Urban Planner is Torontoist’s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].
Yep, that is a fire knife dance at Alegría. Photo courtesy of Camirand/Cirque du Soleil.
FILM: We called it here first, but today’s the day. After hearts were broken following the Carlton closing in December, hope on the horizon arrived in the form of Magic Lantern Theatres, the operators of hipster favourite Rainbow Cinemas. The auditoriums have had a fierce makeover with revamped décor, bigger seats, a party room, and armrest-free love seats for snuggle bugs. Tonight’s even a cheap date: all day today and tomorrow, movies are free—they’re screening recent hits The Cove, Up in the Air and Fantastic Mr. Fox (showtimes here)—though you’ll probably have to spring for popcorn. Carlton Cinema (20 Carlton Street), first screening at 1 p.m., FREE.
FESTIVAL: It’s that time of year again, theatre buffs: the Toronto Fringe Festival, running through July 11, kicks off today with a ribbon cutting opening ceremony at the New Fringe Club in Mirvish Village (a.k.a the surface parking lot of Honest Ed’s). Mayor David Miller, Fringe Director Gideon Arthurs, and of course impresario David Mirvish himself will be in attendance. Kill some time at Sneaky Dee’s before Fringe pick (and sure sexy times) The Whores, an interwoven tale of five prostitutes, premiering at George Ignatieff Theatre. And of course, follow Torontoist’s forthcoming Fringe coverage for the rest of the festival. The Fringe Club (581 Bloor Street West, behind the store at Bathurst and Bloor, enter off Lennox Street), 4 p.m., FREE. George Ignatieff Theatre (15 Devonshire Street), 10:30 p.m., $10 at the door.
BOOKS: Pride week goes literary at Pride and Politics: A Joint Book Launch at the Croissant Tree. Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile explore queer surveillance in The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation while Ron Warner explores progress and status in Losing Control: Canada’s Social Conservatives in the Age of Rights. Two mouthfuls of a title, that’s for sure, but we know you could use a little food for thought before the Pride festivities begin. Grab a drink at the cash bar to go with. The Croissant Tree (625 Church Street), 7–10 p.m., FREE.
CIRCUS: Quebec’s Cirque du Soleil is back in Toronto tonight premiering Alegría, a flexible show starring fools, minstrels, beggars, and aristocrats. The musical score, a lively mix of jazz, pop, and tango by composer René Dupéré, is a platinum Grammy-nominated album and current best-selling Cirque du Soleil album to date. Themes are aplenty—jubilation, power, youth, democracy, etc.—or you can just sit back and enjoy the superhuman taut bodies of the acrobats. Air Canada Centre (40 Bay Street), 7:30 p.m., $50–$90.
BOOKS: The Box, a quarterly salon night of readings, screenings, performances, and networking, meets tonight in the backroom of the Rivoli. Performers include modern folk darling Karyn Ellis, voice and movement synthesizer Susanna Hood, queer activist “Punk Funk” Troy Jackson, Girl Crazy author Russell Smith, Reluctant Cougar novelist Myna Wallin, and more. And, of course, there’s door treats for present-mongers: Coach House, The Walrus, Random House, and Worn Journal will all be pushing their pubs. The Rivoli (334 Queen Street West), 8–11 p.m., PWYC (suggested donation $5).