Weekend Radar: October 31 + November 1, 2009
Saturday October 31:
LOOKING FOR A HALLOWEEN PARTY TONIGHT? CHECK OUT OUR 2009 HALLOWEEN PARTY GUIDE
THEATRE | The Toxic Avenger
Lloyd Kaufman's 1984 film The Toxic Avenger became a cult favourite for stoners and environmentalists alike, and spawned offshoots in the form of comic books, TV shows, and a musical written by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan. The musical's New York production played to rave reviews and reinvents the story of a nerdy environmentalist who's turned into a superhero when dumped in (what else) a vat of radioactive waste. The show makes its Canadian debut tonight at the Danforth Music Hall.
Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., $15-$41, 8 pm
BOOKS AND LIT | International Festival of Authors Closing Night
Over the past six years it has become a tradition that the last night of the IFOA is capped off by readings from the finalists for the Giller Prize, the richest and therefore most important literary award this country has to offer. Kim Echlin, Annabel Lyon, Linden MacIntyre, Colin McAdam, and Anne Michaels will all read from their nominated novels in an event hosted by Catherine Belyea. Interesting side note: half of the people involved in this event hold prominent positions at the CBC. Coincidence, or evidence that our national broadcaster is doing a great job of employing our country's top talent?
Fleck Dance Theatre, $20-$25, 8 pm
MARKET | Drake Hotel Outdoor Market
The Drake Hotel holds an outdoor market this weekend that has everything from classic records to vintage clothing to baked goods on sale. There's sure to be some unique products from Queen West's artist community on sale, and there will also be a table of Freecycle items up for grabs for no cost at all. It's all here: last-minute Halloween costumes, pumpkins, handmade cards, whatever you're looking for. Once you're done shopping, enjoy an afternoon beer in hotel bar. Runs til Sunday.
Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., Free, 10 am - 4 pm
MUSIC | Noah and the Whale at Criminal Records
Twickenham, United Kingdom doesn't have much to put it on the map of musical notoriety, other than the fact that it was the site of some abortive Beatles recording sessions that contributed to the break up of the band. Twickenham's also home to Noah and the Whale, who had some success with their upbeat debut album in 2008. But since then two members of the band who were dating have broken up and the result is stripped down, somber, less-than-happy record. Kind of a downer, but perfect music for staring down the barrel of another Godless Canadian winter. Plus it's another free instore performance at one of the city's best record stores.
Criminal Records, 493 Queen St. W., Free, 12 pm
MUSIC | Fucked Up Weekend at Sneaky Dee's
The Fucked Up Weekend festival climaxes tonight at Sneaky Dee's with a six-band lineup featuring acts from around the globe. Fucked Up headlines with support from Washington's Iron Lung, Japan's D.S.B, the Brutal Knights, Force Fed, and Nomos. It seems the festival organizers have deliberately chosen a venue they can absolutely pack and I have a feeling this show will not be for the faint of heart. You'll probably get bled on.
Sneaky Dee's, 431 College St., $18.50, 7 pm
BICYCLE | The Pumpkin Run: An Urban Cycling Challenge
Some good Halloween fun for all you cyclists out there, the Pumpkin Run puts your pedaling skills to the test. Contestants will have to follow a racecourse and complete fun challenges at each checkpoint. Each completed challenge gets a playing card, and the cyclist with the best hand at the end of the event wins. And you have to do it all in costume. Prizes for best costumes and fastest times as well, and they will also be a Halloween afterparty at Cinecycle.
Manic Coffee, 426 College St., $8, 5:30 pm
PARTY | Halloween at the Guvernment with MSTRKRFT and Dirty South
The Guv hosts one huge Halloween bash tonight. About a dozen djs including Mark Oliver, Tilt and Wirstpect will be spread over six rooms and keeping the place jumping, while local favs MSTRKRFT and Northern Irish electro band the Japanese Popstars will be playing live. First place for best costume gets a whopping $5000 in cash and prizes and the place is sure to be packed to the brim.
The Guvernment, 132 Queen's Quay, $20-$25, 9 pm
Sunday, November 1:
BOOKS AND LIT | Canzine 2009
Over 150 zine publishers from across the country come to Queen West to sell their wares this Sunday. The theme for the festival is the Olympics, so fittingly these champions of indie word culture will compete in such events as The Zine Lift, Speed Zining, and Competitive Speaking. In the One-Two Punch Book Pitch aspiring writers will get two minutes in front of a panel of judges to pitch their book ideas. Local artists will also be transforming Gladstone hotel rooms into art installations, and there will be a workshop on how to screen your own t-shirts.
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., $5, 1 pm - 7 pm
COMMUNITY | The Great Harbord Street Pumpkin Festival
On Sunday night Harbord Street between Brunswick Ave. and Spadina Ave. will be lit up with 200 jack o'lanterns lining both sides of the street. Local restaurants will be featuring pumpkin dishes on their menus and there will also be a silent auction on 50 items from neighbourhood businesses including meal gift certificates to the Harbord Room, Insomnia, and Mount Everest. At the very least it should be good for a picturesque autumnal Sunday night stroll.
Harbord between Spadina and Brunswick, Free, 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
PARTY | Caspa at Wrongbar
Caspa has a long biography that includes all kinds of talking points, including a London, UK upbringing amid the jungle and hip hop scenes, a tragic injury that ended his promising basketball career, and collapsing labels that prevented his self-produced but incredible demos from ever seeing the light of day. None of that really matters though, because all you need from a dj is the ability to make a crowd dance, and Caspa has that in spades. He haunts the Wrongbar on Sunday night.
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen St. W.,
CABARET | Canwest Cabaret Festival
The cabaret festival at the Young Centre continues this weekend with strong performances from an eclectic mix of performers. Highlights of Saturday's 20-performance schedule include the Leonard Cohen songbook, Elizabeth Shepherd, and everyone's favourite fusion group Autorickshaw. Batting clean-up on Sunday is hottie Andrew Craig, Melanie Doane, a tribute to Danny Kaye, and a spotlight on Michael Jackson's legacy and many, many more. This is a veritable schmorgesborg of performance art, so lots of tastes to sample.
Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., $20 and up, Saturday 2 pm on, Sunday 12:45 pm on
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