Science Rendezvous

What's going on here? Find out at Science Rendezvous! Image courtesy of Science Rendezvous.

What's going on here? Find out at Science Rendezvous! Image courtesy of Science Rendezvous.

  • University of Toronto (172 St George Street)
  • 11 a.m.

Educational stuff on a weekend can be a hard sell, but who says these things have to be boring? Science Rendezvous is a day-long festival that focuses on the cooler aspects of the field in hopes of raising interest in science and technology among young people. Get hands-on with all sorts of nifty experiments, lab tours, researcher meet-and-greets, and more.

Details: Science Rendezvous

Introduction to Tap Dance

  • Mad For Dance (263 Adelaide West)
  • 1 p.m.

Imagine what your life would be like if you could tap-dance. You’d be the entertainer at many a party, be able to brag about your skills on dates, and have an amusing way of making an exit from awkward social situations. Therefore, you should take advantage of Mad for Dance’s Introduction to Tap Dance lesson with Mackenzie Greenwell. No previous experience or fancy shoes necessary!

Details: Introduction to Tap Dance

We Are the Best

Thirteen-year-olds Bobo, Klara, and Hedvig start their own punk band—without instruments—in We Are the Best. Image courtesy of CMW Film Fest.

Thirteen-year-olds Bobo, Klara, and Hedvig start their own punk band—without instruments—in We Are the Best. Image courtesy of CMW Film Fest.

  • Royal Cinema (608 College Street)
  • 1 p.m.

Bobo, Klara, and Hedvig are three 13-year-old girls who grew up too early. While roaming the streets of Stockholm, they discover the world of punk rock, and decide to start their own band—without instruments. Presented by the CMW Film Fest, We Are the Best chronicles the musical careers of these innovative young women. Alumni of Girls Rock Camp Toronto—Unicorn Patrol and The Overtones—will perform following the screening.

Details: We Are the Best

Beyonce vs. Rihanna Burlesque

  • Club 120 (120 Church Street)
  • 10 p.m.

Are you a fierce single lady, or a good girl gone bad? Better choose a side, because A Platinum Production has put together a new instalment of its Diva Off series, and this time it’s Beyonce vs. Rihanna. Belle Jumelles, Trixi Jones, Cerise Noir, Svetlana Konswallow, St Stella, Mickey D Liscious, Obskyura, and Cocoa Blows will be making teams and taking the stage to decide which babe’s beats make for better burlesque. Stick around afterwards for the dance party, and throw down your own moves to the tunes of DJ Johnny B Goode.

Details: Beyonce vs. Rihanna Burlesque

Ongoing…

A Journey Into the Forbidden City

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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.
Details: TIFF 2014 Scenes: Tuesday–Thursday Nights, Featuring Good Kill, Maps to the Stars, The Imitation Game, Jauja, Laggies, and More

Vulnerability, Suffering, and Strength

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  • Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West)
  • All day

“The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon

“In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore

These quotations, which welcome visitors to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms.

Details: Vulnerability, Suffering, and Strength

Canadian Music Week 2014

Photo by Renee Navarro from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

Photo by Renee Navarro from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

If you’re thinking that it seems longer than usual since Canadian Music Week last rolled around, good news: you’re not crazy. For its 2014 edition, the event left behind its typically lousy March weather and moved to the comparatively balmier conditions of early May. So instead of being viewed as the next major festival after SXSW, it’ll perhaps now be seen more as a sibling of NXNE. Thanks to a radius clause introduced by NXNE that makes sure the two festivals feature different acts, though, they’ll have to carve out their own separate identities as concert extravaganzas.

What hasn’t changed about CMW in 2014 is its range of offerings—it still features a diverse lineup of music from artists both established and emerging, complemented by smaller samplings of film and comedy. With headlining performances from the likes of Canadian duo Tegan and Sara and a wide array of showcases carefully programmed for different genres and—in some cases—countries, there’s something on the schedule for everyone.

