Ten things to see in Toronto this weekend – November 10 to 13, 2011
1. LANG LANG BEETHOVEN SERIES
Lang Lang is in Toronto for a 10-day engagement. He takes on all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos, plus works by Mendelssohn, Smetana and Martinů, and he will be premiering a piece by Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng. To November 19. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. http://www.tso.ca/Concerts-And-Tickets/Residencies/Lang-Lang.aspx
2. PUB OPERAS
Tapestry New Opera Pub Operas production serves up stories from Glasgow’s famous pub in the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Historic Distillery District. Be there to witness a bitter-sweet engagement, an after-hours wake, and the inn manager’s unrequited love affair with Frederic Chopin. November 10, 11 & 12, 2011. Ernest Balmer Studio, 55 Mill St. Bldg. 58, The Cannery, Studio 315. http://www.tapestrynewopera.com/2011/10/12/pub-operas-nov-10-12-at-8pm-tickets-on-sale-now/#more-2290
3. MARY POPPINS
Since the curtain first rose on Mary Poppins, critics and audiences alike have been raving. This effervescent hit has astonished over six and a half million people worldwide with its pure Broadway magic. With four productions currently running on three continents, Mary Poppins is one of the biggest stage musical successes in recent years. This consummate production features the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand, new breathtaking dance numbers and astonishing stage-craft to make it everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show. From November 10. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W. mirvish.com.
4. GRACE KELLY: FROM MOVIE STAR TO PRINCESS
A rare glimpse into the life of a style icon. Featuring garments from Grace Kelly’s wardrobe, her tiara, excerpts from childhood scrapbooks and high school yearbooks, personal letters and telegrams from Prince Rainier, this exhibit is both a tribute to a woman who got to live two common girlish dreams (she became a movie star and a princess), and a veritable treasure trove of style tips. To Jan. 22, 2012. $15. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.
5. CRAZY TO KILL
Toronto Masque Theatre. Can no one stop the murderer who is stalking the dim halls of the Elmhurst, a private southwestern Ontario asylum? What is the nature of the relationship between Detective Fry and “model patient” Agatha Lawson? What is the significance of the life-sized dolls Lawson creates as part of her rehabilitation? Will the madness never end? Friday, November 11, Saturday, November 12, 2011, 8:00 pm. (7:15 pre-show chat). Enwave Theatre, 231 Queen’s Quay West. http://www.torontomasquetheatre.com/node/17
6. LIKE THE FIRST TIME
Like the First Time revolves around Fulvia, a woman torn between her current life as a single woman and her past life as a wife and mother. On the one hand there is Marco, her latest lover, while on the other there’s Silvio, her former husband, who wants to reclaim her as his wife and mother to their now-teenaged daughter. Complicating all this is the daughter’s belief that her mother is long dead. Which direction Fulvia’s life will take remains uncertain to the play’s very end. The ambivalence of her feelings, reflected in the ambiguity of her actions, makes for riveting drama. Like the First Time is modelled on Luigi Pirandello’s 1920 play, Come Prima Meglio di Prima (Like Before Better than Before). Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1934, Pirandello (1867-1936) is renowned for breaking down the “fourth wall” and revolutionizing the theatre with Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921). To November 13, 2011. http://www.onelittlegoat.org/
7. MOZART AND FRIENDS
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra musicians take the spotlight as soloists in Mozart and Friends, a concert designed to show off their remarkable artistry. Each musician in the Orchestra is a specialist in historical performance practice, and their collaboration results in a delightful transparency, vitality and richness of sound. Thursday, November 10 to Sunday, November 13, 2011. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West. http://www.tafelmusik.org/
8. MUSE CLASSIQUE, CHANSONS MAGIQUES
Alliance Français de Toronto. Muse Classique, Chansons Magiques. French cabaret. Music by Bach, Chopin, Satie, Beethoven, Mahler and others, refashioned by French songwriters. Geneviève Proulx, soprano; Bernard Dionne, bass; Erika Crino, piano.
Friday, November 11 2011, 7:30pm. Alliance française de Toronto – Pierre-Léon Gallery
24 Spadina road. http://www.alliance-francaise.ca/en/cultural-calendar/icalrepeat.detail/2011/11/11/32/-/muse-classique-chansons-magic’s
Essential Opera presents Massenet’s opera Chérubin. Continuing the hilarious (and sexy!) exploits of the exuberant page Chérubin, last seen making trouble in The Marriage of Figaro. Now he’s off to enjoy the privileges of his officer’s commission in the army, but not before sampling all the pleasures Spain has to offer. Written in the sumptuous, frivolous style of Paris’ Opera-Comique, Massenet’s light-hearted romance follows Chérubin while he trades the temptation of the beautiful Countess Almaviva for the passion of an exotic dancer (yes, that kind of does mean what you’re thinking), and finally falls for the girl next door… but has she really fallen for him? Saturday, November 12th, 2011, 7:30 p.m. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue. http://essentialopera.com/
In this delightful musical, based on the beloved Dr. Seuss books, Horton the Elephant seems powerless to convince anyone in the Jungle of Nool that he can hear the panicked cries for help from the tiny world of Whoville perched on a speck of dust caught on a clover. But the big-hearted, faithful elephant not only finds a way to change everyone’s minds but to enshrine a new dictum … that a person’s a person, no matter how small. To December 30, 2011.Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front Street East. http://youngpeoplestheatre.ca/en/current/seussical.cfm