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Weekend Roundup: January 20 to 22

Friday: Clarinetist James Campbell performs with Sinfonia Toronto (photo by Tim Leyes)

Friday, January 20
Start your weekend with a touch of class at Sinfonia Toronto’s Black and White performance at the Glenn Gould Studio. Featuring the talents of Canadian clarinetist James Campbell and Russian pianist Dmitry Gordin, the recital—of chamber works by Shostakovich and Mozart—promises to weave these two exquisite soloists together in a musical dialogue you won’t soon forget.

You won’t be able to sit still as Harbourfront Centre reprises its Dance Ontario Weekend, a three-day extravaganza with dozens of local dancers, choreographers and musicians. Enjoy a heart-pounding spectrum of musical styles—from ballet, to flamenco, to Middle Eastern—both live and on film.

Our beloved Sesame Street muppets are all grown up, and foul-mouthed to boot. Tony Award-winning Avenue Q, the riotous coming-of-age musical comes to the Lower Ossington Theatre, and explores coming-of-age anxieties through such tongue-in-cheek numbers as “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?” and “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.”

Saturday: The COC raises the curtain on Puccini's Tosca (photo by Michael Cooper)

Saturday, January 21
Arguably Puccini’s most affecting opera, Tosca is a histrionic tale of murder, betrayal and other nefarious acts. Set in 19th-century Rome and performed on the Four Seasons Centre stage, the Canadian Opera Company’s production delivers lush sets, sweeping orchestral arrangements and Canada’s finest voices. Lust, corruption and a beautiful woman scorned: this is opera at its melodramatic best.

The Civil Rights movement is a fitting backdrop for Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change, the award-winning musical about an African-American maid working for a Southern Jewish family. Featuring a compendium of musical styles ranging from blues to spiritual to Motown music, this thought-provoking and inspirational production by the Acting UpStage Company opens tonight at the Berkeley Street Theatre.

Beat the January blahs with the comedy stylings of Jim Gaffigan, on stage this evening at Massey Hall. You’ll recognize his brand of off-beat yucksterism from the late-night talk shows of David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, but his charm shines best in this solo performance.

Sunday: Celebrate the Year of the Dragon at CIBC LunarFest (photo by Craig Moy)

Sunday, January 22
Grab your tykes and head over to the CIBC Lunarfest! Featuring the world’s first lantern aquarium, theatre and crafts, and typical lunar new year treats, this new Harbourfront Centre festival brings Torontonians together to celebrate the Year of the Dragon (which begins January 23).

Connect with your roots and support homegrown talent at the Big Smoke Music Festival, on now at the Magpie Taproom. Tonight, local indie darlings Father Christmas are joined by the folksy stylings of Iman Wain. Pick up your tickets at the door; proceeds support Horizons for Youth.

Indulge in a bit of nostalgia for a bygone era with Stephen Bulger Gallery’s 1955 show. The exhibition offers many perspectives on the decade of Marilyn Monroe, fedoras and Corvettes, seen through the eyes of top American photographers.


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