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Rachel Harnisch: The COC presents Love from Afar.

Annemie Augustijns/Annemie Augustijns


Photography Collected Us: The Malcolmson Collection

Because inviting the public into their home would be impractical – wipe your feet, please! – Anne and Harry Malcolmson brought more than of their 200 rare photographs to the University of Toronto Art Centre. Embracing both pictures and documents, one of Canada's finest collections covers not only significant artistic movements, but notable technological developments of the medium as well. To March 10. Closed Mondays and Sundays. 15 King's College Circle, 416-978-1838.

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Chocolate: The Exhibition

Melting chocolate leaves one with brown thumbs, not green. Nevertheless, the decadent plants, shrubs, canes and trees that produce the stuff of sweets are a fitting focus for an informative exhibit at Royal Botanical Gardens, well in time for Valentine's Day. To April 15, daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $7 to $12 . 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, Ont., 905-527-1158.

Greg Payce: Illusions

The Calgary artist pushes the boundaries of what earthenware will permit, exploring the aesthetic and conceptual possibilities of pottery form and decoration as a language onto itself. In this exhibition, important early works and more recent pieces document his evolving fascination. Feb. 2 to May 6 (on Jan. 31, Greg Payce speaks with curator Amy Gogarty; 6:30 p.m., $15 ). $6 to $12. Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen's Park, 416-586-8080.


Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

The Asian-Canadian duo of drummer Alaska B and singer Ruby Kato Attwood do an eccentric sort of psychedelic-art rock, a heavy, thrilling and theatrical sound that is sometimes embellished on stage with masks and bursts of symbolic violence. Jan. 28, 9 p.m. $8 to $10. The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W., 416-519-9439.

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The Darkness

Let there be light: The recently reunited English glam-rock revivalists return, boasting over-the-top guitar-rock glitter. Expect old material and new songs from an upcoming album, delivered by a Frampton-like frontman, circa 1976. Feb. 1, 8.30 p.m. $29. Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., 1-855-985-5000.


Starry Night

From Talisker Players comes a chamber program of instrumental music, song and spoken word, all nocturnally themed. The centrepiece is Benjamin Britten's haunting Serenade, the setting of six English poems for tenor, solo horn and string orchestra. Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, $10 to $30. Trinity St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. , 416-978-8849.

Masques of Love

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Torch songs and blues standards rub shoulders with Renaissance lute songs in a cabaret that stars the dynamic Patricia O'Callaghan, roots-music icon Ken Whiteley, the actor Martin Julien and virtuoso lutenist Terry McKenna. Feb. 3 and 4, 8 p.m. $15 to $35. Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity St., 416-410-4561,


The Blue Dragon

A poignant story of love, loss and loneliness, set against the backdrop of China rising, comes to life at the Royal Alex, where Globe reviewer Martin Morrow was left "wide-eyed and buoyant" from Robert Lepage's "playful genius." To Feb. 19. $25 to $99. 260 King St. W., 416-872-1212 or

Kim's Convenience

Ins Choi's comic and affecting Fringe Festival hit from a year ago premieres in a broadened form. The debut effort from Mr. Choi, here staged by Soulpepper, concerns a Korean-Canadian family grappling with the future, the past and the decision to sell or not sell a Regent Park convenience store. Indefinite run. $32 to $68. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, 55 Mill St., 416-866-8666.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Two different programs (each including new works) will be danced stupendously by the acclaimed New York-based company, but the late Alvin Ailey's signature piece from 1960 is the constant. Revelations, a moving chronicle of the black experience set to traditional gospel music, is presented four times at the Sony Centre. Program A: Feb. 2 (8 p.m.) and Feb. 4 (2 p.m.); Program B: Feb. 3 and 4, 8 p.m. $28. to $100 . 1 Front St. E., 1-855-872-7669.

