Radar: SummerWorks 2010, Being Scene, TO Haiti, The Dirty Hustle, Life Is Horrible Deal With It

FESTIVAL | SummerWorks Theatre and Art Festival
For the next 11 days the SummerWorks festival will bring Torontonians the best in new Canadian theatre. Aside from the dozens of plays being staged, there's also a kick-ass lineup of concerts from the likes of the Hidden Cameras, Diamond Rings, Maylee Todd, and Snowblink, as well as a series of guided walks through the Bathurst theatre district and a multi-media art installation designed to transport you back to childhood. You can check out our recommendations for the festival here. Runs til August 15. Happy festing!
Various venues, $10 per play, 3-play pass $25, 7-play pass $55, 10-day pass $75, Summerwalks pass $12

GALLERY | Being Scene
From Beethoven to Van Gogh to Daniel Johnston, great art and mental illness have always been intertwined. A joint project of Workman Arts and the CAMH Being Scene showcases the work of Canadian artists who have battled addiction and mental health issues, but this is more than an exercise in demonstrating that marginalized people have things to contribute to society. The show is juried, which means that the calibre of art on display is very high, and since its inception in 2000 works from the show have hung in such auspicious places as the Lieutenant Governor's suite at Queen's Park. Runs til September 19.
Gladstone Hotel, 3rd and 4th floor galleries, 1214 Queen Street West, Opening reception tonight, free, 6 pm - 9 pm

PARTY | Singles: Hit Music of the 1990s
Relive your awkward teenage years tonight with a 90s jam at the Shop under Parts and Labour. And yes, the DJ's name is Michelle Williams, but no, that's not a reference to Dawson's Creek, it's actually her real name. She's done something pretty clever and opened up a request line on the event's Facebook page, and from the looks of it if you're a fan of REM, Third Eye Blind, or classic 90s movies projected on the wall, you're in for a good time. I look forward to rocking out to this little gem myself. By the way, is that House MD chasing Annie Lennox in there?
The Shop under Parts and Labour, 1566 Queen Street West, No Cover, 10 pm

BENEFIT | T.O.: Haiti
I'm not sure if the people of Haiti will be heartened or, like the rest of us, somewhat confused to learn that Wyclef Jean will be running for president in the country's upcoming elections. Assuming that even the guy who wrote Perfect Gentleman can't save the country on his own however, the impoverished island nation is still going to need our help. Thankfully Toronto-based Architecture for Humanity is currently working to rebuild Haiti's earthquake-ravaged infrastructure, and is raising funds tonight with a benefit featuring the musical talents of local artists including Laura Fernandez, Arianna Gillis, and the Soles. Tamisn Ford of AFH will be on hand to give an update on the construction projects that will benefit from your contributions, and Doug Allen from Schools for Children of the World will also speak about his organization's ongoing programs in the region.
The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West, $30, students $15, 7 pm

PARTY | The Dirty Hustle
Somewhere along the way the worlds of hip hop and indie rock merged, and all of sudden Gza is headlining NXNE alongside Les Savy Fav and those kids from Surfer Blood. There was a time when the closest thing to rap you'd hear at Sneaky Dee's was a TLC cover by a local pop rock collective, but tonight it's gonna be wall to wall filthy beats at the College Street guitar rock palace for The Dirty Hustle. No slow songs, just high NRG hip hop all night, and of course $3 PBRs til midnight.
Sneaky Dee's, 431 College Street, $6, 10 pm

COMEDY | Life Is Horrible. Deal With It.
You stubbed your toe when you got of bed this morning, everyday you go into work at a job you hate, and you just learned that Wyclef Jean is running for president of Haiti. Yes, there's lots of things out there to get you down, but sometimes all you can do is laugh. This sketch comedy show courtesy of the Team Awesome troupe celebrates all the crappy things in life, blending nihilism with a healthy dose of humour. Kind of like if Nietzsche wore a funny hat. Most of the show is scripted but each night the team will be joined by an improv team, starting with three-time Canadian Comedy Award-winners Slap Happy tonight. Runs every Thursday and Friday til August 19.
Bread and Circus, 299 Augusta Avenue, $15 advance, $10 at the door, 7:30 pm

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Photo: "The Man" by AshtonPal, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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