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Goran Bregovic

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—The Axemen Cometh

One of Luminato’s themes this year is a celebration of the guitar, arguably the most versatile of musical instruments. Check out these mostly free concerts featuring international fretboard phenoms.

Canadian guitar hero Randy Bachman (photo by Mark Maryanovich).

Canadian guitar hero Randy Bachman (photo by Mark Maryanovich).

JUNE 5 Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin—a trio of country and folk music’s most lauded singers—are accompanied by strummer Buddy Miller to kick off the festival with their concert, Three Girls and Their Buddy. Massey Hall, 8 p.m., $59.50 to $79.50.

JUNE 5 Luminato’s First Night offers a major gratis performance, too, with Canadian guitar hero Randy Bachman of Guess Who and BTO fame. Yonge-Dundas Square (at Yonge and Dundas streets), 7 p.m., free.

JUNE 6 Eclectic blues legend Taj Mahal performs as part of The Traveling Blues, a day-long showcase of that genre’s international iterations. Metro Square (225 King St. W.), 1 p.m., free.

JUNE 7 Known for his work as producer on such albums as U2’s The Joshua Tree, Daniel Lanois is also an acclaimed pedal-steel player. He appears in The World of Slide Guitar, which also features the Derek Trucks Band and others. Yonge-Dundas Square, 11 a.m., free.

JUNE 12 Fusing rock ‘n’ roll with traditional Balkan music has made Goran Bregovic a European sensation. See (and hear) why during the festival’s closing weekend. Yonge-Dundas Square, 8 p.m., free.

JUNE 13 The cozy confines of Yorkville offer ideal environs for taking in the hottest sounds of South America, as part of the Brazilian Guitar Marathon. Village of Yorkville Park (at Cumberland and Bellair streets), 1 p.m., free.