Vivek Shraya’s one-woman show, William Gibson talks tech at Hot Docs and four other things to do in Toronto this week
A one-woman show
1The multifaceted Vivek Shraya has opened for Tegan and Sara and was longlisted for a Polaris Prize (for her 2017 album Part-Time Woman). She’s also a successful author (She of the Mountains), filmmaker, poet and publisher. In her witty solo show How to Fail as a Popstar—her theatrical debut—she muses on her varied career and the powerful influence of pop culture. February 18 to March 1, Berkeley Street Theatre.
A creative synergy
2Megan Rooney is a multimedia artist who mixes painting, performance, sculpture and installation. In her first major Canadian solo exhibition, the Markham-bred polymath gets her own dedicated MOCA floor, creating scenes from a spirited mix of found objects, stuffed fabrics, paint and common household materials, which dovetail with her career-long exploration of how domestic spaces inform traditional ideas of femininity. February 6 to April 12, MOCA.
A night to feel their songs
3It has been 14 years since Bedouin Soundclash blanketed the world with the foot-stomping “When the Night Feels My Song,” and chances are, it’s still not out of your head. But the band’s date at the Opera House provides ample opportunity to replace WTNFMS with some newer hits from the Bedouin canon—perhaps something from their fifth studio album, MASS, released last October. Fresh off a nine-year hiatus, lead singer Jay Malinowski and bandmate Eon Sinclair have returned from a transformative recording stint in New Orleans armed with plenty of new material and, undoubtedly, no shortage of earworms. Feb. 20, Opera House.
An authorial event
4Ever wonder where the word “cyberspace” originated? That would be in the visionary mind of Canadian author William Gibson, who hits up Hot Docs this week for an intimate discussion about his new book, Agency. Come for Gibson’s razor-sharp insights on how technology is shaping society, and stay for spoilers of his new sci-fi thriller starring an apocalypse survivor and an AI system in development. What could possibly go wrong? Feb. 19, Hot Docs.
Snaps from the past
5It’s hard to believe that Diane Arbus’s legendary photography career only spanned 15 years, given her spectacular range of subjects: nudists, the elderly, members of the LGBTQ community, housewives, circus performers, children, celebrities and the artist herself in her totally unselfconscious self-portraits. More than 150 images will be on display in a solo exhibition at the AGO this spring, the world’s second-largest exhibit of Arbus originals. Feb. 22 to May 17, AGO.
6Canada’s longest-running new works festival, dubbed by this very magazine as the “wildest theatre fest in town,” Rhubarb is in full swing at Buddies in Bad Times. It’s in its 41st year now and chockablock with adventurous efforts in the areas of dance, theatre, music and performance art. Cabaret enthusiasts will especially enjoy week two’s programming schedule, but thanks to the truncated nature of the works, one can catch a cabaret and still have time for three more shows that night. Through Feb. 22, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.