The Sealed Angel

Billed as a "profoundly moving opera to be heard, seen and felt," Rodion Shchedrin's The Sealed Angel is thought to be a contemporary answer to Rachmaninov's Vespers, integrating 70 voices, five dancers, two boy sopranos and a solo flute. For this Soundstreams production, Germany's Lars Scheibner choreographs the dancers of ProArteDanza, while the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Amadeus Choir handle the vocals. Feb. 2 and 3, 8 p.m . $47 to $73. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208.


The Soaps: The Live Improvised Soap Opera

Stop them if you've heard this one before – but, of course, you haven't heard anything like it. A strong cast of improvisers makes it up on the spot for an unscripted melodrama set in Smalltown, Ontario, where a local radio station is in peril. Thursdays, 8 p.m. (pay what you think). Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St. W., 416-551-6540.


Brian Stewart: Inside the Vortex

The former CBC-TV correspondent lectures on crisis-reporting, zeroing in on the current calamity in the Horn of Africa – one of the most complex, conflicted and hungriest regions of the world. Jan. 29, 10 a.m. Free. St. Clement's Church Parish Hall, 70 St. Clements Ave., 416-483-6664.

An Evening With Pam Grier

The 62-year-old actress with a typecast complexion – she's starred in Foxy Brown and Jackie Brown – talks about blaxploitation films and a charismatic career marked by comebacks. Also on hand is Jennifer Beals, the Yale-educated Flashdance actress. Feb. 2, 7 pm. $18.50 . Cineplex Odeon Varsity and VIP Cinemas, 55 Bloor St. W.,


Psychic Brunch

Hey, swami, does your crystal ball show me getting my eggs benny any time soon? Clairvoyants and tarot readers forecast your future, hopefully sunny-side up. Jan. 29, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $29. Flying Beaver Pubaret, 488 Parliament St. , 647-347-6567,

Bluegrass Brunch

There was that one time at the weekend mountain-music meal when the fiddler skewered our sausage with his bow! Not really. An all-you-can-eat family affair involves platters of grub and singing that is high, lonesome and three-part harmonic. Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $7 to $14. The Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579.


Bad Day at Black Rock

The Spencer Tracy-starring thriller screens as part of a weekly series of films from 1955 (including The Seven Year Itch and Rebel Without a Cause), offered in conjunction with a similarly themed photo exhibit currently showing at the Stephen Bulger Gallery. Jan. 28, 3 p.m. (film series, Saturdays to Feb. 18). Free. Camera Lounge, 1028 Queen St. W., 416-530-0011.

Kevin Smith: Live From Behind

The chatty filmmaker and actor teams up with his sometimes collaborator Jason (Jay) Mewes for a live hosting of the pair's highly rated podcast, Jay & Silent Bob Get Old. Following is a live Q&A session with the Clerks director, who can be expected to respond to Gen-X queries – from a live audience at Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto as well as tweets from afar – with stoner humour, outrageous candour and long-winded irreverence. Feb. 2, 9:30 p.m. $17 (satellite broadcast at participating movie theatres) to $50 (live, Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond St. W.).


Dog Sled Races

We once crossed a female sled dog with a puffin – she laid pooched eggs. Two days of mushing, snowshoeing, skiing, hiking and no standup comedy happens at the Kortright Centre. Feb. 4 and 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $6.50 to $9, Woodbridge, Ont., 905-832-2289.


COC's Tosca To Feb. 25. Four Seasons Centre, 416-363-8231.

Come Up To My Room To Jan. 29. Gladstone Hotel,

Interior Design Show To Jan. 29. Toronto Convention Centre,

8 Fest Festival To Jan. 29. Trash Palace,

Winterlicious To Feb. 9.


Pico Iyer Feb. 4, Grano, 416-361-0032.

Michaëlle Jean Feb. 6. Roy Thomson Hall, 416-872-4255.

Rhubarb Festival Feb. 8 to 19. Buddies in Bad Times,

War Horse Feb. 10 to May 6. Princess of Wales, 416-872-1212.

Louise Pitre: Broadway to Paris Feb. 16 . Markham Theatre, 905-305-7469.

Canadian Music Week March 21 to 25.

Paul Oscher April 28. Peters Players, Gravenhurst, Ont.,

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About the Author

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

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