July 26, 2014
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November 2012

Movie Review: The Suicide Shop

11/30/12

Movie Review: The Suicide Shop

As the famed adage goes, “this is the business we’ve chosen,” and when you’re living in a dark, depressed world, running a suicide shop is pretty good business. Such is the case with Patrice Leconte’s The Suicide Shop, a French animated musical with a less-than-subtle commentary about desensitization and enjoying the finer things in life. Featured in this year’s TIFF, the flick opens officially tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Posted at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

Theatre Review: The Little Years

11/29/12

Theatre Review: The Little Years

The Little Years, by Toronto playwright John Mighton, is a deeply moving and profound study of a woman who is crushed by family and society. Running at the venerable Tarragon Theatre until Dec. 16, it is well worth the trip.

Posted at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments

Weekend Warrior: Toronto Christmas Market, Kidzfest, 12 Beers of Christmas, Junction Food Tour, Justin Bieber

11/29/12

Weekend Warrior: Toronto Christmas Market, Kidzfest, 12 Beers of Christmas, Junction Food Tour, Justin Bieber

The Distillery District is the proud home of the Toronto Christmas Market, drawing inspiration from old-timey European Christmas with its sweeping lights, carolers, musicians, and beer gardens. Running from Nov. 30 till Dec. 16, the Christmas Market has something for everyone to get into the holiday spirit.

Posted at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Comments

Meet a Comedy Troupe: Cory!

11/28/12

Meet a Comedy Troupe: Cory!

Leslie Seiler and Lauren Ash are basically twinsies. After having been hired into the Toronto Second City Touring Company on the same day, the two have been practically joined at the funny bone ever since, eventually developing the comedy duo known as Cory! Collectively, they’ve won a bunch of Canadian Comedy Awards (Ash won this year for her role in Almost Heroes), and when they’re not performing together across the city, they’re shooting TV pilots.

Posted at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

Aerosmith turns up the fun at the ACC

11/28/12

Aerosmith turns up the fun at the ACC

If recent rumours surrounding Aerosmith are to be believed, it’s a wonder that they even managed to make it onstage at the Air Canada Centre last night. From reports of a tour in chaos to accusations of racism from Nicki Minaj, hardly a day goes by without the rock veterans making the news for all the wrong reasons.

Posted at 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

Must-see Movie: Wings, a Hollywood classic that plays tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox

11/27/12

Must-see Movie: Wings, a Hollywood classic that plays tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Before The Artist swept the Oscars, there hadn’t been a silent film to win the Best Picture Academy Award since Wings, back in 1929. The film was thought lost until it was found in the Cinémathèque Française film archive in Paris. It’s since received a stunning digital restoration, and it flies back to the big screen tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Posted at 03:23 PM | Permalink | Comments

Album Review: Trent Severn’s self-titled debut

11/27/12

Album Review: Trent Severn’s self-titled debut

When the throngs of Torontonians at the Argos’ game on Sunday jeered Justin Bieber and cheered Gordon Lightfoot, it bolstered my faith in this city’s musical taste (no offence, Biebs). The CFL was reportedly attempting to attract younger crowds to the franchise — and it might have been on to something.

Posted at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Q&A: Matt Baram, writer of an upcoming Rob Ford-themed holiday musical

11/26/12

Q&A: Matt Baram, writer of an upcoming Rob Ford-themed holiday musical

Many Torontonians were eagerly anticipating today’s Rob Ford verdict, but writer Matt Baram was a special case: the plot of his new satirical show, It’s a Wonderful Toronto: The Rob Ford Holiday Spectacular!, hinged on whether the mayor was ousted or not. Needless to say, Baram is doing some rewriting.

Posted at 03:59 PM | Permalink

The Who’s Quadrophenia tour is a high-tech epic, but it hits all the right nostalgic notes

11/26/12

The Who’s Quadrophenia tour is a high-tech epic, but it hits all the right nostalgic notes

The Who’s Quadrophenia tour rolled into Toronto on Friday night at the Air Canada Centre. The tour served up a nostalgic spectacle that celebrated the band’s career and, specifically, the seismic album that will reach its 40th birthday next year. Much like the band itself, the album showed its age during certain stretches, but it really came alive when it mattered.

