Contact photo fest, a queer comedy series and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week

Contact photo fest, a queer comedy series and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week

Photograph by Dina Goldstein

A sprawling photo fest
With 1,500 artists across 200 exhibitions and events, Contact is the city’s most comprehensive photography bonanza. This year’s highlights include a retrospective of Scotiabank Photography Award winner Suzy Lake at the Ryerson Image Centre, plus dreamy vistas, vintage portraits and surrealist tableaux by Seth Fluker, Dan Eldon and Dina Goldstein, whose work is pictured above. Monday, May 1 to Wednesday, May 31. Various locations.

A queer comedy extravaganza
After a five-year hiatus, We’re Funny That Way returns to hit Toronto with a fresh dose of LGBT comedy, music and burlesque. Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black’s Big Boo), Stephen Wallem (Nurse Jackie), Gavin Crawford (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), and more headline three days of shenanigans, all raising money for a network of queer charities. Wednesday, May 3 to Saturday, May 6. $10–$50. Alumnae Theatre.

The grand opening of Toronto’s first Halal Guys
Twenty-seven years after launching its first food cart in New York City, the Halal Guys are bringing their beef gyros, falafel platters and signature sauces to Toronto. The chain’s flagship location will open its doors at 11 a.m. this Friday, giving away free swag to the first 500 customers. Five hundred might sound like a lot, but the Halal Guys are famous for their lineups, so we recommend going (very) early. Friday, May 5. Halal Guys.

A groundbreaking play’s modern revival
When it debuted on Broadway in 1976, Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf instantly became a classic, both for its pioneering depiction of African-American female experience and its genre-bending production. Soulpepper revives the uniquely emotional show, which combines poetry, music and dance to tell the personal stories of seven women. Friday, May 5 to Wednesday, May 31. $32–$89. Young Centre.

A stunning look at Iran’s architecture
In 1976, Canadian photographer Simeon Posen took a two-and-a-half-month trip across Persia, photographing architecture with his small black-and-white camera and developing the negatives in hotel bathrooms. The resulting photos, Posen’s Iran Collection, reveal the breadth of the country’s history and culture during a time of intense xenophobia. They’re now part of the Met’s permanent collection, but you can see them at Liss Gallery this month. Saturday, May 6 to 20. Liss Gallery.

Toronto’s finest flamenco
For 35 years, one name has reigned in Toronto’s flamenco scene: Esmeralda Enrique. This week, she celebrates her company’s 35th anniversary with An Iconic Journey, featuring the finest Spanish dance and performances by Montreal guitarist Caroline Planté and Spanish vocalist Manuel Soto. Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 7. $32–$48. Fleck Dance Theatre.

Photograph courtesy of the Stratford Festival

Stratford’s acrobatic adventure on the high seas
Before there was Jack Sparrow, there was Long John Silver. The one-legged sailor snatches back the title of pop culture’s pirate-in-chief from Johnny Depp in Stratford’s newly ­commissioned adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, as he sails alongside young Jim Hawkins to find Captain Flint’s lost treasure. This production adds a dose of dazzling acrobatics—think rope-ladder shuffles and stunts on a ship’s mast—to the requisite swashbuckling and buccaneering. To Sunday, October 22. $25–$103.75. Avon Theatre.

A tour of Jane Jacobs’s Toronto
Somewhere in the wasteland of Rexalls and bank branches we call Toronto, you can still find those dense, multipurpose communities that Jane Jacobs went on about. During this beloved annual festival, volunteers lead hundreds of walking tours, giving GTA-dwellers a chance to better understand their neighbourhoods and enjoy a little of that spring weather (if it ever stops raining). Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 7. Various venues.

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