Rolling Stones doc saunters down memory lane
“It’s almost a fairy story,” says Keith Richards, in the new Rolling Stones doc, speaking about the near unbelievability of the band’s history. Unfortunately, Crossfire Hurricane, the Brett Morgen-directed celebration of the Stones’ 50th anniversary, is not so much fairy story as it is half the story.
The authorized HBO documentary has yet to receive media previews in Canada. However, according to early reviews in the Guardian and the Hollywood Reporter, Crossfire Hurricane doesn’t cover much of the Stones’ last three decades, choosing instead to concentrate on the excellent adventures already chronicled in 1989’s strong 25x5 documentary.
The new film features a reworking of archival footage and previously unseen material as well, with current and past band members voicing their recollections as the well-known narrative unfolds. At one point, former bassist Bill Wyman recalls the “flood of urine” that accompanied the Stones riotous early shows.
As for recent (and more sanitary) developments, the Stones, of course, have reunited for upcoming concerts at London’s O2 Arena (Nov. 25 and 29) and Newark’s Prudential Center (Dec. 13 and 15). More dates are expected to follow in 2013. HBO will broadcast the Dec. 15 show; the band’s greatest-hits collection GRRR! is set for release in North America on Nov. 13. All true.
ART & MUSEUMS
Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and The Group of Seven
Just to be clear: James Coburn was one of the Magnificent Seven; Tom Thomson was one of the Group of Seven. It is the latter who is featured in an exhibit initially assembled for overseas audiences, and it is one of his rare works on canvas – Maple Woods, Bare Trunks (1916) – that now gets its first public showing in Canada. To Jan. 6. $12 to $15. McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Ave., 905-893-1121.
Ed Bickert at 80: A Jazz Celebration
The guitarist Ed Bickert was once described by the jazz scholar Mark Miller as a “complete musician,” meaning gracefully inventive melodically, intriguing harmonically and secure rhythmically. On Tuesday, the now-retired icon – meaning Mr. Bickert, no disrespect to the esteemed Mr. Miller – will be feted with a concert by Terry Clarke, Barry Elmes, Jake Langley, Lorne Lofsky and at least one Occhipinti brother. Nov. 6, 7 p.m. $45. Glenn Gould Studio. 250 Front St. W., 416-872-4255.
Early in his career, he was a running mate of Jefferson Airplane violinist Papa John Creach. Now Keb Mo is a three-time Grammy winner – a long, tall glass of charismatic bluesman. Nov. 8, 8 p.m. $40 to $85. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208.
The Drake R&B protégé Abel Tesfaye has yet to release a proper album, and perhaps he never will. His first major-label release is to be Trilogy, a forthcoming multidisc package that gathers the material of his three mixed tapes and a few newer tracks. The thin-voiced Toronto artist is a press-shy character of Ethiopian descent and subterranean hype, with a slant on urban music that is sexy, moody and idiosyncratic. Nov. 3 to 5, 9 p.m. $46 (tickets remaining for Nov. 5 only). Sound Academy, 11 Polson St., 1-855-985-5000.
Paying Tribute to Oscar Peterson
The colossus pianist Oscar Peterson is celebrated by Dave Young, a long-time bass-playing associate who has recruited Denzal Sinclaire, Robi Botos, Terry Clarke and Warren Stirzsinger to perform the late great artist’s compositions, some never performed in public previously. Nov. 9, 8:30 p.m. $29.50 to $32.50. Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., 416-531-6604.
War of the Worlds
Forget about the Martians. Sean Cullen is coming! The comic actor stars with Nicholas Campbell in a live recreation of Orson Welles’s radio drama based on H.G. Wells’s frightening futurism. As with last year’s sold-out run, the Art of Time production includes a concert of high-drama soundtrack music – Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver, Psycho and Cape Fear – composed by Bernard Herrman. Nov. 3 (2 and 8 p.m.) and Nov. 4 (2 p.m.). $25 to $59. Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
Thirteen years after directing Soulpepper’s Dora-winning production of Samuel Beckett’s trash-can classic, Daniel Brooks returns (with original cast member Diego Matamoros) to rework a play about co-dependency and the strategy of life. To Nov. 17. $32 to $68. Young Centre, 55 Mill St., 416-866-8666 or soulpepper.ca.
Speaking in Tongues
Written for four actors (each of whom plays a minimum of two characters), the tense Australian drama involves a missing woman, four marriages, interweaving plot points and an irregular structure that critics have found clever and provocative. In 2001, it was adapted into the film Lantana, starring Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush, and Barbara Hershey. To Nov. 24. $22 to $49. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., 416-368-3110.
