Some folks like to get away. Take a holiday from the neighbourhood. New Yorker Billy Joel, for example, is playing Madison Square Garden monthly, but he's also popping up here and there instead of embarking on a full-on tour. On Sunday, he hops a flight for a show at Air Canada Centre, where fans can expect tuneful nostalgia, an amiable manner and a New York State of Mind of course. March 9, 8 p.m. $68.75 to $164.75. Air Canada Centre, 50 Bay St., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
The contract of the Russian star Svetlana Lunkina with the National Ballet of Canada is up at the end of the season, but she's not ready for her swan song just yet. She is, however, assuredly ready to share the lead role in the company's version of the mystic, revered Swan Lake. "I am not ready to surrender," said the former Bolshoi ballerina upon arriving in Canada last fall, after a sterling 15-year career in Russia. "I feel there's still a lot I can do." Swan Lake will be her third production with the National; here's hoping she passes her audition. March 8 to 16. $25 to $184. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595 or national.ballet.ca.
THE TALE OF THE T-SHIRT
We've all been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, but we really shouldn't be so blasé about it, given the death of more than 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh less than a year ago. From Fringe Festival favourites Fixt Point, this comedic piece aimed at audiences aged 10 to 16 uses puppetry and live music to address globalization and shed light on the true cost of our cheap garb. To March 8, $10. Wychwood Theatre, Artscape Wychwood Barns, 76 Wychwood Ave., 416-526-9332 or thetaleofatshirt.eventbrite.ca.
6 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS
"How do I tell my brother that yes, yes, I found our mother and she's about as lovely as an electrical storm when you're naked and tied to the highest tree in the county?" That's one of A half-dozen questions are asked in a new play about a daughter's relationship with her estranged mom, and, as queries go, it's a doozy. Billed as a lyrical carnival of theatre, The piece is based on Projection Encounters with my Runaway Mother, a memoir by Priscila Uppal, who is one of Canada's coolest poets, no question about it. To March 30. $23 to $45. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St., 416-504-9971 or factorytheatre.com.
The Saturday-night after-party for the comic book convention and sci-fi fandango is happening at the Tattoo Queen West lounge, where anything close to the Star Wars cantina scene would be a gas. Comicon attractions such as the Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder will be on hand, as will and we can only hope that Billy Boyd from The Lord of the Ringswon't be using his "hobbit-forming" line on the ladies. Of course, they'll also be available for photos, Q&As and autographs at the convention itself, as will scores of other celebrities and semi-famous personalities. March 7 to 9. $10 to $25 (weekend pass, $45). Metro Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., comicontoronto.com.