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Rock of Ages

HOT ENTERTAINMENT

SHOW TIME
A trio of popular consumer shows return to Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road.
• March 1–3: Discover the the latest technology, new rides, demos, and more at the Motorcyle and Powersport Show.
• March 8–10: The Atlantic Outdoor Sports & RV Show brings five shows together: camping, hunting/fishing, motorsports, travel, and family fun.
• March 29–31: Planning to build a new home? Renovate? Redecorate? You’ll find products, ideas, inspiration, and expert advice aplenty at the Spring Ideal Home Show.

THE NATURE OF THINGS
Continuing through April 14
With The Memorialist, D’Arcy Wilson offers a surreal look at the contradictions between how we concurrently exploit and try to preserve nature. Wilson works with photography, video, a diorama, a selection of museum and archival objects, and performances. See it at Dalhousie University Art Gallery on University Avenue.

WEST GOES EAST
March 26
Live Art Dance continues its mission of showcasing top contemporary dance from across the country, welcoming Ballet BC. The 16 dancers will perform works by Crystal Pite and Medhi Walerski, plus a new work by Emily Molnar.

ROCK ON
March 26
Head to Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street to revisit the glory days of ‘80s hair rock, as the Rock of Ages Tenth Anniversary Tour comes to town, featuring the music of Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, Poison, Styx, and many others.

THE SONGWRITERS’ CRAFT
March 15
Bruce Guthro’s Songwriters’ Circle returns to the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia. The eponymous local musician invites three friends to join him to jam and explore the songwriters’ craft.

MUSIC-LOVERS’ TRIFECTA
• March 9: The Dartmouth Community Concert Association hosts Sonic Escape—violinist Maria Millar and flutist Shawn Wyckoff—at Woodlawn United Church. The duo performs Four Seasons Rising, a composition that aims to inspire people to take earth-friendly actions.
• March 16–17: Baroque violinist extraordinaire Jeanne Lamon rejoins Symphony Nova Scotia at St. Matthew’s United Church
(page EC5) for works by Bach, Marcello, and Handel.
• March 30: The Cecilia Concert Series at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts features violinist Kerson Leong, performing Eugène Ysaÿe’s six solo sonatas.

 

PEOPLE & PLACES
Continuing through March 31
Focusing on Mi’kmaq and Beothuk visual culture, Jordan Bennett uses painting, sculpture, video, installation, and sound to explore themes of land, language, the act of visiting, and familial ties. See his exhibition Ketu’elmita’jik at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street.

MARCH

March 3
Thank You For Being A Friend
Billed as “the ultimate Golden Girls experience” this not-for-kids puppet show is a loving tribute to the popular sit-com characters, with lots of familiar jokes, quips, and stories.

March 8, 9
Ria Mae
After soaring from Halifax to the top of the Canadian music scene, Mae returns to the Marquee on Gottingen Street for a pair of hometown shows.

March 16
Jeremy Hotz,
The woeful and long-suffering comic (a veteran of the festival circuit) returns, sharing life’s latest indignities at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

March 17
Neptune Theatre
Tonight is your last chance to see the classic farce Noises Off, with a cast that includes rising-star Kirsten Howell.

March 18
Royal Wood
The Ontario pop singer/songwriter turns east, touring material from his new album Ever After the Farewell.

March 21, 24
Symphony Nova Scotia
An old friend returns, as long-time composer-in-residence Dinuk Wijeratne (right) shares his new work Clarinet Concerto, written for his friend (and clarinet master) Kinan Azmeh.

Hair-Metal Musical Rock of Ages Returns to Toronto

Rock of Ages Toronto

Rock of Ages returns to Toronto for a limited engagement at the Sony Centre

MARCH 19 TO 24  The 1980s are back, yet again, as hair-metal musical Rock of Ages returns for a limited engagement. A simple yet abiding story—small-town girl meets hotshot musician on the Sunset Strip—sets the stage for heroic performances of beloved ‘80s hits, including Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m., $25 to $90; call 1-855-872-7669 or click here for more information and to buy.  —Anna Marszalek

Autumn’s Theatrical Appeal

Check out our slideshow to raise the curtain on a new season of musicals, dramas and more.

