Beaches International Jazz Festival: Best Bets
The Waterfront Blues Festival (July 11–13), now in its 10th year, has recently “merged” with the wildly popular Beaches Jazz Festival (July 18–27), making the second half of July all-music-all-the-time in the Beach. Woodbine Park is the hub for both of these festivals, with things being rounded out by the Beaches Jazz Festival’s StreetFest along Queen Street East. Those looking for jazz will likely be disappointed by StreetFest—what you will get, though, is a fun Taste of the Danforth vibe and some epic people-watching. It’ll also be ground zero for Toronto’s well-heeled Baby Boomer set, so if you’re anxious to bust out your favourite Hawaiian shirt, now’s your chance. But if you aren’t into dancing to “Play That Funky Music White Boy” played on a pan flute, get yourself directly to one of the Beach’s fine patios, and check out one of our top picks for the Waterfront Blues Festival and Beaches Jazz Festival.
Pam Am Games One-Year Kickoff
A year from now, the 2015 Pan Am Games will begin in Toronto, so organizers have arranged a two-day party—1 year to go! #WeArePanAm Party—to ramp up excitement for the 2015 event. There’ll be many entertainers playing the stage out front of City Hall, including Machel Montano, Walk Off the Earth, and Los Van Van. And of course athletes like Canadian cycling legend Curt Harnett, Raptors star Greivis Vasquez, and track-and-field phenom Perdita Felicien will appear over the two days.
Soulpepper Salon: New York City
For their latest Soulpepper Salon, Albert Schultz and company have programmed an evening of songs about New York City. “Conductor” Mike Ross will host, as the railcar (and subway) snakes through the city, making stops along the way. Boarding at various points of the program will be performers such as Patricia O’Callaghan, Damien Atkins, and Jackie Richardson.
A Journey Into the Forbidden City
If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace.
Vulnerability, Suffering, and Strength
“The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon
“In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore
These quotations, which welcome visitors to “Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms.
2014 Toronto Fringe Festival Preview
With more than 130 shows and additional programming, the Toronto Fringe Festival can be overwhelming. And since the shows are picked mostly via a lottery system, finding one that will be worth your time and money can be a crapshoot—though the best shows can and have gone on to eventual Broadway runs and major film adaptations. We’ll help you get the most out of your Fringe experience with a rundown of the festival’s promising and potentially can’t-miss shows—and we’ll be back with reviews as the festival progresses.
The festival begins with opening ceremonies behind Honest Ed’s at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, and features some afternoon and evening premieres that day and Thursday, July 3. The festival really kicks off on Friday, July 5, and there’ll be programming every day from noon to midnight until Sunday, July 13.
TIFF Cinematheque: The Homes and Worlds of Satyajit Ray
You’d be hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker more frequently linked to his national cinema in the popular imagination than Satyajit Ray, whose work in the 1950s brought an independent streak to the production of Indian cinema as famously as Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless countered the establishment of French costume dramas around the same time. Yet prior to the 1990s, you might have found it equally difficult to name a major international figurehead who was as underrepresented at repertory screenings, so dire was the state of the films’ prints.
Twenty years after the Academy Film Archive restored the Bengali director’s deteriorating and otherwise endangered negatives and made proper retrospectives possible, TIFF Cinematheque offers “The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray,” a far-ranging program that gives Toronto audiences the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour as well as the work of arguably India’s most influential filmmaker.
Duuuudes, wouldn’t you rather be at the beach right now? If you can’t get your toes into some sand, the #Hashtag Gallery has a hot alternative. Its new exhibit, SURF/ACE, features the work of Graeme Luey, inspired by the lazy days of summer, and life on the water. Drop by and get away for a bit at its luau-themed opening party.
Bent Lens: Pride on Screen
Every part of our city will be drenched in WorldPride this summer, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Bent Lens: Pride on Screen comprises nearly two months of screenings, exhibits, and speaking engagements that reflect the broadness of our LGBT community. Check out films under the stars in David Pecaut Square, take in a conversation with Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black, and much more.
This post originally stated that the outdoor screenings of Bent Lens will focus on Derek Jarman and Bruce LaBruce, but that is not the case.
Terry O’Neill: The Man Who Shot the Sixties
Our fascination with fame and celebrity isn’t new—and this is illustrated in Izzy Gallery’s newest exhibit, Terry O’Neil: The Man Who Shot the Sixties. A photographer from the U.K., O’Neill snapped iconic shots of everyone from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to Brigitte Bardot and Faye Dunaway. The opening party features an appearance by O’Neill himself, and his “photographs from the frontline of fame” will remain on display until the end of August.
Scene on the Plaza
Do Right! Music and the Gardiner Museum have teamed up with food, beer, and wine sponsors (including Steam Whistle and Southbrook Vineyards) for Scene on the Plaza, a month’s worth of Friday-night parties hosted on the expansive plaza on the Gardiner’s grounds just south of Bloor and Avenue. Maylee Todd kicks off the first night on June 27, The Soul Motivators play the following week, and a slate of DJs from Do Right! and MILK CREW will make appearances in the three remaining weeks.
The Bard is on a bus tour, and he’s stopping in Toronto for two short nights at Todmorden Mills. Get swept away by Shakespeare’s classic story of love, manipulation, and a little bit of magic in The Tempest, as told by the Driftwood Theatre Group in a unique open-air venue.
Fans of oddball British humour—rejoice! The Lower Ossington Theatre has brought the genius of Monty Python’s Eric Idle to Toronto with their rendition of Spamalot. Watch as flying cows, killer rabbits, and all sorts of bizarre elements come together to tell a twisted version of the legendary story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Twelve Angry Men
If you haven’t heard of Twelve Angry Men, you’ve likely seen it parodied in a number of movies and television shows over the years. Now here’s your chance to see the real deal, on stage, thanks to the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Watch the drama unfold in a claustrophobic deliberation room as one dissenting juror unravels what is supposed to be an open-and-shut murder case.