ART & MUSEUMS
Visual Arts at Harbourfront Centre
Alongside commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, artists and curators examine one of the most significant events in this nation's history through a current lens, with exhibits that include a consideration of Canada's relationship with the British monarchy, a look at roadside pit-stop places and a study of a small-town fishing hamlet. To July 15. Free. York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay, 416-973-4000.
Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris
Pablo Picasso was a complicated man: One might even say he was two-faced. Displayed chronologically and covering virtually every phase of the modern master’s perpetually radical and diverse career, a major touring exhibit includes sketches, sculptures and some of the most celebrated paintings ever done in blue – period. Opens May 1. $16.50 to $25. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 877-225-4246.
Led by softly lamenting singer-songwriter Justin Ringle, the elegant folk-rock of the Portland-based outfit should appeal to fans of Great Lake Swimmers or Pure Prairie League. Lovely stuff, really. April 29, 10:30 p.m. $10.50 to $12. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., 1-855-985-5000.
Her strummy solo album Last Summer came out last summer – a swell season as we remember it. The sweeter-smelling half of the sibling duo Fiery Furnaces make quirky, tuneful indie-pop that wouldn’t be out of place on a New Pornographers disc. May 4, 9 p.m. (doors). $15 to $18. Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W., 1-855-985-5000.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra: Sci-Fi Spectacular
George Takei, the rich-voiced, photon-firing Sulu of Star Trek fame, hosts three concerts of stellar soundtrack music, ranging from the Wagnerian-like Star Wars theme to the warp-speed sounds of the Kirk-and-Klingons television show. May 1 (8 p.m.) and May 2 (2 and 8 p.m.). $29 to $109. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255.
Fashions fade and new flavours pop up monthly, but the fandom of the Run to You singer is indefatigable. This year the scratchy-voiced hit-maker takes to the arena circuit for a 20th-anniversary celebration of his Waking Up the Nation tour specifically and his keening-and-catchy-rock canon in general. May 3, 8 p.m. $20 to $125. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 1-855-985-5000.
Bring It On: The Musical
Give them an “M.” Give them an “I.” Give them an “R.” Give them a “V.” Give them an “I.” Give them an “S.” Give them an “H.” Give Mirvish $45, and they’ll let you watch a new musical comedy about pom-poms and team rivalries. May 2 to June 3. $49 to $130. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St., 416-872-1212.
Gruesome Playground Injuries
Pat Benatar sang that love was a battlefield. The up-and-coming dramatist Rajiv Joseph sees it as a playground – a playground where people get hurt. A strange two-hander, described by the New York Times as a “blood-spattered twig of a play” and by the Washington Post as “mystical, arresting, and quirkily amusing,” receives its Canadian premiere, presented by Birdland Theatre. May 2 to May 13 (preview, May 2). $20 to $30. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen St. W., 416-538-0988.
The Real World?
Set in the home of a lower middle-class, French-Canadian family in Montreal in 1965, Le Vrai Monde? is considered a masterful piece of drama and an eloquent statement about the relationship between art and life. The 1987 piece from Quebec icon Michel Tremblay is the playwright’s soul-baring admission that he “pillaged” the hearts of friends to create his dramas. May 2 to June 3 (in previews now). $39 to $51. Tarragon Theatre Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827.
Kathleen Turner Mini Film Festival
She puts the broad in broad. Preceding the throaty actress’s upcoming starring role in the drama High at the Royal Alex, Kathleen Turner is saluted with a selection of films which showcase her laudable range. Screenings: Peggy Sue Got Married (1:15 p.m.), Romancing The Stone (4:15 p.m.), War Of The Roses (7 p.m.) and Body Heat (9:15 p.m.). April 28. $5 (suggested donation to Youth Link). Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton, mirvish.com/films.
Fans of Ann Southam are looking forward to a new work by choreographer Christopher House, who sets his piece to the minimalist piano music of the late composer, here performed by pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, a Southam enthusiast herself. April 28, 2 and 8 p.m. $15 to $40. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
“Here a leap, and there a jump, and now a spin.” Globe dance critic Paula Citron found no dull moments in Michael Trent’s reimagination of Mitchell Rose’s Following Station Identification. The rambling piece features physical movement not only for dancers, but a number of folding chairs. April 28 (8 p.m.) and April 29 (4 p.m.). $20 to $25. Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 55 Mill St., 416-367-1800.
From Sylvie Bouchard’s BoucharDanse, a theatrical examination of the search for love and understanding by three dancers and five choreographers. May 3 to 5, 8 p.m. $28 to $33.50. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
LITERARY and LECTURE
Torn From The Pages
If we can believe what he tells us, Linden MacIntyre reads from his Why Men Lie – a new novel on the failings of middle-aged men as seen through the eyes of a woman – and author-musician Dave Bidini, Corin Raymond and the roots-music singing Billie Hollies perform songs inspired by the book. Part of The Globe And Mail Open House Festival. April 28, 8:30 pm. $15. Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., 416-531-6604.
Spring Beer Fest
It’s okay to indulge – these are artisanal beers, don’t you know. Suds-sampling booths are manned by representatives from Sawdust City Brewing, Unibroue – did you see what they did there? – and Hogsback Brewing Company, among others. April 28, 5 p.m. to (approximately) 9 p.m. Free (sample tickets, $1 each). The Only Café, 972 Danforth Ave., 416-463-7843.
Toronto Monologue Slam
Are they talking to us? They look like they’re talking to us. Are they talking to us? Promising local actors showcase their audition chops in a New York-styled competition. April 29, 7 p.m. $10 to $15. Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, 647-780-2513, toslam.com.
Doors Open Hamilton
Next weekend, the Steel City and surrounding regions open their intriguing buildings, including the historic Ancaster Old Township Hall, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Dundurn Castle and Westfield Heritage Village. May 5 and 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. doorsopenhamilton.ca
Throne of Games
It is known: Inspired by the King-clashing HBO series and George R.R. Martin’s bestselling medieval fantasy books, Bad Dog Theatre plans to interpret the epic drama through four unscripted, madcap shows. May 2, 9, 16 and 23. 8 p.m. $10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W., 416-551-6540, baddogtheatre.com.
Camp Awakening's 30th Anniversary Party
The Vinyl Café humorist Stuart McLean drawls warmly and evocatively, while music by the seventies-loving singer-songwriter Justin Hines and others raise funds for outdoor recreation programs for youth with physical disabilities. May 3, 7 p.m. $75. Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., campawakening.com.
Stars on Ice
Kurt Browning heads an all-star cast of figure skaters and ice dancers that includes Cynthia Phaneuf, apparently the fourth cousin of Dion Phaneuf, the Toronto Maple Leafs captain who never uses his ACC locker in May anyway. May 3, 7 p.m. $35.75 to $135.75. Copps Coliseum, Hamilton; May 4, 7:30 p.m. $38.25 to $163.25. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 1-855-985-5000.
Hot Docs To May 6. Bloor Cinema, 416-637-5150.
Contact Photography Festival To June 6. scotiabankcontactphoto.com.
COC's The Tales of Hoffman To May 14. Four Seasons Centre, 416-363-8231.
Sinéad O'Connor May 26 and 27. Cancelled. Music Hall, 1-855-985-5000.
Whoopi Goldberg June 1. Roy Thomson Hall, 416 872-4255.