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events

Weekend Planner: April 20-21, 2013

This weekend: celebrations for 4/20 and International Astronomy Day, Paul Schrader talks Taxi Driver, and a lot of great theatre to check out.

Inessa Frantowski spins at FUCK JAMS. Photo by Chantelle LaLonde.

  • Parties: If you’re wandering past Yonge-Dundas Square on April 20 and you happen to notice a giant cloud of smoke, it will probably have something to do with 420 Toronto. This annual celebration of the green goodness is especially significant this year, given the fact that marijuana has recently been legalized in Colorado and Washington. Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Street East), Saturday at 12 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Parties: It’s an especially great year for 4:20 parties in Toronto given that the date lands on the weekend rather than the middle of the week. As such, you might have several different stops on your “trip.” Consider dropping in at the Hotbox Cafe which is offering a full day of live music, comedians, prizes (rolling papers of course), and many other things that will get increasingly more fun the longer you stay for (if you’re truly celebrating the date that is). Hotbox Cafe (204 Augusta Avenue), Saturday at 1 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Talks: To celebrate International Astronomy Day, check out a lecture called “An Antarctic Winter: Science at the South Pole.” Professor Keith Vanderlinde will be discussing his time at the South Pole Telescope (where he studied light emitted from a very young Universe). He’ll also be talking about his experiences in the Antarctica winter. You’ll also have a chance to go up to the roof to view celestial objects with the UofT telescopes. Bahen Centre for Information Technology, BA 1160 (40 St. George Street), Saturday at 6:30 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: If you’re looking to bring your 4/20 experience back to its roots, then you won’t want to miss this celebration of reggae, dub, and of course, cannabis. Pure Hemp’s 420 party features a number of musicians who will help you reach new heights including Chameleon Project, House of David Gang, The Resinators, and DJ Citizen Sound. Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 9 p.m., $10 door, $7 advance. Details
  • Parties: If the name hasn’t tipped you off that this is a must-attend party, then take a look at the itinerary. FUCK JAMS – A Dance Party features MTV’s Dave Merheje and Second City alumni Inessa Frantowski (who we spotlighted here) who are dancing it up in Toronto’s new venue, Baltic Avenue. Also, get ready to groove to music by DJ Patrick McGuire. Baltic Avenue (875 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 10 p.m., $5. Details
  • Film: Video magazine The Seventh Art was founded about a year ago, and has been curating video essays and doing long-form interviews with directors ever since.The trio is bringing screenwriter and director Paul Schrader to The Royal as part of their Live Directors Series of screenings and Q&A sessions, to discuss his seminal film, Taxi Driver (1976). Directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Schrader (who was only 26 at the time), it’s the story of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a damaged Vietnam vet who works as a taxi driver in New York. The film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and went on to become a cornerstone of American cinema. The Royal Cinema (608 College Street), Sunday at 7 p.m., $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Details

