Weekend Luminato picks: Incendies, 1000 Tastes, One Thousand and One Nights and more

Weekend Luminato picks: Incendies, 1000 Tastes, One Thousand and One Nights and more

Ammar Haj Ahmad, Asaad Bouab, Ramzi Choukair, Tewfik Jallab, and Saad Al Ghefari in One Thousand and One Nights. (Image: Cylla von Tiedemann)

The fifth edition of Luminato, the city’s annual everything-culture fest, kicked off last Friday and goes until Sunday. Here, five events to fill out your weekend.

1. Film—The Luminato Reel: Incendies (FREE!)
Canadian theatre wunderkind Wajdi Mouawad hit the big time this year when Incendies, the film adaptation of his Dora Mavor Moore Award–winning play, earned an Academy Award nomination. The hype has died down, but the film’s impact is the same—it hits like a brick. The movie follows a pair of twins who embark on a harrowing odyssey to their mother’s Middle Eastern homeland, seeking the father they thought was dead and the brother they never knew they had. June 18. 7:30 p.m. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-368-4849, luminato.com/2011/reel.

2. Music—TSO Goes Late Night: Mahler 5
Luminato’s annual late-night collaboration with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra never fails to be a barnstormer, and this year will be no exception. The TSO will be tackling Mahler’s magnificent fifth—the most conventional of his symphonies, but still bearing the idiosyncratic composer’s marvellously moody trademark. Come for the opening funeral march, stay for the adagietto. June 18. 10:30 p.m. $22.50–$76. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-368-4849, luminato.com/2011/tso.

3. Food—1000 Tastes of Toronto (FREE!)
Even casual readers of torontolife.com will have picked up on the fact that we like to eat, so it’s no surprise that we’re excited to sample the goodies on offer at this culinary street festival. Some of Toronto’s favourite restaurants—including Woodlot, Luma, Khao San Road, Starfish and Queen Margherita Pizza—will prepare their own versions of street food, all priced at only $5. While you’re inhaling your on-the-go delicacies, stop by the festival stage to see demonstrations from some of the participating vendors, and a 6 p.m. panel discussion about Toronto’s barbecue craze, featuring Toronto Life editors and the chefs from top barbecue joints Buster Rhino’s and Barque. June 18, 12 p.m.–9 p.m.; June 19, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. John St. between Adelaide St. W. and Wellington St. W., 416-368-4849, luminato.com/2011/1000tastes.

4. Fun—The Luminato MP3 Experiment (FREE!)
A cross between a flash mob and a scavenger hunt, this event has been a runaway hit in New York and Berlin. After downloading an mp3 from the Luminato website, participants are instructed to show up—wearing a red, green, blue or yellow shirt—and play the track at the exact same moment. What ensues is a zany adventure led by Steve, a virtual guide, that culminates in a dance party. June 19. 12:30 p.m. January to June birthdays: grassy area near CN Tower base, 301 Front St .W.; July to December birthdays: Clarence Square, 352 Wellington St. W., 416-368-4849, luminato.com/2011/mp3.

5. Theatre—One Thousand and One Nights
This is your last chance to catch Luminato’s cornerstone attraction—all six hours, if you choose. Stories within stories abound in Lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh’s two-part adaptation of the Eastern classic, helmed by British director Tim Supple. Far more than just a bunch of fairy tales, Supple and al-Shaykh’s production—performed by a talented ensemble in English, French and Arabic—highlights the violence, sexuality and complex narrative structures of the source material. June 18 and 19. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. $30–$207. Canadian Opera Company, the Joey and Toby Tannenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E. 416-368-4849, luminato.com/2011/1001nights.