Road to Rio

  • Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West)
  • 12 p.m.

There’s no question about it: we could all benefit from a little heat these days. If you can’t escape to the tropics, come out for the Canadian Opera Company’s free presentation of Road to Rio. Pianist and composer Gordon Sheard will conjure thoughts of warmer climates with the help of his students—the Humber Brazilian Jazz Ensemble.

Details: Road to Rio

Warming Winter Salads Taster

  • Marni's Food Studio & Lifestyle Shop (510 Eglinton Avenue West)
  • 7 p.m.

After the indulgence of the holidays, wouldn’t it be nice to incorporate some healthy foods into your diet? Learn to make four delicious and wholesome dishes at the Warming Winter Salads Taster. Instructor and nutritionist Marni Wasserman will demonstrate how to make one of the chosen recipes, before helping the group prepare (and sample) three others. What’s on the menu? Rice, noodles, quinoa, and more—all in salad form!

Details: Warming Winter Salads Taster

Can Can Cardio

St. Stella knows a thing or two about fitness and flexibility. Photo by Photolena.

  • Toronto School of Burlesque
  • 7:30 p.m.

The Toronto School of Burlesque has added some new sexy classes to its schedule, and want to give you a free sneak peek into what’s coming. Join St. Stella, the bendy buxom blonde herself, for a Can Can Cardio class. Learn the basic moves, a simple choreography, some stretches, and a bit of dance history, all while working off that dreaded winter weight. All you need to bring is a big loose skirt, and a lot of energy!

Details: Can Can Cardio


TIFF’s First Major Original Exhibition Traces David Cronenberg’s Evolution

  • TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)

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.

Details: TIFF’s First Major Original Exhibition Traces David Cronenberg’s Evolution

The Guggenheim Comes to the AGO

  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • All day

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.

Details: The Guggenheim Comes to the AGO

Ali Eisner: “Favourite Things”

Rose Cousins performing at Dakota Tavern. Photo by Ali Eisner.

  • Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West)
  • 12 p.m.

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.

Details: Ali Eisner: “Favourite Things”

Go Hear the People Sing in Les Misérables

Ramin Karimloo will make you weep, or at least want to give him a hug, as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

  • Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King Street West)
  • 7:30 p.m.

Every revolution needs a leader. And though the movement to bring the classic 1980s musical Les Misérables back to Toronto is markedly different than the quest for political accountability and social equality, it has its hero just the same. After the 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.

Details: Go Hear the People Sing in Les Misérables

Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales

The shadow puppets in Unintentionally Depressing Children's Tales. Photo by Katie Methot.

  • Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

Playwright Erin Fleck has spent the past month in residence at Videofag, (super-heroic runners-up in our Heroes of 2013 poll), and the result is a short workshop run of Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales, a shadow puppet performance of adult fairy tales. The show’s not for children, but adults attending may feel they’ve regressed a bit: the storefront venue’s being turned into a “blanket fort” for the performances, with mostly floor seating (be prepared to get cozy with other audience members).

Details: Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales

The Ugly One Plays Both Faces Well

Naomi Wright and Hardee T. Lineham discuss the drastic facial reconfiguration of David Jansen's Lette in Theatre Smash's production of The Ugly One. Photo by James Heaslip.

  • Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

German theatre has gone over really well in Toronto in recent years. Playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig’s contribution to Volcano Theatre’s Africa project was widely praised, and twinwerks//zwillingswerk’s production of Felicia Zeller’s Kaspar and the Sea of Houses earned the company an outstanding production award at the 2011 SummerWorks (and a trip back to 2012’s festival). Now, Theatre Smash returns with Marius von Mayenburg’s The Ugly One, a clever slice of absurdism that works well on several levels. There’s light humour when the titular character discovers that everyone finds his face repugnant, and darker tones when his new, beautiful face becomes coveted obsessively by those around him.

Details: The Ugly One Plays Both Faces Well