Canadian Sport Film Festival
Ben Johnson, the poster boy for stanozolol and an Olympic hero briefly, is the fast-sprinting man at the centre of 9.79*, Saturday’s closing-night film (9:30 p.m.) of the self-explanatory Canadian Sport Film Festival. With his feature-length documentary, director Daniel Gordon questions whether or not the muscled Jamaican-Canadian was a scapegoat at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul for a sport possibly rampant with steroid use. He talks to all eight of the cup-peeing competitors involved in the controversial 100-metre dash. June 8. $7 to $12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., film schedule and tickets at sportfilmfestival.ca.
Dundas West Fest
Music fans today will horde to Fort York for the blowout in which Feist, Broken Social Scene and more celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Arts & Crafts indie label. People should know, however, that the inaugural Dundas West Fest has a fine music component as well, with lively acts such as Run With the Kittens and The Jessica Stewart Few on hand. Comedy and family-friendly theatre round out the rain-or-shine street-set affair – one taking place in the same neighbourhood, it should be pointed out, where many of the same type of musicians at Fort York concert reside. June 8, 11 to 9 p.m. Free. Dundas Street West (between Ossington and Landsdowne avenues), dundaswestfest.ca.
The Giacomo Variations
“Worthy or not,” Giacomo Casanova once said, “my life is my subject, and my subject is my life.” The self-centred author, adventurer and libertine is the central figure in a theatrical production of Mozart’s aria that stars a 35-piece Viennese orchestra and John Malkovich. In addition to performing here flamboyantly, on Sunday (2 p.m., $10 to $23) the Hollywood thespian will discuss on stage two of the world’s most interesting men: Himself, and an 18th-century Italian charmer who wasn’t called a Casanova for nothing. June 8 (3 and 8 p.m.) and June 9 (7 p.m.). $55 to $175. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 1-855-622-2787 or ticketmaster.ca.
An Afternoon with Gary Russell
Who is Gary Russell? Fair question. He’s a writer and script editor who worked on Dr. Who, the BBC sci-fi drama about a peculiar time-traveling fellow. Nearly a dozen actors have portrayed the good doctor, and if you’re the sort of fanatic who knows all of their names you’d be a perfect competitor for the trivia contest at a drinky fanfest in which the expert Mr. Russell is at your disposal for autographs, answers and general British Isle chumminess. June 9, noon to 6 p.m. $15. Pauper's Pub, 539 Bloor St. W.,416-530-1331 or dwin.org/whoparty.
National Ballet of Canada: Carmen
While Casanova is lusty in the operatic Giacomo Variations at the Elgin Theatre this weekend, Carmen is carnal at the Four Seasons Centres a few blocks away. Good lord, we’re getting all swoony just thinking about it. Actually, when the National Ballet performed Davide Bombana’s one-act interpretation of Carmen in 2009, the Globe and Mail’s Paula Citron found the production to be somewhat unsexy. Now that the Italian choreographer has created a full-length version, we’ll see if the heat is on (and for how long). Runs until June 16. $25 to $180. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595 or national.ballet.ca.