Do you like free things? Do you like getting rid of things? The Really Really Free Market is back for another round of giving and taking. Here’s how it works: there’s no money, trading, or bartering allowed. Instead, you can just leave items and take what you need. Think of it as a sort of potluck of stuff.
If you long for the days of the Wild West, then you’ll appreciate the Store-FUN-tier which is bringing you a full day of family-friendly Wild West excitement. This fun fair features games, prizes, magicians, fortune-tellers, a Wild West photo booth, and a kissing booth. And for the adults (post 6 p.m.), there will be a saloon, body painting, live performances from Midnight Society and friends, and square dancing. Yeehaw!
So the city has more money to spend on the arts, but how should it be spent? You decide! Toronto is holding a series of joint public consultations on how best to invest the new money. (The events are taking place in different parts of the city. This listing is for the downtown consultation.) If you care about art culture, you should definitely drop in to make sure your ideas are heard.
Some people alleviate aggression by playing Grand Theft Auto. Others use giant pillow fights. Pillow Fight Toronto 2013 gives you a chance to whack your fellow Torontonian in a free-for-all that may include a lot of attendees.
Now that the location of the pillow fight has been announced, this post has been updated to reflect that.
Looking for more than just regular old comedy? Springtime for Dags and Laz (Or Hitler… You Decide) offers that, plus music, theatre, and debauchery in this night that features a long list of performers. Hosted by award-winning performers/writers Melissa D’Agostino and Adam Lazarus, the show features Canadian Comedy Award winner Sandra Battaglini, composer/musician Bob Wiseman (Feist, Blue Rodeo), Jacob Zimmer (Small Wooden Shoe, Dancemakers), Ken Hall (Two Man NoShow, Throne of Games), and much, much more.
If you’ve been waiting for the opportunity to unleash your inner 90210, then consider attending Reality Bytes. It’s a musical party that features all things ’90s, including lots of music: dance, hip hop, electronica, and alternative. (If “Barbie Girl” just started playing in your head…you are not alone). Featuring DJs 4est, Lindzrox, and Jrox.
When’s the last time you attempted to reconceptualize the dimensions of space? If it’s been a while, you might consider checking out a new exhibition called I Thought There Were Limits, which aims to do just that. This particular exhibit is unique in that the artwork forms a relationship with the site itself (in this case, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery). The work on display is brought to you by curator Julia Abraham (as part of the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the University of Toronto). The artists include Karen Henderson, Yam Lau, Gordon Lebredt, Kika Thorne, and Josh Thorpe.
It’s been over a year since modern silent film The Artist took home the Oscar for best picture, and with it came a renewed surge of interest in the genre. Which brings us to the Toronto Silent Film Festival, back for its fourth year. The theme of this year’s lineup is the individual versus society, and classic films from around the world have been gathered for the occasion, including The Passion of Joan of Arc and Tokyo Chorus.
For the past eight years the Feminist Porn Awards have been promoting and celebrating erotica at its most primal, and also its most artistic, all through the lens of feminism. The FPAs proudly state that they are “the longest running celebration of erotica focused on women and marginalized people.” Over the years, the awards have expanded from a gala event that includes a screening of the nominees and the awards ceremony itself—where highly coveted trophies come in the shape of glittery butt plugs—to a multi-day series of events celebrating art and sexuality, including a full day conference.
Sam Shepard’s plays are famously all about man as a caged animal, prowling and brooding around his enclosure (usually a North American domicile), eventually tearing it apart like an untrained puppy suffering from separation anxiety. He is a man’s man’s writer, the lone wolf in the wilderness that so many young males fantasize about—even, it often seems, Shepard himself.
As his most famous work, one of Shepard’s Family Trilogy, True West is a great example: two brothers, Hollywood screenwriter Austin (Mike Ross) and the petty-thieving vagabond Lee (Stuart Hughes), somehow end up house-sitting for their mother while she’s on vacation in Alaska (though only Austin was asked to do so). It’s clear in the script that both men make solo trips outside the walls of their mother’s suburban home, but we never see them apart from each other. That’s because Lee and Austin are two halves of the same man. In fact, it’s common for the two main actors to alternate the roles throughout a run of the show.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out DanceWorks’ strong lineup this season, now’s your chance. Episodes | andscapes is a new series of dance performances that explore the “terrains of our human condition.” The series is made up of two duets by Tracey Norman and a solo by Jesse Dell (with a soundscape by composer Jordan O’Connor).
Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody stars Anne-Marie Scheffler, Patrick Whalen, and Alice Moran—one of our 2012 Heroes of the Year. Since the show’s Toronto debut, it’s toured across the United States; Moran’s been writing a blog about the experience, “Good Times, America“, for Toronto’s She Does the City blog. Spank! returns here to its creator’s hometown for five encore performances this weekend.
Legoland (not to be confused with Legoland) tells the story of the “Gruesome Twosome,” Canada’s youngest drug dealers. Feeling out of place at their boarding school, siblings Penny and Ezra decide to break free and track down Penny’s pop idol, a journey they fund by selling their prescription drugs. This contemporary Vaudeville routine is told through puppetry, ukelele music, and gangster rap.
If there’s one thing that’s particularly impressive about Second City’s new mainstage show, The Meme-ing of Life, it’s how well balanced it is.
As the title implies, Meme-ing is nominally a show about the internet, and certainly there is a fair bit of internet-centric humour. (One sketch, about a boy who falls into a YouTube-induced coma that can only be cured by reading, is particularly on point.) That said, it isn’t just a series of jokes about cat videos. Instead, it’s a well-thought-out show that manages to offer something for pretty much everyone, without stretching itself too thin.
The Whipping Man is a 2011 John Gassner New Play Award–winning play that’s set during Passover in 1865. The show tells the tale of a confederate officer who has returned home after the Civil War to find his family missing, but two former slaves remaining. While waiting for the family’s return, the concepts of master and slave, and those of slavery and war, are explored. Directed by Philip Akin and starring Sterling Jarvis, Brett Donahue, and Thomas Olajide.
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.
While the Toronto International Film Festival may have shifted into a more relaxed mode, it’s still offering plenty of opportunities to gawk at movie stars—they’re just a little more spread out. Midweek, fans could catch the premieres of Good Kill (Ethan Hawke as a drone pilot), Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg’s new bit of oddness), The Imitation Game (Benedict Cumberbatch as World War II cryptographer Alan Turing), Jauja (Viggo Mortensen, and we don’t know much else really), Laggies (Sam Rockwell and Keira Knightley in a comedy about people taking their sweet time to grow up), October Gale (Patricia Clarkson and Scott Speedman in a thriller/drama set in a remote cabin), Pawn Sacrifice (about the chess duels between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer), The Cobbler (Adam Sandler’s latest) and Escobar (Benicio Del Toro is the famous drug kingpin).