So far, this summer has seen music, film, theatre, and food in the spotlight, and now it’s time to focus on the foxy females (with a few guys thrown in for good measure). The Toronto Burlesque Festival is taking over Revival Bar, the Mod Club, and the Hyatt Regency Hotel for four days of shows, classes, and parties with some of the sexiest performers from across the continent.
For those of you who giggled over what the title of this event might imply—you’re not alone. Now let’s grow up and learn a bit about our natural resources on the Urban Wood Utilization Tree Tour. Meet local arborists and woodworkers, learn about species that threaten our forests, and discover the nifty things being done with trees that fell during last winter’s ice storm.
Mullet the Zombie Clown has rejoined the land of the living (kinda) with one special purpose—to entertain you! His late-night-television-themed comedy spectacular Mullet’s Night Show brings together some of the brightest and funniest performers, in front of a live studio audience. This edition features appearances from Albert Howell (writer for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon), character actors Moniquea Marion and Jennifer Walls, and bouffon Jason Goldberg.
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).
You’d be hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker more frequently linked to his national cinema in the popular imagination than Satyajit Ray, whose work in the 1950s brought an independent streak to the production of Indian cinema as famously as Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless countered the establishment of French costume dramas around the same time. Yet prior to the 1990s, you might have found it equally difficult to name a major international figurehead who was as underrepresented at repertory screenings, so dire was the state of the films’ prints.
Twenty years after the Academy Film Archive restored the Bengali director’s deteriorating and otherwise endangered negatives and made proper retrospectives possible, TIFF Cinematheque offers “The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray,” a far-ranging program that gives Toronto audiences the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour as well as the work of arguably India’s most influential filmmaker.
The Waterfront Blues Festival (July 11–13), now in its 10th year, has recently “merged” with the wildly popular Beaches Jazz Festival (July 18–27), making the second half of July all-music-all-the-time in the Beach. Woodbine Park is the hub for both of these festivals, with things being rounded out by the Beaches Jazz Festival’s StreetFest along Queen Street East. Those looking for jazz will likely be disappointed by StreetFest—what you will get, though, is a fun Taste of the Danforth vibe and some epic people-watching. It’ll also be ground zero for Toronto’s well-heeled Baby Boomer set, so if you’re anxious to bust out your favourite Hawaiian shirt, now’s your chance. But if you aren’t into dancing to “Play That Funky Music White Boy” played on a pan flute, get yourself directly to one of the Beach’s fine patios, and check out one of our top picks for the Waterfront Blues Festival and Beaches Jazz Festival.
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.
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.
The Beaches International Jazz Festival has grown over the years into 10 days chock-full of diverse programming, including a jazz run, a street festival, a food truck fest, and much more. It’s as much a celebration of the Beaches area and community itself as it is a jazz fest, although an appreciation for the music is evident throughout. Artists playing main-stage concerts include Trampled Under Foot, Paul James, and Dumpstaphunk—check out our top picks.
With so many sold-out shows at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, there were plenty of people who didn’t get to see many of Torontoist‘s top picks. Not to worry: as they have for several years now, the Toronto Centre for the Arts is presenting Best of Fringe, a two-week additional run for some of the most popular shows at this year’s festival, including Theatre Brouhaha’s Punch-Up, Pea Green Theatre’s Three Men in a Boat, and The Howland Company’s 52 Pick-Up. We strongly suggest double billing shows over an evening (each show runs about an hour) and buying tickets well in advance, as each show gets only three performances.
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.
If the patio is your summer destination of choice, Roy Thomson Hall wants to sweeten your sun-soaking with its Live on the Patio music series. Every week you can enjoy a few drinks, food from Barque Smokehouse, and great entertainment, while unwinding next to a charming urban pond. Check out Sun K and Grey Lands (July 17), Francesco Yates (July 24), Belle Starr (July 31), and the TSO Brass Quintet (August 7).
Align your body, ease your mind, and get your retail therapy all in one stop this summer at the Shops at Don Mills. Bring your mat for free Yoga in the Town Square every Tuesday and Thursday, courtesy of Titika.
If the warm weather makes you feel like dancing, well, Harbourfront is where you need to be. Get your groove on every Thursday until the end of summer at Dancing on the Pier. Live music from the likes of the Toronto All-Star Big Band, Sean Bellaviti, and Luis Orbegoso will provide the soundtrack to each themed evening. Got two left feet? No problem! Instructors will be on hand to get your steps in order.
There’s bound to be a lot of barbecuing, beaching, and boozing around the city this summer, so we’d like to suggest something a little more refined to keep things balanced. The Music in the Garden series features weekly performances by a variety of unique musical groups, amid the luscious greenery of the Toronto Music Garden. The Akwesasne Women Singers start things off on July 3 with a showcase of English and Mohawk songs, followed by Music from the Garden of India (July 24), an all-female fiddling supergroup (July 31), the Nagata Shachu taiko drumming ensemble (August 21), the Veretski Pass Trio (September 4), and many more.
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.