This week, lots of outdoor picnics and film screenings (indoor ones, too); book and record releases by Nick Flanagan, Absolutely Free, and Jonny Sun; and, of course, the annual Toronto Fringe Festival.
Wednesday, July 5
The next 12 days are referred to as “theatre Christmas” by many Torontonians who are fans of the Toronto Fringe Festival. And since last year’s blowout farewell to the Honest Ed’s lot, the Fringe has grown to 160 shows and moved to a new “club” at the southeast corner of Dundas and Bathurst, though venues are spread across the core. Among those 160 shows, there are solo shows about peace in the Middle East (Palestineman) and social anxiety (Not Enough); family-friendly fare such as Jay & Shilo’s Sibling Revelry, or Death Meets Harlequin; and decidedly adult fare such as a burlesque version of a Greek tragedy (Lysistrata), or an in-your-face intersectional collective (Nasty). Tickets for shows run $12 or even less with a discount pass, or from the Fringe club day-of discount booth; there’s also plenty of free programming nightly at said Fringe club.
To July 16, various venues and times (check website), FREE–$12.
A long-running local mag celebrates the launch of their summer 2017 issue in that most quintessential of Toronto summer locations (that isn’t still partly underwater), Trinity Bellwoods. The Spacing Summer 2017 Launch party is essentially a picnic, with copies of the mag available. They promise to provide things to throw and kick around, snacks out of bags (like chips), and bags to put the drinks you’ve brought in.
Trinity Bellwoods Park (Section D8 on this map), 5:30 p.m., FREE.
A curious cultural connection was made during June’s Pride Month between a fearsome horror film bogeyman and fearlessly coming out and taking space. Now the Inside Out festival and Toronto International Film Festival are presenting a special post-Pride screening of The Babadook. Bonus points for showing up in cosplay costumes, naturally!
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), 7 p.m., $10–$14.
Thursday, July 6
Clear eyes, full hea…oh, are we mixing our sports sayings again? We clearly remember that there’s no crying in baseball, thanks to A League of Their Own (and we’ve been recently reminded that Dottie didn’t drop the ball on purpose). Watch for yourself at this special 25th-anniversary outdoor screening, courtesy of the Toronto Outdoor Picture Show.
Corktown Common (155 Bayview Avenue), snacks at 7 p.m., film at 9:15 p.m., FREE.
Mysterion the Mind Reader and Steffi Kay together are The Sentimentalists, Toronto’s foremost purveyors of sensational telepathic entertainment. The duo are performing a special one-night-only showcase tonight of the set they’re preparing for the stage at the legendary Magic Castle in Hollywood. After, the two will host a meet and greet, as fans take a chance to say bon voyage.
Sonic Boom (215 Spadina Avenue), 8 p.m., $12 in advance, $15 at the door.
Friday, July 7
Local queer icon Vivek Shraya is collaborating with the Queer Songbook Orchestra for the launch event for her new album, Part-Time Woman. They’ll be playing a special set at the AGO, and it’s free with admission, as part of their Skylight Concert series.
Art Gallery of Ontario (315 Dundas Street West), 7 p.m., FREE with general admission ($11–$19.50).
He’s based in Los Angeles these days, but Nick Flanagan has deep roots in Toronto’s comedy and punk scenes, as a founding member of the Laugh Sabbath collective, and the lead singer/screamer of the hardcore bands Wrong Hole and Brutal Knights. For his Wiped Privilege album release party, Flanagan’s enlisted comics DeAnne Smith, Aisha Brown, Chris Robinson (winner of the 2016 SiriusXM Top Comic contest), and Tim Gilbert. After the comedy, a trio of punk bands will pay, including a reunion set by Wrong Hole.
Double Double Land (209 Augusta Avenue), 8 p.m., $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
Saturday, July 8
More hardcore socializing; the seventh-annual Toronto Punk’s Picnic is also getting together in Trinity Bellwoods to eat, drink, and be merry. (Once the sun’s gone down, the group will move to the Kensington Market venue Coalition for an after party featuring The Murder Squad t.o., Last Agony, and Maldita.)
