As mentioned in some of my previous Sonic City posts, I’ve always found the creative use of space to be an asset to modern performing arts.  Whether it be the a re-purposed home used during the days of The Velvet Elvis in Oshawa, or the converted grain mill that has become the Evergreen Brickworks, I’m always eager to check out any venues that break with the traditional uses of space.

My latest experience was this past Tuesday at The Garage, which is located within the Annex’s Centre for Social Innovation (CSI).  Living up to its name, the space, has an open industrial feel, but at the same time a welcoming presence fit for such performances.  The monthly performing arts show, which includes live-streamed comedy and music, made excellent use of this small but intimate space. Also, one can never go wrong with free samples from Beau’s Brewery.  Perhaps most notably, this event also included free hummus; yes, free hummus (Check out the hilarious “Oh, the hummus” Promo Video).

Hosted by the CSI’s Brian G. Smith, this evening’s lineup included a great collection of performing artists showcasing a diverse array of sketch, improv, comedy and music.  Included this evening were Deadmouse: The Musical (a parody), Sex T-Rex’s ‘Swordplay’; Moniquea Marion’s ‘Mumsical’, Brunswick Stew (The Annex Improv’s ensemble troupe) with Lee Cohen (keyboards), and Michael Rubenfeld of SummerWorks.


Photo Credit: Rob Trick

Sex T-Rex performing ‘Swordplay’  Photo Credit: Rob Trick

Living up to CSI’s reputation, the evening also included an interview with their own Brian Shirkey, who discussed his work to add warning labels on gas station pumps, an idea that could significantly assist in spreading first-hand awareness of global warming issues.

The musical comedy acts included topics spanning from everything related to life as mice, pregnancy, sword fighting, and 8-bit video gaming, while the improv sketches included many laughs with material developed from the most obscure of audience suggestions.

Photo Credit: Rob Trick

Moniquea Marion performing ‘Mumsical’  Photo Credit: Rob Trick

I definitely recommend not only checking out the stream on DailyMotion, but also checking out this delightful monthly show in person.  What can be better than music, laughs, beer, and hummus?  Be sure to check out the links below for additional information on Live from the Annex’s upcoming shows, which take place the first Tuesday of every month at the Centre for Social Innovation, 720 Bathurst Street.

Live from the Annex

Centre for Social Innovation at the Annex

About the Author

Casey Robertson is a genderqueer human rights activist, musician ,composer, and graduate student researching musicology and cultural theory. In recent years he has been involved with the committees of LGBTQA projects such as the Durham Pride Prom, Allies for Equality, and Queerstock Canada. He also served as a member of the board of directors for PFLAG Durham Region from 2012-2014, where he was a member of the peer2peer support team and a facilitator for monthly sharing evenings. Casey currently resides in the Church-Wellesley Village of Toronto and enjoys spending his free time scoring independent film projects and playing with his band Liberty Street, while on the constant search to discover new artists of all expressive forms. Follow Casey on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at