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The production of Terminus is being presented in an nontraditional manner, with 200 patrons seated on the stage.
The production of Terminus is being presented in an nontraditional manner, with 200 patrons seated on the stage.

The week in events By Brad Wheeler

What to do in Toronto, Nov. 24 - 30: Terminus, Kid Koala, A Brimful of Asha and more Add to ...

Terminus looks the other way

What audiences are seeing currently at the Royal Alexandra Theatre would normally be thought of as an unmitigated theatrical disaster. That would be unfilled seats. About 1,500 of them, matter of fact. But the Mirvish people are fine with it – indeed, it was their idea.

The production of Terminus, you see, is being presented in a non-traditional manner, with 200 patrons seated on the stage itself, facing an empty auditorium, with the actors performing on the lip of the stage.

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The hit three-actor drama from Ireland’s Mark O’Rowe sets up as a trio of intense, interlocking monologues, using rhymes and dark subject matter (alleyway abortions, demons and serial killing in Dublin).

It’s an audacious drama, perhaps one that will make theatregoers squirm in their unusual seats. A New York Times writer described the lyrical, colloquial dialogue as a “mix between Jay-Z and Tom Wolfe on a gonzo riff.” At this year’s Summerworks Festival, Globe critic J. Kelly Nestruck, in particular, praised Adam Wilson’s performance as a maniac. Don’t let the empty seats fool you, Terminus is no dead end.

Annex landmark shuttering its doors

What a bomb could not do, changing times have. The Toronto Women’s Bookstore, an Annex landmark for 39 years, is taking down its shelves and shutting down its business. “This has always been a safe and welcoming space, inclusive of everyone,” says Victoria Moreno, the store’s operator for more than two years. “It’s been a place that has represented anti-oppression and social justice. It’s a lot more than a bookstore.”

Today, the feminist institution celebrates its history with a closing party, with readings, musical performances and stories with store founders Patti Kirk and Marie Prins and others on hand. The event is free, but the idea is to sell out the remaining stock, to help defray closing costs.

The bookstore once sat under the Morgentaler Clinic, the controversial establishment thought to be the target of an arsonist’s attack in the summer of 1983. “A bomb was placed in the parenting and children’s section in the store,” Ms. Moreno says. “I just found that out.”

After the fire, the TWB reopened in 1984 at its final location, 73 Harbord St. “I hear it from everybody who walks in here, that the store has made a difference in their lives,” says Ms. Moreno, who worked part-time at the store in the early 1990s before returning to take over ownership in 2010. “It’s sad that the store is closing. But the legacy is carried on, in some way.”

ART & MUSEUMS

 

Joyner Waddington’s Fall Auction of Important Canadian Art

 

Charles Pachter’s Hockey Knights in Canada mural was a familiar greeting to more one than one generation of subway-riding NHL fans. Now, the prototype for the College Street station installation goes on the block, possibly drawing interest at the $25,000 level. Nov. 26, 7 p.m. Waddington Auction Galleries, 275 King St. E., 416-504-5100.

 

Sotheby’s Important Canadian Art

 

On auction are a group of artworks spanning Canada’s history from the 1800s to the present day. What people are getting their bidding paddles warmed up for are five pieces by Lawren Harris, a Group of Seven member but a one-man gang when it came to his influence on Canadian landscape painting. Nov. 27, 7 p.m. (previews Nov. 25 to 27). Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-926-1774.

 

CONCERTS

 

Toronto Symphony Orchestra: Don Quixote

 

The esteemed Andrew Davis conducts Strauss’s tone poem early on Wednesday (6:30 p.m.), with expanded programs and later start times on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1. $29 to $145. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-1212.

 

CLUBS

 

Kid Koala’s Vinyl Vaudeville Tour

 

With puppets, dancing robots, dancing girls and gigantic cardboard turntables, the inimitable DJ is up to much more than scratch. An experience involving his new album 12 Bit Blues includes a comedic warm-up act as well.

Nov. 30, 10 p.m. $15 (available at Rotate This, Soundscapes). The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst St., ticketweb.ca.

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