Posted at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

Rob Ford ousted: Twitter reacts

11/26/12

Rob Ford ousted: Twitter reacts

Rob Ford has been ousted as mayor of Toronto after a judge found him guilty of breaching conflict of interest law. He’ll still have his seat for 14 days to allow for a transition period, though it’s unclear what, exactly, will happen next. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite Twitter reactions below.

Posted at 12:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

Our favourite Star Trek deaths

11/23/12

Our favourite Star Trek deaths

Star Trek fans can shamelessly get their Spock on tomorrow night with Toronto’s own Star Trek Day. Happening at the Tranzac, Trekkies can compete in a Star Trek Jeopardy! match and boogie down to some tunes. To help celebrate the day, here are five of our favourite Star Trek death scenes. Because sometimes, not everyone lives long and prospers.

Posted at 04:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Movie Review: The Fruit Hunters

11/23/12

Movie Review: The Fruit Hunters

They are a group of enthusiasts; welcoming yet indulgent, wise yet odd, and they’re now at centre stage in a fascinating and juicy documentary: The Fruit Hunters. But these fruit lovers are not just hunters. They’re historians, detectives, connoisseurs and farmers — and, in one case, a notable celebrity. The doc, which had a sneak peek at this year’s TIFF, officially opens at Bloor Cinema this weekend.

Posted at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

Pinback bring their electro indie rock to Lee’s Palace

11/22/12

Pinback bring their electro indie rock to Lee’s Palace

Last night’s Pinback performance at Lee’s Palace felt as though we were wafting through a hazy dream. The hollow wails of the vocals, the fits and starts of the guitars, and the thrumming bass lines coupled with ethereal grainy images of constellations and a gravity-less earth – it’s no wonder the San Diegans have secured a cultish following of hippie punks south of the border.

Posted at 04:54 PM | Permalink | Comments

Weekend Warrior: Metric, Waterfront Winterfest, Snow White, Downton Abbey Christmas Dinner, The Grey Cup

11/22/12

Weekend Warrior: Metric, Waterfront Winterfest, Snow White, Downton Abbey Christmas Dinner, The Grey Cup

Toronto-grown indie rock band Metric returns to its hometown this Saturday with a new appearance at the Air Canada Centre. The group released its fifth album back in June, so you can be sure to hear new hits, such as “Youth Without Youth” and “Breathing Underwater,” but hopefully some classics like “Help, I’m Alive.”

Posted at 01:31 PM | Permalink | Comments

JP Hoe gets dark at Supermarket

11/21/12

JP Hoe gets dark at Supermarket

The Prairies are where it’s at — musically speaking, that is. More and more bands seem to be sprouting from the wheat fields and garnering nods from mainstream Canadian music heavyweights. Take JP Hoe, for instance, whose two-month-long cross-Canada tour (with stops in New York and L.A.) wrapped up in Kensington Market last night.

Posted at 03:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

Our favourite Eddie Izzard moments

11/21/12

Our favourite Eddie Izzard moments

British comedian Eddie Izzard, the man who looks better in red lipstick and leather pants than any woman, is dropping by Comedy Bar tonight for two sold-out stand-up shows. Izzard is mostly known for running around stage in high heels and outrageous make-up (being a self-proclaimed “executive transvestite,”) but nothing masks his brilliance (he’s amazingly smart). Here are some of our favourite of his stand-up moments (and a film clip — we couldn’t resist).

Posted at 09:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

Must-see Movie: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

11/20/12

Must-see Movie: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

As our American friends get ready to eat their turkey dinners this week, we can’t think of a better way to help them celebrate than to watch one of our favourite holiday-themed flicks, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The John Hughes classic stars Steve Martin as Neal and John Candy as Del, a pair of mismatched strangers who become road trip companions as they try to get Neal home to Chicago from New York in time for Thanksgiving.

