Thursday, June 30, 2011

Carrie Fisher Brings Wishful Drinking to Toronto - July 12 to August 21

From a release:

Carrie Fisher: Wishful Drinking
at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto
July 12 to August 21, 2001

TORONTO - Hollywood film star, best-selling novelist and acclaimed screenwriter Carrie Fisher will now bring her award-winning WISHFUL DRINKING to the Royal Alexandra Theatre, from July 12 to August 21, as the final show of our 2010/2011 Season.

The daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher became a cultural icon in her own right at the age of 19, when she starred as "Princess Leia" in the Star Wars trilogy. In WISHFUL DRINKING, she tells the true and intoxicating tale of her life as a Hollywood legend - with all the wry wit she poured into such bestsellers as Postcards from the Edge - in an uproarious and sobering look at her "Hollywood hangover".

WISHFUL DRINKING premiered in 2006, in Los Angeles, and has since completed sell-out runs in theatres across the U.S., culminating in a wildly successful engagement at Broadway's Studio 54 this year, winning the prestigious 2010 Outer Critics' Circle Award. The show received rave reviews on Broadway. In The New York Times, critic Ben Brantley described it as, "An extremely funny full-frontal confession. You're going to like it. A LOT." Michael Kuchwara, of the Associated Press, called it, "A hilarious journey through a world of celebrity, chock-full of funny, fascinating talents." And TimeOut New York declared WISHFUL DRINKING to be, "Dirty, delightful and hilarious!"

Part of the 2010/2011 Subscription Season

Carrie Fisher in Wishful Drinking
July 12 - August 21, 2011
Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King Street West
Toronto, ON, M5V1H9
416 872-1212
Performance Schedule:
Tuesday-Saturday 8PM
Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday 2PM
Run time:
2 hours and 15 minutes, including a 15 minute intermission

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shakespeare on the Road: Macbeth Outdoors in Toronto and Beyond

From a media release:

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

July 7 to August 14, 2011

June, 2011. Toronto, ON…Driftwood Theatre, Ontario’s most exciting and accessible theatre company, will be kicking off their 2011 Bard’s Bus Tour in Toronto on July 9th with a limited two-night run at Todmorden Mills and returning to Withrow Park for two brief stops July 27th, 28th, August 13th and 14th. This year, Driftwood Theatre is leaving the world of Shakespearean comedy for the dark and bloody tale of Macbeth.

An end world event has left behind a society that is forced to exist in a toxic environment where every person must fight to survive. In this unsettled and warring culture, violence perpetuates violence and the temporary peace that exists is precarious. Here we meet Macbeth, a ruthless and ambitious soldier who seizes power with the help of his scheming wife and a trio of devious outcasts.

Bringing this haunting tale to life are Driftwood Theatre alumnus Peter van Gestel (Twelfth night, King Lear, Comedy of Errors, Driftwood Theatre; Lord of the Rings, Mirvish Productions; 3 seasons, Stratford Festival) as Macbeth and Dora Award nominee Janick Hebert (A Toi, Pour Toujours, Ta Marie-Lou, Theatre Francais de Toronto; Scorched, Tarragon Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare in Action) as his wife, Lady Macbeth. Rounding out the cast are Andrew Pogson, Madeleine Donohue, Tim Machin, Justin Goodhand, Lana Sugarman and Shawn Ahmed.

Director, and Driftwood Theatre’s founder and Artistic Director, D. Jeremy Smith will innovatively create the destroyed world with the help of costume designer Michelle Bailey (Dora-nominated; The Red Queen Effect, Seventh Stage; two seasons, Driftwood Theatre), set and props designer Lindsay Anne Black (2011 Dora Award nominee for Stand Up Dance’s The Atomic Weight of Happiness; Birnham Wood, Theatre Rusticle; My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding, Mirvish Productions), sound designer Chris Stanton (2011 Dora Award nominee for MacKenzieRO’s The New Electric Ballroom; Ruined, Obsidian/Nightwood Theatres) and movement and fight direction by Richard Lee (Black Medea, Obsidian Theatre; Anthony & Cleopatra, Shakespeare in the rough).

This summer, Driftwood Theatre proudly announces the expansion of its popular Shakespearience program to cover the entire Bard’s Bus Tour, and the best part is all events are absolutely free! The company will share Shakespeare and theatre-related symposiums, events and workshops with audiences at select locations throughout the summer tour. The first event of the series will take place prior to the opening of the tour on July 9th at the historic Todmorden Mills. Join Smith and members of the creative team for a glimpse into the creation of the world of Macbeth.

The Driftwood Theatre Group, founded in 1995, has become Ontario’s beloved outdoor summer theatre tradition. Working with the best emerging and established artists today, Driftwood celebrates the work of William Shakespeare through its annual Bard’s Bus Tour, touring to parks and heritage sites and focusing on communities with little or no access to professional theatre.

Driftwood Theatre Group presents
Shakespeare’s MACBETH

Directed by D. Jeremy Smith
Featuring: Shawn Ahmed, Madeleine Donohue, Peter van Gestel, Justin Goodhand, Janick Hebert, Tim Machin, Andrew Pogson, Lana Sugarman

Previews: July 7th and 8th, 2011
Opens: July 9th, 2011 and tours Southern Ontario until August 14th, 2011
July 7th-10th, 2011 at Todmorden Mills
July 27th & 28th and August 13th & 14th, 2011 at Withrow Park
All performances at 7:30 PM
Other locations at this link
• All tickets are Pay-What-You-Can with a recommended donation of $15

Blanket and lawn chair space can be reserved in advance throught TO TIX ( or by mail for $15.

Check the link for the Shakespeare Symposium Series & other free related events

Open Air Theatre in Toronto: Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard July 7 to 31

From a media release:

Guild Festival Theatre proudly presents inaugural open-air season
Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard
Directed by founding Artistic Director Sten Eirik

TORONTO, June, 2011 - Guild Festival Theatre proudly announces its first annual season of classical theatre with a rare open-air rendition of Anton Chekhov's masterpiece, The Cherry Orchard.

This story of a family faced with the ultimatum of having to auction off their beloved country home in the face of social upheaval and commercial exploitation opens July 7 and runs until July 31 at the majestic outdoor Greek Theatre in the Guild Inn Gardens, the first production to be presented there in several years, directed by Guild Festival Theatre founding Artistic Director Sten Eirik.