Hot Date: Rock Out with This ’80s Musical

Yvan Pedneault and Elicia MacKenzie in Rock of Ages

ON NOW Get ready for big dreams, big tunes and big fun with the hit musical Rock of Ages. Set in the 1980’s, this production follows two young lovers, Drew and Sherrie—played by Canadian stage idols Yvan Pedneault and Elicia MacKenzie—trying to make it big in glitzy Los Angeles. Music by Styx, Twisted Sister, Journey and more helps the pair sing their way to fame. Royal Alexandra Theatre, Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m., Sunday 7 p.m., $30 to $175; call 416-872-1212 or visit Ticket King to buy.

Weekend Roundup, July 16 to 18

A weekend filled with festivals, concerts, theatre and culture! Toronto’s multiculturalism openly displayed right in front of your eyes. Lots to choose from, so little time…

Friday: Revel in Shakespearean derring-do under the stars at High Park (photo by Chris Gallow)

Friday, July 16
Spend your evening at the launch of the annual Beaches International Jazz Festival at Woodbine Park, where you can enjoy some fresh air while listening to top acts like Digging Roots and Jay Douglas & The All-Stars. Bring a blanket or some chairs, recline on the grass and celebrate the weekend with free music. If you like what you hear, be sure to come back Saturday and Sunday for more.

Fall in love with Shakespeare under the stars at the Canadian Stage TD Dream in High Park, which offers a pay-what-you-can performance of Romeo Juliet with a modern twist—the story of the star-crossed lovers is told using iPods and other contemporary props.

Tantalize your taste buds for less thanks to Summerlicious. The popular dining sees restaurants offering three-course meals at a fixed price. Make a reservation to sample the cuisines of the world at such Toronto favourites as Alize (Italian), Bangkok Garden (Thai), Célestin (French), Jaipur Grille (Indian) and Katsura (Japanese).

Or, try a different kind of ‘licious menu at Lee. Its “Susur-licious” menu, named for star chef and owner Susur Lee, is a three-course prix fixe featuring dishes from Lee’s tenure on the Food Network’s Top Chef Masters.

Saturday: See Geddy Lee and the rest of Rush (photo by ceedub13)

Saturday, July 17
Forget the 19-hour flight to the other side of the world. Today you can experience Indian culture on Toronto’s Centre Island, which hosts the annual Festival of India. Your immersion includes Indian music, dance, food and dramatic performances, plus crafts and souvenirs available from the bazaar. An exhibition reflecting the country’s history offers further enlightenment.

Swing by the Distillery Historic District to grab a bite from one of its many restaurants or cafés, then be sure to check out one of two Soulpepper Theatre Company shows at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Turgenev’s romantic comedy A Month in the Country is sure to stir up your emotions, and David French’s original and acclaimed Jitters also draws guffaws today.

Sing along with Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart as they bring their Rush classics back to the Air Canada Centre. The legendary Canadian prog rock band‘s Time Machine tour is guaranteed to have you reminiscing about the glory days.

Come face to face with some of the world’s most celebrated historical artifacts at the Royal Ontario Museum’s landmark exhibition, The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army, featuring full-sized clay warriors from the tomb of Chinese emperor Ying Zheng.

Sunday: Don't forget your earplugs! The Hondy Indy zooms through Toronto

Sunday, July 18
There’s more musical nostalgia on offer at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, as Rock of Ages continues its successful run. This engaging show sets a rock ‘n’ roll love story to a soundtrack of ’80s hits by Journey, REO Speedwagon and many others.

South America’s largest nation gets a showcase this weekend at the Expressions of Brazil festival, part of Harbourfront Centre’s summer-long “world routes” programming. Today’s cultural mix includes samba performances, a drumming workshop, cooking and capoeira demonstrations and much more.

