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Ivars Taurins as Herr Handel at SING-ALONG MESSIAH at Massey Hall

Gary Beechey/Gary Beechey


The Occupation

Ninety-nine out of 100 art lovers agree, the photographs of Occupy Toronto by Ian Willms document one of the city's most fascinating episodes of the year. To Jan. 5, 2012 . Free . Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography , 401 Richmond St. W. , 416-979-3941.

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The Good Lovelies

Three parts harmony and plenty parts charisma, the adorable folk trio bring out the retro-styled mistletoe music of sweater-girls past. Dec. 17, 2:30 p.m. (kids under 12 free) and 8 p.m. $20 (available at Rotate This and Soundscapes). Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W., ; (also Dec. 18, Alliston, Ont .; Dec. 19, Hamilton, Ont ., Dec. 21, Guelph, Ont. ).

David Comes To Life

Toronto's most popular hardcore band, Fucked Up, performs its lauded conceptual rock album David Comes to Life in its entirety – 78 minutes of barking vocals, guitar gusto and euphoric uplift. (Supporting acts include cosmic cowboys the Sadies and the droning fuzz-rock of PS I Love You.) Dec. 20, doors at 7 p.m. $20 (available at Rotate This and Soundscapes ). Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W .


Musideum Coffeehouse Concert Series

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Predictable only in their unpredictability, the artful singers Yvette Tollar and Mary-Margaret O'Hara with the curious guitarist Rusty McCarthy bewitch in an intimate venue. Dec. 17 , 8 p.m . $25. Musideum , 410 Richmond St. W. , 416-599-7323 .

The Canadian Tenors

What's the exchange rate on a Canadian tenor these days, anyway? The classical-pop crossover quartet, a hot export indeed, do seasonal music to croon our cockles warm. Dec. 22 and 23 , 8 p.m. $49.50 to $89.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255 .


Dec. 17

A Very Lupe Xmas

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A holiday-themed satire and sing-along is less than immaculately conceived, but Melissa D'Agostino's Latina clown Lupe is an offbeat, audience-interactive hoot. 8 p.m. $20. 918 Bathurst Centre, 918 Bathurst St.,

Dec. 18

Sing-Along Messiah

Get your hand in the Handel classic, with period orchestra Tafelmusik and its wig-wearing conductor. 2 p.m. $26 to $43. Massey Hall. 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255.

Dec. 19

Dysfunctional Holiday Revue

The Second City touring troupe has fun with awkward seasonal moments in its red-nosed night of skit comedy, running to Dec. 30. 8 p.m. $22. Second City, 51 Mercer St., 416-343-0011.

Dec. 20

Jingle Bones

The neck bone is connected to the jaw bone, and the jaw bone is connected to the trombone. Twenty trombonists offer whimsical variations of seasonal standards. 8 p.m. Free (charity donations accepted). Victory Cafe, 581 Markham St., 416-516-5787.

Dec. 21

The Nutcracker

What pantomime is to the British celebration of Christmas, the evergreen ballet is to North America. One of the finest presentations is James Kudelka's lovely version, danced by the National Ballet of Canada (to Jan. 3). 7 p.m. $38 to $133. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595.

Dec. 22


It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas: Soulpepper remounts the seasonal love story about two perfume-shop clerks with uncommon scents. 7:30 p.m. (runs to Dec. 31; some matinees) $45 to $65. Young Centre, 55 Mill St., 416-866-8666.

Dec. 23

Christmas Choral Concert

Deck the City Hall with boughs of gravy – fa la la la la, la la la la. Mayor Ford's place of business is the setting for a lunchtime celebration of music. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free. Toronto City Hall Rotunda, 100 Queen St. W.



In a fast-and-loose rendition of rock 'n' roll history, a brash Southern radio personality breaks colour barriers in more ways than one in a touring musical about a black female singer in the American 1950s. To Dec. 24 . $51 to $180. Toronto Centre for the Arts , 5040 Yonge St. , 416-644-3665 .


