ART and MUSEUMS
Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show
“I am usually rather bored with definitions,” says the Austria-born, New York-based graphic designer. Sagmeister says. “Happiness, however, is just such a big subject that it might be worth a try to pin it down.” After investigating joy for ten years, the collaborator with musicians David Byrne and jolly Lou Reed and has produced an exhibition of maxims blown up into print, sculpture and interactive forms. To March 3. $8 to $15.20 Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., 416-363-6121.
Adventures with Sherlock Holmes
An exhibit collects unusual books, rare manuscripts, film posters, artwork and artifacts from the holdings of the Toronto Public Library’s Arthur Conan Doyle Collection. Magnifying glasses not supplied. To March 10. Free. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., 416-393-7131 or torontopubliclibrary.ca.
Jens Lindemann, with Doc Severinsen and Wycliffe Gordon
Can they play horns? You bet your brass they can. Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and trumpeters Lindemann and Severinsen (of The Tonight Show fame) blow buttery and boldly at Koerner Hall. Jan. 12, 8 p.m. $45 to $85. 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208.
“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart once said. “I simply follow my own feelings.” Fair enough. But if the composer isn’t interested in celebrating his own legacy, others are. The TSO offers a program this weekend (works for violin, flute and harp; Jan. 12, 8 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall and Jan. 13, 3 p.m., George Weston Recital Hall) and later in the week (featuring Symphony No. 40; Jan. 16 and 17, RTH, 8 p.m.). $29 to $145. 416-593-4828 or tso.ca.
For her lyrics, Lucinda Williams calls her “a folk Nina Simone.” We call her the “Saskatchewan-born, Brooklyn-based alt-country songstress who has appeared on albums by Joel Plaskett and Ron Sexsmith, and whose last album (2011’s Bad Blood) was produced by Steve Earle.” Take your pick of descriptions and concerts, for Egge is here for two nights. Jan. 18 and 19, 7 p.m. $10. Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579 or ticketbreak.com.
The Way We Feel: A Celebration of the Music of Gordon Lightfoot
His first album was titled Lightfoot!. Forty-seven years later the exclamation is still deserved, though the troubadour doesn’t really surprise us any longer. Which is why an annual celebration of his music is always a popular affair, if not for the artists covering his songs –this year including Matt Barber, Lori Cullen, Treasa Levasseur and Kevin Fox – then for the well-known man who sometimes drops by. His name? Lightfoot! Jan. 18 to 20, 8:30 p.m. $36 to $38.50. Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., 416-531-6604.
The Wizard of Oz
She’s not in La Salle, Ont., any more. Smalltowner Danielle Wade was a ruby-slipper shoe-in for the role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s adaptation of the movie musical, as judged by viewers of the televised Over the Rainbow talent-search contest. $35 to $175. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St., 416-872-1212.
This is War
From the star playwright Hannah Moscovitch (whose resume includes work on CBC’s radio drama Afghanada) comes a sobering, fictionalized version of an actual incident involving Canadian
soldiers in Afghanistan, set in small theatre space draped with camouflage netting. To Feb. 3. $27 to $53. Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827.
The Amorous Adventures of Anatol
A self-loving lothario works his way through seven women in Arthur Schnitzler’s 1920 Viennese romance, here adapted as a saucy, contemporary comedy by Morris Panych. To Feb. 10. $27 to $53. Tarragon Theatre Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827.
“Now that I'm dead, I know everything.” Megan Follows stars as Penelope, the long-suffering wife of Odysseus who, in Margaret Atwood’s audacious re-imagining of Homer’s The Odyssey, retells the epic from the perspective of the home front – reliving the 20 years she spent waiting for her hero to return from the Trojan war to Ithaca. To Feb. 10. $38 to $45. Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555 or nightwoodtheatre.net.
The much mourned matriarch of Canadian modern dance Rachel Browne receives a 21-dancer salute when Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (WCD) honours their founder by remounting eight of her signature works, from her first choreography (the joyous 1964 solo Odetta’s Songs and Dances), to the poignant trio Momentum (which premiered a month before her death in 2012). Jan. 12. $25. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
The Chinese Communist Party might shun the Shen, but the New York-based company is a hit elsewhere. Established in 2006 by expatriate Chinese artists and connected to a spiritual sect banned in China, the troupe’s mandate is to “restore and revive Chinese traditional culture,” which it does in flashy sound-and-vision fashion. Jan. 17 to 20. $67 to $208.75. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., 1-855-872-7669 or ticketmaster.ca.
