Toronto Concerts & Entertainment

Images From The City | IHeartRadio MMVAs

It was a stunning warm night in downtown Toronto for the MMVAs. 299 Queen Street West hosted a spectacular set and the hottest artists. Here's Macklemore rehearsing before taking the stage.

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Images From The City | Ron Hawkins at the Rivoli

Ron Hawkins performing with the Do Good Assassins at the Rivoli. In March he released his 15th album of original material, Spit Sputter and Sparkle.

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Images From The City | Canadian Music Week

Cape Breton band Port Cities warm up at Canadian Music Week 2016.

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Send your image from the city to rosie@mytorontoscoop.com or tweet it to @rosieferg. Rosie :)

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InspiraTO's Playwriting Contest

Do you want to write a play? What about starting with a really good ten-minute one? If you would like to see your work come to life on stage, you should take a crack at the InspiraTO playwriting contest. Canada's largest ten-minute play festival is entering it's ninth season and is looking for talent. It takes place May 29 to June 7, 2014 at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto. The deadline to submit your work is December 18th, 2013 and there are no submission fees. Click here for more details. Rosie :)

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Ten Years of TIFF

2013 marks a couple of big milestones for my husband and I. Ten years of marriage, and ten years of attending the Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF makes the end-of-summer-blues much easier to handle. When September rolls around, the excitement of the festival takes over. The Scoop is going to be very busy with TIFF over the next couple of weeks so I thought I would share some of my favourite photos from the last decade of festival-ing until I return. (Movies on our 2013 schedule include American Dreams in China, Prisoners by Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, the George Clooney-produced August: Osage County and Enough Said starring the late great James Gandolfini.) It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Our first batch of TIFF films. Primer, Shane Carruth's science fiction drama about the accidental discovery of a means of time travel, absolutely blew us away. It was one of my favourite Q&A's of all time.

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I couldn't care less about celebrities except at film fest, because they bring their cinematic awesomeness via their writing/acting/directing skills to my beloved city. Stars love TIFF because Toronto film fans are typically very chill and don't freak out. Here is Adrian Grenier, whose documentary Shot in the Dark details his journey to track down his estranged father. It was excellent.

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The Last Kiss, a 2006 romantic dramedy based on the 2001 Italian film L'ultimo Bacio, brought some serious talent to Toronto.Tony Goldwyn directed and Paul Haggis wrote the screenplay. One of my favourite festival moments happened when they walked on stage and my husband leaned over and whispered, "I am blinded by the talent!"

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Philip Seymour Hoffman made his directorial debut in the 2010 romantic comedy Jack Goes Boating. He was also the star. He was absolutely delightful introducing his film, and during the Q&A after.

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Sometimes, something happens at film fest where you see a movie like the 2004 British drama The Libertine which starred Johnny Depp as the debauched 17th century poet the Earl of Rochester. You think it is absolutely fantastic, and then when it comes out in theatres later it's a complete dud. That also happened in 2009 with Jennifer's Body, a black comedy horror written by Diablo Cody. I truly thought Megan Fox was amazing in this movie, but she got absolutely no love for it when it came out later.

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We have seen dozens of amazing movies over the years including the Tony Kaye abortion documentary Lake Of Fire, the British drama The Last King of Scotland starring Forest Whitaker, Jason Reitman's satirical comedy Thank You For Smoking and one of the sweetest films I have ever seen, Mon Meilleur Ami. There have been some duds in there too- I love Colin Firth but Trauma, the 2004 psychological thriller he starred in, was awful. (He was completely charming at the Q&A of course, and that almost made up for it.) Good or bad, I love each and every film fest experience we have had. See you at the movies! Rosie :)

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Free Movies in Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square

What in the hell's diversity? Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship. If you recognize those lines from one of my favourite movies of all time- Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy- then you are probably excited for the sequel, and you even may feel like rewatching this gem. You should know then that there are free film screenings in downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square on Tuesdays in the summer, and the next movie scheduled on July 16th is none other than this hilarious and ridiculous 2004 hit.

