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Young Centre for the Performing Arts

Soulpepper’s The Barber of Seville Features a Famous Figaro

Dan Chameroy stars as Figaro in Soulpepper's The Barber of Seville (photo: Sandy Nicholson)

Dan Chameroy stars as Figaro in Soulpepper’s The Barber of Seville (photo: Sandy Nicholson)

STARTS MAY 9  Intricately melding its original source—Pierre Beaumarchais’ 18th-century play—as well as Rossini’s opera and even a more recent version by Canadian playwright Michael O’Brien and composer John Millard, Soulpepper Theatre Company’s reimagined take on The Barber of Seville brings to the stage a light comedy that was nonetheless radical in its time. Featuring the character of Figaro (portrayed by Dan Chameroy), a servant who’s anything but servile, the play may well have helped inflame the French Revolution. Nowadays the story is perhaps less provocative, but in a new adaptation it retains great populist appeal. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $51 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or visit soulpepper.ca for showtimes and to buy.  —Macrina Smart

Soulpepper Stages Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

The Young Centre hosts Soulpepper Theatre Company’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

STARTS FEBRUARY 7  Soulpepper Theatre Company opens its new season with a contemporary favourite that takes its cues from a timeless masterpiece. Turning Hamlet on its head, Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead follows two minor courtiers in Shakespeare’s tale; ordered to help plot Hamlet’s death, it is they who are outwitted and then killed. Directed by Joseph Ziegler, the metatheatrical work brings to the fore what otherwise would have occurred off-stage in the Bard’s tragedy, exploring existentialist themes like fate, control and the conflict between art and reality. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $22 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or see Soulpepper’s website for showtimes and tickets.  —Ana Taveira

Hot Date: Soulpepper’s Convenient Hit

photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

JANUARY 19 TO FEBRUARY 11 On the surface, Kim’s Convenience is a love letter to the countless Korean corner stores that have fallen victim to Toronto’s ever-in-flux business landscape. But that’s just the backdrop for the private inter-generational and inter-cultural conflicts that so many Canadians can identify with. Written by Soulpepper Academy alumnus Ins Choi, the humorous yet poignant tale of a Korean-Canadian family bridging the gap between old traditions and modern life has earned numerous awards and won widespread audience acclaim. This Toronto classic in the making kicks off Soulpepper Theatre Company’s 2012 season. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $22 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or visit here for further information and to purchase tickets.

Weekend Roundup, December 9 to 11

Friday: Relive your Royal Conservatory days through Two Pianos Four Hands

Friday, December 9
Follow along with the melodies made by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, the actor-musicians behind the hit comedy Two Pianos Four Hands, a hilarious and poignant story about two lives transformed by piano teachers, lessons and competitions. The show’s recently extended run continues at the Panasonic Theatre.

Listen to a Latin take on holiday music at Koerner Hall in A Salsa Christmas, performed by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra under the direction of world-renowned pianist, arranger and producer Oscar Hernández.

Get a first look at The Power Plant’s two new exhibitions at their free opening reception. The gallery’s winter exhibits showcase reflections on poignant moments in cultural history by Canadian Stan Douglas and an international collective of young artists.

There’s two more days of merriment after the jump!

Weekend Roundup, October 28 to 30

Friday: Contemporary art overwhelms the historic Gladstone Hotel (photo by Samuel Bietenholz)

Friday, October 28
Immerse yourself in everything artistic at the Toronto International Art Fair, a.k.a. Art Toronto. See Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW Art Car, a new site-specific installation by Kent Monkman, plus numerous other exhibiting galleries, presentations and discussions with artists, curators, and collectors. The show runs through to Monday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Introduce yourself to dozens of new musical and theatrical acts at the Global Cabaret Festival, a weekend-long event at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts that celebrates songs, stories, and ideas with 150 musicians taking part in 44 performances.

Explore the sometimes-chaotic interactions between nature and culture at upArt, the Gladstone Hotel’s annual contemporary art fair. The exhibition runs throughout the weekend with works by local, national, and international artists and collectives.

Saturday: OCADU Celebrates its 135 Anniversary (photo by Thomas Hawk)

Saturday, October 29
Swing by Lavish&Squalor today as the shop opens its new antiques and vintage objets d’art section, and commemorates the occasion with a store-wide sale. Cocktails, snacks and live music round out your shopping experience.

Happy 135th Birthday, OCAD University! The highly regarded school of art and design invites you to join its anniversary festivities, which today include an open house, digital game-making event and an exhibition of acclaimed works by OCADU community members.