Posted at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments

Neil Young and Crazy Horse prove they can still rock the free world at the ACC

11/20/12

Neil Young and Crazy Horse prove they can still rock the free world at the ACC

Even as he inches closer to his 70th birthday, Neil Young isn’t ready to be a stale nostalgia act yet. Young and Crazy Horse’s Monday night show at the Air Canada Centre might not have satisfied those who came seeking his old classics, but any true rock fans in the crowd of 18,000 got their money’s worth, nevertheless.

Posted at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

Henry Rollins rolls into Toronto

11/19/12

Henry Rollins rolls into Toronto

Henry Rollins has always had something to say. Whether it was as the lead singer of the now-defunct punk band Black Flag in the ’80s or as a writer, radio DJ, activist and spoken word artist, the Washington, D.C. native has never been shy about expressing himself. Now he hits Toronto with his spoken word tour. We caught up with the tatted talker to chat about Toronto’s punk scene and speaking live.

Posted at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Meet a Comedian: Christi Olson

11/19/12

Meet a Comedian: Christi Olson

Despite some serious health challenges, comedian Christi Olson is seriously funny. A transplant from Regina, Olson has quickly moved up the ranks in the Toronto comedy world, even landing this year’s Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award. We chatted with Olson about fear vomiting, hecklers and laughing through the pain of EDS

Posted at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

Must-see Movie: Citizen Kane

11/16/12

Must-see Movie: Citizen Kane

“Rosebud.” It’s the infamous last word uttered by Charles Foster Kane, the wealthy media proprietor, played by Orson Welles. The enigmatic line, which was named the 17th best movie quote by the American Film Institute, opens the sweeping masterpiece, Citizen Kane, and sets its story into motion. The flick is considered by many cinema critics (including the AFI) to be the greatest film of all time. It plays this Sunday at the Yonge & Dundas Cineplex.

Posted at 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

Q&A: Pat Thornton, the local comedian who’s performing 24-hours of non-stop stand-up in the name of charity

11/16/12

Q&A: Pat Thornton, the local comedian who’s performing 24-hours of non-stop stand-up in the name of charity

Tonight comedian Pat Thornton will run a comedy marathon, performing stand-up for 24 non-stop hours at Comedy Bar, all in the name of charity. It’s the fourth year that Thornton has attempted the feat to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation (he raised $14,000 last year; the goal is $24,000 for this year) and he has no plans to stop the charitable, comedic craziness.

Posted at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments

Movie Review: Holy Motors

11/16/12

Movie Review: Holy Motors

The different levels of movie engagement tend to fall somewhere along the lines of passive or interactive. Occasionally we want to be taken away to another world; other times, we want to unravel a mystery. And then there is Holy Motors, a film about films; a commentary on cinema and acting by French director Leos Carax that simultaneously engages you and sets you adrift, leaving you wondering just exactly what is going on, and what, if anything, it all means.

Posted at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

Weekend Warrior: Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody, The Santa Claus Parade, the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo and more

11/15/12

Weekend Warrior: Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody, The Santa Claus Parade, the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo and more

For four days only, Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody will play at the Panasonic Theatre, mixing the excitement of Fifty Shades of Grey with the hilarity of The Second City. For those looking for pre-show drinks, a Spank! cocktail will be served. Stay after the show and you can grab a photo with Mr. Dangerous and meet the other cast members.

Posted at 04:57 PM | Permalink | Comments

Bob Dylan keeps on being mumbly Bob Dylan at the ACC

11/15/12

Bob Dylan keeps on being mumbly Bob Dylan at the ACC

I didn’t mind the mumbling. At this point, it’s so firmly entrenched within Bob Dylan’s persona that it would almost be disappointing to hear him sing clearly. I didn’t even mind the virtual invisibility. Dylan’s never exactly been known for his stage presence, so struggling to see him while he was obscured by his grand piano failed to take away from the experience. In fact, you could make an argument that it even enhanced The Bard’s aura.

