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

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

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.



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".


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.


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…




Old time vaudeville duo Parker and Seville bring the third installment of their ongoing show to Comedy Bar this weekend, with special guests James Hartnett, Sara Hennessey, and more.

Catch 23 Improv has some  unusual guest competitors, including two musicians: oddball comic David Dineen Porter (AKA 8-bit hero PDF Format), and Bob Wiseman, who last week honed his comic chops hosting a cabaret with current C23 champ Becky Johnson. Later in the night, the competitive theme will continue with “Rap Battlez“, as comics will go head to head improvising rhymes in freestyle competition.

Monday night, also at Comedy Bar, throwback hacks Parker and Seville will perform a new “episode” of their ongoing revue, with guests like Adam Christie and last week’s cover gal Sara Hennessey. Ms. Hennessey has another very busy week ahead of her; she’s also hosting Sunday Night Live, and on Thursday, will co-host with three other comics at “Comedy at the Ossington“, which features both pro comics, and the opportunity for last minute sign-up slots, if you want to try your hand at stand up.

Thursday night, veteran stand-up Nick Flanagan hosts this month’s “Joke Club“; his guests including visiting stand-up Jason Rouse, sketch troupe Dinkus, and a preview of Kathleen Phillips and Katie Crown’s upcoming one act musical, “Our Lives Work!“.

Next Friday (and this Friday, too), Bad Dog Theatre is presenting a real time improv show, “9 to 5“, which will pick as its topic a business from the Yellow Pages, then perform a “standard workday”. Many of the creative team behind the hit real-time show “About an Hour” are involved, including cast member Alex Hatz, and director Lisa Merchant.




Harrison Ford definitely shoots first in this scene from "Raiders Of the Lost Ark"; the adventure classic screens several times over the Easter long weekend at the Bloor Cinema.

I’ve already mentioned the Images Festival in the music section, writing about Wavelength’s involvement with the Live Images #2 showcase (filmmaker Ben Rivers‘ “I Know Where I’m Going” also screens that evening, after the Polydactyl Arts Collective’s performance).

If you’re not especially interested in seeing experimental performance and film collide, there’s a couple of chances this weekend to see “Raiders of the Lost Ark“, one of the “most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time”, according to Rotten Tomatoes (yes, I’d agree), on the big screen at the Bloor Cinema.

The Royal Cinema is still running the concert doc “Neil Young Trunk Show“, although it’s joined this week by a new performance doc “La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet“. The Fox Cinema is showing “Crazy Heart“, the fictional music man story that finally earned Jeff Bridges his Oscar recently, as is the Revue Cinema.

Finally, the big popcorn flick this weekend is “Clash of the Titans“. While reviews have been mixed, they all agree on one thing; do NOT see the film in 3D! It was converted after production was finished, and was not intended for the 3D format – and apparently, that fact is glaring obvious. One cinema definitely NOT showing the film in the headache-inducing format is the Rainbow Market Square, where you can see the expensive looking film for a measly $4 on Tuesday.




Fitness FAIL: unenthusiastic exerciser Brendan Gall is one of several playwrights reading from unproduced "failed" plays on Sunday evening as part of a fundraiser for theatre company The Room.

As I warned last week, this weekend is your last chance to see a LOT of plays. A partial list of shows closing this weekend: “The Overwhelming”, “The City“, “The Mill” (Parts 1, 2, AND 3), “Breakfast“, “Communion“, “I’m So Close“, and “Who Knew Grannie: A Dub Aria“. If I had to pick just one or two, I’d go with “I’m So Close” (last week’s “cover” story), or “The Mill Part 3: the Woods“, which has stirred up some controversy with the non-traditional dialogue spoken by its 17th century characters; one Eye Weekly reviewer has already incurred the wrath of many of Toronto’s top Native (and non-Native) artists with an ill-advised critique that the actors weren’t “looking and acting their ethnicities“.

New shows opening this week (or just opened) include Theatre SMASH’s premiere of “A Boy Called Newfoundland” up at Tarragon, and several shows as part of Factory Theatre’s Performance Spring series, including “Where the Blood Lies” in its Toronto premiere, and “This Time“, a dance adaptation by noted choreographer Heidi Strauss of Factory founder Ken Gass’s 40 year old one act play “Light”.

Musical offerings also multiply this week; in addition to the currently running shows “Oh What a Lovely War” (Soulpepper) and “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding” (Mirvish), there’s a brief 3 day run of Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World” at Theatre Passe Muraille, then the premiere of Native Earth’s opera “Giiwedin“, also at TPM.

Lastly, a one night only performance will happen this Sunday at new nightspot the Piston (formerly The Concorde Cafe). Members of the theatre collective The Room, including David Yee, Kate Hewlett, Chris Stanton, and Brendan Gall, will read from “failed” plays as part of a fundraiser for their upcoming new installment of the “Red Machine” series.


Playwright and director Daniel MacIvor talks about his new play in this elegant short promotional video (more theatre shows should have these, IMO). “Communion”, like more than a half dozen other plays currently running in Toronto, wraps up this weekend.

Steve’s Weekly Picks for Apr. 2nd – Apr. 9th, 2010:


Janet Porter, pretty in pink, is the insomniac nurse Jenny (or IS she?) in ARC's production of Martin Crimp's "The City", which closes this Saturday.

