March 2012


Morning Throwback: in the early 1900s, being a domestic scientist wasn’t nearly as cool as it sounded

In 1910, the people at the old Technical School on College Street thought they were so slick. Yeah, sure, the fancy class description read “domestic science” class but, in actuality, it was nothing but a run-of-the-mill cooking class. Bunsen burners were replaced by stovetops and frying pans and the discovery of mould on food was a very, very bad thing. But what do you expect from a class full of women?

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Trending in Theatre This Week: Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, Clybourne Park, The Duck Variations, I Love You Because, Was Spring

Jack and the Giant Beanstalk is a new take on the classic tale that finds Jack, the son of a farmer, surrounded by land that just won’t grow. It’s an interactive play that is fun for the whole family. Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front St. E., 416-862-2222. To April 21.

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Theatre Review: War Horse

Much has been said about War Horse, the First World War tale of a boy and his horse, which is running at the Princess of Wales Theatre. You’ve probably heard about its mind-blowing puppetry, its inventive staging and the necessity of a box of tissues for its heart-tugging moments. I’m pleased to report that all those rumours are true: you will definitely be in awe, and dab your eyes, during this visually stunning production.

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Morning Throwback: Toronto chicks were badass way before punk rock even existed

Back in the ‘40s, Toronto women packed some serious heat. With cigarettes in one hand and machine guns in the other, these ladies were the definition of badass. Their breath was made of Teflon and their sweat could power the city for 10 years. Angelina Jolie, who? They'd eat that waif for breakfast after they downed a mug of boiled leather.

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Morning Throwback: in the ‘50s, dogs in Toronto knew their role

Who let the dogs out in the ‘50s? Why, they let themselves out, of course. And then they strapped you on a cart and took you for a ride. You know, instead of the other way around. It was the way man intended it to be. Before doggy day cares and dog boutiques and dog toilets. Yeah, in the ‘50s, people respected the true hierarchy of the animal kingdom. Men told dogs to take them for a walk at the CNE and they listened.

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Earth Hour: a gimmicky turn-off for Torontonians?

This evening (March 31), Toronto’s skyline is supposed to go dark for the 60 minutes of Earth Hour. Our decision to join millions of others around the world and sit in the gloom for a while is meant to be a powerful symbol of our collective determination to save the planet. But lately in Toronto, there have been more than a few cracks in the curtain of darkness.  

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Winging it: the pianist improvising the soundtrack to the Silent Film Fest

With the Toronto Silent Film Festival on now and riding the wave of public interest generated by the Oscars success of The Artist, it seems silent films are in again. The film fest aims to recreate the 1920s movie experience by keeping the tradition of having live musicians play along to each film.

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The Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival Hour: Zeus, John Southworth, Forest City Lovers, Cold Specks, Walk off the Earth

Zeus are great, according to Randy Bachman, who all but crowned them heirs to the rock throne in Canada during their appearance on his CBC show. And, with apologies to The Sheepdogs, I kinda get it. They have such an incredible array of skills that they don’t have to just sound like that great new rock revival band that taps CCR — not that there’s anything wrong with that. They are much more.

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Photographer Deborah Samuel unveils “Elegy,” a beautiful but haunting exhibit at the ROM

A few days before the latest exhibit from renowned photographer Deborah Samuel is due to debut at the ROM, the exhibition space is still bare.  “But I’m told the walls have been painted cotton-ball white,” says Samuel, examining the room where her latest exhibit, “Elegy,” will take shape. “Elegy,” which makes its world premiere tomorrow (March 31) at the ROM, features dozens of haunting images of animal skeletons, a powerful statement on the transience of life. 

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Review: The Second City’s Live Wrong and Prosper

There is nothing “wrong” with The Second City’s latest mainstage revue, Live Wrong and Prosper, a satirical — and hilarious — commentary on our society’s obsession with looking for success in all the wrong places.

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