• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Shakespeare

Get Set for Summer: Culture Vultures

THERE’S A LOT TO DO IN THE CITY THIS SUMMER. BELOW ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR THE CULTURALLY-MINDED VISITOR

ThongSandals-2016-OilOnCanvas-48x60inches

Thong Sandals. Oil on canvas by Marco Sassone.

The Second City  returns with The Best of Second City, a rousing combination of some of the funniest sketches from the company’s past 50 years. Families can enjoy Superdude and Doctor Rude, a superhero story with a twist based on audience participation. Matilda the Musical is another family-friendly production, which opens July 5, while Shakespeare in High Park presents Hamlet and All’s Well That Ends Well on alternating nights in scenic High Park.

For centuries, plants—particularly flowers—have been the inspiration behind the creation of beautiful textile designs. Bliss: Gardens Real and Imagined, on now at the Textile Museum of Canada, highlights the pervasive use of floral motifs across cultures, from intricate Persian carpets to handmade quilts. The Bata Shoe Museum commemorates Italian heritage month with a selection of oil paintings by American-Italian painter Marco Sassone. His Boots and Other Works illustrate the artist’s love of fashion and footwear, from worn out boots to party shoes.

Film buffs won’t want to miss the Hitchcock/Truffaut: Magnificent Obsessions double retrospective at TIFF Bell Lightbox, which starts July 7. Featuring more than a dozen films by each director, the series highlights their similarities and includes Alfred Hitchcock classics like The Birds, and Vertigo, alongside François Truffaut films like Jules et Jim and The 400 Blows.

EAT Experience the flavours of the Middle East, North and South Asia with Mark McEwan’s flavourful menu at Diwan, while taking in the gorgeous grounds of the Aga Khan Museum. After working up appetite at the Frank Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Ontario, visit Frank for a bistro-inspired menu amidst installations by Frank Stella. Moviegoers can dine at Luma, located at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. —Karen Stevens

 

Hot Date: The National Ballet of Canada Serves Up Royal Vengeance

photo courtesy of the Stuttgart Ballet

JUNE 1 TO 10 The elegance of dance is contrasted with a story of bitter angst and revenge in the North American premiere of Hamlet by the National Ballet of Canada. Choreographer Kevin O’Day adapted Shakespeare’s tour-de-force about a Danish prince’s bloody plan to reclaim his murdered father’s throne, presenting it with stunning set pieces and a rousing score by John King. Be sure to arrive early to the performance—guests can attend a pre-show talk to gain further insight into the story and the production itself. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, $25 to $234; call 416-355-9595 or click here for showtimes and tickets.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Stratford, Ontario

Photo by Mandeep Flora

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is our series highlighting the best local restaurants across Canada. Today we are featuring top restaurant picks in Stratford, in southwestern Ontario, known for its picturesque streets, Shakespeare festival and modern-day Romeo, Justin Bieber.

Have a tip for your city? Let us know on Twitter or on Facebook.

By Waheeda Harris

Breakfast

Despite this resto’s moniker, the first meal of the day can be savoury and sweet at Let Them Eat Cake. Choose from a multitude of options such as the de rigeur eggs and toast, eggs benedict, waffles, pancakes or Stratford scrambles to make sure you get protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals in one bite. Head over to the town’s main street, Ontario Street, pick up a Balzac’s Coffee and stroll the strip of boutiques and galleries.

Let Them Eat Cake, 23 Albert Street, Stratford, 519-508-2253

Lunch

For the midday break, choose from the sustainable and tasty fish and seafood options at Simple Fish and Chips. From the traditional battered halibut or haddock, diners can also choose from Ontario lake yellow perch and lake pickerel, lobster risotto, mac ‘n’ cheese, pot pie or halibut dishes inspired by spicy Indian, Thai or Jamaican influences. Walking along the Avon River and admiring the swans will be a perfect post-lunch afternoon excursion.

Simple Fish and Chips, 118 Downie Street, Stratford, 519-275-0400

Dinner

Reward yourself before or after a visit to the Stratford Festival with a sumptuous meal at this modern French bistro. The daily menu reflects the seasonal offerings of Perth County and the inventiveness of Chef Aaron Linley, and the pretty interior and excellent service is sure to put any diner at ease. Save room for a sweet treat to finish the meal, made in-house by Chef Bronwyn Linley (Aaron’s wife).

Bijou, 105 Erie Street, Stratford, 519-273-5000

Canadian Tourism Commission Releases Signature Experiences Collection

Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. (By Benson Kua)

Ever been asked what are must-see spots by friends visiting from abroad and drawn a blank, or thought about taking a trip to another province but not known what’s on offer besides a city stop?  The Canadian Tourism Commission has released their Signature Experiences Collection. The federally funded program has released an initial list of 48 (undoable in 48 hours, so don’t get any ideas of a Guinness-worthy task) attractions to see, spanning east to west. Aimed at high-end tourists from Europe and Australia, they’re not exactly the waterfalls and whale watching your parents took you on when you were kids.

