In this weekend planner: rendezvous with science, learn to tap, and celebrate girls who rock.
- Talks: Educational stuff on a weekend can be a hard sell, but who says these things have to be boring? Science Rendezvous is a day-long festival that focuses on the cooler aspects of the field in hopes of raising interest in science and technology among young people. Get hands-on with all sorts of nifty experiments, lab tours, researcher meet-and-greets, and more. University of Toronto (172 St George Street), Saturday at 11 a.m., FREE. Details
- Dance: Imagine what your life would be like if you could tap-dance. You’d be the entertainer at many a party, be able to brag about your skills on dates, and have an amusing way of making an exit from awkward social situations. Therefore, you should take advantage of Mad for Dance’s Introduction to Tap Dance lesson with Mackenzie Greenwell. No previous experience or fancy shoes necessary! Mad For Dance (263 Adelaide West), Saturday at 1 p.m., $20. Details
- Film: Bobo, Klara, and Hedvig are three 13-year-old girls who grew up too early. While roaming the streets of Stockholm, they discover the world of punk rock, and decide to start their own band—without instruments. Presented by the CMW Film Fest, We Are the Best chronicles the musical careers of these innovative young women. Alumni of Girls Rock Camp Toronto—Unicorn Patrol and The Overtones—will perform following the screening. Royal Cinema (608 College Street), Saturday at 1 p.m., $10, $7 for those under 19. Details
- Performing Arts: Are you a fierce single lady, or a good girl gone bad? Better choose a side, because A Platinum Production has put together a new instalment of its Diva Off series, and this time it’s Beyonce vs. Rihanna. Belle Jumelles, Trixi Jones, Cerise Noir, Svetlana Konswallow, St Stella, Mickey D Liscious, Obskyura, and Cocoa Blows will be making teams and taking the stage to decide which babe’s beats make for better burlesque. Stick around afterwards for the dance party, and throw down your own moves to the tunes of DJ Johnny B Goode. Club 120 (120 Church Street), Saturday at 10 p.m., $10. Details
- Books: At 16, Hertzko Haft found himself imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp and forced into boxing matches with his fellow prisoners for the amusement of SS officers. Eventually able to escape, he moved to the United States and began a career in boxing, even going up against famed fighter Rocky Marciano. Promoting the English translation of his book on the topic, The Boxer, author Reinhard Kleist will be discussing the life and career of Hertzko Haft with his son, Alan Scott Haft. Miles Nadal JCC (750 Spadina Avenue), Sunday at 3 p.m., FREE. Details
- Art: If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 adults. Details
Art: “The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon
“In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore
These quotations, which welcome visitors to “Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $25 adults. Details
- Music: If you’re thinking that it seems longer than usual since Canadian Music Week last rolled around, good news: you’re not crazy. For its 2014 edition, the event left behind its typically lousy March weather and moved to the comparatively balmier conditions of early May. So instead of being viewed as the next major festival after SXSW, it’ll perhaps now be seen more as a sibling of NXNE. Thanks to a radius clause introduced by NXNE that makes sure the two festivals feature different acts, though, they’ll have to carve out their own separate identities as concert extravaganzas. Multiple venues, all day, Wristbands $75. Details
- Art: The Love Art fair has arrived in Toronto. A branch of the international Affordable Art Fair, Love Art champions the philosophy that fine-art collecting and economic accessibility should not be mutually exclusive, and aims to create new art collectors while also providing a forum for emerging and established artists to showcase and sell their works. Definitions of affordability and accessibility are certainly subjective, but with prices starting at $60, Love Art is endeavouring to make the acquisition of art possible for a wider range of people. Direct Energy Centre (100 Princes’ Boulevard), all day, $12 general admission. Details
- Theatre: As the world premiere of a stage adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s famous novel, Soulpepper Theatre’s production of Of Human Bondage is the jewel of the company’s 2014 season. Not that it’s a perfect play—but it does flex the strength of Soulpepper’s acting ensemble, design team, and, well, budget. The arresting opening scene sees the play’s main character, Philip Carey, well-played by Gregory Prest, enter by rising through a trapdoor centre stage while other members of the cast appear to dissect a cadaver (they’re actually crossing bows across a double bass, which is lying horizontally on an operating table). A spotlight casts Philip’s shadow against a red-brick wall, so that the bows appear to saw through his stiff, upright body. Setting the tone for the rest of the production, the scene is striking, but not incredibly subtle. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), Saturday at 1:30 p.m.,7:30 p.m., $29–$74. Details
