Waiting for the circus to come to town?
The kid in most of us, young or old, still feels the pull of the big top, even when performances don't include a tent.
This holiday weekend, from Saturday to Monday (May 18 to 20), Harbourfront Centre treats the kid in everyone to the free Toronto International Circus Festival, co-produced with Zero Gravity Circus.
You'll find everything from acrobats and daredevils to buskers and clowns.
Topping our list of what to see is the engaging clown duo Morro and Jasp, who return with their cooking and audience participation show Go Bake Yourself, in which they prepare some scrumptious (well, sometimes not so scrumptious) nibbles for themselves and the audience. Expect a little bit of mess and a lot of fun.
Also look for performances by young members of the Circus Academy, Silver String Marionettes, Mullet the clown's dinosaur adventure and Rob Testa's Magic Boulevard.
Kids can get into the act, too, learning to be aerialists in the Elephant Thoughts Human Gyroscope, spinning in aerial hoops, creating shadow puppets, indulging in clown-face painting and training to be clowns.
If you show up at the annual Harold Awards, you're going to see lots of irreverent people sharing a good party while they celebrate Toronto indie theatre.
This year was no exception, as 14 people were inducted into the Harold ranks at the Monarch Tavern on Monday, May 13. The evening offered a fair amount of roasting of those chosen and even more heckling, something in which the late Harold Kandel, for whom the prize is named, excelled.
The 19th annual Haroldees included administrators Alexis Da Silva-Powell, Jim Roe, Brad Lepp, Patty Jarvis, Meredith Potter and several - Maria Popoff, Dave McKay and Tanisha Taitt - who work both as artists and behind the scenes. Also getting a wisecracking Harold nod were actor Kenneth Wickes (who, at 90, is possibly the oldest Haroldee ever; he told the audience with a twinkle in his eye that he was happy not to receive the award posthumously), lighting designer Sholem Dolgoy, performer Spirit Synott and actor/writer Steven Gallagher.
The Barbara Fingerote Award for volunteerism went to the ever-friendly and welcoming Eleanor O'Connor, while the Ken McDougall Award for up-and-coming director went to the very busy Mitchell Cushman, who's currently collaborating on Passion Play, running in various locales in the city's east end next month.
The evening's real surprise came at the end, when the ceremony's hosts, Richard Lee and Lindy Zucker, were presented the two final Harolds.
Flippin' pinball record
If you like pinball games, you won't want to miss Stratford's Pinballapalooza.
As part of its promotion of The Who's Tommy, which opens later this month, the festival's celebrating the prowess of the title character, a "pinball wizard," by filling the lobby of First Canadian Place (100 King West) with 100 pinball machines, all ready to be played today (Thursday, May 16) from 9 am to 6 pm. Two theatre critics, Carly Maga and NOW's Glenn Sumi, compete for high score with the silver ball at noon.
The company's hoping to break the Guinness world record for the number of machines being played simultaneously in a single venue.
Tommy cast members Robert Markus (Tommy), Paul Nolan (Cousin Kevin), Gabriel Antonacci and Matthew Armet will also perform.