Weekend Planner: April 19-20



Weekend Planner: April 19-20

In this Weekend Planner: Record Store Day, a Vatican mystery, and a live poetry showdown.

David Suchet and Richard O’Callaghan star in The Last Confession  Photo by John Haines

David Suchet and Richard O’Callaghan star in The Last Confession. Photo by John Haines.

  • Music: As the music market becomes increasingly digital and corporate-owned, it’s important that we give some love to the little guys every now and again. That’s why Record Store Day was born in 2007—to celebrate independent music retailers and spread the word about what they have to offer. More than 20 stores in Toronto will be taking part this year, with special album releases, deals, and in-store performances. The iconic Sonic Boom will play host to PS I Love You, DIANA, Greys, The Bicycles, HSY, and Unfinished Business. Check here for a list of participating shops. Multiple venues, all day, FREE. Details
  • Performing Arts: Based on the real-life story of Anita Chakraburtty—who planned her own wedding before acquiring a groom—BroadFish is a live theatre experiment about reality, fantasy, and relationships. Using music, film, improv, and folktales, performance artist Melissa D’Agostino takes a look at female stereotypes, using the archetypes of the Crone, the Damsel in Distress, and the Bridezilla. Harbourfront Centre, Studio Theatre (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $12. Details
  • Poetry: It’s here! The best spoken-wordsmiths have been identified and will take to the battlefield (a.k.a. the Royal Cinema stage) to compete in the Toronto Poetry Slam Finals. BAM! Toronto’s Youth Slam Team will open the evening with a special set before Bassam, Andre Prefontaine, Sabrina, MultiPurpose Hot Air Machine, Estefania, Prufrock, Kara, and Ketch22 show what they’ve got. New York’s Joshua Bennett will make his Canadian debut as the evening’s special guest performer. Royal Cinema (608 College Street), Saturday at 8 p.m., $15 advance, $20 door. Details
  • Theatre: If you’re in the mood for a murder mystery with a religious twist, you’ll want to check out The Last Confession. David Suchet (Poirot) and Richard O’Callaghan star in this play about the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. After only 33 days in office, and having warned three cardinals that they would be replaced, he is found dead. Though the Vatican refuses to open an official investigation, Cardinal Benelli goes out in search of the truth. Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $35–$119. Details
  • Parades: Once all the eggs have been found, bring the kids out for a glimpse of the long-eared mastermind behind the hunt at the Easter Parade. The procession will start on Queen Street East at Munro Park and will continue west to Woodbine. It will feature marching bands, more than 100 themed floats, and more. , Sunday at 2 p.m., FREE. Details


  • Art: If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 adults. Details
  • Art: “The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon

    “In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore

    These quotations, which welcome visitors to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $25 adults. Details

  • Theatre: Up until Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez made that movie, the word “Gigli” was associated with images of beauty, the splendour of the opera, and, more specifically, the renowned Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli. In Irish playwright Tom Murphy’s The Gigli Concert, originally written in 1983 and on stage now at Soulpepper Theatre, the singer’s voice represents not only beauty, but hope itself—the one saving force that can pull its two central characters from deep depressions. And, thankfully, the journey to the other side is infinitely more watchable than the previously mentioned Hollywood film. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), Saturday at 1:30 p.m.,7:30 p.m., $29–$74. Details
  • Dance: Told through South American music and dance, Arrabal is the story of a young girl desperate to find out what happened to her father after the Argentine military made him disappear when she was just a baby. Her search leads her to the Tango clubs of Buenos Aires, where she discovers both the truth, and herself. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $44–$84. Details
  • Theatre: Zack and Abby are the couple that others envy—the ones who seem to have it all. But secrets hide behind the beautiful home, the loving marriage, and the promising careers. Company Theatre’s Belleville—produced in association with Canadian Stage—explores the darkness that’s revealed in this seemingly perfect relationship after Abby finds her husband at home one day when he’s supposed to be at work. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $22–$49. Details
  • Theatre: Despite its provocative title, there’s actually very little that’s controversial about Mike Bartlett’s Cock, making its Canadian premiere at the Theatre Centre. Its subject matter might have been viewed as more controversial in 2009, when the play premiered at the Royal Court in London—but after five years, this story of a love triangle between two men and a woman has lost part of its taboo-challenging appeal. Luckily, though, its emotional appeal has endured. The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $25–$35. Details
  • Theatre: Erin Shields’ Soliciting Temptation, premiering now at Tarragon Theatre, was highly anticipated—it’s the first new play since 2010 from the eminent female playwright, known for the Governor General Award-winning If We Were Birds. In some respects, it lives up to the hype. It deals with the difficult, often-overlooked subject of child sex tourism, and it does so thoughtfully and with nuance. The overall experience, though, is somewhat underwhelming, because the compelling ideas explored are undercut by an implausible premise. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 2:30 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $21–$53. Details
  • Theatre: After a long, cold winter, Toronto is coming alive with The Sound of Music! This Rodgers and Hammerstein classic will brighten the Randolph Theatre stage for four weeks with some of the best-known and loved musical pieces in theatre history. Set against the darkness of Nazi-occupied Austria, the story centres around Maria—an aspiring nun—and the von Trapp family she learns to love. The Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst St.), Saturday at 3:30 p.m.,7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m., $39–$69. Details
  • Theatre: Shakespeare’s Ophelia and Desdemona find new life in Danya Buonastella, Dean Gilmour, Nina Gilmour, and Michele Smith’s Death Married My Daughter. In this satire, these women—resurrected from the swamps of death—take great pleasure in shaking up Man’s society while exposing their murderers and abusers. The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West), Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3:15 p.m., $23. Details
  • Music: Small World Music Society is celebrating Asian and South Asian Heritage Month with the Asian Music Series. Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion, Sultans of String, Jonita Gandhi, and Shafqat Amanat Ali are among the many talented artists who will perform in venues across the city throughout April and May. Multiple venues, Saturday at 8 p.m., $12–$109. Details
  • Theatre: We’ll bet you’ve never had a dinner party quite as interesting as this one. Mark Leith invites you to sit down with the founder of political spin, Edward Bernays; the inventor of propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels; and the spearhead of the war on terror, Karl Rove—in the Act 2 Studio Works production of Dinner With Goebbels. Red Sandcastle Theatre (922 Queen Street East), Saturday at 8 p.m., $22. Details
  • Theatre: Meet Cathy and Jamie, a mid-twenties New York couple who fall in and out of love over the course of half a decade. While it doesn’t involve a groundbreaking premise, The Last Five Years chooses to tell the story of their relationship in a unique fashion: Cathy’s perspective starts from the end and works backward, while Jamie’s simultaneously moves forward chronologically. The only intersection of their narratives occurs during their wedding, at the halfway point of the play. The Winchester Street Theatre (80 Winchester Street), Saturday at 8 p.m., $25 advance, $30 door. Details

Happening soon:

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 us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.