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Sony centre for the performing arts

Weekend Roundup, April 8th to 10th

Friday: Marvel at the Harlem Globetrotters' amazing basketball skills

Friday, April 8
For more than 84 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have dazzled fans of sports and showmanship around the world, even presidents and popes. This weekend, they’re dusting off their best moves for three shows at the Rogers Centre: tonight at 7:30 p.m., and tomorrow (April 9) at 2 and 7 p.m.

Kicking off another spring is the Total Health Convention and Exhibition, taking place this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and featuring more than 200 exhibitors. Attendees can also hear from 60-plus speakers on topics like “The Ancient Healing Art of Ayurvedic” or “Health Effects of Genetically Modified Foods.” Don’t miss the gourmet organic café or the spa oasis!

Learn about and celebrate the traditions of First Nations peoples at Survival of the Indigenous Spirit. The fundraiser will take place at the University of Toronto’s Innis Town Hall offers talks by Anishnabe spiritual leader Dave Courchene and Survivorman Les Stroud. Proceeds support the Vision Quest & Makoose Ka Win project.

Saturday: Kids will enjoy seeing Bugs "conduct" the orchestra

Saturday, April 9
Bring the kids to a classical concert they may actually enjoy, as the Sony Centre and Warner Bros. presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony. Two showings (at 2 and 7 p.m.) feature the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony performing live while Bugs Bunny at the Symphony and other classic cartoons are projected on the big screen.

Massey Hall welcomes a Canadian music legend tonight, as iconic singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn plays songs from his latest studio album, Small Source of Comfort, and, possibly such past hits as “Lovers in a Dangerous Time.”

Starting today, Veggielicious takes place at more than 20 restaurants and bakeries across Toronto. Specials on vegan dishes or prix fixe menus are on offer at establishments such as Bunner’s Bake Shop—where you can get a Veggielicious Snack Pack for $7.50—and Live Organic Food Bar, where for $25 you can experience a three-course 100 per cent vegan meal.

Sunday: Colborne Lodge offers family Fun (photo by Bobolink)

Sunday, April 10
Get a head start on all the family fun at Easter Traditions at Colborne Lodge, taking place from noon to 4 p.m. Kids and families can tour High Park’s historic Colborne Lodge while they learn and participate in 19th-century Easter traditions like dyeing and hunting for eggs.

For old and young alike, stamp collectors will enjoy spending the day at the National Postage Stamp Show at Exhibition Place’s Queen Elizabeth Building. Check out the North Toronto Stamp Club’s annual show, meet with dealers from across Canada, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., and participate in prize draws.

Three exciting Asian-inspired exhibitions beckon visitors to the Textile Museum of Canada: Beauty Born of Use: Natural Rainwear from China and Japan showcases the historical use of natural elements like straw, bark, vines, and seaweed to create waterproof and eco-friendly clothing; artist Kai Chan’s A Spider’s Logic brings together common household items reminiscent of his Chinese upbringing to create nature-inspired elements; and, new to the museum, Silk Oasis on the Silk Road: Bukhara displays a collection of ikats and silks from Central Asia’s textile- and history-rich Silk Road.

Weekend Roundup, March 11th to 13th

Friday: The Kodo Drummers of Japan bring their forceful rhythms to the Sony Centre

Friday, March 11
Enjoy the dazzling showmanship and primal rhythms of the world-famous Kodo Drummers of Japan as they take the stage for the Toronto stop of the group’s 30th-anniversary tour. This dazzling display of speed, dexterity, precision, and muscular endurance takes place tonight at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

The Canadian Music Week Film Festival—just one of many events comprising Canadian Music Week, from March 9 to 13—screens today and Saturday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The festival showcases 10 features and a handful of shorts, including rock docs, concert films, band biographies, and musicals.

Dog lovers and pet owners are advised to make tracks to the Purina National Dog Show, which opens today at the International Centre in Mississauga, and features hundreds of purebred canines strutting their stuff in competition. A number of vendors are also on-hand with the latest in doggie gear and accessories.

Saturday: Janet Jackson offers an intimate, all-hits concert

Saturday, March 12
Ms. Janet Jackson herself strides onto the Sony Centre stage for her international “Number Ones, Up Close and Personal” tour. The accomplished singer is set to perform top tracks from her Number Ones album in a personal, intimate setting.

