Boasting a library of thousands of sketchbooks crowdsourced from around the globe, NYC-based Art House Co-op brings their Sketchbook Project tour to Toronto for a weekend residency at Trinity Square in the Distillery District. They encourage attendees to check out some of their hard copies (and digital ones) at the installation—and maybe contribute your own work.
As part of the Goethe Institute’s City+Climate focus, the cultural centre has teamed up with Philip Riccio’s celebrated The Company Theatre for a pair of readings of work by Swiss playwright Lukas Bärfuss and Canadian writer Douglas Coupland. Oil and Player One: What is to Become of Us, works by those writers respectively, will be excerpted and read by actors Alex Paxton-Beesley, Tony Nappo, Pamela Sinha, and Tim Walker, and directed by Riccio.
The critics were pretty sweet on Fairy Tale Ending when the sly all-ages musical was at the Next Stage and Fringe Festivals. This year’s remount just had a short run at the Stratford SpringWorks Festival, and now has a weekend engagement at the Wychwood Theatre in the Artscape Wychwood Barns.
Comedienne Jen Kirkman, best known for her work on Chelsea Lately (and her hilarious storytelling for Funny or Die’s “Drunk History” series) has recently published her first book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From A Happy Life Without Kids. She’s touring the book, and an all-new stand-up set, here in Toronto for three shows, with some excellent local openers. For Friday’s show, she’s joined by Darrin Rose and Diana Love; Saturday’s early show has Kristeen von Hagen and Evany Rosen; and the late show, Christina Walkinshaw and Mark Little.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.