Pipa virtuosa Wen Zhao and flamenco guitarist Roman Smirnov unite for Strings Without Borders. Presented by the Canadian Opera Company, this unique pairing tackle everything from love songs to folk dances from China, Spain, and the Middle East.
There’s a reason The Annex is populated by a young, fashionable crowd; it was the first suburb in Toronto to be specifically planned for professional, upper middle class residents. Take the guided ROMWalks tour through the area to learn more about its history, and the architecture that spans from the 17th through the 21st centuries.
With NXNE and other summer festivals just around the corner, it’s appropriate that Steam Whistle’s June art show is celebrating A Moment in Music. Curated by The Indie Machine (iM), the exhibit pairs photos of musical artists with iM staff-recommended music selections, available to stream via QR codes. To kick it all off, a handful of surprise musical acts will perform at the opening night party.
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).
It’s no secret that there are not enough females in this world who write their own music, play instruments, and (gasp!) actually sing live. Girls Rock Camp wants to change that. Paired with female rock mentors, girls between the ages of eight and 16 learn an instrument of their choice and form bands to write and perform their own original material by the end of the session. A benefit concert is being held to fund the camp. Naturally, it features a stellar lineup of female musicians: Terra Lightfoot, Wunderstrands, Patti Cake, and The Golden Dogs.
If you’ve been paying attention to musical theatre news over the past two years, you know that The Book of Mormon has a passionate and devout following of fans who swear it’s the long-awaited saviour of the artform. The show won nine Tonys in 2011, the cast recording reached number three on the Billboard chart, and tickets for its Broadway run are rare and expensive.
Canadian indie music label, Arts & Crafts, are celebrating their tenth anniversary. As part of the celebrations, they’re showing a new exhibition from Toronto photographer, Norman Wong. The exhibition features images of various artists over the years including Feist, Kevin Drew, Emily Haines, and many more. You’ll be able to buy a book of photography there and a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Testicular Cancer Canada and MusiCounts.
One of the Fringe Festival’s greatest successes, and definitely Soulpepper’s biggest post-millennial hit, Ins Choi’s corner store comedy Kim’s Convenience returns for another extended run into the the summer season. Most of the principal cast, including Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as larger-than-life patriarch Appa, are back. Here’s our review of the first Soulpepper remount.
Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram of The National Theatre of the World have created “an actor’s nightmare and a playwright’s dream” with The Script Tease Project. They’ve arranged for celebrated Canadian writers to pen the first two pages of a play, sealing them in an envelope afterwards. Then, on stage in front of an audience, the envelope is opened, the pages read cold, and a completely improvised play is born! A new writer’s work will be featured every night of the showcase.
In 1996, Theatre Columbus premiered playwright Michael O’Brien’s “freely adapted” take on the famous Beaumarchais play The Barber of Seville, which was written in 1775. O’Brien’s version mixed in music from the 1816 opera of the same name by Gioachino Rossini, as well as original tunes by composer John Millard. The adaptation also propelled the story forward a couple centuries, with pop culture references galore. With Theatre Columbus co-founder Leah Cherniak at the helm, the musical ended the season with six Dora Award nominations (it won three) and plenty of critical acclaim.
Seventeen years later, Soulpepper Theatre is remounting this zany reimagination of The Barber of Seville, updated once again by O’Brien, Millard, and Cherniak. But, for some reason—the change in decade, or company, or sense of humour—whatever had made the original so magical, has faded, save for a few key performances.