The Cherry Orchard (in an English translation by Michael Henry Heim) features the rousing music of acclaimed composer/musician David Buchbinder and follows an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate as it is being auctioned off to pay the mortgage.

The cast - featuring faces familiar from Canadian theatre, film and television as well as promising young, emerging talent - is headlined by Paul Amato (Brant Theatre Workshops), Jesse Dwyre (Calgary's Betty Mitchell Award nominee), John Jarvis (Soulpepper including A Christmas Carol) and Dawna Wightman (Broadview Laundromat's A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking), with an ensemble of Kanika Ambrose, Linzee Barclay, Tamera Broczkowski, Melissa Haddad, Stephen McLarty, James Patrick Pettitt, Bryan Stanish and James R. Woods. The stage manager is Allison Barry.

Director Sten Eirik has worked in professional theatre for 35 years as an actor and director, and now the founding Artistic Director of Guild Festival Theatre. Eirik began his directing career in the late 1980s. In Sweden, his work was showcased three consecutive years at Teaterfestivalen, an annual festival.

While serving as Artistic Director at Norrby Theatre (northwest of Stockholm), Eirik also developed a curriculum for the community-based theatre school. After directing at regional theatres in the Maritimes, he now makes Ontario home and looks forward to being part of the revival of The Guild to its original mandate as a Guild of All Arts by presenting professional productions of ancient and modern classics at an annual open-air theatre festival in the park.

Now owned by the City of Toronto, the Guild is comprised of the historic Guild Inn and its remarkable Gardens. Nature meets culture in the open-air Greek Theatre centrepiece, modeled after the ancient Greeks - and where Guild Festival Theatre productions will take place. Amidst the rugged cliffs of the Scarborough Bluffs, and overlooking the sparkling waters of Lake Ontario, every performance will take on the magic of this enchanted setting that features an open-air stage with eight columns, Corinthian capitals, and arches joining the columns - the only theatre of its kind in Canada.

The Guild Festival Theatre's annual summer season marks the re-birth of a unique destination for Torontonians and all visitors to the city.

• The theatre space
Dawna Wightman as Lyubov

Guild Festival Theatre proudly presents
Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard

Directed by founding Artistic Director Sten Eirik
Music by David Buchbinder
Starring Paul Amato, Jesse Dwyre, John Jarvis and Dawna Wightman
with Kanika Ambrose, Linzee Barclay, Tamera Broczkowski, Melissa Haddad, Stephen McLarty, James Patrick Pettitt, Bryan Stanish and James R. Woods.
Costume design by Bonnie Deakin, Lighting design by Amanda Gougeon, Scenic consultation by Troy Hourie.

Opens July 7 and runs to July 31, 2011
at the Guild Inn Gardens - Greek Theatre
201 Guildwood Parkway, Scarborough, Ontario.
• Wed to Sun at 8PM, Matinees Sunday at 2PM
• Tickets: $20, Kids under 12 are FREE.
• Box office: 416-392-1421
or online at

Toronto Fringe Fest 2011 - Expect Theatre's AWAKE

Update July 7 - you can read my review in Sway Magazine here.

From a media release:

Expect Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of
- an environmental theatrical experience exploring the inner world of one of Canada's most violent, yet inspiring, 'hoods -
Created and Directed by Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley
Choral Direction by Andrew Craig
Part of The Fringe of Toronto Theatre Festival

TORONTO, June, 2011 - Expect Theatre proudly presents AWAKE, a site-specific theatre piece based on a series of interviews with those who have been affected by gun violence in the at-risk area of Jamestown/Rexdale. The piece includes verbatim theatre, dancehall, gospel music and hip hop and underscores the struggles faced by those living in that troubled neighbourhood as well as their hopes and aspirations. AWAKE runs Wednesday, July 6 to Sunday July 17 at the Walmer Road Baptist Church as part of The Fringe of Toronto Theatre Festival.

The verbatim script is based directly on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted by Mullin and Tolley over a three-year period with people from Jamestown including current and former gang members, people who had been shot, people who had probably shot others, gun runners, drug dealers, the cops who have busted them, and moms who had seen their sons die in front of their eyes and in their arms.

You turn the corner at Spadina and Lowther and join an informal procession of people making their way towards the local Baptist Church. As you approach the building, you hear distant gospel music from within.

As you pass through the doors, you are handed a funeral program. You take a few steps down the aisle towards the casket, stop, turn and quietly take a seat among the pews.

You are here for a funeral, a funeral for all of the young men who have died throughout the years at the hand of gang violence.

But what starts off as a solemn remembrance quickly turns into an examination, and eventually a celebration.

AWAKE is inspired by the infamous 2005 shooting of Amon Beckles when his killer entered a Jamestown church during a funeral service, found him, and shot him six times in the chest. The idea that someone could be targeted in a church, during a funeral, shook the city to its core.

AWAKE is staged as a funeral in the sanctuary of the Walmer Baptist Church, using the setting as a springboard to tell the stories of a broad range of people in Jamestown - from those who have risen above the most difficult circumstances to those who are still fighting for their lives to escape.

Audiences will arrive as if for a funeral, a funeral for all the young men who have died from gang violence.  But, what starts off as a solemn remembrance quickly turns into an examination and celebration of the people and culture coming out of one of Canada's most dangerous, infamous, yet inspiring and culturally exciting areas: Jamestown.

AWAKE is created and directed by Expect Theatre Co-Artistic Directors Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley with choreography by choreographer Nicola Pantin (Stratford Festival, Dora Awards for Outstanding Choreography for Expect's Romeo and Juliet Remixed and LKTYP's Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang). Choral direction is by multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and CBC Radio 2 host Andrew Craig and soundscape is by Ed Hanley (Juno nominee, Auto Rickshaw). Set and costume design is by Jackie Chau and lighting design is by Arun Srinivasan.

The multi-media piece features actors Beryl Bain (Shaw Festival, I Marcus Garvey), Lauren Brotman (Dora Award for Theatre Direct's And By The Way Miss), Quancetia Hamilton (Da Kink In My Hair at Princess of Wales), Muoi Nene (Obsidian Theatre's Ruined, Volcano's The Africa Trilogy), Peyson Rock (Soulpepper's King Lear, LKTYP's Bunnicula) and Richard Stewart (Theatre Archipelago's I Marcus Garvey) along with dancers Tazz Blaze and Raffaele and youth artist URV. The stage manager is Laura Cournoyea.

