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Mark Wigmore's Top 3 - Week of May 1st

It’s Monday and that means Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore shares his top picks for your arts and entertainment week ahead.


We head into week two of North America’s largest Documentary Film Festival. There are quite a few docs this year showing the effects of global warming, overpopulation, and animal extinction. It’s difficult subject matter, but these films help to frame, focus and give context, and sometimes that can be very hopeful. Director Jeff Orlowski is the man behind the eco doc ‘Chasing Ice’, and his latest is ‘Chasing Coral’. Here he leaves the frozen water to explore the underwater devastation of coral reefs around the planet. It’s beautiful and haunting. A special Scotiabank Big Ideas screening with Jeff on hand will happen Monday, additional screenings throughout the week.

Up next, I didn’t love the film ‘Gilbert’, but if you have ever been curious what comedian Gilbert Godfrey is like when he’s not onstage, this film is definitely a curious tale of a shy, soft spoken guy. ‘Gilbert’ screens Monday, Tuesday and Sunday.

The other film is ‘Bill Nye Science Guy’, and I enjoyed this personal and political look at this pop cultural figure. Bill Nye started out as a comedian/family friendly science enthusiast on television, but in recent years he has to put himself in the line of fire by debating climate change deniers and creationists. He often does more harm than good, and this film doesn’t shy away from his shortcomings. ‘Bill Nye Science Guy’ gets its first screening at Hot Docs on Tuesday. for all the listings this week!


Comedy fans won’t want to miss this annual programme of hilarity. “We’re Funny That Way” is a great LGBTQ comedy and cabaret festival run by standup mainstay Maggie Cassella. She welcomes some of the best in the business. Maggie will perform, David Benjamin Tomlinson, Belle Jumelles, Lucas Silveira and Lea DeLaria to name a few. The events begin on Wednesday at the Alumnae Theatre on Berkeley Street. for details.


Jazz FM91 wraps its Sounds of Italy Piano Series Tuesday night. Two shows at the Jazz Bistro featuring this man.

Vittorio Mezza, is a wonderfully talented piano man from Rome, Italy. His latest record was recorded right here in Toronto. He will be joined on Tuesday by George Koller and Ben Riley! Great guy, amazing player, tickets to Tuesday night’s concerts on the homepage.

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