Weekend Planner: December 10–11, 2011
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Weekend Planner: December 10–11, 2011

In this Weekend Planner: a craft fair offers an alternative shopping solution; Terra Madre Day provides free food samples, music, and dancing; The Nutcracker returns to the stage; youths tell their stories through poetry; Les Coquettes heat up your holidays with sexy burlesque; a comedy troupe continues to take over the world with a holiday special; and a Radiohead tribute show will have you climbing up the walls for more.

No holiday season is complete without a production of The Nutcracker! Photo by Bruce Zinger.

CRAFT FAIR: If you’ve been dreading commencing your holiday shopping and don’t have a clue where to start, here’s an alternative to braving the malls. City of Craft is an exhibition that includes installations, free workshops, and much more. The show features 55 vendors (that have all been handpicked based on their high skill level) and is a great capsule of Toronto’s craft culture of jewellery, wood work, and ceramics—the list goes on! The Theatre Centre & Thrush Holmes Empire (1087 & 1093 Queen Street West), Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., $2.

FOOD: Free. Food. Go. Prepare yourself for Slow Food Toronto’s Terra Madre Day, a celebration of food diversity and local foods. Aside from many glorious free samples provided by Toronto’s top chefs, check out cooking workshops, storytelling, dance, live music, and more. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday 2 p.m.–6 p.m., FREE.

THEATRE: Whether you were given nightmares as a child by the notion of a giant rat army, or not, The Nutcracker always has something for everyone. Don’t miss this year’s performance of the holiday classic, in which you’ll be taken on a magical tour through the world of the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy—courtesy of the National Ballet of Canada. Even better, everyone’s favourite mayor will be giving Broadway a run for its money with his cameo appearance in this Saturday’s show. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West), Saturday 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Runs to January 3, $38–133.50.

SPOKEN WORD: Everybody writes for different reasons, whether the aim is catharsis or simply to give your voice a platform that was previously unobtainable. Young People’s Theatre wants to find out what your reason is through Why I Write, a poetic journey featuring eight different youths from across the GTA. This second edition of WORD UP!!! tackles issues such as racism, body image, and mental health. Young People’s Theatre (165 Front Street East), Saturday 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., $5.

BURLESQUE: Les Coquettes return! After a brilliant Halloween show, this cabaret-burlesque group is back again with Gala!—a sexy holiday-themed spectacular that will certainly get you into the, ahem, spirit of things. Revival (783 College Street), Sunday 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $15-30.

COMEDY: Get into the holiday season with “A VERY F***ING MAMET CHRISTMAS
edition of Impromptu Splendor,” the latest comedy special from The National Theatre of the World. The show, which features Canadian comedian Ron James, begins with a cabaret piece by several guest performers followed by the Splendor portion of the evening (a holiday play in the style of David Mamet). Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Avenue), Sunday 7:30 p.m., $10.

MUSIC: It’s a musical tribute event that puts everything in its right place. The Radiohead Jazz Project brings together the Toronto Jazz Orchestra and local tribute band Idioteque for a night of tunes from our favourite genre-bending Brits. Prepare yourselves for reproductions from each of their eight albums and pray you get to see a full-blown version of “The National Anthem.” The Rex Hotel (194 Queen Street West), Sunday 7:30 p.m., $9.

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 all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].