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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for July 13-15

Friday, July 13

WICKED plays the NAC from July 11 to 29. Photo © Joan Marcus.

Wizard of Oz fans everywhere (and fans of musicals in general) will love Wicked. Returning to Ottawa after a very successful run in 2008, this Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical is sure to please. Instead of the doe-eyed girl from Kansas, this tale follows Glinda the Good, and her counter, the Wicked Witch of the West. Running at the National Arts Centre from July 11 to 29.

For those with a literary flare: The Dusty Owl, a popular reading series that began in the ’90s, showcases Ottawa talent and special guests in the historic Elmdale House Tavern. Tonight features two published poets, Christine McNair and Ottawa’s rob mclennan (yes, all lowercase).

Channeling the sensibilities, fashion, and music of the 1950’s and ’60s, Two for the Seesaw opens tonight, part of the Classic Theatre Festival. This Tony Award-winning comedy is set in 1958 and follows two lost souls trying to find themselves in New York City. Showing until August 5 at the Mason Theatre in Perth.

Saturday, July 14

Hope Volleyball Summerfest takes over Mooney's Bay on July 14.

Each year, Hope Volleyball Summerfest brings out more than 25,000 players and spectators to Mooney’s Bay Beach for a day of volleyball and live music to raise money for over 110 local charities. The 30th anniversary of the event will feature performances by Mother Mother, Ill Scarlet and Treble Charger.



Hot Date: WICKED

WICKED plays at the NAC from July 11 to 29. Copyright: Joan Marcus

July 11-29

You’ve heard all about the wizard, but how well do you know the witches of Oz? Learn what happened long before Dorothy dropped in when blockbuster musical WICKED returns to Ottawa after a sell-out run here in 2008. The show tells the story of two unlikely friends who meet in the Land of Oz — one with emerald-green skin who is smart, fiery, and misunderstood, the other a beautiful, ambitious, and popular blonde — who later become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. If you don’t already know what all the fuss is about, this is your chance to find out!

National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 888-991-2787, www.nac-cna.ca.


Off To See The Wizard

Meet Don Amendolia, the wonderful Wizard of Oz in the hit Broadway musical, Wicked.

By Allison Onyett

Don Amendolia as the Wizard of Oz

Don Amendolia’s first real acting role was in his high school’s version of Annie Get Your Gun. The New Jersey native laughs that he had one line that got taken away. Whoever cut Amendolia’s line could not have foreseen the success the Broadway star now boasts on his resume—highlights that include working alongside Academy Award winner Jane Fonda and multiple off-Broadway productions such as Cloud Nine, which won him the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award. He’s also worked on the Oscar-nominated short film 12:01 PM, and has had over 30 guest starring roles on hit TV shows like Seinfeld and Frasier. Now, the 66-years-young actor is touring with Broadway Across Canada’s Wicked in the role of the Wizard. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the Tony Award-winning musical provides a new glimpse into the Land of Oz, long before Dorothy and Toto followed the yellow brick road. We chatted with Amendolia about his career, working with Jane Fonda, and what audiences can look forward to in Wicked. (more…)

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, October 29 to 31

It’s Halloween! Grab your costume and make it a wicked weekend with some of these hair-raising events.

Have a Wicked weekend (photo by Joan Marcus)

Friday, October 29
Start your Halloween weekend with a bow to the past at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. See the classic film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari while award-winning composer Andrew Downing performs its original score. The tale of a mad carnival showman and his sleepwalking slave, this 1920s masterpiece is considered by many to be the first horror film. It will give you chills!

Toronto can’t get enough of the hit Broadway musical Wicked! Return to Oz to hear the story of Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West—long before Dorothy dropped in. Enjoying it’s third engagement at the Canon Theatre, grab your tickets before they sell out—again!

Head to Second City for an evening of hilarious comedy. The troupe’s latest show, Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes, has garnered rave reviews thanks to its smart comedy sketches and songs. This performance delivers non-stop laughs!

Saturday, October 30
Crime and mystery fiction get their due at the International Festival of Authors, which celebrates the timeless genre at the IFOA Noir Round Table. Join authors and critics as they discuss the mystery novel!

Get your pulse racing at the Creepy Classics concert at Roy Thomson Hall. Pianist Todd Yaniw plays some of the most well-known “spooky” pieces, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Bach’s Toccata in D Minor.

Head to the Drake Hotel for its Halloween party! Come dressed as your favourite music-video star and dance the night away to DJ duo Flosstradamus. The best costume wins $500. This just begs for an extravagant Lady Gaga outfit!

Sunday, October 31
Bring the kids to the Toronto Zoo this weekend for Boo at the Zoo. There are tons of kid-friendly attractions like the hay maze, the animal meet and greet and live performances all day long. Kids in costume get in free!

Get a terrifying tour of Casa Loma! Professional ghost trackers show videos and tell their stories about nights spent in the historic castle. Visitors are then left to explore the grounds to do some ghost tracking of their own!

For the biggest Halloween bash in the city, head to Church Street for their annual Halloween Block Party! Costumed revelers take over the Gay Village, with an expected turnout of 50,000 people. The streets are closed and clubs open their doors, from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. You’ve never been to a Halloween party like this!

Weekend Roundup, October 22 to 24

Friday: Hear what the Dalai Lama has to say

Friday, October 22
His Holiness the Dalai Lama returns to Toronto to share his personal thoughts on achieving peace in today’s modern world at the Rogers Centre. His speech, titled Human Approaches to World Peace, encourages us to balance material development with spiritual growth.

It’s your last chance to take in a runway show at LG Fashion Week! Today, see Amanda Lew Kee’s nature-inspired designs, the perfectly tailored DUY collection, and textural pieces from Denis Gagnon.

Head to Massey Hall, where comedienne Margaret Cho makes a stop as part of her “Cho Dependent” tour. Her provocative observations are sure to have you rolling in the aisles.

Saturday: Indulge your sweet tooth

Saturday, October 23
The first weekend of the International Festival of Authors brings together the best and brightest of contemporary world literature—including Jonathan Franzen, Nicole Krauss and Yann Martel—at Harbourfront Centre. There are tons of events to check out today, including an interview with legendary Canadian author Farley Mowat.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the Toronto Chocolate Festival’s city-wide Chocolicious event, where sweet and pastry shops open their doors with tastings and samplings. More delicious happenings are scheduled throughout the weekend.

The countdown to Halloween continues. Get in the spirit at the Powerhouse of Terror! The Powerhouse was built by the patients at Lakeshore Psychiatric Centre in 1936 and is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in Toronto. With five terrifying attractions, including the House of Carnage, Zombie Marsh and Cornfield maze, it will put your bravery to the test!

Sunday: Get to know the witches of Oz

Sunday, October 24
The smash-hit Broadway musical Wicked is back for its third engagement in Toronto. Return to Oz and hear the story of Glinda the Good Witch met the Wicked Witch of the West, long before Dorothy dropped in. Grab your tickets before they sell out—again!

It’s the 20th-annual McMichael Autumn Art Sale this weekend. More than 200 works are up for sale, including those by acclaimed contemporary artists Cindy Praakel, Kenneth Kirsh and Lynda Cunningham. The event is expected to attract hundreds of art patrons to the pictureseque site of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Make sure you’re one of them!

The ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, which celebrates the latest film and new-media works by Indigenous peoples from around the world, concludes today. This evening at Bloor Cinema, catch the aptly titled Closing Night, a psychological drama about the scarring legacy of Canadian residential schools.

Autumn’s Theatrical Appeal

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