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Elgin Theatre

Opera Atelier Weaves a Bewitching Tale in Alcina

Meghan Lindsay and the artists of Atelier Ballet in Alcina. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Meghan Lindsay and the artists of Atelier Ballet in Alcina. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

OCTOBER 23 TO NOVEMBER 1 Sorceress sisters weave romantic entanglements in Alcina, the latest offering from Opera Atelier. In the company’s new, period-appropriate production of Handel’s 18th-century masterwork, the handsome Ruggiero finds himself on an island in search of the seductress Alcina; his true love, Bradamante, follows, disguised as a knight, and immediately draws the gaze of Alcina’s sister Morgana. But on this island of illusion, it’s true love that proves to be most magical. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinee at 3 p.m., $38 to $181; call 1-855-622-2787 to charge or visit operaatelier.com for details. —Linda Luong

What to Do in Toronto: Festivals, Concerts and Events this October

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT EVENTS AND CONCERTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY THIS MONTH!

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon, North American Tour. © Joan Marcus, 2012.

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon, North American Tour. © Joan Marcus, 2012.

ALL MONTH LONG  Tony Award–winning musical The Book of Mormon is back at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The story centres on two missionaries who travel to Uganda in hopes of spreading the gospel but who experience a disconnect with the villagers who are dealing with AIDS, famine, poverty and war. Tickets are $49 – $200; visit mirvish.com for more information and to purchase.

ALL MONTH LONG This season at the Design Exchange, guest curator Jeanne Beker peeks into the wardrobes of iconic fashion designers and pulls out pieces that have made important political statements over the past 50 years for the exhibition “Politics of Fashion.” The striking garments lend both style and substance to longstanding ethical debates, gender issues, anti-war activism and more. General admission is $9.25 – $18.50; visit dx.org for more information and to purchase.

STARTS OCTOBER 3 Known for vibrant, thickly textured canvases that explore the physical and psychological connections between artist and landscape, artist Kim Dorland offers a series of new works for display at Angell Gallery. Expect pieces that continue to expand on the artist’s signature style and thematic concerns, further entrenching his position as Canada’s painter of record. Angell Gallery; 12 Ossington Ave., 416-530-0444. Open Wednesday to Saturday.

STARTS OCTOBER 12 Helen Lawrence, a new media production by visual artist Stan Douglas, mixes theatre, visual art, live action filming and computer-generated simulation in this story set in post-World War II Vancouver. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-366-1656. Tuesday to Thursday 8 p.m., Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 1 & 8 p.m., Wednesday & Sunday 1 p.m.; $30-$99; visit canadianstage.com or call 416-368-3110 to charge.

OCTOBER 17 TO 19 If you’ve ever longed to taste the recipes being made by TV chefs, the Delicious Food Show is your meal ticket. Whether you hunger for the inside scoop on trendy cuisine, advice on grilling the perfect steak, or simply a sinful chocolate cake recipe, celebrity chefs such as Tyler Florence, Chuck Hughes and Mario Batali have you covered. Join them, plus local chefs like DaiLo’s Nick Liu and Yours Truly’s Lachlan Culjak for a feast of workshops, cooking demos and food pairings. Direct Energy Centre, Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., general admission is $22; visit deliciousfoodshow.com for details.

STARTS OCTOBER 23 Giants of the literary world descend upon the waterfront for 35th edition of the International Festival of Authors. A global roster of 200-plus novelists, poets, essayists and more share their passion for the written word during 11 days of readings, panel discussions, interviews and book signings. CanLit darling Ann-Marie MacDonald, poet Dionne Brand, crime fiction novelist James Ellroy, Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard, Irish scribes Colm Tóibín and John Boyne, and critically acclaimed Emma Donoghue are among the expected participants. Harbourfront Centre, general admission $18 for most events; call 416-973-4000 or visit ifoa.org for a schedule and to purchase tickets.

