Joyner Fall Auction of Important Canadian Art
William Kurelek’s Handel’s Messiah at Massey Hall depicts the Mendelssohn Choir in action, at an annual Christmas-time performance that serves to elevate man’s spirit. Apart from the Hallelujah chorus, the artist was particularly enamoured with bass aria “The trumpet shall sound,” which accounts for the horn-player on the high in a 1973 drawing expected to fetch some $80,000 at an auction that also includes major works by Lawren Harris and E.J. Hughes. Nov. 25, 10 a.m . (on view Nov. 20 to 24 ). Free. Joyner Waddington’s Canadian Fine Art, 275 King St. E.,416-504-5100 .
Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World
If we look at the backside of a rock with a doomsday Mayan calendar on it, will we see a barely legible LOL? An exhibit of 250 artifacts sheds light on the achievements and mysteries of the long-lost Mesoamerican civilization whose innovations (and perhaps pranksterish instincts) reverberate to this day. Nov. 19 to April 9, 2012 . $17 to $25 . Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park , 416-586-8000 .
“Grateful I’m here,” Garland Jeffreys sings on his latest album, “still alive.” The veteran Coney Island singer-songwriter answers the what-ever-happened-to question with this year’s The King Of In Between, a well-received disc of reggae rock and Dylan blues. Nov. 19, 7 p.m. $29.50 Mod Club, 722 College St. W., 855-985-5000.
She can coo dreamy or rock sassy, this likable Nova Scotian singer-songwriter. Her new roots-pop album Honeymoon Punch is more upbeat than her previous release, with its title giving away its vibe and inspiration. Nov. 23, 8:30 p.m. $20 to $25 . Hugh’s Room , 2261 Dundas St. W. , 416-531-6604.
Erwin Schulhoff, the Czech composer and pianist, who studied with Claude Debussy and Max Reger, died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1942. He left behind an intriguing body of work, including the rarely heard Hot-Sonate for alto saxophone and orchestra, here performed by the iconic soloist Branford Marsalis. The New Orleans saxophonist also enlivens a folk-flavoured concerto by Russian composer Glazunov, with the program finishing at Dvorak’s colourful, melodic New World Symphony. Nov. 23 and 24 , 8 p.m . $35 to $145 . Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255 .
Ride the Cyclone
We recall the days of our youth, riding a roller-coaster, then quickly scurrying to get back in line to experience the euphoria again. Atomic Vaudeville’s exhilarating musical about a high-school choir that perishes in an amusement park accident produces that same reaction. To Dec. 3. $15 to $35. Theatre Passe Muraille , 16 Ryerson Ave ., 416-504-7529 .
Described by Canadian Stage artistic director Matthew Jocelyn as a “deeply moving, engaging and intelligent play,” this 1950s-set drama (a fictionalized account of artist Mark Rothko’s struggle to complete a commission) makes its Canadian premiere. Nov. 24 to Dec. 17 (previews begin Nov. 19 ). $22 to $99 . Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-368-3110 .
The Sankofa Trilogy
She’s got the powah: The Jamaican poet-playwright-actress d’bi.young anitafrika finishes off her Sankofa Trilogy with word!sound!powah!, a one-woman tour de force about a young performance-poet embroiled in a fictional Jamaican election. The energetic piece, which stands well on it own, is presented in repertory with the three-parter’s previous two instalments. To Dec. 4. $25 to $51 . Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827 .
SHUMKA at 50!
Bouncy, foot-stamping, billowy-trousered, big-smilin’, arms-a-wavin’, colour-costumed, high-kneed, whirlwind-causin’, Cossack-crazed fun. The Edmonton-based Shumka Dancers celebrate a half-decade of traditional Ukrainian dance. Nov. 25 and 26, 8 p.m., $30 to $85. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., 855-872-7669.
Enter the Shadow and Klorofyl
Madly-skilled urban dance crews unite for a double-bill at Harbourfront. The youth-led Break it Down organization offers Enter the Shadow (a candid, robust look at the art and culture of break-dancing), while the Gadfly troupe gives a whiff of Klorofyl (an adventure in jazz, house and hip-hop forms that explores contemporary tribalism and fallen street warriors). Nov. 24 to 27. Shows can be seen individually ($15 to $28) or together, back-to back ($30 to $45 ). Enwave Theatre (235 Queens Quay W.) and Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay W.), 416-973-4000 .
Romeo and Juliet
Will the ballet by any other choreographer still smell as sweet? The National Ballet celebrates its 60th anniversary with the world premiere of a new version of the classic piece, crafted by New York’s industrious Alexei Ratmansky. To Nov. 27 . $25 to $234 . Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595 .
