Hours, Human Music, Ingrid Gatin, Joe Madden, Kieran West, Man the Selector, Mark My Words, Matt Moskal, Micah Erenberg, and, wouldn't you know it -- the Unbelievable Bargains.
Wristbands are available in Winnipeg at Music Trader (97 Osborne St.), Twist Cafe (394 Graham Ave.) or at the gate. For more info, check out www.reallovewpg/summerfest.
CHARLES LIP PRINT: Gail and Kristin Walker are delighted with the Prince Charles DNA now on display in their condo.
OK, you can't see it, exactly, but he drank from one of their home teacups when he visited Red River College while in Winnipeg last month, and the Walkers are never going to wash it. To please His Royal Highness's taste for a certain kind of tea brewing, Gail Walker, who is le grand fromage at Jane's restaurant and student food services at Red River College, didn't want the prince to do without anything.
She ran home for special brewing equipment and a proper teacup with roses and zipped back to the campus to make tea for the prince. He sipped his tea gratefully, and got his royal lip prints on the rim. Walker took the teacup home, very gently, as a treasure.
FOOD EVOLUTION IS FINALLY BORN: Psst! Today and Tuesday there will be secret dry runs with friends, family and business types at the Food Evolution restaurant and its adjoining café in Kildonan Park. On Thursday, the new restaurant project throws open the doors to the public just as Rainbow Stage opens A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.
Wow Hospitality president Doug Stephen laughingly admits they've been in bed with the city for more than two years working on this project, but it hasn't always been a Wow experience. "It's taken forever -- two years -- because I want my ideas, but the City of Winnipeg is building the restaurant. I can't just talk to the contractor, I have to talk to the city, then they have to talk to the contractor," Stephen says.
There is finally a ribbon-cutting for VIPs on Wednesday -- a real honest-to-God opening.
Last winter, Wow had to have a fake opening -- and closing. The restaurant and café were supposed to open last year in time for the 60th anniversary of Rainbow Stage, and a big party had been promised with food and fireworks to celebrate.
In the end, the event was held on New Year's Eve, was catered by Wow "and it was 50 below, and everybody standing on the patio!" Stephen said.
To its credit, Stephen says the city was able to pull strings, get fireworks permits and a party was cobbled together on the patio for the fireworks show. People who were there said it was a great night.
At Food Evolution, the menu will be "retro-modern," says Stephen, which means food your mom used to make, only healthier. "There will be devilled eggs on the menu made like my mom's, but my pickled herring didn't make it onto the final cut."
Can we get a sneak peek at the decor? Everything is "ish" with Stephen.
"It's Andy Warhol-ish prints, it's '60s but not diner-ish, modern-ish but upscale, not 'fine dining,' but not much processing, lot of vegetarian and gluten-free, everything made from scratch."
For reservations, call 204-284-7274.
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 Scene and Heard, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6.