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This summer the City Cinema theme is "Cult Classics" and the upcoming flicks include Napoleon Dynamite and a Spaceballs and Serenity double feature. The shows start around sunset and are cancelled if it rains. Follow the Yonge-Dundas Square Twitter account @ydsquare for cancellation alerts. Click here for the complete list of movies scheduled for summer 2013. I don't know what we're yelling about! Rosie :)

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TIFF Bell Lightbox

Last night we saw The East at the TIFF Bell Lightbox at King and John. The Lightbox is the home of Toronto's hugely popular film fest every September, but you can also see movies there year round without buying tickets in advance. It's a great theatre, ticket prices for a regular screening are $12 (new releases $13) and you can see what is currently playing here. The Lightbox is also a cultural space with galleries for exhibitions. Right now it is showcasing New Women, the major new installation by Yang Fudong, as part of TIFF's summer flagship programme Century of Chinese Cinema.

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This is a fun and lively area of the city to check out if you are a visitor. King and John has tons of great restaurants. Luma, located right in the TIFF Lightbox, has a dinner and theatre package and a beautiful view of the city.

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Every Thursday in the TIFF Lounge Luma hosts Zen Thursdays. Cocktails are $7 (regularly $10.) Rosie :)

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InspiraTO Theatre Festival 2013 Auditions

Auditions are currently running for Toronto's 10-minute play festival, InspiraTO. They need over 50 actors for this event which runs from May 30 to June 8, 2013. Click here for the production schedule and to check out the plays. This is an open call for a non-paying, non-union event, and you have to been over 18. Auditions end April 11. Rosie :)

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Humble & Fred's 250th Podcast Party

Did you know that Humble & Fred have a podcast? They actually have 250 of them, and they recorded that 250th in front of a live and laughing-very-loudly studio audience Thursday night at Redfish Studios. As co-host of the Toronto Mike'd podcast on the Humble & Fred Radio Network, I was lucky enough to attend the event, which was filled with many long-time fans and supporters of these Toronto radio legends. They delighted the crowd with the fun, effortless banter everyone loves them for and it was such an entertaining hour to watch. Here are some pics from the night, starting with the Humble & Fred interns including Phil Hong warming up their voices:

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Me & Phil before the show:

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Toronto Mike delivers some well wishes to Humble & Fred:

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The studio audience:

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Dave Bish and more #100percenters:

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Dan Duran joins the desk:

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Fan favourite Kelly Cutrara:

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Me & Toronto Mike:

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Fred & Mike before the show:

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Humble Howard & Fred rehearse:

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There were some great musical performances and lots of laughs including funny business from Scary Pete and Chicken Shwarma, who my husband was a particularly big fan of in the CFNY days. They are hilarious. To hear the show, visit the Humble & Fred website where you can also check out the Toronto Mike'd podcast. Rosie :)

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Sweet Fever Fundraiser

A little while ago I told you about Sweet Fever, a comedic webseries filmed right here in Toronto. Well Sandbox Entertainment is getting ready to film their big season finale and they are running a fundraiser to help cover some of the costs. Check out this mini-episode they shot in Christie Pits park, it's really fun. If you would like to support a Toronto production and local filmmakers, visit their Indiegogo page for info on how to help out. Depending on the size of your donation, you get something cool from audio commentary MP3s to an Executive Producer credit.

Catch up on the first season at the Sweet Fever website. Good luck guys! Rosie :)

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Nicholas on the News

Our little man's Halloween costume was such a hit this year, it got him on CTV National News. Rosie :)

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Best Show Ever: The Sopranos or The Wire?

podcast.jpgIf you have a passionate opinion about Aaron Sorkin or get heated over discussions about which is the better show- the Sopranos or the Wire- then you should listen to our latest chat on the Toronto Mike'd Podcast. Episode 3 is full of lots of TV talk as well as some reminiscing about shopping for music at Sam the Record Man on Yonge Street. I bought my first Pretenders cassette(!) there. And now you know I'm old! Visit Toronto Mike for all the podcasts, there are a myriad of ways to make your computing device play them including downloading on iTunes for free. Rosie :)

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TIFF 2012: Frances Ha at the Ryerson Theatre

It's the most wonderful time of the year. The Toronto International Film Fest is in full swing and that means interesting movies from directors I love who gamely subject themselves to earnest questions from an adoring crowd afterwards. What makes TIFF so awesome is that with a little planning, anyone can perch themselves in the front rows to listen to their favourite writers/directors/actors/producers talk about the art they have made. Love it. Last night we saw Frances Ha, directed by Noah Baumbach who has made some great movies including The Squid and the Whale and one of my all-time favourites Kicking and Screaming (NOT the Will Ferrell soccer movie- the 1995 film about college students about to be thrust into the real world trying to figure it all out starring Josh Hamilton and Eric Stoltz. Favourites lines: "I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday" and "Oh, I've been to Prague."

