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Radar: Lulaworld 2010, Nelson Henricks, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Serenades in the Square: Yvette Tollar, How to Eat a Peach Workshop

FESTIVAL | Lulaworld 2010 Opening Night
The Lula Lounge on Dundas West is more than just the hottest latin dance club in the city. In its nearly ten years of existence, it's expanded into a Music and Arts Centre and an internet radio station, and has even started a high school arts education program. Lula's gotten so big it can host its own festival, which over the next three weeks will see performances by internationally acclaimed musicians like the Gryphon Trio and Sugar Minott, the Godfather of Dancehall, as well as a celebration of Mexican poetry and a Havana cabaret (complete with showgirls). Tonight marks not only the Mexican heritage day Cinco de Mayo but the start of the Lulaworld festival, which begins with a party and performance by pan-Canadian latin jazz trio Bomba.
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, $10, 8 pm

GALLERY | Nelson Henricks at Paul Petro Gallery
Nelson Henricks is an accomplished video artist, musician, writer and curator. Currently a professor at Concordia University in Montreal, his videotapes have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and he's the recipient of Bell Canada Award in Video Art. Today the Paul Petro gallery opens "The Sirens (Fragments)," a new exhibition of his works featuring photographs and a video that explore the sensations of listening and playing music. The photographs are captured images from reels of Super 8 film, and suggest the feeling of a frozen moment in time that results from the intense pleasure of music. Good music, anyway. Not that teeny bopper crap.
Paul Petro Contemporary Art, 962 Queen Street West, Free, Gallery hours Wednesday to Saturday 11 am - 5 pm

THEATRE | Fallen Rock Productions presents the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Is there any drama more suspenseful, more endearing, than that of the children's spelling bee? All the thrills and misspelt spills of pint-sized orthography are captured in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical being staged this week by non-profit theatre company Fallen Rock Productions. The company's goal is to raise funds for worthy causes by presenting quality music theatre productions and showcasing the talent of young performers, and over its seven year history Fallen Rock has raised over $300,000 for various charities. The one-act Putnam County tells the story of six spellers and their pushy parents who put their dreams on the line in the local bee, and won a Tony Award for Best Book when it debuted on Broadway in 2005. All proceeds of the show go to benefit the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario. Runs til Sunday.
Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street, $20 - $45, Wednesday and Thursday 12:30 pm and 8 pm, Friday 8 pm, Saturday 2 pm and 8 pm, Sunday 2 pm

MUSIC | Serenades in the Square: Yvette Tollar
It's hard to know what to make of Yonge-Dundas Square. While the carving out of new public space in the downtown core can't really be a bad thing, the high volume of massive billboards, video screens, and news tickers make it seem less like some populist meeting space and more like a giant neon funnel that makes it easier for companies to rain down advertisements on us. The conglomerate of faceless corporations that runs the square is doing one thing right, however, by offering up a program of free lunch-time performances that will see some talented musicians bring their tunes to the heart of the city. Confirmed acts for later in the year include Maylee Todd, One Hundred Dollars, and Woodpigeon, but if you're downtown shopping today be sure to stop by the square to hear the sweet sounds of Juno-nominated jazz vocalist Yvette Tollar.
Yonge-Dundas Square, Free, 12:30 pm

LESSONS | How to Eat a Peach Workshop
They say it's better to give than to receive, but as anyone who's seen the look on their girlfriend's face when she opens that HMV gift certificate can attest, it's gotta be a good gift if it's gonna work. San Fransico-based sex educator Midori knows a thing or two about the art of giving, and tonight will teach you all you need to know about how to orally please your lady in ways other than riveting conversation. Face it, your day just wasn't that interesting, she doesn't want to hear about it. Better find some other way to pass the time.
Come As You Are, 701 Queen Street West, $35 (sliding scale), 7:30 pm

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Photo: "Time is of the essence" by Canadian Panda Boi, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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