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st. lawrence centre for the arts

Hot Date: The Canadian Stage Company Sees Red

Jim Mezon and David Coomber in Red (photo by Bruce Zinger)

NOVEMBER 24 TO DECEMBER 17 Abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko’s rise to fame in the 1950s came with heightened scrutiny and the burden of creating a masterpiece. With the eyes of the artistic community fixated on him, he set to work on one of his best-known commissions, a series of murals for the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York’s Seagram Building. Now, the Canadian Stage Company offers a peek into Rothko’s studio with Red, the 2010 Tony Award-winning play that fictionalizes the artist’s struggle to produce his murals while reconciling notions of commercialism and fame. With a script by acclaimed Hollywood screenwriter John Logan, Rothko (Jim Mezon) and his young assistant, Ken (David Coomber) grapple with ideas about art, relevance and the role of artists. The performance includes an original score by former ­Barenaked Ladies musician Andy Creeggan, which was inspired by the music Rothko listened to while painting.
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Bluma Appel Theatre, Monday to Saturday 8 p.m., Wednesday 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., $24 to $99; call 416-368-3110 or click here for tickets.

Hot Date: Patinkin’s Yiddish Character

SEPTEMBER 17 & 18 Immerse yourself in the “mother tongue” with Mamaloshen, a performance of traditional, classic and contemporary songs in the Yiddish language by award-winning stage and screen star Mandy Patinkin. Known for his roles in Evita and The Princess Bride, Patinkin’s repertoire includes such songs as “Oyfn Pripetshik” and “Rabbi Elimeylekh,” as well as an interpretation of “God Bless America.” The show ends with selections from Patinkin’s accomplished Broadway career. St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Bluma Appel Theatre, Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $64 to $176; call 416-366-7723 or click here to buy.

Weekend Roundup, May 13th to May 15th

Friday: See Diego Matamoros in The Aleph (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, May 13
Get a glimpse into the mysteries of the underworld in The Aleph, Soulpepper Theatre Company’s version of Jorge Luis Borges’s 1945 short story. This thought-provoking adaptation is crafted by Canadian theatre artists Diego Matamoros, Daniel Brooks and Michael Levine.

The cycle of life—from Bar Mitzvah to death—is presented through Jewish musical-theatre songs in the world premiere of To Life, presented by the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Filled with love and humour, this unique musical references Broadway hits such as Fiddler on the Roof and the work of Eddie Cantor.

The Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival continues this weekend with the opening of another of its many exhibitions—Kaid Ashton’s Exploration, on display at artsy West Queen West café, The Mascot.

Saturday: Usher offers a powerhouse performance (photo by Marco from Houston)

Saturday, May 14
Are you ready to burn? Multi-platinum artist Usher turns up the temperature at the Air Canada Centre tonight with his signature R&B hits such as “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” and “Burn.” The night starts off on the right note with a special guest set by Akon.

The competition heats up at BMO Field when Toronto FC takes on the Chicago Fire. Be sure to offer some extra applause for TFC forward Joao Plata, just voted MLS Player of the Week.

Ornithology enthusiasts are encouraged to flock to the Toronto Zoo for International Migratory Bird Day. Bring your binoculars and participate in guided bird-watching tours of the Rouge Valley, then check out the displays set up by bird-related organizations in the Conservation Connection Centre.

Sunday: See "Vicky" the steam train, one of the stars of The Railway Children

Sunday, May 15
Catch the train as the newly built Roundhouse Theatre opens its doors this morning. Visitors to this 300,000-square-foot venue that houses The Railway Children can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the unique stage design, see the production’s vintage steam train up close, ride a miniature locomotive, and discover the heritage trains within Roundhouse Park.

In the thrilling conclusion to the National Lacrosse League’s season, the Toronto Rock challenge the Washington Stealth for the 2011 Champion’s Cup at the Air Canada Centre. Last season, Washington defeated Toronto to win their first cup in franchise history. This time around, the Rock and their fans are certain to be hungry for revenge!

Enjoy a spirited show by the Esprit Orchestra—featuring violinist Marie Bérard—this evening at Keorner Hall. The program includes a world premiere performance of composer Chris Harman’s latest work.

Weekend Roundup, April 1st to 3rd

Friday: Peruse funky bowls by Carolyne Brouillard and many other items at the One of a Kind Spring Show

Friday, April 1
Artists, designers and shoppers unite! The always anticipated One of a Kind Spring Show has begun, and runs through to this Sunday at Exhibition Place’s Direct Energy Centre. Here, 450 artisans offer unique, handmade art, clothing, accessories and designs for purchase. This year, the show features a Muskoka Artists Marketplace as well as workshops and seminars on home design.

In the same vein, the International Home & Garden Show also takes place this weekend at the International Centre, just west of Toronto. Hundreds of home experts, interior designers and landscaping professionals will be on hand for consultation, offering thousands of products and ideas to help freshen up your home this spring.

