The Long Weekender: Batman Returns, Canadian International Air Show and six other items on our to-do list
1. BATMAN RETURNS: THE SHADOW-CAST
In this performance art–slash–screening of Tim Burton’s second take on the Bat oeuvre, 1992’s Batman Returns, the Penguin, Catwoman and, of course, Batman himself come to life courtesy of a talented group of shadow-cast actors. The costumed, prop-laden bunch mirror the action happening onscreen. September 2 and 3; 23 and 24. $8. Toronto Underground Cinema, 186 Spadina Ave., torontoundergroundcinema.com.
2. PETER BJORN AND JOHN
Indie faves, Swedes and owners of the best band abbreviation ever (PB&J is awesome, right?), this trio is probably best known for their 2006 breakout hit, “Young Folks” (or, as most people still call it, “that song with the whistling.”) But in the five years since its release, they’ve released three records, rocked out on the festival circuit and found some unlikely friends in the rap genre—Drake, GZA and Wale have all collaborated with the band. September 2 and 3. $20. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
3. HOT AND SPICY FOOD FESTIVAL (FREE!)
We like a little spice, but the prospect of obliterating our taste buds doesn’t really sound like fun. What we’re trying to say is that we’re too chicken for the Red Hot Market, where purveyors of fiery sauces, dips and marinades enable heat-seekers, but we’re all over the 10 Tastes To Try Before You Die series of tastings and Dione Mason’s Zumba flamenco workout. September 2 to 5. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000m. harbourfrontcentre.com.
4. CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW
Wannabe flyboys (and girls!), take note: the CNE’s annual air show is imminent. Realism be damned—don’t try to resist the draw of the skies. Just buy some earplugs and something deep-fried from the CNE’s food building and enjoy the view. September 3 to 5. Free with entrance to CNE, $16. Exhibition Place, 416-263-3650, cias.org.
5. WHITE BITING DOG
Billed as “one of the great Toronto plays,” this Judith Thompson work won a Governor General’s Award for Drama in 1985, the year after it was first staged. Whimsical, touching and sometimes a little heartbreaking, the play follows Cape, a suicidal lawyer about to take a flying leap off the Bloor Street Viaduct. Enter the titular dog, who in a nice bit of magic realism advises Cape that his ennui will disappear if he can fix his troubled relationship with his father. August 18 to October 1. $28–65. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., Bldg. 49, 416-866-8666, soulpepper.ca.
6. OTHERWORLDLY: THE ART OF CANADIAN COSTUME DESIGN (FREE!)
Hollywood’s costume designers are creative geniuses, and often supremely under-appreciated—probably why the Black Swan Amy Westcott/Rodarte snafu got as much traction as it did. This new exhibit at the Lightbox is all about honouring these big screen stylistas and features the excellent costumes of Canadian genre films like Repo! The Genetic Opera, Videodrome, Splice, The Thing and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. September 2 to March. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
7. DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE! (AND OTHER LIES)
Forget those little white lies that exist only to make us feel better about ourselves (“You look great!” “Wow, you’re so funny!” “Of course that dress looks good on you!”) in favour of exploring the “hard truths” through songs, sketches and improv. To December 30. $24–$29. The Second City, 51 Mercer St., 416-343-0011, secondcity.com.
8. THE LAB CAB FESTIVAL (FREE!)
We strongly believe that art is worth paying for, but sometimes it’s really nice to get stuff for fre. Enter the annual Lab Cab Festival, a combination of dance, theatre, film, comedy, poetry and more, which takes over the Factory Theatre every year. We’re looking forward to catching Karyn Dwyer and Albert Howell’s short film First World Problems, and a modern day re-telling of Hansel and Gretel with significant amounts of fast food (and puppets). September 3 and 4. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St., labcab.ca.
(Images: Batman Returns; Air Show, Pargon; Repo: the Genetic Rock Opera)