In this Weekend Planner: a trivia night for the ages, indie rock's class of 2014, and a celebration of the bizarre.
- Trivia: Okay, so maybe history class wasn’t your favourite in high school, but maybe it could have been if drinks and prizes were involved. In honour of our first prime minister’s 199th birthday, Jeremy Diamond of the Vimy Foundation is challenging everyone to a rousing evening of Sir John A. Macdonald Birthday Trivia. Gather a team of up to six people, or be grouped with other participants upon arrival. The questions will cover more than just Macdonald’s life, so study up on your Canadian history! Duke of York (39 Prince Arthur Avenue), Saturday at 7 p.m., $10 plus fees. Details
- Film: The Whippersnapper Gallery has a new outdoor exhibit ready for display, and it can’t wait to share it with you. The Sidewalk Screening Video Art Party celebrates the 26 emerging Canadian video artists who have contributed to the show, while letting attendees get up close and personal with their works. Music and projections will set the scene for a dance party, while viewing booths will provide more immersive video experiences. CineCycle (129 Spadina Avenue), Saturday at 9 p.m., FREE. Details
- Music: Wavelength and NeXT are teaming up to present four must-see bands who will be representing Toronto this year. The Class of 2014: A New Indie-Rock Honour Roll (Pt I) features appearances from Fresh Snow, MASS, Del Bel, and Anamai. We suggest you check these guys out, so you can have the satisfaction of saying you saw them before they blew up. The Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina Avenue), Saturday at 9 p.m., $6. Details
- Dance: A Platinum Production and Nerd Girl Burlesque are teaming up to answer one very important question: which divas make the best music for burlesque? It’ll be a battle of bootylicious babes as Loretta Jean, Delicia Pastiche, and Helen of Tronna take on Belle Jumelles, St. Stella, and Nasty Canasta in Spice Girls vs. Destiny’s Child Burlesque. Club 120 (120 Church Street), Saturday at 10 p.m., $10. Details
- Performing Arts: Prepare yourself: the weirdest of the weird are coming together to satisfy all your morbid curiosities. Something Strange: Our Beloved Bizarre boasts performances by Mysterion the Mindreader, oddball comedian Megan Fraser, burlesque dancers, and many more. You’ll even be able learn a bit—there will also be lectures and videos on bizarre history. Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas Street West), Sunday at 8 p.m., $12 advance, $15 door. 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), Saturday at 12 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.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
Festivals Film: Not content to keep it tucked away in the fall, last night the Toronto International Film Festival revealed its slate for Canada’s Top 10, the upcoming ten-day mini-festival devoted to the year’s best in Canadian filmmaking. Artistic Director Cameron Bailey joined Canadian programmer Steve Gravestock and comedian Steve Patterson to unveil the feature and short lineups, in addition to announcing a number of related talks.
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), Friday at 6 p.m., $10-$20. Details
- Theatre: Theatre Passe Muraille’s Elephants in the Room collective members aren’t just staying up late for this month’s cabaret. They’re turning it into a one-time-only 24-hour performance experiment entitled A Wake For Lost Time that’ll be open for public viewing at the beginning (Friday evening from 7:30 p.m.-10:45 p.m.), midway through (Saturday midday from 11:30 a.m.–1:45 p.m.), and for the final three hours (Saturday afternoon from 3:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.). Combining “performance art, poetry, classical and post-dramatic theatre,” the entire “ritual” will be carried on a 24-hour web stream. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), Friday at 7:30 p.m., $10. Details
- Theatre: For the seventh straight year, the darkness of January will be brightened by brilliant stage works. Over the course of 12 days, the Next Stage Theatre Festival takes over the Factory Theatre, featuring 10 new pieces by Fringe Festival alums. Championing the creativity of up-and-coming playwrights, the NSTF bill includes everything from street dance performances to dark satires. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), $10-$15. Details
- Photography: Ali Eisner is already known for being a puppeteer, composer, and performer. Now she adds another line to her resumé with her debut photography exhibit, “Favourite Things.” As one might expect, each photo in the show depicts a cherished moment, person, or item in her life—you’ll find shots of everything from travelling and architecture, to puppets and musicians such as Kathleen Edwards, Ron Sexsmith, and Serena Ryder. Join her for the opening reception on January 9. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 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: 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: Rarely Pure Theatre brings Shakespeare’s As You Like It to the Storefront Theatre, one of the city’s new alternative presentation spaces. The company gives the story, which sees love and friendship complicated by sexual tension and gender confusion, a distinctly Canadian twist by moving the action to a wintery wonderland. The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $20, $15 students/seniors/arts workers. Details
- Theatre: Let’s face it: being a twenty-something can kinda suck. Pumped full of confidence and aspirations, we flee the family nest…and fall flat on our faces. Avenue Q uses songs (written by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx) and puppetry both to lament and poke fun at this difficult time. Much like Sesame Street, it has a cast made up of human actors who interact with a variety of furry creatures, who themselves have hands up their butts. Think that description is tasteless? This might not be the show for you—these puppets are crude and lewd, and have a taste for alcohol and porn. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m., $49-$59. Details
- Outdoors: It’s time to lace up! Harbourfront Centre has brought back its weekly DJ Skate Nights at Natrel Rink, overlooking the lake. Make the best of winter, and get your skate on to the sounds of some of Toronto’s premiere DJs and party-makers, like Skratch Bastid (Dec 14), Cherry Bomb (Feb 1), and DJ Starting from Scratch (Feb 22). Natrel Rink, Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday at 8 p.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: While vacationing on the Irish Coast, a couple discovers the body of a drowned woman, awakening issues that have been dormant in their marriage. Based on the novel Une vie pour deux, Evelyne de la Chenelière’s Flesh and Other Fragments of Love is a play that straddles the line between detective mystery and ghost story, and examines issues of human intimacy. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $21-$48. Details
- Theatre: If you’re a fan of Teen Girl Squad, it will be hard to say this play’s name with a straight face. A satire about how to get ahead in the world, The Ugly One focuses on our obsession with beauty and body modification. Reuniting for this Toronto production are the original cast members—Jesse Aaron Dwyre, David Jansen, Hardee T. Lineham, and Naomi Wright. Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., $27-$53. Details
- Theatre: With a minimalistic set, some vintage guitars, and a rock n’ roll soundtrack, Deanna Jones takes on the persona of one of music’s most notorious figures. Humourous and introspective, The Keith Richards One Woman Show leads audiences through the highs and lows of the Rolling Stones guitarist’s often ridiculous life. Fixt Point Studio (1550 Queen Street West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $15. Details
- Comedy: What do you do when your fast food chain loses popularity amongst the 30-year-old crowd? This is the dilemma Funny Burger faces in Fast Food Follies. Its solution: hire a Parkdale hipster and a fancy “sandwich artist” to revamp the restaurant’s image. Loaded guns, cyborg lawyers, explosive diarrhea, and general madness ensue in this long-form sketch comedy serial. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), Saturday at 9 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Details
- Markets: Winter might make us want to hibernate and rely solely on the stock of food in the freezer, but don’t let it! Come out to Steam Whistle’s Winter Farmer’s Market to pick up fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and organic meats—all the while supporting local farmers. It’s worth venturing out into the cold, don’t you think? Steam Whistle Brewing (255 Bremner Boulevard), Sunday at 10 a.m., FREE. Details
This post originally gave an incorrect start time for “David Cronenberg: Evolution.” The correct start time is 12:00 noon.
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.