Maylee Todd conducts Sweatshop at The Boat, featuring Laura Barrett, Henri Faberge of the Adorables, Ken Farrell of Gravity Wave, Simon Borer of Entire Cities, Drew Smith of The Bicycles, Paul Banwatt of Woodhands, and Grace the Stage’s Steve Fisher. Photo by Joseph Fuda courtesy of Gracing the Stage.
PARTY: Weekly culture mailing list Gracing the Stage has reinvented itself as a full-time blog, vaulting into the spotlight with a two-night launch of crowd-pleasers (see Torontoist’s Drama Club for more details). Tonight’s Bread and Circus roster is thick with musicians, comedians, musical comedy, and funny theatre performed by the likes of Gravity Wave, Convergence Theatre, Maylee Todd, Carnegie Hall, and much, much more. Tomorrow’s “night two” at Comedy Bar boasts more of the same, with an equally exciting line-up that includes our hero Melissa D’Agostino. The fun-filled affair seeks to pad the site’s production costs while unapologetically celebrating some of the hottest gems on the Toronto culture scene. Bread and Circus (299 Augusta Avenue), 9 p.m., $15.
ART: Comic artist and new-ish Toronto resident Shay Semple opens his first solo show in town at Hunter and Cook tonight. “Nutbush City Limits” means to satirize the new Obama-era “post racial America” by portraying a collection of dark faces as vampires or other creatures of the night. Hunter and Cook (15 Ossington Avenue), 7–11 p.m., FREE.
WORDS: Writers Nora Kelly and Eric Wright had the distinguished task of choosing the Best Canadian Poem for this year’s Descant/Winston Collins Prize. The winner—and two honorary mentions—will be announced by the Descant Arts and Letters Foundation at an award celebration this evening. The public ceremony includes refreshments, hors d’oeuvres, and the granting of a one thousand dollar first prize. Page Wave Graphics (533 College Street, Suite 402), 6–8 p.m., FREE.
DANCE: The Collective of Black Artists (COBA) presents a full program of live African music and dance as African Heritage month continues at Harbourfront. This weekend’s program Banta—from the Senegalese Wolof word meaning “talk”—promises a whole lot of costumed dance, tribal rhythms, and a reprise of last year’s favourite number Doun Doun Dance. Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West), 8 p.m., $20–$32.
FILM: Space! Sex! Radiation! Kung Fu! Have we got your attention? Then what are you doing still reading this? Get yo’ crazy self over to Innis Town Hall for the Cinema Studies Student Union‘s Free Friday film series Cult Night triple-bill. Squeezed into five hours of 35 mm celluloid fun are Jane Fonda’s kinky fantasy Barbarella (7 p.m.), Italian super-fuzz flick Poliziotto Superpiù (8:45 p.m.), and kung fu blaxploitation dynamo Dolemite (10:30 p.m.). Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue), 7 p.m., FREE.