What to See at Luminato's Closing Weekend
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What to See at Luminato’s Closing Weekend

Almost as quickly as it arrived, Luminato is soon to be gone: the 10 day festival closes this weekend. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the various performances and installations yet, here is a cheat sheet with some of our faves…


Photo by Corbin Smith/Torontoist.

June 17, all day
June 18 until noon (dismantling commences at noon)

Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place (181 Bay Street)
Philip Beesley’s Sargasso, installed in the lobby of Brookfield Place, is a breakout hit with photographers this year. The title refers to a massive collection of floating organic matter and debris in the middle of the Atlantic. It’s fun to wander through and fun to watch others interact with the various elements, and it continues the tradition of installing large-scale works in the atrium to great effect. HAMUTAL DOTAN and CORBIN SMITH


20110617ANDROMACHE.jpg June 17–19 (7:30 p.m.)

The Theatre Centre (1087 Queen Street West)
The world premiere of Andromache is an exceedingly international affair, with Toronto’s Necessary Angel theatre company collaborating with Scottish director Graham McLaren on a new version of French playwright Jean Racine’s play, newly translated by Canadian novelist Evie Christie.. It shows humanity at its most desperate: characters torture, manipulate, use, and hurt each other, both mentally and physically, to satisfy their own unfulfilled desires. Their post-war world is dark and unkind, and their inability to find happiness or empathy drives most of them to the brink of madness.
And we’re kind of ashamed of how much we thoroughly enjoyed watching their unraveling. Christie’s script not only makes the complicated tale of love, war, and betrayal extremely clear, but completely relatable, all the while maintaining the richness of a Greek tragedy. One of the most successful modern adaptations we’ve since in recent memory. CARLY MAGA and STEVE FISHER


Joel Plaskett on Luminato’s opening weekend. Photo by Corbin Smith/Torontoist.

June 17–19

Mostly at David Pecaut Square
(Mostly) FREE
Many of the shows in Luminato’s programming use music supplementally, such as the
opera, dance, and theatre selections. But Luminato also features quite a few mainstream stars in their concert series, especially at their free concerts, moved this year to David Pecaut Square. After a raft of concerts this week, the closing weekend there’ll be an outdoor show by k.d. lang (June 17, 8 p.m.). And since the NXNE festival starts during Luminato’s second week, Luminato’s music programmers have wisely scheduled many shows outside the usual pop/rock spectrum. Festival-goers can catch the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, returning with another “Late Night” showcase (June 18), with Mahler as the subject. The closing weekend also features several showcases of contemporary Arabic music on Saturday afternoon (June 18, 2 p.m.), Saturday night (8 p.m.), and Sunday afternoon (June 19, 2 p.m.) STEVE FISHER


Photo by Corbin Smith/Torontoist.

June 17–19, beginning at 11 a.m. each day

OCAD University Great Hall (100 McCaul Street)
Habit is an eight-hour performance repeated (almost) daily throughout the festival, blending live theatre with reality TV. Peek in through the window of a fully functioning house set installed at OCADU as three actors cycle through a script written by American playwright Jason Grote, tweaking the words each time to suit their day-to-day needs. As the play continues on, it is almost as interesting to watch the audience move around the building to follow the action as it is to watch the scenes unfolding. And don’t fret: Habit needn’t be an all-day commitment: you can come into the space halfway through a show and easily follow the plot and understand the relationships between the different characters. LAURA GODFREY and CORBIN SMITH

My Name is Raj

Photo by Corbin Smith/Torontoist.

June 17–19, beginning at noon each day

TIFF Bell Lightbox 350 King Street West
Part anthropological curation of Indian commercial portraiture, part film projection, and part interactive multimedia installation, My Name is Raj is an engaging exploration of how identity forms and shifts over time. The installation is free, but paying five dollars to have your face superimposed on Indian film pioneer Raj Kapoor’s body is well worth the investment. CORBIN SMITH

The Luminato MP3 Experiment

Participants in one of Improv Everywhere’s previous MP3 Experiments take part in an all-out balloon war. Photo courtesy of Luminato.

June 19, 12:30 p.m.

CN Tower for January–June birthdays
Clarence Square for July–December birthdays
Some of the things Luminato touts as hallmarks of its programming are its “accidental encounters with art.” In 2009 it was the giant red ball popping up unexpectedly at various Toronto landmarks, and in 2010, it was the Ship O’ Fools, a 30-foot shipwreck stranded in the middle of Trinity Bellwoods Park. This year, we’d say the closest equivalent to that frivolous, spontaneous fun can be found at the MP3 Experiment, where crowds of festival-goers will meet at one of two locations (depending on their birthdays), simultaneously press play on a designated mp3 file, and blindly follow its instructions en masse. We haven’t listened to the MP3 file yet—hey, we want to be surprised too—but videos of previous experiments by New York City–based organizers Improv Everywhere suggest an amusing, uplifting balance of entertaining ourselves and confusing unsuspecting bystanders. LAURA GODFREY