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Sony Centre

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

Weekend Roundup: February 3 to 5

Friday: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre performs Revelations and more (photo by Christopher Duggan)

Friday, February 3
Witness the legacy of one of the world’s finest choreographers in action when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visits the Sony Centre to perform some of Ailey’s best-loved modern dance pieces, including Revelations.

Explore the movement, folklore and theatrical traditions of Africa with COBA, the Collective of Black Artists, when the group brings traditional dances from Guinea and Senegal to Harbourfront Centre this weekend.

Embrace African culture even more broadly at Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba festival, which celebrates Black History Month. All manner of family-friendly activities are on offer—from film screenings and dance performances to a fashion workshop and drum exhibit. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, November 11 to 13

Friday: Pay tribute to Canada's soldiers on Remembrance Day (photo by Jennyrotten)

Friday, November 11
Take time to remember the sacrifices of veterans and currently serving members of our armed forces at the Remembrance Day ceremony at Toronto’s Old City Hall Cenotaph. The service is slated to include flybys from the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

Step up to the mic and contribute your MC skills to the Museum of Indulgence, a multimedia collaboration on display at Harbourfront Centre. The exhibition combines life-sized dioramas with on-site performances to explore the themes of hip-hop stereotypes, excess and indulgence.

Fire-emitting roller skates? Dancers on spinning turntables? A rockin’ song list? Check, check, and check. Alberta Ballet’s acclaimed spectacle Love Lies Bleeding, inspired by and featuring the music of Sir Elton John, is on stage at the Sony Centre.

There’s more action on Saturday and Sunday! Read on!

Weekend Roundup, March 25th to 27th

Friday: Thrill to the fleet footwork of Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance (photo by Ken Howard)

Friday, March 25
Michael Flatley, who has been aweing audiences for over a decade as the Lord of the Dance returns to the Sony Centre for a mythic tale of Irish folklore that has dazzled over 100 million people worldwide. Don’t miss this classic story of good versus evil expressed through fast-footed dance.

Emerging director Philip McKee of artistic troupe Idée Fixe presents a passionate adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear at Harbourfront Centre. As the king comes closer to death, he demands his daughters prove their love to him in order to secure their inheritance. When the most faithful fails to offer concrete evidence of her devotion, Lear banishes her from his home and heart.

Celebrating 40 years of Canadian music, Junofest features over 100 bands in 20 venues over two nights across the city. Catch tunes from such bands as Billy Talent, Die Mannequin and Bedouin Soundclash playing at such concert locations as the Opera House and Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Saturday: Check out the best bikes at the National Motorcycle Show

Saturday, March 26
Turn off your technology and experience Earth Hour at the Ontario Science Centre with a free live stage show from TVOkids entitled Don’t Sit Still. Or, as the lights go out, observe the stars in Toronto’s sky and a special viewing of Saturn through a telescope with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Rev up your engines and head down to the Better Living Centre for the 30th anniversary of the National Motorcycle Show. View vintage bikes, including the new row of champions, and find everything you need to get geared up for the season.

Celebrate with tequila at Embrujo Flamenco, an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant which this weekend features a special pre-fixe tasting dinner menu with tequila tasters. Sample fare like flambéed shrimp cooked in Cuervo Blanco tequila and a chocolate mousse with Jimador Reposado tequila and orange marmalade. Post-supper fun includes flamenco dancing and a live music show.

Sunday: Applaud your favourite Canadian musicians at the Junos

Sunday, March 27
The Juno Awards mark their 40th anniversary here in Toronto, home of the very first awards show honouring Canadian musicians. Rap superstar Drake hosts a line-up of stellar performances featuring Sarah McLachlan, Broken Social Scene and Hedley, nominated respectively for Best Artist, Group and Album of the Year.

Hurry to the Art Gallery of Ontario for the last week to see the majesty of the Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts. See amazing artworks, royal costumes, jewellery and a life size model elephant enrobed in textiles, trappings and a silver howdah. Don’t miss the afternoon performance by South Asian dance company inDance.

Marvel at the National Ballet of Canada’s premiere performance of Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s Themes & Variations, Apollo & Russian Seasons. This showcase features three short one-act ballets set to Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No.3., created by George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky with a score by Leonid Desyatnikov.

Weekend Roundup, March 4th to 6th

Friday: Witness the grace of Russia's Mariinsky Ballet

Friday, March 4
Marvel at Russia’s legendary Mariinsky Ballet (formerly the Kirov Ballet) as its skilled dancers float across Sony Centre stage in Swan Lake, arguably the world’s most popular ballet. Accompanied by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, this production of a beloved classic is sure to please the whole family.

Two hundred independent and emerging artists have gathered in Toronto this weekend for The Artist Project. Chat with the artists about their processes and inspirations as they display their paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations and more.

Listen in on La Voix Humaine, a fantastic one-woman play written by renowned poet, author and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. On stage at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre, this drama details a mysterious phone call placed to a woman by a lover who abandoned her.

Saturday: Lucinda Williams takes the stage with Levon Helm

Saturday, March 5
Steep yourself in Americana tonight as Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Levon Helm brings his Ramble on the Road tour to Massey Hall. The former singer and drummer for The Band is joined by renowned roots artist Lucinda Williams, who is scheduled to perform a full set of her own, too.

Scour a treasure trove of the past at the Absolutely Vintage Show and Sale at Maple Cottage. Top vintage shops including Gadabout and Eclectisaurus have combined their collections of clothing, jewelery and antiques in a smorgasbord of unique fashion and accessories.

Tonight represents theatre goers’ final opportunity to catch the Canadian Stage Company’s Saint Carmen of the Main. This Greek tragedy with a Canadian twist tells the story of a young performer who leaves Nashville and returns to her roots in Montreal, where she sings of the hustlers and whores who attend her nightclub shows and sees those on the fringes of society become the heroes of her songs.

Sunday: Slip through the fog curtain to learn about water at the Royal Ontario Museum's latest exhibition

Sunday, March 6
Drink in every last drop of tantalizing information as the Royal Ontario Museum presents Water: The Exhibition. Through this comprehensive show, visitors can learn about water’s importance as an essential resource thanks to hands-on activities, live animal displays and much more.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a little bit early at the Tiff Bell Lightbox, which today presents the Toronto Irish Film Festival. Its day-long slate of films from the Emerald Isle—and Canada, too—honours the Irish and their cultural contributions to the visual media. 

Considered by many to be one of the world’s finest classical ensembles, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra offers an applause-worthy program of Schubert, Wagner and Bartók tonight at Roy Thomson hall. Master conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the orchestra to mastery in grand Viennese style.

Hot Date: Swoon for Swan Lake

MARCH 1 TO 6 A moving story, sweeping music and masterful choreography have made Swan Lake one of the world’s most popular ballets. What better way to experience it than with a performance by the Mariinsky Ballet, the renowned Russian company formerly known as the Kirov Ballet? Making its first appearance in Toronto since 1989, the troupe’s legendary grace and technical mastery is on full display in this story of a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer’s curse. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. $60 to $225; for tickets, call 416-872-2262 or click here.

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.