In this Weekend Planner: Bells on Bloor, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and a very special performance of Second City's The Meme-ing of Life.
- Outdoors: Meagan’s Walk is returning again for a twelfth year to raise money to find a cure for paediatric brain tumours. This completely doable 5 km walk will take you from Fort York all the way to Sick Kids where you can spend the rest of the afternoon there with a BBQ, street party, and other festivities. Don’t forget to register early and raise as much as you can! Fort York, Garrison Common (100 Garrison Road), Saturday at 8:30 a.m., Registration fee varies. Details
- Comics: One of the joys of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival is the way it allows visitors to buy work from a lot of different cartoonists. It’s good to go with a specific budget in mind, otherwise the spending can quickly get out of hand. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), Saturday at 9 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m., FREE. Details
- Outdoors: If you’re looking to branch out from your plant-buying habits, which may or may not include getting all your greenery from Metro, the Toronto Flower Market might just be for you. This spring/summer-long market offers a variety of fresh and high quality flower types all pulled from Ontario greenhouses (plus, they’re affordable). You’ll also get a chance to interact with the growers themselves. 99 Sudbury (99 Sudbury Street), Saturday at 10 a.m., FREE. Details
Wheels: If you’re a cyclist in the city then you probably already know that Toronto is sorely lacking when it comes to bike lanes. One such area that needs them badly (and would also fit nicely given the lack of streetcars) is Bloor Street and to make sure the city knows we need them, there’s going to be a group ride called Bells on Bloor. The ride will be meeting at the Bloor Street High Park gate before riding all the way down to Queen’s Park.
High Park (1873 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 12 p.m., FREE. Details
- Books: This week’s edition of the great reading series, Impossible Words, features Juno-award winning musician/poet Lillian Allen, as well as author Robert Priest. As per usual, they’ll be interviewed (about their experiences and work) by members of the Toronto Street Writers which will then be followed by an audience Q & A. Academy of the Impossible (231 Wallace Avenue), Saturday at 1:30 p.m., FREE. Details
- Art: Milk Glass Co. is celebrating its one year anniversary with a group art show called PARTY ROOM. The exhibit itself features a variety of art from Toronto-based artists across mediums such as painting, photography, installations, and (appropriately) cake design. Toronto DJs will also be on hand to help pump up the party. Milk Glass Co. (1247 Dundas Street West.), Saturday at 6 p.m., FREE. Details
- Music: While most think of pop music as being sleek, catchy, simple, and geared to as broad an audience as possible, many artists are successfully challenging that belief. More and more pop performers are pushing the genre to its limits. It’s this spirit of exploration that forms the basis of Pop Avant, a performance series curated and hosted by The Music Gallery and dedicated to the weirder side of pop music. The next event in the series will be the Weird Canada Showcase. The Music Gallery (197 John Street), Saturday at 8 p.m., $17 door, $10 advance. Details
- Theatre: If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out The Meme-ing of Life, now’s your chance to do so for a good cause. Toronto comedian, Jo-anna Downey, was recently diagnosed with ALS (so she’s unable to speak), meaning she’s unable to perform. This special matinee performance comes in support of her and all proceeds from the show will go directly to the Jo-anna Downey Fund. Second City (51 Mercer Street), Sunday at 4 p.m., $20. Details
- Photography: David Kaufman’s Early Sunday Morning photography exhibit simultaneously celebrates the heritage of Toronto’s architecture, while pleading for its preservation, in the face of gentrification and condo development. The building facades and structures, rich in texture and colour, are each captured at their most beautiful—basking in the light of early morning. Twist Gallery (1100 Queen Street West), Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m., FREE. Details
- Music: The Lula Music and Arts Centre’s annual Lulaworld festival kicks off on May 10 with Ethiopian jazz innovators Jay Danley and Fantahun Shewankochew. The festival travels around the world for the month of May, with performances most nights (and some afternoons) from local world music purveyors Uma Nota, Cuban player Bobby Carcasses, the Ukrainian Telnyuk Sisters, and more. (For a full schedule, prices, and reservations, visit the Lula Lounge website.) Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas Street West), Saturday at 12 p.m., FREE–$25. Details
