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Soulpepper's production of Spoon River, with Colin Palangio, Mike Ross, Brendan Wall, Frank Cox-O'Connell, Gordon Hecht & Diego Matamoros

Toronto International Piano Competition
They're on the short Liszt. Yang Liu (China), Rachel Kudo (USA/Japan) and Rodolfo Leone (Italy) have made the final cut for the final showdown in the week-long ivory-keyed contest of skill and composure. By the end of this evening, only one of the young pianists will be left standing (or sitting, as the case will invariably be.) The three have selected concertos by Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Liszt – suffice to say, no Flea Waltz will be heard. Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. $30 to $40. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208 or

Carlos Varela
Championed by Jackson Browne and describable as a Havana kind of Bob Dylan, the Spanish-singing songster Carlos Varela makes a rare local visit. His folk-rock material is poetic and relevant, lyrically concerning themes such as hope and freedom that reflect a particularly Cuban condition. His songs are occasionally banned in his homeland, but he'll be under no restrictions here. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but this island export is one of a kind. Nov. 2, 8:30 p.m. $25 to $30. Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., 416-588-0307 or

Spoon River
"The tongue may be an unruly member, but silence poisons the soul." A musical adaptation of the century-old poetry now gets its premiere. Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters was a turn-of-the-century blockbuster that attempted to demystify small-town American life, with dead folk delivering free-form epitaphs that told of their loves, losses, truths and, most profoundly, regrets. From the Soulpepper company, then, song and something to think about. Nov. 4 to 15 (now in previews). $29 to $89. Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, 416-866-8666 or

Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction
Going once, going twice – going to be so much fun driving home that shiny '55 Ford Fairlane. More than 400 cars will be on the block this weekend at the International Centre, where prices won't necessarily be prohibitive as this isn't an auction of only gleaming classics. So, whether you're looking for a second-hand car or an impractical show-off machine, this show should fit you like a glove compartment. To Nov. 2. $15 to $18 (weekend pass, $25 to $30). International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga, Ont., 416 923 7500 or

Hitchcock 9
Alfred Hitchcock believed that silent pictures were the "purest form of cinema." . With that in mind, the people of the Toronto Silent Film Festival present nine of the auteur's soundless movies with live musical accompaniment. The films involve your murdering, your lusting, your blackmailing, your obsessing and your scaring, which amount to trademark suspenseful stuff from the filmmaker. Nov. 1 to 16. $15 (or festival pass, $40 to $100). Royal Cinema, Fox Theatre, Revue Cinema.

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