Culture: Eddie Izzard, Kerry James Marshall & Owen Pallett

A new name, a fetching new dress and the honouring of one's past.

Credit: Lorenzo Angus, Ryan Pfluger

A new name, a new dress and honouring one’s past.

Comedy // Eddie Izzard

On this side of the pond, Eddie Izzard is still something of a curiosity: a pudgy, middle-aged Brit who likes to dress up in women’s clothing and deliver ramped-up, rambling monologues on everything from etymology to ear wax to the meaning of Easter. But there’s an undeniable genius to Izzard’s stream-of-consciousness delivery, and his talent for mimicry is unparalleled (YouTube “Eddie Izzard” + “Noah’s Ark” for a great sample). In perhaps the greatest tribute to his talent, Monty Python’s John Cleese has dubbed Izzard “the Lost Python.” Stripped, Izzard’s latest tour, uses Wikipedia as part of the act – reading from actual Wiki entries and mocking its self-referential style. May 20, Royal Theatre, Victoria,; May 21 and 22, QE Theatre, Vancouver,

Art // Kerry James Marshall

Case of Identity

“You can’t be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955 and grow up in South Central [Los Angeles] near the Black Panthers headquarters and not feel like you’ve got some kind of social responsibility. You can’t move to Watts in 1963 and not speak about it. That determined a lot of where my work was going to go,” Marshall said in a 2009 PBS documentary. Marshall is renowned for his large-scale paintings, installations and public projects that draw upon both African-American history and classical painting traditions. This Vancouver show, a first for Marshall, is getting the royal treatment – co-curated by VAG director Kathleen Bartels and local photo-art icon Jeff Wall. May 8, 2010, to Jan. 3, 2011, Vancouver Art Gallery, vanart​

Music // Owen Pallett

Case of Identity - Owen Pallett

If you were to judge the artist by name alone, you’d assume a certain juvenile sound. Until December of last year, the 31-year-old Polaris Music Prize winner went by the name Final Fantasy – a nod to the video game series popular with basement-dwelling teenage boys. (He dropped the name after years of logistical and legal struggles.) His second album – the one that won him the inaugural $20,000 Polaris Prize, a critic-picked honour for “albums of the highest artistic integrity” – was inauspiciously titled He Poos Clouds. But make no mistake: Pallett’s music, with his signature solo violin, multi-phonic looping and pleading ethereal vocals, is as cleverly crafted as anything being produced these days. And despite the high-sheen production values of his albums, the U of T music-comp major is even more impressive live. Vogue Theatre, May 9,