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Robert Flack: Love Mind

As one of the Queen West artist's final works, Love Mind's vibrant images, like much of Robert Flack's work, exude a kind of "otherworldliness." Brightly coloured and humming with psychic energy, Mr. Flack's images are shot through with a palpable sense of urgency and yearning from a young man who knew he didn't have far to go. To May 5. Free. Paul Petro Contemporary Art, 980 Queen St. W., 416-979-7874.

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Benoit Aquin

Known for what has been described as the "strong quietness" of his work, the Quebec photographer's Haiti exhibition documents the aftermath of the earthquake that decimated a country, with emphasis on the resiliency of people who have been plagued for decades with political and social unrest. To April 28. Free. Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen St. W., 416-504-0575.


Shabazz Palaces

Nearly 20 years after he made his mark with hip-hop trio Digable Planets, Ishmael (Butterfly) Butler is back with a new collective, fusing some of his easy-to-recognize flow with progressive, hard-thumping beats that prove the last thing he's willing to do is fall back on old tricks. April 10, 10:15 p.m., $15. Lee's Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., 416-870-8000,

Tia Brazda

Expect the Betty Page crowd to be a-boppin' as the bouncy pianos, blasting horns and sassy swing of Tia Brazda's band return to the Caddy and the same dance floor where she launched her debut EP Cabin Fever in February to a sold-out house. April 13, 9 p.m., $10. The Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St. W., 416-536-7717,

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Azari and III

Freakazoids, report to the dance floor. After almost a year overseas, the critically acclaimed vintage house and rave quartet return home to drop beats from their eponymous 2011 album. April 13, 10 p.m.. $15. The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst St.


The Tales of Hoffman

From the prolific pen of Jacques Offenbach, who churned out close to 100 operettas for 19th century Parisian audiences, comes his masterpiece, a dark romantic yarn about a tortured artist who fails to find love. Speaking of tortured artists, Offenbach died four months before its premiere in 1881. April 10 to May 14, $45-$318. Canadian Opera Company, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-363-8231.

Buddy Guy

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Forty-two years after he first stepped onto the stage at Massey Hall, the legendary guitarist, who influenced some of rock 'n' roll's hottest string benders, from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, brings his polka dot Strat and 75 years of chops to town for a night of tasty Chicago blues. April 13, $49.50 - $69.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St.,


Ron White

"Let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix stupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever." True, but it's also going to be on display for a limited time only when the Blue Collar Comedy tour veteran yuks things up for all the chuckleheads in the house. Catch it while you can! April 12, $39.50 - $69.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St.,

Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival

The heavy-hitting troupes from 2011's festival – Falcon Powder, Peter 'n Chris and Vest of Friends – return to illustrate why they ruled on this Best of the Fest Encore weekend that's been supplemented with workshops and video training for comedy nerds keen on honing their chops. April 12-15, $15-$40. Various venues.


Prisoner of Tehran

Marina Nemat's bestselling memoir, Prisoner of Tehran, chronicling her journey from Iran's infamous Evin Prison to motherhood in Aurora, Ont., makes its theatrical debut after being adapted for the stage by director Maja Ardal. April 11-28. $30-35. (Preview April 10. $30.) Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave.,

Clybourne Park

Described by the Guardian as "offensively delicious" and by the Evening Standard as "the funniest play of the year," the Chicago-set comedic drama from Bruce Norris takes inspiration from Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in The Sun – a study in real estate and race relations. April 2 to 28. $22 to $49. Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs, 26 Berkeley St., 416-368-3110 or


Tiny cineastes can train for TIFF with the Kids' International Film Festival, which offers programming for kids age three to 13 this month (April's programming is for kids 14 to 18). Movie themes run the gamut from werewolves to chimpanzees to kid detective gangs, plus discussions with filmmakers. April 10 to 22. $8.50 to $12 (opening night $25). TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433.

Reelworld Film Festival

Tonya Lee Williams, former actor on The Young and the Restless, is keeping it "reel" with the festival she founded 11 years ago to showcase emerging talent of colour. Former participant Ava DuVernay, for example, went on to grab the Best Director award at Sundance in February this year. April 11 to 15. Tickets ($10) can be bought in person at Canada Square Theatre (2190 Yonge St.) or online (


Quicksand & Nine

A literally stripped-down look at cross-cultural conventions, Quicksand & Nine is a piece that features 10 shirtless multiracial men performing a contemporary take on the Navarasa, the nine moods traditionally expressed through Indian classical dance. 8 p.m., April 12 to 14. $15 to $35. Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queen's Quay W. 416-973-4000.


Kelley Armstrong

Her newest book is called The Gathering, but she was referring to something a bit more ominous than the swarm of teenagers that will be descending on this YA author when she appears at the Yorkdale Indigo to read from and sign copies of her latest fantasy novel. Free. 2 p.m., April 7. 3401 Dufferin St. 416-781-6660.


International Home and Garden Show

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz – I wonder where the Home & Garden Show is. Kicking off April 12, the event that is about all things chlorophyll (okay, and gypsum too) runs through the weekend, with seminars and celebrity green-thumbs and handymen. Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. $12-$15. International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd., Mississauga. 416-512-1305.


Toronto Classic Canadian Table Hockey Championships

Yeah, yeah, we know it's warming up in Toronto (the Leafs are out!), but that's no reason to abandon the good old hockey game. Instead, scale down your expectations. This weekend, dozens of knob-twisting table-hockey fanatics will descend on Ricoh Coliseum to do battle in a benefit for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto, hosted by the Toronto Marlies. April 7, 10:30 - 6:30 p.m., $40 entry fee (includes entry to a Toronto Marlies game at 3 p.m.). Ricoh Coliseum, Exhibition Place, 100 Princess Ave.,


Easter "Eggs" Stravaganza at the Toronto Zoo

Parents, don't worry: You're not going to find Peter Rabbit behind bars here. But you will be able to take your wee ones on a puzzle-solving trail, catch a free parade and grill the zookeepers. Kids, keep your mitts off the ostrich eggs. To April 9. 9:30 - 3:30 p.m.,$13 (kids); $23 (adults). Meadowvale Rd., and Sheppard Ave., 416-392-5929,


Toronto Art Expo April 19 to 22. Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

One Direction May 29 and May 31. Molson Amphitheatre, 1-855-985-5000.

Howie Mandel. June 8 and 9. Fallsview Casino, 1-877-833-3110.

Ringo Starr June 14 and 15. Fallsview Casino, 1-877-833-3110.

Kiss and Motley Crue Sept. 13. Molson Amphitheatre, 1-855-985-5000.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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