Opera Atelier Alcina. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Opera Atelier’s Alcina starts October 23. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

STARTS OCTOBER 23  Sorceress sisters weave romantic entanglements in Alcina, the latest offering from Opera Atelier. In the company’s new, period-appropriate production of Handel’s 18th-century masterwork, the handsome Ruggiero finds himself on an island in search of the seductress Alcina; his true love, Bradamante, follows, disguised as a knight, and immediately draws the gaze of Alcina’s sister Morgana. But on this island of illusion, it’s true love that proves to be most magical. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinee at 3 p.m.. Tickets are $38 – $181; call 1-855-622-2787 to charge or visit operaatelier.com for details.

OCTOBER 24 TO 26 Cask Days brings unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated brews to the masses, allowing breweries the chance to show off their hops. This year’s event has about 300 different cask-conditioned ales by 100-plus breweries from across Canada, the United States and the U.K., including Niagara Oast House, Nelson Brewery, Grizzly Paw, Microbrasserie Le Castor and Grand River Brewing. A special focus on California includes 30-plus breweries from the state. Not into ale? A number of ciders are available, too, as well as gluten-free beer options. Evergreen Brick Works, Friday 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and up; see caskdays.com to purchase.

TO OCTOBER 26 Cirque du Soleil is back in Toronto, and this season the famed Montreal troupe presents a kaleidoscope of characters and objects in its latest travelling show, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities. Under the big top, audiences are transported back to the 19th century to meet an inventor who’s able to defy time, space and even gravity—one spectacular scene even features an upside-down dinner party! Grand Chapiteau, 51 Commissioner St., Tuesday to Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 4:30 and 8 p.m., Sunday 1:30 and 5 p.m.; $50 to $160; visit cirquedusoleil.com to purchase tickets.

STARTS OCTOBER 29 Although the Toronto Raptors endured a heartbreaking end to their 2013-14 playoffs this past May, the Dinos have retained their core and begin a new season stronger than ever. Forward DeMar DeRozan, point guard Kyle Lowry and shooting guard Terrence Ross are among the returning stars who’ll take on the world’s best basketball players this fall. The Raptors start their new season at home against the Atlanta Hawks. Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m., $12.50 and up; call 416-366-3865 to charge.

ALSO THIS MONTH!

Cancer-stricken Swedish Olympic heptathlete Nadja Casadei. Photo by Peter Holgerson, courtesy of World Press Photo.

The training regime of cancer-stricken Swedish Olympic heptathlete Nadja Casadei, photographed by Peter Holgersson. Courtesy of World Press Photo.

TO OCTOBER 21 World Press Photo, the annual juried exhibition of award-winning photojournalism covering events and issues that impacted the world in 2013, is on display at Brookfield Place (181 Bay St.). Admission is free.

OCTOBER 3 The Blue Dot Tour with David Suzuki—promoting clean drinking water, fresh air and healthy food for all Canadians—comes to Massey Hall, with such special guests as Stephen Lewis, the Barenaked Ladies, Chantel Kreviazuk and Raine Maida. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 – $79.50. Visit bluedot.ca for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 4 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, the annual all-night art affair, returns with more than 100 public installations, many of which invite visitors to be part of the works themselves. The free sunset-to-sunrise event expands into several new neighbourhoods, including Fort York, Chinatown and Bremner Boulevard, the latter of which hosts a magical night circus. Elsewhere, Máximo González’s installation, Walk Among Worlds, takes on political undertones by way of 7,000 beach balls to visualize first- and third-world states. Visit scotiabanknuitblanche.ca for a list of locations.

OCTOBER 5 TO 7 Part of the National Geographic Live series, award-winning photographer Steve Winter shares his experience travelling the globe in search of tigers, cougars and snow leopards. Tickets are $19.50 – $79.50. Roy Thomson Hall, October 5, 2 p.m.; October 6 and 7, 8 p.m. Visit roythomson.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 6 New York-based indie rockers We Are Scientists take the stage at The Horseshoe Tavern with guests Surfer Blood and Eternal Summers. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $18.50; visit horseshoetavern.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 7 TO 11 Award-winning actor, director and producer Ravi Jain and his mom Asha star in A Brimful of Asha, a family story about the search for the perfect bride. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., 416-203-6264.Tuesday to Saturday 9 p.m., Wednesday & Saturday 2 p.m.; $35-$55; visit soulpepper.ca or call 416-866-8666 to buy.

