Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde
"My art is an extravagant art, a flaming vermilion, a blue soul flooding over my paintings." Combining worlds that were real with ones that were imagined, the muse of the Russian artist was his own inner child. Here, an exhibit organized by Paris's Centre Pompidou features Mr. Chagall's whimsical painting as well as the sculptures and photography of early 20th-century Russian modernists. Oct. 18 to Jan. 15, 2012. $16.50 to $25. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648.
Moon studies, maps and crazy crafts comprise one part of Harbourfront's fall visual arts exhibitions, with contributions from Jennifer Murphy, Clare Samuel and Suzanne Nacha among many others. Architecture nerds can sharpen their pencils on a trio of urban explorations from architectsAlliance, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, RAW and visual artist Douglas Walker. To Dec. 31. Free. 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
Iron & Wine
Here comes interesting Sam Beam, the hirsute, soft-voiced singer-songwriter whose latest album Kiss Each Other Clean is full of textures and lyrical imagery, with tracks still to be filed under the category of groovy folk music, albeit with his biggest sound yet. If he wears his influences inside his beard, there can be no end to this man's journey. Saturday, 8 p.m. $27 to $37. Sound Academy, 11 Polson St., 855-985-5000.
Dum Dum Girls
Jules, Dee Dee, Bambi and Sandy are either the four members of California's Dum Dum Girls or Santa's newest reindeers. Either way, the gifts they bring involve the pop-rock of Only in Dreams, a just-out album that imagines beach-blanketed versions of the Shirelles and Pretenders. Sunday, 8 p.m. $17.50 to $20. Lee's Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., 855-985-5000.
Considered by some to be the world's first "global orchestra," the accomplished troupe from St. Petersburg is led by the untiring Valery Gergiev. Here the maestro and Putin enthusiast conducts a program of Russian masterworks, including Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1. Oct. 21, 8 p.m. $69.50 to $169.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255.
SFJAZZ Collective Plays Stevie Wonder
Since 2004 the eight-piece San Francisco-based collective has stood on the shoulders of giants, basing repertoires on John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, and, now, the master blaster Steve Wonder. This evening the continually evolving troupe investigates and transforms that musician's material, with an emphasis on his works from the 1970s – songs suitable to the key of jazz. Saturday, 8 p.m. $45 to $90. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., 416-408-0208.
I Send You This Cadmium Red
An evening of theatre, dance and music begins with a James Kudelka pas de deux called Soudain, l'hiver dernier and finishes with an inventive play that explores new ways to see colour. The piece is based on a BBC radio play, adapted by the Art of Time Ensemble and inspired by letters between writer John Berger and filmmaker John Christie. To Oct. 22. $22 to $69. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., 416-368-3110.
The Rocky Horror Show
Featuring a nerd and his amazingly virginal fiancée, this campy musical goes big with outlandish rock music and an equally bizarre story line involving biological advancement, simultaneous orgasm and a hot-dogging transvestite named Frank-N-Furter. Oct. 20 to 31. $28.50 to $38.50. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Ave, 416-915-6747.
Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour
In Cirque du Soleil's extravagant new arena thriller, a dancer dressed as Bubbles, the late king of pop's famous pet chimp, hovers in a giant, elephant-skull cradle and is spun gently by a mime. Yep, Wacko is back – here in the form of a splashy circus that pays tribute to an entertainer who'll live on and on, one way or another. October 21 and 22 (8 p.m.) and Oct. 23 (4 p.m.). $66.25 to $190.25. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 855-985-5000.
José Porcel's Compañia Flamenca
From the dynamic Spaniard José Porcel, the touring show Gypsy Fire boasts lavish costumes, emotive music and five-alarm footwork. Oct. 17, 8 p.m. $39.50 to $69.50. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255.
Guangzhou Ballet: Return on a Snowy Night
Incorporating traditional Chinese dance and opera, an icy four-act ballet (danced by an 88-member troupe) tells the tragic love story of an opera singer and a high-ranking official's concubine. Oct. 18, 8 p.m. $51.75 to $173.50. Sony Centre, 1 Front St. E., 855-872-7669.
The Neat Strange Music of Ahmed Hassan
Part of the ongoing Abilities Arts Festival, dancers Peggy Baker, Serge Bennathan, Peter Bingham and Robert Desrosiers pay tribute to the late Ahmed Hassan, a unique composer stricken by multiple sclerosis. The evening also sees a reunion of the world-beat band Mother Tongue. Oct. 21 and 22, 8 p.m. $20 to $25. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 400 Jarvis St., abilitiesartsfestival.org.
