ART and MUSEUMS
Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting
She was a bawdy, tequila-downing, bisexual enigma. He was a gun-toting, Communist Casanova. If they were alive today, the couple of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera would be called “Friego” and they would be flush with reality-television money. As it is, the legacy of the Mexican painters is extremely strong, with their art currently drawing crowds to the Art Gallery of Ontario. To Jan. 20 (with a free screening of the 1983 Mexican film Frida at Jackman Hall on Jan. 9, 7 p.m.). $16.50 to $25. 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648.
The Tokyo Quartet
Oh, no, there goes Tokyo. The famed, long-running foursome is calling it quits, but not before three Toronto concerts during the ensemble’s farewell season. On Thursday, the string quartets No. 4 and No. 5 from the Bartok cycle (plus Haydn’s The Rider) are rendered. Jan. 10, 8 p.m. $10 to $55. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-366-7723.
Grand Funk Railroad
Whatever happened to coming into our town and helping us “party it down” anyhow? The locomotive American band (minus signature vocalist Mark Farner) get only as close as Niagara Falls, N.Y., for a casino show of seventies soul-rock. Jan. 11, $24.50 to $56.50. Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 1-716-299-1100 or ticketmaster.com.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Hedwig is a transgendered German beauty who fronts a nonchalant indie band, The Angry Inch. His fictional story, one of betrayal and physical sacrifice, is the subject of a cult-hit rock musical. Jan. 9 to 26. $25 to $35. Drake Hotel Underground, 1150 Queen St. W., brownpapertickets.com.
For ten years he headed the music department at the Canada Council for the Arts, where he mentored musicians on the process of making a record. Now retired from the post, the veteran singer-songwriter has just released a new disc of his own (Crazy Shades of Blue) which gently persuades listeners to his soulful sort of melodic folk music. Jan. 10, 9 p.m. $10. C’est What, 67 Front St. W., 416-867-9499.
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 a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan. 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. Jan. 9 to Feb. 10 (now in previews). $27 to $53. Tarragon Theatre Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827.
Here comes the acclaimed actor-playwright Kirsten Thomson, starring in her own play as a standup comedian whose 18-year marriage is about to fall apart before intervention by “someone else” refocuses the foundations upon which on married life is built. The dark comedy is directed by Chris Abraham, who was Thomson’s collaborator on the hit I, Claudia. Jan. 10 to Feb. 2 (previews begin Jan. 7). $22 to $49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., 416-368-3110.
“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. Jan. 10 to Feb. 10 (previews from Jan. 8). $37 to $45. Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555 or nightwoodtheatre.net.
Robin Hood: The Legendary Musical Comedy
Based on a bullseye production by Halifax’s Shakespeare by the Sea, a cheeky and melodious musical wears leggings and aims satirical arrows at accepted notions of status and the wealth distribution. Jan. 11 to 26. $15 to $25. Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle, 416-978-8849 or uofttix.ca.
A colourful dance spectacle comes by the Hong Kong Dance Company, a 40-strong troupe which portrays 12th-century <QL>Chinese life in broad painterly impressions. Jan. 5, 8 p.m. $33.25 to $96.75. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., 1-855-872-7669 or ticketmaster.ca.
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. 10 to 13, 8 p.m. (extra shows Jan. 11 and 12, 10:30 p.m.). $11.50 to $19.50. Yuk Yuk’s, 224 Richmond St. W., 416-967-6425.
LITERARY and LECTURE
Her talked-about 2012 film was Stories We Tell, and what a story Sarah Polley told. The actress-director speaks with TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey about the subjective and elusive nature of truth, using her documentary involving her own tale of confused parentage and familial secrets as a springboard for the discussion. (The film screens Jan. 5, 5:30 p.m., and Jan. 6, 3:30 p.m.). Jan. 5, 3:30 p.m. $13.25 to $18.75. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433 or tiff.net.
This isn’t the Canadian Club. Here we have a popular offbeat lecture series, this week touching on subjects (backyard chickens, the history of dentures and awkward laughter) that defy a common thread but intrigue and entertain nevertheless. Jan. 7, 8 p.m. $5 to $6. Garrison, 1197 Dundas W., trampolinehall.net.
Doc Soup: Portrait of Wally
The very large issue of Nazi looting and Holocaust art restitution is whittled down in this compelling documentary to a very small painting: Egon Schiele’s 1912 portrait of his mistress Walburga Neuzil. The film is a bit fast paced, but don’t worry – you’ll have a chance to ask questions after the screenings. Jan. 9 (6:30 and 9:15 p.m.) and Jan. 10 (6:45 p.m.). $15. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123.
Longer nights? Bring it on. A happening of interactive indie-music, art installations, readings and sociable circumstances includes music by the curious hip-hop auteur Buck 65 and various immersive experiences designed to pass the coldest, darkest nights compellingly. Jan. 11, 8 p.m. PWYC. Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W., torontolongwinter.com.
The Wedding Show Co.
Turns out you can wear white after Labour Day. A three-day event of cake, invitations and gowns takes over The Carlu. Jan. 11 to 13. $25 to $30. 444 Yonge St., theweddingco.com.
A hot-air rocking chair? A vintage car of the future, fuelled by boiled aftershave lotion? A computer that incorporates electronic woodpeckers as card punchers? We can’t make this stuff up, but the whimsically inclined Englishman Rowland Emett could and did. His wacky, unusable inventions are on display at the Ontario Science Centre for two more days. To Jan. 6, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. $13 to $22. 770 Don Mills Rd., 416-696-3127.
A musical play called Freckleface Strawberry celebrates individuality and is based on a book by the actress Julianne Moore, who has fair complexion and red hair. We’ll let you connect the dots. Sundays, to Feb. 24 (showtimes alternate weekly, 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.). $29 to $39. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Ave., 416-915-6747.
Festival of New Formats
Various sets of alternative-styles of comedy include a snarky game show in which answers are to be given in the form of a question but too much trivial knowledge puts audience members in jeopardy (Jan. 5, 9 p.m.). Jan. 5 and 6, 7 p.m. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W., 416-551-6540.
Toronto International Boat Show Jan. 11 to 19, 2013. Direct Energy Centre, torontoboatshow.com.
Maple Blues Awards Jan. 21, 2013. Koerner Hall, 416-408-0208.
Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience Jan. 31, 2013. Massey Hall, 416-872-4275.
Rock of Ages March 19 to 24, 2013, Sony Centre, 1-855-872-7669.
Fleetwood Mac April 16, 2013. Air Canada Centre, 1-855-985-5000.