Swingin’ Saturday

Prepare to jump, jive, and wail at the Harbourfront Centre. Photo courtesy of Bees' Knees Dance.

Prepare to jump, jive, and wail at the Harbourfront Centre. Photo courtesy of Bees' Knees Dance.

  • Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West)
  • 1 p.m.

If big band and rockabilly get your toes a-tappin’, we have a treat for you this weekend: Harbourfront is hosting Swingin’ Saturday, which involves a number of demonstrations, lessons, and performances on all things swing. Enjoy Natalia Grane’s Lindy Hop Revolution, That Swing! with Shannon Refvik, and Dancin’ Through the Decades with the Toronto All-Star Big Band and the Bees Knees Dance School.

Details: Swingin’ Saturday

SoundClash Music Award 2014

  • Harbourfront Centre, Redpath Stage (235 Queens Quay West)
  • 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 9 p.m.

Psst… We have some classified information for all you music snobs who like discovering bands before everyone else finds out about them. This weekend, the SoundClash Music Award will be going down at Harboufront, boasting performances by five shortlisted, soon-to-be-huge bands. Catch CANVAS, Keita Juma, and Pale Eyes on Saturday, followed by DATU and Maneli Jamal on Sunday. Vote for your favourite act, and you could help them win up to $10,000 in cash and prizes, and the title of 2014′s SoundClash Music Award winner.

Details: SoundClash Music Award 2014

Ongoing…

A Journey Into the Forbidden City

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

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.

Details: A Journey Into the Forbidden City

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

Toronto Jazz Festival 2014 Best Bets

Roy Hargrove in Toronto, 2007. Photo by Tracey Nolan.

Roy Hargrove in Toronto, 2007. Photo by Tracey Nolan.

  • All day

On June 19, the Toronto Jazz Festival will once again descend upon Nathan Phillips Square and clubs and concert halls all over the city. Friday night will feature a free concert at Nathan Phillips Square, presented in partnership with WorldPride, with sets by Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox. There will also be a huge fireworks display and the raising of the rainbow flag—it’s bound to be a real party. There are lots of big names at the fest this year, including Chaka Kahn, Bobby McFerrin, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Here’s our rundown of some of the other shows worth checking out.

Details: Toronto Jazz Festival 2014 Best Bets

TIFF Unveils Bruce LaBruce’s Skin Flicks

Still from L.A. Zombie.

Still from L.A. Zombie.

  • TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
  • All day

Anyone seeking proof that all it takes for a radical to become part of the establishment is a little bit of endurance need only look to “Skin Flicks,” TIFF Cinematheque’s retrospective of the films of Toronto zine impresario, radical, occasional pornographer, and queercore filmmaker Bruce LaBruce.

A farm boy who left his rural digs for a more urban life in Toronto in the mid-‘80s, LaBruce first turned heads on the scene with his publication (along with partner and Fifth Column frontwoman G.B. Jones) of the seminal queer punk zine J.D.s, which distinguished itself from punk culture through its queer vision, and from mainstream LGBT culture through its aggressive DIY aesthetic and radical politics. From that fertile underground world came the first of LaBruce’s experimental Super 8 shorts, including Boy, Girl—ground zero for later thematic obsessions such as neo-skinheads and surveillance.

Details: TIFF Unveils Bruce LaBruce’s Skin Flicks

WorldPride 2014

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  • Multiple venues
  • All day

For ten days this June, Toronto will welcome the world to our city—a city that’ll be bursting with queer-positive cultural events, including musical performances by the likes of Tegan & Sara, special theatrical presentations by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and many more, visual art exhibitions, parties, and of course, the various annual Pride parades. All the official events are listed on the World Pride 2014 website (though we’ll also be keeping our eyes open for a few unofficial events we think readers might appreciate).

Details: WorldPride 2014

Harbourfront Centre’s Canada Day Celebrations

  • Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West)
  • All day

There’ll be public celebrations all over the country this weekend, but in downtown Toronto anyway, the most extensive are the Harbourfront Centre Canada Day Celebrations. Kicking off Friday and running right through to the fireworks display on Monday night, there’ll be live music—including performances from the finalists in its Soundclash Music Award Showcase—and a hip hop showcase by Maoestro Fresh Wes; a daily market; and plenty of programming for kids and adults of all ages.

