While city parks are usually populated by drunk hipsters, dogs, or goose poo, this is the week that dance takes over. Dusk Dances brings groups from all over Canada to perform four very different choreographies—including a boxing dance battle—in various spots throughout Withrow Park. Follow host Dan Watson as he takes spectators from one eclectic piece to the other.
Have some music or poetry that you’re just itching to share? Well, the eighth monthly Queen Gallery Poetry Night is upon us, and the stage is open to everyone who wishes to participate. The evening will also feature performances by the “Godmother” of dub-lyricism and spoken word poetry—Lillian Allen.
With summer comes Pride, skimpy clothes, camp, and, in some cases, murder. All of these delightful things are rolled into one with Queer Fear, a celebration of homo-horror. The series kicks off with a screening of 1983′s cheese-fest, Sleepaway Camp, presented by The Black Museum. Feel free to come dressed as your favourite character, or wear as little as possible (the venue is tiny and hot). Just don’t ruin the twist ending for those who haven’t seen it, or you may meet a violent end at the hands of rabid horror fans. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
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 Fringe and SummerWorks aren’t enough to satisfy your summer theatre cravings, the world-renowned Stratford Festival is now only a bus ride away from downtown Toronto, thanks to the new Stratford Direct bus route (“the best thing [the Festival] has done in years” according to one usher at the Avon Theatre). Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino has put together a season to please tastes from the traditional to the extravagant. Here’s what we think about five of Stratford’s current productions.
Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea is a new exhibition from the Toronto Reference Library that gathers a number of rare items that explore the theme of the possible and the impossible. Some of the highlights on display are La vingtième siècle: la vie électrique (a rare French book that shows how scientific discoveries would have affected people in 1955), Tame (a sci-fi pulp magazine), and Worldly Wisdom (watercolour that depicts a Leonardo da Vinci-like figure creating a winged flying machine). You’ll find the exhibition in the library’s TD Gallery.
When Animal House first turned the toga into suitable party attire in 1978, the landscape of the film comedy was forever altered. TOGA! The Reinvention of American Comedy, a new film series that kicked off Wednesday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, seeks to chart the changing comedic sensibilities that have occurred in the years since the film’s release. From big budget blockbusters, to libido-fuelled sex romps, to carefully calibrated exercises in nuance and timing, the selections in the program are some of the funniest films ever made.
Travel back to turn-of-the-century Paris—La Belle Époque—with the Toronto Summer Music Festival. Established and up-and-coming classical musicians gather for this three-week festival to celebrate works by French composers such as Ravel, Debussy, and Fauré. Lectures, workshops, interviews, and concerts will take place in various venues across the city.
Condo-ville isn’t exactly known for its access to organic and locally grown foods. MyMarket is trying to change that with weekly farmers’ markets set up in the in the Northern Linear Park. Residents can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables virtually from their doorstep, while supporting local farmers. Everyone wins!
Nelly Furtado’s backup singer and opening act since 2009, Celia Palli is stepping out of the shadows as a singer-songwriter. Born in Spain, and raised in the Netherlands, Palli will be spending July in her adopted home of Toronto for a residency at the Cameron House.
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.
Musical theatre has a reputation for sometimes being out of touch and old-fashioned, so the prospect of Mirvish Productions bringing a tour of Cole Porter’s 1934 musical Anything Goes to Toronto wasn’t especially heartening at first—even if this particular production, by New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company, won three 2011 Tony Awards.
But say, pal, wouldn’t you know, we were downright tickled to have such a good time at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The jokes are still corny, the songs still melodramatic, and the script still has some pretty racist content, but the show manages to transcend its era.
Playwright and director Bobby Del Rio touches on the struggle artists face in The Trial of Ken Gass. Based on the real-life dismissal of a Canadian theatre legend, the play sees Ken Gass continually put on trial for crimes of which he knows nothing. The part of Gass will be played by a different actor every night, including Peter Keleghan, Art Hindle, Diane Flacks, Greg Dunham, and Dinesh Sachdev.
Cult films are generally defined as obscure pieces, or box-office bombs, that have been shunned by the mainstream but are beloved by a dedicated underground fanbase. And while Yonge-Dundas Square is hardly a little-known moviehouse tucked away in the trendiest part of the city, it is a great place to watch movies outdoors. Every Tuesday, the City Cinema: Cult Classics program will feature fan-favourite films like Edward Scissorhands (July 9), Napoleon Dynamite (July 23), and The Goonies (July 30) in the square.