With the imminent launch of Selfridge's super-sized shoe department and the recently unveiled Vivienne Westwood Shoes: An Exhibition 1973-2010 (nearly 200 shoes crafted by the British designer are on show, also at Selfridge's), it appears that London has a footwear fetish. It's no wonder, then, that the city is hosting the world premiere of Shoes, a quirky cabaret that explores Choos, Louboutins and Crocs through song and dance. Composed by Richard Thomas, the man behind Jerry Springer - The Opera, and choreographed by Tony- and Laurence Olivier-award winner Stephen Mear, the show has a cast of 12 dancers performing in more than 250 pairs of shoes. On until Sept. 11 at Sadler's Wells Theatre.
Filtered water on the go
The tap water may be safe in London, Paris and New York, but do you really want to drink it without a filter? Meet the Bobble. Designed by Karim Rashid, the stylish, refillable bottle purifies water as you drink it, through a built-in carbon filter. It comes in a selection of sizes and cheery colours, it's free of bisphenol A, phthalates and PVC and, best of all, it eliminates the need for buying overpriced disposable bottles from the mini-bar. (The 500-millilitre Waterbobble costs $12.99.) While a single filter can purge chlorine and organic contaminants from up to 150 litres of water, don't rely on it in places such as Mexico and Africa, where the tap water is extra dodgy. It's available at Canadian Tire and small boutiques across Canada.
A four-figure feast, three-star chefs, two good causes
Scott Boswell isn't afraid to have too many cooks in his kitchen. On Sept. 14, the New Orleans-based chef shares the stoves of his French Quarter restaurant Stella! with culinary greats Thomas Keller, Jérôme Bocuse and Daniel Boulud. This is the first time that the illustrious quartet is cooking together. While the meal is bound to be stellar - Keller and Boulud are both Michelin three-starred chefs, and Bocuse and Boswell are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America - the cause it supports is even more commendable. Proceeds will be shared between the Barrier Island Restoration & Development Society, the group that is working to restore and protect the fragile barrier islands of southeast Louisiana from the BP oil spill, and the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation, a non-profit that supports budding young chefs. Tickets are $2,100 per person. For more information,
Stedelijk Museum now open (but not for long)
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is celebrating its 115th anniversary despite lengthy construction delays. Closed since 2004 for a major restoration and expansion project and with completion estimated for late 2011, the museum has temporarily unveiled two special exhibits within its historic building. The first, Taking Place, shows off recently renovated gallery spaces on the ground and upper floors of the building. Most of the space is empty or features newly commissioned work to cover the walls and floors. One room is emblazoned with giant words in black and white, print that is reminiscent of 1980s-era Frankie Goes to Hollywood T-shirts. The Monumentalism exhibit features paintings, pictures and sculptures by local artists whose themes cover the history and national identity of the Netherlands. Temporary Stedelijk is open until Jan. 9, 2011.
Special to The Globe and Mail