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Weekend Planner: December 7-8

In this Weekend Planner: murder at the ROM, vintage shopping at the Gladstone, and rock bands from Winnipeg.

  • Fashion: Love thrift shopping but wish there were an easier way to separate the trash from the treasures? That’s exactly what the Gladstone Flea does. Partnering with fashion and lifestyle experts, it curates a market that offers jewellery, clothing, and reclaimed vintage pieces. This special Holiday Edition features items hand picked by Anita Clarke of I want – I got and Haley Mlotek of Worn Fashion Journal. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), Saturday at 10 a.m., FREE. Details
  • Games: Just because we’re adults, doesn’t mean we have to abandon the amusements of our youth. Encouraging this Peter Pan philosophy is Urban Capers, which has organized the Murder at the ROM scavenger hunt. This escapade (which is geared to adults) has teams comb the museum for clues that will lead to the resolution of a murder mystery. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), Saturday at 1 p.m., $29.99 plus tax. Details
  • History: Enjoy Christmas by Lamplight this year, courtesy of Black Creek Pioneer Village. Travel back to the Victorian era and delight in the food, dance, decor, and music of the times. Since it wouldn’t really be Christmas without Santa Claus, the jolly old man himself will also be on site for photo opportunities. Please note that reservations are required. Call 416-667-6284 to book your tickets. Black Creek Pioneer Village (1000 Murray Ross Parkway), Saturday at 6 p.m., $24.95-$34.95 plus HST. Details
  • Dance: No, this isn’t a dream—you can actually find yourself surrounded by over 200 belly dancers at the Arabesque Winter Belly Dance Gala. During the evening, dancers and drummers from the much-lauded Arabesque Academy will shake, shimmy, and show off their moves. Yalla! Estonian House (958 Broadview Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m., $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Details
  • Music: Legendary hip-hop duo Blackalicious—who hail from Sacramento, California—will be dropping by Toronto for a set. The two, who generally create music with uplifting messages, are touring in support of their upcoming EP, The Sun Giver. The night will also feature special guests. Check out some of their tracks before the show here. Adelaide Music Hall (250 Adelaide Street West), Saturday at 9 p.m., $25. Details
  • Music: Next year’s JUNO Awards will be held in Winnipeg. To prepare, the JUNO Concert Series is bringing Songs From Winnipeg to us. A tremendous bill of Canadian artists has been put together to pay tribute to Winnipeg’s greatest exports. Cuff the Duke, Harlan Pepper, Jeremy Fisher, Lindy, Miranda Mulholland, NQ Arbuckle, Del Barber, and Ridley Bent are a few of the performers who will cover hits from Neil Young, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, The Guess Who, The Watchmen, Streetheart, and The Weakerthans. Proceeds from the event will help support music education, through MusiCounts. Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West), Saturday at 9 p.m., $20 in advance. Details
  • Film: Don’t know much about the Syrian Revolution? Change that by attending SyriaDocs. Experience three different viewpoints, through Matthew VanDyke’s Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution, Iara Lee’s The Suffering Grasses, and Bassel Shehadeh’s Streets of Freedom. The screening will also include a special appearance by filmmaker Matthew VanDyke. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West), Sunday at 3 p.m., $10. Details
  • Film: Join Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle for an afternoon of hilarious quietude at the Silent Comedy Revue. Three classic silent films—The Adventurer (1917), Back Stage (1919), and One Week (1920)—will be given a unique live piano soundtrack, courtesy of Jordan Klapman. The Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Avenue), Sunday at 4:15 p.m., $13, $10 for members. Details


  • History: The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.

    Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 (Includes general admission). Details

  • Theatre: Since its humble beginnings in the back room of Toronto’s Tranzac club back in 2003, Evil Dead The Musical has steadily risen in infamy as a ridiculously fun, tongue-in-cheek, gore-soaked musical experience. From those earliest shows, the musical has gone on to make an off-broadway debut, to win and be nominated for several Dora awards, and to play in dozens of cities around the world, from Montreal and Vancouver to Tokyo and Madrid. It was high time that the show make a triumphant homecoming to a stage in Toronto, and it finally has, at the Randolph Theatre. The Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst St.), all day, $19.99–$79.95. Details
  • Film: It’s not every day that a media tour opens with the injunction not to photograph “the sex blob,” but so began TIFF’s preview of “David Cronenberg: Evolution,” the organization’s first large-scale touring exhibition (for now, it’s stationed at the TIFF Bell Lightbox’s HSBC Gallery). It’s an exhaustive, stunning look at some of the wildest, most perverse creations of a pioneer of the body-horror genre—who also happens to be Canada’s most internationally renowned filmmaker. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), Friday at 2:40 a.m., $15, $12 students, $5 Tuesdays. Details
  • Art: Virginia Woolf once remarked that “On or about December 1910, human character changed.” Whether it actually did is debatable, but the curators of “The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection 1910–1918” use that year to start their exhibition of works from a tumultuous decade of innovation in European fine art. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $16.50–$25 (includes general admission). Details
  • Film: The films of Joel and Ethan Coen can be deliriously funny, wickedly macabre, and downright bizarre, often in the span of a single scene. Leading up to the release of their newest effort, Inside Llewyn Davis—a look at the folk scene in ’60s-era Greenwich Village, opening in Toronto on December 20—TIFF is offering audiences a chance to catch up on the duo’s uniformly excellent back catalogue. The ten-film retrospective is called Joel and Ethan Coen: Tall Tales. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), all day, $9.50–$12. Details
  • History: Get into the spirit of the season with the help of Christmas in the Park at Colborne Lodge. The public is invited to tour the High Park founders’ home, which has been dressed up in festive Victorian decor. Era-appropriate foods and drinks will be provided to conjure the atmosphere of a 19th-century Christmas. Colborne Lodge, High Park (11 Colborne Lodge Drive), Saturday at 12 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m., $7.08 adults, $4.42 seniors/children. Details
  • Photography: Canice Leung has spent many years photographing the sweatiest of concerts around Toronto. Now, these captures are being displayed in her very own show—Everyone’s a Photographer: Toronto Hardcore Punk Photos. Drop by and check out her shots of local legends Fucked Up, Cancer Bats, No Warning, Terror, Madball, Fearless Vampire Killers, and more. Prints and an anthology of the best pieces will be available for purchase. 2186 Dundas (2186 Dundas Street West, Toronto), Saturday at 12 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: Every revolution needs a leader. And though the movement to bring the classic 1980s musical Les Miserables back to Toronto is markedly different than the quest for political accountability and social equality, it has its hero just the same. After Wednesday night’s official opening performance at the Princess of Wales Theatre, the audience likely would have followed London-based, Richmond Hill-raised performer Ramin Karimloo (as the story’s golden-hearted protagonist, Jean Valjean) anywhere he would lead. Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West), Saturday at 1:30 p.m.,7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m., $35–$130. Details
  • Theatre: Winners and Losers is a play by Marcus Youssef and James Long based on a game of the same name the two theatre artists sometimes play. They pick a person, place, or thing, and debate whether it’s a “winner” or a “loser.” But it probably wouldn’t be fair to pick their director (and Crow’s Theatre artistic director) Chris Abraham as a topic, particularly since he was recently declared the winner of the Siminovitch Prize, Canadian theatre’s most prestigious (not to mention lucrative) honour. Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., Various prices. Details
  • Theatre: The world is a shockingly small place; just being in it will inevitably, repeatedly, and involuntarily bring you face to face with people you’d rather not meet more than once. In the case of Linda Griffiths’ new play Heaven Above Heaven Below, the wedding of a mutual friend reunites two nameless characters, He and She, twenty years after a short-lived fling resulted in She getting an abortion (which Griffiths detailed in her 1991 hit The Darling Family, to which this is the real-time sequel). The premise is enough to make anyone swear off large gatherings with undisclosed guest lists. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), Saturday at 2 p.m.,7:30 p.m., PWYC–$27.50. Details
  • Theatre: What happens when your common household plant develops a taste for blood? Well, naturally it turns into a feisty, R&B-singing beast vying for global domination. Or at least that’s what happens in the cult classic sci-fi spoof, Little Shop of Horrors. Check out this off-Broadway hit at the Lower Ossington Theatre during its three week run.
    Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m., $59. Details
  • Theatre: They’re as fast as the Red Rocket, and able to leap over turnstiles in a single bound—they’re the Special Constables! Faced with a Metropass counterfeiting ring, former Constable Jameson reunites the once glorious TTC Transit Police force. Will they redeem themselves and save the city from corruption? Circlesnake Productions’ Alec Toller directs this action-comedy starring Colin Munch, Chris Wilson, Tim Walker and Mikaela Dyke. The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m., $20. Details
  • Theatre: Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage is justifiably one of the most buzzworthy plays of the past decade, a status it attained partly as a result of an acclaimed production on Broadway starring James Gandolfini and Jeff Daniels—and the 2011 Roman Polanski film adaptation. But besides star power and Reza’s intricate writing, its popularity can also be attributed to an easy marketing sell: two couples meet to discuss a physical altercation between their two 11-year-old sons. Simply imagining the sparks to ensue practically causes ticket money to fly out of your hands. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.,7 p.m., $19–$69. Details
  • Theatre: Once upon a time, there was a film called Once. It was made for dirt cheap in 2006 by writer and director John Carney, shot in 17 days, and starred two unprofessional actors. Fast-forward seven years, and those stars—Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová—are Oscar winners, the movie has grossed almost US$9.5 million, and a Broadway musical based on the story walked away from the 2012 Tonys with eight awards, including Best Musical.

