Weekend Radar: Beneath the Veil, Indie Craft Show, Harlem Globetrotters, Buy Design for Windfall, Pop His Rocket, the Lusty Mannequins, The Forgotten Clowns of Silent Comedy, Morro and Jasp Go Green, Closing nights at the Images and ReelWorld Festivals

Saturday, April 10

THEATRE | Beneath the Veil
The Muslim head covering known as the niqab has become a defining symbol of the times we live in. It is such a flashpoint for issues surrounding women's rights, religious freedoms and even war in the Middle East that in Quebec, where only a handful of women wear the coverings, the government recently caused an international stir by proposing a bill that would force women seeking access to public services to remove their veils. For Iranian-American playwright and activist Mary Apick, the niqab is an unmistakable emblem of the regime of oppression that she saw descend on her country with the religious revolution of 1979. That's the message behind Apick's play Behind the Veil, in which she weaves together several real life stories of veiled women to create a strong condemnation of the treatment of Muslim women in the Middle East. The play won a Critic's Choice Award when it debuted at the Kennedy Centre in Washington (where first lady Laura Bush was the production's honourary chair) and will make its Canadian debut tonight. Apick has said tonight's performance will be particularly poignant for her, as she'll be playing the role of murdered Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi for the first time on Canadian soil.
MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen's Park, $50 - $100, 8 pm

CRAFTS | Indie Craft Show
Ransack the Universe is on a mission: to scour the ends of the earth for interesting knick knacks to make unique crafts with. The Dundas West craft shop is going guerilla this Saturday with a pop-up craft fair at the Garrison presented in partnership with their buddies at the Argyle Acorn. Toronto's craft-makers have been holed up over the winter knitting, sewing, and gluing and today they hold forth with a springtime explosion of t-shirts, vintage clothing, postcards, buttons, ties, jewelry, zines, photography, and just about anything else their kooky little minds could think of. Plus, it's in a bar, so there will be booze (presumably from craft breweries only)
The Garrision, 1179 Dundas St. West, Free admission, 12 pm - 5 pm

SPORTS | Harlem Globetrotters
With the Raptors' post-season hopes being dealt a couple of bone-shattering blows earlier this week, there's only a slim chance now that Toronto basketball fans will get any joy out of their team this spring. A safer bet for some hardcourt fun would be to grab a ticket for tonight's Harlem Globetrotters game, the first Toronto appearance of the legendary team in over a decade. The Globetrotters have a remarkable 84-year history, and as one of the first all-black professional teams, they were initially a symbol of African-American pride (they didn't play their first game in Harlem until the team was 40 years old, and took the name of America's most prominent black community in a gesture of solidarity). Now they are the property of a Disney subsidiary and are strictly an entertainment venture, but still lay legitimate claim to being the masters of shot-making showboatery. Should be a fun game -- plus I have a feeling the Generals are due for a win.
Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., $10 - $165

FUNDRAISER | Buy Design for Windfall
Windfall is a Toronto charity that collects donations of new clothes and distributes them to social service agencies across the city. By placing an emphasis on new rather than second hand clothing, the charity hopes to foster a sense of dignity in the communities it serves. Tonight they host their seventh annual charity ball at the Fermenting Cellar, where Toronto's philanthropic socialites will gather to recreate the atmosphere of a "dirty thirties" box social complete with a bake sale, boater pageant and sidecar cocktails. Hosted by fashion critic Adrian Mainella, this year's party will hope to match last year's event, which raised close to $100,000 for Windfall's admirable work.
Fermenting Cellar, Distillery District, 55 Mill St., $80, 9 pm

