Weekly Update 258
This week, there’s editions of the politically inflammatory theatre night The Wrecking Ball, and of the always popular odd lecture series Trampoline Hall; Magali Meagher curates a special Valentine’s inspired Wombat Wednesday event, featuring celebrity couples and odd pairs; Sean Cullen and Nick Flanagan bring their comedy shows (“The Sean Schau” and “Joke Club“, respectively) back to life at Comedy Bar; The overlooked indie gem “Wendy and Lucy” opens, as does the must-be-seen-in-3D adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline“; and Wavelength celebrates its 450th edition with four nights of music at five different venues from Thursday to Sunday, featuring hot acts like Slim Twig, Timbre Timbre, and The Diableros.
More about the week’s top draws in theatre, comedy, film and music, after the jump.
(Top to bottom, left to right – Kris Siddiqi, Lisa Brooke, Alistaire Forbes, Kurt Smeaton, and Sarah Hillier debut “Don’t You Forget About John Hughes” at Comedy Bar this Saturday night).
The Rhubarb festival continues, with sensational troubador /stand-up/ monologist / drag queen Taylor Mac concluding his four night stand this Saturday (week two opens on Wednesday); As I mentioned above, there’s a Wrecking Ball going down this week, Monday at Theatre Passe Muraille, with Matt MacFadzean, Tara Beagan, Micheal Healey, and other noted theatre artists participating; and one closing of note – this weekend, Praxis Theatre’s “Stranger“, adapted from a novel by Albert Camus, wraps up on Sunday at the Theatre Centre.
Darryl Pring presents a new improv show that pays homage to the cinematic ouvre of the 80’s best know director in “Don’t Forget about John Hughes“; later that same Saturday night, Sean Cullen re-launches his “Sean Schau” with special guest Geri Hall; PROJECTProject celebrates Valentines by dressing up (it’s a semi-formal night), and setting its performers up on blind improv dates; Nick Flanagan brings “Joke Club” back from hiatus, also relaunching it at Comedy Bar; and “Lunacy Cabaret” has a special Friday the 13th edition, with its usual assortment of clowns, acrobats, comedians, and performance artists at the Centre of Gravity in the East End.
Finally, after weeks of just the Oscar contenders, there are a few new films worthy of consideration: “Wendy & Lucy”, a indie feature by the director of “Old Joy” (Kelly Reichardt), features a mesmerizing performance by Michelle Williams as a desperate and nearly destitute woman trying to make it to Alaska on her last few dollars, in a beat up car, with only her faithful Labrador as a companion. There’s also the stop motion wonder of “Coraline“, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s dark fairy tale for all ages, appearing in 3D at Silvercity Yonge & Eglinton (it’s the only location in the downtown core to advertise 3D, and many of the reviews say you’re only seeing 1/3 of the movie without 3D).
The Primordials play a FREE (free if you email them in time to get on the guest list, anyway) show at the Mod Club Saturday; The Stills also play free at Nathan Phillips Square as part of the Wintercity Festival; there’s a great edition of Keith Hamilton’s “Gather Round” series at the Boat on Sunday; this month’s Wombat Wednesdays curator Magali Meagher and her hubby Bob Wiseman are just one pair of performers at a special Valentine’s edition of the showcase at the Tranzac Club; and Wavelength launches its 450 edition celebrations Thursday to Sunday, with four nights of music at five venues (Thursday’s opening at the Music Gallery, headlined by Timbre Timbre, is immediately followed by an afterparty at the Cameron House, headlined by The Diableros).
