If you enjoy great variety in your food as well as live music then be sure to check out Tasty Thursdays at some point this summer. This weekly Nathan Phillips Square event brings different international dishes and music to City Hall to add some much needed delicious fun to your lunch break. Some of the styles you’re likely to see include reggae, rock, tribal rhymes, soul, and cuban salsa.
Dance, dance, dance! Wavelength and Pleasence Records are collaboratively throwing a release party for Gay’s newest record, Dance Mix ’95. Check out one of their tracks here (sounds like sunny pop-rock). Gay will be joined by Hut, Man Made Hill, and Dilly Dally (plus more beats to dance to by DJ Damn Aykroyd).
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).
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.
“To Be Near You” is a new art exhibition that explores the relationship of colours and experiences to our existence. These uniquely abstract pieces of art come to you via artist Christina Wollesen. The opening reception is on July 4 at 7 p.m. While you’re at Hashtag, you also have the chance to check out their “Send-A-Postcard Wall”, which lets you send art to anyone in the world so they can enjoy the show too.
In 1993, a group of psychiatric survivors, friends, and allies gathered in Parkdale to protest their marginalization and mistreatment at the hands of the medical establishment, the government, and the police. The event was called Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day.
Twenty years later, what’s now known as Mad Pride is a week-long event that mixes activism, skill sharing, and celebration of both survival and what Mad Pride organizing committee member Alisa Triest calls “mad culture.” She says that many psychiatric survivors, as well as other people who have been diagnosed with medical illnesses, have decided to reclaim the term “mad,” much like how other marginalized groups have reclaimed words that were once used as slurs against them. She says that using the word “mad” also serves several other purposes.
This summer do your best to support local “HomeGrown” goods at this pop-up shop that features crafts, clothing, and food. Some of the vendors featured include Reunion Island Coffee, The Editorial Magazine, Fresh City Farms, and a whole host of others. To celebrate their launch, they’ll be throwing a party on Thursday, July 11 from 7-11 p.m. (with beats by Parasol).
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.
Dancing on the Pier is back for its third year! If you didn’t participate in this great dance series last year, be sure not to miss out this time around. For the uninitiated, this weekly series offers different live bands and instructors to help you find your groove along the waterfront all summer long. Featuring music by the Toronto All-Star Big Band and Ricardo Barboza.
Some people unwind with retail therapy, others do yoga. Now you can combine both activities with free yoga in the Town Square at The Shops at Don Mills. Regardless of your skill level, bring a mat and join the group for sessions twice weekly, courtesy of Titika.
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.
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.
Henri Fabergé’s Feint of Hart is an epic cabaret/punk opera that combines music, theatre, and film to tell the tale of a young aristocrat “whose Dionysian free spirit meets the resistance of firm Edwardian rule.” Featuring a long list of performers who you’re probably already familiar with including Doldrums, Maylee Todd, Bob Wiseman, Kathleen Phillips, and more. The show will be broken up into multiple episodes over multiple days though the ticket price covers both parts. Click here for the full schedule.
Inspired in part by Slings & Arrows (and this comedy series), there are going to be four nights of Canadian theatre veterans spinning ribald yarns about backstage antics. Hosted by Diane D’Aquila, the first night of Drunk Theatre History will cover the Stratford Festival exclusively, followed by nights focusing on the sordid tales of Canadian theatre in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, with guests like playwright Brad Fraser, Governor-General Award winner Paul Thompson, and director Peter Hinton. Tickets can be reserved by calling The Downstage at 416-997-7018, or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).