G20 Toronto

Radar: Shout Out for Global Justice, Dream In High Park: Romeo and Juliet, Pride Opening Parties, Goal Dreams, Marty Topps' Ladies Night, Soul Power

G20 | Shout Out for Global Justice
With downtown Toronto being turned into a terrifying vision of a fortified police state this weekend, the only way that regular folks will be able to get within a mile of participating in the G20 will be to attend one of the many counter-events and street protests being held across the city. If you'd like to get involved but aren't quite prepared to get a police baton upside the head in order to do it, sit back and enjoy some rational discourse at a safe distance courtesy of Council of Canadians' Shout Out for Global Justice. Arguing that $1 billion could be much better spent on projects other than converting Hogtown into replica of Baghdad's Green Zone will be a who's who of leftie luminaries like Naomi Klein, Democracy Now host Amy Goodman, environmentalist Dr. Vandana Shiva, Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations Pablo Solon, and Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow.
Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street, $20, 7 pm

THEATRE | Dream in High Park presents Romeo and Juliet
The city's favourite performance of Shakespeare al fresco returns tonight to present a new production of Romeo and Juliet in High Park. Presented by the Canadian Stage Company, the Dream in High Park has attracted over 1.3 million visitors since it began 27 years ago, endearing itself to Toronto families for its kid-friendly (not to mention shortened) versions of the Bard's classics. This year's production of the tale of star-crossed lovers is directed by Dora Award winner Vikki Anderson, and as always nothing but a downpour will stop the players from hitting the stage. Bring a blanket, some food, and non-alcoholic drink and watch the drama unfold under an open sky.
High Park Amphitheatre, PWYC (suggested $20), Tuesday to Sunday 8 pm

PRIDE | Pride Toronto Opening Parties
Don' t let the fleets of police roaming the streets or the helicopters hovering menacingly overhead stop you from getting your queer on at the Pride parties happening tonight. The big parade's not til next week, but the official kick-off jam to Pride Week goes down at Church Street hotspot Woody's tonight, and is co-hosted by Margot Keith of Big Primpin'. Drag queen sweethearts Miss Conception and Gia Heart Cox will be performing while the Yes Yes Y'All DJs provide the tunes. Over at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, all-male burlesque troupe Boylesque headline a special edition of Gowntown. If you're looking for something a little more low-key, hit up the Queer Social over at the Press Club with DJ Peachy Keen, which is doubling as a fundraiser for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.
Launch Party: Woody's, 467 Church Street, Free, 8 pm
Gowntown: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, $10, 11:15 pm
Queer Social: Press Club, 850 Dundas Street West, Free, 10 pm

FILM | Goal Dreams
Aside from some stunning upsets, a fascinating subplot to this World Cup has been the rare participation of North Korea. Over the years the tournament has seen appearances by the most reclusive and marginalized of nations, but one team that has yet to make the cut is that of the Palestinians. Goal Dreams is a documentary that follows the territories' team as they struggle to qualify for the World Cup and inspire hope in their fans. Because Palestinians don't officially have a country of their own, the squad is the only one in the world made up of players from different nationalities, and as if overcoming the ongoing conflict in the region wasn't enough of a challenge, they don't even have a home field to play on. The movie is a testament to the power of sport to transcend politics and war, and will be shown in a special outdoor screening in Christie Pits tonight as a run-up to October's Toronto Palestinian Film Festival.
Christie Pits Park, Christie Street at Bloor Street West, Free, 9 pm

COMEDY | Marty Topps Ladies Night
Best known as the host of the House Party show at Bread and Circus (now on hiatus), Marty Topps is the alter ego of local comic Isaac Winter. Dressed in your father's sportscoat and moustache, Topps is some kind of gonzo comedian who is a strange mix of creepy and pathetic. Just check out this video in which he drinks blenderized toothpicks. Is he funny? Is he scary? Whichever it is, he definitely has his own thing going on. Tonight he'll be one of the hosts Ladies Night (his co-host is a pair of lips on a television screen), a variety show with Desiree Lavoy, Ladystache, and Steph Kaliner.
Bread and Circus, 299 Augusta Avenue, $10, 7:30 pm

PARTY | Soul Power
Parkdale party spot Starving Artist turns the funk up to eleven tonight with Soul Power, a summertime celebration of fat grooves and deep hooks. DJs General Eclectic and Double K will be manning the decks to bring you classic soul, reggae and r 'n b, and they're doing it old school by sticking strictly to vinyl. Hot nights + great patio + funk records = sexy times.
Starving Artist, 584 Landsdowne Avenue, No Cover, 10 pm

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For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.

Photo: "G20: Toxic Tour of Toronto" by onlyandrewn, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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