Globe theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck lavished four-star praise upon this movie-inspired musical about a lovelorn busker and a woman with a broken Hoover who fill each other’s vacuums. Set in working-class Dublin, the gently warming Once tugs at heart strings and causes toes to tap. Speaking of taps, theatregoers are invited on stage for pre-show and intermission libations, making the Royal Alex the best place in town for a Guinness this season, bar none. To Jan. 5 (Dec. 7, 2 and 8 p.m.; Dec. 8, 2 p.m.). $35 to $130. 260 King St. W., 416-872-1212 or mirvish.com.
Kids in the Hall: Rusty and Ready
With its five shows at the Isabel Bader Theatre this week, the reunited comedic troupe is up to monkey business – literally. During rehearsals and script-writing sessions, Kids member Dave Foley tweeted an appeal for a gorilla suit. The well-loved sketch quintet is the Canadian equivalent of England’s Monty Python, whose five remaining members will reconvene for a sell-out run at London’s O2 Arena in July. It’s bananas everywhere. Dec. 7, 7 and 9:30 p.m. $39 (sold out; limited rush seats may be available). 93 Charles St., torontosketchfest.com.
The Big Jingle
That’s jingle, as in a holiday tinkling sound, not in the ear-worming advertising sense. Mind you, this blowout concert features youthful pop-rock acts all with catchy numbers to their credit. Appearing are Hedley, Fefe Dobson, Fall Out Boy, Icona Pop, Serena Ryder, Down With Webster and Ylvis, the Belgian jokesters whose novelty video What Does the Fox Say? was so ubiquitous that the announcement of “Ylvis has left the building” can’t come soon enough for some of us. Dec. 7, 4:30 p.m. $20.50 to $70.50. Air Canada Centre, 50 Bay St., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
The popular Sunday-morning literary series goes astronomical this weekend, with a roster of readers that includes not only authors Rachel Joyce, Lynn Coady and Jason Tetro, but Chris Hadfield as well. The former commander of the International Space Station is promoting his memoir, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. At an event hosted by the Globe and Mail and Ben McNally Books, toast the Canadian spaceman with Tang. Dec. 8, 10 am. $50. King Edward Hotel, 37 King St. E., pre-register at 416-361-0032.
Christmas at Massey Hall with St. Michael’s Choir School
While the Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents A Christmas Carol for families at Roy Thomson Hall on Sunday (3 p.m., $16.50 to $65), the stage a few blocks away at Massey Hall will be overfull with 250 voices this weekend. The choristers are capping off a banner year that saw them travel to Vatican City to perform for Pope Francis, who is nothing if not a man of the papal. Dec. 7 (7:30 p.m.) and Dec. 8 (3 p.m.). $20 to $40. 178 Victoria St, 416-872-4255 or masseyhall.com.