Dan Chameroy stars as Figaro in Soulpepper’s The Barber of Seville (photo: Sandy Nicholson)
STARTS MAY 9 Intricately melding its original source—Pierre Beaumarchais’ 18th-century play—as well as Rossini’s opera and even a more recent version by Canadian playwright Michael O’Brien and composer John Millard, Soulpepper Theatre Company’s reimagined take on The Barber of Seville brings to the stage a light comedy that was nonetheless radical in its time. Featuring the character of Figaro (portrayed by Dan Chameroy), a servant who’s anything but servile, the play may well have helped inflame the French Revolution. Nowadays the story is perhaps less provocative, but in a new adaptation it retains great populist appeal. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $51 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or visit soulpepper.ca for showtimes and to buy. —Macrina Smart
The Young Centre hosts Soulpepper Theatre Company’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
STARTS FEBRUARY 7 Soulpepper Theatre Company opens its new season with a contemporary favourite that takes its cues from a timeless masterpiece. Turning Hamlet on its head, Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead follows two minor courtiers in Shakespeare’s tale; ordered to help plot Hamlet’s death, it is they who are outwitted and then killed. Directed by Joseph Ziegler, the metatheatrical work brings to the fore what otherwise would have occurred off-stage in the Bard’s tragedy, exploring existentialist themes like fate, control and the conflict between art and reality. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $22 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or see Soulpepper’s website for showtimes and tickets. —Ana Taveira
Friday: Ben Affleck’s Argo is one of many premieres at TIFF (photo by Claire Folger)
Friday, September 7
Each September the city comes to life with celebrities, Hollywood buzz, and most importantly a wide selection of fantastic cinema to experience. The opening weekend of the 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival showcases world premieres of major Hollywood films and foreign features, complex documentaries, short and experimental films, and so much more.
Don’t miss out on a shopping bonanza as Toronto celebrates Fashion’s Night Out with The Bazaar. Curated by Rac Boutique, the event brings together a wide variety of independent Toronto retailers including Gotstyle, the Drake Hotel General Store, Philistine and many others.
The Second City‘s new mainstage revue, We’ve Totally (Probably) Got This, is guaranteed to tickle that funny bone. Spend your Friday night with friends and this company of hilarious performers who have mastered the art of satirical sketches, songs and improvisations. (more…)
Friday: Speed-the-Plow satirizes the movie industry (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)
Friday, July 20
Expect cracking dialogue and fierce satire this evening as Soulpepper Theatre Company performs David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow. The play examines the lives of two American film producers while dissecting the relationship between art and commerce.
The Toronto Summer Music Festival returned earlier in the week and brought with it a full slate of concerts, master classes and lectures for classical music lovers. Tonight, the acclaimed Borodin Quartet presents Music of Russia, a program of string quartets by Russian composers, including Borodin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.
Once again the Harbourfront Centre becomes of a cultural smorgasbord of music, dance, international fare and more as the Hot & Spicy Food Festival occupies the downtown waterfront. The festival kicks it up a notch with exciting competitions like tonight’s Taco Takedown—where you decide which taco reigns supreme—and the annual Iron Chef competition, held over the weekend and concluding Sunday afternoon. (more…)
Friday: See artist-designed tutus and much more at the Design Exchange (photo by Setareh Sarmadi and Marta Ryczko)
Friday, July 13
Get an insider’s look into the history of the the country’s most prominent dance company, as the Design Exhange presents 60 Years of Designing the Ballet. The exclusive exhibition tells the story of the National Ballet of Canada through set pieces, paintings, videos and archival wardrobes, including 60 iconic tutus for the troupe’s diamond anniversary.
The hallowed grounds of Fort York play host to a vaunted group of electronic musicians tonight as dubstep hero Skrillex brings his Full Flex Express tour to town. Accompanying the popular DJ/producer are a handful of cohorts including Montreal’s Grimes and Philly-based DJ Diplo.
The Soundclash Festival kicks off tonight at Harbourfront Centre, with dance and musical performances ongoing throughout the weekend. This evening you’re invited to feel the funky Afrobeat as Benin’s Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou takes the stage for its Canadian debut. (more…)
Sunday: Akosua Amo-Adem and Soulpepper Academy artists perform Dirt (photo by Nathan Kelly)
Friday, May 25
More than 75 bags of dirt fill the Tank House Theatre stage (at the Yonge Centre for the Performing Arts) as the Soulpepper Academy performs Dirt, their theatrical production that revolves around the literal and metaphorical use of, well, dirt. Whether it’s the substance under your fingernails or a dirty secret, the show explores the use of dirt through stories, movement and technology.