Details: Canadian Music Week 2014

Celebrating Beautiful (and Affordable) Art

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  • Direct Energy Centre (100 Princes' Boulevard)
  • All day

The Love Art fair has arrived in Toronto. A branch of the international Affordable Art Fair, Love Art champions the philosophy that fine-art collecting and economic accessibility should not be mutually exclusive, and aims to create new art collectors while also providing a forum for emerging and established artists to showcase and sell their works. Definitions of affordability and accessibility are certainly subjective, but with prices starting at $60, Love Art is endeavouring to make the acquisition of art possible for a wider range of people.

Details: Celebrating Beautiful (and Affordable) Art

land|body|breath

  • Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West)
  • 2 p.m.

The Peggy Baker Dance Project is thinking outside the box with its new production, land|body|breath. Specially designed to exist between the paintings and sculptures of the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, this immersive show features a combination of dancers and vocalists.

Details: land|body|breath

Vitals: Immersive Theatre That’s Close to Home

Katherine Cullen in Vitals. Photo by Michael Barlas.

Katherine Cullen in Vitals. Photo by Michael Barlas.

  • 149 Roncesvalles Avenue (149 Roncesvalles Avenue)
  • 1:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m.

Outside the March seems to be Toronto’s favourite indie theatre company. Director Mitchell Cushman built up quite a buzz after consecutive hits Mr. Marmalade and Terminus, both of which were praised for their unconventional use of space (the former was set in a kindergarten classroom, the latter placed both the actors and the audience on the stage of the Royal Alexandra Theatre), so his next project had been highly anticipated. Vitals, written by Rosamund Small, was the first script for Outside the March developed specifically for a site-specific space, and its original run had to be extended even before opening night. Then, only a few days into the run, it was extended again to June 1. And though Vitals isn’t the best show in Outside the March’s history, there’s a reason that tickets have been flying.

Details: Vitals: Immersive Theatre That’s Close to Home

Abigail’s Party

Claire Burns (left) and Anna Hardwick (right) in Abagail's Party. Photo by Daniel Notarianni.

Claire Burns (left) and Anna Hardwick (right) in Abagail's Party. Photo by Daniel Notarianni.

  • Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue)
  • 7:30 p.m.

It’s 1977, and a group of friends in England are gathering for a soirée. A pretty standard concept, that’s for sure, but Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party takes things to another level with a playful romp through the lives of these suburban socialites. Witness the hilarity and awkwardness as the hostess from hell metaphorically tears her guests to pieces.

Details: Abigail’s Party

Of Human Bondage Is Striking, but Not Subtle

Dan Chameroy, Gregory Prest, and Oliver Dennis in front of living portraits Raquel Duffy, Sarah Wilson, and Courtney Ch'ng Lancaster. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Dan Chameroy, Gregory Prest, and Oliver Dennis in front of living portraits Raquel Duffy, Sarah Wilson, and Courtney Ch'ng Lancaster. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane)
  • 1:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

As the world premiere of a stage adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s famous novel, Soulpepper Theatre’s production of Of Human Bondage is the jewel of the company’s 2014 season. Not that it’s a perfect play—but it does flex the strength of Soulpepper’s acting ensemble, design team, and, well, budget. The arresting opening scene sees the play’s main character, Philip Carey, well-played by Gregory Prest, enter by rising through a trapdoor centre stage while other members of the cast appear to dissect a cadaver (they’re actually crossing bows across a double bass, which is lying horizontally on an operating table). A spotlight casts Philip’s shadow against a red-brick wall, so that the bows appear to saw through his stiff, upright body. Setting the tone for the rest of the production, the scene is striking, but not incredibly subtle.

Details: Of Human Bondage Is Striking, but Not Subtle

The Last Confession

David Suchet and Richard O’Callaghan star in The Last Confession. Photo by John Haines.

David Suchet and Richard O’Callaghan star in The Last Confession. Photo by John Haines.

  • Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West)
  • 2 p.m., 8 p.m.