Trinity Bellwoods Park (probably E6 on this map), 2 p.m., FREE.
In honour of this week’s Broken Social Scene record release, there’s a screening of the Bruce MacDonald-helmed This Movie Is Broken—part concert documentary, part hipster fable about a couple who spend a day together in our city, before taking in the band’s free show at the Harbourfront Centre.
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor Street West), doors at 8:30 p.m., screening at 9:30 p.m., $6–$13.
The official release of their UFO EP is sold out, but Absolutely Free will have a few special test pressings available at this belated record release party, with guests Castle If. It’s a relatively early show for a Toronto Saturday night, though DJ Doomsquad will keep the party going after the headline set.
The Brandscape (1136 Dupont Street), doors at 8 p.m., show at 8:45 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Sunday, July 9
It’s been 50 years since 1967’s hippie high water mark; today’s 50th Anniversary of The Summer Of Love picnic is being organized by several groups that consider themselves part of Toronto’s “conscious communities”—The Toronto Psychedelic Society, ERGOT, New Human City, and Urban Temple Toronto. There will be “healing booths, oracle card readings, and yoga classes,” and all are welcome.
Trinity Bellwoods Park (E9 on this map), noon, FREE.
It’s been more than 75 years since it premiered, but it’s still considered one the classics of American film. The Christie Pits Film Festival’s Eyes On The Prize programming presents John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart as hard-nosed private eye Sam Spade. The film will be paired with local animator Patrick Jenkins’ short Phantom City.
Christie Pits Park (750 Bloor Street West), treats at 6 p.m., screening at 9:15 p.m., PWYC.
Is it a birthday party? A charity fundraiser? A caricature contest? A roast? It seems Tom Hanks’ Birthday is all those things, with a packed lineup of comedy acts, including Marty Topps, Jackie Pirico, and the Templeton Philharmonic (who’ll have just opened their Fringe show), plus special merch available (all proceeds raised are going to Diabetes Canada, in the A-list actor’s name).
Bad Dog Theatre (875 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Monday, July 10
Videocabaret’s Confederation Part I: Confederation & Riel (which we reviewed last week) introduced us to the major players in the formation of our nation, corrupt voting practices and shady land deals and all. Confederation Part II: Scandal & Rebellion focuses on those player’s flaws and hubris—John A. MacDonald’s (Richard Clarkin) corruption and alcoholism, Wilfred Laurier’s (Jamie Cavanagh) arrogance and infidelity, and Louis Riel’s (Michaela Washburn) religious fervour and mental instability. There’s a few new players introduced, including Kat Letwin’s cunning Chief Big Bear, as the balance of power in our fledgling nation shifts and warps. It’s visually fascinating, of course, but just a bit more pessimistic (and therefore a little less fun) in comparison to Part I‘s hilarious historical hijinks. Still, it’s the best way we’ve ever encountered of making Canadian history memorable.
To August 19, Young Centre (55 Mill Street), various times (check website for calendar), $25–$96.
This month’s edition of the perennially popular amateur lecture series (and now podcast) Trampoline Hall features curator Yuula Benivolski, and speakers Zoë Dodd (“Rent is Theft”), Dobrila Tomic (“Letters from my Attorney”), and Asad Raza (“That Time I Moved to Canada and Faked a British Accent for a Year”).
The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West), doors at 7:40 p.m., show at 8 p.m., $6.
Tuesday, July 11
Twitter personality, playwright, and engineer Jonny Sun is now a published author, with his book Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur A Aliebn Too. He’s in town for an author talk tonight, chatting with local writer Anne T. Donahue (whose own book NOBODY CARES is being released next year).
Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), 7 p.m., FREE.
Sara Hennessey and Steph Kaliner’s Terrific Women comedy project’s been picked up by CBC Comedy, and the pair are hosting a launch party tonight, with episodes screening, remarks by the two in character, cocktails, and a ham giveaway (really).
The Ossington (61 Ossington Avenue), 9 p.m., FREE.
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