Holiday Planner: May 21–23, 2011
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Holiday Planner: May 21–23, 2011

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].

Newlyweds Rachel (Julie Tepperman) and Chaim (Aaron Willis) are about to spend their first moments alone together in YICHUD. Do they look nervous? Photo by Keith Barker.

This Victoria Day long weekend, you may want to consider taking a trip to the big top on the waterfront, perusing some of Romania’s celluloid gems, exploring the cross-sensory curiosity of synesthesia in play form, watching food and art collide (possibly literally), yukking it up in total darkness, dancing your way into Monday, or catching up on all those pen pal letters you’ve been meaning to send.

CIRCUS: The big top comes to the Toronto harbourfront for the Victoria Day long weekend with the Toronto International Circus Festival. For three days the waterfront will be a vibrant mix of acrobats, clowns, magicians, storytellers, and much more to delight circus lovers of all ages. Performers from all around the world will assemble to delight, amuse, and amaze under what is hopefully some sorely needed sunshine. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday, Sunday, and Monday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., FREE.
FILM: It’s festival season, which means no shortage of international films to enjoy through the weekend. In addition to Inside Out continuing to play it safe, the Toronto Romanian Film Festival brings a taste of the Eastern European to our city’s screens. Focusing on the theme of “a day in the life of Romanian society”, the festival’s lineup includes hit documentary The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, which debuted here at TIFF last year. Bloor Cinema (506 Bloor Street West) and Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue), various times, $10 for students, $15 for adults.
THEATRE: Synesthesia is a rare neurological condition that causes people to mix and match their sensory perceptions—to hear colours, to see flavours, to taste music, and so forth. Playground Studios will be exploring the inherently poetic nature of this bizarre ability in their new work The Synesthesia Project, as part of the Canadian Stage Festival of Ideas and Creation. Designer Beth Kates and director Steven McCarthy will dig deep into a disorienting and beautiful world experienced only by a very select few. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), Saturday 3 p.m., FREE.
FOOD: Bluebird Toronto is giving new meaning to the term “it looks good enough to eat” with the second installation of their self-termed “food-art thing,” an event which seems to merge artistic with edible. Join some of the city’s most inventive food enthusiasts for an evening of food, art, and everything in between, as well as live entertainment and refreshments. The price of admission is a non-perishable food item which will be used to create an ongoing exhibit, then donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank. 918 Bathurst (918 Bathurst Street), Saturday 7 p.m., a non-perishable food item.
THEATRE: Rachel and Chaim are getting married, and you’re invited! The Orthodox Jews are the central characters in Julie Tepperman’s YICHUD (Seclusion), a play which follows the awkward and tender moments of the arranged couple’s wedding. Rachel and Chaim have only been on a handful of dates prior to their marriage, but as soon as they’re wed they enter the Yichud Room to be alone for the first time. Meanwhile, drama unfolds as their families clash beyond in this modern look at tradition, faith, love, marriage, and everything in between. Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Avenue), Saturday 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m., $25–$45.
COMEDY: The Impatient Theatre Company are no strangers to innovating new forms of comedy, and for their next experiment they’re turning off the lights. The Bat switches off the lights for a bit of pitch-black improv, incorporating the audience into the middle of the haphazard experience. Look at it this way: if Bruce Wayne were one for comedy, this would surely be his cup of tea. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), Saturday 11:59 p.m., FREE.
PARTY: While some busy themselves cleaning out cottages or lounging in parks, the Drake Hotel focuses on the true, original meaning of Victoria Day weekend: partying on a Sunday night with impunity. Their May Day House Party invites you to dance into the oft-forbidden hours of Monday morning, specifically to tunes spun by Skratch Bastid and DJ Vajra. You know this is how ol’ Queen Vic wanted her birthday commemorated. Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West), Sunday 11 p.m., $10.
WORDS: Once you’re done dancing into the night, it’s time to pay penance for your wild behaviour with some politely worded apology letters—or anything else you may see fit to stick a stamp on at the Post a Letter Social Activity Club. This eclectic gathering invites anyone with an epistolary inclination to put pen to paper—be it personal, political, postcard, prank, plea, or pastiche—and pop it in the post. Grab some stamps and stationary and drop the “e” from your mail for this day of old school communication. Naco Gallery Cafe (1665 Dundas Street), Monday 7 p.m., FREE.