For the debut edition of Plays for Parents—a midday baby-friendly play-reading series—east-end arts producers O Muse have programmed local playwright Julia Lederer’s With Love and a Major Organ, a Fringe and Next Stage festival comedy hit about giving one’s heart (literally) to the one you love. Given that cast members from the original production, including the playwright, are taking part, this is a rare opportunity to see a version of a play that sold out its run—and while little ones are welcome, they aren’t an admission requirement.
Toronto Masque Theatre presents a special salon on the History of the Masque, with a retrospective featuring the company’s artistic director Larry Beckwith; Steven Heighton, the librettist of its upcoming show Europa and the White Bull; and English and Humanities professor Katie Larson of the University of Toronto. The evening will also feature performances by soprano Patricia O’Callaghan and roots musician Ken Whiteley.
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).
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.
Film critic Shlomo Schwartzberg is spending his Mondays for the next several months on a lecture series about the career of one of America’s greatest commercial filmmakers. Defining Greatness: Director Steven Spielberg launched on January 20 with a examination (and clips) of some of Spielberg’s greatest hits (E.T. the Extraterrestrial, Lincoln). On January 27, the series looks at early films like Duel and Jaws, before moving weekly through the rest of Spielberg’s body of work. There’s a flat fee of $90 for the whole series, or drop-in prices for single lectures.