In this Weekend Planner: the ALL CAPS! Festival hits the Toronto Islands, get your stuff fixed at Repair Café Toronto, or go take part in some sonic experiments at the library.
- Music: While this may be the last year that the ALL CAPS! Island Festival will take place at Artscape Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands, that’s certainly not for lack of passion or excitement. As ALL CAPS founder Ryan McLaren explains, “There’s an exclamation mark on it for a reason.” Artscape Gibraltar Point (443 Lakeshore Avenue), Saturday at 12 a.m., $30.00. Details
- Offbeat: If you have something lying around the house that you’ve been meaning to get fixed, but don’t have the funds to do so, drop by the latest Repair Café Toronto. There, you’ll get to meet volunteer fixers who are handy with anything from computers, to furniture, to clothing. Even better, you can also learn how to fix things yourself (while drinking a cup of coffee or tea)! Skills for Change (791 St. Clair Avenue West), Saturday at 10 a.m., FREE. Details
- Civic Engagement: It was 39 years ago that Eddie Nolan was found dead in a solitary confinement cell at Millhaven, a penitentiary in Bath, Ontario. On the first anniversary of his death, August 10, 1975, Nolan was memorialized by a group of fellow Millhaven inmates. This Saturday marks the thirty-eighth annual Prisoner’s Justice Day, as the occasion has come to be known in justice advocacy circles. And though it may have begun as a small commemorative gathering in a remote penitentiary, the day is now recognized by thousands of Canadians, both in and out of prison. Church of the Holy Trinity (10 Trinity Square, Toronto, Ontario), Saturday at 11 a.m., Free. Details
- Music: It’s not every day you get to hear some live music in the library, so if you haven’t yet had a chance to check out Toronto Public Library’s Make Some Noise events, here’s an opportunity to do so. During An Evening of Improvisation, Chance Encounters, and Experiments in Sound artists will create improvised performances at the Bloor/Gladstone library (which audience members are then encouraged to remix). Following that, three musicians will be building a composition using recordings of these improvised music sessions. Bloor/Gladstone Branch, Toronto Public Library (1101 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 7 p.m., FREE. Details
History: The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.
Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), Saturday at 12 a.m., $27 (Includes general admission). Details
- Theatre: If Fringe and SummerWorks aren’t enough to satisfy your summer theatre cravings, the world-renowned Stratford Festival is now only a bus ride away from downtown Toronto, thanks to the new Stratford Direct bus route (“the best thing [the Festival] has done in years” according to one usher at the Avon Theatre). Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino has put together a season to please tastes from the traditional to the extravagant. Here’s what we think about five of Stratford’s current productions. Multiple venues, Friday at 12 a.m., $25–$175. Details
- Art: Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea is a new exhibition from the Toronto Reference Library that gathers a number of rare items that explore the theme of the possible and the impossible. Some of the highlights on display are La vingtième siècle: la vie électrique (a rare French book that shows how scientific discoveries would have affected people in 1955), Tame (a sci-fi pulp magazine), and Worldly Wisdom (watercolour that depicts a Leonardo da Vinci-like figure creating a winged flying machine). You’ll find the exhibition in the library’s TD Gallery. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), Saturday at 12 a.m., FREE. Details
- Film: When Animal House first turned the toga into suitable party attire in 1978, the landscape of the film comedy was forever altered. TOGA! The Reinvention of American Comedy, a new film series that kicked off Wednesday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, seeks to chart the changing comedic sensibilities that have occurred in the years since the film’s release. From big budget blockbusters, to libido-fuelled sex romps, to carefully calibrated exercises in nuance and timing, the selections in the program are some of the funniest films ever made. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), Wednesday at 12 a.m., $8.50–$12. Details
- Art: “TWO ASTRONAUTS” is a new exhibition of maps and artifacts by artists Neal Armstrong (not to be confused with Neil Armstrong, the actual astronaut) and Devon Marinac. In addition to the exhibit, the opening reception (which takes place on August 8th) will feature DJ sets by guilt_ and Ian Schober. The show is curated by Shauna Jean Doherty. #Hashtag Gallery (801 Dundas Street West), Thursday at 12 a.m., FREE. Details
- Music: Although SummerWorks is best known as a theatre festival, the SummerWorks Music Series has developed a reputation for shows that combine music, theatre, and visual art in unexpected ways. Here are a few of them that we’re particularly looking forward to. Multiple venues, Thursday at 12 a.m., Various prices. Details
Festivals: As with so many of Toronto’s arts festivals, every year SummerWorks seems to get bigger. Bigger as in more shows, bigger as in bigger names, bigger as in international reach, and bigger in terms of its importance in premiering exciting new work. Two major hits from last year’s festival, Iceland and Terminus, have since been seen on larger stages.
