Comedian Sandra Battaglini is appearing in her newest solo show Classy Lady, June 14 through 24 at Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkley St. The play chronicles Battaglini’s rise to ladyhood – easy enough for some, but not so for this sharp-witted, opinionated Italian-Canadian traditionalist.
Battaglini joined The Second City Training Centre in 1999, and fell in love with improvisational comedy and character invention.  Since then she has been a clown, and done Vaudeville-style stand-up and sketch comedy. She has written and starred in several one-woman comedy shows, and collaborated with many of the city’s top comedians. She won a Canadian Comedy Award for her previous show Hard Headed Woman, which played to sold-out audiences. Find out more about this offbeat comedian at sandrabattaglini.com.
Tickets for Classy Lady are $25, and are available from box office at 416-591-1417, or online at brownpapertickkets.com. Classy Lady runs Thursday to Sunday at 8 p.m.

The inaugural Toronto Beaches Film Festival (TBFF) kicks off June 29 and 30 at The Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen St. E. The festival showcases independent filmmakers from around the world, including one from the Beach.
On June 29, beginning at 4 p.m., TBFF presents five family-friendly films. Shag Nation, by the Brittany Brothers, delves into the quirky subculture of shag dancing on the beaches of North and South Carolina. Breathe Life, a German film by director Antje Beyen, is a film documentary about surfing on the island of Oahu. A Strange Day in July, directed by Shantal Reich, is a magical film about dealing with tragedy. Surf, Sand and Silversides: the Californian Grumion, directed by Karen Martin, is a documentary about the spawning runs of this unique fish species. The Pipedreams Project, by Faroe Des Roches and Ryan Vandecasteyen, follows three kayakers on their epic two-month trip through the coastal waters of British Columbia, and their attempt to bring attention to the economic perils of an oil pipeline to the area.
On June 30, beginning at 11:30 a.m., TBFF presents Rest In Peace, directed by Fawaz Al-Matrouk. Two dead bodies lie in the street of occupied Kuwait in 1990. Day after day, everyone passes them by, afraid to stop – except one man. The film was inspired by true events.
Following that is If I Should Fall, by former Beacher  Brendon Culliton. Before deploying to Afghanistan, Canadian soldier Marc Diab makes a farewell video in case he “should fall.” Diab is killed by an improvised explosive device three weeks before coming home. His video ‘See You Tomorrow’ is played at his funeral delivering a message of comfort for family and friends. If I Should Fall is a story that celebrates a life lived and the honour and sacrifice of Canadian soldiers and their families in Canada’s Afghan War. This is Culliton’s first feature film. The 24-year-old grew up in the Beach, attended Neil McNeil High School, and lived and worked in the neighbourhood for several years before moving to London, Ontario.
For more information on the films visit the website at torontobeachesfilmfest.com. Tickets to the festival are $12 each or two for $20, and can be purchased at the Fox box office.

Brenda Carol and ClaireVoyance will be appearing at The Hothouse Cafe, 35 Church St. at Front, with two sets, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., on June 24 and 25 as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival. Carol and her band ClaireVoyance (Stephen Gardiner, piano, Bill McBirnie, flute, Bryant Didier, bass and Chris Burrell, drums)  have  been a big part of the Jazz Festival throughout its history. This is their 16th year appearing at the Hot House Cafe.
Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. For more information visit brendacarol.com or hothousecafe.com.

Also part of the Toronto Jazz Festival, appearing June 29 at the Outdoor Stage at Nathan Phillips Square at 5 p.m., is Retrocity, an eight-member a capella vocal group, four of whom are from the Beach.
Retrocity is part of a growing number of a capella groups discovering a whole new level of popularity. They appeared at Sing! the Toronto Vocal Arts Festival in April. Using voices to imitate the sounds of instruments and percussion, Retrocity specializes in the dance music of the 1980s. For more information visit retrocity.ca. This performance is free to the public.
Retrocity will also be appearing at The Green Door Cabaret, 100A Ossington Ave., June 20 at 8 p.m., as part of a SING! Celebration.
Countermeasure will be returning to the Green Door Cabaret, 100A Ossington Ave., June 22 with a preview of their upcoming US Tour. The 16-voice a capella group is performing as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival. They will be back to participate in The Beaches International Jazz Festival in July. For more information visit countermeasuremusic.com.
Tickets to the Green Door Cabaret performance are $20 and $30 and are available at lowerossingtontheatre.com.

Beach actress Dawna Wightman will be presenting her one-woman show, Life as a Pomegranate, at Essentia, 2180 Queen St. E., June 29, 30, July 1, 6-8 and 13-15 at 8 p.m.
Wightman calls Life as a Pomegranate a ‘dramedy’. It follows one woman, Rozyee Fudge, as she sets out to achieve her biggest goal in life, only to find herself marooned in small-town Ontario due to her husband’s job posting. Between the locals, her parents, husband, children and S.O.B. (Sticky Out Bit, her inner critic) Rozyee comes close to losing everything, including her own sanity.
Tickets for Life as a Pomegranate are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling 416-691-3401. For more information visit dawnajoywightman.com.

Celebrate Canada Day in Woodbine Park with the Red, White & Vinyl Festival, from noon until 11 p.m.
The Red, White & Vinyl Festival is a free day-long, event that will include a family fun zone, a licensed beverage area, and a line-up of Canadian talent that includes Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Ian Thomas, The Carpet Frogs, The Spoons, Pretzel Logic (A Steeley Dan cover band) and Carole Pope. The day wraps up with a fireworks display over Ashbridges Bay. The festival is sponsored by Vinyl 95.3FM. For more information visit vinyl953.com.

The Children’s Peace Theatre, 305 Dawes Road, presents Night of the Sacred Sun: Summer Solstice Concert and Peace Flag Ceremony, June 21, from 6 to 10 p.m. This is a free celebration of the sun as it reaches its highest point of the year. There will be a peace flag ceremony, followed by a potluck dinner, performances by various youth groups, a concert, a drum circle and a bonfire.
For more information, or to get involved with drum circles, call 416-752-1550 or visit childrenspeacetheatre.org.

The Fox, 2236 Queen St. E., is running a special line-up of vintage films from June 22 through 28. This is your chance to see some of the classics of American cinema again on the big screen. Some of the movies on tap are Rear Window, The Sting, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Clockwork Orange, North by Northwest, and Back to the Future.
For a complete line-up and times, visit foxtheatre.ca.

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