OCTOBER 8 Indie folk-rock chanteuse Cat Power brings her unique fusion sound to The Danforth Music Hall, 8 p.m. Tickets are $36; visit ticketmaster.ca or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 8 & 9 Pop singer-songwriter Jason Mraz plays at Massey Hall, with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $55.50 – $75.50; visit masseyhall.com to purchase.

Russell Peters

Russell Peters is back bringing the laughs at the Air Canada Centre on October 9.

OCTOBER 9 Brampton, Ontario’s best-known export, Russell Peters, is back with all-new material in his latest headlining show, the Almost Famous World Tour. Hot on the heels of appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Notorious on Netflix, Peters brings his trademark brand of wit and observation to what is sure to be a well-attended show—back in 2007, he was the first comedian to sell out the ACC. Air Canada Centre, 8 p.m. Tickets are $58.50 – $125.75; call 1-855-985-5000 or see russellpeters.com for information.

OCTOBER 10 Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Esperanza Spalding—who plays both upright bass and cello—brings her distinctive sound to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place. Tickets are 49.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to charge.

OCTOBER 13 Aussie pop star Betty Who—made famous by a flash mob proposal video shot in a Home Depot that went viral—takes the stage at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club, with guests Joywave and Great Good Fine OK. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19.50; visit livenation.com to purchase.

STARTS OCTOBER 14 A musical journey through the short-lived career of the legendary rock and roll pioneer, who died tragically in a plane crash, Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story features “That’ll be the Day,” “Peggy Sue” and “Everyday.” Various times. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 416-314-2901. Tickets are $29 – $120; call 1-855-622-2787 or visit ticketmaster.ca to buy.

OCTOBER 15 Brit rock band Bastille makes a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre during their North American tour. Tickets are $34.50 – $42.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 16 TO 18 Bach and breakdancing may seem an unlikely combination—until you witness the Flying Steps, that is. The seven-member all-male dance troupe arrives in Toronto for one of two Canadian stops on its Red Bull Flying Bach world tour. Also featuring Swedish dancer Anna Holmström, this high-energy performance combines fast-footed jumps, head spins, jackhammers, hand hops and more choreographed to a live piano and harpsichord performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Massey Hall, Thursday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $25 – $70; call 416-872-4255 for tickets; see flying-steps.de for more information.

OCTOBER 18 Christine McVie rejoins her bandmates for a Fleetwood Mac North American tour, making a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. Tickets are $49.50 – $199.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 21 Bruce McCulloch, of Kids in the Hall fame, chronicles his life as a rebellious teenager in Alberta to her early days in Toronto to fatherhood in Young Drunk Punk. The show, presented by the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, combines stand-up, live music and anecdotes in the lead up to McCulloch’s new book Let’s Start a Riot: A Series of Bravery and Stupidity. General admission is $39; admission plus a copy of the book and a post-show reception is $55. Visit torontosketchfest.com or call 647-505-1050 to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 21 October is breast cancer awareness month, and Eat to the Beat provides a novel way to help. The 19th edition of this popular fundraiser for Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support has 60 of the country’s best female chefs preparing signature bites like duck breast on polenta cream, grilled cheese, brownies and pies. Local culinary favourites include Doona Dooher of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Trista Sheen of Crush Wine Bar and Bonnie Gordon of Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., $175 includes all food and beverages, 7 p.m.; call 416-778-6314 ext. 236 or see eattothebeat.ca for details.

STARTS OCTOBER 21 In the world premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, set in Holland following World War II, an artist accused of selling art to the Nazis must prove his innocence by painting a work by Johannes Vermeer in front of a prosecutor and art historian. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $48-$53; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.

OCTOBER 22 TO 26 The crafty and DIYers won’t want to miss the fall Creativ Festival, a massive consumer show bringing together sewing, quilting, beading, knitting, needlework, DIY decorating, crafting, scrapbooking and more. Workshops and seminars begin on October 22, while the Show Floor is open October 24 to 26, offering a chance to browse and buy a variety of goods, including fabrics, fibres, papers, beads, patterns, tools, books, kits and equipment. Show Floor hours are Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for one day is $4 – $15, and a three-day pass is $25 ($5 for students with valid ID). Hands-on classes and seminars are an extra cost. Visit creativfestival.com for more information or to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 24 The ever-bold Irish singer Sinead O’Connor brings her incredible voice to Massey Hall. Tickets are $49.50 – $79.50; visit masseyhall.com to purchase.