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

SATURDAY Apr. 3rd Aft.: The Mill, Part 3: The Woods” closing day, w/ Holly Lewis, Ryan Hollyman, Michelle Latimer, more, @ The Young Centre, 2pm, $20-$30 ($15 with “LYCA 1021″ discount code)       / The City” closing day, w/ Janet Porter, Peter James Haworth, Anja Bundy, more, @ Berkeley St. Theatre, 2pm, $15-$25       /       “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, @ The Bloor Cinema, 4:15pm, $6

SATURDAY Apr. 3rd Eve: Kapisanan Centre Re-Launch Party, w/ Maylee Todd, Tonka & Puma, HALO HALO, more, @ Kapisanan Centre (167 Augusta Ave.), 7pm, $7 (FREE under 12 yrs)      /     “I’m So Close (It’s Not Even Funny)” closing night, w/ Ravi Jain, Katrina Bugaj, and  Troels Hagen Findsen, @ The Theatre Centre, 8pm, $20      /      Images Festival / Wavelength 501: Polydactyl Arts Collective, w/ “I Know Where I’m Going”, @ Workman Arts (651 Dufferin St.), 9:30pm, $8-$10      /     Japandroids (12am), w/ Love Is All (11pm), Two Koreas (10pm), @ The Horseshoe Tavern, $12

SUNDAY Apr. 4th Aft.: Communion” closing show, w/ Sarah Dodd, Caroline Gillis, Athena Lemarre, @ Tarragon Theatre, 2:30pm, $21-$39      /     “Breakfast” closing show, w/ Karin Randoja, Evalyn Parry, Anna Chatterton, @ Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 2:30pm, PWYC

SUNDAY Apr. 4th Eve: The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine” closing show, w/ Carla Albi & Jesse Watts, @ Bread and Circus, 6pm, $10      /      “FAILure Fundraiser“, w/ Kate Hewlett, David Yee, Lindy Zucker, more, @ The Piston (937 Queen St. W.), 8pm, PWYC       /      “Gather Round: Easter Editon“, w/ Hamilton Trading Co., Girl & The Machine, Grady Mutzel, more, @ The Boat, 9pm, PWYC /      The xx Afterparty, w/ Bruce LaBruce, The xx (DJ set), more, @ The Garrison, 10pm, FREE (must join Aux.tv FB fan page for guest listing)

Hamilton bred and L.A. based shock comic Jason Rouse is in T.O. for a brief spell this week - he'll guest on Nick Flanagan's "Joke Club" this Thursday.

MONDAY Apr. 5th: “Art”, w/ Colin Mochrie, Peter Donaldson, Evan Builing, @ Canadian Stage (Bluma Appel Theatre), 8pm, PWYC     /      “Parker & Seville Ville Park Ep. 3: Climb Three Mountains“, w/ Adam Christie. Sara Hennessey, James Hartnett, more, @ Comedy Bar, 8pm, $5

TUESDAY Apr. 6th:A Boy Called Newfoundland“, w/ Martha Burns, Patrick Kwoon-Chon, Natasha Greenblatt, more, @ Tarragon Theatre, 8pm, $15-$30       /      “Clash of the Titans”, @ Rainbow Market Square, 9:30pm (also 7pm), $4

WEDNESDAY Apr. 7th: “Oh What A Lovely War”, w/ Michael Hanrahan, Alison Jutzi, Oliver Dennis, more, @ The Young Centre, 7:30pm, $28-$70 ($5-$20 rush tickets 1 hour B4 show) /      “Murder Folk Night“, w/ Sandy Pool, Sean Dixon, Bob Wiseman, hosts Carey Toane and Ryan Kamstra, more, @ The Press Club (850 Dundas St. W. ), 8pm, PWYC /      “Comedy at the Ossington“, w/ David Dineen Porter, Keesha Browning, Darryl Orr, hosts Sara Hennessey & Steph Kaliner & Greg Alsop, more, @ The Ossington (61 Ossington), 9pm, PWYC      /       Wolf Parade (10:15pm), w/ We Are Wolves (9pm), @ The Phoenix, $20

THURSDAY Apr. 8th: Old Man Luedecke in-store, @ Criminal Records, 6:30pm, FREE      /        Owen Pallett, w/ Snowblink, @ Queen Elzabeth Theatre,  7:30pm, $27.50 (ALL AGES)       /       Performance Spring 2010: “This Time”, w/ Brendan Wyatt & Justine Chambers, @ Factory Theatre Studio, 8pm, $18-$22       /     GSUS CD Launch Party, w/ The Lost Fingers, Curtis Santiago, Maylee Todd, more, @ Tattoo Rock Parlour (567 Queen St. W. ), 9pm, FREE      / Joke Club“, w/ Jason Rouse, Dinkus, Kathleen Phillips & Katie Crown, host Nick Flanagan, more, @ Comedy Bar,  10pm, $7      / Land of Talk, w/ Adam & The Amethysts, @ Lee’s Palace, 10pm, $10

FRIDAY Apr. 9th: Giiwedin: a First Nation’s Opera“, w/ Ryan Allen, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Jesse Clark, more, @ Theatre Passe Muraille, 8pm, PWYC      / BikeSauce Fundraiser“, w/ Abdominal & The Obliques, Hooded Fang, Entire Cities, more, @ Blue Moon Pub (725 Queen St. E.), 9pm, $5-%10 (PWYC)      /      Girls, w/ Dum Dum Girls, @ The Phoenix, $16.50     /     “9 to 5“, w/ Alex Hatz, Jan Caruana,  Carmine Lucarelli, more, @ Bad Dog Theatre, 10pm, $10     /      Fanfarlo, w/ Lawrence Arabia, Robert Francis, @ Lee’s Palace, $12


The Dum Dum Girls open for Girls (yes, two very different bands) next Friday at the Phoenix. I find this video a pretty interesting comparison to Lady GaGa’s recent prison-set video for “Telephone”.


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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