Let’s be honest: if you prefer the original Star Trek series over Next Generation, you’re probably kidding yourself. For the true believers, you’ve got a chance to meet the entire cast of the latter classic at Toronto ComiCon (Sean Astin from The Lord of the Rings will also be there) as well as the opportunity to check out a world of geekiness in comics, anime, sci-fi, and more. Engage!
Lovers of photography and the city can rejoice at a new photo extravaganza: the Toronto Urban Photography Festival. This gigantic event features no less than 10 exhibitions, a variety of talks on the subject of urban photography, and a number of photo walks, so you too can get in on the practice of creating urban art. The exhibition also features the Disposable Camera Project, which places many disposable cameras around the city, leaving it up to whoever finds them to take a picture in the moment. And then you might possibly see the results in the festival.
This is International Women’s Week; in its honour this Feminist Art Conference is bringing a large number of artists together for a day of art and discussion. Panels include “Fertile ground: Body Politics and Sexuality,” “Creating Our Own Narrative: Responding to Gendered Violence,” and “Black Exoticism: Fetishization of the Black Female Body.”
Attention all you nature enthusiasts out there: High Park Nature Centre is offering a way for you to get back into tune with the outdoors after a winter of hibernation, with a couple of guided hikes. Along the way you can learn more about High Park itself, while getting some fresh (and hopefully slightly warmer) air. The March 9 walk is especially geared to photographers.
The great book series, Impossible Words, returns for another edition of readings from popular authors. This week’s event features author Kevin Chong, who has written four books, including Neil Young Nation (a Book of the Year in multiple media outlets). He’ll be interviewed on stage by two members of Toronto Street Writers, Sagan Yee and Rob Saffrey.
Classic comedy series Theatresports is back for another season of improv hilarity. Now in its 30th year, this comedy tournament continues the tradition of allowing the audience members to choose the content of the scene and letting them judge the results; finals will be held at the end of May. Among the planned guests are comedic greats including Lisa Merchant and Craig Anderson (Canadian Comedy Award winners), Kerry Griffin (Second City alum), and many more.
The I Heart Jokes Festival is wrapping up this weekend and they’re definitely going out with a bang. The night’s headliner is Eugene Mirman, who has performed on many late-night shows, as well as Flight of the Conchords, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and many others. The event also features host Steph Tolev, and sets by Chris Locke, Evan Desmarais, and Rob Mailloux.
This year’s edition of the Sketch Comedy Festival boasts headliners including Eugene Mirman (March 9), Bruce McCulloch (March 11), and Michael Ian Black (March 12). There are also visiting troupes from Winnipeg (Hot Thespian Action), Montreal (Uncalled For), and Vancouver (Peter ‘n Chris), plus a wide variety of local outfits. It’ll all wrap with a closing show featuring the Sketchersons,
joined by special guest host and wrestling legend Bret “The Hitman” Hart.
Sketchfest runs at The Randolph Theatre, Lower Ossington Theatre, and Comedy Bar.
If there’s one thing that’s particularly impressive about Second City’s new mainstage show, The Meme-ing of Life, it’s how well balanced it is.
As the title implies, Meme-ing is nominally a show about the internet, and certainly there is a fair bit of internet-centric humour. (One sketch, about a boy who falls into a YouTube-induced coma that can only be cured by reading, is particularly on point.) That said, it isn’t just a series of jokes about cat videos. Instead, it’s a well-thought-out show that manages to offer something for pretty much everyone, without stretching itself too thin.
Who says classical music has to be hundreds of years old? The New Creations Festival spotlights the hottest in contemporary orchestral music with a line-up that includes a composition called A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City by Tod Machover (who also guest curated this festival), a violin concerto by Owen Pallett, and much more.
World Stage presents Lear, a retelling of Shakespeare’s tale of family, legacy, and tragedy, with Canadian legend Clare Coulter in the title role and director Philip McKee.
If you’re finding it difficult to get through the original version of Homer’s classic, The Odyssey, there’s nothing like a musical edition to help make things more clear. Odyssey: The Musical tells the epic journey of Odysseus and the struggles he faces as he makes his way back home after the fall of Troy. The music and lyrics come from Khamsina, one of Victoria College’s students.
Playwright Kat Sandler has an impeccable flair for comedic dialogue, and her plays keep getting better, from early effort LOVESEXYMONEY, to Fringe hit Help Yourself, to, most recently, clever couple swap scenario Delicacy.
Sandler’s newest work ROCK could be her darkest yet, about an actor (Andy Trithardt) who’s begun fantasizing about murder, despite a supportive girlfriend (Jen Balen) and a rock solid best friend (Tim Walker).
The Canadian premiere of Ashlin Halfnight’s Laws of Motion, about an accident that sparks a chain reaction of events, boasts a powerhouse ensemble assembled by Small Elephant Co-Op and director Chris Stanton, and is staged in a second-floor jam shop in Leslieville.
The show has now been extended to March 23—but they absolutely have to close after that.
One of Canada’s most acclaimed and prolific young playwrights, Hannah Moscovitch, has her own mini festival at Tarragon Theatre this season. It started with This is War in January, and continues into March with three one-act plays, all concerning children. Two of those three plays form the double bill now on: Little One and Other People’s Children. (We’ve got a full review right here.) Later this month Other People’s Children will continue, paired with another one-act piece called In This World.