Art Toronto

Art Toronto brings together contemporary art from around the world. Photo courtesy of Art Toronto.

OCTOBER 24 TO 27 The 15th annual Art Toronto, a modern and contemporary fine art fair, will feature more than 100 galleries from Canada and around the world. There will be a feature exhibition by Quebec-based collective BGL, as well as fair tours and expert talks. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.; visit arttoronto.ca for ticket info and further details.

OCTOBER 25 Feist, Sarah Harmer, Jason Collett, Hayden, Lou Canon, Kevin Hearn and other musicians will come together for the first annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert at Massey Hall in support of services for children with developmental disabilities. Tickets are $50 – $200; visit masseyhall.com or call 416-872-4255 to purchase.

TO OCTOBER 26 In the Henrik Ibsen drama An Enemy of the People, a doctor discovers that his town’s baths are contaminated and must decide if he should inform the public of the health risk or keep it to himself to prevent the local economy from collapsing. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $25-$48; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.

OCTOBER 27 Canadian synth-pop darling Lights brings her sparkling tunes to The Danforth Music Hall with special guest Rush Midnight. Tickets are $35; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

Opera Atelier’s The Magic Flute Offers Fantasy for Families

Opera Atelier The Magic Flute Toronto

Colin Ainsworth stars as Tamino in Opera Atelier’s production of The Magic Flute (photo: Bruce Zinger)

APRIL 6 TO 13  An enchanted tale of courage in the face of danger and the triumph of light over darkness, The Magic Flute ushers in spring courtesy of Opera Atelier, Toronto’s renowned producer of Baroque- and Classical-era masterpieces. Mozart’s much-loved singspiel follows Prince Tamino, who, alongside lonely bird-catcher Papageno, must rescue the Queen of the Night’s daughter from the sorcerer Sarastro. A certain charmed musical instrument, of course, helps the prince endure the trials that await him. Elgin Theatre, Tuesday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m, $40 to $160; call 416-703-3767 or visit operaatelier.com for more information.  —Macrina Smart

Hot Date: Ross Petty Awakens Satire in Snow White

(photo: Bruce Zinger)

NOVEMBER 23 TO JANUARY 5  A classic fairy tale gets the song, dance and comedy treatment from Toronto’s best-known theatrical satirist, Ross Petty, in Snow White the Deliciously Dopey Family Musical. Canadian Idol winner Melissa O’Neil is the “fairest maiden of them all” in this zany pantomime filled with humorous pop culture references, while other Canadian stage stars like Stratford Festival actor Graham Abbey and Petty himself take on some rather… uh… unorthodox roles. Elgin Theatre, $27 to $85; call 1-855-599-9090 or click here for a schedule and tickets.  —Ana Taveira

Hot Date: Opera Atelier Takes Aim at the Romantic Era

photo by Bruce Zinger

OCTOBER 27 TO NOVEMBER 3  Opera Atelier aims slightly wide of its usual target to open its 26th season. Known as Canada’s premier producer of works from the Baroque era, the company presents its first foray into the Romantic period, Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (The Marksman). A Faustian bargain is at the centre of this tale, as Max, the titular marksman, turns to supernatural forces in order to win a sharpshooting contest and the hand of his beloved. Inspired by German folklore, the opera is an ideal showcase for star tenor Krešimir Špicer, artists of the Atelier ballet and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Elgin Theatre, $35 to $160; call 1-855-622-2787 or click here for more information.

Hot Date: Ross Petty’s Yellow Brick Road

The colourful cast of Ross Petty's reimagining of The Wizard of Oz

NOVEMBER 25 TO JANUARY 6 The Wizard of Oz gets a major overhaul courtesy of producer Ross Petty, complete with winking asides, audience participation and a man in a dress. The end result is a wonderful and wacky family musical. Petty himself steps into the role of the Wicked Witch of the West, while Elicia MacKenzie, who found success as Maria in the Toronto staging of The Sound of Music, slides into Dorothy’s crimson footwear, and Yvan Pedneault who most recently entertained audiences as an aspiring singer in Rock of Ages, is the Tin Man in search of a heart. Elgin Theatre, $27 to $85; call 1-855-599-9090 or visit here to buy tickets.