Four pieces highlight the talents of three noted choreographers (Patricia Beatty, Christopher House and Montreal maverick Jean-Sébastien Lourdais) and the exceptional movements of the Toronto Dance Theatre troupe. Nov. 6 to 10, 8 p.m. $19 to $40. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
So You Think You Can Dance
Surely the question is rhetorical by now. And if you don’t know the finalists from the TV talent-search franchise by their first names (Audrey, Chehon, Cole, Cyrus, Eliana, George, Lindsay, Tiffany, Will and Witney), then there’s just no hope for you. Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m. $55.50 to $85.50. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., 416-368-6161.
LITERATURE & LECTURE
Democracy in Any Election Year
Is the choice between Obama and Romney any choice at all? On the eve of the U.S. election, big brains Janice Stein and Mark Kingwell discuss democracy, with CBC Radio’s lively Carol Off hosting the PEN Canada event. Nov. 5, 7 p.m. $25. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-5797.
On Stage Theatre Art Series
An ongoing speaking series aims to illuminate current theatre productions, including The Normal Heart, running to Nov. 18 at Buddies. Joel Greenberg, Studio 180 artistic director, speaks about the company’s mount of Larry Kramer’s landmark AIDS-themed drama. Nov. 5, 7 p.m. Free. Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium, torontopubliclibrary.ca.
Not only will the British rock journalist discuss and read from her new book I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, she’ll ukulele-ize a few of the brooding troubadour’s odes. The talented and affable folk duo of Kate Maki and Fred Squire also perform. Nov. 9, 8 p.m. Free. Soundscapes Music, 572 College St.
Dark Comedy Festival
The only taboo subject here is the whole notion of taboo subjects. Quirky Maria Bamford (tonight) headlines a schedule of edgy, non-mainstream stars including Jim Norton (Nov. 9) and Eddie Pepitone (Nov. 10). To Nov. 10. Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W., 416-551-6540 or darkcomedyfest.com.
Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style
For our eyes only: An exhibition of costumes, props, gadgets, concept artwork, storyboards and artifacts from the blockbuster spy-film series makes its North American premiere. Signature items include the steel choppers worn by Richard (Jaws) Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me and a variety of gold things. To Jan. 20, 2013. $10.50 to $15. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-968-3456.
Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival
A popular annual event offers films and panel discussions themed to matters of mental illness and social anxiety. This year’s fest opens with Little Bird (Kauwboy), a tender, upbeat story from the Netherlands about a confused young boy who finds comfort in an abandoned baby jackdaw (Nov. 9, 7 p.m., $30). Nov. 9 to 17. $10 to $30. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-968-3456 or rendezvouswithmadness.com.
Colonel Tom Parker’s Beer Barrel Bingo
The inimitable Tom Parker, a major force in bluegrass-related sociability, emcees and DJs a weekly beery event of fiddle music, chicken-and-waffle comfort food and game-of-chance uproar, all in a honky-tonk setting.
Saturdays, 2 p.m. Free. Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579.
Whole Life Expo
It’s only natural that a green-themed festival would take over the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for three days. Nov. 9 to 11. $10 to $15. 255 Front St. W., 416-515-1330.
For the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the bighearted Scottish singer Annie Lennox deals with empowerment (Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves), pleasing slumber (Sweet Dreams) and predictable weather (Here Comes the Rain Again). A star-dazzled bill (including Sarah McLachlan and Angelique Kidjo) assured a quick sell out, but the concert will be broadcast on CBC Radio One on Nov. 30, the eve of World AIDS Day. Nov. 7, 8:30 p.m.
$59.95 to $179.95 (sold out).
Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255.
Cirque Éloize’s iD
Tumbling, trampolining, street-gang dancing and mountain-bike extremism are part of a high-energy production that metaphorically represents the chaos that results from conflicting basic human desires – metaphorically, that is, unless you’re the type who actually stacks chairs unreasonably high and balances perilously on the resulting tower for kicks. Nov. 3 (2 and 7:30 p.m.). $52 to $88.75. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., 1-855-872-7669.
Give away his furry hat, give away his shoe, but by all means, don't give away his alligator stew. The child-friendly poems of the treasured laureate Dennis Lee are brought to theatrical life. The production runs for one month, and then it is a matter of “see you later…”
To Nov. 25. $23. Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, 416-866-8666 or soulpepper.ca.
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Great jumping rabbits! The annual affair of hay, butter sculptures and barnyard culture this year has jumping rabbits – hop-to-it bunnies who not only are far cuter than their equine counterparts, but much less a burden on the festival’s carrot reserves. To Nov. 11 (rabbit jumping, Saturdays, 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.). $14 to $18 (horse shows, $38). Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., 416-263-3400.