AWAKE will give audiences a taste of the tension, danger and loss that those in Jamestown live with daily, and continually struggle to rise above. AWAKE is not only a story about mourning the loss of lives; it is also a story of honouring those lives, celebrating the culture of the area and proffering hope.

Expect Theatre was formed in 1996 by Co-Artistic Directors Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley to create works that explore modern urban life using multi-media. The company's credits include cutting-edge works such as Romeo and Juliet Remixed (five Dora nominations), the multi-media play Static (Harbourfront Centre's World Stage) and the annual urbanNOISE urban arts festival.

Images by Steve Carty:
• The cast of Expect Theatre's AWAKE
• Lauren Brotman in AWAKE
• Peyson Rock in AWAKE

Expect Theatre presents the world premiere of

Created and Directed by Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley
Choral Direction by Andrew Craig
Choreography by Nicola Pantin
Set and Costume Design by Jackie Chau
Lighting Design by Arun Srinivasan
Soundscape by Ed Hanley

Wednesday July 6 to Sunday July 17, 2011
at Walmer Road Baptist Church, 188 Lowther Avenue
• Wednesdays through Sundays at 8PM.  Tickets: Door $10, Advance $11
• Advance Ticket Sales: 416-966-1062 or

Visual Arts at Toronto Fringe Festival July 6 to 17, 2011

You should definitely check out the link & all that's on offer at this year's Fringe Fest - I'll be featuring a few highlights including this one. From a media release:

Visual Art Joins The Fringe Festival!
The 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival is July 6-17, 2011

TORONTO – Toronto Fringe Executive Director Gideon Arthurs announced an exciting new addition to this summer’s Toronto Fringe Festival: Visual Fringe, a collection of mini-galleries for independent visual artists to promote, create, and sell their artwork in an immersive environment.

Arthurs explains, “The philosophy of the Toronto Fringe has always been to offer creative opportunities for artists and audiences, making the arts as accessible as possible.  We are enormously excited to welcome eight visual artists to our Festival through the brand new Visual Fringe, located right in the heart of our festival at the Fringe Club.”

Similar to Fringe Theatre, participants in the Visual Fringe are selected through an equal opportunity application process. Arthurs continues, “These artists will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, which means we’re bypassing the traditions that often keep work by emerging or independent visual artists from being seen.”

Each participant keeps 100% of any sales at their gallery, and festival producers have no control over artistic content, allowing artists to take risks, experiment, and challenge spectators with new, innovative creations.

The Visual Fringe will be open each night of the festival from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Located in Honest Ed Alley, behind Honest Ed’s fabled marquee, the Visual Fringe will be a living, breathing, uncensored art happening that brings an unexpected space to life. The Fringe Club also hosts the McAuslan Beer Tent, the Art Wank, food service by local restaurants, and the Fringe Cabaret Stage with free nightly performances. More special programming at the Fringe Club will be announced closer to the festival. Now in its 23rd year, the Toronto Fringe Festival is the city’s largest theatre festival, with over 79,000 attendees last year.


Khaira Arby Summer 2011 Tour - July 4 to 27

From a media release:

Khaira Arby and Her Band
Summer Tour July 2011

This time, backed by conventional western instruments, Arby creates on stage extraordinarily unconventional music.  Her presence at SXSW could not be ignored:  featured in showcases for NPR, National Geographic Music, The Fader Fort, and All Music is World Music, her evolution as an international performer has rendered her relevant among today's top indie artists, yet she has somehow managed to maintain her richness in ancient African tradition.

Arby mesmerized audiences at this year's SXSW in showcases for NPR, The Fader Fort, National Geographic Music, All Music is World Music (The World on WGBH Boston and KUT Austin) in standout performances at a festival known for once-in-a-lifetime shows.  This intensity comes as much from her home as it does her unique spirit.  Born in a village not far from the famed city of Timbuktu , Arby is firmly planted in the desert sand. Her creativity flows in part from the people of her home region of Northern Mali-the young musicians in her band all hail from Timbuktu-and from their past and present struggles. As Arby puts it, "Trab is our land, our home, Timbuktu. Its history, its mystery, everything..."

Arby's most recent album, Timbuktu Tarab (Clermont Music), shifts seamlessly between the edgy and progressive and the traditional and deeply rooted. Inspired by her cousin Ali Farka Toure, Arby turns to her mixed Berber and Sonrhai roots and draws on a sweet mixture of desert blues and recording sophistication, blending ripping electric guitar with the forefather of the banjo and funky drum breaks with the traditional percussion of the scraper and the calabash.

You can read more about Khaira Arby and the new CD in a previous post

Khaira Arby, Summer 2011 Tour Schedule:
July 4, 2011 - Montreal Jazzfest - Montreal, QC - Show: 8 pm - Ph: 514.525.7732
July 5, 2011 - Oberon @ The American Repertory Theater - Cambridge, MA
July 6, 2011 - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY - Tix: $5.00- $10.00, Doors Open: 6 pm, Show: 8 pm - Ph: 718.963.3369
July 7, 2011 - Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY - Tix: $12 advance, $15 day of show - Ph: 212.505.3474
July 8, 2011 - Johnny Brendas - Philadelphia, PA - Tix: $15 - Ph: 215.739.9684
July 9, 2011 - Red Palace - Washington, DC - Tix: $12 advance, $15 day of show - Ph: 202.399.3201
July 10, 2011 - Thunderbird Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA - Tix: $12 advance, $15 day of show - Ph: 412.682.0177
July 12, 2011 - Empty Bottle  Chicago, IL  - Tix: $13 advance, $15 day of show, Doors Open: 8:30 pm, Show: 9:30 pm - Ph: 773.276.3600
July 13, 2011 - Cedar Cultural Center - Minneapolis, MN - Tix: $18 advance, $20 at door - Ph: 612.338.2674
July 15, 2011 - California WorldFest - Grass Valley, CA     - Doors Open: 10 am - Ph: 530.891.4098
July 16, 2011 - The Grand Ballroom @ Regency - San Francisco, CA - Tix: $24, Doors Open: 8 pm, Show: 9 pm - Ph: 415.673.5716
July 20, 2011 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA - Tix: $$5, Show: 9:00 pm - Appearing with Dub Club and a TBA.
July 22, 2011 - Club Congress - Tucson, AZ - Tix: $10 advance, $12 day of show - Ph: 520.622.8848
July 24, 2011 - Underground Music Showcase - Denver, CO - Tix: $30-$40
July 27, 2011 - Armstrong Quad - Colorado Springs, CO - Show: 7 pm - Ph: 719.389.6098 - Free Admission

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heavyweights Brass Band - Summer Jazz Festivals & Fall CD Launch

From a media release:


The Heavyweights Brass Band
Summer 2011 Jazz Festivals & Debut CD Release at Harbourfront
Metro Square, The Beaches, Harbourfront & more!
See below for the “blow by blow”

TORONTO – Young and oh-so-talented Toronto collective THE HEAVYWEIGHTS BRASS BAND will come out swinging at this summer’s jazz festivals, culminating in a bare-knuckle knockout of a debut CD release concert at Toronto’s Harbourfront main stage Friday, Sept 2nd.