Bright colours, spectacular dances and a musical extravaganza reveal India’s cultural diversity in Bharati, the Wonder That is India. Dancers, actors, singers, acrobats, musicians and martial artists are all part of the show at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Sunday: Roy Thomson Hall welcomes The Wizard of Oz

Sunday, October 30
Take the whole family down the yellow brick road, which, strangely enough, leads to Roy Thomson Hall and Oz with Orchestra. Watch the classic film The Wizard of Oz on a giant screen with live accompaniment provided by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The NFL moves north of the border (for a day) with the Bills in Toronto Series coming to the Rogers Centre. The Buffalo Bills look to keep their winning season going as they take on the Washington Redskins.

Rare books, maps, prints, and manuscripts from around the world are on display at the Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair. Peruse limited edition, signed volumes, and unusual books of all kinds at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

But wait! There’s More!
As it happens, there are a slew of Halloween-centric activities happening this weekend around the city, too. Check out those bloodcurdling events here. If you dare.

Hot Date: Soulpepper’s Total Recall

Stuart Hughes stars in The Glass Menagerie (photo by Sandy Nicholson)

ON NOW Four characters struggle to accept their individual realities in Tennessee Williams’ American classic, The Glass Menagerie. One of the first great plays to negotiate perspectives on truth and memory using non-linear storytelling, it centres on narrator Tom Wingfield, who recounts the lives of his mother and insecure sister. Presented by Soulpepper Theatre Company, this beloved play features accomplished performances by Stuart Hughes, Jeff Lillico, Nancy Palk and Gemma James Smith. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $28 to $65; call 416-866-8666
or navigate here for showtimes and tickets.

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.

Hot Date: Soulpepper’s Tale of Adaptation

Playwright Guillermo Verdecchia

OPENS MAY 6 Argentine-Canadian playwright and actor Guillermo Verdecchia boldly takes the stage to perform his acclaimed drama, Fronteras Americanas. Drawing from Verdecchia’s own experiences, the two-act monologue examines the challenges faced by immigrants who must make their home in a new country while maintaining the ties and memories of their native land. Produced by Soulpepper Theatre Company, this award-winning show is both intelligent and humorous as it sheds light on subjects that are often kept private. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $45 to $65; call 416-866-8666 or click here for tickets and showtimes.

Hot Date: Thornton Wilder’s Welcome Tale

Albert Schultz in Thornton Wilder's Our Town (photo by Sandy Nicholson)

OPENS APRIL 13 Make the most of life’s blessings—that’s the message of Thornton Wilder’s 1938 masterpiece, Our Town. Soulpepper Theatre Company reiterates that adage as its talented troupe of actors brings life to the small town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. As one of the first plays to break the “fourth wall” through its narration by the stage manager, played by Soulpepper co-founder Albert Schultz, this esteemed stage piece proves both inspiring and innovative. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $28 to $60; call 416-866-8666 or navigate here for tickets and times.

Hot Date: Soulpepper Offers the Time of Your Life

Stuart Hughes in The Time of Your Life (photo by Sandy Nicholson)

OPENS MARCH 16 Discover an American classic courtesy of Soulpepper Theatre Company, which remounts its acclaimed production of William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life. Themes of hope, nostalgia and redemption underlie this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama set in a late-1930s San Francisco saloon, where patrons imagine “what might have been.” Soulpepper stalwarts Joseph Ziegler and Stuart Hughes won praise for their roles in the ensemble’s 2008 staging of the play, and return for this year’s version. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, $22 to $60; call 416-866-8666 or click here for times and to purchase.

Hot Date: Soulpepper’s Family Feud

Krystin Pellerin and Jeff Lillico star in The Fantasticks (photo by Sandy Nicholson)

OPENS FEBRUARY 14 Part Romeo and Juliet and part A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Soulpepper Theatre Company’s staging of The Fantasticks offers twists and turns worthy of the Bard himself. Krystin Pellerin and Jeff Lillico star in this beloved musical, which combines comedy, romance and tragedy in a tale of forbidden love between the children of feuding neighbours. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Monday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday 1:30 p.m., $22 to $67.81; call 416-866-8666 or visit here for tickets.

Weekend Roundup, January 28th to 30th

Friday: Witness Christopher Plummer's tour de force in Barrymore

Friday, January 28th
Don’t miss Canadian icon Christopher Plummer in Barrymore, which celebrates its opening weekend at the Elgin Theatre. In this acclaimed one-man play, Plummer embodies the role of John Barrymore, one of the 20th century’s greatest Shakespearean actors.

Winterlicious starts today! Approximately 150 restaurants—including local favourites like Bier Markt, Bangkok Garden and the newly renovated Canoe—are participating in this popular prix-fixe dining event. It’s a great and affordable way to try some of the tasty food Toronto has on offer. (more…)