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Stratford Festival Roundup: We’re Crazy in Love With These Shows

Jonathan Goad as Titania (sharing the role with Evan Buliung) and Stephen Ouimette as Bottom with members of the company in Chris Abrahama's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Michael Cooper.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

Only about two hours away from Toronto, madness is infiltrating the town of Stratford, Ontario—but fortunately, it’s the kind that produces delightful results. Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino has designed this year’s season around the theme “Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge,” and explores it through everything from jukebox musicals to Shakespearean tragedies. And with the festival’s increasingly popular twice-daily bus service to and from downtown (in its second year), it’s easy to get a taste of what the mania is all about. Here’s Torontoist‘s take on a sampling of this year’s festival offerings—Ira Glass and his opinions notwithstanding, a whole lot of people would welcome a chance to spend some time with the Bard and some of Canada’s most esteemed artists.

Details: Stratford Festival Roundup: We’re Crazy in Love With These Shows

Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts

  • All day

The 38th edition of Toronto’s longest-running community street festival, the Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts, will take place along Parliament Street from Gerrard to Wellesley streets, branching off into public spaces and venues like Riverside Park and the Winchester Street Theatre along the way. The festival gets going on Friday evening with the 22nd annual Cabbagetown Short Film and Video Festival, and kid’s panto show The Snow Queen, or… Slightly Frozen; on Saturday, a kick-off ceremony at Parliment and Carleton will usher in the weekend’s bill of live music, street vendors and buskers, and the Arts and Craft Show and sale.

Details: Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts

Toronto International Film Festival

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

Some see September as the death of summer, while others see it as a great time to watch movies and stalk celebrities. We are, of course, talking about the Toronto International Film Festival, taking over our theatres for 10 straight days. While we can’t possibly tell you about every film on the schedule (there are more than 300), there’s a good chance you’ll find something you enjoy amongst their many documentaries, short films, children’s programming, international cinema, Midnight Madness horrors, and other films. Check out our festival hub to find out more.

Details: Toronto International Film Festival

Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios Creates Steampunk Wonderland

  • Grand Chapiteau (51 Commissioners Street)
  • All day

Cirque du Soleil is magical. Across from T&T Supermarket on Cherry Street, the pop-up striped tent transforms Polson Pier into a scene of fantastical fun—it’s a better location than any Las Vegas hotel or Orlando strip mall. And when you walk into the Grand Chapiteau venue, you’re welcomed into a bizarro steampunk contortionist dream.

Kicking off its North American tour in Toronto, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities is Cirque du Soleil’s latest show. The official plot explanation is abstract and boring: there’s a Seeker in his own imaginary world called Curiosistan finding inventions with robots that smell like leather. It’s confusing to even layer a narrative over the spinning, jumping, flying and balancing. No one had no idea what was going on–but everyone loved the show. Details.

Details: Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios Creates Steampunk Wonderland

Shed Plays at TIFF

Morro and Jasp take on Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Photo courtesy of U.N.I.T. Productions.

  • 11 a.m.

The Toronto Fringe Festival is teaming up with the Toronto International Film Festival this year to present Shed Plays at TIFF as part of TIFF’s street programming. Fringe stars like Morro and Jasp, Kanika Ambrose (The Art of Traditional Head-Tying), and MonkeyMan Productions (who’ve been in the Fringe’s own Shed series several years running) will each have two-hour slots between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. in a tiny street-side venue at the south end of King Street West and Ed Mirvish Way. Like most of the TIFF street programming, the performances, put on for just a few audience members at a time, are free.

Details: Shed Plays at TIFF

New Simpsons Art Exhibit Is One You D’oh Not Want to Miss

  • Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue)
  • 7 p.m., 11 a.m.

Homer Simpson may not have the greatest understanding of the arts, but for Homer’s Odyssey curator Lindsay Cahill he and his nucular family of five are the perfect muse.

Cahill, an artist and zine editor from Niagara, moved to Toronto in January with a handful of contacts and a desire to expand her artistic network. Nine months later, her first ever curatorial venture features more than 40 works from 22 artists across the city. Opening night at the trendy Kensington Market venue Videofag attracted a steady stream of patrons, and fulfilled one of Cahill’s lifelong dreams.

Details: New Simpsons Art Exhibit Is One You D’oh Not Want to Miss

True

The cast of Rosa Laborde's True. Photo by Aleyah Solomon.

  • Citizenry Cafe (982 Queen Street West)
  • 8 p.m.

Criminal Theatre remounts its production of one of our best-reviewed and favourite shows of the 2014 Fringe Festival―Rosa Laborde’s True, a family drama revolving around the ephemerality and unreliability of memory. “Revolving” really is the word, as the action shifts subtly between the characters’ memories and their present-day interactions when a confused father (Layne Coleman) shows up on the doorstep of a Queen Street West cafe run by his estranged daughters (Sabrina Grdevich, Shannon Taylor, and Ingrid Rae Doucet). Seating in Citizenry Café (which is shut down in the evening for performances) is very limited, so you’ll want to reserve your tickets soon.

Details: True

The Misunderstanding

Theatre gets animalistic with the modern Greek tragicomedy, The Misunderstanding. Image courtesy of Lester Trips Theatre.

  • Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse (79 St George Street)
  • 8 p.m.

Meet Martha, a vengeful spinster still living with her mother. Luckily, she has the good fortune to be in charge of an inn where she drugs her rich guests, steals their money, and tosses their bodies into the river. A modern Greek tragicomedy, The Misunderstanding is a cautionary tale about the trouble one gets into when intentions are kept hidden.

Details: The Misunderstanding