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Young Centre for the Performing Arts

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.

Hot Entertainment: A Classic Christmas Carol

John Jarvis and Joseph Ziegler in A Christmas Carol (photo by Sandy Nicholson)

DECEMBER 6 TO 30 The renowned Soulpepper Theatre Company welcomes the holiday season the traditional way—by staging A Christmas Carol. A talented cast, including Joseph Ziegler as Ebeneezer Scrooge, brings the classic tale to life in a minimalist adaptation that honours Charles Dickens’ grandly descriptive language, “bah humbugs” and all. Presented in “the round”—on a circular stage in the centre of the audience—this production ensures every seat has a view and every viewer a reason to applaud. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Monday to Saturday, $22 to $75.33; call 416-866-8666 or click here for showtimes and tickets.

Hot Date: Soulpepper’s Family Values

R.H. Thomson and Carmen Grant in Doc (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

TO SEPTEMBER 18 Soulpepper Theatre Company presents another Canadian masterpiece this month—Sharon Pollock’s award-winning Doc. The semi-autobiographical drama examines a fraught father-daughter relationship over the course of non-linear time—it is through the characters’ memories that a story emerges and questions are resolved. Veteran actors Derek Boyes, Jane Spidell and RH Thomson are among the cast that brings this memorable family portrait to life. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Monday to Saturday 8 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday 2 p.m., $22 to $75.33; call 416-866-8666 or visit here to purchase.

Hot Date: Sight to See

AUGUST 25 TO SEPTEMBER 18 Sexual indiscretion and societal norms clash in playwright Joe Orton’s raucous farce, What the Butler Saw. Chaos, indecency and wit underlie this Soulpepper Theatre Company production about a psychiatrist who attempts to seduce his fetching secretary when his wife—who is also being wooed and blackmailed, by a handsome suitor—walks in. Throw in a government inspector and hijinx explodes at the clinic. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Monday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday 1:30 p.m., $39.81 to $75.33; call 416-866-8666 or navigate here to reserve.

You Are Here: Distillery Historic District

More than 40 heritage buildings comprise this pedestrian-only assemblage of shops, galleries and restaurants located on the former site of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery at 55 Mill Street.

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

View the Distillery Historic District in a larger map

(more…)

Hot Date: Wartime Follies

MARCH 11 TO APRIL 10 Armed conflict is no laughing matter but the dry humour in Soulpepper Theatre Company’s Oh What a Lovely War elicits some well-earned chuckles. The stage musical, written by Joan Littlewood and directed by Albert Schultz, is a satirical take on World War I and features such historical songs as “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary,” “Pack Up Your Troubles” and “Keep the Home Fires Burning.” Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Monday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday 1:30 p.m., $29 to $70; call 416-866-8666 or click here for tickets.

Hot Date: Billy Bishop’s Back

Eric Peterson in Billy Bishop Goes to War (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Eric Peterson in Billy Bishop Goes to War (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

JANUARY 22 TO FEBRUARY 27 Soulpepper Theatre Company’s revised production of the 1978 musical play Billy Bishop Goes to War was such a sell-out hit when it reappeared last August that it’s touching down again for another run. Starring original co-creators Eric Peterson and writer-composer John Gray, and  directed by Ted Dykstra, this high-flying tale about a World War I fighter pilot sees Peterson perform 18 different roles. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Monday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 1:30 p.m., $29 to $70; call 416-866-8666 or click here to buy.

December Hot Date: Soulpepper’s Latest

Head to the Young Centre for Civil Elegies

The Young Centre hosts Civil Elegies

DECEMBER 3 TO 24 Dramatized and set to music by Soulpepper Theatre Company graduates Mike Ross and Lorenzo Savoini, Civil Elegies is a play based on the 1972 Governor General’s Award-winning work of poet Dennis Lee. Its theme? What Canada was, is and could be. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., Monday to Saturday 8 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday 2 p.m., $28 to $68; call 416-866-8666 or navigate here to order tickets.

August Hot Date—Soulpepper’s Latest

Eric Peterson plays multiple roles in Billy Bishop Goes to War.

Eric Peterson plays multiple roles in Billy Bishop Goes to War.

AUGUST 8 TO 29 Soulpepper Theatre Company’s revival of the 1978 musical Billy Bishop Goes to War stars both of its creators John Gray and Eric Peterson. This high-flying tale about a World War I fighter pilot sees Peterson—best known for his role on the popular television comedy Corner Gas—perform 18 different roles! Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Monday to Saturday 8 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday 2 p.m., $28 to $45; call 416-866-8666 to buy.

Weekend Roundup, July 24 to 26

Friday: See the Kuba Komet and other eclectic historical sets at the MZTV Museum of Television

Friday: See the Kuba Komet and other eclectic historical sets at the MZTV Museum of Television

Friday, July 24
Celebrate the arts and culture of South Asia at Masala! Mehndi! Masti!, a popular festival featuring artists, food and clothing vendors and more representing such countries as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Book a tour of the newly re-opened MZTV Museum of Television and see some of the most striking historical televisions still in existence.

Look closely at the exceptionally intricate works on paper by Luke Painter, whose current show, entitled Revival-esque is on display at Angell Gallery.

Saturday: Amy Millan takes the stage at Harbourfront Centre

Saturday: Amy Millan takes the stage at Harbourfront Centre

Saturday, July 25
Grab some new walking shoes or sandals from one of the hundreds of available pairs at Get Outside, then saunter along Queen Street West for more retail therapy.

Enjoy more ethnic offerings as part of the Kultura Filipino Arts Festival, with music, visual arts and readings that reflect the Filipino-Canadian experience.

Sing along under the stars with Stars vocalist Amy Millan as she headlines the Harbourfront Centre’s Canadian Voices festival.

Sunday: Sassy songstress Katy Perry belts 'em out at the Molson Amphitheatre.

Sunday: Sassy songstress Katy Perry belts 'em out at the Molson Amphitheatre.

Sunday, July 26

Join the resident artists of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, as they offer another in a series of “Sundays at the Young.” This week, Noah Richler presents performances of Depression-era songs and stories by Murray McLauchlan, Chris Whiteley, Jean Stillwell and others.

Bounce around on the lawn of the Molson Amphitheatre as Katy Perry performs her sassy little ditties.

June Hot Date—Soulpepper’s Loot

OPENS JUNE 5 Soulpepper Theatre Company brings a farcical crime caper to the stage as a bumbling police inspector and a pair of thieves try to outwit one another in order to get to the hidden stash in Loot. Matthew Edison and Oliver Dennis star as the young thieves in this production by acclaimed English playwright Joe Orton. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Tuesday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 1:30 p.m., $28 to $68; call 416-866-8666 to buy.