Home > GTS Update > Weekly Update 293 (Mar. 26th – Apr. 2nd, 2010)

Weekly Update 293 (Mar. 26th – Apr. 2nd, 2010)

So, Colin and I have FINALLY sorted out the email database issues – sort of (for a full account of what exactly happened to the site, and what we’ve been dealing with since February, check out this post). A very small minority of the subscribers receiving this update may have unsubscribed already, as it’s from an older back-up: if that describes you, my apologies. Please shoot me another email, and I’ll take you off the list (again). Conversely, if you’re reading this post and wondering why you didn’t get an email about it, email me, and I’ll hook you up.

Enough business! Read on for the good stuff.

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IN THEATRE & DANCE,

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it’s International Theatre Day this Saturday, and goodness me, is there a lot to choose from.

Top to bottom: Ravi Jain, Troels Hagen Findsen, and Katrina Bugaj, in Why Not Theatre's "I'm So Close... It's Not Even Funny". The movement / multimedia heavy play is part of the Free Fall Festival that wraps up this weekend, though "I'm So Close" continues another week at the Theatre Centre.

Top to bottom: Ravi Jain, Troels Hagen Findsen, and Katrina Bugaj, in Why Not Theatre's "I'm So Close... It's Not Even Funny". The movement / multimedia play is part of the Free Fall Festival that wraps up this weekend, though "I'm So Close" continues another week at the Theatre Centre. Poster by Mina Mikhail.

You could start with one of the festivals, like the Free Fall Festival ‘10, which wraps up on Sunday; it features new works from companies across the country, at the Theatre Centre, and at the Harbourfront Centre, in conjunction with that institution’s World Stage Series. Offerings include Theatre Direct’s drama “On The Side of the Road” (from Calgary), The Chop Theatre’s interview compilation show “KISMET one to one hundred” (visiting from Vancouver), and tri-national company Why Not Theatre’s visually inventive “I’m So Close…“, which runs one week longer at the Theatre Centre.

Also closing this weekend are dance/theatre hybrid company Theatre Rusticle’s “Birnam Wood” at Theatre Passe Muraille, a work inspired by (but not telling) the story of “Macbeth”, and the youth showcase Paprika Festival, up at Tarragon Theatre.

Tarragon’s also playing host and producer to Daniel MacIvor’s gripping new play “Communion“, which is near the top of the heap of continuing shows. Other worthy contenders include “Breakfast” at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and “Art” and “The Overwhelming” at recently rebranded Canadian Stage’s two Front Street venues. There’s also quite a few musical offerings, such as popular fringe hit “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding” (extended one last time to April 10th), Soulpepper’s wartime revue “Oh What A Lovely War“, and the very musical (but WILDLY different) “Who Knew Grannie: a Dub Aria“. Be forewarned; many of these shows must close on April 3rd or 4th…

One of my favourite projects on right now in Toronto is Theatrefront’s “The Mill“, which has four different parts, each written by a different playwright, all centering around a rural mill that’s been a site of various horrors and ghostly intrigue over the centuries. Tara Beagan’s “Part 3: The Woods“, which opened last week at the Young Centre, is a prequel of sorts, to Hannah Moscovitch’s “Part 2: The Huron Bride” and Matthew MacFadzean’s “Part 1: Now We Are Brody“. Both Parts 1 and 2 get a very limited couple of performances this week and next weekend, to supplement the run of Part 3.

Other just opened or opening shows this week include the Actor’s Repertory Company production of Martin Crimp’s “The City“, and Theatre SMASH’s world premiere of Graeme Gillis‘ “A Boy Called Newfoundland“.

Finally, Morgan Jones Phillip’s storytelling show “The Emergency Monologues” returns for two nights (and four sets) late next week, to say goodbye to The Cameron House, the  tiny backroom venue on Queen Street that’s rumoured to be closing in the next few months.

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Local indie rockers Dinosaur Bones are opening for Canuck rock legends Thrush Hermit all this weekend (including an all ages show Sunday afternoon) at Lee’s Palace; they’re also in the coveted slot of band #100 for local filmmaker Mitch Fillion’s ambitious Southern Souls project. Mitch has just been asked to film videos for several months in Montreal for influential live video site La Blogtheque.