Stroll through the bustling streets of Kensington Market on the Kensington Foodies Roots Walk, which has been featured on CNN and in National Geographic Traveler. From 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., you’ll be able to savour the diverse foods from the ethnic markets, stalls and restaurants.

Start March Break on a high note by making your way to the Toronto Zoo. Starting today and continuing through the week, the zoo offers additional family-fun activities, events, and keeper talks.

Sunday: Enjoy a day at Spring Fling

Sunday, March 13
An excellent daytime activity to kick off your March Break is Spring Fling, Canada’s largest indoor carnival. Enjoy the midway with rides, family entertainment, and exotic animals. All-day ride tickets at this Rogers Centre event are $20, and the fun continues to March 18.

Satisfy Harry Potter fantasies at the Wizard World Indoor Family Fun Park, which opens today and runs to March 20 at Exhibition Place’s Better Living Centre.  The park features 150,000 square feet of indoor fun: food and drinks, professional stage shows, 20 carnival rides, free loot bags for kids under 12, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, and much more.

Put on your best green outfit and shamrock buttons to engage in a little Irish revelry. The Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins today at noon. The annual procession starts at Bloor and St. George streets, marches east to Yonge, and then south toward Nathan Phillips Square.

Weekend Roundup, February 11th to 13th

Friday: "The Trocks" offer a deftly comedic take on dance (photo by Eduardo Rodriguez)

Friday, February 11
Catch the second of three Toronto shows by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo tonight at the Winter Garden Theatre. An acclaimed troupe of professional male dancers, “The Trocks” incorporate and exaggerate the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance in both classical and original works.

If you’ve ever wondered what causes extreme weather, then the Ontario Science Centre’s newest exhibit, Nature Unleashed, is for you! As of today, visitors at the Science Centre can discover what it’s like to be inside a tornado, cause an underwater earthquake, and even create a virtual volcanic eruption!

From “Crazy on You” to “Barracuda,” Heart performed some of the 1970’s most memorable rock songs. Tonight, at Massey Hall, take a trip back in time as the B.C. band led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson play these smash hits and more.

Saturday: See the Winnipeg Ballet before the doors of its Moulin Rouge close

Saturday, February 12
Don’t miss your final chance to see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s acclaimed rendition of Moulin Rouge. This tale of love and adventure at the notorious Parisian cabaret blends high-kicking choreography and a fabulous French soundtrack for one final performance at the Sony Centre.

Another last (curtain) call: The critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined ends its run at Berkeley Street Theatre this evening. Set in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this moving play pays homage to the courage of women struggling against discrimination and hardship.

Reacquaint yourself with two giants of classical music as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra pays tribute to Beethoven and Tchaikovsky at Roy Thomson Hall. American pianist Garrick Ohlsson is sure to dazzle with his featured performance of Ludwig van’s Piano Concerto no. 4 in G Major.

Sunday: Thrill to the passionate steps of Tango Buenos Aires (photo by Prayitno)

Sunday, February 13
Allow yourself to be transported to a world of romance with Tango Buenos Aires. The Argentinian company brings sizzling dance moves and exciting music by a tango orchestra to Roy Thomson Hall tonight.

Celebrate Black History Month at Harbourfront Centre—the Kuumba Festival wraps up today. This weekend’s theme is “Carnival on Mas” and celebrates the art, history, and energy of Caribbean culture.

Follow the complex narrative of a family torn apart by violence in tonight’s performance of Divisadero, the stage adaptation of Michael Ondaatje’s novel of the same name, at Theatre Passe Muraille.

Hot Date: Winnipeg Ballet’s Passionate Dance

Photo by Bruce Monk

FEBRUARY 10 TO 12 The Royal Winnipeg Ballet pays tribute to notorious French cabaret Moulin Rouge with high-kicking choreography and music. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m., $44 to $208.50; call 416-872-2262 or click here to buy.

Hot Date: Shen Yun’s Asian Artistry

JANUARY 13 TO 16 Travel through five thousand years of Chinese history with Shen Yun Performing Arts. The renowned troupe explores the country’s diverse regions and the legends underpinning its culture with a program that combines traditional dance and music with beautiful costumes and impressively elaborate settings projected on a six-storey 3D backdrop. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Thursday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m., $60 to $280; call 416-248-1168 or click here for more information.

