Chris Fung: “Where two or more are gathered in my name, so shall I be”

Bill's New Stove by Chris Fung. Image courtesy of Chris Fung.

  • Urban Gallery
  • 5 p.m.

Toronto painter Chris Fung unveils his exhibition of new paintings with an opening party at the Urban Gallery. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, so shall I be” includes 35 pieces completed in the past year that reflect Fung’s struggle to balance a life of art, Catholicism, and homosexuality.

Details: Chris Fung: “Where two or more are gathered in my name, so shall I be”

Book Revue: The Godfather

  • The Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Avenue)
  • 6:45 p.m.

Book Revue reconvenes to dissect and exalt The Godfather—both Mario Puzo’s book and Francis Ford Coppola’s film adaptation. Globe and Mail columnist Geoff Pevere will host the evening, which will include a screening of the three-hour classic, followed by a discussion of the novel and of the impact Coppola’s movie has had on popular culture and Mafia recruitment.

Details: Book Revue: The Godfather

“In My Lifetime”: Exhibit and Screening

A collection of artifacts from the golden era of hip hop. Image courtesy of "In My Lifetime."

  • The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West)
  • 7 p.m.

Would you find the idea of visiting a museum more palatable if you knew you’d find pop-culture trophies displayed among the bits of pottery and suits of armour? If so, you’ll likely enjoy the “In My Lifetime” exhibit, which showcases a collection of rare hip-hop memorabilia. A must-see for any hip-hop fan, this one-night event also features an exclusive screening of the first Toronto concert by Wu Tang Clan, Black Moon, and Smiff N Wessun, which went down back in 1994.

Details: “In My Lifetime”: Exhibit and Screening

Ongoing…

The Royal Ontario Museum Takes a Modern Approach to the Cradle of Civilization

  • Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park)
  • All day

The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.

Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada.

Details: The Royal Ontario Museum Takes a Modern Approach to the Cradle of Civilization

A Sampling of the Stratford Festival

Scott Wentworth as Tevye, with Jacquelyn French (Hodel), Keely Hutton (Chava) and Jennifer Stewart (Tzeitel) in Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

If Fringe and SummerWorks aren’t enough to satisfy your summer theatre cravings, the world-renowned Stratford Festival is now only a bus ride away from downtown Toronto, thanks to the new Stratford Direct bus route (“the best thing [the Festival] has done in years” according to one usher at the Avon Theatre). Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino has put together a season to please tastes from the traditional to the extravagant. Here’s what we think about five of Stratford’s current productions.

Details: A Sampling of the Stratford Festival

Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea

  • Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street)
  • All day

Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea is a new exhibition from the Toronto Reference Library that gathers a number of rare items that explore the theme of the possible and the impossible. Some of the highlights on display are La vingtième siècle: la vie électrique (a rare French book that shows how scientific discoveries would have affected people in 1955), Tame (a sci-fi pulp magazine), and Worldly Wisdom (watercolour that depicts a Leonardo da Vinci-like figure creating a winged flying machine). You’ll find the exhibition in the library’s TD Gallery.

Details: Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea

TIFF Throws A Toga Party For Comedies

Will Ferrell finds out it's so good once it hits the lips in Old School. Image courtesy of the TIFF Film Reference Library.

  • TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
  • All day

When Animal House first turned the toga into suitable party attire in 1978, the landscape of the film comedy was forever altered. TOGA! The Reinvention of American Comedy, a new film series that kicked off Wednesday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, seeks to chart the changing comedic sensibilities that have occurred in the years since the film’s release. From big budget blockbusters, to libido-fuelled sex romps, to carefully calibrated exercises in nuance and timing, the selections in the program are some of the funniest films ever made.

Details: TIFF Throws A Toga Party For Comedies

The World According to “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • 10 a.m.

Ai Weiwei is a 56-year-old artist confined to his home in Beijing for creating work critical of the Chinese government and Chinese culture. There are video cameras outside his house, his phone lines are tapped, his blog was deleted, his Shanghai studio was destroyed in 2010 by authorities, and his passport was confiscated in 2011. To this day, he’s unable to leave his country. Even so, Ai Weiwei has had a large presence in Toronto over the past few months.

This past June, he did a performance piece with artist Laurie Anderson during the Luminato Festival, using Skype. His Zodiac Heads have been installed, temporarily, in the reflecting pool in front of City Hall. At this year’s Nuit Blanche, a large-scale version of his sculpture of bicycles, Forever, will take over Nathan Phillips Square. And beginning August 17, the Art Gallery of Ontario is displaying “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”, a retrospective of the work he produced before and after the Chinese government’s crackdown on his activities helped him find new international acclaim.

