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events

Weekend Planner: April 5-6, 2014

In this Weekend Planner: artistic terror and beauty, a really free market, and a superhero pillow fight.

Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944, 1988

Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944, 1988.

  • Art: “The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon

    “In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore

    These quotations, which welcome visitors to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $25 adults. Details

  • Markets: Chances are, your spring-cleaning spree has left you with a daunting pile of unwanted stuff. Give your once-treasured goods the chance to find a new home by bringing them to the Really Really Free Market. No trading is required—just bring what you don’t want, and pick up what you do! Campbell Park (195 Campbell Ave), Saturday at 10 a.m., FREE. Details
  • Offbeat: Toronto has dealt with some frustrating issues of late (and we don’t just mean the weather), but Newmindspace has a solution: Pillow Fight Toronto 2014. The theme of the day is Superheroes vs. Villains, so come dressed as your favourite comic, anime, or completely made-up character. Just be sure to read the rules before you come, and play nice! Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen Street West), Saturday at 3 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Fundraisers: The Sketchersons are sending a contingent of members—Allison Hogg, Ann Pornel, Alessandra Vite, and Alexandra Wylie—to Boston for this summer’s Women in Comedy Festival. But before the ladies take to the road, they’re doing a bit of fundraising for the road trip. Hence their Stag & Doe fundraiser; admission is free, but you’ll want to bring cash for raffles, games, a kissing booth, and a chance to bid on one of the ladies getting pied in the face at the end of the night. Baltic Avenue (875 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 7 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: Small World Music Society is celebrating Asian and South Asian Heritage Month with the Asian Music Series. Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion, Sultans of String, Jonita Gandhi, and Shafqat Amanat Ali are among the many talented artists who will perform in venues across the city throughout April and May. Multiple venues, Saturday at 8 p.m., $12–$109. Details
  • Theatre: Zack and Abby are the couple that others envy—the ones who seem to have it all. But secrets hide behind the beautiful home, the loving marriage, and the promising careers. Company Theatre’s Belleville—produced in association with Canadian Stage—explores the darkness that’s revealed in this seemingly perfect relationship after Abby finds her husband at home one day when he’s supposed to be at work. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), Sunday at 2 p.m., $22–$49. Details
  • Poetry: If you love poetry, can memorize entire pieces of writing, or are the kind of person who will do anything for money, Brains, Words & Voices will be right up your alley. This monthly gathering celebrates the written word through a selection of classic pre-1975 poems, recited from memory. Everyone is welcome to apply for a spot in this competition, which awards $100 cash to the best performer of the night. Coffin Factory (109 Niagara Street), Sunday at 6:30 p.m., PWYC. Details
  • Theatre: To showcase their graduating class’s musical talents, Ryerson Theatre School has programmed two nights of a musical revue of songs by composer Allen Cole. The Highest Tides in The World will feature music and text by Cole, plus additional text by Canadian theatre creators like Melody Johnson and Rick Roberts, with songs and movement performed, of course, by Ryerson students. Ryerson Theatre (44 Gerrard Street East), Sunday at 7 p.m., $10. Details

