Radar: Rhubarb Festival, Authors at the Harbourfront Centre, Carnaby Street, PWYC Wenesdays at the Rancho, Love's Labour's Lost
THEATRE | Dead Wrestlers at the Rhubarb Festival
Pro-wrestling soap opera Dead Wrestlers kicks off the 31st Rhubarb Festival, Buddies in Bad Times annual celebration of provocative theatre. Embracing the idea that genuine art is a threat to mainstream culture, Rhubarb brings audiences experimental performances designed to shock and stimulate. This year's festival focuses on the Internet age's central paradox, where we seem to want to destroy popular culture while at the same time being passionately devoted to imitating it. Dead Wrestlers certainly fits the bill, chronicling the blood feud between two families of pro wrestlers in the 1970s and 80s, simultaneously feting and mocking one of the cheesiest forms of 20th century entertainment in all its oiled, juiced up and glittered glory. The play is but one of seven pieces running this week, and the launch party follows opening performances at 10 pm tonight. Week one of the festival runs til February 14.
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., $17 evening pass, $25 week pass, $60 festival pass, 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm Wednesday - Sunday
BOOKS AND LIT | Elizabeth Kostova, Rabindranath Maharaj, and Beth Powning at the Harbourfront Centre
Some major writing talent comes to the Harbourfront Centre tonight to kick off the first instalment of its 2010 reading series. Elizabeth Kostova was a completely unknown author when she auctioned off the rights to her debut novel The Historian for a cool $2 million in 2004, and became the first person to debut at the top of the New York Times best-seller list with a first book. She'll be reading from her new book the Swan Thieves, a psychological thriller that delves into the mind of an artistic genius. She'll be joined by Rabindranath Maharaj, a veteran by comparison who will be reading from his fourth novel the Amazing Absorbing Boy, and Beth Powning, who will read from her historical Bay of Fundy epic the Sea Captain's Wife. Hosted by broadcaster Rachel Harry.
York Quay Centre, Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay West, $8, 7:30 pm
PARTY | Carnaby Street
The development of new bars on the red-hot Ossington strip may have been limited by the city last year but you simply can't keep new parties from cropping up. The brand new Carnaby Street night at the upscale and retro Watusi lounge launches tonight, offering up the best in 1960s underground soul, mod, garage and rock 'n roll. It's a free party and it's Wednesday, which means a cheap night of dancing and minimal amounts of the douchery that you usually find at weekends on Ossington these days (you know who you are!).
Watusi, 110 Ossington Ave., Free, 9 pm
MUSIC | PWYC Wednesdays with We Were Heads, the Natural Shocks and Rhiannon Thomas
For the past year or so, Rancho Relaxo has quietly been hosting a successful weekly pay-what-you-can concert series featuring local bands trying to break onto the Toronto scene. Sponsored by fledgling indie music website Two Way Monologues, PWYC Wednesdays give emerging bands an audience and the rest of us a chance to party while scoping out the city's up and coming talent. This week's edition has ex-Coast Guard singer Rhiannon Thomas, the Ghost is Dancing alum Jim DeLuca's band The Natural Shocks, and the heavier sounds of We Were Heads.
Rancho Relaxo, 300 College St., PWYC, 9 pm
THEATRE | Love's Labour's Lost
Despite what the good people at Hallmark would have you believe, we all know that love is more trouble than it's worth -- all that uncertainty, the terrible excitement, and the vomiting, my god, the vomiting. Who needs it! Self-denial is the name of the game in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, the tale of a group of noblemen who swear off women to follow more noble pursuits only to be confounded by a beautiful French princess and her lovely handmaidens. The Distillery District's Young Centre revives the classic comic work this month, re-articulating a message as timeless as the Bard himself: everyone loves a French babe. Runs til February 20.
Young Centre for the Performing Arts - Tankhouse Thetre, 55 Mill Street, Adults $15, Seniors $10, Students $6, Same day rush tickets $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, 7:30 pm Tuesday - Friday, 1:30 pm Saturday, 7:30 pm Sunday
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