Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities
We here at 5 Things have seen most all of the Cirque du Soleil productions, but few of them have impressed us as much as the new show here now. It is a dreamy thing of strange mental transmissions: A munchkin lives inside a man, a locomotive is loco and and a dinner party is turned impossibly upside down. The fashion is Steampunk-whimsical, whiz-bang Victorian and Jules Verne-wild. All told, a four-star fandango of kineticism and the unusual that relies less on exoticism, more on zip and charisma. To Oct. 26. $60 to $155. Grand Chapiteau at The Port Lands, 51 Commissioners St., cirquedusoleil.com or 1-800-450-1480.
Eight hands, one pianist. Prodigy, perfectionist, performer and puritan – these are the four sides of Glenn Gould, as seen by the playwright David Young. In his 1992 exploration into the Canadian virtuosic pianist, four actors portray the complicated artist, each taking on a quarter of the myth and music behind the man, with a dramatic structure inspired by Bach's Goldberg Variations. Are all of the pianist's personas compatible? Let's just say there's a fight co-ordinator attached to the production. Sept. 2 to Oct. 1 (currently in previews). $29 to $89. Young Centre, 5o Tank House Lane, Distillery District, 416-866-8666 or soulpepper.ca.
There are a myriad of events involved with the Jewish affair of music and culture, but here's one you won't want to pass over. The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book (Aug. 31, 6 p.m., $22 to $25) is a multimedia work composed by Merima Kljuco, a Bosnian-born accordionist who traces the extraordinary journey of one of Jewish culture's most treasured manuscripts. As well, many festival components are free, including a show from the Lemon Bucket Orchestra, a wooly, 16-piece guerrilla-folk force (Aug. 30, 9:45. free). To Sept. 1. Various prices. Harbourfront Centre (and other venues), 235 Queens Quay W., static.ashkenazfestival.com.
It's too late to catch Freddy Krueger ripping the opening-ceremony ribbon to shreds, but the annual exposition of all things horror, gaming, comics and sci-fi will have Star Trek fans in a frightfully giddy state this weekend. William Shatner, the enterprising actor who burst into pop culture in the 1960s as the boldly-going Captain James T. Kirk, will stun Trekkies with an appearance alongside Hulk Hogan, Richard Dreyfuss and the Batman double punch – kapow! – of Adam West and Burt Ward. To Aug. 31. $25 to $50 (four-day pass, $115). Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., fanexpocanada.com.
Sam Roberts Band
"Out on the street, shoulder to shoulder," Sam Roberts sings on his spiffy and spirited latest album Lo-Fantasy. "The human heat is boiling over." Given that the Montreal rocker is concerned with the sardine-ism of the city and the high Fahrenheit that friction can bring, a solution could be one last trip to cottage country. For two nights the Brother Down band hits the Key to Bala, a landmark rock hall of fist-pumping and patio lanterns that offers a perfect forum for Mr. Robert's generous energy and unstoppable up lift. Aug. 30 and 31, 9 p.m. $35. Key to Bala, Bala, Ont., thekee.com.