Class on Stage

  • Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West)
  • 11 a.m.

Here’s something you don’t get to do very often. The National Ballet of Canada is pulling back the curtains slightly to give the public a chance to check out the dancer’s daily ritual. In Class on Stage you’ll get an up close look at how ballet dancers train, which will be led by Artist-in-Residence, Rex Harrington (Senior Ballet Master, Peter Ottmann, will be doing the commentary).

Details: Class on Stage

Independent Label Market

  • Ryerson University Campus Common (50 Gerrard Street East)
  • 11 a.m.

Amidst the chaos of NXNE, you might come across as sorts of music that you’ve deemed worthy of getting your hands on. The Independent Label Market offers just the opportunity to search for records (all vinyl, no mp3s) from Canada’s finest indie labels. Some of the participating companies include Paper Bag Records, Arts & Crafts, The Outside Music Label, Last Gang Records, and many others.

Details: Independent Label Market

Global Reddit Meetup Day

Unite with fellow redditors at a global meetup. Image courtesy of Reddit.

Unite with fellow redditors at a global meetup. Image courtesy of Reddit.

  • Trinity Bellwoods Park (155 Crawford Street)
  • 2 p.m.

Reddit is once again hosting its worldwide meet-up for its users so if you haven’t seen the sunlight for a while, now’s a good chance to get out there and see what’s up. The Toronto Global Reddit Meetup will start at Trinity Bellwoods Park, which will be an all-ages bash featuring some fun in the park. The second half of this day will then take place at The Office Pub for some 19+ happenings.

Details: Global Reddit Meetup Day

Luminato 2013: Concerto for Piano & Pasteboards Speaks To Everyone

Paz Sabater and Miguel Puga. Photo by Joaquin Puga.

Paz Sabater and Miguel Puga. Photo by Joaquin Puga.

  • Koerner Hall (273 Bloor Street West)
  • 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

When Miguel Puga first spoke after performing a couple of introductory card tricks, it was in part to apologize for his broken English. The Spaniard, known also as MagoMigue (yes, that’s pretty much Spanish for Magic Mike), may not have the greatest command of the language, but he then proceeded to prove his assertion, as trite as it may sound, that magic possesses a universal power that can transcend ordinary communication. Blessed with a naturally funny presence and an undeniable gift for showmanship, Puga’s expert card manipulations were every bit as impressive as the apparent telepathic abilities he put to good effect on more than one occasion.

Details: Luminato 2013: Concerto for Piano & Pasteboards Speaks To Everyone

A Sondheim Jazz Project

  • Chalkers Pub Billiards & Bistro (247 Marlee Avenue)
  • 6 p.m.

Lovers of Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim can feel free to unleash their giddiness. A Sondheim Jazz Project is exactly what it sounds like. A group of jazz artists have taken the melodies of some of Sondheim’s tunes to the compositions of Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard, and more. Click here to listen to some of the rearranged tracks for yourself (from their debut album, City of Strangers).

Details: A Sondheim Jazz Project

Ongoing…

NXNE 2013: Genre By Genre, Our Best Bets

Fans in Yonge-Dundas Square during NXNE 2011. You too could be this stoked.

Fans in Yonge-Dundas Square during NXNE 2011. You too could be this stoked.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

It’s hard to believe, but if North by Northeast was a person, it would be old enough to drink this year. The festival, which started out 19 years ago as a pale imitation of Austin’s South by Southwest, is now a force to be reckoned with in its own right. It’s a place where up-and-coming acts from around the world come to get noticed. It also provides a few of Toronto’s best free concerts in any given year, lined up back-to-back.

Every year, we come out of NXNE with a new favourite band that we refuse to shut up about for the rest of the summer. The only problem is, finding that new favourite band involves sorting through literally hundreds of contenders. We’ve managed to come up with a totally subjective list of acts worth seeing, broken down by genre, to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Here are a few key tips that apply to fans of all genres.

Details: NXNE 2013: Genre By Genre, Our Best Bets

New Toronto Production of Cats Meets Expectations

Cats Ensemble. Photo by Racheal McCaig.

Cats Ensemble. Photo by Racheal McCaig.

  • Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street)
  • 1:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Cats is a challenging musical to stage for a number of reasons. The narrative is thin and strange; the lyrics are drawn primarily from T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, with more borrowed from some other Eliot poems, “Rhapsody on a Windy Night” (which original director Trevor Nunn adapted into the song “Memory”) and “Moments of Happiness.” The result is not so much a story as ideas and character sketches. Old Deuteronomy, patriarch of the Jellicle Cats, calls the creatures together once a year to celebrate, and for one cat to be chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer (essentially, to die and be reincarnated). Most of the songs detail the adventures and virtues of a single cat in particular, essentially serving as that cat’s audition for the honour of ascension.

Details: New Toronto Production of Cats Meets Expectations

Passion Play‘s Journey Through Time

The Director (Jordan Pettle) speaks to "J" (Andrew Kushnir) while they rehearse the crucifixion scene.

The Director (Jordan Pettle) speaks to "J" (Andrew Kushnir) while they rehearse the crucifixion scene.

  • Eastminister Church (310 Danforth Avenue)
  • 1:30 p.m.

There are a lot of chefs in the kitchen for the Canadian premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play, a triptych set in three time periods that tells the stories of amateur actors (played by real actors) involved in staging performances of the story of Christ. Three different Toronto independent theatre companies, all with reputations for innovative staging and creation in their past work, each tackle one of the three acts. Ordinarily, such a complicated arrangement would be to a show’s detriment, but not in this case. While you need to be prepared for a marathon of theatre (the show runs four hours, incluing two intermissions), you’re certainly going to get your money’s worth.

Details: Passion Play‘s Journey Through Time

Fred Caron’s Trust Isn’t an Issue

  • HUNTCLUB (709 College Street)
  • 6 p.m.

HUNTCLUB brings Montreal artist Fred Caron’s Trust Isn’t an Issue to its gallery for a two-week exhibition, beginning with an opening on Monday, June 10. The street artist is focusing on aspects of Stockholm syndrome for his installation’s short run in Toronto; later this summer, he’ll be the co-curator for on-site art at the Osheaga Festival. In addition to the opening, Caron is also doing an artist’s talk on Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m.

Details: Fred Caron’s Trust Isn’t an Issue

Arts & Crafts X Norman Wong Photography Exhibit

  • 1093 Queen Street West, Unit 2 (1093 Queen Street West)
  • 7 p.m.

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.

Details: Arts & Crafts X Norman Wong Photography Exhibit

Bard in the Park: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Bard in the Park presents Merry Wives of Windsor. Image courtesy of Bard in the Park.

Bard in the Park presents Merry Wives of Windsor. Image courtesy of Bard in the Park.

  • Kew Gardens Park (2075 Queen Street East)
  • 7 p.m., 2 p.m.

It’s a sure sign of summer when theatre productions start popping up in green spaces across Toronto. Launching into their eighth season, Bard in the Park is happy to present The Merry Wives of Windsor. In this Shakespearean comedy, the vain, yet cowardly, knight Sir Falstaff attempts to pursue two wealthy women in hopes of financial gain. Embarrassment ensues.

Details: Bard in the Park: The Merry Wives of Windsor

An Interview With Carmen Choreographer Davide Bombana

National Ballet of Canada Performers rehearse for Carmen.

National Ballet of Canada Performers rehearse for Carmen.

  • Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West)
  • 7:30 p.m.
Details: An Interview With Carmen Choreographer Davide Bombana