Boasting a library of thousands of sketchbooks crowdsourced from around the globe, NYC-based Art House Co-op brings their Sketchbook Project tour to Toronto for a weekend residency at Trinity Square in the Distillery District. They encourage attendees to check out some of their hard copies (and digital ones) at the installation—and maybe contribute your own work.
As part of the Goethe Institute’s City+Climate focus, the cultural centre has teamed up with Philip Riccio’s celebrated The Company Theatre for a pair of readings of work by Swiss playwright Lukas Bärfuss and Canadian writer Douglas Coupland. Oil and Player One: What is to Become of Us, works by those writers respectively, will be excerpted and read by actors Alex Paxton-Beesley, Tony Nappo, Pamela Sinha, and Tim Walker, and directed by Riccio.
The critics were pretty sweet on Fairy Tale Ending when the sly all-ages musical was at the Next Stage and Fringe Festivals. This year’s remount just had a short run at the Stratford SpringWorks Festival, and now has a weekend engagement at the Wychwood Theatre in the Artscape Wychwood Barns.
Comedienne Jen Kirkman, best known for her work on Chelsea Lately (and her hilarious storytelling for Funny or Die’s “Drunk History” series) has recently published her first book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From A Happy Life Without Kids. She’s touring the book, and an all-new stand-up set, here in Toronto for three shows, with some excellent local openers. For Friday’s show, she’s joined by Darrin Rose and Diana Love; Saturday’s early show has Kristeen von Hagen and Evany Rosen; and the late show, Christina Walkinshaw and Mark Little.
Canadian indie music label, Arts & Crafts, are celebrating their tenth anniversary. As part of the celebrations, they’re showing a new exhibition from Toronto photographer, Norman Wong. The exhibition features images of various artists over the years including Feist, Kevin Drew, Emily Haines, and many more. You’ll be able to buy a book of photography there and a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Testicular Cancer Canada and MusiCounts.
Even if you aren’t familiar with the opera Carmen, chances are you’re familiar with at least some of its score (if you are, chances are equally strong that you’ll have a difficult time getting this melody out of your head today). Though initially a flop when it debuted in 1875, Carmen went on to enjoy critical acclaim and has since become one of the most performed operas of all time. It’s now omnipresent in popular culture.
In 1996, Theatre Columbus premiered playwright Michael O’Brien’s “freely adapted” take on the famous Beaumarchais play The Barber of Seville, which was written in 1775. O’Brien’s version mixed in music from the 1816 opera of the same name by Gioachino Rossini, as well as original tunes by composer John Millard. The adaptation also propelled the story forward a couple centuries, with pop culture references galore. With Theatre Columbus co-founder Leah Cherniak at the helm, the musical ended the season with six Dora Award nominations (it won three) and plenty of critical acclaim.
Seventeen years later, Soulpepper Theatre is remounting this zany reimagination of The Barber of Seville, updated once again by O’Brien, Millard, and Cherniak. But, for some reason—the change in decade, or company, or sense of humour—whatever had made the original so magical, has faded, save for a few key performances.
If you’ve been paying attention to musical theatre news over the past two years, you know that The Book of Mormon has a passionate and devout following of fans who swear it’s the long-awaited saviour of the artform. The show won nine Tonys in 2011, the cast recording reached number three on the Billboard chart, and tickets for its Broadway run are rare and expensive.
Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram of The National Theatre of the World have created “an actor’s nightmare and a playwright’s dream” with The Script Tease Project. They’ve arranged for celebrated Canadian writers to pen the first two pages of a play, sealing them in an envelope afterwards. Then, on stage in front of an audience, the envelope is opened, the pages read cold, and a completely improvised play is born! A new writer’s work will be featured every night of the showcase.