Last year's JFL42 was a huge success, with headliner Louis C.K. attracting tons of comedy-lovers who, after buying various passes, got to sample 42 other lesser-known acts.
The festival just announced its new lineup, scheduled for September 19 to 28. This year there's no act with the across-the-board appeal of C.K., so the fest has offered up three headliners.
First is Aziz Ansari (September 27), the character actor (Parks And Recreation, This Is The End) who also happens to be one of the world's funniest, and most generous, stand-ups.
Another headliner is Sarah Silverman (September 20), the pioneering comic, TV star (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Just For Laughs veteran who also bared all in Sarah Polley's flick Take This Waltz.
The most intriguing headlining act is Family Guy Live (September 28), a script-reading by the cast of the adult animated series, all accompanied by a 40-piece orchestra. Creator and lead voice guy Seth MacFarlane will be there (let's hope with a joke or two about his crappy Oscar-hosting job), along with Alex Borstein, Seth Green and Mila Kunis.
Depending on the type of pass you choose, you can see one, two or all three headliners. The passes also get you access to 42 other acts, and there's plenty of first-rate talent here.
Podcaster comics Bill Burr and Marc Maron will be doing sets, along with John Mulaney (who helped create Bill Hader's Stefon character), Janeane Garofalo and Maria Bamford (fresh off their great Comedy Bar appearances), Daryn Jones (late of Over The Rainbow and MTV Canada), alt-comedy king Andy Kindler, and local faves Chris Locke, Mark Little and Kyle Dooley and Ryan Belleville and Graham Chittenden.
As was the case last year, online demand for shows can mean more acts and bigger venues. Check out jfl42.com for details.
We learned long ago that musicals don't have to be light and fluffy; think of Spring Awakening or Next To Normal.
If you want to sample a Canadian work with a dark storyline, check out Blood Ties, by the young team of Anika Johnson and Barbara Johnston. They've written a number of impressive works for Paprika and SummerWorks, and now they're crossing the pond to present Blood Ties at the Edinburgh Festival.
The show is based on the true story of a bachelorette weekend that tips into tragedy when one character's uncle commits suicide; she and her best friends have to clean up the mess, which turns out to involve more than mopping up the red stuff on the floor.
The Performing Arts Collective gives two performances tonight (Thursday, June 20) before the show heads off to the Scottish festival.
Directed by Ann Merriam and Julian Richings, the production features Michael DeRose, Carter Hayden, Kent Sheridan and the two authors.
Ticket sales for Monday's Dora Mavor Moore Awards ceremony (June 24) have been so brisk that it will be presented not only in the Bluma Appel Theatre but also simulcast in the St. Lawrence Centre's other venue, the Jane Mallett Theatre. The broadcast will be on a jumbo screen dubbed the TicketPro Doratron.
Tickets for the Jane Mallett simulcast, priced at $25, include the outdoor after-party in front of the St. Lawrence Centre.
Hosted by the always entertaining Matt Baram and Naomi Snieckus, the show features award presenters Thom Allison, Layne Coleman, Sharron Matthews, Gavin Crawford, Louise Pitre and Rick Miller, among others. The Audience Choice Award, sponsored by NOW and Yonge-Dundas Square, will also be announced.
As part of National Aboriginal Day (June 21), an Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York looks at the First Nations and Métis experience during the War of 1812. The fest runs from today to Saturday (June 20 to 22).
Several theatre and dance performances fill in a little-known segment of Canadian history.
The Road, a Centre for Indigenous Theatre premiere written and directed by Herbie Barnes, is inspired by a photo of three elderly Six Nations warriors who survived the war. The play traces their lives over the next five decades in a narrative that brings up issues still facing the native community today. Billy Merasty, Craig Lauzon and Anthony Gladhue make up the cast.
Santee Smith's Kaha:wi Dance Theatre premieres The Honouring, a multidisciplinary work about the experience of native warriors and the Onkwehonwe families who protected the Haudenosaunee culture and land.
Corps De Voyageur/Soldiers In Capotes, by Métis historian Virginia Barter, explores the Métis military unit set up by the North West Company. John Huston narrates, with original music by the Métis Fiddler Quartet.
Birdtown flies in
We're always impressed by Birdtown and Swanville, the creative company that has entertained us with 36 Little Plays About Hopeless Girls, The Physical Ramifications Of Attempted Global Domination, Dumbo Squid and a slew of workshops in Rhubarb and other festivals.
Now the troupe, run by Aurora Stewart de Peña and Nika Mistruzzi, returns with its own fest, Friends And Outsiders, from Friday to Sunday (June 21 to 23).
The company admits it's an excuse to show off one of its earliest plays, The Lee Press On Nail Show, a comedy about girls, boyfriends, dancing and In Living Color.
Filling out the evening are performances by comedian Kathleen Phillips, Meredith Cheesbrough, Bridget Moser, Monique Moses, musical group Weaves, a film by Sofia Bohdanowicz and The Winos Of Tuscany, a play based on a poster by Nobody's Business Theatre. Really.