A new Major League Baseball season begins tonight as the Toronto Blue Jays go to bat against Minnesota Twins. The game at the Rogers Centre is officially sold out (yes, all 50,000 seats), but you can catch the game with the locals at Real Sports Bar & Grill or Wayne Gretzky’s.

Saturday: Rod Steward joins Stevie Nicks for an evening of song (photo by Mark Seliger)

Saturday, April 2
Catch Toronto FC in the second game of its fledgling Major League Soccer season, as the boys in red square off against Chivas USA from Carson, California. The match starts at 1 p.m. at BMO Field, just steps from the popular Liberty Village neighbourhood. Before the game, fill up on some comforting brunch dishes at School Bakery & Café or Mildred’s Temple Kitchen.

The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts offers two chances (at 2 and 8 p.m.) to hear A Little Nightmare Music, with classical musicians and YouTube sensations Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo. The duo has taken the world by storm with their unique and hilarious theatrical show that combines classical music with popular culture.

On Saturday evening, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks bring their Heart & Soul Tour to the Air Canada Centre. A “can’t-miss” concert event, the distinctive singers are slated to perform hits from their catalogs, as well as some duets.

Sunday: Partake in historical fare at Fort York (photo by Webguy63)

Sunday, April 3
History is made fun at Fork York National Historic Site, in the heart of downtown Toronto. The heritage site hosts a Historical Food Tasting and Tea experience from 1 to 3 p.m., including samples of old-fashioned food recipes from the fort’s restored 1826 kitchen, plus tea and the freedom to explore the rest of the site.

Starting today, a new exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario features the evolution of 20th-century Inuit art. Inuit Modern: the Samuel & Esther Sarick Collection showcases more than 175 works, including pieces by David Ruben Piqtoukun, Kenojuak Ashevak, Karoo Ashevak, and Lucy Tasseor.

In support of Raising the Roof’s Youthworks initiative, the All-Star Comedy Cabaret is just one aspect of this weekend’s April Fool’s Weekend of Comedy festival. Taking place at 7:30 p.m. at The Second City, the fundraiser is hosted by Steve Patterson of CBC’s The Debaters and features comedians like CBC’s Pete Zedlacher (Just For Laughs, The Hour), Almost Heroes’ Ryan Bellevill, CityTV’s Jonny Harris, David Merry, Evan Carter and Shaun Majumder.

Weekend Roundup, May 21 to 24

Toronto certainly knows how to commemorate a festive occasion. Your Victoria Day weekend will be a memorable one filled with festivals, music and, naturally, fireworks.

Friday: See Elmo and his Sesame Street friends (photo courtesy of VEE Corporation; TM/© 2010 Sesame Workshop)

Friday, May 21
Don’t miss country singer and songwriter Taylor Swift at the Air Canada Centre, as she belts out her hits. American Idol performer Kellie Pickler provides additional vocal firepower as a special guest.

Families are sure to be drawn to the Rogers Centre this weekend. Watch the Sesame Street gang in Elmo’s Green Thumb, a theatrical story in which everyone’s favourite red furball attempts to speed the growth of a sunflower with a spell that, consequently, shrinks him and his friends. Learn a thing or two about patience and our ecosystem and be entertained as the muppets dance, sing and set your sides in stitches.

Seek out art of philosophical meaning and technical precision at the Alison Smith Gallery, a chic gallery in the emerging Dundas West art district.

Saturday, May 22
Peer through the looking glass and behold the world of Alice in Wonderland at Black Creek Pioneer Village, where the beloved story comes to life for an entire weekend of Cheshire Cat crafts, a Mad Hatter’s tea party and much more.

His name was all over the newspapers and now they’ll be writing about his visit to Massey Hallcomedian and erstwhile talk show host Conan O’Brien will have you roaring with laughter alongside Andy Richter and the former Tonight Show band.

Don’t miss your last chance to experience the moral thriller Death and the Maiden at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Watch as this intriguing tale—about a woman who encounters a doctor who may have tortured her in the past—unfolds before your bewildered eyes.

Sunday: Enjoy the Cinesphere and other attractions at Ontario Place

Sunday, May 23
Explore architectural wonders and historic districts on a relaxing yet educational walking tour hosted by the Royal Ontario Museum. This afternoon’s ROM Walk sets off at 2 p.m. for an adventure detailing Sacred Stones and Steeples.

What would Victoria Day weekend be without fireworks? Mark the festive occasion at Ontario Place or Canada’s Wonderland with a day of rides and an evening showcase of bursting, streaming, shimmering lights.

Enjoy a decadent meal aboard the Jubilee Queen cruise ship. Float serenely among the Toronto Islands as sparkling stars—and, of course, those festive fireworks—illuminate the night sky.