- Theatre: Be honest: you’re one of those drivers who slows down to gape at traffic accidents, aren’t you? Outside the March aims to satisfy this morbid curiosity with Rosamund Small’s Vitals. In this unique, interactive theatre experience, the 30-person audience gets to accompany Anna (Katherine Cullen) as she gets dispatched out to the scene of an emergency. As the location of the performance is undisclosed, guests will pick up their tickets—and directions to the venue—at 149 Roncesvalles Avenue. , Saturday at 2 p.m.,7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $30, $25 for seniors and those under 30. Details
- Theatre: If you’re in the mood for a murder mystery with a religious twist, you’ll want to check out The Last Confession. David Suchet (Poirot) and Richard O’Callaghan star in this play about the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. After only 33 days in office, and having warned three cardinals that they would be replaced, he is found dead. Though the Vatican refuses to open an official investigation, Cardinal Benelli goes out in search of the truth. Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $35–$119. Details
- Theatre: Most unsolicited messages from admirers to famous writers do not result in collaborations: but when Lindsay Cochrane, kindergarten teacher and English literature grad, emailed Yann Martel, the acclaimed author of Life of Pi, about adapting one of his novels into a stage play, the two ended up joining forces. The result is Cochrane’s first play, Beatrice & Virgil, on now at Factory Theatre (in a co-production with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre). With the help of director Sarah Garton Stanley, Cochrane has made an impressively valiant effort to wrangle some large, abstract, and troublesome ideas into a well-crafted work of live theatre. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., $23–$45. Details
- Dance: The Peggy Baker Dance Project is thinking outside the box with its new production, land|body|breath. Specially designed to exist between the paintings and sculptures of the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, this immersive show features a combination of dancers and vocalists. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., Ticket included with AGO admission. Details
- Theatre: Shakespeare’s Ophelia and Desdemona find new life in Danya Buonastella, Dean Gilmour, Nina Gilmour, and Michele Smith’s Death Married My Daughter. In this satire, these women—resurrected from the swamps of death—take great pleasure in shaking up Man’s society while exposing their murderers and abusers. The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West), Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3:15 p.m., $23. Details
- Theatre: It’s 1977, and a group of friends in England are gathering for a soirée. A pretty standard concept, that’s for sure, but Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party takes things to another level with a playful romp through the lives of these suburban socialites. Witness the hilarity and awkwardness as the hostess from hell metaphorically tears her guests to pieces. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), Saturday at 7:30 p.m., $25–$29.50. Details
- Theatre: We’re nearing the end of Tarragon Theatre‘s 2013/2014 season, and it appears we’ve also arrived at the final stage of its theme: love, loss, wine, and the gods. But that doesn’t mean the Tarragon, which has seen some major hits this year in Lungs, The Double, and The Ugly One, is phoning it in. Sean Dixon’s ambitious new script, A God in Need of Help, has produced not only one of the longer plays in the Tarragon season, but also easily the most dense and layered, mixing as it does historical fact and fiction with timeless issues of art, religion, and politics. Fortunately, that makes it the strongest mainstage show of the season thus far (we’ll see how Tarragon’s final show, The God That Comes, co-created by and featuring Hawksley Workman, performs in June). Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m., $21–$53. Details
- Theatre: Talk about striking while the iron is hot—David James Brock’s Snow Bride is hitting the stage just in time for wedding season… and some other stuff in the news. When no one shows up for Helena’s bachelorette party, she turns to her oldest and most trusted friend: cocaine. Using humour, the play touches on the difficulties surrounding a life of addiction and its effects on interpersonal relationships. The Box Theatre (89 Niagara Street), Saturday at 8 p.m., PWYC-$20. Details
Theatre: On Tuesday night, it was a clear and calm evening by the waterfront—a little warm, even. It was a hint of what (we’re hoping) is in store for us this summer, and created a serene and restful atmosphere.
That feeling was promptly destroyed by the production currently playing at the Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre, Yael Farber’s Mies Julie. It’s angering, devastating, and terrifying—but in the best way possible. Harbourfront Centre, Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West), Saturday at 8 p.m., $49. Details
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.