Trudeau and the FLQ
How far will playwright Michael Hollingsworth go with his offbeat depiction of a pirouetting prime minister and his confrontation with violent French Canadian nationalists? Just watch him. Using the black-box style of theatre – the stage is a black box crammed with gaudy colour and giddily alive actors – the play looks at flower-power, war measures and Mr. Trudeau’s reaction to letter-bombing extremists. Crazy times? Some even called it Trudeaumania. To May 10. $25 to $55. Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, 416-866-8666 or soulpepper.ca.
The Canadian Opera Company opens its spring season with Handel’s tragic Hercules, helmed by the visionary director Peter Sellars and starring the American bass-baritone Eric Owens as the strongman hero. The production’s focus is on post-traumatic stress disorder, with Hercules presented as a U.S. Army general who struggles to reunite emotionally with his family after returning home from battle. War was hell in 450 BC; it still is. April 5 to 30. $12 to $332. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-363-8231 or coc.ca.
Pop-rock super-trio Hawksley Workman, Hot Hot Heat’s Steve Bays and Limblifter’s Ryan Dahle revisit the 1980s with Thrash Rock Legacy, their instantly pleasurable first album. The music is brash, the hooks snag ears and the quirkiness is surefooted. Stylistic nods to the Strokes and the Payolas are sly; the fun homage to Hall & Oates is completely unconcealed. Fans expected a lot from this troupe, and Mounties delivered. April 5, 9 p.m. $20 (sold out). Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., ticketfly.com.
Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty
These are two titans of 20th-century British art, joined together by their chief influences (Michelangelo and Rodin) and their shared experiences of war. It’s a particularly intense exhibition, with some 130 works that demonstrate how the two artists reflected upon human suffering and survival. This is the first Canadian exhibition of Bacon’s work. April 5 to July 20. $16.50 to $25. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648 or ago.net.
Because both of comedian Craig Gass’s parents were deaf, he didn’t learn to talk by listening to them. Instead, he developed speech by copying the voices he heard on television. As you might have guessed, Mr. Gass is an impressionist. His De Niro is devastating, his Christopher Walken is wicked and his Adam Sandler is uncanny. In a short, he sounds like a lot of people – and a lot of fun. April 5, 8 p.m. $25. Royal Theatre, 608 College St., 416-466-4400 or ticketfly.com.