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On stage for the Q&A after the film, from left to right: Noah Baumbach, co-writer Greta Gerwig who also stars as Frances, and actress Mickey Sumner who plays her best friend Sophie. Frances describes their friendship as being "like a lesbian couple that doesn't have sex anymore." This offbeat black-and-white flick follows the floundering Frances as she tries to pull her scattered life together. It's funny, edgy, modern, and also features the unique and adorably weird Adam Driver from the HBO series Girls. Rosie :)

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Behind the Mikes at the Toronto Mike'd Podcast

I've been spending some afternoons co-hosting a very fun podcast with a very old friend. Well he's not very old, but I've known him for a very long time. Mike runs the popular website torontomike.com and I thought all his fans would like to see some behind the scenes pics from the second episode, which we recorded today at the Humble & Fred studios at Redfish.

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Toronto Mike is on the left, and lovely producer Mike Wixson is on the right. I can't remember what they were singing, but thankfully they got it out of their systems before the show started. It's hard to keep a straight face around here, and the podcast is a riot. Mike, Mike and I chat about lots of funny stuff. Listen and tell us what you think! You can download it for free here on iTunes. Rosie :)

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P.S. Special thanks to Alan (AKA FLuffee) for taking such great pics. Multi-talented!

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Sweet Fever: A 100% Made in Toronto Production

Being the Toronto-holic that I am, I really love productions filmed in our fine city. I never get sick of spotting a familiar street or restaurant in a show or movie. It's particularly cool when a series is not only shot in Toronto, but is set in Toronto and also features an entire cast of Toronto actors. This is why you should check out Sweet Fever, a super fun and saucy webseries where a woman called Sweet Fever tries to save her candy shop from financial ruin by, well, pillow fighting. So not only do you get to follow a really cute girl into the world of professional pillow fighting, but you get to see lots of Toronto favourites like The London Tap House on Adelaide, Murrays Sandwich on Queen and Sugar Mountain on Yonge. Here's a teaser so you can have a taste, and if you want more the first four episodes are online at the Sweet Fever website. Rosie :)

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Free Outdoor Movies in Toronto

I used to see about a billion movies a year, then I became a mum. Since then my movie-going has seriously slowed. I barely count the two movies I saw at Mommy+Me screenings- I found it impossible to concentrate on plot points while nursing a voraciously hungry baby. (Not that it should have been hard to follow the plots to The Back-Up Plan or Letters to Juliet, but mummy mush brain is a real thing.) I finally just saw my first 3D movie, Promethesus. (And it was good, because Ridley Scott thought about how the 3D should add to every scene.) But before that, it was the Descendants. And before that, Jack Goes Boating at the Toronto Film Fest. Just one TIFF movie... it used to be ten!

I really love movies, and the only thing more awesome than seeing them in the theatre is seeing them outside, for free. And because we live in such a cool city, there are some options for doing that in the summer time. TIFF in the Park is so fun. Every Wednesday at David Pecaut Square (beside Roy Thompson Hall) there is a movie screening when the sun sets. There is a different theme each year- this year it's Screwball Comedies, which really strikes a chord with me as I can't go an hour these days without doing something ridiculous. We have TIFF and the Toronto Entertainment District BIA to thank for such a lovely and free thing to do in the city.

There are more free outdoor movies to be found in Toronto... Movies in the Park in Riverdale East on Broadview not only has a totally fun line-up (you missed Ghostbusters but Back to the Future is playing on August 5th!) but donations go to kids charities like the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club. I also just noticed a really cool tweet from MoviesRiverdale:

Um, I LOVE stuff like that- you can totally tell someone you love them ON THE MOVIE SCREEN! How romantic. And then you get to watch Back to the Future. The perfect summer night. Rosie :)

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'Call Me Maybe' by Cookie Monster

He is not only powerless to resist cookies, but also Carly Rae Jepsen's crazy catchy song- with a Cookie twist of course. THE LYRICS ARE SO FUNNY!!!!

Sesame Street made the video after tweeting this, and then gettings thousands of RTs:

More starring Coooookie:

Super Cute Girls Sing Super Cute Songs

My little man has a thing for cute girls who sing fun songs to him. (This is why he loves his mama so much, I'm sure.) Lucky for us, Sesame Street and the Wiggles provide us with plenty of adorable girls singing some of our faves, like the ABC song by Tilly and the Wall:

We like to count too, so here's Feist with some CanCon cuteness:

Personal fave Kylie Minogue sings Monkey Man with the Wiggles. Love, love, love her!