    Now Toronto gets to take part in Once‘s Cinderella story, as the touring production continues its run at the Royal Alexandra Theatre until early 2014, rounding out Mirvish’s holiday offerings: Aladdin for the kids, Les Misérables for an outing with your parents, and for a romantic night at the theatre with your folk-music-loving significant other, this simple story of two broken-hearted Dubliners who find a connection through music. Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $35–$200. Details

  • Theatre: The plot of Joan MacLeod’s The Valley, on now at Tarragon Theatre, is unfortunately all too familiar: an 18-year-old recent college drop-out experiences his first psychotic episode on Vancouver’s SkyTrain. The exhausted police officer called to the scene arrests him for causing a public disturbance, spurring debate over whether or not he used excessive force in the process. A Toronto audience only has to think of Sammy Yatim’s shooting this August to be reminded how common these situations are. A perceived threat to public safety coupled with the absence of a solid understanding of mental illness can—and often does—lead to violence. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 2:30 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $21–$53. Details
  • Comedy: You might expect a show called We Can Be Heroes to be a send-up of superhero films, but Second City’s new mainstage production is actually a celebration of minor, everyday acts of heroism ranging from giving advice to a bullied child to managing not to be a jackass at your friend’s wedding. Second City (51 Mercer Street), Saturday at 7:30 p.m.,10 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., $24–$29. Details
  • Theatre: Theatre Columbus had a hit on its hands with The Story, a walkabout Nativity show that ranged around the Evergreen Brick Works. This year, it has a new holiday tale, Weather the Weather, written by last year’s Virgin Mary, Haley McGee. McGee, who’s been busy touring the world with her own solo show (and premiering George F. Walker’s latest play), was “inspired by winter, the Canadian Shield, and our spirited compulsion to get home for the holidays.” There’s a free shuttle service from Broadview Station that’ll take audience members down into the valley to the Brick Works, and back again after the show. Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m., PWYC–$32. Details
  • Theatre: New theatre group Company Kid Logic is bringing Saskatoon playwright Rob van Meenen’s new play Repetitive Strain Injury to Toronto for its world premiere. The dark comedy, about a group of thirtysomethings who get tangled together in love and lust, features a cast drawn from across Canada with a fair amount of TV credits, including Robin Dunne (Sanctuary), Amy Matysio (Insecurity), and Pat Kiely (Being Human.) Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.,7 p.m., PWYC–$25. Details
  • Theatre: The Company We Keep cabaret series is a brand-new monthly event that features an evening with Theatre 20′s founding artists. Some of the upcoming performances include a tribute to musical theatre, an evening of entertainment in French and English, and an “At Your Request” evening. Also, if you’re willing to pay more, you can get a Prix Fixe dinner before the show starts. Jazz Bistro (251 Victoria Street), Sunday at 7 p.m., $20. Details

Happening soon:

Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.