The Todd sisters, exceptionally talented in their respective creative fields of fashion (Leilanni) and music (Maylee), guest on this month’s Interaction series for creative thinkers, hosted by the Lunch collective. Maylee, who just played a showcase at CMW, often wears costumes and outfits on stage and in her videos that are created by her sister; in turn, she’s often been a model for Leilanni, who’s been profiled as a designer by the Globe and Mail and Fashion magazine. The sisters will talk about their collaborative creative work in the past, present, and future.
ECW Press kicks off its spring publishing season with a Spring Literary Party, which will have a half-dozen of their recent authors in attendance, including former Torontoist contributor Suzannah Showler, author of Failure to Thrive; the Grid‘s film critic Adam Nayman, author of It Doesn’t Suck: Showgirls; and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle super-fan Richard Rosenbaum, author of Raise Some Shell.
Spring is sprung, Torontonians are leaving their homes again, and shows like Laughable are returning so you can drink and laugh in the company of others. Co-hosts Nick Flanagan and Steph Tolev have a pretty strong lineup for their first stand-up showcase of 2014, including Laugh Sabbath’s Tim Gilbert, the jolly Arthur Simeon, and unauthorized jingle crooner Marty Topps.
If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace.
“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.
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.
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).
After a month of “spring break,” Danny Michel’s School Night Mondays return to their weekly residency at the Dakota Tavern. The previous March residency had special guests like astronaut Chris Hadfield and fellow local songwriter Royal Wood, and given that every previous edition has sold out (it’s door tickets only, so get there early), the night is likely to continue to feature quality guests (plus Michel and his band, of course).