LITERATURE and LECTURE
The jazz-loving former president delivers a lecture (Embracing our Common Humanity) on the social challenges of globalization. (As an aside, given that the great Charlie Parker once blew melodiously at Massey Hall, will the jazz-loving Mr. Clinton being his own saxophone in tribute? Oh, the humanity.) Nov. 21, 8 p.m. $68 to $155 . Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255 .
The Word Festival
If you haven’t heard the word yet, you will now, in ways unforeseen. A three-day multi-disciplinary event adapts the works of a boffo-box-office playwright (William Shakespeare) and a bestselling author (King James, who had a hit with his version of the Bible). Performances include song from the Elmer Iseler Singers, sketch comedy from the National Theatre of the World, a solo Hamlet by Raoul Bhaneja and a theatrical adaptation of Kill Shakespeare (the graphic novel). Nov. 25 to 27. $15 to $25 ($59 pass) . Young Centre, 55 Mill St., youngcentre.ca/thewordfestival.
And Now For Something Completely Different
What, no fish-slapping dance? The first Monty Python film finds the groundbreaking English comedy team re-enacting some of its most uproarious skits from the Flying Circus television series, including the Ministry of Silly Walks, the Lumberjack Song, Hell’s Grannies and the beloved Dead Parrot sketch, but nothing involving cod-whacking rituals. Nov. 19, 11 p.m. $8.50 to $12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433.
Canada Reads: True Stories
The estimable Jian Ghomeshi reveals the celebrity panelists for this year’s literary vote-down, those book-championing convincers who’ll each fight for one of five Canadian non-fiction classics, drawn from a short list of titles such as Dave Bidini’s On a Cold Road and Ian Brown’s Trillium-winning The Boy in the Moon. The involved persuaders and authors will speak, setting the book brawl in motion. Nov. 23, noon . Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W., cbc.ca.
Dysfunctional Holiday Revue
Sometimes the weather inside turns frightful as well. An annual production by the Second City touring troupe has fun with blood-relative unruliness and outlandish in-laws during the holiday season. Nov. 21 to Dec. 30. $22 . Second City, 51 Mercer St., 416-343-0011 .
If all goes as unplanned, an improvised soap opera set in an old-fashioned Ontario town where the local radio station is losing its signal will have audiences on the Edge of Wetness (speaking of spur-of-the-moment melodramas). Thursdays (Nov. 24 opening is sold out) . PWYC. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W., 416-898-5324.
Great Outdoors & DIY Weekend
“Skijoring” may be the worst new word in the English language, but it’s also an increasingly popular pastime involving ski-bound people pulled by bemused domesticated animals. A team of mush-mush huskies are just one of the many attractions involved with an indoor happening that encompasses the Fall Cottage Life Show, the Outdoor Canada Show, the Explore Adventure & Travel Show and the Canadian Home Workshop Show. Nov. 25 to 27 . $8 to $15 ($23 weekend pass). International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga, Ont., greatoutdoorsDIY.com
Miracle on Mercer St.
Can the townsfolk and a visiting 13-year-old girl preserve holiday goodwill and save an iconic tree from getting the axe? Muppet-like puppets and their comical human companions from Second City answer the questions and bring the funny. Nov. 19 to Dec. 17 (Saturdays, noon ), with expanded schedule after Dec. 21 . $12 ($40, four-pack) . Second City, 51 Mercer St., 416-343-0011.
Kids get to be the big cheeses when it comes to an event that has them conceiving, creating and constructing a rodent city out of recycled household materials. Speaking for the mice, we suggest no garden labyrinths, as the wee whiskered things are tired of anything resembling those stressful rat-race mazes. Nov. 20, 10 a.m . $5 to $10 . Gladstone Hotel Ballroom , 1214 Queen St. W., smallprinttoronto.org.
The Wizard of Oz
Pay attention to the “man” behind the curtain – he’s Ross Petty, not only the producer of this wacky pantomime but the actor portraying the Wicked Witch of the West. Dec. 1 to Jan. 6 (previews begin Nov. 25). $27 to $80. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 855-985-5000.
Mary Poppins Princess of Wales Theatre, 416-872-1212.
The Odd Couple To Nov. 19. Young Centre, 416-866-8666.
Two Pianos Four Hands To Dec. 4. Panasonic Theatre, 416-872-1212.
Rain: Tribute to the Beatles Nov. 25 to 27. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 416-872-1212.
Women’s Blues Revue Nov. 26. Massey Hall, 416-872-4255.
Larry King Nov. 29. Roy Thomson Hall, 416-872-4255.
Eve Egoyan Dec. 2. Glenn Gould Studio, 416-872-4255.
Emilie-Claire Barlow Dec. 2. Markham Theatre, 905-305-7469.