Hot Dates: Whoville Holiday

DECEMBER 17 TO JANUARY 2 Make a yuletide trip to Whoville as Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical comes to life with spectacular costumes and sets inspired by the original illustrations. Watch as the Grinch—with his heart “two sizes too small”—steals Christmas from the merry Whos, only to learn, of course, that the day is about much more than gifts. It’s a heartwarming tale that never fails to put everyone in the seasonal spirit. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, various times, $25 to $74; call 416-872-2262 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.

Weekend Roundup, November 26th to 28th

This weekend, art, comedy, music, dance, and a great winter celebration are sure to entertain (and keep your mind off of the increasingly cold weather).

Friday: Learn about the creative genesis of Tim Burton films such as Mars Attacks!

Friday November 26th
The work of Tim Burton is celebrated with an enormous, acclaimed exhibition at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Drawings, storyboards, and even pieces from Burton’s personal collection are just some of the items comprising this examination of the idiosyncratic American auteur.

See (and hear) Barbie as never before in Barbie at the Symphony at the Sony Centre. This production combines well-loved Barbie Princess films with live classical-music accompaniment performed by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

Comedic scenes, songs, and improv make up The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue. Catch a matinee performance of this hilarious alternative to the traditional holiday show. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon and get into that good old holiday spirit.

Saturday: Revel in the illumination of the Cavalcade of Lights

Saturday November 27th
Get three ballets in one tonight as the National Ballet of Canada presents Chroma, Serenade and Emergence as a triple bill. The first dance pairs classical dancing with the music of The White Stripes. The second is a plotless piece that focuses solely on the beauty of dance, while the final work explores the pressures of social norms.

The unveiling of Toronto’s official Christmas tree occurs tonight at the Cavalcade of Lights.  Fireworks and live performances by such acts as Shawn Desman will all be taking place in celebration at Nathan Phillips Square.

Ozzy Osbourne, arguably one of the most entertaining men in rock and roll, strides on to the Air Canada Centre stage to perform tracks from his new album, Scream, as well as some past hits. It’s sure to be an interesting night with this former reality star in the spotlight.

Sunday: Catch a final glimpse of Canadian conceptual art

Sunday November 28th
Wicked, the enthralling tale of the witches of Oz in the days before Dorothy, takes its final bow today at the Canon Theatre. Beautiful (and award-winning) costumes, sets and singing make this a definite must-see!

It’s also your last chance to check out the challenging works featured in Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980. This exhibition, displayed across four different galleries, curates an important period in the development of modern Canadian art.

Thrill to the magnificent musicality of pianist Stewart Goodyear, who performs this evening at the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall. Praised for his creativity, Goodyear is set to showcase his skills with a selection of Beethoven sonatas.

Weekend Roundup, November 5 to 7

The seasons are a-changing! Don’t miss these final fall performances or the first winter productions.

Friday: Marvel at the Merchants of Bollywood

Friday, November 5th
Don’t miss the Canadian Opera Company’s final performance of Aida tonight. Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece tells the tale of forbidden love between an Egyptian king and an Ethiopian slave. After a well-attended run at the Four Seasons Centre, this production closes on a high note.

It’s the opening night of Merchants of Bollywood! This extravagant performance pays tribute to India’s show business, past and present, in an extravagant musical. With 3,800 costumes and 2,000 pieces of jewellery, this performance has all the glamour of Mumbai’s Film City.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair returns this weekend! Catch a rodeo, browse giant vegetables, see the livestock and more at this Toronto tradition. It’s happening at Exhibition Place, all weekend long.

Saturday: See Allegra Fulton in The List (photo by Robert Popkin)

Saturday, November 6th
Nightwood Theatre’s critically acclaimed play, The List, wraps up tonight. The unique show tells the story of a woman who forgets an item on her to-do list, with tragic results.

Tickle your funny bone at the 2010 Sketch Comedy Festival, featuring more than 40 comedy troupes from North America. At venues throughout the city, this wacky event is sure to have you laughing all the way to next week.

Make it a girl’s weekend at the National Women’s Show! The Metro Convention Centre hosts more than 450 vendors and service providers featuring products geared toward the gentler sex. And let’s not forget, there’s also wine sampling, cooking demos, fashion shows and free makeovers!

