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.
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.
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.
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.
Lauded by Globe theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck as a “dark, violent and fantastical rhyming play,” the hit from last year’s SummerWorks Festival by Ireland’s Mark O’Rowe involves three intense intertwining monologues staged on a tiny gangplank for an onstage audience of 200. To Dec. 9. $69. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W., 416-872-1212.
Fare Game: Life in Toronto’s Taxis
We once had a cabbie who warned us that in case of a collision his mustache would inflate! A multimedia play explores the travails of urban-carriage professionals. To Dec. 8. $25 to $35. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529.
A Brimful of Asha
When an Indo-Canadian mother offers to take care of the wedding arrangements, she’s not talking about flowers and reception details. Real-life mother and son Asha and Ravi Jain share the stage (and samosas) for a culture-clashing true story involving a bride-scouting trip to India. Nov. 27 to Dec. 16 (previews begin Nov. 25). $27 to $53. Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827.
The 501: Toronto in Transit
Though it runs on Queen Street, it’s the king of all trolley lines when it comes to length. A new play provides the 411 on the 501. Nov. 29 to Dec. 8 (now in previews). $20 to $30. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529.
Ballet Creole’s Soulful Messiah
They put the “jah” in “hallelujah.” Employing elements of African-Caribbean dance and other forms, the local troupe moves to Handel’s Messiah, as imagined by R&B guru Quincy Jones. Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. $20 to $45. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay, 416-973-4000.
LITERARY & LECTURE
Munk Debate on Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions
On hand to hash out the issue of what Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls his nation’s “inalienable right” to nuclear technology are former Israeli Air Force general Amos Yadlin, Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator Charles Krauthammer, CNN host Fareed Zakaria and Vali Nasr, from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Nov. 26, 7 p.m. $25 to $90. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255.
Putting on his cultural-commentator hat, the novelist and visual artist speaks on the notion of public vs. private and fiction vs. non-fiction. Nov. 28, 7 p.m. $12. Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4949.
Is that a mustache, or should we shoo that squirrel off your face? He just flew in from Furville, and boy is that mustache tired! We’ve got a million of them, folks, and so do Darrin Rose, Ben Miner, Deb DiGiovanni and Rob Baker, the comedians who will yuck it up in benefit of the Movember Foundation for prostate health and awareness. Nov. 28, 9:30 p.m. $15. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W., 416-551-6540.
Pensioners from across the world recently met in Inner Mongolia to compete in the over-80s table tennis championships, where most of the games were back-and-forth affairs, as you might imagine. A light-footed, affecting documentary screens at the Bloor Cinema. To Dec. 2. 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123.
FOOD & DRINK
Colonel Tom Parker’s Beer Barrel Bingo
Though the combination of chicken and waffles seems as random a call as “B-7” or “F-9,” a weekly event of honky-tonk music and game-of-chance communal fun also features plates of white meat and batter-based brunch food. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Free. Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579.
Sideshow Bob’s Crazy Carnie Cookhouse
It’s not uptown, but it is upstairs. Take in the Grey Cup at the second-floor Monarch Tavern, where guest caterer Bob St. Pierre serves fairground fare and deep-fried Oreos. Free. 12 Clinton St., 416-531-5833.
Hey swami, can you look at your crystal ball and tell me if there are any eggs Benedict in our near future? Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $29 (includes tarot or clairvoyant reading). Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament St., 647-347-6567.
The 12 Beers of Christmas
Skip the nog; bring on the grog. Taste malted beverages and listen to Mariah Carey ho-ho-ho music at an event hosted by Toronto’s Festival of Beer that barley costs you a thing. Nov. 29, 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635.
Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style
For our eyes only: an exhibition of costumes, props, gadgets, concept artwork and artifacts from the spy-film series makes its North American premiere. Items include the steel chompers worn by Richard (Jaws) Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me and a variety of things golden. To Jan. 20, 2013. $10.50 to $15. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-968-3456.
Awesome Foundation Pitch Night
We’re just spitballing here, but how about having an event where people propose novel schemes and innovative concepts in a friendly setting for cash prizes? Nov. 29, 6 to 8 p.m. Free. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W, 416-531-4635.
Lest we forget, for upcoming performances of the First World War drama about a valiant stallion, war veterans and current armed forces members are invited to attend the blockbuster play free of charge. To Dec. 2. Ticket available in person only at Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., 416-872-1212.
The Boxing Girls of Kabul
“It was the first time I had seen a ring, and there I was climbing into it.” A documentary concerns three Afghan women who defy odds, tradition and the Taliban as they fight for their right to fight.
Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m. (followed by Q&A with the director). Hart House Library, 7 Hart House Circle, harthouse.ca.
Snow White: The Deliciously Dopey Family Musical!
The annual Ross Petty pantomime this year features a young princess and a seven-man posse of tiny people who are famously pigeonholed as being either doctoring, irritable, jovial, laconic, shy, allergy-ridden and simple-minded. To Jan. 5. $32 to $90. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 1-855-599-9090.
Stanley’s Game Seven
Once upon a time. they used to play hockey. A new 3-D film adds computer-generated animation and archival NHL footage to a story about beer-leaguers who pay to skate and dream for free. $11 to $17.50 (admission to Hockey Hall of Fame). TSN Theatre, 30 Yonge St., 416-360-7735.
Rosedale Cavalcade Of Lights Nov. 24 (2 to 8 p.m.). rosedalemainstreet.ca.
Beach Christmas Parade Nov. 25 (1 p.m.). communitycentre55.com.
Winterfest on Toronto’s Waterfront to Dec. 16 (weekends). Queens Quay, waterfrontbia.com.
Swedish Christmas Festival Nov. 24 and 25. York Quay Centre, 416-973-4000.
One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale to Dec. 2. Direct Energy Centre, oneofakindshow.com.
Light up the Riverside Nov. 29 (5 to 9 p.m.). riverside-to.com.
Toronto Christmas Market Nov. 30 to Dec. 16. Distillery District, torontochristmasmarket.com.
A Christmas Carol Dec. 3 to 29. Young Centre, soulpepper.ca or 416-866-8666.
Go Tell it on the Mountain: The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show Dec. 7. Roy Thomson Hall, 416-872-4255.
Hart House Winter Buffet Dec. 18 to 20. 416-978-8849.
Sing-along Messiah Dec. 23. Massey Hall, 416-872-4255.