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Lenny Breau

Luminato, To-Do Day Six

Reinvigorate yourself mid-week with more entertaining options courtesy of Luminato.

Pierre Brault channels guitarist Lenny Breau in 5 O'Clock Bells (photo by Christina Riley).

Pierre Brault channels guitarist Lenny Breau in 5 O'Clock Bells (photo by Christina Riley).

Wednesday, June 10

5 O’Clock Bells
Lenny Breau might have been a man of few words but his cultural impact continues to this day. On Monday the NFB screened a documentary about him, and today you’ll be able to catch Pierre Brault’s one-man show inspired by the jazz guitarist’s short and tragic life. The show, directed by Brian Quirt, wowed audiences during a sold-out run in Ottawa; expect a similar reaction when it premieres in Toronto tonight.
Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.), 7:30 p.m., $35.

Gothic Toronto—Writing the City Macabre
We always knew there was something ominous about the CN Tower; now we have our proof. Luminato and Diaspora Dialogues commissioned six Toronto writers, including Michelle Wan, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Andrew Pyper, to write short stories about the city. But there’s a twist: each one falls within the realm of gothic literature, so expect a spook or two. Bring a friend along because after a night of spine-tingling tales you probably won’t feel like heading home (or back to your hotel) by yourself. And be sure to pick up one of the limited-edition “chapbooks” compiling all the stories before they disappear into the ether.
The Music Gallery (197 John St.), 7:30 p.m., free.

The Canadian Songbook—A Tribute to Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall
It’s hard to imagine Neil Young as an upstart musician still trying to prove his worth as a singer-songwriter. Yet that’s exactly what he was when he took the stage at Massey Hall on January 19, 1971, and played his soon-to-be-iconic songs including “Helpless” and “Old Man.” As part of Luminato’s music programming (particular those events celebrating the guitar), an assemblage of such top Canadian musicians as the Cowboy Junkies, Holly Cole, Steven Page and Carole Pope come together to recreate Young’s landmark performance.
Massey Hall (178 Victoria St.), 8 p.m., $59.50 to $79.50.

Luminato To-Do, Day Four

A couple of gothic-themed events and a show about Lenny Breau get you primed
for the week ahead.

An illustration from Neil Gaiman's <i>The Graveyard Book</i>

An illustration from Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.


An Evening with Neil Gaiman
What a coup for Luminato! Master of the macabre Neil Gaiman—author of Coraline, Anansi Boys, and The Sandman graphic novel series—chose the festival to mark his first visit to Toronto in three years. Gaiman reads from his latest award-winning children’s novel, The Graveyard Book, and participates in an on-stage question-and-answer session. Fans can fawn over their British lit hero at the book signing to follow.
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Jane Mallett Theatre (27 Front St. E.), 7 p.m., $15.

Poe Cabaret: A Dream Within a Dream
If you prefer your spooks to be more spine tingling than out-and-out scary, then being a guest for the Poe Cabaret. The varied evening of Edgar Allan Poe–inspired entertainment begins with the Canadian premiere of Mark Campbell and Lance Horne’s opera The Tell Tale Heart. Then CBC radio host Tom Allen will read “The Raven,” accompanied by Alexina Louis’ score. Your gothic treat is completed by French composer André Caplet’s take on The Masque of the Red Death.
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.), 9 p.m., $45.

The Genius of Lenny Breau
Lenny Breau did a lot of things during his short life. He was Randy Bachman’s first guitar teacher, a session guitarist for CBC radio and television, and the star of his very own television program, The Lenny Breau Show, all before he turned 25. Yes, it’s safe to say Lenny Breau was prolific. Unfortunately, his life off-the-record was tumultuous; it ended mysteriously in 1984. Tonight the National Film Board hosts a free screening of a feature-length documentary about the virtuoso’s life.
National Film Board Mediatheque (150 John St.), 7 p.m., free.