We’ve already gone over what we’re looking forward to in the SummerWorks Music Series, but here are our picks for the SummerWorks Theatre Series. Multiple venues, Thursday at 12 a.m., FREE to $20. Details
- History: Looking to brush up your cultural and history knowledge on all things Toronto? Heritage Toronto 2013 Tours offers you an enormous chance to learn tons and tons about the city you love via walking tours, bike tours, and more. Some of the events on the agenda of this weekly series include tours of Fort York, Korea Town, Don Valley, and Black Creek. It’s running all summer long so don’t miss out! Multiple venues, Saturday at 12 a.m. and Sunday at 12 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 Gallery (99 Sudbury Street), Saturday at 10 a.m., FREE. Details
Sports: Basketball fans: if you absolutely can’t wait for the Raptors to return to Toronto headlines, be sure to book a ticket to the 2013 Jack Donohue International Classic. This two-game exhibition features a match between Team Canada and Team Jamaica. It should be pretty exciting, and it will feature plenty of players from around the GTA.
Mattamy Athletic Centre (50 Carlton Street), Saturday at 7 p.m., Ticket Prices Vary. Details
- Theatre: Perhaps Soulpepper’s most ambitious theatrical project yet, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America is a seven-hour epic set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis of the 80’s and 90’s. The play earned a Pulitzer Prize and Tony awards (for the stage versions), and Golden Globes and Emmys (for the HBO miniseries.) Broken down into Parts I and II (sub-titled Millennium Approaches and Perestroika), the company is presenting the two plays in repertory on a nightly basis (save for Sunday evenings) and strongly urges viewers to see them in order. (Full day “marathons” begin in August.) There’s a video with director Albert Schultz and the cast’s thoughts on the project during rehearsal; previews being on July 19, with Millennium Approaches opening on July 31 and Perestroika) on August 1. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), Saturday at 7:30 p.m., $5-$68. Details
Theatre: Musical theatre has a reputation for sometimes being out of touch and old-fashioned, so the prospect of Mirvish Productions bringing a tour of Cole Porter’s 1934 musical Anything Goes to Toronto wasn’t especially heartening at first—even if this particular production, by New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company, won three 2011 Tony Awards.
But say, pal, wouldn’t you know, we were downright tickled to have such a good time at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The jokes are still corny, the songs still melodramatic, and the script still has some pretty racist content, but the show manages to transcend its era. Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $29–$130. Details
- Theatre: The Unit 102 Theatre Actors Company has brought the rapscallions of Parkdale back for another round with P-Dale Episode 4: Rise of Los Muchos. While facing gentrification, the gang must fight Los Muchos to protect their home turf. As one might imagine, hilarity and disaster ensue. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), Saturday at 8 p.m., $15. Details
Theatre: In the 31st year of Shakespeare in High Park, Canadian Stage has programmed two productions that are performed on alternating evenings. The two plays could not be more different.
Both Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew involve manipulative spouses and deceptive plots—but where one ends in marriages and love, the other ends with bloodshed and terror. One is infamously problematic, and the other is one of Shakespeare’s most popular. And the two directors, Ted Witzel and Ker Wells, both of whom join Shakespeare in High Park after completing a directing program held in collaboration between Canadian Stage and York University, only exaggerate the differences. High Park Amphitheatre (1873 Bloor St. W.), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m., PWYC. 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.