Not since 1980s band The Shuffle Demons has there been such a fresh and fun take on jazz. Not your standard jazz fare, The Heavyweights Brass Band repertoire delivers a special brand of popular and diverse music with a punch and an enthusiasm that makes jazz accessible for everyone from eight to 80.

The gloves are off when it comes to their choice and interpretation of songs. They range from funk, soul, R&B, and traditional New Orleans jazz – complete with tuba – to tasteful retro throwbacks (including War and Michael Jackson) to artistes du jour Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Add some Latin/world music influences and outstanding original compositions and you have an incredibly unique, energetic mix that never fails to get folks moving and shaking. Heavyweights trombonist Chris Butcher likes to quote the legendary Art Blakey, saying “Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life.”

The twenty-something professional musicians banded together in 2009. Since then the current configuration – which consists of Chris Butcher (trombone), Paul Metcalfe (saxophones), Jon Challoner (trumpet), Rob Teehan (sousaphone) and Lowell Whitty (drums) – of the sometimes parading/marching band has gained a strong following. With collective experience as sidemen in almost every facet of Toronto's very diverse music scene, the band members are well on their way to stellar careers and have already earned individual national recognition, including a Western Canadian Music Award, a Galaxie Rising Star Award, and a JUNO award.

Besides being featured on the cover of Toronto’s WholeNote magazine this month, the band will be very visible this summer at some of the most prestigious festivals around, including Toronto’s TD Jazz (Canada Day) and Beaches fests. They have also been hard at work recording their debut album at CBC’s studio 211. With engineer Dennis Patterson (Mariah Carey, Deborah Cox) at the helm, and mixes by the great John “Beetle” Bailey (Molly Johnson, Harry Manx) at “The Drive Shed” studio, the 13-track Don’t Bring Me Down is near completion. This much-anticipated album includes Cuban sonero/rapper Ogguere and soul/rock vocal powerhouse Saidah Baba Talibah, and is set to be released at a high-profile concert on Harbourfront’s main stage Friday, Sept 2nd.

photos by Diana Piruzevska

June 29  @ 8 pm – Toronto, ON (From New Orleans - funk/jazz pioneers “GALACTIC” – Lee’s Palace)
July 1 @ 12 pm (noon)  – Toronto, ON (TD Jazz Fest – Metro Square)
July 3 @ 9:30 pm – Toronto, ON (TD Jazz Fest –CD COMPLETION PARTY! - The Rex Hotel, 194 Queen St. W.)
July 17 @ 4 pm – Toronto, ON (Beaches Jazz Festival - New Generations Stage)
Aug 12-14 @ TBA – Brampton, ON (Art of Jazz Fest)
Aug 20 @ TBA – Toronto, ON (Havana Cultura w/ Cuban rapper Ogguere)
Sept 2  @ 9:00 pm – Toronto, ON (CD RELEASE CONCERT!!– Harbourfront Mainstage)

On The Pulse - Free Music & More at Harbourfront July 2 & 3

From a media release:

at Harbourfront, Toronto
July 2-3, 2011

Come embrace the element of surprise! On The Pulse is a two-day weekend festival of discovery in music, theatre and dance for the whole family. This festival provides the opportunity to witness artists who are pushing the boundaries of creativity, and artists that embrace participation, technology and interconnectivity.

SoundClash Music Award presented by NOW Magazine, Harbourfront Centre’s Music Award
Saturday, July 2, 2:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)

Young Empires, an electronic/world beat trio is the first of five shortlisted finalists to perform and compete for $10,000 in cash prizes! The winner will be announced at the Hot & Spicy Food Festival (Sept. 2-5) and will perform on the WestJet Stage.

A Cumbiar! with DJ El Machetero
Saturday, July 2, 2 p.m., 5 p.m. & 7 p.m. (Boulevard Tent)
Dance along with DJ El Machetero on the decks as he explores the far reaches of cumbia’s influence and more.

Scratch (from The Roots)
Saturday, July 2, 7:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)

Scratch, best known as a member of Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, is an emcee and one of the best beat boxers or vocal percussionists in the world.

The Carnegie Hall Show
Saturday, July 2, 8-9 p.m. (Redpath Stage)

Four of Toronto’s finest comic and improv minds (Matt Baram, Ron Pederson, Chris Gibbs and Naomi Snieckus) come together with evening dress and mindless optimism to celebrate the ordinary and glamorize the mundane!

Saturday, July 2, 8 p.m. (WestJet Stage)

Setting off solo from her electro-rap project Thunderheist, Isis has traded in the fire-spitting rhymes of her previous project for 80s-inspired synth-pop. Now, drawing inspiration from legends such as Deborah Harry, Betty Davis and The Doors, Isis is preparing her first solo release of songs as eclectic as they are well-rounded.

Tropical Bass Party with DJ eLman
Saturday, July 2, 9 p.m. (Redpath Stage)

DJ eLman (Sergio Elmir) specializes in the emerging sounds of Latin America's underground music scenes. He can be heard hosting the groundbreaking weekly radio show “Dos Mundos Radio” on CIUT 89.5FM and has opened for ZZK Records, Uproot Andy, Toy Selectah, Bajofondo Tango Club, Kumbia Queers and Grupo Fantasma. He can be found freaking-up Latin styles at Toronto's only monthly tropical bass party, Funkété.

Systema Solar
Saturday, July 2, 9:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)

Systema Solar is a musical-visual collective from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The members come together to create, adapt and reinvent different styles of music through improvisation, emphasizing joy and dance. They recycle the afro-Caribbean and folkloric music of Colombia such as cumbia, bullerengue, porro and champeta as they fuse these through electronic tools with contemporary rhythms and cultural styles such as hip hop, house, techno, breakbeat, breakdance, turntablism and live video performance.

