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


National Ballet of Canada's Romeo & Juliet

Guillaume Côté and Elena Lobsanova in the National Ballet of Canada’s production of Romeo and Juliet. (photo: Bruce Zinger)

MARCH 1  Legendary English rockers The Who, led by frontman Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, hit the Air Canada Centre.

MARCH 2 TO 6  The National Ballet of Canada presents La Sylphide, a romantic production restaged by Johan Kobborg, sees a farmer abandoning his bride-to-be for a forest creature.

MARCH 3  After an internationally-respected TED Talk about “power poses,” American social psychologist, researcher and Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy discusses concepts from her new book, PRESENCE: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.

MARCH 3 TO 6  Behind-the-scenes hijinks is afoot as a group of actors rehearses for a potentially Broadway-bound show in Canadian playwright David French’s beloved Jitters. Based on French’s own real-life experiences, the comedy reveals backstage insecurities through a colourful cast of characters, including a diva named Jessica, her cavalier costar Patrick, the absent-minded Phil, the placating director George, and Nick, an inflexible stage manager.

MARCH 4 AND 5  Celebrated modern dance company Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre performs several works including Awakening, Exodus and Revelation.

MARCH 4 TO 6  Spring’s impending arrival means that cyclists can tune up their bikes for the upcoming season. There’s no better place to see what’s new on two wheels than at the Toronto International Bicycle Show, which marks its 30th year and is the largest bicycle consumer show in the world. Take a spin on a 2,000-foot test track or compete in the specially-built mini velodrome track, book a bicycle touring vacation, and of course, purchase a new bike from some of the top brands.

MARCH 5 TO APRIL 24  Head over to the TIFF Bell Lightbox for the popular digiPlaySpace exhibit, which features hands-on tech-driven activities for kids and families that foster learning through self-discovery through the likes of video games, mobile apps, robotics and workshops.

MARCH 7  Activist, feminist and author Gloria Steinem, known for her crusade for equality, shares experiences from her latest book, My Life on the Road, as part of the Unique Lives & Experiences series.

MARCH 7 AND 8  Rising indie trio Daughter, comprised of vocalist/guitarist Elena Tonra, electric guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella, perform their hauntingly lyrical songs at The Danforth Music Hall.

MARCH 9 TO 13  Three separate performances—Cacti, Rubies and The Four Temperamentscomprise this offering from the National Ballet of Canada. Two of its works are by George Balanchine, while Alexander Ekman’s contemporary Cacti is making its Canadian premiere.

MARCH 10  Gospel, soul and R&B singer and songwriter Leon Bridges, best known for his breakout performance of “Coming Home,” hits the Massey Hall stage as part of a North American tour.

Canada Blooms

Gardens, such as this one created by Royal Stone Landscaping for Canada Blooms last year, are among the inspiring displays. (photo: David Ohashi)

MARCH 11 TO 20  In need of some spring cheer? Head to the Enercare Centre for Canada Blooms, a multi-acre showcase of creatively landscaped gardens by some of Ontario’s most talented florists. The “garvinea sweet” gerbera is the 2016 plant of the year; purchase a selection of these blooms at the show. Double your pleasure with the National Home Show, also open at the same venue. Combined, the pair makes for North America’s largest home and garden event. Best of all, one admission grants you entry to both shows.

MARCH 12  Don’t miss any of the action as some of the world’s top riders like Eli Tomac, Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey compete in 17 races at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross.

MARCH 14 TO 18  Top Canadian designers, alongside up-and-coming ones, showcase their fall 2016 collections during World Mastercard Fashion Week at David Pecaut Square.

MARCH 15  American folk and country crooner Bonnie Raitt known for such songs as “Love sneakin’ up on you” and “Something to talk about” performs with special guests The California Honeydrops.

MARCH 15 TO 20  Five performers pursuing their dreams is the focus of a new musical, Gig. Featuring original music, meet a rock star, a rapper, a diva, a secretary-turned-singer, and a groupie trying to make it big in the entertainment industry.

MARCH 16 TO 20  Shakespeare’s tragic Romeo and Juliet is retold through the choreography of Alexei Ratmansky as part of the National Ballet of Canada’s winter program.

MARCH 17  Leapin’ leprechauns it’s St. Patrick’s Day! Have a pint of Guinness or Kilenny at the Irish Embassy or McVeigh’s Irish Pub.

MARCH 17  Backstreet Boys bandmate-turned-solo artist Nick Carter makes a stop in Toronto as part of his All American US tour.

MARCH 17 TO 20  “Mouse-ter of Ceremonies” Mickey Mouse heads up Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic with a gaggle of friends including Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy, as well as Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen. An array of Disney songs are performed from such movies as Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Toy Story and Aladdin.

Toronto Comicon brings three days of sci-fi fun to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

MARCH 18 TO 20  Toronto Comicon transforms the city into an alternate universe in which Storm Troopers, Princess Zelda, Spock, Spiderman, Groot and Captain America mingle with diehard comic book, sci-fi and fantasy fans. The popular convention boasts genre stars including Robbie Amell (The Flash, The X-Files), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Karen Allen (Indiana Jones), who take part in photo and autograph sessions. Beyond celebrity meet-and-greets, there’s also an extensive retail area, workshops and other interactive activities.

MARCH 19  Chinese pianist Yundi performs a program of works by Chopin including 24 Preludes, Op. 28 and Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38.

MARCH 20  Celebrated English pianist Paul Lewis, best known for his recordings and performances of Beethoven’s piano cycle, plays pieces by Brahms, Schubert and Liszt at Koerner Hall.

MARCH 21  Juno Award–winning singer and songwriter Johnny Reid shares the Massey Hall stage with Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, as well as Aaron Goodvin and JJ Shiplett as part of his What Love is All About tour.

MARCH 22  Canadian band Marianas Trench tours in support of their fourth studio album, Astoria, with special guests Walk Off the Earth.

MARCH 23  Canadian indie rockers Metric and American alt rockers Death Cab for Cutie join forces for a cross-Canadian co-headlining tour.

MARCH 23 AND 24  Stéphane Denève conducts the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in a program entitled “Scenes of the Mediterranean,” which includes such works as Roman Carnival Overture by Berlioz and Pines of Rome by Respighi.

MARCH 23 TO 27  Take a break from Easter egg hunting to visit the One of a Kind Spring Show & Sale. The bi-annual handmade event allows buyers to connect with hundreds of makers from across Canada, whose crafty output ranges from jewellery, pottery and paper goods to ceramics, clothing and gourmet goods. Meet the likes of Daryl Wasson of Breakers Woodworking, who turns remnant scraps of wood into cutting boards; Robert Henderson of Henderson Farms, who makes the likes of apricot and jalapeno pepper jelly and raspberry and pear jam; and Laura Watt of Cubit’s Seed Co., whose family-run company sells rare and heirloom seeds for Cherokee purple tomatoes and crystal apple cucumbers among other vegetables.

MARCH 24  Grammy Award–winning rock/folk/country/blues singer Lucinda Williams performs for one night at The Opera House.

MARCH 26  Direct from London’s West End, Dancing in the Streets debuts in Toronto featuring some of Motown’s biggest hits by such chart-topping artists as Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations.

MARCH 29 AND 30  Former Glee star Darren Criss is joined by Betsy Wolfe in a special On Broadway concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra featuring popular songs from hit musicals.

MARCH 31  Grammy Award–winning R&B singer Patti LaBelle, hailed as the “Godmother of Soul,” performs classic songs from her discography, including “Somebody Loves You Baby” and “If You Only Knew.”

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