Posted at 01:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

Toronto’s best animated GIFs

11/14/12

Toronto’s best animated GIFs

So yesterday the folks at Oxford University Press chose “GIF” as the U.S. Word of the Year, thanks in part to the word’s transition from noun to verb. GIFs were pretty much everywhere this year — kittens were GIFfed, and so was Obama. And Toronto was no stranger to the craze. Below, five of our favourite Toronto-esque GIFs.

Posted at 01:18 PM | Permalink | Comments

Love and roses: Q&A with Tyler Harcott, host of The Bachelor Canada

11/13/12

Love and roses: Q&A with Tyler Harcott, host of The Bachelor Canada

Announcing the final rose of the evening on The Bachelor Canada is a pretty important job, and its host, Tyler Harcott, knows it. A veteran of hosting roles (he’s held 14 in his 17-year career) Harcott says his latest gig as bachelor Brad Smith’s wingman has been pretty “magnificent.” We chatted with the statuesque host about his stand-out contestants, finding love on TV and what we can expect from the Women Tell All episode.

Posted at 04:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

We rank the scariest bad guys from TIFF’s new film series, Birth of a Villain

11/12/12

We rank the scariest bad guys from TIFF’s new film series, Birth of a Villain

Halloween might be over, but for those who still crave a fright, TIFF Bell Lightbox has a new film series that ensures horror fans get their jollies. Kicking off on Nov. 10 and running until the end of the year, Birth of a Villain examines the freaky and familiar villains of the ’70s and ’80s, from Michael Myers to Jason. We rank our favourites of the bunch with our highly scientific scare-o-meter.

Posted at 04:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Meet a Comedy Troupe: Vest of Friends

11/12/12

Meet a Comedy Troupe: Vest of Friends

Yes, it’s true: the guys in the comedy troupe, Vest of Friends, really like vests and really are the “best of friends” and it looks they’ll be sticking to comedy for a while rather than making real money as engineers or something, which is a good thing for us because they’re really good at it. We chatted with the group about - what else? - vests and their strange love for the cartoon series, Doug.

Posted at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Horse Feathers play a beautiful, baroque-tinged folk set at The Drake Hotel

11/09/12

Horse Feathers play a beautiful, baroque-tinged folk set at The Drake Hotel

Justin Ringle has successfully brought back baroque music. His band, Horse Feathers, was at The Drake Hotel last night, and they turned out a pure, unrefined performance, without going down the gimmick-laden road that some foot-stomping, hand-clapping folk outfits have travelled too often.

Posted at 04:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

Theatre Review: The Normal Heart

11/09/12

Theatre Review: The Normal Heart

It is always an exciting discovery to learn that a local theatre group is presenting a quality play, especially when a major production company such as Mirvish supports it. Studio 180 is that group — along with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre — and the play is The Normal Heart, by New York playwright Larry Kramer. I am embarrassed to say that I never saw this play when it was first presented in Toronto last year. (No, theatre critics are not infallible.)

Posted at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments

Just For Laughs gets all relationshippy on us

11/09/12

Just For Laughs gets all relationshippy on us

You probably recognize Godfrey. You’ve caught him in Zoolander and Comedy Central, and more recently, he’s appeared on Louie. A regular on the comedy circuit in New York, he’s bringing his stand-up to Toronto with the Just for Laughs Comedy Tour: Relationship Edition, which is going down tonight at Massey Hall. We chatted with him about the comedy crowds in Canada and — what else? — relationships. Just don’t call him a ladies’ man.

Posted at 10:57 AM | Permalink | Comments

Martha Wainwright brings her introspective folk music to The Great Hall

11/08/12

Martha Wainwright brings her introspective folk music to The Great Hall

“I question myself a lot in my own songs,” says Martha Wainwright, on the phone during a recent promotional tour for her new album, Come Home to Mama. “It is a tone, you know, that has become Martha Wainwright–esque, I think.”

