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

West Side Story Suite

Luminato Logbook, Day Three

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 and much more—all of which you can read about here daily. Expand your horizons and imagine new heights; for 10 days in Toronto, anything is possible.

TODAY’S TOP TICKETS

Two Faced Bastard splits the stage (photo by Chris Budgeon)

DOUBLE STANDARD Approach your viewing of Two Faced Bastard with an open mind—or better yet, a mind split in two. Addressing dualities of existence, this hard-to-classify stage show is actually two simultaneously occurring performances, each viewed by one half of the audience, that eventually combine in a humorous and provocative dance-theatre mash up. Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., 4 p.m., $50.

FREEDOM OF CHOICE A historic act of courage is revived by Toronto’s Erika Batdorf and her company in One Pure Longing: Táhirih’s Search. The multi-disciplinary work employs dance, poetry and traditional music to tell the story of a Persian woman who, in 1848, was executed for appearing publicly without a veil. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., 8 p.m., $35.

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 5 pm., free.

>> Art, fashion and beauty are woven into the world-renowned stitch works of Canadian Mark Fast’s Luminato-exclusive display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free.

>> Reflect on your life’s journey aboard a 30-foot Chinese junk, meant to explore 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.

>> Members of Chunky Move, the company that presents Two Faced Bastard, provide insight into the show at a Lunchtime Conversation. Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.

>> Three points of view merge in this afternoon’s preview of The Africa Trilogy, an exploration of East meets West uniting playwrights, directors and performers who ask: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen’s Quay W., 1 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> Catch the last Luminato performance of the National Ballet’s West Side Story Suite, presented as part of a triple bill that also includes Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/Dreamer and the world-premiere of Pur ti Miro by Jorma Elo. Four Seasons for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 2 p.m., $20 to 210.

>> Bust a move at Light on Your Feet. Tonight’s focus is drag divas. Yonge-Dundas Square, 7 to 11 p.m., free.

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

Luminato Logbook, Day Two

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 and much more—all of which you can read about here daily. Expand your horizons and imagine new heights; for 10 days in Toronto, anything is possible.

TODAY’S TOP TICKETS

Baseekou Kouyate and his band crash An African Prom

GLOBAL GROOVES The modern history of African music is partly based on its symbiotic give-and-take with Western genres. Luminato’s opening weekend highlights the fruits of this interaction in Rock the Casbah and An African Prom, a day-long concert featuring the likes of Algerian rocker Rachid Taha, Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen and a collaboration between Mali’s Bassekou Kouyate (pictured) and American bluegrass icon Béla Fleck. Queen’s Park, Queen’s Park Crescent and Wellesley Street, 1 to 11 p.m., free.

THINK LOCAL It has long been acknowledged that the arts play a major role in the building and strengthening of communities. Contemporary dance troupe Coleman Lemieux & Companie does its part with a site-specific performance that marks another step in the revitalization of Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood. Nelson Mandela Park Public School, 440 Shuter St., 1 p.m., free.

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 5 pm., 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.

>> Board a 30-foot Chinese boat as Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller explore 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.

>> Three of Africa’s top writers read from their novels in a showcase of African Literature moderated by Dionne Brand, Toronto’s Poet Laureate. Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. W., 2 p.m., $15

>> The  acclaimed Vienna Academy Orchestra makes a rare North American appearance—not only does the period-instrument ensemble provide the thrilling accompaniment for The Infernal Comedy, today it also offers a separate performance of music by Haydn, Mozart and Shubert. Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W., 2 p.m., $40.

>> Bust a move at the hybrid concert/dance party Light on Your Feet. Tonight’s theme is “Latin divas.” Yonge-Dundas Square, 7 to 11 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 Queen’s Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> Experience acclaimed Canadian literature with a trio of readings. Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. W., 7 p.m., $15.

>> West Side Story Suite sweeps across the stage, followed 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., tickets $20 to $210.

>> Laugh until you cry in (and be profoundly moved in the process) thanks to Two Faced Bastard’s comedic exploration of the duality of human life. The Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E.,  4 p.m. and 8 p.m., $50.

>> Dark Star Requiem relates the history of HIV/AIDS through poetry and music (performed by the Gryphon Trio and Elmer Iseler Singers), transcending all barriers. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 8 p.m., $30 to $50.

>> A powerful act is remembered in One Pure Longing: Táhirih’s Search, which recalls through dance, poetry and music the execution of a 19th-century Persian woman who refused 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.

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.

Weekend Roundup, June 4 to 6

This weekend, feast your eyes on some exceptional artistic showcases and don’t miss a ton of fun festivals.

Friday: The National Ballet of Canada dances the West Side Story Suite (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, June 4
Reflect upon the media’s influence over our understanding of history, images and identity at the debut of Monitors, an exhibition by Steve Lyons and Susan Lakin at Gallery 44. The show opens at 6 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 6:30.

Celebrate a timeless story of star-crossed lovers, presented through music and movement in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite. The National Ballet of Canada performs the graceful yet powerful work at the Four Seasons Centre, complemented by Robbins’ Opus 19/Dreamer and an untitled world-premiere piece by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo.

Sing along with Sugarland, the dynamic country music duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. They take to the Molson Amphitheatre stage tonight, with special guests George Canyon, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. Make a day of it by exploring Ontario Place before the concert starts.

Saturday: Fenulla Jiwani looks for love in 30 Dates

Saturday, June 5
An artistic opportunity beckons this weekend as the Riverdale Art Walk returns. See works by more than 100 local artists in this charming neighbourhood—both at the outdoor show at Jimmie Simpson Park and at studios in the area.

Witness 35-year-old Priti struggle through a string of bad dates in an attempt to end her singledom in the hilarious play 30 Dates. Local playwright and actor Fenulla Jiwani stars in this feel-good show at Berkeley Street Theatre.

Music is a lovely way to end the day at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio. Tonight, the United Sounds Project presents a host of local performers, including Antonitas D’Havila, one of the world’s most unique gypsy flamenco guitarists.

Sunday: Witness a cutesy pooch parade (photo by E3000)

Sunday, June 6
Try seeing movies in a new light; don’t miss the final day of the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, which offers internationally produced short films that run the gamut from celebrity shorts and animated tales to documentaries and music videos.

Head out to a different kind of festival at Woodbine Park, where you can snack on scintillating barbecued fare while bopping to live music. The weekend-long Waterfront Blues Festival continues today with performances by likes of Blackburn and the Canadian debut of the Alexis P. Suter Band.

Travelling can really make you miss your dog, or make you wish you had one (you know, to keep you company as you explore the vast city). Take solace in the surreal sight of 60 dogs dressed like your favourite celebrities as they trod Le Méridien King Edward Hotel’s red carpet for the launch of Woofstock, North America’s largest dog festival.

Hot Date: West Side Steps

Dancers perform the West Side Story Suite (photo by Bruce Zinger)

June 4 to 13 A commentary on prejudice and intolerance woven into a tale of star-crossed love is the heart of West Side Story. This month the National Ballet of Canada distills the vital essence of that beloved musical with its West Side Story Suite, which offers highlights from Jerome Robbins’ thrilling choreography set to the original score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. The performance is followed by Opus 19/The Dreamer—also by Robbins—and an untitled world-premiere piece by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Wednesday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m., $20 to $200; call 416-345-9595 to reserve.