The painter is brought to life in living colour in fictionalized 1950s-set drama about artist Mark Rothko's struggle to complete a commission. Today's the last chance to see this Canadian premiere before it makes its way to Edmonton and Vancouver next year. To Dec. 17 (2 and 8 p.m.). $24 to $99 . Bluma Appel Theatre , 27 Front St. E. , 416-368-3110 .

Wizard of Oz

Something tells we're in Toronto when a funky musical version of the yellow-brick classic involves Lady Gaga's Born This Way and a snowboard-loving Dorothy. Another Christmas; another Ross Petty pantomime. To Jan. 6, 7 p.m. $27 to $85. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 855-985-5000.


Arrogant Worms

They wriggled their way into the Canadian consciousness in the 1990s, and they're still making mischief with music. Harmless, but not tuneless, jocularity. Dec. 21 , 8:30 p.m. $32.50 to $35 . Hugh's Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., 416-531-6604 .


Jacob & Nova

A double bill, from Dancemakers: Jacob Zimmer's Story Dance Radio interweaves the breathy disembodied sound of late-night seventies FM with imaginative choreography, while Nova Bhattacharya's Red and Yellow conveys expression and constraint with contemporary dance and traditional South Indian movements. Dec. 17 (8 p.m.) and Dec. 18 (4 p.m .). $20 to $25 . Dancemakers Centre for Creation , 55 Mill St., 416-367-1800 .


Roman Polanski

Is he a creep? Is he a cinematic genius? The jury is in on both of those judgments, and it is his filmmaking prowess that gets the spotlight with a retrospective of his work that begins with Knife in the Water, the director's erotically thrilling 1962 debut about a couple who invite a hitchhiker to join them on a sailing holiday (Dec. 17, 9 p.m.). Dec. 17 to 25 . $9.50 to $12 . TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W. , 416-968-3456 or .


Toronto Masque Theatre

Actors, singers and players offer a merry cabaret of words and music, presented cozily and old-school in, well, an old school. Dec. 21 , 8 p.m . $20 . Enoch Turner Schoolhouse , 106 Trinity St. , 416-410-4561 .


Winter Festival

It's not all that cold yet, just a little chili. The opening of a family-friendly outdoor skating rink is celebrated with skating, music and warming, spicy stew. Dec. 17 , noon to 6 p.m. Evergreen Brick Works , 550 Bayview Ave. , .

It's A Wonderful Life

"Hello, Bedford Falls! Merry Christmas, movie house!" James Stewart plays the excitable George Bailey in the 1946 classic about the despair and redemption on one snowy Christmas night in Small Town U.S.A. Dec. 18 , 1:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen St. E., 416-691-7330.


Toronto Children's Chorus

No Scrooge, but plenty of little Dickens. A chorus of more than 300 children (with help from an alumni choir) joins forces with True North Brass for a seasonal tradition. Dec. 17 , 2 p.m . $34.50 to $44.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255 .

Bed & Breakfast

Described as a "whimsical new version of The Princess and the Pea," this production by Puppetmongers Theatre involves sharp servants, who, in the service of true love, conspire against their bumbling employers. To Jan. 1, 2012. $20 to $25 . Tarragon Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave. , 416-531-1827 .

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic

Those iconic white gloves Mickey Mouse is always wearing will come in handy for a spectacle of ice-dancing rodents, Jiminy Crickets and other colourful characters of the Disney empire. Dec. 23 to Jan. 1, 2012. $22.20 to $103.80 . Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jay's Way, 855-985-5000 .


Christmas By Lamplight Dec. 17 and 18. Black Creek Pioneer Village, 416-736-1733.

TSO's Messiah Dec. 17, 18 and 19. Roy Thomson Hall, 416-872-4255.

Christmas in the Golden Age of Radio Dec. 18. Spadina Museum, 416-392-6910.

Seussical To Dec. 30. Young People's Theatre, 416-862-2222.

Hair To Dec. 31. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 416-872-1212.

Mary Poppins Princess of Wales, 416-872-1212.

Two Pianos Four Hands To Jan. 5, 2012. Panasonic Theatre, 416-872-1212


Christmas Eve Pageant Dec. 24 (3 and 5 p.m.). Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, 416-925-5977.

The Sound of Music Sing-Along Special Dec. 30. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 416-599-8433.

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About the Author

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

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