April 2012

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Morning Throwback: before Settlers of Catan, Toronto had this game called “chess”

Ah, yes. The great chess match of 1914-ish: Morrison vs. Marshall. Never heard of it? Here’s all you need to know. Team Morrison’s slogan: “I’ll take your pawn, all day long;” Team Marshall’s tagline: “This is a stick-up: give up your bishop.” The game was so epically long that those two dudes’ beards turned white in the process. The game was won in only four moves. Marshall ended up losing, but his great-great grandson invented the game Connect Four, so it all worked out in the wash.


The Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival Hour: Metric, Dusted, Cold Specks, Men Without Hats, The Do Good Assassins, Rush

Momentum is building for Toronto band Metric’s new album Synthetica, which is set to be released June 12. The first single off the album, “Youth Without Youth” will be released on May 1, while the artwork and track listing were released earlier this month. Synthetica is being released by the band’s own label, MMI, through a series of partnerships with distributors around the world including Universal Music here in Canada.


Star Trek’s Sulu to host a sci-fi concert series at Roy Thomson Hall

Our inner geek is blissing out over this one: Star Trek’s Lieutenant Sulu is in town and he’s hosting three concerts of sci-fi tunes. George Takei, who played the helmsman of the Starship Enterprise in the TV series and movies, will take to the stage at Roy Thomson Hall tomorrow (May 1) to host the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s “Sci-Fi Spectacular.”   


AGO exhibit offers glimpse of the private Picasso

When the doors open tomorrow at the AGO’s Picasso exhibition, Torontonians will be given a deeply personal glimpse into the life of one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris” features 147 works from the artist’s personal collection, dubbed “Picasso’s Picassos.”


Morning Throwback: these men probably wish they were playing Texas hold ‘em

Back before MMA and Game of Thrones existed, what exactly did Toronto men talk about in 1898? Well, we think it went something like this: “What the heck does the word ‘Yukon’ even mean?” “So those Spaniards got a pretty raw deal with that Treaty of Paris, eh?” “I hear there's a new element called radium. Sounds pretty harmless.” Good thing for them that the National Hockey Association would soon be on its way.


Red Hot Chili Peppers serve up an energized set at ACC

Maybe it was their newfound status as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, maybe it was the addition of new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who stepped in to replace founding member John Frusciante in 2009. Whatever the reason, the Red Hot Chili Peppers served up an energized, inspired two-hour set at the Air Canada Centre Friday night in the first of two back-to-back shows, the Peppers’ first tour dates since being enshrined in the Rock Hall two weeks ago.

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Theatre Review: You Can’t Take It With You

It is a pleasure to see Soulpepper Theatre’s superb production of You Can’t Take It With You, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American comedy by Kaufman and Hart. And knowing that this very special offering will run in repertory in the Distillery District into the middle of June, only adds to the happiness.


Morning Throwback: thank Maxis that you no longer have to build pretend cities out of cardboard

There's Sim City, and then there's this. Back in 1938, Torontonians built their pretend cities using toilet paper rolls, old pieces of plywood, some leftover paint and ABC gum. It may not look like much, but, hey, at least they didn't have to deal with plumbing.


This Weekend in Toronto: Floral frenzy at Spring Awakenings, a Kathleen Turner film fest and Kina Grannis plays the Phoenix

Our round up of the best things to see and do in Toronto this weekend. In this edition: Spring Awakening at the Gardiner Museum, Kathleen Turner film festival, an evening with Linden MacIntyre, discussions on global health and Kina Grannis at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.


Morning Throwback: in the ‘40s, bird really was the word

Before Mike Tyson and his weird love of pigeons became pop culture fodder, Toronto had Mr. Stonehouse and his bird, Allan. Mr. Stonehouse and his feathered friend were pretty much inseparable in the ‘40s. Not only did Allan regularly accompany Mr. Stonehouse to work, but they also took swing-dancing lessons and competed in a duet singing competition (where they placed third).