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The Second City Budgets Big for Laughs

The Hotline Always Blings Twice The Second City (51 Mercer Street) Runs to July 10 Tickets: $25 and up The Second City‘s new spring revue dropped last week on the same day as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first federal budget. Coincidence? We think not. Like the government’s financial plans, this generously funny show is all […]

Historicist: A House Fit for a Lieutenant-Governor

When Toronto was declared the capital of the new province of Ontario in 1867, the provincial government was able to re-use the old parliament building at Front and Simcoe Streets, which had been built several decades earlier, back when the town of York had been the capital of Upper Canada. The capital city lacked, however, […]

What it Felt Like Inside the Jian Ghomeshi Media Spectacle

I arrived at Old City Hall to a sea of cameras and white-topped canopies, pitched just below the building’s iconic front steps. It may have looked like a party or the honouring of an anniversary to anyone unaware of the look-ahead for the day. It was anything but. Outside, camera operators stood, bundled, freezing rain […]

The Civil Service and Its Discontents

The Public Servant Berkeley Street Upstairs Theatre (26 Berkeley Street) Runs to April 3 Tickets: $18 – $35 Queer maverick Quentin Crisp famously titled his autobiography The Naked Civil Servant. That also would be a great alternate title for The Public Servant, the new comedy by Common Boots and Nightwood, if only thanks to a […]

Historicist: Ross Whicher’s Porn Kerfuffle

First-term MPP Ross Whicher hated seeing pornography on the shelves of Toronto convenience stores. The Liberal member of provincial parliament for Bruce would often find magazines such as Kuties Kontinental, Line and Form, Lovlies, and Rogue on magazine racks of cigar stores and newsstands—an apparent violation of the country’s obscenity laws. March 18, 1959, was […]

Shaping Toronto: Queen West

Shaping Toronto looks at the decisions, processes, and trends that form the city we know and love. “The road to the heart of Toronto runs along Queen Street. It may not be the most imposing thoroughfare in town, nor the longest, but it is the liveliest, the most vibrant, successful, and popular. More than any […]

Sound Advice: The Human Rights, Junia-T

#ICYMI, a roundup of noteworthy musical happenings in the city some call The 6. The Human Rights: The musicians that make up the roots reggae group known as The Human Rights (previously known as Friendlyness and the Human Rights) are well known in the local scene. This includes names like Friendlyness, Tréson, Bernie Pitters, and […]

You Will Remember R.H. Thomson (and Anusree Roy)

You Will Remember Me Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue) Runs to April 10 Tickets: $28 – $60 (rush: $15) Pyaasa Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Avenue) Runs to March 27 Tickets: $17 – $33 We are all suffering from Alzheimer’s. That’s the provocative assertion of Edouard Beauchemin, the Quebec intellectual in François Archambault’s You Will […]

Reel Toronto: Loser

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny.

A Classic Case of Jitters

Jitters Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane) Mar. 16 – Apr. 15 Tickets: $32 – $96 The opening of David French’s Leaving Home, on May 16, 1972, was a night fraught with jitters. Not only was it French’s first stage play—and a highly personal one, based on his own family—but there […]

What Does the TTC Do During Weekend Subway Closures?

Transit and all the Fixin's from Giordano Ciampini on Vimeo. They’re the cause of ire amongst subway riders. They bring about dreaded shuttle buses, inconvenient rerouting to destinations, and confusion for those who don’t often take transit and can’t figure out where to go. Ah, the scheduled subway closure. For the remainder of the year, […]

Presenting…The Producers!

How does one make comedy without being a comedian? At the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, which opened this week and runs until Mar. 13, many of the festival’s veteran and capable producing team are former or current comedians, presenting nightly showcases of funny people from across the country (especially from Toronto). But then there are […]

Vandalist: This Wall Is Brought To You By Alveno

BY: Alveno LOCATIONS: Unknown PHOTOS BY: Jmaxtours FIELD NOTES: We like the simplicity of this Alveno piece. The bold lines and colours are reminiscent of vintage mural ads that can, even today, occasionally be seen on buildings about town. It’s a nice throwback and pleasant change from the quick bubble-font throwups that have taken over […]

Sound Advice: River Tiber, Daniel Caesar, Marlon James

#ICYMI, a roundup of noteworthy musical happenings in the city some call The 6. River Tiber: What is it about the current crop of local artists who prefer to stay mysterious? Toronto’s artist-producer River Tiber (a.k.a. Tommy Paxton-Beesley) has been steady with his musical output lately. With a sound that’s heavily soul/R&B-influenced, he’s been dropping […]

Sicilian Vampire: A Symposium

On Friday, Sicilian Vampire, the latest film from Frank D’Angelo, began its exclusive premiere engagement at Vaughan’s Colossus Cineplex. This is the Canadian businessman-turned-entertainment mogul’s fourth film since 2013; love him or hate him, by now you can’t deny that he’s a filmmaker with a consistent vision and personal style. To celebrate the film’s release, […]

Historicist: Clap for the Wolf Man

On a cold morning in January 1925, burly northerner Joe LaFlamme stepped off an express train at Toronto’s Union Station with his assistants, Bill Fortin and Isaac Lewis, and a sizeable menagerie: a Belgian Shepherd, 10 huskies, and four wolves. To the amazement of onlookers, LaFlamme and his assistants promptly harnessed all 15 animals into […]

Visiting the Colourful Cat Ladies of Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street) Runs to Mar. 6 Tickets: $35 – $55 A wizened old lady, half-dressed, lies propped up in bed, long grey hair streaming from under a big, floppy sun hat. As she tends a boiling pot on a hot plate next to her, she sings cheerfully, “Jerry Likes […]