Playboy + Strombo + Coyne = TIFF evening 2

Policing the Playboy bunnies, Big Boi’s tame set, and the secret to TIFF partying from George S.

I couldn’t resist, the chance was too great to pass up. I had to check out the Playboy Party. It was held at Muzik, a huge Miami-style club at Exhibition Place. At 41, 000 square-feet, the club can hold a capacity of 3,000 people and there are nine bars. After flying solo last night and feeling like a loner, I decided to bring a friend. So around 11 pm my pal Vic and I set off to the event. When we arrived there was already a frenzy of cabs at the entrance, all of which was red carpet. There were a group of scantily clad women who were wearing fur coats that welcomed you at the door. Inside there were other groups of scantily dressed women, sans fur coats, in Playboy uniform sporting bunny tails, ears, corsets, and nylon stockings with black heels.

After getting into the party, we walked through a huge red cavernous hall before getting to the main bar in the middle of the club. There were Playboy bunnies everywhere. Four were dancing on the bar, others were posing in groups, still others were mingling with the crowd. The energy was high and the music was pumping. There were some serious Jersey-shore types. You could just sense the fist pumping in the air. Big Boi was dj-ing, he was at the booth dressed in a white tux. He was texting on his phone. Oddly enough, he was playing a generic mix of top 40, Katy Perry and even some Journey thrown in. Was this really the mastermind from Outkast?

After exploring the venue, Vic and I decided we’d had our fill. Waiting outside we talked to two policeman. When we asked one what he thought of the event, he laughed, “I don’t care,” he said, “I’m getting paid $65 an hour.” Apparently at huge events like the Playboy party, the organizers contract out policemen. It saves the clubs trouble and keeps fights at bay. “Actually,” continued the policeman, “we just laugh at everyone.” He says he sees the women come in at the beginning of the night looking polished and glam, and then leave a distressed mess, stumbling out with hair everywhere and makeup smeared and smudged on their faces. Everyone has their own idea of a good time.

From Muzik, we took off to ONE restaurant in Yorkville, where George Stroumboulopoulos was hosting a party. Everyone from David Suzuki to Jack Layton to Debbie Travis was expected. I was really gunning to see Debbie Travis, I loved watching her home improvement shows—her accent is so soothing—but in the end I had to settle for David Suzuki. George (it’s easier to write his name this way) was a gregarious host. He told me that staying sober is his secret to lasting the night. If I was smart, I would heed his advice.

After our chat, I ended up standing (hovering) behind him. From that vantage point, I was able to put myself in his shoes and get an idea of what it’s like to host an event of that size. People just swarmed him from all sides, he literally couldn’t move from one spot to another without three people trying to say hello, goodbye and everything in between.

I was observing it all from a side couch when I hear over the microphone, “Andrew Coyne is in the house.” And lo and behold there was the Maclean’s columnist and editor, dancing up a storm in the middle of the dance floor. The Maclean’s team is well represented as long we have Coyne cutting the rug.

From there we left to check out the Drake, what was once one of the most hyped TIFF venues. Not so much anymore. Last night, there was no TIFF glamour at the Queen Street West bar, no star voltage to speak of. It was 4:30 am and time for me to go to bed.

Today, I have my first red carpet to look forward to. It’s for The Town, starring Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, and Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame. I expect it will be very competitive and I’ve been told it’s a lot of standing around and waiting. But if it means I get to see Jon Hamm up close, it’ll be well worth the wait.




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