Ongoing…

  • Art: If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace.
    Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 adults. Details
  • Fashion: If a period drama has ever inspired you to visit the past, but you couldn’t because you didn’t have access to a time machine, listen up! The Spadina Museum is taking history, television, and fashion fans alike back to the Edwardian era with its “Dressing for Downton: The Costumes of Downton Abbey” exhibit. Twenty pieces from the hit show will be on display, along with the City of Toronto’s own collection of garments from the time. Attendees will also be treated to Downton Abbey–themed tours of the century home. Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Road), all day and all day, $25–$30 + tax. Details
  • Festivals: Taking place in five Canadian cities for the second time, The Spur Festival brings together thinkers, innovators, and academic and creative types for a series of lectures, meetings, and performances on “nationally relevant and locally nuanced” ideas. Here in Toronto from April 3 to April 6, the festival will include noted lawyer Michael Geist on free speech, an urban planning panel moderated by Shawn Micallef, talks by author Cecil Foster and photojournalists Rita Leistner and Mike Kamber, and much more. Many of the events, including the opening and closing parties, are free; a few have ticket prices ranging from $10 to $30. For full details, visit the festival’s website. FREE–$150. Details
  • Fashion: Ichimaru—once one of Japan’s most famous geishas—left the profession in the 1930s to pursue a career in entertainment. Never really leaving her past life, she became known for adorning herself in the traditional geisha garb when performing in concert or on television. “From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru” exhibits several decades’ worth of outfits and personal effects, shedding light on the woman behind the makeup. Textile Museum of Canada (55 Centre Avenue), Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m., $6–$15. Details
  • Theatre: Great theatre comes and goes, and you either see it while it’s playing, or wait for a remount. The On Stage On Demand series is looking to change that by capturing past hit indie plays on film—and they’re opening up the performances for free to a live audience. The shows being performed and taped include past hits like Of Mice and Morro and Jasp (which is already fully reserved), Antoine Feval, and Supperfesta. Admission is free, but you’ll want to reserve your tickets before the shows hit capacity. The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West), Saturday at 1:30 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Dance: Told through South American music and dance, Arrabal is the story of a young girl desperate to find out what happened to her father after the Argentine military made him disappear when she was just a baby. Her search leads her to the Tango clubs of Buenos Aires, where she discovers both the truth, and herself. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $44–$84. Details
  • Theatre: Sparrowhawk Theatre knows that times are tough, which is why it’s presenting two one-act plays for the price of one! Directed by Steven Holmberg, Norm Foster’s My Narrator and The Death of Me promise to be honest, unique, and un-pretentious theatre experiences for both audience and cast. Prepare to get up close and personal with stars Penelope Corrin, Roger Doche, Laura Jabalee, Jorge Molina, and Chris O’Sullivan at this intimate venue. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $16 + fees. Details
  • Film: Let’s be honest: you can’t call yourself a true film buff unless you’ve seen the classics—by which we mean those that came before the “talkies.” If you need a quick catch-up course, you’re in luck—the Toronto Silent Film Festival is taking over various theatres across the city for six straight days. One film will be showcased per day, and paired with live and improvised music. Even if you’re familiar with The Wind (1928), City Girl (1930), The Circus (1928), Seven Years Bad Luck (1921), The Last Command (1928), or every Charlie Chaplin film, you’ve never seen them quite like this! Multiple venues, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m., $10–$20. Details
  • Film: Now in its fourteenth year, the ReelWorld Film Festival has expanded its reach. For five days in Toronto, followed by three in Markham, it’s bringing over 79 films to the screen. Diversity is the name of the game with features, shorts, webisodes, and music videos from twenty different countries on the bill. Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas (2190 Yonge Street), Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m., $10–$110. Details
  • Theatre: There’s no rule that says theatre has to be formal and boring. The Classical Theatre Project is capitalizing on this with ShakesBeer, an engaging presentation of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Grab a pint and watch as three actors attempt to play every role in every story the Bard ever wrote. As one might surmise from the description, things will likely get ridiculous. Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street), Saturday at 6:30 p.m.,9 p.m., $45-$55. Details
  • Film: “I think of them as chamber films,” Matías Piñeiro says of the four intimate and beautifully crafted films that make up an intensive TIFF Cinematheque program called Divertimentos: The Films of Matías Piñeiro, running from April 3 to April 6 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Speaking to us over the phone ahead of the retrospective, which spans his still early but already accomplished career, the 31-year-old Argentine filmmaker seemed pleased with the title that programmer Brad Deane selected, which suggests something musical and modest—a host of informal ensemble pieces. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5:30 p.m., $8.50–$12. Details
  • Theatre: Circlesnake Productions closed out the Storefront Theatre’s 2013 season with their production of the TTC crime comedy Special Constables. Now, they’re the first full production in the space since February’s flooding, and space is where their new show is set—it’s a science-fiction adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Dark Matter follows Captain Marlow as she travels to a remote space colony to confront Commander Kurtz, who’s “gone rogue.” As per their previous show, expect a show that translates film’s big-budget effects into highly physical staging for the small stage. The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 8 p.m., PWYC–$20. Details
  • Theatre: In line with Tarragon Theatre‘s theme for it 2013/2014 season– “Love, Loss, Wine and the Gods”—the company is currently presenting two one-act plays that document the journey of two very different romantic relationships. The first, in the Tarragon Extra Space, is Duncan MacMillan’s brilliant Lungs, which receives an equally brilliant production from director Weyni Mengesha and actors Lesley Faulkner and Brendan Gall. Lungs is a touching and entertaining portrayal of a couple in love—but above all, it’s honest. It’s that honesty that the show next door in the Tarragon Mainspace, Stephen Sondheim’s song cycle Marry Me a Little, is lacking. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $21–$53. Details
  • Theatre: At the curtain call for World Stage’s current offering (which has only two shows remaining, on Friday and Saturday nights), Conte d’amour, there was no obligatory Standing O. Though a good portion of the audience did leap to their feet—a few even yelling, “Bravo!”—many others remained seated. Some clapped; some didn’t. There were even two boos, which came from the Globe‘s theatre critic. By now, this is common knowledge to anyone following the debate surrounding the most controversial and talked-about show to hit Toronto for some time. Harbourfront Centre, Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $49. Details
  • Comedy: Local stand-up Alex Nussbaum has given more thought to technology than many of his counterparts, writing a Fringe Festival show about our connection to our personal devices, and getting considerable airplay on SiriusXM for his first album Absolutely Free!* (Not Actually Free). Nussbaum is recording material for his follow-up album, A Number of Bits, which is partly based on how his career has changed since SoundExchange began collecting royalties. He’ll headline four shows at Yuk Yuk’s over two days, which will double as tapings. Yuk Yuks (224 Richmond Street West), Saturday at 10:30 p.m., $22. 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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