Toronto Fringe Festival 2013: Plays We Love So Far

The annual poster run that kicked off the Toronto Fringe Festival on Wednesday, July 3.

The annual poster run that kicked off the Toronto Fringe Festival on Wednesday, July 3.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

We should have known that the 25th-annual Toronto Fringe Festival would be one for the books. Now, after almost one week of theatre-going, beer-tenting, and underground dancing, the Torontoist team has put the fest to the test, to see which plays shone like diamonds in the rough. We were pleasantly surprised with the results. Below, we’ve got some reviews of our favourite shows so far.

Details: Toronto Fringe Festival 2013: Plays We Love So Far

Family Nature Walk: Nature Journaling

Fun, fresh air, and family. Photo courtesy of the High Park Nature Centre.

Fun, fresh air, and family. Photo courtesy of the High Park Nature Centre.

  • High Park Nature Centre (440 Parkside Drive)
  • 1 p.m.

The High Park Nature Centre knows the importance of family time—and activities that get kids outdoors and away from screens. Join them for a drop-in Family Nature Walk, with the focus on nature journaling. Participants will make a simple nature journal, then be led on a hike through different areas of the park to put it to use.

Details: Family Nature Walk: Nature Journaling

Drum Up!

The TORQ Percussion Quartet. Photo courtesy of TORQ Percussion.

The TORQ Percussion Quartet. Photo courtesy of TORQ Percussion.

  • Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West)
  • 7 p.m.

A champion of experimental music and sound art, Musicworks Magazine is expanding their reach and presenting Musicworks Editions, a collection of limited edition art by beloved Canadian musicians. They’re celebrating the launch of the project with Drum Up!, an evening of dynamic drumming by TORQ Percussion. The ticket price includes a magazine subscription.

Details: Drum Up!

Collage Art

Collage art is the theme of the month at Steam Whistle gallery. Image by Lloyd Arbour.

Collage art is the theme of the month at Steam Whistle gallery. Image by Lloyd Arbour.

  • Steam Whistle Brewing (255 Bremner Boulevard)
  • 7 p.m.

Most of us end our cut and paste careers in elementary school, but a select few are able to turn it into a true art form. They use bits and pieces of different images to create a new whole, a different meaning or story. And it’s Collage Art that will be featured in the Steam Whistle gallery this month. Drop by the launch party to see pieces by local artists Laura Clayton, Mel Coleman, Victoria Iles, Drew Taylor, Lloyd Arbour, Sean Gadoury, Caitlin Eady, and Victoria Alstein.

Details: Collage Art

Dancing in the Town Square

Go shopping for dancing shoes, and then put them to use in the Town Square. Photo courtesy of the Shops at Don Mills.

Go shopping for dancing shoes, and then put them to use in the Town Square. Photo courtesy of the Shops at Don Mills.

  • Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Road)
  • 7 p.m.

Like something out of a movie (except, you know, Footloose), you can spend your summer nights dancing in the open air of the Town Square. Join Dexter and Janice of DjDance as they lead Latin Salsa classes twice a week, all summer.

Details: Dancing in the Town Square

Harbourfront Free Flicks: Invented Worlds

  • Harbourfront, WestJet Stage (235 Queens Quay West)
  • 9 p.m.

Do you feel guilty about staying indoors in front of your TV when it’s nice outside? There’s a way around that—sitting by the lake and catching great films every week with Harbourfront’s Free Flicks. This year, NOW Magazine’s Norm Wilner has chosen a crop of imagination-stretching films from notable directors and writers. From Little Shop of Horrors, to The Triplets of Belleville, and That Thing You Do!, each title resides, at least a little bit, in the fantasy world.

CORRECTION: July 3, 2013, 11:00 AM This post originally listed Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moulin Rouge! as films being shown, when they are actually just options for the audience choice film.

Details: Harbourfront Free Flicks: Invented Worlds

TIFF in the Park

  • David Pecaut Square (221 King Street West)
  • 9:15 p.m.

Love is in the air this summer as TIFF in the Park returns for another season of outdoor film screenings, showcasing the best romances from across the decades. Bring a blanket and get comfy on the lawn (yes, the Entertainment District has green space, too) to enjoy everything from Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, to Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Notebook.

Details: TIFF in the Park

Ongoing…

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

KRocca_THE IMITATION GAME-8346

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).


Want more TIFF coverage? Torontoist‘s film festival hub is right over here.
Details: TIFF 2014 Scenes: Tuesday–Thursday Nights, Featuring Good Kill, Maps to the Stars, The Imitation Game, Jauja, Laggies, and More

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

Slap Shot Live!

  • Second City (51 Mercer Street)
  • 8 p.m.

The hockey season may have ended only days ago, but we bet you’re already feeling the withdrawal. No doubt, that’s why the Second City had the bright idea to bring one of the most classic hockey films to the stage. Check out Slap Shot Live!, a comedic re-enactment of the Charleston Chiefs minor league hockey team’s fight for victory in its final season.

Details: Slap Shot Live!

Entertaining Mr. Sloane

David Beazely and Stuart Hughes in rehearsal for Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Photo by Nathan Kelly.

David Beazely and Stuart Hughes in rehearsal for Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Photo by Nathan Kelly.

  • Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane)
  • 2 p.m., 10 p.m.

Soulpepper Theatre collaborates on a Joe Orton play, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s artistic producer Brendan Healey. Guest director Healey has coached some Soulpepper theatre stalwarts—Stuart Hughes, Fiona Reid, Michael Simpson, and David Beazley—for this dark comedy about a charming lodger who incites illicit passions among his other housemates.

Details: Entertaining Mr. Sloane