The Weekender: Boyz II Men, La La La Human Steps and six other events on our to-do list
1. LA LA LA HUMAN STEPS
This Québécois contemporary dance troupe, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is known around the world for founder Édouard Lock’s beautiful, adventurous choreography. For the final production of CanStage’s 2010–2011 season, Lock combines two Baroque operas—Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice—into one inventive piece, Untitled. To June 1. $22–$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
2. TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTHES
This clothing swap has more going for it than just a sassy name. We really can’t think of a better venue for budget-conscious style mavens who are looking to revitalize their wardrobes with brand-name and vintage pieces for less than the cost of lunch. And it can even be a family affair: in addition to clothing, shoes and accessories for the ladies, there are also offerings for men and children. May 27 and 28. $15. Trinity Bellwoods Community Centre, 155 Crawford St., 647-342-6521, theswapteam.org.
3. SQUARE PARTY (FREE!)
This concert and video presentation is an audio-visual extravaganza designed to thrill even the most composed AV nerds. With musical performances by Kids and Explosions, The Wooden Sky and DJ TLO, this is the unofficial kick-off of this year’s Worldwide Short Film Fest (which runs from May 31 to June 5), but we think it’s a worthwhile event all on its own. May 29. Yonge-Dundas Square, worldwideshortfilmfest.com.
4. TAN DUN: WATER AND PAPER CONCERTOS
Chinese composer Tan Dun creates music that’s for “listening to in a visual way and watching in an audio way.” You’d be forgiven for wondering what that even means, but luckily, we have the answer. Just for starters, “instruments” include the titular paper (here in the form of feather duster–like contraptions), big bowls of water and cardboard mailing tubes. Talk about a contemporary spin on classical music. May 26 and 28. $32–$141. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-593-4828, tso.ca.
5. JOHANNA SKIBSRUD (FREE!)
By now, even the latest of late adopters will have read Johanna Skibsrud’s Giller Prize–winning The Sentimentalists, even taking into account that slight publishing house–induced delay in getting copies to readers. This means there’s no reason at all to miss Skibsrud’s talk about the book at this free meet-and-greet, which features a Q&A and book signing with the author. May 28. North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St., torontopubliclibrary.ca.
6. BOYZ II MEN
We don’t care what kind of music you were into in the early 1990s; Boyz II Men are responsible for some seriously timeless jams—“One Sweet Day,” “I’ll Make Love to You,” “Motownphilly.” Even though they’re down one member (Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to health problems), we’re pretty sure this concert will be just like old times—and we mean that in the best possible way. May 27. $45. Kool Haus, 132 Queen’s Quay E., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
7. DOORS OPEN TORONTO (FREE!)
Essentially a sanctioned peep show for the architectural set, Doors Open allows visitors to take a peak inside almost 150 of the city’s most impressive and mysterious buildings. Some highlights include the historic (and normally private) Arts and Letters Club on Elm Street, the recently redesigned Toy Factory Lofts in Liberty Village and the Evergreen Brick Works—all you have to do is show up at the front door. There’s also a number of talks, concerts and guided tours taking place at various buildings. May 28 and 29, Various locations, toronto.ca/doorsopen.
8. MANHUNT (FREE!)
It’s hard to believe it’s been going for so long, but fun-loving Torontonians have been meeting up once a week for the past eight years to play a rousing game of manhunt, a variation on tag where players who get caught team up to be “it.” First-timers may only want to commit to the first game, which runs from 8:45 to 9:30 p.m., but there’s also a second game, and afterward, participants forgo the bar in favour of other blast-from-the-past games, including freeze-tag and octopus, at a nearby playground. May 27. Edwards Gardens, meet at the corner of Leslie St. and Lawrence Ave. E., manhunt-toronto.org.
(Images: La La La Human Steps, Édouard Lock; Brick Works, Loozrboy; Morris, Luis Avilesortiz)