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neil gaiman

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.

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).

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.