LOVE AND SEX | Pop His Rocket Workshop with Ducky Doolittle
If sex is an art, then Ducky Doolittle is a woman who can show you how to squeeze a masterpiece out of those tubes of paint. The author, sex educator, and activist is full of tips about everyone's favourite subject, and tonight she hosts the latest in a series of workshops at Come As You Are. Pop His Rocket will give you the knowledge on how to titillate your man into a trance hands-free, but also give some insight on how to forge a deeper connection with him. Ducky's workshops are fun and relaxed and are a great opportunity to learn a few things and have an open discussion on topics that are usually taboo. All genders welcome. Your boyfriend will thank you for it.
Come As You Are, 701 Queen St. West, $35 (sliding scale available), 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

COMEDY | Lusty Mannequins: Complete Works, Vol. 1
They say that deep down, comedians are actually morbid people. Take Ashley Comeau, one half of Toronto sketch comedy duo the Lusty Mannequins. She was a click of the mouse away from enrolling in Humber College's funeral services program when at the last minute she changed her mind and took the school's comedy writing class instead. A few short years later and she's a graduate of the Second City conservatory and is performing all over town with her comedic partner and boyfriend Connor Thompson. With any notions of spending a lifetime embalming corpses behind them, tonight the pair present their first revue of complete works.
John Candy Box Theatre, 70 Peter Street, $10, 8 pm

Sunday, April 11:

FILM | Toronto Silent Film Festival presents A Thousand Laughs: The Forgotten Clowns of Silent Comedy
After putting two screenings under its belt last week, the Toronto Silent Film Festival returns on Sunday with a collection of shorts by the silver screen's funniest comedians. Although the work of legends like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton have survived well into the era of talkies, dozens of talented comedians from the silent age were nearly as funny but have long been forgotten. If you're going to see a silent film for the first time, a comedy is your best bet. Comedies are the most easily translatable of all the genres from the silent era, and modern audiences will find themselves surprised to be genuinely entertained by a medium now considered irretrievably arcane. And really you've got to give these guys credit, even their names are hilarious. Fatty Arbuckle? Snub Pollard? I'm laughing already.
Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave., $13, 4 pm

THEATRE | Morro and Jasp Go Green
Clown sister act Morro and Jasp had a hit at last year's Fringe Festival with Morro and Jasp Do Puberty, a hilarious take on adolescence. Now they're using that same brand of intelligent humour to tackle environmental issues in Morro and Jasp Go Green, a play aimed at kids and adults alike. The play follows Jasp as she tries to cash in on the environmental craze by writing a book on "going green", the only trouble is she doesn't know where to start. The ensuing action is entertaining and informative, everything you could ask for from a couple of clowns.
Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Ave., $15, 11 am and 2 pm


FESTIVAL | Images Festival
The 23rd annual Images Festival comes to a close on Saturday night after another successful year. There are four events as part of the festival today, but the most interesting is a talk with Barbara Hammer, the American experimental filmmaker who was one of the first openly gay women to make movies in the 1970s. Responsible for such titles as Gay Day and Women I Love, Hammer has been on the front lines of feminist filmmaking since the very beginning. She'll be talking about her new memoir and performing "Available Space," the 1979 performance film in which Hammer attempts to break out of the confining rectangle of the movie screen. You can also check out The Monkey and the Mermaid, a collaborative multidisciplinary performance by artist Shary Boyle, musician Christine Fellows, and Weakerthans founding member Jason Tait.
Barbara Hammer: OCAD, 100 McCaul Street, Free, 1:30 pm
Monkey and the Mermaid: St. Anne's Church, 270 Gladstone Avenue, $10 - $15, 9 pm

FILM | ReelWorld Film Festival
The ReelWorld Film Festival, which each year showcases films from multicultural communities around the world, is also wrapping up this weekend. There are literally dozens of short and feature films crammed into two days of scheduling, but a good bet is the fest's closing flick Teo's Journey. The movie documents the border life of the millions of Mexicans who each year attempt to cross over into the United States, focusing on a little boy name Teo who is separated from his father and forced to survive on his own in the dangerous border towns. For five dollars extra you'll get access to the festival's closing gala.
Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond St. West, $20 - $25, 6:30 pm

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Photo: "Fullers Bengal Lancer IPA" by sjgardiner, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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