It’ll be easy to find Exhibition Place today—just head toward the sound of revving engines at the much-anticipated Honda Indy car race. Cheer on professional drivers like Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti as they speed toward the checkered flag.

Indulge in a decadent taste from the briny deep at the annual Ontario Oyster Festival hosted by Rodney’s Oyster House. For $30, guests can feast on some exceptional oysters, hear live music, cheer on competitive oyster shuckers and much more. All proceeds go to Environmental Defence, a charitable organization.

Weekend Roundup, April 30 to May 2

Mark the coming of May in the traditional style of our ancestors: laughter, fun and celebration. This weekend, Toronto invites you to take your pick amongst skating, musicals, tours,  fine dining and more.

Friday: Kurt Browning and friends skate their way to Sears Stars on Ice (photo by Stephan Potopnyk)

Friday, April 30
Reach for the heavens while applauding at Sears Stars on Ice, where you can witness first-hand the art of figure skating as interpreted by such Canadians as Kurt Browning, Jeffrey Buttle and our beloved 2010 Olympians, Patrick Chan, Joannie Rochette, and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

Nosh on traditional public-house favourites like nachos or poutine at the Mill Street Brew Pub. Happy Hour goes late into the evening with a variety of artisan beers, wines and whiskies.

Mark the final day of Keep Toronto Reading month with a trip to a local public library. Attend readings by various authors of books, poetry and plays at the Diaspora Dialogues event.

Saturday: See Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate at the Stratford Festival (photo by Andrew Eccles)

Saturday, May 1
Indulge in the English canon’s finest at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, a short drive away in the picturesque town of Stratford. Enjoy productions of the Bard’s romantic comedy As You Like It, as well as the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate (itself an interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew) and a magical staging of Peter Pan.

Dig into a hearty Mexican burrito at Hernando’s Hideaway. Or sample many other Mexican delights—faijtas, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos and more—at this ebullient Old Town restaurant.

Discover the latest addition to Canadian painter Michael Adamson‘s abstract art oeuvre at his Moore Gallery exhibition, entitled Distant Relation.

Sunday: Elicia MacKenzie stars in Rock of Ages (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Sunday, May 2
Catch the musical love story Rock of Ages in its second week of performances filled with rockin’ ‘80s hits like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister.

Savour French cuisine at the brasserie-style Le Papillon on Front. Quebecois dishes like tourtière are a specialty, and the restaurant also boasts a huge menu of savoury crepes.

Take a stroll through Toronto on 100-plus tours as part of Jane’s Walk, which wends through the city’s diverse neighbourhoods. Indulge in the Black Creek community walk, peruse the Annex or grab a bite to eat in Kensington Market while viewing the city through experts’ eyes.

http://www.hernandoshideaway.com/home.html

Rockin’ Good Time

A new rock musical proclaims: “Don’t Stop Believing” in the power of 1980s nostalgia.
By Meaghan Lamb

Rock-musical revivalists will recognize Yvan Pedneault, lately of We Will Rock You (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

OPENS APRIL 20 Teeze out your hair, dust off your Flying V guitar and raise your lighter high as the Tony Award–nominated Rock of Ages thunders into the Royal Alexandra Theatre for its Canadian premiere.

Taking full advantage of the trend of using popular music to tell a story (think Queen and Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You and ABBA’s Mamma Mia!), Rock of Ages matches retro ‘80s mega-hits with a boy-meets-girl saga of love and ambition. For the Toronto version of this Broadway blockbuster, a lusty-lunged Canadian cast dons distressed denim and headbands to belt out bombastic anthems including Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.”Quebec native Yvan Pedneault—rock chops sharply honed thanks to his lead role in the Toronto production of We Will Rock You—plays Drew, an edgy musician with vocal cords set to wail, while British Columbia–bred ingenue Elicia MacKenzie co-stars as Sherrie, a small-town girl with a big-screen dream. The actress knows a thing or two about wish fulfillment—she got her own big break when Canadian television viewers picked her to star as fräulein Maria in the recent acclaimed staging of The Sound of Music.

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