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

Bruce Horak guests on "Ghost Jail Theatre" early Sunday, then pops down Bloor Street to host "Sunday Night Live" at Comedy Bar.

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IN COMEDY,

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Second City’s newest revue, “Second City For Mayor“, has opened to universally complimentary reviews; I’ll be checking it out very soon myself. Lunacy Cabaret celebrates its 5th year and 50th show at the Centre for Gravity Saturday night; that night’s also a “Monkey Toast” evening, as the popular improv/interview show winds down its run (creator David Shore is leaving for the UK in a few months). Bad Dog Theatre has a strong showcase that evening as well, as “Off Off Broadview” features a large rotating cast of some of the city’s best actor-improvisers (many performers seem to pigeonhole themselves as one or the other).

Sunday night, “This is Cancer” creator and performer Bruce Horak guests on “Ghost Jail Theatre“, then goes down the street to host “Sunday Night Live“, with guest troubadour Henri Faberge (who also plays Thursday at !059 as part of Spin Cycle – for more on that, check the Music section).

Horak’s busy the one night, but keener Sara Hennessey is hosting at least three nights (that I’m aware of) this week; she’ll be running the show at Laugh Sabbath’s “Hour of Power” on Sunday, her own show “You Laugh Now!” Thursday, and Friday’s “Catch 23 Improv” at Comedy Bar (which will be followed by the rambunctious improv rhyming duel show “Rap Battlez“).

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IN FILM,

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Neil Young, still rockin' after all these years. Photo by Larry Cragg.

Visually striking (and somewhat depressing) documentary “Manufactured Landscapes” is Camera Bar’s free Saturday afternoon screening this weekend. The Royal Cinema is also running a documentary all this week; following the highly acclaimed White Stripes documentary “Under Great White Northern Lights” (which was held over twice), they’re screening another concert doc,  “Neil Young Trunk Show“.

There’s a number of new films opening this weekend by directors who’ve had indie hits in the past; “Greenberg” is the sixth feature from Noah Baumbach, who specializes in giving the audience deeply unlikeable but still sympathetic characters (this time around, it’s Ben Stiller as a bitter failed musician). There’s also the murder mystery Korean feature “Mother“, from Boog Joon-ho, who thrilled horror fans with his hit “The Host”.

If you’re in the mood for more mainstream fare, silly sounding comedy flick “Hot Tub Time Machine” arrives this weekend, trailing quite a lot of positive word of mouth; next weekend, the 3-d sword & sandal (and creature feature) epic “Clash of the Titans” arrives.

Finally, on the off chance I’ve not yet mentioned it; The Scotiabank Theatre has now joined Rainbow Market Square and Cumberland Cinemas in offering half price deals on Tuesdays. So you’ve got quite a lot of choice that evening for a discounted film deal.

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IN MUSIC,

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Halifax heroes and rock veterans Thrush Hermit play three shows over the weekend at Lee’s Palace. They’re not the only veteran band coming through town this week; Spoon, Nada Surf, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are all playing gigs in T.O. between now and next Friday. Also in town and headlining are up and coming bands The Ruby Suns (with excellent local openers Whale Tooth),  Beach House, Julian Casablancas (best known as the frontman for The Strokes, and this recent video), and Abbotsford, B.C.’s You Say Party! We Say Die! And even if you can’t get into their sold-out Saturday night show, you can catch The Black Lips this weekend by showing up at record store Sonic Boom (with a donation to the Daily Food Bank) on Sunday afternoon.

Local musicians playing this weekend include In Flight Safety (with guests Said the Whale and We Are The Take), and Young Doctors in Love, who are playing a CD release show (with guests The Phonemes, and Charms). There’s also a terrific triple bill of Mantler, Steamboat, and Alex Lukashevsky at The Piston on Bloor Street, next Thursday night.