Ongoing…

  • Dance: This week, some of the best Brazilian dancers from Canada, the U.S., and Brazil descend on Toronto to heat things up (are you listening, weather?) for the 3rd annual Brazilian Beat Dance Congress. Take part in a variety of workshops and seminars geared to all skill levels, or just sit back and enjoy performances by the pros. Saturday at 12 a.m. and Sunday at 12 a.m., $15-$230. Details
  • Theatre: Sam Shepard’s plays are famously all about man as a caged animal, prowling and brooding around his enclosure (usually a North American domicile), eventually tearing it apart like an untrained puppy suffering from separation anxiety. His most famous work, True West, is a great example: two brothers, Hollywood screenwriter Austin (Mike Ross) and the petty-thieving vagabond Lee (Stuart Hughes), somehow end up house-sitting for their mother while she’s on vacation in Alaska (though only Austin was asked to do so). Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), Saturday at 1:30 p.m., $5–$68. Details
  • Theatre: There are few playwrights whose names can double as adjectives (think “Shakespearean,” or “Beckettian”). But Race, now on at Canadian Stage, makes us want to coin a new one of those words. That’s because of the opening scene, where a black lawyer named Henry Brown addresses a white man with the line “You want to tell me about Black folks?” while leaning back in his office chair at the end of a long boardroom table. It’s distinctly Mamettian. Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front Street East), Saturday at 2 p.m., 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $24 to $99. Details
  • Theatre: Real-life mother and son, Asha and Ravi Jain, share the stage to tell their true, amusing story of cultural and generational clash in A Brimful of Asha. While on a trip to India, Ravi’s parents decide it’s time to introduce him to potential brides, despite his lack of desire to get married. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 2:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $27-$53. Details
  • Comedy: If there’s one thing that’s particularly impressive about Second City’s new mainstage show, The Meme-ing of Life, it’s how well balanced it is. As the title implies, Meme-ing is nominally a show about the internet, and certainly there is a fair bit of internet-centric humour. (One sketch, about a boy who falls into a YouTube-induced coma that can only be cured by reading, is particularly on point.) That said, it isn’t just a series of jokes about cat videos. Instead, it’s a well-thought-out show that manages to offer something for pretty much everyone, without stretching itself too thin. Second City (51 Mercer Street), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., $24-$29. Details
  • Theatre: In 1897, Austrian playwright Arthur Schnitzler wrote a play so scandalous that at first he only shared it among his friends. It wasn’t publicly staged until 1920 and, unsurprisingly, it caused an uproar. The ruffled feathers had to do with La Ronde‘s frank discussion of sexual relationships—in particular, those between members of different social classes. But while the acts themselves were originally left up to the audience’s imagination, Soulpepper Theatre’s current, modernized adaptation goes all the way with its sex scenes. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), Saturday at 7:30 p.m., $22-$68. Details
  • Performing Arts: Hatch is back! For those not in the know, Hatch is the Harbourfront Centre’s annual performing arts residency, showcasing works by artists from around the city. This year’s event features exhibitions that explore the moments before and after a photograph, talk politics with LGBTQ folks in their honeymoon suite, and more, all month long. Events take place in the Studio Theatre. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queen’s Quay West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $15. Details
  • Comedy: Classic comedy series Theatresports is back for another season of improv hilarity. Now in its 30th year, this comedy tournament continues the tradition of allowing the audience members to choose the content of the scene and letting them judge the results; finals will be held at the end of May. Among the planned guests are comedic greats including Lisa Merchant and Craig Anderson (Canadian Comedy Award winners), Kerry Griffin (Second City alum), and many more. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $12. Details
  • Theatre: German performance collective She She Pop brings realism to theatre in the World Stage presentation of She She Pop and their Fathers: Testament. Using the framework of Shakespeare’s King Lear, they bring their own fathers on stage to tackle the issues most families try to avoid; how money, love, power, and memory are passed on from generation to generation. Harbourfront Centre, Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $15-$50. Details
  • Theatre: David Yee examines lifes interconnectivity in Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave. The play follows an escort in Thailand, a housewife in Utah, and a Catholic priest in India, and how their lives are simultaneously brought together and torn apart by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $21-$53. Details
  • Theatre: German theatre collective She She Pop premiered their work She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament in 2010. The performance piece fuses the famous tragedy King Lear with autobiographical elements, and it features the actors’ real fathers. At its opening Wednesday night at the Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre, as part of the World Stage season, Toronto got a first glimpse at this funny, quirky, and incredibly moving piece of theatre. Harbourfront Centre, Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $15-$50. Details
  • Film: Here’s your chance to a) check out a free film and b) test your knowledge as a film buff. The Shepard Show is a film screening series that’ll be showing a new flick each week up until the opening of The Playwright Project festival in May. On the agenda are Steel Magnolias (April 7), Hamlet (April 14), Swordfish (April 21), and The Notebook (April 28). Be prepared for team trivia as well with a chance to win film- and theatre-related prizes. Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue), Sunday at 7:30 p.m., FREE. Details

Happening soon:

Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.

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