HarbourKIDS: The Real Life Where’s Waldo? Game 
Sunday, July 3, 3-5 p.m. (Redpath Stage)

Various fake Waldos will be placed around Harbourfront Centre. Each fake Waldo will have clues to the whereabouts of the real Waldo, but they won’t just give that information to anyone! Through completing several tasks, kids and audiences will be able to solve the mystery and find the real Waldo! This event is programmed as part of Harbourfront Centre’s Cool Kids family programming.

Moana & The Tribe
Sunday, July 3, 5 p.m. (WestJet Stage)

Moana & The Tribe was formed in 2002, quickly cementing their reputation as one of the most successful indigenous groups to emerge from Aotearoa, New Zealand. Moana & The Tribe have played nearly 150 international concerts, the most recent ranging from Kanak villages in the islands of New Caledonia to sold-out concerts in Russia. These New Zealand natives have created their own unique sound by mixing reggae and funk with traditional Maori (New Zealand culture) rhythms. Moana & The Tribe use vocal harmonies around lyrics that tell of Maori culture and connect it with the globe.

Free Music in NYC: Hudson Square Music & Wine Fest Every Tuesday to August 16

From a release:

Free in NYC: 3rd Annual Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival.
Every Tuesday to August 16, 2011

at the City Winery

Join us for the 3rd Annual Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival. Held in the courtyard behind City Winery and brought to you by Trinity Real Estate, Great Performances, Hudson Square BID, this FREE series of concerts kicks off June 21 and runs every Tuesday night through August 16, 2011.

Please check out the list of the artists and dates. No tickets needed, just bring yourself and your friends for an early evening of great tunes, great wine and good times.

The shows begin each night at 5:30pm and concludes at 7:30pm, offering the perfect afterwork jumpstart to your week.

June 28 - The New York Gypsy All Stars
New York Gyspy All-Stars is a musical chemistry experiment with explosive staying power. It was born from the very first “loud and proud” New York Gypsy Festival, spotlighting Easter European and Balkan music, and the musical intuition of Serdar Ilhan, festival producer and NYGA manager (Village Voice).

Living up to their name in every way, the NYGA blend traditional Gypsy and Turkish melodies with a scorching jazz and funk backbone, creating a unique sound that satisfies the brain and soul.  The band exemplifies New York in the most eclectic sense possible, hailing from Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and Brooklyn.

July 5 - The Holmes Brothers
Over the course of their 30-plus year career, The Holmes Brothers (bassist/vocalist Sherman Holmes, guitarist/pianist/vocalist Wendell Holmes, drummer/vocalist and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixon) have been feeding the souls of their devoted and ever-growing fanbase with a joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and country.

Their amazing three-part harmony singing, mixing Wendell’s gruff and gravelly vocals with Popsy’s soaring falsetto and Sherman’s rich baritone brings the soul and spirit of gospel music into everything they perform. Equally gripping is the rhythmic foundation laid down by Sherman’s bass playing and Popsy’s drumming, perfectly complimenting Wendell’s blues-soaked guitar solos and church-inspired piano playing. The band easily blends Saturday night’s roadhouse rock with the gospel fervor and harmonies of Sunday morning’s church service.

July 12 - Vernon Reid (of Living Color)
Webster's Dictionary defines an artist as "one who professes and practices an imaginative art; a person skilled in one of the fine arts; a skilled performer." By any of these definitions, guitarist and composer Vernon Reid is a true artist, one whose art is a work forever in progress, from his formative years on the downtown New York jazz/funk/punk scene with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, to his leadership of the pioneering multi-platinum rock band Living Colour, to his collaborations with creative spirits ranging from guitarist Carlos Santana and African singer Salif Keita to choreographers Bill T. Jones and Donald Byrd.

July 19 - Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra
The Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra is a traditional 11-piece Latin band which plays dynamic, thrilling arrangements of our favorite indie rock tunes. With an ever-evolving set list that includes songs by Yeasayer, Japanther, Animal Collective, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio, LCD Soundsystem, The Mars Volta, Arcade Fire, and many more, the WSO is taking salsa in new directions with love and respect for the art form.

Led by percussionist/arranger Gianni Mano, (from the Brooklyn Latin-funk legends Radio Mundial), the WSO contains some of the best young players on the scene including a full compliment of horns and percussion. With the attitude of a rock band, and the grooves of classic New York salsa, the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra is redefining salsa for a new decade and resetting the boundaries of the genre. Already garnering international attention and press, the WSO will release a debut album in June 2011.

July 26 - Forró in the Dark
In Brazil, forró literally means party,” says Forró in the Dark’s Mauro Refosco, a member of Thom Yorke's super-group Atoms for Peace and percussionist for David Byrne. “It’s a gathering, a good time. The objective is to make people dance,”  which is exactly what Forró In The Dark have been doing since 2005 at their weekly residence at East Village nightspot Nublu, where their signature blend of down home forró and urban cool have made them one of the city’s must-see buzz bands.  They have also toured extensively in the US, Canada and Europe and supported Gogol Bordello's North American Tour in October/November 2010.

Forró (pronounced fo-ho) is the hip-swiveling, dance floor-filling, rural party music of Brazil’s northeastern states. And Forró in the Dark is the collective of four New York-based Brazilian ex-pats – Mauro Refosco, Davi Vieira, Guilherme Monteiro, and Jorge Continentino who are updating this traditional sound for the 21st century.  Their most recent album Light a Candle was released on Nat Geo Music in 2009 and they are currently recording a new album for release later this year.

August 2 - CCB Reggae All-Stars
Since emerging in 1996, CCB Reggae All-Stars has been tearing up the underground New York reggae scene with sold-out performances at some of the city's hottest venues. Their annual Bob Marley Birthday Tributes and 4:20 cruises are some of the most popular reggae events in the country.

The group's ability to play a wide variety of idioms, an inspired group of special guests, and their celebration of herban life and music have earned CCB legions of inspired local fans, headline status at Boston's Freedom Rally and the Seattle Hempfest, and gigs backing diverse artists from Rita Marley to George Clinton. Bring your tribe and share the vibe!

August 9 - Nicole Atkins
With her throaty vibrato and nostalgic, orchestrated pop songs, singer/songwriter Nicole Atkins brings to mind a blend of Roy Orbison, Loretta Lynn and Jenny Lewis. Atkins was raised in Neptune, NJ -- a town whose influence would later play a large part in her debut album -- and relocated to North Carolina during her late teens to study illustration at UNC Charlotte.