The Body in Question
The acclaimed American choreographer Deborah Hay has a pair of her solo pieces – News (2006) and At Once (2009) – adapted and danced by the highly capable Christopher House. Jan. 18 and 19 (8 p.m.) and Jan. 20 (2 p.m.). $20 to $26. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester St., 416-967-1365 or tdt.org.
His belly laugh isn’t what it used to be. The clever Canadian comic does bits on being gay and losing weight, which are just two of the things at which he excels. Jan. 12 (8 and 10:30 p.m.) and Jan. 13 (8 p.m.). $11.50 to $19.50. Yuk Yuk’s, 224 Richmond St. W., 416-967-6425.
Jackie Kashian’s Dork Forest Podcast
The California comedian brings her podcast to the Tranzac, where she’ll interview people about their nerdy obsessions for a live recording. Special guests include fellow comedians Sean Cullen and the cat-crazy Debra DiGiovanni. Jan. 17, 8 p.m. $10. 292 Brunswick Ave., empirecomedylive.com.
LITERARY and LECTURE
In Conversation with Gordon Pinsent
The acclaimed actor talks about his six-decade career and dishes on people like Marlon Brando? That’s an offer we can’t refuse. Jan. 14, 7 p.m. $16 to $22.75. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433 or tiff.net.
Three words: Bare knuckled lit. Four matches involve eight swiftly scribbling people who take opposing stances on a given issue and read their written notions to a judging audience, with cash prizes going to charity. Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m. $10. The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W., 416-519-9439.
Canada’s Top Ten
The festival that salutes the best of Canada’s cinematic efforts in 2012 closes with the documentary The End of Time (Peter Mettler’s beautiful, highly personal approach to the subject of time; Jan. 12, 6:45 p.m. and Jan. 13, 12:30 p.m.) and My Awkward Sexual Adventure (a relationship farce, turbo-charged with testosterone; Jan. 12, 9:45 p.m. and Jan. 13, 3:30 p.m.). $8.50 to $12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433 or tiff.net.
Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster
The fetching Scott Speedman stars as Canada’s notorious postwar bank robber and prison-break artist in a cerebral drama from first-time director Nathan Morlando, who’ll be on hand to chat along with Boyd Gang author Nate Hendley. Jan. 15, 6:30 pm. $10 to $13. Revue Cinema 400 Roncesvalles, 416-531-9959.
Toronto International Boat Show
You think he’d goes down with his ship? Nah, we bet the Jack Russell terrier who skippers a boat across a man-made lake
at the Direct Energy Place would be dog-paddling to shore at the first whiff of trouble or Milk Bones. The show-boating pooch is one of the attractions at an annual event. To Jan. 20. $15 to $18. Exhibition Place, torontoboatshow.com.
Phineas and Ferb: The Best Live Tour Ever!
Hijinks and music aplenty occur when the Disney Channel animated stars hit the stage for an audaciously titled stage show. Jan. 12 (11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.) and Jan. 13 (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.). $25 to $80. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, 1-855-985-5000.
Next Stage Festival To Jan. 13. Factory Theatre, 416-966-1062.
The Wedding Show Co. To Jan. 13. The Carlu, theweddingco.com.
Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting To Jan. 20. AGO, 416-979-6648.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch To Jan. 26. Drake Hotel, brownpapertickets.com.
Freckleface Strawberry To Feb. 24 (Sundays). Lower Ossington Theatre, 416-915-6747.
Monster Jam Jan. 19 to 20. Rogers Centre, monsterjamcanada.ca.
Maple Blues Awards Jan. 21. Koerner Hall, 416-408-0208.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience Jan. 31. Massey Hall, 416-872-4275.
Al Purdy Tribute Feb. 6. Koerner Hall, 416-408-0208 or alpurdy.ca.
Major Lazer Feb. 28. Music Hall, 1-855-985-5000.
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite March 1. Music Hall, 1-855-985-5000.