But the coolest sounding show of the week starts early on Thursday, around 6pm. Local label Fuzzy Logic Recordings, in conjunction with label signee Gravity Wave, has organized a tour of the Annex’s coin laundromats, with live performance sets at each location along the neighborhood tour. Some of the bands will be playing as “themselves” (Buckets Of, The Pinecones, Almonds, Cohen, etc.), while other musicians (members of Hooded Fang, The Bicycles, The Pickups, and more) will be doing one night only collaborations with comics and dancers. The walking/biking/rolling tour will culminate in a Gravity Wave set at party house !059, as well as a set by house host Henri Faberge (who’s also the musical guest Sunday night at Comedy Bar).

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Another sublime Southern Souls video: The Phonemes open for Young Doctors in Love this Saturday night, at that band’s CD release at Rancho Relaxo.

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Steve’s Weekly Picks for Mar. 27th – Apr. 2nd, 2010:

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Sara Hennessey is a busy hostess: the funny gal MCs this week at Laugh Sabbath's "Hour of Power" Sunday at The Rivoli, Thursday at "You Laugh Now!" at a Parkdale cafe, and Friday at Comedy Bar's "Catch 23 Improv". Photo by Anthony Suppa.

SATURDAY Mar. 27th Aft.: Birnam Wood” closing show, w/ Maev Beatty, Hume Baugh, Lucy Rupert, more, @ Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 2:30pm, PWYC     /     “The Overwhelming“, w/ Karim Morgan, Audrey Dwyer, David Storch, more, @ Canstage Berkeley Theatre, 2pm, $20-$45

SATURDAY Mar. 27th Eve: Free Fall ‘10: “KISMET one to one hundred“, w/  Hazel Venzon, Daryl King, Anita Rochon, more, @ The Theatre Centre, 7pm, $20      /       “Lunacy Cabaret’s 5 & 50 Anniversary!“, w/ Melissa D’Agonstino, Dave McKay, Sarah Buski, many more, @ Centre of Gravity (1300 gerrard St. E.), 8:30pm, $15 (“Gold Diggers & Millionares” theme) /      Free Fall ‘10: “I’m So Close (It’s Not Even Funny)”, w/ Ravi Jain, Katrina Bugaj, and  Troels Hagen Findsen, @ The Theatre Centre, 9pm, $20      /       Young Doctors in Love CD release, w/ The Phonemes, Charms, @ Rancho Relaxo, 9:30pm, $5      /        Bad Dog Theatre Presents… “Off Off Broadview“, w/ Dave Pearce, Ashley Botting, James Gangl, host/producer Kerry Griffin, more, @  Bad Dog Theatre, 10pm, $10      /       In Flight Safety, w/ Said The Whale, We Are the Take, more, @ El Mocambo, 10pm, $10.50

SUNDAY Mar. 28th Aft.:  Free Fall ‘10: “Little Illiad”, w/ Evan Webber, &”Thom”, @ The Theatre Centre, 1:15pm (& 2:15pm), PWYC     /       “Breakfast“, w/ Karin Randoja, Evalyn Parry, and Anna Chatterton, @ Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 2:30pm, PWYC      /     Thrush Hermit (4:45pm), w/ Dinosaur Bones (3:30pm), @ Lee’s Palace, $17.50, ALL AGES     /      Black Lips in-store, @ Sonic Boom, 4pm, FREE (w/ food donation to Daily Food Bank)

SUNDAY Mar. 28th Eve:Ghost Jail Theatre“, w/ Bruce Horak, Andrea Del Campos, Allyson Pratt, more, @ Clinton’s, 7:30pm, $5      /     “Sunday Night Live“, w/ The Sketchersons, host Bruce Horak, musical guest Henri Faberge, more, @ Comedy Bar, 9pm, $8

MONDAY Mar. 29th: The City“, w/ Janet Porter, Peter James Haworth, Anja Bundy, more, @ Berkeley St. Theatre, 8pm, PWYC       /      “Pirate Video Cabaret“, w/ Jo-Anna Downey, Chris Locke, Alana Johnston, host Simon Fraser, more, @ Clinton’s, 8pm, $5 /      Spoon (10:15pm), w/ Deerhunter (9:05pm), The Strange Boys (8:15pm), @ The Sound Academy, $24.50       /      Nada Surf ( 10:15pm), w/ Dawn Ladnes & The Hound (9pm), @ Lee’s Palace, $16.50

Ryan Hollyman & Michelle Latimer in the spooky environs of "The Mill", a four part play cycle by Theatrefront. Parts 1, 2, and 3 are running this week at The Young Centre; this image is of the two in "Part 3: The Woods", by Tara Beagan. Photo by Chris Gallow.

