Clothing Repairathon

  • St. Lawrence Market (92 Front Street East)
  • 9:30 a.m.

Is an item of clothing you own in desperate need of repair? Are you unable to fix it, because you have no idea how do so yourself? This Clothing Repairathon, then, might just be the best thing you’ll hear about all day. You can have two to three articles of clothing repaired by volunteers.

Details: Clothing Repairathon

Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West)
  • 10 a.m.

Tired of shopping for the same old clothes? The Toronto Vintage Clothing Show will give you the opportunity to go back in time and grab some rare and retro items you likely won’t find anywhere else. The event will feature vendors from Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, and will offer everything from costume jewellery to cocktail dresses. You can get a $2 discount off the cost of admission by clicking here.

Details: Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

Brainsgiving 2013

  • Annex Theatre (730 Bathurst Street)
  • 9 p.m.

Brainsgiving 2013 is a comedy fundraiser, benefiting Toronto Rehab’s Neuro Rehabilitation Program. The event was inspired by founder Amanda Terfloth’s discovery of (and subsequent recovery from) a brain tumour. Now in its sixth year, the event features a wide variety of comedians, including Torontoist favourite Pat Thornton, Sara Hennessey, Fraser Young, and Ladystache. Make sure you buy your tickets in advance, as they’ll probably get snapped up pretty quickly.

Details: Brainsgiving 2013

VOX

  • Baltic Avenue (875 Bloor Street West)
  • 10 p.m.

Searching for a new musical party in Toronto? VOX is a new indie/electro-pop event that will be taking place on the last Saturday of every month. You can expect to hear indie favourites like Arcade Fire, The Strokes, M83, and LCD Soundsystem (bands you might also be able to catch on Toronto’s brand-new indie radio station). This week’s inaugural event will feature Parallels (who start at 11 p.m.).

Details: VOX

Ongoing…

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

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  • Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park)
  • All day

The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.

Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada.

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

A Sampling of the Stratford Festival

Scott Wentworth as Tevye, with Jacquelyn French (Hodel), Keely Hutton (Chava) and Jennifer Stewart (Tzeitel) in Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Scott Wentworth as Tevye, with Jacquelyn French (Hodel), Keely Hutton (Chava) and Jennifer Stewart (Tzeitel) in Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

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.

Details: A Sampling of the Stratford Festival

BEARS IN THE STREETS *the world as I’ve seen it

Image courtesy of Jeff Blackburn.

Image courtesy of Jeff Blackburn.

  • Gallery 431 (431 Roncesvalles Avenue)
  • All day

BEARS IN THE STREETS *the world as I’ve seen it is a solo art exhibition by Jeff Blackburn featuring works that involve bears, which act as guides through various cityscapes (see above for example). Visitors will have the chance to see different public spaces from around the world (with bears!). The opening reception will be held on September 1st and will start at 7 p.m.

Details: BEARS IN THE STREETS *the world as I’ve seen it

Just For Laughs 42: A Festival Preview

Headliner Aziz Ansari. Photo courtesy of JFL42.

Headliner Aziz Ansari. Photo courtesy of JFL42.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

The planners behind Just For Laughs 42 sure do have a good sense of humour. For starters, the name is a little bit of a joke. Anyone thinking that the “42″ refers to the number of years the comedy festival has been in operation would be sorely mistaken—it actually denotes the number of events taking place during the ten days of the festival’s run.

This year’s JFL42 will feature three headline events: appearances by Sarah Silverman and Aziz Ansari, and a live reading of an episode of Family Guy—complete with cast members and a 40-piece orchestra. But there’s plenty more worth checking out. Our overview of this year’s festival is below.

Details: Just For Laughs 42: A Festival Preview

Land|Slide Possible Futures Explores a Suburb in Flux

Duke and Battersby’s Always Popular; Never Cool.

Duke and Battersby’s Always Popular; Never Cool.

