July 2012

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Trending in Theatre This Week: the best of this year’s Shaw Festival

Fans of the classic screwball comedy will love His Girl Friday, an adaptation of the Cary Grant-Rosalind Russell film about a newspaper editor who lures back his ace reporter (and former lover) with the top story of the year. 

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Morning Throwback: these Toronto women were way more high-maintenance than hipster chicks

These days, women are so predictable with their natural makeup, bedhead and casual clothes. Why is it so hard to find dames like these ones, who spent hours perfecting their maquillage and squeezing into corsets? You know, the way God intended women to be.

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Theatre Review: the Shaw Festival’s Ragtime

Musicals are an acquired taste; we all know that. The ones that ancient people like myself (now in my late 60s) saw and loved — usually on Broadway, but often listened to on 33-rpm records — became as much a part of our lives in the ’50s as the early sounds of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and The Supremes.

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Meet a Comedian: Ron Sparks

Ron Sparks is a comedic jack of all trades: stand-up, improv, sketch comedy — he’s done it all, and in a relatively short time span. Since bursting onto the comedy scene in 2003, Sparks has racked up a number of awards, including eight Canadian Comedy Awards, and is a common fixture on The Comedy Network. Once voted “North America’s Sexiest Comedian,” Sparks is obviously the total jocular package.

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Morning Throwback: before street art pianos, Torontonians listened to sweet sounds from these guys

After a hard night's work of tickling those ivories, these performers would congratulate each other, knock back a few gin and tonics and go off to play a game of drunken pétanque.

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Morning Throwback: we’d take frumpy old-time athletics from Toronto over the Olympics any day

So the Summer Olympics kick off today, and though we’re used to seeing our athletes in tight spandex and revealing uniforms (hello, women’s volleyball),  back in the early 1900s, it was all about the high-collared blouses and tight ankle skirts. Practical? No. Stylish? Yes. And hot as hell.

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Weekend Warrior: Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson tour, Toronto’s Festival of Beer, the RBC Canadian Open and more

Cirque du Soleil’s return to the Air Canada Centre will be a “thriller” in more ways than one. After its wildly popular debut in a limited run last year, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour will see the Montreal-based company mix the unforgettable music of Michael Jackson with its own unique blend of acrobatic, death-defying and often humorous entertainment.

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Band of the Week: Whale Tooth

When Toronto band Whale Tooth formed, they had one message: get on your dancing shoes. The pop-rockers have ignited dance floors since 2008, and have shared the stage with fellow Canuck indie-rock gold such as Tokyo Police Club, Hey Ocean! and Mother Mother. With the recent release of their first full-length, Search Party, they’re tapping into their dark side and combining hook-heavy, effortless vocals with jolting, energetic rhythms.

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Morning Throwback: before TIFF, Toronto paparazzi looked like this

This is a similar scene that we can expect in September once TIFF rolls into town — except that the paparazzi won’t be nearly as polite or as dapper-looking. And the tripods probably won’t be as sweet.

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Theatre Review: Hello, a bizarre 10-week production at Kensington Market’s The Electric Theatre

As a former die-hard X-Phile, I wanted to believe in Hello, the extra-terrestrial electronic extravaganza playing in Kensington Market. Its story, about an alien enthusiast who has to deal with a real alien invasion, seemed like it had Mulder and Scully written all over it. Heck, even its digs — the newly-minted The Electric Theatre — has a gigantic alien airbrushed across it. The truth (of a good show) had to be out in there. Somewhere. But, it wasn’t.

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