(more…)

Hot Dates: Playing in the Park

Shakespeare by the Sea continues another season of free, outdoor theatre in Point Pleasant Park. When the weather turns foul, productions move to the new indoor performance space near the parking lot. The roster includes Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure and Robin Hood.

Hot Date: Modern Day Shakespeare

The new Ottawa Shakespeare Company presents "Hamlet2011."

April 29 and 30 and May 3 to 7. What happens when you combine the traditional script of Hamlet with music by Arcade Fire and Florence + The Machine, and set the play in present day? You get Hamlet2011 by the newly launched Ottawa Shakespeare Company. With indie tunes acting as the soundtrack, this play features modern costumes and sets, making for a performance of the bard’s work that promises to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Weekend Roundup, March 25th to 27th

Friday: Thrill to the fleet footwork of Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance (photo by Ken Howard)

Friday, March 25
Michael Flatley, who has been aweing audiences for over a decade as the Lord of the Dance returns to the Sony Centre for a mythic tale of Irish folklore that has dazzled over 100 million people worldwide. Don’t miss this classic story of good versus evil expressed through fast-footed dance.

Emerging director Philip McKee of artistic troupe Idée Fixe presents a passionate adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear at Harbourfront Centre. As the king comes closer to death, he demands his daughters prove their love to him in order to secure their inheritance. When the most faithful fails to offer concrete evidence of her devotion, Lear banishes her from his home and heart.

Celebrating 40 years of Canadian music, Junofest features over 100 bands in 20 venues over two nights across the city. Catch tunes from such bands as Billy Talent, Die Mannequin and Bedouin Soundclash playing at such concert locations as the Opera House and Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Saturday: Check out the best bikes at the National Motorcycle Show

Saturday, March 26
Turn off your technology and experience Earth Hour at the Ontario Science Centre with a free live stage show from TVOkids entitled Don’t Sit Still. Or, as the lights go out, observe the stars in Toronto’s sky and a special viewing of Saturn through a telescope with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Rev up your engines and head down to the Better Living Centre for the 30th anniversary of the National Motorcycle Show. View vintage bikes, including the new row of champions, and find everything you need to get geared up for the season.

Celebrate with tequila at Embrujo Flamenco, an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant which this weekend features a special pre-fixe tasting dinner menu with tequila tasters. Sample fare like flambéed shrimp cooked in Cuervo Blanco tequila and a chocolate mousse with Jimador Reposado tequila and orange marmalade. Post-supper fun includes flamenco dancing and a live music show.

Sunday: Applaud your favourite Canadian musicians at the Junos

Sunday, March 27
The Juno Awards mark their 40th anniversary here in Toronto, home of the very first awards show honouring Canadian musicians. Rap superstar Drake hosts a line-up of stellar performances featuring Sarah McLachlan, Broken Social Scene and Hedley, nominated respectively for Best Artist, Group and Album of the Year.

Hurry to the Art Gallery of Ontario for the last week to see the majesty of the Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts. See amazing artworks, royal costumes, jewellery and a life size model elephant enrobed in textiles, trappings and a silver howdah. Don’t miss the afternoon performance by South Asian dance company inDance.

Marvel at the National Ballet of Canada’s premiere performance of Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s Themes & Variations, Apollo & Russian Seasons. This showcase features three short one-act ballets set to Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No.3., created by George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky with a score by Leonid Desyatnikov.

Hot Date: Retelling Romeo

The Dream in High Park's outdoor stage (photo by Chris Gallow)

TO SEPTEMBER 5 In the heart of Toronto’s picturesque High Park, Shakespeare’s famous drama, Romeo and Juliet, takes shape in a modern play-within-a-play adaptation created for the Canadian Stage TD Dream in High Park, an annual summer-theatre tradition. This year’s offering sees travelling performers stranded at a Verona train station; to pass the time, the thespians break into a retelling of the Bard’s romantic tragedy, utilizing items such as iPods and suitcases as props on the outdoor stage. High Park Amphitheatre, Tuesday to Sunday, 8 p.m., pay-what-you-can admission (suggested minimum $20), children 14 and under free; call 416-367-1652 or visit here for more information.

July Hot Date—Dream in High Park

Karen Robinson in <em>The Tempest</em>

Karen Robinson in The Tempest

ON NOW Make it a summer of Shakespearean sonnets with CanStage TD Dream in High Park. This year, the Toronto tradition gives The Tempest a twist as Dora Award–winning actress and CanStage alumnus Karen Robinson turns Prospero into Prospera. The Bard’s final work tells the fantastic tale of the banished  Duchess of Milan who develops mystical powers and seeks revenge against her usurping brother. High Park Amphitheatre (at the intersection of Colborne Lodge Road and Centre Road), Tuesday to Sunday 8 p.m., tickets PWYC ($20 suggested minimum), children under 14 free; call 416-367-1652 for info.