ART & MUSEUMS
There was a time when the sun never set on the British Empire, which meant, among other things, that it was always afternoon tea somewhere. An exhibition of pots, mugs, and bone china captures a 400-year social history of the cuppa-loving imperialists. To Sept. 16, daily. $6 to $12. Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8080.
Afterimage: Tod Ainslie's Vision of the War of 1812
Using only a primitive pinhole camera, photographer Tod Ainslie of Burlington, Ont., surveyed battles sites associated with the War of 1812. Twenty-two of the images – placid, haunting and devoid of human life – compellingly commemorate lives lived and lost during that early 19th-century fight. To Feb. 24, 2013. $12 to $15. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8000.
The pioneering jazz-rock guitarist brings his neat spaceship of note-bending and intriguing improvisation to Hugh’s Room. June 5, 8:30 p.m. $40 to $42.50. 2261 Dundas St. W., 416-531-6604.
If nothing else the latest record from the crafty indie band wins an award for the cheekiest title. The cool-headed singer Janine Stoll leads an interesting crew at a tiny venue, where a delightfully unexpected sort of folk-pop – as found on their Award Winning Album – is spotlighted. June 7, 14 and 21. PWYC. Not My Dog, 1510 Queen St. W., 416-532-2397.
The confident bass-baritone Daniel Lichti joins Montreal’s Pentaèdre Wind Ensemble and accordionist – yes, accordionist – Joseph Petric for a particular arrangement of Schubert's lonely poetic odyssey, Winterreise (Winter Journey). June 3, 2 p.m. (1:15 p.m. pre-concert chat). $40. Sharon Temple, 18974 Leslie St. E., Sharon, Ont., 905-478-2389.
Einstein on the Beach
“A person who never made a mistake,” Einstein said, “never tried anything new.” When the Robert Wilson-Phillip Glass collaboration debuted in 1976, operatic ground was broken; their dreamy piece of abstract performance art was highly innovative. The work, inspired by the life of the bushy-faced physicist, is now being presented at Luminato and elsewhere for the first time in 20 years, allowing new generations to experience the original epic production. June 8 and 9 (6 p.m.) and June 10 (3 p.m.). $25 to $175. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., 416-368-4849 or luminato.com.
You’re invited to man the trenches for a First World War drama with a giant puppet of a horse as its big gun. A front-row “trench seat,” available for $29 on a daily rush basis, puts audience members so close to the action they’ll be able to apply for veterans benefits. $35 to $175. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., 416-872-1212.
La Belle et la Bête
Much like the great surrealist director Jean Cocteau, who magically adapted the classic French tale in 1946, this retelling of Beauty and the Beast is an interpretation for adults – a multimedia creation that uses virtual-reality techniques to tell the story of love and redemption. (Part of Luminato.) June 8 to June 12 . $49 to $99 . Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-368-4849 or luminato.com.
Created for the Stuttgart Ballet in 2008, Kevin O’Day’s abstract adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy about a brooding Danish prince makes its North American premiere with the National Ballet of Canada. Expect a succinct, highly physical style of ballet, somewhere between classical and contemporary. To June 10. $25 to $234. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595.
Andrew Davidson's 2009 novel The Gargoyle covers multiple genres – gothic, erotica, and horror – but we never saw an adaptation that uses breakdancing coming. Larchaud Dance Project offers a modern, intense take on an unconventional romance. June 2, 8 p.m. $25. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529 or danceworks.ca.
East End Comedy Revue
Jeff Elliott, Jen Grant and the inimitable Sean Cullen, who keeps his mind nimble and warm beneath a bowler, say funny things. That’s it. That’s what they do. Go see them do it. June 2, 8 p.m. $20 (ticket web.ca). Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St. E., 416-368-6893.
LITERARY and LECTURE
Toronto Jewish Book Festival