The Weekender: the Queen West art crawl, a cupcake bake-off and six other things to do
1. TORONTO URBAN FILM FESTIVAL (FREE!)
TUFF isn’t as glam as TIFF, but in terms of attendees, it’s unsurpassed. For its 10-day run, silent shorts (all one minute long) are screened on subway platforms throughout the TTC; hundreds of thousands of people pass by each day. The Drake hosts the awards ceremony and closing party this Sunday. To Sept. 19. Various locations, torontourbanfilmfestival.com.
2. IRON CUPCAKE TORONTO
Who knew there was a monthly Iron Chef–inspired cupcake bake-off in Toronto? In true reality TV tradition, bakers must use a secret ingredient (this month’s is cheese) in their confections, but since they’re made ahead of time, drama is lacking. There will be samples for audience members, which makes up for just about anything. Sept. 19. Contestants $15, audience $5. For the Love of Cake, 171 East Liberty St., Unit 117, 416-306-6446, fortheloveofcake.ca.
Caribou (a.k.a. Dan Snaith) has just kicked off a huge autumn tour that spans North and South America and Europe, wrapping up the Canadian leg with two shows in the Toronto. Catch him at the Phoenix for a show with the Russian Futurists, followed by a DJ set at the Drake’s late-night TIFF party. Sept. 17. $19.75. The Phoenix, 410 Sherbourne St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.com. $10. The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042, thedrakehotel.ca.
4. THE LAB CAB FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Every year, Lab Cab—a wild mix of music, theatre, film, poetry and so on—takes over the Factory Theatre, placing performances in stairwells, clowns in the lobby and art exhibits in the courtyard. Over 50 Canadian artists are on the lineup. We’re checking out Angst!, a film installation in the mainspace dressing room that explores the idea of freedom. Sept. 18 and 19. The Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St., labcab.ca.
We love unexpected renditions of classics, and this take on Macbeth is as unexpected as they come. Performed by Dzieci, an experimental New York theatre ensemble, Makbet is a “gypsy-style chamber version” of the play. Company members play a travelling family of gypsies, but each actor has learned all the lines of every part and never knows who will be playing what role at what time. Potentially confusing, Makbet could also be amazing. Either way, it’s probably not for hardcore traditionalists, but we’re intrigued. Sept. 18. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Majlis Multidisciplinary Arts, 163 Walnut Ave., 647-476-6472, dzieci.eventbrite.com.
6. BANANA SHPEEL
Unlike most of Cirque du Soleil’s productions, this latest work is low on aerialists, trapeze partnerships and other gravity-defying acts, instead focusing on vaudeville antics, slapstick comedy and more grounded acrobatics. Not that that makes it any less awesome; we still won’t be able to recreate anything we see performed by the cast, including Broadway’s Danny Rutigliano, whose previous roles include Timon in The Lion King. To Oct. 10. $25–$110. Canon Theatre, 244 Victoria St., 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
7. QUEEN WEST ART CRAWL (FREE!)
With “intersections” as its theme, we’re not surprised to hear that this year’s art crawl is heavy on collaborations and mash-ups. A live art battle is scheduled for the opening night gala at the Gladstone; two artists will be given paintbrushes, a canvas and a time constraint, and go head-to-head in a public paint-off. Sept. 17 to 19. Queen St. W. between Bathurst and Roncesvalles, queenwestartcrawl.com.
8. HARVEST MOON FESTIVAL
This kid-friendly fall festival is a tradition in China and Vietnam, where its celebration dates back thousands of years. Kids are typically allowed to stay up past their bedtimes, participating in a Chinese lantern parade, munching on moon cakes, decorating sedan chairs and listening to ancient legends, all of which are on offer at the ROM this weekend. Sept. 18 and 19. $24. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8000, rom.on.ca.