  • Markham Museum (9350 Markham Road)
  • All day

If you look out the window while riding the bus from downtown to Markham, you’ll notice the urban landscape gradually unfolding into the suburban: tight-knit city streets loosen into faster multi-lane roads, box stores assemble in beige-brick clusters, and everywhere new structures are being outstripped by even newer buildings at various stages of completion.

Markham just upgraded itself from town to city in July 2012, and is one of the fastest-growing and most diverse municipalities in the country. And while the place may not inspire many enthusiastic road-trips from downtowners, “Land|Slide Possible Futures,” a new, large-scale public-art exhibition, invites visitors to explore Markham’s history, its quickly changing present, and its potential evolution—while also challenging glib notions surrounding the suburbs themselves.

Details: Land|Slide Possible Futures Explores a Suburb in Flux

Culture Days

Manuel Jesudasan will perform The King's Fury—a Tamil Folk Drama as part of Culture Days. Photo courtesy of the Toronto Public Library.

Manuel Jesudasan will perform The King's Fury—a Tamil Folk Drama as part of Culture Days. Photo courtesy of the Toronto Public Library.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

For three days, cities across the country are celebrating Culture Days, a non-profit initiative to encourage Canadians to attend and participate in arts and culture events. Naturally, there’s a plethora of institutions and arts organizations taking part in Toronto. Better still, all the events are free. There are open houses, tours, and performances at places like the Four Seasons Centre, the Toronto Centre For the Arts, and Wychwood Barns. And there’s plenty of special programming at libraries, public and private art galleries, and dance studios. You can search for activities by proximity to your postal code, type, date, organizer, and more at the Culture Days website.

Details: Culture Days

The Norman Conquests

Soulpepper's artistic director Albert Schultz in rehearsal for The Norman Conquests. Photo by Nathan Kelly.

Soulpepper's artistic director Albert Schultz in rehearsal for The Norman Conquests. Photo by Nathan Kelly.

  • Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane)
  • All day

Like the company’s recent triumph, Angels in America, Soulpepper’s newest show, The Norman Conquests, requires multiple trips to the theatre—or a hearty constitution for a full day of marathon attendance. Unlike Angels in America, the three instalments of The Norman ConquestsTable Manners, Living Together, and Round and Round the Garden—are comic in nature and small in scope, with each instalment taking place in a different part of a couple’s house. Written by prolific British playwright Alan Ayckbourn, the three-part series features veteran members of the Soulpepper ensemble, and can be “enjoyed individually or in any combination.”

Details: The Norman Conquests

The World According to “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

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  • Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West)
  • 10 a.m.

Ai Weiwei is a 56-year-old artist confined to his home in Beijing for creating work critical of the Chinese government and Chinese culture. There are video cameras outside his house, his phone lines are tapped, his blog was deleted, his Shanghai studio was destroyed in 2010 by authorities, and his passport was confiscated in 2011. To this day, he’s unable to leave his country. Even so, Ai Weiwei has had a large presence in Toronto over the past few months.

This past June, he did a performance piece with artist Laurie Anderson during the Luminato Festival, using Skype. His Zodiac Heads have been installed, temporarily, in the reflecting pool in front of City Hall. At this year’s Nuit Blanche, a large-scale version of his sculpture of bicycles, Forever, will take over Nathan Phillips Square. And beginning August 17, the Art Gallery of Ontario is displaying “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”, a retrospective of the work he produced before and after the Chinese government’s crackdown on his activities helped him find new international acclaim.

Details: The World According to “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

Louise Pitre Goes Autobiographical in On The Rocks

Louise Pitre bowing in front of accompanist Diane Leah. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Louise Pitre bowing in front of accompanist Diane Leah. Photo by Michael Cooper.

  • Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue)
  • 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday was not a great day for feminism, if feminism means getting upset when a prominent Canadian author and University of Toronto professor says he doesn’t care much for any literature written by women, or when an engagement ring must be “earned” by making a man 300 sandwiches. Needless to say, Louise Pitre’s one-woman autobiographical show, On The Rocks, couldn’t have opened on a day when audiences were more ready to hear the personal story of one of Canada’s biggest female theatrical role models—especially in a production created by an all-female crew lead by director Jen Shuber.

