Friday, August 7, 2015

One summer festival ends, another begins

There really is no end to the things one can be doing in Toronto.  I am finding I have to dole out my time carefully.

I actually did find out about the Toronto Summer Music festival in time to consider going to a few performances.  Unfortunately, I was booked solid for two interesting ones (including something this Saturday, for those interested).  My best option was to go last night to the complete Bartok String Quartet cycle, and I did make it home in time to go.  But I was a bit exhausted from giving a practice run of a presentation I am doing in September (plus all the running around to other events I have been doing).  And to be honest, the prices for students and those under 35 are fine, but this concert was a bit rich for my blood, considering I had never even heard of this quartet before.  Had the price been $10 less, I would have gone.  I am sorry that I won't make the concert tomorrow, but the Kushner play at the Shaw Festival runs 4 hours long!  I actually had to adjust my car reservation so I won't be late returning it.  There is a free concert Sunday morning at 11 (programme unannounced so far), and I'll probably drop in on that.

I honestly don't know how I heard about the SummerWorks festival.  It might even just have been a random pop-up on the internet.*  However, this looks very much up my alley.  Almost like Fringe Pt. 2.  The creativity and the ability to make work on a shoestring is quite impressive here in Toronto.  I'd say in this respect it does rival Chicago.  Anyway, this one is just kicking off, so there are opportunities to see just about everything (aside from The Stranger, which may well be sold out for the entire run).  For what it is worth, I am going to try to get a 3-show pass and reserve places for Hum, The Tall Building and Upon the Fragile Shore.  The last one is written by Caridad Svich (she may well be the most celebrated playwright at this particular festival).  I have to admit, I wasn't crazy about Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart -- and this play looks in the same vein.  However, I think I should still take a chance, given that the tickets are very reasonable.  Actually, this is being billed as the Canadian premiere of the piece, but it looks like the previous stagings have all been readings.  This might in fact be the first full production of the piece world-wide, for people who care about such things...

Maybe I will see you at one of these shows, and there are plenty of other interesting events and happenings at SummerWorks.

* Actually, I now recall that I had been searching on Now and Mooney's to see what was going on and found out about it that way.  And SummerWorks is the cover story of Now, so I would have heard of it fairly soon one way or the other.  I stopped by the Factory Theatre, and went ahead and booked my 3 tickets.  Hopefully, the shows turn out to be interesting.  (I wasn't too familiar with Factory Theatre, but their next season looks reasonably interesting (moreso than Tarragon at any rate), and I may go to a few shows.)

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