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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in February 2016


The Salzburg Festival cast of The Marriage of Figaro starring Genia Kühmeier, Katija Dragojevic and Marlis Petersen. Photo by Monika Rittershaus, courtesy of the Canadian Opera Company.

FEBRUARY 2  “The Boss”—a.k.a. Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band may have been born in the USA but they’re performing in Toronto.

FEBRUARY 2 TO MARCH 13  In Mustard, a world premiere written by Kat Sandler, a recently-divorced mom starts seeing her daughter’s imaginary friend who lives under her bed.

FEBRUARY 3 TO 21  On the heels of a sold-out national tour, Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen makes its Toronto debut. This celebration of the legendary Canadian performer sees six performers playing 17 instruments that highlight Cohen’s career discography.

FEBRUARY 4 TO 27  The Canadian Opera Company presents Mozart’s witty romantic farce, The Marriage of Figaro, in which Figaro and Susanna’s impending matrimony is in jeopardy thanks to the roving eye of the Count.

FEBRUARY 5  Hailing from Saskatchewan, Canadian alt-rockers The Sheepdogs take to the Danforth Music Hall with special guests Beat Cops.

FEBRUARY 5 AND 6  When Annie, a young, urban First Nations woman, encounters Gordan, a con man masquerading as a homeless man, in Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s presentation of Going Home—Truth and Reconcilliation, each person discovers their own backgrounds and histories.

FEBRUARY 6  Tony Award–winning actor Alan Cumming brings a musical mashup to the Winter Garden Theatre when he Sings Sappy Songs that range from numbers by Noel Coward and Stephen Sondheim to modern pop songs by Miley Cyrus and Avril Lavigne.

FEBRUARY 8  Celebrate Chinese New Year with a walking tour of Chinatown led by Shirley Lum of A Taste of the World. Learn about special traditions and the meaning of special foods in anticipation of the new Lunar year.

FEBRUARY 8  Unique Lives & Experiences presents author Lisa Genova, who talks about how her best-selling novel, Still Alice, was inspired by her own grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, and how she wrote it from her perspective as both a granddaughter and neuroscientist.

A Night with Janis Joplin. Photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions.

FEBRUARY 9 TO 21  The career of a rock and roll legend—and the women who inspired her—is staged in the Broadway hit A Night with Janis Joplin at the Panasonic Theatre.

FEBRUARY 10  Juno Award–winning jazz singer Emilie-Claire Barlow performs songs from her 11th album Clear Day, backed up by an orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley.

FEBRUARY 11  Canadian-born comic Jeremy Hotz on a country-wide tour brings his International Man of Misery stand-up act to Massey Hall.

FEBRUARY 12  Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has gone from dunking balls to making people laugh. For the first time ever, his All Star Comedy Jam is being hosted outside of the U.S. and right here at the Sony Centre stage, featuring such comics as Earthquake, Michael Blackson, Bill Bellamy, Tony Roberts and Lavar Walker.

FEBRUARY 12 TO 14  Basketball’s biggest players are in town for the first NBA All-Star Weekend held outside of the United States. Although rosters were unconfirmed at press time, fans can likely expect favourites like Lebron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant to appear in the exhibition game on February 14. Other events, including the ever-popular slam dunk contest, are also part of the festivities co-hosted by the Toronto Raptors’s number one fan, Drake, alongside Justin Bieber. Look for Canada’s own Andrew Wiggins to feature in the Rising Stars Challenge, while eight-time all-star Dikembe Mutombo will appear as part of the league’s contingent of legends.

FEBRUARY 12  Join actor Kevin Hart and his celebrity friends for the ultimate All-Star after party at Roy Thomson Hall. Hart, a four-time NBA All-Star celebrity game MVP is the head coach of the USA team, which goes head-to-head against the Canadian team led by Toronto’s own alpha rap star Drake.

The new MINI Cooper convertible makes its Canadian debut at the Canadian International Auto Show.

FEBRUARY 12 TO 21  Nothing revs the engines of car aficionados more than the Canadian International Auto Show. The country’s biggest consumer show previews more than 1,000 vehicles, ranging from new models, electric and hybrid vehicles to concept cars and prototypes from top automakers like BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, General Motors and Honda, among many others.