Monday, May 24
Celebrate the queen’s birthday at Gibson House, the historic home of one of Willowdale’s founding families. Snack on a treat in the  kitchen, view old-fashioned toys in the parlour or engage in hands-on activities in the Discovery Gallery.

Behold gravity-defying stunts and incredible acrobatics at the Toronto International Circus Festival. World-class acrobats, fire-eaters, stilt walkers and balloon sculptors gather at Harbourfront Centre to amaze and entertain you.

Meander through the Distillery Historic District and feast your eyes on displays of Canadian crafts—including handmade jewellery, sweet-smelling soaps, wood furniture and photographic art—at the Distillery Spring Arts Show.

You Are Here: Front Street East

Old Town’s main artery is a bustling hub of social activity—part of the city’s oldest neighbourhood, it offers an array of fine establishments. Globetrot the world through your taste buds, take a picture in front of one of the city’s landmark sites or catch an award–winning show.

Click on any map marker for more information on Where’s neighbourhood favourites.

View You Are Here: Front Street East in a larger map

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Holiday Happenings: New Year’s Eve Celebrations

New Year's at Nathan Phillips SquareWhether you’re looking to take in a stage show, indulge in a culinary celebration, or dance into the wee hours—we’ve got plenty of party ideas to help you ring in 2010.

Scottish Traditions
Step back in time on December 28 for an evening of Scottish food and music during Hogmanay (the Scots word for “new year”) celebrations at Mackenzie House . The decorated 19th-century row house will be illuminated with gaslight while traditional musical group Gin Lane performs popular tunes, including a musical rendition of Auld Lang Syne, the famed verse by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. 82 Bond St., 7 to 9 p.m. $20 per person; call 416-392-6915 to reserve.

On December 29, bring the family to Gibson House for a candlelit evening celebrating the Scottish New Year at the Hogmanay Party for Families. Visitors are greeted at the door by the legendary “First Footer” and are soon immersed in Hogmanay customs through hands-on crafts, stories and sing-alongs. On December 30, enjoy a scrumptious meal at a traditional Hogmanay dinner party.  Wine and dine by the fireside while watching a dramatic re-creation of a New Year from a bygone time. 5172 Yonge St. Hogmanay family party 7 to 9 p.m. Adults $20, children $12.50. Hogmanay Dinner 7:30 to 10 p.m. $50; call 416-395-7432 to pre-register for either event.

Stage Performances
Stand up and cheer for some of the most passionate operatic music ever written as Bravissimo! Opera’s Greatest Hits returns to Toronto for a spectacular New Year’s Eve concert at Roy Thomson Hall. Delight in dazzling performances of beloved arias, duets and more from Carmen, Madama Butterfly, La bohème and other classics from opera’s golden age. 60 Simcoe St. 7 p.m., $75 to $155; call 416-872-4255 or click here to buy.

Laugh, cry, and kiss the New Year goodbye as Yuk Yuk’s founder Mark Breslin presents the annual New Year’s Eve Comedy Extravaganza at Massey Hall. Hilarious host Gerry Dee is joined on stage by the city’s funniest stand up and improv artists. Special guest performers include Nikki Payne and “That Canadian Guy” Glen Foster. 178 Victoria St.
7:30 p.m. $39.50 to $59.50; call 416-872-4255 or visit here to purchase tickets.

The Toronto Operetta Theatre‘s New Year’s Eve Gala features dinner, dancing and a rousing performance of Countess Maritza, an operetta known the world over for its combination of Viennese elegance and Hungarian passion. This fundraising event, which has sold out for 12 years in a row, includes a pre-performance sit-down dinner and a late-night reception and dance party to benefit the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. 27 Front St. E.
5:30 p.m., $145 and up; call 416-366-7723 or click here to buy.

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Luminato Preview—Theatre, Dance, Music and Wonder

These highly anticipated events are to keep you entertained during Toronto’s illuminating festival arts festival.

The Children's Crusade finds hope in conflict (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann).

The Children's Crusade finds hope in conflict (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann).

PASSION AND PATHOS
JUNE 5 & 6, 8 TO 11 Over its previous two editions some of Luminato’s most ambitious and awe-inspiring performances have been those commissioned specifically for the festival. Among this year’s slate of world premieres is The Children’s Crusade, a highly anticipated new opera by Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. Featuring more than 100 diverse performers and a battery of medieval instruments, the 90-minute work is based on the tragic story of a 13th-century expedition involving thousands of young people who set out for the Holy Land to spread hope in a time of conflict. Something of a hybrid piece, The Children’s Crusade also incorporates contemporary sonic and visual elements: notably, innovative director Tim Albery stages the opera in a strikingly derelict warehouse; the standing audience moves through the space, following the company on its inspiring, yet ultimately doomed campaign. 153 Dufferin St., 8 p.m., $40.

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