Canadian Music Week, a gender-bending ROM show and eight other things to do this week
Canadian Music Week’s cornucopia of concerts
Now that NXNE has decamped to the Port Lands, this seven-day fest is the best way to get the authentic bar-hopping, band-chasing experience. CMW’s downtown takeover includes hundreds of shows, enlists just about every venue in the city and features an impressively diverse lineup: the retro rock of the Eagles of Death Metal, the sisterly synth-pop of Tegan and Sara, the gentle folk of Royal Wood, the anthemic rock of X Ambassadors, the experimental indie of Royal Canoe and the grime-hop of English rapper Skepta. Monday, May 2 to Sunday, May 8. $15–$54.50; passes $75–$150. Various locations, cmw.net.
An Ed Mirvish doc at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival
Titles from Israel, India and all over Europe make up the long-standing film fest’s 24th program, including Natasha, director David Bezmozgis’ Toronto-set drama about a forbidden summer romance between a suburban teenager and his Russian cousin. Also screening: the Israeli horror-comedy Freak Out, a documentary about local legend Ed Mirvish, and a tribute to Toronto comedy duo Wayne and Shuster. Thursday, May 5 to Sunday, May 15. $9–$20. Various locations, tjff.com.
A gender-bending ROM show
Miley Cyrus might have you believing gender fluidity is a modern phenomenon. This ROM exhibition, A Third Gender, proves otherwise. Through a collection of relics—woodblock prints, paintings, illustrated books, kimonos, pieces of armour—that date as far back as 1603, the show tells the story of the wakashu, a group of Japanese youths who were neither male nor female and held distinct social and sexual roles. Saturday, May 7 to Sunday, November 27. $17. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, rom.on.ca.
A delicious Cinco de Mayo celebration
Chef Donnie Masterton of Mexico’s acclaimed (and very literally named) The Restaurant is popping up at the Drake Hotel to cook a boozy Cinco de Mayo dinner. The à-la-carte menu includes tacos (obvs), burgers, escabeche fries and tequila shakes. Might be a wise idea to book Friday off. Reservations recommended. Thursday, May 5. Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., thedrakehotel.ca.
Against Nature, a powerhouse choreographer’s new piece
James Kudelka, the choreographer behind the National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker and Swan Lake, takes a contemporary turn in the second in a series of works for Coleman Lemieux et Compagnie. Inspired by Joris-Karl Huysmans’ 1884 novel of the same name, the production follows a reclusive aesthete who pursues art as an escape from bourgeois society. Actor-playwright Alex Poch-Goldin’s libretto accompanies original music by composer James Rolfe. Wednesday, May 4 to Sunday, May 15. $50. The Citadel, 304 Parliament St., colemanlemieux.com.
Ultrasound, a moving play about hearing loss
Miranda is hard of hearing; Alphonse is deaf. As the couple prepare to become a family, they grapple with the possibility of having a child who, like them, won’t have full hearing. This debut play from award-winning Saskatoon poet Adam Pottle gives a glimpse into the culture and community of marginalized identities, and will be performed in both English and ASL with subtitles. Tuesday, May 3 to Sunday, May 15. $38. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., artsboxoffice.ca.
The in-sync movements of Vital Few
The six dancers in Company 605’s contemporary production could be connected by a string. When one moves, they all move; for every swell, a counterswell. The symmetry of steps feels interpretive at times and urban at others—it creates the illusion of a fluid human sculpture in motion. Saturday, May 7. $28–$37. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com.
Pages UnBound, an inventive interdisciplinary arts fest
The fest formerly known as This Is Not a Reading Series reinvents itself as an interdisciplinary smorgasbord of literary programming. On the four-day schedule: an evening of readings from emerging Canadian authors Mona Awad, Rebecca Rosenblum and Andrew F. Sullivan; a collaborative piece by theatrical shit disturber Jordan Tannahill and prolific performer Jacob Wren; and a photography panel featuring Edward Burtynsky. Thursday, May 5 to Sunday, May 8. Prices vary. Various locations, pages-unbound.com.
A ballet veteran’s second wind
Aleksandar Antonijevic spent 23 years on the stage as a principal dancer for the National Ballet of Canada. Now, two years after his retirement, the Yugoslavian-born artist is back in the spotlight—this time, for his photography. Voyage into a Sacred Harbour features captivating images of 12 current National Ballet dancers, their bodies and movements accentuated by dramatic lighting and incredible poise. Thursday, May 5 to Thursday, June 9. Berenson Fine Art, 212 Avenue Rd., berensonart.com.
Oraltorio, a spoken-word opera
Local artists, actors and emcees Motion and DJ L’Oqenz created and star in Why Not Theatre’s inventive new production, Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape. It’s the rhythmic coming-of-age story of two north Toronto girls that reimagines the traditional roles of storyteller and drummer in a contemporary context: as a B Girl and DJ. To Thursday, May 12. $20. Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W., theatrecentre.org.