The Secret City: An Occult History of Toronto

  • Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street)
  • 1 p.m.

The word “occult” typically conjures images of pentagrams, candles, and conspicuous Goth characters; but it hasn’t always been that way. Professor Gillian McCann reveals a different view of Victorian/Edwardian era Toronto and the occult in her presentation, An Occult History of Toronto. Using research from her book Vanguard of the New Age: The Toronto Theosophical Society 1891-1945, Dr. McCann argues that members of the occult movement were involved in a broad range of issues such as labour debates, women’s rights, socialism, and alternative religion.

Details: The Secret City: An Occult History of Toronto

Casa-Palooza: Jesse Pitcher

Jesse Pitcher will play a show on the Casa Loma terrace. Photo by photoscapes2009 from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Jesse Pitcher will play a show on the Casa Loma terrace. Photo by photoscapes2009 from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

  • Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace)
  • 7 p.m.

Catch a live show at Toronto’s ultimate outdoor venue: the Casa Loma terrace. Enjoy a drink, barbeque, and a spectacular view of the city while taking in the sounds of Jesse Pitcher. Let him take you on a nostalgic journey with classics from ’90s rock to current pop, arranged to fit his unique acoustic style.

Details: Casa-Palooza: Jesse Pitcher

Ongoing…

A Guide to the 2013 Toronto Jazz Festival

The Bobby Sparks Trio.

The Bobby Sparks Trio.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

The 2013 Toronto Jazz Festival descends on the city on June 21 with a huge “free for all” event. That means all of Friday, June 21′s programming at every Jazz Festival venue is, yes, completely free of charge. There will be concerts from local favourites Molly Johnson and Mary Margaret O’Hara, plus a show by Smokey Robinson and Martha Reeves, who will be launching the fest from its epicentre, Nathan Phillips Square.

Here’s a rundown of some of the shows worth checking out on Friday—and during the rest of the festival, when you’ll actually have to pay.

Details: A Guide to the 2013 Toronto Jazz Festival

The Royal Ontario Museum Takes a Modern Approach to the Cradle of Civilization

The Bobby Sparks Trio.

The Bobby Sparks Trio.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

The 2013 Toronto Jazz Festival descends on the city on June 21 with a huge “free for all” event. That means all of Friday, June 21′s programming at every Jazz Festival venue is, yes, completely free of charge. There will be concerts from local favourites Molly Johnson and Mary Margaret O’Hara, plus a show by Smokey Robinson and Martha Reeves, who will be launching the fest from its epicentre, Nathan Phillips Square.

Here’s a rundown of some of the shows worth checking out on Friday—and during the rest of the festival, when you’ll actually have to pay.

Details: A Guide to the 2013 Toronto Jazz Festival

Films “With Heart” Find A Home At ReelHeart International Film Festival

Josh Thomas and J.J. Kelley in Go Ganges!. Image courtesy of ReelHeart International Film Festival.

Josh Thomas and J.J. Kelley in Go Ganges!. Image courtesy of ReelHeart International Film Festival.

  • Big Picture Cinema (1035 Gerrard Street East)
  • All day

While most festivals are geared towards some specific audience—like the Inside Out Festival or the Jewish Film Festival, for instance—where ReelHeart International Film Festival separates itself from the pack is by welcoming all submissions, as long as they have what the organizers deem to be “real heart.”

Details: Films “With Heart” Find A Home At ReelHeart International Film Festival

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)
  • 7 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

New Toronto Production of Cats Meets Expectations

Cats Ensemble. Photo by Racheal McCaig.

Cats Ensemble. Photo by Racheal McCaig.

  • Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street)
  • 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