After befriending members of the Avett Brothers and logging several years with the alt country band Los Parasols, she briefly returned to the tri-state area, where a series of open mic performances in Manhattan's East Village helped her hone a sound that was more indebted to pop music than her work with Los Parasols.

August 16 - The Wood Brothers
Oliver Wood (guitar, vocals) moved to Atlanta, honed his guitar and vocal chops, and formed the Southeast blues/rock outfit, King Johnson. His younger brother, Chris Wood (bass, vocals, harmonica), moved to New York City, immersed himself in the city’s lively jazz-improv scene, and formed the internationally acclaimed genre-busting trio Medeski Martin & Wood.

2011 will mark the release of The Wood Brothers’ third full-length studio album, Smoke Ring Halo, to be released on Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Records.  Working with producer/engineer Jim Scott (Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Wilco, Tom Petty), the Woods were able to explore new sounds.

2011 Dora Mavor Moore Award Winners

From a media release:

2011 Dora Award Winners

Toronto, June 27, 2011... The 32nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards for the 2010/2011 season were handed out in a star-studded ceremony in Toronto on the evening of Monday, June 27 at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts' Bluma Appel Theatre, co-hosted by Gemini-nominated comedian/writer/actor Craig Lauzon of CBC-TV's Royal Canadian Air Farce and actress Michaela Washburn, Dora-nominated for her principal role in Theatre Passe Muraille's Such Creatures.

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are produced and presented on behalf of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) and celebrate excellence in Toronto theatre, dance and opera. The 197 Dora-eligible shows opened between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011. A total of 35 Dora Awards plus the Silver Ticket Award, the Pauline McGibbon Award and the Audience Choice Award were given out.

Overall, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre leads the pack with five Dora Mavor Moore Awards for its production of Blasted in the General Theatre Production Division.

David Mirvish shows earn four wins over two divisions (General Theatre and Musical Theatre) for two shows: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT The Musical and BILLY ELLIOT The Musical.

The Canadian Opera Company scores three wins over two divisions (General Theatre and Opera) for two shows.

The winners are:

In the General Theatre Production Division, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre leads the field with five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, all for its production of Blasted: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction of a Play or Musical to Brendan Healy, Outstanding Set Design to Julie Fox, Outstanding Lighting Design to Kimberly Purtell and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition to Richard Feren.

Soulpepper Theatre Company wins two Dora Awards
overall: one for Death of a Salesman - Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role to Joseph Ziegler; and one for Doc ¬- Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Featured Role/Ensemble to Jane Spidell.

Yanna McIntosh wins Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role for Ruined, produced by Obsidian Theatre Company in association with Nightwood Theatre.

Factory Theatre's Brothel #9 scores Outstanding New Play for Anusree Roy. Roy also received a gift of $5,000 from the Bluma Appel Community Trust, the sixth year in a row this prize has been donated in Appel's name to the winner of Outstanding New Play in this division.

Outstanding Touring Production goes to The Andersen Project (Canadian Stage presents Ex Machina).


In this division, David Mirvish's PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT The Musical and BILLY ELLIOT The Musical take Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role for Tony Sheldon and Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role for Kate Hennig respectively. (In the General Theatre Production Division, the former also wins Outstanding Costume Design for Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner while the latter also wins Outstanding Choreography for Peter Darling, bringing David Mirvish's total to four awards.)

Luminato's Prima Donna by Rufus Wainwright nabs Outstanding New Musical/Opera while Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People scores Outstanding Production for A Year With Frog and Toad.

Continuing the tradition of Bluma's Indies, the winners in the Independent Theatre Production Division each received a $1,000 cheque from the Bluma Appel Community Trust in addition to Dora Awards.

In this division, Cabaret Company, Cahoots Theatre Company and The Company Theatre tie with two Dora Awards each. Cabaret Company's The Situationists nabs Outstanding New Play or New Musical for Sky Gilbert and Outstanding Performance by a Male for Gavin Crawford. Cahoots Theatre's paper SERIES sees Nina Lee Aquino win Outstanding Direction while Richard Lee takes home Outstanding Sound Design/Composition. The Company Theatre's Through the Leaves scores Outstanding Production and Outstanding Set Design for John Thompson.
Sandy Duarte wins Outstanding Performance by a Female for Blood (Doghouse Riley Productions). Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role/Ensemble goes to Christopher Stanton for The New Electric Ballroom (MacKenzieRo: The Irish Repertory Theatre Company of Canada).

Melanie McNeill nabs Outstanding Costume Design for Eldritch Theatre's Madhouse Variations and Trevor Schwellnus snares Outstanding Lighting Design for Aluna Theatre's Nohayquiensepa (No one knows).

The Dance Division's four awards go to:  Outstanding Production - Out of Context - for Pina (Harbourfront Centre's World Stage presents Alain Platel /Les Ballets C. de la B.); Outstanding Choreography - Roberto Campanella & Robert Glumbek (ProArteDanza's . . .inbetween. . .); Outstanding Performance - Juan Ogalla (Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's Espejo de Oro / Mirror of Gold); Outstanding Sound Design/Composition - Joby Talbot (The National Ballet of Canada's Chroma).

The two awards in the Theatre for Young Audiences Division: Outstanding Production goes to Routes (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People presents Concrete Theatre, bringing the LKTYP total to two with its Musical Theatre Outstanding Production win for A Year With Frog and Toad) while John Cleland earns Outstanding Performance for Edward the "Crazy Man" (Workman Arts Project of Ontario).

In the Opera Division, both Dora Awards go to the Canadian Opera Company: Outstanding Production for Orfeo ed Euridice (Canadian Opera Company presents Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Outstanding Performance to Alan Oke for Death in Venice (Canadian Opera Company presents The Aldeburgh Festival, Opéra national de Lyon, Bregenz Opera and Prague State Opera). (With a win in the General Theatre Production Division for Outstanding Musical Direction to Harry Bicket for Orfeo ed Euridice, the COC tallies in with 3 awards.)

The Pauline McGibbon, Silver Ticket and Audience Choice Awards were also handed out. Sound and projection designer Ben Chaisson was presented with the 2011 Pauline McGibbon Award. The $7,000 cash prize and medal designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt is awarded on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and the Ontario Arts Council in a three-year cycle to a designer, director and theatre craftsperson.

