March 25th, 2013
We care more about Margherita Missoni’s pregnancy than we do Italian politics, and People always trumps The Economist. You see where our values lie.
Still, everyone needs material for snappy dinner party repartee and sometimes, Lohan’s antics just won’t make the cut.
A brand-new newsletter, The Skimm, brings current affairs to your inbox in concise, easy-to-read form. Its Founders, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin (both previously at NBC News) are funny, stylish and razor sharp.
Just think of them as your fabulous new dinner companions. —Athena Tsavliris
March 7th, 2013
Swan Lake and Giselle are nice and all, but it's the avant-garde at the National Ballet that gets our hearts a-flutter.
This month, we have two opportunities to get our dance on at the Four Seasons Centre. Nijinsky, showing March 2-8, tells the story of the great Russian dancer's final performance in Switzerland in 1919, imagining what he felt and thought while taking the stage for the last time. And March 20-24 is a must-see show featuring two Canadian choreographers: The Four Seasons, James Kudelka's exposition of the cycles of the year and of life; and Emergence, Crystal Pite's widely acclaimed exploration of humans as social beings.
New to the ballet? Arrive an hour before curtain time for a free talk on the evening's show.
(Photo: Greta Hodgkinson in The Four Seasons by Andrew Oxenham)
December 12th, 2012
My friend Kerry Clare edits 49th Shelf and writes about books and reading over at Pickle Me This. She’s a voracious reader, and mad about pickles and Prince Harry. Herewith, Clare’s holiday reading suggestions.
Comfort and Joy by India Knight: A delightfully funny novel about the pressures of juggling beaus, children, in-laws, and ex-husbands during the holidays. Plus its sequel Mutton is just out now.$22.40 at Amazon.ca
Suspicion by Rachel Wyatt: A suspense novel about marriage and the possibility of murder, this one is recommended for anyone who loved the summer lit-blockbuster Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.$14.40 at Amazon.ca
Desperately Seeking Susans by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang: An anthology of poetry by Canadian poets called Susan, which is a fabulous premise, but it’s also a terrific and accessible collection. $15.16 at Indigo.ca
November 6th, 2012
Rediscovering a beloved blog is like hanging out with a friend you haven’t seen in ages. In an instant you remember what you loved about her (it).
Picture Bjork and Beck, Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis and Steve McQueen all sharing a moment.
January 17th, 2012
This year we pledge to correspond more, you know, the old fashioned way.
Assisting in the art of the communiqué is Parchment Post, a quarterly delivery service (six-month subscription $55 USD) of seasonally appropriate stationary. Every three months a parcel arrives containing pretty, witty cards made by passionate paper geeks from Texas to Toronto.
Now all we need are some new Faber Castell pens and a quick workshop in handwriting. —Athena Tsavliris
January 13th, 2012
Yes, you love your movie popcorn but why not try having an affair with the theatre? Here are our favourite productions hitting Toronto’s stages this month:
Cruel and Tender
Still gutted at having missed its presentation of Red before the holidays, I’m determined to catch Canadian Stage’s Cruel and Tender when it arrives at the Bluma Appel theatre. In it, Atom Egoyan not only directs his wife for the first time on stage but also brings to life Martin Crimp’s provocative and timely story of love, war and ego. Opens January 21 (Tickets from $35).
A play many years in the making, Soulpepper is presenting the Fringe Festival winner Kim’s Convenience written by Ins Choi and directed by Weyni Mengesha. Set in a Regent Park convenience store owned and run by Mr. Kim since the 1980s, this story of a patriarch watching his children grow up and pursue their dreams is said to be both hilarious and touching. Opens January 12 (Tickets from $51).
The Golden Dragon
Something of a mystery set in a bustling restaurant, it appears the dinner guests and kitchen staff at The Golden Dragon may all have something to hide. Tarragon Theatre presents the Canadian premiere of The Golden Dragon on January 10 (Tickets from $24).
For a taste of something dark and a little different, check out Penny Plain at The Factory Theatre. Described as an “end of the world romance,” the story of Penny Plain is told as only theatre artist Ronnie Burkett can tell it… through marionettes. Opens January 20 (Tickets from $38). —Julie Whelan
August 25th, 2011
If you're a girl-adult who goes to bridal showers drunk, loathes pastel with a superhuman passion and wonders whatever happened to, like, dating: someone wrote you a book.