Details: Harbourfront Centre’s Canada Day Celebrations

Bent Lens: Pride on Screen

  • TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
  • All day

Every part of our city will be drenched in WorldPride this summer, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Bent Lens: Pride on Screen comprises nearly two months of screenings, exhibits, and speaking engagements that reflect the broadness of our LGBT community. Check out films under the stars in David Pecaut Square, take in a conversation with Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black, and much more.

CORRECTION: June 16, 2014, 3:50 PM This post originally stated that the outdoor screenings of Bent Lens will focus on Derek Jarman and Bruce LaBruce, but that is not the case.

Details: Bent Lens: Pride on Screen

Terry O’Neill: The Man Who Shot the Sixties

Elton John entertaining the masses. Photo by Terry O'Neill.

Elton John entertaining the masses. Photo by Terry O'Neill.

  • Izzy Gallery (106 Yorkville Avenue)
  • 11 a.m.

Our fascination with fame and celebrity isn’t new—and this is illustrated in Izzy Gallery’s newest exhibit, Terry O’Neil: The Man Who Shot the Sixties. A photographer from the U.K., O’Neill snapped iconic shots of everyone from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to Brigitte Bardot and Faye Dunaway. The opening party features an appearance by O’Neill himself, and his “photographs from the frontline of fame” will remain on display until the end of August.

Details: Terry O’Neill: The Man Who Shot the Sixties

Twelve Angry Men

  • Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane)
  • 2 p.m., 8 p.m.

If you haven’t heard of Twelve Angry Men, you’ve likely seen it parodied in a number of movies and television shows over the years. Now here’s your chance to see the real deal, on stage, thanks to the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Watch the drama unfold in a claustrophobic deliberation room as one dissenting juror unravels what is supposed to be an open-and-shut murder case.

Details: Twelve Angry Men

The God That Comes Is Intoxicatingly Good

Hawksley Workman in The God That Comes. Photo by Trudie Lee.

Hawksley Workman in The God That Comes. Photo by Trudie Lee.

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

First things first: the Tarragon Theatre mainspace is now licensed. That means that during its current production, The God That Comes, starring Hawksley Workman—which has set up the space like a dark, sultry 1930s cabaret with crystal chandeliers, long white tablecloths, and deep crimson curtains—you can sip a glass of red while one of Canada’s best rockers uses his beautiful voice to scream into your face.

Details: The God That Comes Is Intoxicatingly Good

Spamalot

  • Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue)
  • 2 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fans of oddball British humour—rejoice! The Lower Ossington Theatre has brought the genius of Monty Python’s Eric Idle to Toronto with their rendition of Spamalot. Watch as flying cows, killer rabbits, and all sorts of bizarre elements come together to tell a twisted version of the legendary story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Details: Spamalot

A Cockfight Worth Catching

Brehnan McKibbon, Bejamin Blais, and Jakob Ehman are the Chiavetti Brothers in Cockfight. Photo by Zaiden.

Brehnan McKibbon, Bejamin Blais, and Jakob Ehman are the Chiavetti Brothers in Cockfight. Photo by Zaiden.

  • The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West)
  • 8 p.m.

The latest work by prolific playwright Kat Sandler, who generates clever content for indie-company-on-the-rise Theatre Brouhaha, Cockfight follows an unlikely attempt by three foster brothers to obtain a rooster in order to make their fortune in underground cockfighting matches.

Sandler—named one of our “local ladies who make us laugh” in 2013—has often applied her gift for comic dialogue to tragic stories, and in her latest play, the characters are more desperate and downtrodden than ever. This time around, Sandler is also directing, and she has a deft touch for showing off her protagonists’ dramatic strengths—though her supporting character and the lead-up to the brothers’ climactic confrontations are not as well developed.

Details: A Cockfight Worth Catching