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a funny thing happened on the way to the forum

Weekend Roundup, January 14th to 16th

Friday: Be wowed by Shen Yun Performing Arts' colourful production

Friday, January 14th
Get a glimpse into the diverse 5,000-year history of China courtesy of Shen Yun Performing Arts. The talented troupe brings its mix of dance and theatre to the Sony Centre stage tonight and throughout the weekend.

Best known as Full House dad Danny Tanner and the original host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Bob Saget brings his hilarious (though notoriously uncensored) stand-up routine to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Itching for even more comedy? Don’t miss your last chance to catch A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Stephen Sondheim’s gleeful musical about a Roman slave attempting to earn his freedom.

Saturday: Yuck it up with Rod Beattie in Wingfield: Lost & Found

Saturday, January 15th
The uproarious comedy show Wingfield: Lost and Found plays tonight at the Panasonic Theatre. This latest in Rod Beattie’s series of “Walter Wingfield” shows sees the character—a stock broker turned farmer—battle obstacles in search of a new water source during a drought.

Mickey Mouse and the rest of the Disney gang wheel into Toronto with Mickey’s Rockin’ Roadshow. On stage this weekend at the Rogers Centre, the production features all of your ‘toon favourites, including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many other special guests!

Tokyo Police Club invade the Kool Haus tonight for an all-ages concert. The Newmarket natives play upbeat indie-rock songs that are sure to get you dancing.

Sunday: Crowd the Berkeley Street Theatre at a performance of Ruins (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Sunday, January 16th
Pay heed to the struggles women must go through in times of strife—the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined makes its Toronto premiere tonight at the Berkeley Street Theatre.

It’s had a successful run, but inevitably, the Next Stage Theatre Festival closes today at the Factory Theatre. All eight of the fest’s acclaimed independent productions are on stage today. The first show, Eating with Lola, starts at 3 p.m.

For anyone who’s planning a wedding—or those who simply love to live vicariously through the bride and groom—The Wedding Show at the glamorous Carlu offers everything from gowns to invitations. Experts are on-site, too, to help you with everything you’ll need for the big day.

Weekend Roundup, December 17th to 19th

It’s the final weekend before Christmas and there is a lot more to do in the city than just shop. If you’re looking for a break from holiday cheer or hoping to dive into it a week early Toronto’s got you covered.

Friday: Rock on with Alexisonfire

Friday, December 17th
The classic tale of Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas premieres tonight at the Sony Centre. This holiday favourite is given the Broadway treatment with fantastic sets, terrific costumes and all-new songs.

St. Catharines natives Alexisonfire return to their roots with an all-ages show tonight at Sound Academy. Expect to rock out to tunes from their recent album, Old Crows/Young Cardinals, as well as many of their past hits.

Television personality Gerry Dee brings his comedic stylings to the Panasonic Theatre stage with his Gerry Dee and Friends Holiday Show. Canadian comedians Darrin Rose and Frank Spadone also drop in for so stand-up hilarity.

Saturday: See the intriguing movements of Studies in Motion (photo by Tim Matheson)

Saturday, December 18th
Climb aboard the Mariposa Cruises’ Northern Spirit ship for its family-oriented Santa Cruise. This afternoon tour of the Toronto harbour offers children the chance to meet Santa and his elves while taking in Toronto’s iconic skyline.

Tonight presents your last chance to see Studies in Motion at the St. Lawrence Centre’s Bluma Appel Theatre. The well-reviewed play examines the life of the brilliant yet troubled artist Eadweard Muybridge.

The Toronto Children’s Chorus performs tonight at Roy Thomson Hall. Ruth Watson Henderson’s The Last Straw will be sung by the ensemble’s 300-plus children. Its 150-voice Alumni Choir is also be featured as part of this joyous concert.

Sunday: Cheer on Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors

Sunday, December 19th
The Los Angeles Lakers may be one of the most imposing squads in the National Basketball Association, but somehow our Toronto Raptors always manage to put up a good fight. Head to the Air Canada Centre this afternoon to see if Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson and the rest of the Raptors can come out on top.

Catch a performance of Stephen Sondheim’s hilarious farce, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, at the Canon Theatre. This baudy musical is sure to have you rolling in the aisles.

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without Handel’s Messiah. Today you can hear it twice: the Toronto Symphony Orchestra offers “Toronto’s Biggest Messiah” at Roy Thomson Hall—featuring more than 60 instruments—while the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir encourage audience participation in its Sing-Along Messiah, a long-time Toronto tradition.

Hot Dates: Forum’s Ancient Antics

Bruce Dow, Randy Hughson and Cliff Saunders in "Forum" (photo by David Hou)

DECEMBER 15 TO JANUARY 16 Travel back to ancient Rome for a bawdy good time as the Tony-winning farce A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum takes to the Toronto stage. A smash-hit at last summer’s Stratford Festival, this hilarious romp follows a slave’s attempt to gain freedom by winning the hand of a courtesan for his master. Madcap music by Stephen Sondheim plus manic performances by co-leads Sean Cullen and Bruce Dow are sure to keep you and your toga in stitches. Canon Theatre, Tuesday to Sunday, various times, $40 to $120; for tickets, call 416-872-1212 or click here.