The Silver Ticket Award is bestowed upon an individual who has excelled in their career while also nurturing the development of Canadian theatre. It was presented to one of the country's major contributors to Canada's theatrical landscape: VideoCabaret Artistic Co-Director Michael Hollingsworth whose artistic influence, for more than three decades, has been immeasurable; his epic The History of the Village of the Small Huts play cycle (20 plays and counting) stands as one of the country's greatest theatrical canons.

TAPA's Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Production, co-sponsored by NOW Magazine and Yonge-Dundas Square, was also handed out. The public was invited to vote online from a list of Outstanding Production nominees in all divisions; or choose their own favourite. Presented with a commemorative plaque, the Audience Choice Award winner is The Railway Children, produced by Matthew Gale and Jenny King for the Touring Consortium (RC) International and Robert Richardson for Marquis Entertainment.

Images come from some of the productions named:
• Billy Elliot
• Ruined
• Brothel #9 Juan Ogalla in Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's Espejo de Oro 
• Orfeo ed Euridice

For more information on the Dora Awards visit

Sunday, June 26, 2011

NFB Marks National Aboriginal Day June 21 with Films & Interactive

From a media release:

NFB marks National Aboriginal Day
with the online launch of a new documentary trilogy
and a groundbreaking digital storytelling project

Montreal, June 16, 2011 – The National Film Board celebrates National Aboriginal Day on June 21 with the online launch of the Pete Standing Alone Trilogy, a powerful trio of films about the Blood Reserve in Southern Alberta, and God’s Lake Narrows, an interactive depiction of the reality of life on the reserve. These new releases underline the NFB’s long-standing collaboration with Aboriginal communities in the telling of important stories.

The Pete Standing Alone Trilogy documents the successes, challenges and transformations experienced by the Blood Reserve in Alberta over the past 50 years. All three films revolve around Pete Standing Alone.

The latest documentary installment Round Up, directed by Blood elder Narcisse Blood and produced by Aboriginal filmmaker Gil Cardinal, shows Pete come full-circle in his dedication to preserving the traditional ways of his people. In Circle of the Sun (Colin Low, 1960) he’s a disinterested youth, in Standing Alone (Colin Low, 1982) he’s a community-minded man while in Round Up (2010) he’s an impassioned elder. The trilogy will be accompanied online by an educator’s guide, interviews with the filmmakers and a playlist of related titles.

Most Canadians have never set foot on an Aboriginal reserve and God’s Lake Narrows, created and written by Winnipeg artist Kevin Lee Burton and NFB Prairie Centre producer Alicia Smith, is designed to invite them in.

To get beyond the stories of poverty, illness and death that cycle through the news, Burton invites viewers to visit the reserve where he grew up and experience it as he knows it. Interactive portraits of his friends, family members and their homes compel the audience to question their own assumptions about reserve life.

In addition to checking out exciting new releases such as the Pete Standing Alone Trilogy and God’s Lake Narrows online as of June 21, the NFB invites audiences to engage with Aboriginal artists, stories and cultures every day of the year at, where films are searchable by theme, playlist, title or filmmaker.

• from Circle of the Sun
• Pete Standing Alone (centre)

New York Asian Film Festival - July 1 to 14 2011

From a media release:

July 1 - 14

MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY will be the Opening Night Presentation, SHAOLIN and NINJA KIDS are Centerpiece Presentations and THE YELLOW SEA is the Closing Night Selection

World Premieres include Takashi Miike’s NINJA KIDS!!! and Eiji Uchida’s THE LAST DAYS OF THE WORLD with PUNISHED and RINGING IN THEIR EARS making their International Premieres

Highlights will include the presentation of the 2011 Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award to Hong Kong legend Tsui Hark, and the 2011 Star Asia Rising Star Award to Japanese actor Takayuki Yamada as well as special guest appearances by Benny Chan, Tak Sakaguchi, Su Chao-pin, Na Hong-Jin, Ryoo Seung-Wan and others

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema announce the full schedule for the 2011 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) which will screen July 1 -14. Presented in partnership between the two organizations with programming support from Japan Society, the popular film festival will showcase 46 films (45 feature length and 1 short film) from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

The premiere rich film festival will include world premieres of Takashi Miike’s highly anticipated NINJA KIDS!!! and Eiji Uchida’s 60’s throwback THE LAST DAYS OF THE WORLD, the international premieres of the Johnnie To produced thriller PUNISHED and Yu Irie’s love letter to rock n’ roll, RINGING IN THEIR EARS. In addition, 2011 NYAFF will feature 12 films making their North American premieres and 15 more making their New York City debuts.

Yoshimasa Ishibashi’s MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY will make its North American Premiere as the Opening Night Selection. A bizarro musical/variety/ samurai/love story directed by the mad genius behind “The Fuccon Family” television show, and starring Takayuki Yamada in three different roles, MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY defies description. Following a scene where a young boy falls in love with the title character only to have his heart broken by her, the film introduces us to three young men who are all in MILOCRORZE’s thrall, either literally or figuratively. Presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema, Yoshimasa Ishibashi and Takayuki Yamada will both attend the screening.

Centerpiece Presentations include Takashi Miike’s NINJA KIDS!!! and Benny Chan’s SHAOLIN. Making its world premiere, NINJA KIDS!!! is the big-screen adaptation of the long-running Japanese television show “Rantaro the Ninja Boy”. The film follows the adventures and countless battles with mutant ninjas, monsters and gangster hairdressers, a young aspiring ninja must undertake after he is sent to ninja school by his parents as a way to escape his lower class background. NINJA KIDS!!! is presented with Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.

Making its North American premiere, Chan’s SHAOLIN is an epic adventure starring Andy Lau, Nic Tse and Jackie Chan in a blockbuster retelling of the primal martial arts story: the attempted destruction of Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of martial arts. Lau plays a ruthless warlord who gets his comeuppance and has his entire world destroyed to the point he must seek refuge and (ultimately) redemption with the Shaolin monks. The film also stars Fan Bingbing, Wu Jing, Yu Hai. Benny Chan will attend the screening.

Na Hong-Jin’s THE YELLOW SEA will make its New York City debut as the Closing Night presentation. Reuniting with his stars from THE CHASER (Ha Jung-Woo and Kim Yun-Seok), Na Hong-Jin makes a big, relentless follow-up about a gambling addicted cabbie set up by a crime boss to take a big fall in Seoul. However, he turns out to have a talent for survival. The film comes to NYAFF straight from its Cannes screening as part of Un Certain Regard. The film is a 20th Century Fox release. Na Hong-Jin will attend the screening.