Mayer Hawthorne, known for mixing “old school” soul with “new school” sounds, draws inspiration from classic singers like Smokey Robinson. He’s currently on tour with his second album How Do You Do? and swings into T.O. tonight for a show at The Hoxton.
Head to Harboufront Centre tonight for Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre’s Arena, a dramatic program of six contemporary works. Among the dynamic offerings are two premieres, one choreographed by the 2012 resident guest artist Sylvie Bouchard, the other by Deborah Lundmark, the company’s founding artistic director. (more…)
photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
MAY 16 TO JUNE 16 EXTENDED TO JULY 4! On the surface, Kim’s Convenience is a love letter to the countless Korean corner stores that have fallen victim to Toronto’s ever-in-flux business landscape. But that’s just the backdrop for the private inter-generational and inter-cultural conflicts with with so many Canadians can identify. Written by Ins Choi, the humorous yet poignant tale of a Korean-Canadian family bridging the gap between old traditions and modern life returns to the stage following its wildly successful Soulpepper Theatre Company debut this past January. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $32 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or visit here for showtimes and to purchase tickets.
Friday: Popular show Riverdance steps into Toronto for its final performances
Friday, April 20
Be wowed one last time by the phenomenal footwork of Riverdance. The internationally acclaimed Irish music and dance spectacular is at the Sony Centre through to Sunday as part of its last ever tour of North America.
Operatic soprano Renée Fleming brings her sensational voice to Roy Thomson Hall this evening. Accompanied by pianist Hartmut Holl, the “People’s Diva” is sure to dazzle with her dynamic stage presence and an intriguing program of songs by the likes of Schoenberg and Korngold.
The Theatre Centre continues to stage its adaptation of William Faulkner’s darkly comedic novel As I Lay Dying, which follows a family’s journey through the Mississippi countryside as part of a 40-mile funeral procession. (more…)
Joseph Ziegler directs You Can't Take it With You (photo by Sandy Nicholson)
OPENS APRIL 19 Everyone can relate to that anxious moment when you first introduce your beau—or belle—to the folks. Soulpepper Theatre Company and director Joseph Ziegler take the occasion a step further in a staging of You Can’t Take it With You. Comedy ensues in this Pulitzer Prize-winning play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart when Alice, perhaps the most sensible member of the eccentric Sycamore clan, invites her paramour and his conservative parents to dine with her family. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $32 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or visit here for showtimes and
to purchase tickets.
Friday: Entity offers provocative dance (photo by Ravi Deepres)
Friday, March 2
A stunning yet spare staging of contemporary dance awaits Harbourfront Centre audiences, as England’s Random Dance Company and acclaimed choreographer Wayne McGregor perform Entity, featuring music by the likes of Coldplay, Massive Attack and Jon Hopkins.
The National Ballet of Canada’s winter season opened this week with the lighthearted, romantic and slightly comical La Fille mal gardee. This classic pastoral ballet tells the story of Lise, who wishes to marry a young farmer. Her mother, however, has other plans, and promises Lise to a wealthy but buffoonish landowner.
The Artist Project Toronto entices creators, collectors and enthusiasts to Exhibition Place’s Queen Elizabeth Building this weekend. Admire contemporary works of photography, painting, textile art, digital media and more by independent artists Canada and around the world. While there, take a trip down Installation Alley to view large-scale sculptures and conceptual art projects, too. (more…)
Friday: Get a dinner deal during Winterlicious (photo courtesy of Pangaea)
Friday, January 27
Start the weekend off with a Winterlicious meal as the citywide culinary extravaganza celebrates 10 years of tickling Torontonians’ taste buds. Approximately 175 restaurants are taking part; there are probably a few that aren’t entirely booked up this weekend.
Relive two of the most celebrated records of all time, as Classic Albums Live performs the Beatles’ seminal 1965/66 hits Rubber Soul and Revolver at Massey Hall.
See a real-life mother and son reenact their story of the culture clash between Indian heritage and Canadian lifestyle in Tarragon Theatre’s A Brimful of Asha. Follow Ravi on his trip to the motherland, where his parents decide it’s the perfect time to talk him into an arranged marriage. (more…)
photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
JANUARY 19 TO FEBRUARY 11 On the surface, Kim’s Convenience is a love letter to the countless Korean corner stores that have fallen victim to Toronto’s ever-in-flux business landscape. But that’s just the backdrop for the private inter-generational and inter-cultural conflicts that so many Canadians can identify with. Written by Soulpepper Academy alumnus Ins Choi, the humorous yet poignant tale of a Korean-Canadian family bridging the gap between old traditions and modern life has earned numerous awards and won widespread audience acclaim. This Toronto classic in the making kicks off Soulpepper Theatre Company’s 2012 season. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $22 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or visit here for further information and to purchase tickets.