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Archive for April, 2010

Weekly Update 296 (Apr. 23rd – Apr. 30th, 2010)

April 24th, 2010 Steve No comments

IN FILM,

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The creators of "Gravy Train", Tim Doiron & April Mullen, pose on the red carpet at the premiere of their movie in Toronto.

The creators of “Rock Paper Scissors: The Way of the Tosser”, Tim Doiron & April Mullen, are back with a cop comedy entitled “Gravy Train” (you can check out the trailer here). Based on the popularity of their first film, they were able to land quite a few celebrities for their 2nd feature, including Tim Meadows, Colin Mochrie, and Jennifer Dale. The movie gets a red carpet premiere this Friday night at the AMC Yonge and Dundas, followed by a Q & A (which the filmmaking pair will do for most evening screenings this week – they’ve posted a schedule here). If you want to see it cheaply (sans Q & A), remember that the AMC has half price matinee tickets for screenings before noon on weekends…

In advance of the Hot Docs festival (which starts next Saturday), there’s a screening of one of the most popular recent Canadian documentaries on Tuesday at the Revue Cinema. Peter Lynch will be taking questions after the screening of his doc “Project Grizzly“, about Troy Hurtubise, a man obsessed with building a bear-proof protection suit, to the point of throwing himself off of cliffs, and having people drive cars into him to test it. The film will also be screening with Lynch’s short “Nails“.

Still in cinemas, I’ve seen “Kick Ass” twice now, and will probably go a third time; it’s funny, profane, violent, and the most enjoyable treatment you’re ever likely to see of just how ridiculous it would be for someone to dress up as a superhero and fight crime. I’m also going to try to make time to see “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“, which is still getting great word of mouth.

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Veteran local rockers Run With The Kittens, who have a penchant for the absurd, have enlisted an unorthodox representative to help publicize their upcoming CD release next Friday at the Great Hall.
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Theatre, Comedy, Music, more vids and pics, and the weekly calendar picks, are just one “Read more” click away…

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Weekly Update 295 (Apr. 16th – Apr. 23rd, 2010)

April 18th, 2010 Steve No comments

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IN COMEDY,

Comedically and musically inclined ladies Katie Crown and Kathleen Phillips debut a new one act "amusical", "Our Lives Work!", this Saturday night at Bread and Circus.

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Norm Souza and Cole Osborne (AKA Punch Drysdale), plus a few other similarly strong livered performing friends, will get absolutely blotto Friday night on the Comedy Bar stage, for your amusement, in “Punch Drysdale Drinks a 24“.

Amusement is the name of the game on Saturday night at Bread and Circus as well, where Kathleen Phillips and Katie Crown’s will premiere their new one act “amusical”, “Our Lives Work!“. Also on their bill is Poppa Proppa, Toronto’s oldest prop comic, and musical guest People of Canada, who will be strumming the ukele (Alex will also be playing with a full band Monday night at Elvis Monday – more details in the Music section).

Sunday, there’ll be a reading of “Two Gentlemen of Lebowski“, the hit mash-up script combining “The Dude” with “The Bard”, to fundraise for two upcoming shows from Nobody’s Business Theatre. This is the closest Toronto has come to a staging of the internet phenomenon (I’d heard a production was in the planning stages, but legal issues have sidelined those plans). You also get comedy from Frenzy, and quite a few guys and gals taking most of their clothes off.

Also Sunday, Scott Freethy celebrates his “Scott and the City” 6 month anniversary with a night of musical tribute to the TV show “Glee”, and veteran improviser David Shore performs his final “One Man Harold” show before decamping to the UK.

Monday, there’s an edition of “The Dime Store Novels“, a adult storytelling night closely modeled on the popular US series “The Moth”; and Wednesday, PROJECTProject and The Polecats both come out of hiatus (the PROPro cats have been busy on their Combustion Festival) to pay tribute to PROPro member Sarah Hillier on her birthday.

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Haligonian musicmaker Rich Aucoin, who blew many (including myself) away with several spirited performances during CMF back in March, headlines this Tuesday’s NO SHAME music showcase at Sneaky Dee’s.

Film, Music,  Theatre, more vids and pics, and the weekly calendar picks, are just one “Read more” click away…

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Weekly Update 294 (Apr. 2nd – Apr. 9th, 2010)

April 3rd, 2010 Steve No comments

No pressing business this week; just a reminder to email me at steveATgracingthestage.ca if you want to receive this weekly update in your inbox.

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IN MUSIC,

Is there anything the legendary Bob Wiseman CAN'T do? He's making his improv comedy debut on "Catch 23 Improv" this Friday, and tells musical stories on Wednesday at this month's "Murder Folk Night".

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As with last week, there’s a lot of touring bands (both Canadian and otherwise) passing through T.O., ranging from San Francisco’s Girls (who were in the top 5 of my Best Albums of 2009 post), with terrific openers Dum Dum Girls, whose biker-chick-goes-to-prison video is embedded at the bottom of this post; The xx, who are being impossibly hyped as the “next big thing” for their minimalist beats, and who’ll DJ their own afterparty at the Garrison Sunday night (it’s free if you’re a Facebook fan of Aux.tv); and Fanfarlo, a UK band who are getting a lot of  comparisons to The Arcade Fire (they play next Friday at Lee’s Palace).

Speaking of the Arcade Fire, one of their satellite members, the charming Owen Pallett (who’s dropped his potentially lawsuit-incurring moniker Final Fantasy) plays an all ages show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday. Other Canadian acts hitting Toronto stages this week include Vancouver’s Japandroids (whose openers Love Is All and locals Two Koreas make their show one of my most recommended of the week), and Montreal bands Wolf Parade (Wednesday @ the Phoenix) and Land of Talk (Thursday at Lee’s Palace).

There’s also a really good selection of local showcases this week. Multi-faceted performer Maylee Todd’s playing three of them; a launch party for Filipino cultural centre Kapisanan in Kensington Market on Saturday, s the musical guest on variety show Carnegie Hall Wednesday at Bread and Circus, and a CD release party with almost a dozen local acts on Thursday at Tattoo Rock Parlour. Other shows of note include a special Easter edition of Keith Hamiton’s Gather Round acoustic night at the Boat, and a special extra literary edition of the monthly Murder Folk night (in collaboration with the Pivot Reading Series).

But the biggest music news this week is probably the return of Wavelength Music Art Projects. The first official Wavelength event since the finish of their weekly Sunday night showcases is a collaboration with The Images Festival, and the innovative Polydactyl Arts Collective, who were responsible for the dystopian bike opera “Le Cyc”. Saturday night at the Workman Arts building, the collective will be providing live musical accompaniment to stop motion film projections exploring such diverse subjects as biological mutation, and how language requires transitions to be interpreted, similar to data processing.

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Pixie songstress / aerobicizer Maylee Todd plays the re-opening of the Kapisanan Filipino cultural centre this weekend, is the musical guest on Carnegie Hall on Wednesday at Bread and Circus, and plays clothing company G-SUS’s compilation CD launch on Thursday at Tattoo Rock Parlour.

Comedy, Film, Theatre, more vids and pics, and the weekly calendar picks, are just one “Read more” click away…

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