The NY Asian Film Festival will present its 2011 Star Asia Rising Star Award to Takayuki Yamada. Arguably Japan’s most versatile young actor, Yamada has gone from being a TV heartthrob to a TRAIN MAN (his breakthrough role) as well as being one of Takashi Miike’s 13 ASSASSINS. And in this year’s Opening Night selection, MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY, he plays every single male part.

The 2011 Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Hong Kong film legend Tsui Hark. In 2001, the NYAFF held the first major retrospective of Tsui Hark’s work, and so it’s with great pride that the festival will host Tsui Hark himself, ten years later to headline the programming section, Wu Xia: Hong Kong’s Flying Swordsmen.

Presented with the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York, NYAFF will screen new and old classics of the wu xia genre. Swordplay films with a touch of fantasy, wu xia films are visual marvels, teeming with flying swordsmen, magical blades and glowering female steel-slingers. The line-up will include Tsui Hark’s mega-hit, DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME (an Indomina release), and several retrospective titles like Tsui’s astonishing, feral masterpiece, THE BLADE. Regarding honoring Tsui Hark, NYAFF co-founder Goran Topalovic said, “One of the NYAFF’s first events was the Tsui Hark retrospective in 2001, and since we consider him to be one of the most important living Hong Kong directors, we figured it was time to bring him to the festival and give him an award.”

Other films featured in the Wu Xia Focus include Ching Siu-tung’s DUEL TO THE DEATH, as well as Tsui Hark’s DRAGON INN and ZU: WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN.

Another special NYAFF section will be the Sea of Revenge: New Korean Thrillers Focus. In 2008, when the Korean film industry was at its lowest point, Na Hong-Jin released the word-of-mouth hit, THE CHASER, launching a wave of twisty thrillers focused on intense action and ace performances. In this special focus, presented in association with the Korean Cultural Service New York, NYAFF will present the best of what THE CHASER has wrought.

In addition to Na Hong-Jin’s THE CHASER and THE YELLOW SEA, the Sea of Revenge Focus will include Ryoo Seung-Wan’s THE UNJUST, Jang Cheol-Su’s BEDEVILLED, Kim Min-Suk’s HAUNTERS, Lee Jeong-Beom’s THE MAN FROM NOWHERE and Kwok Hyok-Jae’s TROUBLESHOOTER.

Filmmaker Su Chao-pin will be the subject of the third special focus: Su Chao-pin: Taiwan’s King of Entertainment. With the support of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, the NYAFF is proud to bring to the city one of Taiwan’s most popular and entertaining directors. Highlighted films will include REIGN OF ASSASSINS (co-directed with John Woo), THE CABBIE, featuring Su’s first produced screenplay, and his directorial debut, BTS: BETTER THAN SEX.

Two films will make their world premieres at NYAFF 2011. Those films are THE LAST DAYS OF THE WORLD and NINJA KIDS!!!.

Three films will be making their international premieres: the feature films RINGING IN THEIR EARS and PUNISHED, as well as the short film DARK ON DARK.



The New York Asian Film Festival is presented in association with the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Japan Society's Japan Cuts: Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema.
And we’re deeply grateful for the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York, the Korean Cultural Service New York and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York.

Check out all the films at the link
• Tickets are on sale both at the box office and on-line. Discounts are available for Film Society members.
• Screenings will be held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater (located at 165 West 65th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway) and Japan Society (333 East 47th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues).

• Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins (2010)
• Jang Cheol-Su's Bedevilled (2010)
• Yoshimasa Ishibashi's Milocrorze: A Love Story (2011)
• Eiji Uchida's The Last Days of the World (2011)

Larger Than Life: Jun Kaneko at the Gardiner Museum, Toronto

From a media release:

Larger than Life at the Gardiner
Jun Kaneko traveling exhibition makes its only Canadian stop at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum
June 30 to September 18, 2011

TORONTO (June 2011) – From June 30 to September 18, 2011, Jun Kaneko will make its final and only Canadian stop at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum.  The highly anticipated exhibit features larger than life ceramic sculptures, some of which are over seven feet high and weigh thousands of pounds.

All of Kaneko’s work is informed by the Japanese concept of “ma:” which suggests that everything has a spirit. Kaneko has extended the concept of “ma” to include the space in between things. He believes that the space in between things is also animated.

“Whether I am making a larger or smaller piece, in the end I hope it will make sense to have that particular scale and form together and that it will give off enough energy to shake the air around it,” - Jun Kaneko Ceramics Art and Perception 2010.

Jun Kaneko is a traveling exhibition organized by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services for a tour of North America.  The Gardiner Museum is the final stop on the tour and the only scheduled Canadian venue for the exhibition.

Kaneko’s work will be on display at the Gardiner Museum from June 30 to September 18.

The exhibition will feature 39 visual masterpieces by the artist including a mix of large and small ceramic sculptures as well as a carefully curated selection of paintings and drawings.

Known predominately for his significant sized sculptures and installations, Kaneko has also designed opera sets and costumes for several productions in Omaha, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Vancouver.

“We are very excited to have Jun Kaneko at the Gardiner this fall,” says Alexandra Montgomery, Executive Director of the Gardiner Museum. “As the only Canadian stop on this exhibit, Torontonians are getting a rare chance to experience Kaneko’s work. The monumental presence of his sculpture has a physical impact. Visitors to this exhibition will have a profound visceral experience.”

Jun Kaneko’s larger than life works have been seen at more than 40 museums around the world including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Honolulu Academy of Arts and Scripps College. He has also been granted an honorary doctorate from the Royal Collage of Art in London.

About the Gardiner Museum
The Gardiner Museum connects people art and ideas by offering an intimate look at one of the world’s oldest and most universal art forms -- ceramics. The collection spans continents and time, giving a glimpse into the development of ceramic processes, decoration and form. Year-round the Museum mounts special exhibitions, events, lectures and clay classes to complement its permanent collection.

The Museum also features a café that serves delicious local fare prepared by Jamie Kennedy Kitchens as its executive chef, and the Gardiner Shop, which specializes in artist-designed, artist-made merchandise.

Here's a brief look at the artist from his Omaha, Nebraska studio: