Toronto International Bicycle Show
The world’s largest bicycle consumer show, the Toronto International Bike Show will feature over 150 exhibitors, BMX and stunt riding exhibitions, and the Great Lakes Winter Classic—a bike polo tournament featuring 20 teams from all across North America.
This post originally stated that this event would be taking place at the Convention Centre. It is, in fact, being held at the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place.
Grilled Cheese Fest
Does facing down all the gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches you can eat sound appealing? Especially if they’re paired with samples of craft beer, and unlimited soup? The Grilled Cheese Fest is being produced by Joylister and features new and signature creations by local restos like Cheeseworks, MELT, Gorilla Cheese, and more. If you’re a fan of simple fare made well, you should be able to manage several charges at the different serving stations over the course of nearly five hours of feasting.
The first annual Grilled Cheese Fest is now sold out, but there’s something that might still be able to get you in the door and on your way to cheesy deliciousness: a contest! That’s right—we have six pairs of tickets to give away. All you have to do is post a comment below before midnight on February 18, and you might find yourself headed for grilled cheese sandwich bliss. Winners will be randomly selected and must be over 19 years of age. We will contact you soon if Grilled Cheese Fest is in your future!
The contest has now closed, and we have contacted the lucky winners. If you weren’t one of them, we wish you good cheese luck in future contests!
$5 Rap Show 4th Anniversary
Local rap events in Toronto’s downtown core—especially recurring ones— are rare, so not only is the $5 Rap Show an excellent bang for your bucks, but its longevity over four years (an age in recurring shows of any kind) is definitely worth celebrating. Hosts Wordburglar, More or Les, and Doogie Howitzer will be joined by Jesse Dangerously, Bonshah, and many more special guests (including, if past shows are any indication, a jackalope).
Digits, With Ken Park, Mekele, Farragoes
Alt Altman, co-founder of electro blog and music series Silent Shout, makes sexy-cool beats himself as Digits, and he’s releasing a new mixtape entitled Shake Your Body Down, on cassette. (That’s right, cassette.) Joining Digits on the bill will be a mix of acts from Montreal and Toronto—Ken Park, Mekele, and Farragoes.
Rival Boys, with Stella Ella Ola, Aron D’Alesio
Rock ‘n’ roll outfit Rival Boys have a debut LP coming later this year, but first, they have an Ice Storm EP to release—the product of two days sequestered during stormy weather this winter. Joining them on the bill for their EP release party are Stella Ella Ola, Aron D’Alesio, and a secret guest act to be revealed shortly before the show.
TIFF 2014 Scenes: Tuesday–Thursday Nights, Featuring Good Kill, Maps to the Stars, The Imitation Game, Jauja, Laggies, and More
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.
Life Is Good, When it’s This Cabaret
It’s 1931 in Berlin, and the Nazis are on the brink of supremacy. But there remains another side to the city—one that’s decadent, permissive, and artistic. And that’s the world we meet when we’re beckoned into the extravagant and sleazy Kit Kat Klub by eccentric Emcee and his troupe of saucy dancers, performing “Willkommen.”
Cabaret’s primary plotline begins with the arrival of American writer Cliff Bradshaw (David Light). Without a real agenda, he’s come to Berlin to work on his novel and teach English. A patron of the Kit Kat Klub, he catches the eye of the star performer Sally Bowles (Kylie McMahon). A natural stunner, Sally is a bubbly young Brit with a powerhouse voice, a dancer’s grace, and a reputation for flitting from man to man like a bumblebee in a flowerbed. It’s not long before she and Cliff fall in love—though the question of whether he’ll be able to satisfy her wild side constantly hangs over their heads. The sweetness lacking in their relationship can be found in the romantic pairing of the boarding house landlord Fraulein Schneider (Adeen Ashton Fogle) and Jewish shop owner Herr Schultz (Don Berns). As appealing as they are, though, these middle-aged lovebirds are just as susceptible to trouble and heartbreak as their younger counterparts.
From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru
Ichimaru—once one of Japan’s most famous geishas—left the profession in the 1930s to pursue a career in entertainment. Never really leaving her past life, she became known for adorning herself in the traditional geisha garb when performing in concert or on television. “From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru” exhibits several decades’ worth of outfits and personal effects, shedding light on the woman behind the makeup.
Same Same But Different
Bollywood is the force that brings two stories of self-exploration together in Same Same But Different. After her mother’s life is changed by a run-in with the world of Indian cinema, Aisha—a Canadian-born actress—realizes that she must face her prejudices about nationality and skin colour in order to rise to stardom.
Heartbeat of Home
The producers of Riverdance have spawned yet another on-stage extravaganza. With a talented cast of 38, Heartbeat of Home is a high-energy show, combining Irish, Latin, and Afro-Cuban music and dance. Torontonians get the honour of seeing the production’s North American debut—take it in before it’s gone!
Told through South American music and dance, Arrabal is the story of a young girl desperate to find out what happened to her father after the Argentine military made him disappear when she was just a baby. Her search leads her to the Tango clubs of Buenos Aires, where she discovers both the truth, and herself.
Even though Billy was born deaf, his family strived to raise him the same way they would have a hearing-able child. Tribes sees him learn what it is to hear and be heard when he meets Sylvia, a young woman who is gradually becoming deaf herself. Presented by A Theatrefront Production, Canadian Stage, and Theatre Aquarius, this emotional play stars Stephen Drabicki and Holly Lewis.
Mrs. Warren’s Profession
Sterling Studio Theatre calls issues of morality into question with its production of George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession. When Kitty Warren’s daughter Vivie finds out just how her mother has been supporting their family, she must re-evaluate her views on sex, money, and power.
The Metamorphosis Is a Topsy-Turvy Spectacle
The image most commonly associated with Franz Kafka’s most famous work, the 1915 novella The Metamorphosis, is that of a giant insect trapped inside a bare, dirty room with a rotting apple lodged in his back—the bug was formerly a man named Gregor Samsa, and the room was formerly his bedroom. As we all know, this distressing and inexplicable transformation from man to bug happened in an instant, although its emotional and literary after-effects have been haunting English students ever since.
The stage adaptation of The Metamorphosis by the Icelandic company Vesturport Theatre and London’s Lyric Hammersmith, on now at the Royal Alexandra Theatre with Mirvish Productions, is much more watchable than this introduction would suggest. The only bug you’ll see in this version is a trick of light and shadow. And that’s not the only trick up this show’s sleeve (or perhaps antenna?).
What would happen if two characters from different books were to meet up outside their narratives? This is the basis of Brian Friel’s Afterplay, which explores the hypothetical relationship between two Anton Chekhov creations—Sonya from Uncle Vanya and Andrey from Three Sisters. For the price of admission, you’ll also get to indulge in authentic Russian tea during the performance, courtesy of the Campbell House.
Recently, the Storefront Theatre (which received an honourable mention in our 2013 Heroes section) found itself literally underwater when a water main break dumped seven feet of water in its basement. A campaign to help the indie venue recover from the flood is ongoing, but in the meantime, the show must (and will) go on: its production of SHREW, a witty adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy of the sexes using puppets and a Klondike Gold Rush setting, will close out its run at Theatre Passe Muraille.
Major Tom Is a Major Joy
Believe what you will about love at first sight, but that’s apparently what happened when Brighton, England, artist Victoria Melody met a basset hound puppy she soon named Major Tom. He was twice the size of his littermates and the last one to find a home; she was in a committed relationship and wanted to see if she and her partner Mitch could handle the responsibilities of parenthood. But the two instantly clicked over their shared stubbornness, among other things. He not only found an owner in Victoria—he found a collaborator.
Melody and Tom’s epic stubbornness is now on stage—we said stubborn, not shy—in the show Major Tom, on now with World Stage for a limited run at the Enwave Theatre. (Major Tom does seem to prefer limited runs, sometimes refusing to walk even a few paces to get his favourite treat.) Melody’s stubborn streak comes out in her storytelling: in this one-woman, one-dog show, Melody explains how it was that she and Tom became immersed in the world of dog shows and beauty pageants, and persevered despite the odds stacked against them.