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addicted to bad ideas

Luminato To-Do, Day Eight

The festival enters its final weekend with many great performances and events!

Goran Bregovich and his Orchestra (photo by Stephanie Berger).

Goran Bregovich and his Orchestra (photo by Stephanie Berger).

Friday June 12

Closing Weekend Celebration featuring Cirque du Soleil
It’s been a long time since the words ‘free’ and ‘Cirque du Soleil’ have appeared in the same sentence. The success of the Montreal-based circus troupe is unrivaled, its shows play to packed houses on every continent. If you’ve been neglecting Luminato events, this one should be worth the effort. Starting Friday evening two “communities” of Cirque performers form on the waterfront: one represents nature and the other urban living. Tonight the groups emerge and move to their respective “homes” at opposite ends of the Harbourfront site. Then, over the rest of the weekend both communities will begin to interact with each other (and lucky passers by). The concept seems intentionally vague, but that just means there’s a greater chance to experience something truly, transcendently creative.
Queens Quay West, between Harbourfront Centre and the Toronto Music Garden, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (and continuing throughout the weekend), free.

Goran Bregovic
You might not be familiar with his name, but there’s a good chance you’ve heard tunes by this “musical superstar of the Balkans in such films as Borat, Time of the Gypsies and Underground. Tonight, the Sarajevo-born rocker will be joined by a 20-piece iteration of his brass-heavy Weddings and Funerals Orchestra—its gypsy-rock sound so infectious, you won’t need any Sljivovica (plum brandy) to encourage dancing like crazy. Don’t be surprised if the infectious gypsy-rock beat forces you out of your seat and onto the dance floor.
Yonge-Dundas Square, 8 p.m., free.

Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre’s 20 th Century
“Punk musical” might sound like an oxymoron to most people, but that’s exactly what director Jay Scheib has created with the help of Brooklyn’s cabaret punk band World/Inferno Friendship Society. The show is inspired by the life of character actor Peter Lorre, best known for his roles in Fritz Lang’s M and The Raven, who obtained success while remaining something of an outsider. Onscreen and off, Lorre played sinister like no other. Part Rocky Horror, part Cabaret, Bad Ideas explores a strange life with recreations of movie scenes as well as interactive video. This unique musical paints a memorable portrait of a man who defined the role of the outsider in the 20th century.
Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne St.), 11 p.m., $35.

Luminato Preview—Guide to Gothic

The third annual Luminato Festival brings international creativity to Toronto from June 5 to 14. This year, a significant part of its programming celebrates the concept of the macabre, partly inspired by the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth. Check out these gothic happenings.

Neil Gaiman brings a gothic sensibility to the city (photo by Phillipe Matsas).

Neil Gaiman brings a gothic sensibility to the city (photo by Phillipe Matsas).

TALE FROM THE CRYPT
JUNE 8 Fantasy enthusiasts need no longer seclude themselves in darkened rooms, casting 12-sided dice and conjuring Lovecraftian visions, for the genre is now enjoying a popular renaissance. British writer Neil Gaiman is one of the prime movers behind fantasy’s contemporary cachet. The creator of The Sandman comic series, as well as bestselling adult and all-ages novels like American Gods, Anansi Boys and Coraline, graces Toronto with a reading from his latest work, The Graveyard Book. Winner of the 2009 Newbery Medal for children’s literature, the mildly macabre story has been described as The Jungle Book set in a cemetery. Gaiman also discusses his writing in an onstage interview and participates in a book signing following the event. St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front St. E., 416-366-1656), 7 p.m., $15.

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