See you around town,
Steve’s Weekly Picks for Feb. 6th – Feb. 13th, 2009:
FRIDAY Feb. 6th: “Hand Drawn Dracula Label presents…“, w/ Contrived (members of Holy Fuck and Wintersleep) , Brian Borchedt, Julie Fader, more @ Whippersnapper Gallery, 9pm, $7 / “Mantown“, w/ Adam Cawley, Bob Banks, Rob Norman, more, @ Comedy Bar, 10pm, $5 / Geoff Berner CD Release, w/ Forest City Lovers, @ The Tranzac (Main Hall), 10pm, $10
SATURDAY Feb. 7th Aft.: “Shakuntala“, @ Fleck Dance Theatre, 2pm, $18-$30
SATURDAY Feb. 7th Eve: The Stills, @ Nathan Phillips Square, 8pm, FREE / “Don’t You Forget About John Hughes“, w/ Chris Gibbs, Kurt Smeaton, Dave Pearce, more, @ Comedy Bar, 8pm, $10 / “The Sean Schau“, w/ special guest Geri Hall, host Sean Cullen, more, @ Comedy Bar, 9:30pm, $10 / The Primordials, @ The Mod Club, 11pm, $10 (FREE unlimited guest listing if you message firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday at 4pm)
SUNDAY Feb. 8th Aft.: “Stranger” closing show, @ The Theatre Centre, 2pm, PWYC
SUNDAY Feb. 8th Eve: “Laugh Sabbath Presents… Talent Show“, w/ Adam Christie, Bob Kerr, Deborah Digiovanni, host James Hartnett, more, @ The Rivoli, 9pm, $5 / “Gather Round“, w/ Hamilton Trading Co, Brad Casey, Diamond Rings, Amelia Goodlet @ The Boat, 10pm, PWYC
MONDAY Feb. 9th: “The Wrecking Ball 8“, w/ Tara Beagan, Anand Rajaram, Boonaa Mohammed, many more, @ Theatre Passe Muraille, 8pm, PWYC / “Trampoline Hall“, w/ Susan Fothergill, Saniya Ansari, Michael Higginson, host Margaux Williamson, at Sneaky Dee’s, 8pm, $6
TUESDAY Feb. 10th: Hylozoists in-store performance, @ Soundscapes, 6 pm, FREE / “Wendy & Lucy”, 2 Cumberland Cinemas, 7:15pm, $7.95 / Gentleman Reg listening party, w/ video screenings, @ The Beaver (Queen & Gladstone), 10pm, FREE
WEDNESDAY Feb. 11th: “Coraline” in 3D, @ Silvercity Yonge & Eglinton Cinemas, 6:50pm, $12.50 / “Wombat Wednesdays Presents… Wombats in Love“, w/ Bob Wiseman & Magali Meagher, Katie Crown & Levi MacDougall, Mary Margaret O’Hara and WHHAA!?, hosts Kathleen Phillips & Dawn Whitwell, more, @ The Tranzac Club, 8pm, $6 / “PROJECTProject Presents… Semi-Formal“, w/ Sean Tabares, Sarah Hillier, Jason DeRosse, musical guest Skyshark, more, @ Comedy Bar, 9:30pm, PWYRoll ($1-$6)
THURSDAY Feb. 12th: Rhubarb Festival: Week Two, w/ Geoffrey Pounsett, Natasha Boomer, Cole J. Alvis, many more, @ Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 7pm, $17 ($25 for a full week pass) / Wavelength 450 Night 1, w/ Timber Timbre, Ghost Bees, Dorit Chrysler, @ The Music Gallery (St. George the Martyr Church), 8 pm, PWYC / “Joke Club Returns“, w/ Makesi Arthur, Pat Thornton, Kathleen Phillips, host Nick Flanagan, more, @ Comedy Bar, 9:30pm, $5 / Wavelength 450 Night 1 Afterparty, w/ The Diableros, Loitering Heroes, @ Cameron House, 11 pm, PWYC
FRIDAY 13th: “Toronto the Good“, @ Factory Theatre, 8pm, $20-$37 ($10 rush tickets available 10 minutes b4 show) / “Lunacy Cabaret“, w/ Dave McKay, host Sarah Buski, more, @ Centre for Gravity, 8:30pm, $10 / Wavelength 450 Night 2, w/ Steamboat, Slim Twig, Bonjay, more, @ Wrongbar, 9 pm, PWYC
- 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 have started.
- 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).