TUESDAY Mar. 30th: Second City For Mayor“, w/ Kris Siddiqui, Cailtin Howden, Adam Cawley, more, @ Second City, $15-$24     /      “The Mill, Part 2: The Huron Bride”, w/ Michelle Monteith, Eric Goulem, Maev Beaty, more, @ The Young Centre, 8pm, $20-$30 ($15 with “LYCA 1021″ discount code)      /      The Ruby Suns (10:15pm), w/ Whale Tooth (9:30pm), @ The Drake Hotel Underground, $11

WEDNESDAY Mar. 31st: The Mill, Part 3: The Woods“, w/ Holly Lewis, Ryan Hollyman, Michelle Latimer, more, @ The Young Centre, 8pm, $20-$30 ($15 with “LYCA 1021″ discount code) / The Neil Young Trunk Show“, @ The Royal Cinema, 9pm, $10 /      “The Carnegie Hall Show“, w/ Ennis Esmer, Naomi Snieckus, Cleopatra & The Carnegie Hall Dancers, musical guest Carly Hefferman, more, @ Bread and Circus, 9pm, PWYC

THURSDAY Apr. 1st: Gravity Wave & Fuzzy Logic Recordings Present… Spin Cycle 2010“, w/  Gravity Wave, The Pinecones, Buckets Of, many more, @ coin laundromats (930 Bloor, 318 Harbord, 292 Harbord, 292 Lippencott, finish @ !059), 6pm-11pm, PWYC /       “The Mill, Part 1: Now We Are Brody”, w/ Frank Cox O’Donnell, Michelle Montieth, Richard Greenblatt, more, @ The Young Centre, 8pm, $20-$30 /     “You Laugh Now!“, w/ Michael Balazo, Rebecca Kohler, Tim Gilbert, host Sara Hennessey, more, @ Rustic Cosmos Cafe (1278 Queen St. W.), 9pm, FREE     / Mantler, w/ Steamboat, Alex Lukashevsky, more, @ The Piston (937 Bloor St W), 9:30 pm, PWYC

FRIDAY Apr. 2nd: The Emergency Monologues“, w/ Morgan Jones Phillips, @ The Cameron House, 8pm (& 10:30pm), $10     /      “Catch 23 Improv“, w/ Bob Wiseman, David Dineen Porter, Anand Rajaram, host Sara Hennessey, more, @ Comedy Bar, 8pm, $8 /        Julian Casablancas (10pm), w/ Funreal Party (9pm),@ Kool Haus, $25        /     “Rap Battlez 3.0“, w/ Matt Folliot, Kevin Dowse, Andy Hull, hosts Miguel & Freddie Rivas, more, @ Comedy Bar, 10:30pm, $5     /      You Say Party! We Say Die! (12am), w/ Styrofoam Ones (11pm), Makeout Video Tape (10pm), @ The Horseshoe Tavern, $12.50

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Ken Farrell, AKA the Fearless Leader of Gravity Wave, has organized a bike/walk tour of the Annex’s laundromats this Thursday, with bands playing at each suds stop (Gravity Wave will headline at the tour’s final destination, legendary party house !059).

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Fine Print:

- All prices listed are advance ticket prices (where applicable). With many of these shows, especially music and theatre, if you show up at the door, you run the risk of being turned away due to a sell out.

- All times are start times, NOT door times. If you show up after the posted time, the show will likely already be underway.

- I typically cap the listed performers at three mentioned per show. The bill of bands / acts / performers is often much larger (particularly for comedy and theatre).

- Theatre and Comedy events are ALL AGES, unless otherwise noted. Music events are 19+, unless otherwise noted (FREE in-store and outdoor performances are ALL AGES, due to the lack of alcohol service).

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