The generally acclaimed debut novel from Jennifer Close, Girls in White Dress, isn't as (terrible word alert) chick-litty as you'd think. Sure, the cosmopolitan one-liners can feel lifted from a certain '90s HBO show. But her interconnected short stories, tracing familiar patterns of post-graduate ennui and reluctant maturity among New York twenty-somethings, have a welcome and sardonic honesty. There's a dark thread in all the air-light dresses, seen by Close as more economic burden than feminine pleasure. If you tug a little, it unravels a hard knowing: happiness doesn't get easier, and getting older sometimes just feels like getting less young.
This isn't a beach read, but a transitional one, for girls between seasons. —Sarah Nicole Prickett
July 14th, 2011
We may not be heading to Paris anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we can immerse ourselves in "La Ville-Lumière," without even leaving the comfort of our couch.
As far as we’re concerned, Midnight in Paris is the movie must-see of the summer. Follow along with Owen Wilson as he meanders through time, partying with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his irrepressible wife, Zelda, pounding back drinks with Ernest Hemmingway, discussing his own literary merit with Gertrude Stein, and savouring the artistic temperament of Salvador Dali, Picasso and Toulouse Lautrec in Woody Allen’s magical tale of self-exploration and discovery.
Having had a taste of Paris in the '20s, turn the pages of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Told from the point of view of Ernest Hemmingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, this beautiful book takes the reader from the initial spark of meeting, to the eventual ashes of their ruined relationship. $18.77 at Amazon.ca
A sojourn in Paris may be no further than the Internet. We get outfit inspiration from Easy Fashion in Paris, filled with eye-catching photos of fashion fresh from the streets of Paris, turn to Meg Zimbeck’s Eating Paris blog for a feast for the eyes, and soak in the life of La Coquette to imagine our parallel life as an expat in Paris. And sometimes we take a peek into the life of our very own Parisienne à Montréal, editor of Vitamine du Jour, Elsa Vecchi.
April 27th, 2011
The MoMa's most bombastic, triumphant show—Abstract Expressionist New York—is coming to Canada.
Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, de Kooning: are you lining up yet? The history of America's first, and still-best (since you asked me), art style is splendid enough to enthrall even seen-it-all gallery-goers.
For its sojourn at the Art Gallery of Ontario, AbEx NY (as it's affectionately called) will have to be pared down—which might make it easier to appreciate. Still, it'll be impossible not to see how big (literally and figuratively) this movement is. In the Eighties, painting was declared dead. The rumours turned out to be exaggerated, as anyone can tell you now. But while Abstract Expressionism lived, painting had never been more vital. —SNP
Tickets to Abstract Expressionist New York at the AGO go on sale this Saturday, April 30 (opens May 28). Adult admission is $25. For more information, or to purchase, see call 416-979-6655 or visit www.ago.net
April 13th, 2011
Round the corner of Queen West and Brock, and hello, Chelsea. The Neubacher Shor Contemporary Gallery, with its 3,000 square feet of semi-raw splendour and its just-opened garage door, has the post-industrial air of Manhattan's classic art district.
“We wanted to come out with a big bang,” says Manny Neubacher. He and Anya Shor, his partner in art and in life, founded The Art Stylists a year ago. This - a gallery doubling as “The Venue” for private events, which will in turn fund exhibits - is their next step. Given the scale, we'd call it a “leap.”
The first exhibit is a teaser, says Neubacher. It stars Ray Caesar, Thrush Holmes, Aboriginal graffiti artist Andrew Dexel and nine others. The works are capacious, like NSC's New-York-in-the-'80s ambition.
“The gallery should be a living, breathing space,” Shor says, adding its size makes possibilities almost limitless. She's thinking full-room projections, ceiling installations, performative art and so much collaboration: “film, music, art, fashion, digital media, contemporary dance.”
What bust? —SNP
Neubacher Shor Contemporary Gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday. For hours and information, or to book the space, visit http://nscvenue.com