NXNE 2013: Genre By Genre, Our Best Bets
It’s hard to believe, but if North by Northeast was a person, it would be old enough to drink this year. The festival, which started out 19 years ago as a pale imitation of Austin’s South by Southwest, is now a force to be reckoned with in its own right. It’s a place where up-and-coming acts from around the world come to get noticed. It also provides a few of Toronto’s best free concerts in any given year, lined up back-to-back.
Every year, we come out of NXNE with a new favourite band that we refuse to shut up about for the rest of the summer. The only problem is, finding that new favourite band involves sorting through literally hundreds of contenders. We’ve managed to come up with a totally subjective list of acts worth seeing, broken down by genre, to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
Here are a few key tips that apply to fans of all genres.
ROMWalks: The Grange
Once an elite colonial park property, the Grange is now home to many immigrants and working professionals. Join ROMWalks for a guided tour of the area and learn its history, while appreciating the varying architecture which ranges from the 19th to 21st century.
Mad Hot Ballet: Dangerous Love
Succumb to temptation, if only for one night at the Mad Hot Ballet: Dangerous Love gala. Programmed by Artistic Director Karen Kain, the evening features Carmen-inspired performances by the National Ballet of Canada. A Spanish-themed reception will follow the show.
If you know too much about the show about nothing, you need to check out Super Terrific Happy Hour Trivia, the Seinfeld edition. Teams of up to six members will face 50 straight-up trivia questions about the show over the course of three rounds, separated by Seinfeld episodes.
Asiansploitation: The Text Generation
Set your phone to vibrate and prepare for a voyage into uncharted territory with Asiansploitation: The Text Generation. Self described as “sketch comedy with a slant,” the show tackles important issues such as our culture’s dependency on technology, while imagining what the love life of Star Trek‘s Data might be like. Audience-influenced scenes and song parodies abound!
WordStage is taking the summer off! So if you’re a big fan, or have been meaning to attend one of their events, this is your last chance until the Fall. Enjoy an evening of readings from both established and amateur prose, poetry, and drama writers. This edition features pieces from Susan L. Helwig, Chris Marks, David Peter Clark, and Ariane Blackman.
Fred Caron’s Trust Isn’t an Issue
HUNTCLUB brings Montreal artist Fred Caron’s Trust Isn’t an Issue to its gallery for a two-week exhibition, beginning with an opening on Monday, June 10. The street artist is focusing on aspects of Stockholm syndrome for his installation’s short run in Toronto; later this summer, he’ll be the co-curator for on-site art at the Osheaga Festival. In addition to the opening, Caron is also doing an artist’s talk on Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m.
Bard in the Park: The Merry Wives of Windsor
It’s a sure sign of summer when theatre productions start popping up in green spaces across Toronto. Launching into their eighth season, Bard in the Park is happy to present The Merry Wives of Windsor. In this Shakespearean comedy, the vain, yet cowardly, knight Sir Falstaff attempts to pursue two wealthy women in hopes of financial gain. Embarrassment ensues.
Arts & Crafts X Norman Wong Photography Exhibit
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.
One of the Fringe Festival’s greatest successes, and definitely Soulpepper’s biggest post-millennial hit, Ins Choi’s corner store comedy Kim’s Convenience returns for another extended run into the the summer season. Most of the principal cast, including Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as larger-than-life patriarch Appa, are back. Here’s our review of the first Soulpepper remount.