Stage Door News

Toronto: Pearle Harbour stars in “Distant Early Warning” May 19-29

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre closes its 2021-22 season with an urgent, intimate, and gripping production by multi-award-winning drag clown, Toronto’s Pearle Harbour. At a time when the end of the world feels nearer than ever, with newly rediscovered threats of nuclear war and devastation looming, Distant Early Warning imagines what might come after the end: romance. Stranded in the scorched Arctic, our lovesick heroine awaits the return of humanity's last hope, The Grand Prize Winner. As she waits, she sings. A heartfelt send-off to our era, this darkly comic musical fantasia invites audiences to consider which warnings we hear, and which we ignore.

“As Pearle, I make it my business to hug calamity. In the last four years as a resident artist at Buddies, I have never wanted for material. We're living through a time of huge historical change: political, environmental, epidemiological... I feel changed. I'm sure you do too,” says creator and performer Justin Miller. “Distant Early Warning morphed alongside these crises until its final form emerged: a show that tries to embrace, and release, our feelings of profound isolation and hopelessness, through both pratfalls and poetry.”

While Pearle’s projects Chautauqua and Agit-Pop! have toured nationally over the last few years to critical and audience acclaim, Justin Miller has been developing Distant Early Warning here at Buddies through the Residency Program since 2018. Through multiple workshops and rebirths, the piece has evolved from a drag concert extravaganza (originally titled Battle Cry) into a darker, more potent piece that showcases Pearle in a way that audiences have never seen her before.

This world premiere production marks a new collaboration for Justin Miller’s Pearle Harbour, with legendary Dora- and Canadian Comedy Award-winning clown John Turner (Mump & Smoot) directing his Buddies mainstage premiere. Longtime Pearle collaborator Steven Conway returns to music direct and bringing to life this post-collapse world is a design team that includes lighting designer Jareth Li (Black Boys, Iphigenia and the Furies on Taurian Land), set designer Jackie Chau (Pomona, HUFF), sound designer Chris Ross-Ewart (Four Sisters, Yaga), and projection designer Julia Howman (The Chemical Valley Project).

A Pearle Harbour + Buddies in Bad Times Theatre production


by Justin Miller

Tickets and info:


All audience members will be asked to show proof of vaccination, wear a mask while in the building, and fill out a brief COVID screening form upon arrival. More information on the theatre’s COVID policies and practices can be found here: .

For Distant Early Warning, we have a reduced house capacity of 72 people (out of a 100 venue capacity). For select performances, we are offering a further reduced capacity of 50 people.

Photo: Pearle Harbour. © 2022 Dylan Mitro.