Posted at 04:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

Weekend Warrior: Rendezvous with Madness, Hockey Hall of Fame, Whole Life Expo, Illuminite, BeerProv All-Stars

11/08/12

Weekend Warrior: Rendezvous with Madness, Hockey Hall of Fame, Whole Life Expo, Illuminite, BeerProv All-Stars

Mental illness and addiction are two topics that aren’t easily addressed. But for 20 years, the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival has brought the subject to the public. Each film provides a look into mental illness, with highlights including King Curling and William Kurelek’s The Maze. Opening this weekend, the festival runs until Nov. 17.

Posted at 02:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

Album Review: July Talk’s self-titled debut

11/07/12

Album Review: July Talk’s self-titled debut

Half drunk in a basement bar in Toronto, Peter Dreimanis was stewed deep in thought, contemplating his next musical pursuit. Little did he expect to hear his muse and future bandmate, Leah Fay, singing on an acoustic guitar that was being passed around. Inspired, he just had to seek out the intriguing stranger. And thus, local blues-rock crew July Talk was formed.

Posted at 03:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

Meet a Comedian: Rebecca Kohler

11/05/12

Meet a Comedian: Rebecca Kohler

Originally hailing from Ottawa, Toronto-based comedian Rebecca Kohler has a pretty impressive resume. Not only has she done the requisite appearance on Comedy Now! and provided snarky commentary on MuchMusic’s Video On Trial, but she also writes for This Hour Has 22 Minutes when she’s not performing regular gigs at Yuk Yuks across Canada. We chatted with Kohler about Louis CK, The Golden Girls and her personal gold rush.

Posted at 04:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

Theatre Review: Endgame

11/05/12

Theatre Review: Endgame

What a thrill it was — and is — to see Samuel Beckett’s hilarious and depressing (there’s a post-apocalyptic linking of two adjectives, eh?) Endgame, playing at Soulpepper until Nov. 17. I have long preferred it to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, and to every other “absurdist” play of the second half of the last century for that matter.

Posted at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments

Joshua Radin turns in a dreamy performance at the Danforth Music Hall

11/02/12

Joshua Radin turns in a dreamy performance at the Danforth Music Hall

Joshua Radin probably felt like a slab of meat last night. The ladies in the audience at the Ohioan-turned-Californian’s gig at the Danforth Music Hall weren’t holding back, with their yells about how handsome and good-looking and sexy and dreamy he is echoing throughout the theatre. So, in the name of journalistic integrity and unprejudiced reporting, I shut my eyes and let the music speak for itself.

Posted at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments

Must-see Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

11/02/12

Must-see Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

It’s the movie that inspired the perfect LBD, a one-hit wonder and, of course, tons of Audrey Hepburn copycats and paraphernalia (including an IKEA poster). Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most original cinematic romantic comedies of all time, and it’s playing at the Yonge & Dundas Cinemas this Saturday.

Posted at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Bachelor Brief: our recap of The Bachelor Canada, episode five

11/01/12

The Bachelor Brief: our recap of The Bachelor Canada, episode five

Admittedly, we skipped the last two episodes of the Bachelor Canada (is it us or is the Canuck version more yawn-worthy than its Yankee counterpart?) But this week we made sure to tune in since it was the “hometown dates” edition, and as any avid Bachelor viewer knows, that’s the episode when shizz gets serious (a.k.a. one-on-ones with the future father of the bride).

Posted at 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

Weekend Warrior: Cirque Éloize, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Close Shave, The Weeknd

11/01/12

Weekend Warrior: Cirque Éloize, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Close Shave, The Weeknd

Cirque Éloize takes performance art to a new level at the Sony Centre from Nov. 1-3. The Montreal-based artistic group’s show, iD, blends rock and electronic music with video, acrobatics, dance, science fiction and more. The 14 diverse performers for the upcoming show have backgrounds in 13 different circus disciplines and emcompass many different nationalities, making for what’s sure to be an exciting performance.

Posted at 01:15 PM | Permalink | Comments