And our final super cute girl, Katy Perry, sings her controversial version of 'Hot 'N Cold' with Elmo. I actually am SO NOT a Katy Perry fan but this is super cute. I can't believe Sesame Street cut it because of her cleavage! She is showing no more boob than the average Barbie doll dress-up outfit. So silly:

When it's closer to Christmas, I'll find Alicia Keys singing "Do You Hear What I Hear" with Elmo. Magic! Rosie :)

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Very Important Songs

I sing a LOT. I sing ridiculous songs anywhere, with no shame. I do not sing because I am a good singer. I sing because my little man loves music, and loves when I sing to him. Right now there are two songs that are really trending around here. The first is BANANA, performed by the Aggrolites on Yo Gabba Gabba. This video is hysterical because somehow these guys manage to make all this singing about really loving bananas not (too) dirty:

The second song is the SHIMMY SHAKE by the Wiggles. We sing AND dance to this every day after nap. (Seriously, anyone driving by my house around 4pm just needs to look in the window for a really ridiculous scene.) Now, this video features lead vocals by my preferred Yellow Wiggle Sam, before he was cruelly ousted from the band by Greg, the original Yellow Wiggle. Sorry, probably more info on Wiggles politics than you need:

I have heard this one so much I went full circle from loving it, to being completely sick of it, then back to loving it again. ♩♪♫♬ Hear the drum beat, hear the guitar, when you dance this waaaay! ♩♪♫♬ Rosie :) (P.S... below are a few more bonus fave videos!)

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inspiraTO, Canada's Largest Ten Minute Play Festival

When artistic director Dominik Loncar founded inspiraTO, he wanted to see if you could make an awesome play in ten minutes that tells a compelling story. Turns out you can, and people love it. This is the seventh year of the festival, which has produced 82 ten-minute plays and gets over 300 submissions each year. The theme of this year's festival is Vision. The inspiraTO Festival runs from June 1-10 on the mainstage of Toronto's Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley Street.) To check out show times and buy tickets visit the InspiraTO website. The productions are grouped into one showing of six to eight ten-minute plays, and the first grouping of shows is this Friday June 1st at 8pm. Go, go, go... every minute counts! Rosie :)

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LL Cool J- Not Really So Bad

Let's face it everyone. LL Cool J is adorable and sweet. And not just because he was the first rapper to release a love ballad. He may have told the world he's bad and his mother may tell him to knock people out, but how mean a dude can someone be who goes on an addition expedition with Elmo?

Or tries to makes things UNANIMOUS with Oscar?

He even shows us what to do with PUNCTUATION on Electric Company:

LL Cool J = ADORABLE! Rosie :)

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(It's Not Always) Time to Go Outdoors

My men love to be outside, so we are pretty much always outside. With the weather so awesome now, my little man doesn't really understand why we have to go back inside when it's dark out. The longing looks out the window are quite dramatic, you'd think we hadn't been out there terrorizing the neighbourhood for the last six hours. (Sorry house down the street but your sprinkler was too tempting for him to resist. And you may be missing a tulip.) Thankfully I have this awesome Super Music Friend Show to get us excited for the next outing... by Hot Hot Heat (they are so supermusic cute, and Canadian!) And now I'll cool it with the Yo Gabba Gabba videos (for now) Rosie :)

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Pets or Bugs?

We watch a lot of Yo Gabba Gabba around here. It is the most tolerable kids show by far because of the music. Sometimes our toddler will have long toddled away and we are still watching the Super Music Friend show. And can you blame us, with performances like this by Taking Back Sunday? This song is better than most of what I heard on MuchMusic today. (This episode, Pets, is actually on the PVR right now. My child has way more energy than I do and I'm all out of tricks.)

Pets is a great episode, and so is Bugs. Now, there are a lot of Weezer CDs in our music collection, none of which I brought to the party. I always thought Weezer was a guy thing, like Tom Waits or The Wire. But they have totally endeared themselves to me after this performance. I mean, these guys did not phone it in. Look at those costumes! The drummer just slays me as a praying mantis with extra drumsticks for his pincers. SO FUNNY. Could they be more adorable?

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