Hot Date: Opera Atelier’s Sonic Seducer

photo by Bruce Zinger

OCTOBER 29 TO NOVEMBER 5 Toronto’s renowned Opera Atelier opens its new season with a production of Don Giovanni, which tells of a series of darkly comedic mishaps that befall its rakish title character. Canadian baritone Phillip Addis takes up the mantle of the playboy nobleman in this captivating new production of a Mozart classic. Elgin Theatre, $40 to $180; call 1-855-622-2787, or visit here for showtimes and to purchase.

Weekend Roundup, April 22nd to 24th

Friday: See Measha Brueggergosman in La Clemenza di Tito (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, April 22
Opening tonight at the Elgin Theatre, Opera Atelier‘s production of La Clemenza di Tito features star soprano Measha Brueggergosman, male soprano Michael Maniaci and dramatic tenor Kresimir Spicer. Known as Mozart’s “most perfect work,” this opera has everything, from unrequited love to assassination plots.

In celebration of Good Friday, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performs “Sacred Music for a Sacred Space” at St. Paul’s Basilica this evening. The concert features sacred works by renowned Canadian choral composer, Healey Willan.

All weekend long, Easter EGGstravaganza: Toronto’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt takes place on Centre Island. From 11 a.m.  to 5 p.m., children and families can join in the Easter Bunny for activities and games like basket-making, bouncy castles, face painting, egg painting, a petting zoo and Centreville rides.

Saturday: Get a scare at Ghost Stories (photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions)

Saturday, April 23
Halloween isn’t for another six months, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing Ghost Stories at the Panasonic Theatre. Not for the faint of heart, this is a thrilling, live horror show best suited for audiences 14 years of age or older. Are you brave enough?

Head out of the city for a day trip to Stratford, Ontario and catch the first of the Stratford Festival’s plays for the upcoming season. Previewing this weekend are Grapes of Wrath, based on the novel by John Steinbeck, and Camelot, the renowned musical about the King Arthur and his questing knights.

Free Earth Day Celebrations take place at Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre, from noon to 4 p.m. today. Children and families are invited to learn what they can do to help the planet, create environmentally friendly artwork, tour the wildflower preserve, and learn about the impact of industrialization on the Don Valley’s natural landscape.

Sunday: Cheer on Adam Lind and the rest of the Blue Jays

Sunday, April 24
Catch the last of a three-game tilt between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre on Sunday at 1 p.m. Before filling up on cracker jacks and hot dogs, go for a casual Easter Sunday brunch at Cora Breakfast & Lunch, just steps away from the stadium.

For something a little fancier, Casa Loma hosts its annual Easter Sunday Royal Brunch, with a smorgasbord including pastries, leg of lamb, salad, pancakes and waffles, pasta, seafood and dessert. There’s even a children’s buffet. Kids can also take part in the “Egg”-citing Hunt on at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Don’t miss your last chance to see In Search of Normal Rockwell’s America, which concludes its run at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on April 25. This collection juxtaposes Rockwell’s work with that of photojournalist Kevin Rivoli, both telling the story of “everyday life.”

Hot Date: Brueggergosman’s Operatic Vengeance

Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman (photo by Bruce Zinger)

APRIL 22 TO MAY 1 Measha Brueggergosman, arguably Canada’s most acclaimed operatic singer, lends her pipes to Opera Atelier’s La Clemenza di Tito. In this lavish new production, the New Brunswick–born soprano portrays the daughter of an aristocrat who plots the assassination of the Roman emperor, whose role is sung by Croatian tenor Krešimir Špicer. Set to music by Mozart, the two-act opera offers a tale of ambition and intrigue—but also forgiveness and redemption. Elgin Theatre, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m., $33 to $166; call 416-872-5555 or click here to purchase tickets.

