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events

Weekend Planner: June 28-30

In this Weekend Planner: rockabilly swing, soon-to-be-huge bands, and walking the Necropolis.

Prepare to jump, jive, and wail at the Harbourfront Centre. Photo courtesy of Bees’ Knees Dance.

  • Dance: If big band and rockabilly get your toes a-tappin’, we have a treat for you this weekend: Harbourfront is hosting Swingin’ Saturday, which involves a number of demonstrations, lessons, and performances on all things swing. Enjoy Natalia Grane’s Lindy Hop Revolution, That Swing! with Shannon Refvik, and Dancin’ Through the Decades with the Toronto All-Star Big Band and the Bees Knees Dance School. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday at 1 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: Psst… We have some classified information for all you music snobs who like discovering bands before everyone else finds out about them. This weekend, the SoundClash Music Award will be going down at Harboufront, boasting performances by five shortlisted, soon-to-be-huge bands. Catch CANVAS, Keita Juma, and Pale Eyes on Saturday, followed by DATU and Maneli Jamal on Sunday. Vote for your favourite act, and you could help them win up to $10,000 in cash and prizes, and the title of 2014′s SoundClash Music Award winner. Harbourfront Centre, Redpath Stage (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday at 4 p.m.,7 p.m.,9 p.m. and Sunday at 6:30 p.m.,8 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Film: Your mom and significant other may disapprove of your penchant for eating cereal while watching cartoons slightly drunk, but Spoony Toons supports it! This Sunday, bring your friends to CineCycle, grab a bowl of your favourite sugary breakfast, a themed cocktail, and escape back to the ’80s, when Canadian-made cartoons like The Raccoons, Inspector Gadget, My Pet Monster, and Beetlejuice ruled the airwaves. CineCycle (129 Spadina Avenue), Sunday at 12 p.m., $10. Details
  • History: You may not have known it, but Toronto’s oldest cemetery lies tucked away in a quiet Cabbagetown corner. The final resting place of many notable figures, the Necropolis is full of history, intrigue, and beauty. Join the ROMwalk through the grounds and learn about its inhabitants, markers, and mausoleums. Necropolis (200 Winchester Street), Sunday at 2 p.m., FREE. 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
  • 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

  • Music: On June 19, the Toronto Jazz Festival will once again descend upon Nathan Phillips Square and clubs and concert halls all over the city. Friday night will feature a free concert at Nathan Phillips Square, presented in partnership with WorldPride, with sets by Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox. There will also be a huge fireworks display and the raising of the rainbow flag—it’s bound to be a real party. There are lots of big names at the fest this year, including Chaka Kahn, Bobby McFerrin, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Here’s our rundown of some of the other shows worth checking out. Various venues. Details
  • Film: Anyone seeking proof that all it takes for a radical to become part of the establishment is a little bit of endurance need only look to “Skin Flicks,” TIFF Cinematheque’s retrospective of the films of Toronto zine impresario, radical, occasional pornographer, and queercore filmmaker Bruce LaBruce.

    A farm boy who left his rural digs for a more urban life in Toronto in the mid-‘80s, LaBruce first turned heads on the scene with his publication (along with partner and Fifth Column frontwoman G.B. Jones) of the seminal queer punk zine J.D.s, which distinguished itself from punk culture through its queer vision, and from mainstream LGBT culture through its aggressive DIY aesthetic and radical politics. From that fertile underground world came the first of LaBruce’s experimental Super 8 shorts, including Boy, Girl—ground zero for later thematic obsessions such as neo-skinheads and surveillance. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), all day, . Details

  • Festivals: For ten days this June, Toronto will welcome the world to our city—a city that’ll be bursting with queer-positive cultural events, including musical performances by the likes of Tegan & Sara, special theatrical presentations by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and many more, visual art exhibitions, parties, and of course, the various annual Pride parades. All the official events are listed on the World Pride 2014 website (though we’ll also be keeping our eyes open for a few unofficial events we think readers might appreciate). Multiple venues, all day, . Details
  • Festivals: There’ll be public celebrations all over the country this weekend, but in downtown Toronto anyway, the most extensive are the Harbourfront Centre Canada Day Celebrations. Kicking off Friday and running right through to the fireworks display on Monday night, there’ll be live music—including performances from the finalists in its Soundclash Music Award Showcase—and a hip hop showcase by Maoestro Fresh Wes; a daily market; and plenty of programming for kids and adults of all ages. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), all day, FREE. Details
  • Film: Every part of our city will be drenched in WorldPride this summer, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Bent Lens: Pride on Screen comprises nearly two months of screenings, exhibits, and speaking engagements that reflect the broadness of our LGBT community. Check out films under the stars in David Pecaut Square, take in a conversation with Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black, and much more. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West). Details
  • Photography: Our fascination with fame and celebrity isn’t new—and this is illustrated in Izzy Gallery’s newest exhibit, Terry O’Neil: The Man Who Shot the Sixties. A photographer from the U.K., O’Neill snapped iconic shots of everyone from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to Brigitte Bardot and Faye Dunaway. The opening party features an appearance by O’Neill himself, and his “photographs from the frontline of fame” will remain on display until the end of August. Izzy Gallery (106 Yorkville Avenue), Saturday at 11 a.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: Cahoots Theatre Company presents its LIFT OFF! Festival, a weekend of free workshops, play readings, and meet-and-greets in its (relatively) new studio space. Playwrights presenting new work include Donald Woo, Brooke Banning, and CANVAS―Cahoots’ own emerging artist collective. Cahoots Theatre Rehearsal Studio (388 Queen Street East), Saturday at 12 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: If you haven’t heard of Twelve Angry Men, you’ve likely seen it parodied in a number of movies and television shows over the years. Now here’s your chance to see the real deal, on stage, thanks to the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Watch the drama unfold in a claustrophobic deliberation room as one dissenting juror unravels what is supposed to be an open-and-shut murder case. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m., $29–$74. Details
  • Theatre: Fans of oddball British humour—rejoice! The Lower Ossington Theatre has brought the genius of Monty Python’s Eric Idle to Toronto with their rendition of Spamalot. Watch as flying cows, killer rabbits, and all sorts of bizarre elements come together to tell a twisted version of the legendary story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m., $49–$59. Details
  • Theatre: First things first: the Tarragon Theatre mainspace is now licensed. That means that during its current production, The God That Comes, starring Hawksley Workman—which has set up the space like a dark, sultry 1930s cabaret with crystal chandeliers, long white tablecloths, and deep crimson curtains—you can sip a glass of red while one of Canada’s best rockers uses his beautiful voice to scream into your face. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $40. Details
  • Theatre: The latest work by prolific playwright Kat Sandler, who generates clever content for indie-company-on-the-rise Theatre Brouhaha, Cockfight follows an unlikely attempt by three foster brothers to obtain a rooster in order to make their fortune in underground cockfighting matches.

    Sandler—named one of our “local ladies who make us laugh” in 2013—has often applied her gift for comic dialogue to tragic stories, and in her latest play, the characters are more desperate and downtrodden than ever. This time around, Sandler is also directing, and she has a deft touch for showing off her protagonists’ dramatic strengths—though her supporting character and the lead-up to the brothers’ climactic confrontations are not as well developed. The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $20–$25. 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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