Saturday night stand-up is back, plus six other live, in-person things to do in Toronto this week

Saturday night stand-up is back, plus six other live, in-person things to do in Toronto this week

Second City cast member Tricia Black

A night of super-sanitary improv
1For its return to the stage, the Second City troupe is going all-in on Covid-friendly measures: the show will only seat 50 guests, or less than 20 per cent of capacity. Plus, customers will be required to wear masks when not seated at the tables, food or drink requests will be communicated via cellphone, and the tables will be spaced eight feet apart. The good news is that the comedy is just as good as it was before the pandemic—expect many 2020 jokes—and the cast still takes improv requests. September 3 to October 3, the Second City.


A journey through the Hundred Acre Wood
2Barely a week into its scheduled run, Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic was shut down due to Covid. Six months later, Pooh and Co. are back at the ROM, albeit a little more spaced out. Inside the museum, all guests will have to keep a two-metre distance and follow marked paths, but the splashy exhibit was designed to be interactive and will remain that way: QR codes will be available so guests can interact with the exhibit digitally, and surfaces will be cleaned frequently, with hand sanitizer always at arm’s reach. September 1 to January 17, the ROM.


Photograph courtesy of @lemongivesyoulife/Instagram

Queens’ night out
3Toronto Shines is a drive-in festival featuring movies, comedy shows and live performances running through October 30 at Ontario Place. This Thursday, Lemon and BOA, two of Canada’s Drag Race’s most beloved contestants, are dropping by to perform and debrief after the show’s season finale. And if that isn’t enough homegrown glitter and fabulousness, the 60-foot screen will screen Mean Girls later in the evening. September 4, Ontario Place.


Photo courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery

The return of Edward Burtynsky
4Forty years ago, the legendary landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky shot the forested wilderness of Grey County. When lockdown started last spring, he picked up his camera again and set out to capture the same landscape. What emerged was a collection of images he’s calling Natural Order, which updates his previous series with better technology: the pictures turned out richer and more abstract in the new pictures, which show intertwined, barren tree branches in cascading colours. The exhibit is open to the public but pre-booked private viewings are encouraged. September 3 to 26, Nicholas Metivier Gallery.


Photograph courtesy of @comedybarto/Instagram

A night of masked laughter
5After setting up a patio earlier this summer, Bloorcourt’s basement Comedy Bar is back up and running indoors. This week features a return to their Saturday at the Comedy Bar series, including sets from local comedians Tamara Shevon, Nick Reynoldson, Ron Josol and Sandra Battaglini, alongside host Daniel Woodrow. Audience members are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to each show to allow time for screening, and once inside, masks are required at all times except when sipping your drink. September 5, Comedy Bar.


Yazan Khalili, Medusa, 2020, video still Courtesy the artist and Mophradat

A Greek tragedy
6Yazan Khalili, a Palestinian artist who works with digital technologies, is taking over the entrance floor of MOCA in its first new exhibit post-lockdown. In Medusa, phones and tablets are glued onto large, cracked screens and prominently placed throughout the space, all featuring depictions of the titular ancient Greek gorgon. Khalili is concerned with the rise of facial recognition technologies, and was inspired by the story of Perseus, who was able to nullify Medusa’s powers by looking at her reflection. Timed tickets are available, and the first hour of each day is reserved for seniors and at-risk individuals. September 3 to November 15, MOCA.


A modern-day Huckleberry Finn
7On Friday, the Italian Contemporary Film Festival will be screening The Peanut Butter Falcon, winner of this summer’s Lavazza Drive-in Film Festival’s people’s choice award. Starring Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson, the film reimagines Mark Twain’s classic adventure story. Zack Gottsagen plays a young man with Down’s syndrome who runs away from a nursing home to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. Along the way, he meets an outlaw, played by LaBeouf, who becomes his unlikely coach and helps him on his journey. September 4, Markham Fairgrounds.