Weekend Roundup, January 28th to 30th

Friday: Witness Christopher Plummer's tour de force in Barrymore

Friday, January 28th
Don’t miss Canadian icon Christopher Plummer in Barrymore, which celebrates its opening weekend at the Elgin Theatre. In this acclaimed one-man play, Plummer embodies the role of John Barrymore, one of the 20th century’s greatest Shakespearean actors.

Winterlicious starts today! Approximately 150 restaurants—including local favourites like Bier Markt, Bangkok Garden and the newly renovated Canoe—are participating in this popular prix-fixe dining event. It’s a great and affordable way to try some of the tasty food Toronto has on offer. (more…)

Hot Date: Christopher Plummer’s Class Act

JANUARY 27 TO MARCH 9 One of Canada’s greatest modern actors embodies one of America’s original stage legends in Barrymore. Examining the complex life and celebrated work of Shakespearian actor John Barrymore, the William Luce–penned one-man play is also a showcase for its celebrated star, Christopher Plummer, whose turn in the original 1996 Stratford Festival staging earned him a Tony Award. Don’t miss this opportunity to see this sublimely talented performer in one of his career-defining roles. Elgin Theatre, Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 6:30 p.m., $55 to $150; for tickets, call 416-872-5555 or click here to buy.

Hot Shows for the Holidays

The holiday hoopla is beginning to reach fever pitch in Toronto. In the lead-up to December 25, the city offers numerous seasonal shows that are sure to enthrall the whole family.

The National Ballet's Nutcracker

SPIRIT OF THE SEASON
DECEMBER 6 TO DECEMBER 30 A classic tale is told in Soulpepper Theatre’s lauded staging of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. The troupe’s adaptation is noted for its reverence to Dickens’ original prose, as well as strong performances by a stellar cast, including Joseph Ziegler as the tormented Ebenezer Scrooge. Performed in the round, this is a holiday treat for the traditional theatre lover.

GET CRACKIN’
DECEMBER 11 TO JANUARY 2 The Four Seasons Centre is transformed into a magical kingdom in the National Ballet of Canada’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Choreographer James Kudelka’s reworking of this classic story is an elegant take on Misha and Marie’s journey through a fairy tale land of sugar plum fairies and toy soldiers. Watching the ballerinas float across the stage in perfect coordination with Tchaikovsky’s memorable score is a delight that is sure to transport you into the blissful land of sweets and snow.

MULTIPLE MESSIAHS
DECEMBER 16 TO 21 (TSO)
DECEMBER 15 TO 19 (TAFELMUSIK)
Classical music doesn’t get much more joyous than this! The renowned Toronto Symphony Orchestra offers a stirring rendition of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah at Roy Thomson Hall. Featuring more than 60 instruments and accompanied by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, this is a performance on the grandest possible scale. If you can’t help but join in the music-making, the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir invites you to Massey Hall for its Sing-Along Messiah, a holiday tradition spanning a quarter-century. It’s a truly moving experience to be part of the hundreds of voices singing this immortal oratorio. (Tafelmusik also offers four traditional Messiah concerts at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.)

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

GREEN CHRISTMAS
DECEMBER 17 TO JANUARY 2 Dr. Seuss’s world of whimsy comes to life at the Sony Centre in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. This acclaimed Broadway production is true to the author’s original story and illustrations, remaking the stage as an animated Whoville. Though the Grinch may start the show with a heart “three sizes too small,” he soon comes to learn the true meaning of Christmas.

MONSTROUS FUN
NOVEMBER 25 TO JANUARY 2 Popular producer Ross Petty brings his brand of zany enchantment to the Elgin Theatre in the form of Beauty and the Beast: The Savagely Silly Family Musical. Featuring stars of stage and screen, this is a unique, contemporary theatre experience for kids and families, with many laughs to be had as the characters guide you through a classic tale with a comedic twist.

AN ICE-BOUND TRIP
DECEMBER 25 TO JANUARY 2 Disney on Ice dazzles Rogers Centre spectators with Mickey and Minnie’s Magical Journey. See the beloved cartoon mice as they dive under the sea with The Little Mermaid, venture into Africa with The Lion King, fly through the skies with Peter Pan and hula dance with Lilo & Stitch. This round-the-world journey makes a great gift for both kids and parents.