Details: The World According to “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

Canadian National Exhibition 2013

Veterans march in the Warrior's Day Parade at the CNE. Photo by Kaeko from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

  • Exhibition Place (Lakeshore Boulevard and Strachan Avenue)
  • 10 a.m.

The Canadian National Exhibition, that storied summer fair, opens for its 135th season. For 18 days, there will be amusement-park rides late into the night, all manner of overindulgent foods to gorge on, long-running traditions like the Warrior’s Day Parade and the Air Show, concerts by bands like The Beach Boys and The New Pornographers, and much, much more.

Details: Canadian National Exhibition 2013

CityPlace Farmers’ Market

Now buying fresh, local produce is as convenient as trotting down to the neighbourhood Sobey's. Photo courtesy of MyMarket.

  • 3:30 p.m.

Condo-ville isn’t exactly known for its access to organic and locally grown foods. MyMarket is trying to change that with weekly farmers’ markets set up in the in the Northern Linear Park. Residents can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables virtually from their doorstep, while supporting local farmers. Everyone wins!

Details: CityPlace Farmers’ Market

Everyday Is Like Sunday Screening

  • Carlton Cinemas (20 Carlton Street)
  • 7 p.m.

A new, locally made movie, Everyday Is Like Sunday, features some mainstays from our city’s comedy and music scenes. Directed by Pavan Moondi, it follows friends Mark (David Dineen-Porter) and Jason (Adam Gurfinkel) as they muddle through their semi-adult lives. It also stars Coral Osborne and Nick Flanagan, and there are turns by Nick Thorburn (Islands, Mister Heavenly) and Dan Werb (Woodhands, Ark Analog). The film has its premiere screening at the Carlton on Friday, August 16, with a Q&A and opening party after.

Details: Everyday Is Like Sunday Screening

Yoga in the Town Square

Shop till you drop, then stretch it out with a free yoga class in the Town Square. Photo courtesy of the Shops at Don Mills.

  • Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Road)
  • 7 p.m.

Some people unwind with retail therapy, others do yoga. Now you can combine both activities with free yoga in the Town Square at The Shops at Don Mills. Regardless of your skill level, bring a mat and join the group for sessions twice weekly, courtesy of Titika.

Details: Yoga in the Town Square

Gogol Bordello

Members of Gogol Bordello. Photo by Alison Clarke.

  • Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth Avenue)
  • 7 p.m.

Gypsy punk collective Gogol Bordello plays a two-night stand at the Danforth Music Hall. The band, known for its prolific touring and energetic stage shows, has released a new album—2013’s Pura Vida Conspiracy—since their last Toronto visit.

Details: Gogol Bordello

Anything Goes is a Real Trip

Rachel York and a bunch of dancing sailors in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Anything Goes, presented by Mirvish Productions. Photo by Joan Marcus.

  • Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West)
  • 8 p.m.

Musical theatre has a reputation for sometimes being out of touch and old-fashioned, so the prospect of Mirvish Productions bringing a tour of Cole Porter’s 1934 musical Anything Goes to Toronto wasn’t especially heartening at first—even if this particular production, by New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company, won three 2011 Tony Awards.

But say, pal, wouldn’t you know, we were downright tickled to have such a good time at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The jokes are still corny, the songs still melodramatic, and the script still has some pretty racist content, but the show manages to transcend its era.

Details: Anything Goes is a Real Trip

The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream

  • Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West)
  • 8 p.m.

Revisiting history is more fun with a soundtrack, as you’ll find in The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream. Based on the story of one of rock’s most influential bands, this Broadway-show-meets-concert takes the audience back through the ’60s with hit songs like “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’,” and “It’s a Beautiful Morning.” Produced and directed by the legendary Steven Van Zandt, the show combines performance, archival footage, live narrative, and film reenactments.

Details: The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream

Macbeth and Shrew Arrive at Shakespeare in High Park

Philippa Domville and Hugh Thompson in Macbeth. Photo by David Hou.

  • High Park Amphitheatre (1873 Bloor St. W.)
  • 8 p.m.

In the 31st year of Shakespeare in High Park, Canadian Stage has programmed two productions that are performed on alternating evenings. The two plays could not be more different.

Both Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew involve manipulative spouses and deceptive plots—but where one ends in marriages and love, the other ends with bloodshed and terror. One is infamously problematic, and the other is one of Shakespeare’s most popular. And the two directors, Ted Witzel and Ker Wells, both of whom join Shakespeare in High Park after completing a directing program held in collaboration between Canadian Stage and York University, only exaggerate the differences.

Details: Macbeth and Shrew Arrive at Shakespeare in High Park