FEBRUARY 13  Young Croatian musical sensations, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, who are better known as 2CELLOS, are recognized the world over for their masterful skills on the string instrument, performing works by Vivaldi and Bach with equal acclaim as Michael Jackson and AC/DC.

FEBRUARY 13  The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is joined by Long Yu, artistic director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, for the third annual Chinese New Year concert, The Year of the Monkey. The program includes traditional Chinese musical styles with classical western works.

FEBRUARY 14  Lavish that special someone in your life with a little extra love for Valentine’s Day; see X’s and O’s in T.O. for more romantic inspiration.

FEBRUARY 15  Various attractions host special events and activities for Family Day. Try the Ontario Science Centre for an interactive educational experience, Legoland Discovery Centre for a day of brick-building, or the Toronto Zoo or Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada to visit with creatures from around the world.

FEBRUARY 16  American singer and songwriter Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band tour in support of their latest album, Sermon on the Rocks.

FEBRUARY 17  Indie-pop band from Montreal Young Galaxy performs at the Mod Club.

Blue Rodeo hits Massey Hall during its cross-Canada tour. Photo by Heather Pollock.

FEBRUARY 18 AND 19  Legendary Canadian folk-rock band Blue Rodeo, led by Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, on a cross-country tour to perform from their vast repertoire, which includes such hit singles as “Lost Together,” “5 Days in May,” “After the Rain,” and “Diamond Mine.”

FEBRUARY 19  Juno–nominated Canadian folk singer and songwriter Basia Bulat, who was shortlisted for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize, hits the Mod Club stage.

FEBRUARY 19 TO MARCH 6  The Tony Award–winning musical Grey Gardens opens at Berkeley Street Theatre, which is based on the 1975 documentary about the aunt and cousin of American first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The aristocratic-born Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith Bouvier Beale, were to the manor born but died in isolation at their East Hampton home.

FEBRUARY 20  Here’s an offer you can’t refuse: The Godfather Live in Concert. Justin Freer conducts the memorable score by Nino Rota from Francis Ford Coppola’s film about Don Corleone and his family.

Head over to the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood to see ice carvers in action during IceFest.

FEBRUARY 20 AND 21  Bundle up and embrace winter in all of its frosty merriment during the annual Bloor-Yorkville Icefest, a beloved family tradition that takes place in the Village of Yorkville Park. Master ice carvers from across Ontario arrive armed with picks, chisels and even chainsaws to transform more than 20,000 pounds of ice into intricately detailed carvings—based on this year’s working theme, “expressions of love.” The competition kicks off on Saturday at noon. Visitors can vote for their favourite sculpture between 2 to 5 p.m., with the winner announced at 5:15 p.m.

FEBRUARY 21  The 15th edition of The Wedding Co. Market offers ample inspiration from florists, gown designers, photographers and other curated vendors. Don’t miss the floral crown workshop hosted by top Toronto florist Coriander Girl.

FEBRUARY 22  Caitlyn Jenner, who brought much media attention to the issues surrounding the transgendered community last year, speaks as part of the Unique Lives & Experiences lecture series.

FEBRUARY 23 TO MARCH 13  Salt-Water Moon, the third play in David French’s beloved series about the French family, focuses on the courtship between the patriarch and matriarch, Jacob and Mary, set in Newfoundland in 1926.

FEBRUARY 24 AND 25  Renowned and respected American astrophysicist and cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who also hosts Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey on Fox, shares his insights during a special lecture.

FEBRUARY 26  The cast of the popular Family Channel television show, The Next Step Wild Rhythm, is on tour performing new routines. See the likes of Victoria Baldesar, Trevor Tordjman, Jordan Clark, Taveeta Szymanowicz, Myles Erlick and newcomer Isaiah Peck singing songs from the show as well as dancing to originally-choreographed numbers.

FEBRUARY 27  American folk singer, songwriter and activist Joan Baez, who has marched with Martin Luther King and sang at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday, performs a special show at Koerner Hall.

FEBRUARY 28, 29 AND MARCH 1  Austrian mountaineer Geraldine Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to ever summit the 14 eight-thousanders without supplemental oxygen, which she shares in her National Geographic Live series talk.

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