The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras returns for another month-long celebration. There's a lot to work through so we navigated a path around the colourful circuit. It starts with a trip to the theatre to see a hysterical show, before getting a Mary's burger with a nostalgic addition. For those interested in the arts, there's a photography exhibition that revolves around the diversity of love in Australia and some great places to eat and drink nearby.
The Ritz at New Theatre
Directed by David Marshall Martin, The Ritz is a fabulous and filthy re-imagining of Terrence McNally’s Broadway breakthrough. Written at the height of the gay revolution, this candid performance will transport you to a steamy (and seedy) Manhattan bathhouse where go-go boys, rambling detectives and gay orgies are commonplace. Afterwards, head for a classic New Orleans cocktail at Earl’s Juke Joint, which is concealed behind a Betta Meats Butcher storefront. The curtains are drawn, so you can’t see in, but the inconspicuous doorman will let you into the dimly lit bar inside.
The play runs until March 5.
For tickets and more information visit the New Theatre website.
Mary’s Fairy Burger
If you’re looking for an eccentric bite, try the Mary’s Fairy Burger. The signature Mary’s Burger, and the popular cheeseburger, will undergo a nostalgic makeover: every bun will be sprinkled with hundreds and thousands for an extra dollar. $2 from each Fairy Burger will go towards an LGBTIQ charity.
HUMAN 3.0 at Ambush Gallery
This exhibition revolves around the diversity of love in Australia. A retrospective of Mardi Gras posters will be on show alongside a photographic exploration of transgender subjects by international artists Nicholas Contrera and Sarah Wong. Sydney artist collective HAARD will also showcase the talents of 12 young gay men through their multidisciplinary practices. If it’s a sunny day, take a dip into The Old Claire Hotel’s rooftop pool.
The exhibition runs from February 5 to March 5.
For more information visit the Ambush Gallery website.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade
Born one night in 1978 out of political protest, The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade celebrates its 38th year in 2016. This year’s theme, Momentum, celebrates the LGBTIQ community’s achievements, and the social hurdles yet to come. As is traditional, the Dykes on Bikes will begin the parade followed by more than 70 floats. Expect a kaleidoscope of communities, including the classic lifesaver and police floats. Afterwards, dance all night to blazing pop at one of the clubs on Oxford Street – Stonewall, ARQ, Midnight Shift or Palms.
The parade takes place on March 5, beginning at 7pm.
For more information visit the Mardi Gras 2016 website.
#MGPARTY at the Horden Pavilion
Although the parade is often seen as the highlight, it’s just a teaser for the after party that follows. #MGPARTY attracts 12,000 partygoers from all over the world to one of the largest LGBTQI celebrations. Local and international acts, including Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst, R’n’B singer Deborah Cox and Australian drag darling Courtney Act, will take the stage across multiple venues at Moore Park’s Horden Pavilion on March 5 from 10pm until 8am.
For tickets and more information visit #MGPARTY.
Todd Fuller’s Insubstantial Love Stories at Brenda May Gallery
Todd Fuller’s exhibition, Insubstantial Love Stories is an interactive experience that unpacks the social response to marriage equality. Participants are invited to respond by drawing, writing or collaging over black-and-white stills depicting two men kissing. To date, 300 people have completed their own frames. After the exhibition, settle in at Devon On Danks for a coffee and a cronut, or try its famous 63-degree eggs, poached to the perfect temperature for brunch.
The exhibition runs from February 20 to March 17 at Brenda May Gallery.