Details: Louise Pitre Goes Autobiographical in On The Rocks

Memory in the Mud

  • Young Welcome Centre, Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue)
  • 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.

Evergreen Brick Works may be a cool place to ride a bike or check out a farmer’s market, but it also has a rich history that many people don’t know about. Memory in the Mud brings light to these stories with a unique style of roving, interactive theatre courtesy of Words in Motion. Learn about the people who lived and worked at Brick Works throughout the years, including German prisoners of war and those who were left homeless during the Great Depression.

Details: Memory in the Mud

Angels in America Is Worth the Marathon Running Time

An Angel (Raquel Duffy) appears to AIDS patient Prior Walter (Damien Atkins) in Angels in America. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

An Angel (Raquel Duffy) appears to AIDS patient Prior Walter (Damien Atkins) in Angels in America. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane)
  • 7:30 p.m.

Many people now routinely consume television series in marathon benders, blowing through DVDs or Netflix downloads in a few evenings or a weekend. It’s that sort of experience—but live, of course—that awaits audiences at Soulpepper’s production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, which offers over six hours of impeccably staged and performed theatre either in two long evenings or over the course of one full day, with multiple intermissions and a meal break.

Details: Angels in America Is Worth the Marathon Running Time

Look Back in Anger

The cast of Look Back in Anger. Photo courtesy of FeverGraph Theatre Company.

The cast of Look Back in Anger. Photo courtesy of FeverGraph Theatre Company.

  • Thrush Homes Empire Gallery (1093 Queen Street West)
  • 8 p.m.

FeverGraph Theatre Company wants you to get mad (and perhaps go mad) over their new stage production. Look Back in Anger focuses on four people, and the anger that cripples each of them. Rather being a study of hot tempers, the play examines our common desire to feel something deeper than what reality delivers, our sense of futility, and the anger that ensues. Directed by Anita La Selva, the piece was co-conceived by its performers: Eli Ham, Adriano Sobretodo Jr., Tosha Doiron, and Zoë Sweet.

Details: Look Back in Anger

FIXED

Photo courtesy of Zack Russell.

Photo courtesy of Zack Russell.

  • Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

FIXED is a play by Zack Russell that describes itself as a “cross-generation mash-up of gay inventors looking for their fix.” The show’s main character, Gayle, invents a hook-up app that broadcasts men right into a user’s home. What could go wrong?

Details: FIXED

Tainted is All Heart

Owen Mason plays Leo Steele in Tainted. Photo by Colin O'Connor.

Owen Mason plays Leo Steele in Tainted. Photo by Colin O'Connor.

  • Aki Studio Theatre (585 Dundas Street East)
  • 2 p.m., 8 p.m.

When we met Kat Lanteigne the day before her new play, Tainted, opened at Aki Studio Theatre, the first thing she did was apologize for her eye twitch. She had been getting less than four hours of sleep a night as she readied the production for the stage.

Tainted, directed by Vikki Anderson and presented by GromKat Productions and Moyo Theatre, is a play that takes on Canada’s tainted-blood scandal, exploring the devastating impact that tainted blood products have upon one fictionalized family.

Details: Tainted is All Heart

Second City’s New Show Is a Heroic Effort

Allison Price, about to lose her patience with Stacey McGunnigle. Photo courtesy of Second City.

Allison Price, about to lose her patience with Stacey McGunnigle. Photo courtesy of Second City.

  • Second City (51 Mercer Street)
  • 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.

You might expect a show called We Can Be Heroes to be a send-up of superhero films, but Second City’s new mainstage production is actually a celebration of minor, everyday acts of heroism ranging from giving advice to a bullied child to managing not to be a jackass at your friend’s wedding.

Details: Second City’s New Show Is a Heroic Effort