- Theatre: Mick Gordon’s BEA tells the story of a young woman suffering from a debilitating illness that has left her bedridden for eight years. She needs someone to feed her, wash her, dress her. But she still controls her right to live or die; a decision with which she struggles. BEA features performances from Bahareh Yaraghi, Deborah Drakeford, and Brendan McMurtry-Howlett. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $10-$25. Details
- Theatre: Written and directed by Maya Rabinovitch, I Will Not Hatch! features a cast of 10 actors telling the darkly comic story of how a number of passengers react when their airplane begins losing altitude. It’s a remount of their earlier Fringe show, which sold out house and earned praise in both Toronto and Winnipeg. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m., $15. Details
- Theatre: If you’ve been paying attention to musical theatre news over the past two years, you know that The Book of Mormon has a passionate and devout following of fans who swear it’s the long-awaited saviour of the artform. The show won nine Tonys in 2011, the cast recording reached number three on the Billboard chart, and tickets for its Broadway run are rare and expensive. Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., Prices vary. Details
- Theatre: David Yee examines life’s 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 2:30 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $21-$53. Details
- Theatre: Fans of the seminal 1968 horror-film classic, Night of the Living Dead, will delight in Night of the Living Dead Live, a new theatrical production of the story. Despite a weak second act, it’s a fun black-and-white romp with some inventive deaths—and even a chipper musical number. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), Saturday at 7 p.m.,11 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., $20–$80. 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: Life x 3 presents the tale of Henry and Sonia, who have to deal with a couple that unexpectedly shows up to dinner a day early. The best part? In this play, you get to see three different versions of the evening’s events. Directed by Andrew Lamb (My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding). Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), Saturday at 8 p.m., $25, $20 for students, seniors, and art workers. Details
- Theatre: Falsettos, a groundbreaking and Tony Award–winning musical, comes to town for a short run, presented by The Acting Up Stage Company. The story takes us to New York City in 1979, where the Sexual Revolution is hot, AIDS is on the rise, and Marvin, a husband and father, has decided to leave his family for a man. Directed by Robert McQueen and starring Darrin Baker, Sara-Jeanne Hosie, Sarah Gibbons, Michael Levinson, Eric Morin, Stephen Patterson, and Glynis Ranney. Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas Street East), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.,7 p.m., $39-$55. Details
- Theatre: Fly By Night Theatre Company has put a modern twist on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The dual love story now takes place in Toronto in 2011, against the backdrop of the federal election, as soldiers return home from Afghanistan. Proceeds from the show go to Royal Seed Needy Home, an orphanage in Ghana. Young People’s Theatre Studio Space (165 Front Street East), Saturday at 8 p.m., $20, $18 for Students and Seniors. Details
- Theatre: Theatre company One Little Goat presents the English-language premiere of The Charge of the Expormidable Moose, an adaptation of Québecois playwright Claude Gauvreau’s story of a embattled poet who may or may not be a prisoner. Gauvreau, a noted figure in Quebec’s radical movement in the mid-20th century, wrote the play in the ’50s while in and out of a mental institution. The show, which was not produced until the ’70s, has become a landmark of Quebec theatre. The seven-member cast includes veterans like Hume Baugh, established indie actors like David Christo, and up-and-comers like Jessica Salgueiro. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $13–$25. Details
Theatre: A fragile young woman obsessed with an old mechanized box containing an ancient (and possibly deadly) artifact calls upon a clairvoyant, a paranormal investigator, and a parapsychologist to assist in unlocking its secrets. No, it’s not a new AMC series, or an upcoming summer blockbuster—it’s Visitations, the new immersive-theatre experience by The Mission Business, creator of last year’s epic bio-horror theatrical extravaganza, Zed.TO.
As with Zed.TO, the audience is very much at the heart of the action in Visitations, exploring rooms, decoding messages, solving puzzles, and trying to prevent a catastrophe—or perhaps being used to bring one about. The more you bring to the experience, the more fun you’ll have in return Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West), Sunday at 6:30 p.m.,9 p.m., $40-$80. Details
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.