Sunday: Fall in love with Acis and Galatea

Sunday, November 7th
Get out your helmets, shoulder pads and pig skin: the National Football League makes its now annual northerly trek as part of the Bills Toronto Series! Today at the Rogers Centre, the Buffalo Bills battle the Chicago Bears for gridiron glory. Be sure to join the Budweiser tailgate party prior to the game!

The witty, romantic—and ultimately tragic—opera Acis and Galatea takes its final bow this afternoon. The tale of a water nymph who falls in love with a mortal is sure to have you swooning, thanks to Handel’s pastoral music and the elegant staging by Opera Atelier.

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at the Harbourfront Centre! This Mexican tradition brings families together to remember departed ancestors. See live music and dance performances, watch films and peruse the marketplace. Be sure to try the pan de muerto, or Day of the Dead bread.

Hot Date: Mumbai Mania

NOVEMBER 4 TO 14 The glitz and glamour of India is on full display in The Merchants of Bollywood, a song-and-dance extravaganza that pays tribute to the past and present of the subcontinent’s show business. More than 40 performers are adorned in 3,800 costumes and 2,000 pieces of jewellery from Mumbai’s renowned Film City studios to create a dazzling display of culture. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, various times, $30 to $92.50; call 416-872-2262 or click here to purchase.

Weekend Roundup, October 8 to 10

Toronto’s fun doesn’t stop just because the temperature drops outdoors! There are plenty of new exhibits, shows and performances which will guarantee a good time for everyone this weekend!

Friday: Be wowed by iD (photo by Valérie Remise/Theatre T & Cie)

Friday, October 8th
Catch the entertaining, adults-only puppet show, Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy at the Factory Theatre! When puppeteer Billy Twinkle gets fired from his job on a cruise ship, he must perform his life story as a puppet show to rediscover his love for the craft. It’s a must-see performance that has been garnering rave reviews!

Cirque Éloize has created another masterpiece! Now showing at the Sony Centre For the Performing Arts, iD is filled with jaw-dropping acts  that combine theatre, dance, music, and circus arts. With lots of energy and risky stunts, this innovative show brings plenty of visual effects to make for an unforgettable evening.

Trick or treat! Although Halloween is a few weeks away, visitors to Canada’s Wonderland should prepare to scream as this famous amusement park is once again transformed into the largest haunted attraction in the country. The annual Halloween Haunt offers tons of spooky attractions like haunted mazes and the Psycho Circus. Plus, experience all your favourite rides in complete darkness!

Saturday: Hear classics performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, October 9th
Enjoy a night of legendary music as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performs George Gershwin’s legendary Rhapsody in Blue. This all-American concert will also feature Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Leonard Bernstein’s overture to Candide. Head to Roy Thomson Hall for this powerful performance!

Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida has returned to the Canadian Opera Company stage! This tragic opera tells the forbidden love story between an Ethiopian slave girl and an Egyptian king in a time of war. It’s a stirring show, on now at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts.

The Fryderyk Chopin and Romantic Piano exhibit opens today at the Royal Ontario Museum. Showcasing numerous instruments, costumes and original scores from the Romantic Era, the show celebrates the bicentennial of this amazing composer’s birth.

Sunday: See mythical beasts at the Ontario Science Centre

Sunday, October 10th
Are you fan of all things fantasy? Head to the Ontario Science Centre to see their newest exhibit Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids. On display is an unbelievable range of sculptures, fossils, creatures and characters that have played a large role in popular myths and fables. You (literally) can’t miss the 40-metre long Chinese dragon that stretches along this exhibit!

The Arts at the Heart market takes over the busy Yonge-Dundas Square this weekend as hundreds of vendors display their handmade wares for sale. Find unique and colourful apparel, fashionable jewelery, belts, accessories and so much more.

It’s your last chance to check out Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel! This unique production brings together incredible circus acts, colourful costumes, vibrant dance routines, and a hilarious story. The final performance is tonight at the Canon Theatre.

Hot Date: Hip-Hop Spectacle

OCTOBER 1 TO 9 Get ready to be amazed by a cutting-edge combination of theatre, dance, music and circus arts presented by Cirque Éloize. The talented troupe’s show, iD, heralds the reopening—and 50th anniversary—of the newly renovated Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Employing an “urban playground” set with sci-fi, comic book and graffiti video projections, plus acts like the trampowall, stunt bike riding and more, this innovative production offers a striking entertainment hybrid. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Thursday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $35 to $77; call 416-872-2262 or click here to purchase tickets.