If you’re in the mood for a murder mystery with a religious twist, you’ll want to check out The Last Confession. David Suchet (Poirot) and Richard O’Callaghan star in this play about the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. After only 33 days in office, and having warned three cardinals that they would be replaced, he is found dead. Though the Vatican refuses to open an official investigation, Cardinal Benelli goes out in search of the truth.

Details: The Last Confession

Beatrice & Virgil: Yann Martel’s Monkey and Donkey Hit the Stage

Damien Atkins as Henry, peering at a taxidermied donkey and ape, Beatrice and Virgil. Photo by Joanna Akyol.

Damien Atkins as Henry, peering at a taxidermied donkey and ape, Beatrice and Virgil. Photo by Joanna Akyol.

  • Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street)
  • 2 p.m., 8 p.m.

Most unsolicited messages from admirers to famous writers do not result in collaborations: but when Lindsay Cochrane, kindergarten teacher and English literature grad, emailed Yann Martel, the acclaimed author of Life of Pi, about adapting one of his novels into a stage play, the two ended up joining forces. The result is Cochrane’s first play, Beatrice & Virgil, on now at Factory Theatre (in a co-production with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre). With the help of director Sarah Garton Stanley, Cochrane has made an impressively valiant effort to wrangle some large, abstract, and troublesome ideas into a well-crafted work of live theatre.

Details: Beatrice & Virgil: Yann Martel’s Monkey and Donkey Hit the Stage

A God in Need of Help Gets Some From Its Friends

From back to front: Ben Irvine, Daniel Kash, Tony Nappo, Jonathan Seinen, Dmitry Chepovetsky, and Alden Adair. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

From back to front: Ben Irvine, Daniel Kash, Tony Nappo, Jonathan Seinen, Dmitry Chepovetsky, and Alden Adair. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

We’re nearing the end of Tarragon Theatre‘s 2013/2014 season, and it appears we’ve also arrived at the final stage of its theme: love, loss, wine, and the gods. But that doesn’t mean the Tarragon, which has seen some major hits this year in Lungs, The Double, and The Ugly One, is phoning it in. Sean Dixon’s ambitious new script, A God in Need of Help, has produced not only one of the longer plays in the Tarragon season, but also easily the most dense and layered, mixing as it does historical fact and fiction with timeless issues of art, religion, and politics. Fortunately, that makes it the strongest mainstage show of the season thus far (we’ll see how Tarragon’s final show, The God That Comes, co-created by and featuring Hawksley Workman, performs in June).

Details: A God in Need of Help Gets Some From Its Friends

Snow Bride

Katie Hood stars in Snow Bride. Image courtesy of Romantic Animal Theatre Collective.

Katie Hood stars in Snow Bride. Image courtesy of Romantic Animal Theatre Collective.

  • The Box Theatre (89 Niagara Street)
  • 8 p.m.

Talk about striking while the iron is hot—David James Brock’s Snow Bride is hitting the stage just in time for wedding season… and some other stuff in the news. When no one shows up for Helena’s bachelorette party, she turns to her oldest and most trusted friend: cocaine. Using humour, the play touches on the difficulties surrounding a life of addiction and its effects on interpersonal relationships.

Details: Snow Bride

Mies Julie Is a Powerhouse Production

Hilda Cronje as Julie in Yael Farber's Mies Julie. Photo by Rodger Bosch.

Hilda Cronje as Julie in Yael Farber's Mies Julie. Photo by Rodger Bosch.

  • Harbourfront Centre, Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West)
  • 8 p.m.

On Tuesday night, it was a clear and calm evening by the waterfront—a little warm, even. It was a hint of what (we’re hoping) is in store for us this summer, and created a serene and restful atmosphere.

That feeling was promptly destroyed by the production currently playing at the Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre, Yael Farber’s Mies Julie. It’s angering, devastating, and terrifying—but in the best way possible.

Details: Mies Julie Is a Powerhouse Production