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John Malkovich

Luminato Logbook, Day One

If imagination is the core of the soul, then Toronto’s spirit is strong indeed, and on full display during Luminato. This annual celebration of arts and creativity brings to the city an international array of theatrical and dance performances, world-music concerts, visual art displays, literary events, interactive festivities and much more—all of which you can read about here daily. Expand your horizons and imagine new heights; for the next 10 days in Toronto, anything is possible.

TODAY’S TOP TICKETS

John Malkovich takes a chilling turn in The Infernal Comedy

ACTING OUT An innovative pairing of music and storytelling sees actor John Malkovich (yes, that John Malkovich) portray charismatic Austrian criminal Jack Unterweger in The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer. His manipulative monologues are contrasted by the beautiful music of the Vienna Academy Orchestra and two sopranos giving voice to the killer’s absent mother and his many victims. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 8 p.m., $55 to $125.

SHINE A LIGHT In Dark Star Requiem, music and poetry illuminate the history of HIV/AIDS, a disease that disregards race, class, age and culture. Created by Tapestry, a Toronto-based developer of new operatic works, this redemptive oratorio soars with the strains of the Gryphon Trio and vocal harmonies by the Elmer Iseler Singers. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 8 p.m., $30 to $50.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut, who succumbed to cancer last December, by viewing the Atom Egoyan–curated film installation Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)/Light Air. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., free.

>> He was only 12 when he hatched his dream of becoming a fashion designer; now Canadian Mark Fast’s knitwear is known the world over. A Luminato-exclusive showcase of his couture is on display today. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free.

>> Reflect on your life’s journey aboard a 30-foot Chinese junk salvaged by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller to examine artists’ and writers’ fascination with the image of an uncaptained Ship O’ Fools. Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free.

>> Don’t want to miss a thing? Illuminate your Luminato experience at the lunchtime Festival Overview. Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.

>> Three points of view merge in tonight’s preview of The Africa Trilogy, an East meets West exploration that unites playwrights, directors and performers who ask: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> The festival officially kicks off with a Luminato First Night concert featuring such Canadian pop divas as Sass Jordan and Melanie Fiona. Yonge-Dundas Square, 7 to 11 p.m., free.

>> Witness the National Ballet of Canada’s dynamic West Side Story Suite, accompanied by Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/Dreamer and the world-premiere of Pur ti Miro by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo. Four Seasons for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W, 7:30 p.m., $20 to $210.

>> Mystery readings from the Scene of the Crime are sure to send a chill down your spine, thanks to tales written by the king of South African crime fiction, Deon Meyer, and Dublin-born John Brady. Al Green Theatre (Miles Nadal JCC), 750 Spadina Ave., 7:30 p.m., $15.

>> Laugh until you cry (and be profoundly moved in the process) as Two Faced Bastard employs dance, theatre and comedy to examine the duality of human life. The Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., 8 p.m., $50.

>> A powerful historic act is remembered in One Pure Longing: Táhirih’s Search. Dance, poetry and music tell the story of a 19th-century Persian woman who was executed for refusing to wear a veil. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., 8 p.m., $35.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Weekend Roundup, June 11 to 13

This weekend kicks off a couple of annual Toronto traditions—the Luminato arts festival, as well as the start of a new Argonauts football season. In between, you can pull up a chair, order a pint and roar for your favourite side while watching the FIFA World Cup.

Friday: Arcade Fire! (photo by tammylo)

Friday, June 11
Gather your sports buddies and crowd into the bustling Football Factory to catch the much-anticipated opening matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Catch Canadian Idol’s Sass Jordan and R&B singer Melanie Fiona at Yonge-Dundas Square for Luminato First Night. This free showcase of pop-music divas is the first of many events comprising the Luminato Festival.

Get in line early for one of two last-minute chances (today and Saturday) to see Montreal-based mega-band Arcade Fire rock The Music Hall with old favourites and new tunes from their upcoming album, The Suburbs.

Saturday: Malkovich!

Saturday, June 12
You’re almost certain to shiver as John Malkovich takes to the stage as Jack Unterweger, a real-life serial killer-turned-literary celebrity, in Luminato’s The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer.

Enjoy the penultimate day of performances for Fiddler on the Roof, the feel-good story of humble Tevye (portrayed by Broadway star Harvey Fierstein), who strives to protect his family’s traditions despite the allure of outside influences.

Who let the dogs out? And what about their owners? This weekend, the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood goes canine for Woofstock, North America’s largest outdoor festival for dogs. Check out the pooch couture fashion show and many other fun events.

Sunday: Argos! (photo by ethanf_15)

Sunday, June 13
Cheer on the Toronto Argonauts—this city’s CFL football team—as they battle provincial rivals the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in pre-season action this afternoon at the Rogers Centre. 

Don’t miss your last opportunity to applaud the National Ballet of Canada’s West Side Story Suite, which features musical and dance highlights from the timeless love story. The production is complemented by Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/Dreamer and Pur ti Miro, a world-premiere by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo.

Help make hunger history at the Royal Ontario Museum, where a $250 ticket helps Second Harvest feed those in need—and also nets you an exquisite meal. Toronto Taste unites 60 of the city’s top chefs and 25 beverage providers for an evening of epicurean delights.