Canadian Music Week 2013
Canadian Music Week might not be as sexy as its fair-weather cousin, NXNE. There are no outdoor shows, and cycling between venues is way less fun in the freezing rain. That said, there are still tonnes of good acts. Here’s the run-down, and our picks for the most promising shows…
Toy Piano Composers
Arraymusic, which is dedicated to fostering new audiences for contemporary chamber music, is teaming up with the Canadian Opera Company to present a free lunchtime show by the Toy Piano Composers. This collective, comprised of imaginative budding composers from Toronto, will be showcasing six of their new musical works.
Sound Image Music Photography Exhibition
Tonight (March 19), the second-annual Sound Image Music Photography Contest and Exhibition kicks off with a party. Judges Stephen Carlick (Exclaim! photo editor), Lucia Graca (creative director of Analogue Gallery), music photographer Barrie Wentzell, and Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning will start the evening by announcing the contest’s winner. The two-week-long exhibition features work from Courtney Lee Yip, Brian Patterson, Jess Baumung, Kevin Calixte, Roger Cullman, Vanessa Heins, and more.
Write Club: Chapter 6
It’s time once again for Write Club to quench the blood thirst of the book-wormed masses! In this live-lit battle, writers go head to head with opposing story ideas in a series of four seven-minute rounds. The winner of each round wins money for a charity of their choice. Tonight’s crafty combatants are Jason Maghanoy, Ryan F. Hughes, Aisha Alfa, Patrick Hakeem, Marilla Wex, Daniela Saioni, Chloe Van Keeken, and Megan Griffith-Greene.
In This World and Other People’s Children
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 pieces make up the double bill now playing: In This World and Other People’s Children. (We’ve got a review of the latter play here.)
Toronto Urban Photography Festival
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.
What might we see through the eyes of a child? ChildSight tries to answer that question by pairing selected artwork with audio commentary from children who participate in the Kaleidoscope in-school art program. The opening reception on Thursday, March 21st also includes awards presentations, drinks, and, of course, a chance to check out the show itself.
Toronto Storytelling Festival 2013
The Toronto Storytelling Festival returns for another year. The week-long event will take place at venues across the city. Subject matter will range from politics, to kids’ stuff, to guilty pleasures, and sexual desire.
Miranda Mulholland, the redheaded “Fiddle Ninja” from Great Lake Swimmers and Belle Star, has spent the last few years between Toronto and Los Angeles, writing and recording a solo album. Now she’s sharing her new tunes during a month-long residency with her band of Toronto friends: Patrick Brealey (piano), James Robertson (guitar), Burke Carroll (pedal steel), Anna Ruddick (bass), and Josh Van Tassel (drums). She plays every Tuesday in March.
The Whipping Man
The Whipping Man is a 2011 John Gassner New Play Award–winning play that’s set during Passover in 1865. The show tells the tale of a confederate officer who has returned home after the Civil War to find his family missing, but two former slaves remaining. While waiting for the family’s return, the concepts of master and slave, and those of slavery and war, are explored. Directed by Philip Akin and starring Sterling Jarvis, Brett Donahue, and Thomas Olajide.
(Bonus tip: you can save 25 per cent off tickets to the March 16 and April 4 shows by buying them through Toronto-based publisher Bookclub-in-a-Box.)
Ching Chong Chinaman
fu-GEN Theatre Company presents the Canadian premiere of Lauren Yee’s cheeky and insightful play, Ching Chong Chinaman. The ultra-assimilated Wong family don’t quite fit the Asian-American stereotype: teenaged Upton ignores chores and homework to play video games, and his sister Desi’s math scores are less than stellar. Upton’s solution to both problems? Hire an Asian indentured servant with an American dream. Starring Zoe Doyle, Brenda Kamino, Oliver Koomsatira, Richard Lee, Jane Luk, and John Ng.
2013 Groundswell Festival
Nightwood Theatre’s annual festival of new creation, the Groundswell Festival, this year features a reading of a new play by Judith Thompson, productions from Montreal’s Odelah Creations and Halifax’s In Good Company, and nightly readings and events, including their annual Femcab Women’s Day Celebration.
THIS Reveals a Theatre’s Bones
It’s hardly news nowadays when an actor disrobes onstage, giving an audience a glimpse at what’s underneath a costume. It’s another thing entirely when the theatre itself strips down to its bare bones.
For Canadian Stage’s production of THIS, by Melissa James Gibson, a Canadian playwright gaining popularity in New York City, artistic director (and director of the play) Matthew Jocelyn and set designer Astrid Janson did just that to the historic Berkeley Street Theatre in Corktown.
Laws of Motion
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.