LITERATURE and LECTURE
International Festival of Authors
The massive literary happening starts this week (Oct. 19 to 23), kicking off with Words by Design: An Evening with Bruce Mau. In support of PEN Canada, the thinker-designer facilitates his Incomplete Manifesto of Growth's first rule – "allow events to change you" – by reading, sharing his images and speaking with CBC Radio's Mary Hynes. Oct. 19, 8 p.m. $50. Harbourfront Centre, Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000.
Dave Bidini: Writing Gordon Lightfoot
The author-musician Dave Bidini couldn't get the legend Lightfoot to speak to him for his new book about 1972's storied Mariposa Festival, so he sat down and wrote the Sundown singer a letter – a 264-page letter that is Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972, a book that gets its launch with a night of Lightfoot covers. Oct. 20, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free. No One Writes to the Colonel, 460 College St., 416-928-6777.
Art with Heart
For Casey House, the HIV/AIDS specialty hospital, 86 pieces go under the gavel. One highlight: Von Hackendahl, the New York photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's study of a male positioned like an ancient athlete. Oct. 18, 7 p.m. (previews and cocktail reception, 5:30 p.m.). $150. The Carlu, 444 Yonge St, artwithheart.ca.
Grape Stomping Festival
Squish, squash, this is a heck of a mosh. You're invited to hop into a half-barrel of locally grown grapes during an afternoon of entertainment and wine-related activities. Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Vintage One Wines, 4896 Dundas St. W., 416-231-6994.
The Craddock Lecture: Margaret Atwood
It's a daring eco-apocalyptic novel with elements of violence, obscenity, comedy, doubt, yearning, endurance and love. No, not the Bible, but Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood, the 2009 book she'll be drawing upon for a sermon on the spiritual disconnect between modern religions and nature. Sunday, 10:30 a.m. Bloor Street United Church, 300 Bloor St. W., bloorstreetunited.org.
Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival
The funny business salutes itself Saturday and Sunday, with nominees in various comic categories showing off at the Comedy Bar (945 Bloor St. W.) and Second City (51 Mercer St.). On Sunday, Shaun Majumder hosts a gala that spotlights the year's top standup acts (Sunday, 7:30 p.m. $35, Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., 416-872-1212). To Sunday. canadiancomedy.ca.
Accent on Toronto
The pot holes in Toronto are enormous; last week we saw three Chilean miners crawling out of one on Front Street. Butta bing! Hogtown takes it on the chin when local comedians Debra DiGiovanni, Gilson Lubin, Martha Chaves, Frank Spadone and host Angelo Tsarouchas dish out ethnic laughs and homegrown roasts. Oct. 19, 8 p.m. $35.50. Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., 855-985-5000.
Instead of a baton, the relay racers pass a billy club. Men and women in blue do athletic battle, raising money for the Toronto Police Widows and Orphans Fund. Sunday, 2 p.m. $15. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, 855-985-5000.
"Tis a smashing brolly! It could very well fetch upwards of a gazillion dollars if one were to put it on the market." Really, as long they have an aristocratic British accent, we'll believe anything someone tell us when it comes to our treasures. Fortunately, antiques expert Judith Miller brings more than the King's English to the table when she appraises your prized things. Sunday, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. $20. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park, 416-586-8000.
All Hallow's Eve Wardrobe Sale
Please, mom, not bed sheets for ghost costumes again. The Young People's Theatre opens up its wardrobe department for thespian scare-wear. All items between $5 and $75. Cash only. Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. 165 Front E, 416-862-2222.
Stuart McLean & the Vinyl Café
The master storyteller mans the lectern for an evening of warm, folksy tales, with the roots-rocking duo Whitehorse (Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland) as the highly recommended music act. Oct. 19, 7 p.m. $46.50 to $51.50. Mississauga Living Arts Centre, 888-805-8888.
Mike D'Urzo: Mind Kontrol
Did you hear about the guy who made a Thanksgiving dinner disappear with the snap of his fingers? It was a sleight-of-ham trick. Ugh. Fortunately, the magic man Mike D'Urzo is funnier than we are, combining mentalism, illusions and comedy to dazzle all-ages audiences. Oct. 20 to 23. $35. Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina, Toronto, 888-222-6608.
Toronto Zombie Walk Oct. 22. Trinity Bellwoods Park, torontozombiewalk.ca.
Love Lies Bleeding Nov. 8 to 12. Sony Centre, 855-985-5000.
It's Always Something (Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Andy Kim) Nov. 19. Sony Centre, 416-214-9898.
Ray Davies Nov. 25. Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 855-985-5000.
Bon Iver Dec. 6 and 7. Massey Hall, 416-872-4255.