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Urban Planner: July 31, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: Fringe favourites, the return of Beatlemania, and air-guitar showdowns.

Image courtesy of Confessions of a Redheaded Coffee Shop Girl

Image courtesy of Confessions of a Redheaded Coffee Shop Girl.

  • Theatre: Some of our city’s favourite plays are being reprised as part of On Stage On Demand. Five days will see the performance of six independent productions, with all ticket proceeds donated to charities of the playwrights’ choice. Catch Cockfight (July 31), Peter n’ Chris and the Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel (August 1), Peter n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies (August 1), Baker’s Dozen (August 2), Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl (August 5), and Myth of the Ostrich (August 6). TRANZAC (292 Brunswick Avenue), 7 p.m., $5. Details
  • Film: Fifty years ago, the Beatles graced Toronto’s movie screens with the debut of A Hard Day’s Night. To commemorate this milestone, fanaticism will be revived with Beatlemania at the Revue. The screening will be accompanied by rare footage from the Fab Four’s first concert at Maple Leaf Gardens, and a talk by Mark Lewisohn—author and eminent Beatles history expert. The Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Avenue), 7 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Details
  • Music: As you read this, 20 men and women are mentally and physically preparing themselves to master imaginary frets and strings at the Canadian Air Guitar Championships. Watch as 10 of our country’s best air guitarists, along with 10 last-minute contestants, give it their all in hopes of being sent to Finland to represent Canada in the world finals. The Virgin Mobile Mod Club (722 College Street), 8 p.m., $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 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
  • Film: You’d be hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker more frequently linked to his national cinema in the popular imagination than Satyajit Ray, whose work in the 1950s brought an independent streak to the production of Indian cinema as famously as Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless countered the establishment of French costume dramas around the same time. Yet prior to the 1990s, you might have found it equally difficult to name a major international figurehead who was as underrepresented at repertory screenings, so dire was the state of the films’ prints.

    Twenty years after the Academy Film Archive restored the Bengali director’s deteriorating and otherwise endangered negatives and made proper retrospectives possible, TIFF Cinematheque offers “The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray,” a far-ranging program that gives Toronto audiences the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour as well as the work of arguably India’s most influential filmmaker. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), all day, . Details

  • Art: Before and After the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes is a collaborative effort of the AGO and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in New York City, where the exhibition recently wrapped up after a one-year run. The displays are organized by themes relating to Anishinaabe concepts of place and spirituality, and how they interact with the outside world. One of the most intriguing themes is “cottager colonialism,” which suggests that the colonization of indigenous land continues by way of vacationing tourists. Political statements are scattered throughout the exhibition, from Nadia Myre’s bead-covered pages of the Indian Act to the use of historical indigenous status documents in Robert Houle’s “Premises” series. Floral beaded bags and leggings, meanwhile, provide inspiration for the contemporary paintings of Christi Belcourt, an Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award recipient. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $19.50 (included with general adult admission). 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), all day, . 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), 11 a.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: If the patio is your summer destination of choice, Roy Thomson Hall wants to sweeten your sun-soaking with its Live on the Patio music series. Every week you can enjoy a few drinks, food from Barque Smokehouse, and great entertainment, while unwinding next to a charming urban pond. Check out Sun K and Grey Lands (July 17), Francesco Yates (July 24), Belle Starr (July 31), and the TSO Brass Quintet (August 7). Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street), 5 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Sports: Align your body, ease your mind, and get your retail therapy all in one stop this summer at the Shops at Don Mills. Bring your mat for free Yoga in the Town Square every Tuesday and Thursday, courtesy of Titika. Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Road), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Dance: If the warm weather makes you feel like dancing, well, Harbourfront is where you need to be. Get your groove on every Thursday until the end of summer at Dancing on the Pier. Live music from the likes of the Toronto All-Star Big Band, Sean Bellaviti, and Luis Orbegoso will provide the soundtrack to each themed evening. Got two left feet? No problem! Instructors will be on hand to get your steps in order. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: There’s bound to be a lot of barbecuing, beaching, and boozing around the city this summer, so we’d like to suggest something a little more refined to keep things balanced. The Music in the Garden series features weekly performances by a variety of unique musical groups, amid the luscious greenery of the Toronto Music Garden. The Akwesasne Women Singers start things off on July 3 with a showcase of English and Mohawk songs, followed by Music from the Garden of India (July 24), an all-female fiddling supergroup (July 31), the Nagata Shachu taiko drumming ensemble (August 21), the Veretski Pass Trio (September 4), and many more. Toronto Music Garden